“Jings, Crivvens, Help ma Boab!”

by ESP on December 14, 2012 · 5 comments

Bulk“Jings, Crivvens, Help ma Boab indeed!”

The front of the Patch is quite an eyesore at the moment as we approach our bulk pick up date.

I have a suspicion that the distinguished Sir Digby Chicken Caesar” and his counterpart “Ginger” have taken up residence in the inner-pallets below the tarp.

A cold snap finally arrived in Central Texas this week, taking care of most of the outdoor mosquitoes.


The ones current dwelling in our house are another matter. My daughter and I have become so close to these insects that we have given them names, we are constantly amazed just how punctually our daily blood-letting get-togethers are performed.

Mosquitoes mid-December, that is ridiculous.


It got so cold the other night that “Kreature”, our grumbling house elf wasted no time bedding himself down into his stinky robes.

One plant that will visually warm you up on a brisk Texas day:


Crimson passion vine,

Passiflora coccinea



This vine dies back to the ground after a hard frost, but it has returned reliably for the past six years in the Spring.


Celosia always looks festive at this time of year.

The birds have been going crazy eating the seeds from these plants. I thought I had better seed a few to ensure next year’s harvest.






I paid my hired hands the ever increasing fee and set them to work extracting the seeds from the husks…“you can stop when your fingers turn purple.”

Her expression says it all.


Muhlenbergia lindheimeri fire cracker.


I would have decorated this Arizona ‘blue ice’ cypress,


but I do not own a step ladder large enough. That is my story and I am sticking with it, besides I just know this Darwin award winning activity would have ended with me taking an impromptu icy dip in that stock tank.


I couldn’t stand it any longer…yes it was out with the brushes and rakes this week to execute my least favorite of garden chores,

must not think,

…must not think,

must not think about…

Chronic Chagas’ Disease

I have had an irrational phobia about assassin bugs lurking in the leaves ready to assassinate one of my fingers ever since I researched them. I won’t even go into Chronic Chagas’ Disease:



A quick glance down at the current condition of my work gloves did nothing to fuel confidence.


Come on Santa!


The leaf cleanup uncovered piles of pecan nuts that were immediately stamped on and eaten or chewed up in Kreature’s case.

Other observations this week:


Keep still.


Seeding mist flowers looking misty,


crispy sea oats and


an up-to-no-good gate keeper. The plumosa fern that I planted earlier this year has almost reached the top of the gate.

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Stay Tuned for:

“Eggs & Soldiers”


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intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
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1 Bob Pool December 15, 2012 at 11:10 pm

I never felt sorry for a bat before but I did then. The actual bite of the Kissing Bug doesn’t give you Chagas. After they bite you a few times, usually in a row, they poop there. When it starts itching and you scratch it, you rub the poop into the wound and then you have it.

A lady that lives about 3 miles from us had several of her dogs that came down with it. I kill bunches of them here at the house but mine look different from yours. I always called the one in your picture, a wheel bug.

I’m telling your kids about the child labor laws the next time I see them, you heartless *******.

Hi Bob.

Yes I was aware of the poop-infecting part and managed to avoid it…until now. Chagas really is disturbing. You are correct, Wheel bugs are not vectors for Chagas disease, although they are closely related with triatomine bugs.
Here is the real thing (drum roll)
Triatomine bug / Kissing bug…Brrr:

Child labor laws? With a garden full of cannibalistic tribes-folk with poison darts…that is the least of my concerns, now, are your fingers purple yet? As I thought…now keep shelling.

2 TexasDeb December 16, 2012 at 12:32 pm

I’m with Bob. There are little things called child labor laws you know, put into place just so heartless ****s like you can’t be enslaving little fingers. EsPECially your own! Hmpf. Santa’s not going to be bringing you anything but lumps of coal ESP.

I refuse to look up Chaga’s, those bugs (whatEVer you call ’em) or anything that will further feed the growing paranoia ’round these parts about shared-by-bugs diseases. Our inside the house mosquitoes? Their days are numbered I say. I swear I’ll take out every bromeliad and water rooted plant in our house before I let those guys set up permanent shop. Aaaargh.

Oh! And….Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Ganging up on me now TD, I see how it is…An innocent bit of child labor and you jump on the grubby little fingered bandwagon:-)

On discovering that I had a small seam of coal running directly under the Patch, I constructed a rudimentary mine-shaft and as I type this the same little fingers are pick-axing away on their backs, deep underground with only a canary for company. When they come topside it will be time for a bit more celosia shelling, then some gruel and off to bed. So you see, I don’t need Santa’s coal…humbug.

I don’t blame you on the Chaga front, I got drawn into it and now regret it.

We are now down to one huge tiger mosquito lurking in our living room. It lumbers out from our Christmas tree at precisely 6:30pm dragging its hypodermic needle behind it. It is amazingly agile considering its size. There is a good part of me in that mosquito.

Merry Christmas to you TD.

3 Bob Pool December 17, 2012 at 10:58 pm

You just had to put the mosquito explanation up. That is gross and almost as scary as the kissing bug. As a good friend says Brrr

4 ESP December 18, 2012 at 11:12 am

It had to be done.

5 Nicole December 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Your Christmas garden prep looks good. Love the Muhlenbergia lindheimeri-need to find a plant.

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