Monthly Archives: September 2009

Bad Bug!

Doesnt this look all soft and cuddly?

Doesn't this look all soft and cuddly?

This is not a picture of a wildly furry puppy.  This is not some new cat breed.  This is a caterpillar… a Puss Caterpillar, one of the most toxic caterpillars in the United States.  Why am I writing about this weird little monster?  Well, my 5 year old daughter Short Stack had a brief encounter with it the other day and we are STILL dealing with the results.

Puss Caterpillars, also known as Woolly Slugs become the Flannel Moth.  That soft looking “fur” you see?  It contains venomous spines that react with human skin on contact. Within five minutes there is excruciating pain that can radiate from the site of contact throughout the limbs, chest and neck.  It can cause nausea, restlessness, anxiety, rashes, blisters, abdominal distress, headache and difficulty breathing.

Here’s what happened to us:  My husband and I were inside the house when the kids came running.  There was something weird and furry on the tree and they wanted us to come look.  We’ve taught them not to touch strange animals and bugs, so when we got to the tree, they were all standing around just staring at it.  My husband poked it with a stick, and the caterpillar immediately dropped to the ground.  Just as my two year old, Bubba was reaching for it, my husband backed him away, got the caterpillar to cling to the stick, and threw it up on the roof (the roof?  I know, I couldn’t figure it out either… but that was his gut reaction I guess).  That taken care of, I told the kids I would go inside and try to find out what the bug was on the computer.  The first website I found was this one.  By the second page of the description, when I came upon the words “excruciating unrelenting pain”  I turned to my husband and said “Boy, we’re lucky none of the kids touched this thing!”  Just then, Short Stack comes running into the house “I have to go to my room!  My arm hurts it hurts it HURTS!!!!!”  (this last part was a shriek the likes of which I have never heard coming from her mouth).  We asked her if she touched the caterpillar and she kept screaming “I don’t know I don’t know MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY IT HURTS!!!!”  Sure enough, there on the side of her arm was the distinct mark left by contact with the caterpillar.  She must have brushed up against it right before we came outside to see it.

Puss Caterpillars leave a distinctive mark on their victims - from

Puss Caterpillars leave a distinctive mark on their victims - from

Writhing in pain, the best I could do to make it better was to remove any residual spikes with tape, put hydro cortisone on directly on the affected area and give her Benadryl and Tylenol.  After about an hour she settled down.  After three hours she only cried out intermittently.  That night, she woke repeatedly and could not get comfortable.  Then next morning she was bouncing around, in no pain and BEGGING to go to school.  It was almost like nothing had ever happened!  One side note about my daughter.  Since moving to Maryland she has had a tick imbedded in her head, been stung by a jellyfish and now this.  I am keeping a wary eye out for black widows and brown recluse spiders which are not uncommon in this area.  It seems she is a tempting treat for all the little nasties that are around.

This bug is common throughout the Southern United States and is usually found on shade trees such as oak and elm.  Do not attempt to touch this bug.  Don’t try to put it in a jar, DON’T MESS WITH THIS BUG!!   It’s a bad, bad bug and you will do best to give it wide berth!

For more information about the Puss Caterpillar, I found these websites helpful

Bugs In The News

The Puss Moth Caterpillar, aka the Asp

Stinging Caterpillars and Moths


Halloween is a great time for Zombies… or not…

Take heed...

Take heed...

I think zombie movies are great.  Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead, the coming movie Zombieland.  What I don’t think is great, what I HATE, is feeling like a zombie myself.  For the past month or so, I have been dealing with pretty bad insomnia.  Insomnia is bad enough by itself, but I’m a mom.  That means whatever I do directly affects three people who are depending on me.  They’re depending on me to be aware and awake.  They need me.  What is happening is that I cannot sleep anymore.  Maybe a couple of hours a night, but it’s not even restful sleep.  I keep thinking I’m going to fall asleep during the day, but instead I just float through like a zombie.  I don’t want to drive anywhere because I’m afraid that I won’t pay enough attention to what the car in front of me is doing.  I can’t think to figure out what to make for lunch, so my daughter has had an amazing amount of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (which she doesn’t mind at all because she LOVES peanut butter and jelly sandwiches).  I’ve tried sleeping pills, baths, warm milk, boring books.  I’ve even counted sheep.  Let me say that again.  I’VE COUNTED SHEEP!  Nothing works and I am getting close to just beating my head on a wall till I pass out. 

Okay friends,  what do you do when you can’t sleep?  Any and all suggestions, please.  I am being reduced to one of the walking dead.  At this rate, I won’t even need a costume for Halloween.

His Lovely Wife


A friend recently put a quote from a book she was reading on Facebook: “…when her husband came home from work he was greeted not by his children’s mother, and not by the housekeeper, but by the woman he married”. (Talking about the wife of the 50’s changing her clothes before her husband came home)”.  I’m not sure what book she was reading, but this little quote sparked a whole lot of comments.

Look, she even baked his favorite cake!

Look, she even baked his favorite cake!

Most of the people who responded were women… and they agreed with the sentiment of the quote.  It’s a nice way of showing your husband you were thinking of him during the day.  The concept was not really about being a 50’s Housewife, a Trophy Wife or a Stepford Wife – perfect and focused only on her man.  I think it really brings to light how easy it is as a stay-at-home mom to surrender to sweats and teeshirts all the time.  Now, there is nothing wrong with doing this sometimes… I do it all the time, and that’s sort of the problem.  I asked my husband and he said although he always thinks I’m pretty, it is especially nice when I put a little makeup on or wear “normal clothes” when he gets home.  The more I thought about it, the more I agreed with it.  It’s a simple and easy way to feel better as a woman to not always be seen just as Mom… but as Liz (it’s weird to even write my name because I’m called Mom so often). 
What do you think of this quote?  Do you think it’s sexist?  Do you think it focuses on outer beauty when all that should matter is inner beauty?  Do you agree with it?  Does it go both ways (and by the way, I think it does, since my husband recently shaved off the goatee he’s been sporting for a year because I thought it was “yucky”)?
I’m anxious to hear your thoughts!

Think Pink

Gracelynne's Birthday 033

Short Stack

My daughter turned 5 this last week.  FIVE!  I remember holding my first born baby in my arms and now she is in PreK and full of songs and giggles and twirls.  Her favorite color is, of course, pink!  For her birthday I attempted a Barbie cake… and boy, it was an adventure!  I had to bake cake in a pyrex bowl (something I’d never done before) and that was an interesting experience.  The other issue was height.  You either have to get a really short Barbie, or bake a really tall cake.  I ended up folding Barbie’s legs behind her in a complicated gymnastic move that proved she really can do anything she puts her mind to!  This move had her a bit far forward in the cake instead of being int the center.  My daughter didn’t mind though.  She thought the “poofy skirt sticking out behind is like a fairy princess dress!!”  For a first try I was pretty pleased 🙂

Gracelynne's Birthday 027

I piped the frosting bodice right over the plastic outfit Barbie was wearing

My doll with her doll

My doll with her doll

Eye Candy – a review of Orglamix

Hi, my name is Liz and I am an addict.  My vice, my obsession, is makeup- specifically eye makeup.  Lips are great and everything, but you can’t put lemon yellow on your lips and waltz out the door.  I often search through Etsy for fun ideas and that’s where I stumbled upon Orglamix.

Orglamix - Pumpkin Tart Collection

Orglamix is the baby of Cheri, who runs her business with these beliefs in mind:

» Natural beauty shouldn’t cost a fortune
» That six deep breaths a day can improve your life
» We are all beautiful inside and out
» That you already make a difference in the world
» Speak your mind from your heart
» A good laugh should be an essential ingredient to your day 

Her mineral makeup is full of goodness with no nasty parabens, synthetic dyes or petro chemicals.  This is natural, pure mineral color.  There are a couple of  downside to this wonderful product… It’s almost impossible to decide what to purchase, and teleportation is not a reality, so you have to wait more than a millisecond for it to arrive. 

Orglamix has something for everyone – from single colors to color collections, the subtle to the fantastic.  For my first order I picked 11 colors.  By becoming a fan on Facebook, I was able to score a great deal (Cheri always seems to have something special for her fans!)  It was really hard to whittle it down to just 10.  For the last color, I let her know what my eye color was and let her pick for me.  Not only did she send an awesome color (an amazing color called Cocoa), one of my colors was unavailable and she sent me TWO shades in its place that would complement my eyes. 

She’s got kits for every eye color and it takes the mystery out of what shadows will look great with your eyes.

WEARABLE - Eye Color Collection
WEARABLE – Eye Color Collection
Hazel Eyes - POP Eye Color Collection
Hazel Eyes – POP Eye Color Collection
When my order arrived I tried on every shade… they’re great both wet or dry, going on a smooth as silk.  Then I did the ultimate test.  I slept with it on my eyes.  Okay, before you go all crazy and remind me not to wear makeup to bed (and by the way, I did this all on my own, Cheri makes no claims regarding wearing her colors while sleeping) I just had to try it out.  The next morning, the makeup hadn’t slipped below my eyes, no uncomfortable itching.  It was wonderful!  If you have sensitive eyes, this is the product for you.  
I took some pictures of a couple of shades on my eyes (and believe me, the pics don’t do these amazing shades justice):


So here’s my final take.  Amazing prices (a single shade runs $4 and she measures by weight, not volume so you get more for your money), wonderful customer service, and fantastic, high quality product in a huge variety (she also offers makeup for your face and cheeks)- it all makes Orglamix worth checking out!
Pirate Wench Collection

Pirate Wench Collection

Tutorial - ROCKER Eye Color Collection
Tutorial – ROCKER Eye Color Collection

*The opinions expressed in this blog are my own.  I was given no compensation for this post.  For more information on shop policies, shipping, or if you have any questions about the products, please check out Orglamix on Etsy*