Girls Write Out
Thursday, May 03, 2007

I hate bugs.

We have a small courtyard area encased just outside our front door. A few years back I decided to make it a nature-type sanctuary where I could sit on a bench and ponder life (yeah, I’m really that old). So I went to work tilling the ground, planting perennials and sprinkling colorful annuals here and there on one side. On the other side, I planted more vines and leafy green things then plunked a glider bench in the middle. I loved this place. Beautiful. Peaceful.

In April and May.

But in June the mosquitoes come. In droves. They target me like a bird on a mission. I’m telling you it’s like somebody yells, “Thanksgiving!” and they all dive straight for me. Maybe it’s all that chocolate I’ve been eating. They’re getting it recycled, but hey, DeBrand’s is DeBrand’s, so they don’t mind. In the midst of my tranquility, tiny little needles poke about me and I’m soon smacking myself silly. I grab my mug of coffee and head back inside.

Not only that but now, five years later, I’m not so excited when I look in the courtyard. Oh, it’s still pretty—until the bugs are in full bloom. Once the bees start buzzing and spiders jump, I’m outta there. Weeds can not only poke through the soil, they can thrive and create a happy little forest. I don’t care. Without a HASMAT suit, I ain’t going out there.

This is sooo not what the magazines tell us. Basically, I’ve created a big job for myself every spring. By the time the work is over, I have about a week to enjoy it before the bugs move in.

Moral of this story? Forget the fancy landscape and run to the park—just don’t forget the bug repellent.

Diann Hunt  
posted at 7:30 AM  
  Comments (14)
Delicious Delicious
At 8:11 AM, Blogger Katy McKenna said...

I'm dying here!!! :) Di, we have an ENORMOUS front porch. Nice porch furniture, too. And a hammock. Gorgeous flowers galore. And BEES, WASPS, and MOSQUITOES starting some years as early as February! I have a scene about my protag's insect phobia. She loves landscaping and "serene" garden settings with benches, but her poor hubby has to do all the work. And she won't go "out there."

Those buggers absolutely dive bomb me, too. They don't go near Doug or the kids. And I don't eat DeBrand! (Or any brand, Ha!)


At 8:16 AM, Blogger Colleen Coble said...

Dave attracts mosquitoes like that. They don't bother me nearly as much.

I've got one word for you, Di. Arizona. No mosquitoes in the desert. You could do a little oasis out there with colored gravel and flowers. LOL

At 8:29 AM, Blogger Suzanne said...

I am bug feed too. I enjoy sitting outside but once the bugs come it's horrible. They make it look so nice on tv and in period films, no one is ever swatting bugs away. I'm thinking I should have a huge screened in yard.

Ewww and June bugs will be appearing soon...ick ick ick.

At 9:23 AM, Blogger Denise Hunter said...

I'm so like you, Di! I like the IDEA of sitting outside. But the reality (bugs, spiders, bees, and did I mention, spiders?)does not live up to my fantasy. I'm pretty sure heaven won't have bugs.

C, stop trying to lure Di to AZ with you. She's staying here with me.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger Kristy Dykes said...

My husband's been transforming our deck and backyard. So far, it's beautiful. We've enjoyed some great times out there. But come summer down here in Florida, we'll retreat to either the lanai (porch) or inside. I, too, am mosquito bait, whereas they never bother him.

Bugs? Swatting? When we visited the Connor Prairie compound in Indiana (I think that's the name of it; you would know), where it's a village from the 1800s and people in period costume are at all the houses, shops, etc., it was born home to me how many BUGS the people in the 1800s had to contend with. At one house, a lady was making a real dinner over an open fireplace, and the windows were open, and the flies on the table were profuse. She had to keep swatting them as she labored. I pictured the historical fiction we authors write: "And she pressed the crust to the tin then swatted the flies away...."

After seeing that, I'd think every other line in historical fiction would have to address the bugs. :)

Great post! (Your writing strikes such a cord in readers' hearts, I, for one, feel like you've had a one-on-one conversation with me, and that's what provokes my long comments every time you post.) :)

At 10:05 AM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

LOL, Katy! We must be sweet since the bugs love us. *g*

No bugs in Arizona, C? Well, why didn't you say so before? Denise and I BOTH will join you! Right, D? D?????

Oh my goodness, Suzanne, don't even get me started on June bugs!!! I'm TERRIFIED of June bugs. Long story, but trust me on this, if I see one, they're history.

Yes, Kristy, that's Connor Prairie. I could just see what you were describing. Something we don't think about when we're writing our historicals, huh? Bugs. We'd all like to forget them. :-)

Thanks, by the way, for your encouraging words!

At 3:04 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

I'm with you, girl. When I lived in Califonia, bugs weren't a big deal. But when we moved to Georgia, thay became a BIG deal. They are HUGE down here!

I stepped on one by mistake, and it screamed at me. Literally! It made the most awful sound.

At the tennis court, I saw one so large, I thought I was in Africa. If I'd stepped on that one, it would have carried me away.

Nope, the only time to be outside in the South during the Spring and Summer, is in the morning hours. By noon, you'd better scoot, or you'll become prey.

At 3:06 PM, Blogger Ane Mulligan said...

Oh, one thing more. If y'all'd eat more garlic, those pesky mosquitos would leave y'all alone. One cannot eat too much garlic. :o)

At 10:17 PM, Blogger Suzanne said...

I agree with Ane on the garlic thing. Mmm I love garlic! I use it most every day and have taken to smashing it with a knife and my wrist (like they do on the Food Network) so much that my wrist permanantly smells like garlic. How's that for a fine fragrance? LOL

At 1:09 PM, Blogger allen said...

Not a big bug fan myself, but our movie shoot will take us deep into several local forests...there will be bugs.

At 2:07 AM, Blogger Pam S. said...

Sigh. I wear bug spray like other women wear cologne. I agree: bugs are the pits. We don't have screens on our windows (it's a Turkish thing)and we have no air conditioning. You get the picture. I can ignore just about anything except a buzzing mosquito in the middle of the night!

P.S. Diann, a month or so back when you were writing about the books overtaking the house, I commented that my 12th graders were having a used book sale. Well, they raised more than $700 dollars! On Wednesday, their gift to the school--a foosball table--was delivered. Very exciting stuff! We're picking up the two microwaves this weekend. :0}

At 8:20 AM, Blogger mazzucasinswaziland said...

May I say that I, too, attract mosqitoes like a college student to coffee. Not only do they love me, my bites always turn bright red, swell up to the size of quarters, and the itching? Well, let's not go there. My solution: avoid the outdoors in the evening at all costs. We are going to Mozambique in June and I think I might need to triple up on the malaria meds...just in case ;)

At 8:41 PM, Blogger Diann Hunt said...

Oh my goodness, Pam, that's fabulous what the kids were able to raise in that used book sale!!!! Congratulations!!!

At 8:05 PM, Blogger Shauna said...

LOL! I always think I'll just sit outside and enjoy the sunshine while my boys play. Then, I continually find myself glancing all around searching for bugs. I don't want to share my space with anything crawling, hopping or buzzing.

I killed four spiders today. Score 4 points for (wo)man! Then I beat a hasty retreat. LOL!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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