A Plague of Locusts on my House

And spiders and sowbugs. Little green hoppers and moths. Crickets.
Not retribution for yesterday’s post (as Margaret pointed out- a thoughtful and mature discussion with nary a zinger and I thank you for your contributions, one and all).
No-these are the annual hitchhikers, the insects that "go south" for the season- into my living room, dining room, bedroom and bath. For the next two weeks there will be 8 legged and winged oddities crawling up the mirrors admiring themselves, setting up housekeeping behind the toilet and providing hours of pouncing entertainment for Sophie and McCloud. There will be one cricket who manages to hide herself away in such fashion that she will sing at night until Christmas without being ferreted out.
This mass insect exodus out of the cold occurs once each year on that special night when I find myself in a flimsy sleeveless cotton gown dragging in the houseplants because there’s been the first frost/freeze warning on the 11 o’clock news. Remember back in that meme where I said I could grow things?  AC, in her meme, said she could grow outdoor plants but not indoor plants. No such luck over here. I can grow anything.
Don’t be jealous. This is not a skill as much as a curse. Combined with my waste not/want not mentality no broken off piece of jade plant, no snapped leaf of begonia goes unpotted. But truly, all I do is shove bits and pieces into pots of dirt and then benignly neglect them. For years. Yes, years. The plants in this house started in 3 inch pots. They came home from friends and relatives as snips in baggies. They flew home from my mother’s on Mesaba Airlink, jammed in my purse and rudely mauled by the TSA.
Every May 15 all the houseplants get shoved outside to spend the summer, usually on the north side of the house, and I heave a sigh of relief because the house feels open, uncluttered, airy. Every Oct. 1 they get dragged in, usually by me in my nightgown, muttering and cursing because I don’t want them in here, along with all their 8 legged passengers but I can’t just leave them to die outside. They’re in the bathroom, the dining room, the sunroom, my office- everywhere.
A smarter person would pour some Agent Orange through the soil and spray them down but between the aviary and the cats I can’t bring myself to do that so for now the cricket is chirping and the cats are frolicking over here as I type at 4am- completely engulfed by green. It’s even worse at Wit’s End; when I left there Saturday every single surface- tables, floors, countertops- was covered with blooming succulents. They thrive in the bright winter sun off the lake and the cold nights where the thermostat remains at 48. Water every other weekend seems to suit them fine.
If you’re in the neighborhood, drop on by and pick yourself out a plant. Some of these go back 15-20 years. The ten foot banana palm will be looking for taller ceilings soon.(Click to enlarge photos)Plant4Plant3Plant2Plant1Plant

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17 responses to “A Plague of Locusts on my House

  1. Sounds like the plague of creepies from the Bible. Or perhaps the hitchikers going south for the winter would explain what really happened in the back then… I think that was probably already covered by the Discovery Channel.

    I have the sameeee thing going on with plants. I love it when I can kick them outside because my living room is so much BIGGER. I only have one window to put them all of them in so it really gets to be crowded. I dont just have plants either, I have four trees, two being 5′ and one being at least 6′ tall. And I can’t let any piece die either. Any little freaking leaf that falls I think I have to save by throwing it in water or something.

    I have one question for you – Is your house always THAT CLEAN or do you pick up a bit for pictures?? Cause MY WORD, I am jealous.

  2. Sounds like the plague of creepies from the Bible. Or perhaps the hitchikers going south for the winter would explain what really happened in the back then… I think that was probably already covered by the Discovery Channel.

    I have the sameeee thing going on with plants. I love it when I can kick them outside because my living room is so much BIGGER. I only have one window to put them all of them in so it really gets to be crowded. I dont just have plants either, I have four trees, two being 5′ and one being at least 6′ tall. And I can’t let any piece die either. Any little freaking leaf that falls I think I have to save by throwing it in water or something.

    I have one question for you – Is your house always THAT CLEAN or do you pick up a bit for pictures?? Cause MY WORD, I am jealous.

  3. I was just wondering myself what to do with potted plants I have outside. Some will come in but do I want 8 ten inch begonias that I bought in spring for the front porch in the house? I have enough hanging baskets to fill the windows and more. Thanks goodness we don’t have anything close to a frost warning yet.

    BTW, your plants are gorgeous. Much nicer and bigger than mine. One thing I do before I know I have to bring in plants -spray them down with good soapy water and hope everything dies or runs away.

  4. That banana palm is gorgeous. And is that a freaking huge norfolk pine?

  5. ok neighbor, sign me up on getting a plant from you. Right now I’m proud of my hibiscus plant and the palm plant the old neighbors left me is flourishing 🙂 I too, have brought my two plants in 😉

  6. I lost my green thumb somewhere between Oklahoma and Mississippi; or was it between Texas and Oklahoma. So long now, I don’t remember. Sorry, I can’t get any, they would be dead before you could count to ten.

  7. What wonderful energy, and so much love! There’s a reason they do well… :o)

    I’d love to adopt one of your treasures. Can you breathe all that oxygen in?? :o)

  8. I knew I should have fertilized. geez.

    The plants are gorgeous!

  9. Suffering succulents! You would love the rainforest that is the Pacific NW. You grow beautiful plants and keep a lovely home, Vicki! Truly inspiring!

    I suspect Miss Vicki in a flimsy gown in the sunroom with the Agent Orange…

  10. Suffering succulents! You would love the rainforest that is the Pacific NW. You grow beautiful plants and keep a lovely home, Vicki! Truly inspiring!

    I suspect Miss Vicki in a flimsy gown in the sunroom with the Agent Orange…

  11. You weren’t kidding were you? They look gorgeous. I don’t have many plants in pots this year. Our long hot, hot and dry summer took care of some of them. I do have a poinsettia in a 12″ terra cotta pot that is 3 1/2 feet tall and nearly 4 feet in diameter. It was left over from last Christmas and I could not bear to toss it out. Problem is, it’s gotten too big to bring back into the house -but once again – I can’t bear to toss it out. What to do? What to do?

  12. I absolutely love the look, but hate the bugs and with my “black” thumb could kill all those plants in under a month.

  13. I hate locusts!

    You don’t clean your house… Surely not… It’s Ping, right?

  14. My house is invaded by box elder bugs every fall. Drive me crazy. At least the kids aren’t afraid of them anymore.

  15. I’m the same way – plants everywhere – and pets – and people – just the way I like it, crowded in with life.

  16. There seems to be some sort of wasp’s nest hanging from your fern??? No, wait, it’s a pangolin.

  17. Nice web site,, hope to definitely visit again.

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