Flowers Buggin', 12x9", oil on panel (Click image to enlarge)

Flowers Buggin' • 12x9" • oil on panel • (Click image to enlarge)

During a temporary burst of gardening interest a few years ago I planted chrysanthemum bulbs around my garden. I’d bought the package of bulbs at Costco and there were two colors in the pack: a lovely peachy color and a sour lemon color. I hoped they’d be mostly the peachy ones and the first year that’s what came up. The next year and ever since, all that appears are the icky lemon yellow ones.

Even worse than their color is the fact that they are bug magnets. Whole colonies of tiny black ball-like bugs appear on the stems and inside the flower, between all the petals, which took forever to wash off before putting them in the bottle. Yuck!

I’m pretty sure the bugs are aphids, which are farmed by the ants that also hang out on these plants. I gained new respect for ants when I learned that they actually raise and protect herds of aphids and then milk them for the “nectar” they produce.

QUESTION: Is my site taking a long time to load for you? Do the pictures load slowly, especially when they’re large like this one?

Carbo-Kittie
Speaking of ants, that reminds me of the very bad morning I had last Friday. I woke up with a nasty migraine and when the first cup of coffee didn’t get rid of the headache, I went out to get a latte at Peets (which usually works).

When I returned home an hour later, I walked into the house and discovered that my crazy calico cat had barfed at least once in every room of the house, managing to hit every throw rug. After I cleaned up the floors and threw the rugs in the washer, I discovered a swath of ants marching across the studio and had to clean them up too. All this before 9:00 a.m. and still with a migraine.

I couldn’t figure out what had so badly upset Fiona’s stomach until, when putting the newly laundered throw rugs back on the floor, I found sesame seeds under my bed. Then I remembered the box of Ak-Mak high-fiber, whole wheat crackers I’d found on the kitchen floor when I came home from work the night before.  I thought I caught her before she ate any, but the sesame seeds under the bed meant she must have been snacking on them under the bed before I got home.

She’s been fine since that morning but I bet it’s just a matter of time before she goes grazing in the cracker/cereal/pasta cabinet again. She’s ripped open and sampled boxes of Cheerios and dry pasta, carried a bag of split peas to tear up under my bed (lots of fun to clean up) and her favorite, corn cobs, which I’ve also found under my bed.

I’ve got to figure out how to install baby latches. I tried once but couldn’t get the two parts lined up right and then stripped the screw when trying to remove it. So now it’s just limply hanging there, getting in the way.

P.S. The title of this post is borrowed from an interesting band’s name, Critters Buggin’. Some members of that band are also in Garage a Trois, whose music I prefer to the more frenetic Critters.

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Category:
Oil Painting, Painting, Still Life

Join the conversation! 10 Comments

  1. My cat’s bulimic. Seriously. Kitty puke is a way of life. A couple of days ago I heard that familiar retching. She was on the back of the sofa and my husband’s open laptop was just below her. Only the amazing skill of my waving arms and manic shouting averted a disaster.

    On that note I need a latte.

    Hah! Fortunately this is not an everyday event but I do know that sound all too well! Good job saving the laptop. I’d given my next door neighbors my old PC and it died so my computer buddy came over today to fix it. We found a 4″ wide clump of cat fur so thick it was completely blocking the air duct which is why the power supply burned up. My neighbors don’t have a cat so it must have been the four years sitting at my house that did it. Now it’s fixed and running happily at their house again. ~Jana

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  2. Jana, you write so well I find myself laughing and symapthising at the same time! I’ve never heard of a carb craving cat before! The painting is wonderful, I love the way you have divided the composition and how you’ve used the colours. The flower looks glorious despite the horrors! 😉

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  3. As I was reading, I was mentally answering the questions and offering suggestions. But you’ve already figured it out.Except the bit about the stripped thread on the latch screw. When you’ve sussed that, please tell me how to do it cos Sporran’s favourite trick (after jumping onto the tops of all high cupboards) is making confetti from cardboard and I have no latch on the pantry door!

    And no, your site is not slow.

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  4. your pages loaded beautifully for me on my imac. As for the bugs…thanks for not painting in the colony! The painting….oh I love the rich color and sensual feel of this one. I feel like putting on Shakira and dancing wildly into the night! I hope that’s the mood you were conveying! LOL. Hey, I’ve signed up for beginning painting this fall at the community college. I want to learn to oil paint. I will be picking your brain is you don’t mind!

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  5. I’ve finally figured out my mistake! Now I should show up as a live link!

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  6. It’s loading beautifully on my Dell, Jana. Lookin goo-ood.

    You tell a great Carbo-Kitty and Chrysanthemums Tail.
    And I love the color combination.

    And good luck finding a cat-proof solution.

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  7. I’ll write up a bird story in my geelong blog – I was at my brother’s house and we were seriously bailed up most of the time by this horror of a bird.
    w.

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  8. No problem loading your pictures for me. These painting colors just knock my eyes out!! Love your stories too, even the icky ones.

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  9. I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!

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  10. Ah poor kitty, and owner. Have been looking through your watercolour paintings also. They are so beautiful.

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