The Invasion of the Stink Bugs

No, it’s not a new Stephen King book and it’s not a horror movie but it should be and it could be filmed in my house.  Do any of you have a problem with stink bugs?  For the past few years, this area has been invaded by what I now know to be …ready for this – the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and he looks like this:

The brown marmorated stink bug

Now I’ve been doing some research about how to get rid of them and there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution.  For some reason I started doing searches and typed in “prehistoric looking bugs” – guess what I found?  Yeah, STINK BUGS!

It seems there’s no living creature that will eat these things.  When it starts to get cold, they look for a nice warm place for the winter so they cover the screens with the intent of moving into my bedroom.  During the day I walk around with my spray bottle of Windex squirting them like the father spritzing everybody in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.  I don’t know that it kills them, but it gets them off the screens and makes me happy.  At night though, I go on a search and destroy mission with my box of Kleenex trying to get all of the creeps hanging out on the backs of my drapes and shades.  Problem is, even if you’re careful not to squish them, they know you’re coming and spray, leaving a stink bug stink hovering in the air for a while even after they’ve been flushed.  Maybe I have a vivid imagination, but I’m picturing all these thousands of stink bugs in my septic tank, growing, multiplying until one day they blow the lid off the tank and come crawling out.  I’ve thought of using the vacuum cleaner but I couldn’t sleep at night knowing they’re sitting in there waiting for me to go to sleep before creeping down the hose to get me.

And don’t tell me to sic Moe on them – they horrify him!  It never fails that after my stink bug reconnaissance, just as I get settled in bed and start reading I hear that bzzzzzt.  Moe goes shooting off the bed, but he’s not stupid.  He’ll point them out to me but stay at least a foot away while I get them.  So if any of you have these nasty things and have some clever solution to getting rid of them, please let me know.  If not, thanks for letting me vent.  I feel better already and it’s Friday, so enjoy a Moe-Ment of Zen (turn up the volume)…

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Don’t you hate people who put stupid party hats on animals?

We don’t need much of an excuse for a party but this weekend we celebrated Lola’s Big “7” and Moe’s “Little 3” and all time low lobster prices.

You can see how happy Lola is with her lovely party hat & how Moe would like to take his hat and place it somewhere.  They were glad to ditch the hats and get their birthday treats while we enjoyed a huge pile of Lobster Risotto.  I’m re-posting this recipe since we’re also celebrating all time low lobster prices – so don’t skimp on the lobster, or if you’re from around here, the ‘lobsta’ .  After stuffing yourself, enjoy a Moe-ment of Zen. 

If you think Lola is bothered by having a cat stuck to her face, rest assured she was the one who started this game every night when Moe was a kitten.  She’d just slide her big ol’ Berner nose onto the bed for Moe to hop on and give him a ride.  Now that Moe’s got the big boy claws, not so much, although Moe does still like to take a few swings at that big black honker.

LOBSTER RISOTTO for 2

Cooked Lobsters: 1 to 1 ½ lbs/person (never hurts to have plenty of lobster).  Prep ahead of time.  Remove meat, cut tail in 1/2 to remove vein & chop into chunks.  Refrigerate until you’re ready to prepare the risotto.

Risotto:
2     Cups chicken broth
3     TBL butter
½    Cup finely chopped onion
2-3  Garlic cloves, minced
¾    Cup Arborio rice
½    Cup vermouth or white wine
½    Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼    Lb triple crème Brie – be sure to use triple creme Brie
Tarragon-sprinkled over the top,  about 1-2 teaspoons

– In medium saucepan, bring broth to a simmer.  Continue to simmer    while prepping rice
– In a large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat (just a tick over medium is best).  Add the onion and sauté until translucent, about 5-7 minutes.  Stir in garlic for just a minute, this cooks quickly so do not let it burn.  Add 1 more TBL of butter, melt, then stir in the rice to coat it.  Add the vermouth/wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated, about 3 minutes.  Add a ladle & 1/2 of simmering broth and stir. After about 2-5 minutes the broth should be almost completely absorbed.  Continue cooking rice by adding the broth a ladle at a time, stirring, and allowing each addition of broth to absorb before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to the bite and the mixture is creamy, about 20-30 minutes total.  If you think the rice isn’t quite cooked, then add in more vermouth or cooking wine… that never seems to hurt.

– Add lobster meat for a few minutes.  Turn heat to low, add Brie cheese in chunks, stirring until it is melted and blended in then stir in the Parmesan cheese, and sprinkle with tarragon.

Spinach/Strawberry Salad

New England weather… Monday I was wearing a sweatshirt and making baked stuffed pork chops and today it’s up in the 90’s, maybe going to 100°.  I’m very glad that I took care of my Freddie Farkel’s fabric pick up yesterday (yes, it magically ‘appeared’ just as I was calling them).  Unfortunately not having central air might delay the project for the next 3 days.  In my last post I had a video of Moe’s help getting the machines ready but I really hope he doesn’t get quite so involved with this project as he did on this one:

In any case, just the thought of working with heavy fabric and batting is enough to put that project off and I’d say the weather calls for maybe burgers on the grill and a cool salad just like this one:

I was a little surprised when my husband called my attention to this  in some booklet we got from our insurance company on eating healthy.  The combination of almonds and strawberries is really good but what makes this super is the very easy dressing.  I’d say roasting the almonds (unless you have the A/C going) is probably optional.

Spinach/Strawberry Salad

Mix fresh baby spinach with strawberries and almonds (toasted if you feel like it).  Top with this perfect dressing:
1     Tablespoon balsamic vinegar (I used white balsamic)
1     Teaspoon Dijon mustard
1     Teaspoon honey
3     Tablespoons olive oil

Place the vinegar, mustard, and honey in small bowl, then slowly whisk olive oil in until incorporated.  Perfect for the spinach/strawberry/almond combination.

Mr. Farkel, ready when you are

If you’ve ready my prior post about my insane idea of ripping apart my sofa then battling the maze of traffic in Watertown Square, you know that I’ve had 20 yards of decorator fabric on order with my new best friends at Freddie Farkel.  They told me I should have the fabric in about 10 days and I just realized that it’s now day 26.  Maybe I should be ranting & raving, maybe I should call, but frankly my sciatic nerve’s been acting up and I felt like I sprained my butt, so I guess flipping over the sofa to reupholster wasn’t a priority.  But I was delighted to hear from Squirrel Circus that she had nominated me for the Cuddly Blogger Award for the adventures of Moe & Jerry.  Thank you Squirrel and I really hope everyone stops by to read your blogs – they’re terrific and I enjoy every one of them.

Before calling Freddie I figured I’d get my sewing machine and serger oiled, threaded, and ready for some of my sofa project.  Although I love Moe the Terrorist Cat dearly, his interest in sewing could make this a more challenging project than I’d anticipated.  My hugs go to Moe although some may say that it looks more like I’m grabbing him to toss him out of my sewing room…talk about a pain in the butt!

So if you’re in the neighborhood….

Stop by for a cup of coffee & cookies since I’m not really doing yardwork.  Whatever you do though, don’t ring the doorbell!  Drives Lola berserk and my front door can’t take any more scratches or gouges.  Enjoy your day – here’s your Moment of Moe Zen (lucky for my door Lola wasn’t home when I caught the little terrorist doing this).