๐Ÿ’€ Hidden Inspirations ๐ŸŒท

The awareness of life and death in the garden, is present, ever present, but softened by beauty.

Grim Fandango the most artistic game I’ve ever played.

Grim Fandango is a game where the dead go to work in cities like ours and there is corruption of afterlife train ticket theft… it’s a really cool game, very beautiful and funny.

In that game the dead become skeletons in the world of the dead, but if killed in that world they sprout blue flowers and die a final death.

There is a beautiful hill of blue flowers in the game, this picture doesn’t do it justice.

So, I want to turn my “pumpkin hill” garden into an emotional embrace of death and fall. Right now it was a huge chunk of ginger… like a 10’x4′ ginger bulb… which is bizarre. I chopped the stalks, threw 3 cubic feet of organic soil on top and planted pumpkins, yet the pumpkins “should be” 5′ apart and I had nothing else going on there…

Forget Me Nots $7 on Amazon

The Grim Fandango flowers have 8 petals and are not Forget Me Nots, but when adapting from Video Games into real life, there usually is a bit of a difference from reality that inspired the game, to the game, back to reality.


In the game Harvest Moo the “Blue Mist” flower has always been my favorite, it grows like a lily, but with colors of a Forget Me Not.

My favorite flower as a girl was a “Monkey’s Wort” which I can’t find in blue on the internet, but I loved the illustration I had on a learning poster, so I’m guessing it’s real and out there somewhere. It was blue, with a red stalk or runners… the combination of blue, red and green was somehow entrancing for me and also the idea of the ugly name with the beautiful appearance.

So, I’m putting the blue flower seeds on the pumpkin hill, they are said to be very easy and tolerant to either shade or sun, either wet soil or normal soil.

I ordered Blue, Yellow and Pink Flowers recently, the seeds came this week and I didn’t get started until today… because I didn’t even catch up to the morning glories I started on April 1st… so, I started finding places for the morning glories and put about a dozen into the garden… many got eaten in the shady part of the garden, not sure if it was chickens or slugs, they were there, then gone… and I know I have slugs and wild chickens.

The blue will make a fall themed garden, this is the song for that garden in my mind, Tchaikovsky’s Romance. I’ll be able to directly sow the blue flower, and should see them this year. The seeds are super tiny so it’s hard to handle them without them getting stuck together, they are black and even smaller than sesames, they look round to me.

The pink will go into the summer themed garden by the front of the house and along the dinning room windows. The pink flowers are from Spain, Canterbury bells, I think my climate will be okay, it’s possibly warm enough here in 10A. They are supposed to be germinated in complete darkness, so I can put down some card board, the pink flowers are a bit tall and I won’t see them the first year (just the greens). The seeds are long like tiny pencils, they look delicate and small. Once they germinate I’ll put them right in front of the windows and possibly along the pathway. The song for that garden is How Deep is Your Love by the Bee Gees, you need bees in the garden right… ha ha ha, ha.

The yellow will go into the spring garden, they are Marigolds, I’ve never done Marigolds before, they supposedly keep pests away (I hope so). I think I’ll rim around the whole drive way and square foot garden if I have enough sprouts, the version I have is “Lemon Gem” Tagetes tenuifolia, it should be able to go directly into the garden, but I think I’ll try greenhouse and direct sow on all three flowers just to see which works better here. My song for that is Moon Light Sonata by Beethoven, it’s dark, then light, it really lightens up at the end in my opinion like spring breaking through winter.

“The genus name Tagetes is for Tages, an Etruscan deity. The specific epithet tenuifolia means slender leaves.”

More About the Signet Marigolds

Of course me being me I also want to start a winter garden, but the bulbs for the white lilies (Easter lilies) I want there are not yet here…

I want to go take the chicks outside, so I’ll make this “to be continued” but I did notice it took a long time to allow myself these simple things I wanted and dreamed of, which were financially in my reach the whole time… and it always amazes me how individual plants are, some you can break apart with a shovel (like banana and ginger) and just stick in the ground, others like orchids are germinated in a flask with a partner fungal spore matching it individually (like a plant fungus soulmate) and everything in between. It still amazes me some seeds like beans and corn have strong roots, other ones like hemp will break if you transplant them, some plants like tulips are worth so much and other ones like dandelions are scorned (even though they are super healthy to make tea from).

Plants more than anything make me feel like “life wasn’t all for nothing”, don’t know if it’s true or untrue, but it’s a damn fine feeling in the morning and I like it.

Happy “you” day, thank you for being you and taking a moment to share a moment of my life, I’d love to share a moment of yours if you have a day in the life post or something like that please leave a link below I always wonder about the people I see reading, if you hate gardening, what you like, if you are surviving the pandemic alright…


๐Ÿ“š A Death of the Writer ๐Ÿ‘ป


My favorite writer died last year in September. But I found out today.

I can’t remember being sad in September when it happened.

I was a bit stunned today, it’s hard for me to imagine a world without Terry Goodkind.

I woke up early and was thinking of treating myself to a new book to read just for fun, something I don’t do often.

Since I’ve been 16 or so, 19 years… I’ve been reading his books, and they were my favorite.

I didn’t say that often because they are fiction and fantasy, I think a lot of people judge readers of fiction, that we are people who can’t handle reality, who escape into books that are similar to other books, just to escape having social skills and living “a real life”… And even when I do read fiction, I’m usually reading scifi, because there seems to be more.

I’ve always enjoyed scifi and fantasy, I also enjoy fiction and non-fiction (isn’t non-fiction just God’s fiction? anyways?), I also enjoy being alive and interacting with the world as well as reading.

Sometimes life is too painful to enjoy, it can be tolerated, but it stops being enjoyable. I guess books at times are my painkillers, because most of my pain is mental.

But there is something magical about books, the same way there is about gardens, or antiques, or paintings, or wine, or anything else.

Just the smell of books gives me hope life might be worth living.

Just a new book gives me hope, I may still become a better person, or find my long elusive purpose for being born and place in the world.

“To exist in this vast universe for a speck of time is the great gift of life. It is our only life. The universe will go on, indifferent to our brief existence, but while we are here, we touch not just part of that vastness, but also the lives around us. Life is the gift each of us has been given. Each life is our own and no one elseโ€™s. It is precious beyond all counting. It is the greatest value we can have. Cherish it for what it truly is . . . Your life is yours alone. Rise up and live it.”

– Terry Goodkind

Terry had a kindness that came through in his books, and an anger at life wasted. I never met him. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed meeting him or not. Without meeting him, he was a hero to me, if I had met him, he might have been a man.

When Stephen Hawking died a few years ago, I was sad, pretty sad, because he had always uplifted me. Someone struggling harder, but doing more, and with a smile and a joke, and time to encourage others. I guess that’s an English upside to offset the downside that if you don’t keep an eye on them they may colonize your homeland…

I felt silly with Stephen to grieve someone I didn’t know, though people do it, I still felt silly. But perhaps that is what was meant for humanity before it got too large.

In Canada I saw hikers were lost and died, the country lowered the flag for them, they didn’t have to be government officials, they didn’t have to be celebrities, they were Canadians, they were people there and that was enough to be valued and to be missed. It touched me forever.

I live in the US, it’s a big country, when I lived in Chicago I walked past homeless people’s frozen bodies downtown in order to get to my work. Before I could think about how I felt about it I absorbed the general vibe, which was a neutral vibe… as many people hated the homeless as were sad, and far more people felt nothing, because the homeless “people” weren’t people in the way they should be…

That’s normal that because you can’t process thousands of people mentally, they stop being people, it’s a normal part of city life. Then is city life even a life at all? If people stop being people to you and you to them?

So, Terry died last year, in the fall, and I wasn’t sad. Today I found out, this year, in the spring. And I was trying to understand why. If he died and I wasn’t sad, why now?

My Mental Theatre: “Death of a Favorite Writer”

Bitmoji Image

(Me Portraying Terry: Terry is now dead.)

Bitmoji Image
(Me Portraying Me: Sad that the connection we had – reader/writer – is now gone.)
(Me Portraying Terry’s Hypothetical Ghost: “Take some responsibility for your own life and deal with it…”)

Why am I sad? I didn’t know Terry in person.
Bitmoji Image
I am sad because of piece of me died with him.
Maybe I should write books, carry the torch forward as best I can, but I don’t know if I’m ready. Terry started at 45 and had a great and prolific collection, I suppose (at 35) I still have time to wait for the right time.
Me Questioning Myself, “what will I do differently now, how will I live?”
Me Answering Myself, “I’m going to try to appreciate books more, good books are few, great books are rare, the people who produce them have earned my appreciation.”

Bitmoji Image
I swear to myself to try to enjoy life more, give myself new books once a month rather than every three years (if I can), try to squeeze a little more zest and joie de vivre out of life, while I can.
literally dying
(Me Portraying Me: Now at Peace with Death)

I’m still going to miss being able to pick up a new Terry Goodkind book when I have $8 and the freetime to invest in a new book, I think I will always miss that. Seeing what new stuff he was up to was always worth the price of the ticket, though sometimes it was $24… His best and his worst books were still better for me than reading Robert Jordan, or other books in my preferred aisle of the book store.

Bitmoji Image
Terry Goodkind, planet leading master writer, RIP:
(January 11, 1948 โ€“ September 17, 2020)

I’ll still miss Terry, who I never met, but I know he would have wanted me to take actions towards a better world, rather than griping or sulking, that really seems to be who he was. The actions he took were sometimes written ones, sometimes deep thought, sometimes building, racing, regular actions, but he seemed to be a man of quiet but constant action and perhaps a big part of me is a kindred soul to that and the loss of any of us hits home with me.

It’s hard to transition from thinking about his death September 17th, but when someone dies, its a time to think of their life as a whole, see what can be learned or borrowed to help me on my journey… time to salvage the corpse for valuables (metaphorically). I know Terry was a fan of Ayn Randโ€™s philosophy of objectivism.

When I’m ready I’ll have to take a stoic vacation to objectivismville and see what’s there for me.

digging a hole


Terry Goodkind’s Wizard’s Rules (Used to Be on His Site, Which is Now Gone):

  1. “People are stupid; given proper motivation, almost anyone will believe almost anything. Because people are stupid, they will believe a lie because they want to believe it’s true, or because they’re afraid it might be true. Peoples’ heads are full of knowledge, facts and beliefs, and most of it is false, yet they think it all true. People are stupid; they can only rarely tell the difference between a lie and the truth, and yet they are confident they can, and so are all the easier to fool.”
    • Wizard’s First Rule, page 560[1]
  2. “The greatest harm can result from the best intentions.”
    • Stone of Tears, Chapter 63, page 886
  3. “Passion rules reason.”
    • Blood of the Fold, Chapter 43, page 360
  4. “There is magic in sincere forgiveness. Magic to heal. In forgiveness you grant, but more so in forgiveness you receive.”
    • Temple of the Winds, Chapter 41, page 318
  5. “Mind what people do, not only what they say, for deeds will betray a lie.”
    • Soul of the Fire, Chapter 28, page 205
  6. “The most important rule there is, the Wizard’s Sixth Rule: the only sovereign you can allow to rule you is reason. The first law of reason is this: what exists, exists, what is, is and from this irreducible bedrock principle, all knowledge is built. It is the foundation from which life is embraced.” โ€”ย Richard
    • Faith of the Fallen, Chapter 41, pages 459-60
  7. “Life is the future, not the past. The past can teach us, through experience, how to accomplish things in the future, comfort us with cherished memories, and provide the foundation of what has already been accomplished. But only the future holds life. To live in the past is to embrace what is dead. To live life to its fullest, each day must be created anew. As rational, thinking beings, we must use our intellect, not a blind devotion to what has come before, to make rational choices.”
    • The Pillars of Creation, Chapter 60, page 549
  8. “Talga Vassternich. Deserve Victory.”
    • Naked Empire, Chapter 61, page 626
  9. A contradiction cannot exist in reality. Not in part, nor in whole.
    • Chainfire, Chapter 48, page 489
  10. “Willfully turning aside from the truth is treason to one’s self.”
    • Phantom, Chapter 12, page 127
  11. “The rule of all rules. The rule unwritten.” The Unwritten rule. Knowledge is earned not given.
    • Confessor, Chapter 65, page 592
  12. You can destroy those who speak the truth, but you cannot destroy the truth itself.
    • The Omen Machine, Chapter 70, page 446
  13. Life gives dimension to time.
    • The Third Kingdom, Chapter 26, page 175.
  14. โ€œThere have always been those who hate, and there always will be.โ€
    • Severed Souls, Chapter 47, page 306
  15. โ€œIn this world, everyone must die. None of us has any choice in that. Our choice is how we wish to live.โ€
    • Warheart, Chapter 52, page 389

๐Ÿ‘’ The Rush of Spring ๐ŸŒผ

A Tiny Garden

Patio Rail Garden

This little garden is only 2″ deep, it was built by adding wood onto a rail and putting a few drainage holes (drainage is very important because plants breathe too, carbon dioxide during the day and actually oxygen at night).

It’s been very dilapidated at times, very groomed, very empty and very full, in a lot of ways you can tell my wellbeing from this patio garden. Right now it has wild flowers (above left), organic seascape strawberries (above right), a lot of peas my son picked out that will add nitrogen to the soil (they can take it out of the air).

The garden is very small, but one of the most troublesome actually, reason being it always needs to get watered and the outdoor plants often get watered by the rain, also a ton of slugs go on out patio with or without any plants (I never knew why they were attracted to our railings so much before any plants were there). But I still really like the patio garden anyways, a lot can fit there, like the bonsais, moss, wildflowers…

A Small Garden

Four (Home Depot) Bucket Veggie Gardens

This garden is made of 4 Home Depot buckets, it does have a frame my dad made and kind of has irrigation, but I don’t use it because it doesn’t water evenly the plants I have now.

This garden has the original tomato plant I had the first year we moved here, it’s babies at least, the first plant got over grown in the front garden (and covered with slugs), I tried to move it and it survived, but didn’t like the low light, somehow it adjusted to the low North facing light and is thriving now… tomato actually likes dry soil, so in these beds that get no rain (under the eves) they did better than in the Square Foot Garden. I guess you never really know, everyone will tell you the South is better than the North, but really, you don’t know what works without trying new things and looking at reality.

The garden is a great size, it’s not really harder to deal with than the tiny one and it can produce a lot of edibles. I would recommend this size and set up for new gardeners, enough to have fun (and pay for), but not too much to control (if you want to), kind of just right for a beginner or someone busy with other things. Mine has tomato, avocado, potato, in the future sweet potato.

A Hill of Wheat

Wheat, Wheat Grass is actually Wheat, It’s Illegal to Produce at Home in the US, But Not to Grow for Yourself.

This is the “back” of the garden… it doesn’t have soil naturally, just sticks… To make soil I’m growing wheat, the wheat will make straw, the straw will become soil (with some compost mixed in). So this year sticks, this fall straw, perhaps next spring soil.

This is just a hill covered with sticks… I found a bag of unused wheat grass seeds and decided to plant wheat rather than just leaving the seeds as unused clutter. Wheat grass is one of the easiest things ever to grow, it grows at smoothie shops indoors, or on paper towels, or in a Tupperware, or in foam, basically on anything, including this hill with no soil. I was surprised wheat grass is wheat. Rebranded, same seed.

I did have to cover the seeds with weed cloth I already had left over from the Home Depot Bucket Garden, I don’t think I needed weed cloth in the buckets, but I didn’t know how much soil would fall out without it… not much if the drainage holes are small. So I covered, uncovered and watered, everyday for a week and than just left it alone when the seeds were not showing anymore (since we have had rain). So, one week of hard work watering by hand and no work at all since then. I kind of love the way it moves in the wind. Kind of want to put in more, but trying to take care of what I have before I buy anything more to do…

Children’s Garden

A Play Farm Next to A Play House

This is the playhouse farm, we were not using the space so I wanted to give my daughter more room to experiment with, but since she is 5 she didn’t start planting it, I think once I plant something she will want to change it up and gradually take over.

There is a small onion bed and small carrot bed both doing very well, a hill right behind the playhouse for pumpkins to form our own little pumpkin patch and a little playhouse next to a chicken coop. It’s a decent farm for a child. Along the edges of the designated space are beans (with the large spade shaped leaves). The local pheasants ate some of the beans clean off, but since we don’t eat a ton of green beans anyways, it wasn’t a huge loss.

Next to the play house window sweet pea flowers are growing (slowly), along the “road” to the front door corn flowers (bachelor’s buttons), at the boundaries of the “property line” (of the playhouse’s farm) are Mexican Sunflower cuttings (the first leaf just came in).

Waldorf Outdoor School

The Net Keeps My 2-Year-Old from Running Off

This is where I like to have outdoor school inspired by Charlotte Mason, it’s not fancy, but someday I hope it’s at least charming.

I planted clover into the “not really soil” we have on the East Half of our half acre home. The clover is just starting to sprout. I didn’t protect it from birds with weed cloth, but I did water it super well the first two days, and I did water it for the first four days after planting, I think that will make a difference. Soaking it in lets the seeds be a little bit under the dead leaves, so that the birds didn’t eat as many. We have Zebra doves that will take every seed of the seeds that they prefer…


Because I’m a farmer now.

The Watermelons I guess, are my cash crop this year… my Home Depot trip this spring cost $30… so if I can grow more than $30 of watermelon, I will in my own head, be a successful farmer.

The seeds germinated very well in a warm but not hot plastic green house (torn so thus not hot), the started in 2″ pots with vermiculite and old peat moss soil, not very fertile or fancy, but just fine. I kept the seeds watered everyday this year, something hard to do… I wanted to give up after a few days of not seeing anything happen, but I didn’t and a week later they came up. The seeds were all mixed up in the same pot, once one sprouted well I took it out to another pot left over from Papayas a few years ago… It’s stressful for the seedlings, but the roots are very large and strong so watermelon in particular can handle that. I moved them into a sunny place pretty early on, now something keeps knocking them over… I think feral cats. And perhaps rats are eating them a bit, a few two leaved sprouts only have one leaf now… So I may move them all. I could have protected them with plastic cups until they are bigger, but I’m not sure if they will scorch like that… maybe I’ll try.

Corny Photos

Just for fun.

Can you find the corn in each photo? It sure does look like grass, but it has that central stalk which catches a dew drop of water I couldn’t really photograph.

Some of these corn are grown with beans to fix nitrogen for them and some aren’t, later on I’ll compare the difference. This corn surrounds our front driveway, so when we drive up it will seem like “a real farm” kind of… my daughter is the most excited for the corn. As it grows I have her jump over it too see how long she will be able to do that. We don’t eat a ton of corn, but it seems like it will be fun to eat a little bit of our own “hopefully” this summer.

The New Garden

The front garden started with just corn next to the drive way, I used an empty tub for peas, then I decided on four new pots. The soil isn’t horrible and the pots don’t prevent pests, but I love being able to move my plants around to reconfigure the garden.

I used compost in the pots and it scorched the corn… (see the yellow leaves) not sure if I will do anything to fix it. Interestingly the strawberries don’t mind the high fertilizer load, the peas kind of mind, but the corn is uncomfortable.

Interesting to me at least… The strawberry had previously had the red and yellow leaves, it was kind of sun scorched in the greenhouse previously.

On the hill in the new garden are melon (cantaloupe, left), watermelon, artichoke and basil. Basil (top right) looks more like artichoke, but artichoke (bottom two) has pretty light green stripes on the medium green leaves.

Leaves As Mulch

This is My Daughter’s Watermelon (Not Mine)

One of the things my garden/farm needs is much more mulch. As a beginner I didn’t know about or use mulch at all, but it’s about time. Mulch prevents weeds, prevents some plant illness and visually makes gardening easier. It saves work by preventing work, which lets the energy go into plant care or get saved, so that it’s kind of a game changer (or so I think).

I don’t have a mulcher yet… thinking of buying one for about $120, but also thinking about a mini chain saw for about the same…

But I do have leaves. Which are good mulch. Some people don’t like the look of them, I kind of do like it. But I think I would prefer to get the mulcher to make garden paths that my family can recognize as garden paths and then still use the leaves directly around my spouts. I might use a bit of straw as well in the future, especially on the pumpkin hill or under the strawberries…

So, mulching is what in my opinion separates a novice and intermediate gardener and I’ll hopefully be entering that phase this year.

Square Foot Garden

This square foot has a Milo tree, two avocado tree seeds, peas, corn, beans, and a few carrots. My daughter stole those beans from my garden… I didn’t know whether to be sad she steals or happy she gardens. This is defiantly not officially recommended spacing, but it didn’t explode either. I was happy to see my daughter take over her own garden’s design and planting.

Trees in the Shade

Koa Trees

These my daughter germinated, she stuck the seeds in a pot of soil, I watered it, I doubted it completely. It did germinate, so I potted the little trees in separate 2″ pots (they were all in one pot), then we bought them these larger pots.

I planted clover with them because I like to see something growing (the clover, you guessed it, fixes nitrogen thus a natural fertilizer). The sticks are to keep away wild chickens, there are tiny copper dish scrub pads cut into rings around the base of the trees to discourage slugs.

I was intimidated by trees before this, now I don’t see them as harder, but different than veggies. They are similar to start, a pot, soil, water, time, but move slower, which makes me loose interest and not want to water. So I add something like clover or an onion to give me a reason to water the pot as the tree sprouts.

Then they do well, but they seem to need a large pot sooner and then they keep growing, but slowly. It’s somewhat less exciting at certain time frames than veggies.

I’ll never eat these, since I don’t eat trees. And their larger pot will cost more… but I do like the idea of bonsai.

In A Small Green House

The greenhouse seems to be the hardest to keep clean, but that is where the magic happens as well.

This is my homework, if my gardens are haphazard, my greenhouse is a work hazard…

Morning glories, carrots, onions, pumpkins, Milo trees, melons, watermelons, basil, artichokes, waiting for me to plant them, thin them, give them individual pots, find them a spot in the semi shade, find them a bigger pot… figure out where they will go.

The cool thing about the greenhouse is that the plants grow better there, so the longer I procrastinate the better it is for the plants anyways… rare in life when procrastination pays off, but I do have to hand water the greenhouse since I messed up the watering system that was fine… so it costs a bit of watering to procrastinate.

I also have an aquaponic system that is a bit “all messed up,” we are going to visit a functional aquaponic farm tomorrow, so I wanted to mentally check in with the non-aquaponic gardens today before putting a lot of new information about aquaponics on my mind.

Sometimes when I garden I think about what’s left to do and forget to see the beauty in the flowers. Georgia O’Keeffe would slap me…

โ€œWhen you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.โ€

Georgia O’Keeffeย 

Right now I have most the plants I’ve ever wanted to have and I spend so much time weeding, planning, setting up, watering, taking care of my kids, paying bills, doing paperwork, cooking, cleaning, wondering about the future, that I rarely ever SEE them there.

Hopefully by the summer I can slow down, something about spring in the garden makes it hard not to rush, to get as much out there in time for the sun before the shady seasons come. It’s never really cold in my garden, but we loose the sun for the fall and winter and nothing wants to grow then. So I rush to get the plants out… but I’d rather slow down and enjoy the morning glories, if I could find a way.


๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ The Metamorphosis ๐Ÿชฒ

All our lives we live alongside bugs, earthworms in the gardens, butterflies in the spring and summer (or autumn in Mexico), ants marching along the sidewalk, June Beatles flying low among the roses and high among the trees. As a child they are mostly delightful, until we learn to be disgusted, then as an adult they burden us. When the wand of responsibility changes hand, suddenly they are a draining burden to dispose of…

Cockroaches… When I wasn’t in charge, they didn’t bother me mentally, though I did develop asthma, so perhaps even though they didn’t bother me mentally, perhaps they took some of the joy out of life (I hated mile running day at school and heading to the urgent care for a breathing treatment).

The first apartment I was responsible for had huge “American” Cockroaches… it was a pain to seal the kitchen floor, ceiling, cabinet calking, and see them in my halls, bedroom, and light fixtures. I hated it, hated the slow progress. Eventually we got an exterminator and they focused more on baits and less on caulking or prevention. We got the cockroaches with an almost bare apartment so I didn’t feel bad about the organization or house cleaning, they are just rampant in that city and that apartment so for them to wander down the wall or wander inside from the garden would be all too easy.

Adult Life:
Step 1: Commute
Step 2: Work
Step 3: Commute Home
Step 4: Find and Clean Pests at Home

I noticed people in the same city who had their houses under control, they took care of the pests ASAP when they started, and they used poison of some kind.

I had a long lull with no cockroaches in my life when I moved out of that apartment, recently we got “German” Cockroaches, when I found out I got two baits from Home Depot put some diatomaceous earth in the office (where they are the most) and am still waiting to be completely rid of them.

I read a really informative article about them and learned a few new things:

1. “Like most insect (and rodent) pests, German cockroaches need to have two sides of their body being touched at all times; this behavioral phenomenon is calledย thigmotaxis.”

Dr. Kathy Heinsohn, B.C.EThe Importance of German Cockroach Baiting

I had already noticed that these German Cockroaches like to walk in between the baseboard and the floor (but not my American Cockroaches that walked all over the middle of the hallway and side walk… boldly and confidently sharing the sidewalks of Santa Ana rather than walking through the gutters), but I didn’t really consider that when I placed the bait stations I wasn’t putting them against the edges that would allow these German Cockroaches to feel secure eating from these poison bait stations.

2. “On average, a new ootheca (egg case) is produced every month, and contains between 32 and 48 embryos. To illustrate just how prolific she can be, consider this: Assuming that half of the embryos were female in each case each time, and that they would each go on to successfully reproduce 48 embryos at the end of the next month, and so on, for a year, there would be approximately 1,500,000,000,000,000ย female cockroaches in one year from just that one original female.”

Dr. Kathy Heinsohn, B.C.EThe Importance of German Cockroach Baiting

That really is a lot, but I was actually worried that they had 200-500 offspring each time. I noticed a generation of babies growing up and I was stressed that I had at least 500 to kill, but since this is the first or second month it might be much less than I was worried about. 1.5 quadrillion grandkids each cockroach…

3. “Adult females tend to remain in the harborageย (dark, warm, secluded areas) 75 percent of their lives when carrying an ootheca; and they do not stray far from the cracks and crevices once their nymphs hatch.”

Dr. Kathy Heinsohn, B.C.EThe Importance of German Cockroach Baiting

At this point I felt a bit like I was in Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” as I am an adult female who due to shelter in place and having two small children have been remaining in harborage at least 75 percent of my recent life when caring for my nymphs…, children. America in general downgraded to China like first amendment rights (in Hawaii the first amendment was legally suspended, it will never happen in America? It did, it is, it still is.) and in my area German Cockroach life quality. But things are really looking up for things getting back to normal and I know in other states things have been less concentration campy. Hopefully the pandemic and the cockroaches in my house will both fade to a memory soon.


4. “If we think of food, water and harborage as a three-legged stool, and we remove one of these legs, the population will be stressed, and any efforts we make at control will be more successful.”ย 

– Dr. Kathy Heinsohn, B.C.EThe Importance of German Cockroach Baiting– Dr. Kathy Heinsohn, B.C.E

So I was thinking what conditions give us humans comfort, our version ofย thigmotaxis, perhaps success, perhaps meaning, or maybe goals and hope?

And what are our requirements to be happy, it’s more than food, water and harborage I learned this past year. Most of us were able to retain our food, water and harborage, but not much more, and I think most of us were honestly markedly unhappy with the situation.

Yes we want food, water and harborage for survival, but what we need to thrive and be happy seems to be something else entirely. What are those slippery higher requirements for life balance?

Perhaps flow (balance of challenge but not overwhelming struggle), perhaps elegance (where life isn’t overwhelmingly visually or auditorily noisy), perhaps satisfaction?

It may be that we enjoy goals more than success, it may be that we need meaning even if it is invented and ascribed, it may be that we need flow, and elegance, and satisfaction to keep our souls from slowly dying.