Author: Sue
•2:02 PM

Well this is off track a bit from gardening but I thought I'd let you know what i have been up too!

I have been looking for a job everywhere and every kind of job you can imagine! I haven't worked since November and I'm getting desperate! I have applied for jobs I never would have ever considered years past. I use to scoff at people saying if they really wanted a job they could get one! Now I don't even think I could get a job at Burger King! Not saying anything bad about Burger King in case you are reading this. All jobs look pretty good to me at this point. What I find ridiculous is having to apply online instead of speaking to actual people. You never know if any one is actually viewing your application or is it sitting in outer space somewhere? There is never a response from an actual person and there is no one to talk to about it. Do you wait forever just in case or do you keep applying and hoping for something that will never happen. How do the employers know who is right for the job? They may be hiring a psychopath that knows the system and just what to write down. What happened to the old days of selling yourself? I say we should all have an uprising and revert to the days when people actually communicated with each other. So much for my ranting and ramblings.....

If there is anyone out there in cyberspace preferably in the Merced Ca. area that needs a dedicated hard worker like myself please let me know!

Thank you all for listening! My next post will be back to normal LOL I promise!!

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Author: Sue
•10:00 AM

The Internet is just truly amazing! I got curious so I looked up “The Secret Garden” and found out I could read it for free from Google!

So here it is if anyone is interested!

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Author: Sue
•8:39 AM

401px-The_Secret_Garden_book_cover_-_Project_Gutenberg_eText_17396 When I was just a kid I read a book called the Secret Garden. I don’t remember exactly what it was about but through the years I always fantasized about having a secret garden of my own.  I would daydream endlessly about this garden. It would be enclosed by Morning Glory Vines for walls. The birds would be chirping in the trees, butterflies could be seen gracefully dancing from flower to flower sometimes landing on me if only for a moment. At night fireflies would light up my garden revealing hidden treasures; my own personal light show. I began to be aware that the times I indulged this daydream most often were times of great stress in my life.  I realize now the immense importance of Gardens in our lives. They are a place to go when the soul needs healing. Having your own garden, no matter how small, creates an environment for our bodies to heal naturally. Perhaps that is why we all try so hard to create the “perfect garden”. My husband has been out of work the last few months. He is a man of little words but I know the stress has been building up inside of him. He has taken it upon himself to water my garden every morning and I  see him pruning the bushes and pulling the weeds. I leave him alone while he works because I know he needs this time for himself to mend.

So no matter what your garden looks like; whether it be a few potted plants on a terrace or a work of art straight out of “Better Homes and Gardens” we are better off for it because we have created a way to heal our minds and bodies through nature.

My next blog will be on “Healing Gardens” with a few tips to help you make your garden into your own private retreat. 

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Author: Sue
•12:02 PM

Photo by Charles Chien



My dear friend Malcom stopped by yesterday. He’s the kind of person that always has valuable information on just about everything! Needless to say I was anxious to show him my new blog and wean any kind of information I could get from him.  First thing he mentioned was Aphids; the reason I started this blog!

He had information I had never heard about that was so interesting I couldn’t wait to share it with everyone.

It seems that aphids excrete a sweet liquid called honeydew that the ants just love. The ants rub their antennae against the aphids to make them poop out this succulent honey!

You can actually see this in the great macro above. It seems the ants having discovered this wonderful food supply actually guard the aphids from predators wanting them only for themselves!

ladybug and ant


In this picture a ladybug is being attacked by two ants as she tries to feed on some aphids which happen to be one of the ladybugs favorite foods. This amazing macro can be found at

Antje Schulte is the photographer.

If you see swarms of ants climbing up your trees it is quite natural to assume there are aphids around.  The ants actually herd their aphids much like ranchers herd their cattle. The ants have been known to bite the wings off the aphids in order to stop them from getting away.

“Chemicals produced in the glands of ants can also sabotage the growth of aphid wings. The new study shows, for the first time, that ants' chemical footprints -- which are already known to be used by ants to mark out their territory - also play a key role in manipulating the aphid colony, and keeping it nearby.” More about this can be found here

So bottom line…if you want to get rid of your aphids you need to get rid of the ants!

What a vicious web we weave!

So here are a few suggestions I found on getting rid of ants in your trees!

“ If you see ants crawling up aphid-infested trees or woody plants, put a band of sticky material (Tanglefoot,etc.) around the trunk to prevent ants from getting up. Teflon products, which are too slippery for ants to climb up, have also been used. (Note: Do not apply sticky material directly to the bark of young or thin-barked trees or to trees that have been severely pruned; the material may have phytotoxic effects. Wrap the trunk with fabric tree wrap or duct tape and apply sticky material to the wrap.) Alternatively, ant stakes or baits may be used on the ground to control the ants without affecting the aphids or their natural enemies. Prune out other ant routes such as branches touching buildings, the ground, or other trees.”

More on this at this site.

So the family is calling for me! I can hear their cries in the other room, enough to drive one up the wall! What would they do if I wasn’t around any more. Honestly it is enough to drive me crazy. The dog is scratching my legs up because he wants attention and I am trying to finish this blog! Yet life goes on another day…….

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