On the importance of listening.

Listening to your husband is a very good idea.  I know this.  It’s just that when I’m reading something, I very much dislike being interrupted.

I was engrossed in some post or essay, I don’t even remember, earlier this afternoon when my husband came in.

Him: “I’m working on fixing that chair, but I need to go to the hardware store for a dowel.”

Me, not looking up from what I am reading: “Oh, okay.”

Him: “I (something something) and took a bucket to wash out the pond dye from the pedal boat.”

Me: “Good.” (Back to reading)

Him: (words, words, that I’m not listening to because of the important thing I am reading, so important I cannot even remember what it was): “…and put the bucket over the hole.  I’ll get some yellow jacket spray while I’m at the hardware store later.”

Me, annoyed that he won’t stop talking while I’m reading: “Uh-huh.”

You do know where this is going, don’t you?

An hour later…

Me to him: “I’m going out to pick some zucchini and weed the garden!”

Me to myself once I get outside: “Now what is this bucket doing here?  Is this the bucket he used to wash out the boat? *sigh* Why can’t he ever pick up after himself?  I’ll just pick the bucket up for him and put it away.”

And that is what I did, with a martyred sigh…I picked up that bucket and started to walk..and then run toward the garden as rather suddenly liquid fire began to rain down upon the back of my right leg.

I ran into the house screaming, “Help, help! Aghhhh…”

Luckily my husband is a better listener than I am and came to my rescue.

So now I am sitting on the couch with a baking soda poultice and an ice pack on my red, swollen leg…


…sharing this helpful bit of painfully-gleaned wisdom with you while my husband is at the hardware store buying a wooden dowel for the broken chair and yellow jacket spray to take care of the nest in the hole in the ground over which he had placed that bucket.

Always listen when he speaks.


13 thoughts on “On the importance of listening.

  1. Now, I want to say something about yellow jackets.

    You do not necessarily want to spray their nests when they are formed near your garden. This is because yellow jackets, although they are not pollinators, are still good for your garden because they prey on insects, the kinds of insects that will eat the plants in your garden.

    However, yellow jackets can be pretty aggressive, especially when you come near their nest, and when they form a nest in the ground in an area where a lot of people are walking, you will probably need to spray it. Sadly, although this nest is near my garden, it is in a place where we all walk – to the garden, to the pond, to the composter – and near where we have our firepit and volleyball net. So this is that judicious use of chemicals I referred to in my post from earlier today.

    Plus one of them stung me, so my heroic husband will now rain destruction down upon them. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Also, I should add that I do not make a habit out of ignoring my husband. It’s just when I’m reading that I tend to tune people out. But I need not to tune him out, even when I’m reading, because he usually doesn’t talk just to hear the sound of his own voice.


  3. LOL! Oh dear, now that truly is a funny story! I am sorry about your leg.

    We don’t usually get yellow jackets nesting in the ground, but not long ago I came across some. Yikes, it was like a mine field across this sandy hill and anybody trying to walk across it was sure to be in trouble.

    Liked by 1 person


    This story has a happy ending, friends!

    I just now got a text from my husband who is still at the store:

    lol, I wondered what was taking him so long.

    Those who are not devotees of the shooting sports may be interested to know that 22 LR ammo is quite difficult to find now (it didn’t use to be). Every once in a while you will just happen to be in the right place at the right time when a few boxes get put out on the shelf.

    Good thing I wasn’t listening about that bucket! 🙂

    I love a happy ending, don’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. There is another upside, albeit not for humand. The puppies know where to find you and, come naptime, can snuggle up to their favorite human who feeds them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, they’ve been my little couch buddies all evening. They aren’t usually allowed on the couch, but this is for medicinal purposes, you understand. 🙂 It’s amazing how much better petting a puppy makes you feel when you are in pain.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t know how you’re going to be able to explain “medicinenal purposes” to them. They’ll just know that they love snuggling with you.


  6. Oh, geez!!! Hope you’re feeling better soon! My sister and cousin and I stumbled over some yellow jackets when we were kids. I only got a few stings, but the two of them got a lot more and were miserable. We ran to a neighbor’s and they put backing soda mixed with a little water on the stings.

    Speaking of weaponry, my husband has been thinking of buying us a gun, which I have mixed feelings about, but, while we were out shopping the other day, he came across some weighted gloves. Now these things are supposed to be used as fitness equipment, but they are quite capable of working as an alternative to brass knuckles.

    We are planning a trip to Niagara Falls in August, and even though the Canadian side is more spectacular and its not that hard to update passports and there’d probably be no issues, I just have had this feeling for years of not wanting to leave the country. Definitely not without my child. I do worry about going too far from home in case I can’t get back. I specifically remember the first year after 9/11 going back into my house to change my shoes for working thinking to myself: “What if I have to run?” Strange times we are living in (I mean all these peaceful years).

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sunshine,

    Ouch. If you are still in pain send Philip or the children out to pick some plantain leaves from your property. Chew a leaf and spit it on the sting and the pain will be gone in seconds.

    It’s best to spray nests at night when the bees are less active and I would still keep a bucket over it for a day or two to make sure they have all died. Yellow jackets are a nuisance and I have no mercy on them even though our gardening practices are 100 percent organic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I’ll have to try that if I get stung again, which I hope I never do! I’ve never been stung by a yellow jacket before, and it’s much more painful than any other sting I’ve had. It hurt all night.

      My husband told me that when he was a little kid, he was riding his bike down the street when a swarm of yellow jackets attacked him. They got into his hair and his clothes and stung him all over; luckily he was near a friend’s house and ran screaming in their front door. His friend’s mother got him out of his clothes and killed all the yellow jackets, and then put a paste made from baking soda and water on all the stings. So when I got stung, he made a baking soda paste for me; it seemed to help a little, but ice helped the most.

      I also tried putting toothpaste on the sting last night because I read that will neutralize the acidic venom. It helped maybe a little. But even today my leg still hurts a little and is stiff and swollen. We definitely made the right choice to spray the nest! Thank goodness one of the children or puppies didn’t wander over it before Phil found it!


    • Thanks!

      This nest is near our composter, and I read that yellow jackets are garbage wasps – they like rotting food – so they were probably attracted to the smell from the composter.


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