Friday, September 30, 2011

Wasp, Toppo, Scar and Pie

Which could be the characters in the latest version of Grange Hill, but is just my last few days' random thoughts.

We got a wasp nest removed from one of the trees outside our front door last night. Suzume-bachi, big fat wasps. I was stung by one once about five years ago while camping at a river. I thought one of another camper's fireworks had hit me, it hurt so bad! So of course we had to get rid of it, and a guy whose day job is loading containers came and took it out for 10,000 ($100). He waited until dark so they would all be home, tending to their big fat babies, and Amy and I watched from the stairway window as he donned his protective gear, sprayed them, then cut the nest out of the tree. We all piled outside to examine the remains after. The grubs were still alive, and he informed us that they are edible, and some people eat them. Apparently they taste like shrimp. But (luckily) we could not eat these ones as they were coated in poison. OH, what a shame!!

Top left: the nest by day. It was actually quite beautiful, I don't know how they make it, probably spit or vomit! But it had a variety of colors like a parquet floor. Top right: after the deed was done. Bottom left: a close up of the eggs and larvae, and those perfect hexagons! Bottom right: this is how BIG they are! (and these are the 'small' ones, apparently there is another variety 'oosuzume-bachi' that are even bigger!)

I bet you had no idea they were this cute!

Their offspring are totally NOT cute though!

I got my Toppo back! Since I've been driving a sleek and fancy automatic 7-seater airstream with leather interior, navigator, clear speakers and enough space for the kids to have a whole row of seats each you might wonder why I would be so happy to be back in my tiny bouncy manual 4-door hatchback (it's missing the right-side passenger door) tin-can K (660cc) with the sticky doors, missing visor and wipers that suddenly stop mid-windscreen but it is just SO much easier to maneuver! The steering is so tight it can almost do a 360 on the spot, making getting into, and especially out of, our very narrow street much simpler! No more 20-point turns backing out of the driveway at night. I can now BLAT around the street and ZIP into parking spaces again!

A very bad photo of my car

Scar update: same old same old... I'm down to one change a day, and even leave it for a day and a half sometimes. On her foot, the silicon gel, followed by the sponge wrapped in gauze (so it can last more than one day) held down with an over-size bandaid and extra tape, then a bandage and then a sock, because she's an active little kid and even with all the protective layers it still starts peeling off under her toes after about half a day! On her hand, again the gel and gauze and tape, with sponge during the day (just to stop her curling the fingers in) with a sock on top of that for day, then at night, the sponge is removed, a longer sock put on top to protect her skin, and the splint of top of that. The hand is SO tricky, because the scar goes from just above the centre knuckle on her thumb, down to the palm, then back up her palm up the centre of her index finger about half way up. So I cut 2-3 pieces of gel to fit, and trim and cut bits of gauze and sponge and hold it all down with bits of tape going this way and that, all the while yelling at her to hold her hand open! Bless her for being so patient. She likes to take all the bandaging off by herself, and clean and massage and itch it! I was told in no uncertain terms today to not look, so she could rub and scratch in peace without me hovering over her examining it and picking at it! How long will this go on? No idea. The daily silicone gel is amazing - I did leave it off for a day, and was amazed at how hard the scar tissue got in that short amount of time. I might be doing this for months, or until I either get so sick of it that I just stop, or am satisfied that the scar has matured enough that it isn't going to harden too much.

Dressings! Top left: my resources - the gauze packets and tape and bandages and socks. Top right: the silicone gel drying on the clothes line. It's so expensive we're encouraged to wash and re-use it. Bottom left: the splint for nights. Bottom right: the sponge and gauze bandage for day, minus her hand - and I thought I'd done such a good job of taping this one on!

Finally PIE! Just baked one. Our school sports day was back in May, but we are going to a friend's one tomorrow. Two families are at that school that we know, one said to come with just our empty stomachs, but I'd feel a bit off taking nothing, so I decided to bring sandwiches. The others will probably have onigiri so I won't be repeating anything. Then at the supermarket I saw chicken breasts marked down to 90 yen in the late-evening sale so decided to buy them, and then decided to whip up a chicken pie and take that too. One failed pastry (stupid margarine) and a quick trip back to the supermarket for bought 'pie sheets' and the pie is half done - to be finished off in the morning so it's still warm when we eat it. Mmmmm.....


Gina said...

That chicken pie looks delicious!

It could just be me, but it sort of looks like that the picture of the wasp is smiling.

I agree about preferring the car in your picture. We have 1 tiny car and one biggish minivan. The minivan, when I'm driving and maneuvering on the tiny roads here, I am always worried if I'll hit someone. The smaller tiny car, I totally prefer. : )

Rachel said...

I swear she's smiling! I since found out they are hornets actually. Literally a hornet's nest!