Friday, September 12, 2014

When Butterflies Flutter By

Thought for the day:  Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes when he had the chance?


[courtesy of Perfectly Timed Photos]


I can't be too bad; mosquitoes certainly still find me attractive. Matter of fact, all bugs, both the creepy-crawlies and the airborne, have always had an impressive talent for picking me out of a crowd.

[Morguefile]


Without a doubt, though, mosquitoes have gotta be my biggest fans. If I'm outside with ten other people, only one of us will be attacked by a swarm of those blood-thirsty little... darlings. Me. Doesn't matter worth a flip if I'm wearing repellent, either, because the skeeters around here consider DEET to be nothing more than a finishing sauce.

I'm telling ya, when I go outside in the morning to get the paper, they're hunkered down waiting for me like a squadron of fighter jets with their engines running, and they immediately swoop after me like a bunch of hungry teenagers at the dinner table. I have found one way to get the upper hand... actually, upper foot... with them, though. When I pick tomatoes in the afternoon, the greedy little suckers gorge on my blood until they get so bloated, they can't even fly anymore. They just hover about six inches off the ground,  groaning and holding their bellies. So I... step on 'em. (While singing, Hit the road, Jack, and don't you come back no more, no more, no more...)


[credit: Muhammed Mahdi Karim]
Bees like to have their way with me, too. I've gotten lots of bee stings over the years, but the worst were the ones on my upper lip and between my eyes. The resultant swelling made me look like the cover picture for a monster magazine, which my big brother was only too happy to point out. (In his defense, we were young. If it happened now, I'm sure he'd try to stifle his guffaws.)

But at least bees serve a purpose, unlike those pesky mosquitoes. (Unless you call spreading disease a divine calling.) Isn't that picture of the bee absolutely phenomenal? Would you believe that little guy is carrying pollen?! What a shot!

[Morguefile]

Oh, look... that butterfly and bee are sharing the same bloom. Hmmm, could they be discussing.... me?

Perhaps the bee is agreeing not to sting me this time...?



Oh my goodness, just look at all the butterflies!

My thoughts are like butterflies. They are beautiful, but they fly away. [anonymous]





Oh, and lookie there. I think that one's a swallowtail.

May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun and find your shoulder to rest upon, to bring you luck, happiness and riches, today, tomorrow, and beyond. [Irish blessing]

A new friend!

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you. [Nathaniel Hawthorne]





This monarch is a real beauty, isn't it? And it posed so nicely for me...



Before it (gasp!) came closer...

Know what? That made up for every mosquito, bee, fire ant and spider who's ever been attracted to me.

What can I say? If you think about it, it's a lot like life. We have to put up with some painful bites and stings over the years, but beautiful blessings also have a delightful way of fluttering by and oh-so-gently... pooping on your head.


Wanta hear whose favorite old broad comment won a copy of Old Broads Waxing Poetic? Okay. (Insert drum roll here.) It's a pleasure to announce that (ta-DA!)  Stephen T. McCarthy takes the prize this time around with his expression of unabashed love and admiration for his mother. (sniff) Ya gotta love a guy who loves his ma. (If you'd like to read his comment, it's in the previous post.)

This old broad is gonna be flitting around here and there being a social butterfly for the next four days or so, but if all goes well, I'll be back to responding to your comments on Tuesday.

                                       Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.


74 comments:

  1. I have not seen many Mosquitos this year but have been attacked by many of the billions of gnats that have been plaguing the Northeast this summer. I can't ever remember them being so bad and I am thinking that the horrible snowy winter and wet spring had something to do with it. I have to remind myself to wear bug repellant every time I go out into the great outdoors. Dryer sheets are a necessity when attending grandchildren 's soccer games in buggy fields.

    On the other hand, you are being visited up front and close, by beautiful butterflies. That is a blessing.

    Speaking of blessings, I received and read Old Broads Waxing Poetic. I enjoyed it very much.

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    1. Oh, I wish Noah had swatted those darned gnats, too. Nothing like being outside sweating (No... make that "glistening"... sounds much more lady-like...) with those miserable gnats buzzing all around your face, sticking to it, getting up your nose, in your ears. YUK! Miserable little buggers. They'll actually send me scurrying into the house faster than mosquitoes will.

      Yes! Butterflies make it all better.

      Super! I'm glad you liked it.

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  2. Hi Susan - mozzies .. they are the bane our lives, particularly at night ... but bees are usually ok ... the wasps, which we don't have this year - despite the proliferation of fruit, can be a right nuisance ... mozzies are great fodder for our little flying critters ...

    Congratulations to Stephen on winning a copy of Old Broads Waxing Poetic .. great title .. enjoy your long weekend .. cheers Hilary

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    1. It wasn't too bad when mosquitoes only ruled the evenings, but now there are some more aggressive breeds (tiger mosquitoes, I think they're called) that are on the prowl during the daytime, too.

      We had a wonderful time. Thanks. Cheers to you, too.

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  3. LOVE the bee carrying pollen shot! And the butterflies, I wish I could see that many all in one day. There used to be a butterfly house a couple of hours drive south of Adelaide, but I never got to it and I don't know if it is still there.
    Try wiping exposed skin with vinegar to repel mosquitoes, you'll smell like an Aussie fish and chip shop, but it's supposed to work. Mum used to wipe us down with vinegar when we played and slept out on the porch in summer as kids. Also add a daily dose of vinegar to your diet, mozzies don't like the taste of your blood when there is vinegar in it. I've read somewhere that mozzies are attracted to people with sweet blood.

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    1. Me, too! I found that photo of the bee carrying the pollen on Wikipedia, and immediately fell in love with it. What an amazing shot!

      Oh, you should see if that butterfly house is still there, and if it is, visit it if you can. There is something so over-the-top uplifting about being surrounded by butterflies.

      I eat garlic and onion and vinegar to make my blood less appealing to bugs, but it hasn't worked so far. Maybe I should try dousing myself in vinegar, or better yet, vinegar laced with hot pepper sauce. (That'll teach 'em!)

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  4. Great photos, and of course my favorite is of you with the butterfly! Sorry you've gotten attacked by so many mosquitoes. You'd better wrap yourself in cellophane this weekend! Have a wonderful time "flitting around!" You deserve some fun after all of the hard work you've put into Old Broads. Congrats to Stephen! His stories about his ma, should be required reading for sons everywhere!

    Julie

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    1. Thanks! What can I say? I have a fairly rare blood type... maybe mosquitoes go after it like some people relish rare wines. (And my blood is well-aged, too!)

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  5. Mosquitoes are carriers of diseases and around this when it is rife about encephalitis, they shouldn't get near keep aside biting. Thanks.

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    1. I know. Mosquitoes carry all sorts of nasty things. NOT my favorite bugs.

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  6. Beautiful photos and thanks for sharing them with us.
    Mosquitoes rarely if ever bother me but my daughter and her second daughter are plagued by them even using repellant. I've read so much about why this happens and there are so many explanations if why some of us attract and some don't.
    Unfortunately bees seem to find me reasonably attractive and two sting turned nasty but not dangerous thank goodness.
    Paper wasps (here in Australia anyway) are one you have to be very careful of . I had two bites on my hand once, one of which was on the end of my middle finger and it swelled up and glowed red...a little like ET needing to 'phone home'. Very painful it was too.
    We are fortunate that in Perth there are few European wasps as yet but they are a dreadful nuisance in our eastern states and also in New Zealand, but possibly only on the North Island so far.
    On a visit to the Perth Zoo some years ago I ventured into the butterfly house and it was wonderful to stand still and have those beautiful creatures land on me. To see that monarch perched on your head, that must surely be a sign of good fortune (or at least I hope so). How wonderful for you to have it happen.

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    1. It is kinda fascinating how mosquitoes will zero in one some people and leave others alone. Same for fleas. They ALSO love me, and yet my husband has NEVER been attacked by them. (Not fair!) At least my bug bites don't get all nasty and infected like they used to when I was a child. (I guess that's because my fingernails are cleaner now!)

      Yes, I like to think of that monarch perching on my head as a sign of good fortune, too. It sure FELT like good fortune. A butterfly once landed on my shoulder, and stayed there for about a couple hours... stayed there when I got into the car, stayed there during a long drive, and then flew off when I got back out of the car. I guess he needed a lift.

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  7. Congratulations to Stephen. My copy is on its way - and I am really looking forward to its arrival.
    Bugs, particularly bitey bugs, find me irresistable too.
    And the ephemeral magic of butterflies makes it all worth while.
    Enoy your social jaunting.

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    1. Super! I hope you enjoy it.

      I guess we're both bug whisperers. (Lucky us, huh?) But the butterflies more than make up for it.

      Thanks. We did!

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  8. I love butterflies, they hold a beauty that is hard to copy... :)

    My two daughters are beacons for mosquitoes, fleas, bees... I feel sorry for all of you.. thankfully my blood is not tasty enough for them.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend Susan :)

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    1. Butterflies have such a fragile beauty, and such vibrant colors, it's impossible not to admire them.

      Thanks. We had a wonderful time.

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  9. Only YOU! YOU could get a bee sting between your eyes. Yeesh, whatever are we going to do with you Sis? Sigh.

    Wallene is the poster child for "Help feed the mosquito population today" - she has counted upwards of 125 bites in one day. Nothing we put on her works - and we used to be quite a camping family, so you can imagine. The one thing we did find - and this is going to sound stupid, but trust me on this - is that if we keep her banana consumption [yes, I said bananas - the kid LOVES them] to nil during mosquito season she seems to have a lot less bites. Her bites are pretty heinous too - the rest of us can be bite but they don't itch and disappear pretty quickly. We think she is allergic because she has been scarred from them.

    And butterflies love her too - but never had one land on her head. :D I have always loved that pic' of you "two". It is butterfly season here - I remember when we moved in last year [same month] and they were all over Wallene and yesterday I sat on the porch and they were flutter-bying all over the front bushes and me. So cool.

    Congrats to Stephen! I can't wait until my copy gets here! You're the best Sis. Hugs and love 12:34

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    1. Oh dear. Poor Wallene. I've got scars from some of the bites I got as a kid, too, because a lot of them got infected and turned into boils. Yeah, I know. Reeeeeeally attractive.

      I DO eat a lot of fruit, including bananas. Hmm, maybe that makes my blood sweeter...? Crud. I hate to give up fruit, but it might be worth a shot. (But then, maybe the butterflies will go away too...)

      Hugs and love to you, too, kiddo. 12:34 HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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  10. I would be happy if those flying blood suckers all die
    I know there would be a oh me oh my
    From tree huggers and the like
    But mosquitoes can take a hike

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    1. No "Oh me, oh my" from me
      If all blood-suckers went away.
      I'd yell "Adios!" to every skeeter and wretched flea
      And it'd be one scratch-free Happy Day!

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  11. I love butterflies and moths, some of which can be quite beautiful. One of my faves is the Luna moth, which has to be one of the most beautiful insects ever.

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    1. My condolences. Being bug bait isn't much fun.

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  13. Enjoy your social butterfly time :)
    And thanks for sharing your great photos!

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    1. Thanks! I did, but it's good to be back home again.

      I'm glad you enjoyed them.

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  14. such a super duper post. thought about getting a butterfly tat, but then decided against it. after viewing this post - im going for it. see ya next tues. enjoy your time out. cheers!!

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad ya liked it, but holy moley, don't tell your mother you're getting a butterfly tat because of me! (Unless it's a monarch, and you get it on your head...)

      Cheers!

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  15. Heehee, I love your account of letting mozzies have their fill and then stepping on them whilst singing Ray Charles. And I visibly winced about you getting stung between the eyes and top lip.

    As for Butterflies, I almost pushed my Spawn into a line of oncoming traffic to get away from one. Moths in make-up.

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    1. HA! Moths in make-up,huh? That's a new one on me. Only you...

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  16. I love butterflies. So fragile. So beautiful.

    And as for mosquitoes, for some odd reason (of which I am delighted) they do not find me attractive :)

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    1. Me, too.

      Good for you! I wish I knew your secret.

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  17. Those butterfly photos are amazing. You've obviously managed to charm the Monarchs - - I love the one that's in your hair.

    Mosquitoes must have an intense attraction to Sagittarians, especially ones who were born on the same day like us. I am constantly pursued by mosquitoes. they never leave me alone.

    I think it's because we are both so sweet........

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    1. So you're irresistible to skeeters, too, huh? Yes, I'm sure it's because of our innate sweetness...

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  18. Well, if we hung out you could sit quietly because mosquitos LOVE me. Neat butterfly pics - enjoy social butterfly fun. It's been a mad dash for Old Broads - now a break. Enjoy (and sell books too)

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    1. I can't imagine sitting quietly while the mosquitoes feast on someone else. I suspect it'd be more like a double feature feeding for them if we were sitting side by side. Like an all-they-can-drink buffet.

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  19. Love the butterflies! But I could do without mosquitoes, too!

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  20. I'm lucky that mosquitoes, for the most part, ignore me.

    I'm unlucky because butterflies never sit still for me long enough to take a picture.

    Ah, the yin and yang of life!

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    1. Yes,you ARE lucky, but I'm surprised you haven't gotten any butterflies to pose for you yet. You have to catch one when it's happily feeding on nectar.

      Yeah, the yin and yang. Good way to put it.

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  21. Mosquitoes love to dine on me as well. They are one thing I don't miss when the weather gets cooler. Love all the butterflies! Nice of that one to pose on your head for the picture. :D

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    1. Of course mosquitoes love to dine on you, DAISY...

      I thought that butterfly was mighty considerate to pose on my head, too.

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  22. Love the butterflies! I'm cracking up about your stories of the bugs being attracted to you. I have the same problem, but with cockroaches!!! Ugh!

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    1. UGH! Just the word cockroach makes my skin crawl.All I can say is thank God they can't fly. (I believe the FAA frowns upon it.)

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  23. That's a great photo. Nothing like a real butterfly as a hair ornament. Mosquitoes worship me, but bees show me no interest. I guess bees are grammarphobes.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Thanks. Yes, butterflies make terrific hair ornaments... MUCH better than the caterpillar a boy smooshed on my head when I was a young girl.

      I dunno about the bees being grammarphobes, because I'm a real stickler. Oh, wait. Must be my blood type that attracts them... B negative, of course.

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  24. I love butterflies, Susan.
    They fascinate me. I'm always reading and learning something new about butterflies. There is something enchanting about butterflies. They are magical.
    Great snapshots!

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    1. Exactly! Butterflies are all of that, and more.

      I'm glad you liked the pictres.

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  25. And I know I'll be missing them in winter.

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  26. Every butterfly is a 4-page history of butterflies done up in full color. Mosquitoes are just nasty little propaganda pamphlets.

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  27. Love the butterflies!

    Our eldest is like you when it comes to mozzies, if she is around no one else gets bitten!

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    1. Me, too!

      I feel for your daughter. It's lousy for her to attract all the mosquitoes, but at least the rest of you can skip the insect repellent when she's around.

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  28. You've been spending some hours with nature, getting all the lovely pictures. It pays off I can see. I love that picture of you with the butterfly as a hair clasp. Your beautiful golden hair in the sunlight. I've planted a lot of flowers that attract bees and butterflies and even went so far as getting a book on bee keeping. I think I'd like to have bees and my own honey but I don't know a thing about bees. When I was young everyone in our area seemed to keep their own bee hives but I never did any of the work. I just ate the honey. Ha

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    1. I love to spend time outdoors when the temperature and humidity aren't too insanely high. If you're thinking about raising honey bees, I have no doubt that you'll do it. Just for the new experience... and the honey.

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  29. My husband also attracts mosquitoes. I don't have to wear insect repellent when I'm with him. They will feast on him and leave me alone!

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    1. He's a true gentleman... sacrificing himself, so you can remain bite-free.

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  30. My wife is the same. She is the one who ends up getting stung. All I can say is that I do feel sympathy towards you and my other half. I've no idea why mosquitoes go for particular people. Beautiful photos and lovely butterfliers. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

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    1. I dunno. Maybe mosquitoes prefer certain blood types... or can readily detect a certain "sweetness." HA!

      Greetings back atcha from Atlanta.

      Delete
  31. Beautiful butterflies, amazing photos! Mosquitos have been scarce here this year, but relative to Georgia, most insects seem scarce. :) Gnats and few fruit flies are all I can claim. Not complaining, mind you. I'm notoriously bad with creepy crawlies. The first time I saw a cicada, I didn't know what it was, and I refused to go outside because it was parked near my back door.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. HA! Yeah, compared to Georgia, MOST places have fewer bugs.

      Cicadas? Now THEM I love. I love the songs they sing, and love those nifty looking intact shells they leave behind. But then, again, where I grew up, cicadas were very plentiful, so I saw them around as far back as I can remember.

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  32. >>... "What can I say?"

    Uhm... Blondes have more... butterflies?

    I've only been stung by bees twice in my life, and in both cases I accidentally stepped on them as they were apparently dying on the sand at the beach.

    A bee sting on the bottom of your bare foot hurts, but I'd take that over a sting between the eyes and on the upper lip. (Between the eyes? Dang! Your face must look like a target to them, and between your eyes is the "bull's-eye".)

    Thanks for the congrats! Lookin' forward to reading the book.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Well, THIS blonde has more butterflies... especially when on a roller coaster or a twisty turny road through the mountains.

      I can imagine how a sting to the bottom of your foot must have felt, but yeah! the one between the eyes was the pits.

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  33. I've never been stung by a bee, and this entire summer I've been without mosquito bites. There's also hardly any flies. I suppose I owe my pest free lifestyle to my little protectors - I have a dragonfly in my yard that eats the mosquitoes, and I have two venus fly traps that eat all of the flies. The best defense is a good offense... or something like that.

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    1. Geez, what a bragger. If our yard were that skeeter and bee-free, I'd never venture beyond its boundaries.

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  34. I've never been stung by a bee, but mosquitoes have bitten me. That first pic is scary.

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  35. Eek! Bites on the lips or between the eyes? How awful. You must eat a number of bananas. =)

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    1. You're the second person who mentioned bananas. I sometimes eat one with breakfast, but maybe I should consider skipping them.

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  36. A week or two ago, I got a line of mosquito bites along my leg. I was highly irritated and wished I'd doused myself in repellant. But I was at an outdoor club, not a safari. I guess they love me too. Butterflies don't love me like they do you, Susan. That's a wonderful photo. Hope you're enjoying being a social butterfly.

    Broad hugs!

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    1. What can I say? Skeeters obviously have very good taste. (Wish WE didn't!)

      I had a fabulous time being a social butterfly, but it's back to the homefront again. (For now.)

      Hugs back atcha. (Broad, of course.)

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  37. Well that's so funny, my daughter is the only one who gets stung every summer w/o fail, the mosquitoes love her!, and I've got pictures of her standing in the park with her arms out by her side while several butterflies kept landing on her head, arms, and hands, lol. You gals must just be sweet like flowers to the bees and the butterflies. :)

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    1. That IS funny! Yeah, I'm sure you must be right; we're both just too sweet to resist...

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