I’m a Collector of Lovable Stuff!

 

stuff-staff

A few of my collectibles keep me company while I write.

I’ve been a collector for as long as I can remember. As kid, I collected rocks I scavenged from fresh piles of sand, gravel, or loads of chat. That’s all I could afford, but there was another reason. I loved rocks, and I still do. I’m a sucker for those bins of polished stones in tourist stops in Arizona and I can spend hours in the mineral section of a museum… or a jewelry store. (My tastes have changed with maturity.)

I have collections stored all over the house. I loved the Beanie Baby craze. Before that, it was collector plates. Sometime after that I began to admire lithographs and porcelain figurines. I have collector cards, cups, coins, books, books, and more books! Most of it would look like junk to someone else, just like my mother viewed the rocks I hid under my bed. But I love them, or maybe I just love collecting. Some of us are like that, I think.

There was always the thought that something I collected might turn into a fortune. I’ve read about that happening to other people, and I’ve seen it on TV. So, since I’m between books now, I did a little checking on some of my collected items. Some are worth less than I paid for them while in the collecting frenzy. Others might be worth a little more. And some don’t even get mention. For the most part, I loved the “stuff” than no one wants now. But, I still love it. The sad thing is that if I wanted to get rich in my old age, I had the opportunity. We received the Sunday comics every week. If I’d just had the good sense to save them, preserved in pristine condition, we could be rich. Some Peanuts comic strips being marketed to collectors are worth $30,000 according to the sites I checked this morning. I’m certain; however, if I actually had a comic strip or two, so would everyone else and there would be no demand! So, I’ll just be glad to enjoy my stuff myself.

If you’re inspired to collect and haven’t started yet. Here are my suggestions. Start with rocks, move to Beanie Babies, and then figurines. From there, you can find a whole world of stuff to love. Click on the picture and go. Enjoy!


Tomato Worm, or What?

tobacco-horned-worm

What’s eating my tomato plant? You know, of course. I thought I did, too, but as it turns out, I didn’t.

Day after day, my tomato plant had more stems without leaves. I kept looking for the culprit but couldn’t spot him. And then when most of the leaves were gone, I found one small green worm with the familiar white stripes and horn on his backside. I couldn’t believe he did all the damage, kept looking, and found his siblings, two of them.

By this time, the tomato plant was almost stripped so I decided to let nature take its course. But… I began to wonder — Where did those tomato worms come from, and what do they become? Since the usual routine requires pulling the little suckers off and a lot of green gore, I figure very few of them make to butterfly stage. But my curiosity was engaged and I had to find out. (I’ve written a lot of nonfiction for kids so I’m trained… when I say I had to find out, I mean, I had to find out.)

So I did a little research.

And the results were surprising! If you want to do your own research, check this out?: http://www.colostate.edu/Dept/CoopExt/4dmg/Pests/tomato.htm

A tomato worm is green, the exact shade as the tomato plant, has eight stripes, and a dark blue or black horn. They mostly eat tomato plants but some other plants as well… mostly veggies. And, they turn into…. drumroll, please… a creature commonly known as the hummingbird moth.

But, the worm on my plant has seven stripes and a red horn. This creature is not a tomato worm. It is a tobacco worm! And, furthermore, its diet is not limited to the list given in my research. After devouring the tomato plant he moved to my nearby, very healthy, petunia! And then he became slimy green gore!

tobacco-worm-on-petunia

But the most amazing thing I found in my research – another drumroll please – You can order hornworms from Amazon! And some other stuff, see below — Who knew!