Fay has just won a first
place award in the 2009 Delaware Press Association Publication contest! Here's
the winning entry!
was at Our Lady of Lowes last Sunday morning when I spied two friends walking
down the aisle with what appeared to be a birdhouse.
no, they said, it was a bat house and it’s all the rage now for clearing
backyards of mosquitoes. Now I’m as anxious as the next person to avoid B-52
mosquito squads, but the idea of inviting bats to the party to deter mosquitoes
seemed rather like inviting a carnivorous plant over to keep weeds off the lawn.
I’d rather have a swarm of blood-sucking mosquitoes than a bat swarm.
No, said my friends, bats are lovely guests, you hardly see them and they insure
a mosquito-free picnic on the deck. They are nature’s best insect deterrent.
To me, nature’s best insect deterrent is staying in the house.
my buds told me you have to mount the bat house on a twelve foot pole, which I
agreed was perfect as I wouldn’t touch anything to do with bats with a ten
foot pole. My spouse’s eyes just rolled as the bat house went into our
shopping cart. Lovely.
I did some research. All you have to
do to attract bats is to provide them with a bat-friendly structure. Apparently
bats like crowded, warm spaces, so we’re lucky we don’t attract them to
happy hour. And they like it to be 80 to 100 degrees where they can bask in the
sun. Perhaps they’d like a cruise.
suggest putting a thermometer atop the pole along with the bat house so you can
check if the temperature is right to attract occupants. I can barely stagger to
the TV in the morning to check the weather channel, so there’s very little
chance of me shinnying up a pole to check the bat climate.
good news: “a single brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in one hour.”
I imagine that a single gray schnauzer can eat one bat in the time it takes for
me to hit them both with a broom to break up the feast. This concerns me.
single bat consumes up to 3000 insects a night - a third of those are usually
mosquitoes!” Good god, what are the other two thirds, locusts?
kill mosquitoes that spread West Nile Virus.” Oy, something else I never
worried about that I can obsess over now.
a great fact. In Austin, Texas there’s a place called Bracken Cave, which is
the summer home to between…ready…. 20 to 30 million Mexican free-tailed
bats. Like I needed another reason never to go to
the internet I found a pamphlet called Attracting Bats, which, along with Field
Guide to Moose Dressing is something I figured I never would have to read.
Apparently, using lures like bat guano don’t work, thank god. Did I ever think
I’d be typing the words “bat guano?”
Bat Box Batman, this attracting bats thing is much like field of nightmares –
build it and they will come. Eventually. We
should have put the bat box up this past spring, before the bats came back from
their winter hibernation. That’s
good, actually, since my mate can have all the fun in the world installing it
now and I won’t have to worry about going bats for at least a year. Now
that’s a project I can encourage. Do you think bats hibernate in
like the rest of Rehoboth?
bat book warns that it could be three to five years before I get a healthy
contingent of bats. At that rate, when we sell the house the bats will convey.
This project is sounding better and better.
wound up on the internet half the night looking at bat stuff. I especially liked
the site with advice on getting rid of nuisance bats, which, at that point in my
reading seemed to be the only kind.
no, there are a zillion varieties. According to the Bat Conservation
Organization (Conserve Bats!) you can even sponsor a bat, choosing from big
brown bats or Vampire Bats. They even have names, like Gandolf the Egyptian
Fruit Bat. I wanted to know whether I would get a welcome kit and wallet-sized
picture of Gandolf if I sponsored him. Can we e-mail and get updates? Is my
sponsorship enough to feed and clothe a bat for a year? I was actually
considering making a donation when I got an e-mail from Facebook noting that I
had a new friend request. Good lord, did my bat intuit that I was thinking of
it was just a simple friend request from Rehoboth. But I made the mistake of
posting my little bat project on Facebook and immediately started getting all
kinds of dire warnings.
began with “Are you crazy????,” followed by the advice that building a house
for Purple Martins would work just as well against mosquitoes. Then somebody
suggested I forget the Purple Martins and go directly for purple martinis which
suited me fine. I could get back to the bat project later.
then came the most dire warning of all. “Careful!
They love coming in the house - and I don't mean the mosquitoes! Ever try
catching one as it fly dives from room curtain to room curtain! We did - finally
had to call a bat catcher to do the job.”
now I’m picturing having to call Dracula Exterminators for a bat geek to prowl
around my darkened house with a giant fish net while the dogs and I check into a
did it. I returned the bat house and the twelve foot pole to Lowes, trading them
for a mess of Cintronella candles
and Deep Woods Off. I’m relieved there won’t be bats at Schnauzerhaven any
time soon, but I’m seriously worried about all my neighbors in Rehoboth trying
to lure bats into their belfries. Give it up, kids. Want to get up close and
personal with bats? Check out the Annual Great Lakes Bat Festival next year, As
for me, I’ll be on the screened porch with a purple martini.
Fried & True
Tales from Rehoboth Beach
from CAMP, July 2005
costumes, the scenery, the bug spray, the props…
knew my foray into golf had gotten out of hand when somebody called me a jock.
Quick, phone the New York Times.
had nothing to do with my actual golf skill, but that my golfing buddies
didn’t know enough to come in out of the rain.
on the course and it starts to drizzle, then rain, then pour. I expected CNN’s
Anderson Cooper to arrive to broadcast while being blown horizontal. Several
players gave up at drizzle and almost everybody was in the bar by rain. It was
considerably into pour by the time I could drag my soggy butt off the course.
That’s what I get for playing with three serious golfers.
this reporter cannot reveal her anonymous source despite the threat of jail, but
I can divulge that the lounge conversation went like this:
“Oh my God, she’s going to kill me.”
League Member: “Why?”
Bonnie: “I told her to leave her raincoat in the car.”
Another League Member: “You mean Fay Jacobs is still out there?”
Third league Member: “I know she is. Her tee shot bounced off the roof of our
cart as we drove by.”
the record, I was aiming in the other direction. But it did serve them right for
rushing back to the clubhouse at drizzle.
drip into the bar, wringing wet, and somebody says, “I can’t believe you
stayed out there so long. What a jock!”
I may not be getting better at golf, but I’m having my Outward Bound.
with precipitation, golf offers intimacy with pestilence. Last week I was
attacked by a swarm of horse flies the size of Sea Biscuit. My teammates sprang
into action and spritzed me with Skin-so-Soft and a shot of Deep Woods Off. Now
there’s a nice fragrance.
the next hole I was informed that the previous week somebody had spied an
electrical line wrapped around an adjacent tree. Wisely, they drove me past the
site before revealing that the utility cable turned out to be a reptile. Oy, I
was on an aversion therapy tour. Next week I’m expecting a plague of frogs.
least I’m doing well in the accessory department. My fuzzy Schnauzer club head
covers arrived. Call me if you ever need doggy hand puppets.
have to say, the costumes are cool. Imagine my surprise on my maiden golf outing
when I was given a glove monogrammed with a giant FJ. “You shouldn’t
have…” They didn’t. Turns out that FootJoy manufactures golf stuff and
everything I wear can have my initials on it. Cool. I now have FJ shoes, sox,
and a ball marker. I’m looking for an FJ fly swatter.
I came home and found a visor with a big FJ on the front hanging on my doorknob
with a little note: “Got this for you. Has your name written all over it.”
eventually I have to tell you how I’m doing at the actual game of golf.
Here’s a clue. One week my quartet included a woman actively undergoing
chemotherapy, a woman with arthritis who has had at least 18 joints replaced,
and a woman with a prosthetic leg. They all played better than me.
to be fair, all three gals are experienced, superior players despite their
challenges, but it does make one consider the point of continuing in the sport.
golf is great exercise—especially for me. If four of us tee off, three golfers
then jump in the carts to ride a hundred yards or more to their golf balls. Me,
I trudge the fifty feet to my ball and whack at it again. I rarely hit it far
enough to even use the cart (my first off-road vehicle) and generally wind up
walking most of the course. Yes, the exercise is going well indeed.
forge on. One day my companion sank a putt and I congratulated her on her
you’re getting the terms down!” she said.
“Language I get, it’s sports where I suck.”
next lesson, my mentor made me change my stance, my grip, my swing, everything
but my underpants. This was necessary because, how shall I delicately put this?
My tits were in the way. We gals with large bingo bongos need to stand further
from the ball so we don’t interrupt our swing by whacking ourselves in the
made the adjustment, stood further from the ball, took a good swing, missed my
boobs, and sent the ball far enough to lose it in the wheat field next to the
course. I’d need a hay baler and combine to find it.
they tell me the shot was good, despite it costing me a stroke. Better to cost
one than have one, I say. In fact, this whole sports thing may have the desired
effect of relieving my stress and giving me a hobby. I could turn into a jock
yet. Stop snickering. Do you know any lipstick lezzies who would spurn White
Diamonds or Chanel in favor of Deep Woods Off? Me, neither.
As I Lay Frying -
a Rehoboth Beach Memoir
Smile, you’re on digital camera.
I’m in a love-hate relationship with my digital camera.
through Instamatics, Flash Cubes, strobes, 35 millimeter, single-lens reflex,
Polaroid, and point and shoot. Taking pictures was simple. You plopped film in
the Kodak, took pictures and left them at the drug store, waiting expectantly,
sometimes for a week, to see if the photos “came out.”
Well, since those days, almost everyone I know has come out but that
doesn’t help the evolving state of photography. Going digital seems like a
good idea, but so did Phen-Fen.
Truthfully, I like taking digital photos. I shoot multiple shots
until I get one with everybody’s eyes open.
But the real negative is the fact that there are no negatives. A hundred
years from now historians won’t have a clue. Most people take digital
pictures, send them to friends over the Internet, store the pictures on their
hard drive and never even print them. What happens when the Dell detonates? Will
a whole nation wander around in a daze like tornado survivors, having lost their
wedding pictures? Yeah, yeah, we’re supposed to be backing things up. But you
know how THAT goes.....
And the cost is staggering. Know why printers are absurdly cheap now?
Because they practically give you the hardware and software, but make you pay
through the nose for the wetware – ink. After just two or three 5x7s and right
in the middle of cropping somebody’s thighs out of a family portrait, my
computer starts flashing “cartridge almost out of ink.” And if you’ve ever
stood in the aisle at Staples trying to figure out which cartridge goes with
your printer then you know the fresh hell I’m talking about. Between paper,
ink and the time it takes to print the pictures, I could go on vacation again.
So for me, the answer was to bring my camera to the nice folks at the
photo shop for digital printing. The machine
had a slot that accepted Memory Sticks, Magic Memory Cards, digi-chips, cow
chips, and pop tarts, but it didn’t take the memory chip from my hot-shot
October 2000 :
Snouts in Sussex
While you know how thrilled we were to move to cosmopolitan Rehoboth Beach, it
took us a while to realize that we’d actually moved to the state of Delaware.
Things I’d never even imagined in my other life go on here.
just went to the Annual Bridgeville Apple Scrapple Festival. Apples I've had,
but scrapple is a horse of another color. In fact, I hope it’s not horse.
sure it surprises no one that prior to Saturday I was a scrapple virgin. Yes,
I've heard Bonnie's tales of farmer Granny frying scrapple, but thus far I'd
avoided having to sample any myself. Frankly, you know something's up when you
ask normally glib people what scrapple is and they stutter. "Um, I can’t
really say. Pig mush, maybe?"
there I was, along with the 40,000 people descending on little Bridgeville,
Delaware, standing in line for a scrapple sandwich. Well, it wasn't the most
disgusting thing I’ve ever tasted. Bonnie insisted it should have been
crispier. I was negotiating it nicely until I looked up and saw the 40-foot
scrapple company sign listing the ingredients as pig's snouts and lard.
about the same time, the Hog Calling Contest began and grown men and women
started wailing Suuu-eeeee, Suuu-eeeee, which was roughly the same sound I was
making trying to spit out my pig snout sandwich. Wisely, Bonnie grabbed my arm
and steered me toward a vendor hawking kosher hot dogs (which, if dissected, are
probably the Hebrew National version of snouts and lard).....
are just the tip of the Rehoboth ice-berg.....
read more about Fay J's Rehoboth Beach by purchasing the book!
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