Entries Tagged as 'ladybugs'

5 Years Later: Ladybug’s In Heaven


I had a really hard time finding this article that was written about my nanny after her death in 2011. I’m putting it here so I never lose it again.

Ladybug Tattoos for Nanny

Mike Argento: Ladybug’s in heaven


POSTED:   10/26/2011 02:34:19 PM MDT| UPDATED:   5 YEARS AGO
Evelyn Snouffer had a thing for ladybugs.When she’d see one outside, she’d pick it up and hold it, hoping its good luck would rub off on her. Whenever she went to Atlantic City, she’d take her talisman, a stone ladybug that she believed brought her luck in her quest to wrest a few dollars from the casinos.

There may be something to it, if you believe in such things. Nearly every culture on Earth believes ladybugs bring good luck, probably because they eat harmful pest – aphids, mostly. In some countries, ladybugs are said to omens of good crops. Some believe they can grant wishes. The French believe that if a lady bug lands on you and flies away, it carries all of your ailments with it.

Evelyn didn’t go that far. She did believe they were good luck and she was crazy about them. She had ladybug pins and earrings. And, of course, her good luck token.

But don’t let that lead you to believe that she was some woman doting over ladybugs. Her grandchildren all called her “Nanny,” conjuring images of a kind of Norman Rockwell grandma, sitting in her rocking chair or baking cookies. That wasn’t her style.

She was kind of a free spirit. One of her daughters, Linda Hess, described her as her BFF, that she was a good friend and a mother. One of her granddaughters, Meagan Hess Feeser, described her as “badass.”

She and her granddaughter would try to outdo each other when it came to stringing together colorful chains of expletives, holding contests to see who could be more obscene, who could stretch the envelope further. Evelyn won a lot. Her favorite expression was “damn good.” Ask her how she was doing, or how her sandwich was, or how her cup of coffee tasted, and she’d say, “Damn good.”

For her 69th birthday, her granddaughter threw her an adult-themed party. She enjoyed it.

When she’d get together with her daughters and granddaughters, she was just one of the girls, going shopping or taking weekend trips to Cape May, a place she loved like no other. And she relished beating her daughter at cards – 500 rummy – something she did frequently.

Her daughter said she was always fun to be around. She knew how to have a good time and never passed up the opportunity to do so.

She first got sick in the summer of 2010. She started getting headaches and wound up at the doctor’s office. Some tests later, she got the bad news – she had a brain tumor. She didn’t make a huge deal about it. Even after the diagnosis, she still mowed her own lawn and took care of herself. She wasn’t one to mope.

She had surgery in October 2010 to have the tumor removed. She was recovering from that when she got sick again, this time, cancer. In the spring, as the ladybugs were returning, she had hospice care in her home. Her family took care of her, round-the-clock for 18 days, right up the end.

She died April 28. She was 74.

Her granddaughter Meagan wanted to memorialize her with ink. She’s a marketing professional in Owings Mill, Md. – she commutes from York – and is not heavily into tattoos. She does have another, the Hess family crest, which she shares with her mother and father.

Her initial thought was to have the words “Damn Good” inked on her body. She mentioned getting a tattoo to memorialize Nanny to her aunts and cousins and they were all for it. But some of them balked at having “Damn Good” permanently affixed to their bodies.

Someone suggested a ladybug.

It was perfect.

So during a Mother’s Day weekend trip to Cape May, the women, six of them altogether, spent eight hours that Saturday in a tattoo parlor, getting ladybug ink. The toughest sell was Linda Hess’ sister, Donna Wolfgang. She has no other tattoos and wasn’t crazy about getting one. But since everybody else was doing it, and mostly because of Nanny, she went ahead with it.

The next day, Mother’s Day, they gathered on the beach and spread Nanny’s ashes.

And not long ago, another of Nanny’s daughters, missing her family, moved back to York County from Florida. Her family had a party on the deck at Linda’s house to welcome her home.

Someone noticed that a ladybug had crawled onto one of the benches and stayed there. It sat there all night, as if it were hanging out at the party, as if it were taking everything in.

“It was like Nanny was there with us,” Meagan said.

Mike Argento’s column appears Mondays and Fridays in Living and Sundays in Viewpoints. Reach him at mike@ydr.com or 771-2046. Read more Argento columns at www.ydr.com/mike or visit his blog at www.mikeargento.com. Or follow him on Twitter at FnMikeArgento.


Mother’s Day in Cape May



Every year over Mother’s Day weekend (and again in October), my family visits Cape May as a tribute to my late Nanny. You can read all about it in a previous post and about my fun (funny, wonderful) Nanny here.

This past Mother’s Day, the Ladybugs (my mom, aunts and cousins) and two Stinkbugs (my uncles) made the trek to the shore.

The Ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog

We always stay at the Marquis de Lafayette, partially because of the large rooms, partially because of the great location, and mostly because of the bangin’ breakfast buffet that includes pounds and pounds of bacon.

The ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog


Our trip always consists of shopping on the Washington Mall and Happy Hour (that turns into Happy Evening) at Cabana’s Beach Bar & Grill.

The Ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog

We spend the evening drinking cheap pitchers of cheap beer and dancing to fun cover bands.

The Ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog

This trip, for something a little different, we visited Willow Creek Winery. It’s super gorgeous and has only been open for 2.5 years. We got a kick out of their Wilde Cock wines.

The Ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog

I sported by new culottes jumpsuit from Elizabeth & West Fashion House in downtown York, plus my new sun hat, purchased at a Cape May boutique.

The Ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog

We took our growlers of sangria out to the patio for sunshine and tapas.

The Ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog

Oh man, the tapas.

The Ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog

On Mother’s Day, we always head to the beach to “Nanny’s Spot” to spend some time with her.

The Ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog The Ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog

We sign balloons and release them into the sky with messages for her.

The Ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog

And we leave little tokens behind in the rocks where we scattered her ashes.

The Ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog

This time, as we left the beach, a little visitor tagged along.

The Ladybugs visit Cape May @ohbotherblog


We love and miss you, Nanny. Happy Mother’s Day.

happy holdyween


Like a true diva, Holden had several costume changes over the course of Halloween, which has somehow turned into a two-week-long holiday. Here are some of our favorite moments.

Happy Holdyween - Disney Princess onesie and tutu @ohbotherblog

Happy Holdyween - Superman onesie and tutu costume @ohbotherblog

Happy Holdyween - ladybug costume @ohbotherblog

Happy Holdyween - ladybug costume @ohbotherblog

Easy Mom scarecrow costume for Halloween @ohbotherblog

Happy Holdyween - fairy costume @ohbotherblog

Happy Holdyween - trick-or-treating @ohbotherblog

Happy Holdyween!

consigning halloween


consigning halloween @ohbotherblog

So I have a confession: I’m totally lazing out this Halloween. I mean, let’s be honest. Holden still has no idea what’s going on. She doesn’t really “like” anything enough to want to wear it for Halloween. And we don’t have huge Halloween plans anyway.

So, I went the consignment shop route this year.

I found a really cute ladybug sweatsuit costume for $7.95. Ladybugs are kind of a thing in my family. I figure she can wear that for any cold-weather events, like handing out candy on the front porch (I doubt we’ll actually go trick or treating. She obviously can’t eat candy. Plus, my husband is out of town during the week so we have to be home to hand out the candy).

And I picked up a little green fairy dress, also for $7.95. I figure I can pretend she’s Tinkerbell or something. My cousin’s daughter is having a Halloween-themed birthday party so this will be her costume for that.

Whatever. They’re still cute costumes, right? And shoot, I only spent $16. Maybe next year I’ll go all out for Halloween. This year I’m just too tired.

happy baby. little monsters.


Happy Baby Boutique in Cape May, NJ @ohbotherblog

This past weekend marked another visit to Cape May with the Ladybugs (if you want to see why we go to Cape May twice a year, check here) and another successful visit to the cutest baby boutique I’ve ever seen, The Happy Baby Boutique.

Seriously, this place is adorable and has the most precious clothing and toys for the wee ones. I’m partial to the super cute monster line they carry. The fun little monster faces are made of terry cloth (perfect for spit up and drool) that are appliquéd onto American Apparel onesies, tees, gowns and rompers. Holden came home from the hospital in a little monster gown.

I mean:

Monster Onesie from Happy Baby Boutique in Cape May @ohbotherblog

Happy Baby also carries the UB2 Urban Baby Bonnet line, which I love. I really wanted to get Holden the rock star’s ‘stache modBonnet, but I felt like, by October, I’d missed bonnet season. Not sure if bonnets are cool for an almost-two-year-old for next Spring?

Urban Bonnet Rock Star's 'Stache @ohbotherblog

Anyway, cutest. boutique. ever. Definitely check it out if you’re ever in Cape May.

mother’s day weekend


A Ladybug Girls’ weekend, in pictures:

Cape May - Linger Here a Day or Two @ohbotherblog

Playing in the fountain in Cape May @ohbotherblog

Baby toes in the sand @ohbotherblog

Sleepy Baby on Mother's Day @ohbotherblog

Mother's Day Gifts

Pinwheels for Nanny @ohbotherblog

Releasing a ladybug balloon for Nanny @ohbotherblog

Rainbow over Nanny's spot @ohbotherblog

cape may bound


Cape May Bound @ohbotherblog

I’m leaving tonight for a girls’ weekend in Cape May with my mom, aunts, cousins and Holden. Going to Cape May has become a bi-annual tradition for us. We go every Mother’s Day and every October, over what would be my Nanny’s birthday.

Long story short: my Nanny loved going to Cape May with her daughters. In 2011, we all had plans to take her to Cape May for Mother’s Day. She died a week before our trip. We decided that we would all still go to celebrate her life and to spread her ashes on the beach (shh, I’m pretty sure that’s illegal).

Where we spread my Nanny's ashes in Cape May @ohbotherblog

During that first trip, we all decided to do something else to honor her: we each got a tattoo of a ladybug. Nanny loved ladybugs; she thought they were her lucky charms. So now we all have Nanny’s lucky charms with us forever. We’re The Ladybug Girls.

The Ladybug Girls: Daughters and Granddaughters all got Ladybug tattoos to honor their mother/grandmother. @ohbotherblog

Since Nanny’s death, we see ladybugs everywhere. The first time we visited Cape May for Nanny’s birthday, there were hundreds of ladybugs swarming the rocks near where we spread her ashes. Who ever heard of ladybugs on the beach? For my cousin’s daughter’s birthday, we found a ladybug inside the cake box. There was a ladybug at the pool the first time Holden went swimming. Ladybugs are our reminder that Nanny is always with us.

I can’t wait for another fun weekend with The Ladybug Girls and to spend my first Mother’s Day in a place I love with Holdy. Here’s hoping you get to spend your Mother’s Day with the ones you love.

All photos from the camera of my super talented cousin, Katlyn Marie.

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