ABOUT THOSE ANTS …

AND STILL MORE ANTS!

I was dreading going into the kitchen this morning.

It will be five more days — five very long days — until the pest control people can get the job done. Until next Thursday, we will continue to have ants.

They haven’t left the premises. But not as bad as yesterday because very little is as bad as yesterday.

Gibbs is not bothered by bugs. I don’t think he even notices the ants.

I got up early to make sure the dogs had enough water and turn the coffee on … and see how many ants had returned to the kitchen. I was pleased that there were some — small bunches and single wanderers — and more of the little sugar ants than carpenter ants today, but at least it wasn’t like yesterday.

Yesterday, it was me standing alone against the crawling hordes. This wasn’t nearly as bad. I cleaned up and went back for another hour or two of sleep.

I hate ants. I’ve probably mentioned that before.

He would like to order some special treats, if only I’d leave the credit card next to the computer!

At around 11, when I know it’s get up or have Duke knock the door open and leap onto the bed, I gave Garry a shake and we got up. He hit the kitchen first. I’m sure he was filled with fear of what he might find. Not so bad … at least not compared to yesterday. Anything was better than yesterday. He killed some, and then I arrived and killed some more.

“Die you little bastards” I cry, but they don’t hear me.

Ants are single-purpose insects. It turns out these ants — the carpenter ants — kill other insects so in theory, I should welcome them.

I don’t.

Otherwise, they build monuments. They walk in lock step and build hills full of ants and more ants and if they had the world to themselves, they would fill it completely with nothing but more and more ants. Some cartoon I read said if you weighed all the ants on earth, they would weigh more than all the people on earth.

Think about that.

The Duke is alert and watching for danger … mainly for the neighbors. Ants are not on his list.

Doesn’t that give you a big pause for thought? There are a lot of ants on this earth and about half of them seem to be living in my backyard having (it would appear) built a monumental hill next to the foot of the deck.

This house is old and it has a lot of damp areas of wood. The ants like damp wood. Short of stripping the house and essentially rebuilding it — we are going to have to live with an old house and its bugs.

There are trillions of ants and one of you. They are there, watching you and waiting.

Have a fabulous holiday weekend.

SQUARING THE CIRCLE OF THE ENGINE IN AN OLD AIRCRAFT

Circles and squares in squares. What could be simpler?

Seeking squares and circles for the month of March! From the fabulous Becky B, this is the last day of the challenge. We made it! Squares and circles every day for the whole month of March!

How amazing is that?

The following picture is the propeller and engine in a World War II fighter aircraft. It is round in a square … and to me, there’s something special about this.

Propeller and engine in an old aircraft

Squaring the SQUAREs IN MARCH

NAVIGATIONALLY-CHALLENGED: MOSES IN THE DESERT

So, THE WAY THEY TELL IT, God wanted to get rid of all those who had experienced slavery. To accomplish this task, he made the twelve tribes walk around the Sinai wilderness for forty years.


Forty years? Seriously?

That area isn’t all that big. To keep walking for that long, they had to have crossed their own paths repeatedly. Didn’t anyone shout out: “Hey, Moses. I’m pretty sure we’ve been here before. Hey, Levi, haven’t we been here before? Look, there’s where we put the tents. I think there are a few poles left over …”

If the idea was to get rid of the “slave mentality,” why couldn’t they just make a camp and hang out until the time was up? Stop walking. Play guitars. Sing some songs. Play cards.

Why did they have to keep walking? Was there a fitness or exercise requirement? Was it like jail where you have this hour or two a day during which you have to keep walking and walking and walking? Why does the idea of walking in circles for 40 years make me laugh hysterically?

Garry says we have this same conversation every year, immediately following our ritual viewing of “The Ten Commandments.” It must be pretty funny, because I’m still laughing.

And because this never stops making me laugh, please enjoy this little video of “Life with the Twelve Tribes.” I’m sorry I can’t embed the video, but it’s worth a few minutes of your time to give this a look. Not only is it funny, but it is oddly timely in this strange period in which we are living.


http://videocloud.aish.com/movies/Google%20Exodus.mp4

Happy whatever you celebrate!

ALONE AND IN SOLITUDE

BEING ALONE

I’m not sure that “alone” and solitude mean the same thing. Technically, they are synonyms but the concept of “alone” implies loneliness while solitude implies a choice to remain without company. Solitude speaks of private time while alone implies the absence of people.

Photo: Garry Armstrong
Photo: Garry Armstrong

Maybe it’s the choice that makes the difference?


ALONE – adjective & adverb

1. Having no one else present; on one’s own.
“she was alone that evening”
Synonyms: by oneself, on one’s own, all alone, solitary, single, singly, solo, solus.

2. Indicating that something is confined to the specified subject or recipient.
“we agreed to set up such a test for him alone”
Synonyms: only, solely, just.


Photo: Garry Armstrong
One dog alone, guarding us all!

SOLITUDE: noun
1. The state or situation of being alone. “She savored her few hours of freedom and solitude.”
Synonyms: loneliness, solitariness, isolation, seclusion, sequestration, withdrawal, privacy, peace. “She savored her solitude.”

A lonely or uninhabited place.
Plural noun: solitudes
Synonyms: wilderness, rural area, wilds, backwoods.


Garry shooting
Photo: Garry Armstrong –
One blossom

TILTED – A PHOTO A WEEK CHALLENGE

A Photo a Week Challenge: Tilted

Sometimes, the way things line up is funny. Yesterday I was at the Dana-Farber. They have a long air shaft which makes great geometric pictures, so I took a bunch. All of them are tilted.

I’m usually a very straight shooter, but in this case, the tilt is quite the thing.

Tilted air shaft 1
Tilted air shaft 2
Tilted and mirrored

To be fair, it’s impossible to create a straight shot down the air shaft. To do that, you’d have to be suspended in the middle of the shaft at the top.

ONE ANT, TWO ANTS, THREE ANTS, TEN MILLION ANTS

ONE ANT, TWO ANTS, THREE ANTS, MORE …

Yesterday, I saw an ant. Just one ant. He climbed onto my computer screen. Yuck.

I said  to Garry”I guess it really IS spring. There’s an ant on my computer.”

Mental marker. Call D&T Pest Control. They fixed us last year. They will fix us this year. Decent prices and if there’s another problem, they come back and do it again, free.


D & T Pest and Termite Control, Inc.  
5 Stars (from everyone, no less)
21 Google reviews
Pest control service in Bellingham, Massachusetts
7 Judy Lane, Bellingham, MA 02019
Hours: Open 24 hours
Phone: (508) 966-4470


This morning I went into the kitchen and there were a million ants. Everywhere. In every drawer and cabinet. On the floor. Not in any of the food because every single food item in this house is in a sealed container. Been here before. Between the mice and the ants, I’m a serious sealer-upper of all food stuffs. I wash every item as soon as it gets used.

Where did they come from? Yesterday, ONE ant. Today — the world is covered in big black (no wings, so not termites) ants. Carpenter ants, probably. They are the big black ones, but I also saw a good number of little sugar ants. Where there’s one, the others can’t be far behind.

Garry and I ripped the kitchen apart. Finally threw away ALL those old Dunkin’ Donut cups and containers from who knows when that that gathered under the sink. Washed, sprayed, washed, sprayed. Hauled trash.

Then washed, vacuumed, sprayed, washed and sprayed more.

And then called D&T and said I had a serious ant emergency and how could so many ants show up when there was just ONE yesterday? I must have had that desperate sound in my voice. I had been invaded.

“Who knows?” she said.

I think they came up from a hill in the backyard and are coming in under the French doors and the kitchen door because they are definitely centered in the kitchen. I found a bunch in the dining room and we haven’t even used that room for months.

Although we have mostly cleared them out for the moment, I don’t doubt they will be back in three heartbeats.

And, it’s pouring rain. They want us and the dogs OUT of the house for at least four hours. On a normal day, no problem. Dogs go into yard, we take cameras and take pictures of the dam, but we were …

BETRAYED!

In this weather, I can’t in any conscience put the dogs outside. So we are going to have to set up a date for the first day it isn’t raining, hopefully tomorrow.

It has been beautiful for the past two days. Why is it cold and raining today? Why us? Why are the heavens falling on us when we need dry?

Meanwhile, the nice lady from UMass Memorial called . Just to find out how I’m doing. They’ve been doing that lately. It was a bad day for that call. I was not in a happy mood. I have been spraying and cleaning and spraying and tossing trash for hours and I am NOT feeling polite. Or even civil. So she got the sharper side of my tongue. Not that the hospital didn’t deserve it, but this was the wrong day to try to have a normal conversation with me. There were ANTS EVERYWHERE.

I hate ants.

Ants. I hate the ants. They have followed us from Charles River Park in Boston to Beacon Hill. From Beacon Hill, they came to join us in Roxbury. And then, they showed up here. Worse than ever.

I hate bugs. I really hate bugs. No one hates bugs MORE than I do and in recent years, I have been plagued by these nasty things. I actually took some kind of sick pleasure is squashing these little bastards and hearing their thorax go crunch. It is unworthy of me.

I apologize.

The ants are just being ants. But I am just being human.

Cochlear Implant Update – By Jan Wilberg

One of the most thoughtful pieces of writing on this subject and particularly relevant in this household. Few people really understand how much lack of hearing removes you from “real life.” Garry once commented that even if you are blind, you can still communicate, but when you are deaf — you lose the ability to communicate and that’s a massive personal loss.

Red's Wrap

I wear this thing on my head. Looking at it now in the photo, it strikes me as enormous, a contraption. I wonder why people don’t just stop in their tracks and ask me what it is. But they never do. It’s like seeing someone with an artificial leg and wanting to inquire about how it works but being compelled to ignore it. What artificial leg? I didn’t see an artificial leg, did you?

This is the receiver (behind my ear) that captures sound that travels through the wire to the round thing (which is actually a magnet) and transmits the signals through my skull to a twin round thing inside my head which then sends the signals along several wires to 22 electrodes hanging out in my cochlea. The electrodes recreate the function of the nerves in my cochlea, sending the sound signals to my brain to be made…

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