Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Bugs and the rest of my life, part 2

I think y'all're going to get sick of hearing about bugs before I'm finished talking about them. Sorry about that. But the bugs, they're everywhere! And they're so cool! I did discover today, though, that the cicadas' red eyes do not glow in that endearing and special way when they're dead. Too bad. They're cute little critters! I think the "season" or whatever you want to call it, is almost over now. But Monday, the things were everywhere. I was trying to move my garden fence to keep my children (and anything else for that matter) out of my garden but the old fence was so covered by cicadas in various stages of molt, that it became well nigh impossible to navigate. So I did the next best thing. I took my boy with me and we went to Home Depot to get the rest of the fence stuff I needed.

Whilst there, I finally got us a new grill. When Friends Judi and David left town a few years ago, they gifted us with their old "tabletop" grill. It was very cool. It held enough food for a meal for all of us (and that's a lot of food), plugged into the power so I did not have to mess with charcoal, and just generally held up very well. Until the power thingy had a meltdown (a literal and scary meltdown) and we were without a grill.

We've also been without a smoker for quite some time. Now most people will not see that as a major problem and, indeed, we've done very well without one for these last few years since the last one croaked. But having a smoker allows us to make quite delectable smoked meats, corn, fish, etc.

The point of this is that Dave and I saw something that was both a smoker and a grill and I was sold. So now we have one. It looks a lot like a red R2D2.

The unfortunate thing is that I didn't open the box and read the directions until after Friend Husband came home from work. If I had, I'd have known that the R2 had to be assembled (I don't remember much if any assembly on the last one) and seasoned, mind you, before use. Instead, I was being Suzy Homemaker and making some yummy mustard potato salad and marinating the chicken I thought we'd be grilling that very evening.

Fat chance.

When we came in at something like 7:30 from assembling the thing and starting it off on its seasoning, I threw the chicken into the oven and got ready to go to the market. Because they had their patio furniture replacement cushions on sale 30% off yesterday and the patio furniture has really needed replacement cushions for something like, uh, five years now. After much wrangling, measuring, and gnashing of teeth, we found some and came home to inhale what the girls had left of dinner and to put the twins to bed.

I don't even know why I'm relating all of this to you. Oh, the bugs! I completely forgot about the bugs!

Ok. Every spring we have a swarm of winged ants take over the sidewalk in front of our porch. This happened like 10 days ago. So far they haven't harmed anyone but it's really freaky to watch your sidewalk writhing in ant bodies. After we finished putting R2 together yesterday, I stood up to plug him in and saw that, unlike an hour before, the foundation wall was crawling with literally thousands of ants. Those of you who know me can attest to the fact that I have a fabulous scream: long, loud, and dramatic. Also uncontrollable. Before I even knew what was happening, I was in the middle of a totally unexpected and piercing shriek. Friend Husband followed my pointing finger and saw the ants.

Now generally speaking, we're pretty kind to bugs. I mean, we give the cicadas a boost into the trees, for Pete's sake. We put spiders outside (unless they're poisonous, but haven't had much experience there) to live again. The only bugs that we regularly kill are the mosquitoes when they are munching on us. But these ants had to go. There were way too many of them, way too close to the inside of our house. So Friend Husband unearthed the insecticide from the depths of our 3½ car garage (that last comment was for Friend Leigh who mistakenly called it the 'shed' the other day...LOL) and commenced to killing off the swarm. I did feel badly but what we really don't need is for the ants to further endanger the foundations of our house.

And no, they weren't termites. I know what termites look like as they are the other exception to our "we don't kill bugs" rule.

So now we're killers. Hard to know what to say about that. So I'll move on.

I have been doing a fair amount of knitting on the Hedera socks. I am now on the heel. This is the longest stinking heel that I've ever knitted, in the long and storied history of my sock knitting. Ahem. But it is 46 rows of heel knitting. Bizarre. Because I put a pic of it on here as I was beginning and because I don't put many knitting (or quilting) pics up here, here's one of the sock on my arm today. I know the lace is all mucked up and it's not something that will "block out", but I'm ok with that. As I said before, these are a labor of love. I made the leg probably twice as long as the pattern indicated. I wanted socks that went more up my legs than staying around my ankles. So there you have it.

Also, my children have been playing with my camera. Which is a no-no. Here is one of the pictures they took today. This is the best one out of about eleventy hundred. Grrr.

Tomorrow's picture fest (Lord willing) will be many many bug pictures. A plethora of bug pictures, if you will. So be ready for that, I'm just sayin'. Oh, and goofy family pictures. Because we're just like that. Be prepared and be well in anticipation.


cindy said...

Lori, I just love your blog. Your writing style is so entertaining. We just did a science lesson about the cicadas, in the hopes that Piper wouldn't scream like you (and me...) when one hits her. She hasn't screamed, but she does avoid them. I can't wait to see/hear what Zoie does! For the record, I scream AND I kill bugs.


Leigh said...

Now, you're simply bragging about having a 3 and 1/2 car garage - admit it. We only have 2 car and attached garages down here that are basically nothing more than a glorified basement. No one can actually park a car much less even house their insecticides in our paltry garages.