Saturday, December 20, 2008

It All Just Seems to Come Together...

We have ants. AGAIN. There's an ant crawling on my computer as I type. He's not part of a crowd, like the parade of ants continuing to prepare for the Rose Bowl in our kitchen. He's indicative of the degree of ant entrenchment around here. Ants own the place. They're so comfortable they veer right off the trail and march solo.

We still have lingering eau de skunk as well. Or at least I do. This has been confirmed by my boss, whose comments about my scent I could dismiss as his giving me a hard time, except for the fact that when I visited a classroom last week, a student sniffed the air and asked who brought the stench.

I have never been a believer in, subscriber to, or user of air fresheners. I like candles, and scented ones are okay, but because of my keen sense of smell, they simply add a layer of perfume to our home which already smells of old house, middle-aged dog, whatever we last cooked, that yucky floral detergent the sample lady at Costco talked me into buying against my better judgment, and quite possible cat pee. Not to discourage you from visiting or anything!

Right about now, though, I am willing to do anything to disguise the skunk smell from at least myself. I've been lighting incense and candles and assembling diffusers. We're going with Skunky Pear 'n' Patchouli as the scent du jour.

I've been trying to clean the house all day--my first day off for the holidays. Cleaning has looked like this: clean off a counter, then spray ants with vinegar, then wipe up ants, then move toys around, then tell the kids to stop messing up the room I've just cleaned, then fill up the washer with skunky smelling clothes, then curse at the ants who appeared in the spot I JUST CLEANED, then transfer one pile to another locale, then tackle the dishes, and then tell the kids, You know what? Just stop playing already. I can't take any more messes.

It's been a great day!

What made me feel marginally better, though, was breaking out the caulk gun. That may have something to do with the fact that it is called a gun. But if you have a house as holey as ours, sealing up a few cracks engenders a satisfying "I'm So In Control of My Environment Right Now" feeling in an out-of-control woman. I caulked holes below window sills and corners of baseboards, huge gaping crevices between our French doors and the Great Outdoors, and some cracks in the stucco outside, too, just because I was there, gun in hand.

In the midst of this warfare against wildlife of all varieties including human under the age of 6 (my husband might argue that the real range includes 41-year-olds), my buddy and the kids' godmother came over with a gingerbread house kit.

What I love about this lady is that I didn't even need to suggest that they build it outside. She headed out there of her own accord, and then worried about candy pieces on the ground attracting ants. Girlfriend, PLEASE attact the ants to the outside patio! Maybe they'll vacate the SPOTLESS counter by the sink in favor of a stray Skittle on the back porch.

What I don't love about this lady is that she left me with a gingerbread house that had not exactly stayed together as the directions and incredibly sticky frosting glue would suggest it should have. She took our kindergartener to the Nutcracker with a sheepish request that if I could please stick their creation back together, that would be great.

So I spent a rather inordinate amount of time trying to reassemble the goopy cottage in what I hoped was a safe place to be playing with sugar in my own ant-ridden abode.

It wasn't until the walls and roof collapsed for the third time and I stopped again to clean up stray sprinkles from the floor before ants got the whiff that I spotted the Caulk Gun...

And now we have a gingerbread house, assembled! Don't be tempted to take a bite.

Unless, of course, you're an ant. Why let a little caulk stop you NOW?


VertigoMom said...

I think you just redefined multi-tasking :)

VertigoMom said...

You just redefined 'multi-tasking'

Heather P.C. said...

I feel your Ant Bastard pain, as I have had a constant battle with my unwelcome boarders. Like you, I don't want to use noxious chemicals to kill them; I found a great product to use instead: Victor Poison-Free Ant & Roach killer. Its ingredients are pretty much Mint Oil, mineral oil, and water. Keeps those buggers away for awhile, too. The Elder Boy, who has developed an endearing empathetic quality, calls me the "Ant Killer," and said that he is going to create an ant government to protect them from me. Gah! Where did he learn the word "government"? The things they pick up in preschool these days...