Saturday, July 23, 2022

Just Around the House

I am of the firm belief that the first things to climb out of Pandora's box, just before greed, envy, hatred, etc., were roaches, mosquitoes and FIRE ANTS.  Just in case you are not familiar with fire ants (omigod where do you live and can I move there!) – they are not the little annoying “sugar ants” that can invade a pantry.  Fire ants build huge nests

yes – like this

and often attack vulnerable animals like foals, calves, human’s wearing sandals and can kill or severely maim.  Unlike many other ants, which bite and then spray acid on the wound, fire ants bite only to get a grip and then sting (from the abdomen) and inject a toxic alkaloid venom.  For humans, this is a painful sting, a sensation similar to what one feels when burned by fire (hence the name), and the after-effects of the sting can range from deadly (sensitive people) to just severely painful. 

Now, my house is something of a pier and beam arrangement with a sizeable crawl space underneath it.  When I moved into this house, I woke up one morning to find the Demon Duo’s food bowls filled with ants.  Yes, fire ants.  My reaction (after many curses I learned from husband MHN – if you knew him, you’ll be impressed with my vocabulary), was first to toss the ants, food, and bowls into the yard and attack them with ant spray.  My second action was to follow the ant trail and caulk the tiny space between the outside wall and floor.  Then, I walked all around the outside of the house and put down ant killer and ant bait.  It seemed to work and problem of ants in the house went away. 

Until last week. 

One evening last week, when I went to clean up the kitchen and settle all things for bedtime, I discovered the Demon Duo’s food bowls FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH A WRITHING MASS OF FIRE ANTS.  This time there was a river of ants going back and forth, under the stove toward the back wall. 

More curses. 

Next morning I wiggled the stove out of its place and climbed behind it, cleaned the floor and caulked the wall.  Also, there was some ant killer involved.  Haven’t seen more ants in the house.  But, and here’s the part that worries me, that wall – isn’t really an outside wall so I’m not sure where they (the evil, wicked, malevolent, foul, vile ant creatures) are and how they got in. 

I just hope to god nobody ever has to climb under the house for any reason.  I am convinced there is an 1100sqft ant bed under there. 

We are still in the grip of drought and extreme heat.  Right this minute, I hate to think what August will be like (August is usually our hottest month). 

There are farmers just across the street from me – cotton and corn.  Both crops have done poorly.  The cotton is looking really bad now and large swaths are dying. 

People here are actually hoping for a storm in the Gulf that will bring us some rain.  I’m not quite to the point of hoping for a hurricane but a tropical storm would be alright provided it doesn’t decide to stop and dump 10 inches of rain (yes, I’ve seen that happen).  I know, picky, picky, picky.

Based on a recommendation from “The Bug”, I recently read A State of Terror, by Louise Penny and Hillary Clinton.  It’s very good and I could tell which parts came from which person.  It surely is “a high-stakes thriller of international intrigue that features behind-the-scenes global drama with informed details only an insider could know”.  You might try it.

And, after reading, watching or listening to the news, here are a few things to maybe take some of the doom and gloom out ….

I am a Master Gardener, you know, so pay particular attention here.

possibly someone had too much time on their hands!

And, finally

23 Jul 2022


  1. Man, those fire ants sound horrible! HORRIBLE! I hope you've successfully defeated their forays into your house. Good lineup of memes, thanks!

  2. I'm glad you enjoyed the book! I HOWLED at the coffee funny - I don't drink coffee, but I always set up Mike's for him the night before & I've definitely been known to loose track of how many scoops I've added. I did know about the quick brown fox (from typing class), & I've definitely tried to say the tongue twister (from public speaking class). And I love that list of little known words - not that I'll ever remember to use any of them.

    1. LOSE track (oof - one of my pet peeve misused words!).

  3. Pockets in every garment would be great!
    Gosh, those nasty fire ants, yikes! They sound terrible. I'm glad that so far they haven't been found in Northern California (sigh of relief), but they are in Southern California. I hope they never make their way up here.

  4. As far as I know I have never encountered fire ants, and will not be disappointed if I never make their acquaintance, but I have met Bullet Ants in Costa Rica. They are big, and pack a substantial sting too.

  5. ... many thanks for the memes.

    All the best Jan