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This Day in My History

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Thank you guys so much!  I guess if you stick around long enough, you achieve legacy status!  I am truly humbled. Thanks!  Now go congratulate the other winners!

2000: Santa Needs a New Elf
 Christmas Tree Letter
2002:  Christmas Time, Around the World
2003:  15 Minutes at a Time


Why I don't have cats.

My Amazon
Wish List

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Picture 2 of 3.
There's got to be a way to get this damn thing out of here!

Sheila Videos
"See Sheila Run", "Meet Barkley"
"The Green Monster", "Sheila's Tongue"

Today's Search Engine queries:
(how people find this journal)...

  • "steal the gift" game
  • nu lights
  • "Arthur Conrad"
  • funny recordings of your answering machine
  • "been there" voodoo daddy
  • walt's family
  • "Christmas gift game"+trade
  • early pregnancy+Bartholin gland
  • big bad voodoo daddy November 18
  • computer spaghetti maze of cables pictures


CHRISTMAS LETTER.  Once again, I've posted our Christmas letter on the Internet.  It may not be as personal as holding it in your hand--but it's a lot prettier on the net! 


23 December 2004

The line from "The Night Before Christmas" seems an appropriate Christmas alternative to "the pitter patter of little feet."

In truth, there is neither pitter nor patter...or even prancing or pawing.  But there are tiny feet a-plenty around here these days.

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Yes, if it's Christmas and lots of food is scheduled to be prepared and left around on counter tops and table tops and stove tops, it must be time for a gigantic frontal assault by every ant in the neighborhood.

I've been entirely too complacent for the past couple of years.  We haven't had a major ant invasion in a long time.  It mattered not whether the kitchen was clean or littered with dirty dishes, whether the weather was hot or cold or wet or dry.  The little buggers seemed to have forgotten all about us, so I didn't really pay close attention to whether I was leaving tasty bits lying about on the counters or not.

I should have gotten the hint when I discovered a few scouts milling about in the guest bathroom.  The scouts soon grew into a line that marched up and down, doing the little ant-goosestep around my feet as I sat there contempating the muses.

Walt put out ant stakes, which the ants seemed to ignore, but which Sheila thought was a handy dandy new chew toy. 

Given that reconnaissance had been going on for a couple of weeks, I shouldn't have been surprised, then, when I left the dishes from a roast beef dinner on the counter and woke up to discover that every ant in Davis had come to have a party.

I swear, they have a better communication system than Watusi.

I can just hear them now, tapping their little ant feet in excitement, the vibrations sent out for miles, into the highways and byways, the fields and farms as all the tribes begin to race toward my kitchen sink.

It may or may not be true that Davis is built on one gigantic ant-hill, but it's a sure bet that if you stay here long enough, you will be subjected to successive waves of ant attacks.

I don't like using toxic chemicals to get rid of ants.  I'm more likely to spray them with Windex or some other kind of household cleaner.  But occasionally when I've just had it with ants, I long for some good ol' DDT or some other weapon of ant destruction.

But we don't generally have that in the house, so I'm left with big towels and spray bottles.

There are some times when it's interesting watching them.  Like yesterday, when I found this one ant carrying something that was easily 3 times his size (and I don't know how much in relation to his weight.)  He maneuvered that thing about, all the while it teetered and tottered over him.  Reminded me of those guys on the old Ed Sullivan show who carried tall stacks of plates.  I tried to take his picture, but couldn't get the camera to focus.

Of course, one reason why I couldn't focus the camera was that to do it effectively, I would have had to step up to the counter, right where the ants were crawling, and rest my elbows on top of the mass of ants and I didn't want a picture THAT badly.

The problem with so many ants--well, there are lots of problems with so many ants--but the problem that always creeps me out is that no matter what you use to wipe them away or spray them away or whatever you do, there are always those stragglers who survive and who attach themselves to YOU.  You may know it immediately as they crawl over your hands or your shirt, or you may not know it for hours.

Suddenly you're sitting calmly at your computer, or you're watching a movie, or you're at the supermarket and suddenly you feel tickling on your nose or your ear lobe, or you see a little body walking past your field of vision across the surface of your glasses.

Then, of course, once you know there is ONE ant crawling on your body, you imagine ants everywhere.  That itch between your shoulders is obviously an ant. The tickle on your nose is surely an ant.  That isn't a hair that is rubbing against your earlobe--it must be an ant crawling around there.  The scratchy throat is obviously a wayward ant that made its way down your tongue during the night while you slept.

The ants and I have an uneasy truce most of the year, but when I am facing a big family dinner, all bets are off.  Kill the little bastards.

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At least they don't have footwear. 
I'd hate to think what it would look like if,
now that they seem to have decided they are a permanent part of the family,
they decided to hang all their stockings by the chimney with care. 


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