From my cousin Donna's fridge
* Discussion *
Talk about it here.
WHAT I'M READING...
(not for the squeamish!)
WHAT I'M WATCHING...
Samples of two of the
slide shows I've been making
can be downloaded from
this ZDNet page
Pictures from the Cincinnati are now up at Steve's Club Photo page.
Pictures from our Family reunion are on my own Club Photo page.
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That's it for today!
29 August 2001
The heat rises off the pavement. We are finally having "summer" here, after a
couple of months of downright pleasant days, when the rest of the country has been
sweltering. But the thermometer has finally inched up to the triple digit numbers, and
with the last calendar days of summer approaching, the weather is finally showing its
Maybe that's why the ants are coming inside. To get out of the heat. It's rather pleasant
in the house. It's a 2-story house and while upstairs can get pretty stiffling, downstairs
remains at about 78 degrees most of the time and I rarely even put on the air
I don't know if ants feel temperature, but it can be the only explanation for the
relentless quest of a home inside the freezer.
This morning I took these photos of the dead bodies, stacked like tiny fallen leaves in
Walt vacuumed them all up and cleaned the freezer before he went to work. At about noon, I
went to get something out of the freezer, and darn it if there wasn't another pile of
dead, frozen ant bodies, just as large, which had replaced what was vacuumed up this
I've written about our ants before, but we've never had ants quite like this.
I'm used to the large size ants who parade in through the dryer vent, all the way to the
second floor bathroom to bypass the ant poison we leave out on the first floor, and then
down a "safe" inside wall so they can continue their exploration of the kitchen
Over the years they have come and gone and we've had kind of a laissez-faire relationship.
After realizing that nothing was going to deter them, I pretty much leave them alone until
they are occupying a space that I want to use and then I attack them like a woman
"Die! Die! You Ants!!!!"
I use alcohol and lots of rags and wipe them all up, or rinse them down the sink or giggle
feindishly as I see how many have climbed into the dishwasher, knowing that soon I will be
turning the machine on and they will die in the rinse cycle.
I know where they go and I try to keep any food from there. They mill around, perhaps
finding a crumb or two for the thousands to share. I've enjoyed watching them cart off
whatever treasure (or dead ant body) they find. I've occasionally tried oddball ways to
ward them off. Someone told me that peanut butter will deter them. And it does. They won't
cross peanut butter. But they'll walk around it, snickering "Thought you got ME did
So we exist, side by side. I imagine the pitter patter of a million tiny feet going on
about their business as I sit watching television, knowing that soon I will kill them all.
But these guys are something else. They are about half the size of the usual ants and they
are everywhere. They're on the stove, in the freezer (but for some reason, they haven't
gone into the refrigerator). They are in the garbage, in the bathroom (they seem to like
getting water from the tap. When you turn on the water, generally you get a ball of ants,
clinging together as the water pushes them out of the tap and down the drain.
No matter where you go, you're bound to get a few ants on your body. If you go to clean
them up, some cling tenaciously to your clothing. You brush off as many as you see, but
some always remain. And then when you're least expecting it, like when you're standing in
line at the post office, you'll feel a tickle on your ear and when you scratch it, an ant
will come off on your fingers.
When they get your arms and legs they sting. Never had stinging ants before. How can
something so tiny be such a pain--literally?
After weeks of dealing with recalcitrant ants in unexpected places, suddenly you feel like
one of those odd people standing on a street corner scratching himself. Every little
sensation on your body makes you think an ant is crawling around somewhere--in your hair,
up your neck, on the back of your knees...
We've had our ant-less years and our ant years. We seem to be having an ant year. We've
killed more than I knew existed, and more legions have committed suicide. But still they
Tromp...tromp...tromp. The ants are marching.
I think I picked a bad night to make a sauce with poppyseeds in it!
One Year Ago:
Funny, the funnies aren't funny any