Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What a day!

While we were away, the weather was a bit unusual here in Perth. The days were sunny and warmer than usual, just gorgeous by all reports. When we came home on Saturday, it was a shocking 37 degrees (that's about 100F) and dry as a bone. It was bizarre. Too hot for me. Too hot for summer even, and it is only early spring! Very weird. The plants didn't like it. Our strawberry plants are dead. Ellie's cubby house windowbox flowers are dead. And a massive colony of ants moved into the cubby house, especially (but not only) the stove. Although I'm sure there will be many people out there who will want to publicly flog me for spraying insecticide where my children play, we sprayed insecticide where our children play. We don't let the girls take real food into the cubby house (in hopes of avoiding bugs), so the ants must have been driven in by the heat...and the fact that our neighbors just sprayed their entire garden for pests, so these guys were on the move. The sheer numbers were too much to manage, and they were aggressive. We found Stephanie covered in ants (in her diaper too), crying pitifully and being biten...and this was outside the cubby house. It wasn't good. So Markus sprayed like crazy and blocked off the door with a big concrete slab for two days. Yesterday, I went in and cleaned out the carnage.

There were quite a few live ants still around, maybe trying to salvage the eggs (it really was a colony in there, eggs and all). I took everything out and hosed it all down. Then, I poured boiling water over the floor and sideboards. The boiling water should clear up the trail and keep the ants at bay (we hope). It was oddly satisfying to clean the cubby house so thoroughly.

Later, I was hit by the hayfever truck. When I say hit, I mean it ran me over, backed up and did it again and again for a few hours. I texted Markus that I was in allergy hell. He might have thought I was exaggerating until he came home and saw my face. Yikes. It was ugly, people. Yes, I have heard of antihistamines, but no, I didn't have any and don't really like taking meds anyway (I tend to have big reactions to even over-the-counter stuff). In my allergy-induced fog, I looked across the room, and saw this mess on the kitchen table...

...and it made me smile. I loved seeing all the evidence of happy girl work. Stephanie wanted to paint. Ellie wanted to work with beads. We just pushed everything else to the side and got busy with creating. It was so easy to transform it back again for dinnertime, and that made me smile too.

Yesterday was quite a day, but it was a good one too.

1 comment:

schlelly said...

Oh my! Ants galore! Kinda creepy looking. I bet it startled the kiddos when they found them. We had a bug incident at our little mountain inn on our anniversary excursion. It was a great place, I recommend it to anyone: http://www.sugartreeinn.com/
I guess the bees were looking for a warm place to nest for the winter. They came in, one by one, through the headboard built into the wall. They didn't bother us, although it was a bit disconcerting to have them fly in. They flew straight to the lamps, explored the hot wonder of the bulb and then wandered around the ground like a drunken sailor for 10 minutes before keeling over dead. We told the owner the first morning and he checked it out while we wandered around that day. He couldn't find evidence of them so the next night I collected all of them on a plate - 18 bees! I don't know what's crazier, the guy thinking we imagined a bee problem or me collecting them on a plate with a pair of tweezers to prove we did have a problem... Hopefully it helps them solve the problem so no one with a severe allergy stays in the room and has a problem!