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Saturday, July 31, 2010

#10 Harry and Kallie

This is something I wrote for my granddaughter stationed in Korea (after she told me about this horrible spider dropping out of a tree onto her shirt). 


I am not going to split this up into parts so stick with me on this to the end....OK?


One May morning two large spiders were climbing through a tall tree at the Osan Air Force Base in Korea.  Mother spider had taken her teenage son out for a night hunt and they were just returning home.  Her son was going on and on about the big exciting world they live in and Mom was mostly ignoring him.


Harry was saying (in spider language, of course), "Ma, oh, Ma, I saw the neatest thing today.  A spider, kinda like me jumped out of a tree and glided to the ground.  It was a thing of beauty!  A long silver streamer trailed behind him and he flew.   He flew, Ma!"


Mom knew it was time to tell her son that he was not equipped for such a feat when the youngster yelled out, "Ma,.........Ma, watch me!" and off the branch he jumped.


"Oh, well," the mother said to herself, "Teenagers!"  "Then again," she thought, "I have been trying to get him to leave home for ages!"


Days went by and the mother spider did not see (or miss) her son.  Finally, one night, she heard him dragging himself up the tree to their home.  He was a frightful mess.  Also, he was limping on two of his six furry legs and had dirt and grime all over what was once shiny brown fur.  One mandible was even bent.


Mother asked, "Well, Harry, where have you been?  I couldn't hold dinner forever.  I had it all wrapped up for you, but when you didn't show I gave it to your younger brothers."  Harry plopped down beside his mother and sighed.


"Well, Ma, you see the flight down out of the tree was fun,..........at first.  Then, I realized that I wasn't floating like the other spider.  Next, I noticed I did not have that long silver streamer comming out of my rear end.  Finally, I realized that I was in trouble."


Taking a deep breath, Harry continued.  "The ground was coming up fast. There were two of those human animals you warned me about, directly below me.  I tried to let them know I was dropping by, but I guess they don't speak spider.  Anyway, down I came and landed, KER-PLUNK, right on top of one of them."


Harry shuddered as he remembered the horror of what happened next.  "Well," he said, "that is when all hell broke loose!" The one I landed on wasn't very nice.  It started making all kinds of noise (most of which, I am sure, started with their "F" sound) . It was jumping around like a tree branch in a wind storm.  It was screaming so loud that I thought my head would burst.  Suddenly, a part of it flew off (the part I was clinging to) and so did I.  By the way, Ma, did you know that they could shed their skins.  Freaky, huh!  Anyway, I landed in a puddle of mud and tried to scurry off.  That is when I found that legs number two and four weren't working so well.  I haven't a clue why, but the second human was jumping and sreaming too.  It almost stepped on me.  I didn't even come near it at all, honest Ma!  I crawled into a nearby dirty, stinky hole and rested up during the day."


With a dazed look still in his eyes, Harry continued, "I couldn't sleep because of all of the humans walking by, so the next night I started limping my way home.  Every time I saw a human I had to duck into another hiding place.  I was so terrified that I am sure that I lost some of my hair (as he said this he ran one of his working legs across a part of his abdomen to smooth down some of the remaining hairs).  I was almost home when I heard a sound that curdled my blood; I do have blood don't I Ma?  You DID neglect to tell me that I didn't have a para-shoot like the other spider!"


Mother just gave Harry one of her, get on with it, looks and Harry said, "Oh, Yeah, back to the sound."


After taking another deep breath Harry went on, "It was that same human walking down the path.  I froze in abject terror of being found by this fierce creature.  It picked up a rock on the path and flung it into the bush I was hiding behind.  How it knew I was there I do not know.  The rock hit me squarely on the head and bent my mandible.  I may never be able to eat again!" 


Mother spider just stared at her teenage son, and said "What doesn't kill you just makes you stronger!"  Then she walked off shaking her head uttering, "Give me strength!"


Harry followed her spouting phrases like, "Ma, can we move? It's dangerous here!"  "I'm never leaving your side again!"


After Harry's last remark you could faintly hear Mother spider say, "Oh, rats!"


kt 2010

#9 GARDEN SURPRISES








Today I trimmed the grass around the Spirrea bushes out front.

I had to wait until after the dinner meal because it had been too hot to do it during the day.  Apparently other creatures were thinking the same way.

I managed to get the job done after one shriek (a snake), one eeeeek (a toad), three ewew (slugs) a yuck (toadstool - to go with the toad I suppose), and an Awaahhhhh (a lightening bug).

The snake was a small hog nose,
The toad had lost one of his toes.
The slugs were disgusting,
The toadstool decomposing,
And the lightening bug blinked as it rose.

Actually this was a perfect ending to a not so perfect day.  I love nature and all that goes with it (even with the shriek, eek, ewe, yuck and especially with the Awaahhh).
kt 2010

#47- DENIAL (reprint of #s 6, 7, & 8)

THIS IS ONE OF MY FIRST POSTS.  IT IS A LONG ONE, SO STAY WITH ME.  IT IS 100% TRUE.


          Ok, so there I stood with my left foot in the bathroom sink, washing the mud off.  I had been doing some light gardening in the front flowerbed and since I wasn't finished I didn't want to take a shower yet.
          It didn't take much of an effort to get my foot up there after some minor (OK, MAJOR) assistance from my right and left hands.  The problem became most evident when I tried to lift my foot out.  It had easily slipped down into the bowl when I releassed it.  But coming back up out of the bowl was another thing altogether (or so I found).
          I lifted and twisted, leaned and pulled, but my foot would not clear the rim of the bowl.  I stood there for a few seconds assessing the problem and contemplating possible solutions.
         1.   If I called (or rather yelled) to my dad, he probably wouldn't hear me.  If he did hear me he would simply answer, "WHAT?" each time I called.  And even if he did finally figure out that I needed him, how on earth would a 98 year old man be of any help?  The first thing he would do is laugh (I know he would). If he did try to  help, both of us would probably end up in a pile on the floor.  No, this won't do.  Must come up with other alternatives.
          2.   I could call 911.   Instead of saying, "I've fallen and I can't get up," I could tell them that I am a 68 year old woman with delusions of flexibility who has her foot in a bathroom sink and can't get it out.
          Nope...won't work because there isn't a phone in the bathroom.  Besides I can see the headlines now, "A NEW ONE FOR THE ANNALS".  Lamar Emergency Management team responded yesterday to the home of Karen Taylor, age 68.  When the team arrived they found Ms. Taylor standing on her right leg in the half bath of the home.  Apparently, she could not extricate her left foot from the basin.   Her father was standing near by, grasping his walker and shuttering with laughter.  When asked how this happened Ms. Taylor responded, "I was abducted by aliens and this is where they returned me!"   Well, scratch that idea.
           3.  Can't call my son for the same reasons as stated above (no phone in the bathroom and the peals of laughter which would be emanating from BOTH my son and father).
That leaves me with using my own wits (now there is a sacry thought).  It was these very WITS that put me in this predicament in the first place.  But, I went to work on a solution anyway.
          4.  Couldn't lean back onto the wall behind me because it was too far away.  I might slip and fall.  This idea will be placed in reserve as my last desperate plan.  If I did slip and fall to the floor then I could crawl to the phone, call 911 and do the, "I've fallen ... ...," routine.
          5. I could try to crawl up onto the sink and then maneuver myself back down.  No, a broken neck is not an option, not to mention HOW ON EARTH was I going to accomplish that feat?
          6. I could just sit down and my leg (and foot) would follow.  Ahhh, mannnnn! That would hurt!  No way... ...  this is right up there with #4...........keep thinking.
          7. Finally, I eyed the toilet stool.  If I put down the lid, and somehow stretched and stepped up onto it with my right leg I could simply step down with my left, then right leg.   Visions of the splits, pulled down cabinets, and my damaged body lying on the floor stopped that insanity.
          8. Then suddenly, I got the idea to just lay my trousseau down onto the toilet and ease my foot an leg from their source of pain.  IT WORKED!  Not only that, my face being in close proximity with the toilet bowl alerted me to the fact that it needed to be cleaned, and SOON!
          The sad part is that I learned NOTHING from this fiasco.  I quickly put my right foot in the bowl (since I already knew the escape plan).  I  was not going to let this small insignificant incident get the upper hand on me.  I washed my right foot, extricated it easily (without all the previous drama).  Then I sat down to consider what this all meant.  I know it has something to do with DENIAL.
          Yes, I am getting older and the things I used to do as a kid are no longer possible.  Yes, I should have opted to go into the other bathroom and wash my feet in the tub.  Yes, the sink was a dumb idea. And, yes my back and legs are aching right now.  So, if I agree with all of these comments how can I be in denial?
          Easy, I did it without thinking in the first place.  Then I did it again... If that's not denial than I don't know what is.  So what am I going to do now?  Clean the toilet, of course.  Maybe if the toilet is clean I could use it to wash my feet....................Nawh!

kt 2010

#8 DENIAL (part 3 of 3)

If you started with this piece then it won't make much sense so, scroll down and start with part 1.)

Finally, I eyed the toilet stool.  If I put down the lid, and somehow stretched and stepped up onto it with my right leg I could simply step down with my left, then right leg.  Then visions of the splits, pulled down cabinets, and my damaged body lying on the floor stopped that insanity.

Then suddenly, I got the idea to just lay my trousseau down onto the toilet and ease my foot an leg from their source of pain.  IT WORKED!  Not only that, my face being in close proximity with the toilet bowl alerted me to the fact that it needed to be cleaned, and SOON!

The sad part is that I learned NOTHING from this fiasco.  I quickly put my right foot in the bowl (since I already knew the escape plan).  I  was not going to let this small insignificant incident get the upper hand on me.  I washed my right foot, extricated it easily (without all the previous contortions).  Then I sat down to consider what this all meant.  I know it has someathing to do with DENIAL.

Yes, I am getting older and the things I used ato do as a kid are no longer possible.  Yes, I should have opted to go into the other bathroom and wash my feet in the tub.  Yes, the sink was a dumb idea. And, yes my back and legs are aching right now.  So, if I agree with all of these comments how can I be in denial?

Easy, I did it without thinking in the first place.  Then I did it again... If that's not denial than I don't know what is.  So what am I going to do now?  Clean the toilet, of course.  Maybe if the toilet is clean I could use it to wash my feet....................Nawh!

kt 2010


#10-FRIDAY FLASHBACKS (Harry and Kallie)

For those of you new followers each Friday I reprint an earlier post.  Sometimes I tweak it a  little sometimes I don't.  

This is something I wrote for my granddaughter stationed in Korea (after she told me about this horrible spider dropping out of a tree onto her shirt). 

I am not going to split this up into parts so stick with me on this to the end....OK?

One May morning two large spiders were climbing through a tall tree at the Osan Air Force Base in Korea.  Mother spider had taken her teenage son out for a night hunt and they were just returning home.  Her son was going on and on about the big exciting world they live in and Mom was mostly ignoring him.

Harry was saying (in spider language, of course), "Ma, oh, Ma, I saw the neatest thing today.  A spider, kinda like me jumped out of a tree and glided to the ground.  It was a thing of beauty!  A long silver streamer trailed behind him and he flew.   He flew, Ma!"

Mom knew it was time to tell her son that he was not equipped for such a feat when the youngster yelled out, "Ma ... ... ... Ma, watch me!" and off the branch he jumped.

"Oh, well," the mother said to herself, "Teenagers!"  "Then again," she thought, "I have been trying to get him to leave home for ages!"

Days went by and the mother spider did not see (or miss) her son.  Finally, one night, she heard him dragging himself up the tree to their home.  He was a frightful mess.  Also, he was limping on two of his six furry legs and had dirt and grime all over what was once shiny brown hair.  One mandible was even bent.

Mother asked, "Well, Harry, where have you been?  I couldn't hold dinner forever.  I had it all wrapped up for you, but when you didn't show I gave it to your younger brothers."  Harry plopped down beside his mother and sighed.

"Well, Ma, you see the flight down out of the tree was fun...........at first.  Then, I realized that I wasn't floating like the other spider.  Next, I noticed I did not have that long silver streamer coming out of my rear end.  Finally, I realized that I was in trouble."

Taking a deep breath, Harry continued.  "The ground was coming up fast. There were two of those human animals you warned me about, directly below me.  I tried to let them know I was dropping by, but I guess they don't speak spider.  Anyway, down I came and landed, KER-PLUNK, right on top of one of them."

Harry shuddered as he remembered the horror of what happened next.  "Well," he said, "that is when all hell broke loose!" The one I landed on wasn't very nice.  It started making all kinds of noise (most of which, I am sure, started with their "F" sound). It was jumping around like a tree branch in a wind storm.  It was screaming so loud that I thought my head would burst.  Suddenly, a part of it flew off (the part I was clinging to) and so did I.  By the way, Ma, did you know that they could shed their skins.  Freaky, huh!  Anyway, I landed in a puddle of mud and tried to scurry off.  That is when I found that legs number two and four weren't working so well.  I haven't a clue why, but the second human was jumping and screaming too.  It almost stepped on me.  I didn't even come near it at all, honest Ma!  I crawled into a nearby dirty, stinky hole and rested up during the day."

With a dazed look still in his eyes, Harry continued, "I couldn't sleep because of all of the humans walking by, so the next night I started limping my way home.  Every time I saw a human I had to duck into another hiding place.  I was so terrified that I am sure that I lost some of my hair (as he said this he ran one of his working legs across a part of his abdomen to smooth down some of the remaining rumpled hairs).  I was almost home when I heard a sound that curdled my blood; I do have blood don't I Ma?  You DID neglect to tell me that I didn't have a para-shoot like the other spider!"

Mother just gave Harry one of her, get on with it, looks and Harry said, "Oh, Yeah, back to the sound."

After taking another deep breath Harry went on, "It was that same human walking down the path.  I froze in abject terror of being found by this fierce creature.  It picked up a rock on the path and flung it into the bush I was hiding behind.  How it knew I was there I do not know.  The rock hit me squarely on the head and bent my mandible.  I may never be able to eat again!" 

Mother spider just stared at her teenage son, and said "What doesn't kill you just makes you stronger!"  Then she walked off shaking her head uttering, "Give me strength!"

Harry followed her spouting phrases like, "Ma, can we move? It's dangerous here!"  "I'm never leaving your side again!"

After Harry's last remark you could faintly hear Mother spider say, "Well, Sh_ _!"

kt 2010

Friday, July 30, 2010

#7 DENIAL (part 2 of 3)

(If you started reading here you need to go back to part 1 or this won't make sense)

So, now what?  I could call 911.   Instead of saying, "I've fallen and I can't get up," I could tell them that I am a 68 year old woman with delusions of flexibility who has her foot in a bathroom sink and can't get it up and out.

Nope...won't work because there isn't a phone in the bathroom.  Besides I can see the headlines now, "A NEW ONE FOR THE ANNALS".  Lamar Emergency Management team responded yesterday to the home of Karen Taylor, age 68.  When the team arrived they found Ms. Taylor standing on one leg (her right) in the half bath of the home.  Apparently, she could not extricate her left foot from the basin.   Her father was standing near by, grasping his walker and shuttering with laughter.  When asked how this happened Ms. Taylor responded, "I was abducted by aliens and this is where they returned me!"

Well, scratch that idea.  Can't call my son for the same reasons as stated above (no phone in the bathroom and the peals of laughter which would be emanating from BOTH my son and father).
That leaves me with using my own wits (now there is a sacry thought).  It was these very WITS that put me in this predicament in the first place.  But, I went to work on a solution anyway.

Couldn't lean back onto the wall behind me because it was too far away.  I might slip and fall.  This would be placed in reserve as my last desperate plan.  If I did slip and fall to the floor then I could crawl to the phone, call 911 and do the, "I've fallen ... ...," routine.

I could try to crawl up onto the sink and then maneuver myself back down.  No, a broken neck is not an option, not to mention HOW ON EARTH was I going to accomplish that trick?

I had already pulled up on my ankle several times but my ham strings were just not cooperating and my left leg was beginning to protest.  I could just sit down and my leg (and foot) would follow.  Ahhh, mannnnn! That would hurt!

No way... ... keep thinking.

Here's the cliff hanger.   What can I do?  How can I get  out of this predicament?  Do I find my wits?
Go to part 3.

#6 DENIAL (part 1 of 3)

Ok, so there I stood with my left foot in the bathroom sink, washing the mud off.  I had been doing some light gardening in the front flowerbed and didn't want to take a shower yet, since I wasn't finished.

It didn't take much of an effort to get my foot up there after some minor (OK, MAJOR) assistance from my right and left hands  The problem became most evident when I tried to lift my foot out.  It had easily slipped down into the bowl when I releassed it, but coming back up out of the bowl was another thing altogether (or so I found).

I lifted and twisted, leaned and pulled, but the foot would not clear the rim of the bowl.  I stood there for a few seconds assessing the problem and contemplating possible solutions.

If I called (or rather yelled) to my dad he probably wouldn't hear me.  If he did hear me he would simply answer, "WHAT?" each time I called.  And even if he did finally figure out that I needed him, how on earth would a 98 year old man be of any help?  The first thing he would do is laugh (I know he would).  The second thing that might happen, if he helped, would end up with the both of us in a pile on the floor.

No, this won't do.  Must come up with other alternatives.

#1-I'VE GOT ANTS (reprint of a combined 1-5)

This was my first post (#1 - 5) published back in July 2010 but written earlier in several parts on Face Book.  IT'S LONG SO STAY WITH ME.


I must go to the top
of the ketchup bottle!
I have ants, lots of ants! Tiny, little, black, shiny things marching across my kitchen counter.  So, what's up with these tiny little creatures? Haven't they heard of the great outdoors? Don't they know about all of the picnics going on out there?  Haven't they visited the local garbage dump? Why do they have to invade MY kitchen?








Now, I am a peaceful, nature loving person who looks upon all life as being precious (even ants).  I have been known to (carefully) scoop up wayward spiders and escort them in to a much better echo system (which lies outside my front door).  Most people think I'm nuts to do this, but I respect the job the spiders do in keeping down the bug population (all except my house ants, of course)

 OK, I admit it,  I am a mediocre housekeeper who leaves one small morsel of food on the counter (ok, two….ALL RIGHT, ALL RIGHT so how about using the word SOME).  Within the hour this tiny speck of food is descended upon by a hoard of ants.  It's not like they couldn't have scarfed up the bits of food that have dropped to the floor.  NO!  That would be too easy. They are on my counter.  I guess they like clean leftovers and the stuff on the floor is beneath them (literally and figuratively).  As I watch the long line of scurrying animals they look like starving refugees who suddenly found themselves at an all you can eat buffet.  I'll bet they even have their tiny little doggie bags tucked under their little appendages.


The ant can be credited for phenomenal communication and organizational skills.  Some enterprising scout ant stumbles over a find and does what?  Yells, "Hey, Guys, over here." Suddenly, a conga line of industrious ants converge on the mother of all grand feasts and gets to work.  The fact is they actually lay down a little chemical trail to lead their CLAN to the find.

However, they will get no kudos from me for their intelligence.  Because as I was writing this an ant traipsed across my paper, never even giving a thought to the huge giant sitting there (who was poised to render a crushing blow). Then, as the squashing maneuver begins, the ant suddenly glances up and races off (in a zigzag pattern) as if it had just noticed the peril for the first time.  One (1) down and so many more to go.

It's when I actually saw one look up at me before fleeing that I began to feel guilty - yes, you read right, guilty.  (2)...(the numbers depict another ant dispatched) I guess I have been affected by all of those Disney/Pixar movies that show insects with human characteristic. I think that is called personification.

Why should I feel guilty (Oh, yes, it's Disney's fault).  It's not like ants are on an endangered species list. They aren't fuzzy with wagging tails and big soulful brown eyes.  They aren't cuddly or cute but, they do perform a service for nature.  (3) Ants have a job to do.  They are one of the many insects that have the nasty job of cleaning up the messes that we humans make.  After all they take out the trash on a regular basis (which is more than I could say for myself, or my kids when they were young).

I kind of admire the way ants (4) work diligently and march out into a world that holds many perils for a creature of this minute size.  They don't appear to be daunted by their lot in life. They see the prize and carry it off, one piece at a time.  Some survive, some do not, but the colony goes on.  Very altruistic!

One day, tired of finding ants raiding my trash can, I decided (5) to put the ant attracting debris in a separate bag and tie it up around a cupboard doorknob (intending to put it out after dinner and maybe train the ants to go outside to eat).  When I returned to the sack thirty minutes later it was swarming with little busy bodies.  I would really like to know how they found it so fast.  Did one little ant look up and ponder, "Well, that's new, I wonder what she has up there?"  Did it make several attempts to find a way up to the (6) hanging feast or did it go directly there (following it’s little ant nose)? Once there, did it go back down, (laying a trail of bread crumbs like Hansel and Gretel) and tell the others of its miraculous find?  Or, did one clumsy ant fall off the cupboard and accidentally plunge into the gourmet meal?  Then it next pondered how to get the message to its fellow scavengers (7).  Do they have little ant whistles hanging around their necks, or maybe little cell phones?   

So far 7 ants have bit the dust while I was writing this “ANT ENCOUNTER” documentary.  Then I saw one small ant carrying a piece of cracker two times larger than it’s body.  I marveled at how it found its way around the items on the table and was steadfastly heading toward the south end of the table.  Each time I placed something in its path it quickly detoured around it and continued south.  This was enough to earn a reprieve.  So I lured it onto a napkin and took it outside as a reward for its HERCULEAN attempt at food gathering.  Of course the poor thing found itself outside, in a pile of dirt without the morsel of cracker.  Did it cuss me out or simply go around to the original point of entry and try again?

So, I loudly proclaimed (8) to the ants in my kitchen that I would not hurt them if they would PLEASE just step outside, AND STAY THERE!

The ants did not listen to me and returned the next day, only WITH MORE RECRUITS.  This time they were all over the place (except of course, the floor).  I ranted and raved; growled and hollered at them, "DIE YOU B...(well, you fill in the blanks).  This tack was not working.

I scoured my counter tops three times a day, and they still kept coming.  I smeared liquid soap on the counters,which did slow them down  only because I think they had to detour through the bathroom.  However, later that day, I forgot and made a sandwich on that same counter.  I was given a nasty surprise (9).  DARN THOSE ANTS!

I don't like chemical warfare so ant poison was not an option.  The very memory of having taken a bite of soap marinated sandwich told me that poison would be something I should avoid (shudder).

Also, I do not like watching them writhe in their death throws from pesticides.  I mean, the soap would only give them diarrhea (hence the detour through the bathroom), but, poison, well, is poison.  So smashing seemed be the only acceptable method of extermination.

Before starting the "smashing" campaign I wrote out a Bill of Promises for the ants:
     1.  I will not squeal out, "DIE, YOU B..." (or whatever) as I squash you.
     2.  I will not smile and enjoy the process.
     3.  If you are still wiggling after the smashing maneuver I will go in for a second smash and put you out of your misery.
     4.  I will give ants showing bravery, exceptional evasive moves, or other enterprising traits a chance to go outside.
     5.  I will keep my counters as clean as humanly possible so as not to tempt you (yeah, right!).

Funny thing though, before I could finish writing the diatribe, I saw an ant sitting on the top of the lidded ketchup bottle.  It appeared to be surveying what I was writing.  I gave her (I say her, because all worker ants are female, that must be why they are so successful) time to finish reading and said, "Well, what do you think?"  I watched the small creature march down the ketchup bottle,  across the table, up my pen, and onto my finger (poor thing must have been near sighted).  I briefly considered that it might actually be trying to communicate with me.  NO!  COULDN'T BE......... then I quickly put her outside. 

Now, before you call me crazy (ok, I know you have already thought that several times) let me tell you that I no longer have an over supply of ants.  Once in a while a rogue ant will race across the table or the counter.  But they are no longer here in mass.

Think what you want but, I am here to tell you that, although nearsighted, ANTS HAVE LEARNED TO READ.  We humans had best be careful how we treat them because THEY could get even!

kt2010









































#5 I'VE GOT ANTS (part 5 of 5)

                               If you are starting here then STOP.  
                          Scroll down to #1 where it actually starts
The Finale (and you are thinking...finally).

Before starting the "smashing" campaign I wrote out a Bill of Promises for the ants:
     1.  I will not squeal out, "DIE, YOU B..." (or whatever) as I squash
          them.
     2.  I will not smile and enjoy the process.
     3.  If ants are still wiggling after the smashing maneuver I will go
          in for a second smash and put it out  of its misery.
     4.  I will give ants showing bravery, exceptional evasive moves,
          or other enterprising traits a chance to go outside.
     5.  I will keep my counters as clean as humanly possible so as
          not to tempt ants (yeah, right!).

Funny thing though, before I could finish writing the diatribe, I saw an ant sitting on the top of the lidded ketchup bottle.  It appeared to be surveying what I was writing.  I gave her (because all worker ants are female, that must be why they are so successful) time to finish reading and said, "Well, what do you think?"  I watched the small creature march down the ketchup bottle, up my pen, and onto my finger (poor thing must have been near sighted).  I briefly considered that it might actually be trying to communicate with me.  NO!  COULDN'T BE......... then I quickly put her outside. 

Now, before you call me crazy (ok, I know you have already thought that several times) let me tell you thet I no longer have an over supply of ants.  Once in a while a rogue ant will race across the table or the counter.  But they are no longer here in mass.

Think what you want but, I am here to tell you that ANTS HAVE LEARNED TO READ.  We humans had best be careful how we treat them because THEY could GET EVEN!

kt 2010


Thursday, July 29, 2010

#4 I'VE got ants! (part 4 of 5)


                              If you are starting here then STOP.  
                          Scroll down to #1 where it actually starts.



(Ok, where was I?  Oh, yes, I was going to write about beginning negotiations with the ants.  Also, if you started with THIS post you must scroll down to part 1 and start at the beginning or this won't make sense.)

So, I loudly proclaimed (8) to the ants in my kitchen that I would not hurt them if they would PLEASE just step outside, AND STAY THERE!

The ants did not listen to me and returned the next day, only WITH MORE RECRUITS.  This time they were all over the place (except of course, the floor).  I ranted and raved; growled and hollered at them, "DIE YOU B...(well, you fill in the blanks).  This tack was not working.

I scoured my counter tops three times a day, and they still kept coming.  I smeared liquid soap on the counters,which did slow them down  only because I think they had to detour through the bathroom.  However, later that day, I forgot and made a sandwich on that same counter.  I was given a nasty surprise (9).  DARN THOSE ANTS!

I don't like chemical warfare so ant poison was not an option.  The very memory of having taken a bite of soap marinated sandwich told me that poison would be something I should avoid (shudder).
Also, I do not like watching them writhe in their death throws from pesticides.  I mean, the soap would only give them diarrhea (hence the detour through the bathroom), but, poison, well, is poison.  So smashing seemed be the only acceptable method of extermination.

Teaser:  Part 5 of 5 contains the ants "Bill of Promises."

#3 I've GOT ants (part 3 of 5)



        If you are starting here then STOP.  
   Scroll down to #1 where it actually starts.


Why should I feel guilty (Oh, yes, it is Disney's fault)?  It's not like ants are on an endangered species list. They aren't fuzzy with wagging tails and big soulful brown eyes.  They aren't cuddly or cute but they do perform a service for nature.  (3) Ants have a job to do.  They are one of the many insects that have the nasty job of cleaning up the messes that we humans make.  After all they take out the trash on a regular basis (which is more than I could say for myself, or my kids when they were young)!

I kind of admire the way ants (4) work diligently and march out into a world that holds many perils for a creature of this minute size.  They don't appear to be daunted by their lot in life. They see the prize and carry it off, one piece at a time.  Some survive, some do not, but the colony goes on.  Very altruistic!

One day, tired of finding ants raiding my trash can, I decided (5) to put the ant attracting morsels in a separate bag and tie it up around a cupboard doorknob (intending to put it out after dinner and maybe training the ants to go outside to eat).  When I returned to the sack thirty minutes later it was swarming with little busy bodies.  I would really like to know how they found it so fast.  Did one little ant look up and ponder, "Well, that's new, I wonder what she has up there?"  Did it make several attempts to find a way up to the (6) hanging feast or did it go directly there (following it’s little ant nose)? Once there, did it go back down, (laying a trail of bread crumbs like Hansel and Gretel) and tell the others of its miraculous find?  Or did one clumsy ant fall off the cupboard and accidentally plunge into the gourmet meal?  Then it next pondered is how to get the message to its fellow scavengers (7)?  Do they have little ant whistles hanging around their necks, or maybe little cell phones?   

So far 7 ants have bit the dust while I was writing this “ANT ENCOUNTER” documentary.  Then I saw one small ant carrying a piece of cracker two times larger than it’s body.  I marveled at how it found its way around the items on the table and was steadfastly heading toward the south end of the table.  Every time I placed something in its path it quickly detoured around it and continued south.  This was enough to earn a reprieve.  So I lured it onto a napkin and took it outside as a reward for its Herculean attempt at food gathering.  Of course the poor thing found itself outside, in a pile of dirt without the morsel of cracker.  Did it cuss me out or simply go around to the original point of entry and try again?

On to part 4... ... ...

#2 I've got ANTS (part 2 of 5)


        If you are starting here then STOP.  
   Scroll down to #1 where it actually starts.


 OK, I admit it,  I am a mediocre housekeeper who leaves one small morsel of food on the counter ( ok, two….ALLRIGHT, ALRIGHT so how about using the word some).  Within the hour this tiny speck of food is descended upon by a hoard of ants.  It's not like they couldn't have scarffed up the bits of food that have dropped to the floor.  NO!  That would be too easy. They are on my counter.  I guess they like clean leftovers and the stuff on the floor is beneath them (literally and figuratively).  As I watch the long line of scurrying animals they look like starving refugees who suddenly found themselves at an all you can eat buffet.  I'll bet they even have their tiny little doggie bags tucked under their little appendages.
              
The ant can be credited for phenomenal communication and organizational skills.  Some enterprising scout ant stumbles over a find and does what?  Yells, "Hey, Guys, over hear." Suddenly, conga line of industrious ants converge on the mother of all grand feast and get to work.  The fact is they actually lay down a little chemical trail to lead their CLAN to the find.

However, they will get no kudos from me for their intelligence.  Because as I was writing this an ant traipsed across my paper, never even giving a thought to the huge giant sitting there who was poised to render a crushing blow. Then, as the squashing maneuver begins, the ant suddenly glances up and races off (in a zigzag pattern) as if it had just noticed the peril for the first time.  One (1) down and so many more to go.

It's when I actually saw one look up at me before fleeing that I began to feel guilty - yes, you read right, guilty.  (2)...(the numbers depict another ant dispatched) I guess I have been affected by all of those Disney or Pixar movies that show insects with human characteristic. I think that is called personification.
Gotta go (part 3 will coming soon).

#1 I've got ants! (part 1 of 5)

I have ants, lots of ants! Tiny, little, black, shiny things marching across my kitchen counter.  So, what's up with these tiny little creatures? 

 Haven't they heard of the great outdoors? Don't they know about all of the picnics going on out there?  Haven't they visited the local garbage dump?  Why do they have to invade MY kitchen?

Now I am a peaceful, nature loving person who looks upon all life as being precious (even ants).  I have been known to (carefully) scoop up wayward spiders and escort them in to a much better echo system (which lies outside my front door).  Most people think I'm nuts to do this, but I respect the job the spiders do in keeping down the bug population (all except my house ants, of course). 

This is part 1 of a continuing story....so stay tuned.    :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

#12-15- A BATHTUB ADVENTURE

This was originally posted in 4 parts back in August under AS A RESULT OF DAD'S BATHTUB ADVENTURE (# 12-15). I had originally posted it in July with daily short quips on my face book (as presented here).  That is when my daughter, Patty, decided that I needed to start a blog. AND HERE I AM! 

My father is 99 and he had an accident last week. It seems that he fell butt first into the tub while trying to pull his pants up. He wasn’t hurt, but I had to call 911 for help getting him out of the bathtub. So, I have been trying to design a way to put a removable handrail across the opening to the tub.

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 1: The first problem I encountered was, "How am I going to fasten the end of the pole to the walls?" The guy at the lumber yard sold me 2 wide L brackets. Didn't take this lady long to realize that if I screwed the brackets to the wall and the pole to the brackets; then I would have to crawl over or under to take a bath. NOPE that's a deal breaker.

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 2: Well, I cut the wood pieces yesterday and only dropped the circular saw once (a personal best for me), Then I jigged U slots in the top of each board. Is till have all my fingers so will consider it a success. Next, I painted the side of each board and the railing. By this time it was afternoon and sweat was dripping off my nose onto the boards. Time to quit!

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 3: Ok, I now have both sides of the boards and the bottom of the railing painted. Only knocked over the paint can once and dropped the paintbrush twice. In typical Karen style it would be easier to describe where I didn’t get paint on myself; lets just say I now have a basecoat most everywhere! Once I sand the ants off tomorrow, I should be able to put the finish coat on.

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 4:   Ran into a snag today…My stud finder isn’t working…no surprise to me….mine hasn’t been working for years!

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 5:  I put the final coat of spray paint on the boards and rail
(only spraying the cat, slightly). And I’ll be right back right after an announcement from our sponsors……CpC (cats protecting cats).  Buy this special outfit to protect your cat from
unnecessary spray painting accidents….$40.00 all profits go to the cats in West Africa.

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 6:   I would start off with CUSS words but I don’t want to offend anyone (so I am saying them out loud as I type). I finally got the stud finder to work (need new batteries – don’t we all). I searched for 20 minutes only to find that nearby studs were 6 inches away from where I needed to anchor the boards. BACK TO THE (MacGyver) DRAWING BOARD!

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 7: Ok, I redesigned the rail brackets. This required using the circular saw and jigsaw again (which, with me, is an accident waiting to happen). However, both cuts went off without a hitch. It was when I had to use the sander that things got interesting. Apparently, I had left the sander on the last time I used it and just pulled the plug. So when I plugged it into a different outlet it jumped off the sawhorse shelf and raced across the garage floor…..toward the cat (who was lounging on the cement floor watching the "Karen" show)! I don’t know how she did it, but somehow she sprung off the floor, spun around in mid air and almost left skid marks leaving the area. I stood there watching the CATastrophe unfold. I had started to laugh when the sander came to the end of its tether, jerked and started back in my direction. Oh, S#@%! After coaxing my eyebrows down off the ceiling I managed to pull the plug on the errant sander. The cat is nowhere to be found.

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 8:  Yeah!  I found the studs, drilled holes in the NEW boards (and the saw horses holding them).  By the way, did you know that if you put a board on a cement floor to drill it and, WELL....... accidentally drill through the board to the cement and, WELL...... the drill bit gets so hot it melts?  Just thought I'd mention this just in case someone (not me) might do that.

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 9 : I drilled holes (and only 3 too many) in the walls at each end of the tub where the studs are, (I love that word) and screwed the boards to the walls (only loosing 1 screw down the drain).  Now, to test my invention I only have to slip the rail into the U slots.  

BLOW-BY-BLOW day 10 (the finale):  Once again an old adage bears true.  "Necessity is the mother of invention. " We now have a sturdy, fully functioning (removable) handrail across the tub opening.  Am I great or what!  Of course, the fact that it doesn't look like a professional job does not spoil the victory!!!!!




WAIT


FOR


IT


FINALLY FINISHED!

THIS IS A TRUE STORY, EXCEPT FOR THE PICTURE OF COURSE.
kt2010