Friday, 2 October 2015

7 QT 17: Dead Doors and Ducks

1. I haven't posted for a while, because life has been hectic, plus essay grading (which is more Purgatory than life). I still have some late essays to grade, but it's Fall Break, so I don't go back to work for a week, plus Kelly has declared October a Link-toberfest and offered the chance to win goodies I don't need but might just change my life anyway, so here's the post I almost completed a couple of weeks ago, minus any pretty pictures because I have a streaming cold and this is as much as I can manage.

2. It all started with the back door. It always shifts when the weather changes, but when the house also shifted too much, it got completely stuck shut. I'd never taken notice of how much we used the back door to pop out to the window boxes, or the compost pail we have set outside, or just generally. Which had a snowball effect...

3. With no quick access to the compost, and no time, my husband left a butternut squash quietly rotting in the spare bathtub. Then one day I happened to venture into the bathroom and realised it was Invasion of the Fruit Flies. Of course, opening the door just let them all out into the house where they were merrily flying around and reproducing every five seconds. I was at a loss, not wanting to let loose with fly spray or whatever dubious chemical is on flypaper. I was lamenting this as my husband and I sat flapping fruit flies away from our glasses of wine. Then it came to me - fight fire with fire. So I set out two glasses of cheap wine to catch them. It's sort of working, and at least they're dying happy.

4. So fruit flies everywhere meant we had to stop collecting compost indoors and start taking it out via the front door. Which lead to another hard-won discovery. First, my husband got stung hard on the rear. We thought it must have been some random insect that bumped into him. Then, the next day, I was emptying tea leaves into the porch bed when something stung me on the foot - very painfully. We realized that yellowjackets had built a nest in one of the wood stacks by the front door. After a week of donning his beekeeper's suit and spraying, my husband took about 5 seconds to be persuaded to call the exterminator. We have been judging the success of the operation by the "Odie test". Our less academically-abled cat had obviously been attacked by said yellowjackets as he took to bolting out of the front door as, well, as though wasps were after him. Obviously he is too much a creature of habit to take the alternative, like one of his TWO cat doors in other parts of the house. Anyhow, the Odie test consists of watching how fast he leaps across the porch to judge whether the wasps were still there.

5. I don't think this was related to the door problems, but it added colour to the week anyway. I was out with the baby one morning, as usual, seeing to the poultry. Caroline the duck waddled to the pond, maybe a little slower than usual. Then, she opened her beak, flapped her wings, and keeled over. Dead. The baby appeared not to be traumatized, but I'm sure the memory will resurface in thirty years' time when he's talking with his psychotherapist about all the childhood traumas he does remember.

6. So updates: wasps are gone and it prompted my husband to pressure wash the porch, so a bonus there. Our carpenter has fixed the door, but found we need major work under the house, to the tune of $10-15,000. But my daughter's appendectomy bill 'only' came in at $4,000 so I'm going to pretend that's a small win.

7. Kelly's blogger question for this week is: when did you start linking to Seven Quick Takes? her throw-back post made me realise I'd been reading them since the beginning (2008). It's become my little breather on a Friday morning. Almost as strange was to look back at my blog and find I'd first posted in January this year, which seems forever ago, being B.A.  - Before Alcuin, as my husband has coined time in our house.

To read or post Quick Takes, plus a chance for reader prizes, head to Kelly's at This Ain't the Lyceum.

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