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Our Olde House: May 2022


We have definitely left Spring behind with temperatures now approaching 90F, but before we start Summer we still have a few weeks of Ant season.  I saw the first two ants of the year in the kitchen a couple of weeks ago, which immediately triggered my ‘set off an ant bomb under the house’ response, which I did. I was feeling pretty good for two days until I saw another three ants in the kitchen, so I figured I did not place the bomb in the correct location and set off another bomb under the house.


This time for sure I must have gotten the little buggers, but no, once again two more ants were stomping around the kitchen the next day. Well three is the charm so a third ant bomb under the house went off and all was well. Or not.  Now a steady conga line of ants was streaming out of a crack under the window. No more bombs, this called for a tray of ant poison carefully placed at their entrance point. Soon the inside of the tray was filled with soon to be ant carcasses and the conga line terminated at the tray.  Peace for now, at least overnight while they enjoyed the buffet. Hallelujah, or words to that effect, in the morning when only a couple of the little buggers were staggering around the tray of poison, but they too must pass, and did.


Poison Ivy was making a comeback after a long winter’s nap so I sprayed everything again, just in case.  I was pleasantly surprised that my previous spraying had been effective with very little new poison ivy visible.  I did find some large stalks coming up through an aloe plant and I sprayed them good; after a week or so these upstarts had withered and died so it looked like a forest fire had gone through. Made me smile.


Giddy with success at defeating the poison ivy I decided that I should take a minute and dig out the five azalea roots in the front yard; how hard could that be after conquering the poison ivy. I managed to dig one out after trying and failing to dig out the other four.  I thought the roots would be rotten or at least soft by now, but no, still strong as steel as they bent my shovel; need a different tool or dynamite.


I have been working on replacing the wooden fence in the backyard.  I did get the gate removed, flipped over and attached to the post on the other side so I can actually get stuff through the open gate; and I put a steel cable on it to eliminate gate sag, so far so good.  The fence is not quite done, but all of the missing and broken boards have been replaced.


This new fence turned out to take much more time than I had anticipated.  Nothing bad happened and I did not injure myself in the process, but the sheer volume of repetitious steps wore me out after an hour or so.  I have the system down pretty well now that I am done, with a few special size boards to cut and fit between the post and fence board.  Next will be replacing the wooden deck with plastic decking; the price for these boards tripled over this past year even though they are plastic, not wood.  Go figure.

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