25 January 2013

Hello!  How's winter been treating ya?  I love summer but always look to winter as a time to snuggle in, catch up on crafty things, read, relax, and plan for the warmer months.  Whew, not this year.  It's been nothing but work, work, work just trying to keep things going around here. Chopping ice away from the garage door so I can get the car out, shoveling this dang white stuff, digging out the wood pile to get a few sticks to make a cozy fire.... it takes its toll and there's not much energy left to do fun stuff.  Besides who can work at fun stuff when the house always has a trail of wood chips to clean up from traipsing through with armloads of fire wood, no place to put away anything for fear of falling while packing it out to where it belongs.  I had to replace my old microwave that was taking about four minutes to heat a cup of water (capacitor is all but shot) and I am already sick of it hanging out in my kitchen and it's only been three days.  Am about to go redneck and just toss it out into the yard.  I swear.  I am.  But I know I won't..............  Lots are having problems with plumbing freezing so I am VERY thankful I have been spared that.  Here's some pics of the landscape 30 days post beginning of the snow storm from hell.

It is melting, albeit s-l-o-w-l-y.  Will probably still be some here by March.  Temps were very low at night (single digits/below zero for weeks) but last night it stayed in the 30s!  Downright balmy!!!. A slow melt is actually a blessing in disguise as a fast melt would bring more misery in the form of flooding, so this is actually a good thing.  Really.  I keep telling myself it is.  It is.  Really.  It is.  We got a bit of rain last night and above freezing temps, but it is a short reprieve as a colder storm is coming in for the weekend to keep that quick thaw at bay.

OK.  If you are still with me here, I want to share a tip with you.  Ants have been a problem for the past two years at pretty much this same time of the year.  I think it's too cold for them, too, and they are seeking better digs ;-) Ha Ha..Those little "piss ants" ( that's what we call 'em.  Squish one and they smell like, well......., they smell bad) They come up around my faucet in the bathroom.  Last year I sprayed them with hair spray, but that was messy to clean up (I don't like to use pesticides unless absolutely necessary, but hairspray is almost as bad).  Prevention was my goal.  When I first noticed them this year I smeared the faucet with Vicks and that held them at bay, but I needed to seek and destroy, too.  Believe it or not diatamaceous earth  is a perfect ant killer.  When they walk in it, it gets on their little exoskeletons and dries them out.  And they die.  And if they manage to get back to the nest with this stuff on them, others die.   And somewhere in their tiny little ant brains they must know this because they disappear after sprinkling that stuff around. We are fortunate here in northern California as we have a ready supply of diatamaceous earth; it is mined here for sale to food companies, pool supply businesses, and wineries. All that is needed are a few chunks of D-earth and a box grater (the thingy you use in the kitchen to grate carrots and such) and simply grate the stuff along the ant trail,  I always leave it for a couple of days, but really the ants disappear over night.  I am not so naive as to think they have all suddenly died, but they leave my house and that's really all that matters!  So here's to habitat, earth friendly ant killer.   Thanks for stopping by!!

P.S.  Someone mentioned they were glad I started posting again on the Two Dogs blog and that made me very happy to know someone is actually reading it!  THANK YOU!!!