I don’t mind ants…when they’re on the beach!

If you’re going to have ants, you should at least have a picnic to go with them…right? Uh huh, well  not in my case. Oh, no, I’ve got ants…in my house…in winter!

My best friend these days is Google. As in, “Hey, Google, where do ants come from in winter and how do I get rid of them, fast?”

Ant traps in a box

“No problem,” said Google, ” just get some ant traps and scatter them around where kids and pets can’t get at them and everything should be hunky-dory (or, ‘hunky-dorky’ as Peter says).”

“Yes, but where do these ants COME from?,” I ask Google.

“Well, Silly Girl, they come in from the outside to keep warm. They live in your walls and have babies and then they party all over your house. Woo hoo!!!”

“Wonderful,” I say. . . sigh. . .

Cookie, our peanut-butter-loving pet.So, off Peter goes to Home Depot (for the 27th time this month) and returns with a case (yes, a whole damn case) of ant traps. Then, bearing in mind that these little traps contain poisoned peanut butter (Cookie’s favourite treat), I set about booby-trapping the house.Okay, so maybe the ants are not all over my house, but they are creepin’ and crawlin’ on the floor in the front and back entrances and in the kitchen. They aren’t those tiny ants that get into food (thank goodness), they are those big black ugly creatures that you see crawling around your patio (which is where they should be).

You’re probably wondering what happened next, right? Well, for five days, we didn’t see even one more ant! And, then, they returned, a few here and a few there. Now, 10 days later, I’m still find thing odd ant, but they seem sort of slow and sick…and some of them are just D.E.A.D! I do feel bad about murdering these poor helpless, homeless, hungry little creatures, but definitely not bad enough to cohabitate with them!

And, now, I’d like to share with you my latest song…the lyrics just popped into my head… 🙂

Ants in my pants,
Ants in my pants,
I’ve got to a dance
‘Cause there’s ants in my pants!

Dance, girl, dance,
In your fancy pants,
Dance for your life,
You’ve got ants in your pants!

And so goes the ongoing saga of turning our new-to-us 1972 house into a home. There is so much more to tell you, so do come back. Later this week I will tell you the story of our two-hour book shelf project that took us five days.

For crying out loud, why does everything have to be so darn complicated! LOL!

Out of Africa

Hi, this is me, Globug.

Hi, this is me, Globug.

Many years ago–41, to be exact, I was a “Brown Owl.” My daughter, Angie, was just seven years old and she was a Brownie. One of my other little Brownies, Tracey, was the daughter of a diplomatic courier. Her mom, Gail, volunteered to be my “Tawny Owl” and we quickly became good friends. She told me fascinating stories about her life and travels in places like Germany and Africa.

One day she showed me some of the beautiful artifacts she had collected from around the world. One of them was a beautiful chess set, hand-carved in Africa, which she had purchased for the ridiculously low price of one Canadian dollar (for a whole set!). I was very taken by the beauty and artistry of these unique chess pieces and, unbeknownst to me, Gail had another set tucked away, which she generously handed over to me as a gift.

I was very excited with my treasure, not because I was a chess player, but because I knew it would be a wonderful gift for my dad. Dad loved the chess set as much as I did, but my mom, in her usual fashion, wrapped it up a tucked it away so “nothing would happen to it.” And there it stayed, deep in the back of a drawer, until my father passed away in 1995. About a year later, I asked my mother if I could take it back. Today, my hand-carved African chess set lives in bamboo bowl on an antique table in my living room, right out in plain site, where it can be seen, touched, admired and enjoyed!

Frame_VignetteDR-5

During my big photography kick in the mid-nineties, I snapped this shot of the chess set and framed it. Here it is, as it hangs in my living room, today.

Chessmen photo Frame_IMG_3654

Just for the sake of interest, the two photos below it are little home-made masterpieces, too. The one on the left is a close-up of a gorgeous iron gate that I took in Quebec City. The one on the right is a melted crayon project that I got to make in my granddaughter’s kindergarten class on Grandparents’ Day (17 years ago). I think her teacher gave me an A+ on it, so I framed it.

Photos near shelves Frame_IMG_3645

I guess it’s safe to say that I’m sentimental. And, I LOVE things that are hand-made and/or have stories behind them. There’s lots more to come, so please come back for my next story, which will be about my fight with a shark while deep sea diving off the coast of Africa. Hah! Just kidding…my next post will be about the make-over I’m doing in my bathroom. Doesn’t get any more exciting than that around here, these days!! 🙂

The mantle…it’s crooked, but it’s up!

It’s been like a beehive at our house, lately, as we try to settle in and lead normal lives. Hah, like that’s actually happening!  But, we are making progress, even if it is a a snail’s pace.

The fireplace from HELL

This week’s project was to install a mantel on our 42-year-old-and-very-boring-brick-wall-fireplace. Weren’t we surprised to discover that the bricklayer must have forgotten his level at home the day he built our fireplace. The bricks are  very noticeably slanted to the right. Yikes! We didn’t see it until we tried to level the new mantel. When we would get the mantel straight with the bricks, it would be so slanted that we could imagine our candle sticks sliding right off and crashing to the floor. But, when we leveled the mantel to a perfect 180, the whole fireplace looked tilted. Quick, give me a couple of Aspirins–and some for Peter, too! But, we stay calm and carried on.

Here is the fireplace before the mantel. We find it hard to understand why, in 42 years, one of the previous owners didn’t install a mantel. Oh, well, whatever.

Here is the mantel, as we saw it when we first came to see the house. I could see it had potential…but I didn’t see how crooked the bricks had been laid! It looks straight to the eye, right? (This is before we moved in…not our furniture).

Frame_13_tripp_crescent_MLS_HID746807_ROOMlivingroom1This next photo shows the mantel installed, but not stained. This is when we could really see how that drunken bricklayer worked. Notice the mortar line under the mantel…see how it gets lower, and lower and lower as it moves to the right? It would be even more noticeable if we had installed the mantel at a perfect 180.

Mantel before staining (3)

We had only one choice: split the difference. So, we installed the mantel a little crooked, in the hope that we would minimize the discrepancy. It sort of worked. Here it is..I still can’t decide what to put on it (decor is an evolutionary process in this house). I expect one day I will come across the perfect picture or vintage something-or-other that will be the icing on my crooked cake.

mantel after Frame_IMG_3634

And one more, just for fun…

mantel with flower pic Frame_IMG_3635

Okay, so it’s a beginning. I guarantee you that, over the next few months, the mantel decorations will change as often as a teenage girl getting ready for a big date.

Stick around, if you have time…I’m working on a post that will showcase all the cheap…err…inexpensive and ever so creative stuff I’ve made for our home.

Thanks, for reading, and happy decorating!