I've made a TINY effort to be better about my messy tendencies around the house, but the onslaught of heat has forced me to go into OCD clean over-drive (OCD clean for me is just a little less tidy than what most people would call "normal") The warm weather has invited some vigilant intruders seeking refuge--ants. Our house is old. I think it was built in the early 1900s. In fact, an elderly woman on our street said, "Oh, my sister and her husband did the renovations on that house in 1950." I don't say this to complain; I am happy as a lark and snug as a bug--along with some other snug bugs. It just seems the ants on this property are especially evolved to find the tiniest cracks in the wall. They are even emerging from cracks in the PAINT! It's like they already KNEW where to go before they arrived--as if their antie aunties have been passing the information from one generation to the next. No amount of modern doors, caulk, and paint can hide the fact that this is an old house with some very old friends.
Mothers know that ant-watching can be great entertainment for children, whether observing with a face pressed on the glass of an ant farm, or hovering over a tiny hill in the dirt. I've been doing my own ant-investigation and I'm with the hoodlum boys who say we must fry all the ants with a magnifying glass. Ants are not evil creatures, but when they pour, I mean literally, pour out of a long shut cabinet, and crawl up arms and legs by tens, or make their way into the refrigerator--I'm sorry, it's over.
Because of these ants, snacking is threatening my weight-loss AND my house. Some of the snacks of days and months past fell aside to be forgotten by me, but discovered later by the devil insects (I guess I lied about ants not being evil). Earlier this week, while I was crouched under my computer desk to study the comings and goings of the little black specks, I found a crowd gathered around two Easter M&Ms. Powdered doughnut pieces were in especially high demand. Some ants could not compete for the most popular goods, but there were plenty unidentifiable crumbs for picking. As I continued to scan the floor, I was amazed by the highways of ants avoiding a big, chocolate, cube-thing. I squatted lower to see what it was.
A few weeks ago I tried to "trick" my chocolate-craving brain by purchasing dark cubes from the health-food store called "Energy Nuggets." About one-inch squared (I mean cubed), they vaguely resembled walnut-filled brownies. They are packed with sunflower seeds, peanuts, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, Carob Powder, and peanut butter. I could only eat one--they tasted like nutty cardboard, but I figured they were a better pick than brownies. I must have dropped that lone nugget on the floor in disgust. The ants were no fools to my silly mind trick. They took one look at the plump square and probably thought it was a human cube-shaped corn poop because that is exactly what it looks like outside of the deceiving package. I can't hide from the remnants of my eating-cheating or the wild insects that reap the benefits, but I can learn one thing from them--if it looks like a poop, it probably tastes like poop. So next time I think I'm just going to eat the brownie instead and run a little longer, oh, and of course, clean up after myself.