Grit Blogs > My Bad Sheep


It’s that time of year again: leaves are falling from the trees in a virtual rainbow of reds, oranges and yellows, the hummingbirds are sucking our feeders dry and tapping on our windows demanding refills every 4 hours in preparation for their annual Winter Migration, and the ‘gotta do before it rains’ projects that have been piling up all summer are suddenly assuming an atmosphere of extreme urgency as said rains could be here any week (though given the absence of the Annual Kitchen Ant Invasion portent, I’m willing to bet the wet will hold off a while).

Our Winterizing list of DIY projects includes:

1.    Stock up on RAID to take advantage of sales ammunition for the Annual Ant Wars of Winter. Usually the four-footers have the inside edge, as they stage their invasion just before said RAID sales take place.

2.    Invest in Rat Potion #9. The ants are closely followed by their larger brethren the rats, who have long held the inside track up our interior bathroom walls from crawlspace under da house to the attic; a route coveted by possums, rats, mice, and likely a host of other denizens we never see ‘cause we (sensibly) don’t climb up there! This year the manufacturer has seen fit to change the tried-and-true formula in their Rat Candy, likely anticipating my first agreement to spring for $50 worth of the ‘bigger buckets’ to stem the growing tide. And our gourmet rats are leaving the offerings untouched. Oh joy. Get out the ’44; it’s huntin’ time down in the ‘ole barn!

3.    Hot Tub: drain and refill. Actually this dreaded project was encouraged not so much by the onslaught of winter (and a deck subsequentially too slippery to navigate) as by water that turned yellow-green and refused any chemical balance. When even the local tree frogs refused to slip in to commit their ritual evening suicide, it was MORE THAN TIME.

4.    Deleaf the gutters. Since Man first built House, this job has been a honeydo non-favorite, especially unpopular around here since our resident yellowjackets discovered they could happily nest in some of the gutters under the leaves, making the entire home  improvement project an exercise in the effectiveness of the life-saving Epipen.


5.    Seal the motorhome. Let’s face it: NOBODY likes to face the midnight specter of their motor home bed flooded by incoming water from gale-force winter storms above. Let alone 2 years in a row. It.Is.TIME.

6.    Paint the old car. You heard me. Now, most would say ‘BRING it to the shop to get it painted’, but being a DIY kinda gal on a low budget with a high imagination, I’m applying the fuschia hood and roof accents MYSELF, with a little help from my friend. Yet another reason to happily own a reliable 20-year-old car with (and I quote) “NO RESALE VALUE”. The sky’s the limit!

7.    Fix the furnace – once and for all. Every year the Furnace Wars heat up (or, in this case, cool down) with the battle starting at the thermostat and culminating each morning in a freezing cold garage shaking wires to jumpstart the sukkah (resisting the urge to take an ax to the gas lines with predictibly unpleasant outcomes). THIS year I believe the battle has already been fought and won over a carbonized igniter. Time will tell – but I swear I hear the Beast snickering evilly in the garage, probably plotting a strike on the coldest night of the year on a holiday weekend devoid of any possibility of a repair person’s shivering appearance. (footnote: EPIC FAIL…)

8.    Pie.

You heard me. It’s the best thing to include on a winterizing shopping list when the battles with ants, rats and furnace have been won, the old car’s been two-tone painted and the motorhome sealed, the hummingbirds have at last quit pestering you for refills and have flown da coop, and you’re sitting in your hot tub listening to the owls hoot.

Pie, made from those apples that fell off your very own tree this summer, frozen for winter enjoyment.

The smell of cinnamon and sugar and apples blends with the thrill of victory and makes winter worthwhile!

I think.

Hand me another slice please; gotta muse on that one!