This and that
On other fronts, we've been fighting off our annual ant invasion... there is something about August that makes the ants in the front and backyard decide it is time to take a pilgrimage to the cat food bowls (with other stops along the way, as opportunity presents, of course). This year I've been quite impressed at the variety of different places they've been coming in - not only the obvious places like under the sliding glass door, front door, and windows, but also from a crack above the sliding glass door (with no trail going up the outside - they seem to have traveled all the way around the door until they found that opening) and under the baseboards in such unlikely places as the middle of the house. On Friday Emma had left a small pile of goldfish crackers on the floor of the family room and within an hour it was swarmed with ants coming from under the baseboard on one of the center walls of the house. Granted there is a 6-8 inch crawlspace under part of the house which they must be inhabiting, but still I thought the amount of time it took for them to jump on that opportunity was quite impressive. I have also decided that my favorite way of cleaning up ants is using the vacuum cleaner - quite satisfying too, without the risk of having lots and ants crawling up your hands and arms. Last year I used to get really mad at them while cleaning up the house, but so far this year I've seen it as more of a challenge and an opportunity to admire what they can do with such limited mental capacity. Instinct is pretty darn amazing, when I stop to think about it.
Let's see, what else is going on. My daughter helped me make chocolate chip cookies this morning (another plus of the weather - I can use the oven again!) and I'm amazing at all she can do now. She's very adept at measuring ingredients and pouring them in, and she's also figured out how to use the spatula to get the cookies off the cookie sheet. She's also very aware of what is hot, and knowing how to handle that - she is getting better and better at following directions and being aware of her surroundings. I am so enjoying watching her develop and grow.
I was having a perfectly lovely day this morning, but I just got a call from my aunt (my father's brother's wife) saying that my grandmother is in the hospital. It doesn't sound life-threatening, but she will still be in there for a bit while they figure out what exactly is going on and what they need to do about it. The problem is that they are trying to track down my father and step-mother to tell them what is going on, and they seem to have left town or something. They aren't returning calls left at home or on either of their cell phones for the last couple of days - and of course they neglected my grandmother or my aunt & uncle if they were going anywhere, which they said they where going to do. So, I've been asked to try to make phone calls and to track them down because my aunt & uncle can't use their cell phones while they are in the hospital with my grandmother. Much to my chagrin, I've realized that I only have my father's home number... I managed to dig out my step-mother's cell number from an old email, but I don't have my father's. I don't have my step-brother's phone numbers, and I have no phone numbers for anyone on my step-mother's side of the family. Yeah, well, let's just say I'm not particularly close to my father and my relationship with him has not exactly easy. I do best when I think of him as a distant uncle that I can enjoy visiting with upon occasion, with no other expectations. Anyways, this task has called up all sorts of baggage I guess because I feel all agitated and annoyed with him now - much more than I think necessarily. Ah, family - difficult to deal with at times, and impossible to exist without.
Alright, time to end this - Emma wants to plant a plum seed taken from a yummy plum devoured at lunch. I have one peach tree growing from doing something similar, maybe we'll get a plum tree too.