Stressful Night

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I found a picture of our four pumpkins from Sauvie Island. As of today, the three on the left have been thrown into compost. They didn't last long with all the rain we had this past week. When this picture was taken, the pumpkins had just been carved, and the weather was dry & still, so the pumpkins burned long into the night until the votives gave up the last of their wax.

I have to say that tonight was stressful. Let's see if I can remember all the things that happened as I was trying to eat dinner and get out the door for book-club. I have our Ethan-Allen entertainment armoire listed on craigslist, and came very close to nearly falling for a scam which is described here. Landon made pesto for dinner, and I opened a window to let in some fresh air, as the house felt hot and steamy after he boiled the noodles. During dinner, to my horror, I saw scores of Western box-elder bugs crawling into the house through the open window. Then, we saw that many were entering the house by crawling underneath the back door. I'm phobic when it comes to insects as it is, so in my mind, this was pretty much the insect version of Hitchock's movie, The Birds. I knew that we'd had a box-elder bug problem as of two days ago when I noticed hundreds of them on the south side of our house sunning themselves. They were up high, and I knew they were there, but I didn't count on them becoming so intent on crawling into our house for warmth. Landon proceeded to run outside and hose down the house, at which point many of them flew away. We went through the house and vacuumed up all the bugs that had somehow escaped into the house. After doing some reading, I found that these bugs hatch in spring and fall, and usually congregate and nest near maples or elder trees. Since we've never had a box-elder bug problem before, we suspect they may have been nesting in the firewood from an unidentified tree we transported home from a neighbor earlier this year. These bugs are harmless. They are not destructive to houses, but they do try to crawl in for warmth if there are places for them to do so. The key is to caulk your windows and patch up any cracks or torn screens leading to crawl or attic spaces so that this does not happen. Anyway, it was only stressful when some of the bugs got into the house, but they are all gone now, and the ones that are still outside our house I'm hoping will be on their way soon. I just have to be careful not to open any windows or leave doors open until they are gone. There were a few other stressful things that occurred (Landon was actually going to write out the full list; I won't bore you with it here), but I finally got out the door to book-club. We discussed Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder, and it was an enjoyable meeting. By the time I got home & put Samuel to bed, I was in dire need of some decompression from the stressful evening. Landon and I drank some relaxing tea while watching an episode of Nip/Tuck, then went to bed around midnight. Tomorrow will be a new day!

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