Ah, spring! That’s when a young ant’s fancy turns to love.. and to exploring my kitchen counters, dad-blastit.


Came downstairs this morning, and found several young Romeos (or possibly Juliets) skittering across the kitchen counter.*

I fretted a bit and danced the Windex Waltz all over their crunchy little bodies. (I’m not at all charitable where ants are concerned).

Yet ants can’t live on love alone; they need FOOD, and I wasn’t about to supply any. After several springtimes in this house, I learned to stop cooking for at least the first two post-winter weeks, to discourage chitinous forays.

So my kitchen has been a food-free zone and I’ve been eating out since the ides of March. This evening I came home to empty counters with only a couple very bored ants. I’ve still called Josh-the-antguy to forestall another antly lovefest.

Hopefully the rest of my spring will be antless.


In any case, spring’s here, we’ve had a couple of sunny, breezy days, the geese are carpeting the lawns at work, and the cherry trees in my front yard are just becoming glorious. It’s hard to worry about much when the daphne beckon; I’m getting high on the scent, the longer days, the soft rains and…

“Have you done your taxes YET?” Mom says, though she already knows the answer.

Oh yeah. Taxes (clunk). I’ll get to those. Soon. Promise.

In the meantime, I’m dodging Jehovah’s Witnesses (they’re not really good at “NO!” so after the fifth visit I stopped answering the doorbell. They’ve taken to leaving small pots of petunias on the front porch and slipping tracts under the door) and designing what may be the most difficult casting project I’ve ever had.

The project–a series of sculpted goblets I want to create without a hotshop–is haunting my dreams, a sure sign I’m about to break out in sculpture. Good thing: I’ve got a little more than a month to finish them.

I was thinking about it as I went into the grocery store tonight:  I’ll use a drop-ring to make the bowls of the goblet, then I can cast the base and stem. Hmmm….should I epoxy the pieces together? Or take a chance on a tack fuse, stem to bowl?

I mused about it, drawing shapes in the air as I shopped the grocery store tonight. Frank-the-checker gave me a grin as he totted up my purchases. “Looks like you’re doing something fun tonight, Cynthia?”

I assured him my only aim was to decimate a few lovelorn ants at home, and settle in with a movie.

“Sounds good. I love movies. I was thinking about canceling my cable subscription, but I can’t give up my movies.”

“I don’t have TV,” I told him, “and I see lots of movies at home.”

I “cut the cord” on TV subscriptions more than five years ago. In its place: AppleTV, Amazon Prime, Google and a whole bunch of other webbish entertainment. I’ve saved (not kidding) more than $9,000 on cable subscription charges and haven’t missed a thing.

“Really?” he said, sounding astonished. I explained how to perform a cable-ectomy and left him contemplating the wonders of web-based entertainment.

Made me think: Ten years ago (or even five), you were a bit odd if you didn’t have a cable or satellite or some kind of TV hookup. Now it seems a little odd if you do. Funny how things change.

Take phones: My benchmark for utter nincompoop used to be the high school halfback who called me at home to ask for a date.

“Hi, this is Richard,” he began, “Are you home?”

(I declined)

 I told that story the other day to a 20-something at work, expecting a laugh. 

“And…?” she asked, puzzled, “I don’t get it.”

She’s living in an age where everyone has mobile phones, and landline home telephones are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. You can be wherever the heck you want to be when you’re answering the phone (assuming you have a signal)…and so my little anecdote is ‘way out of date. Funny is only funny if you have the context.

Home phones. Cable TV. Fax machines. Pocket cameras (why do you need one when the camera in your phone is probably better…and comes with email?).

20th century technology is going the way of the dinosaur. I’m a big fan of 21-st century technology, so that’s OK by me.

Now if someone will just make kitchen Romeo ants obsolete, I’ll be ecstatic.

*Helpful tip: Gorgeous as they are, black granite counters are treacherous during ant season–it’s almost impossible to detect ants until they’ve made themselves at home. My next kitchen will have WHITE counters.