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July 05, 2002: Off

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I had the day off from work today.

It wasnít like yesterday, where the day off from work was spent running madly around trying to get everything ready for a horde of people to descend on the house. Today was significantly more relaxed. This was a good thing. A very good thing.

We didnít ride this morning, but only because weíre planning a nice long ride tomorrow. Regardless, I got up when Richard got up (mainly because the cats donít know the meaning of the words ďsleeping inĒ) and then let myself be nice and lazy on the computer for a few hours. I am currently obsessed with Text Twist. I blame Bev for this, simply because I found the link in one of her entries. I can wile away hours on that game. Heck, I even end up playing it in my head when Iím daydreaming. I think itís safe to say that I need help. Badly.

Richard had nicely loaded both bikes onto the car for me (because I am a big wimp and cannot figure out the right combination of contortions and muttered swear words necessary to get bike rack and bikes loaded by myself), so eventually I dragged myself away from the computer and drove the bikes off to the place we bought them for their 30 day check-up. While I was at the bike store I bravely refrained from looking at anything else and skedaddled quickly out before I was overcome by the desire to buy more gadgets. Dangerous places, bike stores, especially for the newly initiated.

Then I did something that Iíve wanted to do for a very long time. I took my car to be cleaned. The poor thing gets a few car washes a year (when I actually have a few spare minutes while filling the tank), but I am ashamed to say I have no idea when it last got cleaned inside. Itís been quite a while, I know that much, considering that not only were there pins all over the floor of the backseat from when my sewing machine got turned upside down and the container that holds my pins fell open, but there were also bits of grapevine from when I mashed three huge grapevine wreathes into my backseat on a late-evening giddy shopping trip with my mother (which subsequently were used as tree trunks for the wedding reception).

Itís amazing what cleaning the car can do. There are no smudges on my windows. There are no stray bits of grapevine lurking in the corners of the backseat, waiting to impale the unwary rear end. There are no more pins working their way into the floor mats. Granted there is a rather large and mysterious stain on the floor in the back, but Iím pretending I donít actually see that, and besides, at least the stain is clean.

I took advantage of my day off to meet up with Richard for lunch, since we havenít been able to do that since I started the job at The Company To Be Nicknamed Later back in October. We hit the Indian food buffet, and inhaled far too many pieces of fresh-baked naan, plus lots of other things whose names will continue to remain a mystery, but were still rather delicious. We amused ourselves by watching the teeny tiny spider run madly around underneath the glass that separated us from the tabletop, and then he went back to work and I headed off for my next errand, which was the hardware store, because I figured after several months of non-functionality, it was high time we replaced the light bulbs on the front porch, and then there was the little matter of the wasp nest.

I have no idea how long the wasps have been at it, because we only discovered it yesterday. It is a paper wasp nest Ė all honeycombed and very intricate. If it was lurking quietly in some tree at the back of the yard I might not have been as concerned, but this particular nest is located in the eaves right over our front door. No one has been stung or attacked by the wasps, and itís obviously been there a while, but now that we *know* it is there, we want it gone Right Now because wasp nests over the front door are not usually considered a polite way to greet people who might be coming over to oneís house.

So at the hardware store, after I managed to play the complete bimbo and have to get someone to help me find the right light bulbs (to my credit, they were at the far end of the shelf and sort of half-hidden, but still), I then pondered the merits of a half-dozen different wasp-killing poisons, until I randomly grabbed one off the shelf and brought it home. I then read the directions, which were full of dire warnings about not spraying during the day, and waiting til the wasps were sleeping, and if you had to use a flashlight cover it with red film because otherwise they would see you, and when the wasps descended from the nest en masse to kill you, you shouldnít run because that only antagonizes them further.

When Richard got home we eyeballed the nest again trying to figure out the best approach for later use of the spray. This is when Richard discovered that nest number 2 is currently undergoing construction, and that the wasps all seem to be inordinately interested in trying to get inside the closed eavesÖ.which might indicate that nest #3 (or more) might be lurking somewhere where we couldnít actually see it. At this point we decided that perhaps it might be best to call in the professionals.

Try getting a hold of anyone to come get rid of wasp nests at shortly before 5pm on the Friday after 4th of July. Yeah. Didnít happen. We made an appointment for someone to come out tomorrow, but then I had a bout of self-sufficiency. We are two adults, I declared, who are more than capable of killing a few pesky wasps all by our little selves.

Since we were headed off to dinner with my parents and then I was going to go to the monthly craft night, Richard pulled the car out of the garage and shut that door to prevent them from entering the house that way. Then he sat in the car with the engine running and I leaned precariously off the porch to get to the right angle to actually *reach* the wasp, and gave it what-for with the spray. Which turned out to be white foam that covered the nest and also sprinkled down all over the yard, the sidewalk, and me before falling completely off the nest in big puffy globs. So Iím not exactly sure how effective it was, but Iím happy to report that I saw not a single wasp leaving the nest to come attack me. This is usually considered a Good Thing.

I have a feeling we may need to spray the nest again a few more nights, and then at some point one of us is going to have to be brave enough to climb up on a ladder and give it an experimental poke with a broom handle, to see if the spray actually did what it was supposed toÖand if not, well, one of us is going to end up in the emergency room covered in wasp stings, but hey, we havenít been to the emergency room in far too long, and itís probably my turn to go anyway, so what the heck.

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