It's summer in the northern hemisphere, which means ants. At picnics. On the patio. In the house. Of course, in Hawaii, every day is summer, so we don't have the luxury (?) of a killing frost to drive the suckers underground. I've gotten very good at waging war on the little bastards and now have a 1-2 punch that keeps them away. Victory!
Yesterday, they invaded our car.
It started with one black, picnic-type ant on my arm. Whoosh, he's gone. Then he reappeared on my dress, my arm again, my leg. Does he have nine lives? Did he bring a friend? Nope, he brought the whole tribe. They were making a beeline (antline?) from the front of the car, across the door and to regions aft. I'm all itchy, my husband is laughing, and I can't wait to get home and take a shower.
We stopped, and I opened the car back door. Remember the Tazmanian Devil cartoons? A whirling dervish of ants swarmed over and under the backseat. Fifty, one-hundred, a million strong.
Don't believe the myth that men live to rescue damsels in insect distress. Laughing the entire time, mine swatted at the invaders with my sunhat, as if that would break up the wild mambo taking place.
Raid comes lavender scented. Who knew?
Once home, after a prolonged errand run (more about that), I attacked the back seat with my trusty Raid, the 1 of my 1-2 punch. I bought the lavender scented kind, because I want the critters to be lured into a state of calmness before they die a quick and horrible death. It's kind of like cooking a lobster. Only without the aromatherapy.
Then I hit them with Home Defense by Ortho. Home Defense is the golden ticket, the brass ring, the red ribbon in the contest against insects-who-don't-belong. If Ortho was a man, I'd give him a big smack on his lips and hoist his arm in victory. Raid is good, but Home Defense wins the gold medal.
Needless to say, no ants lived to tell the tale, but the car needs a good vacuuming.
Seltzer is not club soda. Or is it?
Due to complicated circumstances, we were tasked with buying twelve bottles of seltzer. Twelve. Not just any seltzer, but .88 cent Vintage brand seltzer from Walmart. Now, I love Walmart as much as the next person, especially on the first Friday afternoon of the month, so we stoically set forth to find twelve bottles of seltzer of the .88 cent, Vintage brand.
They didn't have any. Not twelve, or six or one.
You have to understand. This isn't the mainland, with another Walmart three blocks away. The only other Walmart on the island is in Hilo, which is a two-and-one-half hour drive away, which kind of negates saving any money from an .88 cent purchase (times twelve).
Being non-drinkers, or at least non-seltzer-with-our-drinks drinkers, we innocently assumed club soda could be an acceptable substitute. On that chance, we grabbed a couple of bottles, but hedged our bets by asking the opinion of the cashier. Note, this was a cashier at the back entrance, whom I value as more knowledgeable than the window dressing cashiers in the front, mainly because they're there for life and should know a thing or two. Estella* informed us that, no, club soda and seltzer are not the same, so we left the bottles with her and continued the elusive seltzer hunt.
(* not her real name, plus she confided she didn't drink, either, so my theory of rear entrance cashiers being Mensa members is in question).
We hit two other stores (keeping in mind that Kona is not that big, and each search drastically narrowed our chances of success), before I found some at Longs and bought six. We figured six would be enough until Walmart restocked, which would be whenever the next ship docked.
If you've never heard of Long's, it's Hawaiian for CVS.
Every hurricane is a big deal. Until it's not.
I grew up in the Midwest, where tornadoes sneak up on you, and BAM!, you don't have a roof. This hurricane business is different. We know for WEEKS that one is headed our way. It's a little boring, this waiting. By the time it comes, so much time has passed that the excitement has become commonplace.
I'm not negating the seriousness of hurricanes and their devastation, but our little corner of paradise has been spared. So forgive me if all the hoo-rah hasn't impressed me. Yet.
There's a theory that Mauna Loa, as big a mountain that it is, keeps severe weather away. The one and only benefit for living on the side of a volcano.
It's a hurricane, Velma, stock up on the T.P.
We know possible chaos is headed our way, but we don't worry until a day or two ahead of time, when there's a mad stampede to Costco, Walmart and Target to stock up on the Hawaiian trifecta of hurricane preparedness-water, SPAM and toilet paper.
Water I can understand. We're told we need two gallons each per day if the electricity fails. SPAM? The state snack? Okay, it gets a pass. But, toilet paper? What kind of state emergency requires that everyone have 36 rolls? Is it multi-purpose, like Duct tape? "Hand me another roll of that Charmin, Leialani, the roof's leaking."? I don't understand the lure of owning a bunker of Northern tissue.
Guillermo's gone, Hilda looms.
Guillermo spat a little rain our way then went on to hit Oahu and Kauai.
Hilda is in the crosshairs, and I expect great things from her, only because I had a great-aunt named Hilda. She was a schoolmarm, and I think our next hurricane will grab us by the collar, shake us a couple of times and tell us to spit out our gun.
Or, she'll skirt around us, like her predecessors.
Time will tell.
Scroll down to see what we faced with Guillermo.