Archive for January, 2013

Consider the Ant

“Take a lesson from the ant, you lazy fellow.

Learn from their ways and be wise!

For though they have no king to make them work,

yet they labor hard all summer, gathering food for the winter.”

Proverbs 6:6


Today I have been considering the ant!  There is a lot of  truth and wisdom in the words penned by the wise king Solomon. However, these industrious little critters have invaded my kitchen counter in full force, calling out all reserves.  The temperatures soared up into the 60’s today and the heat wave must have woken them up from their long winter’s nap.  Or just maybe they didn’t gather enough food for the winter and got hungry!

At first I tried catching each one and washing them down the drain.  I wasn’t drowning them, just sending them to the depths of never, never land.  I soon decided I was losing that battle strategy and also had to go to work.  The busy little critters were scurrying everywhere. I watched them for a few minutes as they raced across the counter as if  they owned the place.  They would meet another soul-mate, stop,  shoot the breeze a few seconds before kissing and running off in search of food.  Were they telling another scout where the food source was?  Someone must have been sending signals back to their nest as I soon had hundreds of them acting like they had been given an occupancy permit to my kitchen.

I decided it was time for full scale ant war-fare.  I got out my trusted bottle of  “Terro Ant Killer” and put a dap of the thick, gooey, sweet stuff on a piece of tin-foil, carefully placing it where they seemed to be having a “committee meeting”.   Within minutes they were feasting and inviting fellow ants to the dessert bar.


I have to admit they are interesting to watch.  They circle the glob of poison in orderly fashion like they are feasting at a banquet table.  After drinking their fill, they leave and run back to their nest somewhere in the depths of the crawl space under our house where they store up the “food” to eat at a later time.  On the run back to the nest they again meet and greet fellow travelers.

I will leave the poison out for about five days so they can store up sufficient “ammunition” in their nest for the kill.  As long as I leave the papers out, they will continue to “tote and store”. When I remove the papers, the ants will also disappear, returning to the nest to enjoy their “stored” feast.   This battle I will win!

Go Away Winter!

Two weeks ago I was wondering/lamenting where winter went and now I have had enough!  My “winter cravings” have been satisfied.  I have had a perfect snow storm to enjoy,  worn my favorite winter clothes, cooked soup, stew and bread, and sniffed the toe-warming smell of wood heat . We had 4 inches of snow last week that came and went-fast!


This morning the thermometer on the patio read 8 degrees. It is cold, COLD, COLD! When it is this cold it is hard to keep the fires burning hot enough and the pipes thawed.  I have had to fill the two wood furnaces (house and store) since Gene had hernia surgery right after Christmas and doctor’s orders-he can’t lift more than 10 pounds.  This means I have to load the stoves at 10 PM before I go to bed and get up at 2 AM and add more.  Ten more days and he is off light duty!!!  At least this has not been an a brutal year.

This morning it is a bone-chilling 45 degrees in the store. It is hard to get motivated except to stand over the heat vent and let the warm air flow up the pant legs.  The store has too many doors that open and close, high ceilings and drafty cracks!  I do have baseboard heat in the office where I can seek refuge, giving me a warm place to work.

They are calling for snow this afternoon but according to Jim Duncan we will only get 1 inch of accumulation.  It will not hurt my feelings if we are by-passed.

Here are some pictures from last week to prove we have winter.




This afternoon it is snowing again. They aren’t calling for much-maybe an inch but it is nasty & beautiful outside.




But just like good ole Virginia weather, if you don’t like what we have today just wait until tomorrow, the weatherman is promising 65 degrees next week!  I will take it and I suspect in 5 months I will be complaining of 100 degree days and wishing for winter!!

Where is Winter?

This afternoon I took a ride on the golf cart to enjoy the lovely, warm (70 degree), sunny afternoon. It is the middle of January but what I found were signs of spring.


 The cows were relaxing and chewing their cud in the pasture.

There were numerous newborn baby calves.



This mama has cancer in her eye.  She surprised us with a baby.  Hopefully she will be able to raise it.


I loved this curly haired little baby.  He was just born today.


A field of rye coming up.


Cleaning up and timbering.



Dandelions blooming!


Daffodils popping up.


The roses are popping new growth and I haven’t trimmed them for the winter yet!

January should be the coldest month of the year.  We are needing cold weather to kill some bugs and flu germs.  We are also needing some winter moisture. Snow is a natural source of nitrogen that is vital to fields. The spring that meanders through the bottom is dry and this time of year should be running water.  I loved the beautiful spring-like day and enjoyed my ride but…where is winter?????