Welcomed Home by the Other Red Army

Ah, home again, after a two week, multi-location odyssey (Hilo to Austin to New Orleans to Seattle to San Juan Island and back to Hilo, if you’re keeping track). There was relatively little pet drama while we were gone, although Fred did shred his Thunder Shirt at the kennel. And there were no rats squatting in our house, as happened the last time we visited Sydney’s home state (see Vacation Interlopers). However, there were other squatters, or at least a change of behavior in the pre-existing residents. Which is why I just put Vaseline on my laptop. Not directly. I may be loony, but I’m not crazy. My laptop sits in a collapsible frame called a Roost, the better to avoid Hunchback Writer Syndrome. I put the Vaseline on the legs of the Roost. Well, the back legs, because the front legs are kinda complicated. And really, not the whole back legs because there’s a divot… but I digress. The purpose of the Vaseline is to foil the ant armies.

For some reason, my laptop has become a pilgrimage site for the little buggers ever since I returned to the island a few days ago. Oh sure, they’d showed an intermittent interest in the screen in the past, but I was hoping they were just thriller fans wanting a sneak peek at the second book in the Dead Hollow trilogy. No such luck. I started the morning with an emergency backup, immediately after my booting laptop made strange noises that I suspect were caused by frying ants. The sticky Roost legs is just a stopgap measure, to hold me until I finish this blog post. (That’s my foreshadowing that this will be a quickie.) The next step (post-blog) is to thoroughly wipe down my desk and apply Vaseline to the legs of said piece of furniture. Seriously. Hopefully Fritz won’t lick it off (eww!) as he often does to the petroleum smears on the cat feeding station in the kitchen. Why didn’t I start with cleaning the desk? Because it is a disaster area, covered with notebooks, discarded boarding passes, and the kajillions (that’s “kid Gillian’s,” according to Dragon dictation) of mosaic-forming Post-its, many of which were removed from my laptop for travel. (The other laptops can be so cruel about ragged frills.)

Chicken eggs laid under the edge of a house by Judy K. WalkerLet me take this opportunity to say the travel was amazing, and I intend to share more about my adventures soon. However, the ants are already massing next to my tiki pencil holder and they’ve begun exploring alternative routes to my laptop’s delicate inner bits, so sharing will have to wait. My purpose today was just to let you all know, since my online presence has been spotty lately, I am back at the keyboard now. (Hear me knocking on my wooden, ant-infested desk?) Oh, but I will quickly divulge one more little rural living risk. A neighbor’s chicken has been clucking next to my window all morning. After a particularly noisy kerfuffle, I went out to investigate and found this under the edge of our house. Perhaps I should loan her my Roost. :p