Five Ways Wasps are Like People



We have been dealing with a wasp infestation in our home.  They had built a nest in a small opening at the place where the roof and chimney meet and were getting into the home through the fireplace.  The fireplace is located in our family room in the basement.  The family room has no door but the wasps were staying mostly in the basement.   Once I found out where these creatures were getting in at, I contacted a pest control company. I found out how good I was at multi-tasking and thinking under pressure:  I’m on the phone with the pest control company, phone in one hand, and a can of Raid in the other, spraying the wasps as they came out of the fireplace.

As the pest control company couldn’t come out until the following Monday, I was able to seal off the room using some poly plastic wrap & duct tape.  (Ok wasps, I thought, you can have this space and we will take the rest).

I suffered one sting, my first sting ever.  I did react with flu like symptoms and congestion; however I was allergy tested last week and I am not allergic.

It took two applications of chemical to finally get rid of all the wasps.  My husband climbed on the roof and caulked the areas where they were getting in.  This weekend, approximately three weeks later, we were finally able to “take back our family room”.

(This reads so calmly; in reality I was pretty freaked out and it felt like something out of a horror movie.  Hearing that buzzing behind the fireplace glass was quite unsettling).

It got me thinking, though, that there are certain commonalities between wasps and humans:

  1. Wasps attack when they are out of their element (I was stung by one that was in our family room).  When humans are out of their comfort zone, they can do the same thing.
  2. Wasps attack when they feel threatened or their nest is threatened. If someone is threatening us or our nest, we want to attack too.
  3. Wasps are territorial.
  4. The queen rules the nest. Often, the woman is in charge of the home.
  5. I asked the owner of the pest control company why the wasps were crawling on the floor.  He told me they were confused, I guess because they were out of their natural environment.  Don’t people also experience some sense of confusion when in an unfamiliar place?

I guess wasps have a role to play in nature and apparently they do help pollinate but seriously, God, what were you thinking when you created them?

The Albatross


{Originally written in 2008 and revised today} At times our house feels like an albatross around our neck and sometimes it feels like a sanctuary.  Lately, the albatross is winning.    The list of tasks to fix this house – even what would be necessary to do before selling – are endless and, by the time we get them all done, it’ll be time to start over!

Our latest project is a half bath in the basement. We have wanted to do this for a long, long time. Unfortunately it is not coming together as quickly as we would like. We can’t afford to hire someone and my husband lacks full knowledge and expertise for drywalling. Professional (paid) tradespeople don’t want a small job and friends aren’t able to help.

I’m tired.  We both are. Tired of the upkeep and the updating.  It’s not that big of a house but right now it feels huge and unwieldy and like someone who’s stayed too long at the party (it is over 25 years old and it shows).


  • Removed the wall-to-wall wallpaper in every room
  • Chipped out the Easy-Brick “trim” around the entryway into the kitchen
  • New hot water tank (2000)
  • Electronic air cleaner (2003)
  • Air conditioning (2002)
  • New dishwasher (2005)
  • New fridge (2002)
  • New stove (2013)
  • New front entry door (2001)
  • New windows or new glass in window casings in almost every room
  • New baseboards, flooring, window coverings
  • Completely re-developed family room in basement with new carpet, built-ins, lighting, window treatments, paint.
  • New light fixtures in kitchen, master bedroom, hallway, office
  • Repainted completely.
  • New linoleum in bathrooms and new carpet on stairs, lower landing  (2006)
  • New higher -end walnut stained 8 mm laminate flooring in bedrooms, living room, hallway (2006)
  • New baseboards and trim throughout (2005-2006)
  • New low flush toilets in bathrooms (2006)
  • Extensive landscaping and gravel RV pad
  • Ceilings repainted (2006)
  • Interior doors replaced / repainted
  • New high efficiency furnace (2010?)
  • New drywall in laundry/furnace room (2010)
  • New washer/dryer (2010)
  • Kitchen gutted and replaced (2011)
  • Roof replaced on garage and house (2011 I think)
  • Fence replaced (2012)

To do:

  • Replace bathtubs
  • Repair fireplace
  • Re-do concrete walkways/steps
  • New flooring in one room in basement
  • Re-do deck
  • Finish painting doors and trim
  • Re-paint the trim around the door and window
  • New complete bay window system in living room
  • Replace windows in garden doors in kitchen

I blame those design shows on HGTV:  houses listed for sale now have to be in darn near perfect, move-in ready condition.  So even if we were to list, and buy something newer that’s move-in ready, a lot of the improvements on the “to-d0” list would have to be completed.

Home ownership: SO completely over-rated.