So we are loving our huge yard
Throw a towel and some snack, we are ready for a picnic
The kids roll on it, they run bare footed, get dirty and they love it

It’s hard to avoid bugs and creepy crawlers with a yard like this

My 9 year old has a thing for bugs
He cried when his praying mantis died and got really upset when he had to let go a beetle because we couldn’t figure out what food to feed him
He thinks lizards are friends and ants should be left alone

It would be inappropriate to call these bugs because to him, they are harmless and friendly
It is not ok to hurt the bugs and they are usually left alone

Now, things are a little bit different over here

With the weather warming up, everything starts to come out of hibernation and like I mentioned before, everything seems bigger here, even bugs
The same type of beetles aren’t tiny and cute
They are huge and angry and crash into the doors when it gets dark as if trying to get inside the house
The mosquitoes all wear black and white socks
and look like mutant cousins of Aedes

Then yesterday, while running bare footed, playing catch with the Dad, my 3 year old ran over an ant nest
Within seconds, both his feet were engulfed with red fiery ants with black bottoms
They clung on and chewed at his feet furiously while he jumped, screamed and cried in shock and fright

The Dad quickly rushed him to the water point to have the ants flushed off with the gushing tap
It took us some time to finally calm him down, get him to bathe and sit down for dinner
It was then that the Dad started breaking out in hives and his joints, back and neck area were soon covered with red angry bumps, itching and flushing hot
It was only after some medication from the pharmacy that the swells and bumps started to subside
We suspected that he had an allergic reaction to the ant bites earlier on (which is like never before in his life)

This morning I rushed down to the Lawn and Garden section and hauled back the most lethal weapon I could find
I reached home, ripped off the cover, put on the spray gun and went right on to do what usually the man in the house would do

I found 2 nests and had both of them wrecked with a red brick and flooded with my new venomous poison
I could almost hear myself chanting ‘Kill’em All !’ while the kids watched on

Fangs out, war’s on
This would be the day where my kids remember that
Bugs ain’t no friend no more


P/s: We just found out that these were fire ants and read this
It’s gonna be an arduous task getting rid of them
Wish me luck !


Father’s Day Weekend And A Virgin Hike

It was Father’s Day weekend
And I have to confess, I wasn’t aware till I logged onto Facebook
It had been an eventful week, with schools tours, driving test and a morning of garage sale misadventure
I was worn out and all I really wanted was to stay home and chill, Father’s Day or no Father’s Day

And when the event keeper didn’t do its job, no one else did
Nobody really knew it was Father’s Day, not the kids, not the Dad
So nothing was planned and I got to take a late morning nap while the boys cooked lunch

I had to admit, I would have kicked a big fuss if it was the other way round on Mother’s Day
But the Dad, he is of a different species
Far more unfazed by the unimportant and focusing on the things that truly mattered,
it naturally made him a better parent and a partner easy to love

A good lunch and a power nap did wonders to my system
and I agreed to a trip to Lake Martin, with the possibility of an afternoon hike
The kids were thrilled when they heard that we were going for a hike

It took us an hour to get there, a quiet and almost deserted piece of forested hill surrounding a lake
In the silence of the forest, we could hear occasional echoes of laughter from holidaymakers who were there to enjoy the cooling lake
Some were out  boating, others were jumping off from floating decks behind their lake side houses
We were about the only people who were there to hike

We did a 2 mile trail littered with dried twigs and pine cones and smelling of fresh pine through and through
We loved it

The trail brought us to the bottom of the hill, right next to the lake where the boys spent a long time picking up twigs, studying spider webs and soaking in the sounds of the forest

It turned out to be a quiet and unhurried Father’s Day weekend, just the way I needed it to be, doing what we love to do




Living With Space

It’s been a week since we moved into our new home
But our place remains unfurnished
The 2 living halls are bare and empty
We do have beds to sleep on but without bedframes

I thought there was no real rush to dress up the space
It could be just a matter of parting with our money at a furniture store
Or we could have fun hunting for the right stuff

It’s summer break and school is out
I had checked out some summer camps here but wasn’t too impressed with what I saw
and thus decided not to dump the kids there
So the kids are stuck with me most days at home

Here’s them in the backyard, planning a water pistol shootout

We haven’t gotten a TV and they haven’t been playing the iPad
They have their Lego Duplo from back home though and lots of space both indoors and outdoors

Initially they just ran around the house playing catch
Then they started playing hide and seek at night, in complete darkness, with just the light from the new torches that I bought for them
With a couple of dollar water pistols they had a great shoot out in the backyard

The neighbours hit over some balls the other day while we were out
An old bat managed to make its way into our backyard as well
Don’t ask me how, but the kids had a chance to try out a favorite American sport

Few days ago, they started learning how to fold the best paper planes and started flying them around
They tried throwing them at the ceiling fan in the empty hall
The planes were sent flying around like rockets and I thought it was pretty cool

Then they took the planes to the backyard and one got stuck in the neighbour’s tree
They spent some time trying to figure out how to get the plane down

Boredom is the devil’s playground
Or Necessity is the mother of all invention

Whichever the case, it was heartening to see them inventing their own games out of boredom
I was tempted to leave the house empty as it was and wasn’t eager to have the cable guy in

Then last Saturday, I went to my first yard sale around the neighbourhood
Boy, I was glad

I had almost forgotten how much fun it was
The thrill and excitement of seeing an open garage strewn with things

I swerved the car towards where the commotion was, stepped on the accelerator, eye balled the perfect slot to illegal park, zoomed in and the hunt began

In less than an hour, I lugged home
a Britax Roundabout car seat at 10 bucks (the exact same model as the one we are using but newer)
2 almost brand new outdoor chairs at 7 bucks
and a set of soccer goal posts at a dollar

The kids were happy, the Dad was happy, I was happy

I am thinking now, perhaps I should just fill up the house with ‘junk’ from someone else’s yard
And test out the truth behind Thomas Edison’s wisdom
‘To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk’

Living with space or filling with junk
Whichever way, I think it’s gonna be fun


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