Traverse City Record-Eagle

Edna Shaffer: Grandma's Kitchen

July 12, 2010

Grandma's Kitchen: Friend or foe?

Lately, I've been giving lots of thought to my relationship with Mother Nature, or maybe that should be lack thereof.

It's obvious that I have grievously offended her to the point she has been visiting one plague after another since early June.

This began with the crazed robin who flogged his reflection in my bedroom window at dawn every day. His ardor cooled when he discovered the gorgeous creature in the side mirrors of Molly's car. Lucky for him, they were safety glass. His pain tolerance was unbelievable.

The morning he disappeared, I rushed to the kitchen for a celebratory cup of coffee. Instead of enjoying peace and quiet, plague No. 2 was visited: the invasion of the black ants. They were marching, in formation, across the kitchen floor. There was no beginning and no end.

They avoided the ant traps and everything else the hardware store had to offer. So, I swatted and swept for a week until Google came to the rescue, with borax for the floors and vinegar-soaked cotton balls for the countertops.

The borax helped a little bit but it was the vinegar-soaked cotton balls that introduced the plague to follow. Plague No. 3 was the arrival of swarms of fruit flies, which we know from last year, never end. The only sure elimination of the fruit flies is to not allow one crumb of food in your kitchen until the first snowfall.

So much for early summer in northern Michigan wetlands; you have to love it or leave it. On the plus side, we haven't yet met the mother bear with her two little cubs rumored to be roaming in our area.

To balance this, we've had some welcome visitors, tiny people equipped with parents. We have more of this on schedule for the rest of the summer. We also welcomed a beautiful little great-granddaughter, Hazel, born in New York last week. That leaves the next baby in queue — due in September. Stay tuned!

A baby will always be the most wonderful gift of all. We will thank Mother Nature (and complying parties) for these tiny people. We love each and every one.

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