firepit 0919We had guests last night, unplanned and unwelcome. The ants that can be found everywhere outside have started to find their way in. Invasion of the Ants — wasn’t that some campy ’50s horror movie? It’s not as campy on your own doorstep.

Which is where they seemed to be arriving from, so I went digging in my bathroom for the peppermint oil —

Yes, digging. Everything in my bathroom is still packed in four boxes taking up valuable (and limited) floor space. This is because I have made a series of unwise choices regarding my bathroom vanity.

I did not expect that to be so hard. I liked my old vanity, which apparently is now vintage. It looks a lot like the vanity in my friend Linda’s house, which is much newer than our house on Irwin, so I wouldn’t have expected it to be so vintage.

I liked the color, a basic warm oak. I liked that it didn’t have drawer pulls. I liked the four drawers. The one innovation I saw on some newer vanities that made sense was that under the sink, instead of having a faux drawer above a cabinet, they have a cabinet above a real drawer. I don’t get all the fuss about “soft-close” drawers and cabinets, especially now that we have them in the kitchen and laundry. They may close softly, but they slam open, always to the full extension of the hinges. I’m not a fan.

So I just wanted a vanity kind of like the one I already had. Form, function, basic . . . what would be wrong with that? Everything, apparently. I couldn’t find anything similar at the place where Lynn got her kitchen cabinets, and when I did finally settle on something, the shipping was going to be $250.

I was going to have Dusty custom make me something, but then True Value started carrying a new line, and the price was about half, including shipping, which was also about half the time. Although that turned out to be wrong by about a week, so Dusty went to the kitchen cabinet place and bought a seconds place-holder vanity. I’m hoping it’s the $40 one, but perhaps it’s the $100 one. Either way, that went in place for the plumbing inspection. Which ran late by half a week, and by then my real vanity had arrived, so I thought I didn’t need the place-holder.

But Dusty didn’t want to be right in the middle of a vanity exchange as the inspector showed up — and then it turned out the drawer section was taller than the cabinet section. And the entire set was orange, not a basic unstained maple as specified.

I ordered based on a picture in a catalogue (with input from Dusty). And when I called Mike at True Value to tell him it was orange, he speculated it was a honey oak color. That was my old vanity, and I can tell you authoritatively that the vanity from True Value is not honey oak. It’s just orange. And when I followed up with Mike, who by now had the too-tall drawers back in his possession, he said, “This is orange.” So orange that he thinks he ought to get a blue piece and sell to Broncos fans.

So I asked for actual wood samples, figuring, I have this placeholder vanity (which has no drawer pulls nor pre-drilled holes for pulls), so I might as well take my time and make sure I’m getting a color I want, instead of basing guesses off pictures in a catalogue that clearly aren’t anywhere close to the actual colors. More than two weeks down the road, there are still no samples in sight. So I am living out of boxes, probably for the rest of my life.

One of which contained our peppermint oil. On the way to the oil I passed cottonballs, so I was all set to bid adieu to our ant guests by rubbing oil across our front threshold (plus a bonus fingerful in my eye). Knowing that we have another bevy of ants crawling all over the deck at the back, I headed there next — but my oil bottle was empty. I need to buy an industrial-size bottle anyway. And I’ll bet our house is going to be minty fresh for many months of every year.

There were even ants all over Lynn’s firepit, which turns out to only light during the daytime and not in the evening when she wants it to. I can’t begin to explain it to you: we hauled it to the deck and Lynn set everything up on Sunday, and her test light that afternoon went perfectly. But then when she went to actually use it Sunday night, the gas wouldn’t light.

She tested Monday morning, since she didn’t have to go to work until 10:30 (Labor Day bonus!) and it lit just fine. But it didn’t light Monday night until she gave up on the electronic ignition and went the old eyebrow-losing method of tossing a match in. Whoomp! (She did not lose her eyebrows. This time.)

So she, Oz and I (and the ants) sat fireside for a bit last night. The verdict: it looks like a gas burner surrounded by rocks. Later Lynn sat in a chair a bit removed and lower, so that all she could see was the flame, and then it looked more authentic. I guess it doesn’t matter, since it will only light in the daytime anyway.

And now I have had a non-communicative conversation with Dusty, watched a bike race, let a dirt-covered Na Ki’o (he’s gone from black to brown) back into the house, and I have no idea what else I was going to say here. Nothing like some serious focus for all these posts, hm?

So I will tie it all together (or not) by noting that one of our favorite bands is called the Fireants. I was going to post a video, but the only one they have on their website was recorded in a huge open hall, and the sound is so bad you will wonder why we like them. Their audio tracks are more reflective of their capabilities, so have a song on me and dance your day away.

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