I had me a real Phil Dunphy moment this week. For anyone who is a fan of the popular show “Modern Family”, you’ll understand what I mean. I got distracted…severely, utterly, distracted while trying to complete a task.
Yeah, it happens.
The heat brings out in the critters in San Diego, and my yard is no exception. Summer has introduced my family to a host of new friends, the most annoying of which are ants. Lots and lots of ants.
I’ve been doing my best to combat them without extreme measures but I am fighting a losing battle. The little buggers just keep getting into the house and traipsing around like they own the place. THEY DON’T.
Anywho, my three-year-old pointed out a couple of stragglers under the kitchen table, so naturally I got down on all fours and followed them. They eventually led me to the pack, which were in two single-file rows, marching with a purpose, under my rug. I lifted the rug and followed them under a chair in the back corner of my family room. They continued their journey right on under my baseboard.
What does a lady do, you ask? A lady tears off the baseboard. Because that baseboard had been bugging me a for a while anyways. Plus– what was the point of getting rid of the ants that I could see, when anyone who knows anything about ants will attest that THEY JUST KEEP COMING.
So I moved all the furniture and ripped off the baseboard. But upon removing the baseboard, I realized that that there was a huge gap between where our tile and the drywall met, and that the ants were coming in because it was convenient for them to walk on in from the outside.
Clearly there was only one way to handle this situation– I needed to seal it up, and seal it up good. Using my handy-dandy calking gun, I filled the gap with some polyurethane calking that I had just purchased to do the outside perimeter of our house.
But after I had filled that gap it occurred to me that the outside needed to be sealed as well. And once I started calking the outside in that section, I just kept going. But I hadn’t counted on the heat… the heat was melting my calking too fast. So instead of stopping, and waiting, like a normal human being, I started smearing that stuff around with my fingers, filling every hole in between our foundation, the cement, and our stucco.
I was feeling pretty good. Pretty good indeed.
But my hands were covered in the calking. It felt like I had two rubber gloves on that melded with my hands– the caulk and my skin were becoming ONE.
I tried everything; I washed. I googled. I poured acetone on my hands, rubbed them with a plastic bag. I tried paper towels and hand towels, added olive oil, baking soda, hot water, cold water, shampoo, and conditioner. But it wouldn’t come off.
It took me a while for my desperation to peak– to call my neighbor, who is a mason, for help. We just had a face-off in our Fantasy Football league and he had won. I’d flipped him the bird as he drove to work about two hours prior, so I was avoiding groveling at his feet for help with my Hulk hands. But desperate times call for desperate measures.
I was hooked up with some orange solution that was the first thing that actually started to tear down the levels calking that were coating my hands. I scrubbed for about an hour and then gave up.
See friends, only time can heal some wounds.
In my exuberance at household chore distraction, I didn’t notice the disarray that I had created– the living room furniture was all pulled out, the baseboard with nails was sitting face up on my fireplace, and caulk fingerprints were evident all over the house.
I had pulled a real Phil.
But sometimes that’s what happens when you’re a busy woman just trying to get some shit done.