Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Buzz, Buzz, Buzz ...

Honey bees have been living in the wall of our garage for several years now. They go dormant or hibernate or something in the winter, but spring has sprung in Georgia and they are back. One day--after the yellow-pollen haze is gone and I can safely leave the house--I'll take a picture of them to post. They mostly live inside the wall, but they also come out and huddle close together looking like a big, black blob on the side of the garage.

So, they've been there several years. Chris has looked for a way to get rid of them without killing them--he's a nice guy, rescued a neighbor's dog that had fallen in another neighbor's pond at 1:30 yesterday morning and couldn't get out. But he's having a hard time finding one, that doesn't cost an arm and a bee wing! He's also cheap, so when the humanitarian side and the cheap side conflict, he just does nothing. And the bees haven't really been a problem.

It's kind of cool to see them hanging out on the side of the garage. And if you press your hand on the wall inside, it feels warm--these activities are good for briefly amusing the nephews when they come to visit.

But yesterday the bees became a problem. We're fixing up the room over the garage to bee (pun intended) Chris' office. Some structural work to keep the roof from collapsing on him while he sits at his desk, running his empire, required the replacement of the drywall on the vaulted ceiling. When the drywall came down off the ceiling beside the wall where the bees live, they were able to get inside the garage for the first time. They came in through the little crack between the roof rafters and the drywall on the wall.

Needless to say no one wanted to try to hang drywall with bees swarming around! Enter Great Stuff! That very cool stuff, that is almost as versatile as Duct Tape. Chris sprayed it in the crack to keep more bees from coming into the room, then left the room for a while. The bees all disappeared--going back to their hive in the wall.

We might decide to keep them if we could figure out how to get the honey out of the wall--but fresh honey mixed with insulation doesn't sound like something you want to smear on a biscuit!

So if anyone has any ideas for how to humanely and cheaply get rid of bees, please, let us know!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Avoiding 7 years of bad luck!

When we bought our house, which looked nothing like a beach house 13 years ago, we decided that the woman who sold it to us had a strong streak of vanity in her. The house was full of mirrors. Full-length mirrors hung on backs of all the closet doors, every one in the whole house. Another full-length, double-wide mirror hung on the master bedroom wall, despite the one on the master closet door. And in the room above the detached garage, an 8-foot square mirror stretched from floor to ceiling and covered the space between two windows on one wall. She obviously didn't want to have to go more than 10 steps anywhere in the house without being able to see her reflection.

We got rid of most of the other mirrors as we painted or moved closet doors. But we left the huge one. The tenants we had up there when we first moved into the house didn't seem to mind it. One was so stoned all the time he probably didn't notice it. After he left, we used the room for storage, then as a chicken house, then most recently as a workout room--with storage. It was nice to have the mirror when we (mostly Chris) worked out. Besides, what were we going to do with an 8-foot square mirror, that wouldn't risk breaking it and causing a lifetime of bad luck?

Now we're getting the room ready to be Chris's office--he works at home as a remodeling contractor and building. And we needed the wall space where the mirror was for furniture. And we thought it seemed weird for Chris to be staring at himself all day as he worked. Despite the fact that he's quite handsome!

So he had a brainstorm. He called a glass company he works with--they do shower doors, replacement glass for windows, normal-sized mirrors--and they came and got it--for free! They took it off the wall and carted it away, without breaking it and causing anyone to have bad luck!

I'm sure it's a sign. It means the rest of the work on the room will go smoothly--despite the fact that we've been waiting on the drywall guys for two days--and they still aren't here.