Bugs and Ballots

I found an infestation of bugs in my pantry this morning. Apparently, some bean beetles ate their way through a plastic bag of dried chickpeas, had a little party, and then began repopulating at a rapid rate. Tanner was still in bed as I threw away potentially infested boxes of food, crushed as many beetles as I could, and periodically gagged from disgust and shame.

After an excruciating hour spent debugging my pantry—a task that I believe must be worse than childbirth (and this being an assumption that I will confirm at a later date), I finally feel safe in my own kitchen again. Unfortunately, I don’t expect the ghost bugs I feel crawling all over my body to go away for at least a few more days.

Although the events of this morning would suggest otherwise, I’ve always considered myself to be a relatively clean person. However, waking up to a pantry-turned bug farm has led me to question whether my standards of cleanliness are lacking or if I am simply an unlucky person. Honestly, I don’t know which is to be preferred.

With the commencement of the great bug debacle of 2016, Tanner and I drove up to the public library this morning and performed our civic duty by voting. Of course, we felt the pride of taking part in this sacred demonstration of just one of the many freedoms to be found in a constitutional republic. However, I think we were more excited to be one step closer to saying goodbye to this election season—the mudslinging, the fearmongering, the hateful rhetoric, and the two caricatures being broadcast 24/7.

Clearly, I have just as much negative speech concerning this election as the next person, but today I am washing my hands of the whole ordeal. I can sleep well tonight knowing that I elected representatives who I believe will be good for the country, not just tolerable. The only thing left to do is to wait for the results, then accept the outcome, and then continue to make the world a better place any way that I can because I don’t believe this responsibility falls solely on the shoulders of government officials anyway.

So, moving on from bugs and ballots….

Tanner and I (mostly Tanner) recently replaced siding and repainted our home’s exterior. We went with a greige (gray/beige) color for the siding, a bright-white trim, and a blue front door. It all looks much better than before, and I can’t wait to do some landscaping as a final touch. In the meantime, I think we will be focusing our efforts on the inside of the house for the upcoming winter weather. This will include redoing both of the bathrooms, plus the kitchen and the floors in the front part of the house.

Assuming all goes well and my luck doesn’t bring us a termite infestation or something of the sort, then we should be finished with renovations by early next year. I’m very much looking forward to being done with the improvements on this house because, as much as I respect and admire Joanna Gaines, I don’t fancy that I could do her job. Although I bet Tanner could hold his own against Chip, it would be no contest between Joanna and me.

She’d be like, “Let’s knock down this wall and open up this space to make room for the vintage sofa I reupholstered in my immaculate farmhouse with my angelic children.”

And I would be like, “My back hurts, and I think the half-finished look could be a statement. Let’s just sit on this old sofa that I got off Craigslist and spilled coffee on this morning. Also, don’t eat anything in the pantry because there’s a bug infestation.”

The one thing I do enjoy about home renovation is painting. I think this is the least favorite task of most people, but I love watching a fresh coat of paint being applied to a wall. And, on a more concerning note, I also love the smell of it.

And with that thought, I should stop before I say anything else warranting a call from my grandmother.

Battling festering bug colonies and wafting chemical fumes aside, we really are doing well. It’s no surprise that Tanner continues to be an outstanding husband; and I’m pretty sure most wives wouldn’t let their significant others sleep while they terminate an entire population of beetles, so I think I’m racking in the wife points these days.

More than anything, Tanner and I are happy and keeping life as simple as we can. We are enjoying all the good stuff that comes our way, be it a new job or a blue front door; and we are learning to laugh at everything else (a ballot of bad choices and a pantry full of beetles, for example).

Louisa May Alcott put it best when she said, “The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely.”

I don’t know if joy and simplicity are the secret ingredients to every life well lived, but we are definitely experiencing the benefits of this approach in our lives and in our marriage.


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