After a seemingly long stretch of hot, humid weather, we were finally blessed with a beautiful day filled with sunshine, blue skies and low humidity. What a wonderful day to enjoy the outdoors. After a morning filled with water play out on the deck, the two-year-old little boy I babysit “helped” me set up a tent on the dry side of the deck. We then proceeded to pack our lunch and head back out on the deck to our colorful tent and enjoy our summer picnic.
As you know, picnics and ants just naturally go together. But did you know there are several things you can do so that these pesky little creatures don’t invade your space? Ants do not like vinegar. They also do not like lemon, mint, or rosemary. Simply lightly rub the item of choice quickly over your tablecloth to create an instant and effective ant repellant. Ants are also not a fan of water. Consider placing the feet of your picnic table in large containers of water. Trust me the ants are not going to cross the moat. Now they do love watermelon and sweet treats. Another effective tactic to keep ants away from your picnic is to place your leftover watermelon rind or several small bowls of sugar water a short distance from where you have staked your claim for your picnic. They will march right on over to partake of the sweet treats not even giving you and your picnic deliciousness a second thought.
Here is the conundrum. It’s not ants that have invaded this particular picnic, but rather a cute, fluffy, somewhat precocious little puppy named Jellybean. She simply invited herself to the festivities. First of all, she heard there was going to be cheese. She loves cheese. Then she heard there was going to be some chicken stix for the two-year-old, and finally she heard the rumor that there was also going to be some peanut butter. Oh boy, she is a big fan of peanut butter! There were no scents, moats or sweet distracters that were going to keep her away. As my little buddy and I sat inside the tent, Jellybean peeked in the door. Then she walked around the other side of the tent and peeked in the window, only to be overcome by the smell of chicken stix and a cheese stick. Let the crying, pouting and begging begin! Oh my goodness, Jellybean, there is no need to put on such a show. Of course you are welcome to our picnic. What a happy little puppy she was as I reached into the picnic bag and came out with her “licky mat” which had been lightly spread with peanut butter. What a wonderful little device that is. She happily lapped up her peanut butter as Jay and I finished our picnic lunch. After everyone’s belly was full, Jellybean and Jay both had the same idea for cleaning either the peanut butter or ketchup off their respective faces. Jellybean went first as Jay curiously watched to see what she was doing. She trotted over to the small pool on the other side of the deck and quickly stuck her face in the water. After a few shakes, Jellybean lifted her head out of the water. It was wet but peanut butter free. You could almost see the wheels turning as Jay quickly ran across the deck, bent down and he too put his face in the water Jellybean style. What a pair! Love these two to pieces!
Beverly Stiffler Smith