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Farm Life

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Fall Clean Up and a Disaster

The weather cooperated yesterday so my sons and I got some fall cleaning done. There is much to do on the farm, and I need the help of two strapping 20-something males to do a great deal of it.

As we waited for the weather to warm-up before we headed outside for outside work, Tim and I took on the task of cleaning out cupboards in the guys’  room. We sorted through clothes and made a pile of those that no longer fit. We have some set aside for Goodwill and some other items are bagged up for our next garage sale.

And while this task needed done, what really needed our attention was the putting away of the window air conditioner in their room. Understand, this poor unit has survived at least 10 years of over-use (in my opinion). The guys like to make it so their room is like Antarctica. Think meat locker. Think stalagmites (or is it stalactites?) of ice hanging from the ceiling – okay, not that bad.

They love their air conditioner and it is always an effort to get them to let me remove it from their room. But, the time had come, so this is what we did.

Also understand – I hate stink bugs. I’m sure this is not their true name, but they are bugs and if you touch them, they produce a musky, blah, stink.


They also love to try to get inside the house when cold weather comes. They really try to gain access via the window air conditioner. I don’t know where they live all year long, but come fall – they try to live in my house.

Along with ladybugs, whom I don’t mind, unless they are those Asian beetles sent to save us all from aphids, and which now also try to invade the house once it gets chilly.

So, get this picture in your minds. We need to remove the screws holding the air conditioning unit in the window, as well as the duct tape and foam used to seal the thing in an effort to keep the bugs out. I have the Electrolux in hand to sweep up any invading stink bugs, lady bugs and, oh yes, wasps that have also conveniently made a paper nest on the window ledge where the AC unit is.

We take out the screws. Remove the duct tape – all’s good and then we attempt to remove the foam. Oh no. The foam is stuck to the window and glass. Jammed actually. Rats!

I put down the Electrolux nozzle to help Tim with the window. We get it to move a bit, and yes, you guessed it, stink bugs came crawling out of every crevice. Tim grabs the sweeper and quickly turns it on. I give the window a good shove hoping to pop out the insulated foam, which I am able to do just in time to watch the air conditioner fall backwards out of the window, hit the box bay roof below it, thankfully miss our newly installed gutter and plunge to the muddy ground below.

Tim made a valiant grasp for the AC cord, but missed, thank goodness, as it probably would have ripped out of the unit. Or if the cord had held on, the unit would have swung in and broken the main box bay window.

We both just stood there looking at the air conditioner – on the ground. In all the  commotion, the stink bugs flew away, not into the house. Figures.

Breaking free of my stupor, I stated an explicative and ran downstairs and out the door. Amazingly, except for being covered in mud, nothing was broken on the air conditioner. Not the little slidey accordion thingies on the sides; not the filter in the front – nothing.

I picked up the mud slicked piece of machinery and began wiping it off with wet paper towels. Tim helped me carry it to the basement just about the time my dad walked over to taste the prune cake I had just made.

Yes, I said prunes. Don’t judge. The recipe was one I found on www.thepioneerwoman.com’s website. The cake is really, really, REALLY good. Go to her site and find it, bake it and eat it. It’s the right thing to do – as Ree would say.

Wait – now I’m hungry and have to go get a piece. Hold on.

Ahhh… what a fantastic cake. It’s great with a glass of milk, that’s all I’m saying.

Anyway – back to the story. I told my dad about the air conditioner fiasco, which made him smile;  laugh actually. He says what I already know,  “Don’t tell your mother.” There are just some things moms do not need to know about and air conditioners falling from the second story of one’s home would be such a thing.

After having his good laugh, my dad comes up with an idea. “Let’s fire that thing up and see if it still runs.”

I’m sure the poor machine has suffered internal injuries beyond repair. I am sure if I turn it on it is  going to blow up. Can air conditioners blow up?

I voiced my concern to my dad about the blowing up thing. His response, “I can only hope. That would be fun.”

Geez my knees!.

Well, I plugged that puppy in and guess what? It ran like a dream; it did not blow up. Not even a clunk or clank. Go figure.

The moral of this story? Don’t let a stink bug (okay, a million stink bugs) freak you out. And learn to laugh at your mistakes like my dad did.

And just so we’re clear – Stink bugs… go live somewhere else. Leave my house alone and no more trying to destroy the air conditioner.

Thank you.

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