Bzzzzzzzzzz. Bzzzz. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I sat in my office this morning and I heard this buzzing sound, as if a bee was inside of a can. I couldn’t figure out where in our house there would be metal, let alone a bee. I followed the sound for about 15 minutes as it started and stopped, stepping once to the left, twice to the right, and closing my eyes so I could “hear better.” Finally, I found myself directly in front of the fire place.
Ooooh. Bees in the chimney.
When I stepped outside to take a look, I noticed I wasn’t quite right.
Wasps. Wasps in the chimney.
HOME OWNERSHIP RULES.
I texted Bear.
Me – There are wasps in the chimney.
Bear – Ummmm. Ooook.
Me – What do I do?
Bear – Smoke ’em out.
Huh. Smoke ’em out. Yeah. I can do that.
I went outside and collected some dry leaves and sticks. You know. Kindling. Because I’m like a camper or a farmer or a survivalist or whatever. I brought it all inside and then walked back outside looking for wood.
Wood. Wood. Hmmmm…wood. I didn’t see any wood. But I DID see the remnants of the pallet coffee table that Bear made for me. I started trying to break apart a wooden plank with my foot and when I nearly broke a finger, I decided I was just going to have to put the whole piece into the fireplace. I carried those inside and then decided I should check to be sure the flue was open.
Do you know how to check if a flue is open?
Me neither, which is why I looked like a miner by the time I climbed out of the fireplace with the big thumbs up – flue’s open!
Then I googled “smoking out wasps”. This was funny because it’s 4/20 and none of the websites helped me. I got more specific with my search and learned that it’s important to burn a good fire for about 30 minutes to fully “relocate” a wasps nest.
I started with a lighter and some dry leaves. I figured I’d get those going, add the sticks, then the planks, and we’d be in business. What I learned is that even when you have a lighter, it’s really hard to just get stuff to light on fire. I lit those leaves no less than 9 times before one of them caught fire.
I could never be on Naked and Afraid.
Then I learned that leaves burn REALLY FAST. I started throwing the sticks on but by the time I got them in there, the leaves were burnt out.
Time to go gather more leaves.
I was sweating my face off because I was searching for dry leaves in 80 degree weather because I needed to BUILD A FIRE.
My fresh batch of leaves made a nice little bed inside the fire place and, thinking ahead, I stacked my sticks in one of those little pyramids everyone thinks you should make to start a fire. Another few rounds of trying to get them to light and sure enough, they started blazing. My sticks kinda did, too, but I didn’t have enough so I ran back and forth outside trying to bring in more sticks before everything burned out again. Finally, it seemed like I had a fairly decent blaze going, so I added a plank.
A plank of wood.
It stuck halfway out the fireplace. There was no jamming it in there. I laid another one on top of that one and if you saw it, you would literally think this was my first day on Earth.
Luckily, the wood was very dry and a little bit brittle so it caught fire nicely. As soon as it started to burn through the middle, I shimmied the pieces sticking out of the fireplace back in and stacked them. Without burning myself. VIOLA! Exactly one hour later I’d built a fire!
I set a timer for 30 minutes, turned the AC on full blast, and sat back down at my desk. Mission accomplished.
Then my phone dinged.
“Hair appointment in 30 minutes.”
Shit shit shit shit.
I JUST GOT THE FIRE GOING and now I had to leave.
Could I leave a fire burning behind the metal curtains and the metal gate and safely go to get my hair did?
I got dressed and grabbed my purse, staring at the fire.
It’s fine. It’s completely contained. It couldn’t even jump to anything. It needs 30 minutes.
Right. I decided it would be fine. I ran and got into my car. I had 25 minutes to get to my appointment. I made it out of my driveway before I turned around. I forgot my water bottle.
Water. Water bottle. Is this a sign from God that I should put the fire out?!
I grabbed my water and stared at the fire again. It was burning, but it was completely contained and in no way suggesting it would burn my house down.
Fine. It’s fine. Gotta go.
I jumped back into the car and made it halfway down the street this time before I turned back around. Why? Because I ran the Dateline Test…and if my house burned down, I would DEFINITELY end up on an episode of Dateline; at the very least the local news.
Fine. I’m just going to have to start another fire another day and let it burn for 30 minutes.
I ran back inside, filled the Vitamix pitcher with water, and doused the flames. I still had 20 minutes to get to my appointment. Plenty of time.
I jumped back in the car, fully confident that I would not return to a pile of charred wood, and made it all the way to the end of my street, when…
If you’ve ever been stuck behind a funeral procession for nearly 20 minutes, you know that it produces a myriad of opposing feelings. On the one hand, you pray for the people IN the procession who are mourning the loss of someone they love. On another hand, you cannot BELIEVE the person who died knew THIS many people. And on the third hand (just go with it), you are cursing the day they decided to put a cemetery on a main road where there ARE NO OUTLETS FOR RELIEF.
I was 20 minutes late but my lovely stylist was very understanding about the funeral procession. My hair looks lovely.
So far, I haven’t heard any buzzing tonight, so before you do any burning: 10 minutes is all it takes to smoke wasps out of a chimney.