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I just want you to know that after reading the comments on my last post, I soaked my desk in diesel fuel, dropped a lighted match on my computer, and watched in grim satisfaction as the purifying fire consumed every trace of what you had written, and any larvae it might have harbored.  I'm not sorry.  I could not live in a world where a moth infestation follows people around.  From Jody, who still had moths after two household moves: "They traveled in the minivan. They'd been living on the disintegrated Cheerios in the little indentations under the benches."  I mean, my God, the call...is coming...from insiiiide the houuuuuse.  DD's story -- "Last time I had them, it took me several weeks (and 2 pantry cleanings) to realize the source was a piece of child art with glued-on pasta which I had put up in the dining room" -- is as persuasive an argument against art as ever I've heard, and I am terminating my substantial underwriting of the NEA effective immediately.  And Christine?  Who said, "And the eggs are on the underside of your shelves if you haven't found them yet"?  Thanks for this.  Really.  GAAAAAAAAAAH.

But it could be a lot worse.  We already had most of our food in plastic containers, so all -- all! -- I had to do was to junk the things that weren't, scrub the cans, and saturate the shelves and walls with a weak solution of white vinegar and water.  (Ha ha ha ha, weak solution of white vinegar and water, as if.  Try weak solution of lighter fluid and Agent Orange.)  Here is where we ended up:


See my REVENGEĀ® trap on the lower left?  I woke up in the night and crept downstairs to check it, like a five-year-old on Christmas Eve hoping to trip over Santa.

No, really, we're good on the plastic containers.


I hate brown rice.  But don't worry; if it starts to get ideas above its station, arborio, jasmine, and medium-grain white stand in starchy vigilance, ready to kick its ass.


I do, however, like hearts of palm.  "I like hearts of palm," I said to Paul -- see? I really like them! -- as I lovingly wiped each can with a weak solution of rat poison and lye.  "Then eat them," he said firmly, pointedly eyeing my tower.


Charlie came home in the middle of all this and I gave him a job to do.  Some containers were unmarked, so I handed him my P-Touch, a device he's admired from afar for quite some time but had never been permitted to handle.  I wish I could describe how proud he was of his new responsibility, and how carefully he worked, mostly, and how glad he was to be genuinely helpful, a kid with a serious job. 

So now everything in the pantry is clearly marked...


...with a few idiosyncrasies thrown in for flavor.  And if I have the only pantry in America that is quite so, you know, obvious...


...I can live with that.

After we finished with the containers, he asked if he could make more labels.  Since he was having such a fine time, and was staying entirely out of everyone's hair while I wiped down still more shelves, this time with lice shampoo and communion wine, of course I said he could.  The label tape is expensive, but I'd buy a mile of it for the pleasure it gave him...


...and me.

Fight-for-preemies Today I'm blogging for Charlie.  He was born prematurely, more than ten weeks before his due date.  I'm not going to get lugubrious this time around, not going to dwell on what could have been without the life-saving work of the March of Dimes and the dedicated, compassionate care we all got from the staff of Norwalk Hospital.  I'm going to celebrate.  It is a joy, a joy, to have him in our lives.  There's the big stuff -- that it was his birth that finally made us parents -- and the small -- his furrowed brow as he worked at making his labels.  But then none of it is really small, and I try to acknowledge that often.  We are lucky, moths notwithstanding, and I know it every day.