Our first surprise was bad: ants.
Ants can be found in most houses and we've seen one or two in the kitchen over the last month or so but didn't think much of it. We (meaning Ian) had repotted our Brugmansia plants a few weeks ago... and this morning he woke up to find a two-inch wide trail of ants running between the pots and the bag of peanuts for the birds. I'd already left for my Pamidronate appointment and I'm happy that I wasn't there because I would have freaked out.
As it was, I did freak out when I got home from my Pamidronate appointment when I saw more ants - not as many as Ian saw, but lots. I didn't really know what had happened - all I saw were ants and the vacuum cleaner. I thought about vacuuming up the ants but I was worried that they would somehow crawl out of the vacuum. It's a central vac and upon reflection, I see that this is was a silly idea but I was panicking a bit. So instead I grabbed the cinnamon and sprinkled it all over them. We'd used it for an ant problem before and it worked.
Once all the cinnamon was gone and the ants still weren't dead, I turned to the chili powder. The first kind was too lumpy and so I chose another chili powder. After I sprinkled all of that chili powder on some of the remaining ants. When I noticed that the two powders worked to kill most of the ants I saw that I was sweating like crazy and I was shaking. So I took a bath to calm down.
Fortunately, my trick with the powders worked on the ants I could see and I vacuumed up them and the powders. Every once in a while I'd move the bags, find more ants underneath, and kill them by squishing them.
The second, great surprise: our waterfall pump.
The waterfall guys had been by to set up our waterfall for the season and it turned out that our pump wasn't working. Instead of working continuously it would cycle on and off. It had been doing that at the end of last season but we thought it was due to the low water in the system. We called Grand Valley Garden Village (or centre; the name is different in different places), the company who'd contracted out the work to build it in the first place, and he said that the pump was no longer under warranty but to bring it in anyway and see what he could do.
And what he could do was get the pump replaced for free under warranty!! We went down this evening and picked it up... along with some ant traps. And pots and stuff.
The I-don't-know-if-it's-a-good surprise: a neighbourhood cat left a dead robin at our patio door. Uhhh, thanks?