They came again today, this time with a half-gallon jug of gasoline to pour on the bees' nest (no, they didn't light it). They cleared out a lot of vegetation in the time they were here, and also took down the "tree house" from the backyard.
When we moved into this house, in addition to the mysterious wellhouse, there was a platform up between two trees with a solid wooden ladder up to it. It was a tree house. My brother climbed up the ladder and checked it out, and pronounced it solid but slightly dangerous. When the missionaries first started work on the backyard a couple of weeks ago, one of them climbed up onto the platform and noted that some of the planks were rotting, and some of the nails no longer held, making it extremely dangerous. Thus, when they asked if they could take it down, I only had to think about it for a few seconds before agreeing.
And they had a LOT of fun taking it down, too. If you want to keep four 20-year old boys happy, give 'em something to destroy. They took turns chopping the beams down after they took turns whacking the supports until the thing finally fell. Luckily, it didn't fall on any of them, although one of them nearly managed to get the ladder on his head.
In addition to the missionaries, the visiting teachers came over. When they called, I mentioned that the missionaries were in our back yard, so they brought over some cookie dough. I cooked up a couple of batches of cookies for the missionaries and they had a nice lunch of cookies and gatorade. Warm cookies, fresh out of the oven, will also make missionaries happy.
The missionaries also uncovered a short stone stairway when they removed one of the rhododendron bushes. All four of the rhodies are way too close to the house and will have to go. They took out the biggest one first, and found it was covering the stairway up from the back walkway into the yard. Since the yard for part of the distance is about two feet up from the walkway, it's nice to have some steps instead of having to climb.
One of the visiting teachers noted the spiders that infest our house, and mentioned that spraying down the outside of the house with a 50% bleach to water solution will get rid of a large number of them. I will have to seriously consider that now, as the spiders are driving me slightly nuts. The missionaries also noted the spiders and started pointing to "large" ones, all of which were tiny compared to the big hunter spiders we get inside the house. One of the missionaries expressed a fear of spider bites, and I reassured him that there are no poisonous spiders native to this area, and no non-natives are likely to survive long in our climate, so he's pretty safe, all told. Of course, those reassurances never seem to work with me, so I doubt they calmed his nerves all that much.