Hello world!

12/05/2009

Well, since there is a post automatically generated for me called, “Hello World” I might as well say hello.  “Hello”.  New to WordPress which translates as I am in the process of learning the “do this” and the “do not do this” of the place (site?).  What I should be doing is cooking dinner for my wonderful husband and myself, but I am still just thinking about it.  As long as I am thinking about cooking I can pretend to be engaged at some level of consciousness in the process of preparing food.  I would rather remain in the right side of my frontal lobe and play than to switch over to the left side and do.

hmmm,

Cracked wheat berry salad?  Maybe.  Tofu and cabbage?  Nah.  Tofukey and asparagus?  Maybe ….

sigh ……

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Cute Country Mice, a.k.a. Rodents

12/05/2009

From MSN Encarta Encyclopedia the definition for rodent is:
(bold Italic underlining is my doing)
“Rodent, any mammal characterized by a pair of broad, sharp-edged, chisel-like incisor teeth that are firmly inserted in both jaws and are used in gnawing vegetation. The front surface of each incisor tooth is composed of enamel, and the hind surface is of soft dentine, which wears away during the process of gnawing so that the teeth are constantly kept sharp. Rodents have no canine teeth; a gap is present between the incisors and the grinding teeth, or molars. Most rodents are also characterized by well-developed ears.”

I live in the country and fully understand that country living means there are county residents that come with the property.  There are coyotes, but they stay out in the fields searching for their food.  We have raccoons that do visit the yard and garbage can and occasionally visit the deck, but they too remain outside.  There are many other creatures that roam around during the day and the night that don’t invade my home and I try not to be disrespectful of their living space and environment.

But …

There is a certain type of country resident that has taken my hospitality for granted and I have had it!  Mice a.k.a. RODENTS have crossed the line with me!  In the beginning of my living here in our very old country home, I was tolerant.  Once in awhile I would see the signs that a mouse was in the kitchen, or in the basement.  I would ask the mice nicely to please not defile my living space and I would share my home without violence.  I did not set traps, nor put out poison, nor install shrieking sound generators.  All was fine until …
I noticed beneath my oven one day little puffs of insulation laying on the floor.  I picked up the insulation curious as to where it came from when it dawned on me that the insulation I was holding between my fingers was from around the door of my oven…. the insulation that is needed to keep the heat in while one cooks.  Insulation which is necessary also to keep the outside of the oven from becoming as hot as the inside and causing some potentially sever problems.  I did a “show and tell” with my husband, holding out the insulation and letting him know that the so called cute little country mice had crossed the line with me by using my oven to sharpen their incisors and make a home and I wanted them out of the house.  My husband obliged and bought some traps.  Traps set, some mice caught and that was supposed to be the solution.  Well it was not.
As the days went on, and some mice met their fate in the snap of a trap I started to see more insulation on the floor beneath the oven.  I informed my husband that the trapping system was not working and I thought the mice were actually living in the oven’s insulation wrapping.  He did not agree with me because according to him the mice would not be able to stand the heat.  Hmmmm, my thinking is, if that was true why was I seeing insulation on the floor? Insulation obviously from the oven?  With the increased evidence of increased mice population I increased my severity of cleaning.  Bleach, and more bleach on the counters the floors the cabinetry and anywhere I believed those so-called cute country mice had their paws, jaws, and tails.  If anyone has ever had mice in their home you know that mice are not aware of their bodily functions or they just don’t care where they relieve themselves.  Yuck!
One day, as I was sitting in the kitchen drinking my coffee I heard the sound of little feet scurrying around and little teeth getting sharper… somewhere inside my oven!  That was it for me.  The traps were not working and in truth I think we would have needed to set at least 100 traps a night to make a dent in the population of those cute little country mice.
I had an irrational rational thought and acted on it.  I was going to rid my oven of mice once and for all and I also reasoned that traps would not work because how would one set a trap inside where the insulation was that is wrapped around the oven’s body and in the door?  I walked over to the oven and locked the oven door and then turned the dial to “clean”.  Anyone who has an oven with the self-cleaning feature knows how hot an oven needs to get to clean itself.  I call it Nuking the spillage.
Well, since the mice had used their, “broad, sharp-edged, chisel-like incisor teeth that are firmly inserted in both jaws”, and gnawed away most of the insulation (does insulation qualify as vegetation?) they soon were roasting away … to my dismay because mice don’t smell very good while cooking.  The smell was atrocious also because they poop and pee where they eat and sleep and all the insulation must have been saturated with country mouse poop and pee.  The odor was horrendous! I was seriously gagging and to my horror I could do nothing about it because the oven was set on nuke and was hotter than Hades!  Soon, my entire house reeked of cooking mouse urine, feces, and cute little rodent bodies.  End of oven mice. End of oven.
When my husband returned home that day from work I was hysterical and made him remove the oven from the house and take it to the edge of the property.  He admitted that I certainly did get rid of the mice … in the oven.
Well, I did get a new oven eventually but the so-called cute little country mice have continued to plague me.  And my husband has continued to buy cute little traps to snap at those cute little mice.  Typically the trap is sprung, the bait gone, and a mouse fed.  I want to set out bait but we can’t because we have a cat and a dog that just may decide to dine on a baited mouse and that would harm the cat or the dog.  Seriously, if the cat and the dog were eating mice they would be fatter than ticks on a coon and our pet food bill would be significantly less.  Our cat does not hunt mice for play much less try and catch a mouse to eat.  Our dog has chased a mouse but once the mouse is caught the dog does not have a clue as to what to do except bark at the mouse and that barking has failed to convince any of the mice to move out.
It is 3:57 a.m. at this very moment.  I am sitting in my kitchen across from my most recent oven.  I am sipping on coffee and plotting serial killing of rodents.  Why?  Because I have not been able to sleep at night due to all the noise the mice make in my bedroom!  I can hear them laughing and playing and running up and down the walls and along the baseboards having a jolly time and I can hear them gnawing on stuff, stuff that does not qualify as vegetation, stuff to sharpen their teeth!  I lost it tonight (again).  Never mind that I can’t sleep, but when I snuggled down for the night listening to those critters playing and gnawing… one actually crawled into our bed! That is not cute!  The bed does not have a dial or buttons that I can select “nuke” with, so there is only one solution and my husband better discover what the one solution is before my irrational rational thoughts get the better of me and I decide to take care of those rodents … my way 🙂

Christmas Tree and Me

12/05/2009

Perched on the over stuffed pillows of my sofa I can see our Christmas tree on the other side of the room.  The tree has graced my living space each December for 20 years this Christmas.  Twenty years ago I stopped killing pine trees to drag into my home and decorate for the holidays.  I do miss the scent of crushed pine needles that invigorate my sense of smell.  The fresh pine scent always makes me want to breathe deeply and capture as much pine scent as possible and with closed eyes let the aroma relax my spirit.  I will buy a wreath for that scent and hang it on the inside of my front doorway.  What I don’t miss about a live Christmas tree is the sharp, dry pine needles embedded in my carpet.  For 20 years I have not had to clean up after a dry, dead pine tree but I do have to vacuum up golden glitter that the artificial tree sheds.  I am amazed that the aging tree still has golden glitter to shed after being shoved into and pulled out of its container year after year after year.  At this moment in time the tree is dressed in light, lots of light.  I have not had the energy to open the boxes of ornaments to finish the job.  I will eventually grace the Christmas tree with all its memories captured on hooks and finish the tradition, but now … right now … all I want to do is watch the little lights twinkle off and on and think about all the Christmas’ this big tree has been a part of.  Yeah, tomorrow I will put the finishing touches, the memories held on hooks onto the old, glittery, artificial tree, and closing my eyes maybe I will pretend to breathe in deeply the scent of fresh pine … then run to the store and buy that wreath for the front door.