Posted tagged ‘mouse’

“Even though it’s dark and cold there is always a shade of light.”

January 5, 2013

Last night was one of those when will I ever get tired nights. Luckily, TCM kept me occupied with a slew of B science fiction movies. I got to see The Creature from the Black Lagoon, Tarantula, The Incredible Shrinking Man and It Came from Outer Space.  It was around two before It returned to Outer Space so I could go to bed. I love those movies as bad as they are at times. That’s the fun of them. In the Creature, a favorite of mine, the jungle is filled with howls and the sounds of animals. It is overgrown with vines and trees. The underwater is almost eerie with plants waving back and forth and trailing in the water. The best scene is when the Creature swims beneath the girl in the water and touches her foot a couple of times but touches it so gently the girl has no idea what is in the water below her. It’s the scene Spielberg borrowed for the start of Jaws though his opening ended a bit less gently. Later in the Creature, the girl, as per the rules of B movies, runs and then falls so the Creature can capture her and take her to his lair, a maze of underground caves. The brave men follow. One man dies. The girl is saved. The Creature isn’t until the sequel.

The morning is chilly, around 35˚, and the day won’t get much warmer. I have to go out for a few groceries. The larder is so empty it echoes.

There is a mouse living in my kitchen. It hangs around behind the refrigerator, and Maddie just sits and waits patiently for the beastie to appear. I have to think it stays well hidden as Maddie would have sent the beastie to its heavenly reward by now. She is a good and patient mouser.

Most of Christmas is gone now. I have a pile of decorations which needs to be taken down the cellar then the pine tree will go last. It stays decorated and is covered by a plastic bag until next year when it will assume its rightful place in the dining room.

The house seems dark and bare. I have a few electric candles I light in the living room and some pepper lights in the kitchen, and they do help a little to scare away the darkness, but the tree was magnificent. I miss the bubble lights, the red peppers, Santa and his reindeer flying up the tree, the white lights in the middle like stars and all those colored lights. Maybe it should be a winter tree. Christmas time doesn’t last long enough.

“Get the biggest aluminum tree you can find, Charlie Brown, maybe painted pink.”

December 6, 2012

Today is definitely chillier than the last few days, but it’s sunny so I’ll take that and be glad. Gracie and I will be hitting the dump today, her favorite stop of all. It even beats Agway where she gets to shop with me and have a few treats.

My house still needs to be decorated, but I have a Christmas timetable starting tonight with the cards. My second box of cards arrived a couple of days ago so no more excuses. After that I need to buy the tree and then decorate the house. I’m thinking a smaller tree this year, maybe even a couple of small trees. That’s on tap for the weekend.

The Tale of a Mouse is the name of this paragraph. Those of you who are a bit squeamish should move on. For the rest of you, this mouse tale starts a couple of weeks ago when I went down to the cellar to do laundry. The cellar, particularly near the washer, smelled disgusting, and I know a dead something was somewhere down there. I went looking and found nothing. Over time the smell weakened, and I stopped hunting. On Tuesday I decided to bring up all the gifts from downstairs in preparation for wrapping. I grabbed my large plastic tub to fill with the gifts so I would only have to make a single trip. Yup, you guessed it. The mouse had been trapped in the tub where it met its demise. It was disgusting. I opened the cellar door and tossed the remains outside then scrubbed that tub. The results remain: tub -1, mice-0

I know they are perfectly ugly, but I have always wanted a tall aluminum tree with a color wheel. It would never be my only Christmas tree. Nope, my tree has to be real, one that fills the house with the smell of Christmas, but there is something about an aluminum tree which has always attracted me. I just can’t explain it. My sister gave me a small one last year, but it is too small for a color wheel. I didn’t decorate it last year as I didn’t open it until Christmas Day, but this year I’m putting red ornaments on it. I think aluminum and red are a great match. This small one will satisfy me for the meantime, but I’m still on the look-out for its bigger, uglier brother.

“A mouse never entrusts his life to only one hole”

November 25, 2012

I think the sun has appeared, a bit muted behind a cloudy sky, but I swear it’s sunlight, not very warm sunlight though as the day is cold and will be getting colder. A few inches of snow are still predicted for the Boston area next week. The Cape will be spared.

I have another mouse, a brazen mouse. It lives here in the den. The other day I thought I saw movement out of the corner of my eye, but when I looked, I saw nothing. That happened a couple of times then I caught sight of the grey mouse. It was around the room a lot that day scavenging stuff I must have dropped under the table when I was snacking. Today it has been all over the den, including on my foot a few times so I put my feet off the floor on the tops of the baskets under the table, but the mouse found my feet anyway. I think it’s the fur on my slippers attracting it. The mouse also joined me on the couch and was sitting on the arm. One cat noticed but the mouse disappeared under something, and the cat lost interest. My feet are now on the top of the table, and I’ve put a box on the floor hoping the mouse will get curious then I’ll zap on the lid and take the critter for a long ride before I let it loose. Somewhere in the cellar is my have-a-heart trap, and I’m determined to find it and capture that critter as the box is a long shot. I just jumped from what I thought was the mouse, but it was the wires from my laptop on my foot.

Yesterday was an out and about day. I actually made five stops during the day and went out to dinner last night with my nephew. Today is designated do nothing day or at least nothing constructive. Gracie and the two cats are asleep here in the den with me. They are my role models!

UPDATE: The Mouse has met its demise but I don’t know by whom as I had left the room for a while.

Marge, it’s 3 AM. Shouldn’t you be baking?”

July 16, 2012

The day is breezy and sunny. It’s also warm and will stay that way through tomorrow when the high is predicted to be 88˚. Last night we had rain. The drops started slowly around one. I know that because that’s when I went upstairs to bed and that’s when I found the dead mouse in my room. Earlier I had heard the ruckus and knew Maddie was the cause of the noise. It didn’t occur to me she was playing with a mouse. That’s the third one in a little over a week. There must be a small welcome mat outside the cellar walls. I wrapped the deceased in paper and took it outside. That’s when I felt the rain. I could also smell the air, the smell of the rain hitting the hot pavement. I stood for a moment enjoying the rain then came back inside and went back to bed in the cool house. I fell asleep right away.

When I was a kid, I never cooked anything. I wasn’t interested in the kitchen except to sit down to dinner. For lunch sometimes, I’d make a bologna sandwich, but I always cut the meat a bit lopsided, thin on one side and thick on the other. I’d add hot peppers to give the bologna a bit of a zing. It was always mustard on my bologna. Even in college, when I had an apartment, I didn’t do much cooking. I became quite adept at opening Dinty Moore’s beef stew. My roommate actually cooked meals for us with meat, potatoes and a vegetable. I was amazed.

I made sugar cookies for Christmas when I was in Ghana; they were traditional in my family, and I needed a connection to home my first Christmas away. I was hesitant as I had a total lack of baking skills, but I had nothing to lose so I gave those cookies a try. Despite my having to sift out the bugs and use a beer bottle as a rolling-pin, those cookies were perfect and they were delicious. They brought Christmas to me.

After that no recipe fazed me. When I got home, I was willing to try anything, even chicken Kiev. After all, I had made sugar cookies looking like bells and reindeer in a small oven in Ghana so I knew I could make anything.

The fireflies o’er the meadow In pulses come and go.”

July 14, 2012

A dead mouse was on the floor in the hall today. I think Maddie did the honors. I tossed it outside. Dead mice don’t bother me. It’s the half-alive ones I hate.

The day has humidity almost thick enough to see. The sky is cloudy. Nothing is moving. Even sounds seem muted. My house is dark. I needed a light on to read the papers, but once I finished, I turned it off. A dark house feels cooler or at least gives the illusion of being cooler. I suspect the AC will get a work-out a bit later.

Gracie woke me up at five by ringing her bells to go out. I went downstairs and opened the door then went back to bed. I didn’t go to sleep as I was waiting for Gracie to come back inside. I know she’d can’t get out of the yard, but I still worry. Finally, after what seemed like a long time, I went downstairs and onto the deck to call her. She didn’t come, and I couldn’t hear her. I called a couple of more times, and then I heard her collar way in the back of the yard. The shadows had hidden her. I called again and offered a treat. She came running. We both went back to sleep.

It’s deck movie night. We’ll have a couple of appetizers and then chicken and a salad for dinner. I haven’t figured out dessert yet, but I do know I’m buying malted milk balls. They all disappeared last week. We’re seeing Night of the Hunter this week.

We never had a Saturday matinée in the summer. That was winter entertainment. The summer was spent outside even when it rained. The idea of staying inside the house never occurred to us. Every summer day meant fun and adventure and playing games like hide and seek, statues or red rover. Our grassy backyard with the big hill was usually filled with kids. It was always noisy in the summer. Kids were laughing and shouting at one another, and mothers were calling out from the screened doors announcing lunch or dinner or time to come inside. Sometimes we’d get to eat lunch outside. It was always a sandwich. Dinner was at the kitchen table. Even if the meat was barbecued, we’d eat inside. Every summer day bedtime came all too soon, once the day had given way to night.

I think my favorite time of day back then was when the fireflies came out. They’d flit all over the backyards and the fields. I’d follow one with my eyes until I’d lose it among all the others. It was always amazing.

I still love fireflies, and I still watch one until it disappears. It is still amazing.

“I say, if you believe what you read in the comic strips, then you believe that mice run around with little gold buttons on their red pants and drive cars.”

May 29, 2012

The morning is overcast, damp and foggy. I was woken up by a small plane landing on my neighbor’s runway. Okay, I admit there is no runway, and there was no plane, but it sounded like one, maybe the Songbird; instead, it was the loudest, noisiest lawn mower in existence. To top it off, the house across the street was being mowed at the same time by a stand-on mower. I had no choice but to get out of bed.

Creature News: a new segment today on Coffee. First news is the frequent sightings and finally a picture of the black bear on Cape Cod. The paper says black bears have not been here for centuries, but one is back now. The consensus is it swam across the canal and is probably a young, around two-year old, male very capable of making the swim. The paper warned people to protect their beehives and watch their bird feeders. The article also said to expect more bears. The second piece of animal news has to do with my electrical problem. The lights went out in the same spot again almost right after I’d turned them on so down cellar I went and threw the switch, but I heard a sizzling noise and turned the switch off. I called my friend Shane, the electrician, and he came over yesterday and went right downstairs to check. He came out to the deck where I was and said he’d found the problem, and he wanted to show me. Downstairs we went and he shined his flashlight above to a hole. Halfway through the hole was a mouse, a dead mouse with eyes wide opened, who had bitten into the wire. Shane will come back to fix it as I have to move furniture in my den so he can attach a box from the inside-outside to by-pass the eaten wire. That mouse really did look surprised.

Today I am going to be in Hyannis at spot number 7 on the Kennedy trail. It will be Peace Corps and a few of us will be there to answer questions. I’ll have my Ghanaian flag and wear Ghanaian dress, traffic stoppers for sure.

The Dylan song, My Back Pages, was removed from the server so I deleted the posting. It surprised me as I have posted several Dylan songs in the past. I figured he must be getting really grouchy in his old age. The good part of that deletion is that MediaFire gets the complaint, not WordPress, so I am in no danger of being deleted as I was on Blogger. Putting the link in the comments was a great idea instead of making it part of the posting.

I get to buy my annuals for the deck today. Nothing better than a stop at the garden shop. I will be circumspect. I promise!

“I think insomnia is a sign that a person is interesting.”

May 27, 2012

The morning is perfectly beautiful and amazingly quiet. It is already 71°. The branches over the deck leave shadows across the wood, highlighted by the brightness of the sun. I hear nothing except a few birds and the clicking of Gracie’s tags when she runs around the backyard. The deck is almost clean of pollen. I took the hose to it yesterday and drenched my pants and flip-flops in the process. The table still needs a bit of cleaning as do the backs of the chairs, but the rest are summer ready.

Last night was the strangest night. I didn’t go to bed until 1:00, and I couldn’t get to sleep. I kept hearing the noise I’ve been hearing the last few nights. I had already figured out a mouse was up to something, but I had to figure out what it was. I decided the sound was metal against glass. I knew then the mouse was probably cleaning the cat food cans in the eaves where I keep Fern and Maddie’s dishes safe from the dog. I turned on the light and opened the door to the eaves, but, of course, he was gone. I put the cans in a new garbage bag and brought it out of the eaves then went back to bed. The next sound was easily identified. It was the bag of dried cat food. The mouse had moved to something new. I turned on the light again, got up and went into the eaves and took away the bag. The sound disappeared. I then heard scratching, and I gave up figuring that one out. I also gave up figuring out why Fern and Gracie could sleep through all of this and never even hear the mouse. By this time it was 2:30, and I still couldn’t sleep. Gracie had deserted me for the rug forced out of bed by my restlessness. I settled back into bed, turned off the light and Gracie returned. She started dreaming, making a muted barking sound and moving her legs. I called her name and she got quiet. I think I fell asleep, but I woke up again, and it was still dark, but I didn’t know the time. The electricity was off. I didn’t care and finally fell asleep.

This morning I came downstairs, and it was around 8, too soon to be awake, and I found the rest of the house had electricity. I knew then I needed to go to the breaker box in the cellar. I pushed every breaker then went up two flights of stairs to make sure all was well. It was. Electricity had returned to my room. I then came back down the stairs and reset all the devices which were now blinking furiously. I made myself coffee and finally settled into the morning. That brings us right to now.

“Through woods and mountain passes The winds, like anthems, roll.”

October 21, 2011

Though I woke up around 8:30, I lolled in bed for another hour or so. The room was chilly as the window had been open all night, and I just didn’t want to leave the comfort of my warm bed, but Gracie, sensing my stirrings, got up and went downstairs. I knew what she wanted and sure enough her door bells started ringing. She wanted out. I ran downstairs, let her out and ran right back to bed. Much later I decided to brave the day and dragged myself downstairs, grabbed a cup of coffee and went to get the papers. I’m still wishing I were back in bed.

I went to the library yesterday afternoon as their guest speaker about my trip to Ghana. I was gone about 2 and 1/2 hours. When I got home, I noticed a gift left for me in the hall, a dead mouse, compliments, I think, of Miss Maddie as she was in the hall probably waiting for my oh’s and ah’s at the wonderful present she had given me. I thanked her with what I hope was enough exuberance then I took the mouse and disposed of its remains.

Today is breezy, maybe even windy, and chillier than it has been though the sun is shining. I suppose the weatherman would call the temperature seasonal. I have to go to the dump today, and I’m putting in the last storm door, an admission of defeat, a recognition that the cold is coming.

I haven’t walked backwards in a long time. When I was a kid, I used to walk backwards when I had to pass the field on my way to school. The cold wind would whip across that field and hit me in the face numbing my nose and cheeks and making my eyes water so I’d give the wind my back. I remember how my coat used to billow when the wind hit it and how I’d have to look every now and then to see where I was going. A feeling of relief and even warmth always came when I’d get to the next street and have the protection of the houses and the huge trees lining the walk. That was when I’d turn and face the day.

“Hearing nuns’ confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.”

October 15, 2010

Last night I opened my bedroom window so I could fall asleep to the sound of the rain. I heard the wind and I heard the raindrops tapping on the overhang near my window. It was a lovely way to drift off to dreamland.

The day has yet to make up its mind. Should I be sunny or cloudy?

Yesterday I put the storm door on the front. While I was retrieving it from the cellar, I happened upon a dead mouse. By the looks of it, the mouse had met its heavenly reward a while back. I’m figuring Maddie was the mighty hunter. Fern is the queen who sleeps on a couch pillow.

I used to moan and groan when my mother woke me up for school. Nothing is worse than being torn from a warm bed, forced to eat lumpy oatmeal and made to walk to school in all weather. A kid’s lot is a tough one.

Nobody does well sitting in the same place most of the day, especially if it’s a confining desk, but the nuns kept us in line, mostly from fear of both them and our parents. I don’t ever remember a kid acting up in class. Whispering was the extent of our misbehavior, and you had to do that just right or risk wrath. You ducked your head behind the person in front of you and used a mixture of whispers and hand signals to get your message across while at the same time keeping an eye on the nun in front. Short messages had the best chances of success.

If you got away with it, talking in class was a deed worthy of song, one to be remembered in the annals of time and to be reenacted over and over during recess.


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