Saturday, November 28, 2015

Doing battle with rodents

The cute faces of the enemy from a card sent by a friend who knows my battle
What I need is a real cat, preferably a very blood thirsty one

A pensive Maya
The much anticipated sleepover with the cousins. I specifically avoided pink stuff with my daughters but both of them went all out with pink for their daughters. Go figure
They are winning, those effing rodents. The inside enemies are the chipmunks and mice: the outside a squirrel. I have yet to see the chipmunk itself but from my friend's Book of Scats (I kid you not), it is probably what we have. So far, it has alluded death but it is very handy at stealing the bait, scot-free, from the traps. Also a few of the traps themselves are missing. And as I was showing my ex-neighbor our basement, we came across the obvious, embarrassing handiwork of mice. We have caught a few of those. I don't want to look or hear about it. Rodent patrol is not my job. My next step is to build a live trap that I successfully used as a child capturing my missing pet hamsters: a staircase of books leading up to a slippery walled wastebasket containing a treat. But then again, hamsters can't leap up vertically.

I haven't seen the chipmunks since the summer merrily scampering around picking up what the birds knocked down. I did lose one to the pond (Is that a chipmunk statue in the bottom of your pond?). I assumed they had burrowed deep in the ground for the winter but no, they migrated to the basement.

As for the squirrel, he travels across several yards to raid the feeders. Yesterday he ran off with my woodpecker cake. How does he climb a 6 foot pole? My friend recently bought some slippery plastic covering to protect her birds' food. We will see if that works. She is surrounded by mature, squirrel friendly trees. I saw 5 pug sized squirrels feasting there the other day. Our yard has trees but not big enough ones for  squirrel nests, a big plus in my book. Also hardly any leaves to rake up. But at least he keeps to the outside though I swear I hear scampering above my room.

I have been busy. One day I spent at least 12 hours decorating BY MYSELF. The next day, Thanksgiving, I got up at 5:30 to prepare stuff BY MYSELF. Though eventually I had Naomi to help move tables around so we could fit all 13 of us in one room (I had borrowed a table). And then the clean-up which took me well into the night BY MYSELF. We are currently engaged in our silent war. I had just been thinking that this hadn't happened for more than a year if not 2 years (last time I 'let' airport security take his Swiss Army knife rather than have him stand in 2 lines again while the plane was boarding already). This is very destructive to say the least and brings out the worse. All I get are sighs and disgusted looks. And we are supposed to go away for a couple of days. How will that work? And then there's the upcoming surgery in which I will be dependent on someone who views me just with obvious contempt. This too shall pass. It always has but then I say if it ever happens again, that's it. And what started WW#? He threw my harvested Brussels sprouts stalks into the compost bin which clearly (to me and 99% of the world) still had sprouts on them. He is very suspicious of my vegetables as they did not come from food factories that had no birds around to poop on them. Poop is very easy to spot and wash off( there was no poop on this stuff). Not so easy is all the chemicals sprayed on said factory produce that he finds 'safe'. Also harvested, sage for the dressing. I think he did eat that out of ignorance. I had 4 Brussels sprouts plant which I had planted way too close together.  I harvested the plant that got the most light a month ago. It had enough sprouts on it for 2 meals. I let the other 3 grow now that they had more light (tomatoes had died in the frost) but the cold and snow inhibited further development. Thus it took all three stalks to feed us the other day and more than an hour's work sawing off the sprouts and I work fast.

Another sucky thing about growing old: no tears. I chopped and fried up 2 enormous onions for the dressing and no tears. My eyes now are dry and itchy. I will have to deal with that in the future.

I had lost track of time for the big dinner. Julie's father came early (I thought a whole hour early but it more like 15 minutes) and I hadn't even dressed and had another hour of prep scheduled. Again no help from a certain someone though he did cut the turkey making negative comments about its prep (it was fine). I did enlist Naomi with some prodding to set the table. He remained glued to the TV.

Dinner was fine. People brought their assigned dishes making things a bit  easier. The grandkids seem to enjoy all the lights and trees I had set up. I did have Maya that night but fortunately she was very tired and willing to sleep ALL BY HERSELF so at least I didn't have a teeth gnashing, whirling, snoring dervish with me. And I entertained her the next day before she went to Shanna's (she must have asked a hundred times when this was going to happen). I made a huge pot of matzoh ball soup from the broth made the night before. A good friend canme for dinner and then an evening of junk TV.

I will run and then off to see THE BIG GAME at Shanna's and to reclaim Maya.


Anonymous said...

A family of mice came to live in my daughter's garage in August. Fortunately, the mice traps with a speck of peanut butter worked and all were captured. It took a week to get them all. Ten traps were set. No evidence of mice at this point. UGH!

Elephant's Child said...

Sigh. I am so sorry.
And wish I didn't know the passive aggression you are experiencing. I often don't know (and won't be told) just what crime it is that I have committed.

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

peanut butter is the best bait. The mice get caught in the trap but the chipmunks are another story

Anonymous said...

There is nothing more painful than the silent treatment. The withdrawal. The contempt. Am hoping
This passes soon. Lisa


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