Archive for June, 2006

Jun 28 2006

Adorable vermin.

Published by under Pets,Stupidity

I don’t like to be confronted with a mouse in my house. But, this morning, when I went down to brush my teeth, my cats were playing another mouse to death. This one wasn’t quite dead, yet. I brushed my teeth and debated: let the cats kill it? Put it out? Kill it myself? (Ha ha that last one was NEVER an option). Finally, I decided that I couldn’t let my cats just torture the thing to death, no matter how much mice creep me out.

Into the kitchen I go, to arm myself for battle. Since we don’t have an arsenal of mouse-catching supplies handy, I got the next best things: BBQ tongs, a metal mixing bowl, and a lid. After several minutes of chasing the cats off and teasing the mouse out of a crevice where it was hiding, I finally got it picked up and in the bowl. Then I got to take my first, good look at it.

Mice are cute.

Seriously, so cute. This one was awfully scared, so I put the lid on and took a walk down to the creek. Once I was in the middle of enough plants, and near enough water, I let the mouse go. It didn’t seem to be too scared of me anymore, and didn’t make a mad dash away. It started to gather the dew off of the nearby plants, taking a drink and cleaning itself up.

I probably should have taken it farther away, but come on. Like I’m going to walk down the road, unshowered, holding a small mixing bowl covered with a large lid that I keep TALKING TO. No, the creek, while relatively close to the house, was the best choice.

I left the mouse in the middle of its new home, where it will (hopefully) stay. My parting words were, “So long, mouse. That’s as much of a chance as you’re going to get.”

Mice are cute, but I hope I don’t see that one again. I hope it takes its chance and runs with it. Next time I might not get to the cats in time.

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Jun 25 2006

That dress ruled for dancing in.

Published by under Photos,The Fam,The Man

I went to my cousin’s wedding yesterday. It was in Detroit, and a pretty fancy affair.

Because The Man asked so nicely, I let him dress up in his suit and come along with me.

Getting there was actually pretty easy, especially since it was road construction time. We didn’t hit any construction until we were almost there, and then it was a big ol’ mess. The freeway was squeezed down to one lane, and our exit wasn’t clearly marked, so we (and several other confused motorists) went squealing in and out of barricaded sections of the freeway, trying to find the one path that would take us where we needed to go.The wedding itself wasn’t until six. It was half-Catholic, half-Jewish. I wish I knew Hebrew. It sounds like a fun language to speak. The Catholic deacon had a Scottish accent (at least I think it was Scottish). The rabbi was a lady, and she had a nice singing voice.

Once the ceremony was over, it was time to party! After holding back for awhile, I couldn’t stop myself from becoming a flailing, kicking, dancing machine! That’s my sister’s arm in the picture; I value my life so I cropped her out. The wrath of The Sister can be great, yo.

I even managed to get my husband to come out and dance with me, which is quite the accomplishment. We’ve been together for six years and last night was the first time we’d danced together.

All in all, a very fun night, even if we didn’t get home until 2:30 AM. We even left the reception an hour early. That was probably a good decision, since we came home and immediately went to bed. Dancing and drinking will really wear you out. Today is a day of rest. The Man is in taking a nap, and I am enjoying not having to move, and reveling in the knowledge that as far as I know, we are done with weddings for this summer.

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Jun 24 2006

His nickname is Wild for a reason.

Published by under The Fam,The Man

The Dad is up from Florida on a flying week-long visit to his home state, so all of you who know Wild know what that means:

My liver is trying to crawl out my esophagus in a mad dash for freedom.

Nah, it’s not really that bad. My dad brought his lady with him, and Wednesday night they came over to our house. Knowing my dad and how my dad operates, I had The Man lay in a twelve pack of beer, which we all partook of. Then we went out to eat, and drank some more, since it was Dad’s birthday (55 years old, looking good!) Since I don’t really drink that much, several beers and several mix drinks (over the course of six hours) are a hedonistic evening for me. Then, tonight we went out to the Sister’s house, met everyone out there, and went to the bar to eat, drink, and be merry some more. THEN we went back to the Sister’s to drink some more beer.

Tomorrow The Man and I have to go to a wedding, where I’m sure there will be MORE drinking. Dad and his lady are heading up north to see the grandparents. It’s unknown if I’ll see him again before he goes back to Florida, so I guess it’s a good thing we got our partying in while we could.

In other news, I dyed my hair tonight in preparation for the wedding tomorrow. I shouldn’t have left it until the last minute, because if it’s all FUBAR there’s no time to fix it. It’s still wet, so the outcome is unknown. Here’s hoping.

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Jun 06 2006

It’s the lesser of two weevils.

Published by under Outdoors

When we first moved into this house, every existing flowerbed was mulched. Sort of. Rather, it appeared that sometime in the last ten years, someone had thrown some mulch down. It was rather thick in some parts, non-existent in others, but every piece of mulch looked. . . well. . . tired. Like it had done all it could do and was now going to return to the big compost pile in the sky.

Since we moved in at the end of winter, there wasn’t much I could do about the mulch at the time. I didn’t care about it one way or the other. Sure, it looked ugly, but meh. There were a lot more pressing ugliness concerns to be addressed. So, by default, the mulch stayed. Until springtime.

That spring was when we realized we were sitting in the middle of box alder heaven. Every box alder bug for miles around came to our property to copulate. It was annoying, but since box alders don’t do anything other than fly around and be annoying, it was not horrifying. Until one day when I was out working in the flowerbeds for the very first time. I moved aside a pile of tired, old mulch and found. . . 8000 box alder bugs. In a six-inch-square area. As I moved more and more mulch, I found more and more bugs. They were infesting the mulch, to the point where there was more bug that mulch. Now, like I said earlier, box alders are annoying, but not, to my knowledge, something to be feared. Unless you happen to see a billion of them in a very small space. A writhing, crawling, seething mass of insect life. Need I say. . . ew?

So, I raked out every bit of mulch from every bed we had and told The Man that we were going to have none of that. Nothing organic that can host an infestation of Biblical proportions. That was two summers ago.

This summer, I had to cave. One of my flowerbeds has been a disaster since Day One. When we moved in, it was bursting full of unidentifiable plants. I decided to thin them out a bit, but wanted to leave them and see what they turned into. Turns out, 99% of them were tall, self-seeding weeds. I still don’t know what kind, but they grew to about 4 feet in height and the bees loved their teeny-tiny flowers. That autumn I dug out as many as I could, but I was too late. The seeds had fallen.

Last year, I tried to keep up with the new sprouts by hand, but it was no use. I had to cultivate at least once every two weeks to keep the ground around my real plants relatively clear. This year, when I saw that regardless of my caution in not letting any of the previous year’s sprouts flower and drop seed, I was facing another uphill battle, I caved. I had to mulch. I had to strangle them out. Besides, this particular bed is in full sun for almost the entire day. Mulch would help keep the soil from baking dry every other day.

So, I mulched tonight. I also planted two new perennials to fill in holes in the bed – an Indian summer daisy and the saddest, most nearly-dead dwarf hollyhock ever seen. The good folk at Lowe’s gave me a discount, possibly because they wanted someone else to be responsible for its death. I’m hoping it rebounds now that it’s out of its confining pot and watered (and mulched!)

In the upper-left: Three mystery plants that came with the house. They’re kind of like foxglove, only yellow. They are currently budded. Then, the Indian summer daisy, and my two early sunrise coreopsis in the back row. In the middle are three snow-in-summers, and in the front is the sad hollyhock and two English daisys (one is much smaller because it was almost strangled by leftover hosta and weeds). The sad hollyhock is the barely-visible collection of stalks in the lower-left corner of the bed.



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Jun 05 2006

It’s lifelike, except that it’s dead.

Published by under Pets

Last night I was sitting on the couch, reading a book, and in the back of my mind noticing that the cats had been playing for a really long time. Our cats will generally find one of their toys, play for five or ten minutes, and then give it up and go back to being lazy. But last night, they had been playing for like. . . 45 minutes. However, I was engrossed in my book and only noted this in the most passing way.

When The Man came downstairs and we were on our way out to smoke, I stopped to talk to Fate, who had found one of her little grey mousies somewhere. It occurred to me that that was a little strange, since they had been missing for months now, but whatever. Except as I kept talking, and got closer, I noticed it wasn’t a toy mouse.

The cats had been playing a real mouse to death for 45 minutes. Gross.

I know there’s another mouse in our kitchen right now because the cats have been camping in front of the stove for the entire day, and Fate has been making attempts to claw it out. I do not like mice. It’s unfortunate that I do not like mice, because I live in an old farmhouse, and therefore am pretty much guaranteed to be living with mice. So far, proximity has not diminished squickiness.

My plan is to stay out of the kitchen as much as possible and let the cats do what they have to do. Then The Man can clean up the evidence when he gets home from work. Yes, that is a very sound plan.

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