Wednesday, December 19, 2007


... Shopping days until Christmas? Not unless you celebrate on Epiphany (not a bad idea).
... Cookies I've eaten already this week? Not quite that many. I don't think. I'm not counting though.

No, it's 17 MICE I've killed in as many days. And I don't think I've got them all. Here I was, proud of the fact that I'd found and sealed up the hole behind the stove last time, and that even when everybody else was having mouse problems this fall, we weren't.

That's no longer true.

Their favorite thing is to climb into the dog's dish and carry away her food, one piece at a time. Close behind that are: startling my roommate, and tidily stealing the peanut butter from the traps I set out (without getting caught or even springing the traps. I've used three different kinds!) This means war. I'm talking poison...!

Self Pity

That’s just one of the ways these are hard times in our little household. I'm a little grouchy about it.

Our aging dog keeps falling off the front porch and hurting herself, if she even makes it outside. (The carpets show signs that she is not managing to do that very consistently.)

And then, last week, our washing machine broke, nearly flooding the basement. That one could have been much worse, I'll admit. And much more expensive. Between the friend who replaced the leaking hose (and its mate) for free, and the other friend who loaned us a large collection of fans to help dry things out, all I had to pay for was the rental of a carpet cleaner, which did an admirable job at getting the water up.

Still, I don't feel like leaving, but wish this were my Christmas to stay in our cozy (if mouse-infested) house over the holidays. I'm not ready; my plans are not in place. Hate phone calling, managing logistics, and find myself hopelessly unprepared. Traveling too much lately, I guess. It's also the powerlessness of being someone else's guest, of running around trying to fit into someone else's schedule. Well, must not get set in our ways, eh? I did get my work-at-home Wednesday this week. Probably by Saturday I'll be ready to get on the plane and go 'home' to the Northwest!

I've also been feeling poor – not poorly; my health is fine – but impoverished. I only have about $100 in the checking account. Oh, there's more I could tap into, but it's supposed to be investments, so I haven't touched it. Payday IS just around the corner. I wouldn't be in this position except that the agency owes me $2,000 in reimbursements. It's my fault; I didn't realize that the way the company policies were set up I'd have to buy plane tickets in November and couldn't get my reimbursements covered until payday at the end of January - tough luck.

However, I think I have a work-around for next time this happens, to cover expenses in a way that doesn't rely on a cash-flow situation governed so strictly. And one of my supporters sent a gigantic check that, once it gets to Orlando, will not only get me out of the (small) hole my ministry account is in but also cover all those reimbursements as well as the increase in my health insurance rates (again!) End-of-year giving usually does a lot to set me up for any slim months to come. So, the poverty is a very temporary problem.

But Enough Grouching....

Tell you what I'm going to do. There are, as usual, some easy fixes to my crummy attitude, if not all of the various plights that underlie it. I'm going to light a candle, make myself a cup of mint tea, put on some gentle music, and curl up with a beautifully written book or two. Yeah. I already feel better.


I Was Just Thinking.... said...

You're right Marti - you are grouchy! Now channel that energy to something productive like writing a children's book about all these mishaps. That's all I could think of while reading about the mice, Malika, the washer. Here's the storyline: Mice invade two women's home and the women are determined to rid their abode of these vermin. But instead the mice decide to help the women in the troubles. They build a crutch and a ramp for the dog who keeps falling. They repair the leaky washer hose, etc. Sort of like the shoemaker and the elves. What do you think?

Marti said...

WHO should be writing children's books?! Not bad, Barb.

Have you ever read Nancy Atherton's book 'Aunt Dimity's Death'? It's a 'cozy' mystery novel. The major character discovers that the woman in the wonderful bedtime stories her mother always told her was real, and that she had misremembered the tales in key points... so maybe she'd remember the mice terrorizing Aunt Dimity when really, they were, say, helping build a ramp and crutch for the dog... The story is (partially) about how she comes to see from the latter perspective. Maybe I'll stick it in my suitcase and reread it this Christmas!

Orrange said...

we had mice last winter...creeped me out. Especially when Brooklyn said "mommy! there's a SQUIREL under the couch..i'm going to go GET IT! "

hope things turn around for you soon and that a couple of hours with a candle and a book help.

Shane said...

Hey Marti,

We caught a mouse a couple of days ago. Our new little kitten seemed pretty interested in it, so we dropped it out of the trap onto the floor for her. She promptly grabbed it and ran! Within five minutes she had reduced it to nothing but a tail sticking out of her mouth! It grossed the kids out, but made Ann and I hopeful that the little creature would earn her keep, ridding our house of other little creatures!

Marti said...

Your Ann is of an admirably practical turn of mind, Shane! Best wishes with your mouser...

Back-fence neighbors have a cat or two. Unlike most residents of our piece of suburbia, they let their cats roam free. I may try to lure one in...