Posted tagged ‘mouse’

“The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

August 24, 2017

Okay, we’re starting with the gross part of my day’s musings. Maddie, my cat, now 17, has surprisingly shown the prowess of her youth, her long ago hunting days. Last night I heard a thud, a loud thud, and knew it had to be Maddie as she wasn’t with me. Being both worried and curious, I got up to investigate but Maddie came into the room before I could. She was on the other side of the table, out of my sight, when I heard crunching (here’s where it gets gross so if you want to leave, please do so). I checked and saw she was eating the remains of a baby mouse, actually only half a mouse, the top half. I made suitable sounds of being grossed out, shooed Maddie away and used two catalogues to pick up the remains which I then tossed outside. My big takeaway from this is there are mice again even though I paid my own Pied Piper. I’m putting a trap down in case there are more.

The day is beautiful. It will be 79˚ or so, but the humidity seems to have disappeared. I have a few things on my list to keep me busy, and I have to drive friends to the Boston bus, but that’s it for the planned part of my day.

Less tomorrow is a Ghananism, my identifier for English adaptations Ghanaians have coined. Less tomorrow was used when something was promised for a certain day but wasn’t ready. For example, when I was told a dress from the seamstress would be ready on Tuesday, I’d go to pick it up, but it was never ready. The seamstress would tell me less tomorrow which didn’t necessarily mean Wednesday. It just meant sometime in the future. I came to believe Ghanaians used less tomorrow for Europeans, white people, who seemed to need a specific day. Ghanaians are more casual with time.

It wasn’t long before I embraced loose time, before I accepted Ghanaian time, which really meant anytime, instead of European time. If I tell my friends to arrive here at 5:30 for a soirée, I expect them around 5:30. Were I to tell my Ghanaians friends the same, they could arrive at 7 or even 8 and still be considered on time.

My training college worked on clock time, a necessity to keep the day on task. Planes left Kotoka Airport in Accra pretty much on time, but the rest of Ghana had its own pace, and I, after a while, also fell into that pace. If I hadn’t, I would have been driven crazy.

In my retirement, I have gone back to whenever time, to Ghanaian time, with some exceptions like doctors or plays or dinner reservations. I figure what I don’t get done today will get done less tomorrow.

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“If one mouse is a spark…then ten thousand are a conflagration.”

April 24, 2014

The morning has already been a busy one. I let Gracie out then heard a bang. I turned and saw the gate had flown open. I looked for Gracie hoping she hadn’t escaped and then I saw her still in the yard, close to the gate. I yelled stay as if that had any meaning for Gracie then ran down the stairs and shut the gate. Catastrophe was averted.

The second problem started last night when I went to do laundry. I was about to stuff the clothes in the washer when I noticed a baby mouse in the tub of the washing machine. I used my sweatshirt, captured the tiny thing and just threw him over the fence. I imagine he’ll be back. Figuring there were more, I went looking and found my have-a-heart trap. I tried to set it but one end wouldn’t work. The mouse would have eaten the goodies then left on the side which didn’t close. I decided to use the weird trap I’d bought a while back. It is small, a circular wire cage on a piece of wood. The top has a hole but when the mouse enters the hole it can’t get out because of wire prongs circling the bottom of that hole. In the front is a small escape hatch with a wire hook which I have to open to free the beast. I decided to give it try, threw in some bread and put it in the cellar in a spot I can see from the stairs. This morning I looked and lo and behold I had my first mouse. Gracie and I went for a ride. I stopped to free the beastie, but I couldn’t get it to leave the trap. He held on no matter what I did, including a bit of tail tugging. Finally I banged the wood with the trap door facing the ground and out the mouse fell. He was gone to his new neighborhood in a heartbeat. At least he’d been well fed before the trip.

I changed my bed, finished my book, emptied the litter boxes, cleaned out the fridge, did two loads of laundry, caught mice and watered the plants. I need a vacation.

Yesterday it rained all day. At times we had thunder and even some hail. Today is sunny but still a bit chilly. Gracie and I have a leftover errand postponed from yesterday, and that’s it for the day. I’m done in!

“I am an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.”

February 5, 2013

Snow is lightly falling and has been all morning, but I doubt it will amount to much. When I went to get the papers, I almost fell as I didn’t see the ice hidden under the new snow. The ice is from the snow of a couple of nights ago which melted during the day yesterday but froze when the temperature dropped in the darkness of the late afternoon. How I didn’t fall is a mystery. I am a faller, a tripper, a down on my butt person so saving myself  is new to me, a miracle of sorts.

I’m feeling so much better that it was a busy day for me yesterday. I filled the feeders, watered plants, put laundry away, swept the kitchen floor, took down the wreaths and took off all their ornaments to save for next year and even made my bed.

We had a mouse yesterday, the first in a few days. When I went to bed, it was in the trap so Gracie and I did a midnight run. It was cold, really cold, but I decided not to leave the mouse in the trap all night. I know the mouse has to be let free over a mile away so its loses its homing instinct so Gracie and I drove to our usual spot. When I opened the trap, that mouse took off like a shot. Some mice have to be shaken a few times before I can get them out of the trap, but not this one. It was out and running. I left it at a spot where a few of the other mice have been freed. I have this vision, like Mole’s little home in The Wind in the Willows, where the other mice invite the new one into their homes where the fire is warming, the chair comfy and the bread and cheese is on the table. I know. I know. My imagination has gone amok!

I always wonder how I know some things. I probably read or heard them and my mind just put them away in my memory drawers for later use. At trivia one night the question was which cartoon character was introduced in the comic strip Thimble Theater in 1929. I said Popeye. Not one person on my team accepted my answer. They discussed it among themselves without any consideration that I might be right though I did offer Popeye one more time, but it was as if I had said nothing. They agreed on some other answer and turned it in. The correct answer was Popeye. They blamed me for the wrong answer saying I should have been more insistent.

In the crossword puzzle today the clue was ______Novo. I , of course, filled in Porto. That was easy. It is a city in Benin which used to be Dahomey when I lived in Africa. That’s one of the weird facts for which I know the origin. Thimble Theater still escapes me.

“Even a snail will eventually reach its destination.”

February 2, 2013

I’m walking on sunshine! I slept through the night and for the second day in a row no mice graced my trap which will now be moved into the eaves to see if there are any left hiding from me, but I’m thinking no more midnight mouse runs for Gracie and me. I’m sure she’ll be disappointed.

In the Globe this morning was an article about the US becoming a nation of the perpetually impatient. People under 35 lead connected lives with”…a need for instant gratification.” Researchers found people can’t wait more than a few seconds for a video to load. Two seconds was the average. “After five seconds, the abandonment rate is 25%. When you get to 10 seconds, half are gone.”

I am guilt of impatience, but I have always been impatient even since I was a kid. I tapped silverware at the table and drove my mother crazy. At the subway station I leaned over the tracks to see if the train was coming. My mother always grabbed me back. If we were going somewhere, I was always the first one ready and expected we’d leave on time. That seldom happened, and I’d moan and groan and throw myself down on the couch in frustration. That went on my whole life until I went to Ghana.

Ghana runs on two-time tables: Ghanaian and European. If you were going somewhere with a Ghanaian and you were making plans, a given time always elicited the question, “Ghanaian or European time?” Ghanaian time mean anytime: an hour, two hours or even three hours after the planned time. European time meant the actual hour. I learned that 7 o’clock meant I didn’t even have to start getting dressed until 8 or even later. If I arrived by nine, I was probably early. Buses in the lorry park left when they were full. Sometimes that meant waiting hours. I’d sit under a tree and read. When I was hungry, I’d buy some donuts, one of all time favorite Ghanaian treats, or groundnuts or whatever the small girl was selling from the tray on her head. Impatience was wasted energy. It changed nothing.

The tailor promised my dress would be ready by Tuesday which became Wednesday when probably meant Saturday or not. I never got angry or annoyed. The tailor was just taking his time, his Ghanaian time.

Once I sat at the Yeji ferry site for four hours while we waited for some government higher up who wanted the ferry there when he arrived. I drank some water with floaties (we always bought the beer bottle filled with water which had the least amount of floaties), ate some plantain, took some pictures, sat on an overturned boat and read and watched all the people. Finally the guy came and we boarded the bus when was then loaded on the ferry. I wasn’t frustrated or impatient. I knew better.

When I came home, my lessons were, over time, unlearned. The bar was higher here. I expected people to be on time. I expected busses and planes to leave at their appointed hours. I got annoyed and frustrated when they didn’t.

When I went back to Ghana, I right away fell into Ghanaian time. The lessons I had learned way back were still ingrained. “Less tomorrow,” a Ghanaian would tell me. That always meant another day yet to be determined. I was only to happy to wait.

“We are always the same age inside.”

January 29, 2013

Today I face the world or both Gracie and I go hungry. A sunny day would have been a nice welcome, but we still have all those clouds and a dampness left over from the little snow we had last night before it started to rain. Slush covers the side roads, and you can see all the tire marks. A mouse woke me up. It wasn’t happy with its accommodation in the have-a-heart trap and was banging and whacking the metal. I fell back to sleep a couple of times, but finally I couldn’t take it any longer. We went for a ride around 7:30: Gracie, the mouse and I. Despite all its complaining, the mouse didn’t want out. It kept moving from side to side in the trap before I finally shook it loose. I wished it well in its new home then I went and got coffee and a bagel. That seemed a perfect reward for an early morning mouse run.

My voice is raspy, and I still sniff and cough, but I feel better. That’s a good thing.

This morning I noticed the obituary of one of my high school classmates, a good guy, a funny guy. I don’t know what happened, but his dying gave me pause. My mind doesn’t ever think of me as old. I am perpetually young. Going up and downstairs is usually a reminder that my parts have aged, but the reminder doesn’t stick. I look in the mirror and see grey hairs, but they don’t mean anything to me. My friends are all around my age, but they still seem young to me. I can’t fathom they are in the their mid to late 60’s. What in the heck does that really mean? I thought my parents were old when they were in their 60’s. My dad passed away in his 60’s. I bet, though, they thought themselves still young just as I do now.

I finally understand that age is relative. I used to think that was what old people said to make themselves feel better, but it’s not. Age isn’t measured in years. It’s measured in the way you live your life. I have a long way to go until I’m old.

“Winter either bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.”

January 24, 2013

It is 4˚ and with the wind chill -12˚. I woke up earlier than my programmed heater starts its job and the house was only 62˚.

The Cough and the Mouse is the name of today’s entry which sounds like something Aesop might have written though I’m at a loss as to the moral of the story. Perhaps there isn’t one. I lasted until 5 o’clock before the coughing forced me out of bed. I was sitting up hoping to fall back to sleep, but the mouse in the trap would have none of that. It, number 20, was trying to break out of his metal trap. No luck, just noise. I finally came downstairs figuring if I’m awake I might as well have a cup of coffee to greet the day, such as it is. As for the mouse, I know it will not survive the temperature no matter where I free it, but I don’t foresee a new pet, especially a rodent who chews wires, wood and whatever looks good in the cabinet.

The weather woman on this morning’s news is wearing a dress which makes her looked deformed. Her top half leans left while her bottom half leans right. I wonder if the people working with her have noticed or maybe the 5 o’clock news is far too early for fashion statements.

My mother told me a lot of things. I knew I had to stay out of the water for an hour after eating because all that food could cause cramps and maybe even drowning. Not true, we all learned later. This morning more of my mother’s warnings have been debunked. Going out with wet hair will not cause a cold as my mother claimed. Not only that, all my body heat does not escape through my head. Putting a hat on just keeps my head warm.

My cold persists. My cough is painful. I’m sucking on lozenges and taking cough medicine. When I feel cold, I wrap in an afghan which Gracie thinks is hers so she tries to yank it off me. She will not be successful. This time the human will prevail!

“I’ve just been bitten on the neck by a vampire… mosquito. Does that mean that when the night comes I will rise and be annoying?”

January 18, 2013

Today is winter. Though the sky is steely blue and the sun is shiny, it’s cold, and we have snow. I’m guessing about 2 inches fell during the night, not enough for plows or even shovels but any snow is enough. From here inside my warm house, the snow is pretty and it glistens in the sun, but even Gracie was reluctant to go out when we first woke up. I had to trudge across the snowy lawn to get the newspapers, and when I did, I saw paw prints in the snow. I’m guessing Cody came to visit hoping Gracie was awake. She wasn’t and neither was I.

The mice count is now 15. Only a single tiny beast found its way into a trap yesterday. Either peanut butter is less desirable than it had been or the number of mice has dwindled. I know there are some on this floor so they are also my targets. I’ve already put down a couple of my trusty traps but no takers as yet. Only three more mice are needed to break my decades old record.

I have never been the type afraid of bugs or snakes or mice. Garter snakes were common when I was a kid. One of us would see a snake, announce its presence and all of us would run to watch. The bravest among us would pick it up and hold it for a while. In the field below our house, we used to run through the tall grass and spook the grasshoppers so they’d hop into the air and then we’d catch them with our bare hands. We caught fireflies in jars but we always released them. Fireflies were special. In the swamp, we’d use jars to scoop up tadpoles and our hands to grab the frogs. Dirt and grime were never a problem.

In Ghana I saw poisonous snakes: one was in the bushes outside my classroom block. My students killed it by pelting rocks at it. Lizards were everywhere, including my house. In training, on our first day, I saw lizards scurrying across the concrete walks as I went to breakfast. I’ll never forget that morning. It was my first I’m really in Africa moment.

I have no plans for today, no errands and no chores. It’s a perfect sloth day. It’s a stay in my cozies, read a bit and take a nap day.