Archive for August, 2009

Mouse update

I’d just about given up on catching the critter, especially when it maneuvered itself into the living room, chewing on the inside of the couch. Couldn’t see it, of course, but heard the little chomping noises. I listlessly tossed a couple of baited traps under the couch, not expecting a thing.

I just got back from the store and heard squeaking in the kitchen. Could it be????? Ta -da! Mighty Mouse got a little too greedy and stuck to the trap with his mouth around a hunk of cheese. Just in time, too. I had visions of it scampering all over me at night since I’ve been sleeping in the living room while it’s hot.


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Ode to the kitchen mouse

Just call me the sweet little mouse feeder. Five sticky traps along the kitchen floor baseboards and one on the counter, each one with a small piece of smelly extra sharp cheddar cheese in the middle because the monster has managed to avoid all the plain, out-of-the-box traps. One tiny little mouse that’s beginning to drive me crazy. I just went into the kitchen for a glass of water and noticed the cheese from one of the traps is gone. Unless there are some huge flying bugs or something . . .and then the loathsome creature proceeded to race across the kitchen floor and disappear somewhere in the laundry room. I swear it had a sneer on its ugly face and the words, “ha, ha, gotcha” coming out its horrible little mouth. Tomorrow I’m buying some regular traps. This is getting ridiculous. But funny.

Robert Burns had another idea:

Wee, sleeket, cowran, tim'rous beastie,
O, what panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murd'ring pattle!

I’m truly sorry Man’s dominion
Has broken Nature’s social union,
An’ justifies that ill opinion,
Which makes thee startle,
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion,
An’ fellow-mortal!

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This has been kind of a bittersweet day; not a particularly sad one, but making me pensive enough to head into that corner of my mind that handles grief combined with wonderful memories and thoughts.

A former college instructor and friend died the end of June, and his memorial service was held yesterday in the San Diego area. His wife had died in April and according to another friend, “Bob began to let go of life after her passing, in his own quiet, accepting, intentional way.”

He was 95 years old, and in those many years, he packed so much into his life. I first met him as the teacher of my Grossmont College Creative Writing class back in the late 1960s. He used to invite class members to his house where we’d each read our current writing and receive feedback. My mother also took a class with him and attended those meetings as well. His wife Delores was a beautiful woman, much younger than Bob, with long, thick, brown hair. Their house was a haven for all of us prospective writers.

Several years later, my husband, young daughter, and I moved from San Diego to Portland, Oregon and I lost track of Bob for about 35 years. When I returned to Southern California around 2003 or 2004, can’t remember which right now, I visited Summit Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in La Mesa and was promptly greeted, by name, by a fairly elderly gentleman whom I almost remembered. There was something about him that seemed familiar. Yes, that was Bob, now almost 90 years old. Still sharp as the proverbial tack. In fact, he asked how my mother was, calling her by name as well. He and his wife were among the founding members of the church, and people there held him in very high esteem. Everyone listened to his ideas and thoughts, and laughed at his marvelous jokes.

Each year the church held their annual fund-raising auction and, true to form, Bob offered the sermon of their choice –written and given by him, to the highest bidder. Someone bid $1000 for the privilege of hearing that sermon. He also wrote and published his first fiction book at around age 90. I don’t remember the title, but it was a wonderfully written romance novel.

When I did my nine-month ministry internship at that church, Bob, Delores and I became quite good friends. Although it was sad to see how much Delores had aged–much faster than Bob– it was wonderful to see how beautifully and lovingly he cared for her.

Today James Ford, in his blog “Monkey Mind, ” included a special version of the hymn, “Amazing Grace, ” performed by The Blind Boys of Alabama. This has been my favorite version of the song ever since I first heard it on the car radio quite a few years ago. And tonight I dedicate it to Bob and Delores Moore, two people who truly were amazing and full of grace, both to themselves and to everyone whom they touched.

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It’s too darned hot for me! 98 degrees with a heat index of 103 at 7:00 P.M. is too much. Up to now, I’ve been running the air conditioner in the house all day until around 10 P.M. when it finally cools off enough to sleep with just a fan. However, after getting the electric bill yesterday I decided to do something different. The RV is parked in the back yard with nothing to do, feeling a little lonely. So, I ran an extension cord into the house, turned on the air conditioning in the RV, and have been very comfortable reading Our World in Transition by Diarmuid O’Murchu and watching “Dreamgirls.” This is a much smaller area to cool than the whole house so hopefully it will make for a lower electric bill. I opened all the windows in the house to take advantage of any fresh, cooler air overnight while I sleep out here tonight. Very cozy, very nice.

I’m not sure if “The Cookie Lady” will make cookies for the volunteer training in Turley tomorrow morning. She might just slice up the banana bread she made earlier this morning when it was a lot cooler. Hmm–a new name–Banana Bread Lady? Not sure about that.

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My hair-brained, one-year experiment ended this morning. I’ve grown my hair from very short to fairly long since last August. It grew out nice and thick and would have been okay except for a few things I’ve discovered about said hair. For one thing, it has a lot of natural curl, something that didn’t show up when it was short. But, rather than cooperate nicely, that curl insists on doing its own thing which made for some very strange looks. And, with the 100+ degree temperatures and high humidity here lately, the extreme frizziness also showed up. I wondered why so many women here pull their hair back into ponytails. Well, now I know. It’s to keep all that hair from being plastered to their necks in this damp heat. Mine was almost long enough for a ponytail but that really didn’t look very good, either. Washing and drying that hair was also a full-fledged production, taking at least five minutes with a hot hair dryer to dry. When the weather is hot anyway, not a very pleasant experience. Then it wouldn’t do anything but frizz out, so I ended up pulling it back behind my ears with clips. That wasn’t a very good look, either.

This morning I thought long and hard—for about five minutes. I thought about getting it cut in kind of a bob, chin length. But, a little experimenting at the mirror convinced me that a fat-looking face wouldn’t be the best look. Hmmm. I called and made an appointment and they were able to help me right away. I didn’t know how short to get it cut until the stylist had shampooed it—ahhh, that felt so wonderful!

I asked her to cut it short and showed her a picture. She cut off what looked like a pound of hair, letting it all fall around the chair onto the floor. As usual, she tried to doctor the now-short hair up with “product,” otherwise known as gel. Although I’d asked her to just leave it wet, she wanted to show me how cool it would look gelled up into spikes. Geesh! But, the cut was good. I paid and tipped her, then drove home and washed all the stuff out. Blew it dry in 30 seconds, and voila, no more straggling frizz. An actual style. In a week it will be grown out just about right.

Sorry Lou, I tried. Maybe again when the weather isn’t quite so hot and humid.

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