Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Grass Fed??

The chickens wish to lodge their complaint about the recent new white covering on the ground. Very cold and not very convenient for eating grass or scratching up bugs. They'll go out, but they won't LIKE it...

They are enjoying their new Chicken Palace, with cozy nest boxes and a very deluxe perch built by W. Temps are staying warmer than the outside air and the eggs keep on coming, so all seems well for now.

We're not, of course, counting our eggs in one basket before they....

Friday, November 18, 2005


Taken in a local, beautiful place this past fall...

Add Excitement...

...To your morning commute! Bring along a small, 4-footed passenger.... One with whiskers, small beady eyes and a long tail- eeek!

My theory about fewer mice actually IN the car proved to be untrue this morning. One of our little, ah, trespassers got a free ride to work this morning. It is currently lounging in my car, exploring the parking lot, or being snapped in the trap we set on the floor. #3 is my personal, although somewhat evil-feeling choice. W made me feel guilty yesterday by saying he saw mouse #2 running around in circles after mouse #1 got squashed in the trap, wondering what happened to his buddy. We're softhearted, remember?

This morning, we saw the stowaway running around the back seat, but then couldn't find it after it ran underneath the front seats and refused to come out (does it cling to the bottom of the seats?). I did find some interestings under there when W was moving the seats around to try to scare it out, but that didn't make up for the experience. We were late and grumpy and in no mood to excavate a different vehicle from the snow to drive instead of the infested one. So. Not sure if it's a sign of laziness or remarkably un-queasy stoicism, but we threw a trap in the back, tucked our pant legs into our socks and headed into town, 3 of us in the car. Adventure for everyone!!

After I dropped off W, I heard a big SNAP and was hopeful, yet horrified. I finally looked when I got to work, but alas, no mouse. Never did see any sign of the critter while driving. I know it was still in there when I went to work, so now I get to go check my trapline before I leave. Yep, no queasiness here. But what if it ISN'T trapped? Now I have to drive during the dark with a small, crawly car-mate. ...Shudder....

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Road Rodents

We already know that we are perhaps a bit too soft-hearted about the animals around our place. Our chickens come running when called, even without individual names. Our cats have their own chairs and clothing piles, and know that sleeping on placemats on the table raises no particular objection from us (I know, ewwww...).

But we have to get a bit more serious about the cute, fuzzy, inquisitive... MICE. I have no tolerance for them in my house (especially after the nest made in my bed back in Nebraska), but the presence of 3 cats seems to keep that issue at bay. It's really in our garage and cars (!) where we have to get tough... grrr!

There had been a few chew marks here and there. Innocent enough to ignore. Then some lovely maple-coated nuts were NIBBLED after only one night in the Subaru. Offensive and messy.

The next event was a bit harder to brush off (heh)... serious amounts of insulation "relocated" from places unknown in my Toyota into the heating ducts, with a bit of corn for added mouse-comfort. Corn came spraying out of the vents, then made the heater completely stop working. After convincing the garage guys and W that I didn't have time to take apart the dash myself, I got an appointment and we had an entertaining time driving the car in with no defrost, etc. Argh. They fixed it, no problem, and we didn't think much of it.


I knew intellecutally that parking the car in the nice warm garage where we'd recently stored chicken feed was quite enticing to a mouse. I even read that many other toyota owners were plagued by this particular issue. Maybe I even vaguely thought about figuring out how they were getting in and blocking the holes (???). But, busy, you know...

So, when two cute, big eyed mice were found hopping in the garbage can mere feet from my car, I made no objection when W said "awwwww....." and let them go in the grass (instead of doing what? I wouldn't have known how to, um, exterminate them. Miss Lutsen didn't even see them (and she does love those mouse brains, mmm!). That was two days ago.

Today, while warming up the car, I happened to look out at a tire. A small, cute, sleepy-looking mouse was ambling away from the wheelwell into the snow. Ieeee! Heater vents? Blocked. Garage guys? Laughing at my request to have them take apart the dash again. W? Regretful of his softheartedness, and we both vow to get some mousetraps.

Any advice about how to make your car mouse-proof?? They don't even get into the inside much... just the vents. On the up side, they left me the spendy chocolate I accidentally left in the car. Rules of the road... rodents!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

And So It Begins!

Testing of the new blog happens late Sunday night. This is a vow to use this for good, not evil. Community, not time suck. How's this for pompous intent? Teaching a history lesson to explain the blog title:

Frolic. (n). 19th cent. A planned rural party for work or holidays. Strengthened community bonds through celebration and reciprocity. Neighbors were invited to tackle a task too large for one family. Yay! Thanks to http://encyclopedias.families.com/frolics-369-371-erla for definition inspiration.

I have been smitten with the word for years, but remember now seeing the term "Spinning Frolic" (knitting, baking, etc) while in Novia Scotia (ie like a quilting bee). Love the multi-purpose possibilities of this blog name. Thought likely too long and hard, but it's a wordsmith curse. Will it roll off the tongue? Look good on other lists? Ah, me. Iambic Pentameter for blog names??

As far as introspective updates on life here, how's this: W is reading zoning documents behind me, Bill just announced the ringing of his accurate belly-clock, Schroeder is making random comments and Lutsen is currently in people-are-dumb mode, nowhere to be seen. All cats, those, except for W. He is honored blog sponsor and co-collaborator in all this raising, frolic or not. To peace and frolic!