Sunday, July 31, 2011

Meandering in the Quiet

Just a week and half to go until I go back to school. And my kids are on vacation with their dad. All is quiet here. So, that's when my brain starts meandering all over the place. Today I was totally lazy. I did nothing but read and watch TV. I watched episodes of Dexter and White Collar, Covert Affairs. I finished reading a book called Healer. I can't recall the author at this moment and am too lazy to go look. It was a mediocre book, but somehow kept my attention. And believe me, if my attention is not grabbed within the first five pages, I toss it aside. Obviously, I don't have too much of a social life. That was one of the things that I was pondering this weekend. I was thinking, is this it? Is this all God has for me? Teaching and raising kids? It's just that I know soon my kids will leave. And before they leave, they will become teenagers and not want me around too much. And I love teaching. I'm always trying to improve upon it. This year is no exception. Now that I finally fee like I have my feet under me, I'm going to try to work on Differentiation. I'll have to write about that later. What I'd also really like to do is be a writer. I try to work on it a little bit every day that I don't have the kids. I just can't do it on the days that I have them. My focus is too much on them. And when I work and have them, well forget it. I just come home, finish guiding any homework that needs to be finished up, cook dinner, clean up, and collapse in front of the TV for about an hour. But oh, I would love to be a writer. Maybe that's the next turn in my road. I guess we'll see. But for now, I'll relish these next two weeks. Now I have to go. Dexter is calling to me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


There is nothing that strikes fear in my heart like mice (or spiders or bugs of any sort). And when a mouse is invading my house, it is close to catastrophic. A couple of weeks ago a mouse invaded my home late, late one night during a taped DVR watching of Friday Night Lights. That was bad enough, since there are only a few more episodes where I can watch Coach Taylor motivate his boys to be their very best off and on the field. After screaming at the poor rodent and throwing my slipper on the floor (jamming my finger in the process), I retreated to the safety of my bedroom and immediately went to get DCon the next day.

For weeks I have been on the lookout for any brave mouse that might make its way into my abode. But I had been lulled into a false security the mice knew that entering my house meant certain death. If I didn't get them the poison would. Yesterday, I was up in my room putting my make-up on when my son yells up at me that he sees a mouse. Incredulous, I yell back, "Inside?" He says that yes, he is looking at it.

I bounded down the stairs, and sure enough there was a tiny mouse running back and forth on my baseboards underneath the window between my couch and TV armoire.

I ran to get my broom and started yelling at the thing. My son joined in. But the poor mouse didn't know what to do . It just kept running back and forth. In retrospect, I think the mouse had already sampled some of the poison, it was so discombobulated. At the time, though, I just wanted the thing out of my house. The mouse made a dash for it behind my armoire, and he promptly jumped on top of the poison that was artfully placed behind my armoire. My daughter peeked behind the armoire in fascination. "It's eating the poison!" she said reverently. Then tears gathered in her eyes. "It's just a baby," she said. This is was Disney cartoons do to people. They make defenseless kids think that mice are cuddly friends and that Prince Charming is going to show up to save the day. Neither are true.

After telling her that she needed to dry her eyes, we all took up residence in front of the armoire, waiting for the enemy to leave the fortifications. I was armed and ready with a shovel and a broom. But the mouse would not budge; it was still nesting on the poison. Finally, I told my kids that I was going to go finish getting ready and that if they saw the mouse to let me know. About a half an hour later (it takes a while to get this face presentable), I came downstairs to find out that the mouse was still behind the armoire. I decided to fix and lunch and hope that maybe the food smells would lure it out.

I guess lunch did the trick. In the middle of pulling pizza out of the microwave, my daughter shrieked that the mouse was leaving its hiding place. I ran over quickly, broom in hand. The poison was definitely taking affect, because the mouse ran back and forth, spun in circles, and landed it on its back. You would think this was the end, but this was like a little horror movie. The mouse got back up and started coming towards me. I screamed a blood curdling scream and the mouse ran back to the floor boards. Then the mouse darted under the couch. I was actually glad about this. The couch is in front of the fireplace, which is how the mice are getting in. I thought, now the mouse will leave. But then I had visions of the mouse actually dying under the couch, soon smelling the stench of decaying rodent. That would never do. So, I moved the couch forward, and the mouse darted forward again.

What to do? This could not go on all day! So, I decided to launch a bold move. If I could sweep the mouse out the garage door (which it was closest to), then I could sweep it on out of the garage and onto the driveway, then the yard, where a cat could then take care of it. Brilliant! So, I opened the garage door, steadily gripped my weapon, and hit that mouse like it was a hockey puck. Unfortunately, my athletic prowess (or lack of) showed itself at this time. Did the mouse launch out the door. No, it stopped just short of the door and started to gather itself together to fun. I would not be stopped. I drew my broom back and undeterred, aimed again. Again, my aim-not that good. Because, even though I was inches from the door, the mouse scooted under the door and hit the wall. At least that was enough to daze the mouse who laid motionless. With determination in my voice, I ordered my daughter to open the back door. I triumphantly picked up the shovel, scooped up the pesky enemy, and screaming wildly ran the mouse out the back door. I screamed the entire time, but I was not alone. I heard shrill outcries behind me-not from my daughter; but from my son. Buoyed by our cries of outrage, I flung my shovel back and catapulted the probably very regretful mouse into the yard.