Good humor makes all things possible.
-Charles Schultz-

With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.
-Shakespeare-The Merchant of Venice-

Friday, September 28, 2012

Oh, rats

I have long been aware that Prince Charming isn't coming to my house anytime soon.

But imagine my horror when I glanced up at the porch light this afternoon to see what Lottie was hollering about.  I am so naive, I thought I'd see one of her idiot lizards.

It was definitely not Prince Charming.
It was not a lizard.  
It was a mouse.

 Lottie had apparently chased it up the wall onto the light fixture, and from there it tried (and failed, thank my stars) to squeeze into my attic.  Nightmare alert: mice can climb stucco walls, did you know that?  Lillie and I brought the cat inside and jumped up and down and screamed tried to decide what to do.  I posted its creepy crawly picture on Facebook and asked the team for their best advice.

Among the comments was this unpleasant news.  My furry intruder is not a mouse.  
It is a rat.  

A baby rat.
Baby rats most definitely have parents, siblings and cousins.  
Google agreed that I probably have entire families of rats running around my property.  There is a lot of that nasty ivy nearby, and rats LOVE ivy.  Google says it is only a matter of time before I have rats in my walls and attic.  I recently noticed what I thought were mole hills around my house but are, apparently, rat burrows.  Maybe I'll stuff snail bait down the busiest-looking holes--I recall, way back when I lived in an old house in San Jose, whenever I scattered Snarol there would always be a few dead roof rats lying around in a day or so.   I'll go to OSH and figure out which kind of actual rat poison seems the safest for every non-rat creature in the vicinity.

I would love to imagine that this little rodent lives alone and has no friends or relations. 
Well,  I wasn't born last night. 
 Looks like there's some pest control on my agenda.

Rats are sort of the herpes of home-ownership.  
You might control them; you might not see a rat for years; but they're never really gone forever.

Have you ever had rats?

Monday, September 17, 2012

I know something you don't know

Sunday night in the United Kingdom, people gathered around the telly and watched Season Three, Episode One of Downtown Abbey.   

Sunday night in my living room, Lillian and I gathered around her Mac and watched it, too.

And man, oh man, is it good.

I readily admit that if I lived here by myself, I would be just like you, writhing in agony because THEY have it and YOU DON'T.  But Lillian is a kid from this generation, and she knows what buttons to push.  In fact, someone at your house might figure it out, if you pester them relentlessly.  

But I like you so I won't spoil it for you, just in case you have to wait until January.
My dear sister in law   Someone I know asked me for a synopsis,
so I wrote it up and sent it to her, but you have an iron countenance and can wait, right? 
Rest assured, it's every bit as delicious as you hope.


Shirley McClaine is miraculous.  New plot lines burst forth at every turn.  Carson says "hobblety-hoy."  Edith finally wears flattering clothes.  Sybil gets a peculiar haircut.  Mary's wedding dress is incredible.  Disaster is imminent.  

You wish you were me.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Sam's mom messes with Texas

I'm back from a grand weekend in San Antonio with this cute little boy and plenty of delicious margaritas.

I am sorry to report that this a color photo of the first draft of my travel wardrobe.
I shook things up by adding in a pink scarf, a green cardigan and some  purple flats.  Snappy!

His company paid for every imaginable whim of several hundred employees and their guests, including round trip travel (involving six separate flights for me.)  I had a lovely massage at the hotel spa and we even had enough room credits left over to buy a few souvenirs for the home fries. I also passed around a few pictures of Sam before he was a a successful grownup, including this shot:

Sam was rocking that scruff at age seven, and yes,  Lillie's [unappreciated] costume is Amoxicillin 

Look kid, if you're going to invite YOUR MOM to this kind of event, you'd better reconcile yourself to a little humiliation in front of your bosses and coworkers who still see you as some upstart pup.  I was therefore obligated to prove them right.   I expect there will be a parental-exclusion policy in place next year.

I am kind enough not to show you the multi-colored fanny bruise under that hotel robe

The first afternoon, we played on the hotel's water slides and floated around the 'lazy [pretend] river' (me slathered in sunscreen to ward off my enemy, the too-friendly Texas sunshine).  Flailing and struggling  to climb out of an inflatable  plastic inner tube, I sat down way too hard on some concrete steps and am now nursing a rainbow-hued, fist-sized bruise on my can. Leisure time is fraught with danger.

When I was lamenting to the friendly hotel desk clerk that it would take three flights and all day to get back home, she laughed and said her hometown is an hour south of mine.  And the clerk in the gift shop asked where in Chicago Sam lives; turns out she grew up a few train stops away from his apartment in Bucktown.

airline travel is so glamorous

Too soon, I was back home again to find anxious cats, more political bad news, and smoky skies.  At least the badly needed rain in Texas held off until I left.  It was a wonderful trip.

 my poor kitties cried themselves to sleep every night