Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Brown Sort of Day

Hydrangea, rain battered and then wind-dried, outside the west window. 

No sunshine yet again, although the temperatures are mild.
I got up to cough--build up the fire--cough, feed cats--cough---make the coffee--you see the pattern of my recent early mornings!
Edward the Cat streaked through the sliding door carrying a small alive mouse, with a gang of cats in
 hot pursuit.
They rampaged down the hall and burst into the bedroom where J. had one long leg out of bed.
'What?' he exclaimed, as the entire contingent thumped about under the bed.
"Catch the mouse!" I replied, and went back to the kitchen.
When J. appeared moments later I asked after the mouse.
'Oh,' he said, rather vaguely, 'I think it's gone into the closet.'
Several cats were bumbling about near the closet's bi-fold doors.
I flung them wide and began hauling out boots, canvas carrier bags, a bin of wooly socks.
The mouse was huddled against the back wall.
J. was pouring his coffee.
"Come and get the mouse!" I demanded.
He put on his gloves and in a moment had the creature cupped in his hands.
To my astonishment instead of releasing it outside, he flushed it down the toilet, while the feline gang observed.
I was a bit taken aback by this.  I only flush dead things!
Oh dear.  
[Edited to add that the mouse had been quite badly 'wounded' by the attentions of the cats, so this was a merciful end!] 
I suppose if it had been released outside, already traumatized and somewhat damaged, it would have been retrieved and fetched in again.
A bit of a grisly start to the day.

Lichen on the redbud tree by the mailbox.

J. went out to feed Pebbles while I sliced potatoes and onions to fry for breakfast.
Edward the Cat was noisily sick on the bedside rug.
Fortunately I was aware of this before stripping bedding to take downstairs to the laundry.
Edward crouched, looking on dolefully as I fetched a bottle of lemon-scented cleaner, paper towels, a scrubbing brush.
I pegged out sheets, knowing they wouldn't get completely dry on such a dull day, but hoping they would gather the fresh scent of cool air and the wintery smell of wood smoke.
Walking back from the clothesline I spied Nellie, rolling about behind the van, then prodding at something which lay still in the gravel.
My suspicions aroused, I tip-toed near enough to recognize a garter snake.
I ferreted J. out of the shop to dispose of this unwanted article.
He prodded at it with the wrench he was carrying, then, seeing that it was alive but sluggish with cold, he carried it to the brush pile by the upper garden and tossed it into the depths.
I'm not liking that brush pile and have intentions of moving it down to the burning area behind the garage.
Who knows what might take up residence in a brush pile over the winter?

A leaf from the sweet gum tree, gleaming like waxed mahogany.

The day went on--noon looking as still and dull as early morning.
I made 4 loaves of oatmeal bread.
I creamed butter and sugar for a batch of chocolate chip cookies and discovered that J. had fried the last of the eggs at breakfast time.
[I usually trade baked goods for my neighbor's free-range eggs--but haven't done that while we were ill.]
I needed to wait til the bread was baked before driving to Wal Mart for eggs.
I was feeling very tired, yesterday's sense of recovery and strength had evaporated.
I tottered to the store, finished baking cookies, prepared supper.
Baked potato, sauteed salmon, canned green beans from last year's garden.
I think it was the 3 cookies for dessert that gave me a bit of a boost!
Tomorrow is another day--mid-week already......


  1. Hello MM, it`s good to be back and lovely to visit your blog again. Thanks for visiting mine!

    I was pleased to hear that Pebbles is still going strong. I hope that she and our own old Golden Pony make it through the coming winter in good health!

    Your day sounds very busy and interesting. What a start though, with a mouse in the bedroom! We recently had a shrew, brought into the kitchen, but it was too badly injured to save so the murderous cat was allowed to get on with her business. Now that I have started feeding the garden birds, I try to keep the cats in during daylight hours. They have to watch the show through the window!

    1. Ann; There are times when cats must be allowed to carry out their primitive urges, but I do hate to hear them 'crunching' on their prey from beneath the table!
      We know that the meds are keeping Pebbles in health for the time being--we can only enjoy the time we have left with her and hope we have the courage to make a compassionate choice when that evil day arrives.

  2. Oh my goodness, I can't believe he flushed the poor little thing down the toilet, did it really deserve that end having just endured the cats. I was just thinking how lovely to cup it in his hands and let it go and then the whole sentence changed into something so awful.
    But then I'm just a soppy sentimental thing who hasn't lived in the country, only a town and maybe I'm over reacting.

    1. Briony; I was surprised about the disposal of the mouse--this is the man who carefully removed a mother mouse and her babies from the innards of his hay baler and transported them up to the woods in a small box.
      When I inquired later he explained that the mouse was 'pretty well whupped' from the handling it received from the cats and didn't need to be picked up and tormented to death.
      I edited my post to include this sad fact.

  3. For someone who's tottering, I think you achieved a fair amount. I gave a little gasp of surprise at the mouse being flushed too, but I dare say it was better than dieing of shock outside, or being recaught by the cats.

    Get well soon. If you can get hold of elderberry syrup, it will help that cough.

    1. Jennie; A mouse is rather a 'cute' creature--those bright button eyes, the quivering whiskers. I have to say that in a house or [as I once experienced them] in a storage situation, they can make a mess all out of proportion to their tiny size. So--although I don't like to witness their demise I need to be stoical.
      I think G. might have elderberry syrup left from her experiments during the 2012 season--should have thought of that. I've relied on tea with honey to soothe my throat. I'm over the worst--just needing a renewal of energy.

  4. Good point about being re-caught! Poor mouse. Lovely photos....I particularly like the lichen of course!

  5. Em; Another mouse this morning to deal with--I'm not liking this development!
    The patterns of lichen are amazing, aren't they?

  6. You do more in a day when you are sick than I do when I am well. Mice are quite cute -- until you find their droppings in the kitchen cabinet or cutlery drawer!

  7. Chris; I always feel that I haven't done enough on the practical side of things. I'm not organized in my approach to housework and such.
    You have expressed my thoughts exactly re mice in the house!