Saturday, February 3, 2007

Homestead living

Hottie Friend, a.k.a. Pequita's fairy godmother, offered to pass up birthday parties, bar gatherings, and other good offers to babysit for us last night. Homestead Mama and I haven't had a date night in several months, so we jumped at the chance. And with Hottie Friend so in love with Pequita, it almost feels like we are doing a public service by sharing her. So we giggled about it all week, and had a good time selecting the cuisine and movie that we were going to enjoy. We ended up having to drive Pequita to and from Hottie Friend's in a snowstorm, which I love because we haven't had much snow at all this year. We had a great time. The Mexican restaurant gave us someone else's takeout order with twice as much food as we had ordered (or paid for). Since it WAS during a snowstorm, we didn't take it back. We missed the kid, but it was great not having to keep an ear open at all times for her - we could really relax. It has been a long time since we have snuggled on the couch with each other - mostly baby snuggling these days. We are ever more grateful to Hottie Friend. There are not many folks we would leave Pequita with, and none enjoy it more than she does.

Today we had really good intentions to get many errands done. Instead, we entertained a friend & her son, which reinforced thoroughly that we HAVE NOT toddlerproofed our home. We caught up on our taped TV while Pequita napped, and we romped in the yard in the snow with the dogs, one of our favorite things to do.

I hope the next paragraph doesn't make all guests decline to visit us in the winter. Really, our house may be cluttered and harbor a little extra pet fur, but we don't live in squalor. We just take care of homestead business as necessary. Oh, the humanity!

We live in a farmhouse built in 1851. We are surrounded by acres of fields, meadows and woods, in which live deer, rabbits, groundhogs, moles, etc. We regularly hear packs of coyote yipping at night. The rodents that support this diverse wildlife community join us during the coldest parts of the winter. For the most part, they stay in the unfinished basement or on an unheated side porch. Well, two days ago Homestead Mama let out a screech as she opened the antique pantry cupboard in which we store our drygoods. A mouse had breached the confines of the interior of the house. Time for me to set my trap lines, as where there is one mouse, there are more. We knew that the side porch had been hosting some larger visitors since it got cold a few weeks ago. By larger visitors, I mean rats - but wait! don't freak out yet. While unwelcome, they are glossy-coated healthy animals who happen to have a winter home on our porch, where we feed the cats and keep the litter pans. So really, our rats are well fed on Science Diet cat food. We haven't ever seen them (or any evidence of them) in the house, or I'd be sleeping elsewhere. I set out two snap traps in the pantry last night baited with peanut butter. I awoke to Homestead Mama calling up the stairs, "The carnage has begun." Both traps had field mice in them. Drunk with my success, I reset the pantry traps immediately and caught another mouse around 6:30pm. Whoopee! I put out a couple more pantry traps, and feeling lucky, set 3 huge rat traps baited with dog treats on the side porch. I'll let you know how it goes - maybe even post some pictures.

2007 tally: Rodents: 0. Me: 3.

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