Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sign of the Times

Yesterday was my day off, if you can call it that. It's the day I have "off" of my job that I go to and the day I try to jam in as many chores as possible. So after wandering around Walmart for a while which I hate doing so I finally said to myself "Self, what are you doing here, get out!" I left and headed to the Mall.
I'm not much of a Mall person either but, it's a sign of the times - christmas is coming; there is shopping to be done. I'm a get in, get it and get out kind of girl but yesterday as I was heading back to the exit there was the Christmas train out in a huge display.
This train set(s) is up every year but honestly, I have not taken the time to check it out since the kids were little and would stuff there little noses up against the glass on their tippee-toes to see the trains putter by through the little villages and hills.
I thought, slow down, you are moving to fast. You got to make the morning last. So I took the time to check out the little trains moving around the track and all the activity of train town.
There is a parade, which I remembered, going through a town with names of local stores. One of the floats in the parade is called "3 men in a hot tub" and sure enough, it is a hot tub with three men in it. I did not remember one of them being naked but sure enough, there is a little guy in there wearing no clothes....
Around the corner there is a fire going on with thick cotton ball puffs painted grey on the roof to indicate smoke and the police are there trying to keep order and the fire truck of course. There is a few men hanging around pointing, gesturing towards the ladder or the roof or something.
But one part, I did not really remember is a fenced in area with a barn called "Jurassic Park Day Care". There are a lot of dinosaurs lazying around inside the fence. I guess this is where you drop your dinosaur off before heading to work. Sticking out of the top window of the barn is the back end of either a brontosaurus or T-rex (not sure as I could only see his butt). Very clever.
Made me think I should really take the time in the midst of this busy season to check out the small details that make Christmas extra special. In fact, next time I'm in the mall I'm going to give that whole train set up a good going over, see what other little surprises are there to be discovered.
The Christmas chaos is starting to rev up. We can get overwhelmed, overbooked and overfed. Slow down and take the time to discover the little wonders of the season, whether that be the incredible unique beauty of a single snowflake or the back end of a dinosaur sticking out a window.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

A Mouse in the House and Other Such Critter Encounters

Winter is in its way here in Canada. There is a definite chill in the air. So who can blame Mr. Mouse for moving his abode from the sunny grasses of my backyard to inside my 4 walls. Doesn't seem to matter that there are also 3 humans, 1 dog and two cats in here already. Apparently, we can all get along.
Amelia, the dog, though she sometimes takes the stance of a pointer (one paw bent in the air, back straight and nose pointed in the general direction of a suspicious object), is quite useless at catching anything.
Clare, well she is just too old and crabby. She can't hear, she sleeps all the time and she has a problem determining where the heck the kitty litter is.
But disappointing. My big boy born in the wild by a feral mom no less. Who was raised on the ins and and outs of hunting mice. He simply is not doing his job. Oh, he's met Mr. Mouse, watched Mr. Mouse, even played with Mr. Mouse, but he has not shown Mr. Mouse the door.
So now when I go down to do the laundry, there he is twitching his cute little nose and whiskers at me and then I catch a glimpse of his little white belly and tippy tail as he scampers off. I hope he didn't invite his friends.
I don't mind mice. I don't really want them in my house either. But it seems until Frodo gets his act together or I break down and set a trap, it is what it is. Now RATS, on the other hand, that is a different story.
I used to work in a dog kennel where rat disposal was part of the job. I had it all worked out though. I simply let CeCe (sounds like seesee) out of her pen, barking chaos would ensue as all the other dogs would I suspect place their bets, and CeCe would eventually nail that rat, give it a quick shake, break it's neck and voila, one dead rat ready for me to dispose of. All I had to do was bury the sucker.
Then, there was the squirrel visit, clearly something right out of the movie Christmas Vacation. I was typing away at the computer, much like today. The dog and cat were both snoozing behind me in their respective chairs. Suddenly I hear the plink, plink of the piano. I take a quick look around me. Only me and the pets are in the house and not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. So I tiptoed into the music room see who was playing my piano. Mr. Squirrel was just heading out and we kind of ran into each other. I screamed, Squirrel screamed and we both headed in different directions; me up the stairs and Squirrelly into the clutches of the now very much awake dog and cat. Thus the craziness began with Squirrel, Amelia and Frodo all tearing up the place. Clare slept through it all. I eventually cornered the poor squirrel in the shelf on a bookcase and I promptly sealed the front of it with a garbage bag and called my hubby to get home right now and do something about this! With a little luck we eventually got the squirrel back outside. That is probably the last time he will try his paws on making music.
So back to Mr. Mouse. He really must go. Maybe if I wake Clare up and point her in the right direction, she'll perk up and do what comes naturally. Maybe Frodo will get his lazy butt in gear. Maybe Amelia will come up with a brilliant idea in her silly head. Maybe I'll set a trap. Or maybe, we will all live in harmony until spring. As long as Rat and Squirrel don't show up!