Friday, July 16, 2010

Funny Summer Happenings

When I started this blog, I promised myself that I would post at least once a week so that: (1) there would be plenty of new stuff to keep readers coming back and, hopefully, recommending the blog to their friends, and (2) I could exercise my writing skills on a regular basis and see where my meanderings might take me. As my Thursday self-imposed deadline fast approached with no great inspiration anywhere in sight, I started slipping into disappointment until it dawned on me that everyone needs a few days off now and then...especially in the summer.

As I spent the morning blowing bubbles with my children (keeping the vow that I made earlier in the Spring - yea me!), I realized that I've been chuckling at myself as I tackle outdoor chores lately (which is a good thing) and laughing with my boys a lot more lately (which is a very good thing). So I thought I might take a short break from ponderings and musings and share some of my chuckles with you.

We are blessed with a very prolific vegetable garden (organic, of course), and last week I noticed that the basil plants (which really resemble bushes more than plants) were beginning to flower. Since flowering takes energy away from the leaves and makes them taste bitter, I always give the plants a trim to clip the flower buds before they bloom. Last week we had a blistering heatwave and the last place I wanted to be during the day was under the hot sun in the garden, so I decided to wait until early evening to venture out and trim the basil. There I was, round about sundown, happily snipping away and humming in the garden, when the old tv show, The Addams Family, popped into my head.

The Addams family would stay inside all day and go out to moon bathe at night. Morticia, the Mom, used to prune her roses by snipping off the flowers and commenting on how lovely the thorns were that year. What started out as a logical progression for me and my garden tending, ended up rather funny as the tv show's theme song ran through my head...finger snapping and all. There I was, alone in the garden, nearly in the dark, happily cutting flowers off of plants, chuckling to myself. The more I chuckled, the more I realized how silly I looked, and I ended up laughing at myself even more...which, of course, made the whole scene spiral into complete silliness. Maybe you had to be there.

Then there was the mouse in the compost bin. We have 3 large wooden compost boxes and, unfortunately, mice love to chew through wood to get to our kitchen scraps. Aside from Mickey, I don't really like mice very much at all. Anything that scurries give me the creeps, and mice are exceptionally good at scurrying - ergo, they gotta go.

There I was at about 9:00 this morning (trying to beat the heat on the other side of Noon this time) hauling the (mostly) finished compost from the bin into the garden. If anyone remembers the theme song to Green Acres, feel free to start humming it right about now. My pitchfork is used so often, the tines are still shiny. Luckily, the bin was nearly empty, so I switched to the coal shovel to transfer the last of the compost into my trusty wheelbarrow, when I heard a high pitched squeak and saw a little brown mouse scurrying around the bin, frantically looking for a hiding spot. I let out a hoot, dropped the shovel (with a rather loud clang, I might add), jumped back about 3 feet and managed to squelch the urge to frantically look for a hiding spot of my own. Instead, I assessed my options and took the more mature route of carefully setting my shovel into the wheelbarrow and walking away until later, but not until I announced to the mouse that I was leaving and it was cordially invited to exit my compost bin. I hope no one saw me talking to a wooden box.

About 3 hours later (hey, I wasn't taking any chances!), I announced to my boys, "Ok, here's the plan." They know their Mom well enough to know that those words are not usually a good omen for them, so they looked at me with more than a little trepidation and just silently awaited the announcement of their upcoming fate. "Once you're finished with your ice pops, you're going to come stand by the compost bins to give me moral support." After a 3 minute conversation explaining the concept of "moral support", and after another 5 minutes of explaining why I needed it ("Well how big is this mouse, anyway?" "It's really small, but creepy."), we set off to confront the rodent.

I carried the tarp, #1 son carried the rake, and #2 son scouted out a good location - out of the way of rampaging mice, yet still within viewing distance. I laid the tarp out in front of the bin, climbed up on top of the adjoining bin and grabbed the rake (yup, I looked pretty silly standing on top of a compost bin with a rake in my hands). My plan was to rake the last of the compost out onto the tarp; thus encouraging the mouse, if it was still there, to relocate. But I needed to be away from the front of the bin so that the mouse wouldn't have to run past me. Don't even think about asking what I would have done if the mouse decided to run up the side of the bin and out over the top...I shudder at the thought.

Well, all of this drama ended rather anticlimactically (thank goodness!) because the mouse was no where to be seen...even though #2 son yelled "Mouse!" once or twice while I raked, just to torment me. Unbelievably, neither of my children found this episode bizarre; they just shrugged, accepted my heartfelt thanks for their support, and went back to blowing bubbles...blissfully unaware that not one of their schoolmates will ever have an experience anything like this...ever. Am I a great Mom or what?

So there you have some of my silly doings over the last couple of weeks. It's important not to take ourselves too seriously - we all get ourselves into funny predicaments and we all need to laugh our way out of them. May we all see the humor in our everyday comings and goings, and may we share them with abandon and laugh our way through the year.

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