Some Days Are A Rat Race

Lately, I have felt more of an inner nagging to sit down and write. But I have still not managed to put aside much of my self-inflicted work schedule to provide time to write a few lines and satisfy my inner spirit’s desire. Writing story about my observations and reflecting on nature is the root of who I am. When I veer from writing to indulge in everyday tasks and outdoor work, which I also love, I feel a bit dissatisfied and in a way, somewhat resentful at the end of the day. Resentful in the sense that, once again, I put work before play, as I was taught to do as a young girl. Oh well, so much for the ways of a farm girl’s practical life…

Some days present a sense of urgency though, and no matter how strong my desire is to indulge in writing or to get out with my camera to walk to the river seeking Daisy deer, or to perhaps capture the colors of the autumn season, there is work that must be done. Monday of this past week, I knew I had a lot of catch-up work to do. FD and I had been traveling the past three weeks to visit family and all I had managed to keep up with were the bare necessities.  I also needed to get some grocery shopping done and some cooking going. This all seemed doable, except for the fact that rain was in the forecast for Thursday and the yard desperately needed mowing, and my sweet potatoes were long overdue to come out of the garden.

I reuse and repurpose a lot of items. The metal container was part of an old incubator found in the poultry barn. The flowers were worn out freebies from a neighbor, and the little ceramic pumpkins cost me $1 at a garage sale. This autumn display sits on the front porch table.
I reuse and repurpose a lot of items. The metal container was part of an old incubator found in the poultry barn. The flowers were worn out freebies from a neighbor, and the little ceramic pumpkins cost me $1 at a garage sale. The small heart-shaped item in the middle of the arrangement is a fungus that FD found near a tree (isn’t he romantic?). This autumn display sits on the front porch table.

To boot, I had been battling an upper respiratory infection that started in late September, before our trips to visit family. I figured ragweed was the culprit. With all of the rain this year and perfect atmospheric conditions, this native plant (weed) was thriving. Our trip up north to visit family in Kansas and Nebraska landed us right in the middle of corn harvest. Everywhere we went, a cloud of dust hung in the air, either trailing behind a churning combine, or kicked up by semi trucks busily moving loads of grain over gravel roads from the fields to the elevator in town or to grain bins on a farmstead. Needless to say, neither FD nor I had managed much sleep with my constant coughing and wheezing during those weeks. Even cough medicine was not working its magic anymore.

On the Monday we returned from the last of our travels, I made a quick trip across town for groceries and over-the-counter allergy medicine. Putting my schedule together for the coming week, I decided we would just eat simple meals until Wednesday or Thursday. I would mow all day Monday despite FD warning me not to. Mowing had been my self-designated job on this place since I quit full-time work in town several years ago. There was no way I would have FD ride the mower after working all day at the office! I figured I could dig sweet potatoes and pick tomatoes on Tuesday and Wednesday. I would be lucky if I got all of that done in two days, but I tend to thrive on a busy schedule and I knew I could manage it if I kept plugging away, despite still feeling a bit punk. Tending to myself and relaxation would come later in the week on the rainy days. Or, at the very least, I could indulge in some more-relaxing tasks, like cooking and making roasted tomato sauce with my harvested tomatoes.

Donning a face mask to filter the air, along with my noise reduction headphones and my eye protection, I jumped on the mower after returning from my trip to the store. I am sure my neighbors had a good laugh at my attire. I kept hydrated with water and sucked on lots of cough drops to keep me from coughing my brains out as I mowed until late afternoon. With the dry conditions we had recently, I was filthy with dirt when I finished. I showered, fixed a light dinner, chugged down some cough medicine and flopped into bed.

When we got up Tuesday morning at 5:45, FD stepped out on the back porch while his coffee was brewing. Since releasing Daisy deer four years ago, it has become a ritual for him to go out on the porch with the flashlight to see if Daisy or her friends might be down at the feeder. This morning, he quickly came back inside and asked me to come out, saying, “You need to see this”. I knew by his tone, something was wrong.

The first thing to hit me was the stench. One knows it is bad when one has sinus issues and the rank smell breaks through layers of mucous. The flashlight illuminated a green pool of, well, urine-diluted shit the size of a dinner plate on the decking. Having discovered a missing flip flop and a few cherry tomatoes under the glider, FD had lifted the covers from our porch furniture to investigate. On the right hand glider seat cushion, was a good-sized nest of dried grass and weeds, dandelion leaves, shoelaces from FD’s work shoes, chewed off straps from our patio furniture, bristles from the broom I keep by the back door, gnawed fabric of an unknown source, and LOTS of cherry, pear, and plum tomatoes, while a vast scattering of wet rat turds made up the debris on the other side of the glider. The wet, green sewage dripped from that cushion, down the glider frame, and into the larger pool on the decking. Lifting covers from the other two porch chairs exposed more rat turds, all moist and wet with the green, rank-smelling goo. But there was no sign of the culprit.

Not feeling particularly ambitious about doing a major cleaning on the back porch, I realized I had no choice. The porch decking would have to be scoured and sanitized. Furniture covers and all of the furniture cushions would have to be soaked, scrubbed, and dried. I would have to pull up all of the tomato plants around the house that were serving as a source of food for this unwelcome rodent. Rats carry a bevy of diseases, and I would not risk picking tomatoes that might be tainted. Some of the tomatoes in the nest were from the special plants I had put in for Daisy deer and Spirit deer up in front of the house. This rat had obviously been busy transporting his cache from all around the house to the back porch. Ultimately, I had only myself to blame for this fiasco.  I had invited rats by planting a food source so near the perfect winter habitat – our back porch!

When FD arrived home for lunch, I was quite proud of what I had accomplished. Cushions and furniture covers were scrubbed clean and drying on the clothes line. The porch decking was scrubbed and sanitized and the stench was replaced with the clean smell of soap. The furniture was wiped down and stacked away for winter. The cushions and covers, once dry, would be stored in our metal building until next spring. The deer feed and corn could remain on the porch, as it was already stored in galvanized trash cans and secured with straps. We had learned long ago that raccoons were crafty about getting into feed. I had also removed all the tomato plants from around the house and hauled them off to the burn pile. Temptation to return to our porch looked mighty bleak for Mr. Rat, or at least I thought so.

Before heading back to work for the afternoon, FD noticed a large hole in the cover of the grill that sat near the back porch. Upon closer inspection, we noticed several more holes in the cover than what we recalled our orphaned squirrels chewing in it over the months before they finally assimilated into the woodland habitat beyond our house. A little squirrel damage was never a concern – after all, those were our kids.  As we untied the cover, FD and I realized the fabric of the cover matched the fabric of “unknown source” lining the rat’s nest on the glider. After removal it was evident the rat had really gone to town and virtually rendered the cover useless.

We braced ourselves for the worst as FD opened the grill top. Inside was another nest, only smaller than the one on the glider, and another huge cache of tomatoes!! Actually, the tomatoes had a colorful, festive look displayed there on the grill grate. I was just beginning to laugh at the arrangement of bright red, orange and yellow tomatoes when I spied the brown rat in a rear corner of the grill, standing on its haunches with beady black eyes looking a tad nervous! I screamed bloody murder, FD slammed the lid shut and we looked for a weapon. By the time I returned with leather gloves, the rat had escaped. And, having screamed and run a at a marathon pace to retrieve the gloves from the storage building, my hacking and coughing began anew.

No longer inviting for a rat, the back porch is winter ready. Our shoes and boots will be stored in plastic tubs!
No longer inviting for a rat, the back porch is winter ready. Our shoes and boots will be stored in plastic tubs!

With more rat clean-up to do, I spent the afternoon continuing my scrubbing and sanitizing efforts, and moving the grill to the metal storage building. We rarely used it anyway. Even after cleanup, I was tempted to throw the grill in my next garage sale.

Curious about tomorrow’s task, I moved to the garden to dig up just two of my twenty-four sweet potato plants and realized they HAD to come out before Thursday’s rain. Some of the potatoes were already quite large and some had been gnawed on by voles. I really should have harvested them at least three weeks ago. I took a little time to load the electric buggy with all that I would need to get an early start digging the sweet potatoes the next day. Another farm girl habit – always be organized for your projects!  From there, I headed to the clothes line to retrieve the dried furniture covers and cushions and put them away for the winter. While doing this, I was wondering what meal I could whip up quickly for dinner. The last thing I felt like doing was cooking. I was tired and in need of a shower before I could even think about a meal, and my constant wheezing, coughing, and sneezing had only added to my fatigue. And then, while I was feeling overwhelmed and in the middle of my pity party, a clawing noise on metal snapped me back to the present. I quickly realized the source of the noise was the RAT!!

I found my feet still had energy enough to run, and my tired brain fired up quickly! I ran back to a place nearby where I knew a couple of old bricks were weighting down a tarp. Sneaking up to the metal rain spout where I had heard the clawing, I positioned the brick at the entry and waited, hoping the rat had not escaped. I tapped on the metal and sure enough, the critter, which I was just sure had to be the rat, scratched and clawed from further back in the bend of the downspout. I repositioned the brick flush with the end of the rain spout and then lodged a large Oklahoma sand rock against the brick. I felt immense pride for trapping the wretched vermin that had ransacked my back porch and caused me a whole day’s work. I strode to the house confidently and texted FD that I had captured the rat and I was leaving the task of removal up to him.

Buddy the squirrel stopped by to check out some of the sweet potatoes but they were not of interest to him. He has been busy harvesting pecans in the woods, and has set up his winter home in the trunk of a tree just south of our house.
Buddy the squirrel stopped by to check out some of the sweet potatoes but they were not of interest to him. He has been busy harvesting pecans in the woods, and has set up his winter home in the trunk of a tree just south of our house.

Of course I managed to dig up all of the sweet potatoes on Wednesday. The rain poured all day Thursday, and temperatures dropped when a cold front moved through. Friday morning I was washing breakfast dishes and looking out the kitchen window. The yard looked great. I hoped I had mowed for the last time this year. I looked around the kitchen and sighed deeply – it was chaos – containers of sweet potatoes were piled all around the kitchen and dining area for curing, and tomatoes sat on trays – some still needed to ripen a bit while others needed to be made into roasted tomato sauce.  The floors had not been vacuumed in a few days and had not been mopped in a week or more. With three hairy dogs, both of those chores were a constant for me. I was meticulous about cleanliness! As much as I knew I had work to do, I also realized something deeper was nudging me. I needed rest. My body was tired, and my mind was weary. There was not one ounce of gumption left in me to proceed with the tasks I saw before me. This farm girl had run her rat race and it was time for a nap – even if it was just 8:30 in the morning!

© 2015 Day by Day the Farm Girl Way…


56 thoughts on “Some Days Are A Rat Race

  1. Not one ounce of gumption left? – hope you’ve replenished that!
    This time of year allergies/weather change always means respiratory/sneezing/coughing/sinus plugged/ ears threatening to clog – basic misery for me too. Have to work hard to keep it from getting worse every year. Had to laugh at the mowing outfit. You do what you have to do. Like mom always said when dressing us to be warm going to school in mismatched clothes – the important think is to be sensible and be warm. ( it rarely gets so extremely cold here, if a person’t clothes match in frigid weather, you know they aren’t from here)
    Oh, rats! Since cats are not allowed outdoors in the birding area, there are rodent critters need to be fought. You aren’t the first person we know to get rid of their grill – that’s a prime spot! They know winter is coming and are looking for a hotel room for the season. We are cutting back plants, plugging holes and wishing for more hawks and possums. Someone’s putting out poison again. There was a large dead rat on the lawn a week or so ago – grabbed Molly before she saw it. Need cats! Or another hawk – one was released recently and the resident hawk has apparently happily shared the territory. Love you autumn still life…critter proof! (nice fungus – made just for you no doubt)

    Like

    1. Glad to report that the gumption has returned… now if the weather would cooperate. I’m ready to clean up the garden and start a burn pile. We lost several trees in May that went down in the flooding. Sometimes we leave that debris, but not if it’s hanging and could fall on my Daisy deer or Spirit! I love this time of year. Cool enough to work, and keeps my belly from becoming a TIRE. Ha ha!

      Oh, the poison… why do people not think about the chain reaction? We see it here more with opossums and skunks that people poison… they come here smelling water (from the swimming pool), and from there it’s death – and maybe death for the predator that scarfs them up. So sad. Really bad when you have pets that might ingest a toxic critter. We are very lucky here… I think that is why we rarely have rat or mouse problems – we have a lot of hawks and owls in the woods. We haven’t had a rodent problem in the eight years we’ve lived here.

      Ha ha! I never thought of the mis-matched clothes theory. When I lived in Nebraska of course I had the whole ensemble. Not anymore, since as you say, it’s not so cold in the south. Although I do have one outfit that is warm and it matches – my camouflage pants and jackets, with matching headband, cap, and gloves. One can’t walk to the river and expect to blend in with the wild things if one is wearing mismatched colors! 😀

      Like

  2. Brilliantly done, as usual! I try and re-use a lot of stuff in the garden at least and, to be honest, it looks quite interesting and exotic at the same time – one just needs a little imagination. Your autumn display is awesome 🙂

    Like

    1. Thank you, Mandeep! I think there is an inner artist in everyone. This year I extended the front flowerbed so that I could plant more hummingbird friendly plants. I divided existing plants and dead-headed a lot of flowers from other areas and in no time I had a beautiful and very colorful flowerbed. Most everything I do here involves repurposing or reusing something. Most everything on the back porch came from garage sales or were second hand items.

      I even had to hand it to the rat… his display of fresh tomatoes on the grill looked “almost” appetizing. Perhaps animals can be artists too. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Tom! We love sweet potato fries… I roast sweet potato slices a lot in the winter. This year I planted more white sweet potatoes than the orange-meated ones. I prefer the less sweet taste, and they are much more uniform in size and have a lovely texture.

      That back porch is my favorite place to read books and watch for wildlife. There is always some kind of activity going on – right now the deer are on the move, we still see the foxes, and of course the squirrels are very busy harvesting pecans!!

      Like

    1. Thanks, Mike. I still see those beady little eyes, and then I go soft. He was just trying to set up a winter home… but then I flash back to the green glop on the porch floor and the mess. Nope! I don’t miss him a bit!

      Like

  3. Merciful heaven. Rats! Dreadful. But as I was reading through feeling more and more alarmed at the number of rats I then saw the photo of all the potatoes lined up on the table and thought you had KILLED that many rats and had lined up the bodies! Naturally the laugh was on me when I saw that they were only potatoes not fat rats. And, I know this will not help, but I cannot write until everything is in order. If the floors are dirty and there are dishes in the sink I cannot write. So I think you have things in their proper order – winter is coming. We can all hunker down with our words in the winter.. c

    Like

    1. I wish I had a copy of an old photo that my mom took of Dad with his gun and nine fat rats lined out in front of him. As a child I was horrified by those little beasts. They were everywhere, especially in the winter. It seems rats just seem to go with country living. In the eight years we have lived here we have been lucky not to have seen one. You had those bastard minks earlier this year… and just tonight I spotted a copperhead snake sunning itself between the two barns. There is always something! FD chopped its head off and threw the body to the chickens. The girls went crazy, stealing and running! What fun.

      I am just like you. I can’t write until I have things organized. A friend suggested writing shorter posts – I know I’m terrible about time getting away and then my posts are horribly long. Perhaps I’ll try that… that way I can still get some writing in and get my “rat killing” done! (Pun intended) 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sometimes it is harder to write a short post.. but I don’t think it matters, when you write we read as your work is always worth the time. I kind of wriggle into my chair and prepare for a good read when I see your name in the email..

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Your description of the disgust rats produce was extremely convincing. Ugh. We have little tiny marsupial mice and they can create a mess, but nothing as disgusting as that sounded. And where there is one…. My cousin in Wyoming had the same coughing, wheezing, sinusy thing you describe. It went on for weeks and I think she finally went to the doctor who have her some stronger meds than OTC. Twice in the last week I’ve read how doing creative work helps to ‘balance’ us. Immediately when I read it I knew it was an important clue to living a more balanced life. All humans have the capacity to be creative, and it makes perfect sense that doing so would help us be more balanced. I find it hard to write when things need doing, but gradually my standards for what constitutes clean has lowered a tad. Take care of yourself! And fry some of the green tomatoes and eat one for me!!

    Like

    1. Oh, indeed I will fry up a green “mater” and have one just for you! I will soon be picking the last of the garden – green and all. Generally we have tomatoes ripening in the kitchen window until late November.
      I too believe we all have creativity within and what you have written about creative work “balancing” us just makes sense. I often feel more productive and happy after “releasing” the writing that I needed to express. Once written it is a liberating feeling… I feel freer to carry on with the rest of my day. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you… my arrangement wouldn’t win any prizes at the county fair, but it adds a little color and seasonal flair to the entry. Most of my indoor decoration is made from the outdoors and items from antique stores and many old relics and furnishings from FD’s and my grandparents. It works for our “wildlife and nature” theme. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Paulette! This time of year nature really calls to me as it is safer and more pleasant to walk to the river. The mammals are beginning to hole up for the cold weather, snakes disappear, and the deer are out and about more with the rut in full swing. The weeds and insects will not be so bothersome either. I’m looking forward to it!!

      Like

  5. I know exactly what you mean about it being easier to be busy than take the time to write! It’s so hard to feel productive doing something like writing when there’s so much actual physical work to get done!

    Like

    1. Hello, Bettyjo! The thing is if I just get my writing done, I find I am so much more productive and happy in my tasks. It’s the catastrophes or urgent happenings that present themselves that cut into my day that really frustrates my “plan”. Writing is such good therapy!

      Like

  6. Oh my goodness. Are you a work-a-holic or what? It was exhausted just from reading your account of all that you did. I really have no idea how you managed to work while being so sick. I am surprised that you did not get a severe case of bronchitis or pneumonia. Isn’t it about time that you lighten up and stop being a perfectionist?

    Anyhow I’m glad you caught that dirty rat 🙂 for it sure made a lot of work for you. Last year I had to put out rat poison and that is one thing that I hate so much. But I had no choice. The rats ate the wires on two welders and were smelling up the boat port where I used to keep my goat’s hay. We put the poison up high where the dogs could not reach but then I had to watch the dogs like a hawk but they never tried to eat a dead rat. Now hay is stored in a cubicle in the cat house/barn where there are no rats.

    Do take care Lori . I realize that old habits are hard to break. I used to be a work-a-holic but after getting sick with the afib thing I had to make some changes or else.

    Like

    1. Ha ha! I have always been high-strung about work and being productive. However, as I get older I have had to learn to let go of many “perfectionist” habits. You are correct, we realize at some point that we “have to make some changes or else”. Most of my physical drive in work was a coping skill to deal with past anger and present frustration with situations I have no control over. Finally, through a series of injuries and mostly just plain fatigue (while raising Daisy deer) I learned to rest and take better care of myself. It’s funny how it often takes hitting rock bottom with our health to help foster change and better coping skills. You have reminded me of this time and again. Thank you for sharing your personal experience in breaking “old habits”. Mother Nature is intervening today with lots of rain. I’m indoors enjoying the quiet and blissful writing time! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Lori, I hope you’re feeling better now that there’s less pollen and that you’ve caught up on the yard work. I had some respiratory and sinus problems after our holiday too. It lasted six weeks. Holidays for me are really tiring, being with lots of people all day for days just wears me out. My husband loves it though. If I could bottle his energy I’d make a fortune. We had rats this summer too in the loft. They even chewed through my matching set of suitcases, which was a birthday present. I love your ceramic pumpkins, a great find. Like Cecilia, I always wait for a quiet moment to read your posts and look forward to them. I like the new lay out too xxx

    Like

    1. Hello Henrietta! I’m enjoying more days inside – today it is raining so that should knock down some of that ragweed pollen. I am ready to be outdoors again, with the camera. I am like you too, travel often wears me out these days. I suppose it’s my age, but I’m just fine with a slower pace and enjoying the little things along the way. I used to “blow and go” taking it all in by whirlwind, but I think I missed the simple and wonderful things along the way.
      Thank you for the compliments about my blog and writing. Switching themes ended up being more work than I thought but then I’m not a very technical person. Contacting WordPress support helped a lot.

      Like

  8. Hi Lori, It is strange the way chaos breaks out when there is a full schedule of tasks to accomplish. And the chaos displaces the neatly worked out schedule. I think Fate likes to have a laugh at our expense.

    Like

    1. Yes, I feel the same Margaret! And to boot, there was a full moon this week so I wonder if that played into the mayhem! Ah well, we must experience these chaotic moments to appreciate the times when everything rolls along smoothly. It’s always good when we can find humor in the moment too!

      Like

  9. Oh Lori, I can really sympathise about the rat problems. When we first moved to this block it was over-run with rats. They loved to chew on fruit and vegetables and peed over everything and guess what? They got in our barbecue as well and now I just can’t bear to use it again even though it’s been cleaned! Fortunately an enormous carpet python moved into the ceiling and it gobbled up most of the rats from our yard. I haven’t seen a rat in quite a while. I don’t think many people realise the diseases their urine can carry. I never use rat poison due to other creatures possibly getting it or eating the dead rats.
    I also hear yah about your writing and feeling a sense of niggling annoyance that there is not enough time to do it. I’ve been extra busy for a while and when I can’t write, it’s like a part of me is not being fed! Interestingly though, it’s often the crazy stuff and also the mundane hard work that happens that gives us things to ponder and write about even though it doesn’t give us as much time to write… Quite funny really. 🙂
    I’ve also been struggling with a respiratory thing on and off for a few months…coughing and sore throat. Only me, not the others. Maybe I am feeling your pain…or we just have the same weird allergies. Unless it’s just frustration that we can’t write as much as we want… 😉
    Thanks for another great read. As I said, the rat story certainly resonated with me. Ugh! I would suggest a giant python but I suspect your squirrels and dogs may disappear too!

    Like

    1. Ha ha!! Oh my goodness! I’m not sure I could learn to “love” a carpet python (or any python for that matter) since I have trouble with the various smaller snakes here. I did look up your carpet python and they do sound like a “nice” snake… it might be a good friend to have around for roof rats and such. Rat snakes and Bull snakes are our best rodent eliminators in these parts. I don’t kill a snake unless it’s the venomous copperhead – which we often see here. I am sure that because we have a healthy snake population we notice very few rodents. We also have many raptors in the woodlands, which helps as well. And you made a valid point about rats urine carrying diseases, which is exactly why I took up all of the tomato plants around the house. We do not use poison here either. Doing so only brings catastrophic results to some other critter… including our pets sometimes.
      As many people as have commented on the respiratory problem I think it must be very common all over the world. So much of our weather and atmospheric conditions dictate what is airborne or in the soil. I’m thankful to be feeling fine otherwise. It’s just aggravating that a cough can cause fatigue!
      Thank you for another wonderful comment!

      Like

  10. Now I know why we didn’t get a single tomato last season! I never thought rats would be so tenacious. I found a tomato seedling growing in a large pile of manure and oak leaves outside Sanctuary earlier this month. I am about to transplant it as I am quite sure its parent was one of the enormous San Marzano tomatoes that all mysteriously disappeared as they ripened. May as well get SOMETHING from last years non-harvest. Earl has found where the rat has hunkered down. It’s under my water wicked strawberry bed! That clever rat must have been living in Sanctuary (where the feral cats can’t get to it), trotting on the inside of the fence in the dog compound to the gate and leap-frogging it’s way to the chook pen where it filled up on free grain and zoomed back again. It was all going SO well till Earl must have spotted it wending it’s merry way back. Now it has to live in fear of certain doom raining down on it whenever it emerges. For once Earl’s fussing has paid off! I commiserate with you for your respiratory problems and for that workload that never stops when you live on a property. BIG hugs from Tassie where we are attempting to reproduce our own dust bowl thanks to a severe lack of rain this spring. Oh well…at least we might be able to flush that rat out! 😉

    Like

    1. Oh I love San marzano tomatoes, but they don’t do well here. I try every year though. You have so many critters plaguing your gardens that it’s hard to know just what might have nabbed them! And you know all of these rodents are savvy because they are clever about finding safe spots in secluded places. I’m always amazed at how they manage to tuck away unnoticed, and just what material they use to build nests and where they find food sources and how far they’ll carry something to their nest. It sounds like your rat is quite resourceful! But alas, the ever-present Earl is on duty and has found a new source of entertainment! I hope he can eradicate the rat!

      We are the opposite – had more than 20 inches of rain in May and ample rain throughout the summer and fall to raise a bumper crop of weeds. However, recently we have had some rain that will thankfully, knock the pollen down and give us a reprieve from the dust and pollen. We are having a beautiful rain today. I do wish I could share some of it with you my friend. You seem to have had several years of drought conditions. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It is teaching us to be more careful with water and our water bill went down significantly despite us finding that water leak (another rat induced crisis) in one of our water pipes. Earl has given up on catching the rat (fickle) and is laying upside down on the lounge chair next to Steve fast asleep after pulling me halfway to China this morning on our walk. I wish we had a lot more rain as well but then last year we had so much rain the weeds went mental. I guess it is six of one thing, half a dozen of the other around here 😉

        Like

        1. It goes like that here too! We had four years of serious drought, and then this spring we had so much rain it filled the empty farm ponds, lakes and rivers. I thought it would be a banner year for the gardens but no… it seemed to be too much water and ruined the fruit and vegetable crops. It was good for sweet potatoes so I guess we’ll have good stock of that for winter. And of course the weeds thrived. They’ll be good for the birds and wild things so I won’t complain. Ha ha! Earl is one of a kind. You crack me up… “pulling me halfway to China”. I am getting a good visual on that scene. Do you even try to control the beast?? 😀

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The beast shall not be tamed. If he wasn’t such a loving boy who adores us all, I would be seriously questioning my sanity at walking him every day as the first 15 minutes of walking earl are like trying to go 5 rounds with Mike Tyson in his heyday! 😉

            Like

  11. Hmmm, we better check the grill as soon as we get back to the cabin this weekend. Feeling your pain. I have a URI too (cough, cough, hack, hack), and another Scotland post to get up while recovering from India jet lag. It’s hard to feel creative when you’re tired and feel behind. But we just have to plunk our butts in the chair and write, huh? You’re an inspiration! 🙂

    Like

    1. I can’t wait to hear all about India, but I’m also patiently waiting to hear more about Scotland! Your humor and candid writing is so addictive. I hope you’ll be feeling well soon, and your fingers get to flying on the keyboard! I’ve been going through a lot of cough drops just trying to keep the hacking at bay. Lots of hot fluids have helped break up the congestion.

      I can imagine you might have a worse “critter” problem than we do. It’s that time of year where they’ll be making digs for winter!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope you feel a 100% soon. Every plane I’ve been on the past few days has been full of snifflers and hackers. Think it will be a while before I post about India, but here are some pics if you want a sneak peek. 😉

        Like

  12. Such drama with the rats! I’m thankful I haven’t ever had to deal with those big buggers, although we did have mice in our grill a couple times, and they always managed to ruin my outdoor chair cushions with their nasty nests.

    I’ve never heard of white sweet potatoes before…I always learn something new from your posts.

    I’d like to write more here but am struggling with the keyboard since I smashed my right thumb in the car door the other day. The nail is black and the thumb is swollen…makes everything so much harder when you can’t use your thumb! I owe you an email when I get full use of my thumb again…. 🙂

    Like

    1. Oh Kim, an injury like that can be a real pain, literally. It’ll be a long time before your fingers fly across the keyboard again, and of course you now realize just how important thumbs are to our everyday tasks! I hope it heals quickly.

      The company I order sweet potatoes from sent me white sweet potato vines by accident one year. When I dug them I didn’t know what kind of root or tuber I had! It wasn’t until my sis-in-law exclaimed that her grocery in Dallas had finally gotten white sweet potatoes in (they’re difficult to find in these parts) that I realized what I had. I actually like the white over the orange-meated variety – not as sweet and the texture is lovely!

      If you’ve dealt with mice, a rat is just a step up to a bigger mess of everything! Bigger nest, bigger turds, and bigger food stores. I hope I never have to deal with another one of those, but this close to the woods there is always battle to do with something. Most of the time we have raccoon problems.

      Like

    1. Hello Audrey. I feel great except for the nagging cough. It sounds like a lot of people have had this respiratory issue so I’m in good company. 🙂 I try to be open minded about all animals but when they do damage, it’s time to eradicate them! I ran upon a copperhead not far from the house yesterday. It too had to “go”. I guess the wild critters are all finding places to hole up for winter!

      Like

  13. Great fall arrangement! you know what else would be great? A pic of you wearing the face mask, headphones, and eye protection! lol Sorry about the rat issue, I know too what that’s like too! I found a smelly dead bloated rat in the garage, gross!

    Like

    1. Ew!! Did you determine the cause of death or are you not into rat forensics? Ha ha! It looks like it might be next year before I have to wear full head gear on the mower. Our grass is going dormant! You might have to wait awhile for that photo of me in full armor! 🙂

      Like

      1. No, don’t care why, only that it’s dead. Have seen any others, so I’m not much concerned. I use foggers in there every three months for scorpion control, but no poison on the ground. Don’t think foggers would kill a rat. But if it did, oh well… lol

        Like

    1. I’m sorry you are dealing with the lung crud too. Finally, after about eight weeks I am feeling good! I think being so ambitious sets me back a lot. I would do better to pay attention to the signs that I need to slow down some! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.