Finding the Apartment

October 20, 2010

Francine and Clarence still hanging out on and around the thistle sock today. When I went out of the door to water the vegetables, they didn’t bat an eyelash. When I came back around on the patio, they acted like they belonged on that sock. Maybe being that small, they don’t think we notice them.

I called to Dominic because I knew mice hanging from the bird feeder would interest him. I told him to look at the feeder and tell me what he sees. He looked and sure enough, exclaimed, “are those mice?!” I love it when my kids get a kick out of the same things I do.

We crept out of the backdoor and they were unphased. The door shut and they didn’t notice. We crept onto the flagstone path and they still didn’t care. We were nearly close enough to reach out a hand and touch them when they finally decided we were a threat. Clarence leaped off the feeder and Francine, accompanied by a friend, scurried into what I thought was a small pile of leaves.

Dominic’s sharp eyes saw all, though. They have a hole near the feeder; a cozy home underground. Bright eyes and pink noses peered out, darted away, blinked again and then rustled out of the back door, into all the foliage next to the pond. Hmmm…. I said. Looks like we have a whole colony living out here. He smiled and said, “well, you won’t get rid of them.” I remarked how it was first rabbits, now mice! He laughed and said, “Mom, it’s like Redwall out here. It’s Matteo in our garden!”

Those were some of the first books we read apart and together – he read them first and then I would read them. The books tell stories of Redwall Abby, a safe place for mice and otters and hares, continually besieged by evil fox and stoats and weasels. Grand wars were fought for Redwall, and the descriptions of the feasts always made me long for honey on wheat toast.

The brussel sprouts look nearly ripe, on one stalk especially. I’m seeing that I should wait until they are 1″ – 1-1/2″ wide before harvesting. We like them small, so 1″ is the goal. The peas are bushier, the beans covered with white blossoms. The tomato plant is sprawling, leafy and green, bright beams of red here and there as the fruit ripens. The spinach was delicious on pasta with scallops the other night. I’m letting the remaining peppers get red now, sweet and crisp. I’m watering out there every other day now – we are in a drought. It hasn’t rained but a drizzle for weeks. I am regretting and rueing not getting the sprinkler system up and running this year.

Strangely, I am in the mood for toast.


the front door



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