Flimflammed by Francine

October 25, 2010

Sunday night we sat on the front porch, rocking and watching the rain. The lightning flashed, the rain splattered, pattered and thundered. We rocked, me on the glider, Tony on the rocker, Griffey on Tony’s lap, barking at the thunder (Griffey, not Tony) and talked about how this rain would knock all the remaining leaves from the parkway trees.

And then Tony saw him. Clarence jumped onto the porch, ran around the perimeter next to the house – right behind the rocker and right behind the glider. Oh ick. I saw a flash of movement, but didn’t really understand it. Tony swore up and down that he jumped into the flower bed by the Dr. Seuss clematis, but I was still creeped out – and so was he.

Griffey hadn’t noticed a thing.

Today, Tony sent me an email that requested that we deal with the compost bin immediately because he was in Trapper Nick’s camp: He didn’t want them in the house. I have to admit that every movement – a falling paper, a swish of dust – made me a nervous wreck. Letting the dogs in and out of the back door I was ever vigilant and stood there on guard.

So I sent Dominic out to empty the mulched leaves onto the new beds and then fill the yard waste bin with the compost. Frankly, I am amazed he, the reigning king of the germaphobes, agreed to it. But he did. And pitchforked the whole thing out, while I told him where I’d seen mice run out, told him to watch for nests deep down and was in general a little skittish.

I went inside to work and the next thing I knew, the bin was emptied, rinsed out and unassembled on the patio. I hadn’t heard any shouts, no screams and no alarmed calls of “Mom!”

He found no mice. Not one. None scurried out as he pitchforked, none impaled on the prongs. Not inside, not underneath, not behind. No nest in the soil below.

Well, what the heck?

We did move the bin down by the vegetable garden and Dominic put it back together. He filled it back up with the compost, getting a little grossed out by that, and of course, needing an immediate shower.

The bin is now at the farthest point from the house – a not-so-convenient haul from the back door. I shall have to buy a covered container to accumulate peelings and eggshells so in the depth of winter, we’re not trudging through the snow several times within a meal preparation.

The space where the bin was, within the hosta bed, is a perfect location for one of the Annabelle hydrangeas that was inconvenient to water with a hose. Divas need to be placed where they can be pampered, so I will move it soon – before winter, so it has time to put down legs and settle in. That spot is soaked with compost tea and crumbled with enriched mud. The hydrangea will love that spot.

So where are all the mice?

Tony and Griffey on the porch, pre mouse siting


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