Three Mousy Thoughts for Thursday

Three Mousy Thoughts for Thursday

With the field crops harvested and the temperatures falling, I should have anticipated the Great Mouse Invasion of 2012. But ever the optimist, I assumed we would disarm Mickey and Minnie with our preemptive garage mouse trap maneuvers. Those efforts were a failure of epic proportions, but all was not lost since the experience led to these three mousy thoughts for Thursday.

  1. The good news is that, thanks to the early plethora of traps in the garage, no mice have invaded my car…yet.
  2. The bad news is that, with the garage full of miniscule landmines, Mickey, Minnie, the mouse with the peg leg, the one driving a pony cart, and a cast of thousands relocated to our house. They like it so much, they party all night, every night, though their ranks are thinning, thanks to our newly established trap line.
  3. Maybe Disney will celebrate their purchase of the Star Wars franchise with an intergalactic foray starring Micky and Minnie movie. So maybe we can capitalize the Great Mouse Invasion of 2012, live trap our cast of thousands and send them–for a hefty finders fee–to California to become stars.

What do you do when the wildlife moves in? How do you keep that from happening? Leave a comment.

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Three Stormy Thoughts for Thursday

Three Stormy Thoughts for Thursday


Tornado season has arrived in Iowa. Between the stormy weather debut and our garage apartment renters, these three windy thoughts blew in.

  1. The good news is that Hiram and I slept very soundly Tuesday night. The bad news is that we slept through the tornado sirens and the tornado that hit the north side of town.
  2. The good news is that we live on the south side of town and sustained no damage. The bad news is that the mice who rent apartments in our garage used my car as their storm cellar.
  3. The good news is that Hiram and I are buying a weather radio for our bedroom. The bad news for Mickey and Minnie is that we are upping their rent and not using the extra cash to buy them a weather radio.

Have you got a tornado story or a terrible tenant? Leave a comment!

Mickey & Minnie Are Back

Mickey & Minnie Are Back

They’re ba-ack! Little Mickey and Minnie, fresh out of food in the fields and shivering in their boots once the temperature dipped below freezing, invaded the garage last week.

As per their fall routine, the Goldilocks imitators left Hiram’s truck alone.

Too hard.

They turned up their shiny black noses at Grandma’s more luxurious sedan.

Too soft.

But the sight of my little white economy car set their ears to quivering.

Just right!

With that, they moved in, creating a mess that did Goldilocks proud. In addition to their deplorable bathroom habits, they gnawed through the handle of a cloth shopping bag and chewed the corners off the AAA pamphlet. Obviously, they don’t care about the environment or keeping women drivers safe on the road.

Inconsiderate beasts.

I told the resident mighty hunter (aka Hiram) about the new tenants, and he laid a trap line. So far, a half dozen mice have met their spring-loaded maker. I half expected one of them to have golden hair, a porridge mustache and a sleepy expression. But they were all normal, run-of-the-mill critters with limited fairy tale potential.

The little car wreckers.

Since turning our garage into a death factory, Mickey and Minnie have left my car alone – except for one night when one of them sneaked in to eat the bait off the trap on the floor of the back seat. Grrr! But the next morning, when I backed the car out of the garage, the trap in the middle of my parking place sported a smug-faced corpse.

Served him right.

Sunday, I felt sure we had overcome the Disneyland invasion. So, I vacuumed my car, shined the windows, and washed the dash board. So, everything’s still clean. It better stay that way, or I’m putting an open jar of peanut butter in bed of Hiram’s truck and lining the sides with plastic army guys. They’ll have shoot to kill orders for anything that moves and wears mouse ears.

I mean business!

January Hope

January Hope

Where I live, finding hope in January is like searching for a needle in a snowbank. It’s too darn cold to try and a whole lot easier to find it once the snow melts.

So I was delighted when hope popped through the snow piles and cold weather during one of my morning walks this week. The sight of a perfectly round miniature mace poking out of a snowdrift near the garage stymied me at first.

The mice who squat in our garage immediately came to mind, along with memories of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of Nihm. Surely, the little critters don’t haven’t the skill to construct a dark ages weapons factory, do they? Certainly, there aren’t enough of them to launch a full scale attack on my car, are there?

Upon closer inspection, my heart rate slowed. The miniature mace wasn’t a mace at all. It was some sort of seed pod, a cocklebur maybe. No, it was too big for a cocklebur. But it was a seed pod. What grew in front of that bit of fence last summer? Purple coneflowers? Yes, the mouse mace was a purple coneflower seed head.

Somehow, it had survived the weight of a three foot snow drift. Somehow, it not only survived, but also muscled its way to the surface. And the sight of it on a cold January morning brought hope, pure hope.

If the cone flower could conquer snow and wind and cold, maybe I can survive the dark doldrums of January. Maybe I’ll find patience to wait for February to pass by and for March to begin the melting. Maybe April will find me on my knees beside the cone flower, and we’ll breathe in spring together.

Hope in January – like finding a seed pod in a snow bank.

Tracks & Tunnels

Tracks & Tunnels

Even though snow is never my weather-of-choice, except on Christmas Eve when a maximum of 2 inches of snow can settle upon the landscape to create a picturesque scene for 24 hours only, the dusting of white stuff that greeted me Monday morning, put me in a philosophical mood.

I had just wrestled a new pair of gorilla treads onto my tennis shoes, and the tracks they created made me think of all the places I’ve been in the past year. One year ago, I was walking on a motel treadmill in West Virginia before delivering my son to the PTSD outpatient clinic. This week, Allen is in Wisconsin speaking at an organic farming conference. What a great distance he’s traveled, what a great distance our entire family has traveled, in the last 365 days. What a great God has guided us into this future we never expected.

I passed our garage, marveling at God’s faithful and unexpected work in our family, and a hole in the edge of the path I’d shoveled caught my eye. There was another hole about 3 feet beyond it, and another and another, all three feet apart, connected by what looked like a miniature mole tunnel, until the tunnel reached the corner of our garage.

I’d heard about mouse tunnels in the snow, but this was the first one I’d seen. I imagined the mouse busily excavating, then poking his head out for a breath of air, a progress check and a course correction. Then, down again to bravely plow through the darkness, until he found shelter from the storm.

This picture doesn’t do Mickey and Minnie’s tunnel justice and the thought of mice camping in my garage sets my teeth on edge. But for a few moments, I identified with the mouse. After years of dark tunnels with small comfort and few answers, after infrequent breaths of hope, little progress, and a multitude of course corrections, we have found sweet shelter and joy in God’s amazing healing and strength.

Call me a softie, but tonight there’s room for Mickey and Minnie in our garage…but if they get in the car again, they’re dead meat