Of Mice and Women II: Like we need another challenge?

Gatsby, our 12 pound watch dog, at the ready
Gatsby, our 12 pound watch dog, at the ready

So tomorrow, we are going to renew our lease at the Manor. I feel kind of, well, feh (grief, blending with a bit of the blues) about everything. While not out of our hole, we are vigorously, frugally digging. We were hoping to be further along, but beshert is beshert (que sera-sera). There are irons in the fire. Well, there’s metal. And it’s hot.

Some of you may remember our previous ‘pest period.’ It was not pretty, especially for the Mrs., who at the time, I affectionately referred to as my LMPP (loving mouse-phobic partner). It seems as though the little grey gremlins are back. This may be a karmic result of my recent rant on mosquitoes (which also led to a doozy of a spider bite that took me down and out). Insert ‘WHITE FLAG’ here for all things alive and erring on icky.

So I get a call at work. The Mrs. and Little, they hear a squeaking sound under the stove. Gatsby, he hears it too. His nose is at the base of the stove and his tail is standing tall. “There must be a nest!”

I try to calm the terror in her voice. I gotta say this family needs this like I need a loch in kup (hole in my head). I quietly explain how we don’t have a nest, but we probably did catch a creature under the cooker. Since it’s wailing aloud, apparently a better mousetrap can be built! We stopped and held a moment of silence for the torturous death that was transpiring in our very own home. My shana madelah (sweet Little) had to hear this mishegas (craziness). We decide to try not to let Big find out about this incident. Why fan the flames inferno?

The Mrs., she calls the Manor (the third management company since our stay) and is told we will be placed on rotation for pest control. Oy gevalt (fuck this shit, ugh, gee whiz, really)! By the time I get home from work, the squeal had ceased, as did the mouse that roared.

A few nights ago, the Mrs., she comes into the bedroom, locates me amidst a bulk of blankets, Big, Little, and their selected ‘stuffies.’ She pokes at my ribs, and says, “It went snap. I heard a snap in the other room.” This could only mean one thing (aside from a lousy slumber). More.

Well, the Mrs. and Big are now both chaleria’s (slightly psychotic) and trembling in terror when it comes to these small, unwelcome beasts of burden. I got up (really just to pee) and secured the bedroom door (as much as one can do) and we all (yes, we are all together in one bed, in one room, for this very grey, furry reason) set off for a restless, edgy nights’ sleep.

The next morning, I get up at my normal 4am to work before work. Several hours later, alarms blaring, the Mrs., der kinder (the kids) and Gatsby all amble out of the bedroom, sleepy-eyed and cotton mouthed. “Did you check,” she asked me? “Nope,” I replied.

In a pre-caffeinated blur of bravery, the Mrs., my LMPP, she opens the doors to the closet where said snap sound came from a few short hours ago. She looked at me, pale and panicked. She mouthed, “Two. Dos. Duo.Bring the body bags.

Since it is only 7:20 am, I fire off an email to our newest friend in Manor management, Matthew. I hit send and barely heard the electronic swoosh of the email leaving, when I am startled from a sharp knock at the door. “Who is it?” “Maintenance!”

I pinched myself to prove I wasn’t dreaming (just exhaustion). It was Franklin! Franklin – my morning knight in shining arm gloves, carrying a plastic bag. The kids are so busy getting ready for school that they don’t even notice him exhuming the bodies.

He came back soon after with fresh traps in hand. The Mrs., she says, “Aren’t you going to add peanut butter?” Franklin mulls it over, probably thinking, ‘hmmm, a nice nosh (snack, meal, or in this case, last supper), even for a mouse?’ He looks perplexed. No PB in his toolbox. What to do? So the Mrs., she gives him the organic, free range, dead-sea salted smooth spread that we’ll be paying off for the next 30 years. At least they’ll go out with a nice nosh?

We are ferklempt ( a hot mess) over here. So, who among you has this issue, and how are you handling it?

 

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‘Twas

image

Twas the night before day
and all through the flat
the creatures were stirring,
we may need a cat

In morn found a mouse
that met with grim reaper
my love is fahrklempt
the Littles falling deeper

I said, call the Manor
to handle this scene!
They schlepped it away,
set another, we’re clean

By day there were challenges
met with delight
surely nothing as dreadful
as in the past night

The narrative went,
Lice or Mice, which is best?
My heart sank so deep
so sullen my chest

We noshed on our supper
we cleaned up the mess
what came next was bedlam
and chaos and stress

At night we don’t wind down
or find peace and calm
Littles dance, play and sing
oy gevalt, like a bomb

Pipe down, we need quiet time
Not shpilkes nor grief
Mommy and Ema require
needed relief

Ema informed me by text
’bout mouse lying in state
in the closet, over yonder,
this can’t be my fate

Drastic measures were needed
for it was after hours
My kishka’s a flutter
I summoned my powers

Super Mommy was needed
to perform the last rite
Dead vermin most certainly
cannot stay the night

As Ema combed heads
in search of the louse,
I tended to dearly departed
dead mouse

With bags two times thick
from elbow to fingers
I must move like a maven
‘fore smell of death lingers

I managed to handle
the worst task yet to date
The kids none the wiser,
pure joy for my mate

Now Santa may wonder why
I write in this verse
This Yid wants a favor
To be rid of this curse

I believe in your magic
I hear your bells ring
Surely Saint Nick can
do us one thing

What we ask costs no money
And it need not be wrapped
Just help with the tsuris
the stress and the crap

We’re tired dear Santa
Our lot has been trying
We lost both our boys,
the house, we’ve been crying

And still we march on
cup half filled with cheer
in hope that the future
is bright and is near

So please Mr. Claus
when you visit our house
please help us loyzem gayne 
this fucking mouse!

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Of Mice and Women

Subtitle: Seeking Higher Ground

View from the sofa
View from the sofa

So, in my last posting, I let out a whole lot of tsuris about a whole lot of what’s been going on. For those of you who don’t know from tsuris, it’s a Yiddish word that describes troubles or woes. Somehow, the Yiddish language makes things sound so much better than they really are.

Well anyway, I spoke about the little vermin that walk in the night–mice. It’s amazing to me how one creature, so seemingly cute when read in Country mouse and City mouse, or anthropomorphized into Mickey and Minnie, can terrorize a household. At least this household of 2 moms and two girls, all screaming, well, like girls!

The cartoons are highly accurate. Seeking higher ground must be some innate, archetypal reaction that us ‘double x’ chromosome folk resort to in times of fight or flight. Last Friday evening, my loving, mouse-phobic, partner, spent twenty minutes screaming while standing atop our sofa. When no one responded (we three were all asleep in a heap on the bed), she finally mustered up courage, like a certain lion after a visit to a certain wizard, to ‘run like hell’ into our bedroom and poke at my ribs with the latest news.

The next morning, one was kind enough to greet me for coffee at 4:30 am. Just three minutes later, another, smaller grey monster poked out.

The last spotting, again, by loving, mouse-phobic partner (LMPP), occurred after a lovely bedtime reading ritual with the girls. After completing the Magic Tree House story, where Jack and Annie meet Abraham Lincoln, LMPP got up to turn off the lights. Don’t you know, a little bugger flies underfoot and heads into our bedroom closet? You may have actually heard the screams. I’m certain the neighbors did. LMPP could have taught Janet Leigh a lesson or two for that famous shower scene. (I bet right now you are wondering why none of us heard her while she was atop the sofa? We’ll get into that in another posting.) I was then ‘asked’ by LMPP to perform acts of heroism and bravery. “Go get that mouse in the closet!”

Well, suffice it to say, that did not happen. Loud, piercing cries were abundant. I quietly, but firmly held my ground atop the bed. Our two girls were now shrieking and screeching, tears flowing. They too were becoming mouse-phobic. Truth is, I readily admit to also ‘strongly disliking’ the little grey beasts. I just do it much more softly. In fact, once a sighting occurs, little dancing shadows become hallucinogenic. What was that? Was that? Oh, it a sock…a Lego friend…a Beanie Boo.

The next morning, two things happened. I took to my laptop and wrote a very lovely letter to the building management team, asking if this was what they meant by ‘pet-friendly building?’ To their defense, they came out quite quickly and solved for what was a robust hole behind the oven. Next, armed with the dust-buster, I took a very deep breath and made my way into that dreaded closet. I removed every item that was on the floor. Shook out blankets. Checked inside shoes and boxes. No mouse. No mice. No residue. Was it their day to be in the country?

To stick with my ‘glass half-full’ approach to life, some good does come after finding new friends in one’s home. LMPP cleans and organizes and re-cleans and re-organizes, aerobically cleans. As a person who tends to err on the side of OCD, this works for me. I almost didn’t recognize our home when I came home from work one day after the first spell. Rules tend to get re-enforced for the young-ins too. “Food only at the table. No eating on the sofa. Why are you walking around with that bowl of gluten-free chocolate puffs?”

Which brings to mind the thing that boggles me the most. Of all of the apartments to choose from, why did these little pests choose us? We are vegetarian, gluten-free, egg free, GMO free and organic food consumers. And due to the economics we talked about last week–we eat a lot of rice and beans, quinoa and beans, and variations from there. Our house, while happily messy (because we spend time making memories, not cleaning, like all good Moms do), is not filthy by any measure. There has to be a lot of other apartments where take-out containers, packaged goods, cookies, cakes, and candy that are riddled with artificial colors, flavors and by-products (tested in labs by mice relatives) line the shelves and counter-tops here at the Manor. I smell bacon on the weekends! I mean c’mon…really. Are we your best choice for cuisine? With our food, we don’t even see droppings. That’s right, we constipate mice here in our home.

Knock wood, we haven’t spotted the little monsters for at least four days now. They must have smelled the bacon too, don’t you think?

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