We live in the woods and many creatures live here too. They lived here first. We are squatters on their land. Among the many other creatures with whom we share space are millions of carpenter ants who periodically try to take over the house. And then, there are mice.

Almost everyone who lives in the country has mice. There are many ways to deal with them. The cheapest and dirtiest is poison bait which they eat and then die.

For the past few years, we’ve had a company “dealing with” our mice and ants. The last company we dealt with promised us that if we bought their “Gold Package,” its price would be reduced each year since there would be less to be done. This year, they raised their price by $200. Meanwhile, despite three years of their support, we still have mice and intermittently, ants, Not only had they promised us a continued price reduction, but we still have mice and ants. I didn’t think they had earned a raise. I’ve been patient, but enough is enough.

I fired them and hired a new one today. The price is exactly the same — about $600 more than we can afford. Regardless, we need pest control. Maybe more than ever.

This very warm winter means the mouse population has been growing, not shrinking as it normally would do in a colder winter. Worse, there will be a lot more insects in the warming months to come. A lot more ants, many more fleas, and a yard full of ticks. And wolf spiders emerging from their little woodland nests searching for more food.

We were up early to meet and greet. He promises to not merely poison mice, but seal up the house so that they stop coming inside. He is sure that in less than a year, we will be mouse-free. And not need a contract.

While all of this was going on, he pulled the stove out from the wall and you can guess what was under there. And so we cleaned. Scraped. Swept. Scrubbed. I washed the floor. I was going to pull out the vacuum and do the living room rug and change the covers on the sofa and love seat.

Our own wolf spider

That was when I realized how sore my right shoulder is. I have to stop using my right arm for a few days. A day or two of light-duty will probably set it right.

I sure hope the mouse guy is right. I would like to solve the problem. Permanently.

PLAY TAPS FOR ME – Marilyn Armstrong

It was one of those days. It started out normal. We had to get up a bit early because I had a doctor’s appointment and even though we left plenty of time, we got out of the house a bit late. Time slipped away. It was coffee. I needed ONE MORE sip.

My appointment was fine. Next stop? Grocery store.

We couldn’t get to the store. There had been a fire. Or something. The street was closed. Not the whole street, just the couple of hundred feet in front of the parking lot.

Other than the fire engine with the flashing lights, there was no hint of a fire or evidence of anything. No smoke. No injuries. No water on the street. No crime scene tape. A blocked street where we needed to go. They were allowing cars to drive through from the other direction. So there was no sensible reason why we couldn’t go a few dozen feet to the parking lot. Nope, we had to take the detour.

Uxbridge not being a real city, a detour isn’t a quick trip around a city block. We were in Douglas before we could start looping back to town. By which time they had parked the fire truck and there were no official obstructions.

Shopping concluded, leaving town was our next trial. Civic excitement is rare in our little town, so everyone had to take a long look at the … what? Fire? Crime scene? False alarm? One of the rubberneckers was riding a bicycle. We were behind him, trying to drive at 1 mph. As soon as we (finally) got around him, someone pulled out of a side street, slowed down to about 10 mph. Directly in front of us. We crawled home. Karma is.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

Groceries were unpacked. Television was turned on. Surprise! The television still wasn’t working. I tried rebooting again after which, I hold my breath and call Charter. They’ve been having a bad week too and this is my third call in two days. Any day on which I have to call Charter is not a great day.

After a long hold, the agent assures me they are merely doing (more) repair work, but they hope it will be finished any day now. They’ll call me when it’s finished. Maybe even today. I go to make dinner and step in a pool of dog pee. I don’t know which dog did it, but I don’t get it. Why? They’ve got their own door and it isn’t even raining.

Eventually, dinner having been served, eaten, and cleared away, the phone rang. Charter (recorded message) says “Repairs are complete, thank you for your patience.” But it is not fixed. The television wi-fi is still not working.

Any day on which I have to call Charter once is not a good day, but if I have to cal them twice? That is very bad. They tell me to reboot. They send a repair signal. Nada. They can’t get a tech here until Thursday.  I am grouchy but there doesn’t seem to be a choice. I realize I’d better write it down because these days I forget everything immediately.  I turned on the light.

The bulb exploded.

My day is done.  Play taps for me.

RDP Friday – Annoying

A CENTURY OR MORE – Marilyn Armstrong

A Photo a Week Challenge: Over 100 Years Old

Lucky us! We live in an old town. We officially became a town in 1662 and quite a few of our building were built in the 1700s and a few, even earlier.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Built in 1882
Another from the 1880s
Built 1720