26 November 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Over on Facebook and Twitter, I've been doing a 30-days of Thanksgiving, where each day I write something for which I am thankful. It is a wonderful exercise that everyone should really do every day of the year. Not only has it reminded me to stop each day and think about all the good things in my life, it has also shown me that with so many things to be thankful about, it's hard to list just one.

And perspective is another added bonus. I struggle at this time of year. Though I love the fall leaves, the changing weather, wearing sweaters, and getting ready for the holidays, I also am prone to the blues what with the dwindling daylight and impending long winter ahead. For some reason, too, I have a hate-hate relationship with the leaves that fall on our lawn. I have a very real paranoia about getting them OFF the lawn before the first snow. Whatever - I suppose if that's my biggest problem, I'm doing ok, right?

Either way, this month of daily thankfulness has helped me to keep perspective. Not that I haven't gotten oh-so-slightly grumpy at my family about the leaves (which are now OFF the lawn. Thank God.) and not that I haven't scowled once or twice about seeing total darkness at 4:45 p.m. But overall, the daily thankfulness has reminded me that those things, in the end, don't matter at all. If we have a roof over our heads (debt notwithstanding), food on the table (even if I thought I was too tired to cook), and most importantly a family to love (imperfect as we all may be), then we are as rich as kings.

Let the leaves blow. Let the snow come. Bah on the darkness. I am thankful for this lovely land where my family is together, safe, warm, and well fed. I am thankful we can walk freely in our town, visit any church we desire (or not), and praise or complain about our current government leaders. Freely. And on those "off" days, I am thankful for the freedom to whine a bit. But please don't let me wallow - smack me a bit (gently) and remind me about all the good - all the things for which we can be thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Copyright © 2009 - Paulla Estes

22 November 2009

More on Mice

Mice seem to be a big part of my life; recently anyway. Tis the season for them to start making their way into the basement, and the cat who used to kill them, now plays with them and brings them to us alive. Then they run free in other parts of the house. Places where we sleep, keep food, and other such things that are not mouse-friendly, to put it nicely.

But really, they're everywhere I go. Last week I went to a friend's house to help her clean out a storage closet that hadn't been touched in a while. We discovered large amounts of evidence that mice had been living in her closet. Large amounts. Like, we could fertilize her garden with the "evidence." Yeah, eww. But I love her and would help again - and would never mention her name here, ha ha. :)

I have another friend who found a baby mouse and decided to keep it as a pet. She also has twelve cats. And yes, the cats are aware of the mouse, who often manages to escape from its cage. And the cats are waiting. Trust me, they are waiting.

In the past month at our house, we have been successful with our cheap little mouse traps. I own a have-a-heart trap, but not ONCE has this actually caught a mouse. I figure it's way more humane for a mouse to have a quick mouse-trap-death than to be played with until it's dead by my cat. I mean really, sometimes the cat chews on them. Alive. EWW!

Three days ago, another mouse was spotted in our kitchen. We set up the trap in the usual spot, with a big, appetizing portion of peanut butter as bait. The next day, the peanut butter was gone - I mean, the trap was practically licked clean - but not sprung. My husband checked to make sure it was in working order. It was. So the next night, we put a chunk of cheese on the trap and sort of stuck it to the bait area. There was no way the mouse could get that cheese without springing the trap.

The next morning, the cheese was gone and the trap was not sprung. What was this, a magic mouse? We tested it again - the trap was working just fine. What the heck?

So LAST night, we went to bed not wanting to set up yet another buffet for this industrious little mouse. My husband wedged yet another chunk of cheese far down into the bait pad, so the mouse would HAVE to put weight on the trap... and it would HAVE to spring.

And it did. We found the sad scene when we awakened early this morning - and at about the same time, the cat chased another mouse across the living room. Geez, will it ever end?

Copyright © 2009 - Paulla Estes

14 November 2009

How Hot Maine Guys Look

On Wednesday, my husband had off for Veteran's Day, which he deserves because, after all, he is a veteran. I, on the other hand, had an incredibly busy day. For some reason, in addition to working, I had scheduled TWO doctor's appointments that day.

I was tired and cranky at the end of the day, but I came home to find that my adorable husband had cut down an oak tree that I hated. I've been complaining about this tree for years. The tree is ugly. It leans. It blocks the view from one of our upstairs windows. It dumps leaves and acorns across the back yard every fall. It shades our flower garden in the summer. The leaves offer no autumn color, and they are the last to fall - usually well after the first snow. The tree has no redeeming qualities, other than it's ability to make fire, so that is how it will be used.

Yay! More free firewood!

And as an added bonus...

Nothing sexier than a guy with a live chainsaw in his hands, don't you think?

Yeah, baby!

Maybe you'd have to live in Maine to understand. Or maybe you just have to hate raking leaves as much as I do.

And as an aside, for all you tree-huggers out there, we have thousands more where that one came from. If there's one thing Maine isn't lacking, it's trees.


Copyright © 2009 - Paulla Estes

05 November 2009

First Snow

Really. It's been snowing off and on all day.

I was commenting to someone this morning that I love how at this time of the year, my memory of last year's snow seems to disappear completely. I get excited about the snow and I even (gasp!) welcome it. Of course, by mid-January, my memory will be back intact and... well, you know. It's sort of like childbirth - the forgetting part, anyway.

A lady I work with mentioned that she wishes there would only be enough snow to cover the grass, but not require any shoveling on our part. I LOVE this idea. In fact, not only would this fantastical, mythical snow cover only the grass and not the roads, it would serve double duty by covering up the leaves that still need to be raked. And miracle of miracles, come spring, the leaves would have magically disappeared. Woo!

Be it snow, rain, or leaves, there always seems to be something falling out of the sky at this time of the year.

Copyright © 2009 - Paulla Estes