Dead mouse update

The mouse is still dead, that hasn’t changed.

The stench is still strong too. I sprayed air freshener and burned candles to cancel the smell but Dead Rodent defeated my best efforts. I decided I would wait it out, after a little while it would go away and I could forget I was sitting on a dead mouse somewhere in my couch. That was my plan.

What happened was I gave in, and the couch is now gone. The smell was the motivator but truly the couch needed to go before a spiteful mouse crawled inside and gave up the ghost. The back had broken pieces, the left back leg was coming loose and the middle section sagged almost to the floor when anyone but my 4 year old nephew sat there. A piece of wooden trim had come off.

It was in sad shape and I admit I pretended it wasn’t so bad. I was attached to that old couch. It was my bed for over a year after Jerry died, when I couldn’t sleep on the bed. I slept on it after I moved, out of necessity and it gave me some comfort too. Lying against the back felt normal, the support was almost like being next to Jerry lying on his side. I could fall asleep this way. I often woke up around 2am most nights and lay awake awhile before I could go back to sleep, this went on for a year, over a year. It’s only been about 3 months I’ve been able to sleep through the night but I still wake up sometimes.

Big Dump Day was coming up and decided I would put it out if the smell was still too strong Tuesday. It was. So I moved the few pieces of furniture I needed to clear a path to the door. I pushed the couch to the door, no problem. Then I got to the door and remembered the trouble the movers had getting it inside.

It was too wide. I managed to tip it on its side without it falling completely over. Fortunately it wasn’t too heavy and I carefully nudged it along from outside. It finally cleared the door and I felt a big relief. There was more pushing, this time from the back and I managed to get it across the lawn. I did this all before the sun was up and the only witnesses to this little spectacle were a few birds. Porkchop observed from a distance but soon returned to his breakfast. I got the couch to the edge of the lawn or what seemed the edge and flipped it back up. The cushions had fallen so I went back for those and the little trim piece. The whole enterprise took about 10 minutes. 10 rather long minutes that seemed a lot longer. But considering I was doing it by myself I thought “not too bad for an old broad.” I counted it as my cardio and weight training for the day.

The couch is still out there. No one has hauled it away and I’m glad, that it won’t stink up someone else’s house. Tomorrow is the official Big Dump Day, the couch will probably be gone by the time I come home. I am a little sorry to see it outside but its time to go had come, perhaps not the way I would have expected but in an unavoidable way.

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The Mouse Assassin

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Couch dragging site

 

Thrift score and dead mouse

I had 2 surprises today, one good and one smelly. First the good one then the other one.

This morning I took my car in for a winter checkup and when I got there found 2 sales guys, no techs. They apologized and promised to reschedule me for next Friday. So while on my way home I somehow found myself at a thrift store.

My favorite thrift, they have discounts on tags, and today yellow tags were half off. I’ve been looking for another hoodie for work, a pullover with pockets. I haven’t really found any I like or that are cheap enough. I found cheap but cheap is lightweight and feels rough.

So I  wandered around the store, looking for gloves but nope. Then while looking at sweaters this bright green catches my eye. The name sounds familiar and after a quick Wikipedia search I am convinced this was put here for me. The half off yellow tag confirmed it.

According to Wikipedia,  the Minnesota North Stars hockey team relocated to Dallas in 1993. So this hoodie has probably been in somebody’s closet a long time. I am a fickle Stars fan, I watched them play back in the days we had cable. Mostly I liked the hoodie,  it’s warm, just big enough and it was 2.50. It looks almost new too.

 

Surprise #2 was a peculiar and familiar smell in the living room. Dead rodent, I recognized it from the years I had hamsters and when they met tragic ends behind the refrigerator. Stuff was scattered on the floor and Porkchop looked smug.

I ignored it as long as I could but finally psyched myself up to move the couch. The smell was the strongest there. I moved furniture, took off the pillows and had a trash can standing nearby. I managed to flip the couch over and looked. Nothing. An old kleenex but no dead animal.  The smell was strong and I poked the bottom of the couch with my foot.  There was a small hole in the fabric but nothing fell out. Apparently the darn mouse used the last of his strength to crawl into my couch and die.

I was partly relieved I didn’t have to deal with the tiny corpse but the smell was getting worse. I had the option of tearing the bottom lining of my couch to look for the dead mouse, and discover who knew what else or flip the couch back and spray a lot of air freshener. I chose option 2 and preserved the couch. That’s my solution, for now.Since there was nothing to see but some old kleenex there’s no picture. 

Snow

It’s a big deal here, huge. We get snow every year, usually after Christmas, and we lose our collective minds. We as a people forget how to drive on packed down snow and ice. We think we’re going to be snowbound for weeks and stock up on groceries and toilet paper. We close schools, cancel church and social events but there are still plenty of people out there sliding around on the roads creating havoc. 

I’m determined to not be a part of it. I am at home, with food, electricity, heat, running water and internet. There’s no reason to go out. As the news people say, as they are standing on an icy bridge or in the cold, if you don’t need to get out don’t. 

The snow here is about an inch, maybe two. Two at most. In other parts of the country or the world that’s nothing, laughable even.  I will survive, as long as I have Internet service and cat food.  

I have no plans to grill either.

Accomplishments

I accomplished a few things today. I know they won’t change the world but it’s a small start.

I managed an hour and half walk at the river today. I saw very few people, which was nice. Weather was good, and though my feet were a little sore I felt better after. 

I put out some stuff for Big Dump Day. A wooden bar belonging to my sister, a round clothes rack, 2 portable toilet chairs and a bath chair,  from the garage. They were all gone by late afternoon. I hope they will be happy in their new homes.

I dug out the DVD player and after an embarrasingly long time managed to hook it up to the TV. I  just watched Love  Actually and each time I watch it there’s something new. This time I sympathized more with Carl and despised Alan Rickman even more for what he did to poor Emma Thompson. He could have stepped back anytime, knew he was being a prat but noooo, went ahead anyway. I still feel lousy for Laura Linney. However I am glad I’m no longer dependant on having to use my crap laptop to watch DVDs. I  can start doing yoga again now too.

That’s a VCR player on the left, DVD on the right. Ancient electronics rock. 

Holidays can suck

This is a cliche. There are lots of reasons why, but for someone alone the suck exists on a different level. 

I spent Thanksgiving alone. It wasn’t that bad, I ate Chinese food and read. I didn’t do anything I didn’t want to and that freedom was surprising. I did have the sensation of being pathetic when I looked at the quiet and empty house but it passed. I told myself I was better off than all those people surrounded by family and others they didn’t really like; having to do too much cooking or traveling;having awkward conversations and eating too much. 

I got through Round One of the holiday triathlon, Thanksgiving. There’s Christmas,  the hardest part, and then the downward slide, New Year’s which is more of a cool down.Christmas is the marathon, a long slog that requires mental strength as much as physical. Changes in the elevation too, and adjusting to what is ahead without worrying about those passing you and feeling like a failure when they do. 

I am a widow, my sisters are going to be with their husband’s families, my dad hasn’t stated his plans but will probably get an invite from some of his church members to join them.My son lives more than 10,000 miles away and will be with his new wife and her family. I will be spending Christmas with Porkchop,  my cat. 

I have some modest plans, I will buy tamales and go to Midnight Mass, then come home and scarf down a tamale. I’ve bought the few gifts I need to buy and will send them off in a week so that part is covered. Speaking of gifts, I decided that since I probably won’t be receiving many gifts I’ll buy my own. So far I bought a travel jewelry roll, a travel mug, bodywash from Bath and Body Works (it was on sale) and at the thrift store some gray suede boots that I’m wearing now. I might even hit the after Christmas sales but that’s good for now. Moderation, slow and steady seems to be a good way to go in all things, especially at an emotional time of year

Ending

Sedated at the hospital.

Last Sunday my lovely Olive was sick. She spent the night before on the floor instead of hogging my blanket and resting her little hairy butt in my face. 

She was lethargic but suddenly she began whimpering and thrashing about. She began frothing at the mouth and twitching. I tried to talk to her but she didn’t seem to hear me. The twitching stopped and she lay there. 

I managed to get her to the animal emergency hospital. It didn’t stop. The nurse asked me some questions but the only thing for certain was my dog was having seizures and no one knew why. 

She stayed at the hospital for 3 days, and they treated her with gentleness. They had to sedate her, the only way they could temporarily stop the seizures. She did not seem to hurt and she slept while I held her. I could feel her little body shake. She would wake up, lifting her head and seeming to chew for a few minutes before falling asleep again. The seizures never stopped, only slowed. The vets said there were tests they could run but they would only diagnose the cause, there was no guarantee she would get better.

When I left Tuesday night I had decided Wednesday would be her last day. No more seizures, no fear, no more wondering what was happening to her. I told Porkchop and neither of us slept much that night. 

I got Porkchop into the cat carrier and we went to say goodbye to Olive. I took him out of the carrier and he looked at her before he jumped off the table and hid under a chair. I admit I was disappointed and thought he would stay near her. 

The vet tech took her back to insert a new IV, brought her back and then injected her with a large syringe. It took 2 seconds for my girl’s spirit to leave her body. 

Some random events happened next, I took Porkchop home and drove 60 miles to Stillwater to my friend Lucy’s parents’s house. They offered to let me bury her on their land. 

Lucy’s dad dug the grave. The rest is still hard to explain, I watched and understood what happened but felt numb, like I was a camera recording the events without knowing whether it was real or not. 

They took care of me, a rare and wonderful experience. The thought of it overwhelms me, being allowed to do nothing, and letting someone else take charge. It’s foreign to me. I can never thank them enough. 

I miss my girl. Even though I still have Porkchop it’s incomplete. I have been through loss before, far worse than this, so I know I will be okay.  I also know it will take time.

Mawwage 

Last night about 11 pm local time my son called to tell me he was married. He and his fiancee signed the official papers at a government office about an hour ago and were now legally husband and wife.

I was expecting the call and even though I was still stunned hearing him say the words. He told me it was low-key, they were at her dad’s house and after eating lunch would be going back to Saigon. He to his apartment and she to her aunt’s house. They hadn’t told family because they didn’t want any fuss (translation:people in their business ). I told him his dad would be thrilled and happy for him. He didn’t say anything but he did send me a few pictures.

Government office where they signed the marriage papers. He said an official gave Oanh a hard time when he saw she was older than Bear, by 6 months, and that they might not be able to get married. Seriously, not kidding or joking. She gave him the stink eye and they both signed. So there.

Wedding rings. 

Bear’s father-in-law, with chicken. Chicken was lunch.