Friday, November 7, 2008

Amityville Mouse house

Since I have been staying up at mom's, Bob has been allowing a few guests to stay in our house, as he works two jobs and rarely uses it. I know when I write that, Bob will worry that we will now be robbed. I am skeptical that any self respecting burglar will travel cross country to steal either our t.v. with the rabbit ears or our casio stereo. At one time we had a real stereo until the tiny terrorist used the c.d. slots for bric a brac holders.
Maybe they would like some of our cat clawed furniture?
I think we are safe since robbers rarely read mommy blogs.

Anyway, there are hobo's in the living room, freshly mauled possums in the yard, a chupacabra in our bedroom, when not busy mauling possums, and now mice under the sink.
I suspect they don't always stay under the sink.

I discovered the mice when one ran across my bare foot upstairs. I responded the same way I would of to meeting Freddy Kruger in the shower, and I am not even afraid of mice.
I see evidence of mice under the kitchen sink it looks like a mouse gas station bathroom. We put down humane traps which we hear them laughing at in the night. In the morning we find tiny little party hats and beer bottles.

Last week i found one floating in the dog's water bowl. I suspect irresponsible binge drinking.
So if anyone has a little mouse guillotine or electric chair that we could use we would be grateful. I will have to do it. Bob has never recovered from the scene in the ten commandments where the horses drowned.

Valerie, the future mouse slayer.


  1. This is the friend who tends to "rant". I was sound asleep (it is now 2:09 AM...or 0209 since I work on a military base) when my daughter, the diva, wakes me, scaring me half to death, to tell me she has had a bad dream. After finding out how very little room there is in a twin bed with a near teenage girl, an overweight woman, and a fully stretched out dauchshund, I tried to go back to sleep to no avail. I found myself thinking about the beautiful post that Val wrote about me and I started thinking of her. I will basically tell you things you already know about Val. This seems perfectly logical to do at "O dark thirty". Val talks about anomalies (I may need to look back at her writing to see if that is spelled correctly), but she is the epitome of the word. She is the best and extreme of such different qualities than one would never expect to find in one person. When you think you kind of have her figured out, she ends up doing something totally opposite. There is no putting
    Val in a box, sort of like there is no putting Baby in the corner. You know what I am talking about. Ok, for example, she would perhaps steal a picture she liked out of a restaurant bathroom, a small and concealable one (the picture, not the bathroom) and not think twice about it. But let her go to some little mom and pop store, and she couldn't even take incorrect change from them, that they gave to her. Her rules are just different. She is so ingratiating and humble that everyone falls in love with her. But she is like a wisp of smoke in that you can't really hold onto her. Remember the song in The Sound of Music called How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria? How do you keep a wave upon the sand? Ok, if I'm misquoting, just go with the spirit of it, ok? Val can spout off her intolerance to something like a rude clerk, but then she will listen for hours if you are upset and need her. She acts like she doesn't care about things, but she is sensitive. She seems that she will tell you anything about her life, things that most would prefer to keep secret like mice in dog bowls, but she is extremely private. She teases that she cannot be bothered to be a caretaker, but then practically devotes her life to caring for her mother-in-law and mother. Do you see the inconsistencies here? Val is very genuine. She seems to live life to a greater degree than the rest of us. She seems to always be knee-deep in some activity all the time (and usually covered in something...dirt, paint). Usually I would see her like this, covered in the product of some activity or with mascara only on one eye because she lost interest and got distracted. But one time I got to see Val at a co-worker's wedding. She was drop-dead gorgeous. She had to have known. But the next day she was back to the everyday Val. She just didn't feel the need to knock our socks off every day. She was just too busy, caring for the MR population, bringing magic to the lives of abused children, or saving a scraggly old bird. She teases Bob about "being your friend for money", but she used to tell everyone that she slept with the retarded when she worked nights at Hope House. I think we all kind of feel intimidated and inferior with the way Val gives 200% to those things about which she feels passionate. I worked with her on an inpatient child/adolescent psychiatric unit/ward (what did we even call it?) We would always breathe a sigh of relief if Val was working our shift. This was because we liked her, but selfishly more because she would volunteer to work with the younger kids. Imagine about a dozen poorly parented, mentally ill and/or behaviorally "challenged" six-year-olds. Our choice (well, we were at the mercy of the nurses) was to play spades all evening with the adolescents or go stark raving mad trying to control the wee ones. Guess which most of us chose? Val would always choose the peaps. That's what we called them. I think it stood for pre early adolescent people of significance, or something like that. Occasionally Val wasn't working our shift and we got stuck with the peaps. The hateful nurses would trick us and mess with the clocks so time went really slowly. They really were evil. We'd emerge at the end of the night with a headache, feeling sticky, and smelling of peanut butter. It was not pretty. Then we'd see Val working with the kids and everything was different. She'd be reading a story to them while they drew a mural about the story on some huge roll of paper stretched all the way down the hallway. It was amazing how well-behaved the little monsters were when caught in Val's web. I'm pretty sure she paid them, but never got any real evidence. She suggests that she doesn't care at all what others think, but she does care. Somehow people just know that different rules apply to her. There are so many Val stories that she would be like Elton John, who has about a dozen greatest hits "albums". Its true; I've looked. She once carried a huge potted tree from said psychiatric hospital into my shared tiny social worker office and left it there. So I walk in and find a tree in my office. I was immensely concerned about the opinion of others. I, of course, immediately knew how the tree had migrated to its present location. I remember discretely bringing our nurse manager into my office and asking where the tree came from. I meant where in the hospital, so I could put it back unseen. She began telling me where that type of tree originated like some horiculture goddess. For God's sake! Val also kidnapped the plastic snowman of a very earnest co-worker and attempted to ransom money from him. When he didn't respond on principle, Val would leave puddles of water to hint at the trauma said snowman was facing due to its owner's stand on principle. Val would do anything for an animal. She used to put her dogs in a neighbor's fenced yard for a play day without the neighbor knowing. (If you are the neighbor reading this, I just made this part up. The rest is completely true.) Val sent me a book called "Dinosaur Bob" when my first child was born. You might think this is no big deal, but it was a time when we weren't really talking. You see Val, Bob, and I were this oh-so-fun group of friends. It totally could have been a sitcom. But then two of the friends decided they liked spending time without the other one as well. Since I was the one voted off the island, I pouted and had a tantrum. Well, you know how much Val loves conflict. We didn't talk for years. That's when she gave me the book. How did you get back together you ask? I saw her at Stockley Gardens volunteering at the Hope House thrift store table with Marina. I was so happy to see her, but a little afraid that she would remain cold to me. After all, I started it. My heart soared when she seemed genuinely happy to see me too. Who knows what she mumbled to Marina after I walked away? Once Val visted me at home, and I later found a small piece of my artwork in my pantry. I guess she just wanted to make her mark and let me know she had passed through. She says she got this great table, that was already on hold for someone else at an antique store, by threatening to throw a brick through the store's window. I think the threat was to throw a brick repeatedly until she got the table. I think the shop owner just fell in love with her, like everybody does. She seems not to care much about her gorgeous antiques and other belongings. She gives stuff away, like the standing screen she had offered first to me, without blinking. But I have seen her become very attached to sofas and chairs. Of course only certain ones. But there was a palpable emotional attachment, believe me. Val painted all the murals you see on the site at another psych hospital where she worked. She also taught all the children to knit and got them the supplies. She once said some child had told her that they saw her car door open in the parking lot. They told her they were afraid to close it because it might disturb the fairies and mermaids. I might have the details wrong, but I have the basic flavor of the story. Val loved that the child thought this. She does have magic. Sophie will know she is so lucky to have Val as a mom....and Bob. One can't help but be enthralled by Val. She always seems just out of reach. She seems as if she floats just above the earth, rather than walking like we mere mortals. I think we share the same fear that we will awaken and find out we dreamed her.

  2. See that's why I love her. Time to write a blog Victoria. Love Valerie

  3. I thought I was just sharing yours. It was funny because I meant every word I wrote, genuinely, but as soon as I finished I wanted to add a sarcastic comment. I didn't want to ruin the other stuff because I really wanted you to hear it, so I didn't add it. But in our spirit of taunting I was thinking of a t-shirt I saw that I especially liked, particularly since Phoebe is VERY religious. It said "my prayers are more devout and heartfelt than yours". I wanted to say something like that, I admire and value you MORE. You know that old saying: You can remove the girl from the sarcasm temporarily, but you can't take the sarcasm from the girl unless you surgically have her spite gland removed. xxx

  4. Thanks Victoria, that was absolutely the nicest thing anyone ever said to me. Valerie

  5. wow..she really should start a blog: her comment is longer than your post!
    I had to scroll and scroll to get down here.
    anyway, Barack Obama, just letting you know that the favorites has been posted yesterday, I guess you only read the last post....

  6. wow, well said. geez, maybe i should be taking a writing class! so , when valerie does a book, i get royalty's, and when victoria does, valerie gets royalty's, works out well don't you think??

  7. so valerie, i didn't read that huge long comment yet, but i will. i have to tell you my new idea for a book. well, it's not so new, unfortunately. it's called something like, 'the mouse of slow lane' (my real street) and it involves a mouse living in a very very cushy pad, with lovely cushiony beds, and lots of trail mix, granola bar, half eaten apples, and other lovely tidbits. it's warm in the winter and has lots of hidey holes, even if it is a bit hard to get into, and even if uncle ralph got snapped by a snap trap.... this place is actually MY CAR! yes, a mouse, or perhaps a whole family of mice inhabit my car. after i caught one of them with a snap trap, and subsequently disposed of the entire trap and mouse,(okay my husband did that part) i got some new 'black cat' traps that are more like a clip and very touchy--for everyone except the mouse who left 'a present' for me on the plastic yellow cheese after he/she ate all of the peanut butter off. i'm trying to keep a sense of humor about all of this, and thought that the perfect 'end of the story' would be if this country mouse became the 'country faire mouse' when he got out at the country faire--much like tempelton did in charlotte's web, but that he was just having so much fun there with all the naked crazy hippies that he never came back to slow lane. and we all lived happily ever after.

  8. now i read that comment, and i really want to hide in kat's luggage when she eventually goes back to virginia, so i can meet you. :)