Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Angel - the Elusive Rat... and Dyson, the good guy.

My granddaughter has been wanting a rat...yes I said a rat...for over two years now.  She's ten years old and ten year olds think rats are cool.  Having icky thoughts about rats, my daughter told her she could have a hamster instead so off they went to the pet shop on Monday.  She tried to hold the hamsterss, but they were all little biters.  The pet shop owner told her she would have to wear gloves for about a month or so while she handled it in order to train it not to bite.  "He bites? I don't want him", she said.  "Then you need a rat".  Pet store employees can be so annoying, can't they?  Gen's eyes lit up because that's what she wanted all along.  "Oh, OK" said mom and home they went with a 3 week old rat and all the accessories that said Pet store employee could talk them in to buying.  They named her Angel - a name my daughter has changed several times since Monday.  The last name I heard her call Angel was this afternoon.  #$*#@~*# is what I think she said.  Maybe I heard wrong though, I don't think she uses words like that.

Angel was the perfect little Angel when they got her home.  She crawled in and out of Chloe and Gen's hands - Gen even put Angel on her shoulder and she crawled up under her hair.  It made me cringe.  Angel even proved to be very photogenic.  See....
Now for the rest of the story...

The deal was that Angel could only stay in Gen's room, but seeing how sweet she was, Mom gave in a little and allowed Gen to bring her downstairs to socialize.  Since she handled that so well, Gen asked if she could take Angel into the bathroom and close off all the doors so she could have a little more freedom.  Sure, why not?  Little did they know that there was a tiny hole underneath the sink cabinet between the cabinet and the wall.  The hole was hidden well - but guess who found it?  I knew you would guess.

This was Monday night.  Today is Wednesday and Angel was still in hiding.  They would put food on the floor and Angel would run out and get it but was back so quick they couldn't catch her.  She teased them like this for two days.   The hole was too tiny to put much of anything other than a straw with peanut butter on the end - barely an inch square.  Angel would follow it to the edge of the hole but wouldn't come back out.  They even devised a little makeshift trap out of a plastic container that had peanut butter in the center and was held up by a pencil.  They put it on the floor outside the hole in the cabinet.  It was so unstable that if you barely touched it, it would fall down.  Angel managed to go into it, lick the peanut butter off the pencil and get out without missing a beat.  Did I say that rats are smart?

Gen was distraught and Mom was at her wits end.  As a last straw they called Grandpa.  Off we went with a handsaw blade to try to cut the hole a little bigger.  The hole was in an odd position near the floor, so Mom had to do the tedious job.  It worked - it was now about 2 inches square which was as big as it could get.  Angel was living in a 2" wide by 2" high space that ran against the wall on the floor from the front of the cabinet to the back - and she was staying just beyond Gen's arm reach.  Golf clubs, back scratchers, kitchen utinsels, sticky tape on a long stick - nothing worked.  This is when I think I heard my daughter muttering Angel's new name under her breath.  Then she walked out of the room to turn down the thermostat.  It was getting hot in there - after all, there were five of us in the bathroom trying to save Angel.

Krista walked back in and we all gasped.  She had gone after the "big guns".

~Here he comes to save the day~  The Dyson Vacuum.  Oh my!  These things are powerful bad boys.  Would Angel be bald from the suction.....or worse?   I could just imagine her sucked up into the vacuum somewhere and us not being able to get her out.  Or it sucking all the breath out of her little nose.  By this time, I don't think Krista cared - not even a whit.  "Stand back", she said, brandishing the hose as if it were an AK-47.  She loaded it with a little brush attachment and put it as far back in the hole as possible.  I was in charge of pushing the button.  Button pushed, hose pulled out - nothing.  "Let's do it again", she said.  She was enjoying this way too much.  Hose inserted, button pushed, hose retrieved.  Angel's little body was on the end with her legs just a kickin'.  Bingo!  "Close the hole", Krista shouted as I pushed the button off.  Gen was quick on the draw.  Hole closed.  Angel caught.  Back in cage.  No worse for wear.  Whew! 

If it were my rat - which is like saying if it were my million dollars which I won't ever have either, I would put old Dyson right beside Angel's cage for a few days just to show her who's boss.  And if she's not overly traumatized by being sucked out of a hole, maybe she'll start living up to her name.  I, for one, prefer Angel to the new one muttered under someone's breath.

Did I say rats are smart?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Growing older..... So what?

Since I don't seem to be coming up with much writing material of my own lately, I'll share something my sister sent to me today in an email message - the author is unknown, but it could be from any one of us over 50, don't you think?  Words of wisdom, for sure.  I have changed some punctuation.  This person loved commas.  And I've altered the wording a little to better reflect how I feel about aging.

As  I've aged, I've become kinder to  myself... and  less critical of myself. I've become my own   friend.
I have seen friends leave this world too soon - before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.
Whose business is it anyway if I choose  to read or play on the computer until 4 AM -  or sleep until noon? I will boldly dance by myself to the "oldies" of the 50's, 60's and 70's - bringing back memories of times of my youth - and at the  same time if wish to weep over a lost love that these memories evoke, I will.
I will walk the  beach in a swimsuit that is stretched over a bulging body and will dive into the waves with  abandon if I choose to - despite the  pitying  glances from the younger crowd. They too will get  old.
I  know I am sometimes forgetful but don't you think that some things in life are just as well  forgotten?   I eventually remember the  important  things....most of the time.
Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not  break when you lose a loved one .. or when a  child  suffers .. or even when a beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are  what give us strength and understanding... and  compassion.  They bring us closer to God.  A heart never broken is pristine and sterile... maybe hearts were meant to be broken.
If we are truly blessed, we will live long enough to have our hair turn gray and to have our youthful  laughs be forever etched  into deep grooves on our faces. So many have seldom  laughed, and so many have passed away before their hair  could turn  silver.
As we get older, it's sometimes hard to find the positive, but we learn to care  less about  what other people think and we question ourselves less often.  We can even be "wrong" and live through it.  It's called Wisdom.
I think I am ok with being old - it has set me free.   I like the  person I  have become.  I am not going to live  forever, but while I am still here I  will not  waste time lamenting what could have been, or  worrying  about what will be.  And if I feel like it, I will have dessert with my dinner. 

How do you feel about growing older?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I've been missing in action for a while and do miss following the blogs I normally read.  We're on a working vacation and have had a busy week, but I promise I'll be back to normal (well as normal as my life ever gets) next week. 

Meanwhile, we've enjoyed the 4th with home made ice cream, good beach neighbors, and a Golden Anniversary party we attended last night.  I should have loads of writing material, but frankly, I don't have the inclination to write right now. 

We've had temperature in the triple digits and staying cool is a challenge!  Back soon my dear friends to get caught up on my reading - and hopefully my writing.

Meanwhile, enjoy your summer!