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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

$5 Dinners

My friend Erin's new cookbook has just been released! It was featured on Good Morning America this morning. Woo-hoo!

(Click below to view the GMA segment with cutie-patootie George Stephanopoulos.)

The Best Cookbooks of 2009

You can order your own through Amazon, or go to her website where she's also doing a great giveaway of ten of her cookbooks every day for the next two weeks!

I ordered a few copies myself from Amazon. Unfortunately, they didn't get here in time for her signing party she hosted this evening. But don't worry -- I know where she lives. And as soon as they come in I'll be getting them personalized and mailed to a few lucky recipients of my own... ;)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Got Snow?

It's snowing! Seems so appropriate for the first day after the last day of school! (follow?)

And no, I'm not ready for Christmas! Thank you for asking. You?

I hope to be after Monday, though, when I hope to get some final shopping done. I guess we'll see if the road conditions stay one step ahead of the weather conditions...

I feel so sad about neglecting this blog so much lately. Like I've been neglecting an old friend. I have so many excuses, the likes of which I hope to resolve by early next year (heh-heh) so that I can get back to the business again of blogging as usual. Even just the act of writing in this blogger format feels so comfy and familiar. *sniff*

Many of you may have noticed that I've been working on a new blog. I started it in blogger, the same platform as this blog, then decided to take it up to the next level and make the switch to self-hosting on wordpress.

Oh. my. word. I had no idea what a can of worms I was opening. It's like the Pandora's Box of Blogging: Once the top is off you lose all control of what comes out; you just hope you can keep your wits about you and keep up. Widgets and plug-ins and CSS code (huh?) and feedburner and themes and open hooks? That's just a sampling. Talk about a learning curve. I'm still reeling. (And still climbing.)

I even messed around with some html code widget tag-on thingy that put some post thumbnails at the end of each post on this blog. Did you notice? Only I didn't know that it would grab posts from both of my blogs on blogger. My bad. And I was too worn out to go back and figure out how to take it off. Now I'm curious what will happen over time as I'm no longer updating the other blog through blogger, so I'm going to leave it for now. If that bothers you or confuses you, I'm sorry. Just think of it as taking one for the cause of Jolyn's Blogging Education.

I leave you, for now, with greetings from Olivia and Peter while they were playing in the snow this morning.
"We're making a snowdog, not a snowman."

Of course!

It's not the 14 or so inches that the East Coast is seeing! But the kids are enjoying our first real snowfall regardless and couldn't care less. And it's still snowing! And the forecast calls for more tomorrow, and the day after... So we shall see.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Feeling the Christmas... Spirit

Every time the radio plays the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's "Carol of the Bells" Sean-Peter turns into some kind of marionette puppet with strings and he has no choice but to jump around and do a form of "dance" that basically consists of kicking, twisting, and punching the air. He'll tell you he's fighting the bad guys. John calls it Kabuki theater.


video
Who knew Christmas music could be so... inspiring.

I wish it would inspire me. I am sooo unprepared for Christmas. I think it has to do with my serious intentions of making this Christmas as non-materialistic as possible: e.g. I'm not going to pile a mountain of presents under the tree. Which is sad, really. If not buying presents is why I'm not inspired, that is. Presents should not a Christmas make.

And they don't, but when you're inundated with commercialism every where you turn around and you're determined not to succumb I wonder if I've tilted the pendulum too far in the other direction.

Either that, or I'm just getting old.

The kids are getting a good, old-fashioned Christmas, by the way, with presents and stocking stuffers and everything, don't you worry. I'm not even claiming to be spending a whole lot less this year -- I'm just determined not to get so much stuff.

Wish me luck. I think I understand why my mom needed so much coffee on Christmas morning.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Snow and a Show and Some Sugar

Brrrrr! Anyone else with me? We got our first snowfall here...Have I ever mentioned that it's still dark when Olivia gets on the bus? And hers isn't even the first one that comes through the neighborhood...

Speaking of Olivia, she's got her first "acting gig" under her belt (heh-heh), a little Christmas show production her dance instructor put on in her studio with a couple-handfuls of her students. Olivia has begged to take an "acting class" ever since I put her in Storybook Dramas at the local town hall theater... over a year ago.

Go ahead, take a look. It's barely a hiccup.


video

And seriously, how. cute. are they.

And yes, Olivia loved every minute of it. I daresay she enjoyed performing even more than what she enjoyed after the show.She looks nice and calm here, but don't be fooled: she rode the sugar loop all the way home.

Monday, November 30, 2009

He's Still My Baby...


But he did turn five!
video


(Grandma's got so many grandsons, it's hard to keep track of them all...)

He was so excited to get mail from his Me-ma...
And Lassie from his other grandma... (Aww, remember Lassie? "Lassie, please come home!"?)

Of course there was cake.

And presents...
He was a tad-bit excited about the transformers. At least I convinced him he only needed to sleep with the smallest one...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I gotta hurry and post this before my husband gets fed up and starts watching our show without me.

My parents are here for Thanksgiving, and I thought I'd give you all a glimpse into what an exciting time we're having!

This is the scene that usually greets you when walking into a room. Though usually mom and dad are reading solo and Olivia and Peter are wreaking some kind of havoc.

The funniest thing that prompted this photo was that not only was Olivia reading, too, but Sean-Peter was just hanging out, all docile and, well, quiet-like. Like sitting there pleasantly in the parlor was the most normal thing in the world.









Oh, wait. Here we go; now he's all ready for bed.


Aw, isn't that more like it? This was taken moments after the parlor photo. I guess he caught his 26th 2nd wind. And I guess I should finish unpacking from my trip to Chicago...

Oh, yea! I went to Chicago! For a whole two days! I stayed with my friend Amy and we quickly digressed to our junior high high school years, talking and giggling like a couple of teenagers. Teenagers with wrinkles. Not that that matters.

At the risk of repeating what you may have already read in my other blog, we had a great time. Our high school friend Nathan also joined us. Sweet, tall Nathan. Back in the day, Nathan and I were partners in our high school's mixed ensemble. As in singing group. When I was talking with him at our 20-year high school reunion this past summer, I looked up (and up and up) at him and said, "Um, you weren't this tall in high school."

He readily agreed. Apparently, he grew like another six inches after we graduated. Who knew? He also went on to study music and voice and he does all kinds of neat things like perform operas and compose music for poems written by inner-city school kids. Yea. Quite cool.

And he wasn't at all phased by our acting like we were a bunch of school kids again. Take this photo op, for instance -- originally Amy's idea, but I was the one who insisted we make the extra trip to actually get it done.
Go ahead, click on it, and think about it. Please, for me? I'll wait.

Funny, huh?


And Amy? She does stuff like this.Not that I hold it against her. But I did do a excruciatingly long very short yoga session with her and I ended up being sore for a week. You know how some people just get better and better with age? Amy's one of those people. Of course, she works at it...

We are planning on enjoying a nice, quiet Thanksgiving at home tomorrow, just the seven of us. We're having turkey and ham. My baby likes his pig. It's not a whole turkey, though: just a breast. And they're both cooking as we speak, all stealth-like in the crockpots. Is that not cool or what?

In addition to turkey and ham, the menu includes...
  • Sweet potato casserole
  • Green bean casserole
  • Stuffing
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Seven-layer salad
  • Rolls
  • Pumpkin pie
How's your menu look?

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

This time last year...

...he was obsessed with Thomas.

Now it's Pokemon.

Sigh. Why do they have to grow up?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Now, Where Were We?

I know, I know. Poor, neglected blog. You sweet thing. Now there, mommy's back now. You miss me?

Hmm, let's see, where to begin... Let's just summarize, shall we?

  • We went trick-or-treating.
  • We've taken turns being sick.
  • Sean-Peter earned another trip to the ER (with a little help from his sister).
  • I spent a lot of time finishing an assignment for my writing class.
  • The rest of my writing time has been spent posting to my other blog.
  • I've wasted a lot of time trying to transfer my other blog over to my own domain.
  • When I started the process I didn't realize it involved writing code.
  • I don't do code.
  • I've tried.
  • John's feverishly reading and writing a paper for his class.
  • Oh, and Olivia lost a tooth. See?
  • John's on-again, off-again, on-again, off-again, on-again.... Honestly, I lost track. Anybody recall where I left off with the latest on his deployment?
  • Anyway, it's off-again. Officially.
  • But there's another one that might be on.
Isn't this fun!

Sean-Peter's fine, by the way. Turns out there's a reason Bill Cosby always told us on that one commercial that we should never stick anything in our ears, other than our elbows. And then you couldn't help but sit there and try to stick your elbow in your ear. Remember that one?

Olivia was almost as traumatized as Sean-Peter. Almost.

"I was just trying to clean his ear!"

He's been in for a follow-up once, but needs to go in for another next week. His ear drum didn't rupture, according to the ER doc, but it did bleed a lot, and the second doc wants him back after the dried blood has had a chance to clear up a bit on its own, so's she can see in there all the way right-like.

Isn't this fun!

Otherwise we're all good. "We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?"

(Name that movie.)

Hint: Use the Force.

I do hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Veterans Day! Kids are off of school here the next two days, so my "weekend" starts early...

Oh, and I'm going to Chicago on Sunday! Whoopee for me! A road trip. All. by. myself. What is that, anyway? Anybody have any books on tape to recommend? I'm going to visit an old, old friend -- we grew up together, for pete's sake. She never married and never had kids. She might as well live on another planet.

I might like it there...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Birthdays and Barking

John celebrated his birthday yesterday... Although mourned seemed to be the more appropriate description for much of the day, and not just because he's approaching the end of another decade... (Ahem)

It all started out innocuous enough. A guy from the phone company came out, a day earlier than expected. So that sounds good, right? He confirmed that our nerves wires are frayed and did what he could on the spot short of pulling them all out and starting over. Apparently, 40+ year-old wires aren't good. Especially with the jimmy-rigging that went on with the previous owners.

Right after he left we did a little jig, because our internet connection was faster than it had been since... Well, since forever.

Unfortunately, that was short-lived.

Routing Woes
John thought he'd piggy-back on our good fortune and work on getting the router to, um, route properly. Alas, in vain, since this was the umpteenth time he has worked on this problem, and always before we could go back to how the phone line was probably contributing to the problem. Now that the phone line has been fixed (as much as it can be for now) he is faced with the router being absolutely, undoubtedly, the worst router. Ever. He alternated between working on it, debating whether to call the Dell Indians at a mere $7 a minute... or stomping on the ground and smashing it to smithereens.

He opted for giving up instead, with plans to return the router to the depths of Hades from whence it came. Or to the BX, whichever you prefer.

Besides, he had a game to watch, with his favorite peeps.Alabama won!
No matter that they shouldn't have, based on how they played. John and some Tennessee fans at work placed a friendly bet on this game -- John should have some beer coming his way very soon... Happy Birthday!

And the kids showered him with homemade gifts, each in their own unique way.

Olivia went on a card-making frenzy...


If you look closely, you might wonder if she even wore herself out. ("Mom and Mommy"?)

The Times, They are a Changing

In what truly says more about this next generation than I could ever begin to articulate, Conner presented his dad with his own homemade "card", DSi style...


video
I mean, have you ever?

I think John was quite taken aback.



Imagine if the original Disney creators could see what everyday teenagers are able to do now...

Sean-Peter didn't really make anything for John, per se. But he presented his own creation, in his own, unique way.So much for the cake.It's a good thing he's so darn cute.

He's not into much mischief today, though...

Meet the latest cold victim. He's got it worse than Olivia did; he woke up this morning -- not early -- panicking with that tell-tale barking seal cough. He was my only kid who ever got croupy, but at the ripe old age of almost five four it's definitely more bark than bite. It took a while to convince him of that, though. It didn't help that he'd also lost his voice.

Here's a tiny sample of a barking seal cough. I didn't want to belabor the point by forcing it out of him, but you get the idea.

video

At least Olivia's doing much better...

Friday, October 23, 2009

In Which I Post a Bunch of Photos and Videos and Update You With Our Wild and Crazy Antics.

Sickness
Talk about a major chill day today. Olivia was home sick -- again -- with symptoms that are decidedly cold-like, and I've decided to try to keep them that way.

These are times I am sooo glad I am a stay-at-home mom.

It also rained all night, and most of the day. Talk about an incentive to do nothing but lay lie around on the couch...

(Especially when you have a reading buddy.)

Sleep
I passed out on the couch for awhile myself. I'm not sick, but apparently I'm not well, either. I basically went to bed with the kids last night, slept all night, fell asleep on the couch about mid-morning, then again after lunch...

I have no idea what my problem is. What if I didn't have the "leisure" to just fall asleep like that? (Never mind about the kids... Hey, the house didn't burn down, okay?) I can only imagine that perhaps all that sleep helps my body keep the germs at bay. John emailed from work himself saying he wasn't feeling too well...

Imagine what this world would be like if everyone just got enough sleep.

Parties
I missed a party yesterday at Sean-Peter's preschool. A "Mexico Party" -- something to do with butterflies? No matter: I thought since I didn't send Olivia to school it probably wouldn't be prudent for us to show up at a festival. But look at this photo my friend Erin took while she was there.

Isn't it the best? Down below is more typical of photos that we've gotten lately...
Games
Sitting at Conner's soccer games has been a familiar pastime as of late. The tournament is scheduled to finish up this weekend, wet fields permitting. I think it's none too soon for his little brother... Not to mention the weather. I think the damp chill at his last game was what did it for Olivia's cold and level of coughing. Ohio's weather is typical Midwest-fare: sweaters one day, shorts the next -- raincoats in between.(This was a shorts' day. With a mix of long-sleeves.)

Pumpkins
We also went to a pumpkin patch recently...

Yet another event with Peter's preschool, where he apparently has a girlfriend.
Just kidding! (I hope.)

But it was the most absolutely gorgeous beautiful fall day in Ohio... Maybe Love Was in the Air?Reading...
Sean-Peter's IEP meeting with his teachers, etc., was today... Again, I missed it, because Olivia was home sick. But John was able to go, so it's all good. We haven't yet talked about what they discussed, but I can't imagine any surprises. Overall, he's simply doing quite well, especially from an academic perspective. Get a load of him here reading...

Reading Preschooler:
video
Okay, so he's not exactly reading. But it's the first step, eh?

And it was all Olivia could do not to step in right away and show him how it's done. Of course, she got her turn...

Reading 1st Grader:
video

It is entirely apropos that they're reading a book about guinea pigs, seeing as how we have this little guy now. Meet our latest pet, "Nosy Pepperoni" (don't ask).Otherwise known as "Pepper", "Little Piggy" -- or better yet, "Bacon Bit".

I know, we're terrible. But The Huckster is rather taken by him.Internet-Schminternet
It has taken me all evening to sporadically write this post and download the photos and videos all while dealing with the erratic behavior of our internet connection, which has been sketchy at best. It's all tied to our phone line, which apparently has problems "in-house", so far as we have been able to nail it down.

We are slowly dealing with it and have thus far pinpointed the problem as occurring mainly when it rains, and thus when the box is wet. Here John thought it would be fun to take a picture of me calling the phone company with a phone hooked up to the box outside. Because it's all just so funny.

We have since taped a plastic bag around the box on the side of our house. Because we're classy like that. Apparently a hard rain such as the one we had last night still gets through.

Oh, and we're also having issues with our router, WHICH WE JUST GOT, and our modem, which don't seem to like each other very well. We've thought about putting them in time out, but that's all they seem to want to do anyway, so it doesn't seem much of a punishment.

John's getting right on that. Because he doesn't have anything better to do with his time. We're just all wild and crazy around here.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Haiku Hysteria


Husband's deployment

a go. Then no. Then yes. Then...

Stab my eye with fork.


*This haiku was inspired by a children's book I read to the kids tonight. (The idea of writing a haiku, that is -- not the theme I wrote about.) Go ahead, try your own. It's fun! Cheapest therapy around, I'll tell you what.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Today's Quote from Olivia

"Nothing's fair in my life!

"...Nothing!"


All because I told her to clean her room, and she wants to play a game instead.

Oh, the travesty.

Just wait until she gets a job, and her boss expects her to show up if she wants a paycheck. Oh, the injustice.

You wanna know what's not fair in my life, Olivia? ....Oh, never mind. I don't have that kind of time.

Now that's not fair.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Blackmail Photo #287

In his defense, he said, "I'm a butterfly!"

Monday, October 5, 2009

And So I Rant.

I'm reading some news this morning and I find myself getting madder and madder. First, some headlines reaming the General in command of Afghanistan because he's going all over talking about how more troops are needed over there or we're going to lose the war. Critics are saying it is "better for military advice to come up through the chain of command." Well, maybe if the President would grant the General an audience it would come up through the chain of command! Did you know that The President has spoken to the Commanding American General in Afghanistan one time since he's been president? One. Time. Never mind the obvious practicality of talking to the guy in charge of a war -- what kind of message does that send? What does that leave the troops fighting this war to think? What message is that sending to the widows? the orphans? their buddies left behind?

While the President and his wife are flying in luxury to European capitals to wine and dine with foreign delegates and champion the cause of our athletes, American troops are dying while the President contemplates strategy and declares that his decisions will not be driven "by the politics of the moment".

How about by some discussion with the people in charge? How about with some recognition of how guys are dying while he takes his sweet time trying to figure out what to do, as a guy who has no experience in knowing what to do with a war?

More headlines referred to a latest attack on some remote posts near the Pakistan border. Eight Americans were killed and four Afghans, with 11 more Afghani police taken hostage by the militants before they fled. The Taliban claimed responsibility. These outposts "are among many in Afghanistan's remote and volatile regions that U.S. forces plan to pull back from in a bid to turn the war around".

Turn the war around to what? The other side? "The new strategy calls for U.S. troops to pull out of these remote areas and concentrate instead around Afghanistan's population centers."

What do you think is going to happen if we abandon the "remote" areas? Is there something I'm missing? Some pieces of information that I don't have privy to that would change what seems so obvious? If we patrol the cities, and leave the rest of the country to the Taliban, what's going to happen as soon as we leave the cities? What motive do decent Afghanis have to work with our efforts to bring peace to their country, knowing that just a few miles away, Taliban forces are just waiting for us to leave, and to grant punishment on those who cooperated with us while we were there? What's happening to those 11 Afghani police forces who were kidnapped this weekend during the raid on their post? What ordeal are they going through right now, as you're reading this? If they're even still alive. And all because we didn't have enough guys out there to watch their back. And now they're talking about taking those few guys away, too.

Well, we should. We should just take the whole lot of them away, unless we're going to hunker down and do what it takes to do this right. Right now. The outcome is inevitable if we don't, so why waste any more lives fighting a war that our President doesn't even consider important enough to make a decision on. It's disgraceful. Disrespectful. Above all, disheartening.

Here I haven't been heard from on this blog for a couple of weeks and you come back for this. Well, I was mad. And already I'm calming down, but while I was still mad I thought, "I'm going to write about this, da#@it, and get it down. Because later when I'm not so mad I won't want to." And that's what happens. We get mad, but then we get over it. Because we have our own lives, our own responsibilities, our own pressing daily minutiae. I don't think we get over it, but we do get on with it -- on with things we have control over. And the war in Afghanistan isn't one of them.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Little Eggy (and Mushroom Head)

Sean-Peter started back with his Occupational Therapy (OT) sessions after taking a break for the summer. He was doing so well last Spring, and the private company where he does his OT was going to be short-staffed in the summer, what with several therapists out on maternity leave and several others cutting back their hours while their kids were out of school.

It was really nice to have the break, if nothing else for the sake of a change -- not to mention the 20-minute drive each way for the one-hour weekly session. I really didn't know what to expect during the break after a full year of Sean-Peter going to OT. Would there be a change? Would we even notice a difference?

It was about mid-July that it occurred to me that it wasn't a coincidence that Sean-Peter's tolerance level was lower and his frustration level was higher. He was quicker to erupt and more quickly moved to tears for slights that otherwise might have been taken in stride. His speech sometimes stuttered and he articulated with much more effort. We were definitely missing OT.

The progress he has made in this year-plus since he has started therapy has not been lost on me; I am still amazed to think that I once thought I would be learning sign language, and instead the little guy "graduated" from speech therapy. Why, just one year ago Sean-Peter couldn't even sing. He cried in frustration when challenged to sing along to "Old McDonald's" ee-i-ee-i-oh...

And now, not only is he singing, he's making up his own lyrics...

video
"Little Eggy" by Sean-Peter (44 seconds long)

Little Eggy, Little Eggy....
If you want to hatch
Use your tail or teeth to break it open

"And, don't forget! Another one..."

Little Eggy, Little Eggy....
If you want to hatch
Use your tail or teeth to break it open

Little Eggy, Little Eggy, Little Eggy...

Yes, the little guy continues to amaze me.

Along with starting back to OT, we have also started up his Listening Therapy again at home. This requires a special set of (quite large) headphones that enable noise to filter in while he's wearing them for the 30 minutes of therapy each day that I remember to have him do it.

They're also what earned him the moniker, "Mushroom Head". (The hat helps to keep them on while he goes about his business.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Conner!

We celebrated Conner's birthday tonight, even though his birthday isn't until tomorrow. But tomorrow evening is going to be a busy one, with John getting home later and later later than he used to and Conner's soccer game and then Olivia and Peter will be in bed, so...

Besides, we decided that since Conner was born in Germany in the wee hours of the 16th, technically in Ohio he turns 14 the night before! So it's all good.

I did bake his cake -- I got away with that only because he was in school, I'm sure. Conner insisted on decorating it himself.

And he served it...
I tossed a few gift ideas back and forth... But if I was going to be honest, I knew that what a teenager really wants is cold, hard cash.Even Olivia understands that. (Where do you think the 11 cents came from?)Sean-Peter gave him an air gun. Thing is, the air gun already belonged to Conner. Until Sean-Peter "stole it out of his room!", that is. This would be an excellent example of where it's the thought that counts.

The sole concrete non-cash gift Conner got from us was a brand-new lunch box and water bottle. With strict instructions to tattoo his name on it in red ink to deter anyone from stealing it. Which happened last year. And is why he has been taking his lunch to school in plastic sacks.

Hey, these things aren't cheap!

After he got his gift he acts completely shocked. "I had no idea, mom. Wow, thanks." You'd think I'd just given him a new car.

Thing is, this morning he had just told me that we were out of plastic sacks. "What am I supposed to take my lunch in, mom?"

Of course, I knew he was getting a new lunch box later today, but I just handed him a gallon-size ziploc without a word.

"Wow, mom, I had no idea. You're really good at keeping a secret."

I asked him, "What, Conner, should I have been like, '(wink-wink) You won't need plastic sacks (wink-wink) anymore, Conner (wink-wink) if you know what I mean (wink-wink).'"

He just laughed.

Happy Birthday, Conner. I'm so glad you're my son.

Friday, September 11, 2009

To Commemorate 9/11, May We Never Forget

My kids have no memories from that fateful day eight years ago. Conner was in kindergarten, about to turn six, but he insists he has no specific memory of what was happening. I do recall that I tried to keep the news on TV, those vivid images, to a minimum. We were staying with my sister in Kansas for a while, while John was TDY. Her boys were as young as Conner and even younger. Their needs couldn't wait while the adults dropped everything to watch replays of the same horrible scenes.

To Conner it is just history, not something he experienced or witnessed personally as it played out. His knowledge of that day, and what it meant for this country, will have to come from us. I remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing, when I learned what was happening in New York. I remember the feeling in the country that we were all united, we were all galvanized and determined to find those responsible, we were all afraid, and we were all mad.

Olivia and Peter weren't even born yet. "Patriot Day" to Olivia means wear red, white and blue to school. As you might imagine, Olivia's always up for a theme.


Someday, I hope, she will understand the gravity of what this day commemorates. For now, singing a song she learned at school about loving her country is enough.

(Video's 41 seconds long. The cymbals were her idea;)
video

May you all have a blessed day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

There was a mouse in our house.

"Mom, where's some gloves!"

"What do you need them for?"

"Just tell me where some are!"

"They're in the closet, in the bin marked, 'gloves'."

I know, I'm an enigma.

Turns out Conner was panicking because John had discovered a mouse in our house. Yes, I am aware that sounds like the beginning of a Dr. Seuss book. But come one, a mouse?

First, it was these guys...












It started a year ago when chipmunks tried to get into our dryer vent. Come summer, they simply used the door.

But today, it was this little guy...It took a little doing (and a little destruction)...But John finally caught him.He took the poor thing to the Nature Park, to join our former pet chipmunks Mr. Fluffy and his brother Darryl. (Unfortunately, his other brother Darryl succumbed to internal injuries.)

Where, oh where was the cat? you might ask. I know I did. Once the ruckus had died down and the mouse was safely ensconced in his plastic bag, The Huckster finally sauntered out from taking a nap and was all like, "What?"He is so getting fired.