Thursday, April 24, 2014

Mouse Droppings, Mud Daubers and Dreams

I have dreams, y'all. Big, audacious ones. For instance, I'm in the process of writing a novel. I am in no way qualified or have a literary degree nor do I possess any other educationally relevant document that says I can legitimately claim the ability do so. But really...who cares about all of that, since I've just decided to go ahead and do it anyway. I have, by my own personally-sanctioned authority and by the powers vested in me by my ownself, officially declared that I am a legitimate author. Yes.You can do that. See? I just did.

I say I'm in the process but I don't want to be misleading you in any way and confuse that with any measurable progress at this point. Figuratively speaking, I've dipped my toe into the pool but don't actually have my swimsuit on yet. I'm struggling with the fact that there just don't ever seem to be enough big blocks of time to really dive in and deeply immerse myself in the process the way I want to.  I've just had another birthday and time seems to really be racing by, creating in me a sense of urgency that makes me want to go full-on Nike and 'JUST DO IT' already!  I'm inspired. I'm motivated. I'm positively bursting at the seams with creative ideas, twists and turns, and dialogue for this book which I've already basically completed in my mind. All I need to do is to simply transfer this information from my brain and into the computer, then tweak it a little, you know? Sounds pretty do-able when you put it that way. Grab your snorkel, hop in and just keep swimming, right? Yeah...not so much.

Honestly, that is precisely what I have planned to do about eleventy-bazillion times over the past few months or so, but to no avail. Life just keeps happening. Today, I was convinced that I was finally going to dive in and I was so excited. David took the kids to school. I sorted laundry, put in a load, did the dishes and went outside to the back deck, armed with a cup of coffee, my iPad, my trusty companion (Sparky the Chihuahua-nator, who diligently keeps the squirrels at bay) and tons of creative inspiration. I was determined to really put a dent in it this time. How did it go? You guessed it. Not well. Just as soon as I started writing, I was hijacked again by another tedious interruption because Sparky the squirrel scout began barking furiously at the rear garage door. I went over to get him to chill out, because he was seriously disturbing my groove. As I looked down in the direction he was barking, I saw to my horror (insert scary movie music here)...a bunch of mouse droppings and fuzzy stuff coming out from under the garage door. I know. Awesome, huh?

Now, you may be thinking to yourself that I could have just waited for David to come home and deal with it. Truthfully, I considered that. Then I reminded myself that my husband works insane hours, is exhausted when he gets home, and rarely gets the opportunity to really relax during the times that he's here with us. So, I chose to brave the garage and investigate. And I learned a few things during that investigation. Here they are in random order:

  • Storing bird seed in the garage for the winter is pretty much the equivalent of posting a blinking neon sign welcoming all nearby rodents to come on in and enjoy a luxurious buffet 'on the house'.
  • Mice and their friends and family members are extremely messy eaters and they poop and pee indiscriminately and prodigiously.
  • Mice can chew up pretty much anything they want to and turn it into a cozy (albeit disgusting) little nest for themselves.
  • My darling husband is one of the smartest guys I know but he does things that I'll never understand. Such as: Putting a bunch of random screws and nails into a small container and balancing it precariously on top of a bunch of other random stuff that is also balanced precariously on a shelf. All of which fell into the massive collection of empty sunflower seeds, mouse poop and other gross stuff I had just swept up into a pile. Which led me to my next discovery...
  • Shop Vacs are AWESOME. They can really suck up virtually anything. As it happens, they can even suck up random screws and nails like a champ! Good to know. Wanna know something my husband apparently doesn't know?
  • You should probably clean out the Shop-vac filter a bit more often than say, EVERY TEN YEARS OR SO. I'll just say "Eeewwww!" and leave it at that. *shudder* Never. Again.
  • Apparently, mice enjoy chewing up colored sidewalk chalk. Who knew? I'm still uncertain as to whether the Easter confetti appearance of their droppings was actually produced inside of the mice or just as a result of the chewing. I'll leave that one up to the mouse experts to ascertain. Yuck.
  • Carpet remnants left over from the Christmas parade need to be discarded and not stored in the garage. The carpet still contains numerous staples, one of which became embedded in my foot. (Hope my Tetanus shot is up to date...)
  • Dirt Daubers apparently build their creepy little dirt kingdoms waaaay back in the nooks and crannies of my garage that we never see unless I am cleaning up a bunch of mouse poop. Shop Vacs work for those as well. The wasps are evidently VERY protective of their icky mummified bug handiwork.
  • Thankfully, you can suck up angry wasps with a Shop Vac, too! Yep, right out of the sky where they fly! I'm not gonna lie. I found that to be a very satisfying exercise, indeed. 
  • If you sweep the little garage door sensors too vigorously, they will be misaligned somehow and the doors will not function. I'm totally leaving that one up to the hubby to sort out. I'm so done.

  • The Shop Vac company probably should hire me to be their next spokesperson.

Two and a half hours and a punctured foot later, I just wasn't in the mood to do anything except take a long, hot shower and spray myself directly with Lysol. From head to toe. Also, a call to the exterminator was in order. The last thing on my mind was the creative process, dialogue or character development of my book. Although, for grins and giggles and just to make the whole thing worthwhile...I may weave a mouse home invasion into the story line somehow. Yes. I may have to do just that.

You know what? It's all good. In this season of my life there will sometimes be necessary and often messy interruptions. No matter what life throws at me, I'm determined as ever to get this book done. Dream delayed but not dismayed. It may take me until after my kids graduate. From college. Be that as it may, I will complete this endeavor and I humbly believe it will be a whopping success. It really is a great story (if I do say so myself) and based on what I know for sure about God, it will not be late in coming out and will be right on time for whomever is intended to read it. Hopefully it will be some of you. And hopefully, I used 'whomever' correctly in that sentence above. I guess I should know that. You know...what with me being an official author and all.

For now, I must boldly go and complete some rather mundane mommy tasks. There is laundry to finish. Dinner to serve. Hubby is working late. Again. The kids are home and as per usual, they have left their socks and various items that they tracked in from school laying all over the floor and I...hey, wait a minute...

Oooh! I just had a flash of brilliance. Gotta go get the Shop Vac. Woohoo! Until next time...

Oh, wait...before I go, I'll leave a quick tip for all of you guys out there. You're welcome.