Saturday, October 31, 2009

The mouse saga continues

After discovering the happy rodent in my home, I have been trying to address the problem in a logical fashion. I immediately purchased a couple of traps (they come two to a pack) and set them up with a generous smearing of peanut butter, offering what I hoped would be a pleasant last meal for the little creep. After the first night, the main trap showed signs of its having visited as half the tasty treat was gone. Evaporation would not explain that. Sadly, the visit had triggered no response from this modern trap.

Morning number two came and again the trap was in place, but this day it had no peanut butter left. Again, ruling out evaporation as the cause, I went to the store looking, as so many before me have done, for a better mousetrap. After much discussion, I decided to try the sticky trap.

The thought of the little creep stuck and dying in its attempt to get free from the sticky trap is disturbing, but I am coping by trying to ignore the closet where it has been set until Monday, when the exterminator arrives. I removed what I needed from that closet between now and then so that I don't have to open the door, and I put tape on the door so I would remember not to open it. I've heard that the mouse sometimes screams when it gets caught in these sticky traps, but I've heard nothing like that yet. I'm guessing that this savvy little creep has avoided getting caught, but I've not looked.

Frankly, I prefer the poison option, but the exterminator would like to see just what we're addressing here. With the poison option the little creeps get a tasty last meal and then go away and are never seen again. If they could invent something that would make them want to go back outdoors and never come back in again, that would be fine. It's not that I really want to kill them. I'm now taking bets on how long I can wait before I'm compelled to open the closet and check on the sticky trap.

Halloween Horrors

Perhaps it is my age. Ok, I know, I'm not that old, yet I'm finding the way Halloween is unfolding this year to be too scary and icky, and I'm wanting to find ways to avoid it. Cartoon pictures of disgusting people and stuff neither entertain nor fascinate me. Like the movie ads that TV forces upon us during commercial breaks, there's a lot of ugly stuff out there that I'd rather not see. Violence, blood, ugliness and horrifying images are not entertaining. I try to avoid nightmares. If children are not frightened by such images, then I fear for all of us, and if they are frightened, then why do we expose them to it. All right, go ahead. Tell me I'm an old fashioned party pooper. I prefer to think I'm carrying on the lovely traditions of Pollyanna, hoping that all is well in this best of all possible worlds. Thinking that through, perhaps I'll have to settle for a reasonable compromise between these two world visions. Let's just say with regard to horror, I get quite enough of that just reading the morning paper each day.

Friday, October 30, 2009

My New Tree in Fall

The tree I planted last spring to replace my poor old maple has beautiful leaves in the fall. Just took a picture to share. Spring blossoms, summer greenery, fall beautiful leaves and winter little red crab apples. Just the ticket, I'd say!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Nothing much to blog about lately, until today. Of course, the title gives this one away. Calmly watching the second or third hour of HGTV last evening and, surprisingly, still awake and relatively alert, what to my wondering eyes should appear? No, not Santa, but a moderately large brown rodent slipping quietly into the room in front of me. Eeeeeek! Dogs barking, they and I rushed forward, purposelessly and ineffectually, as it turned around and quickly scurried back from whence it had come. I think it was probably a vole, rather than a little house mouse, or whatever the other things are called.

First order of business today: Contact exterminator. Next to get a couple mouse traps, and third to buy peanut butter. Smallest jar I could find was $3.29, and assuming I'm not setting and resetting the traps more than a few times, I have a lot of peanut butter to use up in the next few months.

The traps are now set and, luckily for me, my fingers are still intact. Those damned things snap shut fast and hard. My exterminator comes, hopefully, tomorrow to find out where it came in and take other appropriate steps. Thankfully, I saw and, hopefully, will catch this invading villain now, before it might take over the house in my winter absence. My angels again are intervening in a timely manner to protect me. All of that sensible logic did not, however, keep me from feeling creepy when I went to bed, knowing I was sharing my home with that icky little thing, and I had a bit of trouble falling asleep.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Another great Outing

Rain, with a little annoying snow/sleet mix, was no deterrent to our trip to Red Wing. Lots of laughs as Meredith took us on the road less traveled. There are reasons for that - the road less traveled and the laughter. No such thing as a dreary day when you are traveling with good friends. Sadly, no blast of color either for the fall color drive. Not exactly no color, I should explain, but much subdued and a bit dull for fall. The weather has conspired to keep it so.

Nothing dull about this group, however. We were so delighted to find great purchase opportunities in the shops. Personally, I was especially surprised to see someone offering old black and white snapshots of unknown people probably long dead and forgotten on sale for 75 Cents to a dollar. The shot that really got me was a 4x6 offering of a nondescript area of an unidentified rural yard with a bedraggled tree and some unproductive ground. Could have had that gem for $1.00. All I could think of were the hundreds of dollars I threw away when I cleaned out the old photos from my mother's basement, attic and assorted closets. Who knew? Of course, offering them for sale doesn't insure that someone will buy them.

I passed up the chance to purchase a stylish deviled egg platter with some nice decoration and a wavy plate design for either $99 or, if you want bragging rights on how to foolishly spend money, for $179 (same plate, different dealers). There are literally thousands of treasures available for sale. All that's needed is money and a large place to put everything. Since I had neither, I came home still solvent.

Our biggest laugh came in the Ladies' room. You know those wonderful motion activated paper towel dispensers that, if you're at all like me, you've never been able to figure out how to consistently activate. How many times have you waved your wet, but clean sanitized hands, wildly in front of them, only to have them stare out at you blankly and refuse to spit out a towel. I've learned the key, and Ruth Mary and I shared our knowledge during the day, passing on to other women this very helpful information. If you're really nice to me, I might disclose the secret to you too. I hesitate to just broadcast it, however, because someone might tell the dispenser makers that we're on to them, and then we'll have to deal with the frustration all over again before we figure them out.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Ok - another rant!

During my 37 years as a practicing lawyer, I usually advised people against setting up Living Trusts, as most of the people I served really didn't need them. It was also my personal preference that these trusts, if they were set up, use corporate trustees only as a last resort. My personal opinion is that corporate trustees don't care much about the individual circumstances of the trust settlor or his/her beneficiaries. I think recent correspondence from the major bank whose symbol of progress is a depiction of 19th century mail delivery rather confirms my bias.

I am presently handling the assets of an adult with special needs whose major asset to help pay personal expenses and care is a trust being administered by said major bank. I have recently received a couple of letters that I find somewhat amusing.

In the first I am advised that my ward's "Relationship Manager" (he had a name and returned phone calls, but that's irrelevant now, I suppose.) would soon become a "Central Service Team" who can be reached through a post office box in Nevada or by calling the 800 number for said Central Service Team. I am then assured that this team is "familiar with [the] account." Not a lot of money involved here, so it's highly unlikely that the Team will be devoting much time to it. It does raise a question: How many Trust Professionals with extensive experience and training make up a Team?

The second letter I received again assures me that this "group of experienced professionals" is familiar with the account. But this one creates some confusion. It notes that although the administrative duties for the account have been moved to the "Centralized Trust Office" presumably at the PO Box in Nevada (how may Trust Professionals will fit into a Post Office Box?), the "current Investment Manager will remain the same."

So who would have the information I needed if I had a question about, say, the money needed for the care of my ward? And, while I'm told in this form letter that "we", presumably the Team will be working with me and consulting as necessary with the previous administrator, the letter is signed - well not exactly signed, as there is no signature as such - the letter is concluded with a Sincerely, Centralized Trust Office. I feel so loved and cared for. What kind of fools do they take us for?

Well, Duh!

The Week, October 16, 2009, "The World at a glance . . ."
"Bridgeport, Conn. Church papers to air . . . [T]he U.S. Supreme Court this week refused to block [the] release [of] "12,000 pages of documents, generated during 23 lawsuits against six priests accused of molesting young boys. . . .The documents could detail how and why church officials shuffled priests suspected of abuse from parish to parish. Lawyers for the diocese argued that the documents were protected by First Amendment religious privileges. 'The right of the church to determine the suitability of its own ministers has been compromised,' said Bridgeport Bishop William Lori."

I find that last comment to be as foolish, even downright stupid, as anything I've recently read. Probably, true, the church's right to determine suitability of its own ministers has been compromised, but the question is, by whom? The release of documents didn't do it. Possibly the behavior of the hypocritical bishops who shuffled the abusers from place to place and allowed them to perpetuate their sick crimes compromised a lot of integrity.

And then there is the additional hypocrisy of the Catholic church's stand on homosexuality. It's only bad if it is open, honest and often related to loving relationships. Sneaky, abusive and coercive behavior on the part of ordained priests is not, apparently, bad,but is, instead, behavior to be kept secret to protect the integrity of the clergy suitability decision.

When will we begin to recognize hypocrisy for what it is - lies covered by lies which contradict the first lies? How can people who reason in this manner be looked to for moral guidance by any segment of humanity?

Ok - I'm ranting again. Not sorry!

Oh Neat!

Winter in October - trust Mother Nature to remind me why I bought a second home in Phoenix. Ah, but isn't it pretty? Or not!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


My Bertie and The Princess were 13 years old yesterday - Oct. 9th. I'm so proud. They are in great health. They have lost two of their litter mates already, which is sad.

Also sad, the Twins lost a hard fought, mostly well played game yesterday. I'm still pretty darned proud of them. It is hard to watch the hated Yankees gloat and smirk. Arrogance is not a sportsmanlike behavior. Perhaps, though, I am too sensitive. It's probably not sportsmanlike to hate the Yankees as much as I find myself doing. I'll work to improve my attitude - next year. For now it's Damn Yankees!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

But I never do that!

Suddenly, on Tuesday evening, I was jumping about, clapping and cheering, all by myself in my usually quiet home. The "kids" didn't know what to make of it, and now I can't remember which of the Twins home runs caused me to leap up from my recliner with such enthusiasm. I just know that the roller coaster ride was a lot of fun. Thanks, Twins - all of you - for keeping the show alive. Wednesday is irrelevant. We'll see how things go on Friday. Maybe I'll be leaping up from my recliner again, but if not - we've had a great time.

Happy Birthday Little Brother

Actually, my little brother - whose birthday is today, October 8th - is not so little any more. He's only two years younger than I am, but he'll always be my little brother. As he so happily points out to me each year, no matter how old he is, he'll always be younger than I am.

I am grateful for my little brother. If not for Gerrit, who would I have picked on and fought with as a child. The lessons he might have taught me in tolerating annoying behavior could have been priceless, had I learned anything from them. I was very good at getting him into trouble, and he was very good at doing and saying annoying things that made me angry. We have outgrown these things now - mostly. He is a good man, hard working, a loving husband and father and well liked by those who know him. So HAPPY 69TH BIRTHDAY, brother Gerrit. May you have many more.

Monday, October 5, 2009

I can't believe I did that!

So I'm putting away the George Forman grill in the cupboard and there sits the rest of the frozen beans - there on the shelf where the pan I heat them in usually sits. Good thing I clean up after the meal. Otherwise this package of no longer frozen beans would have been sitting there at least overnight.

Where, oh where, was my head? Is this a bad sign? Cripes, I don't have time for senility, at least not yet.

Ah well - I'll forget all about it by the time the Vikings/Green Bay game is over.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Don't you believe it!

Just returned from a short, very short, walk with the "kids". It's cold as all get out, so I thought I'd check it out for wind chill number. I could see on my thermometer that it's 50. tells me it's 50 and "feels like 50" HA! Somehow they ignore their own statement that wind is 15 mph with gusts to 21 mph - that give us a wind chill and having been out in it, I say that wind chill is about 30. Meteorologists practicing, no doubt, for next year when they will have to waffle the figures to trap people into attending outdoor baseball in October or April. Wonder if they'll get a kickback from the stadium management.

So here I am once again wasting time talking about the weather, in part because I'm a Minnesotan, and we're coming into the season when that's about 80 percent of all conversations for the next six months. We're also still playing baseball, and for the next few days we'll be playing for the last times in the indoor Metrodome - that much maligned field where we have played in an 'unnatural' baseball environment for about 27 years. All I can think is, "Who in their right mind is going to attend a game on a day like this in our greatly touted wonderful new place to play baseball 'like it's meant to be played'?" What is so incredibly shortsighted is that we didn't even pop for a stadium to which a retractable roof could be added later, so when in years to come we are hearing complaints about this stadium, the only alternative will be to build a new one with a retractable roof.

Oh, I can hardly wait to hear Bert and Dick (our Twins broadcasters) extolling the joys of baseball in the snow, wind, sleet and cold. No baseballs lost in that miserable Teflon ceiling, but some may return from the heights covered in a sheet of freezing rain or snow. Oh what fun it is to catch a baseball coated in snow!