September 26, 2013

Text Conversations with a College Kid Or...

... Why my kids think I'm dense.

This was our conversation, remember he is a pledge at a fraternity:

Ringo: We had our first social last night.

Me: OH! Was it fun?

Ringo: Yeah, it was. We could bring as many girls as we wanted.

Me: How many did you bring?

Ringo: 3. The theme was Cowboy Bros and Navahoes.

*He sends me pictures of he and some girls, a series of pix*

Me: Hunh, that looks like fun! You look great.

He went to class, and I saved the pictures, thinking, 'They don't look very Indiany to me..."

An HOUR AND A HALF later, I was in the car with Bones, taking him to vocal lessons, when something popped into my head. Startled, I said to him, "Text your brother for me. Ask him if Navahoes means Indian Slut"

So he does.

And Ringo replies, "What does she think?"

The 'popping into my head' was the word 'Navahoe', I suddenly realized he'd misspelled it and then realized the play on words.

And now I know why they weren't dressed very Indiany. They were dressed kind of like sluts. With maybe a couple feathers in their hair.

Hunh.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:33 PM | Comments (8)

September 24, 2013

Bones Has a Girlfriend

And it would be the girl with the see through shirt that he refused to speak to until she put on some clothes.

After that incident, I noticed she was texting him a lot. She'd be somewhere she didn't want to be and she'd text him. She'd wake up and she'd text him.

So I've been waiting. From events I knew going on in her life via things Bones had said, suddenly from an outsider watching the events, he seemed like some sort of beacon.

I have this joke with my boys. They'll come through the kitchen to get food and I'll be washing dishes and I'll say, "How's your girlfriend?" to which the reply is always the same, "I don't have a girlfriend..."

And so it was Monday when I randomly said to Bones, "How's your girlfriend?" and he said, "Fine".

And that got a stop from me, a look up, and I said, "It's Lisa, isn't it?" and he nodded his head and walked out.

So there you have it.

------------------

There is a cute little girl that goes to T's school. We've known her since she was 5 and I like her a lot. She is smart, funny, pretty. I had hoped that T would date her.

My husband hoped that too.

Today in the car, I did a rendition of "how's your girlfriend" and said, "How's Mary?" to which he replied, "She got her phone and car taken away..."

This is an honors student. This is a polite girl who we really really like. What in the hell does a girl like that do to have her car and phone taken away.

I was stunned and said, "What in the world did she do to warrant THAT?"

He said simply, "They thought she was partying too hard."

I wasn't sure how to respond to that. It turns out she drinks a lot and the kicker was when she was caught driving while high.

I was devastated.

I sat there quietly sad. Finally I said, "I'm sad. I didn't know..."

T was driving at the time. He looked over at me quietly getting small in the passenger seat and said, 'Mom, everyone does that crap".

I looked over and said, 'Do they make fun of you because you don't?"

He smiled and said reassuringly, "No. It doesn't bother them a bit."

I don't understand the world. There are days I feel like hiding...

Posted by Boudicca at 07:41 PM | Comments (6)

September 15, 2013

Messing with Bones

Curriculum Night at Bones' school is Tuesday night. We're already having issues and so it's good timing.

My husband and I are both going. For the record, we have always gone, but until now, we've always had to divide and conquer. Now, we can go and listen without having to run from classroom to classroom due to multiple kids.

My husband has a board meeting, but has deemed this more important, so he's going with me.

This was our conversation today.

Bones, with attitude: I just don't understand why you are BOTH going.

Me: To meet your teachers.

Bones: But BOTH of you? Dad, there is no reason for you to go. You can go to your meeting and just Mom can go.

Hunhead: Oh, well, I have to go. I have to go to tell them what a horrible person you are.

Me: I'm going to make sure he doesn't leave anything out.

Hunhead: Yup. Because they need to hear it.

Me: Tag team.

Hunhead: in stereo.

Me: cuz, you know, we're getting old and one of us might forget to say something nasty about you.

Bones: I don't believe this. You all aren't even funny.

Me, looking at my husband: funny? I wasn't trying to be funny... were you?

Hunhead: Nope. Just putting it out there the way it is...

Bones: I'm still not laughing...

And he walked out.

Sheesh. Can't parents take interest in a kids' life? Oh wait. I forgot he's a teenager now. That would be a NO.

It's going to be so fun to mess with his head when we get back and tell him how we had big conferences talking behind his back...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:23 PM | Comments (11)

September 14, 2013

When Your Kid Lives Inside Your Head

It's late and I'm up trying to pull some stuff together for a conference I'm planning this weekend. We thought there'd be between 300-350 women and it's pushing 470. So, it's kind of crazy here as I get some finishing touches on things that required last minute look-sees.

I realized it was time for me to get to bed. I'm not sleeping lately between a big puzzle I'm working at work and this conference. I got up and realized the TV was still on.

I don't watch TV.

At all.

Which means... I don't know how to operate it. We have two remotes, one for the TV and one for the cable box and I can't tell you which is which and which one is the one to turn on and off the TV, not because it's complicated, but because quite simply, I cannot be bothered.

I don't care.

So I was sitting here, getting ready to shut down and I could hear the TV playing and I realized everyone was sleeping but me. (A common occurrence. You know you are a woman of a certain age when you cannot sleep, check your email at 2AM, respond to something and get a response back from another woman of a certain age within 5 minutes and you then proceed to have an hour long email conversation, hammering out details to whatever project is being worked. Scary that this has happened more than once and with more than one woman...)

I thought, "Dang it, I have to turn off the TV" and I walked in and started running my hand up and down the side of the TV because I KNOW there is a button there somewhere. Screw remotes, show me the button.

Finally, not finding it, I went over to the remote that was on the ottoman and found that there was a green sticky note next to it.

The green sticky note had an arrow written on it, directly in line with the off button of the remote and in Bones' handwriting it said, "Push this button to turn off the TV" and I busted out laughing.

He needs noise to sleep. I don't know how to turn off the TV. So he left me a note, KNOWING full well I'd be sitting there trying to figure out how to turn it off.

It reminded me of last week. We're trying to get the hedgehog's nails trimmed, an odd conversation in itself. It's not going well.

Finally in exasperation, Bones said, 'Call a vet...'

I look up a phone number, tell Bones about it, and suddenly I find the vet's phone number on my computer, at my dinner plate, in my car.

Finally, one day at work, I looked down at the my cell phone and there was a text message from Bones that said, "If you've fallen and have to call a vet, you would want to call, xxx-xxxx".

No, it doesn't make sense, but it was a play on various words and it was yet another poke at me to call the vet. And it made me laugh.

Which he's good at doing because he's a funny guy.

Posted by Boudicca at 10:58 PM | Comments (3)

September 13, 2013

The Bones Police

My husband took the boys to the UM UF game last weekend. We won't be going to another Miami game... ever... for any reason.

It had nothing to do with the loss. It had to do with the low quality fans.

As my husband walked back to his car with the kids, strangers were cussing at my kids. Telling them to go the F*** home, that Gator fans weren't f***ing welcome in Miami. That maybe they thought they were still in Florida, but they made a mistake, they were in f***ing Miami now and they needed to go the f*** home and never come back.

And it went on the entire way back to the car. So we won't come back.

Fights were breaking out all of the parking lot. My family watched as a guy was being beaten to a pulp and when my husband grabbed a cop to tell them the reply was, "Sir, we have our hands full. We can't help everyone."

So he took my boys to where some emergency personnel were gathered and told them instead.

Yeah, we won't go back. We don't recommend anyone go down there for a game. It's not safe.

------------------------

Bones has become the dress code police at school. He still has not found a dress code.

There is a group of kids that hang out together. Yesterday, one of the girls showed up wearing shorts, a bra, and a completely see-through shirt with flowers on it.

He could not believe it.

She came up to him to say something and he said, "I'm not talking to you until you get some clothes on..." and he walked away.

I guess it caught on with the guys and all the guys told her the same.

By the end of the day, she'd found a sweater to put on. And as soon as she was covered, all the guys started speaking to her again.

We've been laughing about it.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:19 PM | Comments (5)

September 07, 2013

The RatMobile: Conclusion...

This is the conclusion of the Rat story! Finally!!! The previous installments come from e-mail I sent family and friends in October of 2003. They are written in present tense and other than names, I have altered nothing. To recap, I discovered I had a rodent living in my dash, my husband was out of town, in an irrational frenzy I tried to sell my mini-van before he got home, and am now setting multiple traps and am awaiting the demise of said rodent. This is my ongoing saga... woman vs. rodent-Bou

October, 2003

I was VICTORIOUS last night. I woke up this morning, checked the trap outside the car, saw his dead body lying underneath it (the trap was flipped over), closed the door, and called my husband for carcass removal. I have no problems trapping them, but body disposal is more than I can stomach. Isn’t that a fringe benefit of being married, bug killing and rat disposal?

I promptly called Toyota to forewarn Steve that I would be showing up with a chewed on mini-van. The first thing he said was, “Are you sure you got him?” and I replied, “Do you want me to bring the body to show you?” He declined, thankfully.

The full extent of the damage was not fully understood until 11:00. The mechanic, Jay, had me come out to the car and realized his original estimation of 3 hours was wrong when I told him to remove the panels covering the wiring harnesses on the passenger side too. There was silence.

The rat had chewed through 2 or 3 wiring harnesses; the connectors were still hanging on by one wire in most cases. On up the wiring harnesses, he had discriminately chewed only the yellow wires. Every yellow wire was shredded.

To get a better look, Jay removed the insulation and rat poop and chewed wired fell out all over. I looked without emotion although I thought I might vomit. I didn't want to be labeled, “A Girl”. He looked emotionless and kept working like this happened all the time. When we spoke later in the day after I had gotten to know him, he told me he was quietly freaking out, but didn't want to alarm me.

We both agreed that a full can of Lysol was in order before he touched anything again. What more damage could he do??? Everyone agreed they had never seen anything like this. The service folk at Toyota have taken to naming the rat, “Mighty Mouse”. I told them I preferred my friend’s nickname, “Rat Bastard”.

The dash must be removed because the major wiring harness that runs between passenger and driver’s side has been irreparably damaged. There is no way to fix this, there would be too much splicing involved. Everything must be fully replaced. I have a car rental now and we expect it to take a full week for the repair. Jay thinks tomorrow when he removes the dashboard he’ll be able to see better if there is more extensive damage. He said it’ll take 2-3 hours to assess the damage, cross reference the parts, and put the order in. They have never ordered wiring harnesses for my vehicle. They’re built to last the lifetime of the car.

Toyota is keeping my car also because this has been deemed a safety hazard for me to drive it. I was the most concerned about wire harness chafing and a potential fire hazard. They were the most concerned about not knowing what all the wires were connected to and one good bump, things could quit working that are working now. For sure we know that nothing on the passenger side works. We can’t lock the doors or roll down the windows. The ‘open door indicator’ light is still on, but I grew concerned that a short in the air bag could cause my air bag to go off and we don’t even want to go into how that is my biggest fear being a 5’2” woman, not much bigger than the average 12 year old. If a car wreck doesn't kill me, the air bag will.

So that’s where I am. The rat is dead. My car is a mess. I’m driving a rental.

On the positive side, every man I have worked with through this has been great to me. The folks at Enterprise are giving me insurance rates on the van rental even though I don’t have rental coverage on my insurance. The mechanic and service guys at my Toyota dealership are going above and beyond. When I had to pick up my kids from school, the manager of the dealership let me borrow his van to get the kids and run errands, with the only stipulation I be back before he left at 5:00. There are some truly great people out there and incidents like this keep my faith and hope that all is not lost on this planet.

That said, here are a few things that have happened via e-mail. First, this is not uncommon. I have heard from many people now (including Toyota personnel) who have related stories of mice getting caught in car A/Cs and dying in there, leaving an awful stench. No thank you. I have heard of another person who had a rat and had their seats eaten into. For some reason, this brings comfort to me. Don’t ask why, I don’t know.

Second, a friend of mine jokingly said she would use her Glock to take out the rat, setting an example for others and to take out his whole rodent gang too. So do you think she may be half Italian? ;-) There will be no target practice with rodents in my garage. My POA would have a fit and of course I would miss and the bullet would ricochet and kill me instead, insuring the Rodent’s win in this life or death contest. I preferred his death over mine.

Third should any of you meet my sister, Morrigan, please let her know that rats truly are more disgusting than squirrels. She informed me the other day that “The only difference between a rat and a squirrel is a squirrel has a better outfit.” Nope. It isn't an outfit thing, I promise. Rats are just creepy gross. I could watch a squirrel battling my Dad’s bird feeder for hours. I couldn't watch a rat do anything… for even a nanosecond. Ick. I think I may be scarred for life.

And in case any of you had any doubt as to whether I was obsessing over this (I assure you, I was!), here is a key indicator… this had seeped into my subconscious. I awoke Tuesday night to a nightmare. I dreamt I was sitting on the hood of my car in my garage, waiting for nightfall so I could see the rat come out and kill him once and for all. It got dark and suddenly all these rodents crawled out from under my car and the garage shelves, mice, a rat, hamsters and gerbils. All I kept thinking was, “Oh My God! I don’t have enough traps!” Yeah, I would say I was a little obsessed.

Now he’s dead. Now it’s over except for paying the bills. Hopefully my insurance company will pick up a good portion of that tab. –D.

Posted by Boudicca at 09:43 PM | Comments (3)

September 06, 2013

Part V of V (excluding the conclusion): It's NOT a Mouse!!!

These 5 installments come from e-mail I sent family and friends in October of 2003. They are written in present tense and other than names, I have altered nothing. To recap, I discovered I had a rodent living in my dash, my husband was out of town, in an irrational frenzy I tried to sell my mini-van before he got home, and am now setting multiple traps and am awaiting the demise of said rodent. This is my ongoing saga... woman vs. rodent-Bou

October 2003
Holy Sweet Mother Of Jesus! It is not a mouse! It’s a rat and you are officially getting a play by play. OH MY GOD. I am having a damn heart attack as I write this. OH MY GOD.

I was at my car putting in my freshly cooked bacon. I was at the passenger side door. I placed the bacon in and was gingerly closing the door. I don’t want to do anything that might trip those traps. I want it loaded for him. Out of the corner of my eye I see something quietly moving along the kid’s bikes. The garage light is on, mind you. It is not afraid. I look over and it is a damn rat and he is big.

I swear on my three boys, that here I was between the truck and the van, 12 inches between each, and the next thing I know, I have crawled up between the two of them up to the windows. I have a foot on each side of the car and I have literally walked up both sides of the cars, not breathing, staring at the biggest damn rat I’ve ever seen other than the one my Dad bludgeoned to death with a flashlight when we lived in Taiwan. (That is a whole other story.) I am my father’s daughter, but I am not bludgeoning this thing to death. I can’t bring myself to get that close. I might vomit.

My husband isn’t home. I refuse to go back in the garage. When he gets back, we’ll set multiple traps. I am so not happy. I only have two rat traps and three little bitty mouse traps. That bag boy/man at Publix was right. Oh this is bad bad bad, very very bad. -D

Conclusion tomorrow!!! Who won? Mom or Mouse? Stay tuned! Same rat time, same rat channel...

Posted by Boudicca at 10:02 PM | Comments (3)

September 05, 2013

Part IV of V: Mouse 3, Mom 0

These 5 installments come from e-mail I sent family and friends in October of 2003. They are written in present tense and other than names, I have altered nothing. To recap, I discovered I had a rodent living in my dash, my husband was out of town, in an irrational frenzy I tried to sell my mini-van before he got home, and am now setting multiple traps and am awaiting the demise of said rodent. This is my ongoing saga... woman vs. rodent-Bou

October 2003
He won. The Patron Saint of Mice must be looking after this little bugger. He got some bait, he chose my husband’s cheese over my peanut butter and sunflower seed, tripped the trap, but got away. We’re at war now. My husband thinks the trap tripped itself and the mouse is gone.

I know he’s in denial.

Been there, done that. I know better.

The mouse is there, waiting for nightfall so he can continue to chew through the foam in my seats and gnaw at my wiring. I realize at this point that the mouse has a cheering section now. Yes, I have received e-mail that some of you are now cheering for the mouse. You must know, he is going to die. I am taking extra steps….

Today I called Toyota. Luckily my favorite service guy, who has become a kindred spirit of mine over the years, was available. He has helped me through all sorts of jams from my calling him from my garage so he could listen via phone to some funky start up noise my car was making to the time my kids used my CD player as a juke box and filled it with 16 cents in change.

I get hold of Steve and tell him what my problem is and ask him if there is anything he can do. He is speechless and says, “D., there is nothing I can do until you get it out of there. I would fog it out.” I tell him that is not going to happen; I don’t want to take any chances that the daggum thing might die in there. So he starts openly consulting the mechanics and service attendants around him.

I can hear them all through the phone.

Laughing.

Someone yells, she needs a rat trap and he yells back, “She did that.” Another guys says, “Yes… but did she use bacon?” Steve gets back on and says, “Use bacon. You know how we love bacon, well they do too.”

Since when did we start to relate to rodents??? I thank him and tell him I’ll see him in a couple days as I know that the ne’er do well has eaten not only through the wires of my “Open Door Indicator” light, but also he’s munched on some stereo and speaker wires. No telling what else he’s eaten.

I decide I need MORE mouse traps as well as bacon. I’m in line at Publix and I see my favorite cashier, Barbara. We start to talk and I tell her about the mouse. It just so happens that the bag boy/man knows something about trapping and tells me I need to take a fire to the bacon in my car so it smells like bacon throughout the car, before I wrap it tightly to the trap.

This ‘wrapping tightly to the trap’ thing seems to be a common sentiment.One of the mechs at Toyota said the same thing. I don’t want him feasting yet again and not getting trapped. I guess I want him to wrestle with it to his untimely death. Tonight I will cook a little bacon in my car. Yes, I am resorting to that.

I am ignoring the bag boy/man’s thought that I have a rat instead of a mouse. Heavily accented, I have no clue where he’s from, I get from him, “Ohhh myyy, ‘e eez eateeng your seats? You ‘ave a rat, not a mouse. Deese eez a rat problem.” Great.

Meanwhile I have told my boys. You are thinking, “Why?!” Well I had to tell my carpool neighbor. I can’t haul all the kids in the truck. (I am no longer driving my van.) I can’t carpool until I kill this thing. I told everyone at my Auction dinner table on Saturday night because, let’s face it, it makes a damn funny story and there was great laughter. I’ve sent out an e-mail. My kids are going to hear about it eventually. So I told them.

Son#3 is a pain in my neck and must take after my sister, Morrigan. He now walks into the garage and sniffs the air and says things like, “Hmm, I smell mouse poop. That must be coming from the car.” Trust me, there is no smell of mouse poop in my garage.

And for those of you who knew I was having lingering feelings of ‘ick’ about killing a mammal or rather, openly plotting to kill a mammal, those feelings are gone. He dies. Tonight. Let’s just hope he is not a ‘she’ and isn’t having babies in my dash. –D.

Posted by Boudicca at 06:09 PM | Comments (1)

September 04, 2013

Happy Bday TGOO and Late one TN

My brother's birthday was last month and I totally forgot to wish him a happy birthday. We celebrate in July when we're at my folks' home.

So happy late one, TN. I have saved you from getting a very weird gift in the mail from Bones, but I'm not sure I'll be able to keep you from receiving it at Thanksgiving.

And my Dad's big day is today. My two younger boys called him to wish him the best. Bones was pacing the house giving my Dad his life story. I'd be surprised if Dad got more than 5 words out of T unless they talked football, and then he'd get a book.

Dad and I are hoping to stomp through a courthouse or two and a graveyard or two this fall and look for dead people.

There should be a whole lot of them... we just need to find the right ones.

He's enjoying reminiscing about the rat. We were on the phone every day as I tried to kill that sucker...

Happy Birthday, Dad! We love you.

Posted by Boudicca at 08:39 PM | Comments (6)

Part III of V... Mouse 2, Mom 0

Part III of V... Mouse 2, Mom 0
These 5 installments come from e-mail I sent family and friend in October of 2003. They are written in present tense and other than names, I have altered nothing. The 2nd installment is HERE, and the first is HERE. To recap, I discovered I had a rodent living in my dash, my husband was out of town, in an irrational frenzy I tried to sell my mini-van before he got home, and I've now set a big ass rat trap with peanut butter and am awaiting the demise of said rodent. This is my ongoing saga... woman vs. rodent-Bou

Last night he got yet another free meal. My husband checked the trap this morning and it was not only NOT tripped, but he had gotten one of the sunflower seeds.

I fed him again, like a pet.

I could not figure out for the life of me what I was doing wrong. I have to lay blame on two things: the directions for the trap and my memory.

I lay blame for the directions because they DO NOT show you how a trap gets set. There are no after pictures. They don’t show you what it looks like baited. If that were not bad enough, they don’t give directions either.

This is a sample: Pull lever back. Bait trap. Set trap. That’s it. Hulloooo????

So I did all this, but I put the bait on the board. I worked in the high tech world of aerospace too long. For some reason I thought this trap must be pressure sensitive or something. I figured the mouse just had to lay a foot on it and BLAMMO, he was dead. Nope. There is this little trigger mechanism that you have to put the food on and trust me, it doesn't look like anything you put a foot on. It’s this bent up piece of metal with a hole in it. Don’t ask what the hole is for. I have no clue. The first time I set it out, I thought that’s where the rod went when you set it. Wrong.

Since it isn't a high tech pressure sensitive piece of equipment, my new pet got to eat to his heart’s content and not worry about being decapitated or whatever it does. I guess it isn't a guillotine, but I figure it’s got to be ugly.

Anyway, I blame my memory because the only thing I can remember from setting rat traps is what I saw from Tom and Jerry cartoons 25 years ago. Maybe that’s why Jerry always got away. I could swear they placed the bait on the wood part of the trap… but I think perhaps my memory has failed me and I am wrong. Jerry was just smart.

Today I have two traps. Tonight is the night. Tonight he dies.

On the driver’s side I have his choice of a trap with cheese and on the passenger side he gets last night’s entree of peanut butter and sunflower seed. It is all set properly now and the bait is in the proper place. I don’t see how he can get out of it this time. I think it’s a done deal. I feel so certain, that I got a sitter for tomorrow so I can drive my van to Toyota so they can fix the wiring mess. I’m kind of afraid to see what all has been chewed on. I am pretty sure my stereo and speaker wires got munched.

On a lighter note, my dear friend E. is married to a retired Army General. He rode with Patton while liberating a concentration camp in Germany during WWII and was a General during ‘Nam.

The man has seen everything.

So she sends me an e-mail informing me that next time I need anything trapped to call her and she’ll send him over. It seems he’s quite the expert on trapping things. I don’t know. Calling in the General, although tempting, makes me feel like I lost. I just can’t literally call in the troops for a mouse.

I’m going to win this, without the cavalry. –D.

Posted by Boudicca at 05:35 PM | Comments (1)

September 03, 2013

Part II of V: Mouse 1, Mom 0


Part II of V: Mouse 1, Mom 0
These 5 installments come from e-mail I sent family and friend in October of 2003. They are written in present tense and other than names, I have altered nothing. The first installment is HERE. To recap, I discovered I had a rodent living in my dash, my husband was out of town, in an irrational frenzy I tried to sell my mini-van before he got home, and I've now set a big ass rat trap with peanut butter and am awaiting the demise of said rodent. -Bou

October, 2003

Right now the mouse is winning. I am surmising that he is too small to trip the big rat trap I bought, so now I will buy a mouse trap and set it tonight. I thought he hadn’t even touched the peanut butter since the trap looked untouched, but when I got in the car this afternoon, once again, there was insulation at my feet and in the passenger side, there was torn up foam, which tells me he is trying to eat inside my seats!

I called my sister and said I had to change strategies, that I needed to buy mouse traps and that I was thinking of putting sunflower seeds on top of the peanut butter in case he remembers the peanut butter from the night before and wants something different. She is such a smart ass. She said, “Oh yeah, -D., because that’s how mice think. They say things to themselves like, ‘Oh, I remember that from last night. No thank you, I’ll pass on that. Oh, but wait! There are sunflower seeds now! I must try it!’”

I’m putting less peanut butter on the mouse traps. The thought of having to clean up a ¼ Cup of peanut butter from the carpets of my car is unbearable. My Dad said I over did it and that really only a tsp or so would do the trick. I’m not kidding. I put ¼ cup on that stupid rat trap. And he didn’t even trip it!

Needless to say, when I was driving the kid’s to a birthday party this afternoon, looking at the evidence that this mouse is still in my car, I was driving stiff again. I must look like a lunatic on the road. My husband gets back tonight, luckily. I’m driving the truck tomorrow. -D

Posted by Boudicca at 01:42 PM | Comments (4)

September 02, 2013

Changing Times

My son was home for the weekend. We took him to the Greyhound station to make the haul back to school.

You know... it is odd... but taking him up in the family car was just no big deal. But putting him on a Greyhound bus, felt like he was more adult. (He has a buddy that he caught the bus with.)

We're looking at trains and buses for him to come home when he needs/wants. There isn't a lot of want as he's pretty dang busy.

-------------

From Bones the other day:

"I found a Green hair on my desk today."

Heh.

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All three of my boys were studying last night. Who were these people and what did they do with my children?

Even Ringo, who I had to beat up all through high school to study, was studying...

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More on rats and cars tomorrow...

Posted by Boudicca at 04:20 PM | Comments (3)

September 01, 2013

Part I of V (I think): Discovery and Irrationality

As promised... the story of the rat in my car, as resurrected from my old blog. Just as an FYI, I used to send stories of my children and the crazy crap that happened via email to family and friends. This is where this all came from. Also, the Joe referenced in this story, is not the Joe that was my father in law's best friend, but a man across the street. And this was the first van I owned... I got rid of it in 2004.
-------------------------------

These 5 installments come from e-mail I sent family and friend in October of 2003. They are written in present tense and other than names, I have altered nothing. This first installment is the longest. -Bou.

October 2003
My sister knew this was coming. I called her this morning in complete hysterics, a combination of laughing and crying and one of the last things she said when we hung up was, “I can feel a story coming out of this.”

Let me start by saying that my van is very lived in. Many of you have heard the numerous stories of what has occurred in my van. I have thought of writing about my life with my three boys and entitling one of the chapters, “Something is Fermenting in My Car.” Yes, that has happened… twice. About two weeks ago, I tore my van apart. I took out the car seats and every back seat and spent over two hours cleaning it from top to bottom. Armoral, windex, vacuuming and a lot of elbow grease. It was almost like a new vehicle. It even smelled different. I cannot believe I did not have a bug problem. Son#3 is the biggest culprit since he lives in my van 4 hours a day. I was aghast at the residue that has collected under the back seats. Along with the science experiments, I also found at least $100 in kid’s electronic equipment, a Game Boy Advance that had been missing two weeks and had fallen between the seats, invisible unless the seats were removed, as well as Game Boy cartridges we didn’t even remember we had. Suffice it to say, I declared to my three boys that this would NEVER happen again. My car was to remain clean. And for the most part, it did.

On Monday, Son#3 had a project where they all made trail mix for class. In it were corn chex, seeds, and candy corn. That is the only food we have kept in the car since it is good travel food. It stays in a plastic bag. This morning, we are getting ready for Son#2’s last soccer game. I get in my car seat and notice that there is all this ‘fluff’ at my feet. It looked like cotton or insulation… nesting came to mind. I immediately yelled to the back if any of them had put it there, to which they all replied ‘no’. I asked if anyone knew what it was and Son#3 said, “yes”. I was hopeful. He said, “Sure Mom, its fuzz.” No help and I could feel myself starting to panic. As I put the key in the ignition, I noticed the ‘car door indicator light’ was on. I got out, closed all the doors, and got back in my seat. The light remained on. I could feel the horror rising inside me. We had to go to soccer practice, so I chose to leave.

As I am driving down the street, I am slowly taking assessment of my front car area. I find the corn chex mix is open. It’s been chewed on. I find pellets. I realize… I have either a rat or a mouse in my car and in my mind, neither are good. I can’t tell my kids. They may freak. They may tell their father. And they will definitely tell the world and at that point, I wasn’t ready for the world to know and I sure as hell didn’t want their Dad to know. He’s in NYC lecturing, so this is something I have to fix on my own. I figured I had 24 hours to make this situation disappear.

I call my “Go To Girl”, my sister. I’m laughing, but it wasn’t a funny laugh, but a near hysterical laughter, an incredible “I can’t believe this is happening to me” laughter. As we started to talk, I realized I was driving completely frozen. The only thing moving was my right foot on the pedals. I was at this point completely terrified, I know this thing must be in my dash, and as I’m talking to her I realize I am no longer laughing, now I’m crying because this is just flat out horrible. I have to get rid of it and I can’t let it die in my car. It’s a bad day when you have a rodent in your car. It’s a REALLY REALLY bad day when you have a dead rodent in your car, in particular your dash. At this point I have realized that the rodent had eaten through the wires that feed the ‘open door indicator light’. I cannot lock all my doors. The van won’t allow you to lock your doors if a door is open. Go figure. Or maybe he chewed through some wire that doesn’t allow me to lock all my doors.

I get to soccer with the boys, having collected myself. Son#2 is playing an awesome game as goalie. I’m spending the whole game thinking of how I will keep this from my husband and wondering if a rat/mouse can live in 100 degree heat in a van for an hour, without dying. I finally start to talk to some of the Moms about it. I’m trying to process to figure out how I can fix this. I get no help from them. They’re just as freaked as I am. By the end of soccer practice I decide to vacuum my car then take it to Toyota and tell them, “Make this go away. I don’t care how much it costs, make this situation go away.” As I get to my car, I realize, that may not be the best, so I decided to call my neighbor, Joe, who is about my father’s age and has gotten me out of some real jams with his wise and clear thinking.

I get home, vacuum my car and call Joe. He tells me it is not uncommon for this to happen. (surprise) I told him there was nothing left for the rat/mouse to eat, so I was hoping that this would just go away over night. He informs me that it won’t just go away that mice like to eat insulation and wires. Great. He tells me I need to buy a trap for it. I’m starting to freak again and tell him that I know for sure, without a shadow of a doubt that I will be emotionally scarred for life if I come out in the morning and find a dead rodent in my car. He calmly tells me that if I can kill it, he’ll remove it for me. I tell him it’s a deal. I call my Dad, he informs me I should bait it with Peanut Butter.

I don’t know what possessed me, but in some weird flaked out moment of near hysteria, I get this bonehead idea that instead of killing this rodent, that I should sell my van in the next 24 hours before my husband gets home. I know I know, it is hard to believe that anyone could be that completely irrational, but it is true. It just so happens that Joe is selling his Honda mini van with essentially no miles and I’m thinking to myself, “I’ll call my spouse and tell him that we’re going to buy Joe’s van today. He’ll never know, I’ll get rid of this tomorrow down at Toyota and I’ll take this to my grave… with Joe and my Dad and all the soccer Moms.”

So I call my husband and tell him Joe’s van is for sale and I think we should buy it. He’s in NYC lecturing and is on his lunch break. He is puzzled and tells me that we’re going to stick to my plan of waiting until next year. I could shoot myself right about now for being so adamant that we didn’t need a new vehicle. Ugh. At some point, I end up confessing to him that I’m dealing with a rat/mouse problem and I’ll have it taken care of by the time he comes home. I hang up totally deflated that I was unable to unload my vehicle and really did have to contend with the rat. Mind you, I still have things to do. I had the big school auction tonight, which I was going to stag. His concern is now that I’m going to be driving down I-95, the rat/mouse is going to jump out, I’ll see it and get in a wreck and kill myself. The other option is for me to take his sports car. I envision myself dinging a door, scratching the paint, or doing something else to it and decide it is a safer bet to drive the ratmobile. I have also convinced myself that the rodent is gone. It’s amazing what games your mind can play.

I bought the rat traps, telling the boys we have one in the garage.

I went to the Auction, without incident, except for the fact I can’t lock my doors. That is a bad feeling. Ick. I worried about car jackers and other predators.

I came home. I read the directions to the rat trap and they are not specific enough. They don’t have enough written directions and a picture of what a rat trap looks like set would have been extraordinarily helpful. I could have done without the directions in French and Spanish. I have no idea if I set it right. I put the Peanut Butter on there like my Dad said. I put it on the floor board of my car. I’m hoping the rodent will catch a whiff and take a bite and die. One of the Dads at the Auction said to me, “finding a humane cage mouse trap is difficult.” I looked at him and said, “Cage?! Are you kidding me. I want this thing dead. Now. Yesterday. There will be no caging.” He looked at me like I was some cold heartless wench. I want that thing dead. I just don’t want to remove its carcass.

I know the rat/mouse is in there. As I placed the trap I heard it in my dash. So much for denial. Now I wait. I am hoping I set it right. I am hoping that the rat/mouse takes the bait. And I am hoping I don’t get splattered Peanut Butter all over my car when it trips because I think I may have over done it. Dad didn’t say how much, so I put a lot. So here is to hoping that tomorrow morning I find a dead rodent and no Peanut Butter goop to clean up.

On a positive note, I won the full car detailing from Wash and Wax World at the Auction. Maybe they are good at getting Peanut Butter out of floor mats. –D.

Posted by Boudicca at 12:38 PM | Comments (8)