Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Holiday Highspeed Edition- Not a Creature was Stirring

I should probably begin this post with the most pertinent information first.   Finally, after a year of painful buffering and loading, our household is now equipped with highspeed WIRELESS Internet service.  I feel that this event has overshadowed the majestic wonder of Christmas.  So I am hoping that this will mean more frequent (perhaps shorter) posts for Annabelle's chickens. In a sense, I have been given the gift of time.

My initial intention of this post was to post the holiday season in 1-3 parts.  And even though we had a wonderful Christmas, I didn't feel it was post-worthy. And unless I can write a few paragraphs on eating dip and falling asleep during a movie around 10:15, I am certain my New Year's Eve was not.  Though it may be worth mentioning that I regained custody of my Wii which had been loaned out for the past year or two due to lack of interest,  and Bryan hooked it up in the basement. Bryan claims he wouldn't enjoy playing but I, of course, forced him to play with me any way. He enjoyed it more than he thought he would.

Sadly, it was just another confirmation that the animals in my house believe themselves to be geniuses but I have it on good authority that they are stupid.  If you have played Wii Bowling you know that the movement mimics that of real bowling and therefore you have to "throw" or "release" the ball down the lane.  Milton and Bernie were going absolutely berserk in the basement. Each time Bryan or I would bowl those two idiots would run all over the place attempting to retrieve what we threw. I suppose some could look at that from the other side and try to convince me that it displays some element of a through process, but I disagree.  It also proves my point that I can do NOTHING in this house without a dog or a child underneath my feet. 

It also confirms that I am awesome because I won. Both games. By a lot.

So as my first post with highspeed Internet and my first post in 2013 I decided to share some Thanksgiving memories. I wanted very much to post on or around Thanksgiving as it was the one year birthday of this blog.  But, due to the amount of time and energy it takes to post with lackluster web service prevented me from doing so.  I couldn't help but look back at my very first Annabelle's Chickens post, which was right after I moved out to the country and was hosting Thanksgiving with an eight week old baby, and a house full of unpacked boxes.  Sadly after going through our camera we did not have any pictures of our turkey or our doggies this Thanksgiving. Just pictures of Annabelle being adorable, and aren't we all getting a little sick of those pictures?

This Thanksgiving proved to be more manageable given the fact that I was completely moved in and did not have to worry about unpacking everything I owned while cooking a 23 pound turkey. If you are worried that being settled in my house for a year removed some of the element of excitement from the holiday, do not fret.  As always, there was excitement.

My mother, who had been staying with me for a few days to help me (and was a colossal help), woke up on the morning of Thanksgiving with the flu and was completely unable to help me in the kitchen.  I'm sure it was a very enjoyable experience for her to awake at 6:00 in the morning with the stomach flu, only to open her door and be greeted with the aroma of onions and sausage frying in the kitchen.  I was forced to tackle most of the cooking alone, for the first time.

Despite being terrified of hosting this meal without help from my mom, I think dinner went off without a hitch. The food was hot and only one batch of stuffing was ruined in the process. Thankfully I made approximately eight pounds of stuffing, so there was plenty to spare.

After dinner my dad and aunt decided to play Gin Rummy and Bryan and I embarked upon our first Cribbage game in well over a year.  It was a Norman Rockwell painting.  We sipped our coffee and unbuttoned our pants and enjoyed some time with the family.   About the time I allowed myself to bask in the glory of a self made holiday victory, one of my nieces began screaming from the living room.

"RAT!  THERE'S A RAT IN HERE!  RAT!"  While deep down I knew there could not be a rat in our home, I remembered that Annabelle was sitting in the living room playing on the floor so I sprang from my seat to see what was the matter.  Visions of rabies or the Black Plague or whatever the hell diseases rats are accused of spreading danced through my head. 

I snatched Annabelle off the ground just in case the creature was hiding and waiting to pounce.  My sister, being the same type of mother I am, also rushed into the living room but only to clamp her hand over her daughter's mouth to prevent her from screaming the word rat one more time.

After a line of questioning we ascertained that it was most likely a mouse.  Of course it was.  Why wouldn't there be a mouse in broad daylight in a house full of people...correction...MY house full of people on Thanksgiving Day?  As I was trying to calm myself and family members down I realized that Bryan was still in the kitchen in front of the Cribbage board eating pie.  I went into the kitchen and sat next to him and quietly asked if he was going to come investigate.  Here is how that conversation went:

ME: Are you going to come in the living room and investigate?
B: Investigate what?
ME: The mouse.
B: What do you want me to do? 
ME: puzzled silence
B: If there's a mouse I'll set some traps later. It's gone now, you want me to go in there and find it and shoot it?
ME:  stony silence
B: stony silence
ME:  Well you need to come in there.
B: I'm eating my pie. What do you want me to do about it?
ME:  Pretend to care.  When you have a mouse in your house with a houseful of people on Thanksgiving you need to pretend to care.

Later when my sister and her family had gone home the rest of us were sitting in the living room swapping mouse tales (pun intended) and my mother reminded me of the last time Bryan and I were together and had a cat, Elvis.  I am not a cat person. I don't trust cats and find them to be fickle and snobby. But I loved Elvis. He was a good cat.  So fourteen years ago when Bryan and I lived together in sin  as young lovers we also had a mouse in the house.  Because I was a softer and gentler soul fourteen years ago I wanted to Bryan to use a sticky trap so as not to kill the mouse (sorry...I have since changed my tune).  I will never forget the morning that there was a mouse on the sticky trap and Bryan set it on the counter to prepare for disposal and Elvis jumped on the counter and slammed his paw down on that mouse, thus getting the mouse and the trap stuck to his paw and running around the kitchen with a trapped mouse stuck to his furry body. 

As we were reminiscing about this and other mouse antics, a little grey mouse went running across the floor again. Once again I found myself scooping my toddler of the floor and demanding a solution from the man of the house. Remembering what a good mouse Elvis was I suggested that we bring one of the dozens of stupid cats in from outside so they might earn their keep.  Bryan contemplated this idea for a moment and shook his head no. He pointed out that the "farm cats" that live here are so fat and lazy and overfed that they would just come in and lay on the kitchen counter and eat pie. 

He obligingly found and a set a trap in the living room.

About thirty minutes after company had gone home we heard the unmistakable THWAP of a mousetrap. RIP friend. You were a brave soul.

Annabelle, Bryan, Milton, Bernie, the chickens, the barn cats, the rogue mice and I hope you had a magical and blessed holiday season. We wish everyone the best in 2013.

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