The rat days of June
The motherfreaking rat is lost under our bed. (Not the rat in the pictures – that rat licked cherry juice off Col’s lips today and I was too hot to care). It’s like having a newborn again for how many times little rat nails scrabbling across wood floors woke me up last night. But it’s also like having a shapeshifting phantom in the house for how many different family members “see” Houdini Ratty Jr. in different places.
There was Col showing up at my bedside at 2am telling me, “the rat bit my ear and then I woke up.” Later, the rat woke me again by rustling around Dan’s backpack and then was nowhere to be seen when I crept up on the backpack. A bit later I found Dan on the couch, insisting the rat was in Col’s room (where Dan was sleeping because I was up late reading) where Dan trapped it by closing the door – except, whoops, that small rat-sized crack.
Also, my camera seems to have died.
And there are more fires just yesterday. Tuesday night’s dry lightning storm (102 strikes) ignited several new fires in the area, including one at Lightner creek, where Col ate a grasshopper this spring. The Mancos fire is still burning. Yesterday it was hard to get a radio station because I presume the airways were kept clear for emergency communications. You can no longer have a campfire in Colorado, unless you’re in a developed campground (which we try to avoid). 1011 heat records have been broken in the U.S. in the past week. Almost 200 homes in Colorado Springs have burned. Everyone is unsettled and edgy and trying to seed the clouds with hopes and prayers.
Times like these, I like having friends around, people to share meals with. Chris C. was kind enough to come over tonight for bbq elk, salad and cherry crisp (thanks for the Hermosa cherries, Jojo!) and if my camera was functioning, I would have snapped a picture of Col and Rose climbing all over Chris and him saying, “my, your children are so aloof.”
Rose snapped this picture of me bringing a pile of weeds to the chickens. I’m hoping that whatever reason my camera isn’t working has nothing to do with Rose toting it around for a full ten minutes.
Just sneaking this lettuce/pea photo in because it’s so green and lovely.
We’ve been swimming in the river daily. While packing up to leave, we’re like the family in the “before” pictures: before the Prozac, before the epidural, before the rabies medicine kicks in. Everyone is hot and grumpy and demoralized by the Sisyphusian task of losing rat/finding rat/locking up rat…repeat. And then we bike down to the river and we’re like the instantly saved at the tent revival.
I no longer have to coach Col and Rose on the route to the river. They’re like little GPS systems, pointing their bikes east and 5 minutes later, we’re at the sandy shore. I’ve pulled my mucky, sandy, stretched-out suit from the laundry hamper when it was no longer fit for wearing and wore it anyway. I’ve fallen asleep in my suit top, woken up and left it on because eventually we end up at the river.
In fact, we’re heading there today. Maybe we’ll see you.
*also, I was interviewed about canning on the Two Frog Home homesteading website, read it here.
*and, I’m participating in gathering signatures on a petition to ban the spraying of chemicals in Durango city parks. You know, those parks where babies gum woodchips and toddlers run naked through the grass? If you’d like to sign it (must be registered to vote in the city), let me know.
*one more: sorry again for those of you who want to leave comments and still aren’t able to because of wordpress screwiness.
*if Thursday’s not too early to wish you a lovely weekend, have a good, safe, cool one (except all of you in the wet northeast and northwest, may the sun shine!).