When The Cat’s Away, the Mice Will Play. Also, the Robins and The Muskrats.

We’re back from California and just in time, too. My house is reverting to nature.

Robins have set up housekeeping on the deck buffet table and a colony of muskrats come up from the creek every day to feast upon my what used to be my bed of Black-eyed Susans. Remember how magnificent they were? Now there’s only stems – not a single leaf remaining. A carpenter ant crawled across my keyboard and we found a cat in the garage. It’s been in there since the last time the garage door was opened which is who knows when?

Wildlife! Who needs it?

Mercifully, the squirrels seem to be laying low, but you never know with them, do you?

On the other hand, Nature has also kindly delivered bountiful rain to New Jersey while we were gone. The lawn looks like green velvet and the (non-tasty) perennials are bursting with vitality. The beautiful new gazing ball, which looked forlorn and out of place before, is now surrounded by complimentary hues of maroon and blue-green.


Agenda for today:

  • fill the deck pots
  • resist looking at work email
  • drink wine
  • chill out


California Vacation Report: Very fun! The career move seems to suit the boy, his apartment is spacious and comfortable and puts me in mind of the California canyon setting where Joni Mitchell and CSN lived in the 70s of my imagination. Laguna Beach is funky and beautiful – who knew that the Pacific could be so aqua clear and  appealing?

We made a side trip to an Armenian section of Los Angeles to stock up on mid-Eastern foodstuffs for the boy and somehow* purchased a hundred – one hundred! – spicy meat pies (lahma bajeen), 25 of which made the flight back to NJ with us.

Goodbye to First Class flying for the foreseeable future and beyond – we made the most of our last trip in style. We drank many Bloody Marys, ate all the warmed mixed nuts and took advantage of the ice cream sundaes they built according to our preference. We’ll be transporting our meat pies in the economy section from now on, but for once, we lived it up.


* Mr. Sami.
Need I say more?

4 thoughts on “When The Cat’s Away, the Mice Will Play. Also, the Robins and The Muskrats.”

  1. Muskrats?
    Gotta be careful – first they whirl and they twirl and they tango. Then they start singin’ and jingin’ the jango. Next thing you know you’ve got muskrat love.
    On your deck.
    Suzette says: “Muskrat Susie, Muskrat Sam. Blame the wine.”

  2. Want some groundhogs to keep the muskrats company? Not too long ago I was bemoaning how scarce they’ve been around here, we used to have a burrow out back and they roamed around here all the time, generally well behaved, even hanging out when the kids were raising hell in the yard. Over the past few years, they’ve seemed to have gone away, but yesterday I had to chase two of them out of my annual beds (as well as a HUGE rabbit and two wee ones). I’m going to have to start throwing my vegetable trimmings and waste out back for them to feed on, rather than composting it for now. I’ll have to find my bottle of fox urine and spread some around, too, except around the mullberry trees. The growlers eat the berries that fall so I don’t have to clean them up. It’s pretty funny when we have a bumper crop the lays on the ground for a few days and starts to ferment in the sun… nothing cuter than a plastered groundhog sleeping on it’s back in the sun, with a purple face.

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