Life Is Good. Just Keep Saying That To Yourself. Life Is Good.

Remember my impulse grab for a jar of whole grain mustard when I was in the awful supermarket? Man, is this stuff good. The seeds pop between your teeth as you chew your little sandwich. It’s like caviar, but with vinegar and white whine. Later on today, I think I’ll make a vinagrette with it. I wouldn’t have thought of that myself but the internet suggested it to me.

In other news, the sweet potato vine has taken to flowering again. Here is the creature in the early morning light. I believe that this is the first occasion in my lifetime that I seriously call myself gobsmacked.

this ain’t right

And as long as we’re talking about weird in the garden – how far up can rats climb? The other day, I saw Stedman mouthing a small rat in the flowerbed*. He had the rear end of it in his mouth and was shaking it while the thing chittered up a storm. The rat wiggled away from him and kept chittering in protest or in pain. Hard to know.

Then last night, I was sitting out on the deck with Sami and a bunch of birds started squawling all at once. Furious birdcall from about 5 birds in the same location high up in the trees. And chittering coming from the same direction.  Is it possible that it was an alert to the bird community that a rat was bothering their nest? How far up can rats climb anyway?

* I blame the creek project for this. Before they started slamming down those major league tree trunks, the rats were happy to stay in the creek for their whole life cycle. the only other time we saw rats is when a neighboring farm sold to housing developers and they cleared that land with dynamite. The rats went looking for calmer quarters and found them on our street. Now the creek trees made the ground shake and disturbed the rat colony that nobody even knew was there.

FYI – The creek project is at a total standstill and has been for weeks. See entry of  April 27. The temporary pipe segments were delivered the next day. They sit undisturbed to this day. Undisturbed, that is, unless the rats are living in them.

June 12, 2012 The view from my lovely deck sanctuary/outdoor home office.

The cool green foliage that gave me privacy is gone, my carefully cultivated shade-loving plants are burning up from exposure to their new lighting situation and the lookyloos are killing me. I could set my clock by the twice-a-day gawkfest of that ass with the white poodle. The rushing water during each rainstorm continues to erode the bank under the shed and the contractor and the township are squabbling over who will pay for the temporary pipe since it wasn’t part of the original plan.

13 thoughts on “Life Is Good. Just Keep Saying That To Yourself. Life Is Good.”

  1. Sorry, but rats can climb trees and buildings. AZ has a “roof rat” problem. again, sorry.

    The photo you took of the flower is first rate; superb.

    About the creek problem; Mother Nature is a first class bitch, gets her way every time.

  2. Based on my experience, the creek situation is also being complicated by DEP permitting hassles. Your April 27 date is significant since as of May 1, permitting and inspections have been transferred from DEP to the new LSRP specialists (Licensed Site Remediation Program). Basically DEP was so stripped of budget and personnel that they couldn’t do it anymore and people were waiting years for permits.

    Now, any yahoo with the right initials after his/her name can inspect and issue a permit, but they have to start the process from scratch.

    1. I was thinking .22 Air Rifle but then I watched a 1952 episode of Dragnet on YouTube where a 9 year old found his Christmas present early and then killed his 8 year old friend with it. So maybe not.

  3. Rats have supernatural powers. They can magically squirm through a hole no bigger than your pinkie (even if the rat is HUGE). And they can climb (fly, maybe?) to heights and locations beyond all reason. They can chew through bullet proof steel. And I think they can even read your mind. Yes, I’m pretty sure they can.

  4. Not surprised about the lovely flower…Found this info about sweet potato vines on the intertubes::Outstanding foliage is the main reason to choose an ornamental sweet potato vine for your landscape. A close relative of morning glories and moonflowers, these vines are vigorous growers and quickly can fill any bare spaces in your garden.

    Read more: How to Grow an Ornamental Sweet Potato Vine |

  5. Get a rat trap; use a wood screw to fasten it to the tree with the bait area facing down; place a dab of peanut butter on the bait area; set the trap and wait for the results.

    Rats are bad things to have around. If you can’t solve your problem with traps, use poison. They make bait stations that keep pets out, but allow rats to enter.

    Your township, and contractor, took responsibility for their actions when they started the project. Write a letter; use an attorney if money allows. They changed the outfall flow, so the accelerated erosion is their fault.

    If you can’t get satisfaction, the contractor should be bonded. A letter to their surety will get quick results. This information is part of public record.

    1. Grr. The rats have to go. My neighbor ( the one who directly poisoned his own dog and indirectly poisoned mine last year) and I did call the township and tell them they need to bait the creek. I need Sami to stir things up with the mayor but he is not up to it yet.

  6. don’t think i am weird, again, (notice overuse of comma’s), but when i read your posts, all is right in my world and i want you to know i appreciate that. You simply ROCK.

    1. THANK YOU. I thought my effort to write without commas was going unappreciated so I abandoned the plan too soon. Thanks to your comment I will write without commas again tomorrow.

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