Monday, December 11, 2023
Animals, Dust and Otherwise
Since I cleaned so thoroughly beneath the TV table on Saturday, I decided yesterday to tackle the other side of the living room -- beneath the couch. I knew it needed cleaning because when we had Dave's co-workers over for Thanksgiving, Olga's Kong rolled under there, and when I reached in to retrieve it my arm came back -- to my mortification -- with a whole zoo of dust animals clinging to it.
So, yes, I moved the couch, vacuumed up the dust, mopped the floor, and thoroughly cleaned all the crevices of the couch itself. Dave and I were afraid our little mousie friend might have a nest in the couch, but I checked all the seams and they're secure. So wherever mousie was living, it's not there.
And then I set a trap, and this morning, there's a mouse in it. Adios, mousie.
Some of you commented that you're sure I'd be using humane traps. I would if I had any handy. Unfortunately, I don't, so I used a snap trap and mousie is indeed dead. (I would never use a glue trap. Those things are horrible.) I have read that humane traps actually aren't all that humane. Once released outdoors, the mice -- if they don't get inside again -- often die because they're displaced from their nests. I have no idea whether or not that's true but in this case I felt I had to act fast and didn't have time to struggle with the ethics.
Anyway, after all the cleaning, I arranged disposal of our old TV set -- pickup is scheduled for New Year's Day, weirdly -- and then took Olga for a walk.
We found a tennis ball behind a construction fence on Potteries Path. Olga wanted that ball. Never mind that she has about ten of them at home.
We both tried valiantly to reach it, but it just couldn't be done. We had to leave it behind. Fortunately, Olga is the epitome of "out of sight, out of mind," and it was promptly forgotten.
Looking for some reading recommendations? Here are some interesting articles I've come across and bookmarked during the last several weeks/months. Some of them may be behind a paywall, depending on whether you subscribe to any of these publications or have already run out of your allotted handful of free articles for the week or month:
-- A story in The Washington Post looking critically at our cultural obsession with purging possessions. And here's a related story from The New York Times about the positive aspects of clutter. Neither of these are particularly new, but maybe you'll find them timely during the holiday season.
-- A somewhat related Washington Post story about the benefits of decluttering your life goals. In other words, re-drafting your bucket list to create a "chuck-it list."
-- A hilarious (but fairly rude) analysis of the the famous urban myth involving Richard Gere and a gerbil. Again, several years old, but well worth reading. (MEL Magazine)
-- A completely insane story in the Tampa Bay Times about the planned demolition of a gigantic mansion in Tampa (built by former pro baseball player Derek Jeter) by its new owner, who intends to build an even bigger house.
-- A touching story, again in The Washington Post, about a Florida school librarian who quit her job because of the state's crazy fixation on the content of library books.
-- An NYT story that I confess I haven't read yet about tropical parakeets that have occupied the skies over Brussels, Belgium. (I intend to read it, though, because the same parakeets are all over our bird feeder here in London!)
-- An excellent video in The New York Times that explains how the British government has managed to endanger what should be the country's proudest achievement: the National Health Service.
(Top photo: A Christmasy real estate agent's office on our high street.)