Monday, October 29, 2018

How to Adult

From time to time at the restaurant where I work, Shady Beach Grill House, we have a comedian come in for entertainment. I never actually get to listen to him or her perform, because I am always busy working during the show. Generally he’s scheduled a little later in the evening and the customers are done dining and have moved into the “show” room and I’m busy bussing and resetting tables or in the kitchen helping the dishwasher with the seemingly endless piles of dirty dishes, or working on prepping for the next night.

At any rate, I don’t get to hear the comedian. 

This past week, however, as I was leaving work, the comedian was still going strong. I was exhausted and decided not to stay, but just as I opened the door to exit, I heard him say, “I can tell you how to adult.”

I suspect this was a lead in for a great line of jokes. However, I didn’t stick around to hear any of his funny suggestions on how to adult. Like I mentioned, I was tired. I just wanted to go home.

And besides, I already knew how to adult. Yes indeed. As soon as I heard him quip, “I can tell you how to adult,” I said, out loud, but to myself, “Don’t. Just don’t.”

Seriously. Adulting is way over rated. Whoever came up with the idea that once you hit a certain age you have to be an adult and act in an adult manner was, well, way to adult for my tastes. 

Oh, I get it. There are times when we do have to exercise a little bit of self-control and be serious and responsible, but good grief, the world is so over full of serious and responsible people that think they are way more important than they really are, don’t you think? 

Let’s have more fun! Let’s not worry so much about saving for the future, which may or may not ever come. Let’s tell more people how much we really care about them, let’s be a little more like Hallmark’s Maxine and spend a little more time enjoying life instead of being so anxious so much of the time. 

In reality, that doesn’t mean we can’t be responsible at the same time, it just means finding the right balance. It means putting things into perspective. The world is not going to come to an end if we don’t clean the house this week, but instead do a fun activity, or just put our feet up and read a good book. 

Hmmm… and if the world should come to an end because you skipped cleaning the house, well, at least you’ll go out doing something fun….

Thursday, October 25, 2018

My First Mistake

This past Sunday evening was a real downer. 

My day was going along just fine. I’d gotten up early and gone to Mass. Afterwards I’d had a wonderful breakfast with my mudder. Then I went home and took a nap. Yes, a morning nap. Because when you don’t go to bed until 2:00 am and you get up at 6:30 there is absolutely nothing wrong with a morning nap.

Then I proceeded to spend the day cleaning out the garage, emptying out flower 
pots and working in the yard. It was such a lovely, sunny day. Perfect for that kind of work. 

I was on a roll and got so much accomplished. At 4:00 pm I cleaned up, changed clothes and headed into work. 

It started out as a normal evening at work. A Sunday, which, this time of year, tends to be on the quiet side. Things were rolling along quite nicely and then I got my first table, which was a group of nine people celebrating Grandmother’s birthday. Fortunately for me, they were a friendly, forgiving bunch of people. 

Because that’s when it happened. I made a mistake. Yes, I did. My first mistake of the year. 

I know! I can hardly believe it! Here it is, past the middle of October! I was sailing along so nicely, no mistakes yet this year, and then wham! A mistake. Not a big one, but still, a mistake. 

And I should have caught it. When the food for these nine people was coming up in the window, I thought I was short one baked potato. I rechecked my list: No, I only needed three. But I was sure I needed four. What was wrong? At this point in the game, there isn’t time to stop and think. The food is hot and needs to go out to the customer NOW. My brain was scrambling, trying to figure out why I needed four baked potatoes but only had three. 

Food for nine people means two trips to the kitchen - there’s too much to get it all in one run. I served the steaks first - they cool the fastest and also keep cooking, so they’ve got to go out quickly if they are to be delivered at the proper temperature. And therein lies the mistake - I served a baked potato with a steak that should have gotten a vegetable. With no time to think and decode my messy handwriting, I hadn’t figured out why I only needed three baked potatoes when I thought I needed four.

Which, then, made me short a baked potato and long a vegetable about two minutes later. 

Of course, the man who received the baker erroneously had already cut it and dressed it with butter and sour cream, so I couldn’t rescue it and deliver it to the proper person. 

It really wouldn’t have been a big deal, no, not at all. I mean, I just gave him his vegetable and got another baker from the kitchen. The problem was that I had just made a mistake. 

My first mistake of the year.

And the problem with that is that from here on out, absolutely everything will fall to pieces. 

And sure enough. I made another mistake at that same table that night. And then another mistake at another table. And then a fourth mistake at my last table of the evening. 

So as I write this I am very, very sad. I still have two and a half months left of the year. That leaves time for a bevy of mistakes before I get to start fresh again with the new year. 

It’s gonna be a long two and a half months.

Monday, October 22, 2018


Everybody deals with forgetfulness from time to time. For me, however, it seems to be that I forget more than I remember. I have had this issue forever - I remember the girls telling me one evening at the supper table that if I ever get Alzheimer’s they’ll never know.

I think it’s because I get distracted easily and have a difficult time focusing on things. Most things, that is. I am very good at focusing on a good book or on an arts project. I can concentrate on those activities to the point of being unable to converse or being unaware of what is happening around me.

Anyway, I do remember things, but often it’s trivial stuff that really doesn’t need remembering. The important things I tend to forget. Sometimes the trivial things win me prizes, like the time I remembered learning that the tallest trees in the world are not the California redwoods - and so was able to correctly answer the trivia question on the radio station. This funny memory does have its perks.

But the necessary day to day items I forget. Like the time I got home from work, back in the day when we only had land lines. The phone rang and I answered it. It was my hubby, Tim. “Hey,” he says. “How are you doing?”

Well, I’m fine, of course I’m fine. The conversation continued for quite some time, with Tim making inane comments about the weather, about who was out in the field working, about my drive home. He wanted to know if I had gotten all my tasks done for the day and if there was anything important that I hadn’t completed.

I thought this was the strangest conversation ever, and although I was attentive and nice and politely responded to his questions, I just could not figure out what his problem was, why he was calling to have such a silly conversation.

I told him the weather was quite nice and I hadn’t noticed anyone working out in the field, but perhaps someone had been and I just wasn’t paying attention. I told him that my drive home was uneventful. I told him about my day at the store and the things I’d accomplished and that i’d gotten the important stuff done and all was good. I told him what I was planning for supper. 

About five minutes into the conversation he asked me if perhaps there was anything I was supposed to pick up on my way home from town. I thought about that awhile and stated, “No, not that I was aware of.” 

Tim asked, “Nothing at all?”

“No. Nothing at ……. OH! I was supposed to pick you up and give you a ride home! Oh my gosh! I’ll be right there.”

By the way, the eucalyptus trees in Australia were considered the tallest trees in the world, although I think they are actually the tallest flowering plants, because technically, the redwoods do grow taller. At any rate, eucalyptus in Australia won me the prize. Of course, I have no clue what the prize was. Why would I want to remember that? I do remember that the radio announcer was a bit disgruntled. He got kind of mad when I gave him the correct answer and wanted to know how in the world I knew that…

Thursday, October 18, 2018

10,000 Steps

If, by chance, you are interested in getting your 10,000 steps in every day, you may want to consider a career in waitressing. 

It seems that everybody and their brother is wearing a Fitbit these days, or in my case, an Apple Watch. I don’t wear my watch for fitness tracking, I wear it because I don’t know who I am or where I am going if I don’t wear it (ADHD + SmartWatch = Success) but it does keep track of my steps, which I guess is a bonus. 

Apple Watch tracks three activities: your stand time, your move time and your exercise. The stand ring tracks how much you stand and move around each hour - which motivates me to get up from behind my sewing machine and stretch my weary legs, back and arms. 

The exercise ring tracks a specific exercise - so anything that gets my heart rate going and keeps it going. That ring doesn’t move much at all on my watch.

And then there’s the move ring. This is the step tracker. And the calorie tracker. It takes into account my every movement. Mostly mine takes into account the fact that I don’t move much, except when I am at work as a waitress.

The goal is to close all three rings every day. I remember the month after first full month I had it. I was at the clinic getting a mammogram and the gal running the machine was all excited about her Apple Watch and how she was addicted to closing her rings every day. I mentioned to her that my watch had sent me a congratulations notice: “You did it, Therese! You closed one ring one day last month!” Whoo hoo! It was a 31 day month, so I’d had the opportunity to close, let’s see, 31 x 3 = 93 rings, and I managed to close one. One! How bad is that? The technician laughed and laughed.

“Oh well,” she said. “At least there’s nowhere to go but up, right?”

Back to waitressing. At home I am pretty sedentary. I sit and sew a good share of the day. In between sewing bouts I like to nap. Or sit with a kitty on my lap. Therefore, when I leave for work, my move ring hasn’t moved much at all. I maybe have 2000 steps in. Maybe. 

And then I get to work and I get a 10 top, which is, by the way, a table with 10 people. This is how a typical 10 top goes:

“Hi! How are you folks tonight? Tonight’s feature is yada-yada-yada. What can I get you to drink?”

At that point I take 10 orders for 10 different beverages. I go off to place the order in the computer system for those drinks while the customers study the menu and deliberate about what they want to eat. I then serve the refreshments and take their food orders. Just before I take their leave to start making salads for them, I ask if anyone would like a drink refill. One person says yes, the other nine decline. Looking around at the glasses, many of which are less than half full at this point, I question again, “Everybody is sure they are all right on their beverage right now?”

Yup. They all give me a thumbs up.

Inwardly I sigh, because I know what the rest of my night is going to be like. I know it’s going to be a 20,000 step night.

When I return to the table with the one drink, someone else says they’d like a drink refill. I casually ask if, by chance, anyone else needs one at this time. No, no-one else does. So I go to get that one refill. And guess what? When I return with it, another person wants a refill. Now, I bet you are already catching on to how this story turns out. But just in case you aren’t, this continues all night long. This is one of those “one drink at a time” tables. Oh, they don’t do it on purpose. They don’t even realize they are doing it. 

After a few drinks I just give up and quit getting them drinks. After all, I do need to get their salads out to them and, eventually, their entre├ęs. I am assuming they will want to eat at some point and that they will not realize that the reason I am not bringing them any food is because I don’t have time to, because I am busy getting them drinks - one at a time. 

Of course, don’t forget that while I am doing all of this for this one 10 top, I am also taking care of a few other tables. I can assure you they each have their own set of special needs. 

At the end of the night I check my watch and sure enough, I’ve closed my move ring. I’ve logged 23,132 steps. I smile and thank the 10 top for helping me achieve at least one fitness goal, even if it wasn’t really on my goal list. 

Monday, October 15, 2018

Grammar Guerrillas

I don’t have many friends. But both of them are grammar guerrillas. Seriously. I mean, I get it. I hate bad grammar with a passion. My distaste for grammatical error is so bad that if a public speaker is using poor grammar, I have a hard time even following the topic. I am so distressed with plural verbs following singular subjects, with the wrong pronoun, or a verb without its helper. I hate it when people use “I” because they think it’s always correct, when they should be saying, “me”. And the list goes on. For me, it’s like fingernails on a chalkboard. Totally sets me on edge. (Notice. Sets me, not sits me.)

So the fact that I would choose friends who use proper grammar is no surprise. The problem is that they are both better than I am about grammar. I call one the Grammar Queen, the other is self-dubbed the Grammar Nazi (and very appropriately, I might add). The Grammar Queen (GQ) is just more diplomatic and kind about correcting my grammar. The Grammar Nazi (GN) is, well, not so apt to be diplomatic and kind. 

And I have to say, this is a bigger problem in print, generally, than in vocal form. Not always, of course. (Refer to the comment about a public speaker using bad grammar.) But in print, oh my gosh, it gets so much worse. When we are speaking, no one knows if we are using their, there or they’re, since they’re all the same sounding. No one knows about to and two and too, since they, too, sound the same. We’re and were are fine when we are speaking, as well as wear and where. Or plain and plane. But, in our highly technical world, where we use text messaging, Instagram, emails and FaceBook, not to mention the printed newspaper, these errors are glaring. Well, to me they are, anyway.

So I find myself typing a message to a friend, and wondering if I as using the correct spelling for a word. I wonder if I am using the correct form of a verb. Frequently I search on-line to make sure I have it right before I hit “send”. I also get rather concerned about where I am putting my punctuation - inside or outside the quotes. Sometimes, however, I just ask the friend. 

The GQ typically will respond with a textbook style answer. I asked her about this particular phrase, “That really set me back on my heels”. My concern was that one sits, but something is set. So should I have used “sat me back on my heels”? I didn’t think so, but was just checking with the pro. She responded with “A setting hen sits on her eggs.” That was a lot of help. (NOT. She should have been a politician. What a non-committal answer that was.) So, I’m a setting chick sitting on my heels? Turns out, she wasn’t positive, either, although we both agreed that I should be set back on my heels, even if that’s not really the way it is. 
My sister, oops, errrrr, I mean, my other friend would have corrected my mistake before I even got a chance to ask her about it. She would have swiftly told me I was using a word improperly and then promptly sent me a Google search result supporting her. Not only does she like to correct other people’s grammar, she likes to back her corrections up with proof. Unlike the GQ, she doesn’t wait for me to ask about it, she jumps on it immediately, hence, the Grammar Nazi name. 

Personally, since I am particular about proper grammar, I appreciate both queenly and Nazi methods. Sometimes I find the queenly methods a little too hesitant whereas Nazi techniques occasionally put me on edge. Both are okay in my book, though. 

And by the way, there seems to be a debate abroad whether Nazi should always be capitalized or not.  I couldn’t find a definitive answer on the internet, so I’ve chosen to capitalize it, just in case. 

Thursday, October 11, 2018

I Think my Husband is Pregnant

I think my husband is pregnant.

I mean, really. It’s Sunday and he has the day off. He went to mass last night, so he slept in this morning. When I get home he’s outside working in the yard. 

He hates yard work.

I convince him that the bitty baby chipper he borrowed isn’t worth the time and effort he’s putting into the work he’s doing and that I’d rather just throw the tree branches into the pile back behind the house in the tall grass. Because, as I tell him, it makes for good habitat for the critters. 

We live in the country. There is a slough behind our house and tall grass around it. My old Christmas trees and other branches and such find there way into a pile out there. I am perfectly okay with this, but for some reason Tim thinks the pile needs to go. However, he allows me to convince him that the critter habitat is a good idea fairly quickly. Probably because he is tired and frustrated with trying to chop tree branches with a chopper that is not designed to do what he wants it to do.

We go inside and I cook a nice brunch for the two of us. 

Afterwards I lie down to take a nap. Tim does the unthinkable: He clears the table and loads the dishwasher and runs it. Amazing! Then he watches football/takes a nap. He is a true man and able to do both simultaneously. The one thing, I might add, that men are able to multi-task at. But I digress.

The next thing I know I am awakened by, “My love? Do you want one or two shelves in the cabinet next to the toilet?” Personally, having just been disrupted from a nice dream, I don’t care about shelves in the bathroom right now. I am kind, however, and tell him, “Two.” And I get up. I see that he has cleaned up the splatters left by the carpenters in the bathroom. I see that he has been busy with other little projects as well. Then I hear him telling our daughter, who he is yakking with on the phone, that he is going to clean the under-the-counter can opener that I’d taken down last night, because it needed cleaning.

That’s when I realized he is pregnant. 

There is no other possible reason for this blast of cleaning energy that he suddenly has. 

I should be overjoyed because I will now be able to get an undetermined amount of work out of him. But I am tired today, having had a pretty busy week, and since it is Sunday, I just want to relax. He might be pregnant, but I am not. 

This is when I get a taste of what it is like to have a pregnant wife. Tim is relentless. And a bit of a nag. He wants to work around the house and he wants to do it now! So we proceed to work on other projects. We put up the new switch plates, we rehang the can opener. (I must add, however, that after he got done cleaning it, I cleaned it. He only cleaned the inside. I took it apart and cleaned the nooks and crannies and I cleaned the outside. Tim was quite surprised that there were other areas that were still dirty. He also accused me of breaking it when I took it apart. Sigh.)

We did some more work in the yard. We chopped some frames for customers. We organized some items in the garage. All in all it was quite a productive day.

Now, in case you are worried about Tim and how he will fair through the rest of his pregnancy, I should tell you that all will be fine. We were at work over the stove top. I was holding an item in place while Tim fastened it. He complained about suddenly being very hot. I thought perhaps he’d inadvertently managed to turn one of the gas burners on, which indeed he did, but in reality, the heat was just a hot-flash. Apparently the pregnancy is over and he’s moved on to menopause.

By the way, it would have been an elephant. There was a little trunk hanging out.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Waitress Repetition

Working as a waitress poses a special set of problems. I mean, I’m working with the public, and that is always interesting, to say the least. Now, before you read this, I want to make sure you understand that I truly love my job and I love the people I serve. However, sometimes they kind of make one wonder.

I begin at each table by saying something along this order, “Tonight our feature is the eight ounce sirloin. It’s an amazing cut of Angus. It comes with either a cup of soup or a salad and then your choice of potato, vegetable, or rice. Our soup tonight is loaded baked potato and it is absolutely delicious.”

The first person orders, “I’ll take the sirloin.”
ME: Excellent choice. How would you like that done, sir?
MAN 1: Medium.
ME: Would you care for the loaded baked potato soup or a salad?
MAN 1: What kind of soup do you have tonight?
ME: We have a wonderful loaded baked potato soup. It has onion, cheese, bacon and sour cream in it. It’s very, very good.
MAN 1: I’ll have the salad.
ME: Okay. Caesar or house? The house salad comes with your choice of dressing.
MAN: I’ll have the house salad.
ME: And what kind of dressing would you like with your salad?
MAN 1: Oh. I’ll have ranch, please.
ME: Ranch, perfect. Now, would you like a potato, vegetable or rice? Our potato choices are baked, French fries or hashed browns.
MAN 1: What kind of potatoes do you have?
ME: We have baked, French fries and hashed browns.
MAN 1: I’ll take the baked.
ME: Ok, great. Now ma’am, what can I get for you?
LADY: I’ll have the sirloin.
ME: And how would you like it done?
LADY: I’ll take it medium.
ME: Would you care for soup or salad with that?
LADY: What kind of soup do you have tonight?
ME: We have a yummy loaded baked potato soup.
LADY: I’ll take the salad. I don’t like soup.
ME: Would you like the Caesar or the house salad?
LADY: I’ll have the house.
ME: What kind of dressing would you like with your salad?
LADY: I’ll have ranch.
ME: Would you like a potato, vegetable or rice with that?
LADY: What kind of potatoes do you have?
ME: We (still) have baked, French fries and hashed browns.
LADY: I’ll have the baked.
ME: Thank you. And now for you, sir. What can I get you:
SIR: What’s the special tonight?
ME: Our feature is the eight ounce sirloin. It’s an amazing cut of Angus. It comes with either a cup of soup or a salad and then your choice of potato, vegetable, or rice. Our soup tonight is loaded baked potato and it is absolutely delicious.
SIR: Are your steaks any good?
ME: Yes sir, we are frequently told they are the very best. Even by our Twin Cities customers who are used to dining at the really nice steak restaurants.
SIR: Ok. I’ll take the pasta.
ME: That’s also a great choice. Which pasta would you like, sir? (I then point to the pasta listings in the menu.)
SIR: Oh, I don’t know. I guess I’ll have the shrimp Fresca. Except I don’t care for shrimp or tomatoes, so could you leave those out?
ME: Absolutely. Would you care for soup or salad with that?
SIR: What kind of soup do you have tonight?
ME: (Let me go check with the kitchen. By now we may not have the loaded baked potato soup anymore.) We have a wonderful baked potato soup tonight.
SIR: What’s in that?
ME: Well, potatoes, sour cream, onions, cheese and bacon. You know. Like a loaded baked potato.
SIR: Do you have any other soup choices:
ME: No sir, not tonight.

Now, so far I’ve only gotten orders from three or the six people at the table. Suffice it to say that about now my buzzer is going crazy, letting me know that I have food in the kitchen that needs to be taken to another table. Undaunted, I continue on. I will not repeat the next three orders because they will be variations on they three I’ve just taken. And then when I’ve got all the orders, the first person will change his mind. I do not find this surprising, as by the time I get done getting all six orders, he’s had plenty of time to change his mind several times over, right? 

Of course, I know that my customers are out for the evening to visit with friends and family and their first priority is not food, but chatting. I totally get that. But trust me. This column will be continued at a later date. There are many other interesting things to write about when you are a waitress.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Cutting Trees

We had a slight problem at our house the other day.

You see, we’ve been working on this remodel project for a couple of years. Yes, you read that correctly. A couple of years.

We don’t like to rush into anything.

The project started out as a main floor update. It’s turning into a main floor, basement (which we consider our downstairs), and outdoor remodel.

Now I realize we should complete one phase before we move on to another, but that’s just not my style. I am trying really hard to wait on starting the basement until the main floor is completed. But I’m getting impatient and antsy. We’ve come to a bit of a standstill on the main floor. The carpenter will be back to finish up when the weather becomes inclement and he can no longer work on outdoor projects. 

In the meantime, we are working on some landscaping items. 

When Tim and I were married we built a new home right smack in the middle of two acres of what had been calf pasture. We didn’t do much for landscaping. Okay, we didn’t do any landscaping. We bought trees from the conservation district because, having grown up with the woods on one side and a lake on the other side, I wasn’t too comfortable with wide open spaces. Over the years those trees have grown and now are quite stately. 

They provide beauty and shade. They afford habitat for the many birds and other various critters that we so enjoy living with. They provide protection from the fierce winds. We absolutely love our trees. 

Since we are at a bit of a standstill with the indoor work, we are doing some landscaping outdoors. We put in an apron for the garage. We are working on a planter by the deck, are removing some old lilac bushes and replacing them with berry bearing bushes to provide shelter and food for our feathered friends, and we will be adding a patio, but needed to take down a few trees to make room for it.

Cutting down the trees created the problem, however. Two of those trees provided a great deal of shade for my kitchen and considerably camouflaged the filth on the East window. When those trees went down, the bright morning sun trying to shine through that window made me feel, well, let me just say I was very grateful I had no company to see just how dirty that window was. 

In fact, that window was so dirty that Tim and I set about cleaning it that same day. If you know the two of us at all, you’ll understand that doing anything that quickly is a major miracle. 

There’s one other downside to getting rid of trees. Tim says I now have to be more careful about roaming around the house au naturel, especially after dark, if I have the lights on. 

Monday, October 1, 2018

A Mouse in the House

A couple of weeks ago Tim and I invited some friends over for supper. We don’t do this often. I don’t really know why not. I mean, inviting people to visit is a lot of fun. It’s also the very best way I know to get my house cleaned. Although, in all honesty, I am not as adamant about cleaning for company as I once was.  I mean, I’ve never really been too shook about it, but as I’ve aged, I’ve gotten more lax. Or lazy. Not sure. 

In the olden days when company came I always completed what I called, “Dash and Stash.” This was a simple, calorie burning technique by which I completed several 100 yard dashes with armloads of stuff and then stuffed the stuff into drawers, closets and bedrooms and even the garage. When I finished, I would have a house that looked like something relatively similar to what one might see in the pages of Better Homes and Gardens or House Beautiful. Well, except for the dust. So then I would vacuum and dust and clean the kitchen and Voila! I’d have a beautiful house. There were only a couple of catches: First, do not, and I stress do not, open a closet door. That would be like shouting in the fragile snow covered mountains - and avalanche waiting to happen, Second, I could never find anything I needed afterwards. “Lovey, where’s the water bill?” Invariably it was buried deep in a box and tucked into a location that could be called my own personal Bermuda Triangle. In other words, never to be seen again. 

Fortunately those who send bills do so repeatedly. Another plus: I pay pretty much everything on-line these days, so losing bills in never-never land ceases to be much of a problem. 

I mentioned that I’ve never been one to get very shook about the house being totally perfect for company. I didn’t remodel or paint or redecorate for baptisms, first communion, birthdays, confirmation or graduation. I just dashed and stashed. I remember one time that the extended family got home prior to Tim and I and our newly baptized daughter. I thought I’d done an excellent job of preparing for company only to find that the family was busy cleaning and cutting dead leaves off plants. Huh. 

However, on this particular night a couple of weeks ago I had not done any cleaning whatsoever. No dash and stash. No vacuuming. No dusting. No cleaning the kitchen or the toilets or any such thing. (I told you I’ve become much more lax, and I wasn’t very uptight about it in the first place.) Since we are doing some remodeling and I am in the throes of craft show season, there is stuff everywhere in my house. Furniture is strewn about, abandoned wherever it was pushed for painting. Counters are piled high with craft show items and bills and supplies. The living room is filled with totes, ready to be taken to the craft show. Despite this, I invited friends over for a simple meal of chili and cornbread, with ice cream for dessert. We had a wonderful time, laughing and sharing stories. 

And then I heard a “snap!” 

I looked at Tim and said, “We just caught a mouse.” Tim, whose hearing is not as sharp as mine, indicated he didn’t believe me, so I repeated my words, along with, “By Grandpa’s desk.” He got up to look and sure enough, he said there was a mouse in the trap. Coming back to the table without the mouse and trap, I asked him if he was going to get rid of it. No, he was going to wait until it was dead. I thought that was reasonable.

Until I heard, “Squeak.” Oh no. Tim wouldn’t get the mouse and trap and toss the mouse out to the neighbor’s cat, who was on our deck and surely would have enjoyed a fresh mouse. After several more squeaks and much begging on my part,  I finally persuaded him to take the mouse out and let Charlie put him out of his misery. My heart was absolutely breaking for the poor little mouse! 

Fortunately our guests were not too shook by these proceedings. They deal with livestock and such and have probably had similar run-ins with mice. And although the whole thing was pretty funny, I seriously hope it doesn’t happen when I am entertaining people I don’t know quite as well. RIP Mr. Mouse.