Laid back, stretched out. Feelin' Better at Last. Been laying around a lot. My furry kids are getting into the slow, winter lifestyle of eat, sleep and repeat. The cat, while I write, is curled up on the cedar shavings dog bed sans faux fleece cover, while Dawn attempts to remove grease stains from multiple beef bone treats the blue-heeler likes to eat between meals. They taste better when consumed in bed. In terms of peeves, I think eating in bed rates up there with drinking coffee near the computer. One good spill could wipe out all this. Be nice now.
Think old schoolhouse. Second floor, large open space. Great place for kids to dream of running around outside on spacious lawn, walking down to the river to poke in mud banks or just go for a hike in the woods. Teachers wiped out any nonsensical mind wanderings by threatening to burn kid-stuff. "Glenda, stop day-dreaming and pay attention or I'll throw your dolly on the burn pile." Think I'm kidding?
First year we lived here, I'm curious about a burn pile on the south fence line. With a garden rake I probe the contents and find porcelain doll parts, you know the old fashioned dolls with cloth or leather bodies. Arms, legs, partial heads, hands. Sad. In tribute I create a grapevine wreath. I attach a few arms, legs and hands. I toss in a rusted, burnt out lock I found in the same pile, add some silk flowers. At the bottom I hang an old sheep bell salvaged from a junk box. I ain't bragging, but the over-all effect is what I wanted. "For whom the bell tolls..." My teachers could have ridden with Jesse James for all the time they stole from me. The actual title of the wreath construction was-After The Fire.
Are you listening? Large open space. Second floor. Seven years later, after building a new school, the old school is turned into a residence. Bedrooms in the large open space need closets. Yeah, adding closets will make the room smaller, but think cozy. The master bedroom on the south end has two closets. The east bedroom-one closet that abuts the bathroom. A bathroom literally turned into a throne because all the plumbing is laid on the floor. The ball and claw tub had to be raised on a pedestal. West bedroom, one closet that hangs over the stairwell, hence, a sloped ceiling that makes for little storage space, save for a narrow top shelf over a pipe rack for clothing. All have access doors consisting of a turnbuckle and a piece of paneling.
Still listening? The carpenters with farmer wisdom not only create a closet but put a narrow crawl space behind the closet. Clever vermin find it a nice place to chew insulation and hang out on long winter nights. Eating in bed in this house would be an invitation to a mice critter sharing your comforter. The lazy lump on the couch keeps 'em at bay. Before Salvatore Pucci arrived on our back step on a frozen February night, we'd hear snap traps go off in the middle of the night. We found out that bait traps caused the mice to horde piles of green pellets, saving them for a treat in front of their own version of Disney's Mouseketeers. Dead mouse in the wall is worse than snap traps going off in the middle of the night.
Grab a flashlight. Open the access door, find the trap and remove twitching body. . Since the Pooch took residence, he scouts 24/7 basement, back hall, first floor and every available nook and cranny upstairs. Good boy. Anybody raises an eyebrow about a pampered cat getting raw chicken liver for dinner with an occasional 90/10 raw ground beef snack thrown in gets my scorn. Outside, he find all sorts of mousie variations from field mice to shrews to moles to cute furry cartoon mice. Even I feel sorry for those guys .
For every one you see, there's a hundred more behind the door.