So, in the Meantime

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I feel like the month of January is just a filler month – does that make sense to anyone else? Its the month that comes after the hoopla, excitement & festivities of the past three months. Think about it – you’ve got Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years all in quick succession & then…nothing. Nothing but the winter (although here in MS it doesn’t seem very wintry) and days passing on end in mostly gray repetitiveness. Aren’t I a ray of sunshine today? No – I’m actually doing a very good job of blending in with the outside surroundings these days. I’m just passing the time, waiting to see what happens – but I guess that is what we are all doing; that’s what living life is about. Passing time, waiting to see how life unfolds.

The weather as of late..

So, in the meantime, what have I been doing? Like I said – not too much. I spent my Friday two weeks ago with sweet Hayden & Ashlan – they’re always good for laughs, cuddles & a good mood lift. How can you not love setting up a mock battlefield to wage war only to have your hard work crashed by….a giant stuffed fish? Trust me, on the battlefield that Friday night, the real opponent to worry about was not the good guys (Hayden’s soldiers) or the bad guys (obviously mine) but the giant stuffed trout that Ashlan was wielding. It was a quick battle. I saw “Beauty & the Beast” in 3D – that was probably the most well spent $9 that I’ve parted with in a long time. It has easily been my favorite Disney movie since I first saw it when I was 8 – and the number one reason is probably because it is just an amazing story, but I think another reason is because I identify a lot with Belle. I’m a bookworm & even at 27 I still sometimes feel like maybe I just don’t quite fit into my surroundings; I’m also constantly thinking that, much like Belle laments “there must be more than this provincial life”. So, I thoroughly enjoyed my 80 minutes watching it, it looked especially awesome in 3D. Also, how awesome is the scene at the end? If you haven’t seen it – go see it. Rent it. Heck – buy it.

Spoiler Alert – the Beast is actually the hottest Disney prince ever. Yep.
Beyond all that excitement – it has been pretty much run of the mill, day to day life. I started Slim Fast 3 weeks ago & I also started walking on the treadmill. I HATE the treadmill, I do. But I love the feeling of accomplishment when I get off of it, so I guess I’ll keep right on walking & see what happens. I’ve been told that walking will make the weight just fall off. I’ve yet to see that…but it has only been 3 weeks. Maybe by blogging about this I will have some kind of accountability because if by the time summer gets here I’m not any slimmer, all you people who read this (all 6 of you) can tell me that I obviously lied in writing. Is that libel or slander? Oh well…
Want to see what the weather looked like the other night?
It’s the End of the World…

Ok – maybe it wasn’t that bad. I don’t know – I was watching the weather though & it didn’t look like it was so great. I’ve always seen the progression from light green to dark green to yellow to orange to red on the radar…I thought that was as bad as it gets. Who knew that hot pink actually means that you are about to be blown away by a tornado? I didn’t until I saw it on the radar the other night. I am completely terrified of bad weather, so I had a sleepover at my Aunt & Uncle’s house. Even though they (jokingly, I hope) told me they would make a pallet in their bedroom floor (haha guys, funny) I passed & slept on the futon in the bonus room. Thank goodness for box fans & the TV. That box fan was so loud I wouldn’t have heard a tornado if it ripped the roof off the house – and the TV was important because I swear, even when I can’t hear the weather getting bad, it is like I have a built in sensor & I wake up just in time…so I can watch TV & be prepared for the worst. The weatherman kept saying “If you live in a trailer, get out – tornados & straight line winds just shred trailers, find a ditch if possible” & all I could think was “hope I have a home tomorrow morning”. I did – thank the good Lord. I’m about tired of this bad weather & I think if the weatherman says “It’s unseasonably warm for January” (75, gee – you think?) one more time, I might scream. 🙂
The weekend is only a day away & I plan to do a whole lot of nothing. This month has been short on activites, but February is getting ever closer & I’ve got plans for February. Also, seriously – how has almost a whole month already passed this fast? But I digress – I’m gonna watch the series finale of “Chuck” (so sad) & maybe a movie or two, buy some groceries & just chill. I’ll probably end up cleaning something at some point because I’m turning into my Mom & I can’t seem to sit idly by when something needs cleaning. Fear not Mom – that’s not a bad thing. So, until next time…anyone got any suggestions for a good movie to rent?

Adventures in Adulthood

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Sure – this thing looks cute. Appearances can be deceiving.

Firstly – I have no clue why the picture editor makes the white border so large at the bottom. Makes no sense to me, but there you have it. I guess it thought I was going to write a novel about the mouse. I’m gonna write a post about mice, but the picture caption really need not be that long. Anyway, I digress..

Almost a month ago I opened the door of my bathroom cabinets & noticed something that looked a lot like mouse poo. I got to investigating & sure enough – that was what it was. I freaked out, mildly. I figured that for sure it wasn’t too big of a deal because I hadn’t actually seen the mouse so maybe it had only popped in once to nibble the towels & then left. I still went to the Dollar Store & bought some DeCon, just to be safe. After almost a month of seeing no more mouse “surprises” & the DeCon being baited & set…but never catching a mouse, I was lulled into a false sense of calm. Silly me. Silly, silly me. I’m sure the mouse (mice? More than one of them, oh Lord sustain me…) thought “what an ignorant human…so stupid”.

Monday night; having been lured into this false sense of calm, I was sitting on my couch watching “Castle” – just enjoying some crime drama & chilling out. All of a sudden, from the direction of the kitchen this brownish blur whizzes across the carpet & under the ottoman. When I tell you I froze, I mean – my whole body went stiff & I couldn’t move. I called my Mom in complete panic, about to sob. Over a mouse. Something that might weigh a pound. It probably doesn’t even weigh that, but I flipped out. I thought that the mouse problem was no big deal. I thought the mouse had sensed the DeCon & left, never to return. Just kidding – think again.

I bought traps – regular traps, glue traps, I even hung on to the weird DeCon swirly trap things. Tuesday night at 5:45 I had nine traps set. Yes, nine. I’m nothing if not thorough. I kind of went a little crazy with the cleaning as well. I’d read all this stuff about how if you keep a really really clean kitchen, you won’t be as apt to get mice. I thought I had a really clean kitchen – I sweep & mop regularly & I wipe down the counters & sinks when I am done cooking at night. Apparently that is not enough. I vacuumed the floor, I swept the floor. I scrubbed down the counters with kitchen cleaner…I went a little nuts, making sure everything was completely void of anything that could even be seen as possible food stuffs. And then I went about my business – watched some TV, poked around on the Internet..did my own thing…and then I went to bed & prayed that all the mice near my house would just die or run away & leave me alone. Then the morning came…

I was beginning to think that all the mice had run away & left me alone. I didn’t see any of the traps in the kitchen had been snapped & so I was thinking that I was in the clear & everything was going to be fine. I was standing by my dishwasher & I saw it – a tail. A long skinny tail. I peered around the door frame carefully & let out a scream – there was a dead mouse on the trap! I started the scream loudly & then thought better of it & shut up quickly. What if my scream alerted the mouse? What if it wasn’t really dead & my scream made it suddenly wake up & run at me? All stupid thoughts, but I had them. I called my Mom in a panic & explained that I had caught the mouse…I had caught the mouse & now I had to get it out of the house. Oh crap. What was I going to do now? Catching the mouse seemed like a great idea, but I hadn’t thought about actually having to deal with a dead mouse. Let me just tell you that the next 10 minutes or so provided my Mom with some great entertainment – she was supportive but I also know that she was trying pretty hard not to absolutely lose it laughing at me.

She told me to poke the mouse with my broom & see if if moved. If the mouse moved then I was supposed to leave it alone & let it finish dying while I was at work. This is about the way the conversation went:
Mom: Just poke it & see what happens…it’s fine.
Natalie: “poking mouse” AAAHHHH – OH LORD, IT DIDN’T MOVE!! I DON’T KNOW IF I CAN DO THIS!!!
M: Yes you can – be brave. This will make you tougher. Just sweep the mouse & the trap into the dust pan. “stifling laughter while she says all this”
I proceeded to sweep the mouse from in between the TV stand & the wall, screaming all the time. I mean, maybe screaming isn’t the best word but I definitely let out some shrieks in the process…or several shrieks. And my Mom was cracking up the whole time.
M: I may wet my pants…you’ve got to calm down. “still cracking up”
N: AAAHHH – THE MOUSE IS IN THE TRASH BAG. IN THE TRASH BAG. I MAY BE ABLE TO BE MORE CALM NOW…Holy Cow. That was terrifying. I’ve never been more awake at 7:10 in the morning before…

So yes – I managed to catch & kill my first mouse. I’d really rather not ever have to do that again. Ever. Then again, if I could bottle the level of adrenaline my body was pumping throughout the experience, I think I’d drink it all the time so I’d be that pumped & awake. I was alert to the extreme. I could probably run for days with that much energy. Maybe I should kill mice more often…since it gets me so hyped up. Of course, my heart racing like that might not be the best idea.

Anyway – I have survived my first “crisis” of sorts. I was concerned about bad weather or power outages or something along those lines…I never even thought of mice. It’s always the thing you least expect, right? This was definitely an adventure – there is no denying that fact. I think I’ve had enough of this particular adventure though. 🙂

You Know You’re Growing Up…

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Well, I had a wonderful Christmas & New Year’s vacation…still enjoying the last day of my New Year’s vacation. I started to realize as I bustling around my house this morning all the things that happened over Christmas vacation & came to that awful realization that I’m growing up. Growing up was that thing that you always wanted to do when you were little & now that it is happening full force, I realize that all the advice about savoring your youth was wisdom from adults who had already lived the part of life I’m now living. Hindsight is 20/20 they say…

So, without further ado, *some signs (that I recognized at Christmas/New Years) that I’m growing up:
-getting two Dustbusters is not a bad thing; nor is the conversation about which one really would work best for me(“I mean, do you really think you need a wet/dry function or would you rather have the one with better suction; that would work well with pet hair?”). Gone are the days when getting cleaning items was a bad thing. I can even say with very little shame that I text my Mom the other day exclaiming over the joys of having a Dustbuster…yep, I was excited over something that cleans…which leads me to another sign…
-Using Christmas money to buy a vacuum cleaner. That’s right, I spent valuable & highly coveted Christmas money on another cleaning tool. And let me tell you that I am so excited with my new vacuum cleaner. That thing has amazing suction power & I get excited running it all over my floors & marveling at how well it sucks up dirt, dust & pet hair. *sigh* I really am becoming my Mother…he-he.
-I also got a really big high from cleaning & putting up all my Christmas things. Not because I was excited to take it all down, more because I got such a thrill from the sense of having my house organized & in order. Before I took it all down I actually tried to rationalize the idea of keeping up my Christmas tree year round & just decorating it for the season at hand – I realized that was bordering on a little much, so down came the tree. I realize that has very little to do with me growing up & more with me being completely anal…but that’s okay too. I also realize that rationalizing that keeping the tree up year round is crazy is also part of growing up. That’s cool. I can handle it.
-Knowing that ringing in the New Year with a 13 year old & your grandmother & having only your dog to kiss when the clock strikes 12 is a blessing, because there are some people in the world that are truly all alone ; not just when a new year starts, but every day. Realizing that while I may feel alone sometimes, I am actually surrounded by family & friends that love me. Also realizing that very fact – I get that means that I’m growing up.
-Most importantly, seeing that the magic of Christmas comes from something different. Granted, I will always love the lights, the decorations, the smells of Christmas, the TV specials, the parties…I love it all. I also see that the true magic of Christmas is that God would send his only son – the only son he ever had – as a baby knowing that one day he would sacrifice himself to redeem a world that; for the most part, didn’t even acknowledge his arrival that night in Bethlehem. A world that would scorn him, hate him, crucify him on a cross & even today try to reject that he rose from the dead. The true joy of Christmas is that the greatest gift we ever could receive; the greatest gift we will ever receive if we choose to is the wonder of a child born of a virgin, a child whose birth was celebrated by shepherds, a child who received prophetic gifts of gold, frankincense & myrrh from wise men from the East…a child that would live a life as both God & man & save the world from it’s sins.

I’m glad I’m growing up. It’s hard to do at times, surely, but knowing that I know & have received the salvation & love of the Savior of the world lets me know that every step I take as I grow up is guided. Every turn the road I’m on takes is dictated by the Creator of the world. I am never alone & my life has a plan…even if I may only be able to see a little bit at a time.

Hope you had a magical & blessed Christmas & that you will have a wonderful New Year.