Merlot Mudpies

Can a blog be about gardening, cancer, family, food and life all at the same time? Oh good.

Of Mice and (wo)Men April 5, 2008


How many women does it take to get a mouse out of a garden plot? Well, that depends. But for two women vs. one mouse, I’d have to say it takes nearly an hour. This has to remain between you and me but…Joce and I caught a mouse today and we set it free. If any of the other Ivey Ranch gardeners find out, I’m sure they’ll kick me out. But it was just so…little! And cute! With its little whiskers, twitching nose, terrified gait and gently rounded belly due to eating my pea plants (AGAIN) and half of my french thyme! How could I kill it?

Actually, on reconsidering the loss of a 7th pea plant…maybe I should have done the bugger in…

No. No!

We chased our little mouse friend out of the plot twice with many squeals (from us, not the mouse), much jumping around and shrieking (again, us, not the mouse) and a lot of terrified running (which I’m happy to attribute to the mouse AND us…). Finally after it came back into the plot for a second time via its little system of tunnels and holes all through the plots, we caught it under a planting pot. Two planting pots, actually, because…you know…one wasn’t enough. Then, much to the well-hidden disgust of Carlos (who offered to bash the little guy in for us), Joce and I managed to walk him out to the very edge of the field in which the plots lay and let him go right by the country highway…where…it clearly is safer than say with us. Maybe we didn’t save its life after all. But for sure a valiant effort was made. I left him one of the pots for protection. He didn’t want to come out of it.

We were so relieved when I got back to the plot after the Great Mouse Rescue. We began weeding again. And then realized that there were two other mice watching us from their respective corners. DO mice mate for life, we wondered? DO they have grief support groups just in case we just widowed them? WILL our field-released mouse end up on a milk carton?

I don’t know. I just give up. If it comes back Dick or Al or Barry will kill it and I just have to say I tried. If it didn’t want to be saved, I can’t help it. You can lead a mouse to freedom unwillingly in an overturned pot, but you can’t make it appreciate your efforts.

Stupid mice.

I think all pests should, by law, be less cute. It’d be so much easier to be rid of them that way.

Mice aside, Jocelyn and I finished an astounding amount of weeding today.

Pictoral evidence:

Jocelyn surveys the weed damage we did in C10 in about 4 hours:

I’m not sure the local name of this weed, but we are fairly certain by its tenacity and blasted difficulty in being pulled out (we both landed on our butts multiple times while working at these) that its latin name is “Awfullicus Irritado Bastardus”. I’m fairly sure you can find it on Wikipedia…

Note: I am 6 full feet tall. Note the size of these things. I felt like the fisherman who catches a fish that…no REALLY…was THIS BIG! As you can see by the scowl on my face, it took my vicious nature and skill to get this guy out of the ground:

Lastly, a before and after trilogy.

Untouched on Thursday:

After Teri and I worked with the kids:

After Joce and I finished up today:

I love Jocelyn. And not just because she works her tush off in my garden and buys me coffee. She is “that” friend. I pray that all of you have one. The one who, when you are with her, you feel like you’re on vacation — when you are so connected you never have to explain a joke, you always end your day aching with laughter, and you feel simply and utterly known. Gardening with her is such a privilege and joy. Add to this the fact that Eamonn simply adores her and Ryan loves her to death and, well, you get family more than friend.

Today was one of those days — just one of those lovely, amazing days, that left me blessed, refreshed, and smiling.

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5 Responses to “Of Mice and (wo)Men”

  1. I liked your little blog! Reminds me of myself and my mother-in-law. We’re totally best friends and we both love gardening. I’ll have to look at the rest of your stuff when I get a chance!

  2. merlotmudpies Says:

    thank you so much! i’m glad you’re enjoying it. my mother-in-law and i, too, are the best of friends. though i know mostly nothing about gardening and she’s considering becoming a master gardener with all she knows. this is something i’m doing in memory of my mother, who died a month ago from metastatic breast cancer. she, too, was an amazing gardener and lover of all creation.

  3. merlotmudpies Says:

    oh hey i just put two and two together and figured out that you’re scarley! lol. i am slow. my mother-in-law is in OK, tho i’m in CA. isn’t that where you are?? she is near broken arrow/bixby area.

  4. Kate Says:

    Way to evict those weeds, wow, what a difference!
    Looking at the “Before” shot, I’m amazed that you were so thrilled to get this plot — obviously a woman who doesn’t shy away from a little work!

  5. merlotmudpies Says:

    the soil underneath is so rich and loamy it made me tear up (or maybe it was the little particle of perfect earth i flipped in my eyeball that made me tear up but that’s neither here nor there!). the work is half the fun. some of the guys tease me when my husband watches our toddler and i come out with the shovel and the ax. but i’m serious when i tell them, “what, and let HIM have all the fun??”


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