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The rat days of June

June 28, 2012

The motherfreaking rat is lost under our bed. (Not the rat in the pictures – that rat licked cherry juice off Col’s lips today and I was too hot to care). It’s like having a newborn again for how many times little rat nails scrabbling across wood floors woke me up last night. But it’s also like having a shapeshifting phantom in the house for how many different family members “see” Houdini Ratty Jr. in different places.

There was Col showing up at my bedside at 2am telling me, “the rat bit my ear and then I woke up.” Later, the rat woke me again by rustling around Dan’s backpack and then was nowhere to be seen when I crept up on the backpack. A bit later I found Dan on the couch, insisting the rat was in Col’s room (where Dan was sleeping because I was up late reading) where Dan trapped it by closing the door – except, whoops, that small rat-sized crack.

Also, my camera seems to have died.

And there are more fires just yesterday. Tuesday night’s dry lightning storm (102 strikes) ignited several new fires in the area, including one at Lightner creek, where Col ate a grasshopper this spring. The Mancos fire is still burning. Yesterday it was hard to get a radio station because I presume the airways were kept clear for emergency communications. You can no longer have a campfire in Colorado, unless you’re in a developed campground (which we try to avoid). 1011 heat records have been broken in the U.S. in the past week. Almost 200 homes in Colorado Springs have burned. Everyone is unsettled and edgy and trying to seed the clouds with hopes and prayers.

Times like these, I like having friends around, people to share meals with. Chris C. was kind enough to come over tonight for bbq elk, salad and cherry crisp (thanks for the Hermosa cherries, Jojo!) and if my camera was functioning, I would have snapped a picture of Col and Rose climbing all over Chris and him saying, “my, your children are so aloof.”

Hermosa cherries

Rose snapped this picture of me bringing a pile of weeds to the chickens. I’m hoping that whatever reason my camera isn’t working has nothing to do with Rose toting it around for a full ten minutes.

Just sneaking this lettuce/pea photo in because it’s so green and lovely.


We’ve been swimming in the river daily. While packing up to leave, we’re like the family in the “before” pictures: before the Prozac, before the epidural, before the rabies medicine kicks in. Everyone is hot and grumpy and demoralized by the Sisyphusian task of losing rat/finding rat/locking up rat…repeat. And then we bike down to the river and we’re like the instantly saved at the tent revival.

I no longer have to coach Col and Rose on the route to the river. They’re like little GPS systems, pointing their bikes east and 5 minutes later, we’re at the sandy shore. I’ve pulled my mucky, sandy, stretched-out suit from the laundry hamper when it was no longer fit for wearing and wore it anyway. I’ve fallen asleep in my suit top, woken up and left it on because eventually we end up at the river.

In fact, we’re heading there today. Maybe we’ll see you.

*also, I was interviewed about canning on the Two Frog Home homesteading website, read it here.

*and, I’m participating in gathering signatures on a petition to ban the spraying of chemicals in Durango city parks. You know, those parks where babies gum woodchips and toddlers run naked through the grass? If you’d like to sign it (must be registered to vote in the city), let me know.

*one more: sorry again for those of you who want to leave comments and still aren’t able to because of wordpress screwiness.

*if Thursday’s not too early to wish you a lovely weekend, have a good, safe, cool one (except all of you in the wet northeast and northwest, may the sun shine!).

13 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2012 9:50 am

    oooh, this post reminded me that I need to find us a good kid-friendly swimming river. I’d take that over the pool any day.

    ps. it rained here in Denver last night. This morning, I don’t see smoke coming from the Flatirons like we have been these last few days. Some goodness, at least.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      June 28, 2012 9:59 am

      Glad to hear of the Denver rain. Whew.

  2. June 28, 2012 9:53 am

    i’m pretty sure that if the rat was loose in my house there would be a steady flow of expletives out of my mouth. they’re just a bit icky and i think it all has to do with the tale.

    thinking of you and yours and these fires, sending up wishes for rain and cooler temps. be safe. xo

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      June 28, 2012 9:58 am

      Oh, plenty of expletives. And then 5 minutes ago somehow the kids locked themselves *out* of their bedroom (better than in). They heard some curses fly after that one.

  3. mamanongrata permalink
    June 28, 2012 10:44 am

    I dropped my camera on a concrete floor in Denmark. No kids around even to think of blaming. It will cost twice as much as to fix as it will to replace. Sigh.

  4. abozza permalink
    June 28, 2012 1:58 pm

    I wish we had a river nearby that was deep enough for swimming, or even general splashiness. We’ve been enjoying the pool, but I miss the days of my youth in rivers, streams and ponds. As for the rat…you’re a better woman than I.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      June 28, 2012 3:43 pm

      You know, rats don’t freak me out at all. If there were even one cockroach on the lam roaming this house, it’d be a different story. xo

  5. June 28, 2012 7:53 pm

    So very sorry about your camera.

    And rain! I am wishing for rain!

  6. June 29, 2012 11:04 am

    Love the canning chat. I’m getting ready to teach some canning classes this summer and while I’ve taught half my friends how to do it in my kitchen, I’m nervous as all get out about teaching a group of people I don’t know!

  7. June 29, 2012 4:38 pm

    i really wish i could send some rain clouds your way from my magic wand. i can’t stand to think about all that devastation.

    um. good luck with that rat:) and i totally love that rad mama shot of you by your rose!! off to check out the canning link! happy weekend. xo.

  8. Ann permalink
    June 30, 2012 11:52 am

    Your pictures are beautiful!

  9. July 6, 2012 8:08 am

    It’s so beautiful where you are!


  1. In which we go (unintentionally) camping with a rat « 6512 and growing

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