We sold the house!

Now we're leaving Little Z with a new babysitter, off to Canada for the week end!

Kidding. I just love this picture. It's from the AwkwardFamilyPhotos archive.

We really did sell the house today, though. And we built a bridge. All before noon. And I'm sick. I should really go to bed. Right now.

Gift from the Grey Economy Cult

Our "neighbor" from a mile up the road stopped by and gave me this. It is maple syrup! Pure maple syrup! She made it herself from the Maple trees! Local food is awesome.

Seven Years

Do you know that every seven years, your body replaces all of its cells? Every seven years. Except for the brain cells, of course. Still. Every seven years. All the cells in your body.

Which means that you are almost an entirely different person by the end of each seven year period. And yet, the person you were seven years ago led to the person you are today, so it's not like you're really a different person. You've just- changed.

Morrissey, for instance, no longer looks as much like my husband as he used to.

Every seven years.

A Poem for San Francisco

1989 Currant Theatre
Whores posing in our headlights
Van Ness Avenue, Curtains open
Plastic Christmas trees
Hait Street too much, too much to bear
Learning to ride a bike
Bongo drums playing
Dragon kites fighting
Polished old ladies with blue hair
and tiny dogs
Mohawk guys asking for quarters


A few years ago, we made a lot of wine. I stomped on the grapes and everything- much to BAH's disgust. (My feet were clean!) We made grape wine from the grape vine in our back yard, and mead from a huge thing of honey we got at a farmer's market. I think we were riding our bikes by this guy selling honey, if I remember right. Then BAH picked all the flowers from our weeds and made dandelion wine.

A few more years back, we brewed our own beer. This was in Pueblo, Colorado. We had a little two story house there, and brewed it on the stairs, because it was easy to get it to go down from one bottle to the next. We spilled a lot of beer on those steps, and I remember our house smelling pleasantly like a pub for months to come. We grew our own hops, too. Hops are very pretty plants. The beer was very heavy and almost non-alcoholic. It was like eating a meal, drinking a pint. You couldn't get drunk off of it because you could never drink enough before being terribly full. It was also very bitter. But I liked it, just because we made it.

The wine is better, but varies greatly in quality. The grape wine is okay. Some of the Dandelion wine went bad. The mead, though! Fantastic! And so alcoholic, too!

Mead takes five years to get good, though, so if we make some more now... we'll have more in five years!

All of this self-reliance stuff takes some patience.

I think we were gearing up for this move to the country for a long time, without realizing it. We made mead five years ago.

Creepy Night! & Chicken Pictures

Last night, at about 4 AM (I think!) these coyotes started howling just below our window. Loudly. Piercingly. It was beyond creepy. It was scary. It woke BAH and I up with a start. We both had the same thought,

"Did we lock up the chickens last night?"

We always always always lock up the chickens in the barn at night. But, of course, there was this nagging feeling that, because there were what sounded like two thousand coyotes howling a piercing howl just outside my window, I thought maybe I had forgotten. But no way in hell was I going out there to check!

Then I fell asleep and I had a bad dream that this evil preacher man named, "Preacher Pops" came to steal our chickens. He was holding me at knife point in the barn while his dumb sidekick stole the chickens. I was trying to wave to BAH across the field, but he couldn't see me that far away, and he just waved back and said, "See you later! Guess everything's okay, huh?" and went inside! Then I woke up.

The chickens were fine. I was so happy to see them all alive, I took their picture. They finally go outside now!

The Brahmas are my favorite, as we all predicted. This next one is pretty, too, but I don't know what it is:

These ones with no hair on their necks are in some circles referred to as, "Transylvanian Naked Necks":

They're supposed to be very cold weather tolerant and good egg layers. They're all rather interesting, though, aren't they? Really, all of our chickens are a bit exotic. Once we have them mating with each other, they will be incredibly exotic, perhaps!

This next one is the "exotic". He has now taken charge of the flock. He's a Dark Cornish. BAH calls him, "The King". He crows so loudly! I like how he looks so classic roosterly.

A Little Orchard

Our trees came from the Arbor Day Society today, a long thin box with twigs that are, supposedly, alive. You're supposed to plant them right away, so I did. We found a nice, untouched spot behind the barn ("organic machine house", to people who keep up with these things). The hose didn't reach to water them, so we had to haul water: I with my bucket marked "toilet" (it was the best bucket I could find- don't ask), BAH with his milk jugs, and Little Z with her sand pale full of water. Little Z was watering rocks and the like, but BAH and I were watering our new trees:

one early harvest apple,
one yellow delicious apple,
two montmorency cherries*,
two kiefer pears,
two orient pears (pears are my favorite fruit),
two golden jubilee peach (I can't believe you can grow peaches in Wisconsin! We'll see...), and
three pecan seedlings (for protein, as Roses commented once).

Pictures of the "orchard" coming soon. (Although you may not be able to discern the trees as yet!)

* The first house BAH and I lived in together was really a trailer, and it had beautiful cherry trees along the edge of the yard. We weren't allowed to pick the cherries for ourselves, though; that honor went to our landlord, Art, who sat underneath the cherry trees in his lawn chair with a handgun and shot birds who tried to eat his cherries. Art told BAH not to tell me it was a gun- as though I couldn't just look out my window and see him sitting there in his lawn chair twenty feet away, shooting birds with his gun.

We can get nets to put over our cherry trees to protect them.

Past Tense

Little Z and I went to a garage sale today, the first of the season. There was a fifty-something guy tending a lot of women's clothes, knic-knacks, cookbooks, and such. There was a whole huge box of vacuum cleaner bags dating back half a century.

"My wife never threw away anything," said the man. "When she got a new vacuum cleaner, she had a cupboard, in went the old vacuum cleaner bags, in went the new vacuum cleaner bags. She never got rid of anything."

I went on to examine a funny looking owl cookie jar.

"Kathy collected cookie jars, too," said the man. "I had about thirty of them, and all but that one went in the first two hours this morning! It's funny the stuff people will buy."

I tried on a pair of shoes.

"What size are all the shoes?" I asked.

"Oh, they're probably a six and a half or a seven." The shoes didn't fit me right. "I remember when she tried on that pair, too, and they never quite fit her right. She was so disappointed."

I was beginning to feel like I should ask when she died, but I just didn't feel like taking on that burden, today. I felt selfish. I didn't want to hear his problems.

I settled on a cookbook.

"Kathy never saw a cookbook she didn't like. The last garage sale I had was full of cookbooks, that truck over there filled to the top! By the end of the day, only one book left-- hey, there she is now! Don't mind the dog. He's just friendly. I think Kathy forgot the leash."

A car pulled up, and a gynormous dog jumped out, as did a very healthy looking fifty-something lady named Kathy!

"Sorry, I forgot the leash!" said Kathy. "Does she want to pet the doggy?"

Much ado was made over Little Z petting Kathy's dog.

I was speechless.

That guy really needs to stop talking about his wife like she's dead!

For those of you who don't read fiction...

A few years ago, I read this book called, Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail: Can a Punk Rock Legend Find What Monty Python Couldn't? I thought, initially, that it was a fiction, but after a few chapters, something didn't feel quite right. I looked all over the book and there was no marking that it was fictional. Then I looked up Rat Scabbies, and became friends with him on Myspace, downloaded some of his fantastic music, and noticed his status update was "Grailhunting". No, no. This was truth!

It's a fantastic story about these two guys (Rat Scabbies and Christopher Dawes, his fan) from England who go to a small town in France where people believe in Holy Grails and aliens, among other things. It's truly laugh-out-loud funny all the way through. My favorite little detail is that Rat Scabbies does the whole Grail hunting trip, which lasts for several months, in his house slippers. He never puts on a pair of shoes. I won't reveal to you what exactly they find. I think the best way to read it, though, is to watch that ridiculous movie with Tom Hanks before hand, just to set the mood. Then watch it all fall apart in hilarity when you read the Rat Scabbies book.

The Strange Nature of the Truth (and a little bit of clarification about the piano story)

I was twelve years old and on a bus with my mom, and she launched into this long story about a concert for deaf people with a deaf choir. Then this handsome man behind us half climbed over the seat and said, "I just have to get in on this! What in the world are you talking about?" And we all laughed, and my mom told him about it, too.

I thought a lot about this music concert for deaf people (she said they were enjoying the vibrations- who was I to argue?) as sort of the epitome of a Frances story. I think that it was probably a concert to benefit deaf people, and my mom just somehow missed that crucial fact. (After I wrote this, my dad sent me this link, and perhaps I am wrong- perhaps it was a concert for deaf people. The way she told it was so outlandish as to make it seem unbelievable, so I guess it's just an example of how things get scewed.) Because that's how she is. She misses these logical connections that the rest of us get immediately- like, for instance, that if you own a house, you can store a piano there indefinitely. Or that you can dust your house when it gets dusty, you don't have to move.

When I was a kid, she told a lot of stories about crazy things she experienced that I thought were lies, but turned out to be totally true. Trusted people told different versions of the same stories. So now, I actually believe her stories.

The thing is, the truth is as you see it. My mom is a strange person, and she sees things a bit strangely. She has a lot of strange friends, too, and when they get together strange things naturally happen. Also, it's just in her nature to stir things up a lot. She produces extreme reactions. I'm sure that the piano story was told a lot differently by the people stuck on the third floor who needed to get to the doctor. And differently by John Chang. And the landlord.

Frances is like this traveling disturbance. She gets stopped by the police a lot, even when she's on foot. When I'm watching Star Wars, and Yoda says he feels a "Disturbance in the Force," I'm thinking my mom must be around here somewhere.

She also always talks about the thing I am thinking about, but haven't spoken. I think she unconsciously reads my mind. I hadn't mentioned that my piano had just been moved, and yet she just suddenly started talking about when her piano was moved four years ago. Why? She does that almost every time I talk with her. (She probably won't do it next time, now that I've admitted this.)

She also sometimes doesn't seem to notice the passing of time. A lot of people are like that.

You put it all together and you get some stories.

A Good Piano

I don’t know if I can really do this justice, but I’ll try. Anyway, I had a phone conversation with my mother, Frances, today. After I hung up, I realized it had been over four years since she moved. The conversation went something like this:

Me: How are you?

Frances: Oh, I’m awful. [Insert ten minutes of health complaints here.] And I’m really upset some people stole almost all my musical instruments when I moved. Then, you know what else the doctor said?-

Me: Wait- who stole your musical instruments? What about your musical instruments?

Frances: Oh, you know. I don’t know why, but I had my old piano mover move for me, and he hired all of these guys he didn’t even know! John Chang, he’s an oriental guy, John Chang. I can’t believe he would do that, after thirty or forty years of piano moving. And I didn’t even know it when I hired him, but he was like disabled or something- going around town with handicapped stickers on his van for a knee problem or Alzheimer's or something like that. He used to say, “Oh, stairs. Stairs are nothing to me.” And he couldn’t even get it up the stairs! Stairs used to be nothing to him! After thirty or forty years of experience. And these guys he hired, they didn’t even speak English or something, they were Latino and he couldn’t even talk with them! Like he would say, “Left” and they would drive right. It was ridiculous. You’d think he would know some people, after thirty or forty years in the business. He used to be really good, you know. So they just pushed this piano up the two stairs and they were stuck. It was like three steps and they were stuck. And these people upstairs, these ladies on the third floor were all saying they had to go to the doctor or something, I guess these people on the third floor were sick or something and they didn’t want the piano there on the stairs and the one lady, I guess she was agile, she climbed over the piano. You know, I had to follow the mailman to find him [John Chang]. I had his address, but his phone was disconnected. I guess his parents disconnected the phone because they didn’t want him moving pianos anymore or something because of the knee or the Alzheimer's.

Me: So- wait- what happened to the piano? Do you have it now? Did they ever get it up the stairs?

Frances: No, no. It’s at the dump. It was a good piano. It didn’t deserve that. No, they couldn’t get it up the stairs so it went to the dumps from the lobby- that’s where it was- and they gave me thirty days to get rid of it or move it, but I couldn’t do anything. It was a good piano, you know. It wasn’t in tune. You couldn’t tune it because they said it would break the strings, but it was a good piano. I didn’t play guitar along to it or anything, so it was all right for me. It was in tune to itself, you know.

Me: Oh, right, right. In tune to itself.

Frances: I tried to give it to some cafes, but they didn’t want it so the landlord he took it to the dump. He said it cost him to take it there, too.

Me: So, I actually just got my piano moved over here, today.

Frances: What?

Me: I just moved our piano to the farm today from the old house.

Frances: Oh, just today?

Me: Yeah.

Frances: Oh, I’m surprised they let you keep it there that long. It’s been months!

Me: But, we still own the old house in town where it was.

Frances: Still, I’m surprised they let you keep it there that long!

The 100 Mile Beer Diet and Other Ideas that Are Better Than They Sound At First Read!

My sweet Auntie Lou sent me Animal, Vegetable, Miracle for my birthday. I hadn't ever read it before, but it's funny how close my ideas are to the author's. I suppose we're all on the same communal wavelength or something. The basic idea is that it's a really good thing to eat food that is grown very close to where you live.

I just want to say here that, if you live in Antarctica on a diet of mangoes and deep fried zebra, that's certainly your business. "Whatever gets you through your life," as John would say. I certainly do not live my life as a carbon neutral wisp of a girl. So take this or leave it.

But I have found, in my gradual dips into doing this, that it does enrich your life. Eating is a big deal.

I guess I've been gardening for several years, mainly because my parents are not gardeners. My dad always says he has a "black thumb". Sometimes, in your youth, you do things to be a rebel, and I gardened. I married a man who could make plants grow, too, and I thought that was really sexy. Go ahead. Make fun of me! I'll just cry.

And then one day a few years ago I was listening to the radio, and they had some guy on who was explaining how much energy was wasted by transporting our food over thousands and thousands of miles, and I immediately grasped what he was saying. He suggested that everyone just eat food grown within one hundred miles of their home. I thought that sounded pretty limiting, so to start, I decided to just drink beer brewed within 100 miles of my home.

Considering that I live in Southern Wisconsin, this was not a huge sacrifice. You may think, also, that this would not exactly save the world, but actually, you're wrong, because I drink a lot of beer.

The next year, I enrolled us in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). CSA's are the Commies' way of making us believe that they're cool, but once they take over, it will be three hour bread lines for everyone! Kidding. CSA's are where you pay once a year for a certain percentage of all of the farm's products for a season, or sometimes for the whole year. Our farm provided vegetables and eggs, and it was wonderful. Everything tasted great. Just great. It was unbelievable, the variety and flavor. The fresh vegetables sometimes taste nothing like the ones you get in the supermarket. I love brussel sprouts, now! Really. No joke.

Now that we moved to the country, we're too far from the CSA, but we're growing our own veggies and raising our own chickens. There's also a lady up the road who may let me do chores for her goat milk. (BAH thought it was really funny that I wrote, "CALL GOAT LADY" on the chalkboard this week where I write stuff to do.)

I also found cow's milk in glass jugs with the cream on top. Little Z is insane over this milk with Ovaltine.

And now that I am reading this book, I decided maybe a few more things should be bought locally. Staples. Like flour. (I bake bread quite often and make pizza at least once a week.) The closest flour mill to us, as it turns out, is a bit of a gourmet type place, and all organic. So, I put in an order on line for a bunch of specialty flours. (They are the closest, but still on the outer edge of 100 miles.) The box arrived today. I made pizza and OMG THE BEST FLOUR ON EARTH! SANTA MARIA!

So far, my eating locally experience can really be summed up in one word:


"I have always looked upon decay as being just as wonderful and rich an expression of life as growth." -Henry Miller

This is possibly a spoiler, although I think that knowing what is going to happen in this book would not in any way diminish your enjoyment of it.

I recently finished Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow. This is an exquisitely well written book. It's fiction, though it borrows many details from the lives of Homer and Langley Cowley. (But that doesn't matter.) The story is told from the point of view of Homer, a blind musician, whose brother Langley is obsessed with trying to create a newspaper for the whole world and all of time. You would just need the one newspaper. It would make all newspapers obsolete.

Homer is this gentle soul who takes everyone exactly as they are. He's very intuitive. The two brothers live together all of their lives, excepting a brief period when Langley goes and fights in "The Great War". Throughout their lives the brothers are regulars at speakeasies, they are arrested for holding dances in their home, they have lovers come and go. They are involved with mobsters. The highlight of the book, really, is when their house becomes a hippie house, and Langley is a sort of hippie guru, by default. And Langley hoards things. And tinkers. And takes care of his brother. And slowly, slowly, they retreat from the world, even though they live on Fifth Avenue in Manhatan. They themselves become subjects for the newspapers that Langley hoards. Everything is told through the eyes of Homer, who is blind but incredibly insightful.

I can't quite explain why, but I absolutely loved this book.

Deeper than Asparagus

I planted sixty asparagus plants these past few days. Which means that, if you come and visit me in three years, we'll have some tasty asparagus! (Asparagus takes three years to get started, but then it comes back every year for 20-30 years.)

I also planted a bunch of other stuff.

I have a little confession to make. It has to do with why we bought the farm. Part of the appeal of it, for me, is this idea of self sufficiency if the apocalypse should arrive unexpectedly.

I don't mean the biblical version, per se. I mean some sort of amazing disaster that would render our society useless, where everyone would have to fend for themselves. There's always been this part of me that really relates to those people who have bomb shelters stocked with food and weapons. I mean, really, who's to say nothing will happen? Just because it hasn't yet?

The kind of things I'd like to protect against are statistically unlikely, for sure. But think of all the things that have happened in your life that really weren't likely to happen. Ever gotten a disease that only ten percent or less of all people get? Ever run into someone you knew while traveling abroad? Ever seen a ghost?

Anyway, you get the idea. Here are some possibilities for the future, things which I normally scoff at in public, but it's a lying, cheating scoff:

Zombies! I have Grandpa Al's old butcher knives, and I know exactly where they are. (Blades don't need reloading.) Also, the location in a hidden valley is really ideal for spotting zombies hobbling down the road.

Plague! Should 90% of the population be killed off by pestilence, I hope to soon have a stockpile of food, which will render it plausible to cut myself off from the infected population and live here, all alone with my husband and child.

War! Again, good location in the valley, knives, food. I also think no one would ever bother to come out here. We're not on the way to anywhere, thankfully. Seriously, though, we're not safe against invasion. But what can one do?

Alien Invasion! Well, honestly, I don't think about that too much. But maybe it's already happened.

Large scale corn or soybean die off! I'm planting all sorts of heirloom plants.

Livestock diseases! We've got the exotic chickens to lay our exotic eggs. They should be immune to things which attack the most common varieties. It's all good.

So, now you know my secret! And don't tell me you don't ever think about these things, too. How much food is in your pantry?

The Grey Economy Cult didn't mean to strike back!

I talked with Rolf today. He didn't get the message I left on Friday because his wife deleted a bunch of messages accidentally. He was very nice and very apologetic. He said he would never have planted on our land- he knew the land was sold to us, and he wasn't planning on doing anything on it, but he forgot to mention it to his "Agronomist" (the guy in the truck). (Another possible band name, "The Agronomists".) So, no worries!

"I hope you haven't lost any sleep over this!" said Rolf.
"Oh, I didn't." But I did blog about you...

It takes a lot more than this to make me lose sleep. My nickname is "Mommy E. Newman".

The conversation ended awkwardly. Neither of us knew what to say.

"Okay, thanks! Have a nice Spring!" I said, and quickly hung up.

Why you're called "chicken" when you're afraid:

The chickens are afraid of the dark. If we turn out the barn lights, they start clucking wildly and running around on top of each other. We have installed a night light for the chickens. They're so ridiculous.

I cut a little door in the barn to the outside, a chicken-size door. We made a big outdoor run and put an electric fence around it for predators. (There are so many predators in our area that our neighbors, who used to have a flock of a dozen, now have one chicken and one rooster.) This was about four days ago, when I installed the door, but the chickens are too afraid to go outside. There are a few brave ones who will stand in the doorway to feel the wind rustle their feathers. I shoved one outside, and it looked around and shook with fear for a minute, then stepped cautiously back in the door. It made me feel mean for wanting it to enjoy the sunshine. They're so ridiculous.

Chickens aren't especially nice to each other, pecking on each other all the time, but still they are terrified of being alone. I was working on the little enclosure in the barn we have for them, and all of the chickens except for one went into another area, so I shut the door. The one who was left behind was sleeping, a rather cute, fluffy white fowel. I went about my business in the chicken coop, and the fluffy white chicken who had been dozing woke up, finding herself all alone with me - and no other chickens! She looked around and started shaking with fear and clucking, becoming increasingly agitated, until I opened the door to where the other chickens were and she hesitated, looked around for a second, and then made a mad dash for the other chickens!

They're so ridiculous.

The Grey Economy Cult Strikes Back!

Yesterday was Good Friday*, so being the ultra-religious guy that he is, BAH took the afternoon off. ("Is this when the Catholics put the tarp over Jesus?" I asked him. "What?" "You know, they cover the cross in church with a tarp for a few days, so you can't see Jesus, right?" "Oh, um... well, I've never heard it called a 'tarp' before.") The three of us loaded into my car to go get milk. A very leisurely errand. Then we saw this guy in a white pick-up just drive right across our land.

"What's that guy doing?"
"What the?"
"He's driving right across our land!"
"He is!"
"I'll go talk to him."

BAH jumped out of the car and started running after the truck driving right across our pristine tall grass prairie nature preserve stuff!!! Not okay!

The guy in the truck got to the corn field and drove around the edge of it in a square, while BAH was still trying to catch up. A disadvantage to owning a lot of land became immediately apparent: you can't catch people randomly driving over it.

Driving over our land is not a shortcut to anywhere. You just have to turn around and go back the way you came. The guy in the pick-up clearly thought he had business being in our corn field.

Meanwhile, in the car, Little Z totally freaked out, screaming, "Daddy Daddy my Daddy gone!!!" So, pretty soon, I was carrying a two year old, running after my husband, who was running after the guy who was driving around our corn field in a white pick-up truck.

Daddy caught up to him first, of course. I'd give a few dollars to hear what my mild-mannered husband actually said to the guy. When I caught up with them, the guy was writing down some phone numbers, and talking about "Rolf".

Ah, Rolf. It is all clear now. Rolf rented out the corn field last year. Apparently, he didn't think to check if it was still okay to plant corn there. (It isn't!) This guy in the pick-up was surveying the land with a GPS for Rolf. There was definitely some miscommunication going on.

"It's a good thing you caught me today, before the seeder came!" said the guy in the pick-up.

I suddenly had this image in my mind of little me, standing in front of a giant seeder, Tienanmen Square style.

Rolf now has a message from me on his answering machine. I hope he calls back before he sends the seeder. We've got to graze sheep in that old corn field. We've gotta live the dream!

* What's so good about it?


I really did go buy some cement yesterday after I did my blog post, and I really did make a new stoop for the back door. It was very difficult! The smallest bags of concrete weigh forty pounds. Then you pour them into a tub, add water (which also weighs a ton) and mix it. We're talking serious hard labour. I have great respect for cement mixers! Then you have to shovel or pour it out again and spread it out. Then on to the next bag! I went through eight bags. Smooth it over. Good god. The worst part, really, was that once I started, I couldn't stop, or there'd be this horrible massive lump in concrete forevermore sitting behind my back door, eternally reminding me and all visitors of my failings. (At the store, they told me that you can't just do it in parts, letting some dry and then doing more overtop of it, or the whole thing just cracks to pieces.)

The result is much nicer than the little drop they left in the ground behind the back door when they filled in the trench after installing geothermal heat. (In the middle picture of the geothermal heat post, you can see our former back stoop, cast off to the side.) Also, I think I plugged up the mouse hole nicely.

I had a childish urge to carve into the concrete, "A GIRL DID THIS!!!!" But then I thought about it. Writing in concrete on your house is like a tattoo. It's going to be there forever. I had a coworker in Colorado who had been in the military, abroad, and had "Colorful Colorado" over a Colorado flag tattooed on his arm, one night when he was homesick. It was a really dumb tattoo- heartfelt at the moment, but it didn't seem as cool later on. So, I'll pass on writing, "A GIRL DID THIS!!!" in my concrete stoop, although it is tempting.

The other reason is that I'm afraid some guy will see it and say, "Oh! So that's why it tilts to the right!" A have a few friends who would say that.

A mouse! Yikes!

We have mice in the house. Hopefully, only one or two. It's absolutely shocking. And old farm house on the prairie has field mice? I think they're getting in under the back door, because we never put a new concrete back stoop in after the geothermal, so there are a few holes. (We run a tight ship around here, yes indeed.)

The mice haven't really been much of a problem, but whenever I see one, I scream like a little girl. I just can't help it. A giant yelp involuntarily escapes me. What is that? It must be some sort of primal reaction.

Bad-Ass Husband (BAH) put out some mouse traps with cheese. At first, he didn't catch any, so he decided it wasn't good enough cheese. This is Wisconsin, after all. These mice are connoisseurs. Then he set out some cheese and the mice ate the cheese without getting caught. For a while, he was just feeding the mice. Then we caught one. Then we caught another, and just the mouse's foot was stuck, so he escaped into that hole under the back door. I let him escape. It was my fault. I was busy screaming like a little girl. But maybe the mouse just left and he isn't coming back? That would be nice.

I'm going out now to buy some concrete mix for the back porch.