hump day ramblings

Currently there is a mouse living in our house.

I personally think that mice are adorable. Our current house guest is one of those especially cute tiny gray voles, about the size of Beck's hand. Rockie is the first one to have set us off to the mouse in the first place when she went absolutely ballistic one night while I was home alone with the boys and gave me quite the fright! But my deductive reasoning over her frantic and seemingly random chase across the hardwood floor, which ended in her sitting in the corner sniffing at the base moldings, had my inner sherlock quickly concluding that she must have seen a little rodent scurry by. She has been acting terribly funny ever since her first sighting, constantly sniffing in the same corners with exciting anticipation. Sometimes she wakes me up in the middle of the night to do it! I imagine it's because in the quiet of the night she can hear the little guy scurrying around behind the sheet rock somewhere. Sometimes I'll even catch her still as a statue while lifting her front paw, and because she is not a hunting dog all I can think is perhaps she picked that move up from watching the fox and the hound. ;) Then Monday afternoon while the three of us stood in the kitchen putting away the groceries, Jace called out "MOUSE! I SAW A MOUSE!" and he told us all about how a tiny little gray mouse ran across the floor by the front door, so: suspicions confirmed.

Personally I think he is a charming little fellow and I enjoy the thought that we are giving him some shelter from this cold. But Dan is much more logical than I and he wants to be rid of the bugger. And poor Rockie is just waiting for her chance to really show us her stuff, the very essence of what boston's were bred for, which is hunting small rodents.

Anyway, in light of the season, I think I will call him Tiny Tim.

We had our first real snowfall in the valley on Monday night. The storm clouds scattered snow throughout the night and we woke to patchy little tufts covering the grass. I have really been working hard to embrace the weather and not complain because in the grand scheme of things, while children are dying from starvation every day and countless horrible things are happening all around the world and I have a large roof covering my bed at night, snow? what a very silly thing to complain about. I also feel that as I get older I welcome the cold much more affectionately than I once did. I find bundling in layers and wearing thick boots and watching my breath float in front of me while I take Rockie on her early morning walk is largely picturesque. When it's especially cold and I need some extra boost embracing this, I just pretend that I am Lucy Eleanor Moderatz in Chicago. It works the same way I got through MA school by pretending I was on the set of Grey's Anatomy. Also while playing Lucy in Chicago, I like to make sure my sweaters are at least two sizes too big and I purchase my winter coat and beanie from the boys department. Playing Lucy always gets me through the winter, while leaving me wanting only for a hot dog truck. (Really, why does cache valley not have a hot dog truck yet!?)

Dan harvested the garden over the weekend to prepare it for winter, so this week I have made another half a dozen jars of jalapeno jelly and freezer salsa. My last batch of jalapeno jelly threw quite the sucker punch because I used the red peppers and I didn't de-seed them first. Dan loves the kick, and I'd love to love the kick, only my taste buds aren't quite so seasoned as his and so all it does is to make me cry. This batch I used green jalapeno peppers and de-seeded first so, it has a much softer punch. Which is perfect in the compromise department: a batch for him, a batch for me! I like to toast an english muffin and then spread the jalapeno jelly until it really melts into the muffin. Although my first preference would always be to slather jalapeno jelly on a thick slice of dakota bread from great harvest. (Have you ever tried their dakota bread? Honey wheat bread topped with sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds, which makes me feel like I am some exotic bird while also it is truly is the best bread I have ever tasted.)

These past couple of months my hair regrowth has been constantly reminding me that I am in dire need of a root touch up, but my mind has always struggled to wrap itself around the one hundred dollars that I spend each time I have my hair colored. Anytime I spend a large sum of money I focus on what else I could have spent that money on. I could have bought ten shirts with that money! A new pair of running shoes! Christmas presents! We could have gone out to dinner as a family three times! You know. And anyway, this internal fight between needing my hair colored and not wanting to spend that amount of money ended like this: me standing in my bathroom during Beck's nap time on Saturday massaging Paul Freida precision color foam into my scalp and living on a prayer that my hair wouldn't turn orange. The result was a very natural strawberry blonde-like ombre and I do say that might be the best money I ever did spend considering it saved me like, eighty-seven bucks. Pheww.

There is magic in the air this time of year. Some days in life I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders while other days I feel so light and carefree that I worry my feet may leave the ground. Earlier today I saw a girl sitting on top of her car, swaying back and forth to the music playing from its speakers. I watched her inconspicuously for a moment while she swayed and drummed her fingers against her thighs, her eyes closed while she hummed softly. She emanated carefree and I wanted to be her.

This week life has been rather mundane, which is to be expected with the time change and the cold, but I'm always reminded to love where I am and who I am and what I have at any given time in life. I was thinking just the other day: if you live in a way that life is continually getting better, you are probably living right. Right? I feel sad for the people who look back on the past and wish themselves there, in another time when life was better. I think the secret might lie in making a life that continues to improve so much that you look back with fondness while being completely content with where you are.

I've possibly never loved November as much in my entire life as I do right now.

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