I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Monday, 26 May 2008

oh, rats

Many, many things seemed to occupy the past week. One of the weeks where I sit down on Monday morning after D goes to work, while the girls are still sleeping, and wonder what just happened?, it's gone so quickly.

School has finished and we're all glad for the break from the books. I'm pleased with the academic accomplishments this year and once again had a great time learning with my kids; they worked hard and learned not just math and grammar and such, but learned about learning itself, from pushing through a problem area to finding the fun in researching and seeing a project through to completion.

Thursday's botany field trip was great, learning about plant taxonomy and edible and medicinal plants from a naturalist. Saturday, while between the never-seeming-to-end rehearsals for Sunday's dance recitals, R and A and I spent an hour at Laurier House, the former home of two Prime Ministers (Laurier and King) and now a national historical site. The house was beautiful and our tour very interesting, especially for A with all she had learned during her Historica project on Laurier.

Dance recitals went well, even though it did eat up our whole weekend and meant we couldn't do the Farmer's Market on Saturday. It'll have to wait for our return from the wedding. The girls danced well, hated having to wear makeup but put up with it, and the evening show was an impressive display of talent from all the dancers in the school.

The girls' recital costumes were obviously not traditional highland gear. For their exams it's all straight highland, but for recital their teacher incorporates the highland steps into a choreographed routine. R and A danced to 'Lord of the Dance' (ok, pretty close. Irish, at least) and M to 'Honey Honey' by Abba. I can't even stretch that one to be Celtic, so I won't try.

My veggie transplants were moved out to the garden despite the onslaughts of blackflies. It looked great until I went out one evening and realized that the chickens like broccoli and cauliflower. At least, they liked the transplants of those that I'd set out. So much for those.

The chickens have decreased in number once again as one fell ill and had to be culled (really, it had nothing to do with retribution for the garden episode). And finally, as to the title of this post: I knew there was a rodent living in the chicken coop, in the space around the chickens' own little area, and had seen a red squirrel darting out of my way. Of course, I figured, that's what has been digging around. But no, as D went out last night he did in fact see a rat. Ew. I knew from the books I'd read that having feed in the barn meant it was just a matter of time before we attracted the attention of rats, and remembered that we'd seen rat poison in one of the unused barns when we bought the place. So, D set a rat trap, which looks like a mousetrap but looks big enough to take out a horse. I'm glad he found out what it was before we have little chicks in there that a rat would go after.

On to this week: getting ready for vacation, final plans for the chickens, squeezing in a bday party for M, and other miscellanea. There's always miscellanea.

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