Spring in the air and critters on the doorstep

City Mouse has been busy. It's not easy looking for a new home! But we've had a couple of sunny, mild days and the crocuses have peeked out to say hello and mark the beginning of Spring.

I found a job that starts in a few days. Nothing fancy but it pays the bills. It's a night shift which leaves me able to look at houses during the day. It's funny but it seems that getting work has been a whole lot easier than finding a new home.

In the meantime life goes on in this little cottage. The pets have all come through fine but one. Poor little Poncho...he seems to be having a difficult time adjusting to all the changes. Currently on the agenda is to get some pet fencing set up to make a small cat run that I can let him loose in. For now it's walks on the leash which he isn't really too happy with, but realizes that it's this way or no way. He seems intent on dragging me through brush and trees and getting us all tangled up.

As for my own adjustment, perhaps that's still a work in progress as well. The cottage is cozy and relaxing and I'm getting accustomed to living comfortably with a lot less than I'm used to. But my attitude is still not there. I got lots of warnings in advance that life on 'the Island' was a lot slower pace and that I would go through a period of adjustment, decompress as it were. But I have to say, having spent a lifetime in an environment where everything was hurry, hurry, dog-eat-dog, multitasking on the treadmill, this decompressing is not going as well as I had hoped. Everything here is indeed slower paced. Things are done slowly and methodically, one thing at a time. I find myself riding the edge of my patience and trying to keep myself in check. Patience is said to be a virtue and I know that it's one virtue I have never had in abundance. I can at times be patient with certain things for a certain amount of time but that's the extent of it. Learning to just cool my heels and walking down the road rather than running is turning out to be a challenge. But we'll get there eventually.

Meanwhile the house hunt has it's own challenges. Pictures in house listings often look a lot better than the actual thing. Framing leaves out important property features that you don't see until you are there. And, with everything on the Island being so widespread I'm supporting the fuel industry in a major way just driving all over looking at things. Including driving twice because agents here want you to 'drive by' first and then go back with an appointment to look inside. That means double the gas and double the time.

I was also warned that things on 'the Island' are a little less progressive. I felt this was a good thing since part of our reason for coming here is to dial it back a bit and live more simply. So yesterday I came face to face with this at the gas pumps. I was trying to put gas in my car at the local fuel pump, nozzle in the tank, squeezing the trigger and finding nothing going on. I fiddled with it every which way until a woman ran out, flicked a medal lever up and told me "I think ya have to flip this up first". Of course! I have become so accustomed to fuel pumps where you stick your debit card in, put the nozzle in the tank and away you go. I think it's been many years since I was at one of those old school style pumps and totally forgot. Needless to say, being university educated I was embarrassed all to heck and felt like a complete moron!

Now let's talk about the wildlife that has been trying to invade my space so to speak. The first two nights we spotted a little mouse running along one of the beams in the ceiling. I didn't see him for several days and just assumed that having discovered there was now two cats living here that maybe packed his little bags and moved out. I thought of him as my welcoming committee ...country mouse greeting city mouse. However, as it turns out he is still here and showed himself again yesterday morning. I wondered why Taz was so intently staring at the wall and then out popped his little head and off he ran up the beam.

And there is Mr. Raccoon. He has started visiting every night after raiding the bird feeder I had laid out on the ground. I made some new ones out of recycled plastic jugs and a dowel and hung them high up. The birds seem to like them and love to jump right in and rummage around in there.

However, Mr. Raccoon still thinks this is meant to be a deli bar provided for HIS needs. Bold he is, coming right up to the patio door standing on his hind legs with front feet on the glass squeaking as they slide down he looks in. I shine the light on him and he just looks at me as if to say "C'mon man! You must have SOMEthing in there I can have!" Poncho and Taz are mesmerized when he does this. I'm sure they are wondering what sort of strange cat that is out there and freeze. He tries to crawl up the walls outside and just generally wreaks havoc trying to get to them so I started taking them in at night.

I put them just inside the rustic wood door that leads to an inner sanctum where the door to the cottage is. I think he can smell that I have them sitting there. So there I was sitting and watching a little Netflix on my laptop, it's late and it's dark out, remembering that I'm out in the middle of woods. Suddenly some massive rattling on the wood door and I'm nearly jumping out of my skin. So I'm thinking someone is knocking or trying to get in. I look out the window with a flashlight and there he is...Mr. Raccoon. I shine the beam on him and he sits up on his haunches and looks me square in the eye. We stared at each other a moment and I half expected him to pull out a top hat and start doing the Michigan J. Frog dance..."Hello my baby, hello my honey, hello my ragtime gaaaaal..." But instead, I came out to yell at him and he ran off looking at me over his shoulder more likely wanting to give me the finger instead...if he could.

And so the saga continues...with house hunting and adjusting and trying to find some sort of normalcy in my routine.


  1. Racoons will be relentless. And they can be very, very clever.


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