My Best Laid Plans

Published: November 4th 2011EDIT THIS ENTRY

On the plane down to Mexico, Natalie brought up the subject of mice. The day before, she had found one streaking across her kitchen floor. This led to an exchange of mouse stories - recent sightings, methods of eradication, the amount and extent of their droppings - each of us determined to out-poo the other.

Ron was unusually quiet but he had a lot to contribute, and I knew it. What could he be hiding? Over the next few days, I tried to get it out of him but he refused to share. I prodded and prodded and finally he broke. And now that he has, I wish that he hadn't.

You see, like most people, I pride myself on being healthy. Country life promotes it and - some might say - demands it. The air is clean, the nights are peaceful, and there is always a back forty somewhere that needs plowing.

My cupboards are a tumult of quinoa, couscous and oat groats, sacks of chia and flax, tubs of deep green spirulina, unopened jars of probiotics and vitamin D, tofu recipes long since freed from a magazine, crumbled pistachios, hemp hearts, goji berries and an archival collection of curative teas.

But most important of all, I drink water. Not just the water from the tap, a whore-some idea if there ever was one. Our water comes all the way from Penticton in five gallon jugs, the purest water money can buy. Okay, it costs a buck fifty, but never mind. Each morning, in my bathrobe, I take a huge swig of it, innocent as a baby.

Back and forth, throughout the day, I diligently drink water. It empties from the jug into a ceramic canister we keep in the closet, replaced frequently and thoughtfully by Ron. I use water for my morning porridge. I add it to a cup of juice. I boil the pasta in it. I even brush my teeth with it. Every evening, I fix myself a soothing cup of tea.

So, here's the thing. Ron has just admitted that, one day last summer, as he was removing the empty jug, he caught a glimpse of something brown floating in the canister. He thought it was a leaf. When he leaned in to remove it, he saw a mouse in there. Doing the back float. Tiny arms and legs akimbo.

Delicate flower that I am, he knew better than to call my attention to it. Quietly, he picked up the canister, hightailed it out the front door and threw the contents, mouse and all, over the fence. Then, he busied himself for quite a long time, sterilizing everything thoroughly.

Now, take a deep breath. Ask the obvious question. How did a mouse get in there in the first place? Here's my best guess: one of our spare jugs was sitting in the basement without a cap. A mouse fell in, drowned, and was transported upstairs unnoticed. Ultimately, it was upended into the ceramic canister. And a lot of mouse water got consumed.

So, now you know the truth about me and my quest for perfect health. I can no longer be the poster child for your wellness campaign. For now, I'm left with a kitchen full of unpronounceables, with nothing to show for my progress except for a furry mumble on the tip of my tongue and a recollection that once I craved Jarlsberg.


4th November 2011

horror story
Certainly a story of extreme horror, but a beautiful photo of you undergoing purification in the sun. Carolyn
4th November 2011

Being an avid water drinker I am trying to remember how many times I have had huge glasses of water while visiting the cabin. All I can say is that next time I arrive for a relaxing vacation, I come with an extra suitacase filled with sealed bottled water and a cat!
4th November 2011

Getting rid of mice and rats
Your story puts me in mind of another: A couple of rabbis were chatting over lunch and the conservative rabbi related to the other how overrun his temple was with vermin. The reform rabbi told him that he had had the same problem but had solved it. He told how he had spread a whole bunch of goodies around in the sanctuary one Friday night after services. Nuts, fruit, cheese, kosher salami, a while gamut of enticing treats that he knew would get all the families of rats and mice altogether at once. So what happened, asked the conservative rabbi. The reform rabbi said, I hid behind the pulpit for a long time until I could hear them all out there gnawing and chewing up all the yummy stuff I had put out for them and then I quietly stood up, bar mitzvah'd all of them, and they haven't been back since.
4th November 2011

You are hysterical!
And extra healthy I'm sure. Enjoy Guanajuato. Such a beautiful city!
4th November 2011

Who would have thought...
You are still as healthy as can be; just with an added twist of mouse.
4th November 2011

my best laid plans
There is a saying in England that we all eat a peck of dirt before we die. I think you had your lifetimes worth in one day with the mouse!
4th November 2011

Well, there you are!
Spooky, we were just talking about you the other day, wondering where in the world you are and missing the stories. Nice to hear from you - happy travels!
5th November 2011

You know the expression "Hindsight is 20/20"? That is to say, if one had it to do over again, one would know how to act perfectly. In this case, I can safely say, I would not have altered my actions by one iota. Liz would have positively freaked out had I done anything differently. A big pat on my own back!
5th November 2011

Liz your cupboards are full of goodies and to boot you have fuzzy running around and Ron how thoughtful of you not to scare the begoolies out of Liz.
7th November 2011

My Best Laid Plans
Liz and Ron, What an inspiration you are! The beauty and wonder of the world you show in your blogs, amid the suffering and yet their is still such warmth, humanity and caring among people. I so enjoy the well written, descriptive and captivating messages you relate to all.
20th November 2011

Best Blog everrrr!
ok, Liz, do you remember how i almost had to be escorted out of White Spot for laughing /crying uncontrollably over the exploding intestine fish story? and still laugh alone in my car to this very day? well this story tops that! What else is Ron keeping from you? oh i'm basking in this blog, as i've given up the likes of tofu, bran muffins, sprout and quinoa, steel cut oats, cuz, well basically, they taste like sh*t. and i'm too old not to be enjoying what's left of my taste buds. I leave Capers/choices/whole foods scratching my head and gazing in bewilderment at the receipt. last week, turns out we had RATS in the basement suite. So we had to deal with that; and they were mischievous and naughty; they seemed to have a sense of humour, kinda like that kids movie; before Rattatouille. Anyway, i'm sure the cannister is "squeeky"clean now. Hopefully you won't grow any more wiskers than you already have! oh ha ha ha, yes your blogs are informative and brilliantly written, but this was the best blog everrrr!
11th May 2013

Come see us!
Lovin the blog. (I'm on page 2)

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