More about the mouse later. Keeping with the highs/lows format and starting with the highs – Attended another Christmas program in Port Orange. This time we were treated to Brenna and the singing Cubs at Sugar Mill Elementary. I’m sure that without her voice, the 40 or so member group just wouldn’t have sounded as good. There was a chime group that played an instrument that looked like a giant tuning fork with a built in clapper. To play it they would slap it so the clapper made contact with the tuning fork. Nice sound. Another high point was a solo by a first grader. Apparently they had done a dress rehearsal earlier in the day and she totally froze so about a half hour before the real performance started and the crowd was about half seated, her father warmed her up and she seemed to do fine. Still you were holding your breath when it came her turn to actually perform. Her dad accompanied her on the guitar and clearly you could see he was a professional musician and probably played in a band. At first she had a little trouble positioning herself for consistent microphone use but once she got past that – which I’m not sure she even knew was problem – she belted out a nice Christmas song – a new one I’d never heard. It was a fairly difficult song with multiple full octave or more jumps but she nailed every jump. Her name is Chloe Moran and I predict that you’ll here more from her in about 10-15 years
More good news – little Tommy (all 6′ of him) got a monster score on his recent ACT test. The test was very important to him because the University of Missouri requires a score of 29 for direct admission into the School of Journalism. He scored 32 which puts him in the 99th percentile. I’m fairly certain that was a higher score than his dad earned oh so many years ago. I think they also use the ACT test to screen for cashiers at Wal-Mart. To get that job they must score less than 10.
I think it’s good news that the lake is super clear these days. It’s clear as in Deleon Springs kind of clear. My guess is that since we’ve had so little rain for so long that particles normally contained in rainwater and runoff from the land are a far less piece of the total mix and the underlying springs are now the main source of water. It makes for tougher fishing but it’s interesting to be able to look down and see the fish, especially when a monster bass swims by.
On the other side, we missed Olivia’s Christmas program where her orchestra performed. Olivia is now mastering the clarinet and we would loved to have seen her in action. Unfortunately we had a scheduling conflict with Brenna’s performance and we had made that commitment earlier. I have a feeling there will be plenty of concerts ahead in the future.
Would a mouse in the trunk of the Camry count as a negative. Nancy had left a bag of clothes in the trunk and a mouse somehow got in and decided that, with some modifications, it would make a great nest. I honestly can’t figure out how he got in but there’s no mistaking a mouse nest made from the felt lining in the trunk. We have a trap baited with peanut butter sitting in the trunk now. First day did not net a taker so chances are he’s already found a better home. update – this is going to blow you away. This morning Nancy and I took off for Costco so I loaded a couple of coolers into the trunk to carry cold stuff. The trunk was completely empty and the mouse trap untouched. So I removed it. We loaded up at Costco and came home. After unloading the coolers, lo and behold there was mouse nest, very large and very visible in the trunk. So in the couple of hours we were gone – 9 AM until 2 PM – the mouse had built a nest probably using cushioning from the seats or something. If that wasn’t enough, there were half a dozen baby mouselets in the nest. No hair, eyes shut. So not only had she created the nest but had hatched a clutch. She reluctantly left the nest and hit somewhere so I removed the nest and waited for her to return so I could throw a towel or something on top to remove her. She came out and was certainly pissed off but I was unable to catch her. A bit later I saw her out on the lawn looking for the nest so clearly she can get in nd out with no trouble. I loaded up a couple of traps and will get some poison to finish the job but she looks like a smart mousey to me.
And the real bad news – seems I’m now sharing the cucumbers with some worms. We’d been harvesting really nice cucumbers for a couple of weeks but several of the ones picked this week were â€œoccupiedâ€. So I guess not only am I share cropping with George, I’m sharecropping with critters.