Rat attacks car – car 1, rat 0

We’re about to become barbecue central with the addition of another roadside smoker operation. We have an excellent one about 3 miles north of us on US17 and will have one about 2 miles south of us just off US17 on highway 40. Both of these are well known for ribs and give us two places to stop on the way home from Nancy’s bridge clubs. When she plays in Crescent City we often stop and pick up a rack of ribs on Wednesday afternoon. Now we’ll be able to do the same when returning from Palm Coast on Mondays.

On the way over to Palm Coast the feared and dreaded “check engine” light came on. I checked everything I know to check – which isn’t much – to no avail. We were scheduled to Crescent City two days later so I decided to stop at the car mechanic there while Nancy played bridge. The check engine light was still on continuously all the way – in three days it never went out but about 2 minutes after the mechanic took the car out for a check, he returned and said the light was out – never on. Incredible. It had been on non-stop for 3 days and went out when the repair dude hit the ignition. He put on a tester which reads the car’s computer and tells why the light was on. It said there had been a single cylinder misfire but nothing now. He said that perhaps the one cylinder had had a momentary breakdown, an arc over or something and he’d shine a light on that cylinder and see if there was any indication of a misfire. To do that he had to remove a cover. A couple minutes later he said he saw absolutely nothing but I had a rat problem. OMG. Not the rats again. I looked at the engine block where he pointed and I could see lots of debris, wood chips, acorns etc. I picked out the pieces and found what I thought was a 2” x 4” piece of bark – leather like. Upon closer examination, it turned out to be a completely dried out dead rat. If you looked closely you could definitely see the head and teeth so no mistaking what it was. No way that caused the check engine light but………. They suggested that the only way to combat future attacks was to fill an old sock with moth balls and place it on the ground under the parked car. We have done that since the last rat event but not in about 6 months and they must have lost their mojo. I had established a routine of checking under the hood every now and then but dropped it somewhere along the way. Need to get back in the groove on that as routine maintenance.

It’s no coincidence that we went to Costco yesterday and the stock rose $2.50 the same day. We haven’t been there in quite a while and Nancy wanted to make sure we wouldn’t run out of anything for the next 6 months. Both of our outside freezers and the fridge are now absolutely full. It took an hour to unload the car and put everything away. One of the sheds has more paper products than a “Publix”. I did score a fleece line shirt jacket that should work well this winter – gardening or fishing.
I made shrimp scampi the other day. In fact the recipe is called “super shrimp scampi” and (we think) it’s well named. Truly a different scampi than we’ve had before and it’s simple enough for me to make with no hitches or adult supervision. It even used some garden herbs – parsley, basel, and oregano.

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