Along for the ride:

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mouse Jerky

Probably because of a life that went from school uniforms to horse-riding attire to California construction-chic, I've never been very glam. I have worn the wrong thing on so many occasions that I have finally developed a fashion preference for under, rather than over-dressing for things.
My last, and most cringe-worthy, attempt at dressing UP was a family wedding in the South of France two decades ago. There are photos to preserve my embarrassment, wearing a horrible unflattering dress-suit with matching hat and gloves amongst the sophisticated, less is more, linen clad elegance of all, including the mothers and grandmothers of the stylish newlyweds.
My jewelry choices are limited by pragmatism. If I'm going to wear diamonds one day, I'd like canaries please, and that's not in any foreseeable budget. Also, my neck is a short and sturdy head-support, nothing related to swans, and it looks crowded if I try to wear both earrings and a necklace at the same time.
I have a selection of earrings but wear the same gold twists almost always. They don't fly off when I brush my hair or take off a sweater, they are comfortable when I am on the phone and I feel that even I cannot go wrong with a classic bit of gold.
My jewelry drawer is a wide but shallow drawer in my bathroom, with a towel liner which stops things from sliding around. Necklaces on the left, bracelets on the right and earrings paired up, easy to see, in the middle.
The week before my recent trip to Europe, there were many late nights and early mornings as I tried to prepare everything to run smoothly during my absence. I finally began the process of packing toiletries, etc. at 4am on departure day.
When the time came to decide on a variety of adornments for my ears, neck and wrists, I was very slow to recognize the strange grey shape in the middle of my trinkets. I had just the previous day, taken the cat toys down off the fireplace mantel, as we were dog-free for a while. I couldn't think how one of Slinkie's fake mice had made it into the drawer and the scale was wrong. This was so much bigger.
I reached in and felt a stiff, dry shape beneath the soft outer skin. I shook the thing and it had a slight rattle. Still mystified, the final equation computed in my head as I saw some very natural looking mouse droppings between my earrings.
Earlier this summer, during an exceptional wave of heat, there had been an unpleasant odor coming from something in my bathroom. I keep the cat's dry food in there, away from visiting dogs, so I was inclined to blame a new fishy kibble but I washed the floor mats anyway and the smell went away.
In hindsight, we can imagine the source of the smell and be somewhat impressed that the dry heat desiccated a rodent in a matter of days.
Faced with the evidence that I seem to manage without baubles for weeks or months on end and recent cases of mouse-borne Hantavirus in nearby Yosemite, I tossed the corpse and closed the drawer to await disinfection upon my return. Glamourous is as glamourous does, I guess!


  1. Mice amongst the trinkets, how quaint. Do you have rings with poisoned cavities or capsules of arsenic in your bracelets?

    Your mice have a strange taste, what is it about your bathroom that attracts them?

    I just read your previous post; how come you've only trained your dogs and horses? Are husbands a task too far? I am glad you didn't let the debacle spoil your last few days on European soil.

  2. I imagine an Egyptian afterlife kind of scenario, so the mouse spirit shows up with all these jewels, "Whoa Dude!"

  3. I know people who would turn that poor mouse into jewellery...and manage to sell it!

  4. Dead mouse and jewelry. Interesting how you manage to captivate us with such unpromising material. The mark of a good writer.

  5. Friko, this is the trained version. Best I could do:) By the way, he is turning his artistic skills to ring-making so stay tuned.

    Silliyak, a really small mummy with a flair for bling?

    Fly, I could imagine a mouse-pin on a hat but I've already disclosed my lack of couture qualifications.

    Stephen, thank you kind sir.

  6. You now know that you have jewellery to die for.

  7. I'd like to know why the mouse rattled, please.

  8. S&S, great title for next time.

    Martin, I'm sure my kitty had a hand in this somehow.

    Frances, who knows what mummified innards were shaking around in there? Brain maybe?

  9. OK, now that IS funny!
    I would suspect the kitty in the carnage, but you never know. Perhaps the mouse was so shocked by the lack of diamonds it died of denial--starved by the lack of gems. *lol* I'd hate to think what a poor mouse of good taste would think of my collection of adornments.

    We are having a "jewelry jumble" at church in November. Last year I donated a glitzy Christmas horse pin of my friends from choir saw it in the sale and bought it for me as a little Christmas present. *sigh*

  10. And you didn't whisper a word of all this drama... (funny, just saw a video at where "drama" was rhymed with "Obama")

    Anyway, it's about inner beauty, right ?

    As for the mouse, it must have been a female, and was lured into the jewelry drawer by the temptation of playing dress-up, but maybe got tangled up in a pearl necklace, or impaled herself on a broche pin ?

  11. Jean, your rebounding pin story is priceless. In addition you now have to wear it so that your friend can see how pleased you are.

    Owen, drama and Obama... that's not such a rhyming feat. There's a country song that includes a lighthouse (? in a country song) to force a rhyme with Holy Ghost. Don't get me started!
    As to my lack of disclosure, a girl has to have her secrets:)

  12. you can look at a woman in a posh frock and expensive jewellry and feel nothing, whilst a woman in a tracksuit might just turn the world upside down for you

    personally i think the most important thing is to be comfortable in your own skin - that's where true glamour lies i guess

  13. Pixie, you are thoughtful and profound. (I knew that already but thanks for holding to your standards).

  14. Oh how I have missed your chic with the words hen, it's like trying on a comfortable suit and feeling good about myself again.

  15. Chef, You too have been sorely missed. In fact, a certain Magic Lantern carrier and I were lamenting and speculating about your absence over a dinner in Paris a few weeks ago, especially as I'd just come from up north. How appropriate to your new incarnation.

  16. This is the time of year when we get mice...we live in a woody area and when the air turns cold, the mice like to play hide and seek in our radiators.

    I am loathe to admit it, but am TERRIFIED of mice. I act all cool and collected but inside I am shaking like a leaf. Bing is fearless and once went after a mouse with a baseball bat and won. Our dog, a scottish terrier, is supposedly bred to hunt mice but he is even more afraid of them than I am. The one time he saw one in the kitchen, he went flying into the living room as if it was a cobra.

    I've never found a mouse in my jewelry drawer, yet. Kind of scared to go digging in there now....

  17. Maria, I've lived in country places but was surprised at how big these mice are. "Super-sized", like everything else here:)

  18. it probably choked on a pearl.

  19. I had a look around your delightful blog after seeing a Facebook friend recommend it to another friend on Facebook. So as you can see if had nothing to do with me other than raising my curiosity while having my morning coffee.

    Once I started nosing around, I realized you have connection to Cornwall which is where I live. I'm an American who married a Brit I met online almost five years ago and I write and share photos about my experiences here. Perhaps, you will come by for a look if you're ever missing the coast. Yesterday's post had loads of horses in it.

    Loved the dead mouse ... how shockingly funny to find it was real.

  20. Wally, would that improve its final destiny?

    Gifts, I did pop by and find your tantalizing account of a day hanging around Cornwall and horses. You may well become my official porthole.