Thursday, October 04, 2018

The critter in my walls

Sophie has discovered a critter in the wall in my bathroom, in the tiny space between the commode and the shower. At least, that’s all I can think because she periodically goes berserk, rushes into the bathroom, and barks furiously at the wall. My calming words come to nothing.

The idea of a critter alarms me for several reasons. Fort Worth, like most cities, has rats all over. We live near a zoo, a park, and a creek. There are chickens right behind me, and I’ve seen rats on the fence, heard them squeaking at night in the trees. I’ve had rats in my belfry, rats in my attic, and, yes, rats in my walls. Two or three times they have died in my walls, an experience not to be forgotten. The stench is awful, and there’s not much you can do except wait for it to go away.

I remember once when the Texas Institute of Letters held their annual meeting in Fort Worth. I invited some that I was close to for brunch the following Sunday morning. The rat probably died Thursday, maybe Wednesday. By Sunday, the odor was in full bloom. And it was in the dining room wall. I served an elegant brunch, if I do say so, and hoped no one said anything. Classy bunch of people, I never heard a comment.

I don’t know this is a rat. Could it be a snake? There is no visible way anything could get from inside the wall to the house, though I intend to call the contractor tomorrow and ask about that. Tonight, I just hope that Sophie sleeps through the night without feeling the need to defend us against that critter.

Jordan and I both went to the doctor today for blood work. On the way home, we stopped at a well-known place that offers take-out food as well as catering. I’d always heard their King Ranch casserole was good, so we bought two—Jordan insisted one would not feed Jacob and anyone else. My opinion: delicious flavor but it was more like King Ranch soup. Should have been served in bowls. Next time, I’ll do it. I make a darn good King Ranch casserole.

My cookbook got a step closer to reality today. With the help of Melinda, production manager for TCU Press, my longtime friend and former employee, who told me where to send the files to have them converted so that I can offer the book on various digital platforms, including Kindle. Wish I understood all that stuff more. But fun note—the person she referred me to has been with that Austin company since the days when I first started at TCU Press—early 1980s. And we did business back then. Company name has changed but still the same outfit. Small world.

And I’m still struggling to save the Alamo—again! Busy day and I’m sleepy.

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