An unusual thing happened this morning. I got out of bed before 6 am.
Thing 3 had just gone back to sleep in her crib, and Ben had the coffee on so I figured I might as well stay up and take a cup out back to enjoy a rare moment of peace and quiet.
The opossum peeking at me from the back corner of the garden, however, was enough to throw off that thought process. Little pointy head. All teeth. Little waddling “run”. Ugh. So that’s what is chewing on my little pumpkins and pooping all over the garden. I had strongly suspected raccoon, but that little guy indicated otherwise.
Ben joined me and we got to talking about opossums and what strategies we might try to convince them to head elsewhere. I pointed out a gap in our bamboo “fencing” rigged up around the garden where it looked like something possibly climbed it and caused the cross-pieces to pull downward. While we were looking at that, the girls started getting stirred up inside the coop and clucking. A rat came tearing out from the eave of the coop roof, scrambled down the siding and dove out of sight. So much for a quiet and relaxing morning in the garden.
I spent the rest off the morning inside researching how to identify opossum and raccoon poop and reading Internet horror stories of opossums getting inside people’s houses.
The neighbor kid came over later that to play with Thing 1 and Thing 2. I promptly kicked the three boys outside and decided to try and throw together a batch of granola bars despite Thing 3’s insistence at attaching herself to both my legs and crying (brothers woke her from both nap attempts this morning–might seriously be time to get Project Third Bedroom started. . .).
Thing 3 finally contented herself emptying my cupboards, the granola bars were mixed and in process of getting smoothed out into the pans when next thing I know, three boys come bursting through the kitchen door from outside, all yelling and hollering something that sounds like, “GET IT! IT’S IN THE HOUSE, GET IT!!”
Something big, sleek and black streaked past the corner of my eye, toenails scrabbling to keep traction as it hit the hardwood floor. Three boot clad boys pounded the floor right behind it. It rounded the corner and fled into my bedroom.
My first thought after the morning I had: “WHAT kind of rodent did THOSE BOYS just chase into my house?!?”
As the boys and I collided around the corner–Thing 3 scooting on her butt right behind us–the animal began to squawk and bock and flop and flap back and forth across my unmade bed, three sets of grubby little hands reaching and diving after it. Chicken Nugget, you stupid chicken, don’t you dare poop on my bed!! (And yes, of all the chickens, it would be Chicken Nugget to end up in the house.)
Thing 3 thought the whole fiasco pretty entertaining until Chicken Nugget found the bedroom window and started flapping her wings in a desperate attempt to escape. The flapping wings hitting the window freaked her out and she began shrieking. The boys continued trying to corner the chicken which only resulted in more flapping against the window and more shrieking baby on the floor.
“EVERYBODY OUTSIDE–NOW!!” I yelled.
The boys vanished. Three faces soon appeared at the outside of my bedroom window (though the look on those faces when the chicken hit the window again gave me something to laugh about later). Chicken Nugget tried to squeeze under a chair in the bedroom. At that point I easily grabbed her and tucked her under my arm. (“Yay! My Mom got her!” I could hear through the window.) Out went the chicken. Baby got scooped up and snuggled until she had calmed enough to stop trembling. Granola Bars went into the oven.
Lesson learned? Don’t get up before 6 am. Oh, and when baking Granola Bars, shut the back door. One simple step to keep life that much more sane.
Curious about the recipe? Like most of the recipes I use, I originally found it on allrecipes.com. . . but have changed it a bit since.
This is the version I used today:
4 ½ cups rolled oats
¼ cup wheat germ
¾ cup flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil
½ cup maple syrup
1 cup applesauce
2 cups assorted chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and unsweetened shredded coconut
First, make sure the back door if firmly shut. Then go ahead and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease one 9 x 13-inch pan. In a large mixing bowl combine oats, wheat germ, flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, and applesauce. Stir in the chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and unsweetened coconut. It takes a bit to mix and make sure all the dry ingredients are thoroughly incorporated into the liquid ingredients.
Lightly press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes then cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving.