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Over halfway with AS

I am now over halfway through editing Ancient Scars.

I worked in the yard this morning so I already feel wiped out and it’s only 1:30 pm. I’ve been cleaning up a corner where old lumber had gathered. The wood made a cave that the rats enjoyed bedding up in.

Construction and who knows what else brought the rats into the neighborhood and now it’s amazing if we’d ever stop seeing them. It was never like this before. But now they come and go, and it’s nearly impossible to have things in the yard (plants and artwork) that the rats won’t knock over, or dig under to make tunnels. Thankfully they don’t make the tunnels in the grass like a mole would, but they’ve torn up boards on the fence so we have to fix those, and then they chew more up so you have to decide whether some holes can stay or not.

I lost two roses near our walnut trees before I could move them. One of them had barely any dirt around the roots. The worst part about the rat tunnels is that on the top layer of dirt, it looks fine. It’s only when you poke down and see there is a tunnel below the surface. You don’t notice it until too late.

I know what you’re thinking because I’d think it: why not get rid of the rats, and all that.

We’ve been doing it. But this isn’t an us thing. It’s a neighborhood and beyond thing. We can get rid of them here, but controlling all the other neighbors? The entire neighborhood, the ones beyond? Impossible.

Our cherry tree is getting so old that the rats aren’t as interested in it because the fruit falls and the birds get it. But the neighbors have trees right next to our yard that then drops the cherries in our yard. And there is another cherry tree in our front yard. My mom doesn’t want to cut that one because there is privacy with it blocking the living room window. That one doesn’t produce fruit that much at all, but it still attracts the rats. They like to burrow under it. Surprisingly the tree has still stood.

Anyway, there is a lot more. ANY sort of place the rats can hide and burrow that looks nice, makes them keep coming back. Our neighbor’s tree dumps a lot of cherries (you should hear the bomb sounds they make when a cherry falls and see the amount of juice that bursts everywhere – total mess) into our yard. We have our hands full keeping the yard clean because otherwise the dogs get into them in the Spring and Summer and get sick. The rats love to hide along the fence and eat the fallen cherries. It’s an ongoing battle.

We got the neighbors to trim a lot of the branches than hang in our yard so at least some of the cherries stop dropping. I’m also working to clean up the entire back yard so that there aren’t many plants along the fences for the rats to hide amongst, and then removing any and all ability for them to hide and bed up in our yard. I’m hoping by doing so it will make our yard at least, a lot less interesting. I’m so tired of trying to grow things only to have the roots of the plants dug up and losing the plants.

It’s gonna be a bit of work, but I’m hoping all this work will be beneficial. If for nothing else, the dogs will have more places to explore and run because I’m taking down the old chicken coop too (the posts are rotten at the bottom so it’ll need repair anyway) and that’ll open up room. Miss the chickens, but highly doubtful we will get more anytime soon, and I can always remake the coop.

It’s been a nice day for yard work overall. Today it’s supposed to hit 90, as well as the next few days, and with our trees around the yard, it’s pretty shady and nice. Doesn’t get too hot for us. Older brother had to work security so he’s out in the heat. He asked for some sweet tea, so I’ve made him some to help. He’s not indoor security. He works out in parking lots to keep businesses safe and secure. Rarely finds any shade at his latest place I guess.

If you’ve dealt with rats in the yard, have you found anything that really works well as a deterrent? Plants they may not like? I’ve heard peppermint is a good plant, but don’t know for sure.


Word count I started Friday with: 51,189

Word count I ended Monday with: 53,266

Total for the day: 2,077 words



Question of the Day:
How many tattoos do you have? What about piercings? If you have none, do you plan to get any? Is there any reason you don’t have any, or don’t plan to get any?


*the image used as a thumbnail represents a scene written today.

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