When life brings you moles

Have you ever seen a picture of a mole? Not the ones that show up on our body and are watched by dermatologists. I am talking about the ugly little suckers that bore holes in your yard. They look like rats, but with larger front paws, and they have poor eyesight. Can you believe they can be as little as 3 inches long, and weigh 3+ ounces? Those little suckers can make a major mess for being so little.

photo 2 (30)They are also annoying little suckers. Chris and I are in the process of overhauling our backyard, a little bit each weekend, and while it is nowhere near completion, we have been joined by a mole or moles (we are not sure yet).  It started at the perimeter of our yard and only in mulched areas where we could smash the dirt back down and then cover back up with mulch, but over the past week it started in our grass. First one then another hole. Chris filled the large holes with water, and added the pellets that are supposed to make them itch, but then it was obvious that they came right back up the same holes and then created another one each day last week, so now we have 6 new mole holes (see photo below).

From our research it sounds like we are not the only ones that are stumped and there seems to be a zillion options for handling a mole (see this list of ideas, some seem a bit far-fetched). photo 3 (19)

I am about to start my own version of “Whack a Mole” in my backyard. We are fed up. If I knew where they would be, (sorry mole lovers) I’d get a pitchfork and shovel and have some fun. Alas. Mister Catch-a-Mole Man is coming to visit us today. I hope it is his only visit and he catches this mole. When life brings you moles, you fight back.

“Do it right the first time.”

“Do it right the first time.” My dad ingrained that into me. Whenever we were asked to do something around the house, my dad would inspect our work. If it was done half ass, we would get the: “Do it again” rant, followed by: “Next time, do it right the first time.” Now I think about that all the time at work and in my personal life.

On Friday someone mentioned Father’s Day, and I thought: “Oh right, Father’s Day is Sunday. I guess I should think about that.” On Sunday we did what my dad probably did many, many Sundays: yard work. My dad was a contractor, he fixed, remodeled, and built homes. What that often meant for his family? We were like the cobbler’s kids without shoes, our house was often run down, at least the interior. I remember rips in carpets, a floor infested with termites, a leak in a ceiling in the dining room, walls that needed to be painted, the list goes on. I think my dad was exhausted from fixing other people’s homes. Or, maybe it was too costly to fix the different areas that needed repairs.

You might think, wow, Tami, this is a post about your dad, and Father’s Day was yesterday. You suck as a daughter, but let me tell you, life with a father has its good days and its bad days. While I have many memories of the inside of our home, our yard was my dad (and mom’s) pride and joy. It was always in tip-top shape. My parents worked for hours and hours each week to weed, water, plant flowers, and keep a vegetable garden in the back. They landscaped, arranged rocked, and pruned trees. If you drove by our house, you might think what a nice looking yard, and it was.

Now that I have a yard of my own, I understand how exhausting it is to keep it up, (and I do not have 3 kids to help either). I also know how rewarding it is, to sit outside and enjoy the fruits of the many hours of labor. There is an appreciation for all you have done. I hope my dad felt the same way, and looked at our yard with pride. Looking back I can see how “doing it right the first time” has weaved its way into the inside and outside of my house. I often approach a project with Chris and plan out how we might do something so we do not cut corners and have to do it again. It is not always flawless, but we try.

Last night, Chris and I sat outside with a drink, put our feet up, and admired the landscape. Miss you, Dad.