I am back. True to form, Daphne had less interest in being outside when she saw the snow. Her little paws and legs are not built for snowplay. She does her business and runs back inside. I met Jerry out at the road and refilled his coffee mug. He is doing a bang-up job with snow displacement. The weather forcast for the next few days is frigid, and the snow has to be removed and rearranged before tonight or it will have to stay put. It's hard to move frozen mounds. I'm looking in the freezer for something to defrost, and coming up uninspired and hungry. It's always around this time of year that I start to crave fresh veggies and homegrown tomatoes. Here in the northeast, culinary expertise is limited to soup. There are some great soup offerings around here, but that's about it. There is a restaurant called Saltzman's Hotel and they serve "home cooking", which means your arteries are hardening while you're sitting at the table. Everything is fried or covered in "country gravy" and even I who loves fried food and gravy covered home goods is horrified at this dinner selection. There isn't a salad or fresh fruit to be found within 30 miles of here. Actually, that is not so true. There is a restaurant in Canojaharie (7 or 8 miles from here) that is supposed to be a culinary delight. Manhattan quality menu and delicious and fresh food. That will be worth a try one of these days. On another subject, I have recovered sufficiently from my trauma the other night to finally talk about it. The Drowned Mouse. When we went to PA on Monday to visit with Jerry's Mom, we left the house as we always do. We do make sure there is no dog food in the bowl on the floor, so as not to entice another species. But we neglected to empty the water bowl. And so, we enticed a small field mouse to try and get to the water. Now, I don't know where he came from, and I am not too interested in finding out, because that would introduce a whole new set of problems. I'm better off ignorant of the access location. However, this one little guy did get in, and decided either to get a drink or to have a bath. Both motivations were unwise as he was unable to get OUT of the dog bowl and subsequently drowned. I find this tragic. I was devastated to find him floating when we got home and I bent to pickup the dog's bowl and fill it wish fresh water. There was the bloated body of a small field mouse floating around in the bowl. After dealing with my sense of grief and regret, the big questions became this; how did he get in and why was he comfortable enough to be perusing the kitchen area for water? Does this happen when we're home and I have just missed it? What the devil is going on here? I have not seen a mouse or his droppings since the house was insulated from the underneath. And now this? Unless he was on a suicide mission, this was just a tragic accident that occurred because we were not here to shoo him away long before he was able to climb up on the dogs bowl (which is quite a substantial climb for a little mouse) and attempt to get a drink of water. At the same time, I am quite relieved that his first attempt at water was from the floor and not from the counter. This gives me somewhat of a feeling of relief. Somewhat. The more I think on this, the more inclined I am to think "Cat". Cats can hold down the fort here while we travel with the dogs, who apparently are enough of a deterrent while we are in residence. It's the few days we're away now and again that there is clearly some partying going on in the rodent population. Cat. I wonder how Daphne will take this news. Actually, I wonder how Jerry will take this news. I think it may be a solution. I'll think on that for awhile while I make another cup of coffee.