Ham Is Food (posted by Ann)
Okay, okay, so now I have to confess. I didn't have time to go to the yarn shop, and if I had I'm sure I would have bought something. Anything. I did gaze longingly out the window of the cab as it whizzed us by the store, but didn't quite make it there.
Love your roses. About two years ago I got a trellis for one of my clematis that is really pretty, but when I went to the Smith & Hawken web site I don't see it anymore. They have smaller ones, but I think that rose would completely overtake it. When I get home my clematis should be in bloom and if I can find a camera angle that avoids all the weeds I'll post a picture.
I can't find it in my heart to be as nice as you are to the mice. I think I'd take more drastic measures, but we'll just leave it at that so you don't start referring to me as the bloodthirsty one. It does remind me that a few years ago my bird food store had the same problem you're having multiplied by . . . well, who knows, but it was really bad in there. Their solution? Two cats from the local animal shelter. I showed up innocently the day the cats arrived, and it was quite a show. The cats were wild-eyed, and the mice were on the move - one ran right in front of me, with a cat close behind. The score these days is cats 2, mice 0. Or so Dave, the owner, tells me.
Boulder? For real? That sounds great, and I don't know what your problem is with Stinky Gulch Road. Everyone would remember your address!
And now to explain the title. When I was in Madrid a few weeks ago, we had the most wonderful tapas. It was Spanish cured ham on little squares of rustic bread, toasted, with garlic and tomatoes, and like most really good things it was simple but wonderful. So, I decided to take a chance and buy some ham in the airport just in case I could get it home with me.
Then I decided to be truthful on the customs form. Next time you fill one out, look at it closely. There are two questions that I answered with "yes". One asks if you have "fruits, plants, food or insects", and the other asks "meats, animals, or animal/wildlife products". Well, ham is food, and ham is meat, right?
Then I get diverted to the "special room" where they x-ray everything you are carrying and poke through everything you have brought back, even though you've already said you have something. I get assigned a young and eager customs agent, and since it's not very busy, she's backed up with three other by-standers watching her every move lest I get through with an unauthorized pork product. Or something. She is looking, and looking, and even though I tell her exactly where the ham is she goes through everything. Finally, she locates the ham.
Then it gets weird. She looks at the form, and looks at the ham.
"What else do you have?"
"But you said you have fruit, plants or insects"
"No, I said I have food"
"But you also said you have meat"
(pause while I process)
"Ham is food, and ham is meat"
"But you already checked yes for meat. What else do you have?"
"Nothing else. I checked yes for food because ham is food" (that last part slowly and deliberately, so as not to yell)
"But you already checked yes for meat."
I'll let you use your imagination. I wasn't rude, but I did get more and more deliberate, until one of the other agents intervened. Needless to say, I didn't keep my ham, and it cost me at least 20 minutes.
So, lest you think our borders are safe from dangerous ham, I am making arrangements for it to be delivered. You can't order it directly into the US, but a little thing like that isn't going to stop me! I just hope that woman doesn't show up at my doorstep when it arrives.
I'm in Paris this weekend, and am planning on museums, Eiffel Tower, and other things. You'll have pictures after I've done it all.