Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Decreasing the Local Rat Population

We were writing some cards this morning, and James asked if it was anybody’s birthday in the United States.  I said not that I know of, but it is Tax Day in the United States.  James replied, “Can we send them a birthday card?”  Happy Tax Day to everyone in the United States, from James Palm.

We had a great weekend.  Started off on Friday with a small Passover Seder.  Just with our family.  Some of you may be scratching your head about the whole Passover bit.  No, we are not Jewish.  A little bit of Italian/Swedish/German/French Canadian/Native American - but not Jewish.  We have been trying our hardest the last few years to incorporate some Jewish traditions into our year, being that Christianity came from Jewish roots.  So, as you can imagine, the ability to find something Kosher in S. India is a bit of a stretch, but we did our best.  It was actually very un-kosher, but it was meaningful and the kids had a great time.  Instead of Matzo, we had wheat crackers; instead of parsley, we had mint; and instead of wine, we had mango juice - of course.  

We then continued on to Easter on Sunday.  We had 30ish people over.  The lamb turned out great.  I also made 4 chickens...lamb is a bit pricey.  Anyway, everybody brought a dish to share.  I did run out of potatoes, which was kind of sad to me.  Running out of cheesy potatoes on Easter just doesn’t seem right.  I think I was the most upset about it,  running out of potatoes doesn’t seem to get people too riled up around here.  We had a big Easter egg hunt...70 eggs in all - which the dads kept on re-hiding so we could get dinner finished.  The climax of the day came right before we served dinner when Ani came screaming into the kitchen, “There’s a rat in our compost”!  Perfect.  Rats here are just a part of life, so it’s pretty normal.  But for the new girl on the scene, it was disturbing.  Oh, and the rat was as big as your arm up to your elbow... not including the tail.  Also perfect.  Everyone here says that cats are the way to decrease the local rat population, but I have been hesitant, since I am allergic to cats.  But after Sunday, I have decided that using Benadryl for the next season of my life is just going to have to be okay - so our next animal purchase will be at least one, if not two, cats.  Near the end of the afternoon the 15+ kids put on a pretty sweet show - including dance, song, jokes, advertisements (commercials), tricks and wrestling.  Most people that came were from different parts of the world, away from their native home, but we all pitched in and made it a special Easter.

A bit of insight into our marriage here.  About once a year, I get a speeding ticket. Jayson hasn’t gotten into any traffic issues since he was 16.  Every time I go to the dentist, I have a cavity.  Jayson has never gotten a cavity.  So, this week, when Jayson backed into 3 (parked) vehicles, 3 days in a row - I was secretly kind of excited.  I think the issue is that every time we go into reverse, the car/van/can has this music go off - and it drives us absolutely crazy.  Its a combination of the traditional beeping that a semi-truck would do when backing up and techno-Indian music.  Just another way our vehicle is top notch.  Two of the three times he made obvious damage and the people, graciously, waved it off and said no big deal.  Every time I get a speeding ticket, well you can guess, 100+ dollars later.  So, even though he had the driving mishaps, he still got off with a smile...  It’s progress though.

This weekend, we are going on a bit of an R&R to Jungle Retreat.  Do a Google search of it.  Jungle Retreat - India.  We are just going for one night - as a first time trip for us.  Seems do-able.  I am sure something ridiculous will happen, but hey, makes good material for the blog.  

Oh, I forgot to mention.  I bird flew into our house two days ago.  So funny.  Not really India related, because I have a faint memory of a bird flying into our house when I was growing up... but still funny none-the-less.  Jayson was home for lunch when it happened, so he was able to shoo it out.  

In about a half hour Jayson is hosting a “Guys Night” - they are playing the game Risk and eating boy food.  I’d better go get things ready for it...   


Jen Turnquist said...

Good luck with finding a cat (we suggest 2). Jake says you can take claritin, zyrtec, or allegra. They all are much less sedating than benadryl, but might be slightly less effective. Another positive, they're once a day, instead of every 6hrs. We have really enjoyed reading your blog and learning about life in India with the Palms. Hugs and prayers to your family! Love, The Turnquists

Marsha said...

That's so cool that you guys did a Passover Seder. Great tradition. I would have bought a cat pretty much right away. Gross! The Benadryl route sounds like a good option. Love you guys! We pray for you regularly. Thanks for the updates.

Jennifer Swanson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer Swanson said...

Can't wait to see pics of the cats! Kirk is allergic, too. They had a cat growing up--but not for rats. Me: "All those shots and everything? Why not just let go of the cat?" Kirk: "Um..."

Can you record and upload the van-in-reverse music for us?

Remind me next year and we'll send you some matzo. Kirk bought 5 boxes this year. I was pretty matzo-ed out by the end of dinner; who knew you could put it in EVERYTHING? I seriously thought of sending you some of the matzo-chocolate-toffee I made, but it seems to require refrigeration. Sigh. Maybe I could send you the ingredients minus the butter and sugar. Can you get butter? :)

Anonymous said...

Happy Tax Day back to you, James!

I love your blog. Hilarious (at your expense). I, too, am allergic to cats (and generally don't like them) but I'd rather inhale cat fur on a daily basis than deal with dog-sized rats. Get a litter of cats! Love from the Wolfe's. Chris

creek said...

Again, LOVE the posts. It's funny to hear about Jayson's backing into the cars. He may not remember it but there was a night, in high school, where he was dropping me off at my car in the church parking lot. Dead of winter. Lots of snow. He, driving real fast around the lot, lost control and we were heading straight towards one of the parking lot light posts (big pole). The car stopped inches from it. AWESOME!

Christine said...

wow! can't believe you had 30 people over for Easter..aren't you the "new kids on the block?" hostess with the mostess...good luck on the cat thing..I"m allergic, too. Here's another idea..I think there's some guy named "the rat catcher" from the Renaissance Festival..maybe you could fly him out to take care of things?! Love the pix, too!

Natalie Beckwith said...

You can have our Alice the Wondercat. She's 22 pounds and growing, so she could probably take on those rats. Granted, we have had 2 birds in our house on 2 occasions, and she did not seem to feel the need to chase them or even acknowledge them. Maybe she's useless. I don't know. A few months in India could be revealing. I also thought you should record the music if it's possible. I'm pretty sure it's gotta be the awesomest thing ever!

Hannah said...

Hey Palms, I would get a white cat. They're six times less likely to set off allergies than others. I'm also a cat lover! I enjoy reading your blogs whenever they're posted, thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

I'm loving reading this . . . wow, there is some normalcy in the Palms life . . . tons of company for Easter, Easter eggs, friends, etc. etc. etc. Then, oh no, the rat enters the scene. Dang! All in all, your day sounded pretty wonderful.

I love your shorter hair cut, Tarah!

Two questions: do you have a blender and can you get powdered sugar? If so, I want to send a recipe.

Think and pray often of you dear friends . . . and miss you!


Hannah said...

Here's another matzah idea--because it has absolutely no shelf life. I swear we've had ours for the last, like, seven years. We spread tomato sauce on it, sprinkle cheese on it, and then heat it up in the oven or microwave. Seems to work great!

Sarah said...

maybe you should ask to get one of those cameras installed in the back of your vehicle. i am sure those are readily available over there.

Anonymous said...

Hi Palms,
How do you even figure out how many cheezy potatoes to make for 30 people? I had 14 for dinner and I thought I was doing good. Okay, the rat thing . . . get the cats or something. Maybe a mongoose would work. You know the whole "ricky ticky tavy" thing?
Aunt Sue

mel said...

here i am. its a friday night. i should be heading to bed after a terribly long and exhausting week, but instead i decided to read the latest entry...only to be here, somewhat beside myself, laughing to the point of tears, and no one around to enjoy the moment with me...too bad!! i can't believe you have failed to mention the singing reverse mode of your car/van/can. thats AMAZING!! almost as amazing as your ability to write about it :) love you, t...and jayson, and ani, and james, and sydney, and jovie, and dare i, and two cats? what?!? i can't blame you ;)

cassie said...

so good to find updates from the palms!! i can't wait to see what else you guys encounter - much love from north dakota:)!