Category Archives: Tales of Chaos

Notes from My Prison

I write this as a prisoner, trapped in my own home.

At my dining room table, to be precise.

Just a few minutes ago, I was a free woman, sitting here at my dining room table preparing to feed my son breakfast as he beside me in his high chair. His oatmeal was on the stovetop, and I was sitting at the table copying down a recipe from an email while he munched on cheerios as we waited for his oatmeal to cool.

Then it happened. 

I walked into the kitchen to retrieve his breakfast, when I noticed a slender, silver object lying on the floor beneath the tall cabinet at the far end of the kitchen. 

Oh wait, my computer has a camera. Here is a picture of the kitchen from my vantage point:


The small, slender silver object was on the floor directly beneath the tall cabinet.

Then I realized it had a tail.


I immediately scurried back to my table, sat down and put my feet up. The mouse simply sat, still as can be. I watched as it slowly crept across the floor along the wall. It knew I was there.

There is no phone within reach. There is, however, a laptop. I quickly jotted an SOS email to my husband at work, begging him to reply. Of course, he was probably teaching a class and could not respond at the moment. So I did the only other thing I can think of to do: I decided to blog.

These are notes from my prison…journal entries from my deserted island, if you will. 

I still need to feed my son breakfast. Oatmeal, is, of course, now out of the question.It will just have to go cold.  I see a box of Clementines on the kitchen counter. I grab one, unpeel it, break apart a piece and give it to him. He’s never had a Clementine before; perhaps he’ll love it. He tastes it, and…

…gives me a sour expression.

I survey my surroundings, and see that there is a bowl of fruit on the table in front of me. The bananas are just purchased and still green, but I take a chance and unpeel one anyway to see if it’s edible. Success! I feed my son a banana for breakfast. It helps that it is one of his favorite foods in the universe. He is still hungry, so I break apart a granny smith apple and he enjoys several pieces of that.

I then consider what step to take next. The mouse is no longer under the cabinet, but I cannot tell if he is gone. Perhaps he is on the floor beneath the stove. I consider where else he could have possible run to, and weigh my options.

We have just over 7 hours until my hero arrives home. We could sit here all day, right? Let’s see…we have 6 bananas, 10 apples and a box of Clementines within reach. That should suffice for lunch. We could watch videos on the laptop all day to keep the boy occupied. Of course, that wouldn’t be too healthy now, would it — watching videos all day. He does have some reading material  – a board book of “Where is My Mother” – on his high chair tray. He’s sick of it, though, so I hand him a copy of the Pottery Barn catalog that was sitting on the counter behind me, and he is now eagerly tearing through that. It was a sacrifice, but really it was all I could do.

There is the question of naptime, which is quickly approaching. I could fashion a makeshift bed out of the dining room table chairs (they have padded seats) and since I’m still in my fuzzy PJs and bathrobe, he could use my bathrobe for a blanket. Yes, yes, that will do.

I think we could sit here all day, right?

(To-do list? What to-do list?)

The phone rings and goes to voice mail. It is the Salvation Army. I’ll give later.

A few minutes later the phone rings again, but the dialer hangs up.

Yet again, the phone rings, and yet again the dialer hangs up.

I then hear my cell phone ringing from it’s resting place in my purse in the downstairs entryway. It is no doubt my hero, valiantly trying to make contact — but fat chance that I am going to leave this very spot!

Really, I think we could sit here all day. 

Or maybe I’ll grab the boy, run upstairs, put him down for his nap, hang out upstairs for a couple hours, and then go to grandma’s for the afternoon.

Yes yes, that will do.

Update: Contact with the outside world has been made! I bravely ran across the kitchen floor to grab the phone and was able to reach my hero, who patiently instructed me in the location and art of setting a mousetrap. The trap is now set, the boy is sleeping…and the boy & I will still be going to grandma’s house for the afternoon after he wakes up (as if I’d stay here to see if the trap goes off!). I suppose I should call grandma to make sure that’s OK!


Fire in the Hole!

“Things were cooking at the Wallace house today.”

“We got fired.”

These were a couple of alternate titles I came up with for this post.

The bottom line, though, is that we dealt with a little electrical fire fun here today. Check out this picture:

Please note the charred hole in the ceiling. Up until this afternoon, a light fixture hung there. However, at around 4:00, I was working around the kitchen, minding my own business, standing right about at the point from which this picture was taken, when suddenly I heard the most horrifying popping/surging sound coming from the light fixture. It sounded almost possessed and lasted a good 5 seconds or more. I glanced up to see the light flashing an insidious orange, streaks of blackness emerging from it, and then the adrenaline took over. I dashed up those stairs (on the right) to grab little napping Will from his nursery, dashed right back down the stairs (bonking his poor little forehead on the doorframe in the process 😦 ), and then down the set of stairs on the left to the entryway and out the door, directly to my wonderful neighbors’ across the street. They came over to make a cautious inspection of the damage, and discovered a completely charred light fixture and that our home smelled “like burning”. I called 911, then I called Mark to come home from work. Soon the sirens were blaring, a truck and 2 fire “suburbans” were in front of our house with the lights going, and neighbors I’d never met were beginning to slowly trickle out of their houses and toward our end of the street, eyes bugging with curiosity. (note to self: never do this. It’s annoying.). Anyway, the fire chief inspected it…a few firemen inspected it…the fire inspector inspected it and interviewed us, and it was determined that all is safe for the moment. We’ve got an electrician coming in the morning, and aside from the charred ceiling and the little goose-egg on poor Will’s head (he’s OK, by the way!), everything is back to normal.

Still, it was a little more adventure than I’d bargained for today.

And the moral of the story, children, is to always be afraid because you never know when a light fixture in your house may explode. Just kidding. Seriously, though, it was a great little reminder of how fragile things can be – even light fixtures that seem innocent enough can turn on us!

Anyway, we’ve been enjoying a quiet evening. We dined on frozen pizza (I was going to make lasagna, but that didn’t happen!), and I’ve been shamelessly vegging ever since. It was too chaotic of a day to go anywhere or really doing anything that involved getting up and moving (this is why I missed girls’ night, Sarah – sorry I didn’t reply to your text!)

Here’s to some peace & quiet…and thanks to God for keeping us safe!