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Oh my, what a day! The day started out so lovely, the sun was shining outside and I had plugged in my ipod to some inspiring tunes. I was tidying up around the house, just thinking about how grateful I am for so many things. I looked at my new little journals and life was good. I went from room to room gathering up stuff and enjoying a little fluffing time!

Then, things started to go downhill from there. I took some laundry down to my basement, stuck it the wash and was on my way out of the laundry room when I happened to look down at another laundry basket full of dirty clothes (yes, we have three children. There is ALWAYS another basket of dirty clothes).

I saw something that made me do a double take. So I looked again, squinting. Closer this time. OH MY GOSH! I think it was RAT DROPPINGS! PLOPPED RIGHT THERE ON MY SON’S DIRTY SOCKS!

OH MY OH MY, I went RUNNING, no TEARING OUT of that room so fast I dropped everything in my hands, tripped over a bucket and slammed the door behind me. OH MY GOSH!

I ran upstairs and did what every brave girl does in this sort of situation. I called my husband after leaping up on top of the counter (feet far from the floor, just in case). He said, “well, gather up the evidence in a baggie and I will look at it when I get home!” UNACCEPTABLE! I was not gathering up any evidence.

So, I spent the rest of the day on the third floor, getting the drawing entries ready from our big soirée! Things were pretty good for a bit there until I had some trouble with my darn Flash Player. So I spent the rest of the afternoon reading up on “Troubleshooting for Your Flash Player” forums. Such inspiring reading! NOT.

Anyways, I now have a new flash player and I couldn’t be happier. Except for the little fact of a RAT in my house somewhere. That is still slightly disturbing.


But I do have some great news! After cutting up all of your lovely comments into pretty strips and putting them into a hat (sorry, no pictures to prove it, I just didn’t have the energy after the rat and flash episodes), I pulled out the winning name! I was quite excited about this! And I am pleased to announce to you, right now, the winner of the grand prize Eiffel Tower Earrings AND the magazine gift certificate! So without further ado, send your congratulations to:

Just Bee N’ Me


Now, I had the fun of getting to do another drawing! This time, with only those of you who attempted BFF status! To each of you, I forever bestow the title of BFF, but to only one of you can I offer the prize of the Moonstruck Chocolates! Thanks to each of you who so graciously and in some cases humorously tried. There were poems and photos of hors d’oeuvres and fancy gowns, and hostess gifts and all sorts of lovely gestures. All of them warmed my heart and endeared you to me forever. So, out of the hat came the Moonstruck Chocolate winner:


Congratulations to both of the winners and thanks to everyone who played along! I am going to be adding TONS of people to my blogroll since I made such lovely new friends!


Now I have something else crazy to tell you! As I was typing this, all of a sudden I realized I was already getting comments on my post, before I had hit PUBLISH. OH NO! Sure enough, though, I had published a partially written post. No title, no photos, half-written commentary. Oops! But my commenters graciously didn’t mention how blah or incomplete it was! Such kind and forgiving ladies. They just pretended nothing had happened and commented on what little content I had published, but inside I am sure they were thinking YOU DORK!

So, I had to pull the post from my blog and start over. Sheesh, could anything else go wrong today? Good thing I didn’t send off an embarrassing photo or something, can you imagine? These are the sorts of things that happen to me! And I thought my awkward blogging episodes were behind me now that I have entered my second century of posts! Clearly not.

Me oh my, I think it is time for me to hang it up for the day! Although I really don’t want to go downstairs… Where is Ian when I need him?

Ian, oh, Ian, I could use a hot toddy and my slippers. And would you please do something about that RAT? No, not that one. The furry one in the basement!


Today’s photos are from a walk I took awhile back on another beautiful fall day


  1. Cottage Contessa

    Oh Melissa! My hubby came home for lunch just as I was reading your post, so I read it out to him and neither of us could stop laughing! It brought back all the horror of our own comical run ins with rats/mice over the years….thanks to 3 cats! I hope your knight in shining rat trap comes home soon to rescue you, his damsel in destress! lol Thanks for the great laugh sweetie!
    Amanda (aka Cottage Contessa)

  2. Mary

    Oh Michelle, maybe it was just mice? Not great, but surely not as bad… I once had a snake in the basement. Called the local wildlife refuge to ask for advice, and the woman told me, “Oh, you’ve got to get it out of your basement!” Duh!

    Good luck!

  3. Natasha Burns

    Hi Melissa,
    Congrats to the winners! Oh my, is that your home in the first photo?? I am drooling here!!!!
    Eeek get that rat, where there’s one there’ usually more. I have some horror stories from when we go away for a month over Summer, coming back to a house of eeek. We live not too far from a creek so they come up and play in our roof and under the house, thankfully though I think I got rid of them (mostly mice) with 15 traps, tons of bait and poison. My dad has a trick, bit sadistic actually – he puts cement powder mix in the rat poison, so that they eat it and it solidifies in their stomachs and they die. how horrible is that???!!! Hmmm I’ve probably revealed a little too much…

  4. kKathleen Grace

    Not to worry Melissa, I assumed you were so traumatized by the rat episode that you just had to share with us right away:>)

  5. Sweet Cottage Dreams

    Hi Melissa!!! ROFL after reading your post!!! Want a good rat story? When we first were married, we rented an 80 year old home..old part of town..the old foundation that was on cement pillars and we had the sloooooping floors to prove it. Well, hubby thought we had mice cause we could hear noises in the walls and beneath us. ewwwww!!! He set traps under the house. One morning he went out to check and all I heard was !%#@$*!!! *&?”@@!!!!! and quick movement from under the house. I ran outside to see him pulling himself out from the crawl space with the most frightened look on his face. He had come face to face with a sewer or canal know, the ones that are the size of a cat!!! I laughed my fanny off! So, we sure can relate to the rat stories. Hopefully the droppings are from a very large mouse and not a rat. Oh how icky though – regardless!

    Congrats to Becky and Katiedid for winning your awesome prizes!!!! Hooray girls!!!!! I know Becky and she is adorable! Check out her fab artwork!!

    Ok, off to finish some chores. I need to visit everyone..tomorrow. BOL for my giveaway – the prize is almost done!!

    xoxoxoxoxo and still laughing at you!!

    Becky and Duhgall – Tell Winston thank you for his sweet get better wishes….woof!!!!

  6. Elaine L.

    Very CUTE post! LOL

    This is my first post to your blog. You post beautiful pictures.


  7. Lavender Chick

    It might be time for a BIG FAT CAT! Actually, maybe a skinny cat would be better, if you know what I mean…

    Great photos! I really enjoyed them, as I do all of your photos and postings.

  8. {this is glamorous}

    That was hilarious, Melissa–your telling of it, and not the rat, of course :) Loved especially your all-caps UNACCEPTABLE–you’re too funny! Hopefully the situation was resolved.

  9. Esther Sunday

    Oh, my gosh!! I could just picture your acute distress over the rat situation! Very funny!! There is NOTHING worse than rats and mice! But, hey, the walk was wonderful! Thanks! Love, Esther

  10. Penny, Mosaic Artist

    Well, I was one of those comments that got deleted! So here was my ORIGINAL comment:
    LOL! “MEN!” That is a favorite saying of mine and my best friend….:-)

    Now….I also want to say congrats to the winners! And that I am sooo sad I didn’t win ;-(. Melissa, the photos are gorgeous!

  11. Beck

    Congratulations girls! :)

  12. KJ

    Congrats to both of the winners– you blessed ladies, you! No doubt you will derive great enjoyment from the goodies!

    Also, lately, blogspot has been a bit sensitive upon hitting “return,” and it just goes ahead and publishes something I’m working on midstream! I have had to yank it as well. I don’t want people to think that I’ve lost my mind!

    All grins,

  13. tracy

    how funny, we both wrote about rodents today! I am completely sympathetic, as evidenced by me freaking out over a mouse of the stuffed variety.

    by the way, we had mice in the last place I worked & I would find little “presents” on my desk. how gross is that?!

    on a side note, Porter loves carrots, too. I agree that it’s something about the crunching sound.

  14. le petit cabinet de curiosites

    Hi Melissa ,
    Congratulations for the winners. I just discovered ” Just Bee’n me ” blog . Your pictures are wonderful .
    I particularly love the last one

  15. Cecilia

    I just always love your pics! So relaxing to look at. Congrats to the winners. But I guess I can say that I am richer for visiting here anyways. Even if I didn’t win. I just have to try not to lose this link. I visit a lot of sites in a day.

    Lost out on those Christmas decorations from the Blissful. They won’t ship Christmas decorations. :( And no way will I drive accross the state lines to shop. I likely would have spent over $500 there , so it saved me some bucks. I blew more cash (not credit) in August than most folks earn in a year. (College for my DD, and a car to get her around there.) So maybe it was best.

    Sorry to hear about your rat. That would freak me out too. And I mean very freaked out!!!! Isn’t it like with roaches, you see one and that means there are more?

  16. Sophiehoneysuckle

    Ooh congrats to the lucky winners!!! And the Rat-oh my goodness I would have done exactly the same as you-been terrified to put my feet down on the floor!! You blog is such a lovely, fun, inspiring read!!!

  17. Pat

    Melissa, I loved reading this post. It was as if I was right there with you, running from the rat!

    The photos are wonderful!

    Congratulations to the winners!


  18. katiedid

    Oh me oh my! Melissa thank you so much! Well my day has just started out to be a wonderful one. Getting your note and then reading your very funny post, and then realizing I won a box of chocolates! What could be better? Your neighborhood is about the most charming place I can imagine. You must just be enchanted every day. I guess a little rat here or there is the price for such a beautiful existence! Perhaps providing the needed contrast for just the right amount of apreciation.:)

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
    Best of all is finding such wonderful friend!

  19. Brittany

    Oh rats!(Pardon the expression)I missed all of the fun! Congrats to the ladies who won!! I too am TERRIFIED of rodents of ANY size. I had an experience with mice when I bought my first home. (It was over 70 yrs. old.) Needless to say the water heater had previously leaked causing a small hole in the floor. Now mind you it was not a HUGE hole, but does it have to be for “creepies” to get in? The brave little vermin were taking over! They must have sensed my fear! It took a while (and about 25 traps) to discover their source of entry. To top it off, they were breeding in my hot water tank YUCK! Catch it, catch it now before it invites friends lol!

  20. Rhonda

    Congradulations to Just Bee N’ Me and Katidid! How lucky they are:)
    I know having a rat in the house is not funny, but your story had me Laughing Out Loud!!!
    I had a similar reaction a few weeks ago when my cat brought in a live field mouse for me to play with. Wasn’t that sweet of him, bless him, he loves his Mommy!


  21. Erin

    The photos are GORGEOUS!

  22. Julie

    See Melissa! That is precisely why I have 6 cats!!

    Congratulations to both winners! It was a great party and a fantastic time was had by all.

    Get a cat honey!


  23. Vee

    Oh dear! I do hope that your darling hubby can round up the rat and dispatch him pronto.

    If it’s any consolation, we had a snake in the basement in August. He was atop the bathroom scales looking intently at his numbers. I didn’t waste much time hiking it up out of there either and I didn’t blog about it because I didn’t want anyone to know. LOL!!

  24. Terri

    Melissa, what an excellent post. I love the rat story. You will have to keep us posted. I can’t imagine YOU have a rat! Congrats to the winners too!

  25. Flea Market Queen

    I would be so freaked out by the rat! I would have to leave the house! That’s how scared I would be…
    Crazy! Congrats to your winners…

  26. Wanda

    Oh, how well I can relate! We had a chipmunk episode yesterday. My husband, thankfully, was home at the time. He doesn’t understand my reactions and says it won’t hurt me, it’s more scared than I am, etc. It might not hurt me, but can make me hurt myself as a bird situation proved a few years ago. I’m such a girl.

  27. the feathered nest

    Congrats to the two ladies! Hopefully it’s just a mouse and not a rat!


  28. Cielo

    That’s indeed a beautiful walk… awesome view and pics. And I love your blog… pretty too!

    thanks for stopping by my house in the roses


  29. Anna

    Beautiful, beautiful pictures – love the house in the top image in particular!!

  30. Emily-Sarah

    I live in a house built in 1941, and our cellar and garage have small cracks that a mouse (and on occasion, rat) like to explore now and then. I’m right there with you, feet off the floor! I’m calm with spiders and even with snakes (a big old black snake slithered up to our dog’s food bowl — right outside the back door! — and made himself at home.) But mice and rats, for some reason, make me squeal. And run! I hate those old traps and got a nice one (that catches it, then *your husband* can release it into a field not too nearby) … Yes, husbands do come in handy, don’t they?!

  31. chris

    Maybe it’s just a mouse???!!!! I feel the same way about RATS! EEEK!!! Your post was hilarious though! I can see myself doing the exact same things! Your blog is so lovely & the pictures stunning-I will visit often! :) chris

  32. shelbi

    melissa! mee toooo! we have had a ‘resident’ rat for a time now and we have tried everything…and i do mean, everything. just today i was on the phone with the pest control guy and soon thereafter my husband, and i finally just ‘broke down’…yes…tears and everything! this rat is smart! he takes the food off the trap and gets away with it!! i am not sure what our next move it, but today it involved a break down of magnatude proportions from one weary rat chaser!! (achem, that would be me)

    i am too much of a germaphobe to be dealing with a rat in the laundry room! it’s something out of a comedic twilight zone! if we do not catch this guy soon, i may be writing you from the funny farm. :::blowing nose::: thanks for listening. i need another tissue!


  33. Arch

    Oops, sorry to hear about the rats in the basement!

    Congrats to the winners…thanks to you for the link to Just Bee N me!


  34. Jane

    Oh no! I once visited a friend in Paris and her roommate used to leave out seeds for their mice. She justified it saying “if you have mice, you don’t have rats!”, so whether you have mice or rats, at least you don’t have both ;) Hopefully, you manage to evict them tout de suite!

  35. Lady N

    Your pictures were just what I needed today! Beautiful!

  36. Becky Schultea

    Oh what a day you’ve had!! How funny – but I know from experience that dealing with rodents of any size is y-ucky – best of luck to you there Melissa!! You are as delightful a writer as you are a designer!! Well, I am still floored that I won your wonderful drawing – WOW! And it has been fun reading the congratulations here. It’s been a good day all in all :o) I love all the wonderful people who have been brought together by this incredible tool called the internet – it never ceases to amaze me that total strangers can connect in such a real way over common interests or similar tastes or shared faith. It’s a beautiful thing! Thanks again – I will send you my address soon – been battling email issues today so it may be tomorrow.

    This has been an awesome experience!

    Becky S. at Just Bee ‘n Me

  37. jean

    Oh, dear…I can just see you dashing up those stairs, wild eyed and hair on end! I don’t like mice, one single bit, either!! I once had a grandson’s snake loose in my house ;and I nearly passed kidney stones!

  38. Amanda Jones

    Oh Melissa! I once lived in a house where I caught 3 mice within an hour and had to wash everything out of every drawer in our house! I HATE MICE… and to think of a rat… I would die. I would probably just sit on my bed all day waiting for my hubby to come and find it! YUCK! But I am glad that you pick a winner sooner then you thought! That is always fun. And last but not least… I wish I a neighborhood like yours to take pictures of… BEAUTIFUL!!

  39. Lynda

    oh dear! I think I’d have the same reaction you did …. RUN!!! *shudder* I hope you get rid of Ratatouille soon! (Name him … maybe it won’t seem quite so bad. Yeah I know … I thought not.) Love your home! ~ Lynda xo

  40. My Melange

    Congrats to the winners! Melissa, I have had your mouse problem before…so I know what you are going through! Worse for me though as I did *see* the bugger one time! EEEEEEKKKKKKKK!!

    I am also famous for either a) accidentally publishing before done with spelling errors and everything or b) totally loosing my post because I did not save it!!!! So I feel your pain….

  41. janet

    So sad that I didn’t win, but I will probably get over it quite soon. Got to run to Michaels where they have the cutest Mary Engelbreit journals, just right for those Christmas o-do lists for $1. That is correct, just one dollar. Maybe a Moka from Seattles Best @ Borders next to Michaels will really help me get over my loss.



  1. DIY Staircase Makeover (Before & After) - [...] Carrying lots and lots of laundry. {And it was down those stairs in the laundry room that “the rat…

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