Sometimes, things just don't quite work out the way you expected, or wanted, them to. Today was one of those days. I worked from home this morning. This was fine, and I expected to get numerous things done. As is often the way, this began well, and with the best of intentions. Then the post office called. A batch of hatching eggs that I had ordered was in, and would I like to come and pick them up. The post office does this, which is very kind, so that the eggs don't bounce around on the rural roads all day in a postal van, having their insides turned to scrambled egg. They don't tend to be fertile after that.
So, off I went to the post office to collect my eggs. I got to the bottom of the gravel road, intending to turn left. But no, that was not to be. There were two state trooper cars with all lights a-blazing and a row of orange pylons. Clearly, there was some reason that I could not go that way. I had to sit there for a minute collecting my thoughts on how to take an alternate route. I figured it out, and off I went, postulating about what might be occurring that necessitated such police presence in our lazy corner of Iowa.
When I arrived at the post office, the kind lady who works there (and who recognized me instantly, since I have had several boxes of hatching eggs arrive there), saw me, and her face fell. "Oh," she said, with some dismay, "there is a problem with your eggs." This was not what I wanted to hear. They are exciting eggs. Penedesenca eggs - a breed of Spanish chicken that lays very dark brown eggs. Ah well, I braced myself. "The box is leaking," she intoned, "and egg goo got all over a bunch of our other parcels, and we couldn't figure out what it was until we got to your box..." Sigh. This is never a good sign when one is picking up a box of eggs.
Well, she gingerly handed me the box. It was sitting on paper towels and then on plastic. "I didn't want you to get egg goo in your car" she said. Really, the post office ladies are delightful and kind. But someone in the post office, at some point, mishandled the parcel. This is not to day that the box was damaged - it wasn't. But it was leaking. Yellow goo. I mentioned to the postal workers that I'd been waylaid by the road blockage. "Ah yes," she said knowingly, "didn't you hear about the bank robbery?" Turns out the road was closed for several miles and that there was talk of a bank robber who had taken that route and that they were looking for him. This made me a bit worried, because I had left my garage door open when I left, thinking I would be less than 10 minutes, and living in the country, one develops a bit of confidence that nobody in their right mind is voluntarily going to approach your house when it's on this horribly bumpy gravel road. Except, perhaps, for escaping bank robbers.
So, I put the box on the floor of the car with its toweling and plastic, and drove home, with some trepidation, expecting to see the equivalent of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral or something akin to it. I didn't see anything, fortunately, except the same State Troopers in the same spot. And there was nobody in my garage except the resident mice who I am trying to evict in a nice way. By the way, they are not the deer mice variety of mouse that I wrote about in a previous post. They are the other house mouse type. Not that I have mice in my house. Just the garage. Anyway, I digress.
I opened the box and it was beautifully packaged with each egg individually wrapped in bubble wrap and then taped off, and they were inside a smaller box, that was sitting in wadded newspaper within a bigger box, so it should have been fine. Sadly, 4 of the eggs were shattered. But, 9 of them were fine, and are now in the incubator.
Here you can see the dark penedesenca eggs on the right hand end of the incubator. There are also frizzle, silkie, rosecomb bantam, cochin, serama, and Old English Game bantam eggs in there. This accounts for the varying sizes and colours. I am truly excited about the penedesencas, and will have to report on their eventual hatching.
I cleaned up the egg goo and went to throw out some of the packaging that was all eggy, and determined that there was an unpleasant smell emanating from the general vicinity of the garbage can. My garbage can is stainless steel with an inner plastic "bucket" type of liner that is quite tall. You put a plastic bag inside the liner and then take it out as it fills. Well, I tried to figure it out and took out the bag, but nothing jumped out at me. Then I realized that the bag was leaking. A pool of unidentified liquid was forming on the floor at my feet. So I rushed out with the bag into the garage (hope the mice don't investigate that!) and came back in and began my cleanup. I moved the garbage can to better clean things up, and discovered the source of the smell. The plastic liner bucket was broken on the bottom (how this happened I shall never know) and the liquid had formed a pool under the bin, which had become inhabited by a large colony of fruit flies, and had turned a most unpleasant colour. So, I then had to rush the entire can out to the garage (oh great, a new home for mice) and get back into the kitchen for an even more thorough cleaning and disinfecting session, by which time the entire kitchen smelled of an unpleasant mixture of Caldrea lavender floor cleaner, Swiffer floor cleaning solution and unidentified garbage goo. I was not a happy camper.
Subsequent to this, I realized that the basket of tomatoes on the island had some bad ones in the bottom that had made a pool of tomato goo on the counter, and also were breeding fruit flies and inviting all the ones I had evicted from the garbage situation to settle in. More clean-up ensured, and finally the kitchen was tolerably clean. It is not normally like this. Some days just are too busy to keep up with everything that needs to be done.
So, after all that excitement of State Troopers, egg goo, garbage goo, and tomato goo, I had no time to do any of the things I thought I was going to do, and promptly had to clean myself up and get on the road. It's now 9:30 and I am home. The kitchen smells normal but is, annoyingly, without a garbage can at this time. The news has advised me that the bank robber had held two tellers at gunpoint, made them put money into one of the tellers' cars, which he promptly stole, then ended up being in a high speed chase, and had flipped the car just after the point at which I saw the State Troopers. He died at the scene and of course the teller needs a new vehicle. Clearly, somebody had a morning that was far worse than mine. I am thankful for small mercies.