When you live in the desert and you have a house built, there are natural consequences. Granted, the land our development is on was formerly a golf course (which is why we found several buried golf balls when doing the backyard!), but there was still going to be some wildlife to deal with. I had been ardently opposed to exterminating said wildlife (bugs) and preferred to set them free (take them outdoors). I felt that we had settled on their land, and our hostile takeover left them otherwise homeless. While reasoning with J about this, I told him it reminded me of when the colonists settled in America and the Native Americans were left to....? and finally by appealing to J's love of American history he agreed not to exterminate the bugs.
Two-and-a-half years later, it's monsoon season and there are crickets. everywhere. In the beginning it was just an occasional cricket - I was taught crickets are good luck, and they just didn't bother me that much, so we maintained the "set them free" rule (and I just ignored them). However, the crickets have gotten to an un-ignorable point and now that BB is in the picture, it grosses me out to think of them crawling all over his stuff. So sadly on the agenda today was "J exterminate crickets". After my workout this morning I got a surge of energy to finally sweep off the (sorely neglected) front and back porches, where there were LOTS of tiny black dots that J informed me was cricket poo. So I swept. And then I decided to do some other bits of outdoor work, like destroy the bunches of spiderwebs on our back porch, which led me over to our tarped patio furniture. One of the tarps had been strewn to the ground by the monsoon wind some time ago, and J and I just hadn't gotten around to putting it back on the furniture. Now, I have a huge fear of snakes and everytime those tarps are piled up somewhere I am terrified that a giant snake is going to jump out at me, so I lifted up the tarp with a broom, very hesitantly, and what did I see? A little mouse scamper under our patio furniture! I screamed and J came to the window to find out what all the fuss was about. I told him and then he saw the mouse for himself, skimming across our pavers and around the corner by the AC unit. I thought, problem solved, but J was very annoyed, and I wasn't sure why. And then J told me that the mouse might eat parts of our house and get into our walls! What?! I had no idea that's what mice did.
A few minutes later I was still destroying spiderwebs with my broom, and I went over by the AC unit to finish the job (and look for signs of the mouse). No mouse in sight, but I did see the tarp that covers the lawn mower lying on the ground, so I rustled it a little with the broom and then decided that J could take care of that one. I went to tell him so and that I am always terrified of a snake popping out from under the tarps, and he pointed out "Well, if we have a mouse, we don't have a snake," and then after a second he continued, "Actually, mice eat crickets..." and left me to realize that this mouse is the result of my cricket love. My response: "Fine. I already told you. Do whatever you need to do." So J is now in charge of finding some sort of cricket-mouse hybrid exterminator so that our house doesn't just crumble to the ground with mouse-munch holes in the walls like pieces of swiss cheese, weighed down by cricket poo.
In case this story has not already illustrated this for you, our yards have been badly neglected since BB was born, and maybe even a little before, as I was the one who did a lot of the weeding and once my abdomen was the size of a watermelon it was difficult to do much bending over. And the monsoons, while I love the rain, certainly have not helped us - they are definitely playing on the weed's team. In fact, at this point, I wouldn't really say we need to mow the lawn anymore, it's more like we need to harvest the lawn.