Jack and the… sunflower stalk?

Or how to build a better mousetrap.

As the Spring entered the dark days of COVID, I got busy purchasing seeds for our garden. Vegetables, herbs and flowers that would have healing properties just in case the world as we knew it had a total economic meltdown. I believe it was times likes these when fairytales were started. Stories that captured the magic of nature, and gave people hope in difficult and depressing times.

I purchased sunflower seeds this Spring, against my better judgment. I have never had much luck in raising sunflowers. As I opened the seed package I founds the seeds were extremely small (nothing like the sunflower seeds I had always planted in the US). So small, in fact, that I didn’t waste my time carefully planting them, I just tossed them in the front flower bed, then forgot about them.

Remember the story of Jack and the Beanstalk? Jack’s mother tossed those bean seeds right out the window of their very small house. She was very angry with Jack for trading a cow for “magic” beans.

For those who have followed our blog for any amount of time know, my partner is known as Hubby. This is not his name, of course, he wants to remain anonymous to the world. His real name is an old Dutch traditional name that none of my American friends or family can seem to pronounce. He realized this many years before meeting me and adopted a.k.a. American names to use when he was in the US. Jim, John, Jacob, and Jack are the common ones he uses when traveling.

With “Jack” now home working from what used to be and still occasionally is, The Cedar Journal International Headquarters, Jack suddenly became immersed in the daily life that surrounds the international office space. Things such as watching the daily dog walkers, knowing the time that each delivery service would be stopping on our street, noting the neighborhood home improvement activities and watching the growth of the flower/veggie gardens. These activities have opened Jack’s eyes to the vastly complicated responsibilities I have here at my international headquarters.

Jack has had his own issues with the aviation industry during these dire times, but he also found time in his busy home office schedule to build chicken coops, add chicken coop improvements, build a back porch sitting area, and has made improvements to our camper for our canoe trips. Jack is a busy and diverse guy!

Our completed back porch sitting area. Recycled 1920’s stain glass windows we found online.

Jack now has mostly exhausted his additional home improvement tasks and now has taken up the time old tradition of “how to build a better mousetrap”.

With the addition of chickens we now have cute mice in our back garden. They seem to eat the grain the chickens find undesirable (picky, spoiled hens!). Now we seem to have mice along the lines in of another fairytale The Pied Piper.

One of our “cute” mice checking out my muck boots.

These mice seem magical, I have watched them actually sit on the mousetrap, eat all the peanut butter, and never trip the trap! My frustration at catching these vermin is immense. Jack has now volunteered to take on this task in his free time. I never knew there were entire websites and YouTube videos dedicated to the many ways to capture and kill these small cute problematic creatures.

The mouse killing fields.

As the summer turned into fall, we saw that my casual toss of sunflower seeds were now growing tall and invading our front garden. Each day from the international office Jack and I would comment on how one of the sunflower plants was growing towards the sky. Just like Jack’s Beanstalk, the large green leaves and the sturdy stalk grew like crazy. Today, I finally captured some pictures of our sunflower.

The view of the sunflower from The Cedar Journal International Headquarters.
From ground level climbing towards the roof.
The top as it seems it will be blooming soon.

As with all fairytales, we know this current tale will have a happy ending. Jack will be victorious over the mice, he won’t have to climb the sunflower stalk to get the golden egg from the giants, and one day The Cedar Journal will again be a one person show with Jack returning to his normal duty at Schiphol Airport. The until then, we will be content at creating our own magical garden here within the walls of The Cedar Journal International Headquarters.

The small sunflower from one of the tossed seeds.

One last hummm… I caught this last week while I was out for a walk.

The invisible man?

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