Mice!

The day began with sunshine, which has since departed. The temperature is well above freezing, making the grey skies a lot less threatening. I managed to get out for my walk before the sun disappeared behind the clouds, it was lovely and mild, even the stiff wind was pleasant. By noon there were snowflakes drifting out of the sky, which melted on contact.

On Monday morning Attila found mouse droppings on the kitchen counter. The theory is that since all available food sources in the basement have been sealed up, the mouse/mice have ventured to the main floor of the house in search of sustenance.

Attila was inspired, nothing like mice running around in your kitchen to get the wind-up. Yesterday afternoon Attila gathered together the step ladder, multiple packages of steel wool, caulking, a mask, and a hat, and climbed up into the attic. After checking all around the chimney opening, a large gap was discovered on the far side of the chimney. The theory is that the mice are coming down through that gap, through the wall and down into the basement. It certainly smelled “mousey” in the attic. Within an hour the entire perimeter of the chimney was closed off with steel wool. No mice will be entering there in future.

There might be mice caught inside, if the entry/exit point is now blocked. I visited the local Canadian Tire store to pick up additional mouse traps, the reusable kind. We had been using glue traps, but they are so expensive now that they are not longer practical.

Last night before I went to bed, I filled the traps with seeds, and set them out where we had found mouse droppings. This morning the traps were empty. This is a good sign, but it is not definitive. For the next few weeks the traps will be set nightly, and if no mice are caught during this time, and the droppings do not reappear, we will assume we have solved the issue, at least for the moment.

This morning I dragged out my sewing equipment to continue working on the new dining area curtains. It is very slow going, the window area is large and it will take yards and yards of fabric to adequately cover them. A few weeks ago I pressed the long side raw edges. Today I finished the long side raw edges by stitching down the folds that had been pressed. It is tedious work, but the only way to get the curtains that I want. I still need cut the fabric, finish the short side raw edges, hem, and hang the curtains; all of that is for another day.

The Rideau Camp: An Issue When a previous owner put a driveway into the property, they cut off the natural drainage on either side of the driveway. This manmade wetland was the result. It has its own beauty, and the chirping frogs were wonderful to hear when we were there last weekend. But it is also a mecca for breeding mosquitoes! Attila worked on restoring the drainage system, but I doubt we will be able to completely drain this wet area. To control mosquitoes in this wetland we are considering the use of Mosquito Dunks, a Larvicide that will not affect other life forms, plant or animal. The expense may deter us though. We shall see.
RideauSwamp

Worldly Distractions

Weather

5°C
Date: 10:00 AM EDT Tuesday 12 April 2016
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.8 kPa
Tendency: rising
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 4.5°C
Dewpoint: -1.5°C
Humidity: 65%
Wind: WSW 23 km/h

Quote
“Genuine goodness is threatening to those at the opposite end of the moral spectrum.”
Charles Spencer

I learned that this can be true, the hard way. I worked for a well known and respected individual, who during a performance review sited my greatest fault. She said, “You always do the right thing.”
To her this was a treacherous fault, which I found totally shocking, since we were working with a very vulnerable population. No matter how she appeared to the “public”, she had a very acute sense of presentation, I was exposed to the underbelly of the beast, and it wasn’t pretty. It reminded me once again, that it is what people do when they think no one will find out, that defines good character and true greatness.

10 Comments

  1. Teri

    Ah darn, mice. Well, got to have a bit of balance to the positives you’ve been having lately, I guess. (Then again, why think that way? How about you have a nice long string of positives, just for the fun of it. 😀 Yeah, I know. We only have control over our reactions, not over what happens around us. Just having a moment of philosophical humor, I guess. 😉 )

    Hopefully, Attila has found the entry point and that will be the end of your mouse problem. I hope so! We’ve been having ants over here. A much smaller problem than yours but things always feel dirty when it happens.

    Looks like you’ve already found the type of bacterial larvicide that I was going to suggest. Yay!

    I like your quote and remember you talking about that boss before. Injustices like that have a way of returning to our thoughts again and again.

    I’ve had problems with that sort of thing, too. Your boss perceived you as doing the right thing, so while it didn’t help you in the job it still says a lot about the kind of person you are.

    Personally, my experiences have been somewhat different, though similar. I’ve had a number of people perceive me as good but then they refuse to accept what they see in me. They assume they must be missing something, maybe thinking that I’m just a good actor and playing the part of a good person. I guess (hope?) that says more about them as people than it does about me, though people willfully coloring their perceptions of me in a negative way is hurtful.

    Thank goodness DH has always seen me as I am. It’s hard enough to wade through the muck of misbegotten perceptions without having someone near you having doubts as to what kind of person you are. (Went through that with my XH. It cut me to the quick that he would take on what people who hardly knew me thought of me over what he himself knew of me.)

  2. Their cuteness aside, mice are a pestilence, and will soon make a mess of everything. Glad that you stopped their point of entry, and hope you catch all who may remain inside! Now, you may have mosquitoes to contend with. Ah, the challenges of country life!

  3. Teri,ants can be a big problem, they can destroy a lot of food, and if they are carpenter ants, they can destroy parts of your home as well. I remember on the farm where I grew up, the ants were a force to be reckoned with, particularly in the kitchen. Those were the days before plastic was much in use, paper packaging mostly, and the ants managed to infiltrate that with relative ease. Then there were moths in the flour and grains, they were never fun. I found that freezing all grains that came into the house for 48 hours before storing at room temperature controlled the moth problem. Also storing things in glass jars helped, if there was a moth infestation it was confined to one glass jar. It was easy to detect, and the jar could be taken outside to deal with, away from the kitchen.

  4. Diane, mice are cute, but I have grown to hate the sight of them. When I lived in downtown Toronto with my girls, we were sitting in the living room of the apartment, when a cute little mouse scurried into the room, stopped to sniffle at us, and ran off into the other room. The girls were in love! “Mom, don’t kill the mouse!!!”

    Foolishly I left it. When my oldest daughter opened the dishwasher only to have a mouse jump out at her, there was no further resistance to killing the mice, it was no longer a mouse. It took me quite a while to get rid of them, but I believe I did.

    Attila and I have no sentimentality at all about mice. If they venture into our space they have to die.

    Yes, the mosquitoes! They are coming. I met a neighbour walking her dog past our Rideau Camp, and she told me the black flies were wicked last spring, it was wet last year though, lots of snow and lots of runoff, blackflies breed in running water. We didn’t have nearly the snow load this past winter, so perhaps the blackflies won’t be too bad. One thing I like about blackflies, is that if they get indoors they head for the windows to try and get out, easy to find, easy to destroy. Mosquitoes are crafty little bugs, they will hide behind objects, just waiting for you to be off guard, reading, sleeping, eating, then they sneak out and attack. Iris has screens on the windows, but not the door. We should be able to kill the ones that get in before we try to sleep for the night.

    Soon it will be time to spray permethrin on sets of clothing to wear while visiting our camps. The bite proof clothing, hats, and head nets should keep us relatively well protected. I don’t mind any of the gear except the head nets, hard to see and move about while wearing them.

  5. I don’t know where I was reading this, but I just read the other day that there are one million ants to every single human being on this planet. So if you can figure out how to kill your million ants, and also Attila’s million, as well, you’ll be all set!

  6. Bex, where is Mickey Mouse when you really need him! Do you remember the Mickey Mouse cartoon where he kills seven flies with one blow? It is an old tale, but the version I remember most vividly stars Mickey Mouse. If only we could kills 2 million with one blow!

    I don’t mind ants too much if they stay away from my house and the areas of my yard that I actively use. I think the flocks of Grackles we have around Mist Cottage make short work of all the insects, including the ants. But not the mosquitoes.

  7. Teri

    Maggie, saw this today and thought of you.

    The quickest way to sterilize (canning) jars in the microwave is just to wash your jar in hot soapy water, and rinse as before. Then place your wet jar in the microwave on full power for about 45 seconds (or until bone dry), and fill whilst the jar is still hot.

  8. Teri

    Honestly, it might help me get into canning, too. I’ve always liked the idea of canning foods but felt so tentative about boiling the jars and then handling the boiling water and jars afterwards, wondering if they’d still be clean. Somehow, this method makes me feel more confident, so maybe I’ll finally give it a try.

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