Saturday, January 17, 2009

Arctic Chill and Working Mice

Apparently, we have mice that work outside the home. After the rash of mouse victims last weekend, despite 3 new electrocuting traps (each of which can take out 3 mice without being reset), no victims. Not, that is, until Friday evening. After the snow we got Wednesday, M saw tracks leading to and from the garage, the garden, the driveway, etc. So it's my theory that our mice apparently work hard during the week and come in to party in our kitchen on the weekends...this little guy was the scout to find all the happenin' places.

When I got home Friday, I saw that a glue trap on the counter (not one of the 2 or 3 quick-kill traps, oh no, we have ballsy mice) had captured one. I knew it was only a matter of time before it worked itself free, and I didn't want it to hurt itself. (I mean, if we're going to kill them for just doing what they do and what they are, we should just kill them quickly.) I called M to see if he would be home soon to "take care" of it or if I was going to have to finally take my first mousey life. (No answer. M must be on his way home.) I did all sorts of chores to avoid having to do the deed, killing time until M got home, all the while checking on the mouse to make sure it didn't get free. I contemplated putting the glue trap outside to give the mouse a chance--freeze to death or freeze itself. Some choice. What about putting the board on the floor and letting it take its chances--sure, another fine choice--free itself to be toyed with by the cats or be toyed with by the cats in the trap.

The more it struggled, the more I kvetched. My heart raced, the adrenaline pumped. I was going to do it! But then, oh, I had to get something out of the freezer. Then I wondered how I could kill it. It's not like a rabbit or a deer that I would kill to eat. This would just be slaughter.

It struggled to free itself. I sang to it to calm it. After all, it wouldn't do for it to free itself before M could eliminate it or before I grew a pair.

It was nearly free. But I had to pee.

Again, the distraction. But coming back from the bathroom, I see M walk past the front door to get the mail. Finally, my savior!

(And a good thing, too. The mouse had freed its front paws and was pulling his back paws free.) And then he was no more. Still, I reason, it's better than a tussle with the cats any day, right?

Stringham high: Even in -20 degree temps, our bedroom hovers around 55-60 degrees.

Stringham low: Our pipe draining the sump pump froze up, making the check valve come loose and spray water back in to our basement. (No damage, no flooding. M just turned things off to wait for warmer weather.)

Stringham super-high: Our furnace (which we're always surprised makes it through 20-degree weather) has performed admirably through our -2 degree (high) and -20 degree (low) weather. No room has gotten colder than 55 degrees!!!

Bonus super-high: We got a plant-and-seed catalog chock FULL of fruit trees and windbreak plants and vegetables and flowers and decorative grasses today. I was cheering and "ooh"ing and "aa"ing on ever page, like a kid in a candy store. I can't wait to start planting and cultivating again! (Yes, it's the little things that keep us going around here.)

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