(Note: the header is from a photo I took of the Mer de Glace near Chamonix in the French Alps. Find the contantly shrinking river of ice at the bottom of the picture?)
With the New Year, I keep doing some things I thought I might give less time in 2013. One of them is the odd blog. Is this an addiction?
The Washington Post reports January is the time to begin organizing. I began this activity a few days ago, and not owing to the Post article. In retirement, my life has turned toward small things. Where once I was a US House staff researcher carrying papers to Congressional leaders at midnight, I now fight mice. Where once I worked on budget estimates with deadlines, and delivered population estimates to federal agencies by the start of the fiscal year, I now feed mice.
The Post article reports if you give ten minutes a day to organizing, you will find your house has become a neat and tidy place. Okay, I’m trying.
Cover of Mousehunt [Region 2]
My problem is the more I clean and organize the more signs of mice I find. The crafty little guys have made or attempted to make nests in all sorts of new secluded places. My dogs don’t care. This is a human versus mouse fight. Fighting them, I have come to see myself as a compatriot of Nathan Lane in the film Mouse Hunt.
When he cleaned his shop, David uncovered a stash of mousetraps…some used and some in their plastic wrap. Mice had used the paper bag to make nests. David says all the cleaning has driven the mice to find new homes. I even found the start of a nest under one of my Christmas trees.
David has all kinds of small and medium mouse and big rat traps. I can set up some traps, says the great male hunter. Given I get up at 5:30 AM (before him) and would probably ensnare myself before I had my first cup of coffee, I decline his offer.
Instead, we are cleaning, vacuuming, containerizing and wiping all corners of drawers and cupboards. Except for two bags, I have moved the outdoor bird seed into plastic containers. Another plastic container arrives today for the Cardinal seed. Perhaps too late.
ale Downy woodpecker (Picoides pubescens) eating peanut suet. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Yesterday, David asked where I kept the Woodpecker suet. I went to retrieve it in the pantry and discovered something had gotten into it and made a little piggy of himself. The mice had eaten most of three suet packages, and left telltale mouse hair and seed casings strewn everywhere. That mouse (mice?) must have a stomach ache, I said, picturing Gus in the film Cinderella.
I know the raid happened in the past week because I moved the bird suet into the pantry before the holidays. This is the upside of constantly cleaning and rearranging things…you know what is recent and what is not.
Pet Mice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Ines warned me a female mouse can have 19 kits at a time. I am praying we have not been invaded by family of mice and all their kissing cousins.
- (Photo credit: gimmage)
How did they get in there, says David. I point to a neatly chewed mouse-sized archway at the bottom of the door.