Winter has arrived

December 26, 2009 at 6:23 am (Stuff that's on my mind)

Now that fall has come and gone, little outdoor creatures are scrambling to find a warm, dry place to hide out from winter’s brutal cold.  Based on observations made over a number of years, our basement is apparently the ideal place to do exactly that.  So with this in mind, I’ve been reminding Malcolm to make sure he closes doors tightly behind him when he goes out.  I’ve seen entire days pass where he’s been working outside, making numerous trips in and out of the basement, and the door only moves twice – once to open when he goes out in the morning, and once to close when he comes in at the end of the day.  I’m sure he was born in a barn … I’ll have to ask his mother about that.

Anyway, now that winter has arrived, it becomes more important than ever to keep our home tightly sealed against all the woodland creatures that would love to move in and keep us company over the winter.  Because I don’t do rodents.  At all.  You want to see someone break out in a high-stepping dance complete with ear-splitting screaming?  Just let a mouse run across the floor in front of me.  There’s a rule in this house – outside they’re okay, but if they come in, they die.  Simple, right?

Well who knew the little varmints could be so clever?  We were away for the summer, and when we moved back home, I began the customary cleaning and organizing that follows this move every year.  Our first Sunday morning back home, I was cooking breakfast, and then turned to make the toast, but for some reason, the button on the toaster wouldn’t slide down.   No problem, it’s a 4-slice toaster, so I figured I’d deal with it later, and moved the bread to the other two slots, but the same thing happened.  I could explain what was going on, but a picture does it so much better.

Here is our toaster:

Here is what I emptied out of our toaster:

Also?  I found a little shot glass in one of the cupboards with nuts already shelled or cracked.  For all those occasions when you’re pressed for time and want a quick and easy snack to go, instead of wasting time gnawing through the shell.

Now obviously, this was the work of a chipmunk, not a mouse, but you know what?  It doesn’t matter.  Mouse, chipmunk, squirrel… none of them belong in my home, sharing living space with us.  Well, unless they’re willing to pay rent.  Then I suppose I could be a bit more flexible.

But seriously, once I discovered the stash of nuts, I knew I had to do an even bigger cleaning job.  And a rodent hunt on top of that.  So I went through all the cupboards and drawers, got rid of all the poop, and cleaned all the dishes, glasses, cutlery… everything.  Thank goodness for dishwashers!  I also set traps in several locations, but never caught a thing.  And here’s where the cleverness comes in.  Once I removed the nuts, the chipmunk left.  Obviously, it figured out I was not to be messed with!

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