Monday, October 5, 2015

Week 40 - A Mouse Hunt

I woke up early Monday and had time to hang with Dottie before waking up Andrea. We had a quick breakfast, said our goodbyes and were back on the road, a bit later than we’d planned but at least Chicago rush hour wouldn’t be an issue.

I had asked my Ravelry friends where the best thrift shop was off I-80 so we had plans to stop in Davenport, Iowa, which was a bit more the a third of the way home. But then we saw a billboard for an easy on/off Goodwill in Illinois so had to stop. It was a brand new store and a pleasant shopping experience. I scored some fall clothes in my new, smaller size and we asked about other Goodwills right off the highway. She told us of 2 more so off we went. The 2nd was a bust but we had fun at the third. All these stops were adding time so it was 2:30 by the time we got to Davenport but we decided to stop at the recommended Salvation Army anyway. I was glad we did. I found 2 solid oak wooden cubes that were the perfect solution to hold a shelf I have in the basement, the supports of which disintegrated when they got wet in my basement flood. I also found a perfect winter nightie and yet more canning jars, which I’d been buying everywhere since The Sal’s in Port Elgin. But this had to be our last stop or we wouldn’t be home until midnight. OK, we’d have to eat eventually but nothing else.

We were listening to Sherlock Holmes short story DVD’s so decided we’d stop when the next story was over. We were near Grinnell, Iowa and I knew there was a college there so we got off the highway. We saw another Goodwill so stopped there to ask where to eat (tee hee) and after buying a few things, we headed to Grinnell’s cute downtown to a pub the clerk had recommended. We ate yummy sandwiches as darkness fell. We really did need to not stop again, which we didn’t. We drove into my driveway at 11:00 p.m. It had been a long day but fun. We unloaded my stuff into the kitchen and I intended to leave it there and get right to bed. Then I remembered that the cleaning lady was coming the next day so I moved it all into the spare bedroom before showering and going to bed. I knew I’d be tired on Tuesday. Oh well. All worth it.

So I was eating breakfast and happily watching The Daily Show again (Trevor Noah is no John Stewart but I’m still happy it’s back) when Tot came running into the house with a mouse in her mouth. I chased her to the front room where she dropped the mouse and I was appalled to see it was alive. It ran under the love seat and I tried to catch it but it then scampered into the crammed full spare room. OMG! There was no catching it before work so all I could do was pull the food bags out of the room and close the door, stuffing a towel underneath so it couldn’t get out. I left a whiny note for the cleaning lady and limped, exhausted, to work. I somehow made it through the day and left right at 5:00 to use my last ounce of energy to deal with the mouse, not sure what I’d do but something.

When I opened the door, there was a gift bag on the counter and a note from my cleaning lady. Not only had she bought me a gift to cheer me up but had installed 3 mouse traps in the spare room. They were sticky traps, which are cruel and would not have been my choice but at least I didn’t have to deal with it. I found something in my empty fridge for supper and sat like a zombie until it was late enough to go to bed. I was hopeful I’d find the mouse the next morning.
Well, by morning one of the traps was gone but in the quick perusal I did, I didn’t see it so I kept the door shut and headed to work. I was feeling much better after a good night’s sleep and it was the all U picnic at work. It was Harvey’s (our chancellor) last State of the University speech too. I listened to some of it before Cheryl came and got me to head to the picnic, where I ate with Anne. It was a gorgeous fall day and so was a pleasant lunch. I swam after work and went home for only a slightly more thorough search for the mouse, which didn’t find it. I was completely conflicted about the poor mouse, knowing the sticky trap meant it would be stuck and dying a slow death but I couldn’t face doing anything and it was already dark so I just ignored the room. This would continue until the weekend.

After an uneventful rest of the week, I woke up on Saturday with my only goal being to clear the room and find the mouse. I was in there first thing (OK, it was 10:00 when I started but I’d just finished my coffee) and started by pulling things out of the room – the stuff from Canada, all of my yarn and baskets of clothes destined for Goodwill. When I pulled the yarn boxes out from under the bed, I found a wet spot that I figured was mouse juice so I then tore apart the bed, thinking I’d find a dead mouse in the box spring. Well, after pulling all the netting off the bottom and the loose fiberfill off the sides, still no mouse. Then I started on the closet. That’s where I found the sticky trap, which was covered with fur and showed signs of nibbling but no mouse. I cleared every single thing out of the closet until it was completely empty but found nothing. So I went through both of the closet yarn containers, felt every hanging piece of clothing and went through everything that was on the top shelf. STILL NO MOUSE! Where did it go? It was now 4:00 and I’d been at this all day so I just gave up. The only thing left in the room was the 2 dressers and I hadn’t gone through those drawers but I was done. I didn’t smell dead mousie so either it was alive and well in one of the drawers or had somehow escaped. Carolyn said they can squeeze through ½” openings so maybe it went down the heat vent? I’m doubtful since it was a fat mouse from what I could see but like I said, DONE. If it’s alive in the house, I can only hope one of my four cats will take care of it.

 After eating some dinner and knitting a bit, I went back to the front room and organized all of my sock yarn. I went to my computer to stash my new yarn from the retreat so I could add it all before putting the yarn boxes back under the bed and this is what I found. Rotten cat! But not the one who caused the mouse problem. It was 10:30 before I went to bed and I had so little down time that I read until well after midnight. My house was a wreck so I’d have a full day on Sunday to get it back in shape.

I slept late on Sunday, thankfully, and there was a football game on instead of CBS Sunday Morning so I started in right away. I had done a load of laundry Saturday night but had many more to go. All of Carolyn’s clothes I’d brought back from Rhode Island had been on the bed since July so needed to be washed and hung plus I had all the clothes I’d thrown in the spare room as they got too big to deal with. I did load after load of laundry and slogged through enormous piles of clothes for most of the day, trying everything on until my shoulders ached. Here are the stacks and stacks of clothes that are leaving the house. I pulled a few for Darla, a few more for Helen and sorted the rest into piles for the plus sized consignment store in Lincoln and the rest for Goodwill. Anything the consignment store won’t take is going right to Goodwill. I loaded the consignment clothes into the car and bagged up the Goodwill and moved them to the front room for later this coming week. My closet was also bursting with plenty of clothes to wear for this season.

So having to go on the mouse hunt did have an upside. Those clothes probably would have sat in the spare room for a long time before I got up the energy to get rid of them. The spare room is now also guest ready and I intend to keep it that way rather than the dumping ground it usually is. That done, it’s time to get out the After Canada list I typed up on my iPad in the car on the way back. There’s plenty more to do now that my 3 months at home are here. Wish me luck.

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