Is it safe to come out yet? Is winter finally over and spring on its way?
Winter is leaving. At least I hope it is.
I generally don’t like to complain about the weather. Partially because Canadians shouldn’t complain about the cold but also working from home means I can avoid most of it. This winter though, has been nothing but a cold, crappy disaster from start to finish when it comes to the schoolhouse. Mice infestations, frozen toilets, no heat and a near propane explosion have tested the limits of patience in our household.
So here’s to spring and with it some vacation time to do some serious clean up.
I believe I must admit that this year the mice are winning.
Upon arriving at the schoolhouse last night we discovered the mouse traps and poison I had laid out has been largely ignored. Except of course the box of extra poison I bought which seems to be covered in mouse poop.
And apparently it was appreciated. While our weekend plans got turned completely on their ear I did manage a few hours at the schoolhouse this weekend to check on things and make sure the mice have officially retreated (it appears they have).
I made sure to pick up some bird seed as well as a pre-formed bird bell. I’m not the biggest fan but it will tide my feathered friends over while we aren’t there to fill the regular feeds.
Well the grand re-opening of our little bird bistro was a chirping success. I wasn’t even finished filling the tray when the chickadees started to dive bomb. They and the blue jays were the first in line. I wonder who else will visit?
Peppermint oil sounds like a great idea. It will smell nice and keep the critters away. We are headed up this weekend and I’ll be armed with candy canes, peppermint oil and some After Eights. Well maybe those are for me.
It’s the end of November and while the weather has been nothing but accommodating, our schedule hasn’t. We haven’t had a good solid couple of days up here since summer and there is a lot of work to do.
We don’t totally close things up for winter. We come up to visit every few weeks but after this summer’s “self-inflicted drought due to plumbing catastrophe” I am going to shut the water off when we aren’t here.
Along with that I have to totally clean and plug any obvious mouse entrances. Fly traps have to go up as well. Oh and we don’t want that leftover beer to go bad so we had better drink it before we leave.
I’ve got rubber gloves and garbage bags. We’ll make sure everything stored in platic tubs is still intact and anything that remotely smells of food is put away or removed.
I found this link to a great checklist for shuttin’ er up for the season from the Canadian Automobile Association.
That checklist idea is a good one. I always forget what I’ve stored where and which knob to turn to get the water back on. In my defense the knob is red not blue and turns “righty tighty” when it should go “lefty loosey”.
I went to check up on the schoolhouse this weekend. And also to visit friend both local and from the west coast. After a great night of good food and Belgian beer I took a peek around the place. When I arrived at the house I was happy to see the poison blocks I had put out had disappeared. When I flaked out on the couch and found one under the couch cushion I had been snoozing on I was less happy.
There is some pretty heavy-duty cleaning in my future. we keep everything in plastic tubs and vacuum sealed bags so it is really just empty drawers to clean out but it is just one of those gross jobs I have to do once or twice a year. It’s like looking after the drunk friend at a party. You know he’s gonna be a mess but you’ve done it so many times you know it will be you at the end of the party searching a puke-riddled bathroom floor for contact lenses and subway tokens.
So those little furry miscreants have fooled me again. But what they don’t know is that I have a secret weapon. And his name is Beau.
It turns out one of our cats is quite the mouser. I have been feline sexist all these years thinking male cats were good for little but eating their weight in food and licking themselves in their dirty bits when company is over. However after a recent stay at the parentals Beau caught three mice in a week which earned him the nickname “Black Ops”. He was vicious and ruthless and left no survivors. Just the type of thing I like to see in my sweet little pets.
So my next trip up I am going to conduct a thorough clean (bring on the rubber gloves and mask) and remove all mouse leavings and poison residue. And then bring in the hunter.