Domestically Disabled

I know I haven’t been very active (okay, active at all) on here lately. I apologize for that and can only offer the usual weak excuses that I’ve been busy with work, school and real estate. The real estate portion is over now – we sold our condo in June and bought the new loft in September. Whew!

Since then we’ve had some more big life events like my husband getting laid off and (thank God) quickly finding a new, better job. The new, better job means that he travels four days a week though. My being left unsupervised has led to some silliness, the latest of which being that I recently baked a $36 pan of brownies.

I was more or less done with my homework for the week and knew that I’d be bored that night, so when I saw the muffin top pans at Marshalls I got excited. It was one of those neato non-stick pans that make six perfect little muffin tops without any of the boring leftovers; I was sold. Smiling like an idiot, I paid for my new prized possession and started walking over to the supermarket for muffin mix. This is when things start to get stupid.

To make a long story short, I’ll summarize with the email I sent to my husband:

I randomly got it into my head to make muffins so I went and found a muffin top pan ($5.99) on my lunch break. Of course we don’t have a mixing bowl so I bought that too ($6.99). Then I was walking to Shaws to get muffin mix and vegetable oil but thought CVS might have it – they only had brownie mix. So THEN I bought that and went BACK to Marshalls and got a brownie tray ($7.99). Try not to kill me; you like brownies, right? Brownies!

This was just two days after he hinted that maybe I shouldn’t keep buying things on my lunch break when I get bored. The brownies came out awesome, by the way.

Another Mouse Tale

We finally caught a mouse.

Notice that I said “a mouse” not “the mouse”. That’s because the mouse we caught was a baby: a little, tiny, dark brown baby mouse. Super Mouse is gray and appears full grown.

I took a photo but it didn’t come out very well, what with the gray smoky mouse trap between us. So instead I’ve included a better representation over to the right. –>

Husband calls me into the kitchen with this announcement and he pulls the no-kill trap out of the cabinet. We have no idea how long it’s been in there. He only went after the trap to throw it out because it clearly wasn’t working. There was enough poop inside to suggest that it had been there for at least a day. Either that or the peanut butter didn’t sit so well.

So we stand there staring at the little mouse inside the trap. Minutes pass. “What do we do with him?” he asks.

“I don’t know.”

“It’s just a baby. Can it survive without its mother? It’s so cold outside. Where would it go?”

“Probably back in here.”

“This is why we should get an aquarium, so we can take care of them until it gets warm and then let them go outside.”

I veto that again, explaining why it’s still a bad idea, not least of all because we’d have to clean mouse poop out of the cage. I have no problem picking up my dog’s poop in a little plastic bag but for some reason I’m repelled by the mouse pellets.

In the end, we released the mouse back into the cabinet to go find its family. Yup, right back into the cabinet. What else were we going to do?

Super Mouse Made a Friend

Despite our valiant efforts, we’re no closer to catching the mouse.

Last weekend we went to Ace Hardware and bought the only no-kill trap they sold. I have to say I was surprised that they only sold one kind. There were a few others marked humane but upon closer inspection I realized that by “humane” they meant the mouse would be shocked to death “quickly and painlessly”. Riiight. I guess someone believes that.

We don’t want to kill our little mousie though. The trap we bought looks sort of like the base of a hardwood floor sweeper. You know, the kind restaurants use to clean up the crumbs. It consists of two entrances with little ramps that are pressure sensitive. The idea is that the mouse walks down the ramp, the door closes and he’s stuck in the well ventilated space until you come find him and release him outside.

The instructions say not to bait the trap. What? Why on Earth would the mouse crawl in there if not to get food? We decided to put a few pieces of his favorite snack (dog food) inside. We place it in the cabinet under the sink and start checking it hourly, sure that he’ll be in there. We don’t want him to be uncomfortable or scared, after all.

Days go by and nothing happens. We’ve resorted to moving the dog food out of the oven after the last mouse update and apparently he can’t get into the cabinet we moved it to. Yet, he’s not going in the trap.

A few days ago I notice that my dog’s eating; then it gets quiet and my mama senses start to tingle. Somehow I know that he’s still in the kitchen but he’s not eating now. I glance around the corner and he’s not lying in his kitchen bed either. Hmmm. I go to see what he’s doing and discover him standing in front of the fridge with several pieces of dog food placed in front of him and watching expectantly. My doxie is feeding the mouse.

When he was a puppy he would save half of his treat and try to give it to us. This little guy tries to share his food with you. I don’t know if it’s because of or despite being an only child. For this reason, as much as I’d like to say that he got super clever and decided to bait the mouse, I know he was actually feeding it.

Super Mouse has made a friend. We’ll never catch him now.

UPDATE: My wonderful Twitter friend @BookEmDonna kindly blogged about the mouse trilogy. Check her out here: http://www.allaboutthewriting.com/donna_j_cummings/2011/01/if-you-give-a-mouse-some-dog-food.html

Mouse Update

The mouse is not trapped under the cabinets. Nor is it starving.

Living in Boston we have limited cabinet space so we’ve resorted to storing the dog food in the oven while not in use. We have a separate container that we fill for daily feedings. Tonight we’re making enchilada lasagna which requires the use of not-oft-exercised oven.

As I was emptying it to pre-heat, I discovered a hole had been chewed in the bag of dog food. This is Super Mouse. His love of dog food is such that he has found a way in and out of our oven. The little bugger is teleporting.

I’m standing there telling husband about my findings and he’s telling me no way when the mouse darts out from behind the oven and hangs a hard right around the corner. Our little doxie does see it this time and semi-quickly follows it into the bathroom.

Guess what? We can’t tell where the damn thing is. Husband concludes that he must be under the sink so he opens the cabinet and conducts a search only to remember that the cabinet is full of stuff – mostly mine. He begins an expedition which mostly involves picking up random objects and asking what they are and why I need them.

Finally, he points to a box of tampons. “I get those. I don’t get the rest of this shit.” And with that, he gives up.

We went back to cooking and put the food in the oven (it smells delicious).

Long story short, we need not have worried. The mouse is in the hizzouse.

And apparently he didn’t get my note.

P.S. I found a place to buy him clothes.

There’s a Mouse in My House

What happens if you feed a mouse a cookie? We’re feeding ours dog food.

A few days ago Husband and I were standing in the kitchen when we heard a strange sound. After some searching I saw the tail end of a cute little mouse scurrying away behind our microwave. We pulled out the microwave to discover that he had disappeared. We pulled out the refrigerator as well. We could hear him but not see him. Suddenly all was quiet. Husband was scared that he’d squooshed him when he pulled out the fridge. By now our doxie has come to investigate and stands in front of the refrigerator whining to alert us.

As we stand there discussing the possibilities, the mouse suddenly scampers behind my husband and into a hole next to the cabinets we’d never noticed before. Brilliant hunter that he is, my doxie does not take notice.

After that, Husband starts shredding up last weeks’ Time magazine to fill the hole, despite my telling him that it will never work. As he sets himself to the pointless task, I hear the mouse traipsing around under the sink. Oh, so that’s why we keep getting holes in the trash bags. The futile task is now abandoned and we pull everything out from under the sink to discover mouse poop.

As we clean it up, Husband starts talking about capturing it and releasing it outside. How does he plan to do that, I ask? He has no idea. Hilarity was about to ensue but the mouse got smart and went somewhere more quiet where he couldn’t be detected. We give up and go to watch TV.

The next day I tell my co-worker about the mouse (I’m shameless) and she tells me that we need to get spray foam and fill the hole. Now that makes sense! I tell Husband and surprise! I’m sent off on my lunch break to procure it in the freezing cold Boston weather (on foot). The hardware store is, of course, located roughly half a mile away.

That night we plug the hole but discover that there is a hole around the water valve under the sink that the foam is no way going to fill. Husband tries anyway, despite my protests, emptying the can and no doubt creating a huge pain in the ass for any plumber we might need in the future. Sigh.

All this morning I hear a strange sound from the kitchen. I imagine that the mouse (mice?) is trapped under the cabinet now. I start to think how much it’s going to suck when it starves, dies and starts to stink. Then the cost and annoyance of having someone come in and rip out the cabinet s to remove the body – but only after my totally unhandy hubby tries to do it first, bungling the job and making a huge mess.

Tonight I discovered mouse poop under the sink again. So. The mouse is able to get into the cabinet but probably can’t get out to the rest of the house (we think). I tell Husband and now he says that we have to feed it, lest it starve, until we can go get a humane trap and release it somewhere whereupon it will most likely beeline back to our condo and find a way back in.

So what did we do? I put some dog food under the sink. Husband said I should have used crackers because he thinks they would like them better. I respond that dog food probably has more nutrients. He agrees.

The dog food is gone.

So I asked Husband again where he plans to release them when they climb politely into the no kill traps he plans to buy. He suggested an aquarium if there are several of them. I promptly vetoed this idea in light of how aggravating this would be to our doxie. He then, quite seriously, stated that it would need to be somewhere warm. Boy, did they wander into the right condo.

If our dog is any indication, they’ll soon be wearing clothes.

Dear mouse (or mice),

I don’t want you to die. I just want you to get out of my house. We should talk.

Love,

Me

Why I Love My Husband

Background: Recently, Hubbs asked me yet again about something I had already explained to him in an email. My response was, “Do you have a monkey that reads your fu*%ing emails or something?” To which he replied yes.

From: Me@Work

To: Hubby@Work

Subject: Winter Semester

Date: Today

Me: I registered for 5 classes.

Hubby: That’s a lot of classes. Can we afford that?

Me: Yep. Ask your monkey to explain it to you. He should know.

Hubby: My monkey can’t talk. Duh. Don’t you think I’d be better informed if my monkey told me things? He just looks at stuff while I’m away.