Mouse-proofing and transportation-wrestling

Mouseproofed gas line Well, my big accomplishment this weekend was mouse-proofing our kitchen.  Can you believe they were squeezing in next to the gas line to our oven?  I didn’t know they were so flexible but judging by the amount of mouse poop present, that was their primary hangout.

I found a nice guide to rodent-proofing from the Orange County Vector Control District in California (thank you, Google!) and spent a little time peering in all my cabinets and behind appliances to see if there were any other potential openings but I think this was it.  I stuffed some steel wool in a couple of other holes just for good measure.  And then I spent a very long time cleaning up a mess I had been in denial about for, oh, awhile.

It gave me an excuse to try out Thieves’ Household Cleaner, a product given to me by a friend who sells essential oils.  I’m still a little torn on how much faith to put into herbal concoctions but I thought it worked reasonably well.  Allegedly, these are herbs that were used by gravediggers back in the day so they could rob corpses without fear of contracting disease.  I think it’s a fabulous legend, whether or not it’s true and whether or not the oils are really effective.  I’m sure they help some and I must say, I’d rather have my house smell like cloves and rosemary than bleach and fake pine.  And most anything is better than mouse poop.

Hopefully that will be the end of our rodent guests although we seem to have a fresh batch of ants coming to visit.  Ah, wildlife.  Can’t you just stay outside?  I guess it’s that winter weather, driving everyone to warmer refuges.  I am anxious to do some weatherproofing before it gets too cold but this weekend was rather rainy and it just didn’t seem like the right time to be out with a caulk gun.  Perhaps next weekend although I hope to get in some camping this fall.   Mmmm, cuddling up on cool nights with a warm bonfire!  This is the season where I feel most motivated to get outdoors and I want to take advantage of it.

Today I got outside and biked for three miles.  I’m proud of myself although I did run out of energy halfway up a big hill and ended up walking to the top.  Both my lungs and my legs need to become reacquainted with the bicycle.  My new office is only about a mile away from home (and it’s flat!) so that’s going to be my new commute once we move in next week.

We’re still wrestling with the no-car dilemma.  Even without one of Will’s super special spreadsheets it looks like we’re going to break down and be traditional Americans and buy a new (to us) car.  Neither of Will’s business partners have cars and they’re planning a bunch of client meetings this fall so it would really be buying one car for four people.

Well, maybe that’s just my thin excuse for being a car addict.  Cars are so darn convenient!  And I like to do so many different things in different places!  What I really need is to develop superhero biking abilities so I’d feel comfortable biking anywhere in Bloomington.  I just don’t think it’s going to happen fast enough and it still won’t help Will take clients out to lunch unless they enjoy riding on the handlebars…

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3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Andy said,

    September 29, 2009 @ 12:32 am

    All I can say about cars is to hold off as long as possible! Even if you do end up buying a car, you can certainly learn a lot from having to make do for a little while. It amazes that so many people commute everyday by car, when there are other options. I read emails from people in Alaska that commute in below zero weather often. Are they crazy? Yes… but who isn’t? 😀

  2. 2

    Angel said,

    September 29, 2009 @ 12:02 pm

    Congrats on the mice. They are incredible creatures and continually amaze me. As for the ants, there is no love lost there. If you happen across any really good remedies, please let me know. We’ve been combating them for several months now to little avail. They just keep finding new cracks to come in, and I’ve just about reached the end of the caulking that I can do as a tenant. Vinegar seemed to work for a while, but no longer. Long story short, any ideas are welcome.

  3. 3

    Joyce said,

    September 29, 2009 @ 4:00 pm

    It’s amazing what happens when the cold comes to town. My cats have already caught two mice who thought they could live with us. And the ones that try to get close enough to come in are caught by the neighborhood cats and left outside on the front porch. Lucky me! Good luck keeping them out.

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