Thursday, December 11, 2008

When the homeowners are away, the mice will play

We canned apple pie filling a few days ago. It was a total disaster--one of the jars broke in the canner and then when I pulled out the rest they all oozed filling over the counter, so most of it's in the freezer now and I'm trying to decide whether I failed to secure every lid properly or whether I should blame the ClearJel--but it also gave us valuable but annoying information: we have, or had, a mouse. Or mice.

When I opened the drawer to get the quart jars I found a few pellets of what were undeniably mouse droppings in it. I cussed a little and got the jars out to be sterilized, and then I opened other drawers. The one below the jar drawer drew more enthusiastic cussing. It's where I keep the candy-making supplies I got for my wedding shower, and it was practically filled with droppings. We discovered later that the lower shelf of the storage under the counters also had droppings, and the bag of basmati rice had been nibbled and defecated into. (Luckily it wasn't a full bag--we keep most of our rice in a Tupperware container and the bag only held what wouldn't fit.) Eric ran out of Pop-Tarts before we thought he would (we stocked up at a good sale) and I'd swear the mouse/mice got that, too, except we can't find any wrappers.

We intended to get mousetraps yesterday, but went haircutting and Christmas shopping instead. Today I get the mousetraps (and make turnovers from the apple pie filling that's still in the fridge) and maybe some antibacterial spray for the drawers. I'm not sure how much that will help--I also have paint, which might be better--but we do need the space. Even if apple pie filling is out of our reach, we do just fine with pickles and apple butter.

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