This is just a classic example of how things in my life go, nothing is ever easy. Ordeals seem to follow me everywhere I go.
Our first night in the house we put Lander to bed. He comes running downstairs a few minutes later to tell us that there was a mouse in his room and that it ran out and went into our bedroom. Wonderful. I thought Lander was seeing things and we told him it was no big deal (because we didn't believe him) and sent him back to bed. About 30 minutes later I am downstairs in the living room and I look over in the kitchen and see a mouse cruising across the floor. Okay, Lander is telling the truth and it's the middle of the night and I have no mouse extermination devices. I am not squeamish, I can deal with this. My next thought is, is this the same mouse as upstairs or are there actually two mice in our house? Second thought, if I have seen two mice tonight already, how many more are there? So, I try to corner the thing in the dining room and it manages to find a hole up behind my kitchen cabinets. Great. My solution, and this sounded good at the time, pretend to be a stealth mouse killer armed with a broom and wait quietly for the mouse to come out again. I really didn't want to squash the mouse all over my new hardwood, I just thought that I could block the hole it went into under my cupboard and then I really didn't know what I would do after that, yell for Bryan while I block the hole? I quickly learned that the mouse is faster than me. I noticed that the mouse was trying to go around the edge of the dining room by a sliding window. This is where the story gets good and in my defense I was really tired, so my thinking wasn't all that great. Being the genius I am I think I can probably chase the mouse out if I open the slider and wait for him to come out again. Better yet, I have this ingenious Hansel and Gretel-esque idea that I can make a trail of bread crumbs from the cupboard to the sliding door and that the mouse will follow it and eat the bread crumbs and go outside. I wait patiently, it comes back out, takes a bread crumb and GOES BACK UNDER THE CUPBOARD!! At this point I am pissed and the idea of squashing it with the broom is becoming more appealing. I decide to get rid of the bread crumbs so I don't reward the mouse for obviously being smarter than me, open the sliding door to the patio and wait patiently, again. Sure enough it comes out again, follows the wall to the slider and goes outside on the patio. I wait a bit to make sure I don't scare it so that it runs back inside and shut the door. I then wish I had gone after it with the broom outside to squash it just to make myself feel better, but it's gone and I am fine with that.
Things go good for a couple of days and I naively think that the mouse in the house was just an isolated incident until I come home one day, go upstairs into our room, drop something on the bed and see a mouse dart out from underneath the bed and go into the vent on our fireplace. Okay, it's in my bedroom, this is war. I realize we live in the country and there are mice. I also come to the sad realization that in the weeks before our house was finished every time we came up here every window, door, sliding door was open, all the time. So, most likely, we have a whole bunch of mice in our house somewhere. I vow to kill every last one of them. At first I set out some traditional mouse traps with peanut butter, like this: And I have some early success (I am sure I will get and angry email from PETA for this. I guess I shouldn't tell them that for work I genetically engineer mutant mice for research): Then, they get smart and figure out how to eat the PB without setting the trap off, thieves: So, $70 later and a trip to Home Depot I have every mouse extermination device possible(with the exception of poison, like I want it to die under my cabinet or fireplace where I can't get to it, ewwww!): The full spectrum includes a trap that electocutes them (my personal favorite), glue traps (very efficient but you actually have to kill them after they are caught, yuck!), a transmitter that you plug in your outlet that is supposed to repel them all together (totally awesome), and a new version of the traditional trap that is kid-friendly (this one sucks).
In the last 3 weeks I can happily say that we have seen no mice or no evidence of mice in our house. We ended up buying two transmitters for the house because let's face, we live in the sticks and mice are going to be here no matter what. We even caught some that were living in the garage and we think we found the hole where they were getting into the crawl-space and into the house and immediately patched that up. So far, so good.
Bryan hasn't faired so well with the mice. In the process of taking some of our moving boxes to a friend Bryan managed to get one in his 4-Runner. He got in it one morning and it had shredded a bunch of tissues to make a nest on the floorboard under the gas pedal, so most likely it was pregnant. When he told me this, I was roaring with laughter. It's really unfortunate, but funny considering all the problems we have had with mice. He put the electronic trap in his truck and failed to catch it. He found a hole in the firewall that he thinks it has been using to move between the frame and the inside and so he covered it with duct tape. I think he may have gotten rid of it, but who knows, those things are sneaky.
We made it, we are finally in our house, in the country. Yes, we have been here a month, but let's admit it, I am lazy, too lazy to post anything for a month. Yes, there was a lot of unpacking to do, but my demise came when we got the Dish hooked up and I had DVR and all of a sudden I became a self-imposed couch potato. So I don't really have a great excuse, just that I am lzay. We are pretty much all settled in and unpacked and we can actually park in the garage now. We are doing well!
Here are my favorite things about being out in the sticks of Washougal:
1. It's quiet at night (except when the coyotes get riled up) 2. It's dark at night (unless there is a full moon which is even more intense when the darkness is not marred by street lights) 3. I woke up one morning to deer and my neighbors cow (mmmm, dinner) in my yard 4. I can shoot a gun on my property if I want to (yes, I will fit in well) 5. The crack that spans the width of my windshield in my truck makes me look like a local (I am too lazy to fix this, besides, it will just crack again) 6. Lander has an endless supply of sticks and rocks to throw 7. The dirt road up to our house is so bumpy right now it's like a mini off-road trip every time I go home 8. I am closer to the ski resort, Hood River, epic mountain bike trails and awesome road riding 9. At Lander's school open house I saw several families that were completely decked out in hunter camo. Not just the dad, EVERYONE. That is so Washougal, I love it. 10. The huge spiders that have taken up residence on our porch. Lander loves to feed them by throwing bugs into their webs, he is such a boy!
We have had a few kinks to work out in the house, but we are happy with the way it turned out. I finally got some new couches after living with the same furniture my parents gave us when we got married (which I had already lived with since I was 14). I was glad to have something new. That will be the extent of my interior decorating. I don't paint rooms, decorate or spend time trying to color coordinate anything. Ask Bryan, I didn't even hang anything on the walls in our old house. Seriously I could probably find the time to do that I really just don't care that much, I just like being here. I might buy something cool that I can just bring home a plop on the coffee table, but that's about it.
Here's a picture I took from our porch yesterday after one of the thunderstorms came through the Gorge. The hills you see are actually the Oregon side of the Gorge.