Monday, 5 May 2008

Mouse in the House!

One of the perils of country living is of course, mice. When we first bought our house, and were using it only for vacations every now and then, we had a terrible infestation that practically brought me to a nervous breakdown. The house was literally crawling with them, and this was at a time when I had no kitchen, no washing machine, and very few home comforts, as we were still renovating, the mice, were not a welcome addition.

I would wake up at night convinced they were nesting inside my pillow, screaming like a banshee. Simon would drag me from my bed at some ridiculous hour of the night and with lights switched on, give my pillow a thorough shake and bashing to prove there were no mice inside, it was so bad, he almost sent me to the men in white coats.
Eventually, after much effort, we managed to get rid of them all, and stuffed every conceivable entry point into the house with wire wool (mice won't chew threw it as it cuts their mouths), and we never saw a mouse in the house again, that is, until now.

I opened my kitchen cupboard on Saturday and found a very small mouse staring back at me.
I am not squeamish, I didn't run screaming for help, I stared straight at the little beggar until he scampered off into the back of the cupboard.
He was a little field mouse, big round ears and glossy little eyes as black as soot, very cute indeed, however, not so cute in my kitchen cupboard!

I closed the door on him, and considered for a moment what to do. I was quite cross, you see, Nala normally sniffs out a mouse the moment it enters the house, and we have 4 cats, it would have to be a very stupid mouse to venture into our house! Alas, Nala's senses are clearly confused, she is evidently far too busy stalking duck butt to bother about a little mouse.
I called her and Mr Pip into the kitchen, and set about emptying all of my kitchen cupboards, then instructed the dogs to do their work.

Ambear, Hoozel and myself, watched with great amusement as the tiny little mouse scampered from one cupboard to another (via little holes cut for pipes), and the dogs tumbled clumsily in and out of each cupboard after him. Back and forth they went, cupboard to cupboard for what seemed like an age, before the little mouse finally disappeared to wherever it is he came from. The dogs were sent back out, many a dull hour were spent thoroughly cleaning the cupboards and it's contents, and then Simon dutifully lay a humane trap baited with bread, so that little mouse would be caught but not hurt.

The next morning, we were preparing breakfast and heard the trap rattling, one little mouse was caught and released far, far from the house. We thought that was the end of that, but replaced the trap in the cupboard just in case.
The next morning we checked it, the bread was gone but no mouse to be seen, now I was really cross!
I tore the kitchen apart looking for, what now seemed to be where "they", were nesting, but found nothing, and so very confused, the trap was returned to the cupboard, and again we waited.

Less than an hour passed and the trap was rattling away with another little mouse, we have caught another since, and another has sneakily stole the bread away, and at last, I have figured out where they are coming from!
The pipes leading out of the back kitchen wall (in the cupboard under the sink), which were previously stuffed with wire wool, now revealed a slight hole - did you know a little mouse can squeeze through a hole the same diameter as a pen?
The hole has been stuffed again, this time more securely, and the trap laid, just in case, but so far, so good, no thanks to the dogs, who are still, predictably, sniffing ducks ass.

So, mouse problem aside, all is very well! I have been working on a very time consuming, but certainly rather special Dotee doll, which I hope to finish shortly and will share with you in due course.

Also, the weather has been blisteringly hot, and three consecutive days of heat has spurred the fish in the lake into action, they have been spawning for the last 48 hours which is quite a magnificent sight!
The carp literally roll around the reeds at the edge of the lake, so close, and so busy that you could literally pick them up with your hands!

Much work has been done in the garden too, raised beds for potatoes and onions were finally laid, lots of flowers and plants added here and there, more brambles were cleared and more digging than my shoulders care to remember has taken place over the last few days.
Today, for the first time, we enjoyed the very first of our homegrown (if you discount eggs) produce!

The spinach survived the chickens, against all the odds, and was a very tasty addition to tonights dinner, yay for us!

I have been buying fabric like a woman gone mad, and packages are arriving daily, with scrumptious patterns galore, here are a few of my recent favourites, now, what to do with them all.....?

Secret projects will soon be underway my lovelies, watch this space!

Now take a deep breath and BLOW......

wishes for you!


  1. I love what you wrote about buying fabrics like a woman gone mad! I feel like that too sometimes!!! You have displayed yours so beautifully out on the line.
    Happy sewing from Emily

  2. Poor little mouseys...they are cute, but so very annoying when they get in the house!!! (and they breed like, well, mice!)

    I had to resist buying the fabric on the left of the pic the other day, but now I've seen it again, I really badly want it, so badly...I think that means I need it, yes? (please tell me I'm right!!!)

  3. I was smiling all the way through this post it was a brilliant read but now I am paranoid!!!! Yikes a hole the size of a pen I am trying to think of all the little places where I might have holes in the walls. We have humungus spiders in our house and they run soooo fast but I dont think they breed like mice ~ hehe.

    Love the bit about the dogs chasing the ducks and the fabric is so lovely hanging in the trees ~ cant wait to see what you make.

    Till next tme Judy x

  4. I feel your pain, Hoola! The last house we were in had a very bad mouse problem. I've never been afraid of mice, per se, but any notion that they are "cute" in any way has been destroyed.

    They may be cute, but they are destructive and dirty little *$%$$s.

  5. Oh boy, does that take me back! Years ago we lived in an old city house that was attached to another house. We had lived there for about 10 years and never had a single mouse. Then one day the neighbors decided to clean their basement. In doing so, they apparently disturbed a large mouse population in their basement, and all the little critters came escaping through a hole in the basement walls, and up into our kitchen through a small hole behind the fridge. Now at first I just saw one mouse, and completely flipped. My husband caught it, and just like you, we put the trap back, just in case there was another mouse in the house. Well, by the end of the day we had caught 24 mice! I was ready to be committed to the funny farm, I was such a basket case of nerves. Gives me the heebie-jeebies just thinking about it! And by the way I applaud you using a humane trap!

  6. mice are better than cockroaches, eek! try peanut butter in the moustraps, they cant resist it and its not as easy to steal as bread.
    love your blog, cinti

    Amongst the speckled field of black
    I saw the dandylion star
    it winked at me
    and I winked back
    and sent that wish up far,
    the other stars
    looked more like gems
    like diamonds stuck in tar,
    but I liked the mellow
    glow of the yellow
    wonderful dandylion star.
    like crystal fish the others sit
    cold like a platinum bar,
    but how can you miss
    when you make a wish
    upon the dandylion star?

  8. I once had a mice they nested in my fabric stash! at the back of a cupboard .I was devastated I love mince but not in my house .My orible partner set a trap .One evening we were sat on the sofa , we herd the trap go .There he/she was dead I was so upset I felt so bad .You are so much kinder using humane trap that's what I wanted to use .
    well its better to have mice than Rats uch uch I hate them they make my skin crawl .
    Anyway enough about furry unwanted creature's.I love reading your blog it always makes me laugh you are a very gifted writer .
    I think a Baby Quilt would be beautiful with all that stunning fabric .
    I look forward to seeing you latest dotee .
    love from sesga xx

  9. When I was little, we had mice all the time and my mother is the screaming type of person (omg it's the end of the world I see a mouse in the kitchen). Anyway, after a few years the mice went away and we had squirrels. You so don't want squirrels in your house. I tell you, it's HORRIBLE!!!

  10. My house was also overrun til we brought our kitty home last year. What a nightmare! Beautiful fabrics though.

  11. We live on a farm and have a kitty who does a wonderful job...she's not a very personable kitty (I wish she was more cuddly), but she is a very good mouser. Enjoyed reading your story about the mice and LOVE those gorgeous fabrics hanging in your tree...looking forward to seeing what you make with them.

  12. A wee mouse in the house!! us too, us toooooo!!!!! I love that you buy fabric like a mad woman!!! Your photos are so wonderful!!!!

  13. Hi! I loved the picture of your fabrics in a tree, haha there's something amusing about that :)

    And this is the 2nd blog I've come across who's growing their own vegies. I was reading up on it online, but I'm so afraid of pests. If I come across one more blog (or any other sign) pointing to a vegie patch, I'm gonna go for it.


  14. I have had a mouse problem but like you plugged up any entry points with wire wool and bought a sonic rodent repeller which has worked but everytime I open my baking drawer always have to check for tell tale signs.
    My dog is frightened of them.......

  15. Beautifull fabrics!
    I can understand why one can go mad!!