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Monday, February 8, 2016

Of Mice and Blogs

This blog has MOVED to

Still tweaking the new and future blog. It should go live next Monday! :fingers crossed:

I began with a double strike against me. Not only am I working with a foreign blog platform, but you have to build it from scratch. I tried to avoid coding at all costs but sometimes I had to do that too, leaving me with a sick feeling of: Did I code that right, or did I just launch a nuclear missile somewhere?

Still, I think I have all the background stuff in place. I want to spend this week writing a bunch of posts so I can be ahead of the storm.

I've also been designing icons for future series. So far that's the only thing about this new blog that hasn't eaten my lunch. Thank goodness I can do at least one good thing without having to hunt for a tutorial.

It's too early in the game but I think I'd like to invite others to guest post for a craft series. Crafts are not my specialty, so it's something I'd consider hosting for those with more expertise. If you think you might be interested, email me, and we can talk. 

Right now I'm scoping out various blog hop groups that specialize in homesteading, food, and crafts so that could mean some extra exposure for anyone who appears on my blog. 

My goal this year is to expand my readership. I think this change is going to be fun. I've put a lot of work into it so far, but I think it's right up my alley. I'll be writing about the stuff that inspires me. Hopefully, along the way I'll find more kindred spirits.

In other news, we overdid it last week on the outside chores.

Greg was working on new rabbit hutches and I decided to clean out my work shed (where I store my feed and gardening supplies). A bag of sunflower seeds had been gnawed upon and I suspected mice.

Photo via <a href="">Visual Hunt</a>

It wasn't just a couple of mice, but at least two dozen or more. I think they were on the 'Friends and Family Plan'. Five years I'd kept feed in that building. This year they found it.

I ended up emptying the entire building, evicting the varmints from their hiding places, but they scampered into teeny tiny holes that lead into the attic. I'm not going into a place where I can't escape quickly so I focused my attention to the ground floor. 

We lay traps laced with peanut butter and kept catching them by the hour. It's been two days since anyone's been caught. I think we finally got them all. I hope.

In between waiting for mice to fall into my traps, I opted to also paint my shed. It looks great but I think that's what eventually did me in. The next day I could barely lift my arms over my head. 

Still haven't tilled the garden, though I did manage to plant potatoes in one box. Maybe I can get some gardening done this week.

Have you ever had a mouse problem? Did you go for traditional traps or something more sophisticated? Made me wish I had a cat again, but if he's anything like my last cat, I'd still have a mouse problem. :)

My cat preferred his meals in a nice china bowl.


Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I think this is good advice in general - "I'm not going into a place where I can't escape quickly..." :)

Good luck with the new blog! I hope I can still access it - some blogs do weird things, like eat my comments, etc.

betty said...

Looking forward to seeing the new blog and reading what you write :)

Ick on the mice! Glad it seems like for the time being it is under control. We've had a few mice over the years, but thankfully not too many and none recently :)


Maria Zannini said...

Madeline: I've always found comments tricky on Wordpress. Most of the time I have to 'register' or 'subscribe' which emails me a link to another page.

I'm hoping I selected the right permissions so people don't have to go through all that. It might allow more spam in but I'll deal with that later.

I'm also including 'CommentLuv'. It's a plugin that allows the commenter to showcase HIS last blog post. Very useful for networking.

Much as I complain about all these plugins, some of them are quite useful. Made me wish Blogger had them.

Maria Zannini said...

Betty: I think this might be the only time I ever saw a mouse indoors.

I've seen them in compost bins, in the ground, and even in the chicken coop, but never near my feed stores. It's a slippery slope once they appear.

One was in my car that scampered up my dashboard as I was driving over a long and treacherous bridge during rush hour. That's a story for another day!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

It kills me to take the dead mice out of the traps. I've transitioned to the sonic variety...and they really work. We haven't had a mouse in the attic in ten years. The Pit Bull and Rottweiler let me know when they are scurrying under the bird feeder.

Diane Carlisle said...

I haven't had a mouse problem before, but I think traps are the way to go. At least you know where you put them and can do away with the carcasses.

If you use poison and they crawl somewhere to die, you will know by the smell of decay that your mouse problem has been eliminated, but now you must deal with finding the source of the odor!

Maria Zannini said...

Mac: At least the girls are on the job. :)

I'm going to keep an eye out for that sonic device. That sounds interesting.

Maria Zannini said...

Diane: Very true! I don't want to smell anything funky in a closed room.

Rebekah Loper said...

Do you know about the 'Our Simple Homestead' blog hop? It happens weekly, I think, and while I personally rarely have anything to contribute to it, it might be just what you're looking for. The most recent installment is here:

We've had more mice this year than any since we moved into the house - I think a combination of things being too easily accessible (we had a bag of chicken feed that sat in the garage waiting to be moved out to my storage bucket that was only there for THREE HOURS and the mice had already chewed a hole in the sack), and all the rain we had last summer. We've had at least four mice in the house this winter. My sister's cat catches them, but the cat likes to torment them for hours and then they die hiding in inconvenient spaces.

I refuse to use glue traps, though. And unfortunately traditional traps are harder to use here, because I don't want one of the cats or the dog getting into it by mistake (really can't deal with broken toes/feet right now!) and the only other spot I can put one is right where *I* walk every day. And poison is also out of the question, partly because I won't do that to an animal, and also because there's too high of a chance of one our animals getting a poisoned creature. So oh well. We deal with mice whenever the cat catches them, and try to keep things cleaned up so they aren't attracted in, except for shelter. Nothing I can do about that last one!

Maria Zannini said...

Rebekah: I will check out the blog hop. Thanks!

Re: mice
Glue traps are cruel. I use them only for scorpions for which I have no remorse.

We've been using mouse traps but it's inside a building where the dogs don't usually enter. Nana is with me but I only have to warn her once.

You're right though. Once they find a source of food it's a battle to get rid of them.

Sarah Ahiers said...

We have a current mouse problem in our house. It started because they got into some bird seed in the garage (the one time we forgot to put it in it's Tupperware bin) and a year later they had found their way inside.
We actually have the most luck with a live trap. We had Orkin out and they weren't successful at all.
But really, at this point, we're just planning on moving (not because of the mice, but, you know, no mice is a bonus)

Stacy McKitrick said...

We've had mice in the garage. I remember using traps, but they always managed to set them off and scamper away. It's been a few years since I've seen one, so I guess whatever they wanted in the garage is no longer there.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Our cat was a great mouser. She always presented them to us as gifts and sometimes they were still alive. She'd set them down at your feet and they would take off.
Your new blog sounds like it's coming together and also a lot of work.

Maria Zannini said...

Sarah: The nice thing about moving is that once you remove the food source, they'll leave too.

Maria Zannini said...

Stacy: Those are some fast mice. Country mice move slower I guess. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Susan: Sounds like your cat just wanted to show his appreciation.

I miss having a cat. I wish I knew how that crazy border collie would take to it.

Anna Soliveres said...

I used to work at a shop where they sold mice. I loved them! And I once rescued a tiny house mouse from my over-eager cat...
Good luck on the new blog site! Looking forward to checking it out.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

At the house where I grew up, we had housecats and working cats that lived outside. They kept the critters to a minimum. Every time the hay field was mowed, a lot of varmints would try for the house, and those cats would be fat for days! The dogs mostly went for any rabbits that had moved in, but I think they caught a few mice, too.

Karen Jones Gowen said...

Is that photo of the mice nibbling on the ear of corn one you actually took? Mice gives me the creeps, and rats even more. The only time we had a mouse problem was when we lived in the country for a short time. We also had a rat living under our house. Good luck with your new blog and old mice!

Lynn Viehl said...

We had a rat problem in one of the hospitals where I worked, and the only thing that got rid of them was a combination of nightly traps, sealing up the holes they were using to get inside, keeping all foods and drinks in refrigerators, and moving the Dumpsters away from the building (we couldn't use poison for obvious reasons.)

One thing the exterminator told us to do was be religious about looking for droppings, even when the traps remained empty for a few nights. No droppings was the only sign he said that we could be sure there were no rats. So I'd keep an eye out for those little poops, and when you stop seeing them you'll have gotten them all.

As for pet help, my farmer uncle always swore by his terrier for keeping rats and mice out of his barn. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Anna: I don't have anything against mice per se. I just don't want them helping themselves to my feed.

I felt bad killing them, but there was no other way. At least they went in the compost pile. Circle of life.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: Oh, I can imagine. Every time we mow the back forty, all sorts of critters scamper away.

I wish that feral cat came back but I think the dogs scared him away.

Maria Zannini said...

Karen: I wish it was my picture! No, just a piece of stock art.

I don't mind mice, but I'm a bit squeamish with rats. They're awfully big.

Maria Zannini said...

Lynn: Other than the feed, I've left everything else outside so I can keep a better eye on whoever's in the building. So far, so good. If it looks clear for another couple of days, I'll start moving my stuff back in.

re: terriers
They're renown ratters!

Hope you're feeling better.

Angela Brown said...

Coding and stuff... no, not up my alley. No telling what manner of trouble I'd get into lol!

Darn the varmints! They had to get evicted though.

Try to get some rest and try to not overdo it if you can help it. :-)

Jenny Schwartz said...

Ugh, mice. Ick. Let's not discuss rodents!

I can't wait to see your new blog, Maria :)

Shelley Munro said...

My hubby works in pest control. Any self-respecting pest is terrified to drop by our house. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: It was very little (minor) coding just to tweak something, but man, it always gives me the shakes.

I really don't know what I'm doing. I'm like a monkey at a typewriter--hoping I'll write the King James Bible. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Jenny: They're so fast. That's what freaks me out. Cautious creatures I can handle. The flighty ones make me run. LOL.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: I'll bet! I'll bet they leave little coded messages at your gate. Maybe a skull and crossbones.

Mike Keyton said...

I hope you're feeling less of a crock, Maria, and apologies for responding so late. This week has run away with me and I'm struggling to keep up, as well as keeping my metaphors consistent.

Good luck with the new blog. I think you'll live to a hundred - I hope you do - the way you keep both body and mind as active as. . . mice. Good luck with that too.

Hey ho the weekend beckons when I try to read and do little computing. At present I'm going slowly on the final book of the Trilogy - which I think/hope you'll like. I've completed 52K and I know the ending. Just the bloody in between. Hope you have a restful weekend and discover no new mice or painting jobs

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: The trick to living to a hundred is having the ability to enjoy it with fully functioning limbs. :)

Congrats on the books! You've really kept your nose to ye olde grindstone.