Barefootin' Mama in the Middle of Nowhere

MIce & October Beetles

The house that I had moved into with Paul was an old house. It was cute… with roughly nine hundred additions… and a bright blue, falling apart roof that leaked like a sieve every time it rained. THe doors squeaked and the rooms were tiny. There was lots of them (three downstairs and three upstairs I think) but they were on the small side. I did not venture into the upstairs… I was terrified that there was a giant man-eating monster living up there and if I never went up there then he wouldn’t come down and eat me… it was sort of a deal we had. Same with the basement… an ogre lived down there in the dirt and he had vowed not to cause trouble if I stayed off of his turf… so I kindly kept to myself.
When I moved in… the house was definitely all boy. The living room was completely void of stuff with the exception of an old recliner that had a sheep’s hide in it. All of the living room stuff was crammed (and by crammed I mean set… you don’t have to cram a couch and a coffee table… was there even a coffee table?? and a tv) into the dining room. So my mom and sister helped me clean (remember?) and helped move my stuff in to give the place a more… homey… feeling. We made the living room again… and the dining room became solely a dining room. The kitchen cupboards couldn’t be organized in a normal kitchen cupboard way because they were too thin to fit my plates in them and the drawers barely opened… they were made of apple boxes… seriously. Paul’s mom and sister-in-law had tried to paint the cupboards this ‘interesting’ way once before… so they were painted blue but it looked like someone haphazardly slapped paint on and didn’t care if it covered them completely or not (this was done on purpose)… so they looked like shit. But it was nice…. I loved it.
Despite the fact that when I was a younger person I had this intense fear of October Beetles… those little black and red things that are sooo gross and cover the south walls of every building in the world come fall. Well, the boys in my elementary school class use to grab them by the handful and throw them down the girls’ shirts…. traumatizing I know… and we would run and scream and try desperately to remove them. They were so gross, I don’t think you can comprehend. And most older houses aren’t able to keep them out come fall so when the cold weather hits… these bugs move in. And move into our house they had… there were hordes of them…. I would occasionally feel them crawl on my skin or my hair… I wanted to puke… but I just brushed them off and had an arsenal of fly swatters around to kill every last one of them and we made out alright. And I thought they bothered me…. Paul’s mom was horrified by the fact that we were going to raise a child in a house that was teaming with October beetles. She thought that as soon as our baby could crawl around it would be putting these bugs in its mouth and getting sick and the whole nine yards. When she talked about the amount of these bugs living in my house I would get this picture in my head of our little baby sitting on the floor, playing with toys… completely oblivious to the fact that there were thousands of bugs on it… EW!!! She was so upset by this idea that she was attempting to convince her husband to buy a lot in town and build a house so they could move there and we could move into their house to escape the bugs. I assured her that we, along with the new baby whenever it came, would survive the October beetle infestation…
Besides… I was more worried about the mice than the beetles!
Yup, that’s right… there were mice living in that house with us…. or so Paul told me. I had never seen any myself but I believed him. So that’s probably why I wouldn’t go upstairs… I was scared that they had taken over up there since we never went up there. I told him that I was going to solve our mice problem… but I am a procrastinator… so I was going to do it later.
One night as I lay watching tv by myself I saw some movement out of the corner of my eye. Out from behind the couch scurried a mouse. It crawled right across the living room rug and just sort of hung out… looking at me… while I looked at it. Gross!! I didn’t move… I wasn’t entirely sure what to do. I had never seen a mouse in a house before. But they say if you can see one that clearly means there are three hundred more of its friends lurking in the shadows and if you kill it they all come to see what happened to their buddy. Or is that ants?? It doesn’t matter anyway… I didn’t want to kill it… I’m not very good at close proximity murder. I could kill the mouse with a gun… but if I can see the whites of its eyes… I can’t do it. That night when I went to bed I found a mouse dropping in my sheets. Now, let me assure you that this definitely could have been my super over reactive imagination playing tricks on me. God only knows that it would be very capable of seeing mouse shit in my sheets of a perfectly made bed if it meant that I would have a sleepless night until I could get up and declare war on those little varmints.
So the next day I decided to take matters into my own hands… there would be no mice living in that house as long as I was going to be there.. it definitely wasn’t big enough for the both of us… or the five hundred of us!! I went to the local RM office where you can get mouse poison for free if you live on a farm and pay your taxes… luckily Paul pays our taxes so I could get some poison… the good kind.. the kind that doesn’t leave the mice smelling up your house if you can’t find their carcasses.
Brandi asked me how much poison I wanted. Ummm….. alot…… Well how bad is your problem she asked? REALLY bad… they have pretty much taken over the house… everywhere I turn there is a mouse.. or a mouse dropping… (okay, so I exaggerated a little).. I left that place with three different kinds of poison that filled two shopping bags… we weren’t going to have mice for long!
***** SO the poison had been out for awhile and other than the odd dead and dried up carcass under the coffee table or couch when I vacuumed I hadn’t seen a mouse in ages. Until one night…. Paul and I were hanging out in the living room… a mouse ran out in front of us. I screamed… (this one was bigger than the last… or maybe it was because this time there was someone there who would hear my screams and come to the rescue) Paul jumped off the chair like he had been shot! He ran at the mouse… I don’t know what he was going to do… the mouse deeked him out and bolted for the kitchen… Paul chased after it. The mouse got behind our microwave stand but Paul chased him out. He went into one of the kitchen cupboards. Fearing nothing, Paul opened the cupboards and grabbed a cast iron frying pan off the shelf. There was the mouse… looking terrified and alone… there was Paul on his hands and knees wielding a frying pan that weighted about 25lbs. Who would win? I stood there in utter disbelief…. watching as the man I loved was prepared to squash the life out of a mouse with a frying pan! The mouse saw a moments break in his concentration and bolted…. freedom was his. Paul stood up, laughing and looked at me.
“Now do you believe we have a problem?” I asked him.


4 responses

  1. Jen

    I just wanted to say I love reading your stories. Keep them coming!
    I just moved from a 100-year old house into a 30 year old bungalow. I was diagnosed with a cat allergy while living in our old house and had to kiss my sweet Ollie goodbye. The following Fall (and each fall after that) a mouse or two would move in. One of my last memories of our old house was of finding a mouse eating rotten fruit in my garbage can one morning. I did not handle that well!!!!

    Get a cat! Put sachets of grated Irish Spring Soap in all of your nooks and crannies! (I packed my boxes with sachets so the mice wouldn’t move with us)

    Take care,

    March 16, 2010 at 12:11 PM

    • Katie Mae

      Thanks! I didn’t know if anyone would like to read my story other than the friends I force to so I am glad!
      Sorry to hear of your old mouse problem… they are SUPER disgusting!!! But thanks for the tip!!! And I too am allergic to cats so getting one of those is out of the question!


      March 19, 2010 at 2:34 PM

  2. Kristina

    You are allergic to cats??!!!! Why the hell did we get a cat when we lived in the haunted house in Regina???? Great blog though!

    October 1, 2010 at 6:34 PM

    • Katie Mae

      Thanks! We got a cat because I thought it would provide entertainment… boy was I wrong… by entertainment I meant to say TORTURE!!

      October 1, 2010 at 7:47 PM

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