Thursday, October 21, 2010

Of Mice and Men........and Toasters

When you live on a farm, there's not much escaping the rodents.  You hope that they stay outside, and don't cause any trouble.  Rats are quick to move into a pile of hay, and quick to help themselves to anything edible they can get at.  Mice are the same, just smaller. 
We live in an older house, one that was never finished, and we have had mice in the house a few times in our 24 years here.  After we renovated it, we seemed to get rid of the problem, as the access routes were now blocked off.  I had noticed though that the weather stripping on the bottom of the garage door was missing a few pieces, and it was just one of many jobs that hadn't been dealt with.  To get to the point, I discovered we had a mouse Thanksgiving Monday.  Didn't actually see it, just what it left behind.  Once you know you have one, well you start noticing the evidence here and there.  And some of the evidence was on the kitchen counter.  Yeah, gross.
I set the 'can on a dowel with peanut butter on it, over a tall bucket' trap out that night, but didn't catch anything , and there was evidence in the morning that the mouse had been on the counter again. Yeah, gross.  Didn't catch anything the next night either.
Other things were going wrong too.  The kettle had decided it didn't want to heat up water most of the time.  The fridge was occasionally freezing instead of just cooling, and then the toaster decided it didn't want to stay popped down.
Larry and I headed out on holiday, and left instructions to make sure all the food was put away, cupboard doors were closed, and to check the counter every morning.  Put the trap out, and stop and buy some of those snap traps. 
When we got back from holiday, the first thing I asked was about the mouse.  Hadn't caught it, but hadn't seen any evidence of it either.  I said that well it's not like it just went away.  I looked too, and there was no evidence it had been around.  Too good to be true I thought.  And to continue the upswing, the toaster started working properly again.  It stayed popped down when you pushed the lever. 
Yesterday there was the lovely smell of fresh baked apple muffins at one end of the kitchen, and a weird smell at the other side.  Didn't think too much more about it.  A bit later when I came for another muffin (who's counting, certainly not me), I smelled it again, but stronger this time.  Got the sniffer going, and tracked it down to the toaster, and it was a dead smell.  Meredith said she had noticed the smell earlier, but of course it was me that had to figure it out.  I got Larry to come over and smell the toaster, and he just about gagged.  He said to throw the toaster out.  But, he didn't do it.  So I took the toaster outside.  When David came home, I got him to pull out the crumb tray, but there was nothing.  He peered in all the nooks and crannies and ventilation holes.  Nothing.  I got the flashlight and did the same, but still couldn't see anything.  I really needed to know though.  So I got the screwdriver and started to take the toaster apart.  As soon as the bottom was loose, I could see the dead mouse in there, in the end where the lever was.  The sickening part was that I had had two slices of toast for breakfast that morning. 
Gross. Gross. Gross. It was enough to make me retch.  The toaster is now in the garbage, and you can be sure that I've checked the kettle as well. 


  1. Laughing myself sick! You poor sorry you had TWO pieces of toast that morning BOL!

    Hmmmm...wonder if mouse pate' would sell well at the market? The trailer could be...Tastes So Good It'll Make You Squeak! Oh dear...thinkin I'll skip breakfast this morning :@

    Waggin at ya,

  2. *Shudder* That's just not how one hopes toasting bread for breakfast will go. Yuck, yuck, yuck!

  3. What! No photo. I was thinking that would be coming up at the end. Oh well, maybe just as well.

  4. It gives me shivers just thinking about it!


  5. LOL! That is really gross!

    I cooked a whole family of mice in my oven once. They had made a nest between the oven and the stove top on the insulation. Talk about stink! My husband just thought it was my lousy cooking as usual!

    The Duchess

    PS My verification word is "singes". Ha!

  6. Cathryn - Well, I could send you a picture of the toaster in the garbage can!

    Emma Rose - That is even grosser! Was that in your trailer? The oven is where we found a mouse nest when we had the problem with them in our trailer this spring. And they had dragged insulation from wherever to make it there.

    I have to wonder, did the mouse die from electrical shock the first time we tried to force the toaster lever down, or did it get crushed, or...? And I wonder how many pieces of bread were toasted in that toaster in the week before we realized what the problem was. Thankfully I wasn't here for most of that week!

  7. Eeeeeeeeeeeewwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!

    Can I interest you in some semi feral cats who really hunt?

  8. Hornblower - Actually the cat we have is a pretty good hunter. We are not interested in adding any more cats at this point, Smudge is getting older and is traumatized by other cats. And other cats would be traumatized by Luna as well, she is pretty intense. My mother is desperately trying to pass her cat on to us, and so far we have managed to not give in.

  9. Oh that was a funny tale..but not for you I am sure..a long time ago we had a fishing resort, with eight cottages..I have seen mice just about everyplace possible except a toaster you win the prize for Death to Mouse by Toaster:)

  10. OMG That brought forth a HUGE belly laugh from one who lives out in the country!

  11. Ahhhhh! I'm screaming. Far Side of Fifty gave me your link. I just officially connected with her yesterday. I've also had mouse misadventures. You can read them on my blog - last two posts. Sorry about your toaster and dead mouse toast. Oh, that's just awful. May you have mouse free days and good fresh toast in the future!

  12. I've come from Far Side's link too - I kinda had a feeling I knew what was coming... My fridge freezer went on the blink and when we pulled it out there was an electrocuted mouse with his teeth still in the cable. Lucky we did it before the stink started. Hope you've got a new toaster! Jo


    Here from Far Side.

    We had lots of trouble until we had a new porch and sidewalk. It sealed the holes out front.

    BUT!.... we had a new patio poured! . and never got around to putting the steps back in front of the sliding door. So there were a few holes there.

    So we've had a few wanderers get into our kitchen. I heard them rustling paper in the garbage can.

    We've snapped 3 and haven't heard from anymore (and sealed the holes at the patio door. But still no steps poured(

  14. Here from Far Side, too. Love your header pic! Gross on the toast/mouse yukyness.

  15. Bet the dogs would have loved that toast!

  16. Hi! I'm here from Far Side, also!
    I am just cringing from thinking about your toast!!? That takes the cake, er toast! I did "wash" a mouse one time...must have been in the dirty clothes basket and I put it in and washed it! Didn't discover it until I went to put them into the dryer..ewwww. Those clothes were washed twice more!!!

    Love your blog...Blessings!

  17. Hahaha, embrace the mouse germs. You cannot escape them!


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