It has been a long, crazy Spring for my clan. We have just moved into our First Real House (that is, one we actually pay ourselves for instead of reducing the principal on someone else’s mortgage), Sally Bear has graduated Kindergarten, and Dr. Awesome is eight years to the day past graduating from mister to doctor*– Finally! He’s been out of grad school two years longer than he was in it!
*of Philosophy. But don’t tell them they aren’t real doctors. They hate that. Trust me, I know.
And what a crash course Real Life has been. We are currently being schooled by Homeownership. In fact, my handsome husband has actually transformed himself into a handy one…something astounding and wonderful, because he really wasn’t all that handy before. (The tool set that came into our marriage was mine.)
I am so relieved that this miracle I have spent 7 years nagging– um, I mean praying– for has finally occurred. No longer does he let a heavy mirror sit on the floor for 6 months until his dad comes into town and actually uses the stud finder. No longer does he simply let a leaky faucet drip. (OK, he learned a lot from that one that resulted in NO HOT WATER FOR 8 DAYS but hey, he figured it out while I was standing there googling plumbers, and that drip is gone, baby.)
And the poor man now has a to-do list as long as an undergraduate’s course requirements. How many credits would one need, I wonder, to major in Rodent Exclusion? Because we’re raking up those credits now.
So when we purchased our dream home, our primary animal concern was the allergic effects of the previous owner’s cats. We relinquished our beloved cats last year when we learned they were worsening Boo’s asthma, and I had done awholehelluvalotta wall washing and baseboard scrubbing to remove their dander once they were gone. So we decided to repaint walls, steam floors, and scrub, scrub, scrub! But when we were doing that deep de-dander scrubbing of our new house we discovered the first evidence of the fuzzy little tenants that had been left behind. Since the gruesome discovery of a nest and a dead mouse beneath my new stove (EEP!) we have been finding mouse holes everywhere.
Would that you were still with us, mine (scratchy, bitey, fully clawed) Eponine!
Now alas, and unlike No. 10 Downing St, (or rather like, if you read the Mirror) we are without a good Mouser here. Enter Dr. Awesome, to lock Mickey and Minnie out. Armed only with his wits and his know-how and a whole lot of copper and steel mesh, he set to the task.
First stop: the Kitchen.
Can anyone else’s husband slide across the counter to squeeze behind the oven and close all floor gaps along a 5-foot wall while pivoting in a spot the size of the stove? (In case you’re wondering, I keep him on a steady diet of whole foods and love.)
And it needed to be done. When we pulled out the range we discovered a gap of almost two inches all the way along the wall. You can see it in the bottom of the picture, filled with Xcluder. (Yes we did scrub that wall before we were done. But unlike in my fantasies, there has been no 80s music montage while the work is being done.)
As Sally sounded out: YUCK.
I bet you’re wondering how long all this mouse exclusion took? About 4 hours, including the furnace room, and we’re not even done. But we’ve seen a lot less “activity” in the kitchen since he started, and we did finally catch a mouse.
So after all his hard work, which impressed me so much that I took all three kids into the grocery store on a Sunday afternoon just to get him a six-pack and some candy, we all collapsed on the couch of our new house for Family Movie Night.
Naturally, we watched An American Tail.