From mice and men, ants and chewing squirrels - please deliver us.
Here at Square-Peg Headquarters (home) we're in the midst of a (modest) bathroom remodeling project. That, combined with a crap-ton of wet weather, has led to an inundation of men, mice, ants, and squirrels.
First it was the ants. Wet weather seemed to send them dancing into the kitchen and bathroom. This isn't uncommon in spring since the ground outside those two rooms probably fits the official requirements for a wetlands area.
But usually the problem is over before there's much time to bitch about it. Not this time! And yes, perhaps the delicious cake left out with no cover caused the ants to assume they were being invited to move in permanently. Sigh.
Cayenne pepper to the rescue. Slightly-British Daughter and I learned, from helpful employees of our local health food store, that ants abhor cayenne.
And it looked like cayenne pepper was working - no more ants dancing in the kitchen or bathroom.
Correction - it looked like the cayenne pepper was working. But when the contractor took out the bathroom ceiling (water damage - ack!) ants poured down on him like a waterfall (ack! ack!). Guess they were only hiding.
Next came mice. We've had an occasional mouse in the basement (easily relocated to the field by using a live trap) but none in the house proper. Until now.
The wet weather's been calling them in, too. They weren't so much dancing, though - just nibbling.
At first we didn't realize what was going on. A pack of gum and a forgotten Pez package seemed to have changed position in a drawer - and they looked a little frazzled.
Who's been messing with the Pez and gum? Next day a couple of mouse turds in the drawer answered that question.
Live mouse trap to the rescue.
Correction - live mousetrap to the rescue again. And again. And again. Night after night.
Manchild, head of mouse reassignment, was wearing out the grass between our house and the field.
We tried peppermint oil on cottonballs. Mice supposedly hate peppermint. But not our mice. Ours moved the cottonballs (peppermint dodgeball?).
Then there were squirrels. Chewing squirrels. Chewing squirrels who left enough sawdust on the patio in one day to carpet a small circus tent (holy shit, Batman - the patio rafters)! At least they stayed outside, but still! Ack!
And the men! All through the critter invasions there were men coming in and out - taking down ceiling and walls, taking out bathroom fixtures, reframing, disassembling, assembling…
More visitors than this (at times extremely) Introverted gal copes with easily.
But hey - it looks like salvation is nigh. The bathroom should be finished this week (that takes care of the men), the squirrels and mice and ants have already been dealt with (pretty much all by plugging up holes - blocking entry) and things will return to not-normal. Whew!
I'll say one thing (oh hell, I'll say lots of things) - dealing with the chaos, time schedule fuck-ups, and critter nonsense all at once would've kicked my ass royal a few years ago. It's still kicking my ass (occular migraines, stress-induced nutsiness...), but in a more Willie Nelson/laid-back way.
Thank you X-treme self-care!
Stay tuned, in the next post I'll be sharing about self-care for the Introvert (including some not-so-funny-when-it-happened stories).
How do we accept and celebrate our uniqueness? Where do we find community?
This is what we talk about in our brand-new e-guide packages: Square-Peg Celebration & Community is an Inside Job.
Hop on over to the Shop and read more (don't forget to listen to the free MP3 samples!).