I was cleaning, as one does when company is coming.
I was going for the our-house-is-always-this-tidy-and-clean-lived-in-but-not-spotless look for my college friend.
She is the only person I met in college with whom I have stayed in contact. We ran track together. We stopped running track together. We watched Days of Our Lives while chowing on microwave popcorn together. We married together. As in, we were bridesmaids for each other.
While we had kept in contact, and she does read the blog, I had not laid eyes on her or her family since we moved to the farm. They were stopping by for a visit and some dinner on their way to Bloomington.
Two pans of stuffed shells were in the fridge, waiting to be put in the oven later that day.
Dirty pots, pans, spoons, and other miscellaneous kitchen gadgets used to make the shells were strewn about the room.
Normally, I cook and Bryan does the dishes. It is only on the rare night that Bryan is unable to fulfill his washing dishes chore that I hand wash a single pot or pan. But today, my friend and her family were coming. A pile of dirty dishes waiting for Bryan would have ruined the look I was going for. I filled the sink with soapy water and began washing.
As I cleaned the microwave of the splatter of sauce someone left after reheating lunch some days ago, Buttercup asked, "Why are you cleaning in there? Do you think they are going to be using the microwave?"
"No, Honey, I don't. But when I do the dishes, I always capitalize on the opportunity to scrub down the parts of the kitchen your dad neglects, such as the microwave and the range hood."
When all was done, I sat on a kitchen stool to rest a minute.
As I sat, I noticed a ring from a canning jar lid under the toaster oven.
I realized that I had forgotten to pull the toaster oven away from the wall to clean behind it.
I was tired, and thus debated in my head about the necessity of cleaning it just then.
My usually-suppressed OCD side kicked in and I stood.
I grabbed the dishcloth and quickly pulled the small oven away from the wall.
"AAAAAHHHHHH!!!! OH THAT IS DISGUSTING! KIDS! GET IN HERE! SOMEONE TAKE CARE OF THIS FOR ME!!!!'
Kids came running alright, simply to see what the commotion was. When they saw what made me react in such a dramatic way, they actually put their fingers on the tips of their noses, said, "Nose goes" and walked out, mumbling ridiculous excuses like "I've got homework to do".
As I followed them around the corner, begging and pleading, I noticed a car pull in the driveway.
My friend and her family were here!
And I had a mouse.
A dead mouse.
A dead mouse that had been lying behind my toaster oven for what looked to be a good number of days.
That is when a forgotten episode flashed back into the forefront of my brain.
About a week before vacation, I smelled a smell. At first I thought it was from the trash/recycling, so I pulled out the cans, emptied them, checked to make sure nothing was behind them, and replaced them.
The smell lingered.
And got worse.
I told Bryan, "I'm pretty sure a mouse died somewhere. Probably behind the stove." (You see, after 10 years of living on a farm, we've come to expect a mouse every once in a while. Thanks to the traps in the basement, we have come to know the smell of a dead mouse. (I am not happy to know this.))
I checked under the sink. He pulled out the bottom of the oven and checked under and behind it.
We could not find it.
After a day or two of me lamenting the foul odor in my kitchen, the smell went away and I put it out of my mind, seeing as how we had a vacation to prepare for.
So of course I found the blasted mouse all flattened and gigantic and horribly disgusting as my college friend was pulling into my driveway.
Along with cleaning the dishes, it is also Bryan's job to dispose of dead mice. I can handle a 200-pound dead pig, but a 5 ounce mouse is not something I want to have anything to do with.
Unfortunately, as with the stuffed shell mess, I had no choice. I had to take care of this situation and do it fast.
I grabbed the phone, dialed Bryan's number at work, and yelled the play-by-play at him while, with the other hand, I wadded up 5 paper towels, grabbed the nasty dead thing, and threw it in it's own little trash bag.
I then hung up on him.
As I sprayed and cleaned up the leftover dried mouse bodily fluids, thanking God for our very long driveway, Buttercup was next to me asking, "Are you going to tell them about the mouse?"
In a sarcastic tone filled with nothing but love, I responded, "Oh sure. I'm going to greet them with my spray bottle and unwashed hands and say, "Pardon me while I clean up 3 week old mouse guts. Make yourselves at home."
No, I wasn't planning on telling them.
But I must admit, the thought of a blog post that my friend could read later crossed my mind.
I washed my hands and returned the toaster oven to its original position as my friend and her family got out of their car.
Hugs and hellos were exchanged and no mention was made of the unfortunate incident.
When they arrived, the boys were in the middle of a cut-throat Monopoly game. After greetings and introductions, the boys went back to their game and weren't heard from for another 30 minutes or so.
The rest of us continued to visit in the kitchen.
Eventually, the boys came in to get a snack, which they took to the dining room to eat.
Cuckoo had been unusually quiet throughout. He hadn't said more than two words to anyone since my friend pulled into the driveway.
Looking back, I think the little bugger planned it.
He left his snack, came into the kitchen doorway, and waited for everyone to notice him. Since he had been so quiet, he had the attention of everyone.
His only words were, "Did you tell them about the mouse you found?"
He then turned on his heel and went back to the dining room to finish eating his banana bread.
My friend now knows the story.
Surprisingly, they stayed and even ate the stuffed shells I had made.
As I think on this debacle, I wonder what the moral of the story is.
Should I wash dishes more or less often?
Should I look a whole lot harder the next time I smell something off?
Should I stop calling myself a suppressed OCD, seeing as how no self-respecting OCD person has a dead mouse behind a toaster oven for three weeks?
Should I stop calling myself a self-respecting person, seeing as how no self-respecting person has a dead mouse behind a toaster oven for three weeks.
Should Cuckoo be sent away whenever we have guests?
I'm thinking all of the above.
Now it is your turn. Make me feel just a bit better.
Tell me about something mortifying that happened when you had company coming.
Have a lovely day!
One year at Christmas time, we had taken our turkey out of the freezer to start thawing and then went out to run some errands. When we came home, we found that our 85 pound dalmatian had gotten the 24 pound frozen turkey off the counter and had dragged it down the hall to our bedroom. He had managed to gnaw off the knobs of the drumsticks and the pope's nose area. Since it was still frozen and (mostly) wrapped, we cleaned it well and went ahead and baked it for Xmas dinner. We hadn't intended to tell anybody what had happened but my brother-in-law's girlfriend has always had a thing for the pope's nose and, when she asked for it, we had to come clean and tell them all what happened. Thankfully our family all have a great sense of humour and everybody busted a gut laughing about it. It has since become one of our traditional Christmas stories.ReplyDelete
THANK YOU!!!! That is exactly the kind of story I was looking for! (I would have done the same darn thing.) :)Delete
Now, what exactly is the "pope's nose"?
It's a small fleshy part near the butt about where the tail feathers are. Yeah, his girlfriend was a bit weird 😊Delete
Huh. That is an odd thing to ask for when eating a bird. :)Delete
What a brilliant post - and I'm sorry but I laughed. Not at you personally, just the whole situation - and Cuckoo's timing was just perfect :)ReplyDelete
A dead mouse behind the toaster oven reminds me of something similar which happened here several yeasr ago, except mine was a dead cat on top of the boiler and it was discovered by the gas service engineer!
Incidentally, don't ever scrub out a microwave - put a bowl of water in it on full power for five minutes, anything stuck on should then just wipe straight off :)
I ended up laughing, too. It was just so shocking, I couldn't do anything else! :)Delete
Hahahahaha!!!! Seriously, you have GOT to tell me the whole story! I am hoping this was at work and not in your house. Either way, how?
Funny you should say that! As I was wiping it down, I thought, "Dang, why didn't I put some water in here to cook and THEN clean it?" I have heard of that trick, but I've never done it. It seems I like to take my frustrations out on appliances. :)
Cuckoo shall be in charge of the next mouse. He will do the finding, removing and cleaning. That's what I think should happen.ReplyDelete
Loved this post.
Have a fabulous mouse free day. ☺
Great idea! I'll let you know how it goes when we get another mouse. :)Delete
I am so with u on the dead mice. Actually mice in general. I was getting a pen ready for new chickens when I picked up the old feeder to clean it. I just started screaming my kids thought something was wrong. Something was terribly wrong there was a huge litter of baby mice. Bug, spiders. I can handle but not mice and maggots. Two thing that seem to be in abondance on a large livestock farm.ReplyDelete
Oh, maggots are nasty! Not as bad as mice, seeing as how they don't run, but nasty nonetheless. I think they are so bad because the only place to find them is on dead, smelly things. Hey! You made me feel better! At least the dead mouse wasn't covered in maggots!Delete
I just made myself throw up a bit.
I knew there would be trouble when you said that Cuckoo hadn't said two words to anyone. Couldn't be more out of character!ReplyDelete
I'm the one whose kitten was playing with a little (dead) snake IN HER KITCHEN, so I'm certainly not going to judge you on any of this! :)
Exactly! It was completely bizarre. Once dinner rolled around, he was his normal self, though.Delete
I would hope not! I do recall that one of the first posts I ever read of yours had to do with a mouse you found in a closet. :)
Doesn't Dyanne also have something dead in her freezer somewhere? I seem to remember reading that a while ago...Delete
Hahahaha! Yes. Yes she does. :)Delete
The moral of the story is clearly that you should wash dishes less often and make Bryan clean up behind the toaster more often.ReplyDelete
The most mortifying thing that happened to us when company was coming, is that when I took the foil off our cake, there were two perfect cat print indentations in the frosting. Luckily the cake WAS covered, and no one was super fussy, so we all just laughed about it. And we still have the cat, so he apparently managed to excape unscathed as well.
I'm going to have to agree! Let's just hope Bryan gets on board with it.Delete
Hahaha! I can imagine the look on your face when the paw prints were revealed! We are so lucky to have non-super fussy friends. :)
I'm with Amelia. Wash dishes less :)ReplyDelete
I'm so proud of you that you man-ed (?) up and dealt with the situation. We recently had a pest control guy here to leave some rat poison in our yard and he said 1 times out of ten they won't die in their burrow (is that what it's called?) but that you'll find them in the yard. I told him, "that's ok. That's what I married a man - so I'd always have someone around to take care of those kinds of things" :) He wasn't sure whether he should laugh or not...
Less washing of dishes for the win! Thanks! :)Delete
Ha! I guess none of his other clients have been so honest with him, 'cause you and I both know that it is most certainly why we married men. :)
I just love you. I think you might be the best story teller on the internet.ReplyDelete
Tamara, you just made my day. Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. :)Delete
I'm with Amelia too!ReplyDelete
I don't have a company's coming story but I have a mouse story. One Christmas a little family decided to take up residence in our house. Apparently there is never just one mouse...they come in families. One evening G was out so I was getting the boys ready for a bath (they were little). As I called for the boys to get ready for their bath, I threw open the shower curtain and something caught my eye. Luckily I hadn't started the water when I noticed that it was a tiny mouse. A tiny dead mouse! I quickly shut the shower curtain, said "Let's skip bath tonight" to the boys and waited for G to come home to dispose of the body.
Oh and thanks for the warning. Putting clean behind the toaster oven and microwave on G's To-Do list! ;)
EWEWEW! I'd be skipping the bath that night, too. But the boys didn't get to see it?Delete
Ha! You are welcome. :)
I'm not going to tell you to willingly look for a mouse so I say next time hide the baby. Lol!ReplyDelete
I'm from South Carolina - home to flying water bugs aka giant roaches. We definitely got those from time to time in the summer. My dad was the killer and my little brother was the helper. One time mom had one of her coworkers over for dinner. My brother was around three or four at the time. He was immediately taken by mom's coworker, showing off his cowboy boots and whatever toy he happened to be playing with at the time. As a body builder might announce how much they can bench, he proudly announced, "IIIIIIII know how to kill rooooooachessss."
Hahaha!!! Your poor mother! When we lived in Bermuda, I was floored by the size and ability to fly that the roaches had. One got into our apartment and we had a horrible time catching it.
At least you had time to do something with the mouse! Years ago, we were new in our ward, and the bishop dropped by to visit. As we were all sitting down in the living room, I noticed that a pair of panties on the floor! I don't remember which daughter they belonged to, and I have no idea how they ended up there, but the whole time the bishop was in our house, I just kept thinking, "Please don't look across the room. Please don't look across the room." I don't know if he noticed them or not.ReplyDelete
Story #2: I know you remember the email portion of this post, but you might have forgotten about the bat: http://www.thankfulme.net/2012/10/friday-family-history-someday-well-all.html
I can probably come up with more stories, but hopefully those will suffice for now. :-)
Ha! I'm surprised you didn't find some way to cover it or move it. That situation would make for a great Lucille Ball episode. :)Delete
I DID forget that part of the story! Ha! And now that I know your mom a bit better, the story is even funnier. :)
You have helped tremendously. Thank you!
We had a mouse once, errr we have mice. Several years ago we had a mouse outbreak of epic proportions. I trapped mice int eh basement, in the kitchen, and I caught one on my wife's nightstand. EWWW. I suspect one (or more) of the critters made an appearance during a dinner party for some friends. I was horrified, my was horrified. We all have similar lives, but with different characters. Kids delight in ratting us out, so to speak. It's all good. It's gonna be a great day.ReplyDelete
OH! That would be bad! And I would be one very unhappy person if the mice were in my bedroom. The kitchen and basement are more than enough for me.Delete
Did you do that pun on purpose? Nice. Very nice. And true. Very true.
All of the above. Especially sending Cuckoo away. Little toad!ReplyDelete
He is a little toad!Delete
A few weeks ago our landlord stopped by for a visit. She lives out of state, so this was the first time she had been here since we moved in 18 months ago. We knew she was coming, so we tried to have things cleaned up... but as usual, we ran out of time to "do it all." The tub in the main bathroom was due for a good scrubbing, but I though, "Eh. We can just close the shower curtain." So she came. She checked out the yard with my husband. Noted some maintenance and landscaping issues that needed to be tended to. Then she came inside and headed upstairs. My husband and I were nudging each other and whispering, "Are you gonna go with her?" Since he had been with her out in the yard, we decided it was my turn, so I headed up the stairs after her... and found her in the main bathroom, you guessed, peering around the shower curtain looking at the tub. "Checking for mold," she said.ReplyDelete
*sigh* Whatcha gonna do? At least she lets us still live here!
I am cracking up! When I was cleaning for my friend to come, I debated whether I needed to make the time to clean our tub. It most certainly needed cleaning, but I was running out of time. I decided to clean it, because I was afraid someone would leave the curtain open and they'd see the tub when I gave the tour of the house. You have now confirmed I made the right choice! :) Thank you!Delete
I'm glad she let you stay. :)
I literally live in a barn. Mice are a way of life... but in my old house we had a mouse smell so bad we thought we had a gas leak and embarassed ourselves further by reporting it to the gas company. My kid moved back to his Dad's house for the week until the stench left... he didn't even go to his Dad's house after he was granted visitation with the kid.ReplyDelete
Hahahaha!!!! That IS bad! I can see where you'd think it was a gas leak, though. If it makes you feel any better, I once called the gas company thinking we had a leak. It was actually our septic overflowing into our yard. We had no idea.Delete
Shoot. There's a weird smell in David's room when the central AC is on, and I KNOW something is dead in that duct. Larry is ignoring me. He keeps insisting it is dirty socks. Thanks, but I happen to be aware of the difference.ReplyDelete
We definitely had a smell here once - awful - but no one could figure out what it was or from whence it came. My uncle came and checked it out - my mom and her siblings grew up in a 300+ year old home and mice were, as Ivy said, a way of life. I figured he could ferret out the problem if indeed there was one. He did smell the smell, but we could not for the life of any of us figure it out. We ultimately agreed to say something likely got inside the walls or under the floorboards and passed on and we would just have to wait until it decomposed. Not sure if that was the way to go, but other than ripping open a wall, there was no better way. Definitely not as cool as your story, though.ReplyDelete
This, however, is my favorite part of your post - "But when I do the dishes, I always capitalize on the opportunity to scrub down the parts of the kitchen your dad neglects, such as the microwave and the range hood." My Hub does the dishes here and on the rare occasions when I do them, that's exactly how we play it. :D And heating a bowl of white vinegar in the microwave also works, by the way.
Thanks a lot for the gross flashback! My sister and her hubby were away over the winter, and the heater at their house kept going out, so I had to keep going over to re-start it. On one such trip, I was asked to check all of the toilets to make sure they hadn't frozen over. Imagine my horror and disgust when I opened the cover of one, peered in and saw an extremely bloated - EXTREMELY dead mouse! My BIL asked me to flush it away, but I refused, leaving it for his return - it would be just my luck to go ahead and flush only to have it jam up the works or something and cause a flood. Ewwww! CuKoo better watch out or he might find the next one in his bed!! ;)ReplyDelete