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Monday, October 27, 2014

The Battle Wages On

Damn mice. The good thing is, we believe we found where the little boogers are coming into the house from, and we've stymied the flow, but the garage... The Garage! The other day I came home in the dark and upon opening the door I saw a couple scamper away. So, I bought some more traps and laid them out Saturday night. That morning, both traps were full. So, I baited and reset them yesterday and as expected, the daylight hours left them empty. So, I made the plan to check in on them before bed.

About 9, I went out and found them both tripped with little furry corpses caught in them. I rest and went back into keep knitting on my socks before checking one more time an hour later before bed. You guessed it, full again. So I emptied, reset and went to bed and before falling asleep I though I heard the death knell for another mouse. Early this morning after the boys were fed and since I was awake, I wondered back out and found them both full. Since it was a couple hours until dawn, I reset them and tried to get some more sleep. Sleep eluded me, but two more mice did not. That's right. 8 mice, in less than 24 hours. So, the traps are set and ready to go for another night, I plan on getting a few more traps and catch them in the garage before they make their way into the house. The Guy found a spot in the garage that has some sunflower seeds stashed which concerns me that we have a bigger resident than a mouse so I'm going to pick up a bit larger trap in case we have a squirrel or chipmunk also nesting in there.

In case you are in need, the Victor Power Kill traps seem to be a great choice. All but one of their catches thus far seem to be instant. That's a must for me. I don't mind killing mice, but having them starve or panic and suffer heart failure on a glue trap just doesn't sit well with me. And poison, though not as bad as a glue traps seems nasty, and there's that issue of having other animals possibly accidentally poisoned that worries me.

Enough of that. Lets talk pictures. I finally figured out one of the reasons I seem to be having a hard time blogging, besides being busy with the house and other projects. The lack of a camera. The only pictures I have had lately have been off my phone and I don't take as many with it as with a camera due to it just not being the best photo option, though it's better than the crap little camera I bought. However; this last week, I have snapped a few. A few so much that I had to decide which ones I would include. And that was a trial because with the fall colors here, it's hard to take a bad one! Just look at that tree in our back yard! It was so beautiful that it even lit up our bathroom onothe second floor with its reflected glory.

But, as it's fall, we've had our autumn work cut out for us. Last weekend I cropped the garden and ran the burn pit as the floor installers worked. I held onto my flannel I was wearing as I burned just for the smell. One of the best parts of camping is the infusion of wood smoke to the wardrobe. At least I always felt so.

While I was working on the garden I found many a multi-legged friends. And some with no legs at all. Mostly slugs and snails on that count, but did startle up the rat snake who quickly retreat across the grass to the edge of the yard.

This was one of the biggest grasshoppers I have seen. Since it was a cool day, like the snake it was a bit sluggish.

We also have more and more of the fuzzy caterpillars. And not just the monarchs.

This one was my favorite. Makes me think of the tufted rock hopper penguins. And do you see the other little visitors in that picture? The red ones with black spots that everyone swears when I speak of them, are the invasive Japanese Beetles? Which, by the way, they are not. To see what a Japanese beetle is, see here. These are another species that we brought over from the far east, as they are an Asian Lady Beetle. They just like our native lady beetles, they consume aphids and other garden and plant pests so can be beneficial. As long as they aren't congregating in huge numbers trying to find places to winter over they aren't that different in appearance. Congregating you ask? Oh yes...

Sorry, its a bit of a crap video from the phone, but you get the idea. All the things you see go by in the  air are them too. Thousands, and all sides of the house. The little beasts get under the window screens and around doors to boot. They stalin the walls and floors and as they die in the cold evenings in huge numbers, there's a smell to them. I'm looking forward to a really good freeze so they dissipate a bit as I'm tired of no less than five of them coming in with us or the dogs every time a door opens.

It's just a reminder that all seasons have their time and reason.

The boys have been enjoying the park we've found nearby. The trails are light on traffic and they get to run and blow off some steam as you see here as they run up and down the trail just because they can.

It's nice to have another spot to walk them that isn't over run with rabbits as they caught one in the yard the other day and now have rabbit fever as bad as squirrel fever. Little buggers. We never saw or heard it happen, The Guy happened to find it as he was investigating what had their attention. Looks like it tried to go back out around the gate it got into the back yard through, but wasn't fast enough.

Every once in awhile, dogs have to remind us that they are domestic descendants of one of the most successful predator species on the planet.

The other benefit of the park is a great place to just enjoy the woods and the color of the season. I couldn't resist snapping this one as the afternoon light illuminated some of the leaves. And these next ones are just for you Betsy.

I found many these tiny delicate mushrooms in the garden.

And these heftier ones at the park.

And then there's these.

That's right, all that white and tan is a collection shelves and shingles of a fungi colony that I knew you would appreciate a closer peek of Betsy. For those who don't flow Betsy's blog, she's a mushroom fan. Take a peek, she's good with a camera.

For all those who have sent me messages and what not regarding Wyoming's decision to legalize a more equal opportunity to marriage (why call it gay marriage? If it's equal in rights shouldn't it just all be called marriage?), of course I'm happy for it. It's a wonderful step forward for a fairly conservative republican state. However, as many of you know, I tend to stay away from politics and religion here on my blog. This is a choice I as the writer of this blog because this is a spot to just keep people up to date on my life, not my political views. I am not someone who considers themselves politically active. I'm interested in it, I try to make informed voting decisions, but we live in a nation where it's a private ballot. I agree with the fact that it should be a private ballot and don't think that everyone who knows me should know what decisions I make on said ballot. Therefore I make the choice to not discuss that here. I leave the political shouting, rejoicing, and heckling to those who feel that they are somehow an expert on the facts and that their voice should be out there because somehow their decisions and thoughts weigh more than the rest of ours and we should weigh them with our own at the ballot.

Look at that Bobotie. How's that for a subject change? Just roll with it. What's Bobotie? It's a delicious south african curry dish.

Chop a large onion and garlic to taste and cook in a large casserole dish until translucent. Add 2 tablespoons yellow curry powder and a teaspoon turmeric admix in. Cook just long enough that the fragrance blooms. Remove from heat, mix in 2 pounds ground meat (I used a half and half of lamb and ground sirloin, but you can use whatever. The robust spicing of the curry compliments the fast of lamb or wild meats. I've used elk in this dish before to great success) Add in a quarter cup chopped almonds, half cup bread crumbs, the grated rind and juice of one lemon, 1/3 cup chopped apricots, 1/4 cup golden raisins, one large green apple peeled, cored and chopped, 4 bay leaves, salt and pepper to taste. and optional crushed red pepper for a bit of spice. With it all mixed well press down evenly in the dish, cover and bake at 350 degrees for an hour and 15 to an hour and 30 minutes to assure the meat is cooked though well.

Take out of the oven and drain off any excess grease. Increase oven heat to 400 degrees. Beat 4 eggs with a cup of milk and a dash of chili powder and top off the dish with the mixture. Return to the oven uncovered. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes until the egg topping is baked firm and browning. You can throw some cheese one it if you want, but it's not necessary.

Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy! Tucker says to have a good day too... He's like that, always needs the last word. I better go and sweep up all those dead beetles, again.


  1. love the shrooms....!! the creepy crawly things and dead mice...ick! haha. you need a few good mouser cats. was recently reading of this woman running for office. she insists on keeping who she voted for in the last Presidential election private as it is her right...she is getting all sorts of crap about it. the sun is just coming up here. better get my day going. miss ya!

    1. But a few good mouser cats also means no bird feeders as our cats in the past have been good at catching song birds too. And as for the candidate, I agree, I hope she gets the office just to irritate the nosy ones! Kidding, I don't even know what office she's going for, and regardless of personal stances, I think it's all about the best candidate, regardless the party affiliation.

  2. Love every word and (GREAT) photo of this post – well, except for the vermin. Like you, I don't want anything to suffer unnecessarily, but they can't have my house!

    1. Yeah, I almost didn't post that picture, and you may notice that I blurred out the gory mouse mess on one of them... But it was fast for the little guy. Now they just need to put up the mousy warning signs for their buddies and stay outside. They can have the yard.

  3. That curry dish looks incredible! I want to make it! Do you end up eating leftovers for weeks afterwards? Do you serve it with rice, too, or by itself? Yum.
    Also, we've had a tiny itty bitty mouse issue that I fear might get bigger. We're using humane traps right now but so far they've been completely ineffective. We thought the humane ones would be better that the snap traps, glue or poisons since we have a very precocious 2 yr old but I think we might have to give snap traps a try.

    1. Nope. I have enough that I can freeze half to have when The Guy is on the road, and the other half we will have one night this week for dinner. I can’t seem to cook for just the two of us for a single meal very often, but I can cook smaller than I used too. I normally have enough for a couple lunches at least when it's all said and done. You should make it, it's delicious. You can ditch the crushed pepper and chili powder for younger palates.

      As for the mice, get the snap traps. Hide them in cupboards and show him the mouse and let him know what can happen to his fingers. He'll get it figured out. I have six traps set tonight... Let us see what will happen. The original two were already full when I got home from our mystery knit along night.

  4. Mice?? One word...CATS!!!! Those little buggers will pack their bags so fast your head will spin!!

    1. But then they would have to be garage cats, and that's no fun for them...

  5. Well maybe, maybe not. I have known several people who have had barn cats and those cats seem very happy. Rogue, sure, but happy. And what's the matter with letting them in the house once in awhile?? You loved that cat you did have, you know you did!!

  6. Yum....that boboti looks so good...... would be way too much for just me as the other half would NEVER eat it. Great to see you the other day!