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Monday, September 27, 2010

Why I'm Glad I Married a Farm Boy

Did I ever mention to y'all that the Husband grew up on a farm for the first half of his childhood? It's not something that comes up all that often, most especially because the poor man married a devout suburbia girl. The thought of living on a farm sends shivers up my spine because I:
  • refuse to use an outhouse (yes, this still applies in some places),
  • don't like bugs or rodents,
  • am allergic to furry animals,
  • lack grit (just keeping it real, y'all),
  • would quite probably be a long, LONG way from a bookstore,
  • have sensory issues when it comes to dirt and mud and sweat
(Did I mention that I don't like rodents?)

I often stare at the Husband in sheer befuddlement when he starts swapping farm stories with my maternal grandfather, who grew up on a farm in western Iowa. Y'all, it's like they're talking in a foreign language... it truly is. When the husband shares tales of his earliest chores, I cringe in fear and bite my tongue to avoid crying "child endangerment!" (At seven, he rode a motorcycle around the farm to scare away coyotes. Oh yes, he did.) And every fall, when the husband tries to convince me that camping! is! fun!, I run upstairs and lock myself in the bathroom. Because talk like that makes me feel very, very nauseous.

Yes, y'all, I am a devout suburbia gal, but there are still times I feel oh, so grateful for his Farm Boy Status... times like this weekend. Because we found mice, y'all. (I think I've mentioned before that I don't! like! rodents!, right?) Four of them. Living in a cozy little mouse nest in the bottom drawer of the husband's tool chest in our garage. Oh, the dilemma for my pretend-to-hate-animals-although-not-really-but-for-goodness-sake-we-are-talking-about-MICE-y'all.

It was a THEY GO or I GO kind of moment. Except we can't use those awful metal killing mouse traps. And our family has a rather unfortunate history with those sticky traps, so those are out, too. What to do? What to do?

We could sic Molly on them, but she hates our garage because we once imprisoned her there. And Rusty? Rusty is no good to anyone. He is the most girly cat you could ever imagine. The only thing he eats - beyond cat food, the occasional bite of fish and any ribbons he manages to pilfer - is his own vomit. Umm... on second thought, maybe he's not exactly girly. But he IS a wimp.

A wimp who eats his own vomit.

I told the husband I could not deal with this. That I did not want to think about traps. That I did not want to think about balls of string and ribbon and such huddled in a pile inside the bottom drawer of the husband's tool chest. That I did not want to wonder about holes somewhere in our garage because how on earth did they move freely from food source to warm home when we leave the garage door closed 99.9% of the time? And that I really, really, REALLY did not want to think about the mice because oh my lands, they are mice, y'all, which - in case you didn't know - are RODENTS!

(Have I mentioned yet that I don't like rodents?)

Cue the return of the Husband's Farm Boy Status. He may have lived in suburbia these past thirty years, but he REMEMBERS. And one of things he recalls is how to create an impromptu mouse trap with a stick coated in peanut butter, hanging by some string and centered just above a water-filled bucket.

I know, I know. We are Mouse Murderers, y'all. Just be glad I'm not gonna share pictures when it works. And it had better work. Otherwise I'm gonna rescind the Husband's Farm Boy Status. And I'm gonna sic Rusty on them.

Because maybe Rusty will throw up on them and they'll run far, far away.


Buckeroomama said...

Ugh. No sympathy for Mickey's cousins here, I'm afraid.

kitchu said...

okay. so, you are up at WHAT hour to share this (lovely) morning story????

i love mice. i mean, i don't want to live with a family of them, but i don't have any issues with rodents. i hate fish- but still, i can't stand to watch them flopping around on a boat, just needing another breath.

i'm weird that way.

Aus said...

And that is why you need a couple 'for real' farm cats - I mean the 'mice and men run in fear of super cat' type farm cats....not that rusty needs to go - he maybe just needs a good gym and trainer? :) I like the stick / bucket idea....clever guy!

hugs - aus and co.

Stefanie said...

Oh my.
Goodness me.
I sit, crouched over my coffee reading about vomit and peanut butter and mice. Ewww.
I definitely feel your pain.
When I ran a boarding stable in Texas, the mice were more like rats. Huge, huge rats that would scamper up the posts in the barn every night when I would come in and turn on all the lights. And as much of an animal lover as I am, there were some drownings that took place, due to an unfortunate fall into a water bucket. Much more humane than a glue trap.
Happy day that you are now rodent free. That's a good man you got there, TM :)

prechrswife said...

I don't like mice, either. It was really fun that year we spent living in my in-laws rental house in the middle of two hay fields. The morning the mouse ran over my foot while I was in the bathroom getting ready for work...not fun. And then there was the day last week when I almost stepped on a little black snake while walking my girls into preschool. What's funny is that I'm not a total suburban girl...just not fond of snakes and furry critters in my house that aren't pets.

And in another one of those parallel life things, like both having children from Tonggu and being former preschool teachers who are now SAHMs, my hubby also spent the first part of his childhood growing up on a farm, and even when they got out of the farming business, they kept a few cows for 4-H and that kind of thing.

Wendy said...

We used to get mice every year because we had a bird feeder located dangerously close to our house. I did not want to kill the cute little guys, but when Brady--the bad boy (dog) started catching them and leaving them a bloody mess in the middle of the living room floor and when one of the little darlings actually peed on my kitchen counter? I had to call in THE PROFESSIONALS. That's the only way we've been able to get rid of them for good.

Wanda said...

I feel your pain. (And btdt too.) There is another way though. You can buy live traps and then drive far away and set them free in a field somewhere so they can terrorize someone else (cough, sputter). They're like little mouse hotels - they can check in (cause they smeel peanute butter on a little cracker in there) but never leave (till you, I mean the husband opens the top to let them free).

Or the bucket....whichever works fastest. Cause they are about to multiply and best get the mama out of the way before the babies come. (Gee, sorry, now don't you feel better?) Gulp.

Janet said...

We are mouse murderers by proxy, I suppose, since our cats are our murderers. Yes, we cheer them on. I'm not opposed to mice, but I AM opposed to them near my HOUSE! I dont' want the disease carrying rodents in my house.

Rachel@just another day in paradise said...

Um, I AM a farm girl, and I don't handle mice. We have strict delegation of duties in our home: I get spiders and creepy crawlies and he gets mice and snakes. He voided the contract this fall, however. I had to kill my first snake. It was a baby. I've spent many nights wondering just where mama snake is hiding. . .Ugh. Mice and snakes are icky no matter where you live!

Aunt LoLo said...

UGH. Not a fan of the mice. (However cute they are.)

BUT...there are these great traps now. You stick peanut butter in the back of the box, and then press a lever.

If you see the red flag pointing at MOUSE!, then your trap has sprung, and your mouse is dead. Not a clicky metal trap in sight...and you don't even have to see the mouse, unless you want to re-use the trap. (In which case, you call your trust farm boy...)

Suzy said...

Re: Glue traps: a plumber, who told me he'd had many a glue trap stuck to his hair as he stuck his head under dark sinks, said to use corn oil (although I'm sure EVOO would work just fine for your little Barefoot Contessa)to remove the glue trap. I'm guessing he knew what he was talking about. You know, just in case drowning rodents doesn't work out like you'd hoped.

Kristi said...

We recently had a mouse. My big girl suggested that we "kill it with a knife" after it ate the tortilla chips. I wimped out and bought a "no-kill" trip and when we lured him in with peanut butter graham crackers, the hubby released it in a local nature area.

Holly said...

I would tell you that I grew up on a farm and once killed a mouse with a shoe. A shoe! But I am not going to tell you because I don't share that sort of stuff with people whose first names I do not even know :)
okay, so it's true.
And why don't you do old fashioned traps? A dead mouse is a dead mouse, yes?
Hmmmmm...trying to undertsand. I do not like mice either but it was a way of life on the farm!

Girly Girl Mommy said...

Um, yeah. So with you.

A few years ago at our last house I came downstairs to find one of my cats tossing about a furry toy mouse. Par for the course. Only it was black and I firmly remember buying a brown fake mouse. Yep- it was the real thing. Thankfully it was tiny and my boy Schuster had it right by the front door. Hubby grabbed some cardboard and flipped the mouse out the open front door (he's not a farm boy!). I still shudder. No idea how it got inside and thankfully we never found a sibling inside. We did set some covered traps in the garage. Eeeew!

Alexis said...

Poor mice. Atleast do the quick old fashioned kill trips rather then drown them... Hope you get ride of them soon! :)

Alexis said...


Debbie said...

I grew up with an outhouse but have not plans to return to that. Nor do I like mice. I saw kill them. Kill them hard.

Sharie said...

The minute I read the title I knew he was going to help you kill something or get rid of something dead:)

When my sister built her house in 1995 we were the first in our neighborhood - in the MIDDLE of a CORN FIELD!

You'd think she'd have remembered the RAT infestation we had as kids when they built houses in the cornfield across the street from my parents (I still have NIGHTMARES seriously 33 years later! Talk about being afraid of holes in the garage)

Well I lived with my sister when she first moved in and that fall the mice (thank God it was only mice) decided that they weren't giving up their field and they decided to enjoy the warmth of the garage. My sister didn't want to put out traps because of the bloody mess, so we decided on poison (no animals or kids to worry about).
Once the mice were dead it was my job to scoop them up in a shovel and FLING them in the field behind us.
It worked great until one night we both got home from work at about the same time to see a baby mouse convulsing on the garage floor. HORRIBLE feeling. There was an exchange of you hit it - no you hit it until finally the mouse was dead and I scooped it up and flung it.
I still get a little sick to my stomach thinking about it.

So, I have compassion for mice - but rats, rats should ALL be drown...even the cute pet ones my daughter likes so much - even they make my eyes water with fear.