Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blank Slate

Over the end of last summer and the last week I have been working towards a goal. A very large vegetable garden!
I'm not the best at math and figuring out square footage, but that is a big garden!
I got a very nice plastic compost bin, last summer from my mom, and it belonged to grandma prior to that. It had So I started the compost at the end of last summer. I hadn't done much other than add some stuff and so had Wonderful Husband. He at one point put a few too many grass clippings in the bin, that prevented some of the pre-compost from composting during the winter. Now that area of pre-compost must have seemed perfect to some mice, who had gross food to eat and a sheltered home. That I found last week. ICK!
Our house backs to open space, where the mice and the fox run free. Our back yard is fully fenced, so no worries about the foxes however, those dirty little disease carring vermin, don't care about the fence. They literally can't take a hint.
A week ago I bought 15 packs of seeds. I borrowed a grow light and a tray from mom, another thing that used to belong to grandma. On monday I went out with my pitch fork, my shovel, my gloves and my gardening shoes. Ready to get dirty! I picked up the compost bin and dug in. I started to spread and dig, and hold my breath. Then I found the nest. I flipped a chunk of compost to the side a large mouse went running, then a couple babies just kind of wiggled around. Too young to do anything more than bury themselves in the compost. Another reason to not like mice, they are horrible parents. Just leaving the little babies to take care of themselves when they are much too young for that.
I can't just kill them, they are babies. So I used the pitch fork and flipped them closer to the fence in hopes they will find their way to another home with slight abandonment issues and a slight fear of flying. Back to the grind, and another 4 larger mice scatter. This time I jump. And yell. And yell. Then I said in my yelling voice, "I hate MICE!!!!"
A small voice behind me says, "I found a mouse."
I am still trying to calm down when I hear this. I turn to see Big Girl J walking towards me, holding her hand out, showing me a dead mouse. One that she seemed to be proud of, until mommy went crazy and started shouting "drop it!"
That poor little girl looked so surprised and didn't think she had done anything wrong. But mommy was yelling at her like she had done something horribly wrong, like picking up a disease carrying dead vermin, that probably died of one of those diseases that is carries.
After taking Big Girl J inside and scrubbing the skin off her hands in hopes of decontaminating her, I was drying her hands and realized how scared or ashamed she looked. I finally had the realization of how she was showing me something she was proud of, but then randomly got yelled at for.
Thinking back to every time we have taken her to the pet store and let her look at fish, the cats, the birds, and finally the hamsters and the mice, I decided it was my own fault. She thought she had found a new pet, a dead new pet. And now she isn't allowed to go in the pet store with me anymore.
I left the mess and the other mice that might be there and stayed away for a week. I did let the dog have free reign and dig through the compost in hopes of making the mice mad enough to move. I also saw the cat staring at the piles, waiting. Like a good cat. Today, I ventured out and finished the job. I spread it out, wet it down and Wonderful Husband brought me a truck load of dirt. We shoveled it out with Big Girl J's help. She thought the shovel was too heavy so she used a small plastic cup. And with her help we finished with the second load of dirt just in time for the sprinkles and cold front that cooled us all off.
I am hoping for a good harvest this year!


  1. I can picture all of this action! I would think the gene pool would keep her from picking up a mouse (dead or alive)! Or maybe it is Uncle Roy's influence...he chased me with a dead mouse once!

  2. I know that exact feeling of surprise and disgust upon finding a mouse home in my home. The open space will probably make that an ongoing challenge...

    I hope you have a great growing season!

  3. Um, gross!!! Hopefully though now they will know you mean BUSINESS and not return any time soon...

  4. Grandma would be very proud of you! As am I. Of both you and J!