An Unwanted Guest

Last week Florian left the basement door open for a few minutes, just long enough for a mouse to  sneak in the open door. I saw it and chased it with a broom, but of course it disappeared under the pantry door which is located under the stairs and refused to come out. Then in the night I heard a racket in the kitchen and I got up to see what all the commotion was and when I turned on the light a mouse sprinted across the room and squeezed its tiny body under the gap between the door and fled the scene to the basement.

The next day I placed three mouse traps in strategic locations to catch this uninvited guest. Two days later and still no mouse in my traps, but some signs that it (hopefully only one visitor) is enjoying its new home.  By now, I started to panic and decided the best  solution was a cat.  

I went to see a neighbor who has a few strays hanging out near his place and instead of bringing home a mature cat that could actually catch a mouse I brought home an adorable baby kitten.

The little monkey has no manners and follows me constantly. He is not allowed on the sofa or chairs, but he keeps trying to climb on them and I have to watch him like a hawk to make sure he stays off the furniture. He doesn’t want to go outside and play like a normal kitten. No, he just wants to stay inside and torment me.

I made him some toys to keep him busy and out of trouble. He plays with them sometimes, but I am convinced that he prefers to annoy me.   If he continues to demand constant attention I might lock him in the basement for a week with the mouse!

DIY toy made of wood, an old hanger, some twine, and a jiffy pot.

 

DIY house made out of a cardboard box.

 

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Good-bye Clutter

It has been months since my last blog post because my life got busier than expected. I landed a short-term position for the summer which involved working shifts, long drives, and an agreement promising not to write anything about the job on any form of social media. Consequently, I decided to avoid blogging for the duration of the job to be on the safe side. In addition, at the end of August I signed an oath promising never to discuss the gig after the completion of the contract. There is nothing to say other than I am happy that it is finished.

In the spring, we bought a new house and spent the month of May slowly moving from the cabin to the house. It is a three bedroom bungalow with a full basement. It was gutted and completely rebuilt five years ago, so it only needed some cosmetic touch-ups like new paint, window screens and a few minor repairs, except for the kitchen cabinets which required a new updated look. We used Rust-Oleum cabinet coating system to redo the cabinets. I am pleased with the end result, but I would not recommend this to anyone who does not have tons of free time on their hands. The whole process, starting with cleaning and deglossing, applying two bond coats, adding a decorative glaze, and applying a protective top coat to protect against stains and scratches, is extremely time-consuming. Here is a before and after photo of one section of the cabinets.

The new house has a wood and oil furnace in the basement. I don’t plan on using oil because it is too expensive. Last March I met a man when I was skiing on his property in my quest to find chaga. We started chatting and he ended up giving me enough wood for the winter. It was already cut and scattered over his lot. My brother helped gather it up and brought it to my place with his truck and trailer. Then Florian and I split it and piled it up to dry.

As for the cabin, we still go there two or three times a week to feed the stray cat and look after the garden boxes. I have no idea what I am going to do with this place. Even after I moved, the garage is full of stuff.

For example, I have a beautiful antique organ and a new exercise twister, but I have absolutely no use for them. I tried to give them away on kijiji, but there were no takers. Actually, that is not true. Two or three people would take the organ if I would deliver it. The Ab-Doer twister has only been used two or three times and it  costs over $300 on Amazon, but I couldn’t give it away for free!

In the end, these items and most of the other junk will have to find a new home in the local landfill. Although I hate to throw away things I have decided if I have no use for something in the foreseeable future then I am eliminating it from my life.  Otherwise, the garage will never be free of clutter.  I am determined to declutter the garage before I start my next job in a couple of days, so that means I better get started now.