Thursday, 20 November 2014


I made a huge mistake this year. Instead of hiring a contractor to fill the crack in the side of my foundation and replace part of the driveway, I waited for the president of the Radway New Horizons seniors club to hire one for their cement work. It seemed like a good idea to hire the same company so they wouldn't have to make two separate trips.

As summer flew by, I kept asking the president about the contractor. He couldn't give me a concrete answer since there was a legal problem with the land which the centre acquired. By September, the weather was too cold to pour concrete.

Meanwhile, some mice discovered the crack in my home and decided it would make a good place to spend the winter. I was unaware of the damage they were doing until I grabbed a bag of powdered milk and it spilled out all over me. The mice had chewed holes in many food packages without me being aware of it. As I cleaned up the mess, I discovered just how much damage those rodents did.

How glad I am that I bought some traps earlier in the year. Though I didn't expect a mouse invasion, I thought the traps would be useful to have for someday. I set up a trap in the kitchen cupboard where the powdered milk bag sat. The next morning, I found that it had caught an adult mouse. I felt glad but I had a suspicion that it wasn't the only one in the house.

While washing my face before bed one night, I heard a series of pathetic whimpers. Following the sound, I discovered that two juvenile mice were stranded in my bath tub. I dispatched them and set out a few traps around the house.

As hair-triggered as they were, the traps failed to catch the young mice. Worse yet, they nibbled off the bate without triggering the release bar. Since trapping didn't work, I resorted to poisoning them.

The problem with poison is that the mice die and then rot. As I worked at my computer one afternoon, I smelled a disgusting smell. I eventually found the dead mouse next to the fridge. Another mouse died in my storage room where I keep extra food. As far as I know, there are no other mice lurking in my house. Just to be safe, I put a dish of poison pellets in the basement.

Ruined food wasn't the only problem those mice caused me. They urinated and defecated everywhere. One mouse also used one of my oven mitts as a nest. To be safe, I washed out the cupboards with bleach. Even so, I still worry about diseases which the rodents might have left behind.

I now store my dry food, such as powdered milk and macaroni, in plastic containers. Next March, I plan on lining up a contractor to fill that crack as well as fix my driveway. I learned my lesson well. Just because nothing happened in the past, it doesn't mean it can't happen in the future.

The biggest lesson I learned in my life is contained in my How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity memoir. Read more about it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Powell's Books.