Category Archives: home improvements

The Mouse that Showered – –

Jack sprints home and arrives on Wednesday – –

Most mornings Wendy wakes up long before me and heads downstairs to start her day – very often around six o’clock. She usually leaves me to slumber on for another hour or so. But if she comes back and shakes me awake then that means there is some kind of emergency. Maybe a large pile of cat poop somewhere or the chickens have escaped from the yard; that kind of thing – –

A few days ago we had one of those mornings. I stumbled downstairs to find that a corner of the kitchen in front of the sink had transformed into a paddling pool!

Kneeling in the water, and after frantically closing off all the valves I could see, we could still hear water spraying somewhere. Finally Wendy discovered the main valves to the kitchen hiding in our bathroom closet and the sound stopped. Every towel in the house was utilized to soak up the water.

Having made sure we’d stopped the leak and still had water available in the bathroom for coffee and to flush the toilet we could attend our weekly Zoom meeting with close friends. It’s quite hard to have a relaxed conversation while wondering if there’s a swimming pool under your kitchen floor!

I checked under the sinks and couldn’t see any sign of a water leak there so began to realize that it must be the dishwasher which is right next to them. I pulled it out, made sure that the appropriate valve was closed and got Wendy to turn the main one back on, while listening carefully with my one good ear. No sound, so I very carefully opened the valve for the dishwasher and peered under – eureka!

The metal braided hose had a hole and was spraying water happily – – –

So we washed dishes in the sink while we waited for Amazon to send us a replacement hose and it arrived today. Since I’m getting a bit stiff these days and finding it more difficult to get into convoluted positions it was a ‘fair fechty battle’ to fit the new hose. But when I looked at the old one it was pretty obvious it had been chewed by a mouse and when I pointed my flashlight into the void I could see where it had come in. I cut up a tin can and closed off the mouse entry and will spray peppermint oil liberally while keeping my fingers crossed!

I can still see that mouse singing in the spray – – –

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Filed under animal rescue, between books, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

The Chicken or the Egg?

Jack getting his guest post in on time is a rare event – – –

Some regular readers will know that we have chickens free-ranging in our backyard, four to be precise. Two (Thelma and Louise) came in March and settled in easily, exploring their new surroundings and quickly began laying an egg each per day.

Then, more recently we received another two – retired government workers! They had been employed to track any evidence of West Nile Virus by having their blood tested regularly. After their stint is finished these chickens are re-homed to people who must promise not to eat them. They quickly settled in as well and within days had become good buddies with the original two. We christened one of the newbies ‘Elissa Hirple’ because she was limping when she came and the other one ‘Kathy’. But we didn’t see any eggs from them! (Also Ms. Hirple overcame her limp.)

Being novice chicken owners we did some research on their laying and found that it’s related to the amount of daylight they experience. When the days get shorter and darker they are likely to stop and about a week ago that seemed to have happened. I stopped seeing eggs in the usual corner of the coop I’d converted from an old outhouse.

When we stopped seeing the usual two per day we resigned ourselves to not getting any until Spring. When we were getting eggs regularly, Wendy preserved a couple dozen using a method involving pickling lime called ‘glassing.’

I still checked each day just in case they might provide an occasional egg, but nothing, and we began to talk about when we would break into the glassed eggs. Then yesterday as I refilled their food and water, I happened to look in a different corner of the coop and to my astonishment there were fifteen eggs. So they hadn’t stopped at all and it is almost certain that either Elissa or Kathy joined the production line!

So we now have two large containers of glassed eggs sitting on the counter, and we are still enjoying three-egg days.

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Filed under animal rescue, between books, crafting, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch