Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cleaning the Basement

Summer is winding down.
Do I hear sobbing?
Yes, it's me.

Our kids don't start school for a few more weeks so we are trying to make the most of our last days of freedom.

On rainy days, we sometimes head to the basement.
To clean.

There are boxes down there that have been moved to a new home several times without so much as a glance inside. It seemed easier to keep moving them rather than deal with them.

Jeff knew it should be done.
I knew it should be done.
Neither of us wanted to tackle the job.


I finally made the plunge. And I began to purge.
And purge.
And purge.
And there is still a ridiculous amount of junk down there.

Sticking things in boxes and hauling them down to the basement where they are out-of-sight-out-of-mind is a bad. bad idea.

They get moldy.
Which is stinky and gives you headaches.
They get dusty.
And sometimes they have gross dead bugs in them.

Last week I came across the most vile thing yet.
I had a Chinese box that I had put a lot of my treasured trinkets from China in.
{Yes, I know I ended that sentence with a preposition but I don't care.}

Back to the box.
Before I even opened it, something nasty caught my eye.
Could it be.....mouse poop?

And there was some other stuff...kinda fluffy looking.
Could it be....{gasp}?
A nest?
I gingerly pulled the box lid open and sure enough....lots of nasty looking nest stuff. Thankfully no mouse carcass.

Well, I was ticked off when I saw the damage.
They chewed my very valuable set of post cards from Beijing! How rude! I carried those home all the way from China, thank you very much.
There was an embroidered fan that looked like it had gotten peed on.
A lot.

I had to stifle a giggle, though, when I saw what they had feasted on the most.
I had saved a snack that we were given on one of our in-China flights. I have no idea what it was but it was a clear bag of green balls. They were hard as a rock and looked like peach pits--only smaller. I thought they were hilarious.
Apparently, the mice thought they were very tasty.
'Cause those babies were all gone.

So I have a question. There is a souvenir that I want to keep. It's a small cloisonne mirror and comb set. Does anyone know if I can clean it safely and keep it? Or is there too much risk of mice-carrying-plague nastiness?
Let me know, will ya?

The teen even got into the cleaning frenzy.
His room is down there.
I won't say how bad it was but cleaning it involved a rake.


trustandobey said...

Mouse poop can harbor disease but I don't know why you couldn't just clean it and use it. Google the Hunta virus. I think it was only occurring in the mid- western states but I seem to recall that it was spread by wild mice droppings.(Can you tell if your stow away was a wild mouse? They are the ones that like to party a lot:)I would just clean it, spray it with Lysol and go on with your life:) We had a mouse in our basement this summer as well.

trustandobey said...

I actually think it is spelled Hanta not Hunta. oops:)

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Sharon said...

Oh Karin, sounds like our basement! We are still holding off on the cleaning though. Kyle leaves for school on Saturday so the cleaning will begin! :)

GrangerBaxters said...

PICTURES....I WANT PICTURES. I do enjoy a nice gross mess. I think emptying the vacuum cleaner is so cool....I also enjoy the lint screen in the dryer. Also it's really cool when you clean your floor after way to many weeks and can watch your water turn to mud.

Kristin Ferguson said...

Leave it to Lisa to be up on all of the viruses and what-nots that could cause disease and death. :) Yesterday she sent me a link on brain-eating bacteria found in lakes (because we swim in a lake). Yep, she's a real upper alright!

Raking??? What in the world is my buddy Taylor DOING down in his room???? Don't tell me 'cause I may not hug him the next time I see him and I know how much he'd HATE that! hahahaha

Kim K. said...

Come on. I want pics! This post seemed especially picture worthy..hee hee.