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Archive for March, 2012

Success is short lived

“Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”-the definition of insanity.

So remember our issues with mice?  We thought we had solved them…turns out that’s a negative.

We tried a couple different things and we were just going to give them time to work but then one of those nasty little buggers showed itself.  It was after the hubby left for work in the morning.  I was making breakfast (and by myself) and the mouse decided that was a good time to shoot out from behind the stove and run out towards our living room. (Freak-out commencing…)

I was going to put in a picture of a mouse but then decided that wasn’t a good idea…more because of me. yuck.

That was when I’d decided that I’d had enough!  However, the conventional methods were not an option.

Poison and back-breaking traps...pick your poison (pun intended!)

My husband and I have issues with poison (they can die in the house and you wont be able to find them.  Or they go outside and die and the animal that eats it can get poisoned) and the traditional traps are gross (I will NOT re-use the traps after the mouse has been killed. That means, buy a new trap each time and throw away the old one, with the mouse still in it).

Turns out there is a third option…

The person who invented this is a genius!

I was a little skeptical at first, not understanding how they work but after reading all the reviews and seeing the price (ON A 4 PACK!) I knew we had to try it. (By the way, you can find them on Amazon).

We did exactly what the instructions said and within a half hour of setting them up, we’d caught one!  It was amazing.  It is also the only trap where you don’t have to touch the mouse to remove it.

Picture of the actual trap.

Just know that the mousecansufficate in these traps so it’s best to check them multiple times a day and remove them as soon as possible.  What you do with them is up to you, but we drove 2 miles (at midnight because we could hear it scratching in the trap to try to get out) from our house and released it in the wild.  (I’d heard they can find their way back to your house from 2 miles away but I don’t think it will come back to ours because it’s new home is feet from a McDonalds).

We haven’t seen another mouse since and haven’t caught another one, but we’re not sure if there was more than one.  This is seriously an amazing product and for a 4 pack on amazon.com it costs $9.99.  It applies for free shipping over $25 and qualifies for amazon prime (which is what we used) and you can get it in 2 days.

Do You Like To Do It Yourself?

I hear all the time ‘Just have your husband do it’ or ‘Your husband can put that together’.  My answer is always, ‘why?’  I usually get a weird look after that and end up changing the subject.  Why have my husband put something together when I can do it myself?  Don’t get me wrong, my husband can do it as well, but the gender lines have blurred and I am just as capable and even enjoy it sometimes.

Are you sure this is English?!

Most women (at least that I know) would take one look at this manual and pass it off to the nearest testosterone filled body.  This definitely made my eyes bug out at first but I looked at it again and well…

The end result...my pride and joy!

I’m really handy with screwdrivers (Phillips and Flathead), hammers, needle nose pliers, and even the occasional Allen wrench.  I don’t know much about saws or anything fancy, and usually try to avoid those (best to stay away from dangerous tools if I don’t know how to use them!)

For our wedding, my husband and I got a couple of gifts from friends of ours.  They were both on our registry and were: a Black & Decker hedge trimmer and a Hamilton Beach blender.  I’m assuming that they thought the hedge trimmer was for my husband and the blender for me.  That was SO not the case.  I put the hedge trimmer for myself and was so excited when it arrived at our door!  (By the way, it works amazing!)

While I like my dresses, clothes, shoes and shopping I’m also not afraid to pick up some tools and try to put something together (so long as it’s not too complicated!)

Another one of my pride and joys! It took me about 3 hours on a Saturday morning to put together but it's beautiful. (And yes, that is the full collection of the Harry Potter Series-and a little bit embarrassing-The Twilight Series).

Play with Integrity

There has always been conflict within sports:  which team is better, if the ball was marked properly, how the refs called a play, etc.  But the recent issues of bounties within the NFL, specifically the New Orleans Saints, has created more than just conflict.  It’s more than just unsportsmanship…it’s cheating.

THE FACTS*

The Saints have been found to be offering their players bonuses (aka bounties) for injuring a player so bad that they’re taken out of the game.

Put into evidence (starting to sound like a legal issue lol) was an email that was sent to the head coach, Sean Payton, just before the first Saints’ game in 2011 (against the Packers) that said ‘PS Gregg Williams [their former defensive coordinator] put me down for $5000 on [Aaron] Rodgers.’

What's the matter? Can't handle the belt?

The Saints Defensive Captain, Jonathan Vilma, offered $10,000 to any player who knocked Brett Favre (then the Vikings QB) out of the 2010 NFC Championship Game.  The Saints were flagged for roughing Favre twice during the game.

It was unclear for a while if Favre was going to be able to return.

THE PUNISHMENT

Here’s what the punishments were

  • Sean Payton, Head Coach: 1 year suspension without pay
  • Gregg Williams, Former Defensive Coordinator:  Banned indefinitely
  • Micky Loomis, Saints’ General Manager:  8 game suspension without pay
  • Joe Vitt, Assistant Coach:  6 game suspension without pay
  • The Saints were also fined $500,000 and had their 2nd round draft pick taken away for 2012 and 2013

MY VIEW

What do I think of all this?  I absolutely agree with the NFL cracking down on bounties.  Football is not about hurting people…it’s about how well you can execute plays and how well the defense and offence players can come together as a team.  Yes, people do get hurt and that’s just the game but it doesn’t mean that a player need to purposefully hurt others.

Ok, so I don't hate anyone but this was really funny!

Sportsmanship has changed.  I was lucky enough to attend 3 Packer games last season and I heard things like this often (excuse the language) “Break his fucking arm!” “Knock him out!”  What the hell is this?  Why would you want someone to be hurt?!  You should want to win against the best because then you know you’re the best.

Cheating is for people who can’t win based on talent or strategy.  I feel it’s more important to win admirably and based on talent/skill than to win because you beat the crap out of someone.  Taking their best players out of the game is like admitting that you’re not good enough to beat the best.  If that’s the case then you shouldn’t even be playing.

This is what cheating gets you!
(A girl at the Packers vs Bears Christmas game)

I am an avid Packer fan (so there’s one reason why I’m upset about the bounty on Rodgers!) and I’m very proud of them.  They’re a very down-to-earth team, it seems.  They play with heart and spirit.

Play with integrity or don’t play at all.

I'm talking to you too Suh!

*All facts taken from NFL Hammers Saints For Bounties from Espn.com

Success!

I know that everyone was waiting on pins and needles to see how our peppermint experiment with the mice all worked out (See Things that Go Bump).

Yesterday morning we woke up to one dropping left on the counter, so we called it a success! (I am surprised because I probably used enough peppermint for a 5 mile radius!)

We put one more cotton ball soaked with peppermint oil in another spot that we found and then sprayed the peppermint oil/water mixture (much less this time!) on the counters, etc.

Peppermint oil soaked cotton ball in its hiding place.

It was so nice to be able to be in the living room without hearing some random noises!

When we got up this morning….MORE SUCCESS!  NO DROPPINGS AT ALL!  My husband thought that he heard something during the night but, since mice poop wherever they go, they left no evidence.

Also, so nice not having to clean the entire kitchen, again, as soon as we got up!

I owe all my success to you (and Google)!

(Just in case you were wondering on mixing ratios: we found it was 1 T peppermint oil for 1 cup  of water.  Mixture should be stored in the fridge to help the peppermint last longer.  (We started using a regular spray bottle from the dollar bins at Target but it broke the second day so we switched to the blue glass bottle in the picture).  You should only have to resaturate the cotton balls every 1-2 weeks or so.)

Things That Go Bump

Have you ever heard those random noises that usually come at night? The ones that you can’t quite place what they are?  The ones that make you turn down the TV, or stop what you’re doing to go investigate?  Most of the time those noises can be attributed to the house settling, the heat turning on, the refrigerator, etc.  But every once in a while you get those ones that you can’t quite place and have to go and become a detective.

I seem to have the hearing of a dog because I can hear all of those.  It doesn’t matter if the TV is on or if we’re sleeping, I can hear everything, which means that I usually have to go investigate too.  If I can’t place a noise, I have to go and figure out what is making that and then log that noise in my mind for later knowledge.

Unfortunately, if it’s a noise that can’t be placed, it’s usually a noise you wish you didn’t hear.

About a month ago I heard some strange banging coming from our heater.  (We live in an older, small home and do not have central heat so the heater is attached from the floor and hangs down into the basement).  Since I’d never heard that type of noise before I had to go investigate in the basement.  It’s a good thing I did because I went down the stairs to find a squirrel looking at me.  It had fallen down the chimney while trying to build a nest and ended up in our basement.  Long story short, I chased it up the stairs and out the front door.

Friday night I heard some strange noise in the kitchen in the middle of the night.  I was woken up by thunder before the rain came and while I was lying awake heard a rustling coming from either our kitchen or our living room.  I ignored it the first time  but when my husband lifted his head to look towards the kitchen I knew it was a noise that neither one of us recognized.  I decided to get up and look.  I saw nothing; no source for my noise.  I even turned on the light in the living room (btw this was 4:45 am) to look and there was nothing out of place so I went back to bed and didn’t hear the noise again.

Last night (Saturday) my husband and I were sitting on the couch and he was watching the NCAA games and we both heard the same scratching/rustling noise coming from the kitchen.  I got up, turned on the lights and saw nothing so I attributed it to something outside in the leaves.  Not 5 minutes later we heard it again. I got up again and nothing.  We knew that we had mice in the basement (as we’d found some dead ones before) but we’d never had them in our living level.  Since we never saw one in the kitchen we figured it was crawling in the wall to go from the basement to the attic or vice versa.  I’m fine with that.  They can be in the basement or attic butpleasedon’t come into my living area.  We both heard a couple more noises during the night but we ignored them…knowing we wouldn’t find anything.

This morning, our thoughts were confirmed.  We do, in fact, have mice in our kitchen.  We were greeted with droppings on our counters, cutting board, and in the sink.  Thankfully, we didn’t have any food out so they couldn’t really get into anything but we still had to scrub and disinfect the entire kitchen.  We researched ‘how to get rid of mice’ (without using traps-I don’t want to see them or change those traps!-or poison).  We found that they hate the smell of peppermint.  Well, we just happened to have some peppermint essential oil which we used to saturate a few cotton balls and put those at, where we thought, their point of entry could be.  Just before it gets dark we’re going to spray some peppermint mixed with water around the kitchen so they hopefully stay away.

Now we wait. (I’ll let you know if the peppermint does anything but crossing our fingers!)

There was one other time that we also heard noises and they turned out to be bats in our attic…yippe.

Oh, by the way, here’s a list of pests we’ve had in this house:

Squirrel

Bats

Mice

Earwigs (YUCK!)

Ants

Those are pretty normal I guess but they’re never fun to deal with but just once I’d like the noise to turn out to be something we’d like to find!

Seriously?!

Seriously?  Seriously?  You have got to be kidding me.

This morning I went to the website Huffingtonpost.com to get my daily source of news and I see this on the front page:

Pink Slime For School Lunch: Government Buying 7 Million Pounds Of Ammonia-Treated Meat For Meals

“Pink slime — that ammonia-treated meat in a bright Pepto-bismol shade — may have been rejected by fast food joints like McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Burger King, but is being brought in by the tons for the nation’s school lunch program.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is purchasing 7 million pounds of the “slime” for school lunches, The Daily reports. Officially termed “Lean Beef Trimmings,” the product is a ground-up combination of beef scraps, cow connective tissues and other beef trimmings that are treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens like salmonella and E. coli. It’s then blended into traditional meat products like ground beef and hamburger patties.

Controversy surrounding “pink slime” stems from various safety concerns, particularly dangers associated with ammonium hydroxide, which can both be harmful to eat and has potential to turn into ammonium nitrate — a common component in homemade bombs, according to MSNBC. It’s also used in household cleaners and fertilizers.”

Wait a minute...something doesn't make sense here....

So somehow the USDA has decided that THIS is an acceptable food source for our children.  Even after it was REJECTED by McDonalds, Taco Bell, and Burger King!  Seriously?  Taco Bell, one of the GROSSEST fast food places in my opinion, decided not to use it but it’s fit to feed kids for school lunches.

How…What…REALLY?!  It’s so hard to wrap my head around this enough to form coherent sentences to talk about this.  How is this ok?  The U.S. Department of Agriculture is supposed to tell us what are healthy, good things to eat.  We (the American Public) are supposed be able to trust them.

For me, they lost their credibility a long time ago (Google “Pizza is a vegetable” or “Walnuts are Drugs and Doritos are Heart Healthy“) but this is a whole new level of low.  How can anyone think that ammonium treated meat is safe to eat let alone actually go and purchase this and send it to schools all over the country for our children to eat.

It makes me sick.

A few years ago, a TV show came out called Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and it brought to light what our schools are feeding our children.  Everything is highly processed and full of sugar, salt, and fat.  He woke people up to the fact that there are no fresh fruits or vegetables in any of the school lunches-they’re usually canned (which means processed) and sitting in sugar.

Jamie Oliver even had a section of his show dedicated to the “Pink Slime” to wake up the parents’ to what they’re kids were eating. I really recommend you watch it.  It’s only 6 minutes long but I feel it’s really powerful.

Mmmm...yummy!

I’m not trying to turn you off of meat, necessarily.  I’m just trying to open your eyes to what’s going on.

You can try to ignore this, but it’s not going to go away and it’s not going to get any better.

If you think that you can’t do anything about it, you’re wrong.  Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  Every dollar you spend is a vote.  Vote for healthy food.  Vote for no hormones, no chemicals, and non-factory farmed meat.  Buy local when you can!  Buy organic, grass-fed beef (it is out there and easy to find).

Educate yourself.  Don’t just take one side as absolute truth.

Use your minds. Think for yourself, and for God’s sake, send your kids with cold lunch!

Minorcreations.etsy.com

Thank you to everyone who has been ‘favoriting’ photos on my etsy shop!  It’s good to know that people are able to find them and like them.

If you haven’t checked out MinorCreations on etsy yet please do!  If you like us tell your friends!  If you really like us, order a picture or a set of cards and help us continue to do what we love!

Random Card pack:

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8×10 options (or larger, just convo us for a custom order):

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Thank you so much!

~Sarah

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