Mice

We have had a mouse issue lately. A while back a field adjacent to our neighborhood was cleared and since then there have been mouse sightings at night. We also had a couple of entry points where we’ve made changes to plumbing, etc. and it appears that they moved into the garage. I first noticed them on the patio, when I would go out to take something to the trash at night.

Then the wind chimes in the atrium started ringing on nights when there wasn’t wind enough to move them. Besides, wind chimes blowing in the wind sound much different than wind chimes clanging because something has landed on the pole. The Spouse saw them jumping onto the pole late one night.

Soon bad things started happening to my plants:

20160919_171446.jpg

They started to eat the leaves off of everything. They ate my tomatoes. They ate all the leaves off of my hyacinth beans. They ate the new growth off of almost everything. They started eating my precious succulents. Ack!

After that I started blocking off the entrance/exits to the garage. I’m kind of glad I didn’t get them all filled in at once. It gave them a chance to get out of the garage. I’m not really interested in having a garage full of mummified mouse corpses.

We’ve also had help in reducing the rodent population from the cats and other predators. The cats have caught two and we’ve found a couple more partial (ew) corpses in the yard. I think that would be our local owl family. Go owls! I’m hoping that between no longer providing a cozy home, the cats and other predators that the mice will decide that they’ll live longer elsewhere. They don’t appear to be getting into the atrium anymore. Plants once eaten to nubs are putting up new growth. Now if they will abandon the main part of the yard I will be much happier.

Down the list

I’ve had this shop on Etsy for several years now. It’s done pretty well, although business fell off pretty dramatically when they changed their policy; I still make money doing it.

I keep an idea book, where I have pictures of things that I like and think I can make. I’ve been putting stuff in the book for years, but really making almost none of it. Finding the time and energy to make stuff has gotten scarcer over the last year due to increased work hours. Finally I put the shop on hold for a few weeks and to take some time to make some new things. I decided to go through the idea book and just start at the first page and work my way through, trying to make at least one of each of the projects in it.

This is the first project. I picked the simplest thing so that I could actually get it done. Finishing something would give me some encouragement to move on to the next item.

20160914_170803.jpg

I’m actually pretty happy with the way these turned out. They’re made out of scrap silver that I end up with from other projects. Now you can collect your scrap and sell it back to jewelry manufacturers and metallurgical companies, but as you can imagine, you don’t your investment back. I melt down my scrap, then hammer it out into disks, then add texture to the disks to make these earrings. So item number one on the make new projects list is done. Let’s see what I can come up with next!

Peeved

20160718_104244.jpg

This little bastard (or bastardette) entirely stripped my macadamia nut tree. To be honest, I haven’t done anything with the nuts in the last couple of years. They are a major pain in the behind to crack. My husband doesn’t understand why I take my anger out on the squirrel, who’s just using what I haven’t. But my husband didn’t take the nuts from his grandmother’s house after she died, plant them and watch them grow for ten years until they actually started bearing nuts. I think I’m a little more invested in them than he is.

Pros and Cons

20160829_183731.jpg

The delachampia dioscoreifolia has been on my questionable list for a while now. Is is worth keeping or should I dig it up and get rid of it. I decided to make a list of pros and cons

Cons:
1. It needs pruning every week. It’s doing what all vines do when they’re happy, trying to take over the world.
2. It has these tiny little spines all over it it and if it brushes up against my skin it leaves itchy red welts. This wouldn’t be so bad if it didn’t need pruning every week.

20160903_140820.jpg

The spines glitter very prettily in the sun, but I’ve learned to prune it with long sleeves on or else.

Pro’s
1. Those Disneyland Tiki Room flowers that look like they’re singing a chorus.

20160829_183813.jpg

2. I use the leaves in jewelry making. Young leaves are an elongated heart shape with well defined veins, perfect for leaf impressions in silver clay.

I’m still undecided.