Wednesday, April 30, 2008

An infamous random post

Matt and Oceana at the park last week.

Ice cream at Burger King. I wouldn't let her touch me with those sticky fingers!
We bought her a lollipop later in the day and I ended up opening the new pack of wipes while we were still in the grocery store, because she wanted picked up. Ew - 2 year out stickies.

One of the loser shots that didn't make it.

This was almost the winner, but I wish I'd caught just a bit more of my face/chin.

I was thinking about everyone (blogland) today and realized that most of you probably don't understand my issues with a dirty/cluttered house the way my close friends do.

*This is catergorized under deadly honestly*

New Zealand is subtropical (on the North Island anyways). So that means it rarely frosts and thus our bugs don't die out each season. I know that in the North East of the US, where I'm from, all the bugs die out each winter, because it's so cold. It serves as a bit of a "pest control system" because you only have one-years-worth at a time.

Not the case for sub-tropical. It's wet here - sort of like a semi-rainforest climate. Very Seattle in that there's ALWAYS rain. So stuff grows like weeds, and the "vermits" increase and thrive.

Having "pest" problems isn't the stigma here that it is in the US, because it's a constant battle. We had mice once or twice when I was a kid in Virginia. But it was never a constant concern.

Our first winter in New Zealand (2006) I ended up with a few mice. I set the traps (peanut butter and raisins baby!) and dealt with the issue. It freaked me out. I could set the traps, but if I heard them snap or found them with "occupants" I'd send Matt to deal with them. And being the fabulous, caring husband he is, he has (more than once) chased me around the house with an occupied trap in hand. AK!

In early 2007, I had more mice issues, so out the traps came again. And then one morning I discovered a plastic tub (that I used for compost/scraps and emptied every few days) with a hole in the corner. Larger than I would have thought for a mousehole. Yeah, well it was too big. I was sitting at the computer a few days later when I heard something and turned to look in the kitchen. I'd had one of my I'm-not-doing-the-dishes-tonight evenings and as I turned I saw a RAT eating on my dishes. OH GOOD GRIEF! I grabbed the camera, zoomed it, took a picture (so Matt wouldn't try to tell me I was tired and imaging that it was bigger than it was) and then made all sorts of noise.

I couldn't use rat poison because we had a labrador that eats EVERYTHING and Oceana who had just turned 1. I was afraid one of them would get really sick if I used it. So instead, I bought an old-school rat trap (just a HUGE mousetrap) and set it. The next morning I found it, cleaned off and empty. No joke. That stupid rat had eaten everything off - like shiny clean - and the trap hadn't gone off. So loosened the mechanism, reset it and was disgusted to find (after going for a walk) that "it" had started to clean it off again. And I reset it. I couldn't sleep, I could barely deal to be in my kitchen. And then one night we were watcing TV when we heard the trap snap. I sent Matt in to deal with it, and we found a "trapped-but-not-dead" rat. Long story short, it was disgusting, horrible, and it ruined my 22nd birthday (it was the evening of my birthday, horrid bday).

And then when we moved to this house - the first few days - I found enormous cockroaches. I freaked out! They were huge - like the ones you see in movies. We called the landlord to have the place sprayed, and she was out of town. I got some advice from friends about not keeping the windows on the ground floor open at night and we stopped seeing them. (BTW - they all died - except the one I put out IN the rubbish, coz I saw him in there and tied the bag up tight). I'm pretty sure now that they were wood roaches (which is a real thing in New Zealand, they're outdoors bugs - but they'll come inside if they can). The house has since been sprayed (outside) and I haven't seen anymore evidence of bugs. But THAT is why I'm so stressed out by mess/dirt/dishes. Because I've had my share of pest problems, and I get totally strung out when we have issues with them.

So anyways, now that you're sure i'm the nastiest housekeeper ever - please remember it's an uphill battle in a subtropical climate. EW EW EW EW EW

Did I make your skin crawl yet? Go wash your dishes. It'll make you feel better.

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  1. The part about Matt chasing you around with the "occupied" trap cracked me up. Not that it's FUNNY in the least, but it amused me nevertheless. :)

  2. Ew, ew, ew, ew, ew...EWW!!! I am so sorry you have to deal with those kinds of critters! And I thought the ocassional spider was bad! (Currently I have a spider with a yellow dot trapped under a cup until my hubby gets home to kill it for me! I just can't do it!!) And we clean all the time!

    Goes to show no matter how tidy the house may be, bugs still come. Or mice. Or rats. But I am glad I have not had rats. When we did have a mouse (sticky traps work amazing for catching them) I thought I would be committed for going cleaning crazy. That dumb mouse, just one, pooped everywhere - silverware drawer, bathroom drawers, carpet, closet floor, anywhere it could find - and it chewed a hole in our brand new carpet. Argh. Sometimes I wonder what God was thinking when He created certain animals/bugs/etc. He must get a good laugh out of seeing us crazy trying to get rid of them. :o)

  3. can I say yuck! I cant imagine!! I am HORRIBLE with anything tiny ... especially tiny and dead in my house... We used to live in a trailer and had a couple mice that we caught and I honestly have a physical reaction to that... I get nervous and shaky and could hurl- My wonderful husband has gotten a few calls at work to come home ASAP when I found a dead bird in the yard and refused to go when a bird flew down the chimney into my wood stove! Its really sad. That said... I still have a psychotic reaction if my house isnt clean and I dont even have to deal with the joys that you do!! But I think I will go do my dishes on another note... Im going to message you on facebook- I have a question and since your really the only one I 'talk' to on blogland thought Id ask you ,

    Good luck with those pests- I cant imagine ! : )

  4. Ok I have to say I do get a kick out of reading your blogs. This last one made me laugh.. I live in florida and we have the huge nasty roaches.. I have taught my son how to turm on the vac and suck them up with the hose. Of course they are just awful in the summer. Thank god the dogs get the rats. We live with a creek in our back yard and lots of trees around us. Its nasty that is for sure. I know how you feel about the house being clean. I do my best to keep the dishes done and everything cleaned off in the kitchen because my big fear are ants... I hate them and once they come it takes forever to get rid of them.. I feel your pain.. Its a never ending battle.

  5. I will never forget when I saw my first roach. I was eight years old and hadn't even heard of them. My mom had remaried a military man and we were promptly stationed in Florida - yes, I understand the tropical wildlife very well.

    So, we were still living in temporary quarters and we were supposed to be going somewhere. My parents told us to go get in the car and we did, then waited and waited. I decided to go back inside and see what was taking my mom so long and there on the porch was a normal Florida roach, a good 2 inches long, reddish-black and shiny and I screamed. This is the only time in my life I remember every screaming and screaming and screaming with utter fright.

    Needless to say, it was the last time since my step-dad calmly kicked it away, told me what it was and that I'd be seeing them often.

    Forward to my highschool years during which I lived on the tropical island of Okinawa, Japan. The roaches were even bigger (you can HEAR them moving), more plentiful, and came in a few different varieties. Add to these a variety of centipedes, and huge spiders, like banana spiders, mice, rats, shrews, snakes and more.

    Hey, did I mention lizards? Gekkos in particular? If they are in the house, you leave them there because they will eat the bugs.

    Yes, I understand you completely, Susie!

  6. Geez Susie, now all the hair on the back of my neck is standing on end.....I HATE bugs and rodents!

    I did have a couple of pet rats when I was 17, but those were different.

    You know those giant wooden spoons and forks that used to be popular kitchen decor (like in the 70's I think) - the mom & dad on Everybody Loves Raymond have some in their kitchen - anyway, my husband once killed a mouse by whacking it with one of those spoons. GROSS.

    I don't think you're a terrible housekeeper at all - I think you're a busy mom who wants her house to look nice. BTW, I took your orders and washed the dishes. LOL

  7. We rented a house once where I heard scrabbling under the floor and discovered there were either rats or very large mice nesting there! I set a trap, because DD, who was 2 at the time, would get up and wander into our bedroom at night to crawl in our bed--and I started seeing pellets in other rooms.

    One night I heard the trap go off, and this unwordly screaming as the undead rat ran wildly around the kitchen attached to the trap. It probably lasted only 10 minutes, but it felt like hours. I gathered DD up into the bed with us and didn't get out til morning. Since J-Man is handicapped, disposing of said vermin was up to me. I hope never to have to deal with that again! ~~~Shudder~~~

  8. When I saw the pic's you posted from your get a way weekend I was jealous and thought I wish I lived their NOT ANY MORE!!!! not after your rodant and bugs story and the fact that the climate doesn't help control them, YIKES!!! now I'm praying "PLEASE LORD, PLEASE DON'T ANSWER THE PRAYER OF ME WANTING TO LIVE IN NEW ZEALAND" :) love you though!! and I DID WASH MY DISHES ha! ha! I washed them before your story :) so now I don't have to creepp into my kitchen wondering if some of your little pests caught a ride to my house through the BLOGS Ha! HA! ha! (lol) :)

  9. the end of this post made mr laugh.... ha ha.

  10. Susie, I am going to throw up and I do have the creepy crawlies. The reason being is there was a solid 2 1/2 months at my house when I was younger where we had a rat problem. NY RAT problem. AHHHH. I'm telling you I can really close to sleeping on the roof. I thought for sure there couldn't be any rats up there. But funny story did come out of it. My mom and I were taking a walk and right around the house, a big old rat came and ran around her feet and she started running like Forrest Gump. Hilarious. but I feel ya, I hate the bugs. We seem to have a problem with spiders. Lots of daddy long legs on the ceiling. Yuck. The vacuum works wonders :-) Love ya!

    Oh ya and tell Matt that if he chases you again with a rat/mouse trap something bad is going to happen. I would be personally disappointed in you if you didn't do something back. Come on Susie, think of Elim days.

  11. That makes my occasional tiny cockroach way less disturbing.

  12. Mental Note: Do not vacation in the rainforest. They have cockroaches. Huge ones. And rats. Smart ones. Vacation somewhere it hovers around -10 F. I might be cold, but it will be bug free.