Posted by: raisingmustardseeds | September 30, 2010

A penny here; A dollar there

Spent the eve of my 14th wedding anniversary facing one of my fears….

That’s the insulation covering the unfinished part of our basement.  It has seen better days.  We needed it taken down so that the insulation guys can spray insulation foam in its place to better insulate that part of the basement.  MS dad and I had back & forth discussions on whether to take it down ourselves or get the pros to do the dirty work for us.  Why the hesitation on our part?  Well, as I said, the insulation has seen better days.

There were areas that were obviously used by our little friends in the past (and perhaps presently). You could see chewed up areas and areas filled with droppings. Nasty stuff.

The quote to get the pros to dispose of the stuff? $250. And MS dad was quite willing to pay the guys to do it, so that we (well more he, because I volunteered to leave the house when/if he was taking it down) wouldn’t have to deal with it.

But before we could get the guys to come in, we had to move stuff out of the storage room. So I spent the day, with the children helping, moving things out and around so that the walls would be accessible. And as I finished clearing the space, I had the most dreadful thought….

“Maybe it won’t be SO bad.” (doing it ourselves) I hummed and I hawwed.

“We would save $250.” Hum Haw

“Wonder if there are any mice behind right now? Alive, dead, decomposed, dehydrated skeletons???” Hum and haw some more.

“But that’s $250 we can save.”

OK. I talk to myself.  A lot.  And finally, I decided that I wasn’t going to fork over the $250 just for some men to pull the insulation down.   I got my gloves, a few face masks, a whack of black garbage bags, called my dog to come with me 🙂 , and closed the door to the rest of the basement (in case we had some furry friends who tried to escape into my living space).  Before I pulled out the vapour barrier (the plastic that holds the insulation batting in place), I went around banging on the batts with a long stick (giving notice to my friends, hahaha)  To my relief, no scuttling noises could be heard.

I started in an area which looked the cleanest (no chewed up areas, or visible poop).  It really wasn’t that bad.  There were some heart-stopping moments – when I thought I heard some rustling, and totally freaked out, only to find that it was just the vapour barrier that was swishing against my arm.
This, above, shows half of the longest wall that I had to do.  There were some really gross batts in here.  The places that had lots of chewed up stuff were the most stressful.  I took those batts down REALLY slowly, almost peeling it away from the wall and at the same time peering behind it to make sure nothing was going to jump out at me, or to prepare myself for some dead bodies.  Thankfully, nothing like that….

until I got to this one batt…

That’s about as close-up as I was going to get to this.  It looks like some bloodied dehydrated baby mouse or something.  Or innards. Yuck.  I left that section alone, and did the rest of the room.

MS dad came back from work and I was still not done.  There were areas up in the headers (top of the basement ceiling) that I couldn’t get to.  Not tall enough, even with high stool, and some batts I had to pull out “blind”, as in reaching blindly into dark crevices,   Not nice, especially, when a whole ton of poop comes dropping on you when the batts come out.

Anyway, MS dad was kind enough to help me finish up.  The batt with the mouse stuck to it was the last one to come down.  Guess who pulled it down?

BOTH of us. 🙂  One on each side, gingerly pulling it off the wall and directly into the garbage bag I got MS dad to hold up.

Happy 14th wedding anniversary, MS Dad!

It’s been an adventure being married to you, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

Footnote: Since we saved $250, we decided to treat ourselves to an anniversary lunch.  Went to the closest Japanese restaurant we could find (15 minutes away).  It was surprisingly decent, (well, except for those fried fish balls that looked like meatballs in bbq sauce…wierd), and best of all we spent only $40.  Much better than a $150 dinner we were thinking of having at a fancy dancy “ang mo” restaurant.


  1. you are too brave for words. i would immediately spend the money but i know my husband would DIY. I cannot tell you enough how much roaches freak me out and mice, would just be the last straw, i would vacant the house!

    • Now if a snake appeared in my house, I think I’ll lose it completely.

      I was just informed by my husband that there could possibly be another little mouse in our pantry – he heard some rustling last night.

      Sigh. The cooler weather is here, and the little micey want to come in to play.

  2. bravo to you, my friends 🙂
    thank you for blessing me with updates of your lives so whatever you decide on your time management with this blog, know that we are in full support although it may mean I have to learn to wait more patiently.

    • Hey Janet,

      haha. Thank you for being my faithful reader. 🙂 I think I’m going to try to blog once a week. Last week was “exam and rest week”, which accounts for the couple of posts I was able to put in.

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