There was a small hole in the bottom of the dog food bag. A bit of dog food spilled out on the garage floor. Utah Dad went out to feed the dog and came back in a few minutes later.
"You cleaned up the dog food in the garage, right?" he asked me.
"Someone did. Or some THING. Something probably got in the garage when you left the door open the other day."
The spilled dog food continued to be "cleaned up" over the next week. Utah Dad continued to accuse me of cleaning up the mess trying to make him believe there was a creature dwelling in our garage. I wish it was just a joke. When that bag of dog food was gone, we stored the next bag in the house and for the last month we didn't have to actually see the signs of an intrusion.
Traditionally, we set up and decorate our Christmas tree on the Monday following Thanksgiving. Yesterday, Utah Dad pulled out all our Christmas decorations from the garage. (You see right away where this is going.) While I was busy fluffing the branches of our hand-me-down fake Christmas tree, Utah Dad was going through a big box of decorations. He pulled out our stockings (handmade and individualized by my mom), the children's Fisher Price Little People Nativity set, and the star for the top of the tree. As he continued to dig through the box he discovered that a decoration (I still can't figure out which one) had been shredded into very tiny bits of fuzz.
I freaked out. "Get it out! Get that box out of my house right now!" I did the "I-hate-rodents" creep-out dance while my kids laughed at me. I feel about mice/rats/hamsters/gerbils/opossums as Utah Dad feels about spiders. If you know Utah Dad or any of his family members, you will understand what I mean.
Utah Dad went through the remainder of the box on the front porch outside. Most of the decorations went in the garbage. As he reached the bottom of the box, he opened the door and invited the rest of us to have a peek. There was a huge pile of dog food and in one corner was a warm and cozy, formerly-a-Christmas-decoration nest (it's inhabitant was possibly a relative of the Easter mouse that tried to take up residence in our bedroom closet in a previous mouse overrun house--a story for another time). Out of the nest poked two beady little eyes and a whiskered nose. I ran back inside where I did the creep-out dance again.
Amberly thought the mouse was cute. Neal told me about some of his friends who have rats and mice for pets. What the heck is wrong with people? I'm getting the chills as I sit here.
Reminded of the Easter mouse, Utah Dad decided not to kill this mouse and just dumped it over the back fence (so it can come back). Ewwww.
We did eventually get around to decorating the house for Christmas. I keep waiting for another rodent to jump out of the tree National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation style. I'd be the lady screaming hysterically while jumping on the couch.