Mummified Mice and Enigmatic Writing: Basement Remodel Part 2

Okay, okay, I did catch a bit of flak after all–I did leave you all hanging a bit after that last post, since I had promised you mummified mice pictures and all. But you all know how I can go on and on and on and on and on

and on

and on

about things. I’m trying to do you all a favor, by writing shorter posts, you see.

It’s not working out very well.

I just have a lot to SAY. And I enjoy the writing process so much. Putting the words down to paper and then reading and changing up what I just wrote. It’s just so much fun to me.

Here’s something that I’ve learned about myself: if I am enjoying what I’m doing (writing, drawing, playing the piano, reading to little Mack, cooking, baking, pulling out slivers), I don’t hurry to get to the end. I just relax and enjoy the process. This gets me into trouble time and again. However, If I’m doing something I don’t particularly enjoy (cleaning, let’s say, paying bills, cleaning out the cat box, hauling wood in sub-zero temps) then I do it as quickly as I can, so I can get-it-over-with.

Can anybody relate with me on this, or is it just me?

Anyway. I know why you clicked on this post, and that is so you’d get to see the mummified mice pictures, and I will not disappoint you two days in a row. If you didn’t read Part 1 of this Basement Remodel Saga, you really ought to and you can find it by clicking here.

To recap: Amalia and I pushed our fears roughly aside and spent a dusty, dirty hour or three pulling down ancient (I think it pre-dated Noah, to be honest) dusty, dirty insulation from our basement ceiling. I love it when I find treasure in our house, and I have found plenty (but that’s another story for another time). But when Amalia and I pulled down the old insulation, we found some beautiful old-wood beams holding up our house and two (count ’em, two) mummified mice, and some old chalk writing.

Treasure? Well, maybe not, but fairly interesting finds, you must admit. And I must remind you that old saying, Treasure is in the Eye of the Beholder. That’s how it goes, right?

Here’s the first mouse we found. I’d say this is a true mummy, in its entirety just completely dried out and preserved. It weighs nearly nothing. I think it’s awesome.

I named him Yorick, so I could say "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well."

I named him Yorick, so I could say “Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well.” Even though I actually didn’t know him. Not well, anyway.

Probably an old mouse who died a peaceful, quiet death. You can tell how relaxed he was when he . . . moved on to his eternal reward. Pretty cool, eh? Now aren’t you glad you stopped by today?

And here’s the second fellow we found. I don’t think he’s a true mummy (I know a couple of boys who would argue this point) because part of him is rotted away. And I have the feeling his death was not as beautiful as the first guy. He seems a bit frazzled, kind of like me, in the mornings, during Christmas season.

This one I just called "Jerry."

This one I just called “Jerry.” Yup. I feel like this most mornings.

I’m sorry about the gristly nature of these photos. Kind of. This is blogging at its finest, though, I assure you. I do. If you didn’t know it before, you know it know: only the truly great blog posts contain gritty, graphic photos like these.

Do the other blogs you read contain such interesting things? No? Hmm. Better re-think what you’re reading, dear, patient Gentle Reader.

But there’s more! Here’s something else we found:



On the expanse of the hundred-and-more-year-old ceiling, one word is inscribed in chalk: “pies.” You know what this means, don’t you? Two things, I reckon:

1. The man who wrote the word was like me, in that he was hurrying through this difficult task–building the depot–by dreaming about the reward at the end: pies. Maybe it was the day before Thanksgiving. Or the day after Christmas. Or maybe his wife, he knew, was at home making him a mincemeat pie for supper. In any case, that was what was on his mind, as he worked. Pies.

2. Being pie-obsessed, he was clearly related to the Young family (my people), whose dreaming of pie and making of pie and talking about pie, is quite well known.

Pies from last Thanksgiving: 17!

So that’s what we found hidden underneath the insulation in our basement ceiling. I have a feeling that more treasures just are waiting for us as we continue toiling on our basement remodel . . . I’ll keep you posted, Gentle Reader!

As is my wont, I’m linking this post with that cool weekly event, the Blog Hop over at The Prairie Homestead. I learn something new every week there, and I’m quite sure that you would, too! Hop on over!

16 thoughts on “Mummified Mice and Enigmatic Writing: Basement Remodel Part 2

  1. rita

    Those are cool mouse pics! Not that I hate mice and want to see them all dead. In my house, with two cats, one of whom is the culprit, usually all I find is a tail to tell the tale. I like it much better when I find the little guy trapped in a corner, am able to get him under a bowl and can give him that precious second chance. I put them out, envisioning a welcome home party somewhere, hopefully not in the garage. Probably he knows exactly how he got in and will be ‘back in 5’.

  2. Anne Dovel

    What fun! 🙂
    Here’s what I imagine…they were having a social during the building of the Depot and used planks on sawhorses for tables, and to keep it organized, someone with lovely handwriting, indicated where the pies should be.

  3. Caro Nesd

    Great mice pictures. And I love wood so the beam is better still. I think your absent writer was doing the roof while dreaming of the food he would get when he got home so meant to write “Ties” as an instruction to his construction assistants but ended up putting “Pies” by mistake….

  4. Francene Stanley

    I immediately thought the word pies came from a re-used piece of timber. Originally it was on a stack destined to the pie-maker. But in their haste to get home for Christmas, the workers grabbed the wrong plank.
    Love the first mummified mouse. You’ll have to let your readers know what fete awaits the splendid find.

  5. Alana (@RamblinGarden)

    How about a writing contest: topic is, why was “pies” written on the board? Your explanations are too funny. First prize is one of your pies!

    As for the mummified mice, what can I say. I’ve found dead ones in my basement from time to time and if you hear screams coming from the east, you now know why. Again, you have the most original posts. My flower pictures stand in awe!

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