Not that I want to discourage houseguests. At least, not the houseguests I'm expecting on Thursday; my sister and my niece are coming for a few days and I'm very excited.
My niece is going to be sleeping in the parlor. Despite the fact that we have eight bedrooms. It's . . . complicated.
Anyway, she's going to be sleeping in the parlor. The parlor is not a room we use very much, and so it is not a room that I clean very much. Or, uh, at all. In fact, I can't remember the last time I actually cleaned in there. It doesn't get very dirty, since it doesn't get used, but still, I thought it would be good form to at least remove some of the cobwebs and vacuum in there before I turned it into a temporary bedroom for a family member.
So off I went with my vacuum and dust rag while Charlie busied himself elsewhere*. I industriously vacuumed away the multitudes of spider webs and spiders and moved on to the floor. In the course of my vacuuming, I had to move this big old umbrella stand we have under the window in the parlor. It's heavy ceramic, hollow with an open bottom and a hole in the top for the umbrellas and I think quite valuable--which is why it's in the parlor, where the children rarely go--and almost never gets moved. But because I was being virtuous and thorough, I picked it up and moved it aside to vacuum under it.
Which is when I found the very dead and dessicated mouse.
That's an extra-large and super-emphatic OH MY GOD SO GROSS.
I suppose it scurried up the side of the stand, then fell through the hole in the top and couldn't get back out. Obviously, this must have happened in the winter, when the temperature in the parlor is routinely below freezing and so the smell of a decaying rodent would be lessened.
Needless to say, I was very thorough in my cleaning of the room from then on and I am pleased to say that I didn't discover anything else too nasty.
I'm expecting my Excellent Housekeeping award any day now.
* And by "busied himself," I mean, "pulled my large container of Vaseline off the dresser and gouged out great greasy gobs of it while sitting on our bed." I suppose I should be grateful he only smeared it on his clothes and the sheets rather than on anything not washable, but I was finding gratitude to be somewhat difficult to summon in that moment.