well there goes my "be in bed by 1:30am" idea.
another late night. ugh.

i was sitting here, listening to some jrock. when out of the corner of my eye, i see a black shadow. on the wall to my left.
i'm used to seeing any manner of thing moving in my peripheral vision. i'm adept at spotting spiders and other insects. we live in the country, so i'm always on alert for creepy crawlies. my eyes just know. i see things. (bugs. it's almost always bugs)

but tonight's shadow was big. and all i could think was OH HELL NO.

i turned and saw it with my two eyes.

a small mouse. it was crawling diagonally down the brick wall and going behind the frame of the fireplace.

all i could do was stand up and utter "oh my gosh" about three times. and stare.

thankful my mom was still awake and heard me and came and helped me.
when there's something creepy/crawly, one person has to watch to make sure the thing doesn't escape or run and hide elsewhere. the other person has to get the weapon or trap. (this is the standard procedure for wolf spiders and roaches, and now mice)
so i watched the wall and fireplace while she got a sticky trap.

i knew the frame was kind of loose around the fireplace.
but it never mattered, because dad had blocked off the fireplace about 2 years ago. the drafts coming down it were annoying and we never used the fireplace anyway.....

but... oh i dunno around january or february when i was vacuuming, i decided to vacuum out all the dust, cobwebs, spiders and things from in there. and i cleaned it up.
oh i remember. there was a slight leak. water was dripping down. i cleaned it up in there and put in a big plastic cup to catch any more drips.
dad fixed something or other and no more drips really.

anyway. i've cleaned in there a few times this year.

since putting in the cup, i would hear little sounds of rust or stone falling into the cup in the fireplace.
dad assured me it was just those things. nothing more.

lately i'd hear these little sounds of rusty junk falling in the chimney/fireplace.
more and more.

and just tonight before i was listening to music, i was im-ing a friend and i heard this sound of a tone. like when you tap a glass to make a music tone. it was lower than a glass cup.
it freaked me out. because it came from the fireplace.
ain't nothing supposed to be in there. and nothing to make that sound (the doors of it are glass.. btw)
i told myself it was mom watching tv upstairs and that for some reason the sound traveled past me to the wall first to ricochet back to me. (my right side is closer to the upstairs... so... i should hear the sound before it bounces back)

but then, seeing the mouse. all the clues have come together.
i hypothesize that somehow, a mouse or mice have come down thru the chimney and gotten through whatever blocking my dad has put in place.
did they cause the leak? or did they move in after? i don't know.
more likely this is a new thing (as fall is coming and that's when critters try to come in and make nests).... they've probably only been actively nesting up in there for a couple weeks tops.

the ding/tone i heard was probably the mouse hitting something on the fireplace door. perhaps as it sneaked out of the loose side. i'm not sure how it got out without my seeing it. but i sure as heck saw it going back in.

*shudder*

so now i can't go to sleep. not for a bit. *sigh*

edit. so i sat here all quiet like for a while. and now it's come out of hiding. it's crawling around in the fireplace and looks like it's trying to escape.
i've put in a 2nd sticky trap, but this one has a peanut stuck in the middle of it.