Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Blame it on the mice October 19, 2016

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:33 PM
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A close-up of art in the Hickory, dickory, dock rhyme.

A close-up of art in the Hickory, dickory, dock rhyme, part of a “The Story Books of Christmas” exhibit at the Owatonna Art Center in 2011. Minnesota Prairie Roots file photo.


I’ve been off the grid for a few days because I’ve been without a computer. Issues began Sunday evening with the computer not responding.

After a call to my in-house techie, who lives in the Boston area and is therefore truly not in-house, I was advised to shut off the computer manually. Monday morning the computer booted up just fine. But then the same thing happened; it wouldn’t respond.

Frustrated and not willing to wait until Christmas, when the son may or may not be back in Minnesota, I called a local expert, Geek Central. I am smart enough to realize that when a computer shows the symptoms that mine exhibited, I shouldn’t ignore the issues.

Monday afternoon apprentice Josh Sorenson was dispatched to pick up my computer, which then underwent extensive testing. No issues were found, a relief to me. But what was the deal? Why did I have problems? The computer worked fine for the Geek guys.

My husband planned to pick up the computer on his way home from work today when Geek Central owner John Rowan called to say Josh would drop it off. I was relieved as neither Randy or I knew which wires/cables went where on the computer tower. After Josh reconnected everything and turned on the computer and I tried it, same thing—the computer was not responding.

That’s when I asked, “Could it be the mouse?”

Turns out it was and now, thanks to Josh, I have a new mouse. He didn’t leave my house until he was certain everything worked. That’s what I call great customer service. This 23-year-old recent college grad, who is passionate about working with computers, also has two other jobs—at a local grocery store and a pizza place. He dreams of bringing more technology jobs and technological innovations to Faribault. In my brief time with Josh, I have no doubt he will do that. He seems a determined young man.

I am appreciative of Geek Central for doing such a thorough job in checking out my computer. And I am especially grateful for the outstanding customer service. That’s what I love about keeping my business local.

That the problem proved to be a mouse does not surprise me. You see, we’ve had a bit of a mouse problem in our house recently. About a month ago, a foul odor in the basement suggested a dead mouse. After much searching, Randy found a dead mouse in the furnace. It’s the second one that has managed to crawl into the furnace in recent years. That discovery necessitated a call to a local heating and cooling company to assure no wires had been chewed. The responding tech, ironically also named Josh, shared that, yes, he sees dead mice in furnaces this time of year.

Finally, just this past week, I discovered mouse droppings in an upstairs bedroom closet along with a chewed up Crayola crayon box. I dispatched Randy to check out the invasion. He discovered that a mouse had carried crayons from the top closet shelf to the other side of the closet and stashed them behind boxes. And…the mouse also chewed beads from a lamp shade.

I’ve had it with mice.

Yours truly,


© Copyright 2016 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


26 Responses to “Blame it on the mice”

  1. Sounds like you need a cat or two or three

  2. Don Says:

    Pat yourself on the back for determining it was a mouse problem! Think about it, you may be a beginning techie!

  3. Marilyn Says:

    Such cute little critters – yuck! How did it ever come about that we handle one every day (a mouse, notice it is never plural mice). For instance, the tech guy just took delivery of a box of mouses he ordered.

  4. Jackie Says:

    Those darn mice anyway, We have been lucky to never have one in our house, but the garage has seen it’s fair share, as long as they stay out there Im fine with it! Glad you have your computer back and working 🙂

  5. Beth Ann Says:

    I wondered if something was up because you were not “around” like normal. Glad you got the computer issue worked out with a pretty simple fix and what a creative mouse you have / had (hopefully) living in your closet. Ugh. Mice are no good. You need a cat. 🙂

    • You are the second reader to suggest I get a cat. If I could borrow a cat during mouse season, sending the cat home at night, that might work. But then if the cat caught a mouse, uh, yeah, I wouldn’t like dealing with that. If a cat could keep the mice from entering the house, yeah, that’s what I would want.

      Our creative mouse did not leave any artwork in the closet and apparently has left in search of more tasty morsels.

      Yes, I am thankful the computer fix turned out to be an easy one.

  6. Dan Traun Says:

    Good thing it was something simple.

  7. Mouse problems – what a pain!

  8. treadlemusic Says:

    LOL!!!! “Mice” certainly have a way of interrupting our ‘dailies’!!!!!! With our home located just a few feet from the wind-break & adjoining cornfield, the “invasions” over the years have presented many instances of “whose house is this, anyway?!”. Thanks to a local pest control company, the situation has been more controlled in recent days as has been the onslaught of beetles and bugs. Hmmmmmm…….staking out territory/turf is not just for our pioneers of days long gone!!!!!!!!!

  9. Bernadette Thomasy Says:

    Love the illustration for your mouse tales. I am glad it was not me dealing with critters; I had enough of those experiences while growing up on the farm.

    • Me, too. I remember hearing mice scratching inside the walls when I was trying to fall asleep.

      The worst mouse farm story is that of my dad. He picked up a straw bale only to have a mouse exit and race up the pant leg of his bib overalls. Dad’s fear of mice transferred to his children.

  10. Almost Iowa Says:

    I’ve been off the grid too. After two years of retirement, I’ve re-entered the workforce. Working in the scale house of the family farm. I love it.

    Oh…for mice, bait the traps with peanut butter. The little critters find it irresistible.

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