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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

Mice and Mustard Baths



My scream came probably a full minute after I saw the thing!


I think at first, I was so stunned that I gasped and held my breath instead of screaming. Not that I find screaming helps but neither did the holding of the breath….. just saying.


I was bundled up to go down to the chickens at minus 27 and had turned to the dryer to grab my gloves when I saw it!


It darted out from under the washing machine and scurried around on the floor for about 10 seconds before it darted back under the washing machine. A mouse!


We have been in the house what, 2 years now and never had an issue until now……


The scream was not from fear, but I would guess from absolute frustration! It was that one more thing about farming and pioneering that I just have had enough of! It was the groan of having to work at getting rid of more rodents….. sigh!


We have had such awful experiences with some holiday trailers and mice, then there were the squirrels in the chicken coop, frankly I would simply rather not have to do this inside my house!


I had just put the dogs outside so they did not get to see it, otherwise they might have been pawing under the washing machine to get at it.


Funny how I happened to know that there were several new unused mouse traps located in a bag on top of the dryer so I pulled one out.


I went to the fridge and got the cheese, grabbed a knife and went back to the dryer to cut it out there. I was keeping my eye on that little thing in case it decided to venture out.


I got the trap ready, it was one of the old fashioned ones with the little metal rod you tucked under the platform with the cheese on it. You know the kind that always springs on your fingers before you can actually get it set up. Well after the first time it snapped on my finger, I was not happy, the 2nd and 3rd time got some not good words that I do not think a Bible teacher should even know. By #4 I was almost speechless and in pain and by number 5 I could no longer feel my index finger, this was when the big explosive words came spit firing out (I have repented, begging God for forgiveness)


The trap was set and I took off for the chickens. I was so relieved to see that the chickens had not frozen to death at minus 27 and the coop was not as cold as I had thought, I was thankful for these kind mercies.


I feed the chickens their breakfast and tried to call Brian to fill him in on mouse situation – it was probably best that he did not answer the first 2 times as I was still pretty pistol hot. Not that it is even his fault, but honestly, is not mouse trapping a man’s responsibility? I had thought so……


Anyways, after 1 hour and little mouse deciding not to venture out again for the cheese, I decided to set trap number 2. Sucker for punishment or what…..???


I got the peanut butter this time and low and behold, this trap was a onetime wonder so no fingers got harmed at the setting! It probably had heard my explosives from the first one and decided it should behave.


So here I sit, waiting to hear the sound of “SNAP!”, letting me know I caught the varmint.


When Brian gets home, we WILL be moving the washing machine out to have a good look at how and where that thing came in!


Now about mustard baths….Switching gears here….


I had seen a post on facebook, someone looking for a prepared mustard bath and when I spotted it, I wondered what in the world was that for and how messy would that be!


If you have been reading my blogs for long, you know I am that person, the one who tries a lot of “different” things, especially in body care ideas.


I was off on and running to find out why and how people would do this thing. The person said they “wanted to do the mustard bath before Christmas!” I needed to know why.


It turns out that Mustard baths are not new, no, not at all! They have been using Mustard Baths in England for over 100 years. This is not a mustard plaster, which is different for chest colds.


This is a soak in the bath with a mustard, herbal preparation. You can also soak your feet in a mustard bath concoction instead of a whole bath.


Wikipedia states: “a mustard bath is a traditional therapeutic remedy for tired, stressed muscles, colds, fevers and seizures. The mustard was thought to draw out toxins and warm the muscles, blood and body. It was a standard medical practice up until the first part of the twentieth century and continues to be used in alternative medicine. The ancient Greeks and Romans, Europeans and the Ayurvedic tradition of India have all used mustard in this way. …..”


Any article I found about mustard baths was the same: a great treatment for COLDS, FLU, ACHES, PAINS, ARTHRITIS, AND INSOMNIA.


I had started to feel ill one evening 2 days before Christmas, no one wants to be sick anytime, never mind at Christmas. My throat starting hurting and my whole neck felt like it had whiplash. Not wanting to be sick, I thought, what the heck, I would make up a concoction and give it a try.  Containing, powdered mustard, Epsom salts and a couple other things I had on hand, I whipped up a Mustard Bath.


As I poured in the mixture to the tub I wondered about how “yellow” the water would get and if it would stain. As it turns out those fears were unfounded as the water got a lovely lemon colored and no staining occurred in my tub at all. It is not the color of prepared mustard and prepared mustard is not involved in any way.



The instructions say to soak for 20 minutes and then have a shower after. I am not sure why I needed a shower after, perhaps it was to make sure there was no mustard residue, but I complied. My skin was so soft and I have to admit my thoat and neck were feeling a bit better. I was ready for bed and slept so deeply, I often have trouble falling asleep but not that night.


When I woke up the next morning – I had not one sign of a cold or flu and I have not looked back. I made up some mixture and handed them out to my family. I do not want to call them “guinea pigs” rather, my experimenting humans. A few other people I know gave it a try and all were very pleased with the results.


Who should not have a mustard bath: people with extremely sensitive skin, this is more so because essential oils have been added, babies, pregnant or breastfeeding women (again because certain essential oils are not recommended). Anyone with a serious or chronic illness should check in with their doctor before trying a mustard bath.


Having a mustard bath is very relaxing and you will feel sleepy after, so take that into consideration. Another option is to soak only your feet in a pot with the water and the mustard bath mix.


I have made some Mustard Bath concoction, and it is available for sell for those of you wishing to partake of the the famed “Mustard Bath” experience. You can message me for more info.


Oh hark, what did my ears just hear? It was a “SNAP” – got ya, you little varmint, gotta run!

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