Tuesday, March 16, 2010

You’ll Take My Equity Away....

... when you pry it from my cold dead fingers. If you’ve got a delicate constitution, turn away now please.

This is my house. It’s old enough to be crumbly but not old enough to be historic; architecturally insignificant; a fire-trap at the best of times (balloon framing, anyone?); and the paint took a nasty hit with this last Nor’Easter. But it’s mine. I refinanced (several years back) and got a killer interest rate and cut a year off the term. We’ve insulated bit-by-bit (ask me about the time I fell through the attic floor), have hung sheetrock and put in decent lighting and scraped and painted and dreamed about an Actual Kitchen; and although the original 10 Year Plan is starting to look a lot like a 50 Year Plan, it’s my deal.  Push my Irish, whydoncha, and find out how defensive I am about my land and home.

Some of you may remember that we had critter trouble  awhile ago. It came back with a vengeance recently and we Made War. I have noticed one particular squirrel that seemed too bold, and then I spotted it on the roof. Then – horrors! – I spotted it going from the roof to the hole made previously! Ack, we didn’t trim those maple limbs far enough! He was going to the end of a 1-inch diameter limb, leaping to the roof, and thence into the hole! So, hubby covered the hole with a piece of sheet metal. We had hoped this would end the battle but it didn’t. The booger started EATING.MY.HOUSE.

Can you see the damage to the window frame? I can tell you I have had lots of choice words for this critter. Actually, not lots – mostly just the “F” word, followed by “er.” Sorry Mom. Now I have to buy a new window, gargh! I don’t mind the old single-panes up there, it’s easy to replace glass. But whole frames are pricy and naturally ours are “custom” sized.  You would have laughed to see me hanging out the window on Sunday smearing the top of the window frame with petroleum jelly, hoping the little booger would leap onto it and slip off onto the ground some 35 feet below, breaking its little neck in the process.  Alas, squirrels are apparently Vaseline-proof.

I told Hubby I wanted the tree cut down right away - screw the limbing, it isn’t enough. I know the tree provides valuable shade in the summertime but there are two more right there and they are all too big now anyhow – the leach field will be at risk from their roots very soon if it isn't already. Hubby decided to go the Testosterone Route instead. I caught him wandering the house with a BB gun yesterday; he later said it was my fault he couldn’t kill the critter when he had the chance because I had insisted that he keep the safety on. Thank goodness the kids were in school:  the boychild would probably immediately and gleefully start emulating Dad, who is beyond Cool in any case. Anyhow – Hubby waited until the rodent was inside, then blocked its egress. Spare shingles blocking the windowpanes, deer netting inside – he even fashioned some sort of snare (I didn’t want to look) and was quite disappointed when it didn’t work. (Ask me about trapping animals inside the house, aka The Raccoon Fiasco, or about hubby’s unsuccessful attempt to snare a rattlesnake once – ah, country livin’!!)

Eventually the critter tried to wander out of its hole- *inside the attic* at this point – and Hubby successfully killed it. A clean kill too, a single shot through the heart. All my usual commie-pinko-liberal-ness aside, I will admit I was impressed.

The new “trophy” that hangs from the attic rafter. I don’t care if it’s barbaric; it’s not much worse than the hatchling-chick skeletons we found up there when we moved in, and it’s Proof that we Defeated the Enemy. Go ahead and threaten my equity, I’ll have your butt up there too.


  1. yeahhh - you got 'em! And sometimes, they kill new little birds also, or eat the eggs, or climb the screen door and look inside, begging, or are they threatening? for food! How do such cute little critters become so nasty!!!! LOVE the trophy - it might help to disuade the others!!!

  2. Wow, what a story! I can't believe I have missed so many posts. How did that happen?? You have been one busy lady.

  3. awesome post...from one old house lover to another...had squirrels between our walls...oooh at night i wanted to take an axe to those walls and chop their little heads off. finally got'em, but they're crafty little buggers. good for you!

  4. "...mostly just the “F” word, followed by “er.”"

    This made me snort so loud that my poor cat - who had been sleeping soundly on the top of my monitorsaur - fell off.

    We have squirrels, and I call them all by their Native American name - "Tastes Like Chicken."