Despite all the problems with our new home and the fact we'll be paying so much for a solution (whatever it is), Frankie might have to skip college, our new home is absolutely stunning. Big enough (not huge), enough bathrooms for when Frankie turns surly and a deck that could hold 20 or so
It also came with racoons. Live and dead ones.
A couple weeks ago, I wanted a window in the basement (ground level, below the deck) to be bricked up. Had my masonry guy over (how many homeowners have a regular masonry guy?) to take a look. He made me open the window because he said "you never know what you're getting into". Indeed. We opened the window to find that mystery smell that challenged us for so long was a racoon that climbed into the window well and died! All I could think is he must also have been a homeowner with a home that had too many problems to fix and needed a rest. As Frankie says, poor little guy.
Judging from the organisms I found on him, he died somewhat recently. There was another small varmint beside him that had died long ago.
My masonry guy just put his hands on my shoulders, laughed heartily and said "Dave, looks like you got some clean up work to do before I go near that window". I closed the window and walked Keith to the door feeling a bit uneasy. He was laughing his ass off all the way out. The masonry guy left and I was faced with: Trish not home, Frankie needing dinner, horrid flashbacks of a dead racoon in the window well, and squash roasting in the oven for a pasta dish I was preparing.
In the manliest act of my adult life, I sat Frankie at the tv, told her I had to "do something", ran into the basement and bagged the two varmints, ran them and their slimy, dripping carcasses to the trash, nearly puked, cleaned up around the area from which they were taken, ran to the kitchen, washed my hands like I had OCD, took the squash from the oven, tossed it with pasta, basil, pine nuts, lovely tomatoes and olive oil and served up dinner.
Frankie ate happily while chatting about her day and I sat at the dinner table, pale and trembling. I didn't eat much.
Now, we've learned a new family has moved in. I blocked the window well this weekend but there are still places to get in beneath the deck. The Mom depicted in the image has 4 of her offspring under there nursing.
Life on the ravine ... better than the graffiti monsters we had in the old neighborhood - I guess.