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.
The raccoons in our neighborhood are out in the middle of the day. When I was little, that usually meant they were rabid. With these, I think it means they have figured out that the crazy cat ladies have started only feeding the alley cats during the day.
Speaking of unwanted critters inherited from old homeowners, our house came with an ant problem. When we had the inspection, there was an ant army going from the front walk, up the side of the house and into the attic on the third floor. Bizarre, seeing as the house had been empty for months and you'd think therefore empty of any possible food or whatnot. We had 2 exterminators out before we moved in, and still, we have an ant problem. The smallest speck of food leftover on the counter and we will have an ant army. It's really creepy. Just so's you know you aren't alone!
Oy, the ants. Another post.
Oh have I got a critter story for you. SKUNKS!! I had a big fella living under my deck in late 2005. He sprayed 24/7 for exactly 31 days. It got into our house, clothes, kids, cars, backpacks and just about everything you can imagine. Skunk odor on pre-teen girls and going to middle school don't mix. In fact, it is downright traumatic. He met his maker courtesy of my brave husband. Fast forward 18 months...more spraying skunks who are being annoyed by an assortment of possums, raccoons and an awfully cute groundhog. We had to settle the turf battle that was going on under our deck once and for all. Two possum, one raccoon and one groundhog (who was relocated...just too cute) later plus $400 to a trapper and I think we are critter free. The skunks must have figured that they were in for a fight and packed up and left. I actually watched the cocky little son of gun scamper away in broad daylight. He knew his days were numbered. Now comes the task of sealing off the deck because as we have learned the hard way, they are resourceful creatures for sure. Best of luck. At least raccoons don't spray. Everytime we get heavy rain...we are reminded of our ordeal.
WOW!! You definitely need to start a blog.
I guess I should just be happy with our new Mom under the deck. I think she's gone for the year anyway. They only start their families once a year.
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