Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Saga of Household Pests

As I mentioned briefly in this post, we have had squirrels in our attic (well, technically, the ceiling above the attic, since the attic is finished). But that's not all we have had for household pests. It actually has become quite comical the things we have encountered since we moved in. In fact, so much so that I thought the subject deserved to be put into writing. So I thought I'd share a poem I've been working on about our household pests.

A Saga of Household Pests
by Shannon Hanley

When we first moved in
We knew there were mice
So traps we did set
Not once, and not twice,
But several times
Until we were certain
We had caught all of
These pesky vermin.

Then one day we saw
A small squirrel scurry
Into our attic
In such a hurry.
So we set a trap
To catch our intruder,
Enticing him with
Sunflower-nut butter.

Two squirrels were caught
And driven far away,
In hopes that they wouldn’t
Return to us someday.
We thought we were done
With our unwelcome guests,
Until we heard more
Scratching and unrest.

So then we decided
To call in the trapper,
To see if he could see
What was the matter.
Grey squirrels, he thought,
And he trapped some more,
Taking them far away
From their little door.

But then we were all
Quite surprised to find
Some more squirrels of
A different kind!
The flying squirrels who
Had also come to nest
Up in our attic
Would need to be addressed.

I think the trapper
Had now realized
That this job was bigger
Than he first had eyed.
As for us, we are
Very, very glad
That we gave up trapping
And hired this man.

We seemed to be done
With all the squirrels,
When we found out that
Our yard was in peril.
The crows were feasting
On something in the grass -
We weren’t too concerned,
We thought it would pass.

But then something else came
Through our lawn late one night -
Foxes pawing the ground -
It was quite a site!
It appeared there were grubs
That the birds were chomping,
But what of the foxes?
Why were they stomping?

We started asking
And some suggested moles,
But we didn’t see
Tracks or mounds, just holes.
It’s still undetermined
What’s destroying our lawn,
But at least the foxes
Seem to now be gone.

All was well for some time,
Then one day I went up
To the attic to work
And heard some hubbub.
Squirrels again?? I thought,
But the next morning
Something unexpected -
We had no warning.

We were startled to see,
When we glanced outside
Our bedroom window,
Looking at us wide-eyed,
Sitting on our roof,
Was a little raccoon.
I thought to myself,
What’s next - a baboon?

You would think we lived
Way out in the woods,
With all these pests coming
To our neighborhood.
But in the city
Happily we dwell -
Even with these troubles,
We still think it’s swell.

But I do hope that
Our saga of pests
Very, very soon
Can be put to rest.
And that no new critters
To our house should roam,
Wreaking more havoc
In our new home.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Playroom Update!

We're finally making some progress in the playroom.  I've been slowly chipping away at the task of painting all of the trim white, and I've come to two realizations:

1. Painting windows is very tedious
2. I probably should have used primer.

But, live and learn, eh?  I actually thought for half a second before I started that priming might be a good idea, but then I discovered the nearly full gallon of white semi-gloss in the basement, and thought:

go out and buy primer (and therefore delay the start of the project)
jump right in and just start with the paint (not spending any money and getting immediate gratification?  It's a win-win!)

Obviously I opted for the latter.  So, two coats in on most of the trim, and it looks like a third will need to be applied (dag nabbit!).  That being said, I'm loving the white trim.  Makes the whole room feel lighter and brighter.

Then I got this great idea to make valances for the windows that look like puffy white clouds (why is it that every project I start becomes more and more involved along the way?).  So I've been playing around with a piece of white fabric I had laying around (me?  have spare fabric??  never!!), and I think I've got it pretty well figured out.  But, I will need more fabric to make three valances, so off to the fabric store I go.  In the  meantime, here's a little sneak-peek at the grassy hills, which I did finally manage to finish up this weekend:

Saturday, May 5, 2012

April Recap

Wow, was April ever a whirlwind of a month!  We've had a lot going on this month, and I haven't had a moment to blog about any of our house projects.  So here's a little recap of our April:

1. Realized that painting the exterior of our house might be a bit more than we are capable of doing on our own this summer.  So...
2. Got several estimates from painters.
3. Raked and bagged more leaves.
4. Seasonal allergies kicked in (ugh!)
5. Fixed our broken garage door (well, I should say a temporary quick-fix...I expect we will have to revisit this little project again soon)
6. Put up a baby gate and baby-proofed the playroom for a newly mobile baby b.
7. Discovered half of our lawn is dead (more on this another day)

8. Continued sewing the rainbow quilt.
9. Started painting the play room (here's a little sneak peek:

I'm loving the blue, but I still have to get the green paint for the grassy hills, and...
10. I realized that I definitely want to paint the trim white in the play room (of course!)
11. Shuffled some furniture around.
12. Thought we had finally gotten rid of all of the squirrels above our attic (did I mention we had squirrels above our attic?  More on this another day)
13. Raked and bagged more leaves. (really?  more leaves??)
14. Washed the siding on our front porch (here's a pic of it half way done:


What a difference, eh?)
15. Heard something scurrying around above our attic and realized that we were wrong about #12.
16. Planted some grass seed in the mud pit (what I like to call the fenced area behind the house where there is nothing growing except for a couple hostas along the side, and apparently where some previous inhabitants had chickens!)
17. Pruned a few tree branches.
18. Passed an annoying cold around our family.
19. Realized we did not do a thorough enough job with #6 , so we moved more things around and out of the play room.  (As a side note, quite surprisingly, this is one of the most injury-producing items in our home:

because, you see, kids don't just sit on it.  They jump on it.  They climb on it.  They lean on it until it tips over and they land flat on their faces.)
20. Raked and bagged more leaves. (seriously, how many leaves do we have?!?)
21. Decided to start a children's music band. (because, you know, we don't have enough to do already!)
22. Found an almost full gallon of white semi-gloss paint in the basement. (score!)
23. Used newly found paint to paint a board for a height chart.
24. Installed newly made height chart board on wall, and began recording heights.
25. Celebrated baby b's 1st birthday!  (hooray!!)

So there you have it.  All in all, I'd say it was a good month, and I feel like we got a lot of little things accomplished.  We'll see what May brings!