Monday, September 10, 2007

The Great White Hunter

About a year ago, Jeff shuffled down the hall to get his morning coffee when he saw a winding, berry stained trail leading from my freshly baked pie, which was cooling overnight on the kitchen counter, to a nibbled out hole in a cabinet in the playroom. This was our first evidence that we had "critters". That particular critter was likely a squirrel which, unlike other critters, are adorable in their natural habitat but, like other critters, are not quite so cute when they're invading mine. And don't forget that we were now without so much as a forkful of comforting berry pie!

So Jeff set out with a vengeance to eradicate any "critter entrances" into the house. Every hole, crack or gap was efficiently sealed with wire mesh or foam insulation. All attic and crawl space accesses were outfitted with traps. Even a pocket door was removed and sealed. Thanks to the "Great White Hunter," as I like to call Jeff, our house was once again critter-free.

Unfortunately remodeling involves creating new holes. In the walls, in the floors, everywhere! And generally those holes are granting work access and thus cannot be immediately filled. Which brings us to today's story.
Yesterday, as I was putting a can of paint back in the pile in our kitchen, I heard a loud noise in the corner. I glanced around but after seeing nothing out of the ordinary, I shrugged it off and went back to my work. I was bringing a ladder into the kitchen when I heard another noise. This time it was distinguishably a scurrying sound. Quickly I saw the source as a little brown squirrel peeked around the corner of one of our unplaced kitchen cabinets. In a flash, I turned, opened the front door and met Jeff on the porch with a hasty "there'sasquirrelinthehouse!" Clearly he didn't understand the urgency because he stopped in his tracks, paused a moment and then started chuckling.

"There's a squirrel in the house?" he drawled with an amused expression.

He slowly set down the piece of plywood he was carrying, picked up a broom and non-chalantly sauntered into the kitchen.

He strolled down the hallway and into the playroom where I promptly closed the door behind him effectively trapping the Great White Hunter and his prey. Through the door I shouted, "open the sliding glass door and maybe he'll jump out."

"Hey, you're on the wrong side of the door," he replied.
"No, I'm definitely on the right side," I quipped.

I hear him whistling at the squirrel like he was calling a dog.

"Uh, it's not a dog you nut."
"C'mon little fella, the door's open."
"Are you talking to a squirrel?"
"Good job buddy."
"What happened? Is he gone? Jeff???"

I hear the sliding glass door close and moments later the GWH emerges victoriously.
"He jumped from the house to the fence in one leap!"

Clearly the GWH was impressed by his nemesis. I'm not quite as impressed.

"He was probably thinking, 'Hey, there were snacks last time I was here, what the heck!'," I comment.
"Yeah, he was probably looking for some more pie," Jeff responds.

Stupid pie eating squirrel, I'll show him! I put tile scraps over every hole in the kitchen. Stepping back to survey my hasty work, I wonder whether it will be enough. Considering the master bathroom is missing about 50% of it's floor right now, I'm fairly certain it's not gonna be completely effective. Ugh, how much longer until this remodel is DONE?

Ya know, I could really go for some pie right now...

No animals were harmed in the making of this story.


The Tucson Gang September 10, 2007 at 5:40 PM  

OH MY GOSH! That is exciting...eeewwww. You WILL certainly appreciate this remodel being completed for more than one reason!!! :-) Great job to the GWH!

Anonymous September 10, 2007 at 6:19 PM  

Lots of fun. Not quite sure how I would respond to squirrels. We have had mice, but our most recent fun was bats :) I first noticed one flying around the fire place as I was going to Joshua's room in the middle of the night when Joshua was less than 2 months old. Needless to say I freaked and woke Scott up because of course the vicious bat would be going for my baby. His response was shut the baby's door we will deal with it in the morning. Well of course it was a few months later we saw one again. Scott was able to get him out the media room window. After a few more times of this we had limited visuals of the nasty creatures (except outside). I was sure they were still around, but then I also thought I was going crazy and imagining things. We actually thought a mouse was smart enough to use Joshua's potty chair, but after learning about the bat infestation it was probably a bat flying over that hit the target (I of course did a little bragging about teaching a mouse to use a toilet). We later found out that when you move out and leave a house empty for a month they take over :) Our renters ended up having bat nursery at our house (awe how cute). I won't even share their multiple stories :) We finally this year (yes 3 years after the first visual) called in a specialist to finally get rid of the problem. Love the animal stories. It will be nice for you to have everything closed off! I think we will now finally have all our holes closed off after 7 years :)


Krissy Keelan September 10, 2007 at 10:23 PM  

That's just too funny. I wonder if it's really the same squirrel...


Cheryl September 11, 2007 at 11:28 AM  

Mmmm, count me in...I'm still into eating comfort food and berry pie is a biggie for me!! (Okay, next week I'll 'go back on the wagon')

We had critters at the townhouse...displaced field mice! I'm feeling your pain.

LCM September 11, 2007 at 6:38 PM  

I should send "T" the cat over to your house. He is single handedly ridding our neighborhood field of mice and our yard of moles and he likes to leave little presents for me! It's become a daily occurence. I have actually lost my extreme disgust for rodent carcass, that's pretty scary. I am hoping he does the same things for snakes when we move to Houston. ~shudder~ I won't be picking up snake carcass.

Batgirl Newsom September 11, 2007 at 8:27 PM  

You should have seen this household when a bat flew in for a visit! Grady and Cole were in the bath and the bat decided to make it's grand entrance! AHHH! It was an hour of sweating, laughing, screaming and consoling 2 crying, naked babies hidden in the closet.

God Bless you Lori, even squirrels want to live with you!

Lookin for that walk, next week? I'll bring my batwings :)

Anonymous September 12, 2007 at 10:08 AM  

We have two families of squirrels that called our place home prior to building on this site. We put up the coolest squirrel feeder in the back corner of 12 Douglas Fir trees that are in a group down the right side of our home. The squirrels love it and only come on our deck to the back door when the food has run out. Actually, one squirrel comes right to the door (a volunteer or choosen by the group?)and stares in the house until the food is replaced. So far, this verbal agreement has worked well. Kathy

celestemc September 12, 2007 at 10:20 AM  

Oh how funny! We did have a bat in the attic once (when I was a kid)... and plenty of field mice here (yuck!). I hate the messes they leave!

Once I grabbed a box of mac and cheese off the shelf in the garage and it started moving in my hands. There was a mouse in the box, and he was jumping around so fast and powerfully - totally freaked me out! I later discovered that there wasn't any pasta left in the box... I guess he had been there a while!

I love the comments - especially about putting feeders out, or (gasp!) getting a cat or two! We have a couple of outdoor porch kitties that do a great job of keeping the "visitors" out.

Oh, and I LOVE a great berry pie!
(hint, hint!)

Anonymous September 14, 2007 at 10:43 AM  

your small prints always crack me up... you are a nutcase. :) -Bec

Sister of Me September 14, 2007 at 9:50 PM  

and you don't even put food out for them like we do......! Well, put food OUTSIDE for them. I concur that I prefer them outside rather than inside......

Anonymous September 20, 2007 at 10:24 PM  

I had seen your blog on Lillian a while back and thought about her a lot. You don't know me but I found your post on the blog of a another very sick child. So I would check in and pray. And then, for some reason I wasn't there for a while, and just went to the site now and it was odd because right before I clicked on (I had to seach for the URL) I got this sinking feeling. I was so shocked to read that she had passed. It really made me cry and I didn't even know her and I felt so bad that I had just not kept up. Anyway, I clicked on your new blog, "The Next Chapter" and was just slapped in the face with the reality of a CARTOON on the top - your new chapter I guess.

Well, have a great life.

The Tucson Gang September 21, 2007 at 3:54 PM  

I feel the need to respond to the last anonymous Lori's big sister. I'm not sure why you leave a comment such as yours on a blog like this. If you had kept up you would have seen how heart breaking this year as been for my sister and our family. Lori has written very honestly and openly about how difficult this process has been - something I'm not sure I would have had the courage to do so publicly. I have been extremely proud of the way Lori and Jeff have handled something so personal, painful and really so foreign to our family. We don't have a lot of sick people, haven't been around ill children or adults. So, it is amazing to see how well they are handling this tragedy. Again, the fact that Lori is willing to be so open about the ups and downs and basic realities of life now without their baby girl - "a rollercoaster" of emotions says a lot about her character. It has helped a lot of us and I'm sure helped countless others who have suffered losses to understand that others are experiencing similar feelings and ranges of emotions. One day you feel normal and the next you are an emotional wreck. Frankly, the anonymous comment left above which made reference to the cartoon on the top of one of the blogs seemed insensitive and slightly judgemental and I am shocked. This person you don't even know bears her soul and you imply that because there is a cartoon on the blog that...that..I don't even know what to say. It's just rediculous. Honestly, if you haven't kept up on the blogs, then maybe a general comment would be better or comment at all. It's small comments like yours that make people not want to be so open and honest for fear of being judged. So, next time...think about what you write before you make a judgement or assumption about the intention of the post. Ok, not sure if any of that made sense...and honest, the anonymous poster probably won't read this...but I felt it needed to be addressed.

Lori - you are awesome...we all know it. You have done and continue to do so much to support the cancer community... we are proud of you. And, we all miss Lillian very much - and those of us who know you and who have kept up with your journaling over the last year, know how profoundly this disease and loss has affected your life forever.

Love ya,

Anonymous September 21, 2007 at 10:47 PM  

At least it was not mice!
Jennifer Winegar

Anonymous September 21, 2007 at 10:55 PM  

Just got to the Anonymous Comment and Traci's response, got to say.......GO TRACI!!!!! THat person needs to reed the whole thing all the way back to even under stand where lori is at today and maybe the new post that is out there now. Geez, people, if you cant say anything nice dont say anything at all, when did we learn that.....KINDERGARTEN!!!!! It still holds true today! Traci Kudos, Lori keep writing!

Love you both,
Jennifer Winegar

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