Friday, February 29, 2008

The windows tell the tale

Not many folks can say that parts of their history is in the windows. We can. The year my son was born, we put new windows in our bedroom. We had intended to do the whole house in the crank out style windows. Starting with the bedroom, and ending with the same bedroom. we soon changed our minds. It was a good thing since the gas leaked out between the panes and the windows are permanently foggy. The middle window is an original. It has been through many years on the back of the house, Cracked in a storm when a branch hit it. Was repaired with duct tape, and remains on the house as a way to get in if we forget our house keys. It is the only window on the house we can take off and crawl into. You will fall in on my sons bed. It will be a short crawl there to the kitchen. The most recent window was put in by a brother in law during a hair brain scheme of mine to actually try to fix this place up. It looks great. It just doesn't match. The city we live in doesn't like this look. yes surprised me too. I call it white trash suburban. What more can I say.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Squirrels, chipmunks etc.......

I love to craft. Especially scrapbook. You can get carried away with all the clippings, arranging,
designing. What fun. Well one day I was intent on finishing up a project in my craft room.
My craft room was part of as one car attached garage my husband had tried to finish for me. He never did get it quite finished and the ceiling remained sheet rock.

The squirrels have made a home above the garage and so lived above my craft room. We tried to trap them, poison them and they are just too crafty. NO pun intended They chew on the wood, and have chewed thru the lights in the room so I have to use a clamp on flood light to do my crafting.

I had been listening to the squirrels chew away in the attic above me. Like a hamster with a wooden chew stick. There was chirping, scampering.
I had really grown accustomed to it. (Strange isn't the things you can get used to. )
As I was bent over the table, intent on my work. I saw some white powdery substance fall on my shoulder. Then on the front of my shirt. I looked up and there it was . A hole. A newly chewed hole in the sheet rock.. If I didn't figure out something soon, a squirrel would be joining my scrapbook party. I grabbed the broom and Pounded on the ceiling with the broom handle. Boom Boom Boom!! Then again Boom Boom Boom!! I heard what sounded like a herd of squirrels making a mass exodus for the exit. I ran to the window and looked out at the entrance of the lair as they bolted out of the attic and for the Oak trees.
It has been a few years now and they have not come back to the spot they were chewing on. Who knows I may have scared them silly. Well, now the house has to come down and really Taping the hole up with some duct tape really makes no sense at this point. So it remains as a constant reminder of who lives upstairs.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

when you have more than one layer ...

of shingles. When the roof is sagging...

A Home improvement DON'T

We loved our wooded lot and wanted to give this house a CABIN IN THE WOODS LOOK.
Nobody told us we could really spare the bathroom the rustic treatment. We decided to do a pine paneled bath/shower. (remember we were young) We only have one bathroom. It had to match. Well we have us a crop of black mold. In the Bathroom Take a look!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The kids Call it Jungle rice

The tell tale sign of rodents. The rodents I refer to our little brown mice. Cute, but filfthy.
Mouse droppings resemble black rice. The kids call it jungle rice.
We live in a house that was patched together in 3 sections. It was built on a concrete slab, and has no basement. The Hot water pipes are encased in the slab cement. The Furnace used to reside right in the middle of the house. The house was heated by fuel oil and there was a pipe for fuel oil and propane gas for the stove that came in.

When we found out the heat exchange was cracked on the furnace and the well was dry. We went to the bank and borrowed $12000 to move the furnace and pump out to a back room, and then make the kitchen bigger. It all went according to plan and we couldn't have been more pleased. That would not last long.

Little did we know, that replacing the gas stove and water heater with electric, left a nice open underground tunnel , entombed in cement. A mouse pipeline. The empty unused propane pipe From the backyard brought hundreds of mice into the kitchen and into our stove. It wasn't too many months before we could no longer store our pots and pans in the oven drawer. The jungle rice was everywhere. The bottom drawer of the oven became the place mice came to die. Traps filled with cheese and peanut butter took their places. If they were lucky enough to make it past the bottom drawer they would climb up the inside of the oven and out onto the stove top and beyond. We purchased 2 cats. They kept a nightly vigil by the stove. When the mice were active under the stove you could see the cats, and watch their eyes. Not moving a muscle, their eyes darted back and forth never taking their eyes off their prey. When the mice were brave enough to venture out we would hear a scuffle, a meow and the race was on. Most times a cat would run into the room chasing a long tailed creature. YUK! I shudder as I recall. Under the chair, under the newspaper, behind the TV they would run. These cats were not hunters, they loved to play, most of the time they would lose them. Leaving us to walk on eggshells for days until we could locate the small intruder.

Cooking was dicey. I always had bleach and sanitizer on hand to clean up before I cooked. But nothing is more unnerving than to see the passing of fur and a tail under a burner while you are cooking. OR the occasional brave mouse who would venture out of a burner while it was on high, glowing red from the heat, with a pot of boiling spaghetti above it. I can't tell you how it feels to sit at the dining room table and see the cover on a pan move, then the flash of a tail, or wake up and find food caught in the burner. The food being too big for the mice to bring to their nest. I know ...I know... My husband said all the time if you don't leave food out they won't come up...sometimes I couldn't help it. Well one day, what I feared the most was about to happen. I was getting ready to clean up the dishes from the night before. There was a pan on the back burner, with the lid down. I lifted the lid, and there laying on its side in the leftover food was a dead mouse. A Fat dead mouse. When it crawled into the pan, it must have knocked the lid down and was trapped. Eating to his hearts content, he must have ran out of air and died. {{shudder}} I said "Oh God, I knew it, I knew this would happen" UGH! The kids ran out ..."What Mom?" and I said "hey wanna see what we are having for dinner?" My son has a friend over. They peered in the pan and Jim said to Tommy, "Hey Tommy wanna eat at my house tonight?"

Beady Little eyes

I hear it all the time. Why are you so afraid of those little mice they cant hurt you... {{shudder}}

I just hate them. The small little claws, scampering across your feet when you sit at the table.
The black Beady eyes and the long tail that dragged across everything. They poop and pee whenever they stop and drag it all over the place with that darn tail. YUK. The kids call the little black rice shaped feces "Jungle Rice" (Yes I know how pathetic. How many kids do you know that even have the chance to coin a phrase such as that) But yes it is the Jungle rice that is the biggest indicator of a beady eyed visitor.

I am haunted by them. They stalk me. WHY!! I remember my first encounter at the age of 11. I was out on the porch putting on my white gogo boots for school. When the one boot would not go on. I pulled my foot out of the boot and put my hand in the toe to see what was in there. I felt a pinch. I pulled my hand out and shook the boot upside down and screamed. At the same time a little brown field mouse fell out of my boot and ran away. The mouse had sought refuge from the cat in my boot. This would happen to me over and over throughout my life. With other mice, and even a gerbil or two. I continue to this day to shake out my shoes before I put them on.

One night During my childhood, 1965, My dad, a mighty hunter, member of the NRA was cleaning his gun at the dining room table , my mother sat across from him and listened to a sales pitch from the insurance man. A mouse came out from under the cupboards and ran across the kitchen floor to the cat food dish. Picking up a morsel of cat food and darting back to his safe place. The little guy had no clue my Dad had stopped cleaning his gun, loaded it and waited for the mouse to come back. The insurance man watched in horror as my dad took aim and fired. Splattering mouse parts around the kitchen. Needless to say no insurance papers were signed that night.

It all started with the moldy vagina

I have always wanted to write a book about my life in this house. We live in Modern times, you wouldn't know it by this house. I try to make it comfey, I tried to make it a home. But the bottom line is when you live in a hole there is not much you can do. The story is a long one.. not so complicated, but 20 years in the making . In 1981 we were Just a couple dumb kids buying into home ownership in the 80's. Smitten by having our own place, our own plot of land. We fell HARD.

I lay out the basics here at this LINK...

Little did we know of the horror we would have to endure. The lengths at which, at times, we would go to try to rid ourselves of the varmints, pests, and mold. The winters we froze up. Literally. Spring and Fall brought infestations of every kind and the summers bringing us the sweet stench of septic tank. The years, the money spent on improvements for not.

Fast forward the last 20 something years to NOW. The present and "The moldy Vagina."
It is the poster child of our lives if you will. Our signature look. The epitome of our lives in this house. The sum of all things or you could call it the last straw.

when I have to look at it , there above the washing machine. The ugliest, most disgusting thing to adorn any ceiling. It is hard to say how many years, it has been forming. I think at least 10 years. The shape has never changed. But as the spot grew it began to look more and more like a vagina. Oh yes the roof leaked, and as the roof leaked into the attic, down on the sheet rock onto the ceiling of the laundry area. It began to seep through, and erode the sprayed popcorn ceiling. A small slit at first, it opened up in the center, ever so much, to expose the layers beneath. Exposing the inner holes and "popcorn lumps" forming the best sheetrock/ mold vagina I had ever seen.

Can you imagine every time you go out to wash a load of clothes it is there. Above the washer. Dark and moldy....a big old vagina!

I need a new HOUSE!!!! I cant live like this anymore...with the mice, chipmunks. squirrels, termites and the MOLD......I just can't...I really can't.