17 July 2014

Back On The Wagon

Few things compare to a morning stroll upon a wooded trail. Patuxent Trails are perfect for walking, running, or biking. Although these trails are less than a five minute drive, I only started consistently using them in May after a six month break from my exercise routine.

Yeah, six months.

20 March 2014

Take A Breath

As I sat in the Chick-fil-A drive-through line, a child's voice caught my attention. The boy sounded as if he were pleading to his mother about something. Looking over my right shoulder, I could see a woman, a young boy, and a young girl walking to a newer model Honda van. The kids each had balloon animals given to them by a local artist inside the store.

The pleading seemed to relate to not wanting to leave the store but I wasn't entirely certain of that. Lowering my passenger window, the audio was clearer.

"Shut up! You're embarrassing me!" My heart sank. Telling a child to shut up is bad enough but clearly this woman was more concerned about the people around her and their opinion.  She mentioned another sentence about the need to leave and that the children were causing a scene.

Take a breath...

06 March 2014

Squirrel! Part 5: Eviction!

After three months, several tiny holes in two bedroom ceilings, multiple failed techniques, falling from a ladder and nearly breaking my hand, and wasting $625 with Home Paramount - a squirrel was caught in our attic in less than a day. Borrowing a Havahart trap from a friend, baiting it with peanut butter, and placing it in the attic on the afternoon of February 13 the next morning we had a squirrel. Yup, on Valentine's Day we caught the little varmint.

Here's where any rational person would ask: Why didn't you do that from the start? Well, like millions of men before me, at the time my approach seemed like a good idea. Plus, guys often don't ask for help and borrow things as a last resort. Or at least that's the way I operate.

Now, left to my own devices I would've water-boarded that squirrel into telling me the location of the secret Rebel base. Or at least revealing if there were any other squirrels in my attic. Since we had 17 inches of snow outside, my first thought was shoving the caged squirrel into a snowbank and letting him suffocate.

10 February 2014

Squirrel! Part 4: Whatever Happened With That Squirrel?

It's a bit unfathomable to me that I've had squirrels in my attic for three months. Three. Months. Since late November, we've heard the random scratching that have produced two small holes in the ceiling of G's closet, two in her bedroom, and three tiny holes in our bedroom. It's only expected and reasonable that friends and family would be questioning, "Whatever happened with that squirrel?"

2013 ended with me signing a contract with Home Paramount Pest Control. We've used them since 2006 for termite control and have been pleased with that service. Since we first heard the squirrel, I debated - mostly with myself - about using a company to get rid of these furry fiends. Dropping around $500 just seemed rather unreasonable, especially when methods of these companies appeared to consist only of setting traps outdoors and not actually going into the attic, flushing them out, and sealing the breeches in the house.


06 December 2013

Squirrel! Part 3: Attack of the Squirrel!

Tuesday night, I heard the sound I've grown to dread: scratching above G's ceiling. Exasperated, I thought, "After sealing the breech, we trapped the thing in there?!"

But this scratching didn't sound as close. It sounded more like it was outside. Upon investigation, there was indeed a squirrel trying to dig through the wooden patch. I clapped my hands - which hurt - and flailed my arms - which probably looked silly. I had to run it off three times before it disappeared for the night.

Then came early Wednesday morning. G reported scratching above her room. I assumed the rascal had returned. Upon inspection outside, the doom became clear: not only had the squirrel from the night before returned but also there appeared to be one still in the attic trying to escape!

03 December 2013

Squirrel! Part 2: Well, Swell

Ever fallen from a ladder? It's a surreal experience. After spending time making certain the ladder was on solid ground outside my house, I carefully ascended it while confirming balance and stability. When I reached two steps from the yellow top of the six-footer, I stabilized myself further and began shooting hornet spray into an opening just beneath our townhome's roof. Sufficiently saturating the opening and hopefully interior of the breech where the evil squirrel had taken up residence, I began to make my decent.

Then, it happened. The ladder was on the corner of my neighbor's stoop. It must've shifted just enough to tilt to the side. Maybe it slipped off the stoop. I didn't process those details. In a split second, I knew there was no stabilizing the ladder nor could I hold onto the awning over my neighbor's door. Whether the words came out of my mouth, I at least thought, "Lord, help!"

In slow motion, I fell. So many people say similar incidents happen in slow motion. They really do! I recall thinking, "When am I going to hit the ground?" It actually seemed to take longer than expected. Meanwhile, I was basically riding the ladder down at least half way before falling to the ground.