Sunday, June 03, 2007

Smoke, Rot & a Squirrel

While it seems it's never too dull at our house, a few weeks ago (maybe a couple of months now, actually) it was a little too interesting.
I bought some screen to redo the back porch thinking it would be really easy - just pull off the old and put up the new. I think I jinx us every time I use the words "easy", "not so bad", and "won't take long". I think Chris would agree. The beadboard bottom half and the supports were rotting, so we removed the beadboard. The good thing is the supports will be somewhat easy to remove and replace (who am I kidding - this is US we're talking about) since they aren't bolted down in any way. The bad news is that they will have to be replaced and bolted down, and now that we have the porch "gutted", we don't really know where to start or how to do the replacing. Oops. Probably, if we just tackled it, it wouldn't be so bad. Haha.

Sunday, we came downstairs to start breakfast and there was smoke in the kitchen. I hadn't started cooking yet, so we were a little concerned. We unplugged everything, then Chris ran outside to see if smoke was blowing in from somewhere else. Nope. The smoke continued to get worse, and it had an electrical smell. I called the fire department and asked if they could just send a fire marshal or someone to see where it was coming from. They said to call 911 - as the saying goes "where there's smoke, there's fire". For a little bit of smoke, we got 4 firetrucks with lights & sirens, an ambulance, and a police car. We stood out in the front yard with our neighbors, crossing our fingers that it wasn't the wiring...and it turned out to be the refrigerator. Thank goodness! I knew we didn't need all of those firetrucks, but they were there just in case. The Fayetteville Fire Department is awesome, by the way. They got there so fast (we are very close to a fire station) , they were so nice, and afterwards, they brought in a zero pressure(?) fan to suck out all of the smoke. And our neighbors, we couldn't ask for nicer or more caring. But the refrigerator? The next day, the repairman said it was toast-one motor and the condenser were fried. Even though we had to get a new fridge, we still felt lucky. No one was hurt, there was no actual fire, and the house and it's wiring are fine. Count your blessings...

Then the squirrel...
In my craft room (which is partly done), there is a chimney with a hole for a stove pipe. The cover is missing, which I guess I need to replace soon. I was sitting at my desk working and heard a coughing noise. I started to scold Lily(one of our cats) about hacking up a hairball, when out of the corner of my eye, I catch movement from that hole. A squirrel is barking at me...and then I scream...and he nearly falls out of the hole into the room!
I'm not afraid of critters, but they are a little more intimidating when they are in/almost in your house. So I started shooshing him to go back up the chimney and he starts griping at me. I called Chris, who thought it was quite funny, but had no ideas how to get rid of him. Chris said, "just enjoy him, how many people get to work with a squirrel watching them?" or something like that. Of course, you never can catch something like that on camera, so I had no proof. I like to have something to show as I tell. The next time though, I got him on camera. He sat there, looking out of the hole just observing and making a grunting noise. He harassed the cats, pushed rubble out of the chimney onto Molly(the other cat), and just let me take pictures.
Any advice on ridding the booger without harm is welcome- please.

The moral of this story? Yes, actually there is one. Looking back, you would think the squirrel and the rot would make a person think twice about staying- not so. Somehow, (call me crazy) it just sort of adds to the experience of living in an old house. And we couldn't ask for better neighbors...


Blogger Jessica said...

Ah, don't get rid of the's so cute!!!

4:08 PM  
Blogger Kimberley said...

Though I don't mean to make light of it (I wouldn't want a squirrel in my house, either), your post just cracked me up :) So glad that you got the picture for proof of that mouthy, bossy squirrel!

8:53 AM  

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