Thursday, August 29, 2013

Another Gnome Door has opened

There are critters in the house, in the attic and possibly in the walls now.  Critters in attics and walls do not bother me.  I have lived in old houses. I lived in a farm house with mice in the walls and bats in the belfry...I mean, attic, so I'm kind of used to it.  (although, after the snake got loose and hid in the walls, we didn't hear the mice anymore).  So, when Gladys Kravitz cornered me last week to tell me about the animals and how terrified she was to sleep, I shook my head.  What did she think was going to happen?  They'd chew through the walls and get her?  Honestly! Well, crazy Gladys wasn't going to let my apathy deter her. She called Pest Control.  The Pest Control guy and I agreed that he could come over on Tuesday around 4:30 to take a look in my attic for said critters.  I won't get into the fact that he didn't arrive until 7:30 (!), but let's just say I was more nervous about the opening of the gnome door than what might actually be up there.  

The gnome door has been painted shut forever, except for a brief time when it wasn't.  I've lived there for 14 years now, and I have never opened that door or been present when it was opened.  They repainted over a year ago, and the gnome door has been secure ever since.  So, when the two men arrived to survey my attic, I may have been a little skittish and hid in the kitchen until I was sure nothing was going to jump out.  Guy #1 bravely climbed up there while Guy #2 stayed down and chatted with me.  They asked if I'd ever heard critters.  I said, "Heck, yeah. I've been hearing them for 14 years.  Critters don't bug me none."  (I get a little redneck sometimes)  All the while I could hear Guy #1 walking around up in the attic, I kept waiting for the blood-curdling scream that never came.  Finally, he popped back down.  

What did he find?  A little of this?

Or maybe some of this?

How about these?

Nope.  He found absolutely nothing except an old clay flower pot with a dead branch of something still firmly planted.  How amazingly random.  His professional opinion is that the critters I hear are just visiting squirrels and not living up there, as there is no poop or other signs of nesting.  He moved some boards to block the one opening (under the eaves where the pigeons used to roost before Frau tacked up screening) and said he'd talk to the Frau about closing it up properly.  He's also going to suggest trimming the branches of the magnolia tree so they don't have easy roof access.  

Before he left, I made sure he put the door back securely, but now that the paint has been undone, I'm scared.  

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Don't fence me in

Last Wednesday--not yesterday; the one before--I left for work and everything at Frau Gardens looked as it should.  When I arrived home that evening, this happened.

A fence that had heretofore not been there suddenly appeared.  Well, not suddenly like "BAM! Here's your fence!" but suddenly as in sometime in the past eight hours, a fence has been erected.  I puzzled over this addition longer than I should have.  I stood on the sidewalk, head cocked to the side like a dog looking at a ceiling fan, wondering "why now?"  I've lived at Frau Gardens for 14 years now and we have never had a fence, nor any need for one that I could see.  Since the fence is only about two and a half feet high, one can only assume its sole purpose is to keep dogs from crapping on our lush, green lawn.

Here's what really confused me and chapped my hide:  notice in the above photo, there is a gate at the first sidewalk, and another one farther down at the middle sidewalk.  However....
the lush green lawn

The Frau was too damned cheap to install a gate at the third sidewalk, the one in front of my front stoop. And while that is not really a big deal--I mean, the yard isn't that big--it is still annoying that I can't just enter in front of my own porch and have to walk along the dreaded uneven cracked sidewalk, the site of my horrible fall last year that left me bruised and sprained for months, and that I can no longer sneak past Latina Gladys Kravitz, as I am required now to walk right in front of her apartment.  In defiance, I've been walking right across the grass, because I'm a rebel, Dotty.   

Another awesome side effect of the new fence:  when my downstairs neighbor comes home from the bars at 3am, I not only get to hear him slam his screen door, I now get the added bonus of hearing him slam the gate as well.  Last Friday he had a party, which from what I could hear was attended by the girl you wish you hadn't started a conversation with at a party, and I was treated to the lovely sound of every single guest slamming the gate as they left.  Yes, I'm old and cranky.  Now get off my lush, green lawn.