Squirrels, Nut Jobs and Other Old Home Issues

4:26 PM

One of my favorite movies is Elizabethtown. 
It's quirky and lovely and makes me happy every time I see it. 

"62 B! I'm gonna be obnoxious about that one! 62 B!"

You just have to see it.

Another quote I love from that movie is ringing particularly true right now:

"If it wasn't this, it would be something else."

Let's all say it together...


So let me share with you some of the "this" that could just as feasibly be "something else."

So you know we've got lots of house projects lined up. Pretty much to infinity and beyond! 
And we knew that coming in. 

But there's "eyes wide open" and there's x-ray vision. Unfortunately, we don't have x-ray vision.
Would we have turned and run? Nah. Ignorance is bliss....initially.

I'm full of quotes today.

So back up with me for a second and let's talk about being thankful.
While my mom was here two weekends ago, Wyeth was recovering from being puny with a nasty cold and he had this huge distended belly (well, not HUGE, but alarmingly large for him). It would not go away. He was pooping and stuff, and acting normal, but it was big and, frankly, alarming after a week. I ended up taking him by a friend of mine who's a doctor to have him poke around on Wyeth and tell me if he felt anything. He wasn't worried. Several days later, we ended up taking him to the pediatrician since it remained unchanged and they x-rayed him and showed that he was just full of poop! Constipated! Apparently, when Wyeth gets sick, he gets backed up. Noted.

Before I was armed with this knowledge, however, my mind ran to wilder, far more sinister assumptions and diagnoses. And I was worried. Struggling to balance my role as a mother (and acting responsibly for my child's health) and as a believer (not being filled with worry - but rather trusting that no matter what, God was in control of the circumstances).  How do you know when to take your child to the doctor and how do you know when to wait and just watch and trust God to work things out.  I don't think it's always clear how to maintain that balance.  

My mom and I discussed this some and she reminded me that rather than defer to worrying, I should defer to thanking the Lord for all the circumstances.  To thank Him for all His provisions, His ways and plans and ask Him for peace and guidance. In everything give thanks. By prayer and supplication - with thanksgiving - let your requests be made known to the Lord. 

I am trying to make thankfulness more a part of my daily thought process, rather than worry. 

Fast forward a little bit and I'll tie that in to our current home situation.

Ok, so our house has three floors. The top floor was carpeted ages ago in some truly alarmingly horrible shades of green, yellow and brown. So, in our, you know....good common sense...we pulled it all up. It was so nasty it practically disintegrated as we did so. We thought there would be hardwoods beneath, but turns out, there was a layer of some sort of vinyl or linoleum or something. And it was basically poop brown on 3/4 of the floor and painted bright red on the remaining 1/4. Go figure. 

We started in on pulling it up, wearing masks and stuff, taping off the area to prevent stuff from flying around....then sort of stopped - thinking, oh my gosh - what if this stuff has asbestos in it? Pretty common pre-1980's.  We sent off a sample to get tested, fully expecting the worst and trying to figure out our plan when the results came back. Meanwhile, I invested in more sophisticated respirators suitable for asbestos or lead, plus suits, booties, etc. And mentally tried to figure out a budget for if we had to hire it out.  

We basically halted for 3 weeks and didn't go upstairs to the 3rd floor. 
Which means we didn't deal further with our squirrel problem either, as we assumed anyone dealing with them would need to access the eaves on the 3rd floor.

Would you believe our asbestos test came back negative? We are all clear! Praise God for that! 
I am so VERY thankful! So now, we moved on to dealing with that floor again. Our plan was to strip off the gunk remaining on the hardwood floors and paint them. This past weekend, Kyle got some stripper gunk to work off the mastic remaining behind and then got frustrated by how slow and tedious a process it will be. So he says, I got it. We just rent a sander and blast it off.

Sounds good! But then I had a thought. Those floors are painted underneath the glue gunk. I bet it's lead paint. It's probably original to the house! We did a quick "do it yourself" lead paint test and yep, it's lead paint. Of COURSE it is! So there goes the easy way of sanding it. 

Back to the drawing board. I have now been researching effective solvents that remove gunk as well as lead paint. I found something called Peel Away 7....anyone used that? It's supposed to be pretty fabulous. Anyway - If it wasn't this, it'd be something else.

Oh, wait - it is!

Now that the 3rd floor is once again freed up, we called a squirrel removal company. 
They charge $175 to come out and assess your holes and set traps.
Our assessment revealed that we have at least 5 access points where squirrels are entering the house. Several squirrels even taunted the inspector guy.
They are quoting me $125/hole to fix those. And one of those points is a literal hole in my roof - between the shingles. Of course it is.  

Plus, as the guy was clambering around our roof, he noticed a huge section where the roof appears really soft. Meaning, the plywood underneath the shingles is probably rotten. Because the gutters are messed up and water has been backing up. He was afraid that he might literally go through the roof. 

Now Kyle and I have calls in to local roofing companies to come check out our situation and give us quotes to fix/replace our roof. And we're gonna need to address the gutters in that section of the house. 

I could curl up in a corner and just cry. It's tempting. But then, the rule of dealing with house restoration/renovation is start at the top. Which is what we'll be doing. If the roof isn't sound, nothing else is. We just thought it was a little "sounder" than it appears to be. 
So I'm thanking God that our access to the third floor has opened our eyes to a more pressing need of fixing the roof. Thank you, God! And I'm laughing because as I heaved a big sigh of relief about not having to deal with asbestos abatement, I am now dealing with bad roof and squirrel abatement.

If it wasn't this, it would be something else.

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