Why chipmunks are the devil


These cute little boogers are not only stinking adorable, but can also be tremendous pests.  I chase them out of my garage and away from the paint cans.  I spook them out of the holes in the side of my house.  (They were actually clawing away at the inside wall of my kitchen for a while.)  I rush them away from climbing up my gutters and getting stuck in my soffits.  I literally swerve my SUV and screech to a halt every day - while nearly ending the lives of my children and myself - trying to avoid hitting them as they bolt across the street.  Side note: Since when did chipmunks and squirrels have such a death wish?  WE HAVE DEATH WISH CHIPMUNKS!  WHY do they only bolt across the street right when a truck is less than 5 feet from their general vicinity?  Twice this week I have come across a gallon of dirt that has poured out of my retaining wall from what I assume to be the burrowing chipmunks.  Then I started to look around.  Literally every 9 inches there is a frigging hole the size of a chipmunk.  They are the devil.  A cute, little, furry, squeaking devil.  This is the side effect of living in the woods, in a rural town, where there are no street lamps but wild roaming turkeys.

I'm not one for killing helpless and adorable animals, so I'll have to figure out something else to repel the little poopers.  At least I can keep them away from my house long enough to infest another neighbor.  Ideally it would be that neighbor who hates me, and always looks the other way when I wave... purposefully.  I could bore the chipmunks to death by crowding them all in my dark unfinished basement with nothing but Dora The Explorer episodes screaming at full volume, on repeat.  Or, maybe I could stick my preschooler on them?  She has this particular pitch of voice when she is whining that is like a whistle scream, cymbals, and Freddy Kreuger nails on a chalk board - all combined.  It hits your ears with such a horrific pierce that you willingly want to stab your ear drums out with the nearest number 2 pencil and run down the street.  If that doesn't work she could definitely infect them with a horrible virus within hours by sneezing and coughing in the face and mouths of every one of them.  Perhaps either of those could inflict a certain amount of brain shock that they'd go running for the conservation lands.  Maybe I should put out mince meat pie?  What the hell is mince meat pie anyway??  Isn't it a natural repellent for just about anything?

After a small amount of research... VOILA!  My essential oils have come to save the day again!  Peppermint oil apparently works wonders with a slew of rodents: field mice, chipmunks, squirrels, gophers, etc.  Mr. devil chipmunk it's on.  I'm about to go all terminator on you with... wait for it... PEPPERMINT OIL.  Ooh... My chipmunk threats are so apocalyptic.  *Rolls eyes.*  I'll keep you posted, because of course you care, and won't leave out one oily detail. 

Over and out. 

Home crap home


That is about the only thing that I can summon up as a response to a vacation home I rented on Cape Cod with my family for two weeks.  Don't get me wrong, it was quaint, cosmetically beautiful, decorated in the quintessential cape cod beach decor with a subtle hint of farm house element to it.  But... I got really tired of dealing with fifty carpenter ants a day (which were competing with the beach cockroaches for the food.)  Spiders, ants and bugs a plenty.  Our first hour there my kids went to use the upstairs bathroom and wash their hands.  The water was on a total of 2 minutes.  This flooded the bathroom floor, which leaked through the ceiling and onto the main bathroom floor (which was a second flood needing to be cleaned up.)  Perfect start to a vacation, right?  As we were mopping up the water from the floors, we simultaneously took care of multiple carpenter ants which had found a home in many of the walls inside the house.  They were merrily climbing on the walls, across the floors, over the furniture, around the windows... EVERYWHERE. 

The problems with the upstairs sink were fixed within three days of being there.  Just in time for the second sink to start leaking and flooding the floor on the main level.  That was fixed within a day, so that wasn't too terrible... But then the shower doors came off of their hinge in my master bathroom.  I was able to fix that on my own and set it back on its track.  Have I mentioned how the beds squeaked to high hell if you even so much as scratched your ankle with your toenail?  Oh, and they were as comfortable as an old, overused futon with a cheap foam layer on top.  Two of the windows broke within an hour of being there.  Yup.  I know.  As if all these things were not enough to have dealt with while on vacation (for only a week mind you), I went to wash dishes after breakfast (on the morning of day 7) and the water refused to come out of the faucet but instead only through the spray nozzle.  Humph!  What the hell kind of vacation home was this?!  It was falling apart!  And worst of all, I just paid GOOD money for two weeks to be an exterminator and a fix it girl. Insert-swear-words-here.  Considering the condition of everything else, an executive decision was made to just avoid use of the dishwasher and call it a loss.  YAY.

What's my point in all of this rambling, you ask?  Well, do your homework when looking for rental properties.  Don't make the same mistakes I made, because I made them in haste and in a fit of exhaustion trying to just book something before I went insane.  Just because something opens up in the area you want, doesn't mean you actually WANT that property.  Listen when the owner describes it as an updated "older" home.  Ya, OK... don't you mean, "falling apart and barely holding itself together?"  I'm reminded of that scene in "A Good Year" where Max Skinner becomes the owner of a broken down vineyard overnight.  Upon describing the condition of this new property to his real estate agent, his agent simply states, "We don't say shabby, Max, we say: filled with the patina of a bygone era."  This was filled with the patina of a crap-tastic poop hole.  It really did look great - ONLINE.  The pictures were wonderful, and it even looked pretty.  Sadly, the reality was totally different, especially when you had a chance to peel back the lemon rind. 

We decided to just make peace with our little crappy home while on vacation, and spend as much time outside of it as possible.  What other choice did we have?  Were we exhausted from being outdoors all day and night?  Yes.  Was the vacation fun despite the problems?  Yes.  Were the ants and cockroaches victorious is winning their domain over this building and forcing us out?  Yes.  Next time will I seek out any amount of luxury even if it's in the size of a closet?  YES. 

Win for the ants.  Loss for Abbie.