Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mama Raccoon

For the last two weeks or so, I have gotten up each morning, poured my coffee, grabbed by book and headed out to our sun room to wake up.  And for those last few weeks, I listened to Mama Raccoon shuffled and purr beneath my feet.  Sometimes, she would head into our crawl space for some recreational banging on the air vents.  After Josh woke up and we’d sit together with our coffee, now in the office, listening to Mama Raccoon slam bang around beneath us.  She seemed to like to be wherever I was.  So if I sat in the sun room, there she was, scratching the dirt under the floor.  If we moved to the office, she banged around the crawl space like my children seem to do each time I pick up the phone to make a call.  It is like an invisible signal goes out that says, “Get her attention now, she is about to do something that does not include us!”
                We’ve had a Mama before.  Two years ago, Josh evicted Mama and her babies by pouring drops of ammonia through the cracks in the sun-room floor.  The fumes made her grab her babies one by one and move them to our neighbor’s yard.  But this time, that didn’t work.  We had to call in the big guns, Animal Control.  This didn’t bother me until I heard the cost, $150 for them to set the trap and $55 per animal they caught.  So, if that Mama has babies, guess how much those cute boogers will cost us?  A ton! 
                What did I do?  I did what any responsible homeowner would do.  I ignored it for awhile.  Sometimes ignoring things really does work, like the headache that goes away once you leave work or the whining kid who gets distracted by a shiny rock in the dirt.  It can be an effective strategy, but not one I would recommend for raccoons.  I tried though.  I pretended I didn’t hear her purring away as I drank my coffee the next morning.  It was as if I reasoned that by loosening up a bit about wild animals living beneath my feet would make it all cool and fine.  I ignored the banging on the vents while my stomach churned with the fear that perhaps she would fly through one of the air vents and latch onto my innocent ankles with her sharp teeth.  Ignoring worked for about 3 and half minutes.   
                So, I did it.  I called the Animal Control guy. He came and set a trap.  Sure enough, this morning, Mama Raccoon was sitting in the trap, looking adorable and defeated.  I felt relieved and awful at the same time.  Poor little lady.  I was wallowing in my empathy for Mama as the Animal Control man scooped up the trap.  The minute he lifted that trap up, she growled and hissed with such vigor that it sent chills all the way down to my fleshy ankles.

                The lesson of the tale is this:  If you care about your ankles, call Animal Control and pay the big bucks to haul Mama Raccoon to a pretty park preserve nearby.  Oh, and don’t forget, ignoring raccoons doesn’t make them go away; it makes them have babies under your sun-room floor.  This is my service announcement for the month.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Time to change things up

It is time to give the blog a little face lift, a BLOG-OVER shall we say?  I envision a blog-over sort of like a do-over, or a makeover, OR even a sleepover.  After each of these fine events everything looks better and more hip.  I suppose that isn't really true with a sleepover, in which case you end up just tired and cranky wondering why in the heck other people don't eat breakfast at a decent hour?

I happen to have some time on my hands this weekend.  So we'll see how this blog-over goes.  I hope to change the title, the layout, (which I have already tweaked a bit), and then actually post to it.  I hope to make these changes because honestly, the title and the description do not really describe who I am anymore.  I am moving on from coffee and triathlons.  The pursuit of both activities were leaving me wiped out and jittery, like an old lab rat working way to hard to get the cheese.

It is time for some subtle changes.  Letting go of the pursuit of running to avoid knee surgery, cutting WAY back on the coffee to just one measured cup a day (I know!  Do I sound 80 yet?), and hopefully writing a little bit more often than never- at- all.  Yes, my standards are high, but I refuse to be deterred!