I’m not a Fan of Squirrels

Yesterday while working in my office at home, I heard a very troubling noise. It sounded as if there was something scratching near the ceiling. Since I’m on an outside wall, I ran outside to see if there was something on the roof. I didn’t see anything, so I went back inside. The sound continued. I could hear scratchy little feet running along the line between the ceiling and the wall. I took another trip outside, this time with the long carboard tube our new rug came in. I used the tube to bang on the gutters and on the roof but again, no dice.

I’m very familiar with the sound of squirrels in the wall. My parents’ house has a small hole somewhere in the attic, and flying squirrels got in. Most of them ended up inside the wall of my closet, and my dad had to cut a hole the drywall to get them out. Since my room was above my parents, the scratching and noises from the trap would wake them up. There was a period of my life where I would wake up a couple times a week to my dad coming in my room at 3am to pull the trap out from the wall of my closet. At first I thought they were cute, but the cuteness definitely wore off when they just kept coming.

Back to present day, since the attic doesn’t extend over the office, I knew the squirrels were either in the gutters outside or inside the walls. One is obviously more troublesome than the other.

I called the pest control company, and they were able to send someone out today. Of course I didn’t hear the noises at all today, so I was worried he would think I was crazy! I told him where the noise was coming from, and he agreed that it was likely the gutters and would check them for a nest. Apparently it’s squirrel baby season, and nests are pretty common in gutters. He was only here for about 20 minutes and confirmed it was a nest. He said the scratching was them trying to get into the gutter covers, and he removed the nest as well as tightened up the covers to prevent them from getting in again.

I’m very thankful we didn’t need to cut any holes or use a trap. And I still don’t like squirrels.

Farewell to Our First Home

We sold our house today.

As far as putting your house on the market goes, we had a pretty ideal situation. The listing went live on a Thursday morning, and we had showings Thursday through Sunday (when I was out of town, so I wasn’t even inconvenienced). We got multiple offers that weekend and went under contract on Monday. Bing, bang, boom.

We lived in the house for nearly 2 years and had the unique experience of watching it go from a bunch of dirt to fully built. New construction is fun. You get to pick all the details down to the color of the grout, and if anything breaks within the first year, the builder will come fix it. Plus, everything is new and clean!

Watching the house come together (with literally no effort on our part) built a lot of great memories. Josh and I would drive to the neighborhood after church every Sunday to check out the progress. I was out of town the week most of the framing went up, and I can remember excitedly showing my co-workers the pictures Josh sent me.

 

Now we are moved into our new house, and despite my disposition toward sentimentalism, I don’t feel sad. I feel settled. And that’s a good feeling.

The Last 3 Days: from the Perspective of Venus

 

It’s been 2 weeks since I started blogging, and I’ve hit a rut. Nothing came to mind for what to write about tonight, so I asked Josh for suggestions. He gave a few ideas I wasn’t thrilled about, and then said to write about the move from Venus’s perspective. I love Venus more than almost anything (crazy cat lady here), so here we go.

Saturday

I was lounging about the house like a typical Caturday when the doorbell rang. I hate the doorbell! I always growl at whoever might be at the door before running upstairs to hide. In the lining of the recliner is my best hiding spot because it’s the hardest for mom and dad to get to me.

There were strange men walking around the house and making lots of noise. It was terrifying, even from the safety of the recliner. Then, all of a sudden, my hiding place was exposed! Mom and dad tried to catch me, but I hissed ferociously and ran away. I’m so much faster than them. I hid behind the tall boxes in the bedroom, but they followed me in there and trapped me. Dad carried me into the bathroom where mom had already moved all of my stuff. I clung to his shirt with my claws, but he still put me down and locked me in the bathroom.

I hate being trapped anywhere, especially if it’s not somewhere I choose to be. I’m smart, though. I know that if I reach under the door and rattle it hard enough, it will eventually open. I tried my trick, and it worked! Freedom! I escaped the bathroom and stayed hidden in the bedroom…until mom found me again. This time she shut me in my cage. I hate the cage! It’s the worst.

I was stuck in the cage for what felt like forever while there was a lot of banging and scary noises going on outside. Eventually the noises stopped, and mom came to let me out. When she opened the cage door, I just stayed inside. That’ll show her. I come out when I want.

Then mom and dad left, so I could have the house to myself in peace. I sauntered out of my cage, had a snack from my food bowl, and then decided to take my sock monkey toy out for a stroll. I exited the bathroom and immediately noticed all of my hiding places were gone. Mom and dad’s room was completely empty! Except for my napping cube…thank goodness that was still there. I was exhausted from being traumatized all morning, so I curled up for a long nap.

I awoke much later to hear mom and dad back home. Mom gave me some chin scratches, but then she and dad started making a ton of noise and moving things from the closet, so I retreated to my cage. I know I said I hate the cage, but it seemed like the best option at this time. Sh 5 minutes later when it was time to go. Mom tried to put me in the cage again, and I resisted as hard as I could! She got the better of me…this time.

Next up was a car ride. I hate car rides. You might be under the impression I hate lots of things…because it’s true. I do.

Then mom opened the cage in some strange place! I swished my tail and sniffed around some, terrified, but then found a familiar landmark. The bed! I darted under it.

I explored the upstairs a little bit, but I saved most of my activity for nighttime when mom and dad were in their bed. I jumped on all the furniture and meowed a lot. Hey – just trying to get to know my new home.

 

Sunday

When mom and dad finally got up, I decided it was time for me to take a nap. I’m pretty tired from being up all night. I did migrate to the upstairs to spend most of the day sleeping under the recliner. Mom found me and made me get up once or twice, but I slept most of the day. Like I said – I’m tired from being up all night.

Once mom and dad went to sleep again, I had so much energy! I jumped on and off the bed so many times. Mom was so rude, though. I snuggled up next to her and was making biscuits on her arm, and she had the audacity to push me away! I hissed at her to give her a warning before exiting the bed by walking across her pillow.

 

Monday

Mom stayed home all day today! I love it when it’s just mom and me at home. I rub against her legs while she’s working and get chin scratches whenever I want. The room mom spends her day in has two windows now instead of one but no windowsills! I can put my paws up on the ledge to see outside, but there’s no room for me to sit. This will not do. My grandma did buy me a window perch one time, but I refused to sit on it because I thought it was too scary. I can be pretty irrational sometimes.

I didn’t nap as much today since I am more comfortable in the new house and have been exploring more. I need 18-20 hours of sleep a day, so I guess I will sleep at the same time as mom and dad tonight. I’m sure they will miss my jumping on and off the bed, though.

 

Easter

Happy Easter! We got an early start to our morning thanks to Venus incessantly jumping on and off our bed this morning. Since we live so much closer to church, we were able to get a few crates unpacked before heading to the service.

The Easter service was lovely – such a great cause for celebration. I also don’t always fully comprehend the lyrics to songs when I hear them on the radio, so I learned something new when I saw them on the screen this morning.

Death could not hold You, the veil tore before You

You silenced the boast, of sin and grave

The heavens are roaring, the praise of Your glory

For You are raised to life again

You have no rival, You have no equal

Now and forever, Our God reigns

Yours is the Kingdom, Yours is the glory

Yours is the Name, above all names

I never knew the line “the heavens are roaring,” and I LOVE it. I went to my first NFL game last year, and I can only imagine the level of excitement that heaven holds – and for something far more important than a football team. Speaking of more important things, I’ve done a fair amount of complaining on here about things that are truly first world problems when in fact I am #blessed as the kids say these days.

After church we took another trip to Home Depot to buy a vacuum cleaner and a new power cord for our dryer since the outlet is different in our new laundry room. Unfortunately we had some confusion about the cord we needed, so we left without a new one and found out the one we were looking at would have worked. Just meant another trip to Home Depot for Josh later in the afternoon!

We spent the rest of the afternoon unpacking and cleaning the old house thanks to the new vacuum. When you have a cat, it’s necessary to thoroughly vacuum your house before you sell it! We are well on our way to being fully unpacked with most of the remaining crates holding decorations and other non-necessary items.

Almost done unpacking!

The only hiccup of the day was that Josh attempted to rekey our front door while I was at the grocery store and then wasn’t able to get the deadbolt to work at all. Since our front door is only a deadbolt, this was a bit of a problem. Josh called a locksmith to see if someone could come out to rekey it for us, but no one is working on Easter! Thankfully after a few more attempts, he was able to get the lock to work, so we won’t have to worry about the door being unlockable tonight.

Tomorrow starts a new week and the last few days that we own our first house. It should be an exciting week!

Moving Day

Moving day is upon us! I started my morning off early by going to a 5k with the plan of being home by 9:30 am since the movers were set to arrive between 10 and 11 am. I left Norcross at 8:45 – plenty of time to run by the bank to get some cash and to Chick-fil-A for some breakfast since the move would take place during lunchtime. I noticed I had a missed call just before 8:30 and assumed it was the movers confirming their arrival window. I thought it was weird they called so early, but I was confident they knew the correct arrival window since I had to request a change to 10-11am due to the morning race.

Then Josh called just after 9 to let me know the movers arrived – 45 minutes early! Thank goodness Josh was home and had already taken apart our bed and gotten some of the last-minute stuff packed.

I rushed home (no time for Chick-fil-A), and the movers were already hard at work! My first priority was to make sure Josh had corralled Venus since she tends to hide in the recliner, and I didn’t want her to end up on the truck. We found her under the recliner and then chased her around our room and bathroom before finally catching her and shutting her in the bathroom. She’s a trixie little kitty and escaped the bathroom by sticking her paw under the door and rattling it open, so we had to put her in her carrier until the movers were done.

The movers made quick work of the downstairs, and the whole truck was loaded in just over 2 hours. Considering all of the furniture wrapping and strategic packing of the truck, it went by quickly. Then we released Venus to chill at the old house and set off for our new house!

I can’t believe how quickly the movers unloaded the truck! Josh and I helped a little, but we mostly told them which rooms items went in as they came off the truck. It only took about an hour to unload the truck, so we were all done in 3.5 hours. I highly recommend Atlanta Furniture Taxi to anyone looking for movers! Their price per hour for 3 movers is comparable or better than other companies that only use 2 movers.

After the movers left, it was time for LUNCH. I was well past hungry and into hanger zone, so we went straight to Heirloom BBQ where I devoured a cup of banana pudding while waiting on the rest of our to go order.

These are my crazy hanger eyes

After lunch we got to work on our bedroom to make sure we would have somewhere to sleep before we got too tired. Setting up the bed was relatively easy, so I got to work on our closet while Josh took the shop vac to the guest bedroom which is still quite dusty. We spent a few more hours cleaning and unpacking before heading back to the old house to pick up a few things we left behind as well as Venus. She was passed out in her cube when we got back, so I would say the move didn’t traumatize her too much.

Back at the new house we finished up the kitchen and our makeshift pantry. The previous owner turned the pantry into a wine cellar, so disassembling that and turning it back into a pantry is a future project.

Overall this was a very successful and limited stress moving day. It’s already beginning to feel like home!

Renovations Day 11

Last day! It started early with a fridge delivery, so our appliances are now complete. The painters showed up as Josh was leaving and told him they would finish around 3pm today. Their office was closed, and everyone is eager to be off for Easter weekend. We can’t move any more of our stuff until they finish, so an early day works for me.

Josh also bought a shop vac and took care of packing up more stuff around the house and disconnecting the washer and dryer and then went back to the house to meet the painters when they finished this afternoon. I needed to work until about 4, so it was very helpful to have him take care of everything ahead of time.

When Josh got back home we loaded up his car with the vacuums and headed back to the house.

I love the paint job. There are too many spots on the carpet for my taste, the painters broke my broom, and everything in the house is now covered in drywall dust, but at least it all isn’t red and green and yellow anymore. I love the dining room the most. Once we get change that light fixture, it will be a beautiful room.

Josh and I got started on cleaning after that. He used the shop vac on the upstairs bedroom that was completed sanded (and a HUGE mess), and I vacuumed all the carpet. Those triangles were so satisfying to see.

The carpet upstairs is much thicker, so I thought that was the reason the vacuum was such a pain to push. Then the bag exploded. It spewed drywall dust everywhere and wouldn’t turn off even though I was frantically tapping the power button. I had to run over to the wall and pull the plug to get it to stop.

The worst part was that I almost brought extra vacuum bags but forgot until we were in the car. I knew the bag wasn’t that old or full, so I didn’t think it would be a problem. Surprise! I didn’t want to add more stuff to the massively dirty floors so I went to Publix (no dice) and Ace Hardware (winner!) to buy more bags. Turns out replacing the bag wasn’t the issue, and the vacuum is just broken. It semi-worked enough to finish up the upstairs, but it’s time for a new one. Another thing to spend money on!

We spent the rest of the evening finishing up some packing and talking through a plan for tomorrow. Honestly the inevitability of the move has made me much calmer than I’ve been for the rest of the week. It’s happening tomorrow no matter what!

 

Renovations Day 10

I didn’t go to the house until after 3pm today, and I sat in the driveway once I got there because I was nervous about going inside. I managed to not think about the painters and what was happening at the house for most of the day but now it was time to see the result.

I was a little surprised when I walked in. The grey we picked for the walls turned out very blue. It looks fine, but I was hoping for a bigger distinction between the grey walls in the main spaces and the blue we picked for the bedrooms. They currently look almost identical. If I hadn’t seen the tag on the paint bucket, I would have thought they were using the wrong color on the main walls. A Google search confirmed that a lot of people pick a grey color and it ends up looking blue. Something about reflections and undertones.

I unpacked another kitchen crate and got to work on cleaning the 2 guest bathrooms. We wanted to hired a professional to come clean, but now that the painters won’t be done until Friday, we’ll have to clean ourselves.

The fire alarm went off while I was cleaning the downstairs bathroom. We don’t have alarm set up yet, but I managed to turn the louder sound off. The smoke detector kept beeping for about 5 minutes before it went off as well. Finally some peace. Then the doorbell rang.

The fire department showed up! It’s good to know that they arrive so quickly, but this particular instance was embarrassing. I told the firemen that I didn’t know the alarm called them and it was likely the sander/dust that set off the alarm. They were friendly, so it wasn’t too bad.

I went upstairs to clean the guest bathroom and found it covered in dyrwall dust. The adjoined bedroom has textured walls, so they were taking a heavy-duty sander to them to prep them for painting. Unfortunately the sliding door that leads to the bathroom doesn’t fully close, so there was a pile of dust in the doorway and dust all over bathroom. There was no point in cleaning it, and the master bathroom is completely tarped over for painting, so I called it a day and went home.

Josh stopped by the house on the way home from work and gave me a call asking if I wanted the good news or bad news. Of course I wanted the bad news first. Turns out the painters used our BRAND NEW WET VACUUM to suck up the drywall dust from the upstairs bedroom. That vacuum is not meant for dust, and I can’t believe a painting crew doesn’t have their own shop vac.

Oh – the good news was that they were completely finished sanding the upstairs bedroom. Whoopee.

Josh brought the wet vac home, and we took it apart to clean it. I used our regular vacuum to try to suck out all the dust from the system. I know I’ve used this reference already, but I’ve never felt more like Danny Tanner than when using one vacuum to clean another. Thankfully it isn’t broken. It ran it a couple of times, but it is now spitting out significantly less dust, so that’s a good sign.

Tomorrow is the last day! We get our refrigerator delivered in the morning, the painters should finish, and we’ll hopefully get the place clean enough to move in. Oh – and I guess we will finish packing, too.

One.more.day.

Renovations Day 9

Today was frustrating, and I spent a lot of it being angry. This is an unfortunate character flaw of mine – being quick to anger. Time and self-reflection always helps me put things into perspective.

I heard this quote on the radio some time ago, and it often comes to mind when I’ve overreacted to something.

All frustration in life is wrought from unmet expectations.

My expectation when I arrived at the house a bit before 10am this morning was that the painters would be there getting the first coat on the walls. They were not.

My expectation was that the two textured bedrooms would be sanded, mudded, and fully prepped for painting. They were not.

My expectation was that the painters would show up sometime in the 3 hours I was at the house waiting for/working with the Comcast guy. They did not.

My expectation was that the painters would show up between 1 and 2pm, which is the timeframe the office gave me after Josh and I both called, were both put on hold, and finally got some information. They did not.

The painters did show up between 3:30 and 4pm. Josh met them on his way home and talked to the crew leader. Apparently the plan was to work from the late afternoon until 9pm tonight. Josh communicated our concerns about getting the job fully finished and cleaned up by Friday since we are moving on Saturday, and he said no problem. He said they would be able to get 2 coats on the foyer today and have it finished this evening. All in all, everything was fine and is fine, and there was no reason for me to be angry or frustrated. So why did I?

I assumed the painters would start in the morning or early afternoon. It turns out the re-mudding they did last night needed longer to dry, which is the reason they started later.

I assumed the painters wouldn’t be able to finish by Friday if they didn’t get started this morning. They say it’s no problem, so I’m hoping that’s true.

I assumed the painters would show up between 1 and 2pm because the office told me they would. This I feel is a legitimate reason for frustration since it clearly wasn’t accurate information, but once you consider the point above, it’s not that big of a deal.

I didn’t have time to go to the house and back again this evening, so the fun photo updates will have to wait another day or two.

Now for the things that went well today.

I met the Comcast guy this afternoon and had a productive unpacking session while waiting for him. The kitchen is now 75% moved to the new place.

The Comcast guy was great. I showed him the closet full of wires (below), and he was able to sort it out and get a signal running. We now have wifi! As long as I bring the modem and router back and forth, I can work from either house now. This makes for less stressful trips to the house for the next couple of days.

Josh scheduled another chimney company to come out today as well. This quote was only 3 times as expensive instead of 4 times, so it turns out our roofer was incorrect in his guesstimate (there are those pesky expectations again). Our chimney pan and shroud instead of a normal chimney cap, so the part has to be custom made, which is why it’s so much more expensive than expected. But – we can’t have our chimney leaking, so we are getting it fixed. The crew tarped the chimney while we are waiting on the custom parts, so there won’t be more leaks.

Two more days until the move, and two more days of formal renovations. “One more ‘til one more.”

Renovations Day 8

The painters came today! I’ve been most excited about seeing the colors updated in the house. Today was just the walkthrough and prep, so there’s no big change yet.

The setup was actually a little stressful. First, when Josh called the office yesterday to confirm what time they would start in the morning, they couldn’t seem to find us on their schedule. The office operates separately from the crews, so there was a lot of back and forth and waiting on hold before Josh got the arrival window of 9-11am.

The crew showed up just before 9, and I did the walkthrough with the crew leader. We discussed some changes to our estimate – decided to keep the textured walls in the upstairs bath and wanted to add some closet touchups. Josh communicated this ahead of time, but the crew leader seemed surprised. This plus some communication difficulties made the walkthrough a bit less smooth than planned, but I think it will be ok.

I met a chimney company while the painters started their prep. I forgot where the chimney was and walked them to the wrong side of the house, so that was a great start to the meeting. Josh didn’t let me know what he expected the quote to be for fixing the chimney cap, so I didn’t know what the guy gave me after checking out the chimney was 4 times higher than expected. Needless to say, we will be getting more quotes.

Josh stopped by after work to check on the painters’ progress. Everything looks prepped and ready to go, so hopefully all of the walls can get their first coat tomorrow!

Renovations Day 7

It’s officially moving week! Josh and I both checked off a couple of projects today. Josh met with a roofer at lunch who sealed our roof and double checked for leaks. He said the roof is in excellent shape, which is great news! We’ll need to replace the gutters relatively soon, but those are significantly cheaper than a new roof.

We do have a leak in our chimney cap, though, and we learned that roofers and chimney guys are two separate professions (who knew?), so I’ll be meeting with a chimney guy tomorrow morning in addition to the painters.

My project for the day was meeting with the carpet installers. They gave me a window of 1-3pm and showed up promptly at 1:15! I love not having to wait for people. They moved quickly and had the old carpet and pad ripped up and loaded with in 10 minutes of arriving.

Since we weren’t able to get Comcast set up, I didn’t have any internet and had to amuse myself in other ways. I finished up lining the kitchen cabinets and was able to put away another crate plus some items I left on the counter, so the kitchen looks almost put together!

I spent the rest of my time reading The Magic of Thinking Big – a book I’m reading with co-workers – out on the deck. I’m really enjoying it! I found the first few chapters to resonate with a mental breakthrough I had with running just over a year ago, and I look forward to finishing it over the next couple of weeks.

The whole job took just over 2 hours, and now there’s fresh carpet in our bedroom and closet and the downstairs guest bedroom. The new carpet and pad passed my bare feet comfort test, so I’m pleased with it. I don’t have very good before pictures, but the finished project is below. The carpet color looks pretty bad with the current off-white paint color, but that will change starting tomorrow!

The biggest project is painting, which begins tomorrow, and those will be the most drastic before and after pictures. I am excited and more than ready for the cosmetic upgrade!