Category Archives: Squirrel Trouble

Tying up loose ends

Cleaning out my purse today and found a menu from one of the restaurants we ate at in Washington. I’m pretty sure I didn’t make mention of it so I thought I would now because it is absolutely stop-worthy-if-you-are-in-the-neighborhood.

I also wanted to mention lunch in The Dalles which was along the Columbia River Gorge. I don’t think I mentioned that one either. Of course before eating at any of these places we did spend time sitting in parking lots checking out Yelp. No more let’s just take our chances and check it out anymore. Leave nothing to chance.

After leaving Seattle on a sunny day we headed to the wine country. Actually looking back over my blog I see that it is the forgotten day. Stopped at a winery but wasn’t too impressed by the wines. One winery was enough. It was getting late so we Hotwired our way to a hotel. Nothing to talk about there. But dinner was another story. We yelped and yelped and finally decided on Phuket Thai Cuisine in Kennewick, WA.

If you are new to this restaurant, please take our spicy level seriously. Our spice level is much spicier than any other Thai restaurant. Thank you . . .” is written on the menu. The owner/cook’s daughter was our waitress. She assured me that she knew all the ingredients and there were no nuts or sesame in anything we ordered. She also mentioned that she was allergic to nuts too. Ah, I felt good. I knew I didn’t have to take a small bite and let it sit in my mouth to wait and see if it’s safe.

We said we’d go for 3 stars hot because we liked hot but she wasn’t so sure we could handle it. Her mom/cook/owner came out and we chatted. She recommended 1 star and she would give us some fresh spice to add if we needed it. I was a bit apprehensive. I couldn’t believe we agreed to 1 star. Is it going to be like Orchid in Garden City where we say very spicy.  And it is served hardly spicy. Maybe it is a language thing? very — hardly?

The Ydom Yum soup we ordered was delicious. The Paht Khing (ginger stir-fry prepared with sweet onion, green onions, and mushrooms) was very spicy and also delicious. I’m always looking for a green dish. I can never find one green enough but there it was on the menu — Pa Rham (stir-fried spinach with broccoli and chicken and topped with peanut sauce. It was sooooo good. My favorite. Half the spinach was raw, softened only by the peanut sauce. It was definitely worth the trip to Kennewick. Everything was so fresh, spicy, and tasty. We ate the leftovers for breakfast.

Next we left and drove in the pouring rain in the beautiful Columbia River Gorge (or so I’ve heard.) Took a break in The Dalles, Oregon and stopped at the Baldwin Saloon, another Yelp choice. Good soup, salads, and sandwiches.

So now I can throw away my menus and receipts because I have only to look back on my blog to find this information.

Also, let’s close the book on the squirrel thing. I was a bit nervous when we left for vacation. I was pretty sure the squirrel was gone but I kept thinking that I would walk in the door after 2 weeks and see a hole in the ceiling and squirrels living in my house. Actually the way it would have happened was that Hannah would come home on Friday (a day before our arrival) and discover all this. When I spoke to her friday night, she didn’t mention anything. On Saturday I tiptoed into the laundry room and saw my row of steel wool untouched. No squirrel activity. And that is the end of Stanley!!!!!!!

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Filed under Empty nesting, Long Island Living, Real life, Squirrel Trouble

Opening the Floodgates: Posting on Facebook

There — I did it. I posted a comment on Facebook. It didn’t come naturally. I’m more of a Facebook stalker. I read, I look at pictures. Sometimes I even meet Sylvia for dinner and afterwards we find a coffee shop with wifi and stalk around!

I don’t know what made me post.  Judy mentioned Genie Hamp and Joe asked about her whereabouts. Genie and I were good friends way back in high school and then some. So, I don’t know why but, I decided to be helpful. “Don’t know. Last I heard she was in Florida.” I hit return. (I am so full of information.)

Ahhhh, what have I done!  Before you know it, Judy is saying hi, Carol says she misses me — awwwwwww. Ricky wants to be my friend and Stephanie popped out of nowhere. Should I start twittering? Maybe this will get my blog readership up. How quickly would it take me to hit the one million mark?

SHED ALERT: The phone call yesterday said that the shed installer would be here between 9 and 12 noon today. I called Wood Kingdom an hour ago to find out his timing. She tried calling him, no answer. Then she comes back to the phone and says, “He should be there soon. You’re his third stop.” “And how long does it take to install the shed?” I ask. “About 3 1/2 hours.” Why was I so nice to her? I hung up and was wondering why on earth she would give me a  9-12 window when I am the third installation. In real time it’s now 2:03 pm. Still waiting at 3:16. Still waiting at 4:26. Here they are 4:35. Shed up in less than an hour and I forgot to take a picture — tomorrow.

I am in such a constant state of squirrel anxiety. Is there such a thing? I had some cleanup work done yesterday in the attic and today I looked in there and I see the vent that is hanging under the attic fan (original point of squirrel entry) is sagging and needs to be taped up. Maybe the tape didn’t hold or, maybe Stanley has returned with a vengeance. I  called my guy, John, and asked him to come take a look on the roof and make sure the screening around the fan is all intact. (He did and all was fine.) Now I hear a clicking noise and I know it is my noisy refrigerator . . . but I am still scared. I just tip toed over to the fridge and kept my ear flush against the door. Doesn’t sound like a squirrel to me.

Ahhh, there’s a squirrel on my lawn. Helppppp meeeeeeee!

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Filed under Empty nesting, Long Island Living, Real life, Squirrel Trouble

Ding Dong the Shed is Gone

They took the old shed away, but first they had to empty the truck to make room for the pieces:

Random pickings?

Every year I say the same thing, “I have to get rid of this awful rusty leaky shed.” And every year I also say, “Damn, I should have ordered a shed. Now it’s too late, the perennials are popping.” Well, this year is different. I finally ordered it and I’m nervous. Did I pick the right color? Size? I’m looking over at the corner and now I’m thinking I should have ordered a smaller shed. Maybe a different color? Did I really need the window?  Eh, whatever it is it will be new. Right? Did I even need another shed in that spot. Maybe a vegetable garden would have been better. Ahhh, enough!

More importantly, what’s with the squirrel? Well, this morning I took a hammer and started banging on the plywood covering the crawl space. Hannah stood outside to see if a squirrel ran out in the yard. Nope, nothing. It is very quiet in my yard. I don’t see any happy playful squirrels dancing in the sun.

All yesterday I was thinking of elaborate ways to tell if there is a squirrel coming in and out of the opening. Whatever it was that I thought of pretty much flew out the window when I had to crawl on the ground and stick my head under the cantilever. (Am I using this word correctly?)  I could barely reach the two openings. So I took two white plastic garbage bags, crumpled them up, and shoved them up each hole.

Here’s what it looks like:

garbage bag plugs

I already checked tonight and they are untouched. So far, so good. No traps out tonight. If the plastic plugs are untouched tomorrow, OMG, I think I may have stumbled on a new career — squirrel trapper. I’ve learned so much about the ways of a squirrel these past few weeks. Maybe I should calm down and take it easy. I just want this to be over. Close it up and get on with it.

Tomorrow my new shed is being installed. The contractor is coming over to fix the leak by my front door and fix the air conditioning vents that the squirrels destroyed.

Hey, wait a minute  —  March 20 at 7:21 pm EST — Happy Spring! (Did I hear snowflakes in the forecast this week?)

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Filed under Home Improvement, Long Island Living, Squirrel Trouble

Think Like a Squirrel

Found the point of squirrel entry into my house the other day and set out two traps after dark. I made sure to add plenty of peanut butter, bread, a few whole peanuts and an additional touch of peanut butter right in front of each trap. The next morning I looked out my window and saw a fat, happy squirrel dancing in my yard. Not happy was I.

Ate breakfast, got dressed and just before leaving I went out back and checked on the traps. Both traps were closed tight. One was knocked over and empty and the other one had a squirrel in it. Could it be Stanley? How many squirrels do I need to catch? Sent Stanley off to a park in Massapequa. I hope he is happy and I hope he is him(?) Set the traps again and on Saturday morning there was another squirrel in the trap. That fragrant peanut butter could probably attract every squirrel in Merrick.

Spent the day in the city. Drove in and used my MOMA membership to get twenty dollar parking for 12 hours. A good deal in that area. Drew and I saw The Good People on Broadway. “I really like that play. Did you like it?” he said immediately upon hitting daylight and fresh air. “Yup,” I quickly reply. “I can never tell,” he quips back. Wandered over to St. Andrews and met the girls there. Hannah had just finished volunteering at the Black Party Erotic Expo. And it was another day, another doctor for Rachel — she met us afterwards. We drank and ate appetizers. I think Drew left hungry. He just doesn’t get the only-eat-appetizer part and he didn’t order enough food. It made him cranky.

Drove Rachel home and on the way ordered a burger medium rare to go for her from Royale. (Now she decides to eat!) Hannah came home with us.

And I am ready for tomorrow. Clean up corner for new shed. Old shed is gone and new one delivered on Monday. Yay!  Also, I decided not to put out the traps tonight. Tomorrow I’ll cover the holes with plastic and leave some strips hanging. Not sure how I’ll do this but this way I can see if there is a squirrel getting in or out of the crawl-space. No activity and the holes get closed up. Otherwise the traps go out again.

Wore my new Ecco sneakers today . . . most comfortable.

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Filed under Family, Long Island Living, Squirrel Trouble

Feeling Groovy

Maybe I’m a bit optimistic but I think Stanley’s days of living it up in my house are coming to an end. Yesterday I was so traumatized by his presence in the crawl space that I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. I wasn’t home today so I don’t know for sure if he’s been around but I just couldn’t get him out of my mind.

I called Mady and she gave me the name of a trapper. It was one of those “friend of a friend’ referrals. I called him. I wasn’t sure what I was going to say. We spoke and he gave me a few good pointers.

Most importantly he said, and he is not the only one, that the squirrel probably found another way out or it would be dead. Look for a fresh pile of saw dust. I went out back and crawled around and found what looked like saw dust and above it — a hole. Yup, I found it. Well, I think I feel better because now I know he isn’t trapped and he won’t wind up dead in my house.

Tomorrow night I will set up a trap on the outside. I’ll probably have to use some patio blocks to line up the trap’s opening to the hole in the house. I say tomorrow night because tonight my partner -in-squirrel -trapping is at the Elton John concert at the Garden. Drew wants no part of it, so I’ll wait.

Getting a new garden shed on Monday. Yay! I’m concerned because I’m having my old shed torn down in the next day or so and I don’t want this to interfere with my squirrel trapping. Maybe I can get them to keep down the noise . . . cut down that metal shed quietly, please.

Preparing for trip to Seattle . .  haircut today, color tomorrow. Bought walking shoes and a raincoat. Am I repeating myself? Signing up for a cooking class one afternoon . . .

Just started reading The Memory Palace. It’s a 2 week loan so I’ll finish it before we leave. Need to bring 2 books with me.

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Filed under Long Island Living, Squirrel Trouble

I Want a Little Camera I Can Love

I’ve fallen out of  love with my Canon Powershot  . . . it’s way too slow. I’d like to get a camera before we leave for Seattle but I can’t figure out what’s important. Size? Changeable lenses?  I’m pretty sure size matters. My camera should be a necessary item —  like my wallet. Need to have it, stick it in a pocket or purse before I run out the door. Not like an umbrella – should I bring it or not? Will I need it and who wants to carry it? If it’s too big I know I won’t carry it around. But I will wish I had it whenever I didn’t.

BREAKING NEWS: Went down to my laundry room and saw a piece of out-of-place insulation. Pushed it in and casually banged on the panel that seals the crawl space and heard a shuffling — and then I saw Stanley stick his head up and out of the crawl space. Damn, he’s still around. I was really hoping that he found his way out. He doesn’t seem as active — don’t hear any chewing. I called Arrow and they said they could send a specialist over to assess the situation for a few hundred dollars (which would go towards whatever it is they recommend.) So I called my guy and once again, we set traps in and out of the crawl space. An hour later I heard him scurrying in the dining room ceiling. Is it possible that he is getting in and out? Is it possible that there are two?

Well, enough squirrel talk. Going to dinner with Sylvia soon. This morning Drew asked where we were going for dinner. I wasn’t sure — probably meet at Borders in Farmingdale and eat at the pizza place around the corner, Bellagio Pizza. “Why don’t you go to Croxley’s or . . . ,” he rattles on. “Did I ask you for suggestions? No, I did not!” My Drew is always full of advice.

When Sylvia and I meet, it’s not just about the food, although good food is a plus. It’s about a place to eat and chat and not be rushed. A place to laugh and discuss important issues. “What color should I paint my house?” I’ve already packed the paint chips. Wonder if she’ll give me some good suggestions. We’ve got a big night planned. Bed, Bath and Beyond, Borders, and dinner. tired just thinking about it.

Better nap and get ready for my big night.

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Filed under Empty nesting, Everyday Woman, Home Improvement, Long Island Living, Squirrel Trouble

Trust Yourself

My list:

  1. Free Stanley
  2. Fix water leak by front door
  3. Repair a/c duct
  4. Clean up and insulate attic
  5. Empty shed and rip it down
  6. Move shrubs away from shed area
  7. Replace shed (already on order)
  8. Paint house exterior (need to buy some paint samples)

Can’t think right now. Activity downstairs. Here we go again. Jumped out of  bed at 7:20 am (I am Number 9 ) and checked the trap. It had sprung and it was empty. I reset it and sprinkled some baby powder near it to see if I find teeny tiny footprints later in the day. I’m giving this 2 more days and then I am calling an exterminator.

Later in the day: No footprints, no squirrel activity. Picked up Hannah at the train station and she told me the news — she’s in! Columbia School of Public Health wants her. Good thing too. I’d feel bad if her roommate, Anna, had to decline her acceptance out of guilt. Now they can both go and be happy. Congrats to both of you girlies.

Going out to celebrate Hannah’s acceptance. Chilli and Curry in Hicksville is Hannah’s choice. I break out in a sweat when I think of eating Indian food in a restaurant. Don’t know why, well, I do know why. I get sick every time. From what I read in cookbooks Indian recipes use ground up cashews in their spices and I don’t think they always know this. But I did eat at Chilli and Curry twice. The first time I felt fine and the next time I think my nerves got the better of me and I felt queasy. I’m willing to try again. When in doubt eat white rice!

Ready to go. Drew’s going to meet us there. Printed out a map. I remember last time I drove there I circled the area forever before i actually found the restaurant. Wish me luck!

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Filed under Family, Home Improvement, Long Island Living, Squirrel Trouble