October 4th, 2004

duke-juggle

Homeowning Fun

Why is it that animals choose to come to my home to die? This cannot be a good sign. I remember the first year I owned this house, I found a dead pigeon in my garden once. Then there was the poor little kitty in my garage earlier this summer. Then saturday driving home (I spent much of the weekend driving between my house and my mom's house, to spend as much time as possible with the family), I discovered a deceased black squirrel in the road just in front of my driveway. I'm presuming he was struck by a car, though he wasn't actually squished (thank goodness).

I carefully maneuvered my car around it and into my driveway. I stood on the porch for awhile, studying the situation. Then I went inside -- I was hoping that one of my braver neighbors might take care of it, if I ignored the problem. Later that day, I left the house to go back to my mom's again. I attempted to wiggle the car around the pink elephant at the end of the driveway, then drove hurriedly away.

Late that night when I returned, it was too dark to tell if it was still there. The next morning, I saw what I hoped was just a patch of dirt, or maybe something that somebody else would take care of.

When I returned yesterday afternoon, I had to admit that the poor thing was still there. I was tired of trying to drive around it -- it was time to do something about it. I pulled out my garbage can and a plastic bag. I hovered in my driveway for awhile, debating. I felt embarrassed crossing the street and asking my neighbor to help me with yet another dead animal, and I didn't want to get a weird reputation in the neighborhood! I considered asking my other friendly neighbor for help, but I was still embarrassed to do so. It's my house, it must be my responsibility.

I think squirrels are cute, but fortunately I don't have the same attachment to them that I do for kitties. So it wasn't as traumatic. I didn't want to touch it though, or even get close. I got a pitchfork out of the garage, put the bag on the ground, and held it open with my foot. I gingerly scooped the little creature up, and edged it into the bag. Then I hooked one bag handle with the pitchfork, lifted it up, and dropped it quickly into the garbage can. I replaced the lid without looking in.

Done! I was a brave and responsible homeowner after all! Whew. Later that evening my dad said I could have called the city, since it wasn't actually on my property, just in front of it. Darn it. But... that would have meant several more times of going in and out of the driveway, trying not to run over it again, before they'd deal with it on monday, so really I'm glad it's mostly resolved now. (It will be completely resolved on thursday, when they take the trash away.)

Speaking of homeowner trials, it was pretty chilly in my house over the weekend. My furnace has been broken, and between traveling to NYC, and Cleveland, and not feeling well, I didn't manage to call anybody about it until last friday. Of course, they didn't have time to come look at it until monday.

Fortunately it hasn't been too cold yet this fall. This weekend was the first time it got really chilly, I'd say, and even then I don't think my house temperature never dropped below 60. Still...I'm perpetually cold. I'm the kind of girl who still gets chilly at 72 degrees, if I'm not moving! Saturday night was the most unpleasant; I eventually changed into my long underwear and moved into my downstairs bedroom (yes, heat rises, but my finished attic bedroom is not as well-insulated as the main floor). Wearing extra clothes, curled up under my down comforter, I finally got warmed up enough to fall asleep. It certainly wasn't torture, but it wasn't great fun either.

But bright and early this morning at 8:15, a very nice heating guy showed up on my doorstep! He checked things out and quickly found that the circuit board needed replacing. It was burned out. Of course he didn't have the right kind in his van, but I had cleverly chosen a company just down the road. 10 minutes later he reappeared with a board and a shop vacuum. He replaced it, did some furnace cleaning and maintenance, and finally heat, delicious heat, started pouring out of my vents. Warmth, hooray!

I cheerfully gave him the $350 he requested, and I promised that I'd have him come maintain it every 2 years. I even put a reminder in my Treo. Then I was supposed to go to work, but first I crawled back into bed for awhile and enjoyed feeling the house fill back up with warmth. Much better.
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I just called and scheduled my Lasik procedure. January 7th. That's the very first friday in 2005. (Unless I chicken out.) I'm so excited! I'm so nervous!