Saturday, December 19, 2009

home alone

That’s me today.  Marc is in the city going to a memorial service/wake for a friend.  Well, Ken wasn’t exactly a friend but he was the brother of a friend’s best friend, someone who we associated with on occasion.  We’re all actually surprised that Ken lived this long.  Ken was a drug addict, on disability from the government though I don’t think it was related to the addiction.  Probably helped to fuel it though.  I don’t have all the facts related to Ken because he sort of creeped me out and I avoided him as much as I could on those rare occasions our paths crossed, but he’s been on death’s door a couple of times.

So Marc is in the city...again.  Out of the last 6 days, this will be the fourth time he has had to drive into the city.  (If you don’t remember why we went the last three times, you can read my last two posts.)  It won’t be all duty as he is meeting up with our friend Craig and they were going to go by the opening of St. Arnold’s Brewery that just opened a place downtown.  I’m sure they will be in a fine frame of mind by the time they get to the wake.

But that leaves me here by myself.  I think this is the first day that I’ve had to myself out here.  It’s been a beautiful day, sunny, not too cold, no wind.  The first time down after that freak snow earlier in the month, I noticed that the large ferns that grew there had been hiding an opening under the house about the size of the palm of a man’s hand.  In retrospect, the cat had paid undue attention to that spot.  I’ve always thought that she had a way under the house but I had never been able to find it.

This is what I saw when I looked out there Tuesday late afternoon.  In case you can't tell, something dug a big hole.  Since it was still foggy and drizzly I just filled it in with bricks and concrete blocks as a temporary measure.  I was telling my sister about it the next morning.

‘Armadillo,’ she says, ‘we had an armadillo dig several holes under our house.’


‘Or could be a skunk.’


‘They’re nocturnal, you know’ she continues.  ‘Better hope you didn’t trap it under the house.’

Great.  Thanks, sis

So she tells me that the way you get rid of the varmint is to flood the hole.  That’s what she did, flooded the hole with the hose and the armadillo ran right out.  Works great if your house is on a slab instead of pier and beam.  Like mine.  So I just hoped that I didn’t trap an actual animal under the house, or if I did that it would dig it’s way out again.  

Well, I haven’t heard any mad scrambling and no new holes have appeared.  Although the cat was very insistent about going outside in the middle of the night the other night, and then she just sat there staring at the ‘spot’.  So, today, I pulled out the bricks and tried to get the large asbestos shingle off that had been pushed back so I could see what was what under the house.  It was still nailed in one corner though and wouldn’t budge.  Well, nothing for it but to fill it back in and hope for the best.  

Which is what I did.  And then I decided that as long as the fern was down and I had to dig anyway, I would go ahead and get all those fern roots out of that spot.  I have something else I want to put there and I don’t especially like those ferns.  They are tall and scraggly and the roots form a tight weave that eventually forces everything else out.  After about four hours, I had filled the hole and secured the shingle and dug out all but a corner of the flower bed.  Four hours was enough, especially combined with the seven hours of work from yesterday.  

I’m spending the rest of the day watching silly girlie movies about love and weddings all the way through without the channel being changed once!  If Marc were here, the channel would be changing constantly, jumping back and forth.  Ai-yi-yi  Drives me nuts.

I’m going to open a bottle of wine in a bit, put on my scruffy sweat pants, put my feet up on my brand new double recliner couch and ease my sore muscles.

I will be glad when he gets home though.  The house is much warmer when he’s in it.


  1. It is [much warmer] isn't it? Still sounds like a nice comfy evening. Enjoy yourself.

    We are still marvelling at all the snow heehee and having toddies. Woohoo!

    Thinking of you!

  2. I always make the house too hot when Dr. M is gone - I guess it's to make up for his absence. He comes home & we start turning the heat down...

  3. I hear ya about the manmade warm.

    And, by the way... I was thinking the same thing about your varmint. Hope you didn't seal the little guy IN!!

    In Florida it's hot one day, cold the next. Pneumonia weather. But I love it. It's like a box of chocolates... you neva know what you're going to get.

  4. That is so sweet...enjoy your alone time.

  5. hey ellen - that's nice about your man making the house warmer! steven

  6. I can just picture my beloved's reaction if it was reported that an armadillo had burrowed under our house. It would be absolute mayhem,but so entertaining I would forgive at least a little of the ensuing destruction. Men are great.

  7. Yes, a house is happy when everyone is home.

    Merry Season to you and yours.

  8. We had a skunk living under our shed last year, and our Animal Control Officer said they'll only stay there to have their young, and as soon as they're old enough, they will all leave and live out in nature. Sure enough about 5 weeks later, mom and 2 babies were seen a couple times, then gone for good. Since then we've sealed off the opening. Good luck!

  9. An armadillo! Funny, I haven't seen one of those since I moved back to Michigan! ;-)

  10. I still wonder what sort of critter it was under your home. It all sounds exciting, but a bit too close to nature for me. I'm too much of an urbanite really. Like the idea of the wine and sweatpants - my kind of evening.

  11. Oh man. Blogger ate my comment, in which I told you what a beautiful post this was, referred to the conflicts of days spent alone - the luxury of not having to compromise, and the loneliness.

    Also said: glad you got to catch a break. You've been working your ass off.

    I liked the first comment better than this one, but it will have to do.

  12. What a sweet closing line. :)

    I hope your critter woes are over. I've had my share of animals living in my attic and under my deck. Both times it was a family of raccoons. An armadillo would be cool.. maybe. ;)

  13. What they said. And, my husband changes the channels a lot, too. I never get to see any commercials.

  14. Sorry about the whole. I was just having fun digging, to be honest, and I thought I might be able to wriggle through and pinch some wine.

  15. I like my quiet time to be human too, but the house is always warmer when my man is in it with me. Peace.

  16. It's always nice to have a night to oneself but always nice when they come home and you are grateful you don't have too many of those.

  17. A good day's work, though.

    I've never seen an actual armadillo, but we used to have skunks here (Until the new owners murdered every animal and tree in sight). There was one skunk who used to eat cat kibble from my hand. Someone followed me home from the train station one night when I got home at midnight from the Broadway show I was working at the time -- the skunk got in between us and sprayed him. It was hilarious.

    Skunk is one of my totems now -- he stands for self-respect!

  18. Alone time...there is nothing like it. It happens so rarely anymore, I enjoy every minute.

    Hope you don't have a skunk under your house! LOL


  19. Sounds wonderful and made me want to run over in my jammies to join you, though it IS so nice to have a day alone that I would not want to interrupt, lol.

    BTW, Baby armadillos are absolutely adorable, even if they do look prehistoric!


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