If you remember, the rat wrangler set out traps in our attic the day before Thanksgiving. He was out of town visiting relatives for a few days over the holiday weekend, up at Pawley's Island, one of the lowcountry's lovely sea islands, where he took his 7-year-old son fishing for trout (with some success :-) He came back early to check our traps over the weekend...5 dead rats! I've been singling it like the Christmas carol's "5 go-old rings" (4 calling birds, 3 French hens, 2 turtle doves...).Ahem. After DH accompanied him to the attic to do the gruesome deed, we chatted while he stood in my foyer carrying a plastic bag with 5 De-ad Rats. I was surprised there were so many--I thought I heard a single rat up there in the night. He said this is nuthin'--he once cught 78 rats in a single residential attic (eek!).He was planning to return this morning to check the rebaited traps, clean up rat poop and where they messed up the insulation, and to repair the eaves, but I put him off to tomorrow afternoon so the hubster can be here to watch & learn. He's feeling more like he could handle this if it happens again. Or he's placating me, sometimes it's hard to tell.LBYM tie-inI redid the retirement budget One More Time with an increase in the Maintenance subcategory within HOUSING. This year--our house's 10th--we've had to deal with rats, replacing the dishwasher and repairing the floor where it leaked, replacing all the smoke detectors and most of the outside lighting, and now the fridge is on the fritz: the filtered water stopped working plus some items are freezing--especially in the veggie drawer. I moved the salad fixings from the drawer to a higher shelf and now keep root vegetables in the drawer...frozen beets, carrots, fennel bulb and parsnips beat frozen lettuce, cabbage, mushrooms, avocado, celery and scallions. The hubster pulled out the fridge and gave it an (overdue-) thorough cleaning, including unscrewing the back panel. Then reset the thermostat to a warmer setting. So far, no luck. And our heat pump seems a bit flaky as well. sigh. I guess 10 years with very little maintenance spending was pretty good...perhaps we should switch to leasing homes the way some people lease cars to avoid maintenance costs!
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