I've been quite busy for the past few weeks. So much so, that I've not been online to read even one blog post.
For the past six months or so, my smoke detector has gone off (mostly in the middle of the night) and scared a few years off my life each time. There is no smoke to cause it, so I'm assuming it's either dust in there setting it off, or it needs replaced. It is, in addition to being powered with a battery, also powered by electricity. I read online that these systems need replaced every 8-10 years. My house is just now 10 years old. Since I cannot get to the detector battery, I called upon a dear friend, who makes my life much easier. He switched the electrical breaker off and removed the batteries; purchased an individual detector and hung it in a proper place. I can again sleep without being on edge. It disturbed Samson as well which bothered me more than anything. Now, he's sleeping soundly too.
That very evening, near dusk, I heard an unusual sound that seemed to be coming from under the house. Suddenly, Samson was in defense mode and headed to the heat register and began barking wildly; cats hissing and sniffing. I'm thinking, "Good grief, all this over a mouse (I'm sure of it!)?" I decided I'd turn the furnace on and that little critter would run back out. So ... turned on the heat ... and instantly knew it was NOT a mouse! It lumbered and galloped and thundered around. I feared it would break the duct work so I turned the furnace off. I listened and gasped! I heard a familiar chatter and a dog-like panting. No way! I'm thinking I've lost my mind and NO ONE will believe this. I went to the kitchen register ... looked into it ... and there ... staring back at me through a black mask was a raccoon!!! How in this world did that happen?! I called my friend, Jamie, to come back. (Fortunately, I've been close with his wife since the day she was born so she doesn't mind to loan him out.) He came back and we waited for it to rear its little head again. Never showed. Jamie sat here with me for almost an hour but the little fellow found his outlet to a cooler spot. I'm sure he was quite warm and thirsty after the heat from the furnace blowing on him.
The next morning I went to my car and saw little muddy 'coon prints on top of the frozen snow, heading from under the back porch to the stream just a few feet away. He needed a drink. :-)
A few days later, I was preparing to crawl under the porch to find out how this chubby little varmint was entering the crawl space. A friend stopped by at that exact time and insisted she do it for me. She said someone had cut one-half of a cinder block out and left a clear opening under the vented block. (I'm assuming the fellow who built the back porch did this when I wasn't looking. Why?) She took a few cinder blocks and blocked for me. I've had no more bandit visits but I fear the bandit left a little destruction behind. I can feel a slight cool breeze at the registers when the heat is not on. I'll have to get someone under the house this summer to check the duct work out. I hate the thoughts of sending someone under there because it's very tight. But, it must be done.
The weather is beginning to feel like Spring. Still a bit nippy but the sun is shining and that makes me joyful.
Wishing you a joyful weekend!