Saturday, December 3, 2011

Updated Update...

If you've read my most recent posts,  then you know about the rat issue I have been dealing with the past couple of weeks, and what measures I have taken to rid myself of this problem.
(BTW - Thanks for reading).

Here's an update on the latest update:

In my last post, I mentioned that I had caught the main culprit that had been going to town on my bananas in the middle of the night.  Since I caught the little bugger, I have returned my bananas from of the fridge and back to hanging them on my plastic banana tree, placed upon the counter top... more to the point: "I put my bananas back "in harms way".  All this as an attempt to entice any other rats that may be hiding, to see if I have more than "one" problem.

It's been three days (I think it's been three days, I dunno, I lost track, and although I could simply look at the date of my last post, then do the math, I am too frickin' lazy so I'll just take a stab at it... then if I am wrong... I'll consider editing it but won't, simply saying to myself, "Aww screw it, I'm human", and move on).

Sorry - I have ADD  - where was I??
Oh yeah... it's been three days and so far, my bananas are unharmed!  YAY!!!

The optimist in me wants to believe that I have ridden myself of the "problem" and I can carry on in my rat-free home.  But the kid in me likes the frosted side... oops, my ADD kicked in again....

Part of me REALLY wants to believe I am rat free... for now!  (See previous posts about the house from hell).  But the pessimist in me keeps yanking me back to reality.  The pessimist is forcing me to see the big picture, the horrors of re-occurrence  - not to mention the endless fricking holes in this fricking house that I don't have the means to repair! (Again, see previous posts).

For now, I am confident that I am not going to see any activity, I am fairly confident, based on the lack of evidence, that I have any further "activity" currently running rampant in my house.

However, I am forced to wonder for how long this will last.

I fear, not for my life, but for my bananas!  They can not stay in the fridge - bananas in the refrigerator are NOT normal - What would they neighbors think??
But more importantly than having bananas in the refrigerator - Why in hell are my neighbors in my frickin' fridge?????

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


During the hunt, the hunter has got to be smarter than the hunted.  The hunter should always be in control... control his/her breathing, control his/her army (and/or arsenal) and control his/her surroundings, but most importantly...
The hunter must control the prey's movements through dictation.  - S.  DaCannon

Ok - so I wanted to start off with something corny... I think I was successful!!  Very successful because the more I read that rubbish, the more I laugh.

With that said...
The above statement is as true as it is corny. 

In my last post, I wrote about a rat.  I want this bastard gone!  So, I thought like a hunter.  I used to hunt deer and black bear in the woods every season with my twin sister before I moved to Texas so I know a thing or two about baiting, tracking, when to strike and well... when to stand your ground and when to *run!*

(*Side note:  Black bear are very agile and quiet creatures for being so large and clumsy looking while moving through the woods.  They can be standing within 10 feet of you before you know it... all without you hearing their approach.  It was on that that occasion that we both just stood our ground in a flanking position on the bear, locked and loaded, ready to shoot if needed.  Luckily, the mother's cubs had chosen to run down a side path, otherwise, there is a good possibility that I would not be writing this today, or worse... I would have lost my twin).

So I engaged my hunting brain to trap this rat.  I thought of my sister's "hunter philosophy"...

"I don't hope [the prey comes to my bait pile]... I EXPECT it!"

With that philosophy in mind, I dictated where this little rat should move and what it should eat.  I started by putting it's (apparently) favorite midnight snack in the fridge so it wouldn't eat MY stash... and decided that if, come tomorrow morning, the little bastard opened the refrigerator door and got to those bananas..  

we are fucking moving... right fucking NOW!!  

I don't want to be living with Hercules the Robo-Rodent!! 

I left the previously rejected peanut butter in the mouse trap, but also added a chunk of banana.  I figured that if the bugger has a taste for it I might as well use it to my advantage.

It worked!!  I got my rat! 

I am excited that I got my prey, and I'm betting that if the bananas could talk they'd be overjoyed as well.

 I still hope, err, expect that this is the ONLY one I have to trap. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Keep it Singular!!

I have a rat (no, not my ex-husband, the other rat).

The singularization of the word "rat" is on purpose, if for any other reason, to will it as truth.  It would sicken me to think of more than one in my house, but I must also be reasonable... it's starting to turn cold.

I know, I know... In many parts of the USA it's been cold for a while, but for me in my part of the planet I call Texas it starting to get cold... now that November is ending.  (I hate these three weeks of winter - HA!).

Anyway, back to my reality check...
It's starting to turn cold... Rats like to be warm... Holes in the house (see previous two posts)... But I still need to cling to my hope of "singularity" and will it as only ONE rat -

JUST ONE, I SAY!!!!!! 

 I have those white plastic "ortho" brand traps set, the ones that trap the rodent inside and a red level flips up to tell you the mouse is "caught".  My MIL (Mother-in-Law) bought three double packages of them, that was very thoughtful and I am thankful.  I am hoping they work too, even though these are "mouse traps", not rat traps. 

I have Norwegian rats.  They are small, grey and fuzzy, have pointed faces and their poop looks like rabbit food pellets, only kind of browner like, ya know... shit! 

Oh yeah, did I mention... These types of rats are carnivores... which confuses me cuz they are it is not acting like it.  You see, I have these "traps", that my MIL bought, baited with peanut butter, but they it ignores all of the wholesome protein goodness that peanut butter has to offer, and goes straight for potassium overload.
They are It is going after my bananas - the little bastard!

I'm thinking of combining the protein with the potassium, after all, I don't know a single HUMAN that can resist the great combination of peanut butter and bananas... certainly this rat isn't that foolish either!
We will see!

Monday, November 28, 2011

House From Hell (Part Two of a Thousand)

Well the In-Laws are gone and the job is not complete but there is improvement... yes, I used the word "improvement".

The In-Laws left for NM Sunday morning. The flooring in the bedroom is done.  It actually looks really nice.  They went with a stick-on wood-like finish.  The walls and ceiling of bedroom are complete with two coats (5.1 gallons) of Killz and a couple of coats of this beige paint they picked.  The wall that needed replacing is complete as well.

The bathroom is nearly complete.  The flooring is in, the vanity is in, the single section of shower tile is in place, there is not a mirror installed yet, or the medicine cabinet they had bought but it's here, waiting.  We are also waiting for the uncle to come back and do the grout.  This worries me because the dad (uncle's brother) is heading back to NM, so we may never see the uncle again since its nearly impossible to get him to come out here otherwise.  I can grout, I've done it before - and my sister loved the tile work in her kitchen, so the grout is not really the issue.  The issue with the uncle not getting here in a timely fashion and that his tools are scattered throughout my already "filled to the max" garage and I need to put the already purchased kitchen installments in the garage... and as I am typing this this... I am literally surrounded by boxed kitchen cabinets and a 10 foot counter top sticking out, directly behind my desk.  I barely fit in the space provided - my keyboard drawer is unable to be pulled out completely...

So the typos (this time) are not because I am a poor typist... I am simply bunched up in this tiny air-hole section provided for my convenience.  At least they were thinking of me.

Oh yeah, I talked them into a garbage disposal too.  The uncle debated that, I'm sure out of simply not wanting to install one since he took the last one out cuz it didn't work.  K doesn't cook that much so when the old garbage disposal died, she probably told him she didn't need another one but this was long before I came along... and I love to cook.  So when I asked the mom for a garbage disposal, the uncle happen to be walking through and said that the house never had one before.  Both the mom and I said in unison, "Yes it did".  She told him she remembers it, as I showed him where the switch is located on the wall.
I smugly told the uncle, "We are not all take out ya know - I do cook... a lot."  K then chimed in with, "And she's damn fine at it, too!" 

Thanks baby - I love cooking for you -  you appreciate it and that makes cooking more fun  :-)

Bottom line on the disposal - I WIN!  That smaller box sitting on the uninstalled counter top (picture above) is my new garbage disposal.  YAY! 

As for the nasty giant hole in my dining room / office...

Out of sight... out of mind, right?!?! 

(Can't you just feel me rolling my eyes.)

They all will be back here at Christmas time so hopefully they will have my cabinets / counter top installed, fix the ceiling, finish the flooring upstairs (half of the hallway is unfinished) and all the other good stuff.  So we will see in the next few weeks.

I am sure that will also give the grandmother time to get more Holy water in case she wants to come to the house to "help" too.  Hmmm, I should also alert the chicken farmers that she may be looking for a sacrifice soon.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The House From Hell (Part 1 of what I know will be a thousand)...

I've got my In-Laws in town... for the holidays... well, yes and no.  They weren't going to come to Texas, until the insurance adjuster told them they need to replace the ceiling, part of the kitchen, two bathrooms and a bedroom.

You see, my partner, K, rents her parent's house... kind of... they don't have a "rental agreement" on paper, she just makes the house payment for them, while they abandoned the house (and apparently all the problems) on K.  Her parents knew this house was in terrible shape - and a lot of it was because they are DIY'ers.

For those who don't know... DIY = "Do It Yourself".

Oh sure... the house insurance was planning on paying for everything that needed to be repaired but the parents figured they'd have shitload of cha-ching left over if they, you know... DIY'd the whole frinkin' project(s) (again).

K actually stood up to her mother and father, who live out of state, when she heard they were going to do the job themselves, "to save on labor costs".  K told them that she wants the job done right, not "put together with duct tape and spit!"  WTG, baby! - Finally!!  But they are still doing the job, and they are still "cutting corners", both figuratively and literally (they are armed with a sawzall (reciprocating saw) - scary!).

Here's the thing... well, one of the things... there are several things!  But here is the list of things that has me fuming:

Thing 1)   K's uncle (her dad's brother) is the one they rely on to do the repairs but he only puts band aides on things - never repairs them.  When he does repair something... like that leaky pipe that we asked him to fix last year... he cut two oddly shaped, oblong holes in our first story ceiling... right above the very limited kitchen counter space, where I do my cooking... the only place where I CAN do cooking (the space is truly that limited).  Did I mention that this house has rats??  Yup, and despite the mega bucks we have spent on exterminators, we can't keep them out because there are literally 100's of small and large holes the parents and uncle has made throughout the house - and we can't get the uncle, who made the holes, over here to patch them up, blah- blah- blah!.  So, these rats live in between the rafters of the first and second floor... and the poop from these rats can fall onto my counter tops (that is, now that there are giant holes right there)... did I also mention that these two particular holes in my kitchen ceiling have been here since FEBRUARY of 2011??  I have them covered with garbage bags tacked to the ceiling.  We have been trying to get her uncle over here to fix his "handy" work but he never comes.  BTW - These holes are NOT  the ONLY holes he has made and ignored that cause major problems... he has also cut out a seven 7-inch by 4-foot section of the bedroom wall in April to repair a separate leak that has been occurring (that they ALL have been told about) for THREE YEARS now.  And he still failed to fix the leak!!  It was when I asked K to tell her parents that if they don't fix this now - the "upstairs" will soon be the "downstairs" cuz the upstairs guest bathroom will be in the fricking kitchen downstairs!!  (That was about 7 months ago - and HERE WE ARE... nothing but the best for us!  And people wonder why I sing Tom Petty's lyrics, "the waiting is hardest part"!

Bedroom wall.  PS:  This is NOT the uncle - its the plumber. 

Bedroom wall

This is my dining room leak - above the hole is the bedroom where the plumber is working.  The stuff on the cabinets... moldy ceiling chunks!  The dark thing in the hole is the bathtub.  This leak is right on the divider wall of the bedroom and the guest bathroom.  BTW - you may be asking yourself WHY the cabinet sticks out further than the kitchen wall... Answer:  "Master Carpentry".

The uncle's handy work.  Not the garbage bags - that's me... he STILL has not fixed these holes!  (And in case you are wondering... the genius cut the drywall right up to the cabinets (that are buckled and falling).

better shot of the buckled shelves
The light at the bottom is the hole downstairs.  I thought this was an interesting angle.
 Did I also mention that this brilliant uncle (the hole king) is a HIRED "handyman".  After seeing his "handy work" (and especially after I loudly protested about crossing colored wires on our 20 year old A/C unit that keeps burning out the "makeshift" capacitors)  I personally wouldn't let him change a frickin' light bulb in the house but K says it's free labor.  Yup, it's true - ya get what ya pay for all right!  It amazes me how some people who have a power drill and a bucket of screws all of a sudden become contractors.  And the more tools they accumulate, the more they think they know.

 Thing 2:  When we have issues that require someone to come out ASAP, like no A/C (we live in South Texas where it's 90° in November!) it takes him a week or two... or never... to come out here.  But this time around... now that the brother is in town... they have the whole damn family over here, LITERALLY.  It's always like that when the brother comes.  It was when the bible-thumping Grandmother knocked on my door last night to "help" that I immediately went into panic mode... I'm actually surprised she considered entering the house of the "unholy" ( Did I mention that I am gay?)  Maybe she doused the house with holy water while sacrificing a chicken when I wasn't looking.  This hypocritical woman only likes those who are "BLOOD" related... even though half of her grandchildren (K included) are of a previous marriage.  She spoiled the hell out of K's younger brother though - the "Golden Child" cuz he's "BLOOD!!"  I'll give the ol' bitty credit though, during the holidays when she knows the "others" (non-blood grand-kids) are coming over for holiday dinner (Thanksgiving  / Christmas) she drags out and dusts off one or two  pictures and half-halfheartedly places them on a table, then, when everybody leaves, they go back in the closet.  (This is actually true too, one tends to notice those things when one pays "unscheduled" visits.  Ahhh, unconditional love and blah-blah-blah... no passing judgement there, right Grandma??  Very CHRISTAN indeed!!

Anyway - (sorry, ADD again)

So I've got the Dad, the mom, the grandpa, the grandma, the uncle... Oy!!  NONE of them are organized, and all of them are "masters" of carpentry...  NOT!!  They keep changing their plans... for the sake of TIME.  Let's move the cabinets, let's not move the cabinets.  Let's re-tile the shower, lets put in a tub surround, let's tile.  "We don't need to replace the entire piece of sheet rock... just cut around the warped, wet, moldy spots" - (THAT ONE THEY ALL AGREED ON!!)  Let's not replace the moldy, rotted floors, just use Kiltz - Yeah - it'll cover up the smell too!"

(I am not making this shit up!!)

They allowed themselves 8 days to do this job.

Plenty of time... if you have a plan.  Not at all... if you keep changing the plan.  However, their work day (two days so far) consisted of:
Day 1:  8:00am - 9:00am work - leave for two hours - come back work for one hour - go to lunch at 12:30 - come back at 4:15 - work till 6:30 pm - done for the day.

Day 2:  Start at 8:30am - leave at 9:00am.  Come back, work till 1:30pm - break for lunch - come back at 4:25 ( I watched a 2+ hour horror movie in this time frame) - come back - work until 5:55pm - done for the day.

And JUST NOW, the dad says to me as I am typing this, "Were a little behind schedule"
- Yeah... it's a fricking wonder!

Did I ALSO mention that they are squeezing in Thanksgiving during this time??  See, as I mentioned before, they hadn't planned on coming for any holidays, but this work needs to be done, and "them" being the "efficient" working machines as they are with their time management and mastery skills of construction, they are going to kill as many birds with as many stones as they can apparently throw!

God help the bird population... and the human population too cuz their AIM is as OFF as their time management capabilities!! Case in point:  About an hour ago, the grandpa put a 24" screwdriver through the second story floor, which happens to also be my kitchen ceiling (yes the one with the rat poop issue) and that hole is conveniently located directly above my stove! When I asked "why" - he said he wanted to know where he was at above, from below.  When I asked, why again, he said, "just wondering".

Screwdriver.  PS:  The float tape and green board is 5 years waiting to be completed.

Again, I'm not making this shit up - the proof is in the pictures.  One has to laugh or they'd go mad!
What's one more hole, ehh?? Maybe they'll leave the screwdriver there and I can use it as another conversation piece.
 But all this is not what has me worked up today.  I am actually immune to the "quirks" of this house... I mean, ya seen one hole in the drywall, ya seen them all, right??  What I am worked up about is that they keep CHANGING THINGS - The plans with the house, the PRIORITIES on what to do next...
(MOST PEOPLE PAINT THE WALLS BEFORE INSTALLING A NEW CARPET, Most people don't use a WHOLE FIVE GALLON bucket of Kiltz on one bedroom, and most people don't Kiltz a floor that is going to be carpeted!!  They also would stop and think before removing all WORKING toilets so that, ya know, just in case something like grandma's overactive bladder or grandpa's irritable bowel syndrome decide to pay a visit while "working".

But they keep changing everything they plan discuss - so much so that even I am confused, and I'm the ONLY sane one here!  They even keep changing Thanksgiving!!  I was informed today, by the mom, that Thanksgiving is now on Friday!

(I hope someone alerted the Pilgrims).

Thanksgiving is now on Friday - That's just fricking dandy - I have to work!  I see where I stand in this pecking order... "no lezzy's at the table this year, my dear"...  Well, HA!  My wife will be there - we will not be silenced!  When I told the mom I can't make it - she just said that XXX (K's brother, the blood related golden child) is going to come but he can't make it until Friday.   I said nothing, other than, "I won't be there, I have to work."

HOLY SHIT!!  STOP the FUCKING CALENDAR EVERYONE... let's wait for the blood relatives to come to town then we ALL can resume our fucking joys!!

I'm upset because of my situation:
1) I have NO family near me - they all live in Michigan, I am in Deep South Texas.  It is too far to drive and far too expensive to fly.
2) I have a crappy hourly job (that, BTW I could have in Michigan, or anywhere else other than this God forsaken place).
3) I can't find a decent job cuz my last name ISN"T "Gonzalez, Martinez, or any other Spanish-like "ez".
4) I haven't seen any of my family in 6 years, I haven't been able to afford to go home for the holidays in over 12!
5) I took two extra days from my hourly job because these wackos do NOT pay attention while running in and out (and in and out and in and out) of my front door while "working" on the house, so I have already had to CHASE down two out of three of my labs cuz "grandpa" is oblivious to... well... EVERY FUCKING THING AROUND HIM!  I already have Thursday off ( Thanksgiving) cuz the store is closed - a fricking miracle cuz last year, they were open.  Pizza for Thanksgiving, really??

(I seriously had thought about it today though, after I was informed that Thanksgiving was being moved to Friday - Hey, I have a key).

6) I STILL have to work on Friday. (The NEW Thanksgiving Day, don't ya know!).
7) Let me get this straight... Golden Boy and his family are going to have THEIR Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday at THEIR house, then drive down Friday morning (5 hours) and have it AGAIN on Friday - Good for them!  (Hmm - DO I want pepperoni or just cheese?)
8)  I have decided that I will not go anywhere near them on Thursday - I don't give a fuck what day it is!  If they have so little regard for everybody else that ISN'T blood, then WHY would I break bread with them???  When I celebrate the day a bunch of religion fanatics exploited the Indians, (Thanksgiving) I will do it on MY TERMS!


Change of plans!!  (there's a fucking surprise, ehh?!?!)

Thanksgiving has been moved (again) to it's regualrly scheduled day... Thursday!!

(Gee - I hope the Pilgrims can make it on time).