Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tasks, Trials, and Tribulations

Jacob and I started moving into the trailer today. You know, the sketchy trailer with the driveway from hell. Things just keep getting more and more interesting. As I made my way up the hill, the car got stuck in a rut and something was scraping underneath. I flipped out a little. I admit, I probably got a little too worked up, but I automatically start thinking the worst. This is not a hill you can back down. It's hard enough going forward. Backing is something I do not want to consider. And the one thing Chris told me about going up the hill is DO NOT STOP. Well, here I am, stopped, and hyperventilating like a woman in labor. I try to put the car in park, but even with the emergency brake it's not a good idea. So I put the car in neutral and slowly back up about 10 feet. Jacob gets out and tries to level the gravel while wearing flip flops. I'm a nervous wreck. I tell him to drive. We manage to switch places in the driver's seat without ever taking my foot off the brake. He drives up the hill successfully, but there's still that awful scraping noise. I don't care what anyone says. That scraping noise is bad news.

So, when we finally made it to the house and started unloading we came upon a huge problem. Infestation. There are insects everywhere. Bees and wasps, spiders, and I found a tick. Then, I started noticing these tiny, black things everywhere. Yes, mice. And from the sheer accumulation of mouse shit everywhere (in all the cabinets and drawers, on the floor) I imagine that we have many, many mice. Not cool. Then, I started listening and could hear mice in the ceiling and the walls. Even less cool. I am the sort of person who does not like the idea of pesticides or mouse traps or rat poison. I don't like killing things, even if they are vermin. But when faced with the thought of trying to go to sleep with mice scratching in the walls and insects creeping between the bed covers I caved like an underdone soufflee. We made a trip to the hardware store and purchased fish-flavored mouse poison (I'm hoping that we won't smell them as they die and decay in the walls and ceiling), bug bombs, wasp foam, and a fly swatter. I put the mouse poison everywhere I thought a mouse might be looking for food. I hope they find the pellets delicious. We set off one of the bug bombs before we left. It still makes me nervous to think about any kind of poison in the house, though. I don't want that stuff in the carpets and bedsheets.

The problem, I suppose, is that there are several places in the trailer where the floor has rotted and you can see through to the ground. Not to mention the fact that you can't close the windows all the way, and there are holes in the ceiling. I have an itch to go back tomorrow and vacuum the place vigorously. Oh, did I talk about the smell yet? Let's go over that for a minute. The former owner was a smoker. I have a feeling he was a two or three-pack a day smoker judging by the burnt sienna tint of the ceiling. The trailer has a certain smell--musky, but more like billy goat musky than perfumy-musky. It's not a pleasant smell. I'm wondering if essential oils could solve the problem, or at least mask it.

In spite of the unpleasantness of the day's findings I'm still excited about this. I feel like I'm a pioneer or something. Now this is low-impact living. No air conditioning, few amenities, and a fantastic view (the view really is fabulous). And I found a mint plant growing in the weeds by the trailer. It just needs some sprucing up and some houseplants. Wish me luck.

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