Friday, May 01, 2009

The ancestral manse

When we were overseas, Dad would get a full month off each year, and we almost always spent this month vacation at Nana and Granda's home where Mom grew up.

I think we were still in Nigeria when Mom and Dad decided that we needed a permanent place to call home, and they bought a house in the same town, which gave us a place to hang our hats on vacation; and when we moved Stateside permanently, we had a place to stay.

After Dad died, and us kids graduated high school, we kind of scattered a bit, and the house fell into disuse. Chris kept it up for a bit, but what with first Granda and then Nana needing full time care, the house became a weekend retreat, and then storage.

Well, we have developed a need for the old place, so we've been over making it -- somewhat -- livable, but one of the great things about the house is that when you look out the back door, you're looking across literally several hundred miles of prairie and ranch-land before you stumble by anything that looks vaguely like human habitation -- and that's pretty much a wide-spot in the road.

Sounds good -- until you realize that while humanity itself is somewhat scarce out back of our place, there's a whole bunch of life out there -- much of which tends to look favourably upon empty houses.

As a "fer-instance", there seems to be a skunk what has taken up abode either under the floorboards or burrowed into the front flowerbed -- and said polecat might ought to unarse the place before he winds up the subject of a slam order.

Luckily for him, skunk-thumping is a couple of steps down the List of Things To Do Around The House. But probably not for long.

Gawd, I'm exhausted.

LawDog

18 comments:

Peter said...

I recommend you don't adopt my neighbor's son's technique, as described here:

http://tinyurl.com/ckv978

I think he's still paying for that one!

:-)

MSgt B said...

I'm sure I don't heve to tell you this...

Use a live trap, and cart that puppy AWAY from the house.

Helped a friend get rid of a polecat that was dining on his chickens. We live-trapped it and took it out about 100 yds from the house. I then capped it with a .22 from the back porch.
We stood around congratulating ourselves for about 2 minutes until the smell hit us.
100 yds is NOT far enough.

Fenris said...

Roommate in college was from northern Minnesota. Next door neighbor had a wolverine decide their front yard made a splendid den site.

Served the eviction notice by wrapping ground beef around the muzzle of a twelve gauge. Fearless to the end.

(No way in Hades I'd ever want to get that close. Thankyouverymuch.)

Jay G said...

Skunks, heh. Got a good story about skunks...

Back in the day, we had an old tom cat who used to live with us. He was an ornery thing as likely to swipe at you as purr, even when you were putting down his food (dif. between dogs and cats, but I digress...)

He was known for throwing a leg over pretty much anything with four legs and fur. Other cats, small dogs, rabbits, groundhogs, if it were roughly his size he'd try to mate with it.

Until the day he attempted a romantic liaison with another cat - a polecat...

Mom had to physically prevent Dad from neutering said cat with a pair of boltcutters...

Anonymous said...

'Were graduated from' You don't graduate something, regardless of the current usage (sort of like the use of apple's for the plural of apple), you ARE graduated.
Damn.
LawMom

armedandsafe said...

We have a skunk which has taken up residence under the machine shop. She is a pretty brazen little wench, as she comes up onto the screened porch to assist the outside cats in cleaning their plates.

I didn't mind so much until the evening I was sitting out there and Miss Corporal decided she wanted in my lap.

I moved right smartly for someone no longer in my sixties.

Pops

Joseph said...

Pops...

A lapskunk??

And for Lawdog, I see much writing material in the future from this home project.

Lin said...

A couple of suggestions from my personal experience files:

After a two season Caddy-shack obsession with removing a groundhog from beneath the porch, I was told that removing the groundhog would invite a skunk to assume the territory. My best-friend-ever dog, Rita, proved the theory right when I finally succeeded. She ran her directly hit nose down our bed comforter at 1AM before we knew what hit us. So ... conversely, perversely logical ... consider importing a groundhog?

Here is what worked painlessly for me in the past however. Run an extension cord out and into the crawl space, plug in a radio and play AM all talk radio. Although I was the first to vacate any space playing all talk (no action) radio, it soon worked on the skunks, groundhogs or raccoons as well. A bloodless coup, no stinkies, no lead needed.

Vinnie said...

Build a skunk charm. Get a can of canned milk. Cut an X in the top and drain milk. Put some raisins in the can and leave it in the yard. When the can is gone so is the skunk.

Chris said...

God invented chemical warfare. Wait until an owl carries off a skunk. The skunk only has one form of defense, and when that defense gets altitude on a calm Texas evening, entire counties can be made unlivable.

KD5NRH said...

Hornady makes some great little .22WMR rounds that, when used for a headshot with a favoring wind, will shut a skunk down instantly.
Just make sure to glove up and move the skunk far enough downwind that it won't matter when the wind shifts before it leaks too much.

Popgun said...

Hi, Lawdog;

Try throwing handsful of mothballs - the ones made out of napthalene - up under the house and / or down the hole. The skunk will leave.

I can claim this has worked for me, and every year in the early spring I throw a few handsful up under the house and buildings to keep them away.

-Popgun

Rabbit said...

My parents had a pet skunk when the lived at Ft. Bliss, before I was a gleam in my mother's eye. The little rodent decided that the pocket of a sweater hanging in the closet was the best place for a nest, so it tended to attempt to sleep there.

When it arrived, my folks discovered that 'descented' is not always as accurate a statement as it is alleged to be.

My last experience with skunks was with one outside my office, in daylight hours, where one was erratically wandering between street, gutter, and field. Discretion being the key, I introduced the infected party to Miss SiG. I can say without qualification that 357sig is adequate for skunk.

Regards,
Rabbit.

Mad Jack said...

Back in the bad old days, before the advent of suburbia and the bleeding heart anti-freedom moonbats that come with it, Mom & Dad got hitched and settled down on a horse farm in the country. They raised American Saddlebred horses and occasionally would go riding through the woods. Back then you could find wild strawberries, raspberries and other fine foods just growing where they belonged. You could also find critters.

So one day while they were out riding, Mom (who was raised in the city) spied a mother kitty and a bunch of cute kittens, all black with white trim. Fortunately Dad knew what they were, and so a misadventure was avoided.

Anonymous said...

Ah, the polecat. Well, as I was driving down the street of our burg some years ago, I spied the city employees, who normally are parked outside city hall, drinking cokes and smoking in their city pickups, all dashing wildly in various directions.
Down the sidewalk strode a skunk.
Apparently one of the employees managed to go into city hall and inform our mayor.
The mayor, not noted for his inherent sensitivity, but weighing somewhere in the vicinity of 600 pounds, simply stepped out the door and kicked the skunk.
Said kick lofted polekitty across the street and onto the roof of the local bank.
Where, it is possibly needless to point out, it ripened in the hot Texas sun, unnoticed until the bank turned on its air conditioners.
LawMom

Larry said...

That's one hell of a kick. Sounds like hizzoner should have been on an NFL team somewhere.

DirtCrashr said...

Nigeria? We had some friends in the Congo...for a while. We were in India, down the coast south of Calcutta. No pole-cats but a host of *other* critters, and some bugs about as big as they could possibly get. Of course there's plenty of skunks around here in CA, we have prepared a sumptuous suburban buffet for them and the 'coons, and they are feeding well.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure I understand the "charm" thing... Is the point to get the can stuck on the skunk;s head?

As to getting rid of them, I've read, and successfully tried, an odd but effective solution: My bladder.

MALE Urine, spread around the property, will send the skunk heading for the hills.

DD