Saturday, March 20, 2010

To do list

My list of things to do got a little bit longer this week.  On Wednesday I came home from work and found a huge hole behind my lilac bushes.  Since last summer a groundhog has been living under the concrete slab in front of my house.  I didn't mind, I thought he was harmless.

THIS is not harmless.

I called an animal control company immediately.  They came out Thursday evening to set a trap.  Unfortunately, my groundhog is a bit of a roamer and wasn't home.  Groundhog traps go over the entrance of a burrow to catch critters on their way out; there isn't much point in setting them over an empty burrow.  The animal control company left without setting any traps but they're going to try again next week.

Whether or not we catch him I can't leave that hole.  We measured the burrow and it's 22 feet long from end to end.  It goes the length of my foundation and all the way to the outer edge of the slab.  It could damage my foundation and - worse - it will attract skunks.  SKUNKS!

This spells doom for my lilacs.  I can see no feasible way to fill in the hole without killing them, so I decided to have the job done right.  I called a landscaping company on Friday for an estimate.  They can do it for less than $250.  I was pleasantly surprised; I was expecting at least double that.  Now I'm thinking about having them do more.  I've asked them to give me an estimate for building up the soil around the entire house and possibly replacing the wood borders with something more sturdy.

Of course, once I get the landscape looking pretty I will have to do something about those leaky gutters to cut down on the erosion problem.  Then I'll need to address the rotting wood I found in a couple of places.  Once that is fixed the house should be painted.  I still need to stain and seal the deck, which should probably be done after I get the deck braced because it's a little bit wobbly.

Some days I really regret buying a house.  There are way too many things to keep up and I typically don't even know I should do something about them until they're on the verge of breaking.  Oh, I didn't mention that I may also have moles in my yard.  Another blessing.


The Joe said...

Hmm, wish I was there to help. I like that kind of work. Mole traps are scary looking though, I prefer to just release snakes into the burrows :P

One of a dozen said...

I'm not above releasing snakes. I found the animal control guy by Googling "groundhog exterminator". Turns out he's a humane trapper. Meh. I don't care if you kill the critter, just make him stop digging up my yard!

The Joe said...

I used to catch moles... and do funny things in front of them. They don't have eyes you see, they didn't know what I was doing. :D

One of a dozen said...

Um, I feel dirty now.