Remember that huge (yet organized) trash pile in the back? Well--it's gone!!!
Yes, we finally took all of that rat-smelling-wood to the dump, and we've rid ourselves of the majority of the rat nest in the back. All that remains are the large pieces of cement and brick that we will hopefully use for our future patio and raised beds. Don't worry, we've properly patted ourselves on the back. Believe me, it was a very huge ordeal. Because of the smell (that produced sneezing and coughing) we both wore masks and gloves. What a nasty job. It took 3 loads in our Rav 4. And, to answer your question (I know you're thinking it), our car is probably has some residual critters still living in it--most likely come cockroaches, and maybe some spiders.
We'd seen so many rats hanging out on the pile every night that, that I was convinced they were living in there. For real, not just "a rats nest" because it was funny to say it. As we were reaching the bottom of the pile, I remember saying, "Man, I'm surprised that we have not run into any rats yet," and turning around to continue sorting the debris.
Of course...as soon as I say this I hear a slow scuffle behind me.
I twirl around and see this scene:
Peter is cradling a gigantic piece of concrete in his arms, and he's rocking back and forth saying, "Oh geez, oh geez, oh geez..." because at his feet is a humongous rat that has been hiding below the very piece of concrete that Peter just removed! The rat, seeming to be just as confused and startled as Peter is (most likely also saying "Oh geez, oh geez...") tries to figure out which direction to run and the scene resembles perfectly the cliche "sidewalk scene" (you know the one where the two people run into each other and tries to pass each other on the same side, and run into each other again when they try to pass on the other side, and then it repeats over and over?), and finally chooses a direction that Peter cannot go--under the fence and into the alley. As that rat lumbers away (it's fat!!!) I am confused because Peter hasn't stopped his two step dance. Because--I realize--there are more!!! Two baby rats (still the size of large mice) make their way for a hole in the fence, escaping Peter's feet as well as the very good chance that they would be smashed by the large piece of concrete that is somehow still harbored in Peter's arms. When they scamper off, Peter finally sets down the concrete and we have ourselves a little giggle of relief...No rat bites here! (Or dead smushed rat remains! Woo!)
Anyway, that incident, along with the cockroaches (there were hundreds) made us feel like our backyard was a nature preserve.
But I swear, our lives are more than a battle with rats! Look! We stacked our bricks!
And here is a picture taken from the dump (we were waiting in line to drop our rat-boards off). Look how pretty! There's more to that story, maybe I'll write a separate post. I'm still scarred from the dump trip, I think we both are. We saw a woman dropping a marble sink into the dump pit, and a man dumping perfectly fine wooden chairs, a beautiful table, antique mail shelves (I've seen ones like them at antique stores for hundreds)...ever hear of a THRIFT STORE? Or we have this amazing warehouse similar to Habitat for Humanity that takes all kinds of building materials, cabinets, furniture called Second Chance. I couldn't believe that these people did not even try giving these things a chance at a second life. Ugh! Obviously I'm upset about it, and shouldn't get started right now.
Oh look! A distraction! I smell a rat...Yup. This is just but one of the holes that the rats have dug in our yard. We think they're living right next to our warm foundation, and that they have done so for years...Each day we go out and stick bricks into their entrance ways. It probably doesn't do much except inconvenience them (and it makes us feel better). Maybe our lives really are just a battle with rats...