An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

The usual bumps in the road

We’ve been in the house for about a week, and of course like any other move this one has not been without its total mind-blowing freak-outs, starting the second day we were here. A day that coincided with the start of my period. BAD BAD PLANNING. I do not suggest this kind of scheduling at all, especially when you’ve packed the tampons in a box that is somewhere now in a basement full of boxes that all look the same, and instead of doing the logical thing, like, you know, going out and buying another box of tampons, you call your mom in a hysterical fit of tears screaming WE’VE RUINED OUR LIVES!

She said all of the right things, like, it’s going to be okay, Heather. And not, oh would you please just shut up and take some ibuprofen already.

We hadn’t slept in several days at that point, what with the packing and the moving and the unloading and then the unpacking. And now I don’t know where anything is. That for me is the hardest part about moving, the seemingly endless years it takes to finally locate the most simple things: pens, wooden spoons, bowls, salt. Remember, I was on my period, and so the first meal we cooked in the kitchen really really really needed salt. And we couldn’t find it. So I sat there, tears welling in my eyes, and Jon was all, dude, what is wrong with you? And I couldn’t believe he didn’t understand! We were never going to find the salt. My period said so!

Contributing to the sleeplessness are the noises, specifically the critters that are living in the soffit of our roof. Like, animals. Woodland creatures. I’m guessing that since the previous owner had kept a bobcat as a pet that she didn’t particularly care what else took up residence in the other corners of the home, but when I step out of the shower and it sounds like two bears are wrestling in the ceiling above my head, I cannot be blamed for screeching obscenities and hopping on top of the vanity in the nude (just in case the bears were about to scuttle across the floor, naturally).

We’d had a team of strangers in the home already: electricians, cable people, two sets of boiler people, Internet people, the Mormon up the street who saw the open door and invited us to church on Sunday. So why not invite the critter catcher over? And I tell you what, those critter catchers are completely in love with their jobs. Because when this dude saw the number of different species of birds and how many different nests they had built, the octave of his voice jumped twenty decibels and he literally skipped inside the house to give us the news. Critter Catcher, The Musical!

And he kept repeating the word PICKLE. We’re in a bit of a pickle. It’s a pickle, I tell you. Well, I told you it was a pickle! And he had such a thick Utah accent that it sounded like this: pyeh-kul. I started to think maybe the bears could stay.

Because he could remove all the birds, well… he thought it was just birds, but he couldn’t be sure. Could be mice. Could be a raccoon or two. But the real way to solve this problem? Replace the whole roof. IT WOULD COST THE SAME ANYWAY. This after one of the boiler people quoted us $12,000 to fix “some problems.”

So Jon and I discussed this quite thoroughly, and have decided we can live without hot water, and if anything crawls out from the vents in the ceiling we will name it Susan.

  • mrswilson

    I can completely relate to the boxes and not being able to find things as I ALSO moved (a week ago today) while on my period. Stupid moving. Stupid period.

    Here’s hoping for some event/drama-free time for you guys!

  • lorification

    I can’t guarantee that you wouldn’t lose in during a move, but have you considered the DivaCup instead of tampons? It seems like a product that you would have already tried, but perhaps you’ve gotten this far in life without having heard of it! Since I use the DivaCup and cloth pads, I haven’t bought tampons or pads in almost three years. It saves money and the environment!

  • HelluvaMormonFan

    Where are ya’ll seeing the house pictures?!?!?!?!?!

  • theotherlion

    I would be right there with you, on that counter top.

  • TexasKatie

    $12,000 for a hot water heater? That doesn’t even make sense. They don’t even COST that much. You could get a tankless water heater for thousands less than that, and get a tax rebate because it is energy efficient. Find a new boiler guy!

  • apostate

    I’m one of the lucky 20% of Mirena users who have said goodbye to Aunt Flo FOREVER.

    Of course, DH hasn’t had a vasectomy (you, of all people, know how protective they get about their junk) so if it fails, I know what we’re naming that child. Mirena is a pretty name for a girl.

    Still, imagine tampons becoming a thing of the past.

    Just sayin…

  • mandinka

    Good thinking.
    Susan is a lovely name.

  • LeeKlawans

    It’s probably squirrels up there. Are the Morman squirrels?

  • pattyhans

    Oh, you can learn to live with the critters, except maybe at night when they’re scritching in the wall right by your head and you aren’t sure if they can bite/scratch their way thru and land on the pillow next to you! We live in the country – birds build nests and then get trapped in the kitchen soffit. Mice scurry up and down the walls all winter long – it gets tiresome, but you do tune it out after awhile. Usually. Most of the time. Good luck! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the piano!

  • filmlady

    We didn’t know what was in our attic either. Every night at 2 am EXACTLY we’d hear thump… thump… thump… a rolling sound…followed by a low chuckling noise. Like having Stephen King in our attic. Flying squirrels. Cute, but horrifying.

  • BoKathy

    When I moved into my house in the dead of winter, there was a raccoon living in the crawl space above my living room ceiling (the house was being renovated). I had no money to hire a critter man so one night when the raccoon left for its evening rounds I ran outside, threw a ladder up against the side of the house, and nailed a piece of plywood over the opening it was using. Patted myself on the back for a job well done and went to bed. Shortly afterwards, it became clear that there were actually TWO raccoons living in my house and I had trapped one inside – it had broken through my ceiling into my living room, then ran upstairs into my bedroom looking for a way out. I woke up with it staring at me from about 3 feet away. Somehow I was able to chase it outside with help from my cat and a broom without waking up any of my 3 daughters.

  • Jan

    Ah, you haven’t lived until the five baby squirrels in the attic of your new house, separated from mom the previous day when the roofers closed the hole in the cedar siding she had gnawed to gain access and make her nest (not to mention the holes made by woodpeckers and carpenter bees), emerge at three a.m. and are skittering around your bedroom, perched on picture frames, peering out from the fireplace, while the cat sits on the sidelines, amused but not wanting to deal with it. And then, when you have chased them all out on the deck with the Swifter, you realize that the insulation in the roof is dripping with urine and that’s what that odor was.

  • Fivepairs

    We have critters in our soffits too. We’ve decided to leave them alone as they don’t bother us. Well, I should say, they dont bother us when they are alive. About once a year, it’s pretty obvious that one has expired becuase there’s a smell that lingers for about a week above our upstairs guest bedroom. As long as we don’t have guests at that time, no worries.

  • ninesandquines

    we moved 22 months ago from boston to michigan. i still can’t find my food processor…and i don’t have it in me to go through the 10 boxes that are still in the basement. we made the mistake of having the movers pack us instead of doing it ourselves (saved me 6 month’s worth of packing though and it had to be done in 2 weeks…) so i have NO idea what box it would be in. for all i know it’s in the box that i opened that has stuff from the old garage in it. i hate moving!

  • mchll323

    no, no you got it all wrong, the critters upstairs are food for your new pet bobcat! How lucky are you?!

    Well it sounded positive in my head anyway 🙂

  • Fifi Coon

    So – in the Salt Lake Tribune yesterday – Peg McEntee mentioned Heather Armstrong and – along with all of the great things you add to our daily lives!! Way to go!! Keep up the good work!

  • zabadu

    I’ve lived in my house for two years. I just this past weekend found my Kitchenaid hand mixer. I just assumed I’d thrown it out by mistake.

    Good luck with the critters. Did you not get a home inspection beforehand because of the crazy lady? She needs to pay for this shit!!

  • Cooky

    ((((hugs)))) to the Armstrong Family.

    I feel your pain. I HATE moving.

    Totally in love with your beautiful piano. I have an 1886 Kranich & Bach. They have amazing tone.

    You really should seriously contact Dan Riddle. He’s the most amazing contractor in all of Utah.

  • christine1127

    Thank you, lorification for making me almost lose my breakfast. I don’t know HOW women use that unmentionable method for their monthly visitor, but hearing about it grosses me out like nothing else. Sorry, but no. I’ll definitely pass. Also in this category, cloth diapers and family wipes. Barf.

  • WebSavyMom

    –>My husband is in a current WAR against the varmints eating our tomatoes. I posted a picture yesterday of the latest victim only to hear there was another one this morning.

  • fleigh

    The critters might be flying squirrels!!! Yep, we have had a critter getter remove 4 of them and have trapped 3 of our own…..lovingly named the first one Rocket J. Squirrel (think Rocky and Bullwinkle, I had to google his proper name). Now I’m done giving them names and we have a trap set in the attic at all times. It is an empty trap sadly, I think they have figured it out. Have fun! I have also had a mama racoon give birth to a litter in my closet dormer THAT sound had me convinced there was an axe murderer hiding out in the attic.

  • justplaincat

    There is of course the possibility the critter issue is just the infamous bobcat. I wonder if he’d like the name Susan? Congrats on the new place. Enjoy the hell out of it!

  • sheameister

    bwah ha h a ha…

    Sounds just like our move, where upon finding out that our cesspool (no, not septic tank–CESSPOOL. Try that one on for size) was made of cast concrete and therefore not going to swallow our children whole, the cesspool video guy says, “Hey, you guys know your oil tank is leaking, right?”

    Replacing that was awesome. Even better than the sectional I had planned to use that money for. Ahem. But then… this house–on one acre of dense woods–had been unoccupied for TWO YEARS. Please just try to imagine the mammal issues for a moment. We moved into the house in February, just as the mice were redecorating and holding family reunions. And the guys who replaced our oil tank? They were the ones who pointed out that the mysterious “rocks” all over the basement weren’t really rocks at all… but rather… RABBIT TURDS. Wooo!!

    Make sure your garbage cans are extra thick and secured with bungees. It will amaze you what the raccoons can do. Ours have even ripped the metal cesspool vent right off of the foundation of our house. Mmmmm…. sewage venting. What a nice place to explore.

    Good luck! 🙂 I think this move will give you much writing fodder…

  • Infojunkie

    There isn’t a yard that big in the city I live in. I wish I could have that for my three dogs. I bet Chuck and Nutbar will have an absolute blast…and I am so jealous, not of your house but for having such an awesome multi-level yard.

  • adequatemom

    “My period told me so!” needs to be a t-shirt. I am pretty sure a LOT of people will buy it.

    I am so excited about your new house that I can’t even be jealous. Well, not too much. I deal with my envy by lying to myself that you’ll come and help me buy my next house when it’s time to move. I love that you got the piano – and can totally relate that it made you burst into tears!

  • Not Marlo

    Ok, you can’t live “as one” with the critters up there or before you know it we’ll have to start calling the house Grey Gardens and no one wants that.

    I tried ignoring the noises (oh live and let live!) and then one day “they” moved into the garage without telling me. And I didn’t find out till waaay later. They make a huge oh-my-gawd-why-didn’t-I-do-something-earlier mess. Then I had to call rat guy (who knew they chewed through the soffits) and he ended up being a sucky girly man so today I was cleaning the garage and found 3 long dead rats. Eeek, gross!

    Get several bids.

  • Jayceekay

    Ahhh…seeing the picture you posted of your beautiful kitchen reminds me of your first kitchen! Remember when you were pregnant with Leta and Jon was ripping up the kitchen floor! Remember!? Hee-hee good times! (And see?? Things could be waaaay worse!!! ha-ha-ha!!)

  • ThatDizzyLizzie

    You think Janices are bad! Wait till you meet a Karen!
    (Karens are those frazzled mother types who nag and complain about everything. They are way overly paranoid, especially when it comes to their kids. It’s hard to put Karen into so many words unless you’ve actually met one, but Karen, on the whole, is that annoying, clucking, whining, worrying mother whom nobody really wants to come on the family vacation this year and everyone wonders why her husband stays with her.]

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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