Well there goes another morning wasted. Today’s excuse/reason was the Wonder of Nature. We have squirrels living in our gutter. I feel so blessed. They chose us over 32 acres of trees and pasture for their home. Every morning at 6 for the past week, we heard them scrambling back and forth over our roof. We were in denial. We all thought that maybe the squirrels just like running around up there. So we all complained about how noisy they were, and then we would go on with our mornings. Earlier this Spring, my husband thought he fixed the problem. He spent a good part of a weekend hacking away at trees around the house so the squirrels couldn’t jump onto the roof. He thought surely that would do it. How naïve we were. (As I write this, one of the squirrels just jumped off the roof and onto a trimmed tree. Those little rascals!)

Today was the final straw. There was a lot of commotion up there. My husband went outside to take a look and didn’t notice anything too bad, just a few leaves in one the rain gutter boxes. He didn’t think it was a big deal and went off to work this morning. Well, when I looked, I saw a squirrel stuffing leaves in that gutter box. It looked like a great home except for the fact that it’s going to rain tonight and tomorrow. Thankfully, the gutter box was near our one-story flat-roofed porch. Just close enough for me to think that maybe I could clean it out. I had to try. Like so many of my solutions, it involved lots of duct tape, ladders, rakes, and long poles. It also involved multiple trips to the garage and basement. Each time I did it, I had to remind myself not to end up in the news that night. “Suburban Mom Plunges to Untimely Death.” The first round involved raking the leaves, which wasn’t too successful. The second round involved taping a ruler to a pole at a 90 degree angle. That worked well. I started scooping lots of leaves, grass, reeds, and many cedar shingles. (Is there a leaky roof blog in our future?) I hit a dead end. I couldn’t scoop further. It was time for the coat hanger, the go-to tool for squirrels.

The last time I used a coat hanger for a squirrel was a very bad night. We could not understand why on Earth there was a bizarre swarm of big black flies buzzing through our house. This was our first house at the time, and we were inexperienced homeowners. Where did they come from? Did somebody leave the door open too long? How could we get rid of them? They just kept popping all over the house, especially in the attic. We even hung fly tape from the ceiling up there, hoping the problem would clear up on its own. One night we went up to the attic to check on the fly tape, it looked like a Hitchcock movie. There were hundreds of flies everywhere, and the smell was off the scale. Something was dead. Sniffing around the attic, my nose dead reckoned it came from the soffit. The story should probably end there. That was the last time I used a coat hanger for a squirrel.

Hopefully, this time around it will end better for the squirrels. I should probably check and see if she is back at work on her addition. She is stubborn, but so am I!