Damn Woodpeckers

So, I like to say I am still in the newlywed stage of homeownership. We have been in our house for almost 20 months now. For some this may seem like a long time, but it takes a while to settle into a home and to understand how the changing seasons impact the behaviors of the house. We were very fortunate to have found a house that we love. The layout was exactly what we had been looking for. There is lots of room to grow and it was in move-in condition with a nicely finished basement. But we have done very little to the house. We’ve painted one room and gotten new furniture for most rooms but we have yet to dress the rooms. Although, we have an exciting list of ideas, making a decision is hard and also we are not exactly ready to spend the money necessary.

So, recent events have made us start evaluating what it means to be a homeowner and not just a squatter. One of our neighbors was very concerned about a tree on our property that was leaning towards her house. She very much wanted us to remove it and insisted and contacted us about this several times. I don’t know about you but I do things in my own good time AND when I can afford to do it.

After several storms this summer, she actually offered to pay half of the cost to get it removed quickly. Well I am not going to sneeze at help…and we certainly needed it. Also, she was starting to break me down. She is the only neighbor who has so much as spoken with us or invited us into her home or even been remotely interested in knowing our names. (I know this because 6 mos. after we moved in we had an open house/b-day party celebration inviting all the neighbors on our small street (6)). And I have not forgotten her generosity…I still need to think of a creative way to say my thank you but I am not worried about the tree, her house or forgetting and most of all I was able to give her piece of mind.

The next problem we have encountered has been with WOOD-F*ING-PECKERS! This creature is very annoying and destructive. We had one pecking away on the wood exterior of the house, shortly after we had it painted. This was most upsetting. But enough banging on the bedroom walls on Saturday at 6am must have scared it off this spring…that and hubby running outside and spraying it with the hose. But alas, that was a temporary eviction, for it has returned with a vengeance. So, this weekend we (a.k.a. hubby) spent time on our new “Little Giant” filling the egg size hole on the side of the house. We are planning on putting a decorative panel over the bird’s favorite pecking ground to make it harder for him to peck through.

These activities have reinforced that 1. I need to work on my diplomacy a little more and 2. I suck at home improvement, fixes or general handy-woman things. The first one I can work on, the second, I am considering writing off. I bake and cook and clean and wash clothes and run the house…I can get hubby – I mean outsource those things if need be. But it struck me that I am the one responsible now, it’s all on our shoulders…this is our biggest investment (and if you know anything about the DC area real estate situation you will understand when I say that things are going from $200k 2 years ago to $400k now). Of course the market is slowing but the appreciation of this homes is already up there. So, I am sitting her pondering and wondering, will my house ever grow into that imagined “home” that I have in my head? Memories of something I never had but something I desire greatly? And how will my handy-less capabilities affect this dream?

At the moment I am stuck, I have no idea what to do about the woodpecker. I mean how do you stop them from ruining a perfectly good house, my “home” in training? Got ideas?

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