So, our house here in WV has been empty while we were in California for the last year and half (and before that it was empty for probably that long or a littler longer while we were in WA). When my mom and I got back here after WA the place was a little dusty and cobwebby, the refrigerator had mold inside, the outside was in serious need of new paint and a weed whacker, but everything still worked.

This time around, the place looks even more like a haunted house from the outside (there's a Greenbriar vine trying to take over the house at both the front and back!), the pipes in the basement froze over the course of one of the two winters they were unheated, and broke in several places (so running water is an issue until Wells Fargo acknowledges the check we're trying to deposit by mail - we're having to fill gallon jugs at the kitchen sink to put in the back of the toilet for the downstairs bathroom - the only one my mother can get to), and a family of Fairy Diddles apparently moved in while we were away!

For those of you not familiar with a fairy diddle (I had never heard the term before we moved here the first time) it is some member of the squirrel family - I think it's related to (or is a type of) red squirrel (at any rate it's some kind of Rodentia!). It's somewhere between the gray squirrels I'm used to in California and chipmunks, in size - but with a bushy little tail like a squirrel. They are adorable little things - but NOT in the house!

We have a giant hickory tree out front and so far I have found a single chewn-through hickory nutshell in almost every room of the house (usually under something - like the dishwasher!). The shells are always completely whole, except for holes in each side through which the contents were obviously retrieved, leaving them empty. There was also a gnawing/scraping noise in my closet every night for the first week we were here - which the cat found fascinating - but that's gone now. And my dad actually saw a fairy diddle running around in his room on one of our first nights here! But thankfully they seem to be making an exit - I don't even hear them bouncing around in that attic at night anymore - apparently they are anti-social enough not to want to share the house with us (thankfully!)

Bottom line - I can hardly wait for the check to clear at the bank so we can fix the pipes .. and I am dying for someone to buy the condo so we can redo this place ... and yet, I'm still sort of happy to be here (go figure!) :)

And speaking of neglect .. I promise to make it round to everyone's blogs in the next few days :)


MountainLaurel said...

I always thought fairy diddles (or ferrydiddles) were chipmunks. You're right...that is a usage that's restricted to WV, usually north-central WV. Good luck with the rehabbing. I'm sure it's tough and nasty, but remember how great it will be when it's all done.

Also, make sure you get rid of that damn greenbriar...those things will take over given half a chance!

Shannon said...

Wow! I remember Fairy Diddles! That's what my grandma always called them.
I am a native West Virginian implanted in the heart of Los Angeles. :) Enjoy the winters, I miss them so much!

Pacian said...

I'm sure the fairy diddles are just as concerned to find you in their home... :-P

LuluBunny said...

Laurel - I know what you mean about the damn greenbriar, it's a nasty thing and it IS taking over (the universe!).

Shannon - isn't that funny ... a native West Virginian transplanted to So Cal and a native Southern Californian happily ensconced in WV walk into a bar .. I mean run into each other on a blog, LOL :)

Pacian - you're right! I forgot to think that the furry little squatters would have seen the situation that way. I don't know how long they live or how fast they reproduce, but I would imagine there must be at least one generation of them who think of this house as home. I have to go now .. the tears are welling up too much for me to type anymore, LOL ;)

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