Or in our case, rats and birds. Saturday we returned home from two fabulous weeks of vacation (pictures coming soon). Our pets and houseplants were still alive and the garden had begun blooming gloriously, but unbeknownst to us, some other critters took our absence as an invitation to play house - in our house. When we opened the garage door, it was immediately apparent that whatever had decided to live there was... well...no longer living. The odor of death permeated the air, so Danny and the big kids set out on a carcass hunt. Danny was lucky enough to find the dead rat inside a burlap table square he grabbed with his bare hands. His disgust must have been pretty obvious because the daddy-adoring Alyssa volunteered to do the disposal for him. Needless to say, he was both relieved and proud of his tough girl.
Meanwhile, I started tackling the mountain of laundry, only to find that my dryer had no interest in actually drying anything. With the help of my friend Google, I discovered that the problem could be a blockage in the venting system. Danny then started vacuuming out the vents, to find that we indeed had a blockage of photo-worthy proportions. Apparently a mother bird thought she could avoid the whole bother of incubation by making her nest inside our cozy dryer-heated vent. The collection of sticks, nails (!), hair and lint that comprised her nest were enough to fill an entire small trash can. I felt bad discarding the four tiny little eggs, but not bad enough to take up residence at a laundromat in order to preserve their home.
Now I have a clean garage, dry laundry and very clean vents. Quite a welcome home don't you think?!