Posts tagged ‘wolf’

05/30/2011

About Wolves, and the Lack of Updates

I know there has been a distinctive lack of updates recently. It has been a busy month full of family gatherings, graduations,  and a wedding (Congrats to N & B!).  So we have been having a little mini break away from the house, where we have been helping my dad build and decorate a chicken coop and attending these functions. Not a lot of progress has been made since the termite treatment was completed earlier this month. I promise  a photo update soon, but since I have a virus of some sort, it is going to have to wait.

Meanwhile, here is something to read from the former owner of the house, a clipping about wolf hybrids in WV. After all, he did have a wolf hybrid. It has some random numbers scribbled on it, as most things from the house.  I blurred out anything that resembled phone numbers, just to be safe!

Article about Wolf Hybrids Found in the House

05/21/2011

Rumor Has It

If you happen to live in a small town, then you are probably used to the camaraderie and the sense of community. Since the purchase of the house, many of our neighbors have come by to introduce themselves, and been pleasant and well, neighborly. They seem so interested in the renovation!  This was most evident last week when the house was being treated for termites. While I was waiting for them to finish, I chatted about the house with two neighbors, and gave house tours to four more! I am glad the community is so interested in the progress on the house.

Vintage Circus Poster, from google images

One of the ladies that stopped by was married to a distant descendent of the family. She told me a really interesting story about the last Trimble that lived in the house. Now, we know that he had a half-wolf/half-dog in the house, as well as a second really large dog. From his possessions and notes about the dogs, it was pretty obvious he was very proud of them. According to this source, both of these dogs were quite well-behaved, because the this man was a former animal trainer in the circus! Now, here’s the fly in this ointment. We have heard this guy was a violinist-pianist-alcoholic-mentally ill-artist-painter-writer. Was he really all these things and an animal trainer, too? I’m all for being a complex person with varied interests, but how many professions can one person have? Who was he really? It makes me wonder if he was all these things, or if he was just a mysterious figure in the community that people heard gossip about. I mean, growing up, to me he was “the guy with the wolves”.

I think part of the search for a description for him is because we purchased the house with all of this man’s earthly belongings still in it. It leaves me with a touch of sympathy and sadness, I suppose. I went through his things, I feel like I should know him on some level. On a deeper level, it makes me question all sorts of things. What does ones life amount to in the end? How would this community remember me?  Would I be that grad student-psychologist-renovator-decorator that likes loud punk rock and has an affinity for the color teal? What sort of rumors and gossip would be added to my story? I guess time will tell. As for the former owner, I may never know the truth. At least in his belongings, I found some printouts from a circus messageboard and some information on old circuses, so there is at least some evidence to support that rumor.

03/23/2011

Amateur Entomology

Want to know what I’ve learned about old houses in the last few weeks? You suddenly spend vast quantities of time studying things you never thought you would ever need to know. I’m not talking about building knowledge, per se. I think it is a given that I will need to read up on that! It is the other things that I didn’t expect. I spent weeks studying Victorian architecture and insulation options; months studying the history of the area and the history of the house, and now…it is bugs. Yes, creepy crawly things have now become my current obsession and focus in leisure-time reading. This is not something I look forward to, or even expected to do. Not that I am really squeamish, bugs don’t really bother me…unless they are ants. The problem is, the obsession. “What kind of bugs are these? Are they hurting my house? How do I get rid of them?, Are they a symptom of a bigger problem?” are the key questions I have been asking myself on encountering a new species.

First, there were the spiders. In this house, there are spiders everywhere! I mean, the mummified spiders in the root cellar were a dead give away that they would be an issue. Now, egg sacs turn up everywhere in the house, behind a door, behind a mirror…stuck to wolf fur. Fortunately, I have always liked spiders. I even had a sort of pet writing spider for a year that I would feed by  finding other bugs (mostly ants) and dropping in her web for her. This kind of makes me sound like a sociopath, but I promise, I am not. I just love science and was really attached to Charlotte’s Web. Anyway, the spiders, mummified or in embryo form, don’t really bother me.

Those things that look like cracks? Yeah, termite mud tunnels

Then there were the termites. Turns out there is quite a bit of termite damage in the house. Nothing majorly structural, or too serious, thankfully…mostly damage on some moldings, or through a few floor boards. See, these are more worrisome than the spiders because they actually can damage the house. They also look like albino flying ants, so that’s just scary. They made weird mud tunnels in the basement to climb up to the wood. See? They are definitely high on the creepy meter and must be obliterated. The problem is, they may already have been destroyed. Perhaps the damage was done before the previous owner moved in, when the house was last renovated. There’s no way to tell if the damage is old or new. If it is bad, and needs to be taken care of soon, they should start swarming in April, so…we’ll see.

Yes, those are wasps in my windows

Then, last but not least, are the wasps. They aren’t the type that damage the house, so not so alarming. So what’s the problem with the wasps? They show up in the weirdest places! My first encounter with them was when I removed the wood blocking the chimney in the dining room to clean it out. No evidence of what was to come. The next day, when I went back to finish, wasps started coming out of the chimney. Not flying, just slowly crawling, confused and searching, out of  the chimney. It was so creepy! I quickly stunned them with Tilex, and stomped them. Then, this week, when I was ripping the window moldings out, I found nests in the wall, beside the window casings. Several of them all in one cavity. We also found a huge nest in the wall beneath the plaster in the kitchen.

Maybe it is because the house is next to a swamp, in disrepair for 20 years, or on a Hellmouth. I keep running into all these insects that I am just not prepared to deal with! At least I have the upper hand on them. I can dial the phone and connect with the exterminator, so maybe that phone number is all the research I need.

03/20/2011

Plaster, Roof, and Junk- a small update

Yes, my gutters really are that wonky.

A lot of progress has been made on the house in the last few weeks. The new roof is almost finished. We decided on black architectural shingles, and I’m really happy with that choice. They look a little like slate, and are a vast improvement of the flaking green ones that were there previously.

On the inside, we’re still working on removing plaster. We gutted the pantry, which was covered in mud. I think that is where the previous owner kept the wolf.  That is the only excuse I can think of for that room to be filled with that much filth. Sadly, the beadboard under the wallboard had to go. It was mostly rotten. We did reveal some lovely old pine floors. There is a huge hole in one of the boards, but I’m still trying to think of a way to patch it and keep them. 

We’ve also been working on gutting the bathroom. It was moldy, and kind of gross. Yet, the walls are so tough, neither the reciprocating saw, nor my Thor hammer of doom were strong enough to bring them down. Those walls made me feel like a geologist looking at the patterns in the rock to date some fossils or something. First, there was a layer of wallboard, then a thin layer of plaster on 1 inch drywall, then two layers of wallpaper, then tile, next, more plaster and older drywall. Why??? My father’s friend has been helping us out, and he finally  managed to conquer the “Great Wall” of the Trimble House. Next is gutting the kitchen, and I am hoping it goes easier than the bathroom. The plaster in there is a horrendously patched mess.

This is after 2 days of work!

Also, we were having a local cleanup to have stuff hauled to the dump this weekend, so we decided to take advantage that and clean out the root cellar. After termite tunnel destruction, five 5 gallon buckets of dirt removed, and going through old, moldy books we have a fairly clean root cellar!

                                                                   

02/19/2011

Bark at the Moon: A Wolf Playlist

In celebration for getting the electricity turned on, so that I can actually listen to music as I clean, here is a wolf playlist of some of my favorites for you all to enjoy:

All these link to youtube videos, if you want to listen!

Wolf notepad that was in the house

1. Howl – Florence and the Machine – listen

2. The Lion and the Wolf – Thrice – listen

3. Hungry Like the Wolf – Duran Duran – listen

4. All Babes are Wolves – Spinnerette – listen

5. Wolfsblood – The Misfits – listen

6. Wolves at my Door – Converge – listen

7. Howlin’ For You – The Black Keys – listen

8. Werecat – Tiger Army – listen

9. Bark at the Moon – Ozzy Osbourne – listen

10. I was a Teenage Werewolf – The Cramps – listen

11. Falling in Love with the Wolfboy – The Magnetic Fields – listen

12. Werewolf – Cat Power – listen

13. Home – Leona Naess – listen

 

Thanks to my friends and my sister for helping find the songs. If you know any other good ones, please post them!