The last few days have been filled with documenting the current state of the house and yard work. I never thought yard work would be the first thing we'd tackle but it seems it is the first item to take care of when you have rats. Yes, large, juicy, squirrel sized rats. E is counting on the small dachshund to catch a few - I'd prefer if they just left. The yard work on the other hand has gone a long way to make good neighbors. I'm sure we'll hear some great stories in the near future.
This weekend my in-laws came armed with a chain saw, multiple pruning sheers and a shovel and a few saws. We dug out black berry bushes and they took out a dead tree,
two trees in the front that were right up next to the house. The bonus discovery was that we have a pear tree that produces good sized fruit.
I managed to transfer most of the junk from the yard onto the driveway where we'll load it up tomorrow when the dumpster arrives. The list of yard trash includes but is not limited to the following: mud engorged teddy bear, propane tank, gas can, 5 broken chairs, computer printer, table, piles of cigaret butts, random household hardware, a sink, a pallet of fire wood (craigslisted), a spa (craigslisted), 7 - 5 gallon buckets of half used spackel, 23 gallons of paint/stain/unknowns, a trash can full of expired canned goods, 2 boxes of hazardous waste, a half gallon of black pickle relish, Christmas ornaments and decorations, broken glass, more mud and mold engorged fabric / pet beds / heating pads / inflatable mattresses. Pretty much you name it, I probably found it.
The kitchen cabinets were filled with expired half used food and the fridge is 'to be duct taped shut'. When showing a few friends around this evening we discovered that the awful smell in the kitchen was from a previous dog urinating on the exposed subfloor - yum. Go-go gadget kitchen remodel.