I've had a few enquiries and expect maybe the odd visitor given some nice things Bobby Wolff said about me over at the bridgeblogging site. So here's the update.
I'm alive if not thriving. The bursitis has been brought under control by the cortisone shot. The rotator cuff issue remains as it has been for the last few years. The doctor's orders to "Don't do that," seem effective as long as it's conscious movement. Every now and then, I still idiotically reach behind me and then his 'cure' seems waaaaaaaay less effective. But I'm also following instructions to only work three hours straight and then take at least as long to 'recuperate.' Pain is a great motivator.
As far as the critters are concerned, I seem currently to be vermin-free. The bed bugs seem to have been blasted into oblivion. No sign of a single little vampire bug in the weeks since the bomb went off in the bedroom. And the aftermath of their assault on my shoulder has almost completely disappeared. There are still marks there seven weeks later and I wonder if they're permanent. Not exactly the kind of battle scars to make the girls swoon, but I'm long past the stage where that's important.
The raccoon mother and her kits seem to have left the garage for parts unknown. Expensive as all hell to make them go from one side of the garage wall to the other side. Yep, there's a city ordinance that prevents the critter-catcher from moving the raccoon more than a kilometre! In fact, he set up a box with a big circular hole in it just outside the wall of the garage (which is more like a dilapidated wooden shed). He then trapped the raccoon and it's kits. He made the mother watch as he placed the kits in the box and then released the mother. Over the next hour or so, she moved the kits out of the box elsewhere, one by one. According to the guy, the act of manhandling the children made it 'unlikely' that the mother would take up residence here again ... this spring. So far, he's been right.
He also placed grilled fencing over the more obvious ground-level access points. Which were fewer than I thought. The ones in the rafters remain as easy-access as ever, if you're a pile of fur with a really flexible skeleton.
Which brings us to the future. The garage has always been there for two reasons, to store the recyclables and for storage of things by the rest of the family. Dad's wood pile (home of the raccoon this spring), Rick's boat (the raccoon latrine) and Wayne's truck parts. By summer's end, the garage will have been emptied out of those things, making nesting places unavailable next spring for any bandit-masked invaders from finding a comfy home again.
Plus, I will lay in a supply of coyote urine by then.
Yep, you read right. Coyote urine. Apparently available at hunting stores and apparently (no surprise) one of the least favourite scents a raccoon can come across. Definitely NOT a place to be housing babies near. Which is what I want.
But that DOES bring up a question. I know how you harvest milk, eggs, snake venom and all kinds of other animal products. Just how do you collect coyote urine?
Wait! There are some things that better remain mysteries.