The Raccoon Debacle of Summer '13 - Part I

*Warning - This post may contain foul language to properly convey the absurd situation*

One beautiful June Saturday Pat and I were just finishing up a lazy brunch when I heard a noise coming from our utility room. (Our house is a ranch so our utility room is off of our hall bathroom) After convincing Pat that I wasn't in fact crazy and hearing things, we went to investigate. We opened our utility room door to find....nothing. But we could still hear a faint cooing noise. Initially we thought that there was a birds nest in our chimney flue (the area in which our furnace and other utilities vents through) so we shrugged it off and went on with our weekend. Monday night I was changing out the laundry and I heard it again. But it was louder. And there was a faint scratching noise accompanying it this time. Freaked I grabbed Pat again and we stood there ears pressed to the walls listening. Finally, Pat being the lumberjack handy man that I love said 'F this' and got onto our roof to peer down and investigate. He grabbed a flashlight and a ladder and was off. I stood there helpless waiting for him to come down and tell me it was nothing. I mean, it was right?

Wrong. After shining down the flashlight he saw two little raccoon eyes look up at him. Okay, this could be worse. It's a raccoon and maybe it's hurt and can't get out? So we called animal control expecting them to have some answers. No such luck. An animal control officer came over the next afternoon and Pat met with him to get some answers. From what Pat has told me, this wasn't a helpful conversation. The animal control officer said that at this time of year it was very common for mom raccoons to find chimneys and other safe places to have their babies and raise them until they are old enough to climb out on their own. He also said because it was daytime and the mom was nowhere to be seen that this might be an issue. Apparently, mom raccoons hunt at night for their babies but always come back before sunrise. We live near a pretty busy road so it's not inconceivable for an animal to not make it across the street. Also because of the location and depth of our chimney he laughed at us and said we were shit out of luck and they only way the raccoon was coming out was if it decided to leave. Nice. So he was saying we have an orphan raccoon in our chimney...and I went completely bleeding heart. Laying in bed that night, I couldn't stop talking. "What if it hurt its leg and can't climb out?" "What if it's hungry?" "What if it can't walk yet?" I'm pretty sure my relationship almost ended that night Pat was so annoyed with me. And this is why I love him and he's the one for me - The next day after work we went to Home Depot and bought a small bucket and 100 feet of rope. Figuring out a plan yet? We filled the bucket with water and small crushed up pieces of a chewy granola bar (because I was convinced he was too weak with hunger to move) and lowered it attached to the 100 feet of rope into the chimney. We tied it to a tree near our house creating what we thought was an awesome way from the baby to escape. We grabbed our folding chairs and a glass of wine and sat in our driveway like hicks and watched our chimney. For an hour. Spoiler - nothing happened.

We went to bed completely dejected and didn't know what to do. The next day when we came home from work, the noise in our house was unbelieveable. There was the loudest cooing and scraping noises I had ever heard were coming from the duct work in our utility room. Pat and I just stared at each other without a clue of what to do. Finally Pat said "F this" again and got out tools to take apart our duct work where the sound was the loudest. Convinced that we were about to come face to face with a baby raccoon the next few hours were a little chaotic. They involved a ton of work on Pat's part and a lot of squealing and fretting on mine. When he finally got part of the duct undone, we realized we had to have something to put the raccoon in where it couldn't get out or bite us or anything. So out came an old wine box (boozebags!) that we fashioned into a makeshift pet carrier.

It looked like this:

After wedging out a piece of the duct and spotting a pouf of fur we were ecstatic! We had got it out safe! We took the duct and gently shook it into our makeshift pet carrier. Only when we heard the baby raccoon fall into the carrier, we didn't hear any noise or movement. This is the moment we realized that we had more than one orphan raccoon in our chimney...we had one raccoon in the bottom portion of our duct work, one in the top, and one in the bottom of our chimney.

Pat took baby #1 to a nearby tree a few blocks from our house and left it in a small brush while I cried. We couldn't dwell on this for too long because we had our duct work taken apart and another raccoon to get out that we knew for sure was alive because of all the noise it was making.

Getting back in the swing of things

It has been almost two full months since my last post and I heard that this is a big no-no in the blogging world so i'm sorry for that. I've been struggling with keeping this blog going with everything that's been going on with our house and was unsure if it was the right thing to do or if I should just call it quits. After talking things through with Pat and our families this whole situation is too horribly awful (read: hilarious for everyone else) to not post about it. 

So in the coming weeks to get caught up to speed i'll be posting the goings on of the past 2 months. There will be accounts of the raccoon debacle (yes you read that right) a flood that ruined part of our house and the aftermath of dealing with mold and fighting with our insurance company who didn't take us seriously because of our age. It's honestly quite the doozy and should make for great reading so get ready because District Delight is back!

Feed Collaboration with Target

I am in love with FEED's collaboration with Target. IN. LOVE.

This is such an amazing collaboration and a force for good! I am obsessed with all of these cute items {I fully plan on purchasing the water bottle this weekend :) } and I know that my money is going towards something good. With the purchase of any of these items you are providing anywhere from 8-24 meals to children and families across the U.S.This is money that I can feel SO good about spending!

I'll Be Back...

I'm enjoying my vacation time with Pat and his family at the beach working on my tan, catching up on reading and spending some time just living.

More posts to come in July when I am home :)

Weekly Inspiration

I need a little motivation to get me through this week! I have a ton of projects to wrap up before I leave for vacation on Friday so a little encouragement about how awesome I am is just what I need to motivate me this week. 

Also, it never hurts to be your own biggest cheerleader!

Favorite Pins From Last Week

 1. Favorite Sweet Treat - Healthy Pineapple Whip
^ I can't wait to try this yummy summer dessert recipe - I even have all the ingredients, so this might be happening tonight :)

2. Favorite Home Decor - Rustic Pallet Entry Way
^I've been looking for a little entry way inspiration and think I finally found it in this picture! We have a nook in our entry that is just calling for some pallets and stained wood boards.

3. Favorite Recipe - Quinoa Pancakes
^I found an awesome diner that serves coconut quinoa pancakes which I was raving about here. I think i've finally found my base recipe. Just have to add some coconut and blueberries to it and trick Pat into eating them.

4.  Summer Reading List from Real Simple
^ I'm leaving for vacation on Friday in Bethany Beach, Delaware and I can't wait for a ton of beach reading time. I love this list of books to breeze through on the beach.

5. Favorite Laugh - Pintester Blog
^ This girl is hysterical. She blogs about all of the Pinterest pins that she tries. Some are successes and some {alot} are hilarious failures.

Buffalo Wing Lettuce Wraps

Yum. This is the perfect dinner to make when you want some super unhealthy wings slathered in dressing! It's also gluten free - so if you're trying to stay away from bread, it's a tasty, easy option.

Here's what you'll need:
^ 2 chicken breasts
^ Buffalo wing sauce
^ Lettuce {Romaine or Butter}
^ Ranch or Blue cheese dressing {I use ranch dressing because Pat hates blue cheese, so I forgo that on his and add it on mine :) }
^ Broccoli slaw {for crunch}
^ Blue cheese crumbles

I cooked the chicken in my crockpot because I had time today, but you could just as easily use a pressure cooker. I put 1 cup water in with the frozen chicken breasts and some salt, pepper and buffalo wing sauce. I kept the seasoning simple because the wing sauce has enough flavor and would overpower everything anyways. I cooked the chicken on high for about 5 hours. When the chicken was shredded and I was ready to serve dinner, I drained the rest of the liquid using a strainer, put the chicken back in the crock pot and then added more wing sauce. When all was said and done, I used about half the bottle.

Next comes the assembly - lettuce leaves, a spoonful of buffalo chicken, the broccoli slaw {which gives it an awesome crunch and adds a few veggies to our diets} a little ranch dressing and then bleu cheese crumbles.

Note: It's a messy affair to eat as a wrap - Pat made a big 'ol mess, so I opted to cut it up like a salad and it was equally as delicious!