On Pest Control: Birds of a Feather
Editor Scott Omelianuk on pest control
The editor, in search of color inspiration.
"I'm calling for your expertise..."
I was about to go to bed and had let the answering machine pick up, but grabbed the phone when I sensed the urgency in my father-in-law's voice.
"Hi, Poppy, what's going on?"
"How do I get a bird out of the house?"
It was a problem he hadn't faced before, having not too long ago bought a country place after a lifetime of city dwelling. I suggested he open the sliding doors, turn the outside lights on, the inside lights off, and hope the little feathered visitor—now swooping about the room in a panic—would move toward the great egress.
I gave him a 50-50 chance of survival.
I was less sure about the bird. "Let me know how it works," I said before shuffling off to bed, flicking my own outside light off as I went.
I had to flip my light's switch because I never figured out how to program its digital brain, which adjusts its on/off cycle based on sunrise and sunset at my latitude. It's smarter than I am.
Which shouldn't surprise you if you've read Letter From This Old House before. I tend to be, uh, incomplete when it comes to making it work around the house. Somehow I manage to overlook the little things when they give me a hassle. Electrical hookups? Obviously not my strong suit. That faulty crank on my kitchen casement window? I can always go out on the deck to push the window closed. The doorknob to the basement entry I broke trying to fix? For now the dead bolt secures things just fine.
Painting, on the other hand, I get. I'm good at it. Chalk it up to a youth spent as an art student. On the other other hand, the color bit of painting is harder, and I'm not nearly as good at it as this issue of TOH, which was put together by deputy editor Kathryn Keller and our team of savvy editors, writers, and art directors. By my count they compiled hundreds of colorful inspirations between these covers. Something for everyone. In fact, if you can't find some inspiration for your next project, well, I'm not sure you're alive.
Speaking of which, both the bird and my father-in-law survived their ordeal that night. I know because when I woke up the next morning and came downstairs to the beeping answering machine, I heard this message: "I am no longer calling for your expertise," my father-in-law said. "But if you have a number for animal control, let me know. Leaving the door open was great at getting the bird out. Also great at letting a raccoon in. Bye."