Retro Post: I Hope You Have A Strong Stomach

Andy mentions sometimes that I should have had this blog when we moved in, because so much has been missed. The man speaks truth. There is so much we have done to our home and land that I’m not even sure where to start—nor do I have pictures of everything. Except this photo of me when we first bought the house and we were moving things in. I think I peaked at 23.

Anyway, Andy suggested I write a few retro posts to catch you guys up to what we did, at least the bigger stuff like our garage, tearing off the deck to the house which I briefly grazed on when discussing the new foundation we put in last year, for the addition we’re building this year, as well as our septic system Andy built.

But me being me, I want to get to the heart of single handed the absolutely most disgusting thing ever. I mean ever that we have encountered in our house. This makes the half eaten pear I found yesterday morning from the resident mouse (I will catch you) seem like a Christmas gift. Why am I about to show you this? Because I want you to be as grossed out as me. Because Andy told me it was too gross to share. Because my husband has a serious aversion to anything fake apple scented and this is the reasoning behind it. Because it is hilarious now that it’s approximately 4 1/2 years out. I’m almost positive Andy still does not find this hilarious, and if I think about it too much I’ll gag but it still makes me laugh in an “oh my god I can’t believe that was real” kind of way. Sure I have more current posts I could share with you, like barn updates, landscaping updates or even better retro posts.

But no. Today.

Just today.

Because you’re special.

Because I’m gross.

We’re talking cat shit.

When I say cat shit, I mean cat shit.

Once we started looking for a home, we looked into what kind of dog we wanted. While I on the side kept going on Uncle Henry’s and Craigs List looking at “free to a good home” cats going “oh, she’s so cute!”. To keep a long story short I got a cat about a week after we moved in despite the fact my man strongly dislikes cats. We had a cat for about 6 days before she ran away. We’ll call her Zelda for purposes of this story. I was told a few things about Zelda. Mainly that she loved people, wasn’t nervous and didn’t mind loud noises. Perfect. In reality, I found out she hated loud noises and had been feral her entire life. I was willing to take her as she came. I had made a commitment to her. At least she might eat the mice if she was going to live in the barn. After a few days she hid in the basement in our crawl space. We had only lived in the house for a little over a month, and the basement had always had a weird smell to it, but nothing distinctly identifiable. I called the former owner and agreed to follow her advice so I opened the door so she could stay in the old barn, with her food left outside for her. Why I believed the owner she would ever come back, I don’t know. But I did. Unfortunately after searching and calling around Zelda was gone. Even though I was sad, I still like to think Zelda either made her way home or found a nice quiet old couple. The cat was clearly used to being on her own.

Andy asked me if I was ready for a dog.

The point of the story is that Zelda tipped us off to something by hiding in the crawl space. Because see, here’s the thing, when we came back that day and she was gone the basement smelled a little more than normal. Andy figured she had shit in the crawl space. The space under the old deck that I’m sitting on in the first photo. The space that is just about 3 feet tall—maybe.

The conversation went a little something like this.

Andy: “I think she shit in the crawl space” *Andy looks in the crawl space* “Oh my God”


“Oh my God.”


“There’s shit. Everywhere”

“From Zelda? She was in there for a few hours?!”

“No. Everywhere”

And when he said everywhere. He meant everywhere. The previous owners cats, and maybe the previous-previous owners cats had used it as a giant litter box. Under our crawl space was a few inches of sand. Sand that was filled with one fresh load from Zelda, and I wish I was exaggerating over 2 inches of petrified cat shit. Throughout almost the entire space. This photo does literally no justice to what it actually looked like, and is the only photo documentation we have of the fact his happened.  I even left it full size so you can click on it and make it super big. Also, you aren’t seeing all the shit in layers underneath of that top one.


Do you know who got in their in full gear, mask, gloves to clean it? Do you know who fashioned a sled attached to our older tractor that could fit through the access that led to outside and, in a three foot high space, shovel full by shovel full excavated the entire crawl space from cat shit while Tom Cruise pulled the sled out each time to dump it?

My husband.

Everyone – round of applause.

During this time, I used copious amounts of apple febreeze in the basement. This is why my wonderful husband cannot smell fake apple scented items. Especially apple febreeze. Which worked great by the way, but it’s just way too much of a smell aversion. Two years after this incident I brought an apple candle home and burned it. The ensuing nausea from my husband made me return it.

So there you go. Retro post one, and by far the most disgusting thing ever, complete. I’m just nauseated looked at that photo again. Maybe it’s not funny. Quite yet. At least when I have to see the visual.


I need to go take a shower.


P.S. If you’re curious about the soil underneath of the sand, it was not contaminated thanks to a barrier that was originally placed down before the sand went on top. This allowed us to roll up the barrier once enough sand was excavated, leaving clean soil underneath.