The Cross House. UNDER ATTACK!

You know what that is, don’t you? It’s…it’s…ARMAGEDDON!!!!!!!!


On Saturday, I gave a tour to Harold, his friends, and his daughter, Anita. When we reached the third floor (one huge open room) I saw something sitting on the otherwise pristine floor.


I bent down.

And my heart sank.


Oh shit.

Damn fuck shit.

Because that small something on the floor could only mean one thing: I had squirrels in the house.


We turned into the round tower room and the otherwise pristine floor was suddenly, inexplicably covered with debris. WHERE has THIS come from? I looked up…


…ahhh. The attic of the round tower. The “witches hat” attic. Damn. Damn. I had cut the hole into the ceiling just after buying the house as there as no way to access the tower attic. And there was also no way I was not going to get inside said attic.


On Saturday, there was nothing I could do about this stomach-punch discovery. But, the next day I intended to get inside the attic, and so noisily set up a stepladder. Instantly, a fury could be heard: the unmistakable sound of small creatures scrambling.

Damn. Damn. Damn!

I warily stuck my head inside the dark attic.

More scrambling could be heard. Frantic scrambling.

But HOW were the little dears getting inside????????

Once inside the dark space, I shined my iPhone flashlight around. I could still hear scrambling, and was a bit terrified that small freaked-out creatures would suddenly scurry across me. Or attack me. Or leap onto by bald head.

I stood. Then turned off the flashlight.

My heart was in my throat.

Eek. Eek. I felt rather than said this. I think.

Looking around I saw light streaming in from one place. I bent down, and carefully stepped over the the south side of the attic.


And there, right where the big curved cornice meets roof, was a 2-inch-high by 12-inch-wide opening. This opening was not just any ol’ opening but a welcoming grand entrance into my attic with a neon sign over proclaiming: IN HERE! YES, HERE!


Looking around the attic floor with the flashlight it was obvious that the tower attic had been a hip squirrel hangout for many many decades. Maybe even since 1894. What is odd is why was I only now seeing evidence of their hipster hangout?

I don’t know.

Today, I gently stepped onto the third floor, tip-toed over to the attic opening, and quietly stuck my head inside the attic.




Scroll down to see what I discovered…



















See! A hipster hangout!




I turned on the flashlight, and all the patrons scurried away. Cocktails were knocked over on the bar, and playing cards and cigars were strewn upon the floor.

Tomorrow, I will have to turn off the blinking neon sign, and nail a notice across the grand opening: CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.




  1. B. Davis on April 24, 2017 at 7:30 pm

    You’re too funny.

    • B. Davis on April 24, 2017 at 8:55 pm

      No sooner did I write that then we watched a squirrel clear a 6 ft wood fence and land on the top post, confidently ran the length of the fence, then jumped! up onto the downspout! A metal downspout! and climbed it without any effort at all! 20 feet straight up! – then no big deal shimmied about 15 feet along the wood siding (facing down so nothing to hang onto!)….. then up, jumped a foot into the eaves, navigated around one overhang (again as if no big deal scene from Cirque du Soleil), and disappear under an eave in a hole that we couldn’t see from the ground at all. Maybe 2 inches x 2 inches? if that?

      So – squirrels are clever worldwide. Here in Canada ours would be drinking screwdrivers or Jack Daniels, and playing Crazy eights 🙂 Or Euchre.

      Can I send ours down to visit yours?

  2. Brendan on April 24, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    Way too funny! I especially like the squirrel that’s cheating at cards! LOL

    • john feuchtenberger on April 24, 2017 at 8:56 pm

      I like the one with a blunt. Ross, is the catforce not on duty?

    • Brendan on April 24, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      When I was a kid we had squirrels in the attic and my Mom read somewhere that moth flakes would chase them away. She didn’t have moth flakes but did have moth balls so she scattered them round the attic floor. A few days later, my brother was walking down the driveway and was beamed on the head with a mothball from the attic three stories up. Apparently it was true that the squirrels did not like the moth balls, but if one of them had to leave our attic, it surely was not going to be the squirrels!

  3. Bo on April 24, 2017 at 7:51 pm

    And here I thought it was the Mouse Hotel.

    • Mike on April 24, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      LOL! And the best comment award goes to Bo! ????

  4. Shelley S on April 24, 2017 at 7:54 pm

    I’m pretty sure that you need to find a real taxidermy squirrel party to put somewhere up there!

  5. Cindi M on April 24, 2017 at 8:08 pm

    Not a squirrel speakeasy!? For shame!

  6. Mary on April 24, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I had/have the same problem this winter. Paid someone to come who caught nothing. He said they are not in there anymore if he couldn’t catch them. Had my contractor close up the space we found.
    Just last night I heard them!! I do not know the solution. I think they live in the eaves which are not all viewable from inside. This is going to end up costing a fortune

  7. Betsy on April 24, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Haha, made me laugh. We have been battling this on and off for years

  8. Brandy on April 24, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    We’ve got black squirrels up here, l could’ve sent you some for your party ( we’ve got a small group of white squirrels too!)

    • Brandy on April 24, 2017 at 9:08 pm

      Hope this works!

  9. Barb Sanford on April 24, 2017 at 9:09 pm

    Those photos of the squirrels made me laugh so hard I think I hurt myself.

    Good luck serving those furry buggers their eviction notices. It looks like they have a grand hangout.

  10. Carole Sukosd on April 24, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    You’ve all gone squirrelly ! ! ! ! ! !

  11. Sandra Lee on April 25, 2017 at 12:13 am


    Glad eviction notice served.

    Imagery as to neon welcome sign and vacancy following led to being on floor lol!

    Squirrel party scene too funny!!!!

    Attention squirrels and all your squirrel family– start your packing now Ross is totally on to your antics in the attic.

    Squirrel party IS over!!

  12. Sandra Lee on April 25, 2017 at 12:36 am

    Oh furry friends playing cards are chipmunks– chipmunks in the attic as well–or just dramatic license?

    I love how on the midst of chaos and chagrin you can find humor! Ross you are the best!! I love all your dramatic anecdotes.

    I vote for a bound copy or anthology of the blog from the beginning– to the point when restoration is complete & all that remains would be maintenance of restoration. It would be fun to read a bound copy. Also it would be fun to include in the journey the posts leading from when you closed on Cross House; and your initial goals are interspersed with dreams. I add this as there are practical pieces of advice on how you tackled various restoration conundrums. I love going back and rereading posts sometimes about the amazing Cross House Journey. The blog is a beautiful account of the process of the journey. It is like a cookbook of restoration. Simply delectable!

    You are a genius Ross & extremely gifted creatively.!!

    • Ross on April 25, 2017 at 8:22 am

      What a great comment to read first thing in the morning! Thank you!

  13. Sandra Lee on April 25, 2017 at 8:31 am

    I did wonder about a spot of trim above new, most recent porch railing. It looks like trim was marred. Did it get chipped recently? I missed this until enlarging to see sqiuirrel foyer in round tower.

  14. Sandra Lee on April 25, 2017 at 8:44 am

    I am so glad I brightened your day today! Hope you have another creatively wonderfful day!

    Noticed the scraped or chipped spot on porch before both roofs restored on towers. What happened?

  15. JET Texas on April 25, 2017 at 1:02 pm

    Okay, you got us, that was funny. 🙂 I hope you are able to fix the problem. Something died inside the wall between the master bedroom and bathroom in my house. Stunk up the whole suite. Exterminators gave us super odor eaters, which helped, but it was at least 4 months before the smell went away.

  16. djd_fr on April 25, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    Some of those look like chipmunks.

  17. Chad on April 26, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Mine too! The Irishman told me yesterday that birds are nesting behind the aluminum siding covering my cornice. I’m inclined to just ignore this until next year.

  18. Chaz on April 26, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    Ross, Ross, Ross……Them there ain’t hipster squirrelies, on account of ain’t a one of them wearing of no suspenders, plaid shirts, nor no Fedora hats and skinny jeans! What you stumbled into is no doubt a good old fashioned blind tiger joint! I expect if you’d a waited long enough Jessica Rabbit would have come out and sing “why don’t you do right like them other men do”! Find the one at the big desk back in the corner and tell him would want a piece of the pie for looking the other way and they may bring you all sorts of pretties abscounded from parts abroad!

  19. aLynne on May 19, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Not hipsters… no beards.

    • Chaz on May 19, 2017 at 8:51 pm

      No record spinning, neither!

  20. Linda A. on February 14, 2020 at 1:07 pm

    O.k. it is now 2020 on the coldest day so far in February, and I am re-reading posts from your blog…many I apparently over looked years ago…and am roaring with laughter at the squirrels!!!

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