What you can't tell from the previously posted photo of the outside of the house (taken in cold, cold winter) is that our house is COMPLETELY covered in ivy. Well, it's not just ivy, it's all kinds of grow-y, climb-y type stuff and probably a few trees. Someone has already commented that we even have poison ivy.
When I say completely covered you need to envision this: the house looks like a giant, unruly section of hedge. Add that to all of the surrounding foliage left to grow as it will on a fairly large lot and you have a nice recipe for mosquitoes. We have swarms of skitters - everywhere. My arms and legs and even one hip (?!) are full of swollen bumps and lumps.
Sunday was an amazing day. Our friend Chris (aka Tarzan) came over to swing from the vines and we actually were able to uncover a lot of the house. Chris even jumped out of one of the windows onto the roof of the glass vestibule. All this during a downpour of torrential rain.
Yes, there are windows under there.
That's Chris using amazing feats of strength to yank down thick, twisty, long vines in clumps! Clumps! The man is strong.
I haven't been slacking either - you see that lattice? It was full of twisted growth, in and out of every square opening. I felt like I was unraveling a wool sweater, pulling on the vines to get them off. I still have three sections to complete.
So now we have some windows that actually let in LIGHT. The former owners seemed to really hate light. Every window has blinds (very dirty blinds) and every room is dimly lit. There was a 15 watt bulb in the foyer fixture! One of the chandeliers has ten bulbs and only one was working.
And back to Chris - he didn't stop with the vines. The rain had stopped and the mosquitoes were out in full force again, so Chris moved to the inside and almost completely removed the wallpaper in an entire bedroom. We have really good friends.