Robin Murena illustration

It was a dark and stormy night … literally, around eight or nine years ago, when our Welsh Terrier, Clancy, began barking at the baseboard radiator near our front door. This went on for a couple of days before I called our vet, thinking that perhaps Clancy was showing signs of some form of early onset canine dementia.

The vet quickly ruled out any neurological issues, and we soon discovered that the cause of Clancy’s distress was not all in his head but rather in between the walls and floors of our home. There was a mouse in the house. Make that mice. Once I stopped shaking, we called Tim’s Pest Control, a Norwalk-based exterminator that had been recommended to us, and owner Tim Neff came out and quickly and efficiently assessed and corrected the problem.

Like a lot of people, I squirm at the thought of cohabitating with anyone — or anything, from mice and moles to spiders and bees — besides our family members (dogs included). If you’ve ever seen those cliched old movies or cartoons in which the frightened housewife shrieks and jumps up on a chair to avoid any contact with the mice on the floor, well, that would be me (except I’m not wearing a dress and heels).

Fast forward to May, 2017, and our new dog, Lulu, has unfortunately not proven to be the intrepid mouse detector that Clancy was. Over the past few weeks, we’ve noticed little “signs” of uninvited, unwelcome houseguests: bits of pillow foam strewn across the lower level carpets (we initially blamed Lulu for that), tiny stones, the size of baby teeth, appearing near the door leading to the garage, a blanket that was torn to shreds, and finally, a couple of the culprits themselves, running along the base of the family room radiators.

When I called Tim’s Pest Control this time, I spoke with Tim’s son, Dave, who is now working in the family business. He came right out, and quickly and efficiently assessed and corrected the problem (like father, like son).

I’m hoping that this will be our last encounter with the tiny home invaders, but in case it’s not, I’m keeping Tim’s Pest Control on speed dial, and a chair upon which to jump close by.

So as not to dwell on mice and men, I will turn to the subject of this issue of Home, which includes an article by Janis Gibson on a beautiful Wilton home owned by photographer Daryl Hawk and his wife, Heidi. In May Home, we also ask some area experts how to avoid common garden mistakes, writer Polly Tafrate interviews Stratford builder Colin Healy, who reinvents homes for evolving families, and of course, we bring you our Home Personality, this month focusing on homes with inviting family rooms.

Please email me at [email protected] with questions or comments.