Katy One, Squirrel Zero!

by Katy on July 20, 2023 · 26 comments

Do you ever feel like you’re on a never ending hamster wheel of repairing your belongings? I know I sure do. Whether it’s our appliances, clothing, furniture or  household goods, it seems like there’s always something to fix. Sure we could replace instead of repair, but that way lies financial insolvency and environmental irresponsibility.

Take this outdoor cushion as an example. It came to me a few years ago from someone’s curb and was in perfectly acceptable condition, until this week when a squirrel nibbled a chunk out of one corner. I needed to repair it before it got any worse.

So I brought down my sewing kit and got to work. My goal wasn’t the perfect repair, I simply wanted to limit the damage and keep the cushion in circulation.

The start to finish fix took maybe ten minutes and the cushion is now back in the backyard and the repair is barely noticeable.

Unless you look closely, in which case it looks like some hungry fellow came and took a chomp out of it.

But here’s the thing, It’s okay for your stuff to not look perfect. Perfection is an unattainable goal and to aspire for it is a futile effort. It’s never going to happen, so you might as well enjoy the goofy looking repair.


Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

ann July 20, 2023 at 5:21 am

We were consistently finding little piles of treasures left by squirrels on our front porch, so bought a geranium hanging basket, divided it into two pots, and flanked the porch with them. The squirrels think they stink, and we think they’re gorgeous. No more treasures from the squirrels, but the flowers are a nice sub. I also read that squirrels don’t like the smell of mint, so maybe your new mint could live next to the cushion.


Katy July 20, 2023 at 9:47 am

The thought of geranium smell makes me gag, so I totally understand this.


Ava July 20, 2023 at 5:27 am

Good repair job. I predict the perpetrator will be back for another taste. I used to think squirrels were cute but after three separate car eating incidents, I have come to believe they were made by the devil.


Kristen | The Frugal Girl July 20, 2023 at 6:44 am

I had SO many problems with squirrels chewing wires in my engine. I finally got a little battery-powered gadget that sits inside the engine and produces lights, and also sounds that humans can’t hear. It makes the engine compartment inhospitable to squirrels, and I have had no problems since.

It’s made by Loraffe, and I just install it every squirrel nesting season. At least, I did at my last house; my current rental has a pretty low squirrel population and so it hasn’t been necessary here.


Jeanine July 20, 2023 at 9:25 am


Could you link or name this device? I am having this issue with a mouse 🙁


Kristen | The Frugal Girl July 20, 2023 at 5:24 pm
Katy July 20, 2023 at 9:47 am

Rats with cuter outfits.


Ecoteri July 20, 2023 at 10:09 pm

No squirrels here (well, not in the car and truck engines), it actually IS Rats who have (on multiple occasions) eaten my vehicle wires, @Katy and @Ava. @Kirsten, the devices haven’t worked for me. I have tried peppermint, in the cabin air filter, that seems to help a bit. GAHHHHHH


Kristen | The Frugal Girl July 21, 2023 at 7:40 am

Oh man, that sucks that it doesn’t work as well for rats!!


Ava July 21, 2023 at 8:12 am

Our mechanic coated all the wires with thick grease and that stopped the problem. Before that, we tried moth balls under the hood, which also worked but was very hard on the occupants of the car. Phew.

Katy July 21, 2023 at 2:40 pm

Ugh, so sorry!


Donna July 20, 2023 at 6:18 am

Those pesky rascals! Cute, but very mischievous!
You did a great job on the cushion! 10 minutes is nothing for an enjoyable sit outdoors.
I put some coffee grounds and peppermint nearby, in pots, and they seem to stay away. I have read that chili flakes also work to keep them away.


Anne July 20, 2023 at 7:20 am

Honestly, you have to wonder what goes through a squirrel’s mind when you consider their diet. That cushion, and Kristen’s engine wires, can not have been the least bit tasty. And there is certainly no food value to lure them.

Squirrels must be the animal world’s equivalent of teenagers when it comes to food intake.


Selena July 20, 2023 at 7:06 pm

Can’t speak for the cushion BUT the coating of wires is often soy based. Hence the allure.


Ashley Bananas July 20, 2023 at 9:54 am

I strangely don’t see squirrels very often where I live… Great job on the mend. Stopping the deterioration of the seat is important to preserving it’s life span.


Katy July 20, 2023 at 11:36 am

Yes, before it was too fargone!


A. Marie July 20, 2023 at 11:50 am

I have a recipe for squirrel in the edition of The Joy of Cooking that Mom got as a wedding present in 1943, in case anyone’s interested.


Christine July 20, 2023 at 5:00 pm

Thanks A. Marie, but I think I’ll take a pass on that one!


Mary Ann July 20, 2023 at 4:06 pm

Woe be the squirrel that steals from my husband’s walnut orchards. I will leave it at that.

Summer vacation is a great time for me to thrift casually. Super fun and lots of time to meander. We have a little cabin in Tahoe. There is a hospice thrift store up here that has an incredible turn over of wonderful things. I have been there four days straight ( between pickleball games , fixing smoke alarms and paint touch ups) I have found these wonderful “steinway piano” shaped wire baskets that fit under the sink around the pipes in the bathroom. Life changing for holding cleaning supplies neatly. I also found TP holder that fits in the same cabinet of the world’s smallest bathroom and a ceramic basket that holds microfiber clothes. We host often so on the day people leave I ask them to clean their bathroom with the supplies under the sink, strip their beds with sheets going in the wash. I lay a pillowcase of a washed duplicate set. People are always happy to help out.

OK question. Duplicate sets of sheets: I have tried labeling different sizes with permanent marker but that fades. Ideas?

Since I had five women here last week who shared a tiny bathroom I thrifted an over the door holder rack. I have upscaled towels from the seventies. I sewed a loop in them as well as new binding. They are all the same color so I sewed six different color hand towels with the same loops. I hang the bath towel with a hand towel and assign everyone a color. Now people can dry their towels and not get mixed up. They also don’t bring wet towels back to their beds which can cause damage to wood. Here are the towels: https://ibb.co/VmfPfVY

I also have to show my FAVORITE THRIFT EVER. I found this brass lamp (with brass flowers meaning I can’t kill them.) It was $40 but is incredibly high quality which I paired with my thrifted mounted lake tahoe map, my husband’s grandparents furniture recovered and the Heart Truckee California pillow which is made by a local artisan who donates all proceeds to cerebral palsy foundation. My new favorite cabin corner. https://ibb.co/FmnwHZs


Jean July 20, 2023 at 7:15 pm

So clever and cute! I love unique thrift store finds that are good quality.


Debra July 23, 2023 at 9:12 am

Very cute thrifted lamp! It reminded me of the matching lamps I found at Habitat Restore for my guest room that are now sitting on bedside tables that used to be end tables from my hearth room!


Bee July 20, 2023 at 5:04 pm

We have used Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent with good results. I wish I could figure out what’s in it. It smells good!



PJ July 23, 2023 at 9:25 am

A quote from “The Nester”: It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.” A soft place to rest my bones after working in the garden is beautiful to me, with or without all of it’s corners.


Katy July 23, 2023 at 10:11 am

Was this written by a squirrel?


JC July 23, 2023 at 9:38 am

I live in a woods, squirrels everywhere. I have even had them chew on the clothes hanging on the clothesline. They will also try to eat thru the wire screens on windows.
Yes we do hunt and eat them in season….they are very tasty having been raised on corn and nuts.
I put bags of mothballs on the floor of my garage and center them under the vehicles.
I store my outdoor cushions in a decorative wood stage box because of animals.
Great job on the cushion repair.


Katy July 23, 2023 at 10:31 am

I changed my clothesline from natural fiber to a plastic one as they kept chewing through it a few years ago.


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