Posts Tagged "squirrel"

Do You Know How Many Steps You Need to Clean a Garage?

Dear Kid,

Do you know how many steps are involved in cleaning out the garage? 12,384.

Yesterday, Dad and I decided to tackle the garage. The Puppy decided to supervise by napping in the sun. And the shade. And the sun. And the shade. For someone who was napping, there was a lot of relocation.

Cleaning out the garage was a lot like an archeological dig. We uncovered all sorts of things from different eras of our lives.

For example, we found soccer balls in every single size (and condition) imaginable. We found pint-sized golf clubs and middle-sized lacrosse sticks and teen-sized hockey sticks. We found gardening tools for toddlers and baseball mitts for adults.

We had a few disagreements (“No, we are not getting rid of that” “But we haven’t used it in 20 years!” “But I might have a need for it!” I’ll leave it to you to assign the dialog). We had a few compromises (Dad has agreed to get rid of—by which I mean recycle—the two tires that have been hanging around lo these many years. And we had some surprises.

Like the, um, cache we found behind the shelves.

Me: What is that?
Dad: What do you think it is?
Me: Lord love a duck.

It turned out to be a pile of acorns, presumably put there by a rodent of some variety. The Puppy had been very clear all winter that there was something interesting back there, and smirked his “I told you so” look as we swept out the corner.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say the garage is clean enough to eat in (except for the acorn-hoarders among us) but it is much nicer and less cluttered than it was.

I give us 2 months before the chaos re-descends.

Love, Mom

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When Was the Last Time You Frolicked?

Dear Kid,

Many, many years ago we had a mulberry tree in our backyard (now we have a mulberry tree stump, but I’ll get to that).

Squirrel Wars 2016 Have Begun. Dad is --once again -- trying to keep the rodents off the birdfeeders. DearKidLoveMomThe mulberry tree had branches that reached from the back of the yard practically to the house. Dad wanted to cut the branches, but I convinced him not to. During the mid to late summer, the squirrels used those branches as their personal grocery store. They would come waaaay out on the branches and reach for the farthest, hardest to reach, presumably yummiest berries. It was jungle gym and produce section in one.

It was serious fun to watch.

Then we had to cut the tree down because it was dying and unsafe.

The squirrels adapted by trying to do triple gainers from other trees to reach the birdfeeder.

This pleased no one except the squirrels.

As I’m writing this, the squirrels are frolicking in the yard. Seriously, frolicking, as they try to figure out how to get their next meal.

We now have tree whose branches have grown far enough out that I can watch the little dudes up close from my chair on the porch.

They spend a lot of time under the birdfeeder encouraging their avian friends to throw down a respectable tithe.

And they are plotting.

It’s obvious as they pause on a tree trunk or branch that they are engaging in Highly Advanced Physics calculations trying to determine if they can Make The Leap from their location to the birdfeeder.

So far the answer is no, which pleases the squirrels not at all but the humans and birds are happy.

As for the stump, it still sits in the yard. And the squirrels haven’t forgotten it. yesterday, one of them paused on the stump, leaning over the edge, to watch other squirrels play/fight/frolic. Stump as lounge chair.

Très cute.

Hope you have some time to frolic today.

Love, Mom

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Squirrel Wars 2016 Have Begun

Dear Kid,

Dad is at it again.

Or perhaps I should say the squirrels are at it again.

Either way, someone is at it, and “it” involves birdseed and removing tree limbs.

Dad was convinced that the squirrels couldn’t reach the birdfeeder, or that the one clever squirrel had reached the end of his time here on planet earth and was stalking birdfeeders in squirrel heaven.

And so he (Dad) happily went about his business.

Until I refilled the birdfeeders and Dad happened to look outside.

(Insert stabbing music from Psycho.)

Squirrel Wars 2016 Have Begun. Dad is --once again -- trying to keep the rodents off the birdfeeders. DearKidLoveMomWhat followed next was something out of a scene from Caddy Shack. A scene that hit the cutting room floor, but a scene nonetheless.

Dad raced out of the house, shouting at the squirrel to mind his (the squirrel’s) own species, and inviting plagues of curses upon the house of said rodent. The threat of his lineage being cursed didn’t seem to upset the squirrel in the least. The threat of a crazy man descending upon him waving a cell phone made him reconsider hanging out on the birdfeeder.

Once the birdfeeder was squirrel-free (temporarily), Dad went about assessing the situation to make it squirrel-free (permanently).

Saws, loppers, dynamite, drones, schematics, ladders, a laser pointer, and eye of newt were all involved.

Squirrel Plotting to Get Birdseed Squirrel Wars 2016 Have Begun. Dad is --once again -- trying to keep the rodents off the birdfeeders. DearKidLoveMomIn short, one of the nearby trees had its bangs trimmed. And the squirrels seem unable (or unwilling) to leap from the branches to the birdfeeders.

But the hand shears are still on the porch so that Dad can race out and prune away if the need should arise.

Perhaps this should be an Olympic sport.

Love, Mom

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Completing the FAFSA and Squirrel!

Dear Kid,

Today. Is. The. Day.

I kid you not.

Today is the day I get the FAFSA filled out.


That reminds me. I should make some more coffee before I start this project. Because COFFEE! DearKidLoveMom.comYes, I know I’ve been saying that for the last four weeks, but Today. Is. The. Day.


Partly because it’s about time. Partly because once it’s done we have a shot at getting some help paying for you and Pi to become Highly Educated People. And partly mostly because having it not yet done is an extremely heavy weight I’m tired of carrying around.

FAFSA (an acronym which dad has yet to pronounce correctly. FASFA? FASAM? FAMSA?) stands for Financial Aid Form Still Available. Or possibly Finally Ask For Some Assistance. Or maybe Fully Able to Fund Student Activities. Whatev. It’s the gateway to financial aid.

FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is used to determine the amount of money a family is expected to contribute to the price of attending a postsecondary institution. The results of the FAFSA are used in determining student grants, work study, and loan amounts.

So today I get the form completed, submitted, and the heck off my to-do list.

Assuming there’s enough coffee.

And I have the right information.

And there aren’t any important distractions.


Love, Mom

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Pumpkin Carving

Dear Kid,

Are you going to carve a pumpkin this year?

I haven’t decided either. But in the “better spend some time surfing the internet for ideas I’ll never carve rather than dusting something” vein, I took a quick look for jack-o’-inspiration.

Four hours later, I feel completely inadequate.

It is amazing how many people spend time (lots of time) and talent (lots of talent) carving pumpkins. That’s not a slam—I’m impressed. If I had their talent I might do the same thing (oh, who am I kidding).

Once I had my fill of complicated and intricate pumpkin carving voyeurism (did I mention the 7 hours of web surfing?), I moved on to the Easy Options Category.

I found the traditional jack-o-lanterns, less traditional jack-o-sparrows, happy faces, sad faces, scary faces (extra points for the one where the carver used toothpicks as jagged teeth), political figures (very unrealistic since they are silent), a minion (yes, might be my personal fave), college logos, college mascots (not sure they fall in the easy category), abstract designs (just punch a bunch of holes), and billions and billions more.

It is not easy to live up to internet expectations of pumpkin carving. Even squirrels are in the pumpkin carving game.

Fortunately, I don’t give a fig about the internet’s expectations of my pumpkin carving abilities.

Because there is no way I can compete with a squirrel.

Love, Mom

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