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The Tale of Four Squirrels – revisit

The same week from hell that was my birthday found us looking skyward searching the roofline to source out the noise we kept hearing. It was a loud clattering and hard to ignore. So when I saw the little heads peeking out of the aluminum soffit hole, I knew we were in trouble. And when I saw the shreds of wood falling onto my porch, I was even more aggravated. Not only was the Fokker family nesting in my eaves, they were shredding my house.

My son and I looked up the definition of rodent one day out of curiosity. It simply said “those that gnaw”. Those cute scurrying furry tree critters had sussed out my house for their home and when they felt too lazy to go out and gather leaves for bedding, they started chewing on the trim work I can’t see up under the aluminum sided soffit. Every time I went outside, I heard their clatter and looked up yelling, “I hear you up there.”

See, my neighbors had experienced run-ins with the neighborhood squirrel gangs. They’d endured nesting and scampering under their roof. Mary had been the be-Jesus scared out of her when a baby squirrel hissed at her. When they opened up the roof, they found these rodents had chewed down and compromised the roof joists. And out my other window, I watch these critters crawl through the slats on the bell tower of the church next door. My arrogance had me thinking it wasn’t going to happen to me. But they showed me.

I called my carpenter and resident huntsman, Mr. Neil, to ask if he could seal up the holes. This is what he said, sort of, ‘cause he’s a country man and I’m a city girl, so I’ll translate. “You’ve got to get rid of the Fokkers first. They’ve decided that your casa is their casa. And you’ll not dissuade them.” He said he had a trap and to tie an ear of corn inside of it and set it up on my roof. Had he known I’d be climbing out onto my roof, he may have come over and done it for me. And, having trapped them,  I could chauffeur them to the local State Park and let them go.

So we wire tied my eight dollar corn from a local supply store the games began. One by one, I caught the three Fokkers and their friend, and drove them to the Park. I chose camping pad eleven in loop A because it had a lot of woods behind it. And I kindly left an ear of corn as camping supplies for them while they got there bearings. Then I called Mr. Neil back up and he and his man Greg returned and patched up my soffit holes. I nervously listened for any signs that we’d entombed any squirrel. Nothing. I appreciated the silence.

We rode bikes around the camping loop yesterday and hollered a greeting to the family as we went by. “Hope the country squirrels didn’t give you too much of a beat down for being city squirrels.” They’ll be safer there if they survive the gang wars. Driving yesterday, I passed a just run over squirrel convulsing on the road and  felt horrible. This time of the year it’s tough not to notice the deer and squirrel bodies littering the roadways. And then I remember, starvation due to overpopulation is pretty sucky too. If the Fokkers are the fittest then they’ll survive in a new home in the woods with a steady supply of campers to feed them Cheetos.

A Tale of Four Squirrels

The same week from hell that was my birthday found us looking skyward searching the roofline to source out the noise we kept hearing. It was a loud clattering and hard to ignore. So when I saw the little heads peeking out of the aluminum soffit hole, I knew we were in trouble. And when I saw the shreds of wood falling onto my porch, I was even more aggravated. Not only was the Fokker family nesting in my eaves, they were shredding my house.

My son and I looked up the definition of rodent one day out of curiosity. It simply said “those that gnaw”. Those cute scurrying furry tree critters had sussed my house for their home and when they felt too lazy to go out and gather leaves for bedding, they started chewing on the trim work I can’t see up under the sided soffit. Every time I went outside, I heard their clatter and looked up yelling, “I hear you up there.”

See, my neighbors had experienced run-ins with the neighborhood squirrel gangs. They’d endured nesting and scampering under their roof. Mary had been scared when a baby squirrel hissed at her. And when they opened up the roof, they found these rodents had chewed down and compromised the roof joists. Not good. And out the other window, I watch these critters crawl through the slats on the bell tower of the church next door. My arrogance had me thinking it wasn’t going to happen to me. They showed me.

I called my carpenter and resident huntsman, Mr. Neil, to ask if he could seal up the holes. This is what he said, sort of, ‘cause he’s a country man and I’m a city girl so I’ll translate. You’ve got to get rid of the Fokkers first. They’ve decided that your casa is their casa. And you’ll not dissuade them. He said he had a trap to tie an ear of corn inside of and set up on my roof. Had he known I’d be climbing out onto my roof, he may have come over and done it for me. And then I could take them to the State Park close by and let them go.

So we wire tied corn I had paid eight dollars for at a local supply store and began. And one by one, I caught the three Fokkers and a friend, and drove them to the Park. I chose camping pad eleven in loop A because it had a lot of woods behind it. And I kindly left an ear of corn for camping supplies for them while they got there bearings. Then I called Mr. Neil back up and he and his man Greg returned and patched up my soffit holes. I nervously listened for any signs that we’d entombed anyone. Nothing. I appreciated the silence.

We rode bikes around the camping loop yesterday and hollered a greeting to the family as we went by. Hope the country squirrels didn’t give you too much of a beat down for being city squirrels. They’ll be safer there if they survive the gang wars. Driving yesterday, I passed a just run over squirrel convulsing on the road and just felt horrible. This time of the year it’s tough not to notice the deer and squirrel bodies littering the roadways. And then I remember, starvation due to overpopulation is pretty sucky too. If the Fokkers are the fittest then they’ll survive in a new home in the woods with a steady supply of campers to feed them Cheetos.

Our Day At the Alpaca Farm

Last weekend, we took the opportunity to leave the house with the children (if we have to) and went to an event at the Outstanding Dreams Alpaca farm here in Caroline county. I’ve taken Eamon there before and he really enjoyed these odd and peaceful creatures. This time, we had Fiona with us, lover of all animals. She giggles at squirrels and fearlessly approaches horses and sticks her fingers up their noses.

Fiona spotted the alpaca at the Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

Fiona's smile at the Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

outstanding dreams farm on Shalavee.com

Fiona at the Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

Cornbox play at the Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

Cornbox play at the Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

The event happens every year and featured antique cars, a bouncy ride, pony rides (Eamon’s nervous he’ll fall off), a cornbox, and vendors selling their wares. Highland Creamery from Oxford had a Scottsman scooping ice cream. So it was a quick and happy visit to hang out on a farm with fellow humans and a bunch of soft furry alpacas.Eamon on a pony ride at the Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

The Outstanding Dreams Farm on Shalavee.com

Alpaca wool was being spun into yarn and dyed right there on the path in and out. So soft and warm and so not itchy. And animals are dear and only have one row of teeth so there’s no biting to fear. The owners are the sweetest nicest kindest people. We’ll venture out at least this time next year when their event happens again.

My Writing : Q & A

I was offered up an opportunity by All The Everydays blogger Jean a chance to muse my writing process. A writing prompt of the most publicly introspective kind.  Although I’m a writer, I don’t write about my writing process or purpose or motivation. I may write about what I’m thinking about, what I’m passionate about, what I’m mulling over, or what I just went through. So here goes. I’m a bit interested to hear my own answers.

What am I working on?

I am a willy-nilly writer. I write on whatever subject topic interests me. Until it doesn’t anymore. There’s more than a few pieces that languish in the nether regions of my computer because I lost interest in them. And there’s lists of post topics that seemed like a good idea when I thought of them.

I am working on organizing an Eastern Shore of Maryland bloggers meet-up so that we may exchange ideas and gain the support of other human beings who sit at computer screens a lot. I am also working on a project called 50 Asks which is a round about way of gathering courage and momentum to submit my writing to the bigger world. I need to find more guest posting opportunities. As for current writing pieces, I’m always thinking about something. Sorting out the bigger subjects worthy of bigger places to be published from the smaller ones.

How does my work differ from others of its genre?

There are more than a few of us who are genre escapees. We hate labels. Except we still happen to be mothers, creatives, and writers who have blogs. I can call myself a lifestyle blogger. I am definitely a personal essayist. I’m a blogger who started my blog to gain practice writing. I’ve been writing privately in journals since I was 12 when my English teacher Mrs. Johnson had our class start journaling. The next year, in 8th grade, Mrs. Park said I should think about doing more creative writing. 30 years later, I started to do more creative writing.

Why do I write what I do?

My writing topics range from rogue squirrels and farty butts to why disciplining your children is a great thing. I am a recovering neurotic and victim to my self-discovery more often than not. But of late, I write because I’m curious to know what I might find when I do so. It’s cathartic and good for me as a bowl of flax Wheaties. I like myself when I do it.

How does your writing process work?

First, I get an idea. Then this can go several different ways. I may write it out longhand on a lined tablet while watching the children play at McDonald’s. I may sit down and pour out my first thoughts into a text document that will live on my computer desktop. Or I may write the idea down in my journal or a scrap piece of paper which hopefully ends up near the computer or a list of things to do. Or I may forget to do any of these things for days until the idea melts away or hopefully reappears.

I am a dual creative. I love words and pictures. I value my success in both mediums and have striven really hard to get better at both. I believe I’m succeeding. Find me on Instagram and see if you think I’m doing OK ? 

Three bloggers that I love…

If you like to read my stuff, let me suggest you read :

That Curious Love Of Green –  Like me, Jane is always working to create a balance between her creativity and her love for her role as Mammy. She lives in Ballinamore, Co Leitrim in the North West of Ireland.

A Chesapeake Journal Kathy lives here on the MD Shore a county to my south. She’s my gal and her brief picture posts are very reflective of the relaxed life of living in this unique Chesapeake Bay region in the small communities on the peninsula.

Destination Here & Now – Marg and I are both Hogans. She lives in Bathurst NSW Australia. Her photography is amazing and her posts weave words with these stunning pictures often in a dreamy poetic fashion.

Thanks to Jean for her flattery and inclusion. I really did enjoy the challenge. And I hope you take a moment to follow the links to her blog or my other friends blogs. Thanks so much for visiting.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your email box. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit. 

Shalavee’s Two Year Blogaversary

Today is my second Blogaversary ! I’ve known this would warrant a mention…in a post…with streamers and prophetic words. But on my first attempt last week, I came up with a lotta nada. Hot air but no balloons. I had outlined what I thought I should say. But it wasn’t real. Creativity shrivels in the shadow of the shoulds.

Take two.

The Truth.

Back when I began this blog adventure, I was looking so hard at myself, I could barely speak. And I was petrified of using the computer. But I knew writing and publishing posts over and over would make a better writer of me, create a habit, and give me a body of work for potential employers. I kept the faith and kept doing something even if it was wrong. And I was right. I have continued to post on my blog every three days, save a few occasions. I discovered I could rely on myself.

The second greatest killer of creativity is seeing myself through the eyes of my critics and freezing there. So I took the imperfections, the misspelled words and the bad grammar, and threw them on the pyre as a sacrifice to the god of progress.mantel 2

I do appreciate the care for my misspellings and I even appreciate the “anonymous” hater who lambasted my character right after I found out I was pregnant in June of 2012 and had published my most controversial article to date. When I saw her at the grocery store recently, I wished  I’d yelled “Thanks for reading!”.

Because in the end, I’m nothing without my readership. You lovely wonderful quiet opinionated readers, without you I am not a blog. I am a silly girl talking to herself. In a small poll (4 people) I conducted of known readers, I discovered people read for the following reasons.

They know me and want to keep up with my life’s happenings.

They find me funny.

And they enjoy my honest opinions about difficult subjects. I tell it the way I sees it, that’s all.

parlor office shelf

How has my blogging experience rewarded me? I found my “voice“ and a sense of self-pride. I love my new blog friends from all over the world. Pen pals with pizzazz.  I applaud my fellow bloggers celebrating their 2 year blogaversary too and want to be jealous of their sparkly giveaways and shiny fun posts. But my voice is my vehicle. How I’d love to have you all happily seated in the back for my mostly gimmick-free ride.

What if I promise more pretty pictures to ogle ?
Free Popcorn?

Thank You Very Much For Reading. And believing. I owe you.

Love Ya’,

Shalagh

 

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