Squirrelly in the Winter (Christmas 2018)

In honor of Squirrel Appreciation Day, we continue the adventures of Hoover the Squirrel.

Hoover had not been seen for a few months.  In Fall’s rich harvest, he did not need to visit the bird feeder to pawhandle.  No one hopped up to peer into the kitchen window to see if someone was available to throw nuts out on the backporch or peed on the teak chairs to mark their territory.  The birds were the only ones to use the feeder hanging from the back porch and a brick of seeds lasted longer than three days.

By Christmas time, the days were growing colder and food became less abundant.  The holly berries were disappearing off the holly bushes at an increasing rate.  When we went to the nursery to buy our front door Christmas wreath, we saw a wreath of bird seed that would be perfect to hang from the central post on the back porch.  The seed was attached with a ratafia bow and fastened to a styrofoam wreath.  My husband nailed it to the backporch.

squirrel wreath--all that was left

It lasted about a day.  The squirrels discovered it before the birds did.  They tugged on it so hard, that it fell off the porch and into the ivy below.  Hoover was seen dragging one of the large pieces back to his home in the beech tree.  The ratafia bow was the only part left.

Three days later, I went back to the nursery to buy another wreath. This one had a red plastic bow.  My husband nailed it more firmly to the porch post, hoping to make it more difficult for the squirrels to detach.

squirrel ramains of second food wreath onthe ground.jpg


It was a forlorn hope.  The second one lasted a few days longer than the first wreath, but it too ended up in broken pieces in the ivy.

squirrel ramains of second food wreath onthe ground

As it was with the original plastic squirrel feeders, it was Squirrels-2, Humans-0.  We replaced the second seed wreath with an evergreen wreath that survived until we took all of the Christmas decorations down in early January.

Hoover has resumed hanging upside down from the bird feeder.

squirrels--return on hoover



Reblog: 10 Fascinating Facts about Common Odors

books-oldMy favorite smell from this list is Biblichor.  ““Biblichor” refers to the smell of old books. It is actually a new word. Whether it will make it into the English language is only a matter of time. Old books don’t have a definite odor. Some smell like vanilla, coffee, chocolate, or other individual or combined substances. However, all the scents are called biblichor.” Read the blog to find out the other nine.

Wishy-Washy Winter

winter tree.jpgCentral Virginia has had exceptional rainfall since last Spring.  In 2018, we recorded our second wettest year.   With each changing season, many of us hope that we will have more than a week without rain.  So far, no such luck.

I’ve lived in California and know that they desparately need the rain.  Another El Nino year  is in progress.  Like most trends, what starts in California, soon spreads across the nation.  The precipitation is no exception.

Except for climate change, we can not do anything about the weather except monitor it, discuss it, bitch about it, maybe even prepare for it, but we can not change it.  It will be hot/cold, wet/dry, seasonal/unseasonal.

I wish the rain would come and wash the dregs of snow away.  Yesterday I saw the first winter jasmine blossoms burst forth on their long shoots, adding small splahses of yellow on an otherwise gray/white landscape. Across the back yard, the daffodil stalks are an inch above the soil line.  Spring is staking out an early toehold.

Winter Jasmine Boar's Head Inn

Ground Hog Day is two weeks from tomorrow.  The fat rodent will be yanked, protestingly, from his burrow to forecast the possibility of an early spring.  He will have a shadow of a chance of being correct.

We’ve  gained almost an half hour extra of sunlight in the evening since the Solstice.  The calendar inches forward one day at a time but my impatient mind yells “Enough already!  Spring we’re waiting.”

Two crocus St. Paul Ivy Graveyard


Musings for January 15, 2019

sun melting the snow 20190115The sun came out for the first time in four days. It’s comparative warmth (41 so far) is welcome and it has begun to melt our 4 inches of snow

January sun greetings–Hello Sun,  where have you been?  We’ve missed you Bro.  Looking forward to you melting all of the snow and ice around here.

  July sun greetings–Hello Sun.  You here again, Bro?  Where’re the clouds to blunt your heat? I need some ice water to drink.  You’re melting me.

Bloom where you are planted, but you may have to move the pot.  We had to move the lemon tree three times before finally finding the spot it liked.  Last Spring, we placed it in the living room.  By mid summer it had dropped so many leaves that moved it to the back porch, where we figured it would die by fall when the temperatures dropped.   The plant looked healthy in early fall so we brought it indoors to the family room.  It began to produce small buds.  Now many of those buds have blossomed.  If we can figure out how to pollinate the flowers with a Q-tip without killing the buds, we may actually get lemons.  We can maybe even make lemonade (althought I’d rather make lemoncello.)

lemon tree in bloom 20190115

The House has stripped Steve King (R- Iowa) from all of his committee assignments because of his white nationalist comments. Are Republicans using him as a proxy for what they might have wished to say to the President?

You may be right, (dead right).  In the gym parking lot, two coeds ambled across the parking lot with utter disregard for any cars that might have been pulling into or out of parking spots.   Fortunately, a third coed driving a BMW was paying attention and let them have the right of way.  As she turned the corner of the parking lot, a large amount of snow fell off the back of her car where she had not bothered to finish clearing it off over 24 hours after the snow had ceased falling.   There was no poetic justice because the two ambling coeds had already passed the spot where the snow fell.


sun and moon


Watch the sun waltz with the moon

Progressing across the sky as they change positions

Each day.

One follows, the other leads.

The dance master set them forth eons ago.

Time and distance do not matter.

Dawn bring the sun to prominence.  Dusk subdues it. 

Sometimes clouds obscure it.

The moon is more capricious.

Appearing some days and disappearing some nights.

The Irascible Indie. Part 5, Confessions of a Non-Marketer

How much work do you want to do to be a self-publisher? Here is one more thing you need to at least consider…

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

The Irascible Indie is back! She’s emerged from her dark and dusty corner (coughing and sneezing), insisting she must opine on that perpetual bugbear: MARKETING

I’ve just reread four blog posts from 2015, written by my grumpy alter ego, the Irascible Indie. They are mild rants about various aspects of being a self-published (aka “indie”) author. I was actually quite impressed with how well-written readable they are. Anyone who’s interested can find them here:

And now, here are the Irascible One’s views on marketing…

Not a day passes without at least one blog post popping into my reader about marketing — lists of tips and tricks, how-to articles, and stern warnings that failure to market means failure as an author. Marketing is the bitter pill you must swallow after…

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