Holy Bat Squirrel

(Heading Photo is a Pexels free Photo and not my own)

It’s squirrel escapades at our house

We were wondering why our cats have been meeting us at the door recently seeming emotionally needy. (This was pre-puppy, so Tillie wasn’t the problem at that point.)

Pacing, yowling, rubbing against us … we thought maybe this was a renewed tactic for extra treats. But as soon as treats were scarfed down it started all over again. So I’d clean the litter box, check the water dish, make sure the bottom wasn’t visible in the food dish (a major cause of cat discomfort in our house).

Nope.

They were still edgy and needy.

Then, I figured it out.

I was on the phone with a friend one day, careful to stay stationary because there are only one or two spots where the cell signal around here will stay strong enough for anything over a 30 second call. Afraid to even turn my head and cause another dropped call, I caught a bit of movement near the window where the cats hang out. I ignored it … but the shadow repeated … three or four times at least.

After the call, I crept over. Both cats were in place, one on the cat “tree” and the other in his special window seat. There were some birds on the feeder, but it didn’t seem like they were big enough for the huge shadow I thought I had seen. I was about to walk away when there it was …

A squirrel. Mr. Bushytail came tearing up the driveway, jumped onto the side of our house, raced up the siding and leapt onto the bird feeder.

That’s a big boy! I think he got more than he bargained for tho’ because he set himself into motion.

HaHa! He’s hanging on for dear life. After swinging back and for a moment he popped off and ran away. His buddy tho, was a little more clever. This guy climbed up the screen door (placed for decoration … not meant to be a squirrel ladder … I may have to move it) and carefully reached and stretched to scoop seeds out with his paw.

It’s hard to tell from the pictures, but the smarter squirrel is a little smaller. Shows how the greed of the other guy mighta got the best of him. Either way these are both big fellows. Usually I enjoy watching them come into the yard and feast away, but up close and personal like this, I’m reminded that they are part of the rodent family. A little less endearing and this close.

It’s interesting how squirrels have resolutely moved into our town in the last two years. (I have a friend who captures squirrels where he lives and relocates them because of the damage they do in his urban neighborhood. Think I know where he may be dropping them off. No … he’s good, he takes them to wooded areas, deplete of people.)

Seriously tho’, other than an occasional chipmunk that high-jacked a ride on a logging truck through town, squirrels were uncommon until recently. I noticed two when we first moved here … a gray squirrel and a red one. Now I’m seeing about a half dozen red ones. Makes me feel like I’m in a city rather that a rural community. Every city I lived in came with squirrels it seemed.

In fact my first experience with squirrels came when I started college in a large city. On my second day in the hustle of cars, people, and businesses, I treated myself to a wonderful cinnamon roll at a neighborhood bakery and then went to a bench on the edge of the campus to eat it. Suddenly I became aware of a squirrel on the back of the bench. It stared at me for a moment. I sat intrigued … I’d rarely been this close to a wild creature before. Then, without warning it leapt from its perch right onto lap, ran up my arm and grabbed the piece of roll that was in my hand.

This must have been the person before me which would explain the greediness of the fella I met. Photo by Kristu00f3f Balogh on Pexels.com

I certainly had NOT been offering my yummy treat to the squirrel (I had NO intention of sharing it with ANYONE) so was startled at its boldness. It grabbed its treasure and ran off … leaving me apprehensive that I might get affronted by another bushy-tailed rodent. Thankfully I didn’t. And thankfully it wasn’t as big as the guy swinging on my feeder. “

“Our” squirrels are fun to watch, but obviously getting too bold. Pretty sure that having Tillie in residence will cool their bravado a bit.

And speaking of Tillie, a friend asked if I’d end my posts with an update or picture of her. Might not always do that, but I definitely have some cuteness to share today. Here’s Tillie learning the world of stairs. She’s not interested in what’s on the top floor but could race up and down them all day. You can see that she’s a little winded in the middle shot.

Have a great weekend … enjoy whatever escapades … squirrel or otherwise that come your way.

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is the second of two blogs sites that I write.  You can find more on my thought&faith blog at rashellbud.wordpress.com. Wishing you a beautiful day full of the Small Stuff that transforms life into BIG STUFF.

A note to my “silent” readers … thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my work. I’ve learned that many of you are shy about commenting or hitting the like button, but I want you to know that I appreciate your visits and invite you into the conversations whenever you are ready.

Wishing you peace in all things … Shelly

Oh! The Cookies I Have Eaten

Slightly out of step with Christmas festivities, this is not a post about making cookies … it is about eating them.

Slightly out of step with Christmas festivities, this is not a post about making cookies … it is about eating them.

I’ve had an epiphany lately … If we are what we eat, then I am an Oatmeal Cookie with a large percentage of Russian Tea Cake.

Writing recently about my Grandmother, (Grandma Changed the World by Baking Cookies) it occurs to me that my family accented almost every moment of my childhood with cookies. It’s also how we solved most of our ailments.

Photo by Tina Nord on Pexels.com
  • Friday night sleepover at Grandma’s … oatmeal/chocolate chip or peanut butter cookies. “Just two,” she always instructed but then played deaf when we sneaked back to the cookie jar … multiple time! We were experts at trying to arrange the remaining cookies so that it didn’t appear that any were missing.
  • Family stopping by after church … Aunt Mary’s famous raisin cookies recipe … the one that only tasted right when Aunt Mary made it herself … we suspected that she left an ingredient or two out when she reluctantly agreed to share it after years of being begged.)
  • Fourth of July … orange gumdrop cookies … red gumdrops instead of orange (same recipe at Christmas with red and green gumdrops).
  • Snicker Doodles for lunch boxes
  • Brownies (with ice cream) for birthdays.
  • Gingersnaps for colds and sniffles or just having a bad day.
  • More bad days, especially a rough day at school … Ice Box Cookies to the rescue. It was somewhat of a cardinal sin in the family to not have a roll of vanilla or chocolate cookie formed into a log and wrapped in wax paper, waiting in the fridge for need-cookies-now-emergencies. If you don’t know what an Ice Box Cookie is, you’ll find knock off versions in the cold food section of the grocery store, next to cinnamon rolls in a can, and instant crescent rolls … all of which are handy but none of which taste anything like Grandma’s.
Photo by ready made on Pexels.com

Grandma watched TV shows about the end of the world and atomic explosions. The result was a flurry of baking in the kitchen … usually her go-to peanut butter bars. “No matter how poor we are, we always have enough ingredients for a batch of these … and they’re fast,” she said. I always suspected that if the world were about to end, she wanted to make sure we had one more sweet treat before the devastation set in. Guess that trait passed down to me … I have friends posting about the end of the world as we know it … warning us to stock up on survival gear … and I’m thinking about cookies.

I always suspected that if the world were about to end, she wanted to make sure we had one more sweet treat before the devastation set in.

Christmas Time brought out a whole new slew of recipe books and delicacies:

  • Sugar cookies with slathers of butter and a touch of cream of tartar
  • Rice Crispy® treats (made by my mom … these were too modern for Grandma)
  • Peanut butter balls rolled in chocolate (I was horrified to learn that a small amount of paraffin wax was used in these! But didn’t stop me from eating them.)
  • Spritz cookies … as long as we hadn’t lost any pieces to the cookie press
  • Thumb print cookies … filled with our own homemade strawberry freezer jam
  • German Springerle … these cookies – a work of art and true German artistry – demanded baker’s ammonia (sounds nasty, but I’m pretty sure that’s what was in the bottle deep in Grandma’s cupboard). They also required a special rolling pin … sad to say, I’m not sure what happened to the two that Grandma kept … I’ve never attempted these on my own.
  • Joe Froggers … a very laborious molasses cookie … chewy to perfection … and loaded with a lethal amount of molasses
  • Russian Tea Cakes … probably my favorite, especially with finely chopped walnuts and lots of powdered sugar

I had vowed not to do a lot of baking this year because it’s not in line with anyone’s health needs in our family … but … this list!

Maybe just ONE of these … but …. which?

Springerle (source of photo unknown) … these licorice flavored, coffee dunking cookies were part of our German Heritage.

Last minute confession: After writing the first draft, I had to run to the store for some dinner items, but couldn’t stop myself from peaking into the fridge where the instant cookie dough is kept. There was just one lonely roll of sugar cookie dough left. Even though my Grandma (and our youngest daughter, who has become Christmas Cookie Baker Extraordinaire) wouldn’t approve … I couldn’t leave the poor thing there by itself. After all … the evening news was petty bleak about the state of our world.

Wishing you Happy Cookie Eating … whatever the occasion!

Thank you for reading “Small Stuff”.  This is the second of two blogs sites that I keep.  You can find more on my thought&faith blog at rashellbud.wordpress.com. Wishing you a beautiful day full of the Small Stuff that transforms life into BIG STUFF.

A note to my “silent” readers … thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my work. I’ve learned that many of you are shy about commenting or hitting the like button, but I want you to know that I appreciate your visits and invite you into the conversations whenever you are ready.

Wishing you peace in all things … Shelly