The Adventures of a Modern Squirrel

Back in my day, we had to walk to school. Up hill, both ways. In three feet of snow. Gas only cost 29 cents per gallon. A loaf of bread was a nickel. Someone delivered your newspaper to your door every morning. And squirrels ran around all autumn burying nuts in the ground. Yes, digging a hole in your lawn or your flower beds and burying a nut and carefully replacing the soil.

But this is 2009. This is the future. The squirrels of today know that the best place to hide his or her nuts for the long winter is not in the cold, wet (not to mention dirty) earth. The best place would be somewhere dry, relatively clean, with some sort of covering to keep the snow and wind off of them. Somewhere like... our shed.

I got home from work on Friday and Ryan and Bella met me outside for some frantic tail wagging and little howls of delight... (Bella was excited too... haha, sorry, couldn't resist). We stood in the driveway a couple minutes and then Ryan asked me if I wanted to see something funny. He took me through our back yard to the shed, only about 40 yards from our back door. Opened the door to the shed and didn't say anything, just pointed to the salvaged dresser drawers on the floor. They were full, nay, overflowing with walnuts. Every nook and cranny had walnuts packed into it. All along the walls where the angled roof meets the walls, there were 5 to 10 walnuts in every little space.

So we stood in the doorway of the shed, flabbergasted, just laughing at how many there were. Ryan said that it only took the squirrel about two days to fill that drawer. I haven't been back in there since Friday, but I expect the next time one of us opens the door it will be like that famous episode of The Dick VanDyke Show where he has a dream of opening his closet door and thousands upon thousands of walnuts pour out of the closet. (That is a youtube video, the scene I'm talking about happens around the 1:30 minute mark, but I strongly suggest you watch the whole thing. freaking hilarious.)

Our shed is old and not in the greatest shape. I'm sure there is more than one entrance for the squirrel to get in, especially this big gap under the door.

We are going to leave the walnuts, we will probably clean up a bit, but all the nuts will stay in the shed. We're not into causing squirrel starvation. And, this is a good test to see if squirrels actually do remember where their nuts are hidden. It would have to be a really incompetent squirrel to not remember this big pile!

But he'll have to watch out, because Bella's on the hunt!


Meerkats and socks... if only it were meerkats WEARING socks!

It has been a busy September for me and busy in a good way so far. The beginning of the month brought me a new job! It is kind of funny because it is also my old job, where I worked from 2003 to 2006. I am now fully employed again at a 9 to 5 office job, no longer working at home for Chris Roberts-Antieau. Which means I once again have paid vacation and sick days and I get evenings and weekends off AND... I get my sewing room back!!! (that's what I did this past weekend, I cleaned out all of the stuff that belonged to the studio and re-arranged my room to make it more cozy and efficient for what I want to do in there, pictures to follow.) So I think this new job was the perfect change for me. I love the people at the studio and especially Chris, but there were so so so many memories there of my mom that at first were comforting but now are painful. My mom had been working at the studio for more than 10 years when she died, she was the manager, she knew everything, ran nearly the whole show. Without her, everything was kind of handed to me to handle/figure out. Some of which I wanted to do, some not so much. Most of that didn't bother me so much. It just got to the point that I would stare at the art from about 10am until 5 or 6pm and just want to cry all day. I was tired of looking at it, mostly because it just reminded me of my mom and that she's not here.

The middle of September took me to Chicago to visit Shannon and go to the Renegade Craft Fair. It was very cool. Definitely what art/craft shows SHOULD be. I love that it is kindof small, so you don't reach your absorption limit for art goodies before you've seen all the booths. I'm used to the Ann Arbor Art Fairs, that really, if you wanted to see every single booth and go into the neat stores around Main Street and South University, it would take two days at least. But this we did in an afternoon. The reason we wanted to go to the fair was to check out if I wanted to be in it next summer. I DO! My goal is to stockpile up as much stuff as I can to sell there next year. I can stay with Shannon and have very few expenses. I am already getting excited!

I didn't buy anything at the craft fair, (if I had, it would have been this) but we did sneak into Nina and I did buy some yarn.
I stayed from Friday night through Monday about noon (yay for vacation days!). On Monday we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo where we saw lots of cute animals. My favorite was the Meerkats. They are just so cute the way they snuggle together. Of course I took many pictures, here are a few.

It was a hot day, and we were there right about 11:30, so most of the animals were just hanging out, sleeping. Except for this guy.
I don't know what was in the corner of that little pool, but he was really interested in it. He was staring into the corner and pushing the water into the rock and it was splashing his face. He did it for a long time too. Maybe that bear has OCD?! Maybe he had to push the water into the corner 49 times before he could get out of the pool.

Monday was also Bella's birthday! She is now 3 years old. If that makes her an adult, someone needs to tell her about it, because she is still as feisty and playful as she was 2 and a half years ago. Except much more well-behaved.
(she moves so fast, it's hard to get a good picture of her). I brought home some of Chicago's best bacon from the Original Pancake House for her and her dad got her a stuffed lamb, a pig ear and a rawhide bone. One week later and all three are gone. She made quick work of that.

The end of September brings ArtPeers in Grand Rapids. Ryan and I are both participating in this event that places art in participating stores throughout downtown Grand Rapids. Anyone in the area this weekend should come to Clothing Matters to see my work and to Literary Life to see Ryan's work.

In October, I hope to start working again on a commissioned wedding guest book quilt for a friend that we started together in 2006. I also told Shannon that I would make her a quilt for above the fireplace in her new apartment. I am going to make some really pretty fabrics and make a Chicago city skyline for her. I'm also knitting about thirteen-hunnerd things... ok... maybe like 3 socks and a baby sweater. Not counting the things on the needles that I haven't touched in at least a year and the stuff not on the needles yet that I have in bags with the yarn, pattern and needles ready to go. And I'm not making any promises that I'll finish anything before I start something else.