WTF

Dear Followers of www.donnaeverhart.com


I did mention that website change, didn’t I?  Are you finding me?  No?  This is what happens when they let me have hold of the power tools.

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Juuust kidding.  I haven’t been doing the work, but, here’s what has been going on – without getting too far into the weeds.  The website is now redesigned.  As part of that redesign, it is also being supported by a new web-hosting entity.  These back end changes to enable that have resulted in two sites.

Old.  New.

You are likely not getting to the old site if you have it bookmarked.  Even though the old site could have been found under http://www.donnaeverhart.com, it was really www.donnaeverhart.wordpress.com.

That’s how you would find it today.

Meanwhile, the new site is here.  But, then I noticed my stats showed zero visitors to the new site.  And that I had zero (!!!) followers.  Which made me…

crying-woman

Hmmm.  What could be the problem?

Ah.  All of you are over there on – I mean here – on the old site – and maybe not even here because of “broken” links. (bookmark).  Yikes.  What I didn’t know was creating the new site would leave you behind.  I thought it would be a seamless transfer.

The question is, have you missed me?  If so, I would love it if you would follow me over at the new place.  Check it out.  See what you think.  At the bottom of each page, you’ll see how to follow my blog – again.

I hope to see you, HERE!

monarch-favorite

 

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White Noise – Redux


I posted this on my blog in November of 2014.  Considering all that I’m seeing, watching and hearing, I thought it might be worthwhile to dredge it up and post again.  I’ve become sort of…what’s the word, disenchanted? Dismayed? Disillusioned? 

Assume what you will after reading.  You won’t hear a peep about it from me.  🙂

ORIGINAL POST, 2016 updates in italics:

On this blog,when it comes to certain topics, this is what you’ll get:

WHITE NOISE

WHITE NOISE

When I started http://www.donnaeverhart.com back in early 2011, my intention was to focus on what was happening with my writing, with occasional family stuff thrown in, a book review here and there, photographs I’ve taken (strictly amateur), and whatever else I could dredge up I thought interesting.  I knew there would be certain topics I would steer clear of, and to this day, I’ve held true to that conviction.  (2016 update – yep, still the same!)

Topics I am determined not to post about are my religious, political, or ripped from the headlines viewpoints.  And that’s because everywhere I turn, from the TV, to radio, to Facebook, to other blogs, and who knows where else, that’s what I already get.  What do I have to add to the fray?  Nothing that hasn’t already been said.

Anyone can do what they want with their social media.  I don’t care.  It’s their space, their time, just as this space is mine.  Sure, I’ve waded into debates on other sites here and there a few times.  With the last one, I decided never again.  (2016 update – I’ve forgotten about this. Must’ve been real important.)   To the best of my ability, I’ve chosen to ignore being drawn into what can only become an inflammatory conversation.  The few comments  I did make on other blogs never made me feel better, and I knew I wasn’t going to sway any opinions no matter how many facts I lobbed over the internet fence.  It is/was, in my opinion, time wasted.  Besides, too much can be lost in this sort of online dialogue.  Sometimes the hot button topics are just too sensitive and difficult to parse into words that will go out to be consumed without that personal touch of voice modulation (are they yelling?), gestures, (slamming a hand down?) and eye contact, (or not) and a myriad of other human interactions. 

There are some who are very good at sharing their opinions with the right sense of diplomacy, yet no matter how eloquent they may be, somebody’s gonna get pissed.  Somebody’s gonna disagree.  It’s a no win situation.  Call me chicken.  Call me weak.  Hey, maybe call me…smart?  I have viewpoints on all of it, but, do you honestly care what I think about religion, politics or the latest news event?  I doubt it – especially if my opinion differs.

My other point is, what does any of that have to do with my writing goals and journey?  Not a thing.  In my opinion, it would be a turn off if you came  to read about the usual stuff I’m blathering on about, and got blasted with my personal opinions.  It’s not relevant to this writerly space which I consider almost sacred.

In that regard, here will always be like white noise, because there are already more than enough sideline analysts and commentators out there.

Aren’t you glad? 

Here.  Here’s some cloud pictures to look at.  I do a lot of sky gazing.  Every time I look at clouds, that Joni Mitchell song comes to mind, but this stanza where she replaces “clouds” with “life” seems appropriate.

“I’ve looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know life at all.”

~Joni Mitchell~

 

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Great Expectations


This wasn’t an easy post to write.  I’ve sat on it for days, thinking about it, and wondering if I should write about this topic at all.  It’s likely (probably) premature for me to even think the way I am, but I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, I’m what I call an “advance worrier.”  Meaning, I worry about sh*t in advance, and likely when I shouldn’t.  Can’t.  Help.  It.  Blame Mom.  Hey, I blame her. Dad never got overly concerned about much, while Mom worries about EVERYTHING.  Here’s a snippet of our conversation recently:

Me:  Hey, what’re you doing?

Mom:  Oh, I just got this disclaimer in the mail from Medicare.

Me:  What does it say?

Mom:  That my MRI might not be covered.

Me:  Mom, we talked about this before, that’s just a standard form letter they send out.

Mom:  But they say they might not cover it.

Me:  They will.

Mom:  I don’t know.  I’m going to call them.

Me:  Do whatever you need to do for peace of mind.  So, what else is going on?

Mom:  I think I saw a snake in the yard yesterday.  I better not work outside today.

Me:  That was yesterday, it’s long gone by now.  Go get some fresh air.

Mom:  I don’t know.  The damn thing could be hiding under a bush somewhere.  Waiting.

I think I’m about a 50/50 mix of Mom’s worry and Dad’s non-ruffly nature.  Then I get something like what I’m about to say here in my head, and I even worry about my level of…worry.  Yeah, worry about worrying.  How’s that?  Then I feel that I start to sound like Mom.

Anyway.  Here’s where my head’s at.  There was a slow build up via social media comments and emails which ultimately led to my understanding my debut book is an in-house favorite with my publisher, Kensington.  (heart, be still.)  This is, in the words of a few, a really good thing and hopefully means the book will also do well once it lands in stores.  Like I told my husband, it’s like a gift that keeps on giving.

Meanwhile, for the last several months, I’ve been working on my next project.  It’s a good story – if I can do it justice. (worry!)  Set in 1940, and told from the perspective of the fourteen year old daughter,  Wallis Ann Stamper, it’s about a singing family living in Appalachia who lose their home and all their possessions after a flood.  (the flood is based on historic fact)  Hunger and cold force them to leave, and try to make a living singing.  They eventually join a traveling show, where family bonds are further tested by certain events.

THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE, and this current book, working title THE ROAD TO BITTERSWEET, are very different, yet I can’t help but worry about comparisons.  Stuck in my head is the idea DIXIE DUPREE is of a different caliber because I had years to work on it, tweak it, massage it, fluff it.  PERFECT it.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the story of BITTERSWEET, but I won’t have the same sort of time to work, tweak, massage, fluff, and so I wonder – is it as good as it can be?  I don’t know.

I’ve still got some time here, and my intentions, of course, are to only send my best work – yet, (again) what if?  What if it’s not perceived in the same way as DIXIE?  No matter the stories being different, it’s about the writing.  Right?  There are expectations here – from myself, my agent, my editor, the publisher.  What if there’s head scratching?  Perplexity?  DISMAY?  Even a bunch of WTF’s?  The thought, “how did she write DIXIE DUPREE, then write…this?  I don’t even know what…this…is.”

You know what?  I hate to disappoint people, that’s what it boils down to.  I don’t like folks receiving something from me with a certain level of expectation, only to serve them up a good dose of disappointment.  What I want is for there to be the same level of enthusiasm, and excitement, and all that other great stuff – which came rather unexpectedly with DIXIE DUPREE – to happen with this story.  All the good things said about my debut have me worrying about the possible expectations with this new work.

Maybe I’m crazy to think this way – you know, before I’m even out of the gate, so to speak.  And thus, I begin worry about my worrying.  If only my worry quotient was a little more swayed, leaning more to Dad’s way versus Mom’s.  More like 80/20.

Pink room?  Softy cushy walls?  Is that what you’re thinking? 

creative-writing

 

 

HINTS! For ARC Giveaway of THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE


Okay, ya’ll.  I’m sorry for making this harder than I expected.  What was I thinking???  No winners, but thank you for making me laugh with some of your guesses.

I could drag this on just to see what you come up with next, but I want WINNERS!

Therefore, here are a few hints:

  1. You hear them on hot summer evenings.
  2. They have wings.

Want one of these?  Yes, yes you do!

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The “contest” goes on until I have three winners!

The first three people to correctly identify what is pictured below – now with hints, and an expanded view of this “thing” – will win one copy each.  I will announce all the winners as an update to this post, as soon as I have three.

How to provide your answer:

  1. Blog Follower?  Drop your answer in the comments box for this post.
  2. Following me on my Facebook Author Page?  Drop your answer into the comments area there.
  3. Twitter Follower?  Send your answer via a Tweet and make sure you use #DIXIEDUPREE.

Ready?  Now take a look!  What is it?

Secret Pic 2 for ARC of DIXIE DUPREE

Hmmm.   Maybe not so mysterious now…

Come on!  You got this!

Tell me!

Advance Reader Copy Giveaway!


Would you like a sneak peek at THE EDUCATION OF DIXIE DUPREE?  This is your chance to win a signed advance reader copy!

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The “contest” starts now (soon as I hit publish!) and goes on until I have three winners!

The first three people to correctly identify what this is pictured below, will win one copy each.  I will announce all the winners as an update to this post, as soon as I have three.

How to provide your answer:

  1. Blog Follower?  Drop your answer in the comments box for this post.
  2. Following me on my Facebook Author Page?  Drop your answer into the comments area there.
  3. Twitter Follower?  Send your answer via a Tweet and make sure you use #DIXIEDUPREE.

That’s all!

Oh, and, I will provide a hint –  if no one is able to identify this after a day or two.

Ready?

DIXIE DUPREE Giveaway Secret Pic

Hmmm.  Very mysterious.

What the heck is it???

Tell me!

 

There Is Nothing There


Summer evening, late. The road traveled lies within city limits, moonlight over a pastured landscape, blackened shadows of barns line a ridge while cattle bed down within a barbed wire fence.  Along the road moves a car, sporty red, fairly new, the driver, a young woman.  She’s tired, her fatigue earned by a previous late night and then an all day job, followed by another late night.

She drives with windows down, a sultry breeze skims in and out, occasionally scented with mowed grass and wild lavender.  A pop station plays a top forty list, barely audible.  The road is as familiar as the rest of her routines.  It is the route home.

Her mind wanders over the day, and the evening.  She’s just left the home of a friend.  She should have been in bed hours before.  An internal thought floats, I’m too tired to be out driving, followed by a vague movement in her peripheral vision.  She automatically turns her head to see-only it’s not possible anything could be there, just outside a car going forty-five m.p.h.  She’s right.

There is nothing there.

Another thought blooms, I’m so tired I’m seeing things.  Seconds later, a row of mailboxes snagged by the car’s high beams also captures the surprising view of an old man.  He is bent over, as if to pick up something on the ground, while glancing back at her over his shoulder.  She swerves to avoid him, and looks at her rear view mirror.

There is nothing there.

Inexplicably, she is filled with a sense of dread.  As she passes an old abandoned house, she senses something, a presence, a nightmare quality awareness entering the car.  The passenger seat, she feels she shouldn’t look there.  She can’t explain why.  Heart rate elevates, hands get sticky on the wheel as she tells herself, act normal.  Act like nothing is wrong.  Turn up the radio.  Sing, if you can.  At the old grist mill, even if the light is red, go through it, DON’T STOP.  You can’t stop.

She can’t explain why she’s having these thoughts, yet, her hand goes to the radio and music fills the car.  She hums because she can’t form words.  She thinks of the word evilUninvited evil.  The stop light is at the bottom of a long hill.  It’s RED.  She swallows and her heart bumps erratically.  Foot on the gas, her driving is somehow steady.  She keeps humming.  The grist mill is to her right. The old wheel is turning, and frothy water spills in a cascade.  She hasn’t slowed down.  The light is still red.

Twenty feet from the light.  She is going too fast.  She plans to run it.

It flips to green.

Ascending the hill beyond the light, she is suddenly at peace.  The past minute or so dissolves into night air.  There is no explanation for what she just experienced, only relief she no longer feels that strange sense of foreboding.

If I wrote horror stories, I’d use this material in some way, as a beginning for someone’s world falling apart, where they can’t tell what’s real, what’s not, are they crazy, or are they really experiencing events which get more bizarre and scary.  But I don’t write horror, and in some ways I’m glad, I almost scared myself writing this.  🙂

And here’s the thing,  this is a true story.  This happened to me about twenty-five years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it.  So why make a blog post about it now?  Because…about a month ago, I watched Abigail for the day.  I took her to my Mom’s for a visit, and the drive to take Abigail back home took me down this road for the first time in many years.  I thought about it for the first time in a long while.  My question has always been, what the heck happened?  What WAS that?

What do you think it was?

Dark Hwy

 

 

 

Out In Public


Recently, fellow writer Carolynn (in some circles we call her 2N’s) Pianta talked in a three part series about special “messages” on her blog.  Granted I’ve had similar “messages” throughout my life, but today I’m here to talk about three separate “events” over the course of this past week which are downright…odd.  Not oooooo, ghostly odd.  Or even freak out odd.  More like distasteful odd?

Because of what it involves, maybe it’s simply ridiculous or just weirdly coincidental.  Actually, if it weren’t for the fact of what it was about, I wouldn’t have even noticed.

This is likely considered in poor taste, but I was never one to dwell for long on things like that.  🙂

FIRST TIME:  In a too close to home incident, I caught someone urinating – out in public. In my head, I was like, ho boy, um, is that necessary?  Yeah, yeah, when you need to go…BUT.  I called up Blaine and said, “So, uh, I just saw someone [insert details].  I’m not sure what to make of it.”

He chuckled and said, “You know, men can do that.”

I said, “Ha ha, very funny.  But then again.  Not really.”

I mean, honestly?  I was all kinds of grossed out because it was, if you get my drift, “too close to home.”  I’m not inclined to want to encounter the remnants of THAT – no matter how much rain falls to distill it, disperse it or whatever.

SECOND TIME:  While out on my run, I entered Greenwood Cemetery to make my usual out and back loop.  I spoke to someone walking, and on my way out, they were ahead of me.  I was about one hundred feet from them when they suddenly veered off to the edge of the woods and what do they do?  Begin to relieve themselves in the doggone creek.  I immediately reversed course, killed some time doing an extra loop, and when I came back out, he was gone.

THIRD TIME:  Today I was on my way to meet a fellow author for lunch and what do I hear on the radio?  Evidently NYC is making public urination and drinking LEGAL.  Why?  Because the court system is overloaded with offenders and it’s clogging up the system for the more serious offenses.  I think that’s what I heard.  I came home and looked it up just to be sure and holy hell, it must be true because I found this, and this, and a whole host of other reads on this urgent gotta go topic.

They (the collective, the group, the other folks?) say three’s a charm.  Or, we all know the saying, it comes in threes.  There’s something about the number three which is, I guess, mystical?  And there, right there were three instances on my radar regarding public urination.  I can see this as being necessary when you’re stuck on the interstate in an ice storm for going on fifteen bazillion hours and no access to toilets.  But even many of those poor people tried to twaddle off to the woods to take care of business.

I am perplexed, make that STUMPED as to what the message is I’m supposed to get from this?  The strangeness of it, with only a couple days in between each “event,” of course brought it front and center.  However, if there is something there for me to discern, I’ll be darned if I know what it’s supposed to be, but hey, as a writer, I’ll have to figure out if there’s a way I can use this.  Maybe in a flash fiction story down the road.

Now, tell me this isn’t the strangest post you’ve read all day. 

 

 

 

 

Reading As Part Of The “Job”


I’m not a slow reader, but when I saw my Goodreads stats for 2015, I stared at it for a second and thought, that’s itTwelve books?  I hastily skimmed over my “To Read” list just to make sure I’d not forgotten to categorize one as “read.”  It would seem I didn’t – so – huh.  Twelve.  I ought to be embarrassed, but there’s a reason for this small number.

When I was in my early teens, I was into reading romance.  All the Harlequin books I could get my hands on.  I would fake being sick (yeah, I did that) so I could stay home and read.  Mom would run up to the local drugstore and buy me two to three Harlequins at a time, while I was “ill.”  They weren’t epic in size by any stretch, maybe something like…175 to 180 pages or so?  But, I’d start one, finish it, then start another – all in the same day.

Then, when I was in my late twenties, I was a die-hard, fervent Stephen King fan, and when I would hear he had a new book out, (the bigger, the better!) I bought it, and saved it for the weekend.  And, I would read it over that weekend in it’s entirety.  I would start on a Friday night, and be done by Sunday.  (Then I’d be mad at myself because I had to wait for his next – which might not be out for a whole two years.)

So, I know I’m not a slow reader.  When I posted the Goodreads stats out to Twitter and Facebook, I felt a little shamefaced.  I mean, as a writer, shouldn’t I be able to read more than one book a month?  Can’t I fit in one a week, at least?  Apparently not, even though I read every.  single.  night.  That’s the issue, really.  The reading at night thing.  That’s the only time I “allow” myself to crack open a book, and of course, by then, I’m tired and know I’m only going to get five pages in, maybe ten, if it’s a really good story.

I know of other writers who write in the morning and read in the afternoon.  Or flip it around.  I just can’t.  There’s something about daylight and me – okay it’s really just me –  where I feel guilty sitting down with a book while the sun’s shining bright.  I think it’s because I still view reading as enjoyment, not a job.  Sure, I find myself reading critically all the time, which is part of a writer’s need in experiencing all the different ways of developing a story.  A variety of road maps, if you will, for getting to THE END.  Only, it goes against that “real” job schtick no matter how I talk to myself about it.  I can’t justify doing it – even when I know unless I read, I won’t get to study how other writers solved plot problems, described a setting, or worked through realistic dialogue, for example.

I realize I’m limiting myself by thinking this way because there’s that whole “read far and wide” thing too.  I can’t get but so much of the far, or the wide in, when my total count is – TWELVE.  And because I know I’m only going to read X number of books, I tend to be very picky about what I pick up next.  Sure, I’ve heard time and again any book can help a writer hone their skills, no matter the genre – only, hello?  TWELVE.  And if I can’t get passed TWELVE, I want the most out of my reading time.  At night.  (Yeah, my self-inflicted “rule” is starting to sound dumb, even to me.)

I can hear some of you, so, why don’t you just make more time by getting over your silly “can’t read during the day?”  Here’s where I get to be REAL honest.  If my husband came in and saw me curled up in the living room with my latest read – ONE FOOT IN EDEN –  I would have this huge feeling of GUILT.  Guilt because he’s out there, running himself ragged while I’m sitting in there… reading.  HE wouldn’t care – he gets it – it’s me.  My head.  My way of thinking.

It’s like that whole argument about breasts and breast feeding.  Some folks can’t get past the idea of breasts as sexual objects while others have no problem with them being displayed in public for the purpose they were intended – as a functional part of their body meant to nourish their child.  And this, in some lame way, is my own argument.  Since so many of us read as a pleasurable pastime, I find it hard to categorize it as work. Besides, books are marketed like that, like movies.  We start seeing the lists for “great beach reads,” in the spring, and if any of us are going on summer vacation, what’s the first thing people want to know?  What books are you taking to read on the plane, boat, or car?  And, we give people books as GIFTS.  Anyone ever hand you something to do at work that you considered a gift???

This isn’t a big deal.  I guess if I needed to, I would try and change my way of thinking.  For instance, if my current WIP was turning into a smelly pile of stagnation, or, if I had run out of ideas of what to write next, or if I simply needed inspiration, I’m sure I’d find a way to pick up a book in the middle of the day.  Peak at it.  Read a page or two.  A chapter even.

But, the guilt, and that way of thinking about reading as a “job,” that’s the hard part, for me anyway.  What about  you?

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Part of the reading collection – gathered over the years

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet, Blissful Sleep


An update.

Remember this post?

It got worse before it got better.  Obviously we’d been hearing “noises” for a while.  After the last rant about this issue, we went right out and bought one of those Hav-A-Hart traps – only, we didn’t use it right away.  Maybe it was the holiday crush, or maybe the thought that because it was warm outside – it would stay outside.  Ha.

And then?  Worse arrived.  Not only did the activity pick up, it moved about, migrating from the upstairs doorways and the hardwood floors directly below our feet to…the kitchen area and the ceiling over our very heads.  It also began to act as if it had an alarm clock.  Promptly at 6:00 p.m. every night it would get started.  There it was!  In the wall by the buffet.  The wall behind the cabinets.  The cabinet with the double oven.  We’d be listening to the news, enjoying our end of the day wind down, and here would come the interloper, the unwanted guest.

We went from non-action to all out war.  I called a pest control company.  Great guys.  They gave us advice.  Squirrels, they said.

“But…(said I) squirrels are diurnal, not nocturnal.  We are hearing this thing starting at 6:00 every night – the squirrels are in bed.”

“Not if they have an attic to play in.”

“Oh.  Great.  So, it’s true, we have squirrel squatters.”

Smile.  “Yes ma’am.”

So, they sprayed for bugs.  Set off some bombs.  For bugs.  And threw out some rodent plugs (for mice, not squirrels).  Once that was done (yay, at least there would be no more creepy pine beetles as big as a surfboard) a suggestion was made by one of the guys.

“I saw you have one of those traps?”

“Yeah.  We haven’t used it yet.”

“Maybe put it in the attic and see what you get.”

Hm.  Our plans exactly except we hadn’t done it.  It was like we wanted it to disappear by…magic?

So, late afternoon that same day we got out the trap, loaded it up with peanut butter, and put it in the smaller section of attic that is directly over the kitchen.

We shut the little attic door, went downstairs and waited for the antics to commence.  Promptly at 6:05 p.m. scritch scratch, scurry, scurry.  It was hard not to get out the broom and bang on the ceiling like I’d been doing.  I tuned it out – sort of.

Next day, I checked the trap.  Doors still up, nothing.  Second night, 6:02 p.m., (I swear this thing had a wrist watch) the noises began again.  I ignored what sounded like a full blown race being conducted above my head best as I could.  Later on, around 8:30 or so, I realized there was no noise.  I figured it’s moved to another wall – it’s done this before, this little, wily “whatever.”

Next day.  I was cleaning house, and remembered, oh, I need to check the trap.  Might as well do it now.   I opened the little crawl space door, (screeeee) stuck the flashlight in, and felt a little ba-bump of my heart when I saw the trap doors were DOWN!  I’ll admit, I was a little scared – for some reason.  WHAT IS IT?  What’s in THERE?  WHAT IF IT’S A SNAKE! It was soooo quiet.  Too quiet.  Even when I had opened up that noisy door and panned the light over the cage.  Silence.

What was it, you ask?  Well, let me show you.

THIS.  And, it had been quiet because it had pulled in all the insulation it could grab with it’s ever so cute little paws, made a nest and was SLEEPING.

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Tell me that’s not the sweetest, most adorable face?!?!  Look….at it.  I just wanted to hold it and pet it.

All of my aggravation?  Pffft.  This was not what I expected.  A Southern Flying Squirrel.

I’ll admit, I had no idea we had them here because I’ve never seen one.  Ever.  I used to when we lived in Michigan, back when I was in 3rd and 4th grade.

Here?  Nope.

So, I got the cage out carefully.  Put it in the back of my vehicle and took him (her?) off to the Rail Trail, where I opened the hatch and out it flew – well not literally, I mean it ran fast.  Because they ARE very fast.

Freedom!  S/he’s a little hard to see, but there’s the backside with the tail draped over a branch.  It was the flat tail that gave it away to Blaine.  Soon as I described it and showed him these pics, he said, “look up flying squirrel.”

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So far, so good.  No new noises.  Yay!  No more worries about the house burning down due to chewed wires.  Yippeee!

Instead, now I’m worried about the cold snap and how this little one will fare.

I got “the look” from hubby on that one.

He knows I’m tenderhearted through and through, a real pushover – until something keeps me awake.  Grrrr.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleep


Early to bed, early to rise, that’s how I operate best.  If I lose any sleep, even a couple hours, I can feel it.  I spend the day yawning, out of sorts, and though I might get everything done I’d planned on, my typical energy levels lag behind having a hard time catching up.

And I’ve lost sleep the last few nights.

Because of this:

Squirrel

Yeah.  Him.  Or her.  Well, not exactly him/her, but one in my yard.  I mean look at that.  That casual position of ownership.  The smirky look as if to say, “What?  You think you own that house?  The one right there which I’m sure was built as part of my pathway to the other side where I can launch myself into a tree, going branch to branch thereby escaping all your silly shots at me with the water hose?  Pfft.  What were you thinking?”

I don’t mind squirrels.  I swear.  I’ve fed them all through the spring and summer.  I’ve let them gobble up the seed I’d bought for the birds, without one bit of resentment.  The only time I get irked with the little suckers is when they TEAR SH** UP.  Or INVADE my home.  (am I yelling?  Sorry)

The other night I go upstairs to shower and, by George, what’s that noise?  I pause, hold my breath, cock my head and listen.  Scritch, scritch, crunch, crunch, scratch, scratch.  I could actually feel myself go hot.  Squirrels in the attic is one thing – how about squirrels IN THE WALLS?  (there I go again)

When I report this latest finding to my husband, he says “I counted five dining on your birdseed the other day.”

Me, “Hmph.”

He continues, “The pecan trees attract them, and you feeding them doesn’t help.”

I’ve lost sleep.  I’m feeling like a cranky two year old.

I say, “I’m not feeding them.”

He replies, “Okay, but, they need thinning out.”

Thinning out?  You mean kill them?  Isn’t that against the law?

He was right.

There we are.  Harnett County.  Geez, eight a day???

Last night, here we go again.  Same noises, louder, waking us up as usual at 3:00 a.m.  We get up and do what we’ve been doing.  Go across the hall to “The Room The Squirrels Own,” and hammer fists on the walls, the door frame, jump up and down in the middle of the room.  Imagine how conducive that is to falling back asleep.

Maybe we could try to trap them.  Some neighbors down the road said they’d trapped the ones getting into their tomatoes.  Hauled them little ba****ds right on down the road and let them out in the country.

Funny how you can forget.  I reminded my husband they were in the house last year.  I woke up one night in early Spring to the sound of a pecan rolling across the bedroom floor.  We got up, flipped on the light and he/she froze in place – a youngster, but IN THE HOUSE.  WE made like the squirrel ourselves and froze.  I want you to know, it did that funny head bob thing, checking us out, then it took the time to pick up the pecan before it ran back the way it had come, *poof* down through the hole for plumbing in the bathroom we’re renovating – like a rabbit disappearing down a hole.  We blocked the area, the weather turned warm – problem solved.

Not.

Now they have come back, and are finding it oh so much fun to be in the walls.  All I can think is what if they chew through wiring creating an expensive repair – or worse?

Our electrician said, “You don’t want to come home one day and find your house burnt up.”

Gee.  Thanks for that visual.  But, no we don’t, and he’s right.

So, I don’t know what we’re going to do, and none of the answers seem simple.  Trapping means pulling furniture out of the way in the upstairs hall, pulling down the ladder from the attic, climbing up, setting a trap, closing it all back up, and then re-doing all of that to check it every day.  My husband’s solution makes me feel like I’ve set them up for slaughter.

Meanwhile, I’m t.i.r.e.d. and with the new WIP needing my full attention, and the holidays coming, I really don’t need tired.  I’ll be weary enough from all that.

Have you ever had this problem, and if so, what in the world did you do?

 

 

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