Squirrel in the House
The story goes like this:
I was still enjoying the comfort of my Saturday morning pillow and lazy summer dreams when I was pounced into wide-awakeness by torpedo children exploding onto the mattress all around me. Immediately diving for cover under the bedspread I said, "Go tell your dad that he needs you to weed the garden."
"Dad is gone," the elected spokesperson for the group declared. "Mom, there is a strange beeping sound in the garage and Toby is going crazy." (Toby would be our dog, not one of my children, though they were going crazy as well.)
I meandered out to the garage wearing my pajamas. The noise made me think of a smoke detector warning low batteries, but we don't have any smoke detectors in the garage. And something about the way Toby was scratching and barking at the junk heap in the corner told me that the source of the sound had to be more animal than electronic–something with teeth and claws (or maybe fangs and a rattle).
I went back into the house and traded in my pajamas for jeans, thick socks, and sturdy shoes.
Then I started pulling stuff away from the wall: the extra chairs we keep for when company comes over, the weed eater, the leaf blower, folding tables, scrap wood, gas cans, and the "haven't-been-used-in-six-years-but-we-still-need-to-store-them-just-in-case set of golf clubs–all layered in spider webs and mouse turds. One thing I knew for sure: if I couldn't be sleeping in, there were at least one hundred thousand things I would prefer to be doing than taking inventory of the garage.
The beeping sound quickened and intensified. I tilted a scrap piece of drywall towards me, shedding morning light onto the shadow of three squirrels huddled, their furry tails encircling one another forming natural sleeping bags for their uninvited slumber party in my garage. I suppose that for breakfast they were crafting a plan to help themselves to Toby's dog food when he went out for his morning potty break (which traditionally starts over a lush, green spot of lawn and ends ten minutes later with yellowed grass blades choking beneath fogs of chemical warfare, for which they will bear the yellow scars for the rest of the summer. But I'm not bitter, right? Dogs will be dogs?)
I stared at the squirrels and they watched me, each of us sizing up the other until Toby managed to squeeze his snout behind the drywall and let out a menacing bark. Then I found myself in the middle of a three-squirrel fire work show, the furry rodents shooting up and over me like bottle rockets. I whipped around to see one squirrel fly out of the garage with Toby hot on its bushy tail. From the doorway into the house the kids screamed and I looked over to see them dancing like they they were walking on hot coals. While no one saw where the second squirrel went, my kids' scream and fancy footwork told me that the third squirrel was now in my house.
That's when I grabbed my video camera and went squirrel hunting.
Before you click on the video here are a few things you should watch for:
1. The air soft gun.
2. My brave, fearless children (yeah right).
3. How we all scream like girls when the squirrel darts past us.
Things you should "pay no attention to" as you watch the video:
1. The tidiness (or lack thereof) of my house. It's Saturday morning.
2. Baby Z's soggy, sagging diaper. It's Saturday morning.
3. My bedroom closet. (You get waaaaay too intimate a look into my personal space, but for the sake of sharing the infamous squirrel video, I'll bury the shame and bare my closet.)
The fact that we weren't 100% certain that Mr. Squirrel actually ran outside plus the fact that no one saw what happened to squirrel #2, makes for a rather interesting Saturday night, but that is a story for another time.
* * * * *
Goblin Valley the Sequel
Two years ago we took the kids to see Goblin Valley. I hadn't been there since my third grade field trip, and I wasn't disappointed. It was every bit as awesome as I remembered.
We just had to make the trip again this year.
Goblin Valley is so far out in the middle of nowhere (right next door to where I grew up) that settlers lived all over Utah for seventy years before a sheep herder finally stumbled onto the "mushroom valley" in the late 1920's.
But, believe me, it is worth the drive.
I call Goblin Valley God's Disneyland.
The formations are ideal for climbing, tunneling, hiding, exploring.
Everything kids (of all shapes, sizes, and ages) love to do.
This was at our campsite outside of Goblin Valley.
My bro-in-law found the greatest camping spot.
Still at our campsite.
The wind was a bit blustery. We ate real sandwiches, blew dust storms out of our noses, and soaked our eyes in Visine.
Oh yeah. I am so cool. I had to turn my hat around because the wind kept blowing it off. J. shepherded the little lambs while I hiked all over Timbuktu. I scaled the cliff and discovered an amazing valley behind that I had never seen before.
After a while, J. sent his brothers to make sure I was okay. I hope they didn't see me peeing behind that rock when I thought I was alone.
Climbing up the cliff was far easier than that getting down. I had to slide down the hill on my butt. I have the holes in my jeans and my hands to prove it.
Perfect spot for sunbathing.
Two of the cutest goblins in the valley. The one on the left spent the previous night haunting our campsite moaning, "I want my car seat." I guess the novelty of sleeping in a sleeping bag in a tent didn't live up to his expectations.
Grandpa just said to the kids, "I think I saw some licorice over this way."
* * * * *
Living in a Puppy Calendar
We spent Thanksgiving break at a 5 star vacation destination (my sister's house) in sunny Arizona!
There's only one thing that could make a stay at my Sista's even better than usual:
And not just
or three puppies
or four, five, six, seven, or eight puppies.
How about NINE PUPPIES!!!
For five days straight we did nothing but hold puppies.
We brushed our teeth while holding puppies.
We washed dishes while holding puppies.
The Thanksgiving turkey was carved with puppy in hand.
For five days we basically lived inside a puppy calendar.
If you really need one of these puppies, but can't make the trip to Arizona to pick one up for yourself, then I suppose I could go back over Christmas break to pick one up for you.
If I have to. I guess.
Can you just imagine one of those snow white balls of fluffy puppy tied with a red ribbon waiting under your Christmas tree?
Oh, I can.
p.s. If you absolutely need to see more of these puppies, you can visit them at arizonagoldenretriever.com.
p.p.s Puppy Photography Outtakes
Trying to get nine newborn puppies to pose for a group photo.
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