Squirrel Politics

Today was a perfect day.

This morning I packed my gear and headed over to Terra’s house to take care of Dash the dog. Terra and Lares are away for the day, from early morning till late in the evening, and could not take Dash with them. So I volunteered to drive out, take him for a walk and keep him company for two or three hours.

Terra had agreed that they would accept our scrap wood from the bathroom demolition, and burn it. Last night I separated the wood that had tile still attached to it, and put that aside for the land fill. I carefully loaded all the wood for burning into the back of the car. Then I gathered all the sticks that had fallen from our trees during the last storm, and placed them in the back of the car.

This morning, while enjoying my coffee on the back porch, I noticed that there were cut branches from the spruce tree, which had taken quite a beating from the basement waterproofing process, it was near where the machines had to work. So I broke those branches into smaller pieces and loaded them into the car. Then I noticed a few dead branches, and decided to saw them off, which I did. In turn, I sawed these branches into smaller pieces and loaded them into the car.

A Grey Squirrel enjoying a meal in the Tamarack Tree.
DSCF2654Squirrel Tamarack

I like sitting on the back porch of a morning. There is so much going on! Three Blue Jays flew into a tree at the north end of the yard, and slowly jumped from branch to branch, tree to tree, until they were out of sight on the south side of yard, last seen heading for a neighbours tree. A Grey Squirrel climbed the large Tamarack tree in the backyard and commenced eating the seeds, with great enthusiasm. It was there for quite some time. Eventually a Black Squirrel entered stage right. It bounded up to the Tamarack, climbed quickly to the same branch where the Grey Squirrel was feasting and ventured out onto the branch to within a few feet of the Grey Squirrel. Then the Black Squirrel commenced eating, staring all the while at the Grey Squirrel. The Grey Squirrel, for his part, looked up and was surprised to the see the Black Squirrel sharing a dinner date. The Grey Squirrel glared at the Black Squirrel for several seconds, then suddenly leaped off the branch and to the ground, bounding away at great speed. The Black Squirrel immediately gave up eating, swiftly climbed down the trunk of the Tamarack, and bounded out of sight, after the Grey Squirrel. Now, what was that all about? Squirrel politics!

When I arrived at Terra’s it was raining. I spent about 30 minutes unloading the wood from the back of the car, and depositing it in the wood pile at the back of the drive shed.

Before I left, I also tackled removing bindweed from around the compost pile, which is hot work!

While I was at Terra’s I had a hot shower, lovely! And I washed a load of laundry, to be hung to dry back at the little house. I took a lunch with me as well.

The animals and I had a nice visit. Dash the dog shares the premises with Terra and Lares and three cats. They are all friendly animals, very affectionate and wonderful to spend time with. Dash and I went for three short walks, and I let him sit under a tree for an hour or so, just to get some fresh air. He adjusted to an old lady’s pace very quickly. At first he would pull hard on the lead, wanting to take off and explore. Understandable, but it wasn’t practical. I pulled back hard a few times, and calmly explained to him that it was not OK to pull and jerk on the lead, because it hurt me. He soon stopped pulling and was content to walk at the extended length of the leash. He also began to stop when I pulled on the leash, and to come to me when I said come. We had a great time!

When I left Terra’s, and was locking the door behind me, Dash stood at the door, wanting to go for another walk. Terra’s neighbours will be in later in the afternoon to take him out again. I told Dash to just be patient, there was more fun to come.

On the way home I stopped at an unattended, farm, roadside stand. The stand sells vegetables and flowers grown on the farm. Everything was $2.00. I bought a quart of fresh yellow beans, a quart of small new red potatoes, and three large field tomatoes. There is nothing like fresh produce!

After arriving home I hung my wet laundry on the line. The clothes line at the little house in the city is a nylon rope, strung across the porch posts. It isn’t pretty, but it works well. The whole load of laundry fit on the line.

Hung laundry on a late summer afternoon.
DSCF2688hanging laundry

Usually the sun beats down onto the back porch in the late afternoon, making it too hot to enjoy. What I discovered is that with wet laundry strung along the porch, I can sit in the shade of the laundry, and it keeps the porch comparatively cool. Bonus! If we ever live here I am going to do laundry on hot summer afternoons, and hang the wet laundry out along the porch to cool things down.

Meanwhile, back at the country house, Attila is hard at it. The electrical boxes were all installed to accommodate thin panelling; drywall is much thicker. So, all of the electrical boxes had to be moved further out! That is what Attila has been doing today, moving electrical boxes. He has some of the drywall up already, in areas where there are no electrical boxes.

We decided to go with a neutral colour when we paint it, so that it will appeal to young people, who are currently really into somber colours. Luckily, this will work well with the fireplace, tiled floor, carpets and hardwood floor, as well as the kitchen cabinets and the blinds on the windows.

Attila has wanted to tackle this project since just after we moved into the house. Neither of us are big fans of particle board wood panelling, and it was very hacked up by the various previous owners. It will look less like a cottage and more like a house when Attila has completed the job.

Of course, there are still the bedrooms and the family room to consider, he won’t be getting them done this summer. Maybe this winter though, you never know.

Worldly Distractions


Date: 5:00 PM EDT Sunday 28 July 2013
Condition: Partly Cloudy
Pressure: 101.2 kPa
Tendency: falling
Visibility: 24 km
Temperature: 23.9°C
Dewpoint: 13.0°C
Humidity: 50%
Wind: WSW 21 gust 34 km/h
Humidex: 27


“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
Henry David Thoreau
1817 – 1862

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Your squirrel politics seem remarkably like our American politics. Squirrelly. Nonsensical. All het up, as my ancestors used to say.


So are you remodeling the house in the country in order to sell it? Will you be moving to the little house in the city? All that work – you two should have your own TV show! And I loved the solution to the hot sun on the porch…