Thursday Things

1. I did a crazy thing last weekend. I stayed in Chicago.

While perhaps that doesn’t sound like the most radical thing a person could do, let me tell you, it sure felt radical to me. I haven’t been in Chicago since Easter weekend (and even that weekend was hardly low key), and it was so, so nice to just relax and live out of drawers instead of a suitcase. It was also a little weird, though, I have to admit. I had gotten used to the routine of ending my week earlier and earlier (I left the office at 10 a.m. on Friday when I went to Champaign, didn’t work at all on Friday when I went to Nashville, and didn’t work at all Thursday or Friday when I went to D.C.), and it felt strange to not have any major travel plans for the first time in four weeks.

On a related note, I haven’t worked a full, 40 hour week since the week of March 27, and I won’t work a full, 40 hour week again until the week of June 5. That will be a rude awakening, let me tell you!

2. Since I was in town this weekend, I had a chance to go flower shopping for the year. I haven’t gotten around to taking any pictures of this year’s flower haul yet, mostly because I hadn’t finished planting by the time I wrote this post, so I’ll save my flower talk for next week and instead introduce you to the friends that have kept me company while I’ve planted.

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Meet my backyard squirrel family!

Many, many weeks ago–sometime in March, maybe, or even February?–I was close enough to a back window that movement in the backyard area would catch my eye. Something did move, so I took a closer look, and saw a squirrel sitting on the fence. Between the design of the fence and the way he was sitting, it almost looked like he was guarding a fort, and I found this extremely amusing. I figured he was a visitor, since I had never seen him before, and carried on with my life.

A couple weeks later, I saw a squirrel behaving similarly on the fence. Assuming this must be the same squirrel, I came to the conclusion that he must live locally and considered the fence part of his territory.

Then, last week, I noticed TWO squirrels on the fence! They most certainly weren’t fighting, so I came to the conclusion that they must be friends, or, even better, a couple. By this time, I had also discerned, primarily from their coming and going, that they live in a garage that backs up to my back yard. I started to wonder if they had babies inside the garage, since I saw the two of them together on more than one occasion last week. According to the internet, squirrels have babies in February/Marchish, so it didn’t seem entirely unreasonable that maybe there were baby squirrels in the picture, too.

On Monday, I was outside planting my flowers when I heard the distinctive sound of claws against a gutter. I looked up and saw my squirrel friend sitting on the fence, looking down at me. I said hello, as one does, and carried on with my planting, but not before noticing that there seemed to be some sort of area on the squirrel’s belly not covered by fur. A few moments later, I heard another scuttle, and saw another squirrel emerge from the hole they’ve used to get in and out of the garage. It was climbing all around the first squirrel, and I got so excited, assuming that the first squirrel who came out was the boy, and this, smaller squirrel was the girl, and she was cuddling with him, as I can only assume woodland creatures do. The little squirrel kept nuzzling and climbing, and then eventually attached its mouth to that previously mentioned not-furry area on the bigger squirrel’s belly. Suddenly, everything came together: the big squirrel was not a male, as I had assumed, but a female, and the little squirrel was its baby, hungry for dinner and chasing Mom around so it could nurse. Nature!

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This, as far as I was concerned, was even MORE exciting than having squirrel lovers in my backyard (as a side note, I have since done more research into the life and times of the Eastern Grey Squirrel, and learned that not only do they not mate for life, but after the male impregnates the female, he ditches her and she’s stuck raising the kids entirely on her own. Damn the patriarchy!). I watched for a bit, totally fascinated by this, when ANOTHER baby squirrel emerged from the garage, followed, eventually, by a third baby squirrel!

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So many furry friends!

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Realistically, I know it’s probably not super great for the squirrels to be living inside a garage that may or may not be abandoned (though I suppose if it’s abandoned, then it doesn’t really matter), but I don’t know who owns the garage, and I’m not in a particular hurry to contact animal control about rodents living in other people’s property. (I also am guessing, based on what I learned about squirrels, that these babies are close to being fully weaned, at which point they’ll be off on their own in the great wide world anyway.) So for now, I’ll keep squealing over them and enjoying their company, unless they take a liking to my flowers. Then it’s ON.

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3. I was playing on my phone last week when I suddenly had a horrible realization: I couldn’t remember the last time I had used my NTC app. I quickly opened it, went to the Activity tab, and threw a temper tantrum (not really, but I was mad at myself) when I discovered my last NTC workout was in March.

My NTC usage goes in fits and spurts, but I’ve used the app at least once a month every month since May of 2015. Since I forgot to use it in April, though, my streak has died 😥

This is a very small non-issue in the grand scheme of things, but I was pretty bummed! I was also a bit embarrassed, because I use NTC almost exclusively for strength training and at the gym, which meant that I hadn’t darkened the door of the gym since March, and likely hadn’t done much in the strength training department since then either. Oops. I blame the insanity of April for those two oversights, but I’m still kind of shocked that I didn’t even realize that I hadn’t strength trained or been to the gym since March until it was almost the middle of May. Though, given the fact that I couldn’t remember just about anything I didn’t specifically write down by the time my D.C. trip rolled around, maybe that shouldn’t be so surprising.

Do you have any upcoming travel plans? I have one more trip in the near future, and then, as far as I know right now, I’m done for awhile. Thank goodness!

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4 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. Awww, squirrel babies! I know they’re basically rats with furry tails but I like squirrels so much more. Except I found out that squirrels chew holes in the tops of trash cans, which lets rats in, and then the rats chew holes at the bottom to get out. Ugh.

    I’m going to Sonoma in June with my mom and then apparently one of Jason’s old family friends is getting married in California at the end of June so there’s a chance I’ll be in California twice in one month. Good bye money!

    Jason and I are planning to go to Southern Illinois/Missouri in August to see the eclipse, too.

    • Whaaaat?! They can chew THROUGH trash cans?? That’s wild! I mean, I guess I knew they had strong teeth, but I didn’t realize they were chew through plastic strong! That’s crazy!

      All of those trips sound so wonderful! I bet Jason will get some AWESOME pictures of the eclipse in August!

  2. My first thought was “Aww, they’re so cute!” Then… “please tell your neighbor they’re living in their garage!” Ha ha. I hope it is abandoned. As someone who had to replace their entire second floor ceiling (and need to do the garage ceiling at some point) due to (flying) squirrels living in it… I am pro removing them humanely. That is probably not what would happen though 😦

    • I hope it’s abandoned, too! That would make this whole situation so much simpler. I want them to have a happy home, but I don’t want it to be at the expense of others…but I also don’t want them to get hurt in the process of removing them! If only the mom had just built her nest in a tree like she’s supposed to, then we could’ve avoided this entire moral dilemma! Though then I also wouldn’t have squirrel friends in my backyard haha

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