When Squirrels Attack

Squirrels are adorable terrorists. They’re small, agile, cute, destructive, and recently, they attempted to take me out.

Muerte. Dead. Doomed. Ixnayed. Rubbed out. Removed with extreme prejudice.

Call it what you will, this was a clear attempt on my life.

Some background: Our home is more than a century old. The backyard is filled with treasures, from modern toys, vintage toys, china, bottles, inkwells, and other various items accumulated over time.

Until now, they’ve been relatively tame, and only unearthed by our dogs. Or me. Or moles. You get the picture.

It all changed when I heard a thunk as I was near the Super Tree House Compound I built for our son. A squirrel- it could be no other beast– dropped something from the top of our maple tree.

It was no accident. For your consideration, I offer the following evidence:

That. . . is an antler knife with a screwdriver, or what I like to call, “Evidence of a crime.”

I’m holding the knife until the end of my natural existence, in the event that the squirrels decide to take another crack at me. You must understand, I have a history with squirrels. Our relationship began quite well– we had tame squirrels that ate out of our hands. They would sit on my shoulder, and let me pet their little ears. All was well until the Pumpkin Incident of 2003.

I had a sixty pound pumpkin of such glorious orange that it was sure to be a showstopper for Halloween. When I woke up one morning before carving, I saw something odd. The back end of a squirrel protruded from the interior of my once heroic pumpkin, now a partial husk having been disemboweled by a family of squirrels.

Actually, they’re a crime family. Let’s call it like it is.

I *may* have yelled at the offending beastie, and we all know how the Squirrel Network never forgets– and never forgives.

I urge you to look up. They’re watching you, and they’re armed.

Weight Loss Is Hard

As in, losing weight sucks. There’s nothing good about my cyclical winter re-fattening.

Here’s how it seems to go: Summertime means running outside. Sunshine. Heat. Lots of summer-ish stuff, moving quickly and doing things for the sheer pleasure of being outside because life seems to really pop once the temperature starts rising.

As a kid in Florida, it was always summer. There was no sense of urgency about nice weather, and thus, activity stayed at a reasonable level year ’round.

Enter my move to “The North”. Now, do to the horrors of Daylight Savings Time, it gets dark sometime after lunch. I feel the urge to eat, get under blankets, and allow our herd of pets to camp out on me like a mountain that occasionally moves and snorts. I gain– without fail- twenty pounds. Then, as the winter wears on, I begin my cycle of yearning for seasonal tomatoes and wishing that it would be hot every day. Unlike normal humans, I prefer it to be hot when I run. I don’t know if it’s some latent form of Protestant self-hatred, but running in the summer is far preferable to the winter.

If I were to run in the winter (a nightmare for me), my nose whistles like a failing radiator, and my lungs fill with ice crystals and/or doom.

Oddly enough, I think I write more in the summer, too– one would think that cozy nights inside would cause a flurry of writing. It doesn’t. I eat cookies and feel moderate shame as I reach the end of the Oreos and give serious consideration to going out for more at 2:00 AM.

I’m going to see if there’s a connection between running, sunshine, and my word count. There has to be something scientific, probably a German word that sounds like a threat, which explains why I emerge from the relative gloom of winter and feel like writing, running, and not eating sixty cookies while looking out the kitchen window t the winter stars wheeling overhead.

My bride and I are having ten year anniversary pictures taken, and I’d like to be in peak form for those. I have a little more than two months.

Let the complaining begin.

The misery of dieting.

I began the Spring Pre-Running Diet. I will fist fight for: pizza, cheese, spicy tuna sushi rolls, cheeseburgers, fried anything, milkshakes, ice cream, pie, waffles, or cake.

I will also, at the minimum, wrestle for pancakes, steak, eggs with actual cheese, a bucket of ketchup, mayo on a shoe, bread, cookies, hash browns, sausage, any kind of casserole, tacos, fish sandwiches (species irrelevant) and any animal that has ever lived in the ocean with the exception of a walrus, and even that’s negotiable.

As you may guess, my life is not unlike that of an insect– a large, six foot tall insect that goes through the following life cycle every year:

  1. Spring- a time of emergence from the grim winter, thickened and pale, not unlike a grub– but one who wears clothes and complains about Daylight Savings Time.
  2. Summer. Utter joy! I run! I tan! I fish! I leap about, all while becoming the human I was always meant to be, but with a glistening coat of sweat at all times.
  3. Fall. the magic of autumn, in which I begin to pupate as my conversion into a Basic White Girl takes hold. Coffee! Pumpkins! Holidays! Turkey and pie and shame! Mild existential dread at knowing that after Christmas, life is over!
  4. Winter. Pre-Pre-Christmas! Pre-Christmas! CHRISTMAS! Moderate depression after Christmas. The letdown of New Year’s Eve, following by the horror of sunset at 4:30 PM. My body begins to spin a cocoon of fat, even as the tan fades from my skin. I think what the sun used to look like, and sigh.

So, that’s where I’m at. Post-Winter Diet: check. Moderate anger: check.

I feel like there’s a lot of broccoli in my future, and it makes me sad.

Whatever,

Terry

Send Egg Recipes.

I’m on a super complicated diet this Spring. It’s mostly eggs, hot sauce, and eggs.

Regardless, I’m asking the internet and my bookfriends if you have any recipes pertaining to the following food items:

Eggs.

Veggies, preferably a huge amount.

I’m also doing a LOT of pushups, so anything that can help with higher protein (beans? maybe?) is most welcome.

Things I will eat: Everything on the planet except butter beans. Don’t you dare come ot me with butter beans, I will totally roll out a judo chop.

Things I REALLY like: Spicy stuff. Asian food. Mediterranean food. German food. American food. Food. Also, food.

Things I have to avoid for now: Bread and breadlike substances, although rice noodles are cool.

I used to own a restaurant, so I’ve been cooking for years, but I’m open to the wonders of new recipes.

If you submit a recipe that I go nuts over, is it alright to forward on in a new blog post?

Okay, whaddayagot?

Sincerely,

A boy, asking a pile of cauliflower to be hot wings.

 

 

Springtime: Outlander, Tornadoes. and Tomatoes.

Happy Spring, Humans.

If you’re north of Florida, then you too are awaiting the arrival of Spring. Here in Tennessee, we kick off the season right: 


We don’t have “rain”, we have sirens. So, in the midst of a month or so in which we dive for cover now and then, I’ll be doing the same things I do every year.

1. Debate putting tomato plants out too early, in which they’re turned in green mush by a passing storm.

2. Endure angst by not putting my tomato plants out, which causes me to go extra days without home grown tomatoes. I prepare my body carefully for what I like to call Tomatogeddon. I don’t like to wait.

3.Bless the heavens for HBO and Starz. See, as a football fan, the spring is a troubling time. Do I respect gymnasts, golfers, and figure skaters? YES. They’re skilled people doing superhuman things. What they are not is my college football team, and waiting until late August to see them kick the snot out of someone isn’t acceptable. So I need something to occupy me when I’m not teaching, running, or writing.
Therefore, I need HBO (Game of Thrones) and Starz (Outlander) in order to maintain my sanity through the Spring doldrums, so to speak.

Now, about Outlander. They’re going to Paris this season, and we get to see the next chapter, featuring political intrigue on a massive scale. This is where Jamie and Claire will try to subvert the efforts of one of the most unlikable characters I’ve ever read.

Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Gawd, what a prig. He bitches about women, and hunting, and his throne, and his clothes, and money, and he does it all in a powdered wig. He’s the definition of spoiled, and his actions are going to kill a lot of innocent people. So, yeah, He’s an asshole.



However, this is also the season that brings us, for my money, the most important characters in that they’re going to create the Jamie and Claire of the future. 

But first, for the female fans of Outlander, this public service announcement:



Moving on. 

I love Master Raymond. He’s interesting, and looks sort of froglike, and where will they ever find a French actor who can–


But of course. Vive le France.

Now, I want you to envision that you’re in high school, and you’re considering going to your Prom. Imagine that Outlander Season Two is on air. Ladies, I present to you the most popular prom dress in history, if that scenario played out: 



Or third. Sam’s a good looking dude, and they are, after all, in France.

Less than a month, now. How are you all holding out?

Also, newest Halfway book will be on sale next week, or just get it now and fund my Giraffe Money Account. You know you want to.



Get it here.
Cheers for now– check back next week, new blog, new giveaway, and I’ll be signing books in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Nashville next month. Hope to see you at one of the events. Find out where I’ll be here: Book Signings and Shenanigans

Cheers!

Terry