One Deck, One Grill, One Squirrel. Of Course.

[Subtitled: Do Squirrels Eat Hamburgers?]

I happened to be walking through the back of our house when I glanced out the patio door onto the deck and noticed that our Weber grill had grown a tail overnight.

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Upon closer examination I noticed that there seemed to be a certain critter hiding behind the grill.  So I bided my time to see if, by chance, this critter was our good old friend, Fuzzy.  It didn’t take long for me to confirm that Fuzzy the Squirrel was back to his annoying tricks.


From my vantage point inside the house I could see that our friend was using his backside to try to nudge the top off the grill, presumably to get to the hamburger grease + burnt nibbles that were left inside the grill from the night before.

DSCN3515Naturally when I inquired about his sneaky-looking behavior Fuzzy ignored me.  He is a master of indifference, so when he turned his back on me I wasn’t all that surprised.  Instead, I just waited to see what he’d do next, knowing that he can never stay still very long.


And true to form, with one wistful sideways glance toward the grill, Fuzzy ran away from me along the top of the deck railing toward his home in Tree #3479 in the forest primeval.  It is there, I presume, he found something else to do with his time besides making himself a nuisance on our deck.


But he also left me wondering if squirrels eat hamburgers.  So I did a quick Google search after which I realized that this question has no reliable answer, but does lead one to an unexpected link to an abstract of an academic paper.  Of course.

Faced With Irony In The Grocery Store Checkout Lane, I Smile

While standing in the checkout lane at Kroger the shopper in front of me, a 70-something woman, told me and the cashier, a 20-something man, about how she downloaded her coupons onto her smart phone all by herself.  She was very proud of her success, and both the cashier and I congratulated her on doing so.

She was happy. And so were we.

In passing, the chatty cashier mentioned to us that Kroger was using virtual coupons because that was a way to save paper and help the environment.  The 70-something woman said: Oh yes, I’m all about saving paper.  It’s such an important thing to do.  I believe in that.

She was adamant. And we were impressed.

Then she pulled out her checkbook and wrote a [paper] check for her purchases leaving me to glance at the cashier who looked like he was going bust a gut, not saying a word about her incongruous behavior, as he finished the transaction.  Then with a friendly wave to both of us, she pushed her cart through the door and left the store.

She was clueless. And we couldn’t stop smiling.

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Rambling Thoughts About Having The House Painted, Again

Decades ago we painted the exterior of our first home together.  That is something that a married couple does once, if they want to stay married.  So late last summer, knowing that it was time to re-paint this house, I began the task of trying to find a painter who would:

  1. take my call;
  2. be available this spring/summer/fall to paint our house;
  3. have decent references [or no outstanding warrants];
  4. show up;  &
  5. actually know how to paint.

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This is not the first time we’ve hired professional painters to paint the outside of a house that we owned.  Happily, our first experience was good, albeit noisy and chaotic.  The crew of 12 men swarmed the house like ants to a picnic, but after a hectic 2 days the house looked nice.

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About 70% of our house is brick.  The brick has some bluish-greenish gray in it which softens the bricky color and allows the house to blend into nature year round.  The mortar between the bricks is a soft tan/gray color which provides a small contrast with the brick.  Nothing too dramatic.

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Our second experience with a professional painting company was difficult and frustrating.  I don’t think that the painters used the correct color on the house and the whole mess ended with Z-D, Esq, applying a bit of legal pressure to make certain that the yokels painters fulfilled the conditions of the contract.  When this bunch finished painting the house, it did not look so wonderful.

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For the 30% of the house that is painted we chose Sherwin-Williams 7029 Agreeable Gray.  I would describe it as a more warm than cool light gray shade that is about as neutral as our mortar, but doesn’t look dreary at all.  In fact, we painted a test of it on two side of the house last fall, then watched to see how it looked during the winter & spring.  It’s pretty.

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This, our third experience with professional house painters, has been the best to date– that is, if this man and his on-again off-again crew ever finish.  We’re into week 5 now, so this has been slow project.  Fortunately this bunch is tidy, polite and show up when they say they will + they are doing a wonderful precise job, so however long it takes is fine by me.

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The shutters will be re-painted Sherwin-Williams 6216 Jasper.  It’s the same dark green color that they’ve been since we had the house built.  I like this color because there is a definite contrast with the brick and when there is only grayness outside during the winter, this subtle green shade cheers my soul.

A Bear Went Across The River To See Who He Could Court


There’s a WHAT? WHERE?  


• • •

They tell us that this rarely happens.  That’s what they say.

I mean, I’ve lived in southern Ohio for 25+ years and it’s a first.

Rather like the nighttime burglars who scared us into turning our lights on & speaking with one another.

Shocking, really.

Of course, the human miscreants have been nabbed.  Put in the hoosegow.  Sent away for bothering us here in suburbia.

• • •

But this fellow

is getting away with anything and everything that he can…

because the authorities don’t want to mess with him…

and because he’s cute.

Never underestimate cute.  Remember Smokey? And Yogi? And Fozzie?

But you have to wonder, did they manage to have 2 Twitter accounts: @ClermontCtyBear & @MiamiTwpBear?

• • •

Just observe him, they say.

He’s only looking for a mate. 

Bears are good swimmers, they tell us.

Isn’t it wonderful how he made it this far north into Ohio?

If you encounter him, they suggest that you do this:

“Speak in a firm voice and if necessary, raise your arms above your head and clap.”

• • •

Taking a differing point of view than the authorities, I am.

Waiting each day to learn that an 85 lbs male black bear has caught a ferry back to Kentucky and is looking for love in all the right places.

Hoping to go outside at night without fear.  Too much to ask?

Don’t care if it is.  Asking for it anyway.

Desperately Seeking Gladys Kravitz

Late Tuesday afternoon we received an email from the HOA.  The message in the email told us that there had been 4 burglaries in the past 10 days in one part of our large subdivision.

Even though the break-ins are miles from where we live, the HOA asked that all residents turn on their outdoor lights at night.  This is because the burglaries happened in the middle of night while families were at home, asleep upstairs.

[I’ll wait here while what I just wrote sinks into your brain.  At home. Asleep. While having your house burgled. YIKES!]

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First of all let me tell you that we are a cooperative bunch of suburbanites when under attack.  To wit, the last few nights our part of the subdivision has been so well-lit that pilots would feel comfortable landing their planes on our streets.

[So that’s a good thing.  For us.  And for Duke Energy, as well.  *sigh*]

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And secondly, while I’m not thrilled with these latest developments, they do underscore the need for everyone who lives around here to be more aware of everyone & everything that goes on around here.  That is to say, it’s time for you, my lovely neighbors, to look up from your smart phones and actually interact with your environment.

You know, like we did in the dark ages when phones with cords plugged into walls.  And neighbors said “hello” to each other when they met on the street.  And burglars knew that somewhere in every neighborhood was a nosy, noisy Gladys Kravitz who saw everything.

[Oddly enough, that’s who we need around here.  Her prying eyes would be most helpful right about now, don’t you think?] 

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It’s 10:00 a.m. Friday morning and we just received this email update from our HOA:

“… we learned that there was another burglary attempt around 3am this morning at XXXX Drive. The police spotted the intruders before they were able to enter the home. The accomplice was caught, but the other burglar was able to get away.”

Now how long until the accomplice turns on the other burglar?