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No squirrels were harmed in the making of this post

28 Mar

A young teen girl however, was slightly traumatized for a few minutes.

So the other day, it was sunny and nice and spring-like out. I lured Maura away from the crackTab and all it’s Netflix with “Why don’t you play outside?  Look! I have bubbles!”

Maura loves outside, and loves bubbles.

Of course, the dogs ran out with her. Miriam followed suit to help Maura with the bubbles and play with dogs.  I felt like, for one brief moment, I was winning at this parenting thing a little.

Then Miriam came to the door with a worried look to announce “Moooom, I think Zoey caught a squirrel!”


Those of you who follow along (you know, my favorites) know that Zoey the Big Dog has been slightly obsessed with squirrels.  There were none in Ireland.  Here, we have about 250 running through our yard.  Okay, I exaggerate a little, but I swear, the other day, there were five on my fence.  So I expect more, smaller squirrels in a couple months.

Zoey loves to chase squirrels.  Maybe she wants to just herd them – she is an Australian Shepherd.  Herding is in her blood.

But to catch one?


I had visions of Zoey with a half-dead squirrel in her mouth and my good mom moment was over – because I was NOT going out where there was a half-dead squirrel in a dog’s mouth! Ew.  But then Zoey trotted by, squirrelless, and I asked Miriam where this supposedly dead squirrel was.

“Over there.” she pointed, towards the fence.

“Okay, let’s all go play out front!” I announced, grabbing bubbles and dolls.  Miriam followed suit immediately, helping me grab stuff.  Maura balked.


Maura didn’t understand why her mom and sister were fleeing the backyard.  Mim explained to Maura that they were going to blow bubbles out front. Yes, Miriam earns that gold star a lot.

I glanced over, to where I expected to see a dying bloody lump of squirrel.  I didn’t see that, but I did see this up in the neglected landscaping portion of the side yard…

well, it is furry

well, it is furry


My first thought was “Well, that doesn’t look too fresh.”  Then I noticed it was under a fallen branch.  Then I thought “Surely we would have noticed a dead squirrel in our yard before now.”  I mean, it’s not like it’s snowed here and could have been hidden for weeks.

I went closer, and leaned in a little.  And saw stitching on the paws. And realized what the thing on the ground was…

not even a squirrel

not even a squirrel doll


Maura had been on a kick where she played with all these small puppy/kitty dolls.  Sometimes outside.  The one cat doll got left behind, for who knows how long.  Long enough to be rained upon many times and get weathered and half-buried in tree bits and resemble a dead squirrel.

“Mim! It’s just a doll!”  I announced happily.

“OH!” Mim said in relief. “Thank God!”

Never were we so happy to see a forgotten doll outside.  Maura was just happy that we weren’t trying to shove her back into the house anymore and went back to playing with her bubbles.  The dogs remained clueless.  All the squirrels were still alive, frolicking.

For now…




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Music Monday – Wake Me Up

24 Mar

Guitar lessons are happening in our house, as guitars were passed out at Christmastime.  Miriam announced after her last lesson that she’s learning this song, so since I’ll be hearing a LOT of it, you all should too.

Luckily, I liked the song already.  And she’s not learning “Let it Go” from Frozen, because if she was, I may have had to take a hammer to my head.  (Thank you Maura, for watching “Frozen” enough this week that I wake up singing that song.)

“Wake Me Up” by Avicii gets a lot of radio airtime in these parts, so I’m sure you already know it.  But you won’t know it as well as I will in the coming weeks I bet.  And the video is some dystopian youth society thing, very “Divergent” (yes, we’ve read the series too.)


But I’m going to take it one step further, because there’s an Irish version.  YES! A version! In Irish!  So yeah, if Miriam’s going to spend weeks learning this, she can at least learn a bit of it in Irish, right?


and as always, if you like the music, buy it, don’t pirate it!




That time we tried to leave the house

5 Feb

It’s always hit or miss when one of us leaves the house.  Either Maura’s shoving us out the door yelling “BYE!” or she’s at the window crying like we’re in “Sophie’s Choice”.

Yesterday afternoon was Guitar Lesson Day, and usually Josh takes the two kids, but I got conned into going along with the lure of “You can go grocery shopping while we’re at lessons.”  Woo. Fun.

So I tell Collin to keep an eye on Maura, and tell Maura goodbye.  She balks slightly, but I explain I’ll be back, I’m going to buy some food.

Her response was a chipper “Oh! Okay Mom! BYE!” and she went back to playing with her tablet.

I go out to the car where everyone else is, and we pull out of the driveway – where I see Maura standing in the window, screaming, banging on the big picture window.  I got a bit “OMG, she’s banging on the window, crap, how strong is that window? Where’s Collin?”  Josh actually paused the car in front of the house as the four of us gaped at the sight of the unhappy screaming child in the window.

Then, from the back seat, Miriam said, “Wow…we look like bad people.”

We did.  We looked like we were just abandoning this poor girl, leaving her behind, we were going to Disneyland and she had to stay and clean toilets kind of Bad People.  And in that instant, we all started cracking up.  Because we’re really horrible like that.

But then Collin appeared, picked her up and carried her away from the window.  He figured out how to calm her down and get her settled again, as I heard nothing from him while we were out and Maura was perfectly happy when we got back, the little stinker who makes us look like heartless wonders.

Such is life with Mood Swing McQueen.



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