Acorn Flowers

There had been a bad storm, there were lots of branches down and tree debris. On our lawn were 2 tiny baby squirrels. Baby squirrels are so cute! One was dead. The live one was actively squirming towards us. At first, I cautioned my kids (then about 3 & 7) from touching it. That didn’t last long!

3/29/08 Her eyes are getting close to opening....

3/29/08 Her eyes are getting close to opening. She’s getting very active and making adorable “squirrel talk”. She weighs 112 grams now. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This little squirrel was so cold, I was pretty sure that if we didn’t do something to warm her up, she too would die. She was trying to burrow into our armpits, or other warm places.


After christening her Acorn Flowers, we set up a nest for her in a little dog carrier. I headed up to the pet store & bought some kitten formula and a tiny little bottle. For about 3 weeks we nursed Acorn around the clock.


Then came the day we were driving to NY from our home in MD. We decided we had to take Acorn with us, as she was still getting formula a few times a day! A few hours into the drive on I95 Acorn chewed her way out of the carrier! She was running (jumping, flying!) freely around the car.


The first few days in NY Acorn stayed close by. By the time we were leaving, we hadn’t seen her for a few days. We were sad! As we were packing up, there was a squirrel sighting!! Daddy tried to grab her, but as she grew she had gotten less friendly. Yup, she bit him. I got some peanut butter, smeared it on a long stick & offered it to her. In about a minute Acorn was sitting on my arm enjoying some Skippy.

An Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis...

An Eastern Grey Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) in St James’s Park, London, England. Français : Ecureuil gris (Sciurus carolinensis) dans la parc Saint James, à Londres. Português: Um esquilo pertencente à espécie Sciurus carolinensis, no St James’s Park em Londres, Inglaterra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After returning home, Acorn decided to make her way on her own. Mostly. For a month or so, if you stood at my front door, you were likely to be ambushed by a hungry squirrel running up & down you, looking for peanut butter. It totally freaked out the little neighbor kids!


On a side note, there is a hysterical squirrel story in the book No Biking in the House Without a Helmet, by Melissa Fay Greene. I highly recommend it.


Llama Drama

Have I mentioned that my Little Princess can be quite the Drama Queen? (and, No., it has nothing to do with me referring to her as a “Little Princess”) (in fact, if she heard that, she’d be correcting me. She’s not “little”. She’s “big”, she’s 3 now.)

Jasmine & I were looking at something on the internet. I no longer remember what, but at the time we were very interested & getting into a good discussion about it. Poor little Addis was being ignored. She wanted me to go upstairs with her, but I was busy ignoring her & focusing on Jasmine.

She tried, several times, to convince me that what she needed me upstairs for was important & she was tired of waiting! No avail.

What’s a Princess to do? Literary recitation.

“Llama Llama Red Kajama, waiting waiting for his mama! Llama Llama Red Kajama weeping wailing for his mama! Mama Mama run run run!!”

THAT got my attention!

McD’s, or, A’Donal’s

We  don’t east fast food. My big kids didn’t even know McD’s HAD food until they were in school.

Recently, since the summer ended, Addis & I have been going to McD’s & similar places. Every Fri we go to a transracial playgroup. Once summer ended we started going to fast food restaurants. Lemme tell ya, Addis was a quick convert.

Years ago, I knew a woman who’s pre-verbal baby would melodically rap off a “ba de ba ba ba” when they would pass McD’s. She swore they rarely went, that the baby got it from commercials. “Mm Hmm” I thought. Well I’m thinking that just maybe that was true.

Lately, every McD or fast food place that looks like it has a playland, Addis cries out “Hey der’s playgroup! Me go der! Addis frend der!!” I assume that she envisions her playgroup friends are all gathered there at any given time (& and any given location!) enjoying themselves without her!

I had been trying to not say the name of the place we had been going. But she knows. As we were entering WalMart the other day, she asks (because it’s located there right inside WalMart)

“Mom we go a’donals?”


“Mom why nooot? Addis frens der!”

“No they’re not Hon, there’s no play area here.”

“But Mom I sooo hungy”

“We don’t eat there. Unless we’re at playgroup. The food isn’t good for you.”

“But Mom I neeeeed frech fries!”


Fast Food Nation

Image via Wikipedia

(This wasn’t goint to be a Book review, BUT, Fast Food Nation is on my “Required Reading” list

I can’t think of anything better to do

Everyone who knows me, knows that I’m a serious reader.

I always loved reading. My sister & brother weren’t born until I was 11 & 13 yrs old, so my house was pretty quiet. I don’t know that that made reading easier, but I suspect it did! I clearly remember my Mom & aunts & grandmother discussing books. In fact, I remember what many of those books were: The Thornbirds, Sophie’s Choice, & a Michener (Alaska? Chesapeake?) (I’ve never read any of these, even though I’m pretty sure I would love The Thornbirds and Sophie’s Choice!). And another aunt gave me my first “trash” book, Flowers in the Attic (which I first read at 14 & then at least 2 dozen more times…a year or 2 ago my teenage daughter was thick into Twilight, & trying to get her away from it a got her FitA…I read it too, wondering if it could be as good at 37 as it was at 17…It was!!)

Original cover of Flowers in the Attic.

Image via Wikipedia

Besides my Mom’s example, I also remember seeing my Dad read. Once I took a book from his night table & read it, so I KNOW that he occasionally read fiction, but mostly he read/reads non-fiction. And most of it is political. One of the books on my Endurance, is a recommendation of his.

When I was growing up reading wasn’t homework. Reading wasn’t something I “had” to do, it was something I got yelled at for doing when I was supposed to be sleeping hours ago. We went for trips to the library regularly. We’d check out used bookstores when we vacationed. When visiting people’s homes, their bookcase would be inspected. I remember babysitting for someone’s sleeping children, bored out of my mind, & not able to find anything to read in the house. I decided not to sit for them again.

Almost 4 years ago I started a reading journal. It’s a list of titles & authors, the month/year, & a short thought about the book. I just love entering books into it! It would be nice if someone occasionally gave me a sticker for how many titles I’ve finished. Or a thumb’s up on my selection of great literature. Oddly, that rarely happens. Okay. Never. Anyway, I had been reading about 55-65 books a year, but this year it has been much less. I’ve got….3? days left of 2011, I don’t think I’ll be adding more than one more.

So has all this reading benefited me? I do think I’m pretty smart! And I know about a lot of things/history/cultures I otherwise wouldn’t. AND, I had a great job running a reading supplementation program at the elementary school for several years. Oh, when I say “job”, I mean a volunteer job. But it did, eventually, (like 5 years), make me the first pick for a paying part time job as a reading aid.

Yes, I realize that some people just aren’t readers. But honestly, I don’t “get” it! They are missing out!

Salt Lake City Public Library, Salt Lake City,...

Image via Wikipedia

And, BTW, when we have out-of-town guests, I’m very likely to take (drag) them to the Salt Lake City Library.

Required Reading

Yes, I have a Required Reading List. Don’t you? These are books that I strongly believe everyone should read. If you have a suggestion of how I can enforce this, please share.

Not For Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade and How We Can Fight It, David Batsone

The Lorax, Dr Seus

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, La Leche League

Eleni, Nick Gage

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, Alfred Lansing

The Gulag Archipelego (all 3 volumes), Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

There is No Me Without You, Melissa Faye Green

Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

Clan of the Cave Bear, Jean M Auel

ThePoisonwoodBible,BarbaraKingsolver  (*this is my FAVORITE book)

The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck