Friday Frivolity.

friday

Oh, those gray days and Winter doldrums have set in for most of us.  The multiple holiday festivities are in the rear view mirror and the harsh reality is that it’s only January, and at least three long months of Winter stretch before us.

“Metro Detroit weather whiplash: Brace for big drop in temperature!”

That headline leapt out at me when I saw it earlier this week … really Mother Nature?  Why now, after you’ve been teasing us with Spring-like weather for weeks?  Who stepped on your toes?

I was enjoying our uncharacteristically beautiful December and early January weather … it made up for an ugly November, where we endured cold temps, some freezing rain and ice, and intermittent slick and snowy mornings.  That followed a colder-than-usual and rainy October, which has always been my favorite month – not in 2018 though.

Just when I decided Mother Nature had redeemed herself somewhat, so I was prepared to give her an “Atta Girl” … well, let’s just say we plunged back into Winter bigtime.  All that is missing is the next snow event, which the meteorologists dangle like a carrot in front of us.  The snow haters are grateful for the ease of getting around without snow-slickened streets and the snow lovers have been spending their weekends further north where they can indulge in all the skiing and snowmobiling they want.

But all good things must come to an end

… including the nice weather.  It’s been a dreary week, which started Monday morning when I stayed inside based on the weather predictions.  I was clueless that no freezing rain materialized outside my house,  or on the street, until I went to the front door to feed Grady and his former nemesis, who show up like clockwork for peanuts.

grady1

grady3

grady2

forest1

forest2

These furry fellows fared better than me, because they still got their treat, but it was too late to recoup my loss and head out to walk, and still be back for work timely.

Grady has been hanging around for almost two months now, and, as you know, the bigger Fox squirrel started bullying him a few weeks ago.  He stole his peanuts right from under his nose, even chasing Grady up my neighbor’s tree, where he sat quivering and looking at me like “help …do something Linda!”  I felt sorry for little Grady, having been the victim of bullying myself, many decades ago after we moved here from Canada.  So, I raised my voice and told the other squirrel to go away … “raised my voice” is being polite, because I yelled at him, and he scurried off.

I’d like to think these two have reconciled their differences, since they now show up together, and there are an equal number of peanuts for both of them, so they “play nice” all the time.  I’ll get a shot of them together when it gets warmer.  The screen door was all fogged up from the cold the last two mornings.

Sigh … if I ruled the world, everyone would get along.

Kids will be kids … furry or otherwise.

It reminds me of my parents, who were angry that I let my best friend, Linda Crosby, take my toys and tricycle, and she beat me up first to get them.  My parents were so exasperated with me that they said the next time she hit me first, I was to beat her up and I’d be rewarded one dime for my efforts.

So I did just that.

I also went running across the lawn and into the house, hollering at the top of my lungs “Mommy, Daddy – I beat up Linda Crosby, can I have my dime?”

My parents were likely horrified, (not only because I said “can I” instead of “may I”), but it looked like they were encouraging violence in their young daughter.

The things you’ll do for one thin dime, but I guess I tucked it away with my tooth fairy money, and Linda Crosby and I remained friends, even after this little dust-up.

the lindas a

the lindas b

the lindas c

Well, I digressed …

Tuesday Mother Nature offered up 50-degree temps in the morning and it rained at dawn.  If you were lucky enough to be out and about, you hardly needed a coat, nor gloves, and I stayed in the ‘hood since rain still threatened, and it was likewise on Wednesday.  It’s easier to be a fleet foot and get home dry when you are just around the corner from home.

Thursday morning was devoted to errands – not fun, but my boss was out at a meeting, so better to get it done before the snow flies, or you need to fight the weekend crowds.  I actually racked up two miles dashing around.  I know this because my pedometer is a permanent fixture when I dress to go outside.

It’s been a long five days – the first full week of work for most of us.  For me, the first full work week in almost a month, and it was a toughie – you know, all the stuff that got shoved aside to do after the holidays.

A get-out-of-jail-free card for me.

jail

get out of jail card free pinterest

But finally, there was a ray of hope …  (besides the fact that it’s Friday).

Yesterday’s blustery winds that whipped around while I was in and out of the car all morning, had mercifully disappeared, and, in its place were calmer winds.  The fact that it was 17 degrees, well …  I just bundled up before stepping out.

Best of all, the sun was back!  Instead of the gray and gloomy skies above, a hint of blue and a ray or two of sun poked out from those clouds when I headed out.  I even detected a spring in my step as I hustled down to Council Point Park for the first time since Sunday afternoon.

I saw the gang and tendered peanuts and made my apologies.  I didn’t tell my furry friends that I’d been doling out peanuts to my “porch squirrels” lest I make them jealous.  Thank goodness, the squirrels are not like your dog, who is suspicious and gets an attitude when you are out petting other dogs and come home with their scent on your hands, or worse yet … on your pants, where the “other dog” might have brushed up against your legs.  You know your pet finds that highly unacceptable, but the squirrels … well, they love you for yourself and your peanuts too, of course.

Oh yes, I saw a handful of walkers already on the trail, those brave souls who, like me, just scorn the cold and show up until the paths are too icy and dicey to tread safely.  It seems the regular walkers have dwindled, as most have returned to their treadmills or they’re getting their steps in at Southland Mall, followed by a steaming hot Starbucks brew, paired with a decadent Cheese Danish or Cranberry Bliss® Bar, treats (which coincidentally just cancelled out the calories lost by all those steps around the dimly-lit mall).

I did a quick trip around the perimeter path – what a difference a few rays of sun made.  I saw the drakes’ iridescent teal heads.

mallards

A hint of sun illuminated the dead tree branches and even the berries on the dead bushes looked brighter.

berries

My shadow, not worth recording for posterity, (or at least for this post), was there, albeit a bit pale.   That’s okay, the nature aspect of the trail was all good.

geese

squirrel1

squirrel

squirrel2

I laughed out loud at a squirrel waiting politely for the geese to cross the path – if he swerved too far to his left, he’d be near the geese lined up to get to the Creek.  To his right, a gaggle of geese simply glared at him.  What’s a squirrel to do?

geese and squirrel

I know the feeling because I’ve waited patiently at a “geese crossing” myself many times.   I’ve been aiming to get four geese lined up across the path so it looks like the Beatles crossing Abbey Road.

beatles abbey road cover

One day I’ll get those geese lined up perfectly, have my camera ready and get that shot!

I must get my pictures from last Sunday’s trek to Lake Erie Metropark together.  I have a lot to go through and pick out the worthy ones to share in my next blog post.

I’ll leave you with this quote which I saw a while ago and tucked away – I feel it summarizes this post perfectly, don’t you?

quote

 

[Images from Pinterest (Beatles and Monopoly card) and Greenpeace.org (quote)]

About lindasschaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, and this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for over three decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, although I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too.
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43 Responses to Friday Frivolity.

  1. Laurie says:

    So sorry to read about your bullying by Linda Crosby all those years ago! It’s good you stood up to her. That’s probably why you could remain friends. I will be looking forward to your Abbey Road picture with the geese! Maybe you could paint “zebra stripes” on the path for them to walk across! 🙂 Bundle up for your walks!

    Liked by 2 people

    • lindasschaub says:

      My parents were so mad at me Laurie – she was my best friend until she moved away (her dad was a salesman and got transferred to another territory so it was a long-distance move) and I think she was so bossy as she had siblings and she was the oldest. I never played with her siblings. My grandmother had bought me a large tricycle and Linda had a very small one and she would come over and push me off and ride mine and I would stand watching her do it. I was not raised to be confrontational until my parents had enough. Funny, I heard that “can I have my dime” story for years afterward and it ended up being a family joke (like my grandmother’s rubbery lemon meringue pie). I have been trying to get a photo of the geese facing that way across the path for a few years now … there might be four of them, but there are goslings or someone’s head is photobombing the shot. The squirrel waiting politely for them to pass just made me laugh. No one crosses the path before the geese are done – period. 🙂 I hopped onto Pinterest to get the Abbey Road picture – I could not believe what people have done to create similar shots – just amazing. I will need a Photoshop expert to paint the “zebra stripes” for sure. P.S. I thought I’d better include the picture for the younger followers.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Ann Marie stevens says:

    Miss Linda……………………I enjoyed the: “Friday Frivolity”……………………..I just can’t picture you fighting with your childhood friend Linda Cosby at all…………………………………..but I’m still picturing you standing there while she knocked you off of your bike and she is riding it………………………..that’s how I”ll always remember you

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      And Ann Marie, though we look shoulder to shoulder in the picture, I was always tall for my age and she was smaller than me … that makes it even worse! It’s not quite like when you and I stand next to each other, but still … glad I gave you a laugh for the day.

      Like

  3. What an enjoyable read! A few comments…..if you get the geese lined up like Abbey Road which one will be Paul? He was always the cutest. That squirrel in the tree is the fattest squirrel ever. I see Grady the porch squirrel is fattening up nicely too…..but his friend the fox squirrel deserves have a name now that he has made nice and they are friends. It must cost you a fortune in peanuts. I saw a bag at our local grocery store yesterday for $19.00. As for walking indoors in the mall, you can cancel out the caloric benefits of walking outdoors by having a hot chocolate to warm up when you get home too! That’s what I did yesterday after me very cold walk, I wore some fleece long johns under my trackpants and was quite toasty except for my face, as the wind was so bitter. I had bought some gourmet French imported cocoa powder before Christmas, and with a couple teaspoons of sugar and some low-fat milk, it made a nice afternoon treat – no need to go to Starbucks at all! I’ve never tried walking indoors in a mall, as our mall is too far away but I do see people doing it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Actually a fellow blogger suggested I name the fox squirrel “Forest” as that’s where he came from and I started to call him that in this post, but realized I’d not formally introduced him, and the post was pretty long, so next time … I want to get a shot of them together and make his introduction then. I just have instant coffee in the house, but for the holidays I always buy Hills Bros. Cappucino … they have many flavors and they are all good. Do you have it in Canada? It is instant and mixes with hot water, very tasty and frothy. That is my treat. I like hot chocolate, but it will put me to sleep if I drink it in the middle of the day, the warm milk will zone me out. I’ve only walked in the mall once and that was because I needed something there and it was very hot, so I went there early and walked before the stores opened … I’d do it more in the Summer but the mall is about 6 miles from my house. I do walk at the grocery store sometimes … laps around the store. It is big like a Walmart or KMart so I can walk the entire perimeter and rack up some miles. Starbucks was in our building when I worked on site (before Robb/I moved out on our own) … I stopped there every morning as I liked their dark roast coffee, but I’ve not had one in years. When I still worked on site with Robb we bought Starbucks or Caribou coffee by the bag and had a coffee grinder at the office, so it was always really fresh. Now he has a Keurig machine – I said “you never had a Keurig machine when I was there!”

      Like

  4. susieshy45 says:

    Linda
    Thanks for sharing this post the usual way. I laughed at the polite squirrel- it should be a National Geographic or candid camera submission. Why are geese so testy ? They look so cute and neat but they house a nasty temper inside.
    You have a marvellous way of telling stories- if I told stories by mouth, I would put people to sleep.
    I also liked your two new squirrel friends and how they made up. Glad they didn’t outrun or kill each other in pursuit of food.
    I left and five of the stray cats have disappeared- no one knows where they are. It is 15 degrees here and might be too cold for them to have survived.I had the pleasure of knowing them for a little less than a year. You never know who you would miss, until they are gone from your lives.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Hi Susie – Glad you enjoyed this post … the squirrel waiting patiently (not to mention politely) for the geese to cross the road really made me laugh. I wanted to toss some peanuts over the heads of those geese to keep him happy until the geese crossed. Those geese are always testy like that – sometimes you will walk by and minding your own business, and they raise their heads up and hiss at you and maybe a little wing-flapping as well., Other times you are ignored … the geese are moody, but they are like that with each other. I have seen a pair of geese walking along, and next thing you know, the one goose hisses and aims its beak at the other goose – one minute later they are fine again. They are especially fractious when the goslings are around, so we walkers make a wide berth around them then. That little gray squirrel Grady is the cutest thing and much smaller than his Fox squirrel friend. Initially, the bully squirrel went and took all the peanuts while Grady watched him and was quivering in a tree after he chased him up … I felt sorry for him, but they seem to be okay now. I’ll go to put out their peanuts in the morning and they are both waiting on the porch steps … you have to love seeing that … squirrels … feed them once and they are your friends for life. I should have not fed them on the front porch as I can’t tell if they are under the stoop and don’t want one sneaking into the house … they will try that too. I’m sorry to hear about your five stray cats – I hope they did not meet the same fate as the earlier ones you wrote about, but I don’t want to think about them freezing to death either … I did not realize your temps got that cold. Do you still have the little fellow with the white fur you saved all those months ago and is your profile picture?

      Liked by 1 person

      • susieshy45 says:

        That little fellow on my profile picture is my home cat- Sunshine- one I rescued about 7 years back. He survived because he is inside. I hope no squirrels get into your house too.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Susie – is this the little cat that got sick and you had to put him in a cardboard box and he got better the next day? I must have had them confused. The squirrels we used to feed got too friendly and familiar and we were worried they’d sneak into the house, so we had to stop. I probably should not have started feeding them … one time I tossed some peanuts to Grady when I came home from walking … I may live to regret that as cute as they are.

        Liked by 1 person

      • susieshy45 says:

        No, the one in my profile picture is Sunshine our home indoor cat. The other white cat was poisoned and died the day or the day after I left in November on my US trip. He or she was the sweetest creature about. I wrote to you about it. I am sure the poisoner regrets doing it now.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That’s what I thought that it was a stray cat – I know you showed it in a box after you brought it in. I was not sure it was the same cat – I remember you wrote me about it as I sent the messages to Carol to tell her and see if she had suggestions – life is so cruel and I feel badly when people do the misdeeds to animals.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. What a fun post! I can’t wait until you post that the squirrels are knocking on your door. Hahaha

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Glad you enjoyed it Diane – those two “porch squirrels” are cute and funny … yes, one day they’ll be knocking on the door and complaining that I am late with their grub. We had a neighbor years ago and he retired in Summer. He was used to getting up early for work, so he used to take his coffee and newspaper on the front porch every morning. He would bring some cookies for himself for breakfast and one day gave one to a squirrel who was hanging around nearby. The squirrel loved it and stayed there by his feet, as he expected another one … they are like that, always planning ahead. 🙂 So Jerry took the squirrel and his own cookies out every morning … they were fast friends, except when it rained and Jerry’s porch was not covered and he stayed inside. The squirrel paced back and forth on the picture window ledge … he’d look inside and could see Jerry in the living room having coffee, reading the newspaper and not “attending to the squirrel’s needs” … so Jerry had no choice but to open the door and give him something … the squirrel would not quit running back-and-forth along that ledge otherwise!

      Like

  6. Loved the squirrels. Great reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Shelley says:

    A fun Friday post! I love how those squirrels keep getting fatter and fatter each post you write.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      They are chunky – too many holiday goodies! You think they look fat and waddle, but they can still scramble up a tree pretty fast when they are spooked about something. I have to take them a cup of Nutter Butters. I get the cup that is made for kids – they are a cup filled with the mini Nutter Butters … they go crazy for them. Tomorrow I will do that for them … we may get a little snow tonight. It is near the Ohio border now. Glad you liked this post Shelley.

      Like

  8. Sarebear's Writing Spot says:

    If I were that squirrel, I’d wait for those geese to cross too. Geese are mean!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      They sure are Sarah – I have seen them go off on the walkers, and each other, for no reason … no doubt this squirrel has witnessed that and is playing it safe. It did give me a laugh to see him sitting there watching the geese crossing before venturing over to see me for peanuts. 🙂

      Like

  9. I admire your fortitude. You won’t see me walking outside until April! I am confined to mall walking! I have a heated bird bath for my critter friends and last night someone (raccoon perhaps?) dumped it over (probably trying to crawl into it). I refilled it today and there is a scene much like a Roman bath orgy going on right now. I love wildlife.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      If I was not a Winter weenie as to driving, I would likely walk inside on those days that are bitter cold or snowy or icy, but I don’t like to drive in the snow. I only drove in snow the first two years of school, then I switched my last two years to Detroit, so I took the bus, started working downtown, continued taking the bus. My car stayed in the garage as I didn’t need to walk far to catch the bus. I have walked at Meijer grocery store in the extreme heat – it felt great … those humid Summer mornings are a killer sometimes. My neighbor had a small dish birdbath … it was just like a plant saucer and it hooked onto the top of her deck railing. It was just for small birds to take a drink, maybe a bath in the winter and we’d put snow into it to keep it clean and it would be a nice temperature. But the big birds came along and broke it. When I still had the birdbaths in the yard (just in Summer), I loved watching them splashing away – it is a nirvana for them. Even watching them splash in my neighbor’s gutter full of water or in a puddle in the street … the joy!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Even with a pond, I keep birdbaths year round. More birds die in the winter because of lack of water than lack of food. There is always an opening in my pond (I keep a bubbler going under the surface) for the exchange of gases so my fish don’t die. The larger birds will walk on the ice to the edge for a drink. Always entertaining.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That would be nice – I would love to have that in my yard or to watch it. I may have mentioned before that first we got rats when a new neighbor moved in with a pit bull he left out 24/7 and fed it table scraps. My mom and I got a pest control service and they baited traps. I had to quit feeding and watering the birds, and then the first Polar Vortex wiped out my butterfly bushes and many of my perennials – I decided the garden was not meant to be so only have a handful of perennials now and my roses (which rallied back after I thought they gave up the ghost after the first Polar Vortex).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Awww, that’s sad. I have 4 feeders up and a suet feeder plus the pond and the heated bird bath. Some days the cats and I sit at the winter and watch all the activity. We call it cat TV.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Yes, I envy you for that Kate. My mom and I would watch the birds from her bedroom window. There are metal rolling blinds on all the windows except not on that one because the back patio hung down too low to install a blind roll-up box, so we had a great view of the backyard. One year I grew sunflowers in pots on the back porch, so there were goldfinch just a few feet away, clinging onto the stem and eating sunflower seeds. They’d be in tune with eating that they would not see us. Very soothing and enjoyable to watch. Funny, Carol says the same thing – in fact you posted a picture of your cats with synchronized faces gazing out the window – Carol posted an almost identical pic of her three, doing the same thing, watching the bird feeders and fountains. She says the chickadees will see her coming to load the bird feeder and can’t wait and will come alight on her hand … she’ll use her hand as a scoop to go into the seeds and they’ll eat from her hand … I would like that.

        Liked by 1 person

      • My birds won’t get that close but they are anxious for food when they see me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I feel badly for the birds in your/my bad Winters. We’re having some freezing rain tonight/tomorrow morning – that’ll gum up the critter feeders and they’re out of luck until it thaws, if it thaws.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Animals are resourceful. They have been able to survive harsh conditions for centuries. The freezing rain won’t gum up my feeders except maybe niger because that is such a fussy seed. The sunflower seeds do well all winter in the feeders no matter what. If conditions get too harsh they migrate.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        That’s true – they will get by somehow and they are lucky they have had this six weeks of good weather to eat hearty and forage. The oilers are pretty resilient since they are slippery and the snow/rain slides off.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Life Style says:

    Gostei imenso!
    Aguardo sua visita e seus comentários

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love the way you told the squirrels to play nice together 😁. I agree, if you ruled they world Linda everyone would get on so well ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great pictures of both the critters, and you with your friend. Your walks are always interesting! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mackenzie says:

    Oh man Mother nature is up to her antics huh? Aw I love that you stood up for little Grady. Poor guy.

    Awww both little Lindas are too cute! I just LOVE how you share these pictures. I love the quote from Alice Walker… such a paradoxical truth. Thank you for sharing!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      I did feel badly for Grady with that other squirrel bullying him Mackenzie – he is so tiny and timid and very apprehensive about whether I can be trusted or not … he inches closer to me, but I can’t make any quick movements or he is up the tree. 🙂 The Park squirrels are used to interacting with humans so they don’t cower or run as much. Glad you liked these pictures of my BFF (well we might have been forever if her father didn’t get transferred and break up our friendship, but we moved from Canada over here to the States anyway) … I do like that quote as well. I saw it, tucked it away and remembered I had it … just perfect for this post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mackenzie says:

        Aww little Grady is lucky to have ya on his team!

        Have you been able to find her since or tried on Facebook or anything?

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I did try Mackenzie – the problem is not all women include their maiden name on Facebook. I did look in a Facebook group that was our elementary school – no one knew about her there either, but she moved when we were still in elementary school and it was not near Oakville. I did meet another classmate in that Facebook group – she was a little friend back in 1st grade and she sent me our class picture – we were standing next to one another. I knew her as Margaret Rust and when I discovered her a few years ago, she was going by Maggie Rust and an artist – I used some of her artwork in my posts, and we followed one another on Facebook. She got irritated with all the Facebook breaches and bailed from there.

        Like

  14. Pril says:

    Enjoying catching up on my reading material. I think the shot of the ducks is a great idea. I also own photoshop so if you need any help working that out. Just say the word!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lindasschaub says:

      Thanks for the offer Pril – do you think I’ll ever get that picture that resembles the Beatles? (Of course there is no goose poop in the Beatles picture … I might have to have you zap that out!)

      Like

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