Silly Milli … a potty adventure

It’s been a little over one week since Silly Milli (Millicent) came to live with us. It didn’t take long for this little spitfire to learn how to ‘pull our chains.’

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The main task at hand – to work on potty training. Sometimes it works; sometimes not. We found that barking and running in a circle means it is time to go outside. Of course, then she runs and smells and chases … and she may or may not go potty. She loves sticks and is already playing fetch.

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On one of our outside visits, she was running across the deck to the area where the deck steps down. There is a knot hole near the place where you turn to go that area. ( You can see it in the picture above.) Just as I set her down, a red squirrel ran across the deck. Next, a chipmunk popped out of the knot hole, carrying a gray ball of fur in its mouth. The chipmunk kept shaking the fur ball (I think it was a mouse.) and then dropped it. Whatever it was, it scurried away. This all happened in no more than a minute’s time. Not only did Milli jump back, but I did the same. (I’m sure it was quite the sight – watching this old lady jump.)  I quickly scooped up Milli and went back inside. I don’t know whose heart was pounding harder.

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As you may know from previous blogs, we usually train the chipmunks during the summer season. This year, we’ll probably not feed them as much because we don’t know how they are going to react to Milli. I bet the chipmunks are wondering why their humans haven’t put out the tray of peanuts. They’re also probably wondering why we are hanging out with that creature – Milli, the dog

Thanks for reading!  I hope you return. 

Looking to Spring …

Today it is dark and dreary with a mist in the air. Rain and strong winds are promised until mid day and then perhaps a bit of sun. Snow is predicted for the end of the week. But signs of Spring are showing. A loud group of geese greeted me as I came outside this morning. One branch on the maple tree is budded out. Several birds were hovering around the bird feeders. And there was a chipmunk sighting.

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Soon it will be Spring after our last March blasts of winter.

As I was organizing, I came across this poem. It is perfect for today. It was written in 1941 by my mother, likely sitting at her desk after teaching school for the day. As in the title of the poem, soliloquy is when you speak your thoughts out loud. I picture her sitting at the desk and writing down the words as she spoke them – out loud, to a then-empty, quiet room.

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Rainy Day Soliloquy by Shirley Fadden Olene

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So, for now, we will enjoy the spring-like weather and wait for more.

Thanks for reading. I hope you will return. 

Chipmunk training season … while getting some deck time

Now that I am semi-retired, we have a new routine. Whenever possible, we sit on the deck in the early morning, drinking coffee, watching the birds at our many feeders, and welcoming the day. Many mornings we spend an hour or more this way.

We also have a few chipmunks. Last year we just had one – Mama Chipper. Of course, we didn’t really know if she was a girl. Over the summer she became somewhat tame – allowing my husband to pet her while she enjoyed some sunflower seeds. Once in awhile, she allowed him to pick her up  – but not for long.

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Mama getting petted; she really like having her back rubbed.

This year she was back and soon he was feeding and petting her again. However, she was not alone. At least five little chipmunks also appeared. (So perhaps she was a mama.) Because the baby chipmunks were skittish, my husband decided to put sunflowers seeds in a bird feeder that can no longer be hung in the tree (due to several falls to the ground, caused by a raccoon and perhaps a bear). The bird feeder looks like a school – so now the baby chipmunks go to school (to get sunflower seeds). He also gives them fresh water in what used to be a dog dish.

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Chipmunk School

After the first few weeks, the mama chipmunk would jump on my husband’s leg – looking for sunflower seeds. One day he came back from the store with unsalfed peanuts. He placed a peanut on his knee … and waited. At first, Mama chipmunk would do a hit and run – she would jump on his leg, grab a peanut, and jump back down. Then he put more peanuts on his leg. Pretty soon she would sit on his knee and stuff as many peanuts as possible in her mouth, jump down, carry the peanuts away, and then come back for more. She would even take them out of the belt loop on his pants.

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Getting a drink.

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Mama stuffing her mouth with peanuts.

Alas, Mama Chipmunk has not appeared for the last two weeks. Now training has begun for the baby chipmunks. They are still a little skittish – they won’t allow much petting but they sure love the peanuts. Maybe next year they will be ready for more advanced training. In the meantime, we will just sit on the deck, enjoy the mornings, watch the birds, watch the baby chipmunks chase one another – and wait to see what other wildlife comes strolling by – like these two who came for a visit.

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Early morning visitors – sand hill cranes

Coming soon – a wrap-up of the garage sale season – the best bargains, the best signage, and the best displays.

Thank you for reading this blog.