Well, our worst of the decade storm is over and most of the several hundred thousand folk who lost power now have it back on again. Nature's little Christmas gifts? Amazing how much of civilization goes away when the power goes out, huh? No, I don't mean looting and mayhem, but all those things we take for granted....light when the sun sets at about 4 PM, heat that doesn't take any particular work or foresight, entertainment. Jobs. Hot showers! I got a good chunk of next year's heating delivered to the door of (and on top of) my woodshed. I've decided this is just the gods' way of a: letting me avoid felling trees and b: testing my learning curve to see if I can avoid dropping a hung up tree on my head this
year. (I plan to pass that test. I passed the reflex and cardio test last year and I don't need the stimulation again, thank you.)
Of course I got email from my Working Assets Long Distance offering Carbon Offsets as the perfect (PC) Christmas present. Grrrr.... I'd do another page long rant about that, but I would say the same things I did last time. For the mere cost of $55.... Then you can drive your SUV all year, feel smug, and vote against those global warming bills that might inhibit your lifestyle (which is now carbon neutral). Okay. Deep breath. Put the Grinch back in the box. Let's enjoy the various festivals of lights that just about all cultures and religions do this time of year. (How not when the daylight starts fading just about the time the sun gets well up?). (But you WILL use those nice LED lights, right? The ones that use about a tenth of the electricity of those pretty twinkle lights?). I'm not going to fuss at menorahs.
Just to counterbalance the grinchiness...our local birdfeeder raiding squirrel provided a bit of lightness for us all. Now I wouldn't mind sharing with the squirrels if they shared with the birds. Which they don't. So we have a running game of let the dogs out who chase the squirrel to the fence and all have a good time. Well, the squirrel probably doesn't, but neither does he have such a bad time that he doesn't come back. But one squirrel had the smarts to realize that if he just sat tight in the feeder on the deck, the dogs ran to the fence, expecting him to oblige. Sorry, dogs, he's beating you in the IQ competition. I finally had enough of him and swatted him off the feeder with a broom. (Sorry, I am NOT PC about fox squirrels). The squirrel went flying through the air and met DJ, my four year old Rottie in mid leap. Squirrel wrapped himself around DJ's muzzle like a little red-fur muff, head tucked under tail, hanging on for dear life. DJ levitated straight up about six feet in the air, his eyes wild. Annie, my puppy, was of course, right on his heels, her goal his furry nose-warmer. The squirrel, obviously realizing that what goes up is going to come down again, departed DJ's muzzle at the height of his leap, violating at least a couple of laws of physics as he accelerated horozontally onto the big locust tree at the fence (the one that did not fall down this year). I, of course, was in serious danger of falling over the deck railing or herniating myself laughing. DJ was embarassed and Annie was simply ticked off. You could read the 'why didn't you just hold still, idiot!' in her body language as she glowered at DJ and staked out the tree. Did the squirrel suffer? Not enough to keep him out of the feeder, but he no longer sits and watches the dogs run to the fence. He beats it. So balance is restored.