On the Homefront

We arrived home around 4:00 p.m. yesterday. The place was quite a shambles, the squirrels having partied hard while we were gone. I'll say more about that in a minute. Being without internet access for a day has me a couple of posts behind, and so I've been considering where to start this first morning back. I think I'll start with yesterday and then post a little retrospective of the Battery Point Lighthouse, Crescent City, and the quilt shop in Fort Bragg. How does that sound? Rhetorical, because that's how this is gonna go. Ya' folla?

First, I'm a day late posting the winner for this month's needle threader for the

Cat Patches

and so I'll just take care of that right now. Mr. Random has spoken and the winner is:


Pardon me for just a moment while I send Lyndsey an email. Okay, I'm back. (Did you miss me?) So anyway...here's what happened yesterday.

We drove and drove and drove...a little over 300 miles, mostly up Interstate 5, and so it was fairly easy driving. We were glad to be back in the land of mostly good roads and mostly sane driving. We saw a few barns along the way.

The most sure sign of home is when Mt. Hood comes into view.

The first thing we noticed upon arriving home was that the squirrels had chewed into the bin containing the black oil sunflower seed. They didn't do much damage here...aside from destroying the bin...

I did find a dead mouse in the bin, probably put there by the squirrels as some kind of joke. But right beside the bin is this little area where there is a hole in the concrete. The gas pipe connects to the house here, and ordinarily it's filled with gravel.

Not any more. The squirrels have decided this makes a handy place for them to set up housekeeping. With the bird seed so close at hand, who can blame them? Yes, we'll be putting out some "candy" for those buggers. They cannot be allowed to burrow around under the house. In the process of building their new digs (Ha!), they pulled out all the rocks and scattered them all over the breezeway. Be sure to notice the bits of blue plastic from the bird seed bin.

After hazing the mouse, they moved on to the peanut bin. I don't know how they got in there because it is a plastic garbage can with a tight-fitting lid. My personal theory is that the lid expanded because it was sitting in the sun, and they were able to pry it off that way. Whatever the case, they ate every single peanut, leaving all the shells behind. I picked through them down to the very bottom of the bin. I found only a few intact shells, but those didn't feel as if they had a peanut inside. There were also peanut shells strewn all over the breezeway. I imagine them wearing little sombreros and drinking margaritas while they partied hard into the night and day and night and day. With no cats around, they were free to do their worst. I'm sure nudity was involved. And orgies.

It would be funny except that those peanuts go for about $40 per 25 pound bag. I wonder if this is covered by our homeowners insurance. Yeah, probably not.

So after surveying the squirrel damage, I walked around the yard to see how things were doing. The grass is doing GREAT!!! It's grown to knee height while we've been gone, and our hayfever is in high gear. That will be Mike's first task...right after he fixes the computer back-up system that fried while we were gone. No idea. Both computers were turned off, so no damage to those, but who knows why the back-up failed. Also, the coffee maker quit. It too was unplugged. We might think we'd had a power surge, but with no electricity going to either of those systems, it's kind of a mystery. I'm sure the squirrels had something to do with it.

The two things I most worried about were my sunflower seedlings

and the echinacea I've been tending so lovingly for two straight years. Both were fine, and a couple of the echinacea are close to blooming.

You can see that the weeds have made a strong comeback after I judiciously pulled them in the week before we left. That will be my first task after unpacking my seriously good stuff (read that, "sh*t") from the trailer.

Most everything has bloomed, and we missed it. Seeing so many wildflowers makes up for having missed so much at home. Still, the iris are hard at it.

Checking in the greenhouse, the lettuce is doing well.

We lost another tomato plant while we were gone, which means there are five left from the original eleven I planted. Not a good year for the tomatoes, obviously. That's okay. I'll just get what I get and the remainder will come from the farmers. We could still pick up some starts, but I might just go with what I have. It's going to be a busy summer.

The cherry and plum trees were blooming when we left, and they are all leafed out now. I looked for a bit to see if I could find some plums. They're hard to find, but once you see them, then you see them all over. Now, if only they'll ripen before we leave on our next trip! Our neighbor usually gets these after we've left to travel somewhere, but she usually gives us some of the jam she makes from them.

Also, there are cherries on our Bing cherry tree...

and on the Black Tartarian. We almost never get any cherries. The raccoons take care of those.

The daylilies are just getting started. I'm happy not to have missed those.

The chive blossoms are going great guns, but they're a little past their prime. I probably won't do anything with these this year.

The lavender is just now getting started. I see Bees Knees cocktails in our immediate future.

Also, my favorite rhododendron is at its peak right now.

Just behind that is a beautiful red azalea.

But here's the most exciting news I have for you. I know many of you will groan, but just let me tell you, I have wanted to be called for jury duty my entire life and finally...it happened while we were gone. I'm set to report on July 6th. Yahoo!!!!! This is for Circuit Court, which is our highest court in Oregon. The next step after Circuit Court is appellate court. 

The only other time I was ever called for jury duty was in the month after Mike and I were married. We were moving from Vista, California, to Phoenix, Arizona, and so I was excused since I was no longer a resident of the state. Whoever among the gods decides on such things never deigned to call on me again. And, really, how can one be fully grown up having never served on a jury? As my friends, co-workers, and neighbors bemoaned being called, I'd just sit back and say, "PLEASE PICK ME!" Even Mike has been called numerous times. Me? Nada. Until now. My life is complete...or at least it will be when I use all the fabric from my stash. You see, I've determined that the best way to cheat death is to just keep buying more fabric. When the grim reaper comes around, he checks your fabric stash first. Just sayin'.

So once we'd weaned the piles of junk mail from our accumulated mail, I also found the second of the Girls' Getaway stitcheries. This one is the "Clawfoot Tub."

You might remember that the first of these was a camper panel. I snapped this one up practically before it was listed on the Crabapple Hill Studio website.

If I'm remembering correctly, there will be six in all.

And speaking of stitcheries, I've stitched the top portion of Beulah now. She's looking a little less scary now that I've added a little color to her.

And that's kind of where it stands for now. The next day or two will be spent unpacking and trying to get back to what passes for normal here at the Three Cats Ranch. I'll be picking up our CSA share this afternoon, and since we missed the first three shares, I'm looking forward to that. The kitties are back to their same kitty selves, as if we'd never left. Smitty is hard at it hunting down and putting the squirrels back in their places.

I'll finish up those final blog posts from the trip in the next day or two. It will give me something to talk about besides unpacking, which might possibly bore you to death. For now, it's good to be home. I'm looking forward to putting things in order again so I can get back to sewing.

24 comments from clever and witty friends:

Dorothy Finley said...

Thank you for making my day with your squirrel saga. You had me LOL and my kitties looking at me like I was going off the deep end

CJ Smith said...

Jury duty? Hmmm...they must be guilty or they wouldn't be there in the first place! Hahaha!

WoolenSails said...

I am sure you are glad to be home and glad you caught the critters before they did more damage.
Love all the stitcheries you have been doing.



Love the squirrel story--at least they did not get into the house---that happened to my parents one winter--messss!!!!!!
And you have gotten me into trouble again--girl!!!!!!!!!!!
Just went and ordered this next Crabapple hill pattern and would you believe, before I could check out--another pattern jumped right in that cart--the one called Candy Cane Tree Lot!!! a must have!!!
When are we going to stitch these new blocks?????
enjoy the moments, di

Judy1522 said...

Wow your squirrels were definitely partying while you were gone. The iris are beautiful especially the purple ones. I have been called for Jury duty 4 times in my life and the very first in my early 20's was a murder case. I have always found it all to be very interesting and am not sure why people dislike it so much.

QuiltShopGal said...

Glad you guys are back home safe & sound, after a wonderful adventure. Those darn squirrels just had one too many parties while you were away. Shame they couldn't have cleaned up, leaving no evidence. I can't explain the power outage issue, especially with unplugged items. Definitely must be the squirrels. I hope you enjoy your jury duty assignment. I'm also one that wasn't called for years, but as they say once they find you - you'll get called more frequently. Personally, I think it is a great experience to serve on a jury. Enjoy being back home.


Frog Quilter said...

Pick me is what I say for jury duty. I love it too but it hardly ever happens. Bummer. I am enjoying your travel posts.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I was called for jury duty when I was 8.5 months pregnant. We didn't even get interviewed, since the bad person copped a plea deal.

CathieJ said...

Although it was now fun for you, I really enjoyed your squirrel story. Your purple bucket looks like my garbage pail. We believe our chew holes are from raccoons though. Beulah is looking much better.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Squirrels are not a favorite around here, either. Love the way you told the story! Glad you are home for a bit - good luck getting things back to normal.

crazy quilter said...

Omg! Those pesky squirrels! Did you send them an email you and the kitties would be gone? My don't they make a huge mess and they are pigs, eating all, every last one of the peanuts! I know they are fat and happy now so I do hope the local wildlife can catch them and do them in. They have given me grief around here too but the local Hawks seem to be keeping them in check, as well as I cut down a tree close to the house to keep them off the roof. As you can probably tell they are not one of my favorite animals. The blooms everywhere are so beautiful. Sorry you missed some of the blooms but my gosh those iris ! Mine stopped blooming in March so you are very lucky. They are my favorite flower , but I wish they bloomed all year . From your post I think ya'll had a grand trip . I know you are glad to be home, enjoy it! Pet the kitties for me. Hope all the unpacking goes fast so you can get back to sewing very soon.

Brown Family said...

It is always good to be home after a trip.

We missed the wildlife wild parties! We can tell they were having a ball! Those should be fat and sassy squirrels after all those peanuts. Maybe the mouse had a peanut or sunflower allergy!

Your Iris are always so lovely! I am a little disappointed in my Classic Roma tomatoes. They are soft when I attempt to slice them, almost hollow feeling. The cherry and miniature Romas are wonderful. WE are having a problem eating them fast enough!. I know that is such a terrible problem!

I server on a jury once, and have been called twice since then but not selected. We have an option to call in the night before to see if we need to appear. If we do not, we are not called again for two years.

Lyndsey said...

Thank you for taking me along on your trip, it was most enjoyable and I can't wait for the next one. An added bonus is I don't have any unpacking or sorting out the mess left by the pesky squirrels. They really do enjoy a good destructive party when they get the chance. I'm pleased to hear Smitty is already on their case.

I've been called for jury service four times and never served yet. I'm a little jealous of you. The first three times I was pregnant and the baby was due during the time of the jury service so I was discharged. Last time I was called to do service at The Old Bailey in London but on the Friday before I was due to start I got a call to say all the cases were going on longer than expected and so I wasn't required. Maybe it was lucky missing the Old Bailey as some of their cases go on for months.

Debbie said...

Love the new stitchery, as I always wanted an outdoor shower.....sounds good unless the mosquitoes are around.
big sigh....home. Thanks for letting us come along but there is nothing like coming home. Those squirrels sure partied hard at your place....hate the damage. Smitty get to work!
Glad you wanted the jury duty, most of us panic and run when those summons arrive. Another adventure.

Kate said...

Oh those naughty, naughty squirrels. I hope Smitty has them all whipped into shape now. Glad you got home safely. Lots of beautiful color at your place. Hope you have some time to enjoy them.

piecefulwendy said...

Well, you know, with a squirrel party like that, they probably had an amazing sound system/light show and that was what fried your stuff. And you also know that with a party like that, more squirrels will be coming (we're not stupid, we know how things tend to get out of hand). Gear up, Smitty, your work has just begun! Your irises are beautiful, and I love azaleas! I haven't had to serve jury duty for awhile. The last time I got as far as the interview process, but was one of the first ones let go. I guess being a legal secretary married to a lawyer had something to do with it :-) Welcome home! I hope you get caught up soon!

Kathy H said...

I have certainly enjoyed your travel posts. But those bad squirrels!! I can picture them in little lawn chairs watching you leave. They see the camper and celebrate that you will be gone for awhile! And the cats are going too!

gpc said...

Beautiful, what a lovely time of year! Congratulations to Lindsey -- and OMG, what persistent squirrels you have! Poor mouse, though - those peanut allergies can be deadly.

Rhonda Snider said...

Maybe you should find some squirrel recipes. You could make a squirrel pizza since you are getting so knowledgeable with baking breads.

claudia said...

I think there is nothing prettier than a deep purple iris! There is one just outside my bedroom window! For some reason, the squirrels have been told not to come to my part of the world, the raccoons as well. That being said, I'm sure I will have an on slot of them! My nemesis are the crows. They got and get garbage from the neighbors and through it in the horses' and goats' water troughs...making it necessary to clean all the troughs out daily. It's such a waste of water...45 gallons each and every day!
I just ordered the newest Crab-Apple Hill. It should be here any day. I don't know when I will get started on it or the first one, as I am so far behind on my stitch alongs for April, May and June...I did get started on one of the blocks, May's for the Sun, Sand and Sea blocks. I just need to do the hand stitching on it. I'm just glad to be back sewing again after such a long siege!
Welcome home! I bet you are glad to be back, if only for a little while!

Susan said...

I love your travelogs. We have never been gone for more than a week, but it doesn't take long for the "pests" in the neighborhood to create havoc.

Your purple rhododendron is beautiful as is the red azalea. But my favorite is the deep purple iris.

Dots said...

WOW! What a "Welcome home and Surprise!" by the squirrels. LOL for sure on that story. You came home to work, it seems. Glad the kitties are reigning in those squatters. Look out squirrels! Whew! back to normal now. Great story. Coming home was another great adventure as traveling. Amazing how all that electrical stuff happened. Most of the plants were doing well. That's a plus. The grass? Yeah, don't I know that! It never fails to grow high and higher. Welcome home!

Ioleen said...

I have never been picked for jury duty, knock on wood 😂😂. I had to read your squirrel saga to my husband and we both had a good laugh. Thanks for sharing that. It's nice to get away but better to get back home.

quiltzyx said...

Holy crap those squirrels really rearranged things for their parties! I agree with PiecefulWendy - it was the squirrely sound & light system that caused the problems in the house. And maybe they were using the coffee maker the morning after too. Are metal trash cans still available? I used to keep my dog food in a smallish one so the mice/rats couldn't get into it.

I've had to report for Jury duty a couple of times. We call in each night for a week to see if we have to go in & I think twice it was my last call of the week and I had to report to the courthouse on Friday. One time I was actually impaneled as Juror #9. After the panel was full, they sent us out into the hallway for a while and I realized that I could breathe so much better - nice marble floors at the Superior Court building. When we went back inside, I immediately clogged up again, so I raised my hand & told the judge I was having trouble breathing. He asked if I could take a pill for that, which I already had, so he was going to send the bailiff to find me a breathing apparatus of some sort. OK then....but one of the attorneys excused me right after that, so I got to go home. There was brand new carpet in the courtroom so I am guessing that's what I was allergic to.