It’s Like a Jungle Up Here

If you visit Clothed with Joy regularly you may know that I am from New Jersey. I realize that NJ is not “up” to a large portion of the world and for that I’m very sorry. It’s just how we talk, plus most jungles tend to be located geographically south of the North East, USA. FYI.

Eastern_Grey_Squirrel

Fact: Squirrels like the sound of my screams.

This morning I startled a squirrel. Squirrels in New Jersey are aggressive. I still have memories of being chased around the block by a squirrel as a child. I am not kidding. Around the whole block. It happened.

squirrel hole

Squirrel hole.

If you visit just about any outside trashcan lid in South Jersey you will find that a hole has been chewed into it. A squirrel hole. I once came home to find a squirrel on my lawn holding a piece of pizza by the crust and chowing down. Not kidding. It happened.

This morning I startled a squirrel. Apparently, I startled the squirrel enough that he leaped out of the adjoining trashcan and onto my thigh. This is the honest to goodness truth. This stuff happens to me. Neighbors four blocks over heard the screams.

A few months ago I was at the Philadelphia Zoo with my girls. It was winter and a little snowy so we ate our lunch at one of the many picnic tables near the carousel.

Picnic tables + zoo = Squirrel Hunting Grounds.

As we were eating lunch a squirrel came over and sniffed around our table. G, who is terrified of animals (zoo animals don’t affect her) started to get a little panicked. The squirrel continued to get more and more aggressive and moved from under the table by our feet up on to the table with us. G was in a full scale freak out by this point. I shooed the squirrel and spoke calmly to the children, who were now all sitting on the same side of the table opposite to me and somewhat freaked out as well (I don’t blame them).

The squirrel had moved on, so I instructed the children in my most momly voice to ignore the squirrel and it would go away.

KERCHUNK

“AAAAAAARRRRHHHHHHHGGGGG! IT’S ON MY BACK!” I screamed.

The squirrel leaped off the table behind me and clung onto my back spread eagle for a good half second. If only someone had been videotaping, we would be millionaires.

It’s like a jungle up here, and the squirrels like the sound of my screams.

 

I once had a squirrel in my dining room, remember this post with the squirrel trap? That’s nothing compared to the monkey in my kitchen, but that’s another story.

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Weird Things I Witness

car

Once I went over to ask a neighbor (of a home I was cleaning out) when trash day was; I caught the woman at the exact moment she found her beloved cat dead. I started to comfort her and then the cat came back to life. Seriously, it moved and then walked away.

By the way, trash day is Friday.

I was in Express at the local mall a few weeks ago near the back door that opens onto the parking lot. While I was looking at a table of jeans near the door (searching desperately for my size – why are there never any size 12s? Plump girls need jeans too) a man came in from outside. He was standing near the jeans and I heard him call over another man. Within a couple of seconds both men grabbed a huge pile of $80 jeans each and ran out the back door.

I can’t make this stuff up.

A couple years ago while I was watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks over the Delaware River flaming ash was falling from the sky. I watched a piece of ash land a few feet behind me and light the grass on fire. Simultaneously a piece landed on a man’s pant leg and lit his jeans on fire.

I always wondered if that could happen.

On the topic of fire, while I was driving down the local highway last week I realized that the car in front of me on fire. The entire bottom of the car was flaming. I pulled way back and made sure the driver knew.

He eventually pulled over and jumped out. I drove on home.

I don’t know why I witness this kind of stuff. Maybe it’s because I am a single parent of four young children and therefore am required to be hyper aware of what is going on around me at all times. Maybe I am just in the right place at the right time. Maybe it’s a gift.

What weird things have you been witness to?

Lies & Why I Can’t Move to Florida

lie!

The statement above is clearly a lie.

However, when my daughter and I bought the plaque last summer we totally believed it. It still hangs on our door but I’ve hidden it with a kindergarten Valentine project from G.

I’m a flip flop girl. Even living here in the Northeast I could still somehow get through winter with my flip flops, some snow boots and a slip on mule-type shoe (with socks, of course.)

mule

 

Not this year.

Last week I finally broke down and bought sneakers. I haven’t owned a pair of sneakers in close to fifteen years. I wore them to the office the other day and my brother (who works next to me) noticed them immediately.

“Nice sneakers, Bec.” he says.  Which in sibling talk means,

“You know you look like a Dork in those shoes, right?”

I confess, I’m terribly self-conscious about the sneakers. I’m 40. I’m a mom. I’m sure the sneakers have caused my butt to spread at least four inches. What I’m trying to say is –

I’m. Just. Not. A Sneaker. Girl.

I have considered moving to Florida where I could wear flip flops all day forever and ever for the rest of my life. The only problem is, I watch way too much Animal Planet.

Not only would I have to worry about alligators and crocodiles snapping up my little ones in the back yard, but now Florida is overrun with terrifying Invasive Species like the Burmese Python and Snakeheads.

burmese-python-invasive-species Snakehead_fishJust the name: “snakehead” is enough to keep me out of Florida. Yeeeeee.

I suppose I’ll just have to make my peace with the sneaks.