Chasing Inspiration

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Invasion of the Suburban Rats

Red squirrels are the embodiment of evil. Especially when they chew through the soffits of your home and get into the attic and the new loft that you are building.

I have come to this conclusion because two red squirrels have done exactly that. We have two huge black walnut trees near the house. The walnuts attract all manner of squirrels. Which is fine. The dog usually runs them off. Well, the dog is getting hold and can't run the way he used to. Or hear the way he used to. So the squirrels figure they can move on in and make themselves right at home. I don't mind them outside, but in my house? No!

The boy brought home a live trap and we trapped a squirrel yesterday. He has been released back into the wild. Far away from our house. The boy and my dad (who is visiting with my mom), fixed three different holes that led into the house. Of course, there was no way of making sure a squirrel wasn't still trapped in the house, so the live trap was reset. And the boy and I went to work.

I got a call from my mom, frantic because she can't stand rodents, telling me the trap had been sprung and yes, there was a second squirrel running around, rattling the bars and trying to escape it's confinement. Could I please come home to deal with it?

I got home, the squirrel and trap are outside waiting for the boy to pick up. I decided to do some looking around the house for any nuts the little rodents might have squirrel away (pun intended). Sure enough, three one-gallon buckets worth of walnuts were hidden through out the new and unfinished loft. And I found another gallon bucket's worth in the basement along with two boxes of linens that now have to be tossed because the squirrels have desecrated them. I'm talking chewed through, used as bathroom material, disgusting.

My fingers are crossed that this is the last of the squirrels, for this year at least. I really, really, really do not want rodents in my house again. Especially not urban rats like these. *sigh*

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Writing Excercise

Barbara Samuel, a wonderful author who I had the pleasure of taking an online class with last year, posted the following exercise on an email loop.:
You can begin to uncover and discover what you want by doing a simple, timed writing exercise. Set your timer for 15 minutes and write without stopping, starting every sentence with the words “I want.” Writing without stopping for a set period of time enables your inner voice to override your inner censor and helps to unearth buried dreams. It also creates a feeling of relief in the mind, heart, and body.

Sometimes the simple act of expressing a want actually releases it, while other yearnings retain their energy, asking us to pay attention. When we pay attention to what we want, we are that much closer to getting it.

I did this exercise for myself and the resulting few paragraphs were very insightful. I discovered that I want to be absolved of making renovation decisions but have my vision for this house in tact. I want a Dairy Queen blizzard. Yum! I want to let go of fear. I want to let go of self recriminations. I want my poor dog to live forever. There are so many things I want.

I'm not going to get all my wants. That's life. But there is something about saying what you want and letting your fingers go that centers you and helps you to cut through the crap and get to the heart of what matters.

I encourage you to set your kitchen timer, sit at the computer or pick up a pen and paper and write for 15 minutes about what you want. Just keep writing. Don't stop to read, edit or evaluate. When the timer goes off, listen to that still soft voice inside you as you read through the list again. It may take some time, but you'll get to the heart of what you really want. Trust me. I'm slowly getting there myself.