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Posts Tagged ‘squirrels’

January, 30, 2015 Edition My camera lens focuses on the distant reaches of my backyard. Trying to capture an image of a particular bird, I’ve been sitting motionless on a rock for about 10 minutes. I sense movement to my right and turn my head to see a squirrel perched on a nearby rock. The squirrel sits and stares at me as if to say, “What about me? Aren’t you going to take my picture?” I chuckle and say out loud, “Well, if you give me a smile, I’ll take your picture too.” Lo and behold, the squirrel smiles.

#1 – Connections Between Man and Nature
Artwork by Elicia Edijanto Indonesian artist Elicia Edijanto creates simple, yet emotional juxtapositions of humans and nature. More specifically, her delicate black and white watercolor paintings portray connections between children and animals. There is a certain vulnerability displayed in her work – not just that of the children, but also that of the majestic animals. Check out Striking Black-and-White Watercolors Depict Children and Wild Animals to see examples of her work.

#2 – Developing Gratitude
Squirrel in Tree Living a life of gratitude keeps me in the present. One of the things that I am grateful for right now is having the time and the wherewithal to pursue my hobbies – like sitting and photographing wildlife in my backyard. I appreciate that to do so is a luxury not afforded to everyone. What are you grateful for? Developing an attitude of gratitude does not come easy to everyone. If you need a little help, read 5 Ways to Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude to get you thinking and start the process.

#3 – 36 Questions
36 Questions The title of an article in Psychology Today Want to Get Closer to Your Partner? Try These 36 Questions is slightly misleading. Sure, if you were to ask your partner any of the questions from the three sets of 12 questions, you would learn more about him/her and possibly become closer. But, I think the 36 questions are good thought-provoking questions that would shed light on anyone you want to know better – a friend, a co-worker, your children, etc. Try answering some of the questions yourself. Maybe in the process, you’ll learn something about yourself that you didn’t realize before. To provide you with a brief preview, here are the first questions from each set:

Set 1, Question 1: Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

Set 2, Question 13: If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?

Set 3, Question 25: Make 3 true “we” statements each. For instance ‘We are both in this room feeling … “

#4 – Valentine’s Day Food and Crafts
41 Heart-Shaped DIYs To Actually Get You Excited For Valentine’s Day
Valentine’s Day brings smiles to the faces of so many people. In a little over two weeks that special day will be here. For inspiration, take a look at these 41-Heart-Shaped DIYS to Get You Excited For Valentine’s Day and let the fun begin!

#5 – A Smile Is . . .
“A smile is happiness you’ll find right under your nose.”
Tom Wilson

“Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.”
Anthony J. D’Angelo

“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.”
Phyllis Diller

“Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.”
Quoted in P.S. I Love You, compiled by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Now go and spread joy!

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Acorns and Potato Flowers Acorns dangle from oak trees to kiss summer flowers goodbye. With the weather still summery warm, it’s hard to believe that in nine days, fall officially begins. My backyard reflects the coming change. Summer vegetable plants look forlorn and have slowed down their production. Bird feeders require almost daily refills. Squirrels scamper back and forth on the branches of my Japanese maple tree, looking for food and breaking branches as they go. The seasons of my life seem to pass by faster and faster. I’m reluctant to let another season in my life go by, but fall approaches and it deserves to be fully appreciated.

#1 – Foiling Squirrels
Snack Bag Squirrel Deterrent If you look closely at this picture you’ll notice two shiny decorations. As mentioned above, the squirrels have been wreaking havoc in my Japanese maple tree. One night while watching television and eating Skinny Pop with my husband, I came up with an idea. Many snacks, like potato chips and popcorn, come in Mylar bags. Instead of throwing the empty bags away, I rinsed them out and cut them open along the sides. Using clothes pins, I fastened the bags in strategic places to my tree. Every couple of days, I try to outwit the squirrels and move the bags around. So far, so good – no new piles of broken branches on the ground. The only downside to this is trying to explain the “decorations” to visitors.

#2 – Ten on One Page
Infographics Infographics make complex or large amounts of information more understandable. Lifehacker’s Top 10 Infographics and Cheat Sheets That Make Life Easier provides information ranging from how to remove stains to what to do when you get pulled over!

#3 – Print Ads
Clever Ads Maybe I like these 24 Clever Print Ads because I know people in the advertising business or maybe it’s because I’m intrigued with the idea of communicating messages via images. Using the power of a single image, see if these ads grab your attention.

#4 – Do You Eat Store-Bought Cereal Every Morning?
enhanced-buzz-16162-1375889707-9 Well, if you do, you may want to think twice before you discard empty cereal boxes. As seen in this BuzzFeed article 31 Things You Can Make Out of Cereal Boxes, a little bit of cardboard goes a long way!

#5 – Take Charge
“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”
Jim Rohn

Enjoy these last days of summer!

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Photo by Linnell Chang

As if on a trampoline, squirrels jump through the canopy of my Japanese Maple tree. Every year they bounce and weave their way around the delicate branches in search of winged-seeds also known as samaras. Literally going out on a limb to get to these seeds, the squirrels break branches as they go, leaving behind branches bent at 90-degree angles and piles of broken branches below. Trying to keep an open mind, I remind myself that squirrels also need to eat. But thanks to a new bird feeder and some messy-eating birds, enough bird seed manages to fall to the ground to feed the squirrels and some ground-feeding birds, too. So far, so good – no new broken branches in sight.

#1 – Be Open

Photo by Linnell Chang

How open to life are you? Is your nose so close to the trees that you can’t see the forest? Leo Babuta wrote a post for Zen Habits titled How to Become Open to Life. Even if you feel you already lead an open life, this article is a good reminder of some of the ways we close ourselves down.

#2 – It’s Not What You Think
Imagine pairs of gummi worm chromosomes or ocean waves constructed on a roll of painter’s tape. Artist and photographer Kevin Van Aelst creates fascinating images and brings new meanings to “mundane and relatable artifacts of our daily lives.” His images force your brain to be open, to ignore the expected, and to focus on the grander idea.

#3 – Dishwashers Aren’t Just For Washing Dishes!
Are you open-minded enough to steam fish fillets in your dishwasher? Check out the versatility of this appliance by reading 6 Unconventional Uses For Your Dishwasher.

#4 – A Meal With Imagination
Even with an open mind, you wouldn’t eat the spaghetti made in this video! The fun food comparisons highlight the creativity of this production and make it enjoyable to watch.

#5 – Do Everything
“Do everything. Love as much as you can. It may hurt, but it helps us grow. Give all you have . . . you may be poor but you will be content. Always forgive . . . your heart can not afford not to. Teach what you know and learn what you don’t. Stay open to all.”
Unknown

Have a great weekend!

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Sometimes life calls for us to be resourceful and to improvise with what we’ve got. The squirrels in my yard do all that and more. Last week when the sky unzipped and let out a torrential downpour, I spied something unusual as I walked across my family room towards the French doors. Moving very slowly across my deck was a squirrel’s tail with seemingly no body attached! “How could just the tail walk?” I murmured to myself as I leaned in for a closer look. Peering through the glass panes, I could make out the rest of the squirrel’s body. While nibbling on sunflower seeds, that had blown down from a feeder during the storm, this clever rodent had flipped his tail over the top of his body to shield himself from the deluge! Despite the fact that I’ve had minor struggles with squirrels in my attic and in my yard, I laughed and gave this guy a thumb’s up!

#1 – Make Lists to Lift Your Spirits
Whenever you need a pick-me-up consider making a list. Demanding Joy is a lovely site where I found an article entitled, “50 Lists to Write to Lift Your Spirits.” The author provides 50 thought-provoking topics which you can personalize. For example, make a list of the things you’re good at or list the ways you have grown since your early 20’s. The author says of these lists, “They’re sort of an inventory of your life and all the good things in it.”

#2 – How Well Do You Multitask?
Considering I’m a mom, I thought I’d mastered the art of multitasking. Well, after playing these multitasking games for a while, I’m apparently not as good at it as I thought! A note of warning: if you play these games at work, turn your computer’s volume down, lest the electronic-sounding music give you away!

#3 – Past and Present
By superimposing photos from the past onto scenes of today, this interesting collection of photographs pulls the past into the present.

#4 – Time to Burn Those Calories!
Here’s a calorie burn calculator that does the opposite of what most calorie counters do. Instead of telling how many calories different activities burn, this calculator tells you how long it will take you to burn “X” number of calories at that activity. For example, for me to burn off 2000 calories, I would need to do high impact aerobics for 5 hours, 1 minute and 53 seconds or I could do computer work for 17 hours, 46 minutes and 40 seconds!

#5 – Apologizing
Apologizing does not always mean that you are wrong and the other person is right. It just means that you value your relationship more than your ego.
Anonymous

No matter what the weather, have a wonderful weekend!

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