Blame It on the Squirrel… and My 400th Post

WordPress tells me this is a milestone. Something to celebrate.

You see, this is my 400th post.

I considered throwing a party, but I learned last month I have high cholesterol and already indulged in way too many holiday goodies.

I thought about running a contest, but I all I have to give away is used baby stuff I’m hoarding – most likely until I go through menopause and am 100% certain I will not reproduce again (and before you get excited Mother, there’s only about a .04% chance of getting the baby urge, most likely once I’m too old to procreate).

Then I realized the subject of this post means it is an impostor.

You see, this should have been my 399th post, and Treading Water should have been the 400th.

This is a “What the frak?” moment and I couldn’t share it last Friday because…. well, you’ll see….

So if you want to read a post worthy of being the 400th, check out Treading Water if you haven’t already.

If you want to see Murphy’s latest creative attack, read on…

Friday’s “What the frak…?” moment (WTFM) is brought to you by………. 

A Squirrel: That’s right. A squirrel. Not even a flying squirrel, just your regular, fat neighborhood rodent. Only this one wanted to watch Showtime…

One week ago…

The persistent shouts of “Daddy! Daaaaaaddeeeee!” roused me from my sleep. I rolled over to glance at the clock as my husband climbed out of bed.

8:05 AM.

Anything past 7:30 is something to celebrate.

I crawled out of bed and slid into the darkened bathroom, going about my morning routine.

Ninety seconds later a loud boom reverberated over our house.

What the…?

Then it hit me. I flicked the switch on the wall plate next to me.

Nothing. As suspected.

Experience had taught me two things. A) The boom was most likely a blown transformer and B) It probably only effected a handful of houses, so if we didn’t call it in, it might never get fixed.

Before I could even request CG call it in, the doorbell rang.

“Can you answer that, I’m still in my pajamas!” I yelled.

It was our next door neighbor, who had been out mowing the lawn.

“Are you guys okay,” he asked.

“Yeah, we’re fine,” CG said.

They muttered some stuff, none of it dealing with the issue.

“I think it was a blown transformer!” I said from my hiding place upstairs.

“Oh, that makes sense,” our neighbor replied, and vanished to see if his power had been affected (it wasn’t).

I’m guessing he wondered if someone had been shot or if my four year old had been experimenting in explosives – the mower masking where the sound had come from.

Free to wander about in PJs again, I hurried to my office, grabbed the first utility bill I could find and shoved it at my husband. “Call them, please.”

“I’m sure they know we don’t have power.”

“I was babysitting once when a squirrel got into a transformer and we lost power. Assuming “someone would fix it”, I waited. Hours later it still wasn’t fixed and I called my dad who contacted the power company. They hadn’t known because the only other house affected was a neighbor who wasn’t home and I never called it in. So please, do it. I cannot be without power all day!”

The kids began whining, wanting breakfast.

The Tackler got a lesson in “if it doesn’t have batteries, it needs electricity, so nothing works in the house” as he discovered everything he wanted to do was thwarted. Including eating.

You see breakfast every morning is Eggos. Which are frozen and require a toaster.

Suddenly the whole sleeping later than usual thing was not so good. Normally they would have eaten already.

I went into Mommy Survival Mode and prepared to do something never done before: take the kids out for breakfast at McDonald’s. Why? Because Lil Diva is so picky, she won’t eat fresh hot Krispy Kremes, but I was pretty sure she’d eat McDonald’s pancakes. And they had a play area.

And free wi-fi. It wasn’t long after updating my status on facebook CG commented:

“Power is back. And the world had one less squirrel… According to the Austin Energy guys.”

Squirrel causes havoc, inadvertently commits suicide.

What is it about power boxes that are so tempting? Do they give off squirrel pheromones? Or are they trying to steal my power to install their own air conditioning? (Side note: Not our squirrel. I don't think his carcass was suitable for open casket.)

Thankfully it was a perfect, sunny, no major power outage morning – allowing a prompt response time of less than two hours (compared to the rolling blackout hell of Groundhog Day 2011). The very nature of the problem and perfect weather (necessitating a trip to the park following McDonald’s) prevented me from writing this a week ago – making this my 400th post, not 399th.

It turned into a good day. A great day.

For everyone except the squirrel.

* * *

Anyone have an interesting “what the frak” power outage story to share? The funny or frustrating?


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About Kelly K @ Dances with Chaos

Kelly K has learned the five steps to surviving of motherhood: 1) Don't get mad. Grab your camera. 2) Take a photograph. 3) Blog about it. 4) Laugh. 5) Repeat. She shares these tales at Dances with Chaos in order to preserve what tiny amount of sanity remains. You can also find her on her sister blog, Writing with Chaos (www.writingwithchaos.com) sharing memoir and engaging in her true love: fiction writing. It's cheaper than therapy.
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24 Responses to Blame It on the Squirrel… and My 400th Post

  1. Lance says:

    Happy 400. I’m coming up on the same number. I hope to avoid squirrels and McDonald’s

    best wishes from your best lurker

    • You lurk? I had no idea.

      Of course, I do the same 95% of the time to 98% of the blogs I read. Um.. yours included.

      I never did like percentages.

      How about in honor of the 400th post, my lurkers at least say “hi”, just so I know you’re around? That would be the best gift.

      This time marks the first my children have eaten at McDonald’s. Ever. Sure, we’ve visited the play areas when on long distance treks to release my (aptly named) squirrely children from the car seat confines, but we’ve always grabbed food elsewhere.

      We are unlikely to eat there again unless another squirrel gets into the transformer during breakfast, and the utility guy claimed he “did something to decrease the probability of this happening again”. What I want to know is, why hadn’t they done that in the first place??

  2. This is totally worthy of a 400th post – congrats! And that poor squirrel. At least he went out with a bang!

  3. Kim says:

    Wait… did you say you’re HUSBAND got out of bed, before you???? How do you get that to happen??? Are there training classes I can take Hubs to???

    • Shhh! He reads this blog!

      My husband often goes to bed before me, and thus is often the one to get up with the kids in the AM. It gives him a little extra time to bond since he’s gone at work all day and me a little extra sleep. Sometimes.

      Typically he doesn’t get up until Lil Diva summons him. My son is often up before we are and it is usually his most well behaved period of the day.

      It works out well… assuming there aren’t too many 6 AM or earlier wake up calls (Daylight Savings time ending, I’m talking about you!) that make CG a bit… cranky.

  4. Stacey says:

    2011 was the year of power outages for us. Tropical Storm Irene left us without power for five days (not hours, DAYS). Oh, and we have a well which means no power = no water. The Halloween Nor’easter left us without power for only two days, but dropped a tree on the house and a couple dozen flying squirrels moved in. Which I’m still trapping and removing.

    • Oh. My.

      I cannot image no power for five days OR water. I’d move. It was bad enough when I was a teen and didn’t have water for three days because of a flood – but we still had electricity. With a two year old and a 4.5 year old… just not possible.

      How did you survive it?

      Good luck with the flying squirrels… Perhaps you could bait them with a power box?

  5. Annie says:

    Pack rats were chewing through our electrical lines outsidethis fall. Our lights would flicker on and off. It was super creepy until we figured out it was the little rat b*st*rds causing trouble. 🙂

    Congrats on 400! I’m closing in on my first year.

    • What is it about electricity and animals? When MacGyver was a kitten, he loved every cable in the house. He was squirted with water many time to break him of this habit, because I really wanted to avoid the scene out of Christmas Vacation with a fried kitty.

      Only a year for you? I swear, it feels like you’ve been around for longer. I can’t imagine the blog world without you.

  6. Congrats on 400, that’s pretty impressive. I’m closing in on my 1st anniversary of blogging. Lately wordpress keeps congratulating me and then setting new goals that they can then congratulate me on again. I think someone in the office is bored, lol!

    • Hmmm… it does make you wonder if someone is bored, doesn’t it? All the reminders didn’t exist when I started blogging.

      Congrats on your almost first anniversary and your first book! I’m still working on having something of publishable length but I’m hoping… at this rate.. maybe by the year 2020?

      Thank you for being a loyal follower!

  7. Anastasia says:

    I have never had that happen. You must just be a crazy squirrel lady. That’s what I think.

    • Or you have been blessed to never be in a house with the power boxes on the giant poles where squirrels love to party…?

      I’m visualizing a character like the crazy cat lady in the Simpsons… only with squirrels… Or Monty Python revisited by rabid squirrels versus rabbits…

  8. shah wharton says:

    Hi – First time here and you made my giggle. What the frak indeed!~ 🙂 Here from the weekend linkup X

  9. StoriesAndSweetPotatoes says:

    Oh no! It’s like when birds fly into airplanes!

  10. Kristen says:

    My first time here – from Writing on the Edge. Hilarious post. Yes – electricity must have some “mating call” sound that squirrels are attracted to. Happy 400th. Kristen

  11. susielindau says:

    Congrats on your 400th! What the Frak???!!!
    Great post!

  12. It doesn’t feel like I could have written 400 posts.. a what the frak in itself.

    Thanks for the wishes and stopping by!

  13. Jackie says:

    Congratulations on the 400th post!!

    We’ve had a squirrel at one point and a raccoon on another take out the internet at work!

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