Squirrel climbing a tree in Black Mt., NC
This squirrel is up to something suspicious

When Natty was a cheerful little boy, he didn’t walk anywhere. He hopped, leapt, and spun in circles like a squirrel running across the road, so we nicknamed him The Squirrel. I was thinking about that this morning as I drank my coffee gazing out the big picture window into the woods. Our yard must be a squirrel sanctuary because there are so many of them living there. This morning, though, they scurried about as if they were on drugs. It was either a big group of squirrels behaving wildly or one pair of hopped up squirrels, but honestly, it couldn’t have been just one pair I watched as they sped up and down the trees chasing each other, because every room I went into on every side of the house, I saw squirrels zooming around faster than I have ever seen them. Ron tapped on the living room window at the one squirrel who appeared to pause and look through the window at him. I could swear it flipped him off, looking directly at him, as he turned and scampered up a tree. (The squirrel. Not Ron.)

Lamp available at Chifferobe, Black Mt. Vintage, made of camel hide
This vintage lamp is made entirely out of camel hide. Comes from Afghanistan

Maybe it’s squirrel mating season, Maybe they found some drugs somewhere and swallowed them. Maybe they were just having fun. But because I am an anxious person, I immediately go to Worst Case Scenario. (If I can’t reach my kids on the phone, for example, I am convinced that they have been kidnapped and are being held in a dank basement and need to be rescued.) I came to the conclusion that these intelligent creatures have figured out that these are the end times and they are trying to have maximum fun in the short time we have left on earth. 

Bowl by Cary Lane from Washington, fox eating from a bowl, surrounded by crystals
I love the images on Cary Lane’s bowls and Lucky Cups.

I wracked my mind trying to find other clues that would prove whether these are the end times or not. I could bring up politics right now and the insane things that are going on, but that would be redundant. If you are a person who hasn’t wondered as I have what in the world is going on, you are probably already dead, so you won’t be affected by the end times. On my drive to Chifferobe this morning, I observed quite a few rhododendrons blooming more beautifully and abundantly than ever before. This made me wonder if it was because we had a wet winter/spring or whether it was because they sense this is the last time they will ever bloom, so like the finale at every July 4th fireworks show, they are letting it all hang out. They are bringing out the big guns. 

Wood Carving of a fox chasing its prey. Ceramic by Cary Lane, the Bowl Maker
This wood carving by a local craftsman shows a fox pursuing its prey

Another clue, I have given up having any trace of a filter before I speak. I say whatever is on my mind, and let the chips fall as they may. It’s as if a switch has been shut off in my brain and it no longer matters what people think of me because there will be no consequences as time is short. A customer complemented me today on the eclectic mix of stuff I have in Chifferobe, and I told her that I just buy what I like and that if customers don’t like it, then, “Fuck them.”

real dried leaves, handsewn into a long garland, home decor, Chifferobe Home and Garden, $38
These 11-foot garlands are carefully sewn out of dried leaves. We have Gingko, Dogwood, Japanese Maple. They are delicate and beautiful. $38

She looked mildly offended, but so be it. I hope she doesn’t report me to the people at the Chamber of Commerce. I’m probably projecting the wrong image of Black Mountain. They are wanting the town’s image to be squeaky clean and holy. The town is debating the issue of setting up a Social District where folks can carry drinks on the street at specified times, which is now illegal. I say we might as well, as we don’t have much time left after all.

Three paintings on board of birds and a pear. Available at
 Chifferobe in Black Mt
These small paintings on board come with a small easels to display them