The Blog

JustASquirrel_180RedCircleLogo (2)Just a Squirrel was created as a way to provide research-based insight and advice about relationships in a friendly, funny, and approachable manner. Tired of pop culture relationship “experts” dishing out unfounded, invalid, and, at times, outlandish advice, I started my blog to provide people with empirically validated and tested advice with a splash of humor and personality.  By taking my research (and the research of others) outside of the ivory tower and into the “real world”, I hope to help people crack their toughest relationship problems, one nut at a time!

Why Just a Squirrel?

Oddly enough, squirrels seem to have a role in my life (aside from me attempting to prevent my dogs from attacking every one they ses!).  The saying, “I’m just a squirrel looking for a nut” was a Martie Mikucki favorite.  Unfortunately, my mom passed away several years ago from cancer, but I know she’d be thrilled that I was incorporating her and her goofiness into my work. In addition, when my husband lived in Colorado for a summer with his buddies, a rogue squirrel became their unofficial “roommate” by continually sneaking in the house and stealing their food. Finally, a friend’s mother, who was a kindergarten teacher, asked her students to write a paper in response to the following prompt: “I wish I was a …” Well, one brilliant 5-year old came up with the following:

I wish I was a squirrel.

I wish I was a squirrel so I could go into someone’s house and take something.

Sometimes, I would chatter in your ear.

If you were mean I would slap you in the face.

I would love to tease your dog.

I would fly on your head.

I think you’re a nut!

I would call Christmas, Nutmas.

This gem is framed and hanging in my dining room. I’m serious, I love it that much!  So, whether I wanted them to or not, squirrels have played a role in my life, and now, hopefully yours too.

The Author

Sylvia L. Mikucki-Enyart (PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.  Sylvia’s research focuses on how families use communication to manage their doubts, goals, and relationships during times of transition, including marriage, divorce, illness, and death.  More specifically, Sylvia’s previous research has examined how in-laws make the transition to extended family and adult children serving as caregivers to ill and dying parents. Sylvia’s research has been published in the Journal of Family Communication, Communication Monographs, and the Western Journal of Communication. She has also won awards from various communication associations, including the National Communication Association and the Central States Communication Association.

Sylvia lives in Stevens Point, Wisconsin with her husband Keith and their dogs Sophie and Rudy.  In her free time, Sylvia enjoys running and swimming, napping (usually in lieu of running or swimming), time with family and friends, and talking about herself in the third person.


All designs courtesy of Beth Sadowski | bsadowski13@gmail.com

Photo| Seth Morris Photography|http://sethmorrisphotography.com

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