Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Little Chickadee

I'm officially declaring a start to summer - we've had our first bird in the garage. If I forget and leave the garage door up they think it's an open invitation to come on in - then the silly things fly 'round and 'round for hours on end.

Hummingbirds usually make their way in and we've gotten pretty adept at capturing them. They wear out pretty quickly and are willing to land on a broom or we catch them in a dip net. We have all had a chance to hold hummingbirds over the years as a result; and sadly a couple of them have died after being trapped too long.

This little chickadee got in yesterday and was mighty upset. She fussed and carried on the entire time she was in the garage - I finally had to close the big door, turn out all the lights, remove the screen from one of the windows and open it from the top AND put all the cats in the house.

After about four hours she made her way out...

P. S. I'm turning a blind eye to all of those cobwebs on that window, they are in Danny's garage. I expect you to do the same.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Alive and...

We all made it back from Memorial Day weekend in one piece. Shelley was a little worse for the wear - poor old dog just doesn't travel well any more, that long car ride is hard on her old bones. Nelson had himself a fine old time, as usual. We humans got to see family and friends, ate some good food and just hung out - but we were all really glad to get back home.

The end of the school year is here and things are really busy. Besides school stuff, Rea is playing on a tournament soccer team and that's taking quite a bit of time and I haven't had as much opportunity to blog.

On top of being busy, I have a major bloggy distraction too - there is a teeny, tiny bug inside my screen. He's somehow gotten INSIDE my computer and he spends his time happily meandering all over my computer screen; right now he's just over the Google toolbar and headed south. I spent a couple of hours trying to kill him before I realized that he was on the INSIDE of my beloved computer.

Now things are a little complicated - if I MASH him on the screen he will remain as a permanent blight.

If I continue to let him crawl on my screen I may go INSANE.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I flipped across our local access channel today and caught a few minutes of a new cooking show. Some lady I didn’t know, was preparing one of Emeril's recipes in her very own kitchen. Maybe it’s just me, but I was oh so distracted by the industrial size Cascade (or could it have been Miracle Gro), spray cleaners, vinegar and stuff in the background. The big umbrella out the window was a nice touch too. And apparently she's never heard of kosher salt either. Poor Emeril would have been so disappointed in that iodized stuff she dumped in those red beans & rice.

Hey, ThomasP. Purple Winter Creeper = KUDZU. The euonymus. It.Grows.Like.Kudzu. Google Kudzu if you must! Danger Will Robinson!

I don’t have any special tips to offer up about Sea Monkeys. Syd is solely responsible for their well-being – as she is her father’s daughter, suffice it to say, she most likely READ the directions and has followed them TO THE LETTER. The downside of that is we still have the unfortunate little beasts.

I finished Who Stole My Church? last week, it was a quick read, but I am pondering and collecting my thoughts about the “book report” that I owe some folks (there’s a back-story there). I really enjoyed the book - it's just taking me some time to get a post together. I promise it hasn't slipped my mind and I'm not trying to get out of it - it just requires some quiet time.

Do you remember the other day when I posted about "Gopher Barky"? About three days later Danny walked into where I was sitting and said "What in the world is gopher barky???" Poor thing, I never dreamed that he missed out on so much because he didn't get to be a Girl Scout. So I sang: "The Lord said to Noah, there's gonna be a floody, floody..." to him. And then he REMEMBERED the song from his childhood days in VBS and blamed me for the ear worm he had for two days!

I have friends with daughters who are second-graders. I was with them the other afternoon and the two girls had a minor spat. One had her feelings hurt because she was told that she "couldn't count" (literally) and the other was called a "Figure of Mean".

Back last October, I told you about "visiting" Danny's work and their never-ending quest to keep the pond stocked with ducks. Well, by the time spring rolled around, once again, things were looking pretty grim for the duck population and they were down to one lonely male.

A flock of new babies are being raised and here's a snap Dan took from his Blackberry of the newest generation. Let's wish them well!

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Mystery of Sorts

I’ve been puzzling over something since yesterday afternoon.

When I went to pick Rea up from soccer, I was following behind a couple of cars and they straddled something on the road in front of me. I drove over the item as well and after I had passed by it, I glanced back in my rear view mirror and I was very surprised to see that it was an aluminum walking cane.

Now, there are a lot of things you come to expect to see in the middle of the road…dead tires, flat animals, shoes, car parts, just to name a few. But a CANE? My first thought was where in the world was the cane’s owner? I scanned the road ditches and didn’t see anybody. Had some pedestrian just been hit and emergency personnel left the cane lying in the road? I didn’t see any evidence of that. There was a flattened squirrel nearby, but I’m pretty sure that cane wasn’t his size.

Nobody in front of me even braked or noticed the cane – so I kept driving too.

I came right back through the same way about ten minutes later and the cane was gone – had some elderly cane owner been lurking at the roadside waiting for the traffic to stop so they could “rush” out and retrieve their cane? Did some opportunist see it and think “Hey, I’ve been wishing for a decent cane” and stop and get it? Could be that a roaming pack of boys found the cane and it’s now a formidable sword.

Or better yet, did some Good Samaritan see it, and maybe it’s propped up against a light pole like a hubcap and I just missed it…

Saturday, May 16, 2009

It's the thought that counts.

Oscar lovingly brought another "slithery gift" to the house this morning - it was meant for Danny this time. There were a couple of small issues with the "gift".

The "gift" was still quite alive.

Danny didn't see the "gift".

Danny STEPPED on the living "gift".

The "gift" was then stomped to smithereens...and now Danny needs new Fruit of the Looms.

This is the "gift giver" now - lounging on the guest bed - all is well in his world.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

FREE! To any home!

I don't recall for which occasion, but Rea bestowed Sea Monkeys to Syd as a gift. I really don't think there was love in her heart when she purchased said gift - she just needed a token gift for her sisty ugler.

The Sea Monkey package laid around forever and one day when she was bored Syd set up the Sea Monkey habitat. That's been MONTHS and MONTHS ago.

The Sea Monkeys refuse to give up the ghost. They are living their happy little Sea Monkey life, in their little Sea Monkey habitat and are even procreating...

Don't you want a Monkey of your very own?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dog Days

Way back when, I spent a couple of summers transplanting, babying, trimming, obsessing and encouraging purple winter creeper euonymus to grow as a ground cover around the front of our house.

I thought it would be the perfect replacement for all the mulch that Shelley kept tracking in the house. Plus, each spring and fall we were either breaking our backs spreading mulch or paying a small fortune to have it spread.

Hindsight is 20/20. I should have just yanked some kudzu up off the side of the road and slung it down - I think I can hear this stuff growing as I type and it's threatening to come into the house.

Nelson loves it though - he burrows in it and watches the world go by.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

"Who Stole My Church?"

A friend loaned me this book last night and I'm going to start it today. I'm really looking forward to reading it and hope to come away with some insight on the changes that have taken place within my church and how I can better adapt.

I was in church quite a bit as a child, always of the Methodist persuasion, but it wasn't until we moved here in 2000 that I began my true spiritual journey when we started attending and joined our current church.

We found a loving and supportive church family - and I strongly identified with the familiar Methodist rituals of my childhood. The Choral Call to Worship, the Apostle's Creed, The Lord's Prayer, the Psalter, The Gloria Patri, the Doxology and the Benediction are all like meditation to me. I hear them and I feel such a peace - I take deep, cleansing breaths and feel God's presence.

Without those things, I truly feel lost. As silly and shallow as it sounds, those rituals are an important and meaningful part of worship to me. I've always loved the predictable rhythm and pattern of a traditional service, it gives me great comfort.

I know that change for a church is inevitable and this is just a season that will pass. On the grand scale of church change, this shouldn't be huge. Growing up in a small rural community, we were all witness to the strife and turmoil of church change and conflict that spilled WAY beyond the walls proper - and this is nothing compared to that.

Nonetheless - this is my church, my heart, and I'm still trying to find my way.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Maybe we don't need the Gopher Barky after all...

I was beginning to seriously wonder though - all that animal pairing up and stuff had me a little concerned for a while. But this afternoon, the rains ceased, the skies parted - and the mowing, it did commence.

Weatherphites tell me the rain she is a-comin' again. After the last two throat parching summers I just don't have it in me to complain about the rain - just yet.

There's still time though.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It was a brief perching

I had to make a Wal-Marts trip yesterday, seems the cupboards were bare and I have the receipt to prove it ($217 - thankyouverymuch).

The trip wasn't a total bust though...

I'd caught glimpes of this character in various stores and parking lots in town through the years, but yesterday was my first close encounter.

With a rather evil little chuckle he asked if I, ahem, wanted to "hold his Willie".

I chose to ignore his little double entendre because I really, really wanted that damn parakeet to perch on my finger.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Pura Vida

Have you ever had an after dinner conversation where someone throws out an idea, like “Hey, let’s go to the Billy Joel/Elton John Concert in May in Nashville” and before the evening is over the idea has taken on a life of its own and now requires a passport?

That’s my recollection of how things went down at a quiet Valentine’s Day dinner party and the next thing you know our Supper Club is consulting their Blackberries and comparing the pros and cons of resorts in Mexico. Four couples were able to sync up their schedules, find child care and enthusiastically agree on an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, Mexico and were set to fly out of Huntsville at 6:20A.M.Wednesday morning, with most of us planning to spend the night in Huntsville Tuesday evening.

Then, then, we started hearing reports about the H1N1 Flu (I want to be politically correct and not hurt any porcine feelings – you know how I love animals). As the news stories began, we were still planning to go, trying not to be sucked into the media hype. Jo was keeping watch on the CDC web-site; I was getting notifications from the Mexican Embassy. But as the situation deteriorated, we began to have serious concerns – not about getting sick – but about getting home, possibly being quarantined, and for some there were even professional ramifications. So, we waved off Mexico at 11:26 A.M. Tuesday.

And that’s when the fun began…we decided not to cancel our trip. This opportunity wasn’t going to come around again anytime soon and we were ready to seize the day. Some of us were even packed!

We didn’t know where we were going or when we’d be able to leave and we spent the next hour or so waiting to hear from our travel agent …at 12:02P.M. we received this email…

"I have 8 seats to Costa Rica from Atlanta. Departs at 1014am;arrives 1210pm
Return at110pm;departs at 713pm. I waiting on them trying to get the rooms………. "

The email was the culmination of a marathon email thread that had started the evening before - a back and forth of should we go, not go, transfer to the sister resort in the Dominican Republic (we couldn’t get eight seats on a plane). Once we decided to cancel on Mexico, we were at the mercy of the travel agent, waiting for her email and then for all of the replies of “WE’RE IN” for Costa Rica. I must say it was an EXHILIRATILNG RIDE!

We drove to Atlanta that night and flew out the next morning!

By the way, we are talking about taking some days off, without a destination. Retreating to our respective computers twenty-four hours before and then just going where she can find eight seats!

Costa Rica was beautiful, the people were warm and inviting and I can’t wait to go back. I’d love to take my girls and experience it with them.