Monday, February 26, 2007

Bird Alert

The bird feeder was hanging so low I couldn't see it, so I plowed the porch to get to the feeder. Once there, I had to shake the branches and clean 6" of snow off the feeder roof. There is still lots of snow on the porch. The birds can hop on the crust, but the old seeds are so far down that they can't get to them. So, I put yet another tray of seeds out. First thing this morning the three female Cardinals came for breakfast! Mom and her two daughters are beauties. Their beak is bright orange, as are the feathers under their wings. They hopped from branch to branch, and eventually braved the porch to eat their favorite seeds, which I keep in a pile in front of my window. Soon they were joined by one of the males. Then another came by. Pretty soon it's a Cardinal Convention. They were doing a little bit of vocalization and giving me a thrill. Next thing I know, a BlueJay has dropped by to tell me that the peanut supply is low. I slowly slide the patio door open and gently throw raw, unshelled peanuts onto the snow. I figure the Jay is big enough to dig in the snow for his food. I expect the squirrels any time now. Quite a morning and it's still snowing!

It's a Marshmallow World....

We've had more snow in the past few days than in all the rest of the winter combined. This morning the trees look just the way I like them. The pines are heavy with snow and all the other trees are lined with snow, so that the branches are picked out in exquisite detail. I was out at 3:30AM, driving across town to pick up my truck for work. The surface streets were snow packed, and the freeway hadn't been grated recently and was quite white. It took all of 10 minutes for me to decide that work would need to be cancelled for the day. It was snowing quite hard, and the white knuckle drive would have taken more of a toll than it was worth. So, I came home and watched movies until daylight. Now, I guess we'll just pull our chairs up to the window and spend another day watching the snow fall, the critters eat, and whatever else comes into view. I LOVE this weather!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Snow Day

Actually, it's a Snow Weekend. We are expected to get nearly a foot of snow from Friday PM to Monday AM. We got extra firewood, water, food supplies and CHOCOLATE (all the necessities!) so that we don't have to go out if we don't want to. I plan to read, watch movies, nap, eat, and generally be lazy. I have a large stack of Gardening Catalogs to look at and plans to make for a trip to Utah in April. The birdfeeders are filled, the squirrel has extra nuts in the bowl. Bring on the Winter Wonderland!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I want it NOW!

I finished reading "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtenay. Close to the end, I wanted to slow down as I didn't want the story to be over. And once it was, I was sort of left hanging. It didn't finish the story. Not the whole story. So, I got online to see what else Mr. Courtenay had written, what other formats "The Power of One" comes in (Audible--goody!) and to order the movie to come ASAP. I found that there IS a sequel to the book. It's titled "Tandia" and is also available on Audible. I want it in book form first. I enjoy reading. So, I check out the local library to see if the title is available, and if not, to reserve it. Hummmmm, it's not even on the list. I turn to Amazon, and find that it isn't available for sale anymore, but I can buy a used copy. Next, I check out Barnes & Noble. I want to read it NOW. I have another day off tomorrow and the story is waiting for me. No luck. It isn't for sale anymore, except as a used item. I order it and pay extra to have it shipped quickly.

How spoiled I've become. I want INSTANT results, instant gratification. No waiting for this girl. So of course I get the lesson of patience from the Universe. The bookseller says the book will arrive by March 2. Oh me. Oh my. I'm so onery I could cry.

What are you reading?

Yesterday I began reading "The Power of One" and find I can't put it down. Loren gave it to me when I was complaining that I needed something to read. I wouldn't have selected it myself, but find it well written, educational, and heartfelt. I enjoy reading about other cultures, times and situations. They are things that I would never encounter myself, but reading them, it seems to become my experience, if only while reading. A really good book stays with me and I'll find myself absorbing things that eventually I'll trace back to the reading of the story. It may be an idea, a play of words, an emotion. Sometimes I just like the characters so much that I'll find myself wondering what became of them, or how they are dealing with their situation. I truly believe that shared stories take on a life of their own and are real on some dimension. When I think about them, I contribute to their existance and it's only when no one remembers that they are gone.

Enough of that. Back to my novel!!

Flying Squirrels

The squirrels are an endless source of entertainment. I've identified two more, Fuzzy ears, and White belly. I think there is at least one more, but it's hard to tell without them lined up next to one another. Doubt that is going to happen soon. Watching them this morning, I realized that they often run up the tree, jump to the roof and run to the other side of the building to get down and run to the trees that are their home. I saw a hawk circling and hope that they are cautious. They are getting incredibly fat, and maybe the hawk couldn't lift one of them into the air! I think that two of the squirrels are brothers, and young ones at that. They occassionally will share the porch and the eating dish, and their fighting seems to be more rough housing than actual fights. This morning, the pair of them took on a newcomer and next thing I know, they had run to the edge of the porch and jumped. It looked like flying as they sailed through the air and hit the tree branch running. So graceful and fearless--and entertaining! The birdfeeders and squirrel food have been a good investment.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Feeding Frenzy II

The finches are beginning to come to the feeder. I have common finches which will have red patches, and finches that will become yellow once they come out of their grey and brown winter color. I can tell male and female, mostly by color patterns. They like thistle seed which is in a special feeder with little tiny holes to get the seed from. This is to keep the seed for the finches, which have tiny beaks that can access the seed. It also keeps the thistle, which is very tiny and fine, in the feeder. The sparrows seem to enjoy the thistle, but have a hard time getting their beaks into the little verticle slit. They do try and must have some success as I have refilled that feeder periodically. The sparrows are so plentiful that I don't even try to figure out who is who and which are mates. I'm always surprised with the variety of color and pattern in their feathers, and occassionally look in the bird book to see if I can identify a particular variety. I've not had much success. The other bird that frequents the feeder is the Black Capped Chickadee. They are fun to watch as they eat everything out there and mingle with whomever is at any given feeding spot. They are usually the first ones to arrive in the morning and are seen consistently throughout the day.

Squirrel Fight!

While I was posting the last blog, the squirrels came for breakfast. I'm getting so I can tell 4 of them apart. Their tails are different, or their ears, or the color of the paw. Eventually I'm going to have to name them, if only to keep the story straight. Grey paws was in the feeding dish eating peanuts, when Fine tail stole to the edge of the balcony. Grey wasn't finished with his meal, and promptly chased Fine into the tree. The branches shake as they run up one and down another. Finally I see Grey leap off the roof, onto the tree, run past the birdfeeder and jump to the balcony. He turns to make sure Fine didn't follow, then calmly climbs into the dish and proceeds to eat peanuts. Fine will have to wait until he goes, or there will be another scuffle. They are Quick! Mean! and Territorial! I suppose it IS a jungle out there, but I always hope for harmony. Once I tried putting out two plates of squirrel food. The squirrel in possession of the porch just stood in the middle and defended both plates. So, they only get one source. I found that the squirrels come from the trees at the edge of the property. I suppose it is rather brave of them to get to my porch, as they have to cross 100 yards of open ground.

Feeding Frenzy

When someone says, "You eat like a bird," most people would take that as a compliment. I watch birds eat. That ain't no compliment! It's pure entertainment to fill the feeders, plop into my oversize Luv sac and watch what happens. This morning we were sans squirrels. They must be sleeping in. The cardinals were here in all their glory eating the safflower seeds that I bought especially for them. Because they are too big to eat comfortably at the feeder (they have to stand sideways and flutter their wings to dip their heads into the feed slot) I leave their seed in a little pile at the edge of the balcony. They perch in the pine tree, eye the seeds and looking every direction to make sure they are safe, hop onto the balcony, grab a seed and fly back to the safety of the tree to consume their morsel. They rarely come alone. They come in pairs, I suppose to watch each others back. This morning I had a male and a female eating for nearly 15 minutes! The female seems to be a little more brave, and will sometimes stand on the edge of the balcony to eat her seed. She faces the tree while she eats, so is always turning around to get seed and eat seed. I get a pretty good view of her, and rarely tire of watching.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

No Spell Check Here

Does anyone have the secret to finding the spelling of a word you're trying to look up in the dictionary when YOU DON"T KNOW HOW TO SPELL THE WORD!? (If I did, I wouldn't be looking it up.)

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Perfect Evening

While I'm typing away on my blog, my mate brings me dinner. He sits a placemat and my steaming, fragrant meal right beside me. Wow, this is great! I could get used to this. Unfortunately I can't hold onto the reality of it long enough for it to become a habit. Habitually I fix the dinner. And habits are harder to break than acquire. But tonight, I'm REALLY enjoying this. Oh look, Pistacio Almond Ice Cream has appeared at my elbow. I really must go........ummmmmmmmm!

What's for Dinner?

I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone in my dread of the question, "What's for Dinner?" If I know, then the question doesn't faze me. But if I have NO IDEA, and there are many, many days that I haven't a clue--then I want to choke the person who is asking. Because, if I turn the question around on them, they NEVER, ok, rarely, have a solution or even suggestion.

I have a friend who fixes meatloaf if someone replies to the question, "What should I fix for dinner?" with "I don't know." She fixes meatloaf because no one in the family, except her, likes meatloaf. When she told me this I laughed. Such a wonderful revenge.

I recently read an article that was guiding me through a wanted change in my dietary habits. The person writing the article suggested that I find 10 meals that I enjoy and repeat them until they become familiar. Then, before it gets boring, add a new dish every few days. It's good advice. Obvious, yet I hadn't figured it out and it could work so well.

I'm looking for easy to fix recipes for Vegetarian Fare, using new spices and flavors. I want Fast. I want Healthy and I want Flavorful.

Please share!


I've finally owned one of my most persevering personality traits. I'm a Dawdler. (If I'm truthful, I'm beyond Amateur Stature!) It's gone from being something I've denied--repeatedly and with great voice--to an acknowledged and constant companion.

As I age, it's the one thing that I must truly love to do, as I seem to go out of my way to create situations where my skill is appreciated. Or not. Until now, I've not been able to actually admit that the label pertains to me. And yet, as I recognize it and give it space to "be" I find that it might be a source of fun and laughter that I'd not yet thought of.

Yes, that's it. I'll try to have fun with it.
If you can't fight it, join it!

Persiflag: Good lighthearted talk, banter.
I like new words. Especially if they tickle the tongue when being spoken.

Friday, February 9, 2007

In for a penny?

This evening I saw a dime on the floor under the table of the restaurant we were eating at. I went to some effort to pry it away from the edge so I could pick it up. "WOW, 10 minutes of good luck coming to me" I think to myself. Recently I've realized that I no longer stop to pick up pennies, and don't especially like nickles. Plus, I rarely see a nickle on the ground. But dimes I love. I see a lot of dimes and always pick them up. Then I got to wondering if I'm falling into the trap of always looking down because how else am I going to see dimes (or dollars!). When we got home, I got on the internet to check my mail, and there was a RoadRunner survey. "If you saw a penny on the ground, would you pick it up?" I vote "NO" and submit my survey. The results come up instantly. Of the 64,835 people that responded 70% would pick it up! I'm in the 30% that say "No way!" So, would you? Why? or Why not?

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Novels for Grownups

While I've been reading "Tree Ring Circus", Loren has been consuming the work of author Orson Scott Card. He listened to "Enders Game" on his ipod. The 10 hour audible book was concluded late Saturday night. Sunday morning, Loren was at Barnes and Noble to get the first of the sequels, "Speaker for the Dead," which he read on Sunday. Monday he got the next sequel, "Xenocide," at the library and I don't know when he'll be through with this series (four more books) and on to other books by Mr. Card. He wants me to read it, and I will as soon as I finish the audible book I'm currently listening to. We have nearly 10G in audiobooks, which is 199 books. If we listened for 24 hours a day, we'd have 53.6 days worth of listening! Loren loves the audiobooks and has listened to most of them. I find that I drift off to sleep and have a hard time finding where I nodded off. Plus, I can't listen and do anything else. Guess I'm not a multi-tasker, tho I should have realized this since I've never been able to walk and chew gum at the same time! So, what have you read that you can recommend?

Read any good books lately?

While waiting in line at the library, I picked up one of the children's books on display and began reading. I hadn't finished by the time my turn came, so I checked it out and brought it home. What a delightful book! "Tree Ring Circus" by Adam Rex is his first book. The first time, I just read the story. The rhythm is quite infectious and I read it aloud, twice. The pictures are quite detailed and the story simple, so reading out loud means that you are turning the pages too fast to appreciate the artwork. So, I studied the pictures. It makes me smile, just remembering the experience. I'd forgotten how much fun a children's book can be. But now that I'm Nana (Grandma is the OTHER grandmother) I'm starting to collect books to read to Ellie. So, send me your favorites. I'll check them out.


For the past week we have had really C-C-COLD weather! Our poor furnace is working overtime and still not keeping the apartment warm. To be truly comfortable, I wear multiple layers and Ug boots. If I'm home during the day, it's lovely to lay in the sunshine that streams in the windows from 11am -3pm. But I'm usually at work and miss out on this luxury. When outside, people are bundled up with scarves covering their faces. You can't really tell who anyone is unless you know the color of their coat and scarf. The wind produces temperatures from 10-30 BELOW 0, and that is in the daytime! I don't mind this, as long as I can stay indoors. Last weekend I didn't set foot outside my apartment door. We read, slept, played on the computer, baked cookies, lounged in the sunshine and were generally lazy. My idea of perfection! We had friends who went ice fishing, and snowmobiling. They said they enjoyed it, and I believe them. I also assured them that I will never participate! Give me a good book and a comfortable chair every time.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Which one are you?

Knowing that not much is truly Black and White, but varying shades of grey, I've been thinking about where I fall on the spectrum of holding a grudge. Watching an interaction between two people I know, I witnessed a dynamic that made me uncomfortable. As I was driving home I realized what had bothered me. One of the people is a grudge holder, the other a let-bygones-be-bygones type. I quickly identified with the easy going person, but could remember an ability to carry a grudge. What a relief to know that is pretty much in my past. Sure, I get angry. Sometimes I'm so riled up I wonder that I don't spontaneously combust! But it's over quickly and once past, forgotten. I might remember to approach the person or incident differently the next time, maybe not, but I don't carry the cargo of resentment into the next encounter. At least I try not to. I'm not much for paybacks or getting even. Well, I try to keep even with the good stuff. If you did me a favor, I remember that and try to repay it with interest. But the negative stuff--I like to let it go. It doesn't feel good for me to hold onto. Some people thrive on it. How about YOU? Where do you fall on the spectrum?

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