Just another WordPress.com site

We learn things from many people: parents, teachers, Sunday School instructors.  I also learned much from fictional characters.  Captain Benjamin “Hawkeye” Pierce taught me tolerance of others and medical ethics.  Trixie Belden taught me how to treat a snake bite (that has changed completely, but it was written in the 1950’s!).  Spock taught me that alien life wasn’t all that different from human life and that logic is a great guiding force if used with humaneness.

I knew I was getting older, as my brother-in-law so kindly pointed out, my hair is definitely greyer than it once was.  My children are growing by leaps and bounds.  My parents are moving more carefully than they once did.  Yet somehow I never made the connection that my heroes would also be aging.

Spock and the crew of the “Enterprise” saved humanity from our own short-sightedness in “Voyage Home” when they went back in time and found two humpback whales.  For many years, I went to sleep listening to Leonard Nimoy recite “Whales Weep Not” with Paul Winter’s musical accompaniment.

Spock taught me my first true lessons in logic.  He had an amazing vocabulary.  Spock as Friend

He fought for so much.

How could he pass?

Though I suppose that now the burden lies with us.

The continuing mission to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and civilizations … to boldly go where no one has gone before …

In the past years I was rather sporadic in the feeding of birds.  If I had the time, money or memory — I would throw a handful of seed outside.  This year I have been much more consistent and I have been rewarded.  Not with a large variety of birds, but sheer numbers are amazing.

I even splurged and bought a cheap $5 plastic feeder which one determined squirrel could decimate in less than five minutes if I ever decided not to fill the other feeders which it prefers.  The $5 feeder is next to the east side of the house in a lilac bush.  The little chickadees and finches love that and on any typical morning I have about two dozen birds gathered underneath and around the feeder as if they take numbers on which four can be on the feeder at the same time.Bird feet on porch

As I was preparing for work this morning I looked out the back window to this PVC pipe feeder that has a screen on it – think flat space for ground feeders when the ground is not available.  This feeder will not win any points from Martha Stewart, but there were about three dozen birds on and around this feeder this morning.  I shouted out to the kids – look out the back window.  They were shocked and I truly wondered if the flurry that was scheduled for today might really be a blizzard in disguise!

The local squirrel has been fixated with the squirrel proof feeder and really loves to investigate how best to prove it wrong.  One more than one occasion the lid has been found on the ground and the top level of seed gone.  It has been a long cold, snow filled winter and the birds love having a steady food source.  The energy and gratitude (I know – personification) of the birds make it worth while.

On one particularly cold and snowy morning, I went outside to take trash out and I found these little tracks in the snow.  I guess we weren’t fast enough in getting food out in the morning and the little one came to find out what was wrong.

I write grants and reports for work.

I write a journal entry every morning while I drink a cup of tea.

I try to write a few blog posts about pertinent things … snow, snow and another snow storm.

Yet somehow, working on that Great American Novel has eluded me.

I tried to participate in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) last November, but not one newish idea came through to me.  I ultimately changed ideas from my first plan that lasted about 1500 words to a series of fan fiction vignettes that went to about 16500 and then the month ended and I was not unhappy about that!

I have about 5 or 6 (if not more) stories started that have reached as far as I can take it and now I am just not that thrilled to continue.  Somehow my intrigue has failed and my brain turned elsewhere.  I know if I were a “real” writer I would finish that story (or five or six of them) just for the experience of finishing and then rewrite the heck out of them.  Yet my love of that character died and if I no longer love that character … I need to let it die a dignified death.  But maybe I should finish the story so that I can kill them off … hmm, that is an idea.cat & mug Feb 2015

I seem to be in a slump.  The kids changing school schedule.  My work commitments.  My general fatigue.  My household responsibilities.  All seem to work against the general mindset … I know the stories.  Single moms on welfare write world best sellers.  Busy moms with many children squeek sentences in amongst diapers and cooking.  What is my excuse?  I must not WANT to write enough.

There are those that say if you want to write — then you can read nothing.  For a while you have to be with just your thoughts.  Well, I am a librarian.  I cannot, not read.  Reading is a part of everything I do.  Reader’s Advisory.  Collection Development.  I am currently a part of an award nominating committee.

Then there is the fact that I have ideas for some wonderful things … yet I am part of a mystery writer’s group and my current project is youth historical fiction … maybe I can throw a mystery in, after I do my research!

Life is full of so much.  Many things are quite wonderful and I realize that the dream is that after my kids go to college I may actually have time for such frivolity as writing.  So I continue to dream and maybe one day a character will come to me while I am on a train.

We can live in hope!

Winter Water Torture

The Dean at my daughter’s school and I had a conversation last week about the never-ending storm of 2015.

She said that in January when the first of the really cold weather struck she had received a flurry of phone calls about a possible delayed opening and parents concerned about student welfare.  She said the last time it was below zero at dawn, not one phone call occurred.  We have all gotten so used to it we are now able to harness the dogs in our sleep and mush our way to the grocery store.

The other thing the Dean and I spoke about was the dread of all home owners in winter.  Frozen pipes and what we do to help avoid them.  I let the tub run a trickle of water.  Amazingly so does she.  We were comparing the sound of the running and the subsequent running of the water pump and how we never really sleep soundly for we are always listening to the trickle and the running pump.

Happy kitty cuddling with friends ...

Happy kitty cuddling with friends …

Now the next house I buy will be a Geodesic Dome and the kitchen and bathrooms will only have interior walls.  No exterior walls with plumbing in my next house.  I understand, in theory, that in 1829 when my house was built, they weren’t thinking about pipes and water in the house.  However, when they added bathrooms somewhere between then and now didn’t they realize that wind affects temperature and placing pipes with water in them on a north-west facing exterior wall is night the brightest thing on the face of the planet?

But there is nothing quite like lying in bed at night and hearing the pump running and the water trickling in the tub.  I can understand now how it can be torturous for prisoners.  But last night when I went to bed it was 32 degrees … so, I was daring and turned off the water.  I slept soundly for six hours … the longest stretch in a very long time.  Sure the fire was just hot ashes when I woke up this morning … but I slept!

Unfortunately tonight it is to return to below zero temperatures so the water pump will be running again … but that is okay.  The cats are happier when I wake up in the night and can add wood to the fire and it is our joy to keep the cats happy!

So today I will post cuteness.  No snow, no storm forecasts, no shovel or roof rake stories.

working hard ... I can bring wood in too!

working hard … I can bring wood in too!

I will talk about a cute dog and an adorable cat.

I love having cute dog stories to share.

They are so loving and forgiving and cuddly.

They live to serve and if treated well, will be loyal to the very end.

In so many ways, they are a perfect foil to the hectic lifestyle and the rush rush rush of daily lives.  They sort of trap you in the present and that my friends is their glory.

kitty sleeping, as usual

kitty sleeping, as usual

Cats are amazing.  They really don’t give a darn about too much.  Make sure they have a warm bed.  Make sure they are fed and the cat boxes are clean and when they feel like it, they will sit on your lap and trap you to your chair just when you have almost finished the last chapter of your book or the very last scene of your movie.  Their timing is absolutely fantastic.  Even if you called out to the universe, “hey I just started the last chapter!” … the cat wouldn’t have any better timing.  They know.  They are omnipotent.  They are especially tuned to the fullness of your bladder.  So if you are nearing the end of your book and the end of your limits on holding it.  They will be on your lap with the assurance of a long winter nap.  Aren’t they super?

feeding birds in winter …

My cats love that we feed the birds.  I received a bird feeder from Santa … or maybe from my parents, I forget the details, and I filled it with seed (also from Santa … or maybe my parents) and put it out on a shepherds hook near the living room window.  Since the feeder is clear, you can see the striations as you refill it with different bird feeds, some have more millet and some more sunflower seeds.  It is really amazing.

you can barely see the feeder...

you can barely see the feeder…

Now when I moved to my home, my Dad made a PVC pipe feeder in front of my pantry window.  This may seem like poor placement because how often does anyone hang out in the pantry (though I have been doing a lot of that this winter in search of food and also putting away food after a storm trip to the grocery store) BUT the cats have a food dish in the pantry since it has a half door with a cat door cut in to keep out the visiting dogs.  So when we put winter plastic on the windows … we know that the pantry window plastic will be the first to go.

On the PVC pipe feeder is a suet cake holder and screens to hold lots of feed for the ground feeding birds that can’t find the ground under 2 feet of snow.  It may not be the most attractive feeder on the face of the planet, Martha Stewart will not be featuring this on her magazine cover; however, the birds like it and that is all that matters.

The cats have also discovered the feeder in the living room window and sometimes when I am feeling kind I will move the sofa so that the cats can perch on the arm of the sofa and watch the birds.  Sunday morning all the bird feeder holes were filled with birds and there was flying room only as birds were not so patiently taking turns.  All this flapping near the windows was too distracting for the cats and this was better than any TV.

I know that PTSD is a very serious ailment derived from life experiences that people should not have to suffer through – however as I listen to the weather forecast and see the way people are reacting I wonder, can PTSD come from prolonged exposure?Swing in the Snow

Glazed eyes and sentiments of “really? more? are you kidding?” — people don’t seem to run to the store to buy bread, milk, eggs and toilet paper anymore.  They just go get the storm supplies whenever they are able to shovel the car out of the snow bank and make it in to town.

This is the winter of extreme shopping.  Since we get snow every Sunday night into Monday … and I used to shop every Monday morning after my daughter got on the bus.  My grocery shopping has been thrown into a strange loop of catch as catch can.  This is dangerous.  This causes shopping over abundance.  Well, I need to get milk for my son’s morning cereal.  I am not sure if I can get back in time … we normally need about 1.5 a week.  Hmmm, since I do not know when I will get back, I will buy THREE containers.  Now my son uses rice milk in his cereal so it is not an issue of expiring before using it, but rather of space in the fridge.

Also, what gets finished first?  Snack foods.  So I have lots of fruit and greens and somehow the chips get consumed first.  So I leave notes on the Proclamation Board … eat fruit, eat left-overs … and sometimes they get eaten … but always the bananas and peanut butter get consumed.  Teenagers aren’t they wonderful?

Another storm? School cancelled again?  Parking bans in place?  Ho hum … another week in paradise!

Tag Cloud

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 234 other followers