Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Heavy Rain and Sirens

That’s what I’ve heard all day, in addition to other stuff. Rain and sirens aren’t what this pathetic post is about. What you’ll read here is all over the place.

I’m hoarse from being on the phone for two days with prospective students who want to register for the EMT (Emergency Medical Technician-Basic) course that started yesterday… It's a semester-long course. Why not register before the classes begin? Huh? I do understand the unemployment rate is out of control, so I can sympathize with many who are inquiring so late. What challenges my interpersonal skills most is dealing with “Mom” who calls for her son or daughter. In just two days, a record-breaking six Moms have called me for their unemployed high school graduates. They don't call once, they call a dozen times instead of reading what I e-mail to them.

Mom: “What does he/she need to do to register?”

Me: “Can I speak to him/her? Most sections are filled.”

Mom: “No, he/she isn’t here right now.”

Watching MTV at a friend’s house, I suppose?

Me: “It’s required of all EMT-Basic students to provide an unofficial college transcript with credit in core courses or they need to take a basic skills test in reading and math with results at a 12th grade level.”

One Mom asked, “What’s on the skills test?”


This is when I want to reach through the phone and slap slap slap. LET GO OF YOUR BABY and stop enabling your child to continue being a child instead of a responsible adult. Have your son/daughter call me or visit the college and talk with a counselor.

But, in reverence to the college’s Customer Service Standards, a mandatory professional development workshop I attended today, I offered kindness while on the phone… Nuff said.


I can relate to an angry Carolina Wren I saw through the front window. Have you heard a Wren defending its nest? The temper!


While I was home during Christmas break, I saw sweet, angry Wrens win a few battles with House Sparrows to claim their nest on my front porch. Wrens win. I've seen two of them ready to retire in their nest before sunset. I wonder if both share a nest?

Sad birds now.


If you can approach a House Finch and nudge it with your finger,


it’s not sleeping.


I had a female House Finch suffering with conjunctivitis last year and now I have a male. My feeders were cleaned and scrubbed a few weeks ago but soon I’ll clean and dry them again with a bit of bleach in the soap. Offer your findings here to the Cornell Institute and report this disease.

Friends, I’m trying to kick the “holiday” mode and get back into the “no nap” habit. It's been early to bed lately, too tired to visit you. All I can do is post a little now. I hope you understand. Thanks for your wonderful comments.


Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

Poor sad bird. Wish I could offer eyedrops.
What is is with moms calling for their kids?
"Slap slap slap!"
I'll bet you're wiped out from going back to work. Snuggle in and sleep well.

Kim said...

OK, I admit it. I am one of those mothers. I can't help it though because my son doesn't do things as quickly as I think he should do it. I am trying to stop but it's difficult. I had to LOL at the book!!!

How sad about the house finch. I was going to clean out my cheap $5.00 nyjer feeders, but I think I am going to buy new ones to refill. It is such a pain to take them apart when it is as cold as it is here. I will be scrubbing the others ones this week though.

I totally hear you on the exhaustion after vacation. I love to nap and miss it already. Sweat dreams!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I had house finches with the disease last year and think I've had a couple this year as well. Thanks for the link to report it.

It's sad, most kids that age don't even listen to their mothers, I can't imagine that many women wasting their time, (and yours), getting the information.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hang in there Mary. Soon you will have all your charges installed in their correct classes and you can go on with life.

Love the wren pictures. I hate to see those poor sick birds.

Dawn Fine said...

Some mothers are a bit too involved in thier adult childrens lives...in my opinion...
You can give a kid direction..but they have to do it themselves...
sorry you are so tired...
I enjoy your posts..
Poor finch....Is it caused by dirty feeders or something else?

Mary said...

Dawn, I don't think it's caused by dirty feeders but I think the disease is spread quickly if feeders aren't cleaned regularly. I stay on top of mine but sadly a house finch or two perish each year...

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Hi Mary...Oh that poor House Finch. I've never seen a sick one like that. So sad.

I raised 3 sons. I bailed the first one out alot (writing notes to stay home if he didn't have his homework done, etc.)... I soon learned that he needed to stand on his own two feet. With the younger two boys, they were on their own from the beginning---and learned that Mom wasn't going to step in!!!! They did much better than the oldest one. I'd love to share this advice with all parents!!!!


jason said...

What drama you have to put up with, Mary. I'd be frustrated as well. Take a nap. You've earned it!

I've read about this disease because I know it has impacted birds here in Texas, although nothing like the impact seen further north and east. Thank you for that link. I'll share that with folks here who might not know they can help.

Wendy said...

Boy, you really get up close bird pics! Poor little guy - he really looks sad.

NCmountainwoman said...

We've had three inches of rain today, but no sirens. Very high winds though. The birds even had a little trouble hanging on to the swaying feeders.

It's always awful to find conjunctivitis in any bird, even a house sparrow. We've been very fortunate and have not seen any.

Get a good night's sleep, Mary. No doubt you will have other Mommie calls tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Dig that Carolina Wren. I used to see quite a few of these in Tennessee. They seemed to be cherry little fellows.

Naturegirl said...

Ahh Mary that poor birdy..I never see that in my visitors but I'm never as close.
Today was tiring for me but reading your post and the comments you left me..helped lift my heavy load!
smooches to you..aNNa xo

KGMom said...

Oh, Mary--I have one more week before classes start. Fortunately for me, I don't hassle the registration process.

Q said...

Dear Mary,
Take of rest and drink lots of water...winter can wear anyone out.
Maybe a few flowers for your desk?
Darling little wrens. So happy they are winning. I give all my song birds prep talks about not letting the House Sparrows take over.
Poor sweet House Finch....
Come by and visit when you can.


Mary, I SO can relate to the irritation and frustration I hear in your post. My brother has been babied his entire life - and he is almost 35! It's awful.

And that poor bird. Bless its heart.

Heidi said...

Oh Mary! Rough day at work it sounds. I cannot believe even as many as 6 called!

Those poor finchies... we've had a few with it this year. One survived quite some time, but it was really nasty looking. Poor thing. My mom keeps the feeders cleaned with bleach, but it probably spreads other ways.

citiding said...

The birds are so very real.
You have a wonderful blog, I really enjoy your photos.

beckie said...

Your wren pictures are beautiful.I am always amazed at the detail you show. Even with the finch. Now I know waht to look for-haven't noticed any thank goodness.

Parents as enablers is a good description. I think there is a lot more of that these days.My parents were wonderful to me as I learned very quickly I had to do for my self in life. Made me very confident and self assured.

Hope you get back into a good routine soon and get rested.

Mary C said...

Mary, I sure hope the rest of your week goes better. Poor finches - my heart goes out to those little birds who get that nasty disease. But I guess that's mother nature's way of controlling an overflow of the species.

Jayne said...

It is funny how parents will continue to take on so much for their kids, even when they need the life lesson.

Beth said...

oh the frustrations of working with the young people. I feel the same way when parents call me for appointments because I am their child's attorney in some juvenile matter. It seems like the teenager calling the lawyer is a step in the right direction of taking responsibility. I always love your bird pictures.

Unknown said...

Once again Mary you got me laughing. I on occasion have also made those kinds of phone calls. Thank goodness the boys are out of the house now.

Poor little house finch. I'm going to have to keep a better watch on my birds.

Cindie Ulreich said...

At the college I work at, we call them "helicopter mothers" because they hover over their children. It's becoming quite common with the end of the baby boomers and the beginning of the gen x parents. Hang in there, Mary.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you. I have no patience for enabling parents who don't teach their kids to take care of their own business. Although I balked then, I'm so grateful that my folks made me get a job bussing tables at 14, fill out and submit my own college apps, register myself, AND pay for college myself. And if things didn't go my way, I had to work it out myself. I worked all through college to pay for both school and living expenses. Made TONS of mistakes, but that's how I learned (and continue to learn).

Parents seem to have forgetten that teaching their kids to be self-sufficient, although brutal at times, is the most valuable thing they can pass along.

Cheryl said...

Poor house finch....I have seen this posted before on other blogs....such a sad condition and so painful for the bird.....
I am a bit of a fanatic about my feeders.....

Hope you feel less tired soon Mary.....perhaps SAD has really kicked in plus work??

Sleep well........

Kathleen said...

I'm also back to school and too tired to post. Sleep first, Mary. Sleep first.

I sympathize and empathize with you about enabling parents - mostly mothers. I amazes me that Helicopter Parents actually think they are helping their children. Hello!?

Your wren makes me smile, but the poor house finch is very sad. If birds somehow survive become dinner for prey, the conjunctivitis will heal. I wish the odds were better.

Kathie Brown said...

Mary, I laughed at the "Bye Bye Pacifier" photo and loved the little wren! The house finch is so sad. I have had a few of those here at my house last year, but none so far this year, for which I am glad. I know how time consuming blogging is and I marvel that you can do it AND work. No worries from me, I'll keep coming back! Hugs!

Larry said...

That's one nasty eye disease.-Good job with the photos though.Why push yourself too hard. Get some rest so you have the energy to count all your January species!

NatureWoman said...

I love the parents that call to try abuse me when one of their work age children get fired for one reason or another. You can imagine my boss says I don't have to put up with that.
Poor birdie, I'm so sad for him. Wah.

Tina said...

Sad bird pics..haven't seen any signs of conjunc.eye prob. here but will make sure I start cleaning out my feeders! Sorry you have to deal with THE MOMS...know where you are coming from tho, taught public school for 35 yrs..mom wasn't any diff. back then either! Get some rest..zzzzzzzz :)

Susan Gets Native said...

One part bleach to twelve parts water.
And the bacterium can be spread by feeders.
Other bird species can get this, too....goldfinches, etc. Why can't the HOSP get it and just die off?
Silver lining, of sorts: SOME birds survive it. And once they fight it off, they have immunity to it.
One thing I did was get rid of the one feeder everyone loved...the feeder with the wide openings that required the birds to stick their heads into the ports to get the seeds. I don't know how much it helped, but I have noticed LESS eye infections.

Beseeching all your readers: Please report any birds you see to the Cornell study. The more they know about it, the better they can think up a solution.

Susan Gets Native said...

And I hate mothers and fathers who enable their children to be slackers.
Shoot...I have been teaching our girls independence since the day they were born!
: )

Annie in Austin said...

The closeness of those photos is astonishing - but oh, that poor finch.

Things do seem different now - I saw an article a while ago about all the college students who call their mothers a few time a day, even in between classes. Seems like another planet instead of just a different generation... when my sons went off to college we sometimes didn't hear from them for weeks on end.

Hang in there Mary and hope you get a great new group of recruits!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Mel said...

Hi Mary,

Poor bird :( will he make it??

I was reading your post and picturing my mom... She's one of those mom's who need to have every possibility covered, and of course has no interest in computers and has no e-mail... Got embarrased a few times due to her doing something I said I WAS going to do (call/ go, etc)... Anyway, I know she means well, she just needs to 'know', lol

But, on a happier note... Tim @ From the Faraway Nearby, hosting IATB #91, announced the 2008 Best Amateur Photographer in the world... CONGRATS on the award!!
Well deserved if you ask me ;)



Annie in Austin said...

Wow, Mary! Best Amateur Photographer in the world - congratulations!


Rose said...

Poor bird; I do hope none of the others catch it.

We could all learn a lesson from these birds--when the fledglings are ready to fly, nudge them out of the nest!

Breaking the nap habit isn't easy:)

TR Ryan said...

I am convinced you are hand-raising these birds - otherwise you should be the start of the new tv show "the bird whisperer". Look, there's that bird whisperer lady two inches from that bird. Now that is some conjunctivitis! Go away HOSP and leave the wren alone.

RuthieJ said...

So are your Carolina wrens nesting already? I love the "yelling" picture of that little wren.

jason said...

Susan Gets Native: I'm disgusted beyond words that you'd wish a devastating disease upon any species, even one we introduced that you now call invasive. And that no one else called you on this offense is even more disheartening.

House sparrows have never caused a single extinction. We have. And we're responsible for the house sparrow being introduced to North America, along with whatever real and perceived damage you think that's caused. Where's your disgust and hate now?