Thursday, December 31, 2009

Considering 2010

2010 has been on my mind more often than any other new year. I've been getting serious about age and mortality and all that. There are more lifestyle changes on my 2010 agenda, but for the most part, everything will remain the same.

I’ll kick and scream about whatever I want and deliver ranting, awful posts here when they’re due. To offset the terrible stuff, I’ll be happy to tell a nice story when the mood strikes me.

Some things will never change. For instance,


my forever love of birds, nature, and photography.


For a Bluebird, I’ll always slow down and admire them. I can’t not stop and watch a Bluebird and listen to its sweet melody. It’s the little things – life’s small pleasures – that are worth my time. Isn’t it sad to know that little bird is invisible to about nine out of ten people driving to and from the shopping mall? Perhaps they're too busy texting to notice.

If I’m feeling miserable


I’ll seek out my Boston Terriers who make me smile every few minutes.


Uh oh. One lawn ornament is different from the others.

I’ll take good photos but also appreciate ones that aren’t so good, as they were taken for a reason. They’re images of my own exciting moments, silly as they may be.


I saw a white plastic bag I thought might be a Snowy Owl… what an adrenaline rush.


I don’t care how smart they are. I’ll continue to feed my pigeons and gripe and complain about them until the day I die. I’d name a few other species here but I don’t want to push the card too far, even though I could.


Regardless of the position of the sun, I’ll stop and admire a hawk, knowing that I’ll get a fantastic shot of one real soon to add to my collection. I’ve learned to be a bit more patient in 2009 and that’s a notable accomplishment for this Aries personality.

If that hawk shot doesn’t come

when Coop races overhead in pursuit of a meal,

I’ll shiver at the sound of fabric ripping


and sigh deeply at the wonder of it all.

If I can invent ways to have more time for doing things other than work, I’ll practice photographing birds in flight. Perhaps I should learn to use my camera first, after I learn how to invent more time.



I curse the most during times like this.

Northern Mockingbirds will forever be close to my heart.

I will always drop my bags on the driveway and hold my camera, just to get shots like these. Let the snobby neighbors wonder what I’m up to. Mockingbird examined me curiously as if I were a nut. I laughed and talked to this bird for five minutes or more as it perched on our golfer in the front yard. And here it goes:


Me: Well, good morning. I see you over there. It’s only me, the grape lady. Yes, we’ve met.


Bird: You’re a kook with a capital K.


Me: HA! Yes, I’m a kook. I don’t mind if you rest on that kind looking man but will you stay for a few minutes?

Bird: Alrighty then. I have a little surprise for you and this kind looking man, too.

Me: (snickering) Ok, let’s have it.


Bird: Ahhh. Get this from another angle, too, grape lady. You may zoom in a bit.


Me: I like your style, Mocker. You have personality with a capital P.

If you have not had a conversation with a backyard bird, please do. They listen. Live a little in 2010.

Lastly, I will continue to put it right out here whenever I can. I stopped the car for the sole reason to take this snapshot because, you see, I can’t help the irrational way I feel. I’ve been thinking about it for many years but never said this before. There’s a lot to be sad about in this wild world, however,


every year, there are unwanted, leftover, horizontal Christmas trees wasted on deserted, trampled lots, and I feel very sad for them. They provided shelter for birds and stood lovely and vertical for years! They had a life once and we took it away.

Now, I’m stepping backwards,

slowly and quietly,

into another room,

and I’m closing the door.

Ya’ll talk about me all you want cuz I won't hear you. I understand.

Happy New Year. Live well, laugh, love, and stomp your feet whenever you want.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Little Children for Christmas

Rushing, rushing, make a list, take a breath.


Get it done! Shopping, decorating, gift wrapping, cooking, and cleaning. I could do without the shopping but I do enjoy giving and watching every facial expression with each bow that gets untied.



This is the fourth Christmas I have shown pictures of my trees here on this poor, neglected blog. I apologize to you, dear reader, for the reason that my trees have not changed much in four years.


Every year at this time, late on Christmas night, I feel a bit disappointed. The wrapping paper and gift bag frenzy is complete, gifts have been exchanged, and our blood sugar levels are out of control after a dinner too large. I’m admitting, also, that I’m glad it’s over but wish it didn’t end so quickly.

My daughter and son-in-love are our grown up kids and while we love watching their childlike excitement, they are not little anymore. I’d like to invite myself to a home with little children next Christmas. It’s been many years since I have seen joy and surprise in a toddler’s face on Christmas morning.

As I write this, I’m annoyed with Chloe and Bella as they paw at me for attention. I’m rarely able to sit here and write in peace, as they make their presence known on my thigh with overgrown nails, begging for a game of tuggie or ball, or a good head rub. Their eyes speak "Do you want a kiss? Take this ball and I'll kiss you. Snort.”


Sweet Bella had so much action on Christmas Day she collapsed before noon.


Her toys crumble under the pressure and lay scattered in every room for us to trip over. There can never be too many toys.


Chloe, Christmas 1997, age: one year
Chloe is not into toys anymore. She was once the Christmas Boston Terrorist - the girl who celebrated Christmas so hard all her life that she was secured behind gates, away from trees and gifts, during her first years. To say she was enthusiastic is an understatement because she was absolutely hazardous, not only around the holidays, but every day. On Christmases past, she’s pooped out a total of at least a dozen glass ornaments with ease and destroyed several dozen more.

All of that is part of her legacy.

Now, she’s the sleepy infant in the family.


Just hold me on your lap for a while. Is there some cheese in that dish over there?


Is it getting loud in here? Do I hear music and people?

I’m thinking of a nap now. But I smell cheese.


Just hold me on your lap, Daddy, and I would like to taste some cheese. Please put a cube of Monterrey Jack directly on my tongue. Thank you. I would do it myself, if I could.

I wanna rest my heavy head. Is my Mother here?


I’m here, Chloe.

Super-charged Bella passed out in her chair, contentedly passing gas, surrounded by her toys.


I’m in lovin’ my new Ellie Phant. Fanks, Santa. (Deep sigh, snore)

Michael has a new head cover.

Oh, Chloe! Look! If you were green, you’d have a twin!


What is that, Mother? Don’t laugh at me. I know you are laughing at me. Whatever it is, I don't care because I will bite its nose off. Who is Yoda?

So, I guess I do have little kids.

Very funny furry ones ;-)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ice Art


Enough of The Weather Channel. The storm stomped up the east coast with lots of fury, three days before Winter Solstice, and I do believe this winter will provide a story of weather events.

There will be a White Christmas in my home town. Deeper than knee-deep in snow, I know friends and family are whining but I smile anyway. It’s a back-breaking mess, I agree with that! Blizzards rank high in memorable lifetime events along with other natural disasters that aren't so darn pretty. My memories of blizzards could easily be the subject of another blog post. Power will be restored to homes, the mess will be a memory in a few days, then there will be a White Christmas! Here, we’ll have a warm, sunny day and I’ll be swatting flies out of the kitchen and cussin.

We saw snowflakes, sleet, and rain on Friday. Sleet tapped on the windows all evening long, and I’ll admit I love that sound and the mood struck me – that childlike, magical feeling when wishing for a snow day… Ice art formed while we slept.


The rising sun danced on ice. It needs to be admired at once!

It all disappears in about two hours.


A twenty-foot wax crepe myrtle gave in to the weight.

The whole scene reminded me of Ralphie raising his bedroom window on Christmas morning to the magical, winter wonderland scene before his eyes. You know, the morning he almost shot his eye out with his Red Ryder Cowboy Carbine rifle.


In comparison to Ralphie's view, my view was terribly boring.


I crunched around the yard for a while.




Noticed the fence.





The crunch under foot was so audible and shocking the birds fled the scene


except for a sparrow who tolerated me for a moment.

I was wishing for a dozen Cardinals against the ice but they didn’t come.

Crunched to the pond and saw butterfly bush well preserved.



Right now I'm wishing for a special friend to have peace, love, and contentment.

And, I'm wishing everyone a merry little Christmas!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Being Merry


Joy to the pond.


I found a string of miniature lights for the pond and wrapped them around a water hibiscus tree hoping to get that “Christmasy” feeling.

Choosing photos for a blog post is a miserable chore when I feel so uninspired. I try to stay away from blogs I admire because they remind me of what I’m missing. Preferring to ignore blogs completely, I still occasionally peek at them from afar, soak them in, and smile.

Christmas spirit is indescribably good when I feel it naturally. If I don’t feel it, I wonder, do I really need it? No.


I want it. The spirit, then merriment.

I watched National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation three times and saw one half of A Christmas Story, once. A few more of the latter movie should do it. Fa ra ra ra ra.

My camera sits in a corner for most of a month. I had a few brief outings with it.


Being in Maryland for my Dad’s funeral last week was bittersweet. He ordered a beautiful, mid-Atlantic snowfall! I wanted to believe it fell for me... What a gift.


Soon there was calm, and peace.

My camera skills are rusty. I sat here for a long time, late at night, and viewed Mary’s Pictures II – one of several huge folders of photos taken when I was feeling it. Ah, those were the days with the old Kodak hanging around my neck like a pendant.


Then, I felt like photographing a messy, pain in the ass poinsettia – my least favorite tropical flower. Why? I took snapshots of anything and everything,


hunted for Eastern Bluebirds daily, and pished in the back yard.


I miss back yard birds! We don’t hang out together anymore.

It’s been so dark,


and unlike sunny North Carolina.



I found them this morning


because I cared to look.

It was dark and cloudy but I lit up the atmosphere


when I also saw a tiny Ruby-crowned Kinglet in the rain. She eyed me up.

Is the aforementioned spirit knocking on my door?

Why, I feel so tickled!

And then there are those damned, noisy Titmice all over the back yard.


I always mumble around Titmice.
I’ll get you, my pretty…and your Cheeky friend, too.

Ho Ho Ho ;-)