Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Part two of the recurring theme

In order to help you pace yourself, I should have mentioned that this is/was a three part series. (Apparently I had more free time back in 2010.)

For the birds...Part Two: Their Unlikely Ally
Well, the birds proved to be as insane over this situation as I was becoming. They did stay away from the recyclable plastic forest I was trying to create. However, they started doing a balance beam routine on the pieces of wood that once held them at bay. Here we see the swallow doing an inspection before flinging any more mud in that general direction...
And here you can see less than a full day's work...
I am sure you appreciate the fact that I am sparing you the visual of their bathroom renovations...ugh! I can see these charmers right from the chair I sit in when I am on the computer, and get the full picture every time I open the front door. I neglected to mention that they sleep up on that ledge (nest or not) at night...and do not fly away when we come and go. It's a little creepy to me because I can't see them when I am coming in until I am already on the porch...with them.

Now every now and then, I like to pretend that I am in charge of the inside of the house, and Mister Weedwacker's domain is anything outside. I might as well go all in and pretend I am a pretty princess in a posh castle with a moat to keep me safe, and legions of people catering to my every whim...not because they are in my employ...just because they love me so, and wish for my happiness. Well, these birds are outside (thank goodness), so I wanted them to not be my problem to solve. Mister did what he thought was his part, and took the nests down a few, okay, but that didn't solve the problem. His strategy each year seems to be, try one thing then stop (regardless of what kind of, if any, results are achieved).

I was starting to think he may LIKE the birds. We used to be avid cardinal, nut-hatch and chickadee fans and feeders at our previous home. I was wondering if his fondness for those days of feathered friends was making him latch onto the wrong crowd. How else to explain why he wasn't doing more? A friend tried to explain to me that it just wasn't his priority, like it was mine. OK, but I could not understand how ceasing to have a bird poop cluttered front porch was a "back burner" type of an item. Why weren't we forming our own team, drawing up blueprints, making a PLAN! I was chatting with neighbors about the birds and they were full of suggestions, offering to cut wood. I knew these folks were under no obligation whatsoever to invest any time, energy or manual labor in assisting me. And once again, this was the Weedwacker's domain, ergo his obligation.

This is where my fuzzy logic often comes into play. I obviously am the only one living here who operates under the impression that we all have job descriptions. I'm not sure who I believe conducts our performance reviews, but I'll be happy to tell you how everyone is doing! Fuzzy logic might be better than when logic completely escapes me and I decide that even if it is not Weedwacker's priority to deal with the poopsters, he should be doing it because of how much it upsets me (mmm-hmmm, back to my castle fantasy perhaps). For better, for worse, richer, or poor, her priorities are your priorities...oops, did I dream that?

Finally I decided that I would just feel better if I just dealt with the situation...made it go away. Maybe I'd even feel a sense of accomplishment. I didn't want to leave the house because the kids were out playing, so I had to do the MacGyver-what's in the garage that I could use? The birds appeared to be off on some mission, so the timing was great. First I gathered up a few more water bottles (with no sense of how wide our porch is). Then I hauled a five inch by eight foot plank up the ladder, and placed it on the ledge. I took it down when I realized our children's safety was important to me. Then I grabbed a cross-country ski (the look on my daughter's face told me I was losing my mind). I found a couple of 2x4s and some cardboard in the garage, and realized THIS was going to be the answer (at least for that day). I wedged the pieces up on the ledge at an angle, as the key is to take away their flat surfaces. Now all the while, I was on the phone with my dear friend (obviously a dear friend, because who else would stay on the line, calmly telling me to flap the cardboard, while I was screaming that the birds came back and were flying at me?). She stayed on the line with me until I had all of the available cardboard in place. (This was in exchange for the times I have stayed on the line with her to keep her company when she has to put away laundry or empty the dishwasher.)

One piece of the cardboard fell, and I did NOT have the energy to get the ladder back out, so I asked Mister Bird-friend to put it back up, and mentioned that it might need a tack. There were several of other pieces in place, so I thought it would've been insulting to give any further directions as to how to replace it. My friend tells me all the time that we have to put the dots pretty close together for our husbands (do not be offended ALL men...I think she literally means our two husbands, for the most part). Well, for once I felt I really put the dots close together, so I didn't give the porch another glance that evening...phew!

**Marianne, I laughed when I saw your comment on yesterday's post because you were the only commenter back in 2010. Your comment on this post's original airing stood alone as well!  ;)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

More Recurring Than Random

I really was going to write a fresh new post today. The topic? Barn swallows! (Cue collective groan.) I started to think about how some of you readers had better things to do back in 2010 when I started occupying this space, and might have missed out on the debut of my adventures with barn swallows. Instead of being all wordy, wordy, and then linking to something with more words that may take up more time than you have to spend right now on such drivel fascinating nature exploits, I am going to repost the original trilogy! 

For the Birds...Part One: Don't Mess With Crazy

This current event topic of my life has evolved at such a rapid pace, that I did not keep up with it here in blog-land. I think it is a tale worth telling...the story arc, the battle between good and evil, inner conflict, and of course...a hero. I don't anticipate anything else exciting happening in the next few days, so this will be a three part tale...

Have you ever met a barn swallow? They don't give a bad first impression, but don't let that fool you. About five years ago, we allowed a charming couple to build their fabulous mud nest on our porch...fascinating to watch...all mud (I'll continue to look for a photo, from way back when we were still enchanted enough to take photos for pleasure). After the babes flew we took the nest down-sayonara. That's the way the bird thing worked as far as we knew-at least that's what the robins had told us. Imagine our surprise when they rebuilt, and we took down, and they rebuilt, we took down, etc.

Subsequent seasons brought ruder relatives of theirs who must've been told about our palatial porch, complete with ledge for growing families. These birds are what I will call swoopers, in that they use a diving technique to show their feelings of bitterness towards anyone who intrudes on them. By intruding I mean things like, opening MY door to MY house, walking to my front door. They move up to the gutter along the roof of the porch and squawk about us until we take cover.

Another key feature of these birds is their damn near toxic poop. I had a scrub brush that was merely nicking the top layer off the concrete. I also used a power washer aimed right at the stuff from about two feet away...still a spot. So they live along the top inside ledge of the porch, and use the edge of the porch floor as their commode...the whole length of the porch.

This season, I decided to start early, and sprung into action at the first sight of the enemies. I looked up at the ledge where ghosts of failed efforts past stood...the wire that was too low and they built on top of it...the pieces of wood that did not quite span the entire length of the porch, leaving two corners with as good as a "for sale" sign on them...the memory of one of those inflatable creepy eye scare the birds away things (THAT was attractive...and useless!) It was time to get creative. I could see my husband in the window as I hauled out the ladder and climbed up with my inflatable ball and some empty water bottles, oh and masking tape (I know duct tape is really the answer, but I didn't have any!). A temporary fix as I needed to buy a little time (it's amazing how fast two birds can use their beaks to carry mud to build a foundation).

As to not actually be how I spent my weekend, I chose last Friday afternoon to borrow a power washer and get to work. I got the nest remnants down from the one corner, and got as much of their industrial strength poop off the porch. THEN, I showed these bird I meant business by crafting one corner out of water bottles. The other corner (well I forgot their was another corner, so that didn't get cleaned out as well) got my brink of insanity treatment as featured below...

I mean, come on, who's going to mess with a Mr. Crab sand sifter with two half-pint water bottles working back-up (the masking tape adds a certain pizazz as well). More importantly, who is going to mess with the person who thought this was a good idea. My hope was to let these barn swallows know that they were dealing with a touch of crazy lady. When I told my army neighbor my logic, he confirmed that the army knows that you just leave crazy alone--it's unpredictable. I then took bets with the children as to whether or not this plan would work. They were pessimistic, as you probably are, knowing there are two more parts coming to this story!

Friday, May 19, 2017


My birthday is Sunday, so I imagine it will look something like this...
...minus the chocolate, of course! I am only slightly concerned that nobody has asked me what kind of cupcakes I do want, or who should be invited to the party. I hope you all got invites!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

A short hailstorm of random

Wondering about that title? Mother Nature had her own ideas about how to celebrate this past Sunday. The way she was throwing ice pellets so angrily, maybe she missed out on a brunch invite? Or maybe she was just trying to lightly toss confetti?
At first glance, I thought this was super cute...
 ...then, as I was trying to decide which moss shoes to buy for my mom, I decided it was just plain creepy. Yes, those flowers are far prettier than whatever spills over the top of my jeans, but the lack of torso is slightly disturbing. Maybe some other ornamental lawn decor is needed.
I find all gazing balls to be a little odd, so this wasn't a total shock to me, but I have to admit that I didn't see anything in particular that seemed out of the ordinary. Do you think the $34.99 ones of "theirs" are "normal" at over double the price?

I still would like to come up with a piece of random pizzazz for Tuesdays so that Foz will stop rubbing my nose in his super fun Friday foto. I would also like to write blog posts for the topics on the pink sticky note that floats around this place. I would also like to stop dreading dinner preparation and list the growing pile of ebay stuff for auction. Stay tuned to see how things shuffle out in my procrastination hierarchy. 

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day!

Yesterday while I was making dinner, my husband and daughter were on the couch, clearly in training for today when they would feel compelled to snap into action and cater to my every whim. Yes, they were going to make me earn today. Foz caught onto the plan and came into the kitchen to heckle me and make some demands of his own. It's like his grumblings were at some pitch that only I could hear.

I made plans to have breakfast with my mom, before this queen's court was even awake to start spoiling me. Breakfast in bed doesn't necessarily have to be my own bed, right? (Plus, they don't think to spike the juice at my house...or at least the one who might isn't home from college yet.)
This lady. Always by my side, always with a shoulder, always has my back. I really messed up by playing my best card first back in 2013. Granted, last year was pretty glamorous as well. Let's see what photo we have for this year.
 Happy Mother's Day, Mom!
Me, with my blue Snoopy watch, the perfect accent piece. You, with your blue eye shadow to remind us this was the seventies, as your outfit isn't giving anything away for some reason. Then again, you are always in style! I know I was recently telling you how my outfits always fall apart when it comes to shoes. I guess I need to think outside the realm of what seems logical and go back to my days of dark socks and brown shoes with things like those pale pink pants. My kids make me practically beg for photos sometimes, but I seem to have always been a happy and willing participant to be photographed by your side! Much love!

Friday, May 12, 2017


No promposal for me. No hair and makeup. No tuxedo (and you all know how I LOVE to dress up). Such a shame for this glamour pose to go to waste.

Friday, May 5, 2017

May I return? (or MAY...I return!)

Excuse me? You think you can just take up an entire month, including my Fridays, fiddling around with the alphabet with no regard for anything I may have to say? I guess the whole typing skills thing gave you an advantage there.
I just sat here waiting to be asked for my input. Letter B? Bow Wow Wow of course!
Who doesn't want candy?! As for the letter T? None other than Three Dog Night!

If April wasn't bad enough, my May the Fourth offerings were neglected as well.
Forgiveness is going to take a decent number of Milkbones, and not those minuscule things for "small dogs" - so insulting! "Do or do not, there is not try."

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

The random May return

Thanks for hanging out, and perhaps singing along, with me for the April a-z challenge. So now what shall we do for the month of May?

Put our raincoats on for starters, I guess. Yikes! As if that forecast last night wasn't frightening enough, look at this!
Is your part of the USA also suffering from a lettuce shortage? Or perhaps just some crafty way to generate and justify silly prices? I did not find any such information at any other local stores - what a relief! My friend's response when I sent her the alert: "Lettuce shortage? It takes like 5 minutes to grow a new crop".

I went to my nephew's first communion over the weekend. It was the first time I attended church in a long while, but as I looked down in the pew in front of me...
 ...and saw that great big Lego Store bag, I felt for a moment like I had found where I belonged (but also admit being somewhat distracted by trying to figure out which giant set was inside).