Bird is the word…and bugs…

When Samantha spends the night, she sleeps with me in our bedroom — Grandpa doesn’t really mind the couch. A couple of weeks ago she woke up early and got up to use the adjacent master bathroom, leaving me half-asleep. The windows were open and the dawn chorus was blaring with chirps, songs, calls heard clearly through the bathroom window. As I listened, Samantha began to mimic the loudest of the birds, a two-parter that she started with a carefully pursed whistle and then a caw-caw-caw followed by dee-doo-dee-doo…

I took a Birding class several years back, taught by the eminent Sharon Sorenson. She is a wonder and can imitate any kind of bird sound imaginable. She would have known exactly which bird Samantha was hearing, but I had to look some stuff up. What I found was a wonderful resource from to help me identify my yardbirds. I am not sure what kind of bird Samantha was hearing, but I have recognized the Cardinals and Carolina Wrens. There are at least a dozen species out there, dozens of families of birds living in our trees and under our shrubs, and I kind of wish Sharon would visit some morning and tell me who is what…

I do, however, recognize the sound of the Surfin’ Bird…

Now that summer is nearly here, the birds have quieted down when I head out to my Thoughtful Spot for my morning contemplation. I hope they’re eating bugs, but they never eat the chiggers. Why haven’t chiggers been identified as a plague? Is it just me? I once had a kid come in whining about a chigger bite — a chigger bite! Just One, I asked? How is that possible? Do they only line up for my tender skin? Already this year I’ve had dozens of them bury themselves in spots where I can’t show you, nestling their itchy-asses wherever the sun don’t shine…

I still avoid sitting in grass, even in a lawn chair, which explains why we have covered our garden area with rock; I still get bit, but to a lesser degree. It is also why we rocked a path to the campfire circle, covering islands of chiggers that love to cling to the weeds and jump easily to legs and upward. I use DEET, but sparingly, and it does seem to help with mosquitoes, but those dang chiggers..

Heat and Humidity and overtaken our world, but the pool is up for cooling off.

I’m on my way to pick up the Jr girls for this week’s get-together.


RIP Mary Oliver, and Thanks…

Versifier, rhymester, sonneteer, lyricist are all synonyms for Poet, a person who writes poems.

The second meaning of the word Poet is “a person possessing special powers of imagination or expression” and that defines Mary Oliver, who passed away Thursday at 83.  She published 30plus poetry collections, won the Pulitzer Prize, the Guggenheim Fellowship, National Book Awards, and was undeniably the country’s best-selling poet.  Even if you’re not a poetry-lover, you have probably still seen the popular last lines of her poem “The Summer Day” in all of your inspirational pinterest boards:

Though I now own 6 volumes of her poetry, I didn’t discover her until the 90’s (the Summer Day line was written in 1963)  when I bought “New and Collected Poems”.   There was a poem in that book that stopped me in my tracks, that made me re-read and look to heaven with gratitude for the Word that I needed so much at that time…and I have needed it again and again.   It still reminds me of where I was and how I got away. It will always encourage me to keep on keeping on the journey of my soul.


One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.


I could only hope that my writing could touch the hearts of others in the way she touched mine,  but perhaps someone reading this today will hear her words speak to them and determine to save the only life you can save…



Science and the Library

I’ve taken Samantha to Pre-School Science at the Library for the last couple of weeks and have enjoyed it immensely!   Olivia joins in after the opening storytime, and it’s fun for all ages…

Last week we learned about chemical reactions and exploded some diet coke with mentos, blew up a balloon by adding baking soda to vinegar, then made a lava lamp with water, oil, and antacids.  Genius.

Science is magic that works…. Kurt Vonnegut

Paradise will be a kind of library. —Jorge Luis Borges

I’m sorry to admit that I haven’t been doing my usual amount of reading these last months.  I’m keen to get back at it, though…  There’s no happier time than when I’m lost in a good story, hopefully one with a happy ending.   I’ve got a list of “to-be-read” that I’m going to tackle today and try to get caught up.  To keep up with my goodreads challenge I need to knock out 4/month!!!  Daunting task, so I’d better get started.


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