Right Now

The peacefulness of my morning coffee on the deck has been shattered by some kind of nature emergency in my backyard.

A furious swirl of birds came swooping over the deck, tumbled around over the garage and then zoomed in wide arcs near the trees over the side fence. The sound they were making was without doubt screaming. They’d keep flying back towards a big tree on the opposite side of the yard where a wild chittering was happening. They’d keep doing the wide arc alarm flights towards every compass point and occasionally stop to light on the branches of the big tree. The chittering never stopped.

This was an interspecies event. Single birds would come from wherever their morning bird business was going on and they would also light near the tree. I couldn’t tell you what kinds of birds they were – they all looked black against the sunny sky – but I could see that the main swirl of alarm birds were all the same size and some of the new joiners were smaller. The cardinal that is currently guarding a nest in the branch pile  at the edge of the creek did not participate.

Chittering, screaming  and arcing went on for at least 6 minutes, which seems to me like a long time for a nature emergency. Here’s an oddity: my dog, always one for a good galloping dog-on-bird bark session*, was completely silent  and still during the whole thing. Then the skies went silent all at once.

Maybe a squirrel was molesting a nest but #1 I think squirrels are vegetarians and #2 nest molestation must happen all the time. I’ve never seen such a ruckus before #3 multiple species of birds were involved. Would a dark-eyed junco care if Phoebe babies were ravaged? i suppose it could have been something involving the local Red Tailed Hawk but I didn’t hear the typical hawk screeching and the action was definitely happening at a sea level much lower than where the hawk usually perches and you would think that a trouble-making hawk would grab what he’s after and head for higher ground instead of staying at the crime scene.

Now it’s all over. After the silence, the normal gentle birdsong resumed.


* First the tragedy and now the comedy. Suzette, you are inappropriate.

One of the tweets I am most proud of got no reaction at all from the Twitterati. And that speaks volumes about them, I think, not me. Read this and evaluate it for me please. Is it witty or am I losing my touch?


I slay me!

The Topic: Mothers



Brunch: Champagne and caviar.

Lupper: Grilled Salmon burgers

Dessert: Wierdo hippie ice cream

Later: presents galore

My children are the best, all 3 of them.


The Scene: Mid morning out on the sunny deck. A chill breeze blows.

The Players: A man, a woman, a little dog

Man: How were those cookies I brought you before?

Woman: Good. Plain and tasty. I shared them.

Man: Shared them‽ With who?

Woman: [does not speak but side eyes the dog]

Man: [does not speak but conveys the impression that he is working up a wise crack]

Woman:[defensively]  I’ve got nobody left to mother! I even washed his ass today.

Man: This is when I miss my mother. If she was still here, she would have washed MY ass for ME.

Woman: I still would wash the asses of our kids if they would let me.

Man and Woman: [contemplative silence]

End scene.

I Am Usually A Very Sturdy Person

It’s the middle of the night and I can feel myself being ravaged by a fast-moving virus. It started with a dry tickle of a cough about two hours ago and then it flashed through sort of a sore throat to yep that’s a sore throat and down to hotness between my shoulder blades. Now my nose is running too and I felt like I had to get out of bed to maximize my air intake.

I haven’t been sick in a long time. I don’t enjoy being sick. I have a lot to do and this is going to be a drag. I don’t blame Denver per se for this illness. I’m just saying that even though I have spent much time breathing recirculated hospital air and sleeping on benches in ICU waiting rooms, I remained sturdy and healthy when I limited my travel to Danville PA. One 36-hour visit to Denver CO and my robust good health is shot to hell.

In other news … On the very day that World Famous Fashion Icon and Busybody Michelle Obama has drawn a bead on fat dogs, Stedman has shed 5 pounds (of dirt) by the simple act of visiting the groomer. Speaking of fat dogs …

unretouched photo

egads-womanMorning Update: Now my voice is croaky. And I have to lead 2 hour-long conference calls today. Point of clarification: while I enjoy being the recipient of long-distance sympathy for my condition, that is not what this post is about. It’s just spewing.

Big Muddy

I’m a little worried about Hillary Clinton. I do have something to say about her but it will have to be later on.  I will only interrupt my extreme busyness to tell you that I spend all of my time hosting WebEx presentations (…the CDC reports earliest flu activity in 10 years … virulent strains bringing more severe illness… and so on …) and baking bread. In fact, I am so into the bread making that I couldn’t wait until Xmas for a Danish Dough Wisk so that Santa could bring it to me. My bread kind of stinks* but the process of making it is very therapeutic for me.

*That’s an oxymoron because my bread actually has no smell and no taste either. But it’s awful purty.

Busy or not, we  can’t let a week go by without some kind of Creek Project story. Here is the end result of a few days of digging and back-hoeing from my backyard to the street. When they were all done doing whatever they were doing, the end result is that my topsoil is buried, the stupid clay/sand from the depths has been churned to the top and it’s a sea of mud wherever you look. The dog is delighted; we are less so. He digs in it, he rolls around in it , he otherwise enjoys himself in it and then drags some in the house when he returns.

like a 40 degree Woodstock for dogs

kind of like Woodstock if Woodstock happened when it was 40 degrees

As soon as they shoved the dirt back to a reasonably level appearance, the crew said goodbye to us because they were being laid off for the winter.

Anyway, did you know that YouTube is loaded with Lady Bird’s home movies? This isn’t a home movie but it does have a bit of a White House Staff Christmas party where the Bajas are playing what I believe is the Woody Woodpecker theme song. And the dog stars of all time, Him and Her, are in the finale stealing the scene from George Hamilton.

* sigh *

When I opened the box for my new and first ever pizza stone, the enclosed pizza cutter clattered to the floor so I didn’t notice the care and use instructions floating gently down as well. By the time I checked out what the clatter was, balanced the stone on the box and checked so it wouldn’t slide off, the only thing down there was the cutter. I saw the single sheet of instructions when I was sliding the stone out of the box so where could it be?

You know where this is going, right?

Bless his little canine heart.

I only wish he would start eating papers from the bottom instead of the top. That might have saved my Countdown To Thanksgiving, but probably not the $100 in twenties.