a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Do The Words Nut Hatch...

remind you of me?  Nope, not the opening into my house!  I promised no more birds but I took a moment to soak up the sun while reading a good book. Soon the White-Breasted Nuthatch had me under his/her spell.
There it is sneaking down to the feeders.
Not the normal White-Breasted Nuthatch who travels the tree looking for goodies.This smart one was retrieving goodies from the feeders and STASHING the seeds in nooks and crannies of the tree. She/he ain't no dummy!  With seed in bill, it would hammer enthusiastically to fit the seed in place for a later time. Upside down, sideways it worked diligently to store food for another day.
I was never quite quick enough to photograph her action.  She became paranoid about her stash, which I have heard is normal for those who have "stashes" and quickly moved to another tree so I would not know the location of the bounty.
The sun's light warmed my day.  With a good book and my camera I ignored any work. It was a day long over due.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


my blog and it's purpose here.  I have shamelessly hammered you with endless photos of birds and filled my posts with senseless uses of junk.  The purpose in that was...I don't know.  My comments on other blogs have become lackadaisical to say the least.  I apologize.

When almost eight-five pound Bonnie lumbered toward the meter reader today, I was horrified (at her exuberance) and I think the meter reader was too!   I yelled, "She's okay!"  I ran toward them as he was aiming his pepper spray.

Bonnie was only greeting our visitor with the enthusiasm she greets each new thing or person...with curiosity, friendliness and an mind open to a new adventure.

Thankfully, the man heard me, knew dogs and read the signs that Bonnie, although a "Big Bad Pit Bull" was not dangerous at all.  During our conversation I learned our house had been marked "Bad Dog-Use Spray".  Bonnie delightfully danced around our young meter reader with the joy and abandonment of a child in a toy store.

Anyway, happy ending...except when the next new meter reader comes.  Because of one man in the past who feared dogs, we are forever branded as "Bad Dog-Use Spray".  It wasn't even because of Bonnie.  My other dogs do their job and bark to announce visitors.  They greet them.  They don't jump up.  They don't growl.  They don't bite.  They just check out the visitors.  And this has left us forever labeled.

I said all that, I think, to say this.  The quality of my posts are suffering for some unknown reason. Volume does not a blog make.  I want you to be entertained by what I write.  I want you to ENJOY the visit.  I can't expect that of every post because every person is different but at least once a week I would like to write a post that touches YOU or makes you think from a different angle or even just makes you smile.  That is why I write.  I've lost sight of that by imposing quantity requirements I've pulled from my butt thin air.

My followers have thinned. Comments have decreased.  Jumping through hoops to entertain is not something I've ever been good at doing. Creating on demand is fun but I feel I have lost quality and part of myself in doing that.

As a rabid reader of Insecure Writer's Support Group and with their great encouragement I can finally admit I Am A Writer.  Sometimes I'm a good writer, other times, not so much.

I intend to work on that and might not be here every day.  My three thousandth posting I just celebrated will grow smaller as I thin.

In doing this I hope to mirror Bonnie's enthusiasm by greeting the day with curiosity, friendliness and an open mind ready for a new adventure.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Camel Crickets Versus Brown Crickets and My Thoughts

I just smashed a camel cricket with my fly swatter and was totally and completely disgusted with the result.  That's my excuse reason for this post.  

You may ask why I didn't catch it and return it to the outdoors...well, have you ever chased a cricket??  It ain't pretty when I do it.  Crickets are one of the super men of the insect world, cousins to the grasshopper, with their leaps and bounds. Their evasive skills put them in the intelligent category for me.  In the past when I have chased a cricket it is running and hopping in sheer terror from the stumbling giant hot on its tail.  Most chase and catches always ended badly for the cricket not on purpose but it happens. So I don't think of good luck when I see one.  I think of the poop he is leaving as he travels through the house.

I remembered many people believe crickets bring good luck. Mashing one brings misfortune.  So now I'm in deep doo-doo and await my fate. Hey, that could be my problem...all the crickets I have mashed with an almost grateful joy after chasing them in, under, and over household items...a triumphant end to them, a deletion of fortune for me.

I'm sorry but one of my childhood chores was catching camel crickets for fish bait.   When they invaded the storm cellar I was sent in to catch them all in anticipation of fish for supper.  Those suckers can jump.  And they did.  All over me.  But I persevered and came out with a cage full of crickets.  I secretly thought no one liked them or me since I was the assigned catcher.  No one said that and they said all the right words when I emerged victoriously from a cleared cellar..

Brown crickets do not affect me as badly because those can be caught under mowed grass quite easily and are not as prone to jump into my hair, onto my face, under my shirt, up my shorts leg and onto any spot they think is safe.

To this day if I hear a male "singing" his mating song, I track him down!  The songs of crickets don't put me to sleep, quite the opposite.  I don't have a fear or an aversion to crickets just no affection for them.

At least I know now why I'm not the next candidate for the presidency, I've killed my good fortune.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Junk Feeders

You have met these
and the bird vote is in.  They are a success.  Of course the birds aren't very picky and will eat on the ground and from dog food bowls. 
 In fact, there are a few dog food connoisseurs in our bird flock.
Remember this piece, crooked on a stick?
I added this
Bird inspected.
Bird tested.
Bird approved.

Sunday, January 24, 2016


photo by Francesca Woodman

Spinning spinning spinning
i sway to the fierce music
witness the not guilty
look for the mossy soul that weeps

dancing not for praise
but for disappearing
with no woe and a glint in my eye
i dance for going

to enter the light 
to seek the hushed place
for my soul to shine
Spinning spinning spinning

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Tufted Titmouse

I think

A very talented Tufted Titmouse...triple T.
Bird seed everywhere
and it comes for dog food.
Could be those bossy Cardinals be keeping it away.

Visit Eileen for many Saturday's Critters throughout the world.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Cardinal Party at Good Fences

The crooked post used to be a gate anchor that automatically closed a gate with the weight of a chain. The gate is long gone but the pecan tree grew around the post.  I didn't have the heart to cut it.
I anchored the hub cap there for bird seed.
The second piece is a meat tray on a pipe and cedar stump.
None of the Cardinals complained.

Joining Good Fences.

Too Many Stones

have been gathered to place on the headstones of those we've lost.  I've heard it's a Jewish tradition. I'm not Jewish but I bring stones that make me think of you.  If I brought every stone as I thought of you there would only be a mountain where you lay deep inside no longer with the living but always in my heart.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

"The Color Of Winter Is Blood Red"

was in a comment by the famous Ninja, author, blogger, friend, Alex Cavanaugh.  It started the wheels turning.  Turning wheels is a malady I can't seem to get rid of so here's the short Alex inspired with his comment.

Cabin Fever

It has been a long, cold winter.  Nothing but white as far as you could see. Even the birds were hiding. The pantries were full. The cabin was warm but that didn't keep the walls from closing in on them.

Yahtzee, five card stud poker, caramel pop corn, roasted marshmallows were all fun the first four days. They pulled out the Sorry game, Chest, Checkers, Dominoes and the S'mores.

Through the windows all they could see were growing drifts of snow.  Relentlessly it fell along with the camp fire fun.

After seven days each has chosen their own corner to read, to pout, to mourn the winter. The vast collection of family fun games had lost their appeal.  It was no longer an opportunity for quality time and was quickly becoming a volatile mix of boredom, claustrophobia, and frustration. 

Chopping the veggies and meat for a inside out warming stew for the evening meal the idea flickered through her thoughts and blinked out as quickly as it came.  

As each day passed the idea grew stronger and visited more often even though she fought it. She fought it with the love of a mother, with the love of a wife and with the love of KNOWING spring would come again.  She just wanted quiet.  No more games.  No more "Let's make the best of this".

She snapped.  The cleaver rose and fell amid screams of disbelief and horror.  Chop! Chop! The Chess was the first to go.  The checkers followed into the fire place.  The Trivia game was slashed and chopped and burned. As the Yahtzee dice bubbled in the roaring fireplace, she turned to her family, cleaver in hand.

Speechless, horrified, they clung to each other wondering, fearing what would happen next. There was no getting through to her.

She turned away opening the pantry and continued the same meticulous cleaving with the condiments that she had previously done with the "Snowed In" must haves.

Was the family next?  The dog?  Where would it stop?  No one thought to wrestle the cleaver from her iron fist...you don't mess with Mamma!

As the cleaver sliced through a jumbo size jar of ketchup, she crumbled, sliding slowly to floor. Cleaver still in hand, covered in blood red, she began to rock back and forth.  At first she mumbled but her voice grew stronger.  She chanted wildly, "NO MORE CHUTES AND LADDERS!  NO MORE CHUTES AND LADDERS!"

Outside the snow began to melt.

The Color of Winter

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


makes good neighbors when they help build a new porch.  One set of steps done, one to go.  Marcy is glad.  The boards are straight the tags are crooked.

Waiting for warmer temperatures to finish.

Monday, January 18, 2016

3000th Post

Been around since '08.  Three thousand is not all...I deleted many when reviewing old posts, thinking they didn't matter. I should say three thousand after my various bouts of self-editing.

I've learned much, like not to keep resetting your counter. I have no idea how many have visited. Kept changing the style and would start over at one.

I've learned by trial and error and some help from good people along the way. I'm still learning.

You have celebrated with me, encouraged me, supported me, prayed for and with me. We have laughed and even cried together...and I keep writing.  And you keep reading.
Some people ask, Why do you write?  I don't know but I keep on  writing.  We'll see how long that lasts.  Couldn't have done it without y'all.  Thank you.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Picture prompt for Magpie Tales

Hiding from me
I cannot see

Fiery Sadness

Collage writing prompt by MindloveMisery's Menagerie.
shared with Poets United
Quotes by Patti Smith
"Never let go of that fiery sadness called desire" 
"Got to lose control before you take control."

i spiral 
of toys
of nature
of man
of me
i spiral


When the mouth
does not keep step
with the head
skeletons may spill

change is possible
as a gift in the present
but when the moon
is wired does it explode?

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Playing With An Idea

about turning a light cover and a hub cap into a bird feeder.
Some feathered friends became very curious
sampling the dog food and the orange.
I believe this one was admiring his image.
Word spread
Now I need to decide how to make it straight and functional.

Linking with Saturday's Critters

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Nobody's Rose

photo by Ed Ross

you picked the wrong girl
to place roses in my hair
and paint my face for you

i pretended for awhile
but you soon knew
you couldn't call me sweet rose

i left you laying in petals and thorns
with my true face showing
i ain't nobody's hot house flower
Photos by Ed Ross
Prompt by Magpie Tales
Thanks, Tess!

Plowing Through Life

has done it now!  Martha has invited me to answer eleven questions and tell eleven random things about myself.  She tried to bribe me with an award but it didn't work! or did it?  I have no idea what a Liebster is unless it's a Canadian lobster...kidding.
If you want to meet an interesting lady, dedicated mother and an over-the-moon-in-love-with-her-husband woman who also has a brain and a good sense of humor, stop by Plowing Through Life.

And so my elevens begin:
1] Which literary genre do you prefer?
I love a variety.  I read the book that calls my name.  I lean toward mysteries and horror like King but shy from sappy romances and porno.
2] Why did you start blogging?
We had moved to the farm a few years before to help with Dad after Mom died.  My sister suggested I blog as an outlet.  I have been blogging almost eight years.
3] Order or chaos?
I crave order with flexibility.  I am usually surrounded with chaos.
4] Where would you like to live?
Have never given that much thought...always felt at home here surrounded by nature.  Two other places have touched me but so different from here and from each other: the desert Southwest and Savannah, Georgia.
5] Starry sky or sunset?
Sunset since there is still enough light for me to take a picture.  I love to view both.
6] Paper book or e-book?
Without hesitation, Paper!  There is just something about the heft of a book, the smell of a book, that is all part of the reading experience.
7] What is the writing for?
I had to really think about this one.  Now, I don't know the answer.  I used to have grand humorous stories to tell about farm life and life in general.  I used to think of myself as a writer...was born with a pencil in my hand.  Now at sixty-one I ask myself the same question. 
 8] TV or not TV?
I can live with out.  Senseless tv watching is a mind killer, I think.  I do have a tv but I rarely sit long enough to watch a movie since I'm always thinking of something else to do.
9] What do you think about social networks?
Blogging and emails is as socially networky as I get.  I have seen too many idiotic things go on inside social media...not my cuppa tea.
10] Favorite food?
My favorite flavor is chocolate but I have no favorite food.  I love Chinese cuisine.  I cook for family the things they like.  If it were just me I would eat what ever stopped my stomach from growling, something I didn't have to cook.
11] Favorite music genres?
I enjoy a little of all.  I love some of many styles but not all of any style.  I lean toward rock and roll and blues.  I've yet to wrap my head around the nasty rap songs and do not plan on trying.
or you may not know about me.

 1.  Elastic is my best friend.  Any kind of restrictive clothing drives me crazy!

 2.  I like honesty and prefer it to bull.

 3.  I am squeamish doctoring a human but can do anything with an animal, including suturing a wound.

 4.  I have been told I am an empath especially with animals.  I basically "feel" their thoughts and work with that.

 5.  I love all things in Nature except scorpions and ticks and mosquitoes and cock roaches and slugs. I don't have anything against them just don't want them around or on me.

 6.  Like Martha's sleep paralysis, I have experienced a few things that were not explainable.  These experiences fascinate me but I do not seek them.  My mother had the gift of "seeing" so maybe I have a touch of that or maybe I'm just "touched".

 7.  I can't believe Martha and I do the same thing with food!  I find my favorite flavor in a plate and invariably save that for a final delicious bite.

 8.  I feel closer to God or The Creator in the middle of the woods far more than I do in a church.

 9.  I am bullheaded, impatient, creative and determined.  I work hard and have no patience with slackers.

10. I am never, ever bored.  I write.  I paint.  I imagine.  I create.  I sew.  I crochet. I quilt. I explore.

11. I love history of the land, people and places. 

Well, Martha, thanks a lot.  This has been fun. 

Be sure to visit Martha and the others she has awarded challenged to lay it all out for every one to see.  The purpose of this is to meet new bloggers with common interest and, in my case, you can laugh at my answers too.  I forgot to say I do have a sense of humor.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...