Sunday, February 27, 2005


Today I have had a ton of birds at my feeders and was able to get some pics and identify a few, with the help of binos and my books...two of them that are pretty good. One is the Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Birds (Eastern Region) ( I have the older version of this one) and the other is called Nat Geo Field Guide to the Birds of North America. I have the third edition of this one. The first one has photographs but sometimes only the males and the second one has drawings that include juveniles and females so between the two I am pretty covered.

I was amazed at the activity at the feeders today, it was like a beehive. You would think I was the only one feeding birds for miles around, which is not the case. I have two thistle feeders. One is a finch upside down feeder and the other is a regular perch feeder. I had to remove the bottom tray on that one to keep the squirrels out of it. I also have a suet feeder which seems to attract the larger birds. I plan to hang my humming bird feeder soon but haven't yet. I can see the main feeder hanger from our kitchen window so I keep a pair of binos there so I can identify quickly if possible.

Today I discoverd that we have a pair of blue birds (which I guess are becoming quite rare, they get forced out by the swallows I believe). So I am excited to see them, and hope they are making more of themselves this spring.

Here is a list of what I have identified so far. I have seen more species but by the time I look closely enough at them and then try to look them up, sometimes they are gone. The easiest way for me to identify them so far is to try to get a digital photo and use that on the computer.

Downey Woodpecker (Male and Female)
Redheaded Woodpecker (Male only so far)
Blue Jay (Male only so far)
Red Cardinal (Male and Female)
Eastern Bluebird (Male and Female)
American Goldfinch (Male and Female)
Redbellied Woodpecker (Male only so far)
Carolina Wren (Male only I think)

Please note that the links are not my photos but much clearer ones I found on the Internet...

Friday, February 25, 2005

Art Dilemma

Well as life would have it, we might have our first visitor that is not paid (handy person, FedEx, heat pump repair person, postal worker....) to be here, this weekend. A friend of ours is visiting the area and is considering coming over on Saturday. This of course is fabulous but also sends me into frantic "finish the house" mode. Being that we just moved into this house there are a few things that have not been "put away" yet. More than likely, he will not care what the house looks like as long as we have clean sheets, and towels and a working laundry facility.

This does nothing to quell my fears....I must get my art hung or else....Nice thing about this visit is that it will cause me to get it done, no matter what, and after the visit, I will be able to move onto other procrastinated items (going to the gym, golfing, doing my own art, learning guitar, writing my papers, and reading my textbook...just to name a few).

This leads to my dilemma, how to do it in a fashionable way and still incorporate all that we have in way of art???? Our current art collection runs the gambit, we have a lot of tapestries and pieces from our travels, plenty of family-made art (quite good, I might add), and then some pieces that would fall into traditional American art (Wyeth and such) which can be very large. Lately, my SOP has been to just take my time, hang something here, see if I like it, move it if I don't and so on...this doesn't work when you have a day and 1/2 to work with and I have more to do besides art hanging (like school work I have procrastinated my week away at).

So I am left with the task of figuring out how to mix and match without creating spaces with "themes". I used to do themes, I am really over themes these days. If that means my house is a hodge podge of what my current interests are, then so be it....I just can't do themes anymore...

Now obviously, some things will be hung based on size because I have some pieces that are very large and will only fit is some places...that is easier to deal with. It is all the smaller stuff that has me pulling my hair out. I should mention too, that this is the first time in my life that I have actually had more wall space than art to hang on it. Usually we have a bunch of stuff that never gets put up or is rotated out with others....not the case these days. I have whole rooms with nothing on them right now....what to do, what to do. One other thing is that I just recently moved from a very small space so I am still adjusting to all the space on the walls that comes with upgrading to larger living...hee hee.

Reality, of course, is that it doesn't really matter, I can change it all around tomorrow if I want, but I do like to get things done and feel like I accomplished a task....must be the anal perfectionist in me that loves to check off those boxes on the To Do List.

Monday, February 21, 2005

It All Works Out in the End

Wouldn't you know it, I got up this morning at some terribly early hour to get some errands out of the way that I have been putting off for a few days. I ate breakfast, and was ready to go but when I went back to my room to get something, all of a sudden, I got very sleepy....

Back story:
Weekends are hell for me because my natural clock believes in going to bed at 2am and getting up around 10am.....I am what some call a night owl. During the week, I can reign this natural tendency in because I have to get up early.....but during the weekends, it gets messed up so Mondays are always a hard day for me but I am usually strong and will power my way through them.

The place I shop for groceries at is a 45 minute drive from where I live. I like to get an early start so that I can get there, do what I have to do and get back without wasting my entire day. They have the best prices so I make the drive every two weeks or so to stock up. Now that we have our upright freezer hooked up, I planned to get a big frozen load, which would reduce how often I have to make the drive....

So back to the timeline:
Where were we? Oh yeah....very sleepy... it is Monday and my will power is draining quickly while I eye my comfortable warm bed....I think to myself, I'll just lay down for a minute...won't be longer than that because I have things to do and my head will keep me from sleeping too long....I wake up 2 1/2 hours later.

So, as I am getting ready to leave, and cursing at myself under my breath for being so spineless, I check my email before leaving and realize that it is a National Holiday today. My grocery store closes on National Holidays, and if I had not fallen to sleep, I would have been there hours ago to find out that I had made the trip for no reason.....yeah for my I can do something else with my day.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Squirrels, Squirrels, Squirrels!!!!!

I thought our problems with the critters were over but not the case. Apparently they are quite a nuisance in this part of the world. I just got off the phone with animal control to see what the policies are in this area regarding catching and getting rid of them....

The only plus to this whole thing is that we think we know how they are getting the trick is to get them out and then screen up the hole that they are using....

As you know, I heard them a while back and we had to go up in the attic on a cold wintery day to get them out. J was able to scare them and they left and we didn't hear from them for quite sometime. I would hear them on the roof once in a while but that is to be expected, I think....

Anyhow, lately, when on the computer, I have started hearing them again, only not as loud (which is probably why I thought they were gone). So for three days now, I have been making trips up into the attic and of course they are making noise at the farthest point from the attic entry. So I have to make my way across the entire attic on the two by fours with a flashlight to see if I can scare them out....turns out, they aren't just in the attic, they are in the wall.

This morning I was up there around 6am right after J left for work and I put a radio up there to scare them. I didn't hear them anymore and I figured I got it out of the house, but while I was up there, I could hear it running for its life. This made me suspicious of the walls. So later this morning, I hear them again while I am on the computer. The radio is not very loud so I think they must have knocked it over or something. I go up there, this time with a stick, gloves and a flashlight. I get over to the end and I start banging around and I can hear scurrying....I decide to lift up the insulation in one spot and I see a little nose looking out at me....I start yelling at it, and banging the stick all over trying to get it out. This does not work.

So I start looking a bit closer and it seems that they got down between the brick wall and the two by fours that frame the interior of the house. They chewed a hole in the plywood that is a barrier between the brick and the insulation in the walls....they have nice little nest in there I am sure.

So I came back down, and called animal you are caught up...

The guy told me that you can catch them and release them without any problems here. You can also kill them but I don't know if I can do that.....the recommended way is to dump the live trap in a garbage can filled with water....yuck...anyhow, I am all for releasing them (this has it downsides as well according to the web). In my research they say that they will not make friends in the new location but I am okay with that. Their social life is not my worry and I don't want to kill them if I don't have to.

I think they are getting in around this ventalation fan that we have in the roof that only runs when it gets hot up there. Otherwise it is a perfect open door. I plan to hit the Lowes here in a few minutes to get a trap (live one) and some chickenwire so I can screen that vent off after we are sure they are all out. The guy said on the phone that he deals with it constantly because they eat holes in his house everytime he fixes it and he relocates them as well. It is apparently only a winter problem so if worse comes to worse, we can cover the vent when it gets warmer, but I would like them out of there, now. They are causing damage and they can be a fire hazard because they chew on wires...not to mention a dead squirrel in the wall can't smell too good right????

Such is my life, if it is not one thing, it is another....

Tolerance is a 9 Letter Word - Christians issue gay warning on SpongeBob video - Jan 21, 2005

This is the most ridiculous thing "conservative Christian groups" have come up with I am to believe that promoting tolerance is not a good thing....hmmmm? Let me think about that. Wasn't that the Bible that these people profess to believe in???? Are they saying that Jesus or God (or what ever "force" that may live in the skies above us...) actually condones ill treatment of people that are not like them?

Regardless of a person's views on sexual orientation, (which from my understanding is not an issue with the video), these people are saying that they don't want children to learn tolerance????? The makers of the video are not saying that being homosexual is right or wrong, they are just saying that treating people badly for any reason is not nice....oooohweee steer clear of that one...wouldn't want to teach kids to be nice to each other or anyone else.

I hate to see what people would think if they watched "Free to Be You and Me" these days. Probably would call it feel good communist crap....since it says don't be afraid to be yourself and that your feelings are okay. Wouldn't want to promote that kind of shit, would we?

Unfortunately, this kind of extremism is exactly what keeps me and others like me as far away from religion as we can possibly get....

Monday, February 07, 2005

Comments, comments, comments...

Well, the comment section has changed recently so everything I had previously posted here is not relevant any longer. I still have my blog open to anonymous comments but now it looks like you can post as "other" as well, if you want to leave your name but are not a member of (which is free...I know I keep saying that). Anyhow, for now, I will remain open to all comments, and we'll see how the new system works...I like the fact that the intimidating log on screen is not the first thing you see when you try to comment. Things continue to improve...