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Lots of possible stuff going on right now, and none of it is anything I feel comfortable writing about on the internet. However, I will say that none of it is bad, per se. Aside from my usual feeling that change is always bad (thank you, Peter Straub's Ghost Story), which is not even remotely true. Change is just change (or, you know, possibly God; thank you, Octavia Butler's Earthseed books).

So what else is going on? Not a lot. I'm half-planning a little container vegetable garden for the concrete pad outside the back door (or maybe on the front porch?) if we can decide on what vegetables we want to grow. I'd like to do it. I'm definitely making a birdbath tonight out of a flower pot and a plastic container. It's really dry right now, and the birds could use another water source. Probably the possums could, too. And we all like seeing the birds.

I also need to give my wedding-ninja dress a wash and a press before putting it and my shoes on and figuring out what sort of accessories I need.

My Unread Stack of Shame is down to one book; two if I count a book I was loaned but don't really care if I read or not.

Saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part 1 last night, and Scott had the same issues with the movie as I had with the book. are there any spoilers left, though? ) Though I realized last night, as I thought about how Scott has been very sad ever since the 2nd movie that the flying car doesn't return, that the best ending ever for this series would have been Harry running over Voldemort in the flying car.

I'm still watching Farscape. Chiana has finally arrived.

And that is my life, such as it is, and elided.
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Female cardinal on the porch rail!
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After being demon spawn for most of the morning, the Zweeble took an early nap. Which meant he got up early from it ... and I now had an afternoon to fill.

So I packed a picnic dinner, changes of clothes, towels, water, sunblock, swim and regular diapers, and the usual necessities of life (BlackBerry and wallet) ... and we went to Lakes Park. This is the park with the water feature (where kids basically get to play in a variety of fountains), the mini-train, the train-themed playground, and, of course, water and walkways and birds galore. [ profile] dealio said he'd meet us there when he got off work.

Probably not as interesting for y'all as it is for me, but I want to remember it )

I am so glad I did that. It turned into a really, really lovely day.
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Saturday, as I mowed the lawn, I thought hm, the finches should be back soon ... This morning, I was showing them to the boy as they hopped about the yard.

One of my feeders fell apart, so I need a new one!

And in melt-your-heart news, I passed the high chair as he ate his lunch, and said, "Here, you get a kiss." I smooched him on the cheek and said, "Love you," then went into the kitchen. On my way back out, he said, "Kiss!" So I kissed him on the cheek, and he said, "Lub oo."

Yup. I'm a big old mushy mess.
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I start teaching tomorrow.

I'm not actually worried at all about teaching, but I am having minor freakouts at leaving my baby. Oh, wait, just so you understand the true insanity of this, let me add this detail: at leaving my baby in the care of his grandmother, great-grandmother, and father for ~5 hours once a week.

That's right. Yes, yes, go ahead and laugh. It's hilarious, I know.

The voice in my head that's having the freakouts keeps saying that I'm going to be missing time in his life, that I'm always here with him and now he's going to be doing stuff and I won't be here for it, and this makes me all sad and guilty.

Now, please to remember this detail: my mother and father take him for one weekend a month. That's forty-eight hours of time where he's doing stuff without me, and I don't feel remotely guilty about that. Or sad. Not to mention the two hours a week I (supposedly) spend at the gym. So you can't even make the case that this is different because it's every week.

Mom-guilt. How lovely.

In other news, we have a blue jay who has molted off all of his head and neck feathers, so his head looks like a skull stuck on top of a regular jay body. If his head were on fire, I'd have the blue jay version of Ghost Rider at my feeder.
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The Zweeble knows something's in the air ... and by god, he was going to keep an eye on me at all costs!

Good lord that was one cranky, fussy, angry, exhausted one-year-old.

He slumbers for now.

I did manage to get all the packing done that I can do, at least until Scott gets home. I still need to fill the bird feeders, though at this point I don't know if it's feeding the birds or feeding the cats.

There are stray/feral cats in the neighborhood. I've been seeing them around for a while. There are, I think, three adults. There's Orange Cat, Dark Multicolored Cat, and Looks Like a Psychotic Pirate Cat. Or Medium, Small, and Large, respectively. It looks to me like Small had kittens--there are two kittens roaming about, and Small seems to have the post-kitten belly going on.

The kittens have been "adopted" (I hope) by the lady who lives behind us, the one without kids. We saw her feeding them both. The other three were mostly hanging out at the abandoned house down the street, and in the overgrown lot directly behind our house. Occasionally they've come onto our porch, probably because I have bird feeders on our porch.

Yesterday Small, Medium, and Large were hanging out on my porch all morning long. The Zweeble loves this. I'm not quite so keen. For one thing, I like my birds. For another, [ profile] dealio and I are seriously allergic to cats. I would probably adopt Small and/or Medium were it not for the allergy thing, budget be damned, but we've been told that any furry pets would probably lead to Scott developing asthma, and that ain't happening for anything other than a dog. :)

Then there's the matter of Large making my spider-sense tingle. I dunno, he gives off bad vibes.

Anyway, my point is ... if I don't have a home base for these cats to give to animal control, can I even call them? I mean, yes, I want them to go away and leave my birds alone, but I also know they're in danger of all kinds of things out here in the boonies (monitor lizards, cars, dogs, possibly even alligators) and Large was looking pretty rough when I saw him. I'm not sure how domesticated he's likely to ever become, but the other two are very cute and very likely to be adopted out of a shelter, I'd think.

Not that I can do a whole lot right this minute, anyway, as I'm about to leave on vacation, but I *am* about to feed the birds, so I may have three cats who've set up camp on my porch when we return.

In bird news, I've had a flock of blue jays on and off the feeders today. There were six and a couple of doves a little earlier.
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I took the Zweeble to the park this morning, and lemme tell ya, I am Queen of arriving at the park when the playground is deserted. Which works for me all right, but the boyo likes to see other kids occasionally. So we strolled around the place and by the time we were done with that, other kids had begun invading the playground, so we got to do the hold-my-fingers-while-I-lurch-like-a-drunken-zombie thing amongst and around other small, hurtling humanoids. It was fun. I tried to convince the Zweeb to go down some of the smaller slides by himself, but he was having none of that. It was the big slides or nothing, and if that meant Mom had to go with, then so be it--the Zweeble is secure enough in his masculinity and cool points to slide with the Mom.

Also, if you're enough of an athlete that you're drinking a quart-bottle of Gatoraid on the soccer field, don't you think you can walk/sprint/cartwheel the extra three feet to the garbage can with your empty bottle? And if you're concerned that there is no recycling bin at the park (let's not get me started), then shouldn't you haul the bottle back to your car and from there to your personal recycle bins? That's what I do, and I am a wuss.

[ profile] dealio went to the allergists' last week for his shots and came home that night with a 102-degree fever. Same thing happened a couple weeks ago, as well. They tell you to mention this sort of thing, and our regular doctor seemed to think that this would cause them to change his shot dosage. So at today's shots he mentioned it ... and got told he must have caught a bug. Um. O ... kay. So we're going to see how tonight goes, and if he spikes a fever or throws up or basically acts in any way not [ profile] dealio-esque, I'm calling the allergist tomorrow and riot acts will be read. Or, well, an appointment with an actual doctor will be made, and then riot acts will be read.

Lots of burrowing owls out lately. That's a happy thing. Hawk in the nighborhood--cool, not quite so happy for me and my songbirds.
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We're all kinda crabby today, so I am going to make a totally happy post.

1. [ profile] doggiesushi will be here soon, which will probably cheer all of us up quite a bit.

2. I saw three odd birds yesterday on my way home, two together on 41, then another of the same sort about a mile or two down the road. Got home and looked them up in my bird books, and they were apparently sandhill cranes. Which was cool, but also strange because according to my book, they don't come to this coast. Which would explain why I'd never seen them before--I mean, they're huge; you'd think if they were local I'd have noticed them before now. Still, my aunt saw ... was it a wild canary? a bluebird? ... some bird in Tennessee that doesn't actually live in Tennessee at all, but it migrates over Tennessee, so we think it was making a pit stop. These could be the explorers of the sandhill cranes, the pioneers. Or the ones with no sense of direction.

3. I also got the print I ordered from [ profile] visioluxus, an amazing photographer whose website is here. The one I got is three rows up from the bottom, third in from the right. It's gorgeous on the computer, but it's bloody amazing in person; it's metallic and the red is beautiful and it makes stories in my head, and I'd stare at it all day if I wasn't afraid the Zweeble would get ahold of it.

4. Okay, remind me to post about my father vs. the aquatic mammal, because it deserves its own post.

5. Thank god, the Zweeble has finally fallen asleep.
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My grandmother is over for the day to help out with the Zweeble while I'm at therapy, and we went grocery shopping this morning. Because grocery shopping with the Zweeb is a two-person job, and I'm beginning to think it may be a good idea to just leave him at home with [ profile] dealio and shop on the weekends. But that is neither here nor there, for this post.

We went to a different grocery store than usual, because last night when I stopped in there after the gym I saw that they had all kinds of toddler snacks and sneaky-good-for-you stuff--way more than our usual store. I also noticed the very inebriated (I hope that she was inebriated) lady in the line in front of me, but that is also a story for another day.

(The tangents! The TANGENTS!)

So we went, we shopped, and we headed home with Grandma in the back with the Zweeble. Grandma loves burrowing owls, and as we came to a stop at the intersection where I usually turn, I saw that there were two or three of them in the nests up the road. So I said what the heck and drove over so we could take a look.

Not only were there FIVE owls at this burrow, there was also A BABY BURROWING OWL!!! I saw a baby burrowing owl! It looked a lot like an adolescent chicken, at least from my angle as it hustled itself back underground.

We also have a pair of cardinals, about four blue jays, one or two black birds, and the usual assortment of doves visiting our feeders. No sign of the woodpecker as yet, but I think there's a pilated in the neighborhood as well as a hawk. The Zweeble digs birds--if he sees one out the window he will stop everything to point and stare and say, "Buudt."
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Okay, I am not a true-blue birder. I like birds, and I like feeding them, and I can ID all of the ones in the neighborhood, and also a few others. I've also been known to pull out the bird book and figure out what I just saw. But I don't know anything about life cycles or migration or anything, and I don't really have a list.

So--is there a molting season? I know birds molt, but ... well, okay, lemme explain and backtrack (it's an Erin story!).

We have this blue jay. This cranky, beaten-up, bedraggled blue jay. He comes to our feeder and has patches of feathers on his head, straggly back feathers, and today Scott said he looked like he'd survived a neck wringing. He seems healthy otherwise, but really, what the heck is up with him?

I've decided to call him Draggle.
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So I had this cute little decorative feeder in the front yard, but no birds ever came to it, so I emptied it and just left it to look cute.

When my in-laws were here, my mother-in-law managed to lock herself out of the house. Since she knew I was feeding the baby, she didn't want to knock and make me get up. The garage door was open, so she basically went around and spent half an hour pulling weeds, watering plants, and filling up the bird feeders--including the one in the front yard. (Eventually I got the baby settled and went to ask her why she was doing my yard work, and let her back in.)

Well, the jays found the front yard feeder, and it became their private stock of seed. The doves didn't find it, which is odd since doves are usually the first birds to my feeders, the blackbirds didn't find it--just these two blue jays. Then the cardinals found it, too, and they and the jays fought over it. Then a blackbird showed up. One dove discovered it, but was apparently too big to get onto it to eat.

In the meantime, since I haven't had the time or the energy to get out back and fill those feeders, they started falling apart. Literally, the second one was hanging by a thread, one wall off and the floor of it hanging. The woodpecker was eating from it, still, but that was about it.

(my back yard needs some serious work, let me tell you.)

The nice thing about the front feeder is that I can sit and feed the baby on the couch and watch the birds. And now that I have given up on hanging plants (I don't have the time or energy to water them every day, so now I only have plants that can get rained on--except for one bougainvillea, which I can stick out in the rain), I decided it was time to add a feeder. So this weekend I went and got a new feeder to replace the decorative one (which is rusty and not so decorative anymore), and a feeder to hang on the porch. I also got a feeder to hang in a tree out back for the woodpecker.

And today the jays found both of the feeders and were screeching to each other about it. One perched on the string of the hanging feeder and called to the world. Then he ate. I don't think the cardinals will be back for a couple of months, but that's okay--I love blue jays. Plus, there are wasps on the front porch, and jays eat wasps, so they'll get a treat and I won't have to spray chemicals everywhere.

Now I need one of those birdbaths on a spike. :)
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Okay, how does that internet lingo thing go, now ... "We're in ur suburbz, livin in ur cell towerz."

Or something. I'm the one who had to Wikipedia the whole "all your bases are belong to us."

Anyway. We have eagles here, and I have seen a lot more of them since we moved back here eight years ago than I ever did whilst growing up. I actually saw a bald eagle on my way to vote in 2000. We've also seen them on the side of the road, swooping over our car as we drove down 41, on top of a light pole in the middle of town, flying over our house, and flying over our heads as we took a walk around the neighborhood. Giant birds. And way cool.

However, in our little corner of the universe, the most frequently sighted raptor of late is the osprey. There's a nesting pair living on top of the light fixtures of the local Target parking lot, I assume because there is a man-made pond with fish in it just across the asphalt. Then there's a nest in the lights at one of the high school football fields, and a nest on one of the platforms the county put in the river, by one of the bridges. Plus there are a few out at the beach, though we haven't been out to the beach in nearly a year.

So we see ospreys quite a lot. I love to see them, as they're really cool birds, but it bothers me a bit that they've moved into town--I just wonder what we're doing to their usual habitat that's made them head inland. I hope it's just that they're lazy and living in town is more convenient for them.

There's a new burrowing owl nest down the street, as well. Yay, owls!
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1. The reason babies are cute is so you don't sell them when they're being fussy. But grandparents will always offer to buy.

2. That thing about parenting being bittersweet starts at delivery. I wanted him to be born, but I wasn't done with enjoying him moving in the womb. Now it's his growing--when he was born, he was 6 pounds and 14 ounces, then he lost about 9 ounces. Every item of clothing we had for him was too big. We put him in his crib and it was like we'd set him adrift in the ocean. We'd put him in his bassinette/playpen whatever way we wanted--lengthwise or widthwise--and he'd fit. Six weeks later and he's weighing 8 pounds or so. Now all those giant onesies fit him. His crib is still a bit big, but it doesn't look quite as vast when he's in it. And he's nearly as long as the playpen is wide. I certainly *want* him to grow and get bigger; I've been working my ass off (almost literally) to make sure he gains weight, and I'm very proud of how big he's getting. But I miss him being a little guy.

3. There are now two people I'm willing to make an idiot of myself in front of, if it means they smile or laugh, and that would be Scott and the Zweeble. Of course, young Mister Z. isn't quite old enough yet to do those things automatically, and he's probably too young to appreciate my sense of humor (what Scott's excuse is, I don't know), but I'm still trying.


In other news, we now have birds at our feeder in the front yard! Two blue jays and a male cardinal have discovered the feeder and are using it pretty regularly. My back yard feeders are both falling apart, and I haven't been out to fill them in weeks; sooner or later I'll make the back yard decent again.

The cabbage worms have descended on my bougainvillea again--it was looking so great, too. I'm leaving it alone this time (partly because I don't have the time to do much to it), but eventually I need to go out and prune it back into tree shape. Maybe next weekend.

And now, I shall take advantage of the Sleep of the Zweeble and get myself some breakfast.

ETA: Hey, I didn't know you could change your user name! I've been feeling kinda lukewarm about mine for a while now--maybe I'll change it. Of course, that means I have to think of a new one ... :)


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Laura E. Price

September 2017

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