Thursday, June 28, 2012

Let's hear it for long lives!

The other day I saw a TV news story about a 90-year-old woman who had accomplished the last item on her "bucket list". She went sky diving.

But, what was remarkable to me was that the jovial lady in question was overweight! For decades I've been told that if you're fat you'll die at a younger age. I was a fat child and I often wondered if I would survive until I turned 60 in the distant future year of 2000. Of course, I did and it was actually the best year of my life for a number of reasons.

I retired from my job in 2005 in part because I felt like I didn't have many years left to live and I wanted to enjoy them. I have been enjoying retirement a lot! So, I revised my life expectation upward to 76--that's the age at which each of my parents died. Since I'm going to be 72 in less that two months, that would have moved up my demise to within four years or so.

However, now that I know we plus-size gals can hang in there for much longer, I'm revising my life expectancy upward again! Hell, I might even make it to 80 or 85!

I should mention that I am working at being healthy and I've taken off some weight just to give it my best shot. All things considered, I just might pull it off!

So, now I should probably start a new Bucket List!

Puddling up at my 60th Birthday Party in 2000 when my kids gave me a group picture

Friday, June 22, 2012

More turkeys

Well, it looks like the tom turkey gobbling outside my bedroom window recently found true love--or it's poultry approximation.

My roomie and I were out on the patio potting some Hen and Chicks that we bought at the nursery when Sue spotted the turkey hen over by the pine trees (where Sunny caught the wood ducklings). Then a tiny chick appeared, followed in quick succession by eight more. They wandered under the protection of the trees and out of sight.

                                 TURKEY AND CHICKS

All of this wildlife must come from the wooded lot next door. I love living here with all the advantages of living in the city and the joy of living near nature!
                               HEN AND CHICKS

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A thought for the day.

               (Borrowed from Linda's Lair)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What would a wood duck do?

Every morning, I take my newspaper and a big mug of coffee out onto the patio to read in the peaceful quiet. My three kitties come outside with me and do a "grounds check" to see what intruders may have passed through during the night. They check out the shrubs and trees but don't go farther than the wooded lot next door. (I admit, disabuse them of wandering with a squirt bottle.) 

They often sprawl under the huge pine trees across the yard. I looked up from my paper to see Sunny chasing something over there. I assumed it was his usual prey--a dragonfly or moth. After a few minutes, I saw him pick up something in his mouth that was much larger. He then dashed toward the patio and I saw  he had a baby duck hanging headfirst out of his mouth. I was shocked and alarmed. I jumped up to take it from him and he ran away (of course!).

I was able to chase him into the house with the other two cats close behind. Once cornered, Sunny released his prey--first one tiny wood duck--and then a second one! The two terrified little ducks took off running in different directions with the cats in close pursuit. One was weaving among the legs of the dining room chairs while the other ran behind the couch. Since the biggest threat was the cats, I set about rounding them up and locking them in the bedroom.
                                    (Sunny relaxing)
Next, I had to catch the little ducks who were amazingly fast and energetic, especially since they don't appear to be more than a few days old. I finally captured each of them by dropping a towel over them. I found a deep box and put them inside. They seemed unhurt despite Sunny's attempts to keep them in his jaws. I laid the towel over them to calm them and they became still. 

I walked over to the pine trees where Sunny found the ducklings but there was no trace of other ducks and no sign of a nest. I decided they probably got lost and wandered there--maybe after the bad storm of a few days ago.

After the excitement, I was too restless to finish reading the paper, so I decided to go over to Curves and do my workout. To make sure the cats couldn't get at the baby ducks, I set the box on top of the refrigerator and set stuff on the counter to keep the cats from jumping up there. I then let the cats out of the bedroom. Everything seemed secure, so I left.

When I came back an hour later, I walked in the door to see a duckling running across the living room cheeping loudly. The other duckling was running down the hall to the bedroom. Sunny, Gracie and Tweedy were all lying nonchalantly on the floor watching this mayhem with mild interest

I was stunned! How had they jumped out of the box and off the refrigerator with their tiny little legs? And how were they running around unmolested by the cats?

I proceeded to round up the ducklings with a towel again, and this time, I deposited them in the bathtub and closed the door. I went on Google to find out how to take care of baby wood ducks. If the wealth of information available online is any indication, it's not that uncommon to find little ones. I learned that if they're cheeping, that means they're cold--so I put a heating pad set on low in the tub. They crawled on top and snuggled together. I gave them a straight-sided shallow pan for water and finely chopped some lettuce, a strawberry and walnuts for food.

I'm pondering what to do next. I'm thinking of keeping them until they're a little bigger and taking them to a pond. At the moment, one of them is running around in the bathtub cheeping loudly while the other is quietly resting on the heating pad. I'm concerned it may have been injured. I would welcome any advice from any of you duckling lovers

                   RIP Little Darlings

Friday, June 15, 2012

Try this on for size!

This was emailed to me with the explanation that the first four things that pop out at you describe your personality. It's fun to see what happens.

(My four words were: Serve, witty, charismatic and thoughtful--I'm not so sure they apply!)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Another page from my cookbook

When I'm sick of seeing my last post and can't summon up the creative energy to write a real post, I fall back on posting something from my Family Cookbook and Memories. Here is a reminiscence (does anybody still say table grace?)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Anybody want a turkey?

                             (Borrowed image)
This is a wild turkey. It is big and it is loud--especially when it is going "gobble-gobble" outside my bedroom window at 5:00 in the morning.

What's so weird is that wild turkeys were quite rare until recent years. Now they're running all over the place. You see them walking in city streets and around neighborhoods. Several years ago, there was a pair occupying the green space inside a cloverleaf near the Rosedale Mall. They were so distracting the police came and moved them away.

This particular one has staked out my neighborhood as his territory. I don't know if he gobbles to attract a mate or if he is just "strutting his stuff", but he seems fearless. He rests on the neighbor's patios and patrols the tree lines as though he owned the place--and I suppose in his mind, he does!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Of raccoons, squirrels and churches

I recently saw a TV documentary about raccoons. It mentioned a big problem in Japan with the imported animals nesting in ancient wooden temples. The raccoons were sold as pets after a children's cartoon show about a baby raccoon became popular. The animals were turned loose as adults, and being as resourceful as they are, they multiplied and took up residence in the attics of the temples. Their scratches and urine are causing great damage to irreplaceable buildings.

(Now, here is a joke that was emailed to me recently about squirrels in churches.)

A small town had four churches--Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic and Baptist.

All four had a serious problem with squirrels in the church. Each church in its own fashion had a meeting to deal with the problem.

The Presbyterians decided that it was predestined that squirrels be in the church and that they would just have to live with them.

The Methodists decided they should deal with the squirrels lovingly in the style of Charles Wesley. They humanely trapped them and released them in a park at the edge of town. Within 3 days, they were all back in the church.

The Catholics also humanely trapped them and attempted to teach them the "rhythm" method to prevent them from breeding which of course did not work.

The Baptists had the best solution. They voted the squirrels in as members. Now they only see them at Christmas and Easter.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A little mood shifting

I hardly ever do Crossword puzzles anymore. Some years ago, I moved on to doing Cryptograms and now I'm addicted to them. If I can start the day by easily solving the daily Cryptogram that's emailed to me, I feel bright and upbeat. If I'm totally stumped by it however, I not only feel defeated but I question if I'm losing my faculties! I need to do more of them to assure myself that I've still "got it"!

I know folks who love to do Sudoku but I find it annoying. (I always say, I'm a words person, not a numbers person".)  Obviously, there are many more people doing Sudoku, Word Search and Crosswords than doing Cryptograms. I know this because books of puzzles are available for all kinds of them except Cryptograms.

In the evening, I do the cryptogram in the daily newspaper. So, I have two mental challenges each day.  I consider myself to be pretty good at solving them, but if I'm stymied twice in one day--I feel certain I'm on the road to Alzheimer's (or Halfs-heimers, as my brother calls it).

The Cryptogram in the paper that I did last night was extra tough--I had to have several assists to solve it. Now, the one this morning is driving me nuts too. If I don't find some solvable ones soon, it will surely  ruin my day!

I'll give it another go--wish me well...

C ' D   L K U   E   D Y D O Y J   K M   E L N   
K J I E L C K Y Q   S K R C U C B E R   S E J U N ,   
C ' D   E   Q Y D K B J E U ! 
-   X C R R   J K I Y J T 
(Here's a sample cryptogram, a quote by Will Rogers)