Category: A Little More Background


“Anything Denny Crane  can do, I can do backwards and while wearing high heels”.    —James Spader as Alan Shore`~~Boston Legal

I don’t know if any of y’all have ever had the pleasure of being a “host” to any hummingbirds, but they just happen to be in the area right now. In a previous life I was living on the coast in the Northwest.  My property was terraced with the driveway heading about 800 feet up on the north side of a mountain at the end of a small road.  About mid-way up, there was a “crick” with about a trillion fuchsia plants along it.  It was quite a beautiful spot really, if not a bit inconvenient when coming and going.  One of the results of this landscape was being blessed with about a billion or so hummingbirds……I realize I’m throwing around some pretty big numbers here, but our government has been pretty successful with that lately, so I thought I’d give it a whirl…….anybird, my point being: I never had to do anything to bring ‘em to the neighborhood, or actively attempt to attract their attention.

Until now.  Having scored a bargain on a pair of feeders at our local trading village a while back and with all of this free time on my hands, I thought how nice it would be to have some of the little hummers buzzing around the place.  I got said feeders hung in strategic locations for my viewing pleasure and what I consider to be a decent comfort zone for ‘em.  And there they sat.  I really didn’t expect to have visitors immediately, and after reading up on the “web” about “do’s and don’ts” I was reasonably sure that all I had left to do was wait.  So I did.  And then I started to wonder about what things I could do to send out the message that there was an open bar at this address.

One thing I do not have around here is flowers.  One blooming Magnolia and some large Oak trees  is all I have to offer, and I’m thinking they probably are attracted to a bit more color.  My dilemma now is that I don’t care to plant any color in my yard since I’m doing well to just “green up” the lawn after a bad winter.  So I went to the neighborhood discount-craft-supply-store and bought some really bright fake flowers and placed them in what I thought to be attractive spots for the little travelers to spy from “on high”.  And I waited.  Day after day.  Faithfully cleaning the reservoirs and replacing the feed for the little buggers every few days, all the while never losing hope.  Each day I gave my husband the negative report, which he acknowledged  with a somewhat amused (if not relieved) comment, since this project of mine was also keeping me out of his hair for a while……I must give him credit for getting them hung for me, though.  He’s really quite supportive ( forgive me the pun, please ).

Not one to be discouraged, I mentally crossed of each day as it passed without the whir and chirp of the little tourists.  Thirty-five days, to be exact.  I was determined that if I had to keep up this routine until next winter, so be it:  after all—this is a low-budget undertaking, and I know they are “out there”; but I still questioned whether or not I was on their map.  At long last, I was rewarded!  A few boys and a couple of little girls showed up hungry as hell.  YAY!!! It’s often the littlest things that bring the greatest pleasure, ¿No?   They zip in and out of both front and back yards as they try to establish themselves as regulars at the bar and claim their stools, as it were.  They’ve been drinking “on the house” for several days now.

Seeing them reminded me of a poem I wrote several years ago that I thought appropriately expressed my pleasure in observing these little creatures, although it was written about the “Calliope” (pronounced: kahl-lie-oh-pee), a species of hummingbird that doesn’t make it to this part of the country.  These hummers are about the size of a bumble-bee, and fierce enough to scare away even the “Steller’s Jays” that frequently bullied the many other “regular” birds away from our seed feeders.  I felt quite privileged that a pair of ’em decided to start a family in a bush right outside my kitchen window, and I decided some of you might enjoy my little tribute and possibly be inspired to tackle a similar project.  Maybe take advantage of some of the wonders of Mother Nature that are still available to us……..

CALLIOPE

Dainty little birds a-humming

Sweetest nectar you come bumming,

As I spy from kitchen window

Nature’s secrets you may show.

Diving, dipping in a dance

Inviting others to romance,

You seem to live with so much glee

While seeking mate for Springtime spree.

Busy little birds a-humming

I smile and watch as you come bumming

The tiniest twigs to build your nest,

You toil so hard to ‘chieve your quest.

With passing time you reappear–

Suppressing urge to let a cheer,

I see in you a new-found greed

Two baby mouths you’ve now to feed.

Happy little birds a-humming

I know the day will soon be coming

You all will have the need to go.

I’d like to think you somehow know

The hours of fun you’ve brought this house—

At times I’ve sat here like that mouse,

While hoping for the chance to see

A bird who’s called “Calliope”.

Precious little birds a-humming

I hope that someday you’ll be coming

Back to make your home next year,

Your whirring wings I’ll wait to hear.

For if my presence you should bless

I’d gladly have you as my guest:

The food and housing are for free

To birds just bigger than a bee.

©

“I’m not bad……..I’m just drawn that way.”   —-Jessica Rabbit

I may be new to this whole blogging thing, but I’ve lurked around long enough to know that I’m not very good at this yet.  I am a bad blogger!  It obviously has something to do with time-management skills, or lack thereof as the case may be.  This is something that I have struggled with my entire life and in spite of the fact that I recognize this problem, I have never managed to overcome it well enough to incorporate a system into my life that I would actually embrace, much less implement. For whatever reason, I have always functioned far better when I start feeling the pressure of a deadline closing in on me, looming large behind the shadow of a ticking clock.  Even when I have days, or even weeks to get something done, I find it much easier to find other things to occupy myself with whilst I put off the inevitable until the very last minute.

One of the factors I guess I refer to on the “Gotta Do” scale is whether or not somebody else is depending on me to get things done…..it is then that tasks seem to get moved up on the scale of importance because (gulp) I’m being relied upon by an outside party, and—well—that’s  just different!  At this point in my life, I feel like I have all the time in the world to get things accomplished and for anyone (like myself) who may be afflicted with such a condition, this can be a very dangerous and highly counter-productive luxury.

I probably need to set a timer for sitting down to write a post on a regular basis—yup!  It sounds like a good idea, so I’ll just jot this down on my list and carry it around for a while……See how it feels……. “Yeah, that’s the ticket!!” (to quote a John Lovitz character from SNL of days past).

THE brother with whom I share a similarly warped sense of humor (yet another genetic  anomaly) called yesterday to say how he’d enjoyed the nice things I’d said about my our mother in my last post.  ?!?  I had to go back and read it this morning because:  a) it had been so long since I’ve visited with y’all and “ode-ing” her had not been my intent at the time, and b)  today is Mother’s Day and I’ve decided to share a bit more of the “magic” that was my mother without (hopefully) repeating myself.

If I could only use one word to accurately describe my mom it would have to be a “hoot”.  She was many things, but above all she was one of the inherently (though not necessarily overtly) funniest people anyone could have the good fortune to come across—and I mean both “ha-ha” and “strange”.

When I was a child I was a bit embarrassed and confused that my folks were about the same age as most of my friends’ grand-parents.  Fortunately for me I got over it for the most part at a fairly young age.  I clearly remember one day when I was about six years old, we were shopping for school clothes and a clerk asked her if she and her  grand-daughter were having a fun day out together:  Mother just smiled and pointed out that I was her daughter.  The clerk was obviously a bit flustered and for lack of a better response said, “I’m sorry.”  My mom just gave her a grin and said “Well I’m not!” ( For whatever reason, that particular incident was permanently tattooed in my little brain. )  With a wink in my direction, she took my little hand and we set out on the next leg of our mission……the hat department.  It was a department store ritual we shared–which Daddy was privy to on occasion, but one that (until recently) I hadn’t realized belonged to the two of us.

I really hadn’t thought about it for quite some time, but the other day when I had some time to kill I found myself in the hat department and was reminded of the fits of uncontrolled laughter that we would put ourselves into while trying on hats.  Hysteria, really.  You see, Mother was one of those people who the hat gods had never intended to grace with a piece of their work.  Over the years I’ll bet she tried on thousands of hats in my presence, and I don’t think there was a single one in the bunch that didn’t elicit hilarity to the point that strangers would peer around racks to see what was so funny that an otherwise “respectable” pair of gals were reduced to gleeful piles of goo in the middle of an up-scale clothing store.  Once in a while a late-comer to the spectacle would sympathetically proffer a tissue while probably wondering at the cause of our tears.

Aside from being funny my mother was:  soft-hearted, gracious, brilliant, independent, imaginative, supportive, loving, open-minded, forgiving, always ready to jump in with a helping hand, and wickedly witty—just to name a few.  I miss her every day.

This is but a tip of the iceberg.   I simply had to get this out there in hopes that whoever may come across this will not leave without a smile.

HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, EVERYBODY!!!

xoxomoí   ;]


“The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.”    —-Larry the Cable Guy

Disclaimer:  I use too many commas and parentheses, make up words when I deem necessary, and have a penchant for dots, dashes, and run-on sentences (among other moving violations).   I also tend to be a bit long-winded, but it seems to run in the family so it’s probably genetic and I can’t help it. If any of these are known to cause hives,  light-headedness, loud outbursts, or any other unpleasant reactions—just click out of here!!    Still here, huh?  The other thing about most of this schtuff is that what isn’t totally true is based on actual events……as I know ‘em……or at least think of ‘em……whatever.

In my life I have truly been blessed.  Somewhere in one of the  corners of my little mind I have always known this.   But, human nature being what it is I guess I let myself get distracted from time to time.  Over the years I know I have led a fairly interesting life. I’ve never really considered it to be particularly exciting or remarkable until I sit down and take a breath.  Time to take a breath.

In the past I have repeatedly found myself in the position of caregiver.  I have seen what is probably not the very worst, but some really bad shit happen over the years to various friends and family members concerning hospitals and health issues.  For whatever reason, I seem to keep running into some woman in the mirror who is in the middle of helping somebody in the throes of a health crisis.  When there are so many things going on and there doesn’t seem to be anybody else around to lend a hand, it’s like:  the genie wants the day off—aw what the heck,  she’s not doing anything right now.  She can handle things for the time being.  While I don’t really think it’s genetic, I do believe that it can be inherited.  Mine just happens to be both, having come from my mother.  That and my dimples.

How she ever managed to raise the seven of us, live up to the expectations of being my father’s wife, and still greet everyday with a smile on her face and a twinkle in her piercing blue eyes is one of the mysteries of time that will probably never be solved.  Nor should it.  Some jerk would just probably figure out a way to use it for evil, and that would be way too much power.  I blame her for my sense of humor and my Peter Pan/Pollyanna attitude, and I will always feel especially grateful for both.

I don’t think it really dawned on me until I had left the nest that there were other ways to be.  Don’t get me wrong, I did my share of rebelling and thinking my side of the lollypop had all of the fuzz on it, but silly me still thought that most people were basically happy with their lot in life…otherwise, why wouldn’t they do something to change it?  I always did.  Thanks, Mommy.

I didn’t begin to appreciate how unusual it was that my family all liked each other so well.  Not to say that we haven’t had our share of differences in many aspects of day-to-day stuff—but by golly we got along.  We weren’t hit or allowed to do so (at least when anyone who’d tell was looking), and the final outcome was never, ever supposed to leave hurt feelings.  Pretty simple rules, huh?  I can remember one day shortly after both of my folks had passed away, a bunch of my friends were sitting around one day discussing the phenomenon of my family.  Speculation early on was that we’d all be at each others’ throats fighting over the carrion of the parents’ almost sixty year old estate.  Are you kidding me?  Don’t you think for one NTH of a second that each and every one of us kids (AND spouses) weren’t sure that my mom‘d be back here in a heartbeat, forbidding us from behaving so badly toward one and other with Daddy standing there with his hand cupping his chin, looking over her left shoulder with that expression of amused wonder that he frequently wore when it came to her.

In addition to the great fortune of my relatives, I happened across a man from an equally agreeable family…..and I really liked him.  A lot.  So I did something I swore I’d never do again in this lifetime.  I married him.  While I realize that had anyone been making book on this the odds would have been somewhere in the range of “slim-to-none”, it did happen.  The both of us had been on our own for many years and certainly were not interested in dating anyone for any reason, but a mutual friend from beautiful Bandera, Texas got it into his head to get us together.  We finally met for a drink in our hometown (more to get this friend to find another hobby than anything else), and he’s been my one and only since shortly thereafter.

I’m not too sure exactly when it was that our friend realized he needed to make such a recommendation—most likely the fact that I had a seemingly endless supply of cold beer on hand at that time had something to do with it—but I am truly grateful for the tip.  If he were only as good at setting up his own bed as he was in setting up ours, he could probably bring about the advent of world peace.  Or at the very least cooperation……more’n likely it was just a matter of how hard Saturn’s outer rings were pulling on Uranus, now that I’m thinkln’ about it.

At any rate, I’m feeling a bit like that second mouse.  Life as I know it is by no stretch of the imagination perfect, but it’s pretty damned good when you take all things into account.  Now, if I could only come up with those winning lottery numbers……