Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Birds

It took me over 40 years and one winter to break down and do it.


I joined generations of my ancestors in being a Bird Lady.


I don’t own one in the house—oh, no. That’s a whole bucket of heartbreak and crazy I won’t even begin to consider. My grandmother had parakeets. Some of my best friends have birds. Like fish and other non-mammalian pets that you can’t actually pet, Birds have always meant to me caged creatures whose poop needs to be cleaned up regularly. Since we don’t even take the newspaper any more, I have no means, nor desire to deal with bird poop.


Instead, I’ve become one of those people who buys birdseed and scatters it on her lawn. I am informed by my youngest son, (who, like all my sons, is an Expert In All Things) that this is wrong and irresponsible of me. We should be filling birdhouses and bird feeders. I try explaining that these birds, being wild creatures, are more than capable of getting their food off the ice and snow which finally brought me to break down and buy that first back of seed. He rolls his eyes at me because I know nothing.


Within a few hours, the birds had discovered my seed. My poor cats have spent the last two days sitting in the window, whining at the flock gathering on the back patio. The first cupful I put out there is gone. The second cupful is going. I estimate I have seven days before I have to pick up another bag of the stuff at Kroger.


But I know what’s coming. More birds bring more birds. More birds eat more seed faster.


Before long, that little Kroger bag won’t be enough. I’ll end up driving to the feed store for a 20 pound bag. Or a 50 pound bag. Or maybe I’ll just fill the back end of a pickup with birdseed, like my father and mother do to feed the Hitchcockian horror show that takes up the balcony off their sunroom.


I know the strategy: When you get the truckload, take along a small hatchet. Drive as fast as you can, window wipers beating, to get through the barrage of wings and beaks that surround you. Once the vehicle is stopped, open the rear window of the cab just a wee bit and slice through the bags, spilling your seed on the truck bed (which, I’m pretty sure, the Bible warns us about, by the way).


Then, as the birds dive-bomb the rear you run from the front of the truck to the safety of your back door.


What’s that, you say? Your screen door has a hole in it?


Ah, well. It was nice knowing you.







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Saturday, May 18, 2013

China...I can feel the distance!

I leave in 36 hours on a jet plane to Shanghai by way of Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Wenzhou.

You'd think I'd be totally jazzed...like, with jazz hands, even!

But instead... Packing Panic!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Spring Has Sprung Me

I'm one of those seasonally-affected, disorderly people. As the days grow shorter, so does my temper.

When the Equinox hits, my mood levels out--and by this time in the year, I'm something resembling pleasant again. And not a minute too soon!

It's the dawn of conference time, when readers and writers gather in droves to share our favorite books, authors and drinks. I'm missing the Romantic Times convention happening in Kansas City, right now, and I sincerely regret it--much of my family lives there, and I had planned on a reunion the likes of which no cousin of mine had ever seen.

But in the interim, two other trips dropped into my lap and life: I head to China in a couple weeks to travel up the east coast from Hong Kong in the south to Shanghai. The flight from Chicago lasts for 15 hours. I'm hoping to sleep the entire way there and back.

And after I get back...conference time! The Annual Reader-Author Get-Together sponsored by Lori Foster has doubled in attendance in the years since I started coming, but the same friends always show up. I'm looking forward to seeing some of you again for the first time in a year.

And then I'm off to Rocky Mountain National Park with the family. I figure if I don't lose weight hiking in China, I'll almost certainly do so in Colorado.

Right? Right?

What about you? Busy summer? Lazy summer? What are your plans?