Even birds can have a lapse in judgement

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For the past two mornings, I have been brought back from my slumber into consciousness by an obnoxious sound.  Before I share my story, let me first paint a scene in your mind.

Picture a tiny white cottage nestled in the midst of three acres of extensive woodland.  The dense underbrush is stippled by towering century-old Maple and Oak trees that seem closer to the sun than to the ground.  Branches perpetually invite forest creatures to share their space and many birds use the strong limbs to begin their spring ritual of attracting a potential mate.  The songs of the frogs fill the night air as the barred owls call from one tree to another.  These soothing noises lull me into sleep.

Mornings are usually accompanied by the soundtrack of chirping birds.  The melodies of Chickadees and Red-winged Black Birds are the first strains I hear and they help me welcome the morning with a peaceful sigh…..until yesterday.

My rhythmic breathing was suddenly caught in my throat as I was rudely awakened by the simulated sound of a jack hammer.  The noise would stop long enough for me to hear the fading echo and then begin again.  In the middle of this wooded sanctuary, a Pileated Woodpecker was pounding his beak on the old TV antenna that is affixed to the house directly beside my bedroom window.  This beautiful, albeit destructive bird, truly could not see the forest for the trees.  Although surrounded by a plethora of massive trunks, it chose to continue to bang its beak on the metal tower and showed up again this morning to do it all over again.

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I caved to the will of the shortsighted bird and got up early to take my dog for a walk.  The familiar sounds of the usual morning creatures were there to walk with us and when we got close to home, I heard the familiar banging sound coming from my neighbors house.  Out of the myriad number of trees to select from, this bird had found the only two needles in nature’s haystack.  I can only wonder how long it will take this feather-brained bird to realize it’s barking up the wrong tree.

 

It takes all kinds….

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I have never been one to shy away from using my voice.  I have learned over the years that having an opinion is the backbone of our individuality.  Our beliefs and ideals are just that, ours.   We have a right to share them and we have the intelligence to know that not everyone will agree with them.

Social media has taken our tiny platform from parties and get-togethers to an extreme level and our opinion, should we choose to voice it, is subject to a wide array of conjectures and unpredictable feedback.  These days there is a very thin line between anything and political correctness.

Lately, I think twice before I post an update on my page or even post a response to someone else’s post. For every nine people who simply click the thumbs-up button to give you a like, there is that one person who can turn a simple post into their newest crusade.  They will mock you for posting it, they will admonish those who liked it and they will go to great lengths to channel their strong feelings and bestow their opinion upon everyone else.

Yes, some posts and memes can cross a line or two…but are we not allowed to maintain some sense of humor in light of what is going on in the world these days?  If we dissect everything we see and find offence in the slightest bit of offside rhetoric, we are bound to be very unhappy people in the near future.

I have a very open mind and a very twisted sense of humor and there are things on social media that I have found to be distasteful, even repugnant, but I have not ostracized the person who posted it….I have merely moved on and chosen not to engage in a conversation that wasn’t worth having.

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My mother used to say, “it takes all kinds to make the world go around”.   Now, more than ever, I know what she meant.  But it also takes all kinds to show some compassion and understanding and realize that we are all entitled to our own opinion without fear of recrimination.

 

In lieu of flowers

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It is with deep regret and great sadness that I announce the passing of the hamster who used to power the wheel of thoughts in my head.  Jack died peacefully on his wheel on Sunday, June 12th at 3:15 pm in his 36th year.

Jack loved all things related to language and words.  He excelled at creating just the right nuance in a sentence so it sounded interesting without being too wordy.  He spent many hours pouring over his thesaurus to make a phrase engaging, yet comprehensible.

Jack began gnawing on his writing chops at a young age.  He dabbled in poetry and short stories and had recently begun his foray into writing a novel.  His passion for words led him to blogging and he relished the forum that allowed him complete freedom for his creative compulsion.  He was a fanatic about grammatical correctness, loved to build a story from beginning to end and thrilled in plotting twists and turns that a reader may not have anticipated.

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Jack leaves behind an empty wheel, a collection of Dean Koontz novels and a battered Underwood typewriter on which he had hoped to use to type his way into becoming a prolific Canadian author.

Expressions of sympathy can be sent to the comments section of this blog.  R.I.P. Jack – we had a good thing going for a while.

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My catnaps are something completely different

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It was a marginally illegal happenstance born of complete innocence.  Our Chef made the familiar turn onto our road and noticed the owner’s cat in the woods about a kilometer from their house.  He did what anyone else would do in his situation and he put Lulu in his car to bring her home.

Although the cat seemed mildly disoriented, she seemed to settle back in relatively quickly and made her way to Nanny and Poppa’s house.  Having just returned from south of the border, they were happy to see Lulu and reached into the treat bag they kept at the house.  The cat seemed content to stay there for a couple of days but was finally taken back to her home.   Upon putting the cat on the porch outside of the sliding glass door, Nanny realized that Lulu was inside the house staring back at her doppelgänger on the other side of the door.  Both cats immediately puffed up to twice their size and the interloper was brought back down to the lodge for her own safety.

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The new cat, who I affectionately referred to as RuPaul, lived the Life of Riley for the next few days.  She sauntered around the property, drank lake water while standing on the sandy beach, joined a young conference who had an outdoor meeting session on the lawn and became one of the group.  She was fed, loved and seemed like she would fit right in.

It wasn’t until the next morning that I found out how RuPaul had come to the resort.  We realized the error that our Chef had made by erroneously abducting our neighbor’s cat and she was then returned to the property from where she had been cat-napped.

When the owner realized that Snipey had returned she called her husband immediately, commenting on how well the cat looked and that Snipey wasn’t even hungry.  After reading my message to her on Facebook, Sue called our resort and I told her the story of how her Lulu-lookalike became a part of our lodge family for a few days.  She was a great sport about the story and was extremely happy to have her cat-napped family member home safe and sound.

From now on, we’ll just have to make sure that our Chef sticks with the cat naps that I am used to and not the ones that can get him in to trouble with the neighbors!

 

I’ll bet you think this blog is about you, don’t you?

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She’s so vain.  I didn’t think it was possible but my dog has begun to show narcissistic tendencies.  She is absolutely one of the sweetest dogs I have ever known and I never thought I would be writing these words about her.

Our routines have changed since she had her second seizure a few weeks ago.  She came through it just fine but I wanted to keep as close an eye on her as I could, so her outdoor adventures became shadowed by my presence and an extendable leash so I could monitor her well-being.

Three or four times a day, we walk to the end of our road and back and she thrills in discovering new smells each time we travel along the same stretch of pavement.  She has been trained to sit down at the side of the road every time a car passes so they are not concerned about getting too close.  But lately after each car has passed, her smile widens and she leaps from her seated position to follow the occupants of the vehicle that she has convinced herself are on the road only to see her.  I am loath to admit that my dog has become a Kardashian.

Tail wagging, she veers into the middle of the road to catch a whiff of the humans in the metal can on wheels.  If the car is going in the opposite direction, I suddenly find myself the one being walked down the road.  And, much to my dismay, several cars stop to chat only reinforcing her belief that they have stopped just for her.  After her faithful subjects have curtsied and paid their respects, her head swells slightly, I feel moderately deprived of oxygen and we continue our walk until we are securely tucked back into our humble abode (which I’m sure she now feels is beneath her).

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(image: Callaway as a puppy)

As I’m sure it happens in Hollywood, Callaway’s fame happened overnight.  Three or four times a day, I apparently walk a movie star.  I missed the memo explaining my new role in this relationship but as long as I still have that smiling face in my life, I’m okay with it!

Physics: The Laws of Motion, Part B, Subsection 2C

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I vaguely remember my high school Physics classes.  I’m sure I was busy writing a poem on the back of my binder or doodling my latest crush’s last name following my first name to see how they looked together.  I do recall a brief outline of Sir Isaac Newton’s law of motion saying something about an object at rest tended to remain at rest but the continuation of that class lecture began to sound more like the teacher in the Peanuts cartoons and I lost the ability to follow along.

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There must have been a day in class that my head was so high in the clouds that I missed the fine print of Newton’s law that said: an object at rest for longer than six months will undergo much trauma and discomfort when it finally gets off its ass.

I’ll admit, apart from walking my dog a couple of times a day, for the past six months I have been quite sedentary.  This became glaringly obvious over this past weekend as I  crawled out of my cushy office life and breached the inner sanctum of our dining room and kitchen.  I don’t mind serving tables.  It gives me the wonderful opportunity to engage with our guests far beyond just checking them into their rooms.  My body, however, disagrees entirely with that philosophy.

I came home from work tonight with a sore back and aching feet, begrudgingly walked my dog and finally hobbled over to my couch.  My body turned, my back aimed towards the couch and I lowered myself to a more agreeable angle.  Similar to how my grandfather used to look getting into our Lazy boy recliner, I simply let gravity take over and allowed myself to fall the rest of the way on to the couch.  It wasn’t pretty but it got the job done.  Thankfully my arms and fingers did not take the brunt of my weekend activities or I would have been typing this post with a pencil in my mouth and banging the tiny eraser onto the letters of my keyboard.

Once I become acclimated to being an object in motion I will be fine.  Either that or I will be starting a Go-Fund-Me account to be able to afford an Indego Exoskeleton to keep me upright.  Either way, I have an afternoon off today and I will enjoying being an object at rest for a few extra hours.