Friday, April 16, 2021

This and That

 I have a bunch of random ideas that don't really make up a post.  Not that it has stopped me from writing whole posts about nothing before.  But, in the order of the 7 quick takes of old, I will sum up my life in seven takes.

1. Since receiving the vaccine and waiting the allotted period I have been doing a few things to open up my life a bit.  I feel that is necessary in part because I wonder if there might be variants that will shut it all down again.  In part I am moving slowly because my son and daughter in law haven't been vaccinated yet and I didn't want to take even the slight risk of taking them the virus. But, masked up and socially distanced I have gone to Mass in the early morning of Sundays.  I have shopped a few places. I plan to meet with a friend next week for lunch.  I have also resumed visiting doctors who could be put off. I saw the retina doctor and "graduated" and the dentist and had no cavities. I saw my spiritual director in person. It feels so good to do normal things again.  I really don't mind wearing a mask knowing that I am unlikely to get the virus and even if I do, it more than likely won't kill me.

2. The upside of this pandemic year is that I haven't had one cold.  I haven't had the flu. I haven't been sick.  I am now clearly aware of my seasonal allergies.  I haven't had to take allergy medications because I have realized that my allergies aren't really that bad. I like breathing and not catching things from other people.  The push and pull of wanting to be with people but not wanting to share their germs.

3. I have had a hard time cleaning and organizing my house as we come out of this pandemic.  I have never been the best at housekeeping and I really let things go this past year.  I need to re-watch that series on organizing.  I had watched that right before the pandemic and I had started on purging and then stopped with boxes full of stuff to donate sitting around. Now that I can drop things off again at my favorite charities, I need to get up the steam to get busy.

4. I am proud of myself for fertilizing my lawn myself.  I bought the stuff, already had a dispenser thing. and I just did it.  The dead looking grass has a spring glow.  The crab grass parts still don't look great, but overall my yard doesn't look like a pitiful wasteland. I had doubts that I knew what I was doing, but decided just to do it.  I really don't like the idea of lawn chemicals.  It feels like sending poison down the rivers to me.  That is why I wanted to do it myself.  If you hire someone they want to come back and do more and more.  I wanted a one and done for this year.

5. My imaginary dog has been suffering lately.  I haven't been quite as dedicated to walking.  This is ironic because I was totally dedicated in the cold and wet of winter.  I have thought more and more about a real dog.  But, my mind is still not sure how to proceed or whether I really want to endeavor to have a dog.  Where I am right now is--I really want a miniature poodle.  I had miniature poodles in my childhood and I favor that sort of dog.  I have looked at rescues and shelters and the vast majority of those dogs are part pit bull.  Considering my grandchildren, I don't want a pit bull. Fluffy little dogs of the type I desire do not appear often on the shelter roles.  But when I look at ones to buy, the prices are going up and up.  I found a breeder that I thought I liked and read about some puppies, but when I saw that they were $5,000, I gave that idea up. There are of course some less than that, but most breeders want a cash deposit and then you get the dog they pick for you from the litter.  If I am buying a dog, I would really like to pick it myself.  I want some say in a life companion. So, for now, I am not getting a dog.

6. I already have a tomato setting on the patio plant on my deck.  The plant was flowering when I bought it.  I hauled it inside through the last frosts of the year.  I hope that we are done with those.  I have high hopes for the cherry tomatoes I am growing this year.

7. I am trying to finish up the "pandemic" Irish chain quilts that I am making for my grandchildren.  I have decided that I really don't enjoy working with jellyrolls and doing prescribed patterns.  I like to make up my own things.  And I am still a very amateur quilter and I will probably always be.  I really don't have a huge desire to up my game.  I am happy with the game the way it is.  I like to quilt and do what I do.  I don't expect to win any prizes.

So, all ashore that's going ashore.  Having a mother who is turning 100 in June, I have been very aware of the deaths of some of the ancients lately.  Beverly Cleary passed away at 103 in March.  Prince Philip didn't quite make it to his 100th this month. I have been struck by the comments about not being prepared for the death. I realize that I am ready, but not prepared for my mom to go if that makes any since.  I know that I will cry and grieve and yet I worry and feel pity for her in her old, old age. Only God knows the day and hour of her passing.  I am gad not to know. So, there's a free 8th take as well.

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The Birds, The Birds

I had a plan last week to thoroughly clean the birdcage.  I planned to transfer the parakeets to the extra cage I have, and take the main cage out and squirt it down.  I planned to scrub everything completely.  This winter some of it got away from be a bit.  In the warmer weather I had taken the whole cage, birds and all, out on the deck and cleaned it. I was very careful not to open the cage while outside.  But all the seed and feathers were easier to handle outdoors.

When I opened the cage and tried to catch one of the birds, he flew out into my house.  I am a bad bird owner according to the social media group I used to belong to because I have given up letting these birds fly free in my house.  They fly into walls and the ceiling.  They hide behind things and crawl into cupboards.  I have tried many times to do the free fly thing and I am afraid the blue bird will kill himself flying into things.  He seems to be rather a birdbrain.  Additionally, the blue bird has never returned himself to the cage.  Abu will crawl all over it seeming to look for the door to get in, but will never find it.  Achoo, the yellow parakeet, is the female.  She is less friendly, but smarter.  She can get herself back into the cage and she seems to be very good at finding hiding places.  Neither bird will perch on my finger or a stick I am holding.  Neither will come to me for a treat, even when I sit with my hand in the cage. I am resigned to having untamed birds.

I have looked at the rescue site here locally. I would consider surrendering them to a better life, but the rescue seems to be full at the moment.  They need more bird foster parents because they have too many birds.  This is not a good time to give up the birds for a better life, because it sounds like they wouldn't be getting one.

This made me consider, as we begin to head out of the pandemic, people who adopted birds for companionship during the pandemic are finding that as their lives open up they are just not that committed to their pets.  That is my story.  Soon the same thing may happen with dogs. Maybe someday there will be more than pit bulls to adopt. I plan to hang in there with the birds for a while longer.  I got off the social media page that was filling me with guilt.  These birds are animals, not children.  I am giving them the best life that I can.

Eventually I caught Abu and Achoo in my net and put them back in their cage.  I didn't get the deep cleaning done that I had hoped to do.  But, there should be warm weather again soon and I can wheel them out to the deck and clean what I can. For now, it is me and my birds.

Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Rats With Tail Feathers

 I had my gutters replaced a year ago.  It was the worst mistake I made during the pandemic for a number of reasons.  One, I found out later that the hail storm we had in the early spring was getting people to put on new roofs.  I didn't want to do that, have roofers mess up my lovely new gutters. Two, the workmen who did the gutters trampled the garden I had planted.  They stepped on the tomato plant, destroyed the beans and crushed the blackberry bush. Three, there were nails and metal pieces left around the yard that I had to pick up.

But, four, four is the worst thing.  I have discovered that the noise I thought might be birds pecking the gutters was in actuality squirrels making a home in my attic.  They are now having babies up there.  I don't remember authorizing this.  During a pandemic I understand that it hard to evict.  But, I am going to try. Frustrating.

I watched the YouTube videos.  I have some sticky traps which annoys the squirrels rather than catches them.  I would like very much to annoy them.  I have a vaulted ceiling that precludes going into the attic to catch them.  I have ordered some repellant. But, even if I get them to move out, I will need the hole that they have made in my eaves sealed.  So, I will be calling someone about this. Sigh.

The thing I like about squirrels is this--they make good hawk food.  I like hawks.  If I could find a way to attract hawks and entice the squirrels out it would be the perfect solution.  But, probably I will have to call pest control. Is it any wonder that I call squirrels rats with tail feathers? 

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

On My List

 Right at the moment several government agencies are on my list. Let's start with the Post Office.  I get the magazine Living With Christ each month.  I never got the March issue.  I assumed that it must have been torn up by postal machines or delivered to the wrong address and thrown away. But, no, at the very end of March, a week after I had received the April issue, the March issue arrived.  It was largely not useful by the time it arrived.  A couple of important tax documents from my bank never arrived in January and I had to get the information in a different way.  These are only the most recent problems with the post office.

Then there is the IRS.  Last August they sent me a letter that they had not received my payment which I sent in June.  This was not true, because they just hadn't opened and deposited it.  I never got any explanation or apology from the IRS. In fact, I haven't received the latest stimulus payment either. I don't even know where to start to try to figure that out.

I am supposed to be called again for jury duty in August.  I imagine that will be a nightmare.  I have never had federal jury duty before.  I have never actually been on a jury.  Mostly jury duty for me has been sitting in a big room waiting to be called or told to go home.  Someone explained it to me this way--the hope it that civil cases can be settled out of court.  But, sometimes the parties don't get serious about solving situations until the court date.  The fact that potential jurors are sitting there waiting to hear the case makes the settlement possible.  But, I don't know if federal court has civil cases or if it is all criminal.  I really hope not to hear a criminal case.  As I recall parking and lunch were the biggest problems with jury duty.  I am not looking forward to that.

I am very dismayed by the police brutality and by all the murders and mass murders happening lately.  This isn't the fault of a particular government agency.  In my  opinion government won't be able to solve these kinds of problems in the long run.  Love, love of stranger, love of enemies, love for each other.  Love seems to me to be the answer.  Anyway, I will try to find some love in my heart for the post office and the IRS and the courts. I am thankful to live in a country that has those things, even if human execution of the service sometimes seems flawed.  Love is the answer.  I am just not sure how.

Monday, April 12, 2021

The Junk I Write

 Mostly this blog has been hastily written and poorly edited over the past year or so.  I used to work so hard at the blog.  But, the grandchildren have taken priority of late.  I am working harder than I worked during my career when I was paid, taking care of 2 children under 3 from 8 to 4 or 4:30 for five days a week. These days I work for fun and for free and I work harder than ever.  And I am getting old. I mainly only have the time and energy to write on weekends.  So, I throw together a week's worth of posts finishing up with the Sunday prayers, and that's it until next week.

I ask myself why I keep at it since I am not blogging to my own standard. I am a better thinker and a better writer than I have been showing myself to be.  But, I stopped blogging for a while and put the pause on various times and I really wasn't happy not to write.  I write a lot.  I keep a paper journal and I pray/write Lectio Divina every day.  I write other things when I have time, but most of my written stuff, nobody will ever see.  I like having the blog to have at least something published.

But, I hope a day is coming and not so far off when I will give up caring for my grandchildren and just be their grandma, and not their babysitter.  It was getting to be too much.  I realized that I have my limits and I had reached mine.  After my son and daughter in law have been vaccinated, I have asked them to find daycare for the kids. I need time to be me and not spend my days rinsing poopy diapers and trying to reason with a 2 year old or put a one year old to sleep. I love to play with the kids, but I have found it impossible to play all day.

In that future day I hope to write a better blog. I hope to research family history and maybe write a book.  I want to travel a little more.  I think of getting a dog and I think of not getting a dog.  I still have the birds (parakeets) and maybe if I had more time I could tame them. Anyway, there are lots of things that I would like to put my hand to before time runs out for me.  I will miss the grandchildren on a day to day basis, but I hope to still keep them in my life.  I do like to play with children.