Thursday, December 12, 2013

Goldfinch Yoga, Cardinals, etc

The male goldfinch still had a burst of yellow on his neck, going into winter coat season.  I'd never seen a goldfinch pose on top of the feeder in the wrong spot. He even tried to turn upside down to eat in the wrong place.  The leg pose and expressions were cute. He appeared to be doing yoga to me.

Then we had the cardinals, male and females. Female ticked off when one bird tried to share feeder.

Another one looks to be tap dancing on the hopper feeder.  Then a sparrow on the cage moved a bit but I could still see bit of geometric pattern on his belly from the sun.

Enjoy the pictures. *waves* ...Sophia, the bird lady.

PLEASE click on the photo to see it fully sized! 

 House finch sees the pecking order for the sunflower seed on hopper feeder! Cranky birds.
"Wait your turn, buster! I'm not finished yet!"

Friday, November 29, 2013

Remembering . . .

Two years ago November 29th, 2011, my 91 year old mom, left us after getting good care in a Hospice facility in her final 10 days. She had hid her illness severity for almost a year or more, but we all knew SOMETHING was seriously wrong. She was born on a farm during the depression where no sissies were allowed. She later worked in a hospital, had a son-in-law who was a Dr/surgeon and knew all about anatomy and signs of good and bad health without the need of modern scans. She took no medication!

She'd had gall bladder issues off and on her whole life and avoided greasy foods and knew how to self doctor herself at home with fasting and food choices.  She kept blaming 'this illness of many months' on her gall bladder but then wondered what was going on.  She had refused to see a doctor no matter how much we threatened, begged, pleaded. She was on no meds, lived in her own home alone ---her choice.  She fired meals on wheels due to their gross meals (which sadly, they are--we treat elderly in this country HORRIBLY in case that is a news flash to you.) and even fire the in house help we'd gotten for her.  I guess in retrospect it scared her to know she was losing control of her own life.

She knew she had been dying before we did but chose not to talk  about it...this was difficult but those were the wishes she told the hospital (When she finally asked my sister to call an ambulance...she had fallen and broken a bone a few weeks before, and moving around a lot while lying in bed was horrid...and her kidney output had turned the color of tea she had told me so she knew, things had gotten dire.

10 days before she died, she finally relented to go to the hospital when she turned very jaundiced.  They immediately spoke of Hospice admission and even held her an extra 24 hours until a bed opened up. She'd been complaining of pain but not the severity of it.  She finally accepted that it was ok so say yes to pain medication! Long story short, she had a massive cancer mass in her abdomen that, judging on symptoms, was pancreatic. She'd lost over 50 lbs in less than a year, had been nauseated off and on and in pain. Hospice kept her medicated to the max, and we learned the signs to look for from her expression, in her sleep, to learn if she needed more pain meds.  We were around her almost 24/7 until the last 24 hours...

She died while alone for four hours in the middle of the often, loved ones wish to die without an audience. She was practically comatose by then and not aware of things for days, as far as we could tell, but we still chatted in her hospice room among ourselves as if she COULD HEAR us and kept conversation pleasant.

My advice to ANY of you people with parents or other loved ones, but especially parents, never leave unfinished business with them.  You never know when they will be gone. Tomorrow is promised to no one.

Holding onto resentment, hate, or keeping a grudge, etc.... only keeps you a prisoner in your own self misery.  

There are self help books, support groups and therapists for every problem.  Even if you have good relationships, when your parents die, it is most difficult.  If your parents die, and you have had a falling out, believe or not, I hear that grief is much worse. And I can see why ... too many 'what ifs, if only, I shoulda/coulda/wouldas' that YOU THEN have to live with forever. Why would one 'choose' that route?

So I leave you with a few pictures of her and a reminder if you love your parents: No matter how long they are in our lives, it's never long enough.  How do you want your story to end? Good terms or bad.

I have very little immediate family left except for a sister, to  whom I am close to, and one brother whom we never see, even though he lives close by, and one out west that at least emails and sends cards for birthdays. No cousins, aunts, uncles, no children.  Nephews and niece live far away.

So holidays can be depressing for many as they age.  Check on your neighbors during this time. And don't be a fake.  Just be genuine, shovel their walk, take them some food if you know they are not on special diets. Call them if you don't see them outside for a few days. See if they need groceries, that kind of thing.

Just be thoughtful and nice. If you are lucky enough, you will be old someday.

Mom's 90th birthday with my niece and one of my nephews

 Last family get together  1988 with all of us, two years before Dad died. 

 Mom and Dad holding my sister in 1946. They went on to have two sons, them me in 1956
Her last Christmas 2010

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Ricky Nye

I was lazy and left my adjustable flash at home. I take non flash photos 98.5% of the time-- since birds and critters don't need lighting I (falsely) assumed (!?) there would be enough ambient lighting  at MUHD again, and there.was.not. But, that's ok because Ricky Nye lit up with room with his piano and personality! Was my  first time hearing the boy and he did not disappoint. 

One of my photos, I did use a flash and you can figure it out due to the shadow I got, even though the wall was a good what, 20 feet away? This NikonD40 has an overly bright flash that could light up a small village. The other pics are grainy due to ISO put up the the max/1600 or 800 the other..looks like I shot through a burlap sack, but I digress.

Ricky had  a great sale on his CD's (so great I can't mention the price here!) so i bought two thanks to Kevin Loving being  good enough to lend me the cash for a couple days (When i put him on the spot!! Thanks Kevin and excuse my rudeness!) 

I enjoyed Ricky's  brief talking in between a few songs,  and could've listened all night to his stories and music! I love learning a story behind great old music/musicians that too many kids are ignorant about and don't want to listen to..You can't appreciate  music in ipods or ear buds in my world.  You need to hear them through real speakers...where the music sounds rich! Not flat and oh, maybe ... over produced, but I am getting off topic...what was the question?

If you are bummed about the holidays or happy about the holidays the 2 CDs I happened to pick fit the bill! One was  Ricky Nye 'The Three B's; Blues, Ballads and Boogie Woogie.'  and the other Blues Boogie from Nov 6, 2010 at Southgate House. I've never been to Kentucky venues due to the fact, I can not breathe cigarette smoke if i want to continue breathing. Nevertheless, this CD captures the live action with some fabulous musicians and is great, energetic recording. His solo CD is great music for dinner or a cocktail party or even cooking !!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Birds Noticed Today

Pictured above is a Titmouse looking at a green cage feeder below.  I have seven feeders or so in the winter and four bird baths around that I clean daily.

Below are mostly House Finches (They look similar to Purple Finches)

 This is a Goldfinch. They have lost their summer coat of glow-in-the-dark yellow but are still gorgeous!

Squirrel in back of yard seems to be asking for more sunflower seed to eat.  He got his wish.. . we have several squirrels and they are endless entertainment!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

A Fall Day in 2013

Nearly impossible to capture the widespread beauty this year. Never saw so many colors on one tree, in places. Bright gold and scarlet red!

Get out and enjoy the color. Put down the computer/tablet/smart phone and take in the beauty!