Wednesday, February 2, 2011

SNOW DAY!...For The Birds?? What?

In the days before automobiles, the streets were filled with horse-drawn carriages, and these animals quite naturally left behind deposits from their digestive systems.
These emissions contained half-digested oats that attracted swarms of birds, which took nourishment from the deposits.
The people of the time coined the expression “for the birds” as meaning anything of the same value as these horse-droppings.
We say that something that is worthless is “for the birds”.


This what "for the birds" means to me.  Meet Rocco.

Rocco is a beautiful Cardinal that has been living around our house for several years.  He is always in this tree by our living room window on the north side of our home.  He lightly flies into the window on an almost daily basis.  I haven't been able to stop him from doing this, so I guess he is just letting me know he is here.  This morning I decided to take his photo to share his beauty with you. One of the reasons I love snow days is that I end up doing the unexpected, like taking photos through icy windows. 
There is a large blue spruce adjacent to his tree which offers him some shelter from the icy cold wind and horizontal snow that we are experience on days like today.  He has his own feeder in his tree filled with various types of seed, including black oil sunflower seeds.  To get fresh water he has to fly around to the back of our house where we have a heated water bowl and eight more feeders, which can be seen from our great room. 
 Birds need a lot of food to survive these cold winter months, especially when the temperature drops into the single digits like it will later today.  It is a major pain to keep the feeders and water clean and filled for my winged friends when everything is covered with ice and snow, but well worth it, because the seed brings  beauty like this to our home everyday.  Therefore part of my snow day morning was spent de-icing and refilling feeders.

PLEASE keep your feeders clean and filled and provide fresh clean water daily.  Electrically heated bowls can be found at most pet shops. Also, please do not leave dogs and cats outside in this cold, cold weather.

Feed the birds and enjoy their beauty everyday, and especially on a SNOW DAY, like I have been doing all day today!


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Elderly Parents and Hermiting!?!

Several of my friends and I have the same worries about the lifestyles our mothers are living.  Our moms are all around the 85 year mark and they are most comfortable at home.  They do not  interact much with anyone other than immediate family, don't take advantage of the gatherings offered at their condo complexes, or do much of anything really.  This is not a new problem, it has been going on for years. They are isolated by choice and have insulated themselves inside their homes.  I call this "The Hermit Syndrome" or just plain Hermiting.

My mom is a hermit.  I have tried for years to help her stay in contact with her friends and get out of the house.  One year I went so far as to provide her with Christmas cards with her name printed inside, and offered to address them all for her.  Sadly, for me, it was a "no-go".  This is one example of my many unsuccessful attempts, you get the picture, no need to provide more.

I have invited my mom to dinner at our house or to go out to dinner nine times in the last three and one-half weeks.  Although she still drives a car, we do all night and bad weather driving, yet her answer was "no" each time.  Mom often tells me how lonely she is, yet I have been unable to get her to do much of anything for years.  It wouldn't have to be anything spectacular, I wish she would just hang out at my house.  I don't think my mom sees this as a problem, but I do - the problem is that it is my problem, and it sure is rough dealing with it.  It is hard to accept that I cannot help her to not be so lonely, because she won't let me. I'm working on accepting  it.....and have been for years, and hopefully will be for years to come.

My conclusion is that there are few things  I can do for my Mom, but I can give her kindness, respect, consideration, love and TIME.  Maybe these are the most important things after all!