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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Post Marathon Thoughts

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It has been an overwhelming, scary, intense six days here in Boston. I don’t have any overarching conclusions about terrorism hitting a community I love. I do have a few random thoughts.

1.                  I had forgotten that horrible sense of threat and fear that lived in my heart and belly during 9/11. It forcefully comes back as if it never went away, especially since one of our daughters lives in the neighborhood that was bombed. She just happened to change plans for a late lunch near the finish line Monday and headed to the South End instead. I’m still living with the “what if” scenario in my head.

2.                  We unplugged and removed the TV almost a year ago. All of our news now comes through the internet. That demands lots of reading from different sources and hearing multiple points of view about these horrid events. I do appreciate not having to hear mindless talking heads fill space on the airwaves. It is, however, difficult to knit or quilt while reading, clicking and scrolling down page after page.

3.                  It’s hard to sleep with this turbulence. Lack of sleep makes coherent thinking and any kind of peace difficult to attain. It is far too easy to slip into the general malaise of sadness and anger.

4.                  Keeping in touch with my loved ones via phone, texting, IMing and extended conversations with my hubby are crucial.

5.                  I realize that I can’t change what bad people are going to do to others, but I can take a refresher First Aid course, so I can be more useful if I’m in any one of the awful situations we’ve seen in the past week.

6.                  Giving blood is something else I can do regularly. It’s a gift that keeps on giving. It puts my focus on “life” not fear.

7.                  I have a renewed appreciation and respect for the first responders, law enforcement, and hospital staff. I need to find a way to do something to show that appreciation.

8.                  A woman in line at a store here in Falmouth said she was going to increase the number of Random Acts of Kindness she performs daily—just to try to even the scales a bit. Not a bad idea.

Now it’s time to try to learn something from all this chaos, but also time to move on and to make the most of this gorgeous Sunday. We’re going to take a walk through Spohr’s Gardens and see all of the daffodils in bloom and then hit the bike path along the water.  That’s what I need right now. Hope you and yours are safe, sound, and on the mend.

Spohr's Gardens

Spohr’s Gardens


Better than PeptoBismol



Feeding It, Not Eating It

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My head was down, sewing like a madwoman, with threads all over and my eyes on the line my machine was supposed to follow. It was actually quite blissful. At the end of a stretch I saw a head bobbing up and down outside of my studio window. There was a beak, bead-like eyes and a skinny, feathered neck.



This bobbing creature fearlessly came to the window and looked in. We met, eye to eye, and she won the stare down. My sewing fell to the side, and I just had to check out this very confident animal.

It looked bigger than a chicken, nothing like a seagull, a different shape than a crow. I don’t know the names of birds, so I snapped a few photographs of this curious buddy and figured someone on Facebook would know. Maybe a pheasant? Maybe a rooster—no it didn’t have that wobbly gobble thing under its chin.

I wanted to yell upstairs to David to check out this cool sighting, but didn’t want to make noise and scare the poor bird. So I did what every person living in 2013 would do… I sent him an IM and a text message: “Check out the fucking huge bird outside my window”.

Never saw one of these before.

Never saw one of these before.

Big Bird moved from window to window all around the house, stopping to eat nibbles on the ground, and always looking our way to see what we were doing. Bella, our cat, followed inside from window to window; she was quite cautious. Her tail twitched, but no noises were made. This bird was at least three times her size. She knows her place in the universe, but she still had to watch. At times, she’d get overwhelmed and want to be held, with her face pushed in my arm pit (ugh!).



The bird spent most of her time under the bird feeder picking up the leftover goodies. She also ate all of the cranberries I tossed out after Christmas. Quite contented, she ate, and we gawked. David, who is far more quiet than I, slipped out the front door and got two feet away from our feathered friend. He was thinking Jurassic Park…they can’t see me if I don’t move. Snap, Snap,Snap… good pictures!!! Yes!!!!



Over the course of the next twenty minutes, this gorgeous bird, with all shades of rich brown feathers, explored our front yard. She walked on the stone path, across the dirt and checked out all of the transplanted bushes. Basically, she made her self at home. She even made a huge poop on the front walk…a housewarming gift?

After posting the pix on Facebook, there was feedback. My daughters both responded with awe and interest. Molly identified the guest as a wild female turkey. Both kids thought she was a beauty.

Someone else suggested that if I had a rifle, I could have a great meal, a trophy, and a really interesting blog post to write. I responded that I would be feeding this bird, not eating it. The thought of killing this animal and eating it never crossed my mind. Actually, I was quite grossed out by the comment. The suggestion seemed so wrong, so out of place for something so interesting and very much alive in my front yard. Others posted warnings that wild turkeys can be very aggressive, and I ought to be careful. Maybe they’re only aggressive to people who have rifles.

Wild Turkey Mama Meets Stone Mama

Wild Turkey Mama Meets Stone Mama

The best news was that my friend Katy suggested that this mama turkey might have babies nearby… a whole new generation of these beauties. I will look in earnest, but disturb nothing. Seeing the mama and the babies would be quite a gift. In the meantime, I’ll toss out birdseed and hope everyone else enjoys her as much as I do, poop and all.


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Snowdrops, no snow.

One of the joys of living in New England is that we really have seasons—and there are discernible changes that I look forward to every three months. Spring is starting to happen here at the Cape. At first, it’s the small, quiet changes; sunlight enters our bedroom at a different angle and follows us on our daily walk to the beach.


Bikepath/Surf Drive

The wind blows hard all winter and now it’s lessening, giving the birds a chance to hang on to the limbs and sing a bit. There is a morning chorus starting, and we’re hearing familiar voices. I’ve put out a stash of short scraps of leftover yarn for their nest building. It’s a kick to look up in the trees and see yarn from the sweater I just finished knitting.  Bella, the cat, has renewed interest in standing guard on the window ledge with eyes glued to the bird feeder. “They’re back”, she hollers. Lucky for the birds, she’s an indoor only cat.


Little Bobo and Butterball

Kittens are starting to arrive at the shelter, just a few; the season is only beginning. They’re so tiny, with little meows and awkward, wobbly movements… and soft, baby fur. There are unbelievably fun to watch and even better to hold and cuddle.


White Birch- wish there were more.

Trees are still quite grey, but the green bushes are full of plump buds just waiting to show some color. I’m always tempted to clip a few branches and “force” them to bloom inside, but never do because I don’t want to rob the outdoors.


Rhodos had a hard winter.

The best part for me is seeing some action from the bulbs planted the previous fall. At first, it’s just green nubs barely pushing their way through the dirt. A few days later, it’s more rubbery green leaves, and I hold my breath that we don’t have snow or frost.  Just today the first daffodil bud is standing strong and waiting to open.


This seasonal stuff gives me the incentive to reboot myself. I get motivation that is often reserved for New Years or back to school. I love the smell of the air, the new night sky, and the excitement that Spring brings. It doesn’t last long, but just enough to savor it and enjoy all the optimism. For me, it will also mean taking my first yoga class, planting lettuce and morning glories in peat pots, rediscovering an old favorite cookbook and starting to knit a new, lighter weight sweater. All good stuff.

Just a hint of color

Just a hint of color.