Tuesday, August 11, 2020

My Morning Walk with a Little Excitement


Yesterday, I went out for my morning walk.  It was already hot and gross, but I need to walk, so off I went.  Now, in the mornings, I tend to walk what I refer to as 'the loop'.  Our neighborhood is basically a big circle that gradually goes uphill to the top and then downhill toward the river.  It's about a mile and takes me approximately 24 minutes to traverse.  I live partway to the top, so the beginning of my walk is basically uphill, then it's totally downhill in the middle, and uphill the rest of the way home.

In the morning, the loop is about 2/3 in the shade, which makes it nice. 

Anyway, it's a hard walk, but one where I usually see things and check out the neighborhood to see if anything's changed, sometimes cross paths with other human beings and loads of wildlife. 

Yesterday was an eventful walk.  First off, I encountered the guinea fowl, Harry and Henry.  I always say "Hi, guys!" when I see them.  And they'd accepted Piebald back into their acquaintance.  They kind of shunned him after he attacked Henry, but all is well in the trio once more.  So yay.

Then I crossed paths with a neighbor I'd seen but never met before.  I have a goal to meet everyone at some point.  Meet but not get to know.  It's a hermit thing.  Anyway, I'd incorrectly identified this guy before as being one of the Smiths, but one day I saw him in the neighborhood when I knew the Smiths weren't in residence, so then it was a matter of figuring out which un-met neighbor he was.  Yesterday, I solved that.  Yay.  He was headed counter-clockwise on the loop and I always go clockwise, so I knew I'd meet him again.  Unless he walked really fast.

A little farther down the road, on the decline toward the river, I got the most excitement.  (I've already told this part on FB, so if you're there, too, bear with me.)  I was walking along, watching my footing because part of the loop is gravel road, when something flashed across my path - about ten feet in the air and I'd say eight feet in front of me - and crashed into the hillside.  I stopped and scanned the area where it landed.  There was some rustling in the brush there.  After a short time, a BIG redtailed hawk popped out.  He looked around and then opened his wings and took off.  (His claws were empty, so I assume he was looking around for the prey he missed.)  A couple wing flaps got him up and then he soared across the road again in front of me.  I watched him go over the top of a house and then bank to the left and head downriver.  So pretty.  So majestic.  I kind of wish he'd caught whatever he was going for.  I mean, I would've felt bad for the critter, but it would've been cool. 

The rest of the walk was uneventful.  All is well in the neighborhood.  Everyone's crepe myrtles are blooming in a most spectacular fashion.  (Mine has two clusters of flowers.  :sadface:)   Nothing new to report to Hubs there.  I did cross paths with the new guy again.  He must walk way slower than I do because he wasn't as far along as I'd guessed he would be.  Either that or he stopped to chat with someone along the way. 

I did the walk in 25 minutes, even with all the stops.  And then I got to regale the Hubs with my little adventures.  A good morning.  And I get to do it again this morning.  I wonder what sights I'll see today.


Monday, August 10, 2020

Another Day in the Woods (Or the Hairy Incident)

If you've been around here long enough, you might know that I regularly rescue birds who've slammed themselves into my front window.  Probably 99% of the time, they're savable.  The other 1% never had a chance, so I do what I can to make their last seconds calm and quiet before I lay them to rest in one of my gardens.

So, yesterday, I was in here playing poker - on a particularly awesome hot streak by the way - when I hear something SLAM into the front window.  I sat myself out of the game and walked up front to see if any bird needed help.  Sure enough, there was an either female or immature hairy woodpecker sitting on one of the porch chairs, looking dazed.

I call back to Hubs that I'm headed out, slip on my shoes, and out I go. 

Now, usually, I scoop them into my hands, hold them and pet them until they're well enough to fly off on their own.  It usually takes a few minutes.  Sometimes, more.  One particularly loopy red-headed woodpecker took about 20 minutes of care before he flew off.  Occasionally, they recover enough to fly off when they see my hands approaching.

This one looked like a minimal care hit.  Still, I reached for it.  And it promptly flew onto my leg.

If you don't know much about woodpeckers, they have rather long and pointy talons made for gripping the bark of trees.  And it was using those long and pointy talons to grip onto my leg.  Only for a second or two.  Then it fluttered onto the porch and hopped over behind the chairs.

Still, not 100% back to normal bird behavior, so I followed it, grabbed it up, and sought to provide aid and comfort.  I know, I know, scaring the hell out of it so I can comfort it.  I get that, but it's necessary.  Basically, I want these birds to be able to fly off on their own like normal birds, so they don't get eaten by one of the neighbors' cats.  This one wasn't making it off the ground yet, so there you go.

And there we were, I was holding it and beginning my routine check to make sure there are no broken bones in the wings and that its eyes are both working, when suddenly its head flopped over like it had died.  Oh, noes!  I opened my loose grip to try and revive it.  As soon as my fingers unwrapped from it, it turned its head, looked at me, and flew off as fast as its wings could carry it. 

I had no clue birds could play possum, but I sweat that's what it did. 

Anyway, it was well enough to fly away and the scratches on my leg aren't that bad.  Way better than that hawk who scratched up my arm last year.  I applied plenty of antiseptic and stuff to keep the scratches clean and will continue to monitor them. 

Another day in the woods. 

Oh, and by the time I got back to my poker, it had removed me from the room where I was so lucky.  Damn it.  And oh well.  It was time to start dinner anyway.  ;o)

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 31

Ah, the end of another fun-filled week of 2020.  Yippee. But let's leave the rest of the world aside for now.  It actually was a pretty good week here.

First off, I was writing!  Every day.  6339 words out this past week.  Sure, that's not rolling thunder across the keyboard or anything, but it works for me.

I didn't read gangbusters either, but I read an entire book.  And not a short one either.  It was a 300+ page hardcover of Agatha Christie short stories.  I love Christie.  Yesterday, I started a newly published cozy mystery.  And I DNF'd it last night.  I'll share more about that on next week's wrap-up.

Also, I did seven days worth of being active.  Five of those days, I walked between a mile and 1.6 miles.  One day was cleaning.  One day was baking.  Yes, baking can be active.  You try making a batch of zucchini bread in the morning and then pizza crust in the afternoon.  Between the stirring and the kneading, my arms got a workout.  So there.  Let's not talk weight, though.  K?  K.

Other than that, life's okay.  I've been navigating Dollar General with a mask on and while it sucks, I've kicked the panic attacks out the door.  Okay, not entirely kicked, but I did shove them down and spit at them.

Nothing new to report in the deer department.  Or the fishing department.

If there's anything I missed, let me know.

How was your week 31?

Saturday, August 8, 2020

Sartuday Reading Wrap-up - 8/8/20

Hello and welcome to the first week of August's reading wrap-up.  It was a better week than most of July, but still not burning up the pages.

This week, I did get a couple new ebooks.  Yay.  One was a supernatural thriller and the other an urban fantasy.  I still have an urban fantasy and a mystery left from the beginning of July to read, so those will go first.

Books read:

57) Miss Marple: The Complete Short Stories by Agatha Christie (8/7/20) - Mystery - 5 stars.  Natch.  I've had this hardcover compilation for years but never sat down to read it.  Rectified that.  Yay.
Review: "I always love reading Agatha Christie. And this compilation only had a few stories I'd read before, so it was even better."

No DNFs.

Currently reading... Nothing at the moment.  I finished the Christie and then it was dinner, writing, and walking.  Then some poker to chill out before bed.  I'll start something today.

What have you been reading this past week?

Thursday, August 6, 2020

Thursday This n That

August the 6th.  So far, it's been six days in a row of writing and activity.  Good start there.  Now to keep this up.  Yesterday, after spending the better part of the day crouched down over some spreadsheets, I so did not want to do anything, but I made myself sit down and write.  Then when my hands got crampy, I made myself go for a walk.  I will do this.  See?  I have a thing over on the right now to show my progress.  Yay.

On the docket for today?  Zucchini bread again.  Some other neighbors are supposed to be bringing us tomatoes and peppers, and I'd like to have a loaf ready for them when they stop by.  I can't have a garden - not with all the deer - so it's nice when neighbors bring us fresh produce.  And I like to pay them back by presenting them with baked goods.  Or maybe I'll make them oatmeal cookies and save the bread for the neighbor who brings us zucchinis.  Hmm.  I still have to make the bread because the zucchini is already defrosted, but...  Hmm.  I have to think on that.

I cut my hair again finally.  It doesn't look bad.  A little longer on the left than the right this time, but my head tilts to the right so it's not noticeable to anyone but me.

I have a note on my desk that says 'SSA waiting outside' (the next scene in CU), which keeps giving me pause this morning because even though I know SSA means Society for Sorceral Activity, my brain keeps defaulting to Social Security Administration.  And I can't figure out why they'd be waiting outside.  Derp.

One thing about having a new computer is that I keep having to add words to the dictionary I'd already added to the old computer's dictionary.  There's probably a dictionary file somewhere on the old girl I could transfer to this one, but I'm lazy. 

The fawns are accepting Hubs as part of the landscape now.  When he went to feed this morning, a mom and her twins were munching on the lawn and they didn't even run away.  In fact, one of the fawns approached him to see what he was doing.  And then it thought better of it and backed off.  Still, it's a pretty nice feeling for Hubs.  Me?  They at least don't run when I walk out of the house, as long as I don't walk toward them.

Okay, that's it for me today.  What's on your radar?



Sunday, August 2, 2020

Sunday Update - Week 30

Well, July is officially in the can and good riddance to it.  Yuck, what a month.  Hello, August!  You'd better be better than your predecessor, lemme tell ya. 

On a distinctly positive note, yesterday I started what I'm calling AugNoWriMo, wherein I will attempt to write every day.  (Technically, I started Friday night by laying down over 1300 words and then threw down almost 1500 last night.)  By the end of this, Cinder Ugly will be done, and maybe another book will be worked on.  We'll see.  The point here is to write every day - however much I can, but hoping to get at least 1000 words out a day.  Feel free to join in if you're so inclined.  No pressure.

I'm also going to get off my dead ass and keep this damn house cleaner than I did in July.  Oh, it's not a pigsty or anything.  I was still tidying.  But things like dusting and vacuuming and scrubbing got left behind.  To that end, I vacuumed on Friday and dusted on Saturday.  Go me.

Reading, unfortunately, got left behind as well last month.  I'm still ahead on my yearly goal by 16 books, but I'm going to try to read more in August.  Which also means I need to spend some time going through the book newsletters and finding new books to read.

Umm, exercise?  Well, as with everything else, I was a toad.  Only 7 days where I was active out of the whole damn month.  On the upside, I lost over a pound somewhere.  Weight 177.0.  Now that the weather has slackened off on the heat a little, I need to start walking every day again. 

No baking this past week.  No fishing either.  Bleh.

Okay, so there's a lot of 'need tos' up there and still only the same 24 hours a day in which to get it all done.  Not a problem, really, just an adjustment to my TV viewing and my poker playing.  Less of both, I'd say.  Although, in the poker, I'm up to 1.6 million in play money now.  None of it purchased. (You can pay real money to buy play money, which I refuse to do.)

So, what's been up with you lately?  How was your July?  Got any goals for August?  


Saturday, August 1, 2020

Saturday Reading Wrap-up - 8/1/20

Well, there went the last week of July.  :waves buh-bye:  Unfortunately, July was not a good month for reading.  May August be better.

No new books of any kind.  No books finished.  No DNFs either.  And I'm not currently reading anything.  Nothing sounds interesting.  Blerg.

Sorry.  That was boring.  Here's hoping I have something more interesting to post on next week's reading wrap-up.

How was your reading week?