Saturday, December 29, 2012

Giving It Away

Have you ever received a Christmas present that went into the “regifting” pile?  I’m pleased with everything I got this year, but if I get a gift that’s not my style, sometimes I tuck the unwanted item away in a drawer. In about three years, after my personal tastes have changed, I’ll rediscover that gift and love it.

When buying gifts for friends and family, I select ones that would make perfect gifts for me. One of my friends often gets earrings for her birthday or Christmas. The problem is that when she wears them, a little voice in the back of my mind whispers, “Give them back!” (That’s a joke.) The little voice really says, “Aw, why didn’t you buy yourself a pair?” Here are a few gifts nobody expected to receive.

 There’s nothing warm and fuzzy about these gifts.  In fact, they came wrapped with a few not-so-subtle, insulting messages. Don’t we all enjoy giving presents that people like and appreciate? Just because Christmas is over doesn’t mean that good feeling has to end. Now is a great time to donate to a needy family or charity.  Who will receive your donation today?       

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Light in Your House

Why did lighthouses come up a recent conversation with my spouse? I forget what led to the topic, but afterwards I started thinking about the solitary lighthouses that stand out in the bay guiding sailors away from dangerous rocky shores. It’s unnerving to learn that lighthouse keepers have survived massive hurricanes while tucked inside the towers. In times past, it took three keepers to run the lighthouse so that a light always remained visible to passing boats. Often two or three families lived in the tower at the same time. Lighthouse keepers only left the tower for brief periods and passed time by playing board games, cards and reading. The keeper’s responsibilities also included repairing and painting the lighthouse, particularly if it received damage from a storm.

 If you click here, you’ll see incredible pictures of waves crashing against lighthouses, pounding at their foundations. It’s amazing that engineers could build structures strong enough to withstand nature’s fury. Here’s a video about a young man who faced his own storm:

Where do you get the strength to push through difficult circumstances?  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

No Tweaking

What’s green and red, but leaves only red behind? Pistachios! Remember the sweet, green nut with the red shell that stained our fingers red every time we ate a handful? After harvesting, food processors dyed pistachios red to hide blemishes left on the shell by the hand-picking process. Apparently, processor felt the normally beige shells need a prettier look to appeal to consumers. Today, since machines harvest the nuts, the blemishes and most of the red-dyed nuts have disappeared.   

People in the Middle East have eaten the nuts for centuries in spite of the blemishes, but we’re a nation of “tweakers.”  We love tweaking things: people with curly hair want it straight, short people want more height, young people want to be older (but not too old)—and we’ll spend a small fortune to make it happen. At Christmas time, we spruce up our houses for the holidays by displaying a few wreaths, some outdoor lighting, or window candles. Tweaks are slight improvements, but some of us take it to the limit. Have a look:

 Perhaps you can persuade your neighbors to decorate like that. We spend plenty of time and money changing and improving our faces, diets, homes, and many aspects of our lives. Isn’t there something that feels just right? What wouldn’t you want to change? 

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Hogzillian Problem

Cable shows draw me in like a magnet. They broadcast stories about people with unusual habits and lifestyles, cooking shows, home shows, history shows, crazy animal tales, and much more.  If you like interesting animal shows, try to catch Hogzilla the next time it airs.

About eight years ago, rumors of an enormous hog living in the back woods circulated among folks in Georgia. One day a hunter shot and killed the legendary wild hog that measured over seven feet long and weighed nearly eight hundred pounds. That’s a lot of bacon! Anyhow, the episode told me all I needed to know about pigs, which is why I enjoy these shows!    
If farm-raised pigs escape into the wild, within weeks they revert to their wild nature and often attack without provocation. Their voracious appetites annoy farmers because the pigs devour huge quantities of crops. I also learned that pigs continue to grow as long as they have enough food—hence Hogzilla. Down south, farmers struggle to control the wild hog population and the problems the animals cause.    
Everyday we face a variety of problems ranging from worries over the hogzillian national debt to decisions about what to buy family members for Christmas. Here’s a guy who understands something about problems:

The song is a reality check that helps keep our focus on real problems. What’s the biggest problem you’ve faced and how was it resolved?     

Friday, November 30, 2012


What kind of cuteness do we have here?

We don’t often see a pony and a zebra 1.) hanging out together and 2.) trotting down Main St. USA.  According to news reports, the two animals shared a pen. When the caretaker left the gate open and turned his back, the chums seized the opportunity to slip out. I can imagine their conversation:
Zebra: We’re free! Where do ya want to go?
Pony:   I know a little place down the road that sells top-notch barley ice cream.
Zebra: Giddy-up, bud! I’m right behind ya!

If a zebra and a pony can share a friendship, why can’t an amicable relationship develop between democrats and republicans? I hear a lot of discussion about a “fiscal cliff.” If politicians would hunker down and negotiate a plan, we might avoid falling over the edge.  After they solidify a deal, maybe the president will take everyone out for ice cream. I hope they hurry back to work because the government still has a boatload of problems to solve.

How about giving our elected officials a hand? Every little bit helps. What one thing could we, as individuals and members of a community, do to get the country on the right track?       

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Real Formula for Going, Doing and Being

Short-cuts are over-rated, especially in this area. What’s the point of taking one or two quick back roads if I’m still late?  Last week, I stopped at the grocery store, headed across town, then traveled forty minutes south—not an easy feat in eight a.m. rush hour traffic. I ran into road construction and delays at every turn. Okay, I confess. The real problem started when I left the house late and tried to make up the time by dodging streets with stop lights and traffic.  The rushing and the stress taught me a lesson. The moral of the story is: When you promise to bring snacks and beverages to an event, buy them the night before. Despite the hard lessons learned, why do we insist on taking the short-cut? This guy has a point:

Something in us strives to beat the system, to do things faster, better, sooner than ordinarily possible. We want the easy, trouble-free route without all of the twists and turns associated with growth and learning.  Instinctively, we want to skip the hassles and the hard work. Deep down, we know the real formula for going where we need to go, doing what we need to do and being who we need to be. Everybody has a formula or motto for life, what’s yours?            

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Heart Murmurings

I’m convinced it’s not too late for one more election campaign comment. In fact, this post has more to do with the 2016 election than this past one, especially since we’ve heard far too much post-election analysis already. In 2016, who assembles the questions the candidates answer in the debates? I have a question for the list, but you’ll need a little background information first.

Earlier this week, one of our kids had a mini-discovery about words. The comment was, “Tap is pat spelled backwards. This world is kooo-kky!” What!? I don’t know what led to that conclusion, but I can’t argue with it. Kids offer more insight and wisdom than we realize. For instance, let’s consider the past three months of news or just the past three weeks. Was there more kookiness in the news than usual? One of the online newspapers features a regular section on weird news and Anderson Cooper has the RidicuList. Are there that many kooky happenings? Possibly. Listen to this story:

There’s one line in the video that grabbed me. The neighbor said, “It’s ridiculous when you look at it, but….” Focus on what follows the “but” because that’s the meat of the story. It represents the quiet murmurings of the heart where we get to hear a more logical explanation.   
Earlier I mentioned a potential question for the 2016 debates. (Drum roll) The question is: As a nation, are we kookier now than we were four years ago? Watch the candidates squirm with that one. here's toaday's question: Are we kookier now than we were in 2008? Why or why not?        

Friday, November 9, 2012

Closing the Great Divide

The leaves took forever to change color and fall off the trees this year, so I colorized our surroundings by plopping a little mum in the yard. At first the plant stood straight and tall, but after suffering a brief assault from Hurricane Sandy’s wind and rain, half of the flower’s stems slouched sideways causing a split right down the plant’s middle.

Does this description sound like a metaphor for the country’s condition? As our battle-weary candidates awaited polling results, pundits debated about how voter choices underscored our nation’s political split. In the ballrooms where the term “haves and have-nots” took on new meaning, reporters captured the contrast between the party supporters’ expressions. While the haves celebrated and shouted for joy, the have-nots shed tears of disappointment and disbelief. In anticipation of a new presidential term, let’s put divisions behind us and focus on unity and cooperation. Take a look at how these people march to the same beat:


It is possible to work together, even when it feels like we’re going in opposite directions. How does the country reconcile and move forward? Who or what will stand in the gap to close the great divide(s) that threaten our society?                       

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Perfect Gift

Once upon a time (Oct. 2012) an award-winning author, Kathi Macias, published Unexpected Christmas Hero, a book about a homeless war vet who becomes a hero for a fatherless family.  The book’s cover features Willard Parker, an actual homeless man who has a story of his own. Some years back, Mr. Parker lost contact with his family and now he very much wants to see them again. Click here to read more about Mr. Parker’s story, see his picture and possibly grant a Christmas wish by helping unite Mr. Parker with his family.  If you have information regarding the whereabouts of Parker family members, please contact Kathi Macias at   

A family reunion is a wonderful gift.  With the holidays approaching, we’ll all be looking for great gifts. Here’s what some people call the perfect gift:

Perhaps the best gifts are the ones we give rather than receive. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs says that our primary concerns focus on obtaining food, shelter and safety before moving up the ladder to satisfy our need for love, friendship, self-esteem and creativity. Having survived Hurricane Sandy, did you feel yourself living out Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid this week? Considering all that’s happened over the last two weeks, in your opinion, what is the perfect gift?  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Raw Truth

“Why are you doing this to us?”
Don’t worry, no foul play here. That’s the question I heard at the dinner table when I told the kids to eat their lima beans. I can think of worse things to eat. As a child, I was curious and didn’t mind tasting various foods. I’ve eaten liver, the dreaded brussels sprouts and several parts of a pig that I wouldn’t touch now.

I don’t know how I survived eating grade school lunches. Back then, my classmates seemed to have an unspoken rule for not admitting that we enjoyed any of the meals, even after grabbing  second helpings. Despite the school administration’s attempt to make the lunches nutritious, the vegetables still tasted awful. Many times they arrived cold, undercooked and flavorless. The school cooks should have skipped the cooking and served the veggies raw.  Most people probably prefer raw vegetables anyway, except in this video. Forget flavor, these people think certain vegetables are downright dangerous.  Take a look:

I’m sure my kids would love to toss lima beans off their plates. Unfortunately, following our initial instincts doesn’t always cause us to choose the best option. What do you resist doing, but muddle through because it’s the wisest decision?        

Friday, October 19, 2012

Our Window of Opportunity

 My husband brought two avocados home from the store this weekend. They’re good in a variety of foods, the kids used them for guacamole. The only problem is that you have to eat it quickly because it has a short, refrigerator shelf life. I kept asking, “Hey, when are we eating the guacamole?” No one answered. I should have dived into it by myself. By the time we allowed the flavors to marinate, we couldn’t fully enjoy it. Instead of creamy green, it had turned into a mushy, brown mess which is what happens when a little air gets to it. My advice?  If you want it, eat it. Don’t play with the guac.

As we know, all good things change. Seasons change, family situations change and according to scientists, the world is changing, too. We discussed the wild December 2012 predictions in an earlier post. Now, scientists believe something odd is happening. Have a listen:

Who knows what kinds of ramifications pole shifting will have on the world. Scientists, the military and lawmakers can’t prevent it. So, let’s focus on what we can change before our window of opportunity closes. What impact will you make in your world before the end of 2012?

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Alarming Situation

It is official. Autumn is here and you know what that means. Every morning’s chilly and grey skies start our days. Bliss is lying in bed under the warm covers minutes before the alarm clock rings. But, if you have to get up, you’ll need all your strength to push back the blankets and roll out of bed. Fall makes getting up especially hard and the Battle of the Sheets isn’t an easy victory. Of course, we offer a good fight by hitting the snooze button (several times) and vowing to get up in “two more minutes.” Kids and pets can be great motivators to drag us out of bed, but if you rise first in your home or live alone—good luck!

Many of us use some type of gadget to wake up, but those obnoxious alarm clocks fail to offer the real encouragement we need. Most alarm clocks lack pizzazz. Here’s a guy who donned his thinking cap and got creative:

If I had an alarm clock like that one, I’d have to blame my tardiness on something besides oversleeping. I could blame it on the concussion I would surely get from using that contraption. Barring extreme alarm clocks, what makes you leap out of bed, eager to start a new day?     

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Dirty Truth

What do I dislike about housework? I’d say it’s the repetition. If the kitchen looks clean and the floor sparkles, turn your back to clean something else and within moments you’ll have a water-plashed sink and crumb-covered floors.  We should put a moratorium on our house. I’ll clean it from top to bottom and we’ll live elsewhere for several days. If you see the trees draped with yellow caution tape and a sign stuck to the front door that says: Just Cleaned! – Do Not Enter,  you’ll know what happened.

Not long ago my dear child watched as I emptied the dishwasher for what felt like the fiftieth time that day. My heart-warming moment came when I heard the precious words every mother longs to hear. I translated it as, “Mom, you’re so wonderful and I’m so grateful for all the hard work you do in our home.” In fact, the actual words were, “I feel bad for you.” I’ll accept that. Face it, we love to put our own spin on situations. Look at what happened in Texas:

The sign hackers thought their prank was funny, but local officials saw it as a public hazard.  It’s amazing how people can experience identical circumstances and arrive at totally different conclusions. For instance, consider the anchorwoman who responded on air to an email that criticized her appearance. When viewers commented, one person applauded
(yes!) the anchorwoman’s response, while another person called it “whiny.” What surprising comments have you heard in response to seemingly harmless statements or situations?    

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Bacon Shortage?

News reports indicate next year’s high corn costs will result in limited supplies of pig food and a (gasp!) bacon shortage. I don’t know how to break the news to our kids. They love bacon enough to eat it every day. As a youngster, I remember cooking bacon and picking off the fat so that only the meat remained. I wasn’t much of a BLT-eater, but I liked bacon and cheese sandwiches, with my wee bits of lean bacon scattered across the bread. If there is a bacon shortage next year and you start craving fried pork, here’s one solution to help you make it through the day:

Does it get any better than meat perfume for $36? I’m sure someone has already bought it as a pricey joke. I’d like to smell the perfume, perhaps I’ll buy some if the price drops. Let’s hope people get their share of bacon next year, otherwise the shortage might spawn a whole, new wave of pork-related merchandise to boost the GNP. High prices and damaging weather conditions cause shortages in everything from vegetable to meats. In your opinion, what other types of shortages exist? What else does society lack?       

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Having It All

Here’s a name that grabs attention—Honey Boo Boo. No doubt you know about the little pageant girl whose family stars in a TV reality show. Despite how you feel about the show, I think Honey Boo Boo’s mama, June Shannon, is a survivor and one shrewd woman. She’s a dumpster diver and an extreme couponer who brings her kids on her adventures and passes along her skills. When the freight train chugs past their house, don’t be surprised if Ms. Shannon jumps on board and rides it straight to the bank. We may not agree with everything she does, but I commend her for providing for her family. If we look beyond the family and pageantry dynamics, I suspect we’ll discover that June Shannon has a deeper story to tell, one that would inspire the wealthy and the poor.

While most discussions about the American Dream focus on upward financial mobility, the road to financial prosperity includes sacrifices and concessions. Here’s a guy who weighed the costs and decided that he’s content right where he is. Does he have it all?  See what you think:                     

Clearly, not all of us want or need the house with the white picket fence. Our level of contentment has a lot to do with self-image and values. Excluding money, what else factors into your vision of the American Dream?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Nothing’s Wrong with Curly Fries

Have you listened to kids sing songs? It’s funny when they make up phrases and change the lyrics to whatever the words sound like to them. Adults do it, too and unless someone corrects us, we’ll continue singing nonsense for years. There’s a gospel song on the radio by Mary Mary called “Go Get It.” When my kids hear it, they’ll sing the right words until they get to the song’s bridge. Now the real lyrics include the words “qualified, mercy multiplied and certified.” For some reason, my kids insert “curly, swirly fries.” How does food make sense in the context of that song? Oh sure, people can have strong cravings for a good basket of curly fries, but I doubt that has anything to do with the “go get it” in this song.  

Twenty years ago the distinction between right and wrong felt as unmistakable as the difference between black and white. With our changing societal norms, grey is the new black and white and  the culture is redefining the rules of ethical behavior. Maybe that’s why people respond like this when asked about values and ethics:        
In last week’s post, I asked you what kids should learn in school. I’d put critical thinking skills on the list because it’s never too early to learn to defend our views of right vs. wrong. Regardless of how our culture changes, what’s the one thing everyone will always believe is right?      

Friday, September 7, 2012

Supply-Side Education

It’s back-to-school shopping time again. This is the season in which we endure or enjoy the hustle and bustle of checking the supplies list and running from store to store for the best deals as the cash flows from our pockets. If you have children, you can identify with this scenario. If not, you get to enjoy the benefits of office supply sales. When you’re in stores this week, take advantage of the remaining back-to-school sales. Great deals exist and some items will only cost a penny. You’re going to need pens, paper, folders or notepads at some point so you may as well load up your shopping cart. Flexible rulers make great Christmas gifts, don’t they?    

My informal research indicates that kids fall into two camps: those who are ready to return to school and the other half—not so much. Our kids fall into the not-so-much camp. Despite their initial reluctance, I hope all kids enjoy a year full of new possibilities and achievements. Listen to how one school flips the script:

 The students appear excited about the new home and class routine.  It seems like a simple, inexpensive plan. Let’s hope test scores rise and the students learn a lot. In your opinion, what’s the main thing kids need to learn in their schools this year?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Big Tail of Terror

Fishing is such a relaxing family pastime. We went out to the lake a couple of weeks ago. The water flowed along, interrupted only by an occasional boater or a duck. Of course, one of our kids beckoned the ducks with quacking sounds and then exclaimed, “I am the Duck Whisperer!”  I spent the time relaxing in the gentle breeze, swatting away flying critters, and cringing at  comments about the nightcrawlers’ “blue veins” and their “gooey, white hearts” as the poor worms were ripped apart, speared and hooked for bait. Yuk! It was a worm’s worst nightmare.

I’m guessing few people associate relaxing lake fishing with violence. Once you combine worm gore and fish blood, you have a really messy event and so I bring plenty of hand sanitizer. I doled out some sanitizer after the worm tearing and more after tossing back the catch. I won’t bore you with the measurements of the four fish we caught, but let’s just say several spanned the width of a hand. We’ll skip the tales about the “big ones that got away.” When you catch the really big ones, you better get proof and here’s a guy who does:

Jeremy Wade catches the scary fish, the ones you don’t want to know exist, especially if you‘re vacationing in an exotic place because that’s where they seem to lurk. The various kinds of fish  in our waters rivals the types of cereals on our supermarket shelves. Why so many?  I have a few fish favorites. Check out two of them:   One fish          Two fish 

In your opinion, why are there so many interesting and unusual species of fish?      

Friday, August 24, 2012

Chew On It

Have you ever gone fruit-picking? There’s something special about walking up to a plant, plucking off delicious, sun-ripened fruit and plopping it into your bucket to take home. If you’re a gardener, you know the satisfaction of toiling in the dirt, watering for days and celebrating the results of your tender, loving care. It’s like producing a masterpiece!

Masterpieces come in all forms; fruit, flower and unusual plants remind me of great works of art and they require a similar patience before we can enjoy the final product. Everyone can appreciate cultivating a piece of food from a seed, but the definition of "art" varies by individual. Take a look at one man’s artwork:

How interesting that a kid’s preoccupation with chewing gum grew into a life-long passion and a career. Anything is possible once passion and creativity collide. What’s your passion in life and how can you use it to bring joy to others?     

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Rock Climbing with Teacups and Coasters

Summer is the primary time for visiting amusement parks. My informal research tells me that people either love roller-coasters or they gravitate toward the swirling teacup and saucer kinds of rides. I wonder if these preferences correlate to how people approach life situations. Pause for a moment to see this generalization applies to you. Here’s the first half of my theory: People who enjoy roller coasters feel comfortable soaring into new situations without needing to know every twist and turn of how the overall plan will work out. Part two of my theory says that tea cup riders prefer predictable patterns with clear, big picture perspectives.

With roller coasters, it’s difficult to see the whole ride at once amidst the tangled mass of tracks. When I agreed to try the roller coasters this summer, somehow the ride operators forgot to provide a detailed roadmap of the tracks. Personally, I like the ability to predict when I’ll be twirled and flipped. There’s nothing like a tiny bit of control on an amusement park ride to ease my quivering heart. So, rather than cringe at every dip and loop, I found a way to control the situation—I closed my eyes. Believe me, that tactic doesn’t make a nice souvenir picture.
Are you an adventurous, roller coaster person who embraces unexpected circumstances in life or are you a more controlled, teacup rider who prefers a road map and a plan? Here’s a person willing to tackle the thrill and chills of adventure and unpredictability:

What’s the most unpredictable event you‘ve experienced and what lesson did it teach you?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

When A Dream Comes True

Can you answer the $2.5 billion question? I’ll give you a hint. An expensive rover space craft named Curiosity touched down on Mars this week.  If I were a genie, able to grant wishes with a blink of an eye, I would have popped into space and left a sign on the red planet. When the rover landed here’s the message it would photograph: No one’s here. Go home. Back on earth, that might confuse the scientists who dream about the possibility of past, present and future life forms on Mars.

I liked the 1960-70s “I Dream of Jeannie” show about a genie who tried to use her powers to solve her astronaut-master’s problems. She usually created messier situations, but like many old shows, everything turned out for the best. In real life, our wishes don’t always turn out the way we expect and our greatest wish may be the very thing what we don’t need. See if you agree with any of the third graders in this video:

Did you notice how none of the children wished for money? Perhaps the book they read beforehand influenced their answers, perhaps not. Perhaps they believe that money can’t buy happiness. Well, let consider what it can buy.  Imagine your wish for $2.5 billion came true, what would you do with the money?                    

Friday, August 3, 2012

Meat Me Halfway

If one more person tells me that they’ve stopped eating beef or all meat, I don’t know what I’ll do.  I’m beginning to feel like a vegetarian lifestyle represents the newest wave of political correctness and, if this continues, people will leave the local drive-through window and secretly devour their burgers an alleyway to avoid the no-meat enforcers.

Not long ago, I heard the high cost of cattle feed caused one owner to feed their cow chocolate and Mexican food. If that strategy helps the cow to produce chocolate milk and spicy, pre-seasoned beef, I’m all for it! I find it difficult to infuse beef with good flavor. In all fairness to cattle farmers, I know marinating is the answer, but when I start making dinner plans at around three o’clock in the afternoon, it doesn’t leave me a lot of time for defrosting and marinating. Several weeks ago, my children made their own meat dry rub using brown sugar and other spices. I hope they wrote the recipe down. Regardless of how creative the preparation is, some people can’t be convinced to eat meat; conversely, other people refuse to give it up. Listen to the debate:   

The experts provided great pros and cons. In short, we should listen to our bodies and do what works for us.  We can make our own personal choices, but why do we feel such passion about convincing others to agree with our lifestyles?                

Friday, July 27, 2012

What Happens Next?

Last week’s post featured a video of a turkey stalking a newswoman. This week, I looked outside just in time to see an enormous shadow move across the yard. A gigantic turkey touched down on the grass and I understood the woman’s fear. Believe me, that turkey had the whole yard to itself. Within five minutes, two playful groundhogs scampered across the yard; we were experiencing a real National Geographic moment. We typically have just one groundhog poking around, except for the time a family of five moved into the space under our shed. We didn’t charge rent and the little varmints didn’t even thank us when the trapper carried them away in cages. But that’s not the reason for my like-dislike of groundhogs. No, it goes deeper than having unappreciative guests.

You see, on Groundhog’s Day, I hear two comments: “Happy Birthday!”  and “Have you seen your shadow yet?” I just smile. I didn’t laugh the first time I heard that joke and I haven’t laughed in the decades that followed. Guess what else? It won’t be funny next year or THE YEAR AFTER THAT OR THE YEAR AFTER THAT OR—!!  Okay. Sorry, I’m calmer now.  Actually, I don’t shun all things groundhog-related. I like the movie Groundhog’s Day where the lead character relives the same day until he realizes he has a chance to become a better person.  Watch how his behavior changes over a series of days:

Sometimes, regardless of our best efforts, we can’t change outcomes. Still, who wouldn’t want to relive a day or two once in a while?  If you could do-over a day, what outcome would you alter or what wonderful day would you want to relive?         

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Angry Birds and the Thrill of the Chase

What’s the attraction between kids and birds? On vacation last week we visited the historic Jamestown replica of early settlers’ cabins in Virginia. Chickens and roosters freely roamed the area and not surprisingly, my child decided to stalk the rooster. The bird looked strong and healthy. It had beautiful red and brown feathers and weighed more than you might imagine. I gave warnings to leave the rooster alone while hoping the bird wouldn’t recognize who really had the upper hand—it certainly wasn’t my child.

Earlier that week, I saw a similar scene at the beach. Several kids decided to chase the seagulls that blanketed the sand. Oh sure, there’s a thrill in the chase until a horde of angry birds stops running away from you and starts running toward you! I believe this lady knows what that feels like:

I love the music. Just when the newswoman thought the mail truck had saved her, the chase continued. Did you see how the turkey sidled up to the window to bully her even after she retreated to the car? And then it ducked down and circled the vehicle like a shark! My advice to you: Stay away from angry birds!  When it comes to chases, the tables can turn at any moment and in a flash, the pursuee quickly becomes the pursuer. Are you pursuing something? What are you chasing?        

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Uninvited Guests

Dragonflies! The name should strike fear into your heart like it did in mine when one flew into our vehicle and bumped against the windshield. The inside of the car magnified its buzz, causing a deafening sound. Okay, maybe that’s a slight exaggeration, but I’m glad I was parked when the bug buzzed in. I jumped from our car with one mission in mind: Get the insect out! Fortunately, the dragonfly found an open window and escaped on its own.

Of course, this scary incident prompted me to research these mini-monsters. Thanks to this link, I learned several eye-opening facts:
1.      A dragonfly remains in the larva stage for up to three years, feasting in ponds and rivers.
2.      While living in water, the insects are large enough to devour small fish.
3.      Dragonflies do not bite or sting humans. Good to know!      
I had a harmless guest, but the guest in this video has teeth made for biting and devouring. Take a look:

Hmm, maybe her mountain lion statue functioned like a beacon, summoning the real thing right up to her front door. What uninvited guest have you encountered? Was it friend or foe?