Monday, October 23, 2017

Nothing Gold Can Stay

I took my camera along on my evening walk yesterday because I wanted to capture the beauty of the park before autumn comes to an end and I am faced with months of gray, barren, and muddy footpaths.

Nature did not disappoint; the light was mellow, the winds calm, and, the colors were magnificent. I took my time, truly focusing on the trail and everything around it, which, is something that I have found myself doing a lot, lately. I've seen wildlife in the park that I hadn't taken the time to notice in years past, when I was simply determined to get through my walk as quickly as possible-things to get back to, and all- and, I have explored lesser-used trails that I didn't know existed in the park; all of which have made the experience even more enjoyable.

Next Sunday, we will turn the clocks back and I will lose an hour each evening. That means that I'll lose the daylight in the park and will be forced to walk in the gym, on a treadmill, most days of the week. When I am able to walk in the park, on days that weather, and time,  permit, it will look far less inviting.

I'm going to miss this, but, I'm really glad I didn't miss it.

You know what I mean.

Nothing Gold Can Stay

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

-Robert Frost

Sunday, October 22, 2017

I Am An Equal Opportunity Bird Feeder

This year, I changed up the birdseed that I'm using in the feeders outside the kitchen window, and, the new seed seems to have attracted a much more diverse population of birds than in years past.

The first unusual visitors were the blue birds that I mentioned in a previous post. I still have no idea what they are, but, since the first one landed on the porch, it has been joined by at least three more. I suppose there could be more than four, and, that they don't necessarily have to be the same four every day, but, four is the most that I have seen gathered on the fence at a time, so I'm going with it.

Yesterday, the newest diners joined the party.

I have even less idea what they are than I do the blue birds, but, they appear similar to the blues in size and general body shape. They co-habitate fairly well with the blues, but, are pretty nasty to my usual finches, who are probably starting to feel a wee bit peevish about all the new blood.

The last of the new arrivals are these tiny little guys.

There are several of them, but, they don't stick around for very long, so I think the intimidation factor of the larger birds may prove overwhelming for them.

They are also really, really fast, so getting good pictures of them has been a challenge.

I am really enjoying the new diners; I find it quite relaxing to sit in the bay window, basking in the sunshine and watching their antics. I'm seldom alone in this endeavor, and, it's safe to say that the felines are starting to resent my interloping on their territory.

Finn puts up with it for about two minutes before he shoots me the Evil Eye and attempts to bite my toe (I prefer my wildlife watching be done while barefoot).

So, I guess one of the unexpected perks of having an empty nest is having the time to observe the world as it goes on around me, without the pressure of sports schedules, school activities, and mandatory social engagements.

On the other hand, it sure will be nice when the babies are all home for the holidays and I can share my new friends with them. I'm sure they will find them every bit as fascinating as I do.

I mean, right?

And, speaking of having a full house for the holidays, guess who will be joining us for Thanksgiving? Mikey and his mom! So, while I won't have my true-born baby boy with me for the day, I will have my honorary second-son, and, that's pretty awesome.

Then, for Christmas, I'll have the Cub back under my roof plus his sister, my sister, my nephew, and my mom. It's going to be, well, Christmas!

I can hardly wait.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Another Day At The Pea

October in Petticoat Junction means another opportunity to hunt for treasure at the twice-annual Pickin' at the Pea sale, so, this morning, Kortni and I fueled ourselves with caffeine and headed down the country road leading to the sale.

Although we had a much larger crowd to contend with than usual this year, we enjoyed the sale, immensely. And, Hugh will immensely enjoy the fact that, despite the amount of awesome antiques, vintage finds, and just plain crazy junk, I spent very little money.

He may be slightly less pleased when he finds out that the money I did spend was spent on a three-foot-tall vintage Blow Mold Christmas candle, but, you can't be happy all the time.

Am I right?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

When In Doubt, Look to the Heavens

The sun was setting as I made my way around the park this evening, and the colors were so vibrant, it almost hurt to look at them. At one point, just before the sun dipped behind the hill, the clouds gathered above it and were illuminated by its' beams; pink and gold rays shot straight upwards into heaven, and I thought: "Wow, Dad, that must be a sight to see from up there".

Three years, today, and, I'm finally getting to a place where I feel comforted by the beauty contained in the heavens instead of just terribly sad. It's the sort of progress you hope never to have to make, but, I'll take it.

And I'm grateful.

Monday, October 16, 2017

October Care Package

It should come as no surprise that this month's care package for the Man-Cub is chock-full of Halloween goodies, but, it also has a few medicinal items because, there is nothing scarier than the common cold, and, the Man-Cub is currently terrified.

Terrified by the price of cold medicine in Hawaii, that is.

So, what's in the box?

- Caramel Apple Pops (the Cub's favorite seasonal sucker)
- Wax vampire fangs (for a touch of nostalgia)
- Limited edition Cookie Butter Oreos (last month's cookie butter was a hit, now he's hooked)
- Bean Boozled Jelly Beans (will the green bean be pear flavored or snot flavored? Crapshoot!)
- Neon slime (because nothing says Halloween like slime)
- Cracked Pepper Jerky Sticks (had to get some protein in there, somewhere)
- Gummy vampire fangs
- Gummi Vampire Bats
- Wind-up Dracula (because he may be in college but he still loves his toys)
- Ouija Board Mints (inside family joke; he'll get it)
- Coffee Mate French Vanilla creamer
- Deadpool coffee mug (man, I miss my Comic Book Geek partner in crime)
- Stance socks (Dios de las muertas themed!)
- Halls Throat Soothers, 4Way Spray and Dayquil capsules (common cold, remember?)
- A roll of Halloween caution tape (my contribution to the dorm Halloween decorating contest)
- M&M's Caramel and Snickers minis (Trick-or-Treat!)
- Fart in a Jar (you know, just because)
- The Goonies on DVD (because one of the Cub's friends has NEVER seen it. What?!)

I finished the box off with some glow-in-the-dark spider web and spiders, which, the boys can utilize in their dorm decorating, or, not. Whatever they want.

And, that's it for the Care Package of the Month. Tune in next time, when I wow you with my ability to stuff an entire Thanksgiving dinner into one box.

Just kidding.

I haven't quite figured out the turkey thing.