Tag Archives: New England

Tweet. Tweet. ….One Two….Got You!

We have three children.

Furry.  Four legged.  (Note: we also have 2 lizards….which makes is five chidren.)

Image 3  Liggy, the eldest at 16 years, could give a rat’s ass about anything but her dinners

Image 6  Monkey, the middle child, quickly approaching 2 years on Halloween, is the typical scaredy cat.

Image 5  Taku, the youngest at 1.5 years old, is the pisser and will kick your ass.

It’s important to note, the only one with a UFC fight name is, “LIGGGGGYYYY the KIBBBLE SNATCHER.”

Seriously.

The other two, haven’t earned their names yet.

Until today.

REWIND:  For some history.

About a month ago, I bought a brick of bird food and put it into a feeder on our third floor balcony.  Occasionally a bird came and snacked.  A little nibble.  After 30 days, 3/4 of this brick is still there.  Obviously, we are not a birding hot spot.

Last week I was looking out at the balcony.  Surveying our domain, what little we have in our rental …. Pondering the world.

WHEN.  A tiny little hummingbird came up and was trying to get sugar water from our sea glass globe lights.

!!!!!!!!

For those of you who know me, I have a history with hummingbirds.  It’s a running awkward moment.  But hysterical for a later date.

Of course, hummingbirds….need to buy a feeder.  Small birds.  Small feeder.

Consider it done.  This weekend, I roll up to my local Lowe’s and buy a hummingbird feeder.

And why not….let’s get one of these huge tube bird feeders with 6 channels on it.

Yep.

Came home, filled them and hung them up on the balcony.

The next day…within 30 minutes of watching the feeders, I had 3 hummingbirds,  4 finches and a woodpecker come to visit the feeding stations.

A

WOODPECKER!

Seriously.

Love my little feeders.

Next morning, I get up.  There are hummingbirds at the feeder.  LOVE.

I go outside and sit in the chair.  The kids (cats) join me.

Liggy, the eldest, as usual, could care less.  Just let me sleep in my box.

Taku, is sitting next to me on the chair and when a bird approaches, she tries to hide behind me.

Seriously, Taku?  You’re the ass kicker in the family.

Monkey, the “Don’t look at me, I’m afraid of EVERYTHING” cat….watches the birds and chatters at them.  And chatters.  Chatters.  And chatters.

She wiggles her butt and thinks about leaping at them, until I give her the TSK TSK comment.  To which she immediately thinks, “Shit.  You are SUCH a party pooper.”

Throughout the morning I watch and our little feeders are turning into the aviary version of a 7-Eleven.  One bird, two bird, one bird, one bird, a fly by, two bird, a fly by, hummingbirds….I am delighted.

———————————-

Monday morning rolls around and the Monkey is anxious, as usual, to go out on the deck.  She has been like this since we rescued her.  She was a beach kitten.  Water is her thing.  Find something she likes?  Here, let me put it in the water bowl.  Paper, rubber bands, twist ties, little jewelry bags, toys, treats…into the water they go.

Monkey and Taku like to go out and sun themselves.  Liggy, only if it’s convenient and her box is set up.

I don’t open the door until I’m out of the shower and running back and forth around the apartment.  At least I can keep a 50% eye on everyone.   Checking in on Monkey’s position, Liggy’s sleeping pattern and Taku’s give a shit attitude.  50% is more than enough.   They are fine.

Until today.   (CUE:  The Jaws theme music. )

Mondays suck by nature.  Nobody wants to go back to work.  You’re dragging your ass trying to get out the door.  Only half the coffee cup has been inhaled.  Your hair isn’t done right.  The outfit you have on…well, meh….at least your shoes will be comfortable.  Seriously, why can’t we do 4 day work weeks?  I’d work 10 hours to get an extra one off.  Seriously.

I get dressed into my work clothes and race across the hallway to go back into the master bath and start my hair.

STOP.

HALT.

SKIDDING SIDEWAYS!

WHAT THE FUCK?!

no.  sorry.  i’m not seeing this.  that’s not what i think.  no. no. no.no.no.nonononononononoNONO

M O N K E Y!

And there sits Monkey (the scaredy cat) in our bedroom….outside the master bathroom.  With a bird at her feet.  I swear it looks like it is 6 inches long….tip to tail.

Little Monkey is so proud of her accomplishment.  LOOK MOMMA!  FOR YOU!  Isn’t is wonderful? It’s soft and warm.  It makes noise and guess what?!  I caught it just for you!

I manage to get my tongue back out of the back of my throat and say::::: “MONKEY!” I’m too stunned to throw either my bathrobe or t-shirt over the stunned bird.  Her response?  

Grab the bird and head under our king size bed.

My response? Turn around.  March calmly out of the bedroom.  Walk into the living room.  Put my head between my knees.

Are you fucking kidding me?

REWIND:   There was a moment.  Briefest moment.  Like what happens right before you slam your fingers in a door.  You know this is going to be a bad move.  Yeah, well…..I thought “I really shouldn’t open the door to the balcony….I won’t be sitting there to watch Monkey….and she might catch a bird.  But you know what?  It’ll be fine.  I mean really, it’s M O N K E Y.  Like she’s going to catch a bird.  She’s afraid of everything!”

Yep.  Truth.

So I stood out in the hallway and pondered what to do next.

All I remembered was being a small child and we had a Robin that got into the house.  The pandemonium I created…..as a small person…..flapping my arms and screaming about the bird being loose in the house….leaping off of furniture.  (I was the one leaping off the furniture.) Terrible.  THIS is what I remembered at 7:50AM….I do not have a good rescue relationship with birds.

At least I didn’t run around in circles this morning.  Although it did cross my mind about 4 times.  Swiftly followed by a thought of, “YOU are the adult here!”  WHEN did I become an adult? Shit.  This is my issue now.  Shit.  Shit.  Shit.

I go back into the bedroom.  There is a feather on the floor.  I pick it up and put it into the bath trash can.  There’s no sound or movement.  Gulp.

I carefully kneel down on the floor and pick up the bed skirt.  God help me if anything come rushing at me….is what I’m thinking.

There’s Monkey…..her eyes glowing in the dark.  Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink.

There’s the bird in front of her.  On it’s side.  Obviously, not blinking.

I go back to the living room and grab a Priority Mail box the girls used to sit in.  I put a few paper towels in the bottom.  I will put the bird in this and take it outside.  I grab the broom.

Ok.

Well fuck.  Now what?  It’s a king size bed. I grab the end and P U L L — nothing.  Except there was a pop in my lower back to which I thought, “nice crack!  Who needs a chiropractor when you have birds under your bed!”

I grab the side and P U L L – nothing.

F U C K.

I text a friend, “Monkey caught a bird and is under the bed with it.”  Hey.  At 7:55 in the morning, you need to be in hysterics with someone with a bird under the bed!

In the meanwhile, I text my boss advising I’ll be late, due to cat catching a bird.  Now there is a late excuse if I’ve ever heard one!  He is going to think I’m nuts!  Please, feel free to use it….seriously!

Although for a fleeting moment, I did ponder just leaving and going to work.  Seriously.  Also pondered having to take an injured FINCH to the vet.  So go figure….which extreme do you prefer?

My friend responds back five minutes later, “How did Monkey catch a bird?”

“On the balcony.”  Blink. Blink.

Let’s all take a deep, deep knee bend everyone….cause….here…..we….go!

I go change into crap clothes, as I can see this is going to be a process.  I’m already sweating in the nether regions.   I grab the broom and head back into the bedroom.  All the while, Taku kitty, is following me as my back up.

Thank You, Taku.  The Bad Ass….but with a humane heart apparently.

I shake the broom under the bed.

Nothing.

I ponder getting the vacuum out….scares all the cats.  But then decide to shake the broom from another angle….this isn’t like sucking up yellow jackets or wasps…..which I did this weekend.  I have even sucked up roaches and the dreaded Floridian Palmeto Bug with this vacuum.  I can’t use it on a little bird.

.

.

.

.

Taku then goes under the bed.  OH HELL NO!  We will NOT be having two cats and one bird under the bed!   Not on this episode of, “Who Needs Coffee on Mondays!”  I slam the broom back under the bed and wave it frantically, top to bottom trying to make as much racket as I can.

All the while thinking…. God help me if that bird comes to life and flies out at me…..

Monkey takes off like a shot out the bedroom door.  I chase after her.  All the other rooms were closed off so the only place she had was the living room.

I don’t see her anywhere and so I lay down on the floor.  Sure enough, she’s under the couch.

I move the coffee table.

I move the end table.

I move the couch away from the wall.  She moves with the couch.

Of course, typical Monk.

I move the couch literally into the middle of the room….and the Monkey takes off under the dining room table.  She doesn’t have the bird.

????

I lay down on the floor.  No bird under the couch.

????

I go back into the bedroom and shut the door.

Taku is still hiding between boxes under the bed.  Her eyes are are big as Silver Dollars.  Poor thing.  She’s terrified and doesn’t know what to do.  I start pulling the 4 boxes, which are at the foot of the bed….they’re not very big,  out from under the bed.  Taku remains firmly planted in the middle.

Sigh.

Guess what?  No bird.

Where the hell is the damn bird?

I go out of the bedroom.  Shut the door…..leaving Taku to deal with the bird if it’s in there.  She’s the bad ass cat in this family….step up.  You’ll be fine.

I text my friend, who by this time, we’ve also had a quick conversation about the situation.  I tell her…Monkey is out of the bedroom, I can’t find the bird and Taku is under the bed.

Her response.  “Damn.  Double Damn.  Could the bird be under a blanket and Monkey is saving it for later?”

Seriously.  M O N K E Y!

Taking all 8 pillows off.  One.  At.  A.  Time.

I search the couch.  Heaven help me, I think….as sweat forms on my eyebrows and upper lip.

No bird.

It has to be in the bedroom.  By this time, I’m sweating so much I swear there are marks on my pants and in my pits.  Did I brush my teeth yet?  I feel like I’ve taken a chunk of Sasquatch fur and rubbed it all over my teeth.  Mahwahaherroooarwaaaahh….is how I feel.

What the hell am I going to do?  It’s 8:35AM and I call the complex’s maintenance line.  No answer.

Now, armed with a bath towel….correction….not just any bath towel….this is a Costco bath SHEET…..made for giants.  It’s so enormous, cause I thought I had a Pterodactyl trapped!

….I go back into the bedroom.

Taku has burrowed herself under the covers.  Only done when she is cold in the winter or scared.  I lift up the comforter and she looks at me like I’m an alien.  All the while backing away from me.  I snatch her up by the scruff on her neck and she look slightly relieved.  Out the bedroom door she goes.

I turn to face the room.

St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, please help me.

Nothing.

????

I little voice then says to me, “look by the night stand.”

Before I even move the table cover, I see something out of the ordinary.   Only like a 1/4 inch out of the ordinary.  I start to lift the cover.  All the while thinking, “so help me, if something flies up at me….I will run away like a screaming 4 year old.”

I pull up all the table cover.

Hold my breath.

Shit.

There’s the little bird.  It looks like it’s right wing is broken….as it tries to take off to the side.  Image 2

Well, how did you get over here?  Did Monkey hide you here?  I put the table cover back down.  Because, honestly, that was enough discovery for the moment.

I went back out of the bedroom.

Closed the door.

Sat down on the stairs.

Ok.  Thank goodness it isn’t a woodpecker.  It’s just a little finch.

The bird was stuck between our king size bed and night table.  Oh wait.  It’s not any kind of night table.  It’s a floor safe.  HA. Ha. ha..– not funny.  There’s a few inches between them, but not enough for the scoop into the box rescue.  I can’t move the bed stand.

I text my friend that I found the bird.  She asked if it was alive, if all the cats are out of the room and the ceiling fan turned off.

Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

JUST LIKE Harrison Ford in the Indiana Jones movies….there is always Plan B!  I grab a clean dish towel.  Put on a leather driving glove, in case the bird bites me.  ????  The beauty of it was I only could find the right glove so I was having a very Michael Jackson moment at 8:50AM.

“‘Cause this is thriller, thriller night
And no one’s gonna save you from the beast about to
Strike
You know it’s thriller, thriller night
You’re fighting for your life inside a killer
Thriller tonight!”

I summon up my inner St. Francis again and here we go to rescue the bird!

I pull back the table cloth and the little bird is right where I left him.  I lower the dish towel and try to close my hand around him.  He’s so tiny.  I can’t tell if I have him or not.  I am not suited to this type of work.  The little bird is not happy either…. and he starts to chirp and flutter to the sides……

SHIT.

Okay…..I put the table cloth back down.  March out of the room

Houston we need a moment.

At this point in the program, I’m so upset that my bowels are too.  THIS is why we always have two bathrooms.  In case the first one becomes unusable for some reason.

CUE the elevator music….thank you.

——–> 15 minute intermission <————-

Stomach still in an uproar, but we have to solve this problem.

I march out of my apartment, down the hall and look out the driveway to see if I see any maintenance people around.

Nobody except some construction workers doing cabinet work on the first floor —- SHIT.

In my bare feet….I march back up into the apartment.  ( I don’t care if I get foot fungus at this point, thank you…..cause I’m going to have to take a shower after this ordeal anyway!)

Deep breaths.

I summon up my St. Francis…..again…..come on buddy…..need you now!

Put my glove on.  (Because I’m bad…you know it!    Thank you  M.J.)  Image 1

Grab my box and dish towel.

Head back into the bedroom.

Little bird is right where I left him.

I lower the cloth.  He pitches a fit when I try to pick him up.

He scurries to the left and starts coming at me from under the dish towel.  I think, “PERFECT!  Two hand gathering technique!”  He is between the table cloth, box flap and the dish towel is overhead.

FOUL!

Bird.

In.

Flight!

IN FLIGHT!

FLYING!

AROUND THE ROOM!

(note:  at this point I had an out of body experience, where I said, SELF: THIS COULD BE A PROBLEM.)

Yep.  Little finch figured out how to maneuver and get around me.  Fly around the room and head towards the closed door.

He lands, cause he can’t get out.

His little head is tucked in between the baseboard and door frame.

Little bird.  Little bird.  Please.  Let me help you.  I am here to help you.

This is all I can think to say out loud.

I can’t whistle, so this is as good as it gets.  Come on St. Francis, help me out here.

First try.

He digs in further to the corner.  Head burrowed.  So scared.

Buddy, I’m scared too.  It’s going to be okay.  Trust me.  I know I’m an alien, but I’m a good alien.  Not like that damn Monkey alien.

With my leather hand and dish towel, I can hardly feel him.

On my second attempt, I scoop from the bottom.  I think I have something.

SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!    I HAVE THE BIRD!  I HAVE THE BIRD!

I drop the dish towel into the box, fold the flaps down and I’m running to the front door of the apartment.

He was so small.  So light.  Of course, I didn’t expect him to weigh in like a remote control but still….so nothing!  I only knew I had him cause I could feel his little feet.

I race down three flights of stairs and towards the woods.

I put the box down and lift the flaps.  Little bird, was stunned again for the second time in less than 90 minutes…poor thing.   I drop some bird food into the grass around him.  Open the dish towel and wait.  He opens his eyes and POOF…..one, two, three……I’m outta here!

Little bird flies away into the woods.

Thank.  You. Sweet. Jesus.

I walk up the three flights of stairs to our apartment and realize.  I’m shaking.

The adrenaline of rescuing a wild animal, scary.

The worry of a maimed or injured animal, scary.

The disbelief of the Monkey catching an animal, stunning.

The fret of catching a scared animal, stunning.

The realization, I did it, by myself, without any harm —————————  shocking.

It was a tiny bird.  Who thought it was dead by a predator, to be scared into corners by scared human, to be rescued by scared human…..aka……an alien…….to awaken in the woods……and fly away……priceless.

Yeah tiny bird!

And I stood in the dining room and looked at my shelf with the ceramic finch with a blue berry in it’s beak. I thought, little bird……I was able to save you today.  Bless.  I hope you have a happy life.   I’m sorry, I didn’t watch the Monkey closer.   We all learned a lot today.  And I saved a little bird.

Although, it nearly made me poop my pants and I had to take another shower…….. I saved a little bird.

Little bird and I both had a tough morning.  I thought a lot about that little bird.  I was the big scary alien trying to help, why was I scared of a little tiny bird?  It was the unexpected reaction.  Who knows what will happen…..even if one is trying to help.

St. Francis, thank you and bless that little creature.

Heaven help me when I run into something bigger than that needs saving from MONKEY, the BIRD SNATCHER!
Of course, when I came home this evening.  Monkey was ready to go back outside.  Sorry Monk. I have your number…..that’s not happening without my supervision. Nice try though….so practice your patience my little feline!

Then I saw the grey shape on the rug, which stopped my heart.

It was a stuffed mouse toy.

Damn cat toys.

Image

I need a drink.

Standing Room Only.

I’m not going to lie.
When we left Alaska, it was exciting to be going to Miami.

Daily sunshine.
Palm trees.
The beach less than a mile away.
Warm weather.
Rocking thunderstorms.
Eating outside.
Not having to wear a winter coat 8 months out of the year.
Disney was a short drive away.
Fresh coconuts.

Delightful.

After about a year, the novelty wore off.

For us Alaskans, it was always hotter than Hades.
The humidity was so thick even the cats’ fur was frizzy.
Christmas wasn’t the same without snow.
We didn’t speak Spanish.
The insanity of the drivers on I95.
Honking is relentless.

Enough already. So we started to look north to New England.

We landed just south of Plymouth Rock this February and couldn’t be happier.

Of course, we arrived in the middle of winter. And for anyone who is familiar with the legends of the 2015 Boston winter….you can only imagine what we faced. Of course, we were likely the ONLY people in the Boston – New England area that was THRILLED to see snow.

Need someone to help shovel? We’re on it.
No, it’s not too cold to go out for a walk.
Forgot something at the store? We can go.

Laying in bed at night, we were like little kids, “do you think it’s snowing yet?”

With the first snow storm coming down, the schools quickly started to broadcast on the TV who was going to be closed. Okay, when I was a kid you had to listen to the radio (1060AM) the morning of school to know whether or not you were making the trek into school. Things have progressed in the school districts!

Image

At any rate, we went over the public transportation again and reviewed how I would get to work on my first day. (Actually, earlier in the week we did the entire route just to be certain I knew where I was going on my first day.) I was ready to go.

Buzz-buzz-guess what?

The recruiter who had been along with me for the entire hiring ride, emailed me on Sunday night… “Work is cancelled for tomorrow. It’s a snow day.”

Really?

Huh. Okay. Well, this is definitely different than Alaska.

The next morning we awoke to multiple feet of snow. So exciting!

That night, the Mayor of Boston was on tv and says, “Due to the blizzard, all non-essential employees should stay home tomorrow.”

Well.

Am I non-essential?

I feel pretty damn essential.

How do you know if you haven’t been told if you’re essential?

Excuse me, could you tell me if I am a non-essential worker?

You see, I now work for the city, so yes…I could be essential or non-essential.

Buzz-buzz-guess-who?

My recruiter emails and tells me officially, “Day two snow day. No work.”

Apparently, I am non-essential. (Well, they haven’t seen my tiara yet…so just wait! Think that is what makes one essential. It’s really good when I bring out the confetti cannon.)

Day two snow day! Whoop! Whoop! Of course, at the end of the blizzard, approaching Wednesday. I’m suddenly filled with, like a little kid, “but I don’t want to go to work tomorrow!”

I wait in front of the TV to watch school closings. Few come.
I check my email for a note from my recruiter. Silence.

Okay, I’m going in.

Image 8

Fast forward about two weeks. Boston has been hit again, again, again and again with snow. People’s cars are buried until Spring.

You can’t see around the corner at stop signs. Wild animals are being brought to animal shelters cause they can’t find food. Even birds!

It was my goal all along to take public transportation in to the office however, lucky for me and thousands of other commuters…the snow storms have wrecked havoc on the public transportation system.

Multiple lines of the “T” are closed cause the crews can’t clear the tracks. People are left stranded. It has become a disaster. I would arrive to the T-stop in the morning along with 50+ of my closest stranger friends and everyone would stand together – looking down the tracks – waiting for the train.

We were like a bunch of penguins out there. Hands in coat pockets. Breathing into our coat collars. All positioned looking due east….anticipating the train.

If we’re freezing out on the platform, it’s okay because due to the snow levels and route cancellations….the train has become:

Standing
Room
Only

Seriously.

Image 3
NOTE: These aren’t my arms. These aren’t my body!

We all know how I like to snuggle up next to strangers. I might prefer to have lunch with a leper.

But the roads are bad enough that I don’t want to drive the 16 miles – so commute I must.

Going into the city, I NEVER got a seat. Since some routes were cancelled, hundreds of additional people crowded on the available trains.

Image 2

(NOTE: This is just the stop before mine – hundreds got off.)

After a week of riding out of the city, I figured out a system and I GOT a seat. It was euphoria when I figured this out. At the main station, my train always came into the same track. Although it was to arrive at 5:40PM, with the weather, sometimes it didn’t show up until 6:15PM.

I would wait calmly, well bundled up, close to the area where my track was outside. As soon as I saw the headlight make the turn towards that track, I started walking.

Excuse me.
Pardon me.

Sneak around this guy and that woman.

By the time I got towards the front of the pack, a few people…usually men…would start to walk down to the track. (Technically you’re supposed to wait for the train to come all the way into the gate and stop…) Nope, not happening for a select few. I was in the front herd. Those that don’t listen to the directions. I joined them.

The result? When the train came to a complete stop, I was usually by one of the doors!

Yahoo! I beat the system!

Why wait for the pack of hundreds?

When you’re small and sharpen your elbows, you can get anywhere.

Now, I too could get a seat. Not just any seat. No. I had MY CHOICE of seat as I got on.

Yeah me!

No more bumping and grinding with strangers.

Image 4

Then someone told me about the ferry. I can take a ferry from close to my home, right into Boston.

REALLY!? I checked the schedule and sure enough….it was operating.

I took the ferry into work. It was delightful.

That night, I took the 5:40PM ferry home. It left on time. But we hit a small bump.

Multiple small bumps.

Actually, some weren’t so small.

The harbor had iced over. We were hitting sheets of ice. All I could think of was the Titanic.

Image 6

No, we didn’t spend the night on the ferry, we spent an extra hour on the ferry waiting for the US Coast Guard Ice Cutter to come and free us.

This is when I discovered….there’s two bars on this ferry.

Case closed, this is how I’m traveling henceforth.

(Note: I’ve been trying to figure out how to use the word, “henceforth” so there.)

Now, the ferry isn’t what you would imagine, or maybe it is. It’s a sightseeing boat in the summer time. Some times I get the GIANT vessel that seats several hundred. Sometimes I get the cute little one. Both offer a decent selection of beer and for me…a chardonnay please… $6.

Image 10

Now I leave the driving to someone else!
I catch up on some reading.
Enjoy a great boat ride.
Have myself a chardonnay and relax on the way home!

So much easier than bringing my airplane bottles of vodka on the train. In those ass bumping moments, sometimes you need to self-medicate and it’s pitiful when you run out and haven’t even left the station yet.

Image 9