When Will I Ever Learn?

Haven’t been posting for several weeks. Not much to tell or talk about, honestly. Now that all of my health issues have dissipated and I’m feeling terrific, it’s been too good to be true and I’ve been doing more things around the house. I’ve also gotten back to baking which makes hubby happy!! I’ve also been able to maintain my lower weight and it’s given me more energy and enthusiasm. That alone is worth everything to me. After being so lazy and lethargic for a long time, feeling perkier is so uplifting and I’m taking advantage of every minute of the day I have.

Michele and I had lunch a couple of weeks back, which was nice. My appetite certainly hasn’t gone anywhere and, in fact, it’s hard for me to control. I have this voracious habit of wanting to nibble on chocolate whenever I have idle hands. Needless to say, I’ve been getting a lot done because if I don’t keep busy, I’ll nibble. After all, idle hands are the devil’s workshop!!

My family was also notified that a friend of the familys’ had passed away a week ago. She was, in fact, the Maid of Honour at our Mother’s wedding and we went to school with some of her children. Gail, Michele and I attended the funeral which was short and sweet, but did not recognize anyone we knew anymore. Her children had grown up with babies of their own and even they were now grown up themselves. With over 50 years having passed between the two families and our memories fading, it was difficult to recognize any friendly faces from our childhood days. The three of us quietly exited the church before the light luncheon was served, and as we had signed the Guest Book, we knew the family would at least see our names and hopefully recognize that we had been there. Another era in our lives is now a footnote in our futures.

During these past couple of weeks, I came across some old public school class pictures. As I had heard about “Memories of Lincoln” being on Facebook, I decided to re-join in order to see if I could get responses from anyone still around and would be able to remind me of those that attended the same Grades 1 and 2 as myself. As much as I hate Facebook I thought I would only become “friends” with anyone from my personal past and leave immediate family out.  I was also trying to get in touch with one certain person from my past and who was, in fact, distantly related to the woman whose funeral Gail, Michele and I had attended. Another reason I went to the funeral, but this person was not there. That I would have known!

I posted my Grade School photos and received great reactions but mostly from siblings of those in the pictures. It was great to hear from them and even one or two remembered me, along with some of my siblings. I then began to play around with my main identifying picture and background photos, along with one other memorable event in our family’s life. As time went by – just a few days, in fact, things began to change and I soon realized why I was NOT a fan of Facebook. More and more “Friends” came out of the woodwork and postings were soon popping up on my “Timeline” that meant nothing to me. Some of these “Friends”, were children of “Friends”, unknown to me, and most of these postings were just taking up space, in my opinion. I’m not one for philosophical sayings, love your neighbour and all that, and especially postings of graphic, silly jokes that are completely stupid according to my senseof humour!! I knew it was time I had to leave, yet AGAIN. Once you join Facebook you have lost all privacy you may think you were going to have. You accept to be Friends with one person and suddenly any one of their Friends get notice and things begin to snowball from there. Friends of Friends of Friends, etc. are now seeing you as a “Suggestion” on their Facebook Timelines and a parade from your computer to anybody else remotely known will be lining up until eternity!!!

After thinking of ways to at least say adios to those who had befriended me, I gathered up my thoughts, as politely as I could, posted them to the Facebook box that asks “What’s on your mind, Twila?”, letting them know I appreciated their thoughts and that I would be deleting my account within a couple of days. Thank God. I just can’t cope emotionally with this program. It’s extremely exhausting as you’re on the damn thing for a good part of your day. You have to check your Timeline, respond to any Comments, or Notices that pop up, and Friend Requests, check these “Friends” out if their name is unfamiliar (or even to be nosey) and then decide whether to befriend them or not. Then as you’re going through all of these steps, someone sees you are online and decides to Wave, so you have to click on that button and Wave back so as not to appear rude. Then some other Friend decides to send you a Message via Messenger, so another click onto that button to read and respond to their message. The longer you’re on Facebook the longer it takes to get off. The next thing you know your day is half over and your plans for the rest of the morning or afternoon are shot to hell. The bread you planned to bake wouldn’t have time to rise, the errand you wanted to run was cutting it close to lunch or supper and then dear hubby has been sitting in the living room quietly doing his crossword puzzles wondering where in hell you had gotten to.

I’m hoping you get the picture. Just bloody time consuming and if I were to be completely honest a bit mundane. I really appreciate how Facebook can certainly help you find and keep in touch with loved ones who live far and wide and family is able to keep in touch with those they’ve not seen for a long time. I know I love seeing and hearing from our side of the family in Britain – especially the kids (God, I love those children), but I can also keep in touch through Instagram which is far less time-consuming and the pictures posted are far superior than those on Facebook. You can leave comments, if you want, or quietly “Heart” the picture(s) and move on. I can also get any other news I need through my Twitter account. Another program where I can completely control who I follow and who I don’t. As I’ve gotten so sick of the American news of late, I’ve just unsubscribed to every and all news feeds, kept my feeds coming from Visit Scotland, a couple of other quiet Twitter feeds and even one celebrity- actor/singer in the U.K. whom I adore. So now my mind has stopped racing from all the tense moments I had been readiing in the news, I can relax looking at gorgeous pictures from Scotland and reminisce of our trips, and get a laugh or two from the other Twitter sites I follow. Whew!!!! Quiet at last!!!!

There are other quieter and less stressful ways to keep in touch with friends and family, So much more personal and fun – Skype. Free and easy, give it a try. Then sign on to Instagram for photos and more smiles!!

Lesson learned. If I ever join Facebook again, please smack me in the face, tie my hands up and disconnect any gadgets that can get online. Thank you.

The Surprises Just Keep Coming

Our oldest granddaughter’s birthday was on the 24th of June. She turned 26 and was a feisty one-year old when she attended our wedding in 1994. There have been a lot of wonderful memories over the years of Christmases, Birthdays and family get-togethers watching as Karly grew into a very beautiful young woman. She’s been through some good times, sad times and even stressful times with her love life. A huge animal lover, it soon became apparent she would follow her love and enter into the Veterinary field. Alas, she has the job she’s always wanted, as a Veterinary Assistant, taking a hands-on approach to treating, caring and healing animals of all kinds. She’s at her happiest when a four-legged creature is in her arms.

Needless to say, it was a great surprise for us when we received a message that Nat and I were invited out to supper with Karly’s Mom, Laura, and her brother, Lucas. She had picked the restaurant of her choice and on the 26th we joined her family for a very enjoyable meal. It was very nice to have some quality time with the three of them and listen to dear Lucas rattle on about his life and fitness routine. He, too, has grown into a tall, good looking young man with biceps and upper body form any 22-year old would envy.  Needless to say, Nat is very proud of his grandchildren and their maturity.

A couple days later I was off to see my regular Doctor. My face had sprouted a couple of red marks and for the past couple of months just sat there, one on my upper cheek and the other on my upper lip. Every now and again I would scratch the two making them redder. They were not appearing to grow like the previous spot near my lips that was lasered off but were still giving me a bit of worry only because they were not healing or clearing up. My Doc gave them a look with her magnifying glass, told me they were a medical term I fail to remember and told me she could get rid of them by using Nitro (like dry ice). She also gave me another option but the Nitro seemed quicker and I would be out of there right away. With my permission, she grabbed her Nitro Bottle with nozzle, held it over each spot and shot some extremely cold dry ice (?) on them. With that, I was up and at ’em and on my way  home. All that worry for naught.

I’ve also been going through a two week routine where I have to check my blood pressure and pulse about 3-4 times a day so my Doc in Hamilton can check to see if its coming down. I’m on extra Blood Pressure meds which appear to be working, as I’ve been feeling so much better and have a bit more energy than several weeks ago. It also appears that some of my balance issues have dissipated and I won’t complain, as that really takes some stress off my shoulders. It feels so good to be back to my old self, or as much as I can. It’s also felt wonderful not to have any doctor or dental appointments in over a month and I’m thrilled with every moment. I’ve just past the first anniversary of my dental surgery and that’s one celebration I won’t be having!!!!

Thought Provoking Moments

Now that the new sump pumps have settled in and are much quieter, life at home has almost become a bit complacent.

I had my annual check-up at St. Joseph’s in Hamilton. My Nephrologist and I got each other caught up on our version of events during the Thrush fiasco. Apparently he knew quite a bit more than I was told. He had been in constant touch with the Doctors on my case and despite the fact I was told nothing, my medications were practically being changed on a daily basis (which originally had me puzzled, but was helpless at the time) only because of the constant conflicts with one of my anti-rejection drugs. I guess my transplant meds were keeping the powers that be on their toes. I then had my turn and a chance to rant and rave about the Dieticians constantly nagging me to eat, and my constant explaining that how can I eat, if I can’t swallow?????  At least now we were both in sympatico and I felt better being updated on the whole affair. I really do have to know what exactly is going on when it comes to me, myself and I.

I also had to explain to the Doc about the number of times I had fallen, hit my head and was now having balance problems. Knowing what I know about concussions, I had become concerned as the old noggin’ is taking its time getting better. The Doc then put me through a series of tests, as his trainee interns watched on. He had me stand up while he put one of his arms in front of me and the other in back and asked me to remain standing for several minutes. I could feel my body wanting to sway back and forth, but I held my ground. He could tell I was wavering but was satisfied how I did. He had me walk back and forth across the floor, touching my left index finger to my nose and then try and touch his index finger, repeating with my right finger. He appeared satisfied that I was alright and then explained to Nat and I how to proceed. As I’m wanting to loose at least 5-8 pounds, he agreed that the treadmill would be perfect for helping my balance and that a regular routine was now really recommended. It was also a given that I would strengthen my legs and concentration. I will admit this treatment is a great relief from what I had previously been thinking.

With more information in hand, a couple new medications (for blood pressure), Nat and I had lunch on the way home and then settled in for what was left of our day. My appointments in Hamilton, despite being at 10:00 am, usually take up over 5 hours. The drive (both ways) and parking alone are 3 hours. The walk from the parking garage to the Clinic is close to 20 minutes (2 ways), the waiting to be seen is usually another 30-45 minutes, the check-up close to 60 minutes (depending on scenario). Now you can understand why we just clear our entire day for that one appointment.

The sore back is continuing. This has been going on for several weeks and there have also been a couple of days where I couldn’t even stand up without a stabbing ache in my right hip and back. I was walking bent over like a pretzel and it was agonizing. I sympathize with all those in my family who are also experiencing back problems. Thankfully as the days have passed, most of the pain has eased up, but there’s always that little weak feeling in my lower back that reminds me not to go for a run!!

Our routine has now returned. Nat has his golf games 3 days a week, I’ve been trying desperately to get the baking caught up-to-date. I’ve not made bread in several months, the cookies are in extreme low supply, along with the Raisin Loaf and Scones. I started something almost 20 years ago, that I can’t stop. Nat has become use to having fresh baked goods for his Tea, it’s going to be a struggle to wean him off when the times comes that my baking slows to a “crawl”.

A few surprises have also come our way. From the beginning of the year, Laura has been coming by periodically for a visit. Sometimes she brings Zoe and sometimes not. She’ll stop by Timmies for us and we have a great visit. This has continued right up to this past week, and even Susan and Tom have caught on. I have no idea why they decided to change their ways, but it’s been absolutely great. The visits break up the days for their Father and I, plus we have a chance to visit more often than in the past.

In previous years I was enjoying Nat golfing and having a few hours to myself. I would eat lunch when I wanted, watch some crap TV, muck about on the computer, play games on the iPad or generally amuse myself without the love of my life looking over my shoulders. With the Thrush trauma last year, the old body walking like a drunken sailor, and now the back pain,  I’ve become a bit complacent and my ambition has given up the ghost. I long to sit in the recliner, play games on the iPad, watch boring TV and become brain dead. My emotions are also on the edge.  I’m now getting lonely while Nat is golfing. I’m dwelling on having dentures and my life has become quite stagnant. Even shopping has become somewhat boring. Believe it or not!!!!!! Not having a car, nor being allowed to ride my bike and being just a bit too long of a walk to downtown can add to my loneliness. Nat struggles to come up with any suggestions, despite his tries, as his imagination is a bit lack-luster and his spirit of adventure has disappeared with his childhood. I love him to death for even trying.

Getting out of bed is also becoming a struggle. Not that I’m sad, but I just don’t want to leave the warmth of our bed, close my eyes and return to the Land of Nod. My pill routine is the reason forcing me to get up and at ’em as I have to take one at 9:00 am on the dot. After 20 years this, too, can become a bit of a drag, but my health and well-being are more important than snuggling in bed.

I’m trying hard not to allow my depression to rear its ugly head. I’m hoping that if it does I’ll have the sense to talk things out with myself on my website. The last extreme depression I experienced almost became fatal. The sisters I called were unavailable and Nat tried with every fibre of his being to understand. Nothing in that world makes any sense to him and if he doesn’t understand then he shakes his head and struggles for words to say to me. With the passing of days, talking in bits and bobs, we soon stick our heads out of the sand and get on with our lives, as boring as they are.

It Just Won’t Stop

Well, that problem we absolutely love to hate is back. The sump pumps!!!!

Nat was mowing the lawn this past week and noticed that the ditch was starting to dry up. A good thing in my opinion, but apparently not in Nat’s. Then around 4:22 am this past Friday, I awoke to rustling noises, footsteps, pipes clanging and a flashlight lighting up our bedroom window as it streamed across the closed draperies. As I jumped up and peeked out the window, I could see Nat on his hands and knees with half a pipe in one hand and a feather duster in the other, trying to clear out something from the other half of pipe that came from the exterior house wall. “What in hell is going on now?” I moaned.

Being selfish, and knowing there was nothing I could do at this ungodly hour, I returned to the warmth and comfort of our bed. The garage door could now be heard closing and the tapping of Nat’s slippers up and down the stairs. More rustling sounds and suddenly a motor running. This scenario continued for about 10 minutes and Nat returned to bed. Now I’m fully awake and had to ask what the hell was that all about. According to Nat, the sump pump would try to start up, but to no avail and ran continuously. He was pretty sure this had been going on for a day or two.

First thing Saturday morning, he was at it again. With research and some checking things out, he discovered the main sump pump was not working and its’ switch was a bit dodgy, along with being clogged somehow. While the main pump was struggling, the back-up pump had taken over and soon burned itself out. Nat and I ended up in the basement for a couple of hours figuring things out, and as I tried to stay out of his way, I was at least able to hold the flashlight so he could see exactly what was going on down that black abyss.

He noticed quite a bit of silt had settled along the bottom of the tank and once he pushed up on a part of the pump he could feel the silt underneath that was clogging some of the holes. After clearing that away and cleaning up most of the silt in the tank he managed to get the main pump working again.

Without hesitating Nat called our plumber, but naturally he was busy as hell and after hearing our story, said he would try and be here as soon as possible – possibly sometime during the middle of the week. This is where I knew Nat was not going to get any sleep at night. His ears would be constantly listening for the sump pump motor to kick in. I also knew that it was going to be a couple of long days trying to keep the main pump running. Sometimes it began to suck up air as the water level in the tank became too low, and then the pump would run continuously. Every now and then Nat would have to run down to the sump pump room and jiggle the switch to get it back to normal. I could see Nat every night as we watched TV that he (and even I at times) would listen for the main pump to stop once it ran its’ course. We were extremely lucky for a day or two and said nothing so we wouldn’t jinx anything! He only had to run downstairs about 3 or 4 times in the early evening to jiggle that switch.

It’s now Wednesday afternoon, Nat has just called and I gave him the good news. The plumber had called just after he left for his golf game, had arrived at 10:30 am and all was right with the world and our house again. I was at least able to explain what was happening, and the plumber knew the rest of the story from Nat. It was concluded that he would just replace both pumps. End of story.

This very nice plumber was quick, organized and even neat. The two new pumps are now neatly nestled in their little spots in the tank, sitting on bricks, with one higher than the other, for flowing purposes and each pump was plugged into the electrical outlets, one high for the higher pump, and one low for the lower pump. God, I love this man!!!

Now, instead of waiting for the plumber, we’ll wait for the bill – oh goody!!!! In my opinion these two new pumps are going to be worth every dollar.

With all of the above going on, I had previously awoken with an extremely sore back, along with an aching left inside foot. Did I beat myself up in the middle of the night? Had I been twisting and turning the wrong way as I was bending over to clean some trim and other things while cleaning. Sometimes I get in the “mood” and I have to go for it. Nat and I pretty much came to that conclusion only because I don’t do it that often and especially after 2018 and the Thrush that invaded my body. As with all things I ended up having to take it easy for a few days, but I did manage to redo our main bed with the new Duvet Cover and fitted sheets I had found on Wayfair Canada, along with a beautiful knitted pillow cover that closes with buttons. All are gorgeous and I’m ever so pleased.

It’s The Little Things In Life

As posted previously, our head-banging robin was back a few days after we removed all of the tarps from the windows he insisted banging on. I could see in Nat’s eyes this was now the last straw. His patience had worn out and even I was about to “Kill 3 birds with 1 Stone” as the saying goes.

Trying hard to fight temptation I, again, took to the internet and did more research on “how to deter birds from hitting windows”. One of the few phrases I hadn’t used in my previous research. Kind of glad I did as I discovered a very easy item hubby and I could use and it was found locally at our Lee Valley Store in Niagara Falls. Hubby wasn’t quite sure and hesitated thinking it might not be enough. He has this habit of dismissing things before he’s even tried them. Not me!!!! I’ll try anything before taking it out of my bag of tricks. So, I grabbed him by the arm and headed to the Falls to at least give this item a look. What else were we doing???

Arriving at the store and always wanting to have a look around – so many neat gadgets, household items, tools and hardware to check out. Not having been to the new store in the Falls, it was great fun to check everything out. We received help from a staff member and he led us to what we were looking for – a hard plastic spike system that you laid along the top of your fence. Apparently any birds or critters would be deterred and not want to walk over this thing. They only walk on flat surfaces. We paused and thought about it, and once we mentioned to the clerk what we wanted it for, he recommended the coil system that was just as easy to put up and just as much a deterrent to birds than anything else. He showed us the package and it made a lot of sense. We could bring back the item if it didn’t work, so what was the harm. We bought a couple of boxes, not knowing the length we would need and were now headed home hoping this would solve our problem for the rest of the year.

Naturally, once home, Nat was outside with his ladder and coil system laying it along the top of the fence and as each box contained four clips and two coils, he only needed one box. The others could be returned for full refund. Very easy to put up and he still seemed a bit hesitant that it would work. Wait for it!!!!!  It Did!!!! It is now working beautifully despite our pesky Robin giving one more try by sitting in a small gap between two of the coils but gave up after one try. It seems he didn’t have enough of a landing pad to return to. Thank God!!!! To understand what the system looks like, here’s a pic from the Lee Valley Catalogue:

Coil Bird Deterrent.jpg

Almost too simple, but it really works. Just proves, when in doubt check it out at Lee Valley. And no this is not an ad – I just love that store.

On another front, I had lunch with sister, Michele, a few weeks back. The first one in over a year. Really had a nice time, as usual. I missed talking to her and will continue to meet up on a regular basis.

Good news on the homefront for once – our little (slightly ignored) Town of Fort Erie will be getting a Harvey’s and Swiss Chalet sometime in 2020. The retired owner from Port Colborne decided to come out of retirement and set up these two food outlets in our little neck of the woods. God bless ‘im. We’re craving new places to eat or grab a good burger down this way. Yes, we have the usual McDonalds and Wendy’s, but after 20 years of nothing else, one can kind of get sick of the same old, same old. I only wished more retail stores would come down this way. With only WalMart as the main retail establishment for everything from clothes, shoes, household, toys, baby products and electronics, it makes for an extremely small selection to choose from especially if you’re looking for something new, exciting and different. Having to travel to St. Catharines or even Niagara Falls is sometimes a chore, especially in the winter months. There has been a couple of times where hubby and I couldn’t even make it to the QEW in the winter due to extreme snow squall conditions. Maybe I’m a dreamer, but with the building of new houses booming in this area, hopefully some of the other retailers will take notice??

On a final  note, I’ve been enjoying these past couple of months so much, I have no words. I’ve had no doctor appointments, no blood work, or any other health issues that needed attending to, that I’ve been able to relax and get back to enjoying my marriage with hubby and doing things together we’ve not been able to do in a long time. I still have my half-yearly and yearly appointments but it’s those inbetween times I’m going to take advantage of for as long as I’m able.

My Minor Misadventures

Thankfully, life at home has been pretty sweet, except for the Robin banging our window. We’ve both settled into a boring routine of waking up, sitting in our recliners in the morning. I always print off the LA Times Crossword Puzzle for Nat as he’s making me toast for breakfast. I’ll take my pills at the requisite time – 9:00 AM – and then join Nat as I check for emails, Instagram & Twitter Feed. I then kill an hour by playing some puzzles, before jumping up and making lunch. Yes, we eat early!

In the afternoon we’ll both get on with whatever errands we have to do, or I’ll do a little baking or office work while Nat works outside or is golfing. As evening falls and after dinner we’ll retreat once more to our recliners to watch the news (Canadian, then American) and whatever else we can find to watch on TV until bedtime. Exciting, No – Boring, Yes!! But hey, we’re 80 and 70 years old, so bite me!!!!

With our lives just too much to handle, I had another fall one day in late April. Getting out of bed I felt a little tipsy. Managed to get to the bathroom to get ready for the exciting day ahead, I went to put my pants on – one leg at a time – but I didn’t lean against the wall (as I usually do) and went down with great aplomb. As my left leg decided to do a one-sixty I fell back and went down on my ass with my head doing a bang-up job against the edge of the toilet seat. I soon began my day with a goose egg on the side of my neck and the sorest ass in a long time. Needless to say, it was a quiet day but I knew the worse was yet to come the next day once the brain waves kicked in to tell the rest of my body to sock it to me in pain.

On the better side of things, hubby and I were finally able to take down the tarp that was now covering the south facing windows and killing any light flooding into our kitchen. We kept the tarp up for almost a week to make sure that pesky robin had decided to give up and get on with the rest of his summer. (Postscript May 13th – that pesky little bugger is back. As of this morning he’s head banging again on side and front windows!!!! We’re going to try and ignore him *&#%$!!!!)

I had also decided to tackle a problem that was put off because of what was perceived as difficult. For quite some time I had been unable to access Parallels which had been installed on our Mac computer. One of those things you don’t really think about until it’s time you need to use it.

As I’m still using an old version of Quicken for Mac, and no updates are available, hubby and I thought it was about time to get the latest version in order to take advantage of the new features we would like. That being said, Parallels was not accessible and I had to figure out how to get Windows and Parallels up and working together. The latest version of Quicken for Mac was a bit confusing to my aging brain, I decided to install Windows in Parallels. To be sure of what I was doing more research was required and I had to do this on a day when hubby was playing golf. Out of curiosity of what I was doing he would stand along side the desk and watch what I was doing. I’m a loner and let me do this alone, on my own, no questions or interruptions. It only confuses me more and gets me off track of what I’m trying to achieve.

On a nice quiet and alone day, I was successful in managing to get Parallels up and running by checking my account and downloading the latest version and successfully getting Windows up and running with Parallels. For the first time in months I was finally able to be successful in my efforts. However, I had now changed my mind about the new Quicken for Mac.

Being on a roll, I was successful in downloading the latest version of Quicken on the Mac and couldn’t believe how well it is now working and very pleased with my success.

With a good morning now under my belt, I decided to pick up the mail from our mail box that sits across the ditch running along a major road in our little village. I slipped on my shoes, walked across the front lawn and with just a wee bit of hesitation jumped the ditch at the lowest point. I’m usually pretty good despite my tipsy balance, and this time it certainly caught up with me. As my right foot tried to land across the ditch, I began to falter, doing another one-sixty, turning my body around in a complete turn and looking like a drunken sailor my body gave way, down I went and landed on my left side. Traffic is flying by, ignoring the old broad in the ditch, saying to themselves, “It’s only 11:00 am!!”.

Trying extremely hard to get onto my feet, and constantly slipping on the wet grass along side the ditch, a kind lady finally saw me, circled back and helped me to my feet. Asking “Where can I take you?”, “The mailbox.” (2 steps away), I replied. For all the effort, naturally the box contained junk mail, but this kind lady, whose use to helping her elderly Mom get around, was kind enough to walk me to my front door via the driveway, which I should have took in the first place. Another lesson learned!

On the sadder side of my life, I received the news that a cousin’s wife had passed away from Cancer. She had fought Cancer for 16 years of her life and the last bought had come to the point where there was nothing more that could be done for her. Some of my family had gone for visitations the night before the funeral and I went with older sister, Gail and her hubby, to the actual funeral in Etobicoke. As Janice had some time before she passed, she was able to arrange her own funeral service. Knowing she had a captive audience of friends and family, the service was 1-1/2 hours, and the eulogies were beautiful. Sadly a lousy time to really get to know the deceased, who had certain traits like me – a neat and organizing freak with a bit of a temper. Gail, hubby and myself sat having a small lunch with other cousins attending the service and had a great opportunity getting up-do-date news with everyone. Not having seen every cousin and their families in several years, a lot naturally, had changed but we all had a great visit and hoping to not make it so long next time and hopefully under better circumstances.

Getting back to our morning routine has now become normal. Despite our boredom, at times, we’re happily living our lives. Cannot and will not even begin to wonder when the next hiccup will fall upon us.

Our Head-Banger Won’t Stop

We moved to this quaint little village for peace and quiet. Living out our retirement lives the way we want. Alas, Mother Nature is punishing us for some bizarre reason.

Yes, the Head-Banging Robin is back. Despite hubby’s valiant efforts of covering the patio doors and living room corner window with streamers, netting and then blue tarp our Robin returned but was now head-banging against the other corner living room window, and the main front living room window. At least the blue tarp was working but his insistance on head-banging is now causing high blood pressure, killing instincts and total, utter frustration for hubby. Each and every morning, while I’m still in bed, our bloody little friend turns up to welcome Nat to a new day by banging on his new found windows. Getting tired of banging several times, he’ll fly around the corner and try and bang his way into the house by hitting the front transom window.

I will confess to getting totally frustrated myself, I began to do further research online. Trying every different combination of search words, I soon discovered a little video from the Texas Conservation Authority that a lady had discovered as she was having the exact same problem as us, only with Bluebirds.

I’m begging you not to laugh, but it involved Windex, a Cloth and a Highlighter (the ones you use to highlight writings on a page, etc.) Believe it or not the instructions were to use the Windex and Cloth to thoroughly clean the window(s), take the Highlighter and make a grid pattern on the inside of the window. You make stripes up and down the complete surface of the window, vertically, and then horizontally, about 2 inches apart. Apparently one of the ingredients in the Highlighter emits or shows something only birds can see and will deter them from hitting windows. It was too easy, but the video showed the evidence. This woman’s bluebirds were almost instantly deterred as she demonstrated with one window being “highlighted” and the next window had nothing. The proof was there – the buebirds were now hitting the untreated window. I kind of laughed, it was too simple, too easy and surely would mark up our window.

The next day while Nat was at his golf game, I naturally grabbed a Highlighter, some Windex, a cloth and step stool (I’m short, ok!!!). After washing the window, I began to draw stripes up, down and across the window. I was surprised as suddenly the Highlighter seemed to be fading, but I persevered. I then sat back, grabbed my iPad to relax and wait for the peace and quiet to befall our little home.

Hubby returned home after a half-decent game. I sat him down, so when he falls to the floor laughing he wouldn’t have far to go, and explained what I did. Thinking he was now going to have me committed, I really was taken aback when he did nothing. He just stared at the window and asked “So, where’s this grid you made?”.  My reply, “See, it’s that good you can’t tell.”  He just stood there staring. I then sat back and said it was done out of desperation, and nothing ventured, everything to be gained.

DAMN, within an hour Crazy Bird was back hitting the window again. He started by banging up against the top left-hand side for quite some time, as if I had missed a spot. So I reinforced that corner with a bit more Highlighter, but to no avail. He continued for a bit and when he got tired he flew around to the front window and was hitting at the lower right-hand side of the transom window. We sat there in complete wonderment, confusion, frustration and total curiosity, as to what this wacky bird was doing and why doesn’t he get any kind of hint??? I’m now thinking I was totally taken in by the video using Highlighter. At least I didn’t lose money.

The next day was endured by going to WalMart to walk around for peace and quiet and pick up a few needed items. After lunch we tried our damnedest to endure the shenanigans of our Head-Banger and somehow made it through the day, but that killer look was written all over hubby’s face.

When I awoke this morning, no “good morning”, no “how’d you sleep?”, just “Well, was he back?” Nat’s look on his face answered my question. “With a vengeance”, he answered. He remarked he would have to cover this window too, and maybe the hang-over portion of the tarp from the other window would cover a portion of this window. He put the ladder up and left it standing in front of the window while he gathered his supplies. For a few minutes the ladder seemed to deter the bloody little red-breasted harrasser. Hoping maybe this would work we then waited for an hour or so to see what would happen.

It didn’t take the little bugger long, but he was now sitting atop the ladder. You could see it in his eyes, that this big deterrent was a little too close to the window, but what the hell he’d give it a try. Damned if he didn’t find a corner he could still make an attempt at. Even though the ladder had slowed him down, Hubby and I decided to go along witih his plans to deter this bird permanently. The other tarp-covered window was working perfectly.

The extra tarp was going to cover only half way, so I went downstairs and grabbed a couple of strips of Bubble Wrap to cover the other half. With some tape to hold the tarp and bubble wrap together and onto the siding, the window was now covered in its entirety. So far, as of 1:00 pm today, we have our peace and quiet back. Our home-wrecker has tried the front transom window once, but has suddenly disappeared. Hubby has been out gathering brush, etc. to take to the dump …. HMMMM!!!!