Tuesday, June 24, 2008

UMMMM....that leather smell!

A new car is a thing of beauty. And if it's yours, so much the more beautiful. I took possession of my new car on Friday. No, I haven't been in it every day, but almost. It took me most of one morning just to decide what to put back in it from the "stuff" that came out of the Montana van. The amount of debris, junk, trash and "why-do-I-have-this" items was incredible. Apparently over the years, I have considered that each car ride was the equivalent of a Girl Scout camp-out!

Knives, corkscrews, plastic eating utensils (some new, some used), rain hats/tarps/ponchos, flashlights (yes, plural), a roll of paper towels, plastic sheeting........oh, the list just goes on and on. A lot of it just got thrown away. Only about a quarter made it back to the pristine confines of my new Honda Pilot. I have taken a solemn oath to not junk this car up. We'll see how that goes.

Of course, this does not apply to anything necessary to the comfort, care or entertainment of the dogs. Who, by the way, have not enjoyed a ride yet. I'd like to revel in the new leather smell just a little bit longer. And not have to look out of windows fogged with Dog Art Snool. For now, I am enjoying riding along to the sound of XM radio without panting or snoring in the background.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fly Away Home

Just a little update on the bird situation. Everybody must have gotten away safely, because the parents aren't swooping through the yard and I don't see any little bits bobbing around the grass. Whew! I'm thankful I didn't have to take some small feathered beastie out of another beastie's mouth. I'm also thankful that my fine feathered friends are living in another birdy condo because my gardenias are beginning to bloom and it will be nice to be able to cut some without disturbing a nest babbling with fledglings.

All the while I was stressing over the cardinal babies in the back, the little brown wren family on the front porch struck their tent for parts unknown as well. Yesterday morning when I went to check on them, they were gone.

Good luck y'all........Fly On! I'll keep the feeders filled for you!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

File a Flight Plan

For the last 10 days or so, I've been on baby bird watch. Right outside the back door, a mother cardinal built a nest and proceeded to hatch out 3 eggs. I can't imagine what she was thinking, as this is a highly traveled path from the house to the yard both by the human inhabitants and the canine ones. (Can you say, "Bird Brain?")

This morning as we all trooped out the door on our way to the kennel for breakfast, I stopped to take stock of the situation as I have every morning for days. Lo and behold, 2 baby cardinals were sitting on the edges of the nest. Baby #3 was nowhere to be seen. I'm telling myself he/she had already flown the coop, but I'm afraid that might be a lie. I'll know when I go out to trim the gardenia bushes where the nest resides. Then I noticed that Mom & Pop were flying from pillar to post, chirping their little hearts out. Surely, I thought, they can't be calling them out of the nest THIS early. They just hatched out a little over a week ago. Wrong. That's exactly what they were doing.

It's been hard to do anything much today for running to the windows every 20 minutes to see what's going on. First, babies were perching in gardenia limbs. Next thing I knew, there was one sitting in the chain link fence. A little while later, there was one flopping over in the hosta bed. Finally, about an hour ago, both of them were sitting somewhere off the ground at least: one each in the whiskey barrels sitting under the Bradford pear tree. (#3 is still MIA.) The parents were still zooming around every few minutes trying to get them to try those wings -- that, by the way, have hardly any feathers on them to speak of to my way of thinking.

Five minutes ago, I looked outside. Nothing. No parents. No babies. No chirping. I hope they've made it out of the backyard or at least up in the tree. Keeping two terriers in the dark about flopping baby birds is hard work. Tonight I'm taking the nest out of that gardenia. I'd rather not be on call again soon as the protector of fledgling flyers.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Oh, for the Gypsy Life!

I'm getting a new car soon. That may not be a big deal to many, but since I haven't had a truly "new" car since about 1978, it's a very big deal to me. And I'm truly conflicted about the whole entire thing. I want it..........I think.

First let me say that I adore the car I have right now. It's a big ole 2002 Pontiac Montana van (that they don't even make anymore) and it holds the WORLD. I know, because I've stuffed it full on many, many occasions. It holds all the dog paraphanalia you could ever hope to take to a show, a trial, an anything. Crates and tables and grooming supplies.....even a bag of clothes for moi. It rides like a dream; the sound system is wonderful; the seats are the most comfortable I've ever had in a car. I haven't had one second's worth of trouble out of it. So, why am I trading it in on a new Honda Pilot?

To tell the truth, I'm not sure. I guess because in the last six years, I've put over 112,000 miles on it...happy, happy miles for the most part. But I don't always have company on road trips and now there's just this little hint of questionable "trustworthiness" that rides with me. As long as I had my OnStar, I felt safe. But it's gone now (damn that digital stuff) and so lately I've begun to wonder. Plus, I've been thinking of downsizing the car a little bit to go along with downsizing the stuff that keeps threatening to take over my house. And wonder of wonders, guess what I've discovered today?

Yes, my car has turned in to a gypsy's caravan wagon. I didn't see it coming. I was blind to the RV condition it has acquired. I began cleaning out the car in preparation for the call that the new one is here. I can't begin to tell you the crap that has been quietly accumulating. No wonder I don't get better gas mileage. Granted, some of it is stuff I've continued to think of as necessary, even though I haven't had occasion for much of it in the last two years: an extra folding chair to sit in at dog shows, a sun tarp to put over an exercise pen, TWO rolls of paper towels, a whole collection of clamps to connect "stuff", a bag of dog water buckets, toys, extra leashes, etc. etc., an extra grooming smock, the golf umbrella, a small garbage can, dozens of CDs and even tapes (that I never listen to anymore), an old shower curtain (don't ask). There must have been 4 dozen 20% off coupons for Bed, Bath & Beyond stuck in the driver's door pocket. Plus, lists of books to check out at the library some day.

Yes, I have lived out of my car. Eat there, nap there, camp out of it, groom dogs in it, socialize in it. I'm in the car what feels like most of my life. I'm not going to be able to do all that with the new Pilot. No room at the inn. It's going to be a hard adjustment to make. My gypsy wandering ways are about to change. At least it won't be a Vespa.