Sunday, May 29, 2011

Still here - a month+ into my 70s ......

Watched a wonderful 1 hour monologue, a "teaching" hour, by Maya Angelou last night.

I have adored that woman for decades.  Her magic, her words, her growth, her pain - everything about her.  But what I have longed for over the years is a chance to put my head in her lap and sob while her words soothed me.

Last night she went throught the stages of her life, the stages that shaped her, the horrors that never brought her to her knees, but made her stand taller and stronger.

She did not like her 60s, she said, but found her 70s to be glorious.  I thought, sure, Maya Angelou would have a glorious 7th decade, but how did that translate to me?  I have no answer to that, but I will search for one. 

She is now 82 and told the audience that they should strive for their 80s.  That I know I can, and will do ... but first I have to find ways to make my 70s glorious.

It is, after all, probably all (or the vast majority) of what I have left.  Not to at least make an attempt to make them glorious would be giving up at the end, and while I've done nothing to match what Maya has done for us all, I have never been one to give up.

Oh, sure - I've slacked off on more than one occasion, I've been less than a "go gettem" person .. but I've never really ever given up.

I haven't really thought about it until right this moment, but I have had a glorious moment (moments) within the first 30 days of my 7th decade.

(I've got to learn how to attach pictures - I have some wonderful ones to illustrate and have tried for about 15 minutes to upload them.  Didn't work, so think small, compact and blue, using your imagination.)

About two weeks ago, Jessica and I set up everything perfectly to attract blue birds outside of our office.

We bought the right house, sank got a 6 foot steel pole (to make it hard for racoons, cats and other predators), affixed the bird house.  The spot was perfect.  Situated centrally between two large trees, about 40 feet away from each.  (The trees need to be nearby for the parents to stand guard and for the fleglings to have a safe place to fly to the first time).  Totally open where the house stands.  Right up against a dirt road.  All the directions found on Google told us we had done it perfectly.

Then, just to make it better, we bought a blue bird feeder made specifically for meal worms, a treat they especially like.  We didn't like it too much.  They are not live worms, but as the can stated, they "remain soft and life like." 

We put up and filled the feeder, and for good measure put some on top of the house.

Oh, yes - one final detail.  Instructions found on the web indicated that something blue should be affixed to the outside of the bird house to attract their attention.  Jess cut out two wing shaped pieces of wood and painted them a perfect bluebird blue.  We attached them to the sides of the house and began to wait.

Patience not being one of my virtues, by the second day I was convinced it wasn't going to work.

By the end of the first week, we said "well, we didn't do this until March, too late for this year, but maybe next year ........."

By the 2nd week, I had settled down to being satisfied with the more "ordinary" birds that come by the swarm to the two feeders at my office window.

End of 2nd week, I look out my window and think I'm hallucinating.  "Jess," I yelled out of my office, not taking my eyes off the bird house.

The blue was actually shimmering in the sunlight.  There, as plain as could be, atop the bird house stood the male.  We stared and wondered.  Another male came by.  Later that day we spotted a female in the trees.

We held our breath for two days.

Then ---- with a mouth full of twigs that had to weigh almost as much as she did, the female entered the bird house.

For the past four days she has been building and he has been guarding.  And occasionally when she is inside working, he'll fly in with a worm for her.

When last checked (two days ago) the next looked pretty complete.

Further googling had us learn that bluebirds often build two or three nests and then decide which one to use.

More meal worms went into the feeder and on top of the birdhouse.

Now we wait.  The worst case scenario is that we've had up close and personal looks into the lives of bluebirds.  Best case?  We find tiny blue eggs in the nest soon, and within two weeks (WHEN I WILL BE IN ALASKA!!!!) we will have baby blue birds flying about.

Jess takes excellent pictures.  She will be moving into my office while I'm gone to keep track of what's going on and will film what she can.. Hopefully, after that I will have learned to upload pictures to this blog.

So, how'm I doing so far, Maya?  First month, bluebirds.  Second month, Alasks.  I've just got to make sure that I have something glorious in July.

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