Welcoming Back Old and New Friends

It’s May, as you already know, and this is the month when old friends return to my little corner of the Concord River. For example, my Rose-Breasted Grosbeak has come home to make her nest and raise her young.

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Female Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

I happen to think the female of this species is the most stunning of all female songbirds. She has that Cleopatra eyeliner going on, and if you could see under her wings…well, let me show you what I’m referring to:

There, see what I mean? How can another female compete with this beauty?

Okay, so my female has returned and with her is, of course, her mate, the well-dressed male of the species.

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Male Rose-Breasted Grosbeak

If I’m lucky I’ll get to see their offspring, like I did last year when a juvenile spent a summer afternoon on my window ledge. He’d take a sunflower from the feeder, sit on the ledge and eat, return to the feeder, back to the ledge, and so on and so on. My fingers and toes are crossed that I get a repeat performance this year.

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Juvenile Rose-Breasted Grosbeak from 2019.

My other friends have also returned, namely the Baltimore Orioles. I haven’t been able to get photos yet but I can hear the male establishing his territory.

I’ve already told you the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds have returned. I’ve only seen one but I can hear their chittering when I’m out in the yard.

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Ruby-Throated Hummingbird from 2019.

I need to have my camera attached to my body so it will be handy when I need it.

The Great-Blue Heron decided to stop and pose for some photos. Up to now it’s been doing flybys.

I haven’t see the snapping turtle yet. It’s possible the river is too high for her to come to the surface, plus, I have to admit, it’s been too windy and cold to sit on the wall and throw bread into the water. Even the tree swallows haven’t been performing their ariel shows like they did last year. However, one did come and check out the nest box I put up for the Wood ducks. As it turns out, the Wood ducks are out of luck, along with the tree swallows, since the sparrows have taken over the box and guard it with a vengeance. At least the swallow stayed and posed for me.

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Tree Swallow

I have a pair of Acadian Flycatchers who’ve been spending time in my yard.

Seriously, these are the cutest little birds and watching them catch the white moths that flit about during the day is entertaining as heck.

This morning we had snow on the river. The Eastern bluebirds didn’t mind, nor did the ducks.

By the time ten o’clock rolled around the snow was gone but the wind kicked up, knocking branches onto the ground. My neighbor was nice enough to come by the other day with his John Deere and mow up all the twigs and branches that were littering my yard and now I have a ton more. Sigh, my hip had better hurry up and heal so I can handle my chores.

Since today is Mother’s Day, I thought I’d end this post with a celebration of motherhood. Ready?

Fourteen Mallard chicks for one hen! This certainly makes up for last year when I received a pitiful amount. Hopefully there are more to come. If you head over to my YouTube channel, there’s another chick video posted there. http://www.youtube.com/c/TinthiaClemant

Okay, that’s it for me. I want to wish all you mothers and grandmothers and mothers-to-be and every other kind of mother a Happy Mother’s Day. And for those of you who have lost your mother, grandmother, mother-in-law or other kind of mother due to COVID-19, cancer, or for other reasons, remember, your loved one is with you. Be peaceful and you will hear her speak to your heart.

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mio ​​immortale.

 

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The Lusty Month of May is Here!

It’s the merry, merry, lusty month of May. The month when naughty thoughts run wild and maidens swoon for strong men with pirate grins. My, my, I just might need a cold shower in a moment.

For those of us who follow the Craft, May first is the sabbat of Beltane, the halfway point between the Vernal Equinox and the Summer Solstice, and a time to celebrate the blossoming of the fertile earth around us.

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Dancing around the May Pole is the original pole dance.

My male Mallard drakes are eager to get in on the lusty fun. Since there’s a shortage of females in my little corner of the Concord River, they’ve begun courting each other.

I guess the saying is right: When in Rome…

Unfortunately, that-which-shall-not-be-named might put a damper on the Beltane festivities in some parts of the world. If the fear of contracting that-which-shall-not-be-named doesn’t stop people from joining together, chicken feces might. The Swedish city of Lund placed more than a ton of chicken poop in a popular park where revelers gather to dance and sing.

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At least the park’s lawn will get a little fertilization.

Well, don’t let a little thing like manure, or that-which-shall-not-be-named, stop you from celebrating the arrival of May. At its roots, Beltane honors the return of the light and fire is an integral part of its celebration. Light candles, either as part of a magical ritual or simply for a joyful intention.

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Photo by Matej Novosad from Pexels.com

Beltane is also a time to give thanks for the abundance Mother Earth has given us and what better way to say thank you than with a feast. Your feast doesn’t have to be lavish, a simple cup of tea will do nicely. Just remember to say a blessing before sipping.

After you’ve finished your tea, head outside and look for signs of spring, but remember to maintain a safe distance from one another. And wear your masks, please.

Look for budding trees.

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Listen for singing birds.

Count pansies…

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and tulips.

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Try to find some that haven’t been nibbled by dastardly wabbits. Argh!

Listen for spring peepers.

And, of course, watch for bluebirds!

Let’s face it, 2020 might not be the best year so far but it’s all we have, so let’s not count the days; let’s make the days count.

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Oh, one more thing–they’re here!!!!!

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Ruby-throated hummingbird

Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mio ​​immortale.

 

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Waiting to Exhale

Back on April 12, 2013…Wait a second, that’s incorrect. Allow me to begin again.

Ahem.

Back on April 11, 2013, I wrote an essay about buying a house. Here is what I wrote:

“Why do you want to buy a house?” The question seems so simple, but I still have trouble answering it in a way that will make my friend understand. Her eyes probe, wondering why a woman in her late fifties would want the obligations of home ownership. “Apartment living is safe,” she says, “no worries. If the roof leaks, call the landlord. No hot water, pick up the phone.”

I search for the magical words; the ones that, when I speak them, she’ll have that ah-ha moment—nod, and smile, finally getting my reasons.

“It will be mine,” I offer. Foolish, I know. Words that seemed so logical in my brain now hang empty in the air. I tried again, “I want a place where I can exhale. I want to be home.”  

She still didn’t get it.

In bed that night I thought about her question. In fact, that’s all I seem to be thinking about since the house search began six months ago. Why am I trying to buy a house? I’m a single mother, for goodness sake! And old!!

I mentally traced back over the past four years.

2009 brought my second divorce and the loss of my job. Next came foreclosure and bankruptcy. With trashed credit and no place to live, I was lucky to get a small apartment, complete with spiders the size of Texas, and overhead neighbors who think jumping up and down with their dinosaur-sized dog at two in the morning was a fun time.

I worked two jobs, and scrimped and pinched pennies so tightly they squeaked. Eventually, I clawed my way back to standing and pushed forward, never losing sight of my dream—a home of my own.

Thanks to an FHA loan, home ownership became a possibility in late 2012. And even though my family and friends thought I was crazy for wanting to take on the responsibility, the search began. I had a system: view the on-line listings, visit Google maps for an aerial view, drive-by, then call my agent. I’m not implying it was easy. Most of the homes in my price range had one thing in common—bring your demolition crew! After months of looking, I started getting worried my dream might never come to fruition when houses I wouldn’t sell my ex-husband looked good.

“Do I really need heat?” I asked myself on more than one occasion.

But then it happened. Eight hundred square feet smack on the Concord River. Surrounded by trees, land for a garden, even a fenced-in yard for the dogs. I parked my car, stood in the yard, and knew I was home. I made an offer, and dreamed. I’ll buy a canoe and I’ll put a rocking chair by the retaining wall.

This isn’t my first rodeo. I know the house won’t be mine until the last signature is in place, the deed is filed, and the keys are in my hands. It will happen though. Tomorrow’s the day.

And when I stand on the deck, looking at the river and listening to the birds, I’ll spread my arms and exhale.

I’ll finally be home.

April 11th, 2013

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Sparky, sitting on the retaining wall.

On that day, seven years (OMG, seven years!!) ago, Sparky and I arrived at the house with a hot Dunkin Donuts coffee in one hand (My hand, not his.), along with my new keys and a flag in the other hand. (Again, my hand, not his.) Sparky ran to check out the river and I posted the flag for all to see. I was finally home.

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Look closely and you’ll see Sparky sitting on the wall.

 

This was the view from my little corner of the Concord River. Not bad for an elderly lady buying a house after going through bankruptcy and foreclosure. Not bad at all.

 

 

 

 

Fast forward to now, seven years (WTF!) later and my mind is reeling at how quickly time seems to have passed. Truly. Seven years!!!!

Anyway, not much has happened in those seven years, (HA!) but let’s not travel down that rabbit hole. Let’s talk about happy things, like 2020’s biggest and brightest, pinkest supermoon rising over my river.

Or, that the American goldfinches are molting into their breeding colors.

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“Give me another week or so and I’ll look stunning.”

Orrrrr, the return of my Great Blue heron. Now, that is very cool.

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Great Blue heron

Each morning the Mallard hen of the mating pair that chose my property as their home let’s the entire town of Billerica know she’s on the case, protecting her nesting territory.

When she’s not quacking, she’s either eating or chilling with the drake.

Along with my ducks, a pair of Canadian geese have decided my yard is home.

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“Who you looking at?”

The male is one nasty dude, let me tell you. Even Harlee is afraid of him.

If I ignore 2020, I can truthfully write the past seven years have been good to me. Actually, even with all that’s happened over the past five months (I’m counting November, when Dyan passed.), I’m blessed. That’s more than a lot of people can say at this time in the world. So, thank you, Goddess.

Oh, before I leave you, I have one announcement to make. Ready?

HERE THEY COME! The Ruby-throated hummingbirds are on their way. Yipee!

Ruby-Throated Hummingbird migration map

Check out this link for updates on their travels. https://www.hummingbirdcentral.com/hummingbird-migration-spring-2020-map.htm

While you’re waiting for them to arrive, relax with my newest YouTube video, then get your hummingbird feeders washed and filled. They’ll be here soon.

That’s it. That’s all I have for you right now. Thank you for sticking with me for the past seven years.

Stay safe and remember, don’t touch your face.

Blessed be :}

Black-capped Chickadee
Black-capped chickadee

Mi manchi, mio ​​immortale.

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That Which Shall Not Be Named

This blog post is not about that which shall not be named. You know what I’m referring to.

Lord voldemort

No, not him.

You know.

2019-coronavirus

Yes, that! I’m not going to blog about it. I’m not going to name it. I’m not going to spend another second on it. What I am going to blog about is happiness, joy, jubilation — Spring!

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Although it feels as if the world is going to crash and burn, the earth is still spinning and that means the seasons change. Winter is gone, and even though I can’t say the sad memories of the winter went with it, the season of snow and ice, freezing cold temperatures, and dark nights is behind me.

What? It’s going to snow tomorrow? WTF!

Screw it, let it snow. One thing I’ve learned is that where there’s a will there’s a way and spring has a very strong will. As I hobble about in my gardens, I’m thrilled to see tender shoots peaking up from the cold earth.

peony bush

Welcome back, peony.

My doctor cleared me to do some light yard work; 20 minutes at the most. Sooooo, I’ve been doing about two hours of raking each day and then moaning at night because my hip hurts. Hey, the gardens aren’t going to clear themselves, you know. Although, that would be very cool if they did.

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Before…

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After

There’s still a ton of work to be done, but you know what else they say: One day at a time, baby.

I’m thrilled to write that the bluebirds are still gracing my mealworm feeders on a daily basis.

I know my sister, Dyan, is bringing them to my yard. Thank you, la mia amata immortale.

A friend told me once that I don’t have many pictures of American robins. That’s because they move so damn fast, always running here and there, looking for worms. All I end up with is a bunch of blurry photos. Well, not this time. This time the early, elderly old lady with the titanium hips gets the job done.

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Let’s see, what else can I tell you about the first weekend of spring here in my little corner of the Concord River?

No, I’m not going to mention that, stop asking.

Harlee turned seven today! Happy birthday, big guy.

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That just about does it for me. Oh, one last thing I need to mention…

No, not that.

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The Goldeneye ducks came back. Two drakes and a hen. A ménage à trois of waterfowl! Cool.

Oh, and the Wood duck drake has been hanging around, but, sadly, no hen this year.

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I guess he’s ……… (wait for it) ……………..  flying solo.

Now I’m finished.

Nope, still not going to mention it.

Stay safe, wash your hands, don’t touch your face or anyone else’s face, and, above all, remember to see the beauty in the world around you.

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Blessed be :}

Mi manchi, mio ​​immortale.

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Time and tide wait for no man.

Nor do they wait for an elderly woman in her sixties who’s recovering from hip surgery and grieving over losing her sister.

Three months have passed since Dyan’s death. It seems like eons since I last spoke to her, damn I miss her. Add my forced captivity because of my hip, and I’m ready to lose my mind. All I’m able to do is hobble from room to room in my small house, trying to work through my grief while gazing out my windows at the brown world around me.

My gardens are nothing but collections of sticks and leaves strewn about.

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Blah.

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Double blah!

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Triple Blah! (Except for Harlee)

The only saving grace for my blah surroundings is that the bluebirds are still here.

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My sister promised me she would return as a bluebird and she has, a dozen times over. You see, I’ve never had bluebirds stay this long into the late winter season. Typically they come with whatever snowstorm arrives in late January and then move on by the beginning of February, but, for some reason, they’re sticking around. Are the mealworms I’m putting out doing the trick or is Dyan working her magic?

I even have a male bluebird investigating one of my nesting boxes.

I’m more than happy to purchase whatever furniture he’ll need to create a comfy home for his mate. Please stay.

One of the items I inherited from Dyan are her runes. I performed a cleansing ritual over them and then asked her for some direction as I cast my first rune. I drew Hagalaz.

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Let chaos reign. Basically, everything I took for granted was being challenged. Hagalaz literally translates to hail and the chaos that occurs once the icy pellets have bombarded the surroundings.  Great!

My next casting brought me Isa, literally meaning ice, as in a mother-frigging blockade of ice, one large enough to stop me dead in my tracks.

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I let my soul search for the meaning of drawing this rune and came to the realization that I needed to stop forcing what could not be moved. I needed to allow what was blocking my progression to melt on its own. I could almost hear Dyan whispering, “Patience, my sister. All will be as it should be, in time.”

Dyan’s wisdom never failed me when she was alive and I am blessed she continues to watch over me from her heavenly location. Thank you, mia amata immortale.

To help take my mind off my dreariness, besides the glorious bluebirds, I’ve done a little investigation into the new perennials for the 2020 growing season and narrowed my search down to a half dozen.

Of course I won’t be ordering anything just yet, I’m on a tight budget at the present time, but, hey, I can dream, right?

As long as I’m dreaming, join me on a walk down memory lane from 2019.

Ahh, that’s better.

Blessed be :}

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My Left Hip

On February 3, 2020, I underwent a total replacement of my left hip. My new titanium hip now matches my right hip that was replaced in 2011. Little by little I’m getting closer to becoming the Bionic Woman.

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Jaime Sommers, the Bionic Woman, played by Lindsey Wagner.

For me to be truly bionic, I would need my right arm and right ear replaced as well but hey, who knows what my future holds.

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I won’t be wrangling any bad guys any time soon. At present all I can handle is hobbling from my bed to the couch and back to my bed, while munching on pain pills.

It would be great to type that I’ve spent my recuperation time in productive mode but, sadly, that isn’t the case. The most I’ve accomplished is finishing the first five seasons of Schitt’s Creek and consuming my titanium hips worth in ice cream. Harlee spent the first three weeks with friends of mine (Thank you Bob and Jill!). Now he’s home and, unfortunately, extremely unhappy about it. Not only is he upset about the ice cream containers he didn’t get to lick, he misses the other dogs he played with while having his sleepover, and all the walks he went on.

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“When will you be taking me for a walk?”

Once I receive clearance from my doctor, I’ll take Harlee for a stroll down Elsie Ave. Of course we’ll have to be extremely careful because the residents of Elise drive like maniacs, treating the road like the Massachusetts version of New England Dragway. I swear, do these people even know what a speed limit is?

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Being stuck in the house has given me way too much time to obsess over my neighbors’ poor driving habits.

When I turned my attention from the side of my house that faces the main road to the back, where the river is the focal point, I was treated with the spotting of a red-winged blackbird at one of the feeders.

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February is mighty early for this guy to be in my area but maybe he got a special discount of his flight ticket. The good news about this sighting is spring can’t be far behind. Hopefully, my hip will be ready.

The eagle is still performing fly-bys in the hopes of snagging a fat hen or drake.

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The ducks don’t seem to care very much, more concerned with placing themselves into breeding couples…

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and basking in the sunshine.

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Do these feathers make me look fat?

And the male Wood duck has been hanging around in the water, calling out for a mate.

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Male Wood Duck

He hasn’t found any takers yet but I’m cheering him on from the sidelines.

As you can see, even with one very painful hip, my life on the Concord River continues to flow forward.

Oh, one last topic. I have managed to load photos to Zazzle and Redbubbleto help raise money for Ovations for the Cure, an ovarian cancer support group. (hint, hint).

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Blessed be :}

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Blessed Imbolc

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May the joy of Imbolc bring you health, light, and peace. Blessed be :}

https://concordriverlady.com/2017/02/02/imbolc-2017-brigids-day/

 

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Be Counted

No, I’m not referring to the US Census.

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Oh, and by the way, do NOT shake the census taker’s hand–you don’t know where it’s been.

Being counted refers to joining the The Great Backyard Bird Count.

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It’s super fun.

And super easy.  Plus you can do your counting in your jammies with bed-head hair if you’re so inclined.

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“All you have to do is count. 1…2…3…….”

Join at: https://gbbc.birdcount.org/

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Once your there, register your name, etc. Don’t worry, Audubon won’t sell your info.

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That’s it, easy-cheesy.

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“While you’re counting, why not join Project FeederWatch too? Oh, and I’m an immature Cooper’s Hawk.”

Project FeederWatch is sponsored by Cornell Lab of Ornithology. All you’ll need is a feeder, some bird seed, preferably sunflower seed, and your eyeballs. A pen or pencil and some paper will come in handy unless you have a James Bond type of memory.

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When you register you’ll receive a cool welcome kit that contains a colorful poster, calendar, and other nifty items.

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If you have children, or grandchildren, Project FeederWatch is a fun way to spend some quality time with them. Heck, my son is almost 26 and he enjoys it!

I hope you’ll join one or both of these important projects. Remember my post about bird numbers declining? Well, if you don’t, here’s the link: https://concordriverlady.com/2019/10/27/hey-buddy-can-you-spare-some-food/

Songbirds need our help if they’re going to survive the chaos humans are wreaking on Mother Earth.

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Help out a feathered friend and you’ll feel like a million bucks.

And now for the magical portion of this post. It’s a new moon tonight and the two month mark of my sister’s passing. Before she died, we talked. She knew she only had a day or two left to her life, but she wasn’t afraid. She’d lived a good life, she said, and was ready for the physical and emotional pain she’d been dealing with to end. Ovarian cancer sucks. I had asked her many years ago what bird she’ll come back as, a question I ask the people I love. I need to know how to spot them when they appear in my life. My mother chose a Northern Cardinal.

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It’s okay to come back as the brightly colored male of the species. Mother Nature is cool with gender transitioning.

Me, I’m coming back as a Chimney Swift.

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I love to watch them dart and swoop in the late afternoon summer sky. The freedom they display is breathtaking and I want to be a part of it, damn it.

Dyan had chosen an Eastern Bluebird.

I spent some with a grief counselor and told her about Dyan’s reincarnation bird. That was on January 8th. The very next day what did my red-rimmed eyes spy outside the window? You guessed it.

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Since then I’ve been blessed with a flock of bluebirds. Over two dozen. My sister is soaring in her brilliant beauty.

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Thank you, Goddess.

I’ll be selling these photos as greeting cards on Zazzle, and will post the link when I have them finished. The money I raise will go to Ovations for the Cure, an ovarian cancer research and support group. I do hope you’ll help me raise the much needed funds so we can stop this bitch of a disease from destroying more lives.

Until then, watch for bluebirds, and when you see one, say hello to Dyan.

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Blessed be :}

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Bleak

This is my new favorite word – bleak. Bleakness works too. The state of being bleak. According to dictionary.com bleak means:

  • bare, desolate, and often windswept; (Naw, I don’t feel windswept.)
  • cold and piercing; raw; (Getting closer.)
  • without hope or encouragement; depressing; dreary. (That’s it!!!!!)

I feel hopeless, depressed, dreary in my soul, and I lack any encouragement to believe the future will get better.

Bleak!

Such a great word. When my sister was doing her time in the hospital we chose bleak to describe the scene outside her window. It was bleak indeed. She had full view of the hospital’s air conditioning duct-work in all its filthy, gray glory. When the sun shone, its rays reflected off the dirty metal and were directed through her dingy windows. It’s a shame hospitals don’t clean patient room windows.

One rainy day when her depression was at a low place, I sprang into action and insisted we move her. If she must spend her final days in a hospital at least give her a tree to look at. Her new room was the balls. She had a view of a Victorian house’s rooftop and several treetops.

Sadly, however, the bleakness followed us. That’s the thing about bleakness, it clings to one’s skin like tar and has to be scraped off with a dull, rusty blade. Most uncomfortable.

So, my sister is still gone. I know, I know, she died, and what was I expecting, for her to suddenly appear in all her pink-lipsticked glory and say, “Surprise, I was just fooling around with you. I’m still here!”?

Yes, I was.

As for the bleakness, it’s still here. Despite the arrival of the Winter Solstice, typically a magical time for me, one where I celebrate the return of the light, the darkness prevails.

The bleakness is holding tight.

However, life does continue on its track into the unforeseeable future and I do have a few river stories to share with you so let’s pull over and park this bleak train and spend some time on the Concord River.

This past Saturday, the first day of winter, I was at my table tending to some bleak tasks regarding my sister’s meager estate and my ducks were happily eating their corn on the beach outside my window.

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Then what to my wondering ears should I hear but a sharp sound from outside my window and the ducks took off like bats fleeing Hades. My brain ignored the sound and I thought the Eagle had come by for a snack.

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Time for lunch?

You can imagine my surprise as I scanned the bank opposite my property to see a man dressed in green camo aiming a rifle with a huge-ass scope at my property.

Not caring about the bathrobe or slippers I was wearing I flew out of my house, screaming expletives: Hey, you #%$!#Q@#@#  @#$@#$hole, you can’t shot at my house, you @#$@@#$#$ piece of @#$#Q#!”

The moron hightailed his white ass up the embankment and ran into the woods and I called 911. Soon, well, not too soon, let me say, later, a police cruiser rolled up and a polite officer came by for a chat. This is how it played out.

Officer: What seems to be the problem?

Me: (I had exchanged my bathroom and slippers for a coat and boots. Cue Harlee barking from inside the house.) “Some guy was shooting at the ducks that were on my property.”

Officer: It’s duck hunting season.

Me: Okay, but he can’t shoot at my property.

Officer: It’s duck hunting season.

Me: I get that but he was aiming at my property.

Officer: It’s duck hunting season.

Me: I understand but just because it’s duck hunting season he can’t fire at someone’s property. What if my dog had been outside.

Officer: Keep your dog inside until the season is over.

Me: When is that?

Officer: February

Me: What! Isn’t there a law about firing within certain feet of a residential building or something?

Officer: It’s duck hunting season. And it depends on what he was firing with. 

Me: He had a huge ass rifle and he took at shot at my beach. One slight slip and he might have fired through my window.

Officer: Well, it’s duck hunting season. It all depends if he was shooting with a firearm he shouldn’t. If he comes back call us.

Me: What?????? He shot at my beach. Obviously he’s using a gun powerful enough to send bullets across the river.

Officer: Listen, all I can tell you is it’s duck hunting season. I’m not a hunter but people have the right to hunt. Try not to go outside on your property until the season is over and shoo the ducks away. That way nobody will shoot at your property. Call us if he comes back.

End of exchange.

Sigh.

Time for a little levity.

And, my favorite…

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Of course the eagles and the jerks in their camouflage gear who can’t read the regulations on the Mass Fish and Wildlife’s website aren’t the only predators the ducks need to watch out for.

red-tailed hawk

Red-tailed hawk and Mallard hen.

The circle of life can be a very bleak circle indeed.

Mi manchi, mia amata immortale, con il mio cuore e la mia anima.

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Blessed be :{

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A Farewell Letter to My Sister

Dear Dyan, It is with a heavy heart…Boy, does that sound cliché but you get it, and, yes, I know, written words don’t make sounds. See, I’m continuing to learn from you even though you’re gone. Oh wait, you’re not gone, it’s just your body that’s missing. Wrong again. It’s not missing. You’re in a frigid holding cell waiting to be cremated.

Where am I going with this letter?  Give me a minute and I’ll connect my thoughts.

Okay, I’m back and I’m ready.

My purpose of this letter is to say how much I enjoyed being your sister and that I’ll miss you with a profound depth I didn’t realize my soul possessed. You were a rare gem, a shining light in a world darkened by the daily burdens we all carry.

Even ovarian cancer didn’t hold you down. Despite the pain your body suffered you greeted everyone you met with a beaming smile and sincere desire to know their story. You touched too many hearts to count.

Our time together was too short, shortened still by our sisterly squabbles. Like a couple of spitting kittens we battled but we always managed to find our way back to each other, our love for one another stronger for having snipped and scratched with our tiny claws and teeth.

You were my confident, my guru, the one who always knew the wise advice I needed, although many times not heeded…sorry, I’m a slow learner.

I will miss our chats over tea and lemon donuts; I will miss the smell of your perfume. I will miss your smile and the softness of your skin. And most of all, I will miss your laughter. If the universe set out to create a song of the gods, your laughter was the result.

Dearest Dyan, I will miss you. Oh, I know you’re with me still, but, damn, just one more time to hear you say hello when I call your number, that’s all I’m asking.

Silly, I know. You have better things to do than answer my call. You’re with Ma and Romeo and you’re all walking along the shore of some sandy beach. Your body is healed and whole once again. Your legs are strong and Romeo is barking for you to throw a stick.

Go, play with him. And give Ma a hug from me. Soon enough I’ll be there with you.

Farewell, my immortal beloved. Farewell.

June, 1951 – November, 2019

Laugh at the night,
at the day, at the moon,
laugh at the twisted
streets of the island,
laugh at this clumsy
boy who loves you,
but when I open
my eyes and close them,
when my steps go,
when my steps return,
deny me bread, air,
light, spring,
but never your laughter
for I would die.

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