Saturday, June 17, 2006


Euripides (cat) caught a bird today. I heard the distress call fade. And then I saw Euripedes carry his prize across the yard.

But wait! The bird was still alive.

I ran out and pried kitty's mouth open (twice) and finally the young bird fell onto the ground. I swept him into my hand, away from the jaws of the now two cats waiting for more action.

When I took the bird inside, I felt sure he would die. But! You never know. So I put some tissues into the bathroom sink (all the better with which to pick up dead birds), lay the bird in the sink and shut out the light.

Twenty minutes later I went back to the sink, and birdie was breathing heavily with his eyes shut. The end is near, I thought. And I closed the door.

An hour later I went in to get the dead bird, but he was up and standing on the rim of the sink. He spied the escape route out the door, and flew out of the bathroom. The problem with his escape was that he kept banging his head on the ceiling of the living room. Great, I thought. He'll die of a broken neck after after he survived the cat attack. I turned to open the front door, but the bird had disappeared when I turned back around. I hunted through all the downstairs - finally found the little bird hiding in my drapes. I scooped him up again, but this time, AGH! he flew out of my hands. All but his tailfeathers. They stayed in my fingers. Uh-oh, I thought. He'll die of no tail, after he survived the cats AND the broken neck. I ran over to the floor where he was hiding, scooped him up yet another time. And the little birdie and I went outside. I felt so bad about his tailfeathers.

I showed him to Paul, and remarked how his beak was hooked, kind of like a young Kingfisher. I know about Kingfishers; once, camping in Australia, I was relaxing w/ a glass of wine and some tuna on crackers after a 12-mile hike through the Carnarvan Gorge. I heard a flurry of feathers not one second before a Kingfisher grabbed my tuna-on-cracker AND my finger. (This was the same day the kangaroos ate our spaghetti.) The tuna was gone, my finger remained intact. But ohmygoodness! I'd hate to be prey of a bird-of-prey. Gruesome business, that.

Back to the birdie in this story: Apparently, the little guy wasn't feeling too happy himself about his whole situation - fang marks, broken neck, no tailfeathers... So what do you suppose he did next??! HE BIT MY FINGER!! AND WOULDN'T LET GO!! I had to pry it open with a twig! Great Scott, what is it about these hook-beaked birds and my fingers?!

I lay the little guy in our privet hedge, and went inside to see if Australian Kingfishers and Kookaburras are migratory. What I found was that this little bird is a Great Northern Flycatcher. I went back to the privet to tell him I knew what he was, but he spied me and flew across the pasture, back to his woods. Probably very good on his part; heaven knows what might have happened next...

Sunday, June 11, 2006

The Képi Blanc

I was reading up on the French Foreign Legion today (not to worry, they don't allow women, and probably PARTICULARLY not middle-aged ones.)

The following is stated in their Code of Honor:

"Au combat, tu agis sans passion et sans haine, tu respectes les ennemis vaincus..."

In English, that means something like:
"In combat, you will act without passion and without hate, you will respect the vanquished enemy..."

I find that phrase very thought-provoking.

There could be a novel in that, somewhere. Oops, there exists one already. Several, actually. Must peruse the library stacks...

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mark my words:

I think the navel orange market is taking a hit because of clementine sales this year. Mark my citric-consuming words...

I think that the sport of curling is going to enjoy a spike of popularity, in part because of riveting televised action we have all enjoyed this month w/ the Olympics, and in part because it's such a ding-dong funny activity. Not unlike Bocce (which we Armstrongs enjoy here in Rural Kansas), and shuffleboard, which we have yet to experience. (But our dayzacomin'.)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

It's my day!

Ah, Valentine’s Day!
One of my favorite celebrations in the year! If for no other reason – it’s such an optimistic day: love, happiness, pink, chocolate…
So! Here we go! A trip through the Armstrong Valentine's Celebration!
For true love is inexhaustible; the more you give, the more you have. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly. ~Rose Franken
Love puts the fun in together, the sad in apart, and the joy in a heart. ~Author Unknown
Love means nothing in tennis, but it's everything in life. ~Author Unknown
If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you've made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand. ~Unknown
Doubt that the stars are fire, doubt that the sun doth move, doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love. ~William Shakespeare
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. ~Bible I Corinthians 13:4-8

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Four and Twenty

Blackbirds are what I spotted while driving across the Viaduct. They were sitting on the sandbar which stretches across the Kansas River. There were lots and lots of blackbirds.

In the middle of the all the black, a much larger bird w/ a distinctive white head sat amongst his companions. Imagine that: a Bald Eagle...sharing the morning sun w/ all those little guys.

The next day Gill and I stood out in our yard, talking. I looked up. Suddenly I started an animated dance while pointing straight up and yelling,"Bald Eagle! Bald Eagle! Bald Eagle!"
Gill followed my gaze to the eagle flying low between our house & our barn. How fun that was! She & I ran around the yard, around the house, following the eagle as he circled our home. He was low. And big.

And those are two nice things I have enjoyed recently.
The End.
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