31 July 2011

The Mockingbirds

One of my top five books is To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus Finch is one of my favorite characters of all time. He warns Scout never to kill a mockingbird, and I love the line spoken by Miss Maudie, agreeing with Atticus:
Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.
Based on this, I thought mockingbirds were sweet little songbirds. After all, the lullaby offers to buy a child a mockingbird before a diamond ring. They must be little songsters. Right? Well, if you haven't encountered a mockingbird as an adult, I have a harsh truth. It's all a lie. Mockingbirds don't tweet beautiful songs. They're territorial and loud and mean. Which is probably how they keep birds of prey away.

While we were away for a week, it seems that two (or possibly more) mockingbirds decided that they like our house and trees. They don't, however, like our cat, Persephone. Within an hour of returning home, we witnessed Persephone being chased and pecked by a mean ol' mockingbird. All the while, he was screeching something terrible. The cat wasn't phased. We've been home for several days, and every day has been a repeat. Now, the cat runs from the birds. I'm pretty sure this is why Crickett has been so anxious, as well. They have tried to get her a couple of times. And I'm scared to death that they're going to get me! I take a stick with me every time I go outside.

I do not advocate killing animals, especially for sport. And I don't think I could ever kill an animal. Honestly, I could easily become vegetarian over the thought of killing animals. And I reason with the cat not to kill birds, which are generally her prey of choice. But now? I've approved her taking out these birds. I know, it's bad, but they're terrorizing us. They've also chosen to use our back deck as, seemingly, their bathroom of choice. Guh-ross!

As the state bird of Texas, I'm sure it's illegal to shoot them. Since I wouldn't kill them, anyway, I want options. Unfortunately, options don't seem to exist for these birds of terror. I've researched how to deter them, but there's little that works for these birds. I was set to buy an owl decoy on Amazon that moves with the wind to simulate a real owl. Guess what? Those don't work on them. Neither do rubber snakes. I'm thinking that I'm going to get the water hose ready, and the next time they dive bomb me or the pets, I'll spray water at them. A little water never hurts, right?

Until then, I'll be running from the birds, shooing them with a stick. And cleaning off my back deck.

29 July 2011

Friday Miscellany

  1. I cannot believe how fast the summer has gone. It seems like just a week ago that I switched to summer hours at work, my alarm sounding 1.5 hours later than normal. It's been nice and restful. A good summer. Last summer was tough. We lost our nephew just weeks before his arrival, and Husby's dad took a two-story fall off a ladder that left him in the ICU/hospital/rehab facility for six weeks. I'm happy to share that we have another niece or nephew on the way, and our summer has been relatively uneventful. For that, we are grateful.
  2. I'm working through pictures of our vacation to Savannah, Charleston and Atlanta. I can't wait to post those, along with a comprehensive list of wonderful restaurants in each city. Just a little teaser: we ate at one well-known restaurant in Savannah owned by a certain celebrity chef with a pronounced Southern drawl. And...we weren't impressed. We both decided that our mom's are better cooks, and Husby said he likes my chicken pot pie much more than the one he ordered.
  3. Our house is coming together. The living room is mostly done, except for hanging an antique mirror--that weights approximately 3423 pound--over the fireplace. I'm on the hunt for two other dining room chairs, or possibly an upholstered bench. Light fixtures are waiting to be hung in the breakfast nook and dining room. A headboard is on it's way in the next 2-4 weeks. And I have a super fun plan for unstained nightstands that I bought. (Said plan will not be completed by me; my brother's girlfriend is much more confident in her abilities to draw straight lines.)
  4. I'm ready to beat my dog. (FYI...I threaten to beat her every other day. It's never happened. Most often, she gets tummy kisses.) Ever since her return from a week at my parents, she's been on super-high alert. Like we brought a ghost back from the South. She's driving me crazy. I'm contemplating give her a little Benadryl to relax her. Or I guess I could take the Benadryl. That might be nice. :)
  5. While we were away on vacay, we had a neighbor and my brother-in-law let the cat in at night and out in the morning. From the looks of it, she slept on the kitchen counters. She isn't allowed on those, but I guess she showed us! (I also threaten to beat her regularly, but instead give her tummy kisses. She'd probably rather take the beating. Ha!)
  6. I ordered several holiday items and got those yesterday. I cannot wait to decorate for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  7. We've had over 30 days of weather over 100 degrees. It's hot. Thankfully, we go from air conditioned building to air conditioned car to air conditioning building. That makes the heat bearable. Spending a week in "walking" cities, we discovered that 100 degrees is awful when cars aren't an option. Mercy, the east coast was hot!
Y'all have a great weekend!