Archive | December, 2007

Happy New Year!

31 Dec

Bottoms Up

Bottoms Up! Enjoy your new year’s celebration but don’t forget to imbibe responsibly!

Happy New Year!

I wish you all a happy, healthy, and

prosperous New Year!


Stupid Quiz Friday

28 Dec

Touch Typing

Feeling a little post-holiday funk?

27 Dec

Check out i and the bird!  The latest edition was hosted by Amy Hooper, editor of WildBird magazine.  It’s a great one!   I included a poetic entry this time — something different for me!

I slept through Christmas

26 Dec

Around 5am on Christmas morning, I awoke and knew something was wrong.  Terribly, awfully wrong.  With my stomach.  Not a good feeling.  Some sort of nasty bug had gotten a hold of me and I was very sick.  Stay in bed, near the bathroom sick.  Merry Christmas, ho ho ho.

I felt a little bit better around 7am when I got up and — believe it or not — had to WAKE UP MY CHILDREN!  We kept them up until after 10 the night before so they were pooped!  I walked up the hallway ringing jingle bells and they got up quickly enough.  I planted myself on the couch and watched them open their Santa presents!  Santa brought Ruthie an iDog Amp’d which is a silly little dog that hooks up to her iPod Shuffle, plays her tunes, does a light show, and taps it’s little foot to the music.  She was in 9 year old heaven!  Gage got a very cool RC helicopter.  Greg will help him figure it out later today.  It looks to be a nearly 8 year old boy’s dream come true as well.

Santa came!

Then they opened their gifts from us.  This was what it was all about . . . we were hoping for a “Santa Who?” kind of reaction and we got it.  We got them both Nintendo DS systems.  Over the moon excitement and joy didn’t begin to cover it.  They were thrilled!

After the gift opening, we had to hustle over to my mother-in-law’s to see my nephews before they hopped a plane to Texas to be with their dad and his family.  So, we hurried to get dressed.  I quickly realized that my feeling better was a brief thing that had no bearing on the reality of my enjoying Christmas.  Putting on a pair of pants proved to exhaust me and I simply got back into my jammies and into bed.  The idea of walking into a house filled with the smells of cooking food and greeting people and being pleasant was too much for me.  Greg came looking for me as the car was being loaded and realized I was done.  I gave him quick instructions on gift distribution and they took off without me.

It should give you a measure of how ill I was that I didn’t even weep a single tear at the thought of missing Christmas.  I was done and the only place I could be was bed.  So, I slept.  And slept.  And slept  Ruby didn’t even realize I was home until I got up and went to the bathroom.  Poor me.  I woke up at about 11 when the phone rang — Greg was checking on me.  I reported that bed was the only place for me and went back to sleep.

At around noon, I woke up and thought, “Oh, I feel better.”  So, I got up, had some water, and still felt better.  So, I had some 7up on ice and felt better still.  I called Greg and said, “Come get me.  I think I can do this thing now.”  He came over and got me.  We picked up some Immodium AD at the drugstore on the way to my mother-in-law’s.  I was able to be upright for the next couple of hours and participate in gift opening and all that good stuff.

Christmas at Gramma's

My kids opening gifts at Gramma’s.


Two of a kind!

Two of a kind.  Matt is a great cook and always seems to get cooking stuff from us.  He got an amazing set of Silicon cooking stuff.  He thought that the bowls would make great hats.  Gage ended up wearing about 10 of them on his head.  I didn’t get the shot because I was fading again.

My sister-in-law was also feeling like shit.  That’s when I knew for sure that it was a bug and not some food poisoning.  The two of us spent the rest of the day sleeping and mildly participating in Christmas but basically, we missed the whole deal.  I took a long nap after the gift opening while everyone else made dinner.

I woke up during the meal — which is a feast like you can’t imagine — and had one small yorkshire pudding.  I could tolerate the smell of the food but not much else.  I had some ice water with it.  And, all was well, so I went back to sleep.   My brother-in-law massaged my feet after dinner which earned him my undying gratitude and an offer to bear his children.  My sister told me to “back off.”  Hilarity ensued.

After dinner, we opened our stockings and then everyone was done — the rest of the crowd was done because of eating so much.  Jennifer and I were done because we were feeling horrible and hadn’t eaten.  We packed up gifts and food.  We rounded up the cranky children.  We loaded the car.   — and when I say “we” I mean my mother-in-law and my darling husband not my sorry self.  And, we went home.

 I planted my butt on the couch with a 7up and watched TV.  Later, I felt well enough to contemplate some turkey.  I had 5 tiny bites of turkey.  It was delicious — manna from heaven.  Later, I had some gingersnaps.  We watched the Christmas edition of Deal or No Deal.  I went to bed.

Thankfully, I felt much, much better when I woke up.  Human even.  Now, I have to go play with my son on his DS.  I told him I would play this morning — it’s 11:53.  I’m cutting it close.

I hope ALL of you had a better Christmas than I did.

Ruby Tuesday — Christmas Wishes

24 Dec

My wish for all of you is that you have a

joyous Christmas filled with happiness and love.

Ruby, on the other paw, wishes for a torment-free Christmas.

Ruby's Christmas Sweater

A Christmas without sweaters. Without hats.

I won't move - even with a cookie on my head

A Christmas without cookies on your head.

I hate Christmas!

Ruby wishes this for the whole world, but mostly, she wishes it for herself.

Christmas Generator -
Christmas Comments -

Amazing Sights

23 Dec

I’ve read a great deal about Ravens and one of the intriguing things I know about them is that they engage in sky dances with their mates. I’ve never seen any do this. Despite all the beautiful romantic behavior I’ve seen between Ravens — sharing food, nuzzling each other, and engaging in their other lovely mating rituals, I had never seen them doing their sky dance of love (wow, that sounds like a Vegas night club act, doesn’t it?).

Yesterday, I saw a pair of ravens fly high into the sky and then dive for the earth at top speed. It was amazing — literally stopped me in my tracks and took my breath away. Later in the day, I saw another pair engaged in similar behavior. So beautiful watching them chase and spin and dive and whirl and spiral in the sky.

This morning, I saw a group of Ravens flying high — clearly just playing in the air. It was so beautiful. I pulled the car over and snapped a bunch of shots. These shots are very zoomed in. That is a Coastal Redwood — the tallest trees in the world. It’s between 200 and 300 feet tall. Those birds are high up and playing in the air currents.

Raven Dance 2

Slide Show

When I got home and looked at the photos, I realized that there was a raven sitting in the tree that the birds were flying around. Was it the Raven Queen watching her subjects perform for her pleasure? Was it a female considering the prowess of the males displaying their skills for her? I don’t have the answer but love both ideas.



The Differences Between Crows and Ravens

22 Dec

My friend, BEG, asked if I would please talk about the differences between Crows and Ravens. I described those differences briefly but now will do so in more detail.

American Crow

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) is a large black bird (16-21 in). They are widespread and common. If you see a large black bird, it’s most likely a crow. They tend to flock and can congregate in extremely large numbers — up to 2 million birds. If you see one crow, you almost always will see 10 more. Crows make a caw-caw sound. Crows in flight show their “fingers” but not as much as a Raven. I didn’t have a picture but found a good one on Flickr {click}. Crows eat carrion but need another animal to open it up first (or decay to soften things up sufficiently — ewwww!)

More walking

Common Ravens (Corvus Corax) are very large black birds (22-27 in). It is larger in every way. Most notably, it’s beak is much, much larger. Ravens have an extremely diverse range — from the Arctic to the deserts of Arizona and New Mexico. They are generally secretive and are considered one of the smartest of all birds. Ravens also roost in large numbers but much less commonly than Crows. Ravens are more often seen in pairs. Ravens also have a large throat ruff (see below). Ravens make a kronk-kronk sound. However, they also make all sorts of other sounds such as knocks, gurgles, etc. Ravens have a blunt tail. In flight, Ravens’ primary feathers make “fingers” as they are longer and seperate (see below). Ravens also soar more than Crows do. Ravens are also acrobats in the air whereas Crows do not tend toward diving toward the earth, spinning in flight, nor flying upside down as Ravens will sometimes do. Ravens eat carrion and are large enough and strong enough to eat fresh carrion — as evidence by the picture above which was taken in front of my house when a squirrel fell in front of a car. The Ravens ate well that day.

Raven showing off his neck ruff.

Common Raven, flying
Raven soaring with his “fingers” showing

For my money, Ravens are so amazing as to overshadow the poor crow. Ravens are larger, louder, and smarter. I admire them so much. I feel so lucky to get to see them everyday at school and at home. A pair moved into our neighborhood and I’m thrilled by that. They are social and solitary; smart and secretive. I don’t say this to offend fans of the American Crow — they are amazing as well but for me, the Raven is something else again.

Stupid Quiz Friday — The “Don’t Tell Ruby Edition!”

21 Dec

Your Score: The Squirrel

You scored 51% domestic, 45% gregarious, 50% trickster, and 35% intellect!

  Domestic, Solitary, Serious, Emotional: you are the Squirrel!

Squirrel people tend to be organized, thrifty, prepared for anything, slightly obsessive. Squirrel medicine teaches the benefit of good planning, looking towards the future, and conservation. The squirrel is a symbol of delayed gratification, resourcefulness, agility, and foresight.

This test categorized you based on four different axes of personality, which were then associated with a different animal. The four axes, as well as all possible results are explained below.

Wild/Domestic: This first axis categorizes you based on how much you are drawn to the outdoors, versus how much you are drawn to civilized situations. Domesticity has many shapes and forms, and varies from the joy of dolphins leaping next to a ship to the steadfast loyalty of a family dog.

Gregarious/Solitary: This axis measures how solitary you are. If you scored high, it means that you enjoy the company of other people, while a low score indicates that you prefer a more solitary lifestyle.
Trickster/Serious: This axis measures how well you line up with conventional trickster archetypes. People who fall into this archetype have a sense of humor and an excitable, highly chaotic streak. Scoring low doesn’t mean that you don’t have a sense of humor; it just means that you probably don’t think dynamite is very funny.

Intellectual/Emotional: This last axis determines whether you are more emotional — acting based on feelings and instinct, or rational and intelectual — acting more on thought than on your gut feelings.

Wild Gregarious Trickster Intellectual The Hyena
Wild Gregarious Trickster Emotional The Otter
Wild Gregarious Serious Intellectual The Antelope
Wild Gregarious Serious Emotional The Wolf
Wild Solitary Trickster Intellectual The Weasel
Wild Solitary Trickster Emotional The Coyote
Wild Solitary Serious Intellectual The Raven
Wild Solitary Serious Emotional The Frog
Domestic Gregarious Trickster Intellectual The Fox
Domestic Gregarious Trickster Emotional The Dolphin
Domestic Gregarious Serious Intellectual The Horse
Domestic Gregarious Serious Emotional The Dog
Domestic Solitary Trickster Intellectual The Rat
Domestic Solitary Trickster Emotional The Ferret
Domestic Solitary Serious Intellectual The Cat
Domestic Solitary Serious Emotional The Squirrel

Humor and

20 Dec


So, I was playing around on the other night (you know, in my copious free time what with the holidays and all . . . ). And, I input as many family members as I could find and that’s a lot as there is a book about Southampton, L.I. that has a lot of ancestors in it.Anyway, I then used’s feature . . . Find Your Famous Relatives. And, this is what it found for me {click}.So, here’s the thing. I don’t know what to respond to first . . . the great excitement at seeing that I am a direct descendant of Geoffrey Chaucer or the nightmarish horror that I am related to our esteemed (cough, cough) President. And, then there is the odd twist of being related to Freddie Prinze.The funniest thing to me is that family legend has it that we are related to Frances Hodgson Burnett. Evidently, that ain‘t necessarily so.Fascinating stuff. My husband is also related to some interesting types. {click} Most notably to Marlon Brando and James Dean. Well, no wonder he’s so good lookin’!So, have you played with Who are you related to?

Wordless Wednesday — The One I SHOULD Have Gotten!

19 Dec


Pssst. If you are just getting here, I lost my mind and did TWO Wordless Wednesdays this week. Don’t miss the other! It’s way birdier! {click}