Archive | June, 2008

Summer Heat

21 Jun

100 + degrees
sticky drippy
whiney tired
miserable hot
draining energy
sapping strength
every effort is too much.
eating is too much.
popsicles are too . . .
wait, no they aren’t.


Fires abound this year
Burning fields and trees
and homes
Burning dreams and plans
and lives
Fires abound this year

More Summer poems at Totally Optional Prompts.
All content written by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
© 2008, Liza Lee Miller. Creative Commons License


Melody – One Single Impression

21 Jun

I hear my darling daughter play the flute
Each note comes smoothly with only a tiny stumble
here and there as she plays through a complex

More Melody poems at One Single Impression.
All content written by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
© 2008, Liza Lee Miller. Creative Commons License


21 Jun

1. Over 21? Yes
2. Danced in front of your mirror naked? Yes
3. Ever told a lie? Yes
4. Been arrested? Nope!
5. Kissed a picture? Yes
6. Fallen asleep at work/school? Yes
7. Held an actual snake? Yes
8. Ever run a red light? Yes
9. Ever drink and drive? Yes. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
10. Been suspended from school? Nope
11. Ever been fired from a job? Nope
12. Totaled a car/motorbike in an accident? No
13. Sang karaoke? Nope
14. Done something you told yourself you wouldn’t? Yes
15. Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Yes
16. Ever gone “under the knife?” Yes – wisdom teeth and two children!
17. Driven cross country? Nope
18. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? Yes
19. Kissed in the rain? Yes
20. Sang in the shower? Everyday!
21. Sat on a rooftop? Yes
22. Been to a foreign country in which you didn’t speak the language? Germany, France, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, and Mexico.
23. Thought about your past with regret? Yes
24. Been pushed in the pool with your clothes on? Yes
25. Skinny dipped? Yes – first time was on the French Riviera when I was 12.
26. Shaved your head? Nope.
27. Blacked out from drinking? Sadly, yes.
28. Had a gym membership? Yes
29. Been in a band? Nope.
30. Fired a gun? Yes — I’m a pretty good shot.
31. Liked someone with nobody else knowing about it? Isn’t that what High School is all about?
32. Played strip poker? Yes.
33. Been to a strip joint? Yes
34. Donated Blood? Yes
35. Liked someone you shouldn’t? Yes
36. Have a tattoo? Yes.
37. Been to jail? Yes — note that it says been TO jail, not been IN jail although I’ve been IN a jail too just not as an inmate.
38. Have or had any piercings? Yes
39. Made out with a complete stranger? Yes. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
40. Had a one night stand? Nope.
41. Caught someone cheating on you? Nope.
42. Felt like dying? Yes, many times.
43. Regret any of your ex’s? Yes, isn’t that why they are ex’s?
44. Been to a rodeo? Yes!
45. Been to a NASCAR race? No, but I’ve been to a Demolition Derby.
46. Been in love? Yes, for the last 26 years.
47. Met a celebrity? Yes! I met and shook hands with Sting!
48. Been on TV? No
49. Know how to cook? Yes
50. Like motorcycles? Not much.
51. Bungee jumped, skydived, based jumped, etc? No, and I never will.
52. Slept outdoors? Yes.
53. Spent the night in a snow cave? No, thank you.
54. Thought you were going to drown? No.
55. Play an instrument? Not well.  Still intend to learn to play guitar.

Liza, Liza, how do your numbers grow?

20 Jun

Have you been watching my numbers grow?  It’s now 1/2 way through 2008.  At the end of 2007, I was at 100 birds on my life list.  I have seen 63 different species so far this year and 14 of them were Lifers.  Pretty good considering I’m not really trying.

I am sort of a haphazard lister.  Sometimes I’m SURE I’ve never seen a bird before only to enter it in eBird and have it show up as one I saw a few years before.  Oops.  Worse is when I’m SURE I’ve seen a particular bird, enter it in eBird and then really look at the pictures I took and 2nd guess myself.  Did I see it or not?  When in doubt, take it out.  So, occasionally, my list will go down again.  Sigh.

On the other hand, I do occasionally record a bird that I’ve seen many times before but for some reason I’ve never recorded them in eBird.  Usually that is a stand-out bird like a Yellow-billed Magpie.  I’ve seen bazillions of them over the years but not since I’ve been birding so they never made it on the list.  Surprise — a lifer that I’ve seen many, many times before.  It is a little bit like finding out that you’ve never recorded a Robin on your list.  How did I miss that one?

Still, my favorite birds are my regulars.  My daily visitors to the feeders.  They keep me interested in birding and watching out my window.  They are the reason I like to get those dishes done while it is still daylight!  Pure entertainment with feathers and chirps.  I think I’ll add a page that lists my yard birds.   Check it out!

Pygmy Nuthatch
Pygmy Nuthatch

Summertime and the living is easy . . .

19 Jun

Summer Schedule

. . . or not!

I had a bad moment last night when I started mapping out my summer days.  I’ve been looking forward to this activity.  Planning how I would accomplish all that I have to accomplish and yet, as the tasks started appearing in front of me in black and white (well, pink and white — pink pen), I got the chills.  I ended up sleeping badly and dreaming of rolling stones uphill all day only to have them roll back down again.  You get the idea.

So, I talked to Greg about it and he reminded me that these are just tasks.  Pick the ones that are ESSENTIAL and/or will make the biggest difference and focus on those.  Also, I decided to move several things forward at once rather than working on one task and then another.  I tend to work on stuff like this using a few tips I picked up from  Having a routine works best for me — it’s hard to make myself get started though.  Wednesday will be the first day I stick with this schedule.  We’ll see how it goes.  That early morning walk will be telling!

In other news, it’s amazing what I am seeing at my feeders now that I am actually putting seeds out:

  • Chestnut-backed Chickadees
  • Steller’s Jays
  • Dark-eyed Juncos
  • Robins
  • California Towhees
  • Spotted Towhees
  • Purple Finches
  • Pygmy Nuthatches

Got any bird posts to share?  I’m hosting the next i and the bird next week!  Send your submissions to me — lizaleemiller AT gmail DOT com

Wordless Wednesday — The Deer Don’t Eat Me!

18 Jun

The deer don't eat these

Ruby Tuesday — IT’S SUMMER!

17 Jun

"What, I'm relaxed!"

When one is a very small dog with a very big job (killing all rodents who dare to enter my domain), oen is very glad when summer arrives.  For one thing, there are way more squirrels around in the summertime which means more squirrel chasing time.  For another thing, the days are longer — very few squirrels come around in the night.  Oh, and at night, there are more rats around and rats are a nice substitute for squirrels.  The most important reason that one very small dog might prefer summer over other seasons is that Mom and the kids are around all the time.  In the Fall, Winter, and Spring, I only have Dad during the day and that’s fine and all but he never takes me anywhere.  Mom, on the other hand, likes to have my company and regularly takes me with her on errands.  The kids are around all day and they like to throw things for me which is a good thing.  Being a very small dog in the summer is a very good thing.

Father’s Day

15 Jun

When my mother telephoned us this morning, she called my cell phone rather than the house phone.  I was puzzled until she asked if we were camping.  Father’s Day is a day to do what Dad wants and it was a very reasonable assumption that Greg would want to be camping on Father’s Day.  In fact, that would have been a great idea.

The Millers take a walk

We weren’t, of course, camping this Father’s Day.  With the end of school, I think all I could have managed was what we did do.  Greg got a cool t-shirt, a pair of crocs, and a tire cover for the motorhome.

All wonderful things that he’ll use regularly.  More importantly though, we spent a day letting him set the agenda, letting him be selfish, letting him sleep in the car while I drove, letting him say where we’d eat breakfast.  We took his mother with us too.  This is the first Father’s Day without Greg’s father.  Being there for his mother was important as well.

Holidays take on new meaning and new layers of feeling with each death in one’s life.  Not a major event goes by that I don’t wonder what my father would have thought of this, would he have been proud, would he have been there.  Father’s Day is bittersweet this year without my father-in-law.  The empty chair at the breakfast table stood out to me but remained unspoken.  We celebrated Greg’s fatherhood without dwelling on the loss of his own father.  I think it’s a comfort thing — we might have cried, we might have gotten swept up in sadness.

My children, however, are so clear and direct about their feelings.  As we wrapped Greg’s gifts this morning (hey, he likes to sleep late . . . we had time!), Ruthie said to me, “If Grampa were alive, we’d be wrapping more presents, wouldn’t we?”

Yes, honey, we would be.  And, thank you for thinking of him.

Memoir Mondays is hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

And then there were none

14 Jun

Flew the nest

Came home today mid-day and found no Steller’s Jays in the nest.  I was shocked.  They did not look ready to fly to me.  Of course, I am not a Steller’s Jay.  They must have left recently as one was hanging out in my lilac bush (which is a truly ugly bush, doesn’t produce flowers well, and is a huge disappointment to me that I will tear out).  I got a couple of shots and when I went back to my car — it left.  So, I guess they can fly.

I feel bereft.  Good-bye little Jays.  Long life!

Beebee Update

13 Jun

Look who I caught visiting!

I caught one of the parents visiting the nest one morning.  It’s amazing to me how such an incrediably loud bird protects its nest by being so still and silent.

Closeup on the beebees

This was taken a couple of days ago — the beebees are sure growing.  There are three of them.  In the hot afternoon, I can see them clearly — still hard to get good pictures with a nest growing in Wisteria.

Early morning beebees

I took this one this morning.  The beebees are sure looking grown up.  Yesterday afternoon, in the heat, they were all sitting up and out — one of them was outside the nest.  Adventurous critters.  I didn’t notice until I put it up here, the 2nd little face peeping out from under the one.  Too cute!