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Bird Food

October 26, 2010
Snickers Purchased Feb. 2005 in Atlanta, GA, USA

Image via Wikipedia

Dinner last night was incredibly easy. I heated up the last of the brown rice I’d cooked a couple of days ago, roasted two zucchini and cooked a batch of fresh Lady Peas we’d bought in the mountains on Sunday. Lady Peas are a type of field pea, almost as good as a White Acre pea. When I was growing up, many of my relatives were farmers or had gardens. I have wonderful memories of sitting on my Aunt Alice’s front porch with my cousins, mom and aunts; all of us with bowls of peas in our laps. We all shelled peas while the women talked and the children giggled.

Those tiny peas were my absolute favorite vegetable. I’d eat them cold out of the refrigerator for breakfast if there was by some miracle, leftovers from the night before. They weren’t quite so good last night not being cooked with a little pork or at least a good-sized slice of butter but I had no real complaints. We also toasted the last of the loaf of bread I made last week (from the freezer). Lee had enough to take for lunch today. I’ve promised to make more bread this afternoon.

We completely blew a day of perfect dietary adherence once in bed last night. First Lee made us each a small caramel apple (small as Mutzu apples go, that is) and then we each ate a miniature Snickers bar. I’d found the two little jewels of deliciousness while cleaning the other day. I sometimes think I could keep a bag of miniature chocolate somethings in the house. I imagine us eating one, just one each night and feeling completely satisfied and no longer deprived of our beloved milk chocolate. Those two little Snickers bars should serve as reminders to me that I have no self-control when it comes to chocolate. Had there been four, we’d have eaten four. Had there been ten, we’d have eaten ten. Had there been a bag full, we’d have eaten the entire bag. Had there been two bags, we wouldn’t have had to share.

In years past, it was quite the joke that I’d buy Halloween candy at least a dozen times. I’d buy it, eat it and then have to buy more. Of course I’d eat that, too. Some years by the time Halloween finally arrived, the stores were empty of any decent candy and I was left handing out some chocolate wanna-be or gummy something. I’d hang my shamed head in embarrassment as the children looked at me in disbelief. Their eyes saying to me, “I got dressed in this costume for this? This is all you have to offer the little children of the world?” I might have well have given them packs of raisins by the look of disgust on their cute and painted faces.

As we mulled over our wagon tumble, licking the last bits of caramel and dabs of chocolate from our lips and chins, I started on a verbal attack of myself. Lee insisted we are actually doing very well. She talked of how well we stick to the plan during the day most days and how drastically we have changed how we cook. Then it occurred to me that perhaps it might be more kind and wise to think of all the chocolate and caramel, butter, cheese and meat I did not eat, rather than dwell on the little I do eat. At least for now, as we go at this in spits and starts and realize daily on deeper and deeper levels how this is not just “a diet,” but a massive life change, the more kind we can be to ourselves, the more likely we are to make lasting changes.

This morning, I have no desire for anything greasy, gooey, sweet or forbidden in any way. I usually don’t in the morning. It is simply that late night hour, between dinner and sleep when the chocolate alarm sounds and nothing seems strong enough to divert my attention from my longing for something sweet. This morning though, I am sleepy. Rudi barked and howled all night, something he never does. Once in his crate, he goes right to sleep and sleeps through the night. It was not his fault though. We had a visitor. Actually, we had a few visitors. Several events led up to our sleepless night.

1. A couple of weeks ago, we bought a hanger to hold a bird house and two bird feeders. We installed it in front of the front porch so we could all (including Rudi) watch the birds at the feeders through the storm door. So far, we’d only seen one or two birds eating there briefly.

2. We had seen a big yellow cat roaming the neighborhood occasionally; a fact Rudi has not been happy about. The cat will sit and stare at our Rudi, taunting him, seeming to know Rudi is not free to chase him away.

3. As I may have mentioned before, we have lots of deer around as well. I planted pansies a couple of weeks ago. That very night, the deer ate the ones by the mailbox down to the dirt, then pulled up the little root balls.

4. Finally, the wedding we hosted here on Saturday included one of the guests shooting off a homemade potato shooter full of birdseed, not just once, but twice, covering our entire front yard with birdseed.

Rudi started barking at 1:30 this morning. Lee got up and turned on the porch lights and checked the house for intruders. Seeing nothing, she returned to bed. Rudi immediately began barking again.

This time I got up. I opened the front door just in time to see that big yellow cat bound off the front porch, the pole with the bird feeders leaning and touching the railing. I shone the flashlight into the yard but didn’t see the cat again. I returned to bed.

Again Rudi started to bark. I got up and opened the front door. I didn’t catch a view of the cat, but one of the bird feeders was tilted, the top hanging off and birdseed spilling out onto the porch and into the pot of oregano growing there. I brought the bird feeder inside, hoping that would stop the cat’s antics and quiet our barking beast.

He did finally become quiet though he obviously did not sleep. He is tired and seems on edge today and the yard is proof of why. When we got up this morning, the other feeder lay broken on the ground. Birdseed is everywhere. The yard is full of holes where deer or squirrels or a combination of both have dug four-inch tunnels searching for seed all over . There is not a square foot anywhere without at least one small hole. Had we planned to aerate the yard, we’d be pleased as punch. I’d seen deer droppings the morning before but not destruction. This is crazy.

I’m tempted to call the potato shooter guy and ask that he come and repair our yard, except that our own bird feeders were part of the bait that drew the entire local animal kingdom into out yard last night. I say entire animal kingdom, but there are no signs of the flocks of geese or of the fox we sometimes see. There are plenty of birds this morning, though. If Rudi were not so exhausted, he’d love watching them. His favorite spot is at the end of the sofa with his head perched on the arm so he can look out the front door. Instead, after breakfast he just walked back into his crate and went to sleep.

I suppose they will eventually eat all the seeds. We’ll put the pole with bird house and feeders a little further from the porch so as to not be such an easy jungle gym for the neighborhood cat. Perhaps he was hungry. Do cats eat birdseed? Maybe he’s trying to make a lifestyle change and his diet now consists of plants and twigs and such, sort of like us.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2010 2:01 pm

    I’d suspect raccoons if it were my yard! They are very agile and I’m sure would be a draw to the cat! Especially since it was during the middle of the night.

    What kind of Ninja did you get? The middle of the road or the super duper one. I notice on Amazon they have several different models or genus/species of them.

    I big old Oster blender is just so clumsy and then also hard to clean.

    • October 26, 2010 3:26 pm

      I didn’t think of raccoons but we’ve spotted them here, too and one even tried to pry his way onto our sun porch several nights in a row awhile back. The joys of living in the woods!

      As for the Ninja, we bought the $39 one at Walmart, has a blender and a small food processor. I saw what I think is the same one in the ad from Bed Bath and Beyond ad that came yesterday for $59. Loving it as much as I do, I might have bought a fancier version, can’t imagine the tricks that one could do! It is very easy to clean, but it takes up a lot of room to store, with the two seperate containers and storage tops. So far, I’m just leaving it on the counter, I use it everyday so far anyway.

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