Blue Angels Time again!

My family has such a wonderful history with the Blue Angels. Just last summer I got to take my family on an Epic Roots Road Trip, which had to include the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola, HOME of the Blue Angels. They have been a part of my life since I was 5 or 6 years old…before they became really famous.

My Dad took me to see them practice at Miramar Naval Air Station in San Diego (well, the Marines will claim it now). There was no crowd out on that field on top of that giant mesa just east of UCSD in La Jolla. Just my Dad and me, up on his shoulders.

I’ve written about this before and I put the links at the bottom.

But I have a favorite Blue Angels story. Since it was just my Dad’s birthday, I will once again share that tale in his honor. Here it is:

Agnostic Angels

This is a love letter to my Dad, and a Thank You to the amazing, brave pilots who make up the Blue Angels.

It’s Seafair in Seattle and the Blue Angels are here!!!

When I was growing up, Angels were a surprising but recurring theme with my fairly agnostic father. He was one of the leastreligious and more unconsciously spiritual people I have ever known. Angels seemed to be everywhere in the things he did, where he took us and in what he showed us.

From San Diego, where we grew up, we went on many trips north to Los Angeles, the “City of Angels”, to ride the “Angels Flight”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angels_Flight

He told us many stories of the “Guardian Angels” he had as a kid who helped him survive his completely unsupervised childhood.

Apparently he had several bizarre accidents and adventures…like tumbling off a mountain and landing halfway down on the only possible 11 inch ledge that could break his death-fall.

Another was a bicycle accident when the bare handle bar (the uncovered metal pipe) went through his upper chest off to the side, just missing basically everything!

Even as an adult, on a solo dirt bike trip out into the Borrego desert, he crashed and broke his collar bone, but managed to walk his bike into a small town for help.

In one of his last visits to me, he took a long walk in the dead of an unusually snowy Northwest winter, slipped and broke his ankle. He walked half a mile back to my house and, tough guy that he was, did not tell me until the next day what had happened. He finally had to because he could not remove his cowboy boot (which, it turns out, is exactly what stabilized his ankle for that 24 hours).

 

He claimed help from Angels for each of these events.

When he died, it was really no surprise that we received gracious assistance from the Hell’s Angels on the day of his Memorial.

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We bungee-corded my Dad’s ashes to the back of his lifelong Dream-Harley. (He didn’t get it until he was in his eighties.) Our caravan of family cars followed my best friend, Lee, on the bike out into the mountains East of San Diego to my Dad’s favorite little town called Julian.

We celebrated his life at his favorite restaurant and when we got ready to leave, I spotted a couple of real Harley riders, mounting up. I was wearing my Dad’s favorite Harley shirt so I walked right up to them and told them my Dad’s story. I pointed out the box of ashes on the back of my Dad’s bright red, flame-painted Sportster (with matching helmet).

I asked these two guys if they would consider riding along with my Dad (on his beloved bike) as we drove out of town.

They said “Sure, but we are not alone.”

Much to my delight (and the horror of my very religious relatives) we were escorted down the mountain by the two guys I talked to AND their friends. FIFTY Hell’s Angels followed us back down that mountain, in a practiced procession for any fallen brother of theirs; lights on, in two perfect parallel lines, peeling off one pair at a time when they were done.

So see? Lots of ANGELS in my life.

The Blue Angels entered when I was very young!

My favorite of the Angel Activities as a kid was this. My little sisters were too young, so Dad would take just me to Miramar Naval Air Base early on Sunday mornings, to watch the Blue Angels practice their soon to become famous stunts. He was very proud of being able to get on the Base and to show off what he claimed to be the planes that “he had built”. (My Dad was an aeronautical engineer who moved from Kansas to San Diego to work in his industry.)

I would ride on his shoulders for the “air show” and he would duck down when they flew over, as if they were actually flying low enough to be dangerous to this lone man with a squealing little girl on his shoulders. What an absolute thrill it was and my memories to this day are so clear, they are physical!

Though I struggled sometimes with the dichotomy of a Hippie Peacenik Flower-child being in love with fighter pilot jets, I have watched The Blue Angels through so many stages of my life.

In my 20’s and 30’s, before the trees grew up around us, the huge deck off my house was the favorite viewing place of all the single Mom’s in the neighborhood. We’d put on our bikini’s and pose on the deck, debating the safety of doing that…as if the pilots were actually going to look down at us each time they flew over!

Then, there were the years I worked as a waitress in a fancy restaurant in the tallest building in Bellevue…sharing the panoramic viewing experience with my wealthy customers.

One of my favorite memories was when my small son and I watched them while we were zipping around Lake Washington on a friend’s Jet Ski right under them. What a high that was!!

Famous Move

And for almost 40 of these years, we kept the Blue Angels alive in our conversations during the rest of year. My best friend’s father, Colonel Louis Ford, was like a second Dad to me. He was a fighter pilot in 3 wars. And though he was respectful of the “Angels”, he clearly had a bias for the Thunderbirds! That made for some lively discussions, Air Force vs Navy pilots, between my two Dads!

Colonel Ford taught me about the concepts of Hangar Flying (the time spent in the hangar, processing mistakes and accidents) as well as “The Hole in the Sky” (an opening in the clouds) that a pilot sometimes had to find in order to survive. Talk about Guardian Angels….

Boys getting me autographs on my Blue Angel’s birthday t-shirt!

Now, I have 2 Grandsons, 9 and 11, and their Mom and my son have taken them to see the Blue Angels every year of their lives. This has been a great setting to share stories of my Dad, the wonderful Great Grandfather they never got to meet, a man who had a life filled with “Angels” and he passed them all onto us….

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For many years I went by myself to a tiny (and progressively less secret) park on Mercer Island shore, the Thursday and Friday prior to the big Seafair Air Show. On Thursday, from this little park on the water, you can watch the scouting the Blue Angels do each year to get the lay of the land. And on Fridays, you can watch a full rehearsal of the big show they will perform on Saturday and Sunday. You can’t be at this little park for the actual show as it becomes an emergency Aid Station on those days.

My ritual was always to go there early, get settled and then call my Dad….so I could be on the cell phone with him as the Angels arrived. That first fly over is an indescribable thrill! In that park, they fly in low and from behind you. Their approach is muted by the hillside and thick trees, almost silent until suddenly, they thunder over your head. It is kind of like walking up the path next to the massive, rolling Niagara Falls; totally quiet until you get past a certain point and then instantly it becomes a deafening roar of falling water.

Anyway, I would hold the phone up in the air and scream at the top of my lungs as my Dad’s Angels buzzed our shared location.

Blue Angels2

No matter when or where I see them, I am instantly five years old again, sitting way up high on my Daddy’s shoulders when those beautiful Blue Angels scream by.

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I really believe my Dad witnessed that generous and spontaneous Hell’s Angel Memorial procession, and that he sees us watching the Blue Angels every year, from somewhere up there, through the “hole in the sky”.

Heaven Bound

original post written here: https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/08/07/agnostic-angels/

 

 

Yesterday, in typical Seattle weather, the Angels arrived for “scouting” day, flying in directly over our house.

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Though the weather this year may be disappointing for local SeaFair fans, it is great for Blue Angels fans who get to see the “low program”…thrilling, to say the least!

 

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(this last was apparently 2 cents worth from Lucy, the cat, who stopped by the keyboard when I left the room for a bit.)

 

https://chosenperspectives.com/2018/01/19/silence-for-wpc-1-17-18/

https://chosenperspectives.com/2017/10/11/wordlesswednesday-10-11-17/

SongLyricsSunday 7/8/18 Theme- THINK

Dear Helen,

I must be one of your oldest fans…or maybe I am just stuck in the past as I seem to repeatedly go WAY back for the songs I share.

My first thought was Think by Aretha Franklin. It throws me into an aging-related existential crisis to think that maybe others don’t know this song…or don’t know who Aretha is.

I mean even my spellcheck doesn’t recognize the name “aretha”! Sheesh!

I’ll be 70 years old in 21 days, but I remember exactly where I was when I first heard this classic…I was a VISTA Volunteer in a tiny Juke Joint outside Atlanta, where I had the extreme pleasure of witnessing the Queen of Soul, a patron herself of said tavern, spontaneously perform Do Right Woman…acapella!!

Hey, it might even be a song you could add to your list of mood and thought-changing music!

Love to you Helen!

Think by Aretha Franklin

Lyrics
You better think (think)
Think about what you’re trying to do to me
Think (think, think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
Let’s go back, let’s go back
Let’s go way on back when
I didn’t even know you
You couldn’t have been too much more than ten (just a child)
I ain’t no psychiatrist, I ain’t no doctor with degrees
It don’t take too much high IQ’s
To see what you’re doing to me
You better think (think)
Think about what you’re trying to do to me
Yeah, think (think, think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
Oh, freedom (freedom), freedom (freedom)
Oh, freedom, yeah, freedom
Freedom (freedom), freedom (freedom)
Freedom, oh freedom
Hey, think about it, think about it
There ain’t nothing you could ask
I could answer you but I won’t (I won’t)
I was gonna change, but I’m not
To keep doing things I don’t
You better think (think)
Think about what you’re trying to do to me
Think (think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
People walking around everyday
Playing games, taking score
Trying to make other people lose their minds
Ah, be careful you don’t lose yours, oh
Think (think)
Think about what you’re trying to do to me, ooh
Think (think)
Let your mind go, let yourself be free
You need me (need me)
And I need you (don’t you know)
Without each other there ain’t nothing people can do, oh
Think about it, baby (What are you trying to do me)
Yeah, oh baby, think about it now, yeah
(Think about, ah me, think about, ah me)
(Think about, ah me, think about, ah me)
Oh, come on, baby
Songwriters: Aretha Franklin / Ted White
Think lyrics © Springtime Music Inc

 

 

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 7/8/18

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SongLyricsSunday 6/17/18

You’ll be counting the seconds, minutes and hours if you ever try to memorize these lyrics!!

Tough theme this week! All I could come up with.

Fun video!!

LYRICS
It’s been one week since you looked at me
Cocked your head to the side
and said I’m angry
Five days since you laughed at me saying
Get that together come back and see me
Three days since the living room,
I realized it’s all my fault, but couldn’t tell you
Yesterday you’d forgiven me
But it’ll still be two days till I say I’m sorry
Hold it now and watch the hoodwink
As I make you stop, think
You’ll think you’re looking at Aquaman
I summon fish to the dish,
Although I like the Chalet Swiss
I like the sushi
Cause it’s never touched a frying pan
Hot like wasabe when I bust rhymes
Big like Leann Rimes
Because I’m all about value
Bert Kaempfert’s got the mad hits
You try to match wits
You try to hold me but I bust through
Gonna make a break and take a fake
I’d like a stinkin, achin shake
I like vanilla, It’s the finest of the flavors
Gotta see the show,
Cause then you’ll know
The Vertigo is gonna grow
Cause it’s so dangerous,
You’ll have to sign a waiver
How can I help it if I think you’re funny when you’re mad
Trying hard not to smile though I feel bad
I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral
Can’t understand what I mean?
Well, you soon will
I have a tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve
I have a history of taking off my shirt
It’s been one week since you looked at me
Threw your arms in the air and said you’re crazy
Five days since you tackled me
I’ve still got the rug burns on both my knees
It’s been three days since the afternoon
You realized it’s not my fault not a moment too soon
Yesterday you’d forgiven me
And now I sit back and wait till you say you’re sorry
Chickity China the Chinese chicken
You have a drumstick and your brain stops tickin’
Watchin X-Files with no lights on,
We’re dans la maison
I hope the Smoking Man’s in this one
Like Harrison Ford I’m getting Frantic
Like Sting I’m Tantric
Like Snickers, guaranteed to satisfy
Like Kurosawa I make mad films
Okay I don’t make films
But if I did they’d have a samurai
Gonna get a set of better clubs
Gonna find the kind with tiny nubs
Just so my irons aren’t always flying off the back swing
Gotta get in tune with Sailor Moon
Cause that cartoon has got the boom anime babes
That make me think the wrong thing
How can I help it if I think you’re funny when you’re mad
Trying hard not to smile though I feel bad
I’m the kind of guy who laughs at a funeral
Can’t understand what I mean?
You soon will
I have a tendency to wear my mind on my sleeve
I have a history of losing my shirt
It’s been one week since you looked at me
Dropped your arms to your sides and said I’m sorry
Five days since I laughed at you and said
You just did just what I thought you were gonna do
Three days since the living room
We realized we’re both to blame, but what could we do?
Yesterday you just smiled at me
Cause it’ll still be two days till we say we’re sorry
It’ll still be two days till we say we’re sorry
It’ll still be two days till we say we’re sorry
Birchmount Stadium, home of the Robbie
Songwriters: Ed Robertson
One Week lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

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Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 6/17/18

ChosenPerspectives on Twisted for WPC 5/23/18

Twisted

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My life is full of Art, but it is also full of artists who define “art” very differently from me.

My best friend is an expert, having studied and collected art for most of his life. He is also a very talented artist in his own right. We’ve had an ongoing debate for more than 40 years about what actually qualifies as art and who gets to define it. I know we are not alone in this disagreement.

I found the following online at:

https://www.performingarts.vt.edu/blog/view/defining-art-in-one-sentence-or-less

“The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines art as “something that is created with imagination and skill and that is beautiful or that expresses important ideas or feelings.” My own definition of art is the sharing of one’s inner thoughts, feelings, emotions, visions, and struggles through multiple mediums.” 

Wondering what all this has to do with “twisted”?

I think his choice of art is twisted…and I’m sure he thinks mine is invalidly defined as art in the first place.

The photo at the top of this post is a gift my best friend gave me many years ago. I’m sure it was expensive and to many, would be defined as art.

I just think it’s twisted.

He actually spent money on that piece for me, where as I bought myself these pieces.

 

 

Here are some more examples of “art” in his home and “art” in mine.

 

 

His is on the left, mine on the right

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His choice on top

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My choice is “twisted” artwork from my grandson, at 9 and then 11 years old.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am not saying my best friend is twisted. As a matter of fact, here is my newest absolute favorite piece of art, ironically, a gift from him. Not my chosen “style” by any means but he knew how moved I would be by this piece!

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I, on the other hand, by the definition of many, am quite happily Twisted.

Here’s proof:

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I mean, who runs for their camera before rescuing the cat stuck in the speaker cabinet???

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And who focuses on the body of the dragonfly, rather than on the beautiful flowers?
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And who becomes obsessed with their new phone camera’s macro feature when accidentally shooting her sweat-pant leg?
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And who screeches her car to a halt to snap a photo of the shadow of windshield water on her dashboard?
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Who thinks the frosting stain on the cake box is the equivalent of a Jesus face on burnt toast?
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And who in the world photographs fungus??

I do, that’s who. So I will now officially, and gladly accept the adjective of TWISTED!

I am in great company, as you know if you have ever read The Shameful Sheep or Jennifer Day at The Iconophile, two of my favorite bloggers.

I really felt it while I was going through all kinds of contortions trying to photograph my friend’s art, including, taking his series called “the 7 deadly sins” into a dark closet to eliminate some of the reflection. Didn’t work, and besides, too creepy! This is as good as I could get.

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This is a seriously twisted series and the photos are lousy!

It’s not just about art though.

Just the other day, a newish friend, while I was introducing him to my Bugs, asked me if I realized just how twisted it was for me to be this enthusiastic about them.

He has no idea. Even I know it is completely torqued to set up the photo shoots I have with my bugs.

Witness these, as examples…

 

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I won’t even get started on the debate we have about Photography as ART!!

Anyway, I know this is a long post, with a lot of photos, but the topic and the recent Daily Post announcement inspired me to do less censoring than I usually apply to my weekly photo challenge entry.

I’ll end on this note.

Initially, I was of like mind with many other contributors this week. I immediately thought of these things:

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But then I allowed the word to take me on this unexpected journey.

For that, I wish to express deep gratitude to The Daily Press for your regular inspiration for so many posts!! I will really miss you.

Sincerely,

ChosenPerspectives

 

PS I have received many Twisted gifts over the years from other twisted folks. Here are a couple involving antlers…yikes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SongLyricSunday 5/20/18 Theme-my NAME???

Song Lyric Sunday Theme for 5/20/18

(Disclaimer…I think because I have not posted for a while, I got carried away this morning. I mean, one song is all that was asked for. I seem to have turned this into a dissertation or something…)

OK, this was a serious challenge. First of all, I could not find a single legitimate artist with my name. I mean, there is Kathie Lee Gifford, but come on. I know how judgmental this is but I really cannot count her as an “artist”.

OK, so I tried my maiden name next and remembered not a specific song by an artist with that name, but rather a whole album by a longtime friend of mine, an amazing artist herself, singing my namesake’s songs.

http://genestout.com/cd-review-ginny-reillys-tribute-to-blues-legend-bessie-smith/

(Shameless plug here….Go buy something by Ginny Reilly!!)

 

Then I tried my original, birth, last name, which later, sort of became my middle name (long story there) and found an artist I don’t usually like but she does have this one Power Song I like to play in my Women’s Groups.

Lyrics
You know the bed feels warmer
Sleeping here alone
You know I dream in color
And do the things I want
You think you got the best of me
Think you had the last laugh
Bet you think that everything good is gone
Think you left me broken down
Think that I’d come running back
Baby you don’t know me, ’cause you’re dead wrong
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn’t mean I’m over ’cause you’re gone
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself and I
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
You heard that I was starting over with someone new
But told you I was moving on over you
You didn’t think that I’d come back
I’d come back swinging
You try to break me but you see what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn’t mean I’m over ’cause you’re gone
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself and I
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
Thanks to you I got a new thing started
Thanks to you I’m not the broken-hearted
Thanks to you I’m finally thinking ’bout me
You know in the end the day to left was just my beginning
In the end
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
What doesn’t kill you makes a fighter
Footsteps even lighter
Doesn’t mean I’m over ’cause you’re gone
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself and
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, stronger
Just me, myself and I
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger
Stand a little taller
Doesn’t mean I’m lonely when I’m alone
When I’m alone
Songwriters: Alexandra Leah Tamposi / David Gamson / Greg Kurstin / Jorgen Kjell Elofsson
Stronger lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group, Reservoir Media Management Inc, BMG Rights Management US, LLC

 

OK, so that’s good, right? A song by an artist with my name, sort of? But then I started thinking about songs with my name in them and remembered an old favorite…

Lyrics
I hear the drizzle of the rain
Like a memory it falls
Soft and warm continuing
Tapping on my roof and walls
And from the shelter of my mind
Through the window of my eyes
I gaze beyond the rain-drenched streets
To England where my heart lies
My mind’s distracted and diffused
My thoughts are many miles away
They lie with you when you’re asleep
And kiss you when you start your day
And a song I was writing is left undone
I don’t know why I spend my time
Writing songs I can’t believe
With words that tear and strain to rhyme
And so you see I have come to doubt
All that I once held as true
I stand alone without beliefs
The only truth I know is you
And as I watch the drops of rain
Weave their weary paths and die
I know that I am like the rain
There but for the grace of you go I
Songwriters: Paul Simon
Kathy’s Song lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

 

But unfortunately…for you…that reminded me of an even earlier song with my name in it. Kind of a traumatic song really as one of my very first “boyfriends” played it over our junior high school’s loud speaker when we “broke up”. (Dating back then was innocent, short, and sweet, but the break ups were brutal!!

 

Cathy’s Clown
Don’t want your love anymore
Don’t want your kisses, that’s for sure
I die each time I hear this sound
Here he comes, that’s Cathy’s clown
I gotta stand tall
You know a man can’t crawl
When he knows you’re tellin’ lies and he hears ’em passing by
He’s not a man at all
Don’t want your love anymore
Don’t want your kisses, that’s for sure
I die each time I hear this sound
Here he comes, that’s Cathy’s clown
When you see me shed a tear
And you know that it’s sincere
Don’t you think it’s kinda sad that you’re treating me so bad
Or don’t you even care?
Don’t want your love anymore
Don’t want your kisses, that’s for sure
I die each time I hear this sound
Here he comes, that’s Cathy’s clown
That’s Cathy’s clown
That’s Cathy’s clown
Songwriters: Donald I Everly
Cathy’s Clown lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

I searched but could not find much by anyone with my current last name. It’s an unusual, shortened name, for immigration here from Italy back in the early 1900’s.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy the variety in my response to the challenge today.

I do so love comments, of all kinds.

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ChosenPerspectives for WPC 4/4/18 Smile

Smile

OK, so when we are in the mountains, I get up very early every morning so that I can watch the sunrise. I love to hear (sometimes see) the marauding Wild Turkeys AND any other wild life passing through that early (deer, moose, coyote, bull frogs, various seed eating birds, etc.)

I sit on the porch swing under a glass roof so I can be there in any weather. This event starts my days with a smile.

Casa compound
the swing is the white strip right below and slightly left of the chimney

This is what I see from my protected seat.

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in better weather, the view extends to the mountains

So, I’m all bundled up yesterday, mug of hot coffee warming my hands and I hear a scuffling sound over the edge, just past the rapidly growing daffodils. I get up to investigate and hear it what I see.

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this is a container of bird seed! 

Uh oh. I realize now what the scuffling sound was. A Squirrel, our primary nemesis here (other than the Flickers that are relentlessly eating our HOUSE!) has somehow gotten the lid off the container.

Though we have finally found a system using Slinky’s to keep him off the bird feeders, STILL he finds this way to torment James, who really wants to resort to the BB Gun. So far, I won’t let him.

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BRAZEN fellow, this guy!!

I chase him off before J. can get his weapon, and bring the seed container up to the porch where we have collected a pile of stuff to take to Goodwill. Now the seed is right next to me, within arm’s reach should our invader dare to approach!

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Next, I see the squirrel return to the place where the container had been…and he is completely stumped. He knows it was right there just minutes before. He sniffs around frantically and this next thing, I wish I had thought to video tape. He stops, slowly turns and points his angry beady little eyes directly at ME, up on the porch. We stay frozen, in this stand off for long seconds! That GLARE!! (You will never convince me that rodents can’t THINK.)

The squirrel scampers off, disgusted, and after a quick trip inside for more coffee, I return to sitting on my swing, peaceful morning again, at last.

But no, I come back outside to this!!!

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In the short time it took me to go inside, this little guy (and several members of his clan) have shown up and eaten a HOLE in the side of the seed container. It is now leaking birdseed for them to chow down on!!!

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The irritation came first but then I could not prevent the huge SMILE!