Category Archives: I like to make lists

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Today’s my birthday. People always say that time seems to pass more quickly as you get older… do you find that to be true, also?

Anyway… I’m borrowing this idea I saw somewhere out there… to come up with a list of goals… dreams… intentions… things I’ve been putting off… to accomplish before my next birthday.

In no particular order:

1 Organize the songs on my iPod into playlists that are useful

2 Go iceskating

3 Get Luka into doggy-day-care at least one day a week to save our sanity

4 Read one book from the *to be read* pile at least every other month

5 Buy no new books until I’m commited to #4

6 Stay up all night to watch the sunrise. Stay in bed the rest of the day. Do not feel guilty.

7 Take a photography class

8 Buy a bicycle. Maybe one like this

9 Get together with The Flock for a birding weekend

10 Get the nerve up to submit something to qarrtsiluni

11 Find a cafe that makes a nice coconut cream pie

12 Replace a bad habit with a good one

13 Finally tackle shorebirds

14 Buy a thesaurus

15 Make something handmade for a friend

16 See ten new birds

17 Volunteer for a local environmental project

18 Try a new fruit – maybe kumquats

19 Invite my brothers and their families to go camping for a weekend

20 See the prairie

21 Go maple-syruping

22 Finally learn how to make a nice spaghetti sauce

23 Organize (and back-up!) my photo collection

24 Write a letter to an old friend that’s been out of touch for too long

25 Fly a kite at the beach

26 Sleep outside under the stars

27 Find an old person to teach me how to play canasta

28 Donate some things I don’t use anymore to the thrift shop at the local homeless shelter

29 Drink more water and less coffee

30 Learn how to wolf-whistle

31 Spend a day exploring the sugar-sand roads of the Pine Barrens

32 Buy a good map before attempting #31

33 Accept hugs more eagerly

34 Learn the names of 5 constellations in the winter sky

35 Read a novel in Spanish

36 Catch love in the moonlight

37 Do that one thing I’ve been putting off

38 Refer to this list often

Wish me luck! I wonder how many of these I will have accomplished by this time tomorrow…


iPod meme (revisited)

I thought it might be fun to do this again. Santa brought me an iPod Touch this year after Luka ruined the other with spilt coffee.

Put your iPod on shuffle and blog the first twenty songs in the shuffle.

1. Eider, Common
2. Sparrow, Lark
3. Save the Last Dance for Me – Michael Buble
4. Boondocks – Little Big Town
5. Sitting, Waiting, Wishing – Jack Johnson
6. Skimmer, Black
7. Trumpets – The Waterboys
8. Oh Very Young – Cat Stevens
9. Bring it on Home – Little Big Town
10. Owl, Barn
11. Your Man – Josh Turner
12. Want To – Sugarland
13. Forever My Friend – Ray LaMontagne
14. Ovenbird
15. Everything – Michael Buble
16. Church Not Made With Hands – The Waterboys
17. Plover, Piping
18. Song for You – Michael Buble
19. Water Ballerina – Luka Bloom
20. Tangled Up – Billy Currington

So.. what’s on your iPod? Something besides bird songs and sappy country music?


Peeper’s top ten reasons bunnies rule

Certain astute blog readers have noticed the lack of bunny-related posts here lately. Peeper the Bunny is also acutely aware of the extent to which this household has gone, quite literally, to the dogs.

More specifically, little Luka has taken over near every moment of leisure that used to be devoted to the spoiling of bunnies. Of course they’re being fed and petted and cleaned up after, but play and snuggle sessions have been relegated to the dark of night when the pup is sound asleep and I’m forced to tiptoe out to the bunny room in fear of waking the sleeping beast and undoing the night’s work of settling him in for bed. I’m not singing Luka lullabies yet, exactly, but bedtime seems to have become more difficult the last few weeks.

The bunnies, in the meantime, are content in that way that only bunnies can be. It’s in those moments of peace, when the house is dark and finally quiet (read free of barks and whines) that I am most content also, and glad for the gentle affection of my long-eared companions.

Peeper’s list just states the obvious: bunnies and puppies are very different animals. I have to thank my lucky stars for Buddy’s constant gentleness with the bunnies, but he was a mature dog of six years when I brought my first bunny home. I imagine that the bunnies must not even recognize this growing and yapping streak of black fur as the same type of being as the generally quiet and always obedient dog that Buddy was.

Peeper’s Top 10 Reasons Bunnies Rule:

10. Bunnies are civilized and use pooty boxes; they do not require near quarter-hourly *walks* nor must their *business* be picked up in blue plastic baggies.
9. Bunnies don’t do *tricks* for treats, nor are they expected to be *obedient*. They simply get treats for being cute.
8. Bunnies have good taste. They like fresh lettuce and crisp fruits and vegetables and they have naturally fresh breath. Lord knows what Luka’s had in his mouth!
7. Bunnies are self-cleaning and don’t require the indignity of an unnatural *bath* with the garden hose. Bunnies do not roll in unmentionable things.
6. Bunnies save *humping* for members of their own species. Puppies are not nearly so selective in their *affections*.
5. Bunnies know how to be subtle. Puppies do not. Enough said!
4. Bunnies do not wear their hearts on their sleeves and do not give their hearts to just anyone who comes along offering a cookie.
3. Bunnies dance gracefully when they’re happy, puppies tend to fall all over themselves with joy and are anything but graceful.
2. Bunnies chew up useful things like telephone cords and computer wires. Puppies chew indiscriminately with no proper sense of revenge.
1. Bunnies are quiet. They live and love in near silence. If you’re close enough and they trust you, you might hear them grind their teeth when petted or hear a gentle whuffle, or maybe an angry grunt or a thump of their strong feet, but mostly they do nothing to draw attention to themselves. Puppies, on the other hand, are all about getting attention.

What have I left out? I know there are some readers who have both bunnies and dogs… what are some of the biggest differences you notice?

Five things

I’ve avoided doing this meme thing, but am clueless tonight for anything to write about. The most interesting tidbit I’ve come up with so far is to tell you about the student I had to speak with after class last night because his behavior was so inappropriate. Anyone care to guess what this 18 year old young man’s excuse was? Turns out that the 20 year old sitting next to him was tickling him. Since when are young men still tickling one another in college? I left elementary-level teaching because I’m ill-equiped to do deal with this type of silliness. 10 year olds don’t understand my sarcasm, but you can bet this young man did.

So I’m supposed to come up with a list of things you don’t know about me. The challenge here is to make it entertaining.

  • When I was 15 or 16 years old I decided that I wanted to join the Peace Corps and travel to exotic places and help poor people, so I sent away for the information packet and application, but when it arrived it scared the crap out of my dad and I got a talking to. I also dated a guy from Costa Rica for a few years and my dad was afraid I’d run off and be living on a coffee farm.
  • I love green olives. Now that’s entertaining!
  • I’ll listen to a song I like over and over and over until I get sick of hearing it. I do the same with food. There was a time when I ate tuna on wheat with american cheese for lunch every day until it didn’t taste good anymore.
  • I have hyper-sensitive hearing for oddball sounds. Mostly annoying ones that drive me to distraction. Like the sound the ceiling fan is making all of a sudden, or the rattle-and-hum of my car. My husband, Mr. Fix-It, never hears this stuff.
  • I am useless with diagrams – especially in instruction manuals – I need a verbal list, preferably in number order, to understand how to do things. My husband has this intuitive sense of how things work that baffles me. I routinely have to ask students to help me set up the overhead projector so that they don’t have to look at things backwards and upside down. Plus, this semester my classroom is *technologically enhanced* – but I still need a student to help me get my laptop hooked up so that I can use PowerPoint to teach.

So that’s five things you didn’t need to know about me. Hopefully, I’ll be a bit more inspired tomorrow.

Christmas meme

From Lynne at Hasty Brook:

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? I’m not crazy for either, but eggnog is much better with kahlua and lots of ice.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Santa wraps and he prefers vintage papers and lots of bows.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? No.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Usually during the week before.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? My SIL’s sister makes a fantastic sweet potato casserole. My husband and I like to make a casserole with brussels sprouts and roasted chestnuts. Growing up we always had lasagna on Christmas and that was the only time my mom made it. My dad used to make a great antipasto platter for Christmas Eve while we decorated the tree.
7. Favorite holiday memory as a child? The first year after my parents were divorced my brother Kevin and I went to my dad’s while he was out and put up and decorated a tree for him, so that when he came into the apartment and switched on the lights only the Xmas tree came on. I still remember him calling and how surprised he was.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I’m not sure I know what you mean. Is Santa hiding some dark secret?
9. Do you open gifts Christmas Eve or Christmas morning? Christmas, although it’s usually late that night when my husband and I get around to exchanging gifts because we’re running around to family all day.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? When we get a real tree I like to use country-style and handmade ornaments. Our artificial tree is sort of unique and on that one we use all glass ornaments – thousands of them.
11. Snow – Love it or dread it? Love it, love it, love it!
12. Can you ice skate? Sort of. The last time I did was on my honeymoon.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? (as a child) I think it may have been that game called Simon – I played with that forever.
14. What’s the most exciting thing about the holidays for you? Being off work for a week!
15. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Homemade cookies. I love Mexican Wedding Cakes (some people call these butterballs).
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Going to the candlelight service on Christmas Eve. We also spend forever opening gifts and I love to shake all the boxes and try to guess what’s inside, which drives everyone nuts.
17. What tops your tree? That depends on which tree we decorate. I have a Santa that I put on the real tree. The fake tree is a little complicated to explain. 😉
18. Which do you prefer- giving or receiving? I love to give, but have a hard time coming up with good ideas.
19. What is your favorite Christmas song? “O Little Town of Bethlehem”
20. Candy canes? Blech! Hate them. Give me a cookie instead!

Things I love

1. Pretty horses that pose to have their photo taken. My love for horses is totally illogical; I know nothing about them, but love to look at them.
2. Flowers, and the critters that visit them.
3. Staying up late and sleeping in the following morning.

4. Walking in the woods, surrounded by birdsong.
5. Granny Smith apples and fresh strawberries.
6. The silence following a snowfall and the way it transforms a familiar landscape into something magical.
7. A new long-awaited book by a favorite author.8. The beach at any season, but particularly in the spring and fall with raptors migrating overhead.
9. Storytelling and the laughter of friends and family.
10. Afternoon naps. Not a luxury I indulge often, but wonderful when I have the chance.

In response to Endment’s post, which I came across this evening, just when I needed something to inspire me. Feel free to join us by sharing the things that you love.

5 weird things on Friday night

Tdharma tagged me with this because I’m clear across the country from her. Guess she feels safe that I won’t come looking for her to get revenge for making me come up with a list of 5 weird habits/things about me.

Here’s the rules:

The player of this game starts with “5 weird things/habits about yourself “. In the end you need to choose 5 people to be tagged and list their names. The people who get tagged need to write a blog about their 5 weird things/habits, as well as state this rule clearly, then tag 5 more victims. Don’t forget to leave your victim a comment that says “you’re tagged!” in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

So here’s my list:

1. I talk to myself. A lot. I try really hard not to do it when someone’s in earshot, but I’m sure I’ve been caught. I work with a lady that talks to herself in public; we all think she’s nuts.

2. My first kiss was in the 5th grade, in front of the whole class.

3. I always read the last page of a novel first.

4. I could easily be a vegetarian, but I have a hard time giving up the really bad stuff, like bologna, keilbasi, salami, or meatballs.

5. I had shingles when I was 22. Shingles is mostly an illness of the elderly.

That’s the best I could come up with. My friends might say otherwise. I’m not sure who to inflict this on, but will start with Susan because she’s a good sport, Diva Kitty’s Mom because it’ll be fun to hear about the weird habits of her bunnies, maybe Bunnygirl and Tidbit would like to play along too, and how about you, Michelle – you don’t have a blog – but you can add your weird list in the comments on this post. A 5th tag I’ll leave up to anyone who is just dying to share their *dirty laundry* 😉

Feel free to ignore my tag, please.

10 Favorite Bird Songs

Another top-ten list from John at A DC Birding Blog.

None of these songs are particularly *beautiful* on the surface, but in reviewing my list I think the beauty in these birdsongs lies in their very personal meaning for me. Each calls to mind a particular time or place or way of feeling. Anyway, here are my ten favorites:

1. Osprey: I anticipate their return each March; their sweet calls overhead are very much a part of any time spent at Sandy Hook.

2. Ovenbird: Not a musical song, but one I love to hear when searching the woods for other spring arrivals.

3. Carolina Wren: A song I associate with the shortening days of autumn, crisp weather, and home.

4. Baltimore Oriole: Hard to classify this song, but easily recognized. Orioles don’t sing much in our neighborhood in spring, but young of the year will practice and chatter throughout July from the treetops.

5. Willet: The one shorebird I can easily identify and a call I love on a spring day at the shore.

6. Great Horned Owl: Reminds me of cold winter nights. I love having these birds in the neighborhood and their calls bring goosebumps and force me to stop whatever I’m doing to listen more closely.

7. Killdeer: The eveywhere bird – background noise – at home, at work, at the shore, in the middle of the night. They return to my area early and their plaintive cries alert me to the changing season.

8. Northern Bobwhite: Sadly, a bird I associate with a few, very specific places. Hard to get to hear in my area, and heartening.

9. White-throated Sparrow: A winter companion and another bird of home.

10. Great-Crested Flycatcher: Another bird I associate with very specific places, but a favorite for some odd reason.

Most Beautiful Birds Meme

from John at A DC Birding Blog:

Rules: Post a list of the 10 birds you consider most beautiful on your blog; you may limit the list to the ABA area (continental United States and Canada) or use a geographic area of your choice. Mark birds you have seen with an asterisk. Tag 3 bloggers to keep it going.

My list:

Northern Parula*
Blackburnian Warbler*
American Avocet
American Kestral*
Harlequin Duck*
Red-headed Woodpecker*
Blue Jay*
Peregrine Falcon*
Eurasion Wigeon*

I’ll tag Susan, Endment, and Pam. Have fun making your list!

Just a note to add that another NJ birding blog, The Hawk Owl’s Nest, picked up this meme. Patrick is a fellow NJ Audubon volunteer and has a great blog. Stop by and say hello.