Sunday Stills: Birds? What Birds?

The photo challenge Feeding Those Birds is a double challenge for me. I’ve not had much luck with bird feeders or with photographing birds. This little buck has taken to my bird feeders this winter. I’ve started leaving him a pile of corn on the ground, but I think he considers it desert:

So, I moved one of the feeders into our fenced garden – only for it to transform into a squirrel and mole feeder. Here is how we found it this morning. I don’t think any of these creatures are afraid of my fat cat:

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Happy COVID/Texas Winter Fail/Hunkered Down First Anniversary to Us

If we can survive this, we can survive anything. Here is the proof.

Speaking of proofs, here is the artist’s concept for the custom t-shirts I had made for our anniversary beach trip to Galveston. It was cancelled by the vacation rental owner due to freezing weather, lack of electricity and probably frozen pipes. The t-shirts turned out very nicely. I just wish I’d known the Texas winter was going to be such a failure….I would have added some icicles to the design. We are planning on setting up the tripod to take pictures if we ever get out of the 20’s F today.

So, what have we been doing?

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Rosy Red Travel Memories

Some times we just need a little inspiration from an unexpected source. Thanks to Terri at Second Wind Leisure for the much needed writing prompt. Pandemic + Texas Winter Storm = Pioneer Life…..and serious cabin fever. Now that the power is back, I decided to write a little more about travel, using Terri’s “Rosy Red” theme to help me select a few photographs that I’ve not used in previous blog pieces. Here are a few of my favorites.

While my husband and I were still dating, he spent two years on a project in France. I was still working full time and very involved with aging parents, but I did get to take two glorious trips over there:

Doors of Cathedral Saint Pierre de Montpellier, France
Roses in a vineyard on a hike in the Rhone Valley
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Remembering The White Wave

Over lunch my husband and I were discussing our trip to the grocery store. We couldn’t believe the price of pork tenderloin had doubled since last week, or how many people weren’t wearing masks. “Remember when we used to talk about our vacation plans?” he asked. YES!

The Ombak Putih, aka White Wave, awaits us.

How I long for those discussions and experiences. in addition to talking about what’s for dinner and how long it will be before we get vaccinated. I’m amazed at how focused he can be on on the latter. Cheers to him, for that is the single greatest step back into the world of travel. We don’t just miss traveling, we miss planning it! Suzanne@Picture Retirement covered this phenomenon beautifully in the opening of her blog “Then and Now.” I thank my husband for reminding me to finish blogging about our last international trip – a month long trip that took a year to plan and book. Some of the planning challenges were logistics, shopping and packing for multiple climates and activities, getting vaccinated for tropical climates and achieving fitness goals. I even hired a personal trainer to make sure I was feeling my best while traveling to the other side of the world.

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Bad Ass Beaches

A year ago today, we touched down in Perth, Western Australia for the beginning of our last international adventure (for a while.) As we were planning the trip, I imagined the site seeing and wine tasting we would do in the Margaret River Region, but did not make a connection between the wine region and its proximity to beaches. We were able to do and see so much each day.

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Moving Forward

Plans to move to the Pacific Northwest squashed. Travel and socialization on hold. Definitely haven’t felt like writing. Taking a tip from a fellow blogger, I started looking at photos from last year’s travels. Celebrating 60 and finally embracing my status as a retiree, I was excited about the international travel we booked. But I stopped writing half way through the year. Moving forward, it’s time to write again. I took a writing workshop this week called “Mining Memories” through Thurber House to give myself a “jump” start!

A mob of kangaroos crossing the road in Western Australia.
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Egg Trouble

A friend suggested I add an item to my blog menu; Weird Little Problems. When I find the patience to sort through the latest changes in WordPress, I’ll do that. Meanwhile, there’s this one – egg trouble, or shall I say MORE egg trouble.

There’s something about weird little problems that give me a boost of creativity, or cause me to lose my shit – rarely both. But this is one of those times. I’ve had problems with eggs before. I wrote my first blog about Eggs Trapped in a Berndes┬áPan over three years ago. A lot has changed since then. And a lot hasn’t.

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Pandemic Dreaming: The EOQ of Toilet Paper

Today is my three year anniversary of blogging. I picked up this hobby after early retirement and started off writing about weird little problems. Now weird problems are turning up in my dreams. Some of these quarantine stress dreams have taken me back to old career dilemmas. As a supply chain manager with demanding production requirements, I was warned never to run out of anything! One of the commodities we tinkered with repeatedly was toilet paper. Limits on storage space and variable work forces kept the Economic Order Quantity in constant check. Living and dreaming through this pandemic have taught me that none of the versions of that EOQ formula are relevant. I now know the answer depends on how many cats you have, what brand you are talking about and whether there are suitable substitutions.

Photo by Chris Amaral Published by Avanti Press, Inc.
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This One is for You

Featuring Fine Art by Kristine Schneider

Smile, this blog is for you! For those of you missing graduation, prom, birthdays, weddings and other celebrations, this piece is for you. Artist Kristine Schneider occasionally preps her canvases in “Burnt Sienna” and works the color back out through her technique. One example of this is the oil on canvas art deco camera called “Lovely Tonight.” It reminds us that even though we are missing some of these events, we can still celebrate them.

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