Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day!

The folks at Punchbowl (who provide my blog widget) tell us that today is Earth Day. Here in Minne-snow-tah -- where just last week, it seems, there was more snow here than we knew what to do with -- we natives are celebrating what finally feels like spring. We can come up with no END of things to do to celebrate this fabulous day! But if you're at a loss, hopefully these suggestions off the top of my head will get you started:
  •  Grab that pail of sidewalk chalk and draw a big, smileyface Earth at the end of your driveway. Add a verse or just a word balloon that says "Happy Earth Day!" Live in a condo or apartment? Draw something cheery on an empty parking space or shared sidewalk. Someone will appreciate it when they return home tonight. :)
  • Roll up your sleeves, catch some UVs, take a stroll around the block and smile and wave at everyone you meet.
  • Kneel down and look (really LOOK) at those teensy green bits that are already reaching out for the sun. Pull back a handful of matted leaves and notice that all sorts of living, crawling things are busy celebrating today, too.
  • Sun tea. You don't need anything fancy; just a jar and some tea bags. Fill the jar with water, lower a bunch of tea bags into it, screw on the lid, and set it in the sun. Don't like tea? Grab a coffee filter, add some ground coffee, tie the filter closed, and follow the above directions.
  • Hammock up, if you've got one. Pull it into the sun, relax, and watch clouds. No hammock? Throw a quilt on the ground, pull up a lawn chair, or claim a park bench. No clouds? Check out the heavens. You'll be surprised once your eye adjusts to the distance. There are eagles soaring around way up there!
  • Salute the sun IN the sun. Go slow. Hold each yoga pose. Feel worshipful.
  • Dedicate a little gardeny bit to the fairies. Pour them a tiny dish of cream, serve them a strawberry or a chocolate chip, share something sparkly. Write them a note! Here at Tumbledown, they sometimes even write back.
  • Make some noise. Everything is made of music and all will respond to your vibration. Want to get started? Take something simple, like a tune from childhood, and just change the words. Voila! Now even though it sounds like 'Row, Row, Row Your Boat' it's really a song prayer. A hymn.
  • Open that bottle of dandelion wine from last year. Toast the earth. Share your glassful by pouring a bit of it on the ground. Yum! The earth gave you weeds and you give her wine. The eternal return.
  • And the usual drill: Hug a tree, visit a nature center, get your fingernails dirty, feed the ducks, wish on a star, plant a seed, wear something green, fill-in-the-blank. And check out the Earth Day site (www.earthday.org) for more info.
Now you got it!

But you don't need ME for ideas, do you?, you creative kindred spirit, you. SO:
"Enjoy your wonder-filled day
Your own special way,
And then tell me all about it, 'k?"
(Shutting up now. Promise!)


Friday, April 11, 2014

Celebrate Your Sweeties

Hug'm, feed'm, luv'm, need'm,
Look into their eyes and greet'm,
Walk'm, pet'm, play 'Go-Get-'Em,'
Never let yourself forget'm.
None to luv? Adopt a stray --
'Cause it's National Pet Day!

The folks who provide my blog widget (yay, Punchbowl!; check it out, over there in the right margin) tell us that today is National Pet Day.

Here at Tumbledown, this is a BIG AFFAIR. There are many little friends here to hug on!

Do you have a pet? Are you like me and surround yourself with critters? Want to talk about them here? :)

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Poem for a Piranha Bird

Either this is Thurston's sad face or his relieved face
 Where there were two there

is now only one: Thurston,

mourning his Lovey.

Poor boy....

When I woke yesterday to discover Lovey's body, dead on her nest, I was surprised and shocked at first. But then not so much. Especially when I thought of all the frantic nesting she'd been doing, and how afraid I was that 'no eggs' meant she could be eggbound. (Although I can't be sure, I think it's why she died....)

James claims all was well when he checked on them before going to work early that morning, but I can recall hearing Thurston in my half-sleep, his volume disturbing my dreams. I thought he was just singing up the sun! But maybe he was calling for help. Or keening his sorrow.

The grandbugs were due any second so there was little time for me to mourn let alone arm myself with leather gloves and heavy sleeves before reaching into the cage. But Thurston let me do what I had to do, bare arms and all. And he was still and quiet all the while I did so, watching intently as I took Lovey away....

Later that afternoon I cleaned his cage thoroughly, and he stood by and watched me as I hung toys from the overhead bars, not once trying to sabotage me and skin me alive. It made me think: Is he just too sad to kill me? Was Lovey such a bully that anything she'd do he had to do, too? Did he feel he had to protect her from me? It seems like all he did day-in-and-day-out was feed her, hand her nesting material, preen her feathers, answer her beck and call, take her abuse, warn me away, and be romanced into frequent birdy sex. Is he just too exhausted now from all that to attack me? Is he just enjoying his first-ever BREAK from all that responsibility??

Today he seems like an altogether different bird. Nothing but non-stop nattering and playing with his toys. He somersaults from his new swing and hangs upside-down from his plastic chain. He sings rounds with Miss Lily. There are mirrors in his cage now and he mutters to his reflection as he nods off for a well-earned nap. And he's much more interested in a quick nibble of my fingers as I thread the lock onto his cage door. 

Perhaps his grief was short-lived. Perhaps he was as abused by his bitchy love as the rest of us were. Perhaps he's enjoying being a widower (at least until he realizes that his frequent-birdy-sex days are over....). Perhaps this is the beginning of a brand new Thurston. I hope so. It's been the pits trying to forge a relationship with these adoptees while Lovey's beak has called the shots. Maybe now things will be different.... 

I'm down to one Piranha Bird. Sad.... But I suspect Thurston and I will be just fine.

Friday, April 4, 2014


The wedding-cake world
Of a Minnesota spring.
Winter's parting gift.

Tumbledown looked just like this last year, only two weeks later than today.

I whined about it then; a lot of natives did. We're not too happy about this snowstorm either, but we're dealing with it like we've been dealing now for months. It's Minne-snow-ta. It's what happens here. We're used to it.

And seriously? You can't step outside on a day like today and not be flippin' awed....

I'll be eating those words in a moment when I try to dig my driveway out of this heavy, heart-attack snow. But it's do-able in little bits. And during those moments of rest I'll look around myself with wonder.

These are the last breaths of this dying season. What a gift they are!

Thank you, Winter.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Haiku. Do You?

Five broken pencils
Discovered on my walk.
In search of their witch.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

April is Poetry Month

Happy robin trills
Outside my bedroom window
A song to the sun.


(...Your turn. GO!....)