Ode To This Tree

I love nature. I really do. I love animals and their habitats and humans are evil for destroying them and all that. You all know I love all things nature??

So believe me when I say it breaks my heart that one of these days, this tree is coming down.

Our house was built in 1950. You can tell the whole block used to be a forest because there are trees and tree stumps everywhere. In our yard alone, there are 4 of these beauties. I love trees, I really do. They bring all kinds of wholesome, clean oxygen to our air thanks to all that photosynthesizing they do. They also bring shade from the burning sun. Our house doesn’t have air conditioning (yet) but thanks to these trees, the house stays relatively cool because of the wonderful canopy cover.

There are two main reasons this beautiful piece of nature has to go. First, as you can see, it is as close to the house as a tree can possibly get to a house without growing through it. I don’t know who’s idea it was to build a house this close to a tree in the first place but there’s only one thing to do about it now. You see, this tree, has a network of roots. Very large and in charge roots that have the strength of Kratos in that they can grow through concrete. It’s not showing now but eventually, it can become quite possible that this tree will pierce the concrete walls of our foundation and affect our home in a very expensive way. We have insurance of course but it’s better to nip this in the bud as soon as monetarily possible.

The other reason tree gotta go is because it’s interrupting my sleep. I’m sure you’re asking yourself, how does a stagnant tree interrupt someone’s sleep? You may think that maybe the branches are brushing against the window but the branches are taller than the house and we sleep on the first floor so that is not the case. The reason the tree is interrupting my sleep is because it causes my husband to wake me up in the middle of the night to have conversations such as this:

(me, nicely content in dream land)

“Wife…”

…..

“WIFE…..”

(is this really happening.. tell me this isn’t happening…)

“CHANEL!!”

“WHAT!!!!”

“Did you hear that??”

“Are you serious?”

“Did you?”

“Hear what?”

“That loud thump upstairs.”

“Of course I didn’t hear it! I was asleep! Why did you wake me up? It’s the middle of the night!”

“I wanted to make sure I didn’t imagine it”

“And you had to wake me up for that??”

“I’m gonna go check it out”

*grumbles”

“I investigated the situation and I don’t know what thumped. I’m gonna go to work now. Sorry I woke you up. I love you.”

“I love you too. Go away.”

I am a very light sleeper. Lights and the softest sounds can wake me up which is why the cats get banned from sleeping in the room cause they’ll yowl their heads off like roosters at the crack of dawn when they want out. Once my sleep is interrupted, it’s really hard to go back to sleep especially when you’re counting the minutes til your alarm goes off. Who ENJOYS being woken up before their alarm?? I sure don’t.

Turns out a branch fell off the tree, hit the roof of the house, and smashed on the concrete. Clearly, this tree has a history of things falling out of it. Remember Mr. Squirrel? So I’m sorry to have to cut down something that has probably been standing there for hundreds of years but tree, you gotta go.

What do you think of this situation? Let me know in the comments below!

Cringeworthy 200

Good morning! or evening depending on where you are in the world.

My Reader is full of all these wonderful July wrap up posts. Congratulations to everyone that made a goal and reached it! Also, can you believe it’s August already?? 2017, you are going too fast!

Today, is my 200th post here at RT and I bet you’re wondering why its cringeworthy. Well, I’m glad you asked voices of my friends! Yes, I have imagined what all of you sound like, my regulars, and when I read your comments, I hear your specific voice in my head. The post is cringeworthy cause I was having a conversation with a coworker the other day about sounds that make us cringe and I thought it would be fun to talk about them here and see if you all share the same sentiments or can add to my list.

So here we go:

  • nails on a chalkboard: iconic I know but the thought of that sound makes me cringe. I can barely even listen to chalk on a chalkboard!
  • chewing with your mouth open: I literally want to punch a wall when I hear people chew with their mouth open and subsequently:
  • teeth on your utensils: when a person puts food in their mouth and scrape their teeth when pulling the utensil out of their mouth I want to scream and adding to that:
  • when your fork scrapes your plate: that’s basically the same sound as your teeth on your fork as well as:
  • slurping your food: stop just stop. Funny thing is, I don’t have a problem with people who slurp the last drops of a drink through a straw but slurping soup causes me to rage. (Clearly I have issues with people eating, haha)
  • styrofoam scratching another piece of styrofoam: AAAAAAH! that’s all I can say
  • when my cats groom themselves near me: I’m terrible cause I yell at them go away. I can distinctly hear those rough tongues on their fur and I can’t take it
  • water dripping: when my turtle tank water starts getting low, you can hear the water flow from the filter. Supposedly running water or a bubbling brook sound is supposed to be calm and soothing but it just makes me angry!

Those are just a few that I can think of right at this moment. Keeping this post short and sweet today. Do you all have any sound triggers? Are some of them on my list? Let me know in the comments below!

Thank Yous & Other Shenanigans

This post is essentially going to be one long life update of sorts. I had quite an interesting weekend and why not start a Monday with a life story?

First, I would like to send a big thank you to yellowfuzzyduck over at Turtledesk. For the last week, she has been absolutely wonderful in creating a new logo for RT. It’s minimal, features my favorite colors and it just fits. She was absolutely great to work with. She’s not offering logo services anymore for now but keep an eye out on her site in the future if you find yourself wanting to spruce up your site!


 

Now on to my life. It all started on Thursday when I livestreamed the RITA awards on YouTube. I was half listening cause I was pretty absorbed in my book but a moment came where I stopped in the middle of a sentence to look up and listen. Author, Beverly Jenkins, had went on stage to accept the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award and the moment she started talking, I was hooked. It was seriously the best, most inspirational speech I’ve heard from anyone all year long. When you can start a speech talking about your roots with slavery and segregation and end it with a Game of Thrones quote, you’re definitely my new hero. If you would like to listen to her speech, click here and fast forward to 1:04:00, when her speech starts. It’s maybe 10 minutes but I promise it will be the best 10 minutes you’ve ever listened to.

Friday evening, I participated in a Christmas in July Facebook event that I was invited to by an author. There were a few giveaways and all around good fun. Then Friday night was interesting. I had a moment where I literally thought I was dying but I refused to go to the ER cause that’s always a good idea. I lived to see Saturday and spent the entire day being a lazy bones doing absolutely nothing except talk theories with Lana, which btw, thank you Lana for distracting me from my real world problems by talking about our buddy read.

Actually I also need to thank my girl Peela. We’ve become quite close since meeting in the blog world. We talk essentially everyday even though we’re like 9 hours apart and I’ve really begun to rely on her wisdom. She’ makes me laugh so much and offers such great advice. I can talk to her about anything and everything under the sun and I’m so grateful for WP for bringing us together.

Sunday. Sunday was my day. I woke up early which is unheard of on a Sunday but there I was, awake at 7am. I sat down and messaged my buddy James to see how his morning was going when I get this message from an author I follow. Now I know this isn’t a huge deal for some cause I’m sure you all are so fantabulous that you speak with you favorite authors on the regular but for me it was like a life changing moment! I’m not really a book blogger as you all can probably tell. However, I am 100% a bookaholic and I’m very active on Goodreads with leaving reviews. So she tells me that she’s noticed I’m really good at leaving reviews for her books and wanted to know if I would like to be on her review team. I jumped off the couch because I was so excited! And you know how authors and other people have assistants or a team controlling their social media but this was the author herself and I just feel really special right now. 🙂

Then later in the day, I found out that I won a Sephora gift card giveaway at the Christmas in July event. I never win anything so that was pretty awesome even though I don’t shop at Sephora; too girly for me. I’ll probably re-gift it to someone who loves makeup and all those other girly things. The evening ended with Game of Thrones (!!!!) of course and James making me laugh talking about cows. I also want to thank James for just being your awesome self. I always look forward to our morning and evening chats cause you just never know where our conversations are going to go. I know you all know this fantastic guy so I don’t have to gush about him too much.

So that was my weekend in a nutshell. Did anything interesting happen over your weekend? Let me know in the comments below!

Case of the Mondays

I planned on writing a story today because it’s been a while since I’ve written one but my brain is just not cooperating. All I can think about is finishing this book I’m reading. I’m about halfway and I’m seriously addicted. The other thing I keep thinking about is my cat.

I’ve introduced my cats on here before. Milliardo, the jerk, has been really social lately. We’ve had an unusual amount of traffic come through our house and usually he hides. Well, unless it’s my husband’s brother because they have the same tone of voice and I think Mil thinks the brother is the daddy. In the last week, my mom stayed with us, my grandma came to visit, my mother in law came to visit as well as my cousins.

Lately he’s come out and cuddled with everyone. I don’t know if it’s his older age and he’s mellowing out or what but we like this Milliardo.

So yesterday, we’re chilling on the couch. My husband is playing video games and watching Youtube and I’m reading; our normal Sunday activities.

You ever have one of those moments where you can foresee what’s about to happen, and you could prevent it from happening, but you let it happen anyway? We had one of those moments.

I was deep into my book and he was deep into his game. Even though we’re involved, we’re still aware of each other and our surroundings. Milliardo decides he wants to come up and cuddle with us. Usually he picks a body and makes himself comfortable on said body. This time he decided he wanted to lay between us. The best way for me to describe this is by showing you a crude drawing:

I’m the stick figure on the left and my husband is the stick figure on the right. The green dot is the pillow fort behind us and the brown rectangle is the table that my husband has feet propped on. The red one is Millardo. He decides to jump on the couch at my feet. I’m usually the body he chooses because he likes me a little bit more than my husband most days. He jumps up at my feet and lays down to get comfortable. Then he decides I’m not very comfy and he wants to go lay on the husband instead. Again, we were involved in our respective entertainments but we watched him start to walk over.

Cats like to pat out their path before actually taking the steps; have to make sure its a solid area. He pats the yellow area between us and must have thought it was safe. He placed one paw and all his weight into this spot and SPLAT he landed on the floor! Then he immediately jumped up on the couch and had these huge eyes at us before he ran away.

We both burst out laughing.

Me: Did you see that??

Hub: Yes, I did.

Me: He didn’t judge that very well did he?

Hub: No, he didn’t. I knew that was going to happen.

Me: Why didn’t you stop him from doing it?

Hub: Why didn’t YOU stop him from doing it?

Me: I mean cat’s gotta learn… It was like watching a person trip and fall and get back up like it never happened!

Hub: (laughs) You’re terrible. He’s never going to trust another blanket again.

Me: He’ll be fine! We’re laughing with him not at him. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Hub: Cats don’t laugh?

Me: Says who?

Hub: *shakes his head*

Have you ever had moments where you knew what was going to happen but you let events play out anyway? Do you think we should have stopped Milliardo from his fall? Let me know in the comments below!

Live, Learn and LOL

There must be something in the air I tell ya. I’m full of stories this week! I promise you, dear readers, I do not make these things up. Sometimes I surprise myself with how fantastical my stories sound but this is my life for you!

My mother is coming to town today and has decided she wants to stay at the ‘El hotel aka our house. Fun fact, me and my husband rhyme. Both our names end in “el” (his with two L’s). We have a lot of nicknames similar to Brangelina unfortunately. Guess that’s what happens when you’ve been together 10 years.

So when mom comes to town you know what that means…

Cleaning. Lots and lots of cleaning.

You see, we both work all day long. By the time we get home, we have other leisurely things on our minds we want to do rather than cleaning. I’m usually trying to dive into a book and he’s looking to play his video games. There’s also feeding the screaming cats, Turtle and ourselves. By the end of the night nobody wants to do any additional cleaning so that stuff usually waits til the weekend.

Obviously it got bumped. The pile of laundry my cats have been making a bed in the last week went in the wash, the kitchen, living room and dining room got cleaned and sheets put on the bed in the spare room.

Earlier in the day my husband went to Wally World (Walmart) to get some food stuffs we didn’t want to get at Sam’s. For those that don’t know Sam’s Club is warehouse shopping. That means you buy things in bulk. Instead of one box of pasta noodles, you buy 6. I wanted red potatoes. Sam has them in a bag of like 30 potatoes where Walmart has a bag of like 10 potatoes. We’re only two people and 2 cats who are obligate carnivores. It’d be a waste to buy 30 potatoes and watch them bad.

Tangents! Sorry. Back to the story.

One of the things he went to Walmart to get was Drain-O. It’s a really strong chemical cleaner that unclogs drains. In our case, we needed it for our bathroom sink. We originally thought the stopper was stuck in the down position and that’s why the drain was backing up. Turns out the stopper is broken and we have a big clog. Since he forgot the Drain-O I decided to consult our buddy Youtube because I remember seeing “natural” drain cleaners.

Youtube led me to a few videos that showed people using baking soda and vinegar and really hot water to unclog their drains of debris. If you ever made a paper machè volcano in grade school, you have an idea of what happens when you mix baking soda and vinegar. I poured the baking soda down the drain and then followed it with the vinegar and watched the fizzy action. Then we flushed it with hot water.

It didn’t quite work.

So I went and grabbed a butter knife to try and try to break some things up down there. I should mention that we haven’t had any drain clog problems since we moved in last September. I have no idea when the previous owner may have flushed their drains. The butter knife was loosening up some of the stuff buried in there but the knife wasn’t long enough. The light bulb went off in my head that maybe a chopstick would work better cause it’s longer than a butter knife. We keep chopsticks in our house cause we eat a lot of Chinese food and sushi. My husband liked my idea and suggest I tape two together so we had a longer probe to poke the clog with. I went into the kitchen and searched in the drawer of random for some masking tape and taped the two sticks together.

I was poking at the clog and you can hear it making little air pockets. Of course we had a conversation that went something like this:

“Hmm.”
“What’s wrong?”
“I don’t think I’m poking it hard enough”
“Really now?”
“Yeah. Maybe you should try it. You’re better at poking things than I am”
“What does that mean?”
“Exactly what I said.” (With this cheesy grin on my face)

*husband just shakes his head*

Sometimes I just can’t help myself.

After a while we just decided to flush with hot water again and walk away for a few minutes. When we came back it was still clogged. We’re both getting a little frustrated at this point and I start to think maybe we should make another Walmart run and get the Drain-O. My husband didn’t want to do that because it was late in the evening.

“What are we going to do then? I’m not taking the sink apart and I know you don’t want to either.”
“Let’s try the baking soda and vinegar again”
“I think that stuff is part of the clog now.”
“Hmm.”
“I KNOW! Let’s try the plunger!”
“I knew were going to say that.”
“It works for the toilet so logically that force action should work for the sink.”

Suffice to say, the plunger DEFINITELY worked. However, we learned a valuable lesson.

You see that hole? I never really gave that hole a second thought until last night. When I plunged the sink, all the sludge buildup that’s been sitting in that drain for who knows how long came blowing out of that hole. Think of a whale spurting water out of his blowhole but with black sludge all over the bathroom sink and mirror.

We both froze the minute it happened and then I started laughing and laughing and laughing. I had sludge on my face and arms and all I could do was laugh. That was the funniest thing I never expected! I looked down at the drain, ran the water and shouted, “ALL CLEAR!”. My husband was not amused but he couldn’t help but crack a smile because I was hysterically laughing from that moment until the end of us thoroughly disinfecting our bathroom.

This One Squirrel

HI! I MISSED YOU ALL!

It’s only been two days but I just was having a very lazy two days. Or at least I tried VERY hard to be lazy! “Hey Nel, got any weekend plans?”. “I plan to sit around and do absolutely nothing!”. Except that didn’t happen. I did stay up very late a couple of days to get some binge reading in but that was, unfortunately, the extent of my laziness. I plan to talk about my Saturday in a different post but I have a story to tell because I know how much you all love my stories. 🙂

This story is one of those stories where you’re like, “how in the …..!”

In a previous post, I mentioned how my husband and I purchased a new car. We had the option of trading our old one in but the trade in value was ridiculously low. We decided to sell our old car on our own because we knew we could get more from random Craigslist Joe.

Our garage can only hold two cars but our drive way can hold like 5 or 6 cars so my husband parked the old car out of the way of the garage’s path.

On Friday, my mother-in-law came over to visit and see the new car.

My husband is outside with his mom showing her the car. I decided to stay in the house because I had housely things to do. I can hear him explaining to her the features and everything about the car when all of sudden I hear a loud BANG!

I honestly didn’t think anything of it. I figured he’d opened the hood to show his mom the engine and then closed the lid because there’s no closing the hood gently. You have to give it a sort of toss and let gravity pull it down so it slams or it won’t close all the way. If you’ve opened the hood of a car before, you know what I mean even if I botched the description. There’s probably some car terms I should be using but I’m not fluent in car jargon outside of tires, trunk, brakes; the essentials.

Anyway, I continued what I was doing. My husband comes in the house and this is how our conversation went:

“The strangest thing just happened.”
“What’s that?”
“Did you hear a noise?”
“Yeah, I heard a loud bang. I figured you were trying to get my attention or you were showing your mom the engine and closed the hood.”
“If I was trying to get your attention, why didn’t you come out?”
“Because…. semantics. What happened?”
“I was standing there talking to mom and two squirrels were running around through our trees. I guess one lost it’s grip and fell on our car.
“WHAT?? Are you serious?!?! Is it okay??”
“I guess so. It got up and ran away.”

“Did you follow it some to make sure?”

“No.”

Then he took me outside to show me. And of course I took a picture to show you:

Looking at the picture, to the right, there’s a giant oak tree around the corner, next to the house. It has to be at least 150 foot high or something crazy since it’s taller than our house. And it’s the type of tree that has branches really, super high so if you wanted to climb it you’d have to be a rappel master, a ninja or have wings to get up there. As you can see, the leaves are evidence of this squirrel’s plight.

Our car saved this squirrel! If it wasn’t parked where it was parked, that squirrel would have went splat on the concrete and died and then my husband would have wanted to show me and I would have freaked out and it would not have been an easy time. What are the odds that my husband parked the car in the right spot??

Saving humans and now inadvertently saving squirrels all in the same week, I tell ya. I’m becoming more and more convinced I married a superhero.

Ever experienced a situation where you questioned the odds? Did you have a good weekend?? Let me know in the comments below!

Wondrous and Terrifying

Thursdays are dedicated to endangered species post and I still plan to write one but I want to share a story with you all that happened to my husband last night.

In a previous post I talked about how we bought a car and that it would take 2 months to get it. Turns out it only took 2 days because the dealership was able to find one surprisingly close. Because we both went to the dealership straight from work, it was going to be one of those nights where we get dinner on the go. My husband wanted Sonic. Sonic is great but if I see a Chipotle, that’s usually my automatic choice. I got my food before going to the dealership and he decided to get his food after.

We leave the dealership, say goodbye with plans to meet up at home. Again, we were in separate cars because it was easier to meet up versus us both driving home, picking up the other and driving back. Plus, the dealership said they would have someone else drive the car we just bought home for us if it was necessary.

Anyway, we ended up leaving the car there to get some extras installed and he goes to Sonic and I go home.

I’m sitting at home stuffing my face with Chipotle and talking to a friend on the phone when my husband calls me. I answer the phone and he’s quiet for a second. I start freaking out like, what’s going on. It’s one of those silences where something bad may have happened. When he finally speaks he goes, “I saved someone’s life”.

I thought he was joking okay! He’s a big jokester. I laugh and he was like, “no, for real” and proceeds to tell me the story.

The way a Sonic drive through is set up is you drive up to parking space which has its own menu. When you order your food, a person comes out on roller skates sometimes to give you your food. It’s supposed to emulate an old fashioned, retro restaurant.

My husband was waiting in line, a very long line, when a man came up to his car and started banging on the hood. The initial reaction is, “what the heck, that’s my hood please don’t dent it with your banging”, however, this man was desperately pointing at his throat. The man walked up to his window and had a white knuckle grip on the car door because he simply couldn’t breathe. His young children were nearby screaming and crying because they knew something was wrong but they couldn’t figure out exactly what.

Adrenaline is high for the man and for my husband. My husband realizes what’s going on and jumps out of the car and does what he felt was the Heimlich to try and get this guy breathing again. However his methods, it helped. The man was able to breathe regularly again after a couple minutes, he gave my husband a huge hug and went on his way.

My husband came home and said firstly, he’s never going to Sonic again and secondly, saving someone’s life is one of the scariest things he’s ever done especially since he didn’t exactly know what he was doing but the man needed help.

I was stunned. Literally floored. I thought about how you always see things like this happen on television and you say to yourself, “what are the odds that could happen to someone in real life”. If I was in my husband’s shoes, I’m not going to lie, I would have probably panicked. You never really think about those kinds of things until they unexpectedly happen.

Because of this event, we’ve decided to look up and find classes in the area that teach you how to do the Heimlich, CPR and other basic first aid methods so that if something like that ever happened again, we could be properly prepared.

You truly never know what life will throw at you at any moment or when the day comes where you turn into a real life hero.

Adulting

You know, you never appreciate days off until you have 4 or more consecutively in a row. Work doesn’t exactly rule my life but I usually don’t want to do much except eat and chill out after a full day. These past 4 days I’ve felt like a real adult. I mean I am an adult but I mean like a productive member in society. Okay maybe for only 3 out of the 4 days… or 2 and a half. Anyway, here’s a recap of my weekend.

Saturday, I slept and I slept and I slept. I loooooove sleeping. Its right up there with eating. I maybe get 6 hours a night. Actually, the reason why I slept so much is because my husband woke me up at an ungodly 5am to let me know that he heard something go bump in the night upstairs and wanted to know if I heard it. Of course I didn’t hear it.. I was dead asleep. I’m a really light sleeper too. It’s a curse. He called my name and I was awake. I’m also grumpy when I wake up so I had my “wtf-is-wrong-you” face. Turns out the thump was a tree branch falling on the roof. We really need to get that tree cut down soon considering it’s 6 inches from the house..

So then I literally spent the entire day reading. Like all of it. I had been on the same book for an unbelievable week and I desperately needed to finish it. I’m pretty sure that’s all I did on Saturday. I can’t remember. OH! actually it was Sunday I spent all day reading. I went to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park on Saturday which I’ve already shared a couple pictures of. So if you reread these two paragraphs, just flip Saturday and Sunday.

It’s all about Monday anyway!

Sunday night, after gorging on a chicken dinner early in the day, we fasted. I am not knocking people who fast, more power to you but I think it’s one of the most torturous things a person can volunteer to do. I’d make a TERRIBLE spy. I’d sing like a canary for a burger.

We had to fast for 8-10 hours Sunday to Monday because we were going to get blood drawn. You see I’m almost 30 so we decided to start family planning and I want to make sure all is kosher inside my body before that happens. I’ve never had blood drawn before that I can remember. Every time I try to give blood I’m always denied for one reason or another. The nurse who did the blood draw was amazing. She was definitely a pro.

After that we went to Farmer Boy for breakfast. I took some pictures through the sunroof on the way there because the clouds were looking so gorgeous at that time of day. They also had a bunch of these cool flowers outside the restaurant.

We get inside and we’re getting funny looks cause our arms are banded up from giving blood. I think a lot of people may have thought we were on drugs because we had our starving faces on.

It was no question what we were going to eat. We both got 4 XL egg omelettes with hash browns and inhaled that food like there was no tomorrow. I’m never fasting again unless its absolutely necessary.

Then my husband got it into his head that we should go look at cars. We have two cars. a ’98 and a ’16. The ’98 works great except he part that it leaks gas if you fill it above halfway. Not exactly the most safe thing in the world. For a while money was tight and another new car wasn’t in the budget but now we figured lets see what our options could be. We went to the dealership, test drove two cars and of course, like the adults that we are, we bought one. Better to be safe and all that. (That’s the ’16 pictured below. We have to wait 2 months for the new one)

The highlight of the hours we spent at the dealership was this quill pen! I’ve never used one but the feather was there.. the ink was there… nobody was around at that moment so we took turns acting like Thomas Jefferson signing the Declaration of Independence because it’s only fitting!

We came back home, I did some other house chores finished another book and sat down to watch Okja. Seriously, if you watch this movie, I hope you have a whole roll of toilet paper. From beginning to end, I couldn’t handle it. I had the ugliest tears watching this movie. It’s a Netflix original about superpigs and the food market of supply and demand and it’s SO EMOTIONAL!

Since this post is hitting 800 words, I’m going to end it here. I’ll save my 4th of July activities for another post. Happy Independence Day America!!! Happy Tuesday to the rest of the world!

How to Save A Life

My yesterday was very eventful for the span of 20 minutes. Remember those cherry trees I talked about in a previous post? I mentioned how the trees were netted so that the birds and other critters wouldn’t eat all the cherries before humans were able to harvest some of them. You see, as I was told, birds are color blind. (I have no idea if that applies to all birds or not but my 80 year old boss told me so). According to him, when the cherries turn red, the birds know they’re ripe for the picking. That doesn’t explain the yellow cherries but that’s not the point today.

My grumps buddy John and I were standing on the truck dock watching this swarm of birds go to town on the Queen Ann cherry trees. Those are the yellow ones. I mean there were a flock of blue jays, robins and sparrows. The crows must have been sleeping because usually they take over as much as possible before the smaller birds can get some.

So we’re just standing there talking and joking and mourning but not really mourning the loss of all those Queen Anns. You see the trees are in the median between two businesses. They don’t care that we, and other people in the neighborhood come and pick the cherries because they have so many trees they are happy to share the wealth.

We happened to look over at the tree by Mr. Continental because that tree looked like it was ready to be picked soon and we saw a bird flapping desperately inside the net trying to get out. Birds can be smart sometimes. This bird figured out how to get in the net but could not figure out how to get out of it.

John and I decided we couldn’t sit here and watch this bird struggle so we walked over to the tree looking to rip a hole in the net so the bird could be freed.

When we got over there we saw movement on the ground. Turns out our sparrow friend wasn’t the only one stuck in the net. There was a robin on the ground who’s situation was worse. She was all kinds of tangled up. We had to save her. Again, these nets aren’t ours but we got a speech prepared for if the owners came over to yell at us for ripping up their net.

We walked back into the plant and John got his gloves and a pair of scissors. I started to get flashbacks to my wildlife rehab days when a call would come in and me and another rehabber would go out and save one critter or another for various reasons. Maybe I’ll share a few of those stories another day.

We walk up to Ms. Robin and she’s screeching her head off. You can tell she’s afraid of us. I mean I would be too if I was her. John gets on his knees and slowly swoops in and grabs her. It should be noted here that if it has a beak, teeth or talons, it can bite. Ms. Robin definitely tried to bite. We’re both sitting here cooing at her telling her she’ll be okay. We just want to help her.

It took a little while because every time we would make a little lead way, she’d try to flap her wings and get more tangled. It also didn’t help that John was trying to hold and cut at the same time. At one time he goes, “I can’t see!”. I’m like, you’re holding scissors! What do you mean you can’t see?!”. He’s like “I’m not wearing my glasses.” I demanded he hand me the scissors right away.

As I instructed John to hold her wings in, I cut the netting around her body. Each time he would rotate her body so I could get around her wings, under her chest. I believe she realized we were trying to help her cause she calmed down and stopped flapping her wings. We got all the netting off that we could see and he let her go to fly away.

She made it about a foot before she just stopped and stood on the ground. She tried to fly away again but it wasn’t working. He left wing would spread but her right wing just stayed pinned to her body. I was like “John, we have to catch her again.” We thought maybe she had a broken wing and I was ready to take her to the closest rehab center.

He did a slow but quick sort of leap grab situation and got a hold on Ms. Robin again. Turns out we didn’t get all the netting. She had a good piece wrapped good around her right wing to the point that it banded it to her body. We cut that piece off and Ms. Robin was able to spread both her wings and fly away. We then proceeded to rip that net apart. The bird that was trying to fly out earlier found one of our holes and flew away as well. Hooray!

Have you ever encountered an animal who needed help? Did you try to help or call your local animal advocate to help? Let me know in the comments below!

One Love

Yesterday I had such a WONDERFUL day!

Every year cities all over America have a Pride parade and festival. For those who don’t know, Pride is a beautiful celebration of love; especially in the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community. All of the displays are so fantastic because they feature all the colors of the rainbow. That signifies that no matter your race, gender, sexuality, love is pure. It does not pick and choose, it does not judge, it just is.

When we got there the first picture I took was of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame proudly displaying a pride flag along with all of the other rock flags. When the parade started, the Cleveland police led the charge! There were cops on bikes, horses and walking in the parade. The bike brigade was cool because they each had a tiny rainbow flag on the back of their seats.

Then the companies that support pride followed. There were hospitals, banks, and retail stores proudly displaying their colors. There was also a ton of churches displaying signs like “Love Thy Neighbor” and “Jesus Loves You” and people with free hugs and hi 5’s signs around their necks. You can imagine I was hugging and high fiving all over the place! The air was filled with an overwhelming sense of welcome.

Oh! This isn’t pictured because I was so excited, I didn’t think to snap one, but I got to pet a horse! I’ve never been near a horse in my life but one of the cops on his horse came up to the crowd and let everyone pet her. She was beautiful!!!

So as the day went on, I acquired lots of wristbands and I bought a button that said “Don’t Hide The Pride”. I also got a cool tree henna tattoo!

Everyone was so sweet! Smiles EVERYWHERE! Mine was probably the biggest because I was so excited. There was also dancing and singing and just seeing all the proud, happy people just made my entire month! Of course I also got a picture of me and my babes. They are my favorites. I’m so honored my husband and I got to witness their marriage a few months ago. (image is using a Prisma filter btw)

June is Pride Month, at least here in America, and although June is almost over, it doesn’t mean it stops. I have pride every day of the year!

My takeaways:

I love to love.
I love to see love.
I do not discriminate against love. I believe it’s impossible to do.
You are who you are, flaws and all, and that’s the way it should be. Always remember that and love yourself above all else because you’re beautiful. You know it and so do I.