The Speedster

“Tortoises are not very fast, as everyone knows, but they make up for their slow speed by being very determined. And if you turn your back on a tortoise, thinking they will just hang around like a lazy cat, you are in for a surprise.” 

William Herring

I have a tortoise. He’s a Russian box tortoise and his name is Speedy.

I came to acquire Speedy many years ago when I was dating his owner at the time, J. We’re still good friends and I keep him updated on Speedy’s life. He had gotten Speedy from his uncle some years before, where Speedy had lived inside a garage in LA for ten years. J and I started dating in 2006. He was originally from Hawaii, and in 2008, he decided to move back to Hawaii. Obviously, he couldn’t take Speedy with him. I mean, he probably could have, but why, when there was a perfectly good caretaker right here who loved animals and already knew how to take care of him. Right?

I don’t really know how old Speedy is, but from the information I have, I guesstimate he’s in the range of 30 years old. He looks it, too. Old fart. He’s doing good, though. But, let’s be honest… the dude’s been through some stuff. From 2008-2014, Speedy was allowed to free roam in the backyard of the duplex I lived in (during warmer months… tortoise dude hibernates in the winter). He would spend most of his days roaming in peace, doing happy tortoise stuff, eating weeds and sunbathing. It was fully fenced, and I had bricked off any low spots to prevent escaping. This didn’t work all the time, and there were times I had to do the tortoise walk of shame to the neighbor’s house to do Operation Speedy Rescue. Or just hop the fence and quickly retrieve him without getting caught. Occasionally, there would be a dog on the other side that thought he was some type of rock that needed to be heavily scratched and bounced upon. But, those times were rare, and my dogs never touched him. They were so used to him always walking around that they fully ignored him. But then, a thing happened.

Dude loves dandelions.

In the summer of 2009, one of my best friends came over to visit one afternoon with his dogs. These dogs were not used to tortoises. Perhaps had never seen a tortoise, and definitely not used to free roaming tortoises in the backyard. I was not used to having to “watch” dogs in the backyard and didn’t even think about the fact that Speedy was out there. We were inside for a good amount of time, distracted by the amazement of technology, while the dogs were outside playing. At some point, one of us thought to check on the dogs. When we looked out the window, we saw one of his dogs with something in his mouth. Oh no. I forgot about Speedy. My heart sank.

We ran outside and quickly got Speedy out of the murder grip. Luckily, so lucky, so freaking lucky… he was still alive, and with very little damage. His shell was still intact and had no damage other than a few minor scratches. His body was fine, no bleeding or cuts, except… one foot had been chewed off. Super sad face. He wasn’t bleeding at all from his newly created stump, which was good. It was just… fleshy. The whole experience was very traumatic, I’m sure more so for the Speedster, obviously, but for me as well. Holy crap.

We found his foot. It was really sad. So, we did what any logical person would do in a situation like this… we had a funeral for his foot and we buried it. Then we took Speedy inside, washed him up, and we superglued the fuck out of his stump. And you know what? Superglue is the shit. His little leg healed up great. The superglue fell off after awhile, and he had a perfectly healed little stump underneath. And the whole experience seemed to do nothing to the lil’ guy… he went about his day and life like nothing happened, except now he has a super awesome pimp walk. He also had to adjust the way he eats because now he can’t tear food with that leg; it took him a lot longer to figure that out than you would expect. And honestly, with all feet intact, tortoises are a lot faster than you would think; his newly acquired disability did nothing to stop his speed nor his determination to escape. He was still able to dig and burrow himself completely underground so I wasn’t able to find him, freak out, and think he had escaped somehow into the neighbor’s yard. We have fun.

Old man and his stump.

I moved out of that duplex in 2014 and haven’t had a fully fenced yard that Speedy can’t easily escape since. I miss that yard… for Speedy. I’m sure he misses it, too. I’ve lost him a BUNCH of times, but I’ve luckily (so lucky) always found him. I’m an irresponsible tortoise owner. But, I know he likes to roam, and I like to give him that. Sometimes I just start making waffles and I forget I put him outside. You know how it is. Our house in Montana has a very escapable fence, so we built him a Speedy-proof tortoise corral: completely wired in so he can’t dig out and predators can’t get in. Unfortunately, that means he doesn’t get the brightest sunlight, or the best roaming grounds. So, I’ll occasionally let him out on a chaperoned “tortoise-walk” all over our property. When he’s not outside in his corral, he stays in Casa Kiddie Pool; it sits on a coffee table so it gets some natural sunlight through the window and also a nice view of the bird feeder (that he probably can’t see, but I give it to him anyway). Casa Kiddie Pool was born after we moved out of the duplex and we didn’t have a fenced yard for him to roam around in. For about two years, I let him free roam around the house because he seemed pretty happy doing that, not realizing I was preventing him from getting the precious UV light he needs to survive. Yeah, I’m an irresponsible tortoise owner.

I started this post wanting to talk about Speedy’s 13,000 mile road trip across America. Or the time I lost him for four days because waffles. But then I realized before I write about any of that, I had to obviously do an introduction post about the time he lost his foot and became Speedy, the 3-legged tortoise. He’s not really 3-legged, though. It’s more like 3-footed, I guess. Specifics, jeez. It doesn’t matter. What really matters is that he went through this traumatic experience and overcame it like a badass. Overall, he’s had a pretty interesting life for a tortoise. Also, did I mention he has a super awesome pimp walk?

Fred and the Baby Spiders

I have a thing for spiders. Yeah, I said it. I’m one of those people. But I have my reasons.

Disclaimer: This post contains images and descriptions of spiders.

My infatuation with spiders developed some years ago when I lived in Oregon. Over time, I have become more open to different kinds of spiders, realizing that most of them are harmless and more terrified of us than we are of them. But my love for them started with one specific spider: The Orb Weaver. Specifically, the Cat-faced Orb Weaver (Araneus gemmoides). And there was one particular spider that started it all, and her name was Fred.

I lived in a duplex in Oregon for 9 years. It had a very small laundry room with a door leading out to the garage. There was a window in this laundry room. Fred found her way into the laundry room at some point and started to build a web. I did not think this was a very good move for Fred. She was still smallish at this point in her life, so I moved her gently, and placed her directly outside the laundry room on the window. She apparently liked this location very much, because she set up shop and lived out the rest of her days there.

Fred as a beautiful young woman, showing off her mad web skills.

Now, I named Fred before I knew Fred was a female. But then obviously I couldn’t change her name, so Fred it stayed. When I met Fred, I was going through a bout of terrible insomnia. I was also a smoker. So I would spend a lot of my nights and early mornings smoking cigarettes, watching Fred tear down her web and build a new one. It was fascinating. If you have never taken the time to watch an orb weaver work… I highly recommend you do. It’s delicate, rhythmic, therapeutic, and the result is really beautiful. It’s weird, I know. I was going through this really shitty time in my life, and I bonded with a spider. Thinking about Fred still makes me want to cry. Obviously, this spider never talked to me, never gave me advice, and probably never knew I even existed. But she gave me something. A connection? The ability to disconnect temporarily from my surroundings? Maybe. I don’t know what it was… but she gave me something I needed to survive that summer and move on with my life. She was my friend.

I watched Fred’s life cycle that summer. I met her as a young women, I saw her mate (and eat her partner!), I watched her get all fat and pregnant, and then when it came time and got cold in the fall, she disappeared to lay her eggs and die. I searched for her body for days, hoping to find my friend, wishing I could bring her inside and revive her. But that’s not how it works. The next year, we had some Fred babies pop up here and there, but no one really stuck around. And a few years later, I moved to a different house.

Old and pregnant Fred. The day after this photo, she disappeared.

The story of Fred happened in the summer of 2011. Every Spring, in every house I’ve been in since, I start the search for orb weavers, looking for my new Fred. In 2017, we moved to Montana. Apparently, orb weavers LOVE Montana. The first summer we were here, I was blessed with my first orb weaver above the back door. I watched her lay her babies and the egg sac is still there (sometimes, the babies never hatch sad face). Last year, it was an orb weaver Mecca. I had coffee can babies, 11 mature pregnant females, and an unknown amount of adolescent/teenage Orbies hanging around the perimeter of our house. I was only able to observe one female lay her egg sac (another round of coffee can babies!) and because she stayed with the babies, I thought I could get her body for preservation sake. Generally, they die within a few days after laying their eggs. She had been completely covered in snow. I brought her inside, and she was still alive! Barely, but alive. She didn’t do much, so I put her back out with her babies and continued to check on her. After weeks, she was still alive. It was insane. Like, the sheer determination in this woman. Or her energy reserve just hadn’t run out yet… I don’t know. I don’t know spiders. But then, probably the most traumatic and tragic thing to ever occur in my spider loving life, occurred: My dog ate her. So, that’s the end of that story.

Pregnant Orbie trying to find a place to lay her eggs.
Orbie with her babies, before my dog ate her. What a good mama, leaving bugs and shit for her little babes.

Winter happened. And all my precious Orbies either died or hibernated or whatever they do when winter comes. After the first snow, I found 8 bodies of adolescents that didn’t make it, so I know a lot of them died. That’s why spiders have so many babies… because most of them won’t survive. It’s a hard life out there, ya know? But now it’s almost May, and that’s the time when everything starts coming out again, because, you know, it’s getting warmer.

A few weeks ago, I noticed a spot hanging from the ceiling by the bathroom door in our bedroom. Upon closer inspection, I recognized the shape immediately. Oh blessed day! An adolescent Orbie had survived winter and decided to set up shop in my room. Obvi, I have good spider juju. They know. She apparently did not like that location and bailed, moving to the corner of the room by the window. Obviously a smart move because: 1) that’s very close to where I sleep and 2) the window, duh. She hung out by the closet for a couple of days and I waited for her to make a web. They are more active at night, so one night, during one of Daisy’s middle-of-the-night-pee-excursions, I used my phone’s flashlight to check out the area. You wanna know what I found? Yeah, you do. Another Orbie! This one was much smaller, more babyish. It was chilling on the blinds. Blessed with two! Two orb weavers in my room? By my window? In my corner? Oh my lord… they know.

The next morning, the bigger Orbie had disappeared. I was devastated. I searched for her everywhere. Web trails, evidence, something… anything. I thought perhaps she had gone down the vent and went into the basement. Nope. For days, I searched. Every morning and every night. No sign of her. She left me. Which is understandable… a bedroom probably isn’t a great All-You-Can-Eat-Buffet for bugs. I didn’t blame her. The baby was still too young to understand, but she’d eventually get smart and leave me, too. It was inevitable.

Coffee Can Babies. I was out-of-my-mind delighted when I found these guys.

For the next few days, I watched the baby move from the blinds, to the corner, to the wall. I would check on her at night when I let Daisy out, and she would be busy walking little baby butt strings along the top of the wall. You do you, baby spider. She seemed to have found her spot, and the fact that she was making a web confirmed that she was here to stay. Haha, you dumb bitch.

Wednesday April 22, 2020:
I awoke to the most marvelous thing! The bigger Orbie that had vanished from existence last week has reappeared. She is back in her corner by the window and she even grew a little. Getting thick. I don’t know where she went in her little hiatus or what she was doing, but she’s back and everything is right in the world…

Wait…

WTF…

Now the baby is gone?!? Okay. I cannot be a spider mother. I cannot handle this kind of stress. I’m officially throwing in the towel. I quit.

Thursday April 23, 2020:
Baby has returned! My life is complete! I have two Orbies in my room, safe and sound. Both have made webs, both are eating (I’m a crazy person and I may be literally finding bugs outside to throw in their webs), and all is right in the world.

I realize how crazy this post sounds to a lot of people. I have two spiders living in my bedroom, literal feet away from my face when I sleep, and I’m finding bugs outside to throw in their webs inside instead of just relocating them OUTSIDE where they probably should be in the first place. Yes, you’re right. And at some point, I will relocate them outside. Because I know they won’t be able to survive in here for an extended period of time. Plus, they’ll need to find a mate and make more babies, and that obviously can’t happen in here. So for now, just let me have my moment and be a spider mother. I already know I’m crazy. But honestly, I don’t care. Because I’m sitting here right now, thinking about my life in this moment, wondering why, again, I have attached myself to some random spiders. I am one of those people… but I really only love orb weavers. I don’t kill spiders, but I won’t just let any spider build its web and exist in my bedroom, 5 feet from my sleeping face.

It’s Fred. It’s always been Fred. She gave me a gift… that unknown gift of survival. During the darkest points of my life, when I need a connection, a focal point, that familiar rhythmic and therapeutic dance… there she is. It’s why I continuously search for replacements, hoping for the day when my therapy will resume. My future is unknown. I don’t know what I’m doing with my life. I lost my job. My dogs are dying. Things are grey. But here and now, I have two tiny friends. And for the time, I can occasionally disconnect from all the daily unknowns and bullshit, check in with my Orbies, and life seems a little less grey.

I rarely name Orbie’s anymore since Fred. Usually when I do, they leave me almost immediately. This was Montana Orbie #1 after laying her eggs, one day before she died.

Liquor Adventures

I wasn’t going to post anything today.

All the topics that are currently sitting in my mind’s queue should probably be started earlier than 8:13pm at night. I’ve had too much coffee, too little water, and an adult beverage so as you can probably assume… I’m doing great. Plus, this room smells like dog farts thanks to two dogs that refuse to eat their prescription food and, therefore, a diet that consists of whatever-the-hell-I-can-get-them-to-eat-today. I think I’ll have another adult beverage. Wee!

I suppose since I’m drinking, I’ll talk about my life experiences with drugs and alcohol. Well, let’s leave it at alcohol for now. Because reasons. Is alcohol considered a drug? I think perhaps I read that one time. I’ll have to google it.

I was not a typical teenager. Don’t get me wrong… I had issues. I had childhood trauma and I went to therapy and crap like that. But I didn’t really rebel or socialize or have many friends. I never went to parties. I rarely asked to go hang out with the few friends I did have. I basically went to school and I came home and studied. I apparently was so unlike other teenagers, that my guardians thought there was something wrong with me and put me in therapy. You know what it was? I’ll give you a hint. I’m an introvert. I also have anxiety, and a lot of it. I just prefer to hang out by myself. I like being alone. It’s nice to occasionally go out and have social time with one or two (or even a few!) confirmed individuals, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that every. single. time. I make plans with someone, deep down inside, I hope, wish, and pray, they cancel. I love my friends, and sometimes I really need social time, but there’s this bad bitch inside me that just screams “PLEASE CANCEL” every time I make plans. I don’t know. She won’t shut up.

I didn’t start actually drinking until college, thanks to my college roommate. She showed me the ropes. She also introduced me to gin, which at the time, I thought was a disgusting thing to put in your body. It was literally liquid pine tree. Who the fuck would drink that? I think most of the time I stuck to Mike’s Hard Lemonade, cause I was a classy college bitch. But to be honest, even in college, I didn’t drink much… compared to others. We had our moments, but it wasn’t a super drunk fest all the time. I just wasn’t that interested.

I moved to Oregon after college and still kept drinking to a minimum. I would have the occasional drink, but I never frequented bars. I didn’t love beer and I didn’t really love any liquors so there really wasn’t a “drink of choice” for me. Wine has aways been an okay choice… but white or rosé. I can’t do red. I can’t drink it without making that face (you know what I’m talking about). And that, folks, pretty much sums up my booze life… for years… until I started working at the liquor store.

To give you a time frame, I moved to Oregon in December 2004. I lived there for 13 years! WOW. I started working at the liquor store in June 2014. So, my life was p r e t t y b o r i n g for 10 years, eh? Nah. I had good times. Alcohol isn’t the answer, people! But it IS fun. And working at the liquor store was indeed as fun as it sounds. It was so fun, in fact, that I’ll probably end up doing more posts about working there. Top 2 most favorite places to work EVER. Terrible bosses ruin everything.

When I got hired, I literally knew nothing about alcohol. I think I had stepped foot into a liquor store maybe twice before. I didn’t know the sizes of bottles (what’s a fifth?), or the different names (handle?), and I especially knew nothing of brands and types of liquors. Especially especially what they tasted like. How the bloody hell was I supposed to sell this stuff? Lucky for me, liquor basically sells itself! Occasionally, you’ll have the customer that comes in for a recommendation, but there are enough regulars and people who know exactly what they want, that you just have to be there to take their money and restock the shelves. There was also enough customer/employee chit chat going on that I was able to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations, so I learned quickly what to properly recommend if asked.

Because Oregon has state controlled liquor sales, we did not get an employee discount. Sad face. But we did sometimes get “breakage.” These were bottles that were messed up somehow; fucked up labels, broken caps, broken bottles, etc. and could not be sold to the public. The state would come in a write these off and then we would “throw them away.” Obviously, the ones that still had liquor in them and were perfectly fine other than a messed up label or a broken cap, we would keep. After awhile, the employees would divide up the stash and take what they wanted. Free liquor! And this is how my liquor collection was born.

My baby liquor collection, when it very first started. The cabinet underneath soon became full of bottles, too. It got BAD.

After a few months, I realized that I needed to up my game. Customers would ask me for recommendations and eavesdropping would only get me so far. So, I started buying my own liquor. I would buy random things I wanted to try, stuff I knew was popular and wanted to try, and also liquor that might come in handy for future use (aka a lot of liqueurs). **Side Note: The liqueur thing was a bad move. Most of my bar stock right now consists of liqueurs leftover from this time in my life. I can’t get rid of them. No one wants them. I don’t use them. My best advice for anyone: NEVER BUY AN EXCESSIVE AMOUNT OF LIQUEURS. End Side Note.**

It’s a shame I never had my life together enough to get a proper photo of all my liquor together as a happy family. This mess is the best I have.

Buying my own liquor gave me three things: It gave me the ability to try new brands/types of liquor and, therefore, give appropriate recommendations to customers; it gave me the ability to figure out what I liked; and it gave me such an extensive liquor collection at home that I basically had a full bar… which made my house, the house. LIQUOR STORE PARTIES! We had a good team; we all worked well together and we partied well together. We were all friends. There was very little drama. Shocking, I know. But, it was a good team. We fit well together. That’s hard to find in life. I still have group text messages on my phone that I refuse to delete because I don’t ever want to forget that time of my life. And honestly, there are big chunks I did forget because I experienced black out drunkenness on several occasions, but that’s maybe a story for another time. Everclear jello shots? Don’t do it. Bad choice. Take my advice!

I only worked at the liquor store for a year, but it was one of the best years of my life… and I don’t say that lightly. I met some great people, I made a few lifelong friends (one who I consider to be a best friend *flame*), I realized my love for working in the liquor industry (I’d do it again in a heartbeat), and I still have a stupid amount of alcohol because, of course, I’ve reverted back to my boring old ways of rarely drinking. But possibly the most important thing that came about from my liquor store days was this: GIN IS NOT A DISGUSTING LIQUID PINE TREE. It’s actually a very good liquor, and it’s become my favorite liquor. You just need to know the right things to mix it with to complement the flavor. You’ll be happy to know, I discovered my “drink of choice” and that’s a gin greyhound: gin and grapefruit juice. If you haven’t tried it, I highly recommend you do. Grapefruit juice complements gin really well. Way better than tonic, because fuck tonic. That shit is disgusting.

Celebrating my 31st birthday at my most favorite place on Earth (at the time). That’s a genuinely happy Megan.

Hysterical Sadness and The Grey Meh

“Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.” 

Jasmine Warga, My Heart and Other Black Holes

For the majority of the day, I have struggled with motivation. It’s not that I don’t want to write, or that I have anything better to do, or even that I don’t know what to write about. I have plenty of material. In fact, right now I feel like I struggle with having too much material. Currently, I’m in a state of trying to figure out the best way to get everything out into the world, in its best form, where everything flows nicely and it doesn’t come off as just a bunch of random word vomit.

But there are also things I struggle with on a personal level. I’d like this blog to be a happy place of joyous silly stories, and it will be. But it’s also going to have the other side, as well. Because that’s me. You can’t have one part without the other. Right?

I’ve been wanting to write about these tiny spiders that are in my bedroom (and really just my obsession with spiders, in general) since the birth of this blog. And something happened in the night that makes me really want to write about them now, however, I just feel like the spiders need a big dedicated post of their own… and today is just not that day. Plus, I have to dig around for pictures and put up trigger warnings for people that don’t like spiders (Jackie, I’m looking at you) and crap like that. You know.

Today I woke up feeling very grey. That grey middle feeling similar to indifference. It’s like sadness, but you don’t really know what you are sad about. I’ve been officially unemployed for two weeks tomorrow. I have been productive every. single. day. since I got laid off. Cleaning my house, taking care of my elderly dogs (ages 14, 15, 16), searching/applying for jobs, taking the dogs on a daily drive, working on this website and blog, and trying to stay positive. It’s been good. Yesterday, I felt great. Today, I woke up feeling like a completely different person. I literally could not bring myself to do anything. Typing these words hurt. Physically. My body hurts, my mind hurts, my emotions hurt.

I’m massively sleep deprived. My 15 year old dog has kidney disease and with that, has had multiple UTIs since December. With the kidney disease plus the UTIs… she has to pee every two hours – on the dot. It’s almost like clockwork. And don’t @ me about getting a doggie door. Yes, it would be extremely helpful in this situation. No, we aren’t getting one. They have an issue where they eat dirt and do other naughty things outside and I would rather them not have free range to go out whenever they damn please, so yes… I will die of sleep deprivation until she dies of kidney failure. I love her and that’s what I will do for her. We did try pee pads but she still wakes me up, regardless. It’s fine. I’m just tired. And because I’m tired and emotional, my old friend depression thinks he can just come back and fuck up my shit again.

I recently read an Instagram post where a women opened up about her vulnerabilities in being addicted to negativity and pain. She described how there was this heaviness that lives inside her, preventing her from loving herself. No amount of positivity or greatness in her life would allow her to let go of this. She calls it “hysterical sadness.” Going into a dark place, being completely blinded by it, and not being able to escape. Holding onto the past, memories, and people that are no longer healthy and probably weren’t in the first place. Yet, not being able to explain why. Feeling stuck. And even with all the internal work, not getting any closer to letting the darkness go.

As I was reading her words, my chest began to tighten up. I’ve never been very good at analyzing myself. I have spent a good amount of time in therapy in my life, and I always found it difficult to figure out why I did certain things. The majority of the time, I made educated guesses based on what others had said about me or sat in silence until the therapist gave me a hint at what he thought. But her words… they spoke to me in a way that allowed me to see a side of myself that had been hidden in darkness. Don’t get me wrong, though… I have no idea what to do with this information. It was relieving, in a way, to find out that I wasn’t the only person in the world who struggled with this. It was comforting to know that I could relate to a complete stranger on the internet on this level. There are other broken brains in the world! But as comforting as it is to know I’m not alone, it’s not going to do anything to help clear the weight, or ease the pain, or allow myself to just be who I need to be and love who I am. But who am I? How do I figure that out?

I had always referred to my hysterical sadness as a shadow. This darkness that follows me around wherever I go. It prevents me from truly ever feeling joy or being happy, at least the way other people experience it. It’s always there and I can never escape it. I still feel joy and I can still be happy… but I don’t think I experience it the way most people do. The best way I can describe it would be a hot sauce packet. When doing something you really love or are really excited about, most people would feel “hot” or “spicy,” and the most I ever get is about “mild-medium.” Maybe. It’s on the lower scale. I used to use the term “indifferent” a lot, because I thought that best described the state in how I felt most of the time. Until I realized a state of indifference isn’t that great. So then I started using the term “grey” and I think that more accurately describes the “meh” feeling. That’s what the shadow does… it turns you into a Grey Meh. And that is what I am today, which is why I did not write about baby spiders.

Bluebirds

Today, I feel accomplished.

It was a frustrating day of trial and error with this website, but I got a few things figured out on my own, and therefore, I feel like the smartest! person! alive! I have now connected all my social media accounts to the social media menu at the bottom of the home page, so it’s super cool, but also a tad creepy now that I’ve easily connected anyone in Internet Land to my social life. Oh well. It’s not like this blog is going to be much different. Honestly, this blog will probably be much more revealing than anything else currently on the internet. Shrugs.

I’m also quickly realizing how much work goes into website creating and blogs. I recognize that once I have the site looking the way I want, I won’t have to spend so much time on it, but DAMN… getting it to that initial point is work! However, considering my current state of unemployment due to the current state of the world (I lost my job because of COVID-19, like many people), I figure now is the best time to work out the kinks. It’s also the best time to establish a routine of writing, so that when I do get another job and start working again, I will hopefully be set up enough in a state of normalcy that I will continue doing this. Hopefully.

Today’s topic: Bluebirds. Specifically, Mountain Bluebirds. More specifically, MY Mountain Bluebirds.

My Bluebirds. I know this is a terrible photo. Don’t @ me.

Now, I say “my” bluebirds because I consider them to be mine. I consider myself to be an extremely amateur bird hobbyist. I don’t know very many birds, but I have a cool bird app on my phone. I look up unfamiliar birds on that or google and then I use the app’s journal to make journal entries about what I see. It’s very amateur. We only have a specific variety of birds that come to our house, so once I figured out what those were, every year it’s about the same. On rare occasions we’ll get a new one, but it’s pretty much just the same players all the time. They are still cool, I spend a shit ton of money on Costco bird seed, and I love them.

The Bluebirds, aka Bluebies, nest in our pump house every year. I know very little about bluebirds, but from what I have read, you are supposed to clean out their nesting boxes otherwise they won’t use them again. This ain’t so with this couple. They nest in our pump house roof. It’s the perfect spot for them; it provides great protection from predators and all the elements. Every Spring, the two Bluebies show up. During the day, they prepare the nest. I assume they clean out the old stuff first, and then start building a new one. They work together, and during this time they are most always seen together. When going into the pump house, they both perch, wait, and then one goes up first before the other follows. It’s fascinating to watch. At night, they both sleep under our covered porch (as seen in the photo above).

At some point, there will be eggs. Thus, only one Bluebie will sleep under the covered porch at night. And a little further on, the babies will hatch, and they will fledge. This is a very stressful time for me. One year, I found two that didn’t make it. Sad face. We also have a Neighborhood Murder Cat, but I have seen the male bluebird protect the nest from this cat and let me tell you… Mr. Blue has got his shit together (I have video evidence of this). Still stressful.

Once the little babies have fledged and start learning how to fly, I believe they go back to the nest until they are fully capable of flying and functioning on their own. Once that occurs, they leave the pump house and EVERYONE starts sleeping under the covered porch and it’s the most wondrous time of the year! Last year, we had SEVEN bluebirds sleeping under our porch at night. I was in birdie heaven. They only stick around for maybe a couple weeks, and then the babies find their own spots or fly off to start their own lives, and then it’s back to just the original two.

Sometimes I think they start prepping for another batch. Last year it seemed like they were getting ready to start over again, and then it never happened. They just hung around, would go in and out of the pump house, sleep under the porch, and then when it started getting colder… they went to wherever their winter home is. When the Bluebirds leave, the Huns arrive, and then I switch my fascination/obsession to the little groups of partridges that run around in the winter months.

For a lot of people, the “first signs of Spring” include butterflies, trees budding, bulbs blooming, allergies, and Robins. But for me, I know Spring has officially begun when the Bluebirds come home.

Principium

“Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.”

Louis L’Amour

So, this is the beginning.

I have decided to join the thousands (millions?) of other people in the world and try this whole blog thing out. Honestly, it wasn’t really my choice. My hand was mildly forced into it when someone very special to me bought this domain, set it up, and said, “Start a blog.”

I wasn’t reluctant.

I had considered it in the past, but it seemed pointless. Who was going to read my dumbass blog anyway? But now, at this point in my life, I don’t care. I’ve wanted to be a writer my whole life, and even though I knew all I needed to do was JUST WRITE, I lacked confidence, and therefore, any motivation to write for myself. Putting my writing on the internet is terrifying – but it also allows for support, feedback, growth, and personal accountability. (Side Note: I am also a big dumb idiot who can never find the right word for what I want to say/describe. This is a big issue. I will not tell you how long it just took me to figure out the word “accountability.” Embarrassing. And if this is what every blog post is gonna be like, I fear for my future. End Side Note.)

I will probably do an entire post at some point about how much of an over thinker I am, but I’ll say it now… I overthink everything. I would really like this blog to just be a space where I can tell meaningless stories about my day, but my brain won’t let it be like that. It has to be a THING. I will tell meaningless stories, but I will spend far too much time overanalyzing my writing and trying to make everything perfect. I’m really going to try to not do that, okay? Disclaimer: It’s not going to work and my writing is going to be really inconsistent, because my brain will constantly be fighting itself. Sorry.

There was a time when I thought that I was pretty good with computers and technology. I heard a career in networking paid pretty well, you could work from home, and I thought I might be smart enough to to that. ha ha ha ha ah . . . . . I feel less like that today. After trying to work with a simple website for two days and completely giving up on it, I have realized that I’m not as computer literate as I thought I was. I know I can learn anything with time, but when all I want to do is write, I gave up. So here ya go! My website! I hope you enjoy what I made in two days because its gonna stay that way until I can figure out something else! I know how to upload pictures now, so I’ll be doing that. Maybe.

KC Green

I’m not entirely sure what this has turned into except me spending way too much time on very little writing. I’ve gotten this far and, honestly, part of me wants to delete this. I’ll probably sit here for about twenty more minutes and decide whether or not I want to publish it (after I reread it about 6 more times, of course). And when I wake up tomorrow and the world is not burning down around me because of my one blog post, I will realize everything is okay and I’ll work up the nerve to post an actual cool story, like about the tiny spiders in my room.