A very caring little bird story

Female hummingbird at feeder-Cyndee Sindelar
Our caring little hummingbird girl

Last summer my husband and I bought two beautiful new light green painted rocking chairs for our deck. We had to assemble them, which was a monumental effort, as self-assembly projects can sometimes be. But when they were ready, we put them into place with a perfect view of our hummingbird feeder.

The first hummer to visit our backyard was a beautiful male ruby throated hummingbird. He was a lone little guy taking full advantage of all of the homemade nectar we provided. But it wasn’t too long before three females came into town and chased the poor little guy away. The three females were constantly fighting for “ownership” of the feeder. Eventually one dominant female won full rights. My husband and I would sit and watch her every sunny day. She grew used to us and didn’t mind our presence just eight feet away. She’d zip back and forth as my husband and I rocked back and forth in our new chairs.

My husband is a big guy, and unfortunately the green wooden rocking chair wasn’t as strong as we’d hoped. One afternoon he rocked back too far and “Crack!” went the rocker. He fell backwards, but was fortunately prevented from serious injury by a large potted shrub that caught him. He screamed for help, so I grabbed his arms to help hoist him back upwards. All the while our sweet lady hummingbird sat atop the nearby lilac bush, just six feet away, staring right at the upset scene. Once my husband was upright she continued to stare right at him, sitting still for what seemed like 30 seconds. Then when it was clear he was safe, she flew off satisfied that all was well.

liliac and rocking chairs-smaller
Our new rocking chairs near the lilac lookout

We look forward to seeing our hummers again this year. The feeder is out patiently awaiting their return. This year we have two new much sturdier rocking chairs (pictured). Hopefully our concerned angel will be back to keep her eye on us again.

I submitted the above story to “Birds & Blooms” magazine for their Bird Stories section.

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I’d rather bottle my au natural fragrance

stink bomb perfume

My husband loves perfumes, and has given me a few over the years, but they sit in my bathroom cabinet collecting dust, along with several underarm deodorants of various scents that I’ve rejected.

I have just never found the scent of perfumes appealing. In fact, when I put them on I feel like I’m breathing horrible fumes. Sometimes they even make me cough. Very foul smelling fumes. It doesn’t matter how expensive the perfume is, or even if I like the smell from the bottle, once I put it on my body some kind of chemical reaction seems to occur. Actually, I’m not quite sure if that is the case, but that is my guess. Other people, however, have vastly different experiences. I’m not sure why.

I remember a long while ago I used to buy unscented underarm deodorant. It worked well and I felt fresh and sweat free, but nowadays the unscented variety seems to be absent from the grocery store shelves. It’s all “Spring fresh”, “Cool cucumber”, “Lavender” or similar. There are even some called clinical strength, that also smell unbearably toxic to me.  I obviously must wear underarm deodorant, so I pick the lesser of the evils. I use it sparingly. If I use too much, even that scent bothers me. I wonder sometimes if it is just me being bothered by it, or if others smell what I smell.

My skin is also rather sensitive. I tend to use mild soaps. Their scents are also mild and fresh smelling to me, and they don’t bother my skin. When I moisturize, shampoo, condition and style my hair, I also use the mildest smelling or fragrance free or other dermatologist recommended products.

clothes on clothes line
Naturally fresh

I don’t seem to have quite as much of an issue with the fragrances in clothes detergents or clothes softeners, unless they are highly perfumed. Honestly, I prefer hanging my clothes out on a clothes line outside (the best scent in my opinion), but I’m not permitted by my homeowner’s association.

We each have our own natural scent and these scents can vary at certain times. For example, according to an article by DNES it can vary when women are ovulating. During this period, men’s testosterone levels rise, increasing their sexual interest. In other words, a woman’s natural scent can be the most appealing. Other factors that affect a person’s natural scent could be lifestyle choices, genetic makeup, and diet. Masking those scents with perfumes, or otherwise, is everyone’s choice.  I happen to have a strong preference for the natural scent of the animal I am.

Liebster Blog Award!

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Huge thanks to lexiejungling for nominating me for this award! I really love her blog, so being nominated by her is such an honor.

The rules of this award:
1. Acknowledge the blog who nominated you and display the award.
2. Answer the 11 questions the blogger gives you.
3. Give 11 random facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 11 blogs.
5. Notify those blogs of the nomination.
6. Give them 11 questions to answer.

11 Questions for me

What is your middle name?  Carol

Do you prefer Vans or Converse? Or something else? I like Skechers.

What did you eat for breakfast? Baguette with butter and raspberry jam, coffee, and orange juice.

Do you have any animals and if so, what are their names? No, I’m so sad that I lost my pet Pacific Parrotlet about two months ago. He was 15 years old. His name was Lima.

Any tattoos? No, but I have a huge round birthmark on my left side under my arm.

What’s your favorite thing to blog about? Maybe music and travel. I also blog about mental health issues. I’m trying to fight stigma.

What’s your favorite TV show? Cops. Don’t ask.

Best vacation you’ve ever been on? Portugal is absolutely wonderful! We were in central and southern Portugal.

Favorite place to eat? Midori’s Japanese restaurant. I like their specialty sushi rolls. Crazy roll and Madness roll.

What is your most embarrassing story? When I was a teen at my sister’s wedding, I was dancing with my dad’s friend and tissues started to fall out the top of my dress. The bosom of the dress was too big so I stuffed my bra. My dad’s friend was embarrassed too. 

Future plans? Right now I want to get over my depression so I can plan what to do for a job. I’ve been on disability for so long. I want to get back to being fully productive.

11 random facts about me

  • I have a gap between my two front teeth
  • I love to dance
  • My hair is curly
  • I’m a good cook
  • I’m a youngest sibling
  • U2 is my favorite rock band
  • Beethoven is my favorite classical composer
  • I type extremely fast
  • I like to tell stories
  • Forsythia is my favorite flower
  • I’m good at flower arranging

My Nominees (in no particular order)

  1. https://purpleowl2017.wordpress.com/
  2. https://keerthanagaganna.com/
  3. https://momentarylapseofsanity.com/
  4. https://thesilentwaveblog.wordpress.com/
  5. https://covertnovelist.wordpress.com/
  6. https://robertmgoldstein.com/
  7. https://braveandrecklessblog.com/
  8. https://stoneronarollercoaster.wordpress.com/
  9. https://visualvox.wordpress.com/
  10. https://splendorinembers.wordpress.com
  11. https://itetudor.wordpress.com

11 Questions For The Nominees

  1. What was your favorite age?
  2. What is your most prized possession?
  3. How do you like your eggs?
  4. Who is your favorite author or poet?
  5. Can you dance well?
  6. What is one of your favorite quotes?
  7. What word in your language do you like most?
  8. Do prefer the ocean or the mountains?
  9. What was your greatest accomplishment to date?
  10. Who is your favorite actor or actress?
  11. Can you sing well?

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Curled up in my favorite alpaca blanket

Cindy alpaca blanket best
My favorite alpaca blanket

Do you have a favorite blanket? One that is extra comforting? Perhaps it is especially soft and warm and has a long history of providing comfort. Maybe its colors, pattern and origins are meaningful to you?

fireplaceI have such a blanket with all of those special attributes. Continue reading

Family roots pulled up and separated

oak tree

Daily Post word: Root

My mother was the central root of my family “tree”. She kept a strong link between us all, and allowed the family “tree” to stand tall and secure in the ground. When she was alive we were all gathered together. We knew what was happening to each of us at almost all times. Every celebration was a large family affair. We always felt a connection with our childhood home in the woods. She was our childhood home, and when she lived, that “home” was a living thriving being. It was rare that any one of us (her children, spouse, parents, siblings, in-laws, cousins, friends) ever felt neglected or alone. There was a closeness and interconnection to each member root of the family and beyond because of our link to her. Continue reading

Mental chaos half across the world (Part 3 of 3)

Wat Arun-Temple of Dawn in Bangkok
Wat Arun – Temple of Dawn in Bangkok, Thailand

First read Part 1 of 3 set in Taichung, Taiwan

First read Part 2 of 3 set in Hong Kong

As I revealed in part two of this “Mental chaos half across the world” series, I have no recollection of my flight to Bangkok from Hong Kong. So, I’ll just say that one day I showed up in Thailand and went directly to Sukhumvit Road, a popular area for expats in Bangkok. I found a $5 a night shed room (yes, shed). Sorry, I tried to find some photos online, but all the “sheds” were just too luxurious comparatively. Of course I never took a single photograph during my trip. I don’t even remember if I brought a camera. As a reminder, this was mid-1990s, one had to use a camera to take pictures. I had no cell phone. Continue reading

Mental chaos half across the world (Part 2 of 3)

Hong Kong skyscrapers mountain
Hong Kong

Please first read part 1 of 3 set in Taichung, Taiwan

When I made the decision to up and leave everything in Taiwan I must have been approaching a moderate to high level of hypomania. I was impulsive, but with still some ability to put on the brakes. But, once hypomania is triggered, it can grow to a full blown mania in people with bipolar disorder. The following part of my Asian adventure shows one such a transition. Continue reading

Mental chaos half across the world (Part 1 of 3)

Taichung street scene motor scooter
Taichung, Taiwan R.O.C.
The following three-part post series is based on true events that happened to me at 24 years old. At the time, I was not yet formally diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 1. I didn’t receive a formal diagnosis until I was 32 years old. I had, however, sought help earlier in my youth for depression, anxiety and what I now know were bipolar mixed episodes. This series of posts describes hypomania, mania, and depression half across the world.

Continue reading

Pregnant Walk in the Park

This is my favorite photograph in the world. No, it’s not the most visually stunning plein-air masterpiece, competing with those of Stieglitz, Sudek, or Ansel Adams. It tells a seemingly straightforward story, but on a closer look, it’s pregnant with the unseen and unknowable. What we see, is a photographer, his head hidden under a […]

via Pregnant Walk in the Park — Raising My Eyebrow

Please find the whole post by clicking the link above. If you like this post or wish to comment, please do so in Raising My Eyebrow’s blog by clicking the link above. I’m really excited about this new blogger, so have reposted his post “Pregnant Walk in the Park” here.

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We’re not that old! Somewhat similar reactions with similar reasons.

clock notepad

I have a doctor that I have seen frequently over the last 12 years. We know each other well. We’ve become familiar enough with each other that we’ve teased each other on occasion. We even have a mild crush on each other, something my husband knows (actually hubby says it’s a “major crush”), so this is not some major confession here. But there was one time when my doctor and I really pushed each other’s buttons on something.

I guess it was maybe four years or more ago when we had a major “disagreement” on the topic of our ages. My doctor was probably 68 or 69 years old at the time. I was around 42. I have absolutely no recollection of what had been said to motivate the debate, but my doctor was the one that started it. Almost out of the blue, he looked at me and with a teasing declaration said “C, you’re old enough to be a grandmother!”

Boom! A look of shock covered my face, then a few seconds of silence as my mind whirled. “What? A grandmother?!” I exclaimed. Then I thought about it briefly again and said, more calmly, “Well, I guess if I do the math it’s certainly possible.” [Why did he say such a thing? Keep in mind that I don’t have children and never really thought about having children.] Then with a burst of playful revenge I pointed straight at him (full arm out) and loudly said “Well, you’re old enough to be a great grandfather!”

“No!” he barked gruffly.

“YES!” I retorted, pointing at him again with full are outstretched.

“That’s not possible”, he said in a more normal tone.

“What do you mean it’s not possible?” I asked in disbelief.

“My grandchildren are too young to have kids.”

“Well, I don’t even have kids!” I countered.

Then silence again broke and that seemed to end the conversation. Honestly, it was quite peculiar. The session ended and I went home, and obviously played the conversation in my head a few times. I wondered if maybe he did too. Later I would learn that he did.

I saw this doctor again maybe two to three weeks later. When we both sat down we had shit eating grins on our faces. We went through the standard procedure of me describing my health situation and him asking questions.  Then with great mischief, I started it up again.

“Dr. Y, I’m sorry about what I said last time. You don’t even seem old enough to be a grandfather, in my opinion.”

“No”, he said with a wink. “Actually, if you really do the math I guess it is even possible for me to be a great great grandfather, if I was really young, and my kids were young, you know.”

I chuckled at that. “I guess that is true, Dr. Y. But know that I’m still only old enough to be a grandmother.” Big Cheshire grin.

The above was the end of that conversation about age, and was yet another sign that we both had some transference and counter-transference issues to work through. But he is a professional and ethical man. He and I have only had a couple of flirtatious encounters (lie), but I continue having my sweet little affection for him (true), but I hold my tongue (for the most part). Now, we just get to the patient-doctor business at hand, but usually with a sweet smile for each other.

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Dr. Sigmund Freud

My doctor is an amazingly caring and sweet man. His handsomeness and charm must affect many of his female patients. He’s a towering figure at almost 6’7” tall. He listens to me carefully with great interest. He has helped me feel well after years of struggle. I believe he is the Bee’s Knees, and he definitely still knows it. And surely likes it. Again, I imagine I’m not the only one with a crush on him, but perhaps I’m among the younger ones. [Hmm? Actually, I don’t know that for sure. Maybe some are even younger!] Transference and counter-transference in patient-doctor relationships are common, both positive and negative types. Dr. Sigmund Freud described it in many writings and wasn’t immune from it himself.