This Bird Does It

Librarian ramblings


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I know what you recycle…

Okay, maybe not YOU, but if you live in my neighborhood, or more specifically, on my three-mile-walk route, I might.  Today is trash day and I finally got myself up in time to go for that longer walk.  It nearly killed me, but I feel like I could take on the world now.  And even though I came home to find that my husband was already up doing some kind of work on his computer and generally just BEING here for my quite alone time, it was still a lovely morning.  Especially the part where I get to suck down some water, pour my coffee, and relish the feeling of knowing I’ve already done my workout for the day, that no matter what else I blow off today, I got THAT done.

20130607_072155Anyway, back to the trash.  I don’t know how it is where you live, but here in our neighborhood, you get bins for recycling issued to you by the company that collects it.  When we moved into our house, we found two lids that fit the bins, and if there’s a lot of paper and it’s very rainy or snowy, my husband will use the lids, but mostly the bins are left open.  Open for the whole world to see what’s in them.  It surprises me a bit that my dear, privacy obsessed husband doesn’t use the lids more often, but maybe the fact that we’ve never, ever seen anyone else use them, if they even have them, stops him.  Sometimes his need to not stand out triumphs.  Sometimes I wonder how we ever got together.  So, trash, or recycling anyway, is out there for all to see what you are discarding.  More importantly, it’s out there for the world to see what’s being recycled.  And as I walked this Friday morning, I noticed the bins, their contents, and honestly, I was judging.

Now, don’t start with the lecture.  I try really hard not to be a judgmental person, not to pass judgments on folks when I don’t have all the information, and it isn’t my place to judge anyway, but let’s be honest here.  Everyone is judging a little bit all the time.  I’m not going to name names or give addresses, and the picture is of one of OUR bins, but I had thoughts when I peeked into my neighbors bins.  Thoughts that came unbidden.  Thoughts about the people who filled, or sometimes didn’t fill, those bins.

First, let me say that most of the bins looked a lot like my own.  There were some cereal boxes, sometimes broken down, sometimes not, some convenience food boxes, a few beer cans and maybe a wine bottle, pop cans, newspapers, a couple milk jugs, maybe a couple other juice containers.  Nothing exciting or even noteworthy.  Then there were a few bins with almost nothing in them.  A few newspapers and that’s it.  Really?  In a week nobody in your house used a single pop or beer can?  No cardboard pasta box was finished off?  Not even a toilet paper roll tube got revealed?  Seems unlikely, right?  You just couldn’t be bothered, or you don’t think it’s worth the time and effort.  Then there are the ones that are overflowing with every container of every kind, all rinsed and perfect, ready to go.  Shampoo bottles, pasta sauce jars, aluminum cans, frozen food bags, crumpled up balls of aluminum foil.  These are all recyclable if you didn’t know, and probably should be recycled, so here I fall short.  But those bins are also almost always containing nothing but organic and “natural” products.  Good for you, I say!  I wish I was more committed to the organic thing (though, I’m not convinced on all fronts), but it’s so expensive.  Finding balance in the grocery budget requires that I don’t always buy only the organic.  And sadly, I think the owners of those bins are a little over the top.  I wonder to myself where the sacrifices in their lives are so that they can do that, or are they so well set that they need not sacrifice to pay $7 a gallon for milk when the regular hormone-free stuff is $2.50 at WalMart.  And there were bins filled to overflowing with beer cans.  We sometimes have that, if we have company for the weekend, or a party.  Did they have a party or do they have this every week.  I didn’t necessarily note the address of these people, but if I see that a lot, I’ll notice, right?  I’ll wonder.

Yeah, I have no business thinking any of this stuff, right?  Well, three miles, even at my speedy clip, takes over 40 minutes to walk.  I have time to think.  If it weren’t for this here blog, you’d never know I was thinking it, right?  But I have to tell you about something.  I’m not going to believe you if you tell me you never have such thoughts.  Maybe it isn’t about the trash your neighbor puts out, but what about the kind of car he drives, or the shoes his children wear.  Or maybe it’s how well his front flower beds are weeded.  Everything we do says something about ourselves, and it isn’t always as obvious as what we put on Facebook.

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‘Morning

20130605_071407I love my bed.  Who doesn’t, right?  That alarm goes off and suddenly that warm comfy spot is the most wonderful spot in the world, right?  Well, if I get up right then, if I never consider the snooze, I am always glad.  If I hit the snooze, even once, I’m done for if there’s no appointment pressing.  No matter how much is on the day’s agenda, I can justify another hour or more in nine minute increments.  But here’s the best thing.  When I get up to walk, or otherwise exercise in some way, it’s the best.  I get to be quiet.  Yes, those of you who know me, I do enjoy that once in a while.  I get to walk the neighborhood and focus my eyes on things that are further away than the other side of the room, or my computer monitor.  I get to listen to the birds.  Then when I get home, if I’m really lucky, nobody is awake yet and I get to have some quiet time at home.  Drinking my coffee in peace is a privilege, indeed.  Sitting down with the computer for some uninterrupted writing, with my banana and my coffee, that is a rare treat, for sure.

Too bad I have nothing to say today.


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That one thing

I like social media for all the reasons you’d expect me, too.  I’m not just extroverted, but I obsessively crave interaction, at least until I’ve had enough.  Facebook and the like, are perfect for me.  I can dive right in, comment on one friend’s dinner, another’s choice of outfit for date night, wish a college pal happy birthday, peek at a high school acquaintance’s newborn grandchild (yes, that’s right), see who is moving where, who has a new job, who is going back to school, whatever.  I never worry that I’m intruding because this stuff was put out there, right?  If you post it for me to see, I get to see it.  It’s a really nice arrangement.  I post stuff for your to see and I hope you’ll comment, or “like” or maybe even repost.  Every post tells you a little something about me, and though I try to be mindful of what I’m saying about myself with each post, I don’t overly obsess about it.  Just like in real life, I don’t worry too much about the impression I’m making beyond making an effort to be nice to everyone and not be offensive.  I’m honest and authentic, though, I’m sure some think a bit loud mouthed.  But you know where I’m coming from, right?

My husband, on the other hand, has a completely different approach to socializing, and thus to social media.  He has a few trusted friends who really know who he is and how he ticks.  He posts very infrequently on Facebook, and I’m pretty sure he’s never set up a Twitter or Instagram account.  The thought of taking pictures of what he is eating for dinner or his new shoes nearly disgusts him.  We are just very different in that way.  So, I try to be respectful of our differences.  I have this blog, but I never use his name here, though if you know me, you obviously know his name.  I post pictures of the kids, but not standing out in front of our house or near the street number.  I won’t tell you in advance that we will be out of the house at any given time.  He does tend to take things to a whole other level, though.  He closes the back blinds when we watch TV at night so that the neighbors behind us don’t know we’re watching TV, or what we’re watching.  I’m just not that funny about stuff.

photo (2)So, when I post this picture, you will know what?  That my toddler gets bathed?  That we have slippery tub requiring a mat in the bottom?  That I like to let him play a little before I dump water on his head and soap him up?  That’s not the intrusion, I guess.  I just wanted to take a shot of that happy face and post it on Facebook, via Instagram.  So, I did.  But now I’m going to tell you that one thing about today.  That one thing that took it to a whole other level of parenting ickiness.  This sweet, cherub-faced darling got up on all fours just seconds after this picture was taken, looked me in the eye and said, “Sorry, Mommy.”  Then he pooped in the bathtub.

Yup, in nine plus years of parenting, this has never happened, and actually, I was sort of proud of that.  Yeah, we’ve had some diaper disasters, both kid designed and accidental, but never has one of my kids pooped in the tub.  I was sure it would happen someday when the big kids were little, but then after this kid turned two I quit worrying.  Now that he has enough awareness to go hide in a corner to do the deed, even if he can’t seem to go to the actual potty, it never occurred to me that I should worry about this.  And to make matters worse, I panicked and attempted to scoop it up, but missed and ended up smearing it on the bottom, causing me to have to remove the child from the tub, leave him screaming in the cold while I drained, scrubbed, rinsed, and refilled the tub.  Yes, a good time was had by all.

I’m having a drink now.


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Laundry, dishes, and dust

Thought I was gone for good, didn’t you?  Ahh, never underestimate my ability to drop and then restart any form of journaling!  Yes, I had grand plans for the things I would write about during this long break between school terms, but it somehow just didn’t happen.  I’d look at the computer and think about sitting down to the keyboard and it just seemed like the last thing in the world I wanted to do.  I’d wonder what I could tell you, and nothing came to mind.  So a day would pass and pretty soon a week, and now almost two months.  And it’s not like I feel I have so much to tell you today, but somehow it feels right to be sitting here typing.  At least I can babble a while.  I won’t be offended if you’ve already closed the page.

photo (1)photoI could write for two hours about what we’ve been up to since I last posted, but most of it is pretty boring, and pretty standard.  School ended for the kids.  Girlie finished the year with strong grades, Middle Bird’s were better than last term.  I’ve lost a tiny bit more weight and I’m still working on it.  Daddy Bird and I went to Florida to visit one of my best friends for her Fortieth Birthday and found out we like visiting South Florida, but love living in Ohio.   Baby Bird has peed in the potty a bunch of times but with no regularity and has still never pooped there.  The weather is warmer and both kids are playing ball.  It’s Girlie’s second year at softball and she’s not the star of the team by any stretch, but she’s getting better and she seems to love it.  Middle Bird has never played before so he’s getting a tough dose of reality since most of the boys have a year or more experience.  I think he thought he would just decide to be great and it would come naturally.  Not so much.  But he’s still enthusiastic and I’m really proud of him for keeping that up.  He’ll get better.

/net/brutus/hsm/dept/mktg/nemo/PersonalityPoses/Dory/ncr_dory.per8.34.tifLife goes on, you know?  I do the laundry and it piles up again.  I empty the dishwasher (or Daddy Bird does, he’s good at that chore!) and it just fills up again.  I vacuum and watch the dust settle again.  It all feels like swimming against the current a little bit.  But we have to keep swimming.  Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming!  Just keep swimming.  Thanks, Dory.  Heading into the summer of chaos and freestyle stroking at full speed into the fray, I’ll just keep swimming.

Got an email from one of my two professors for next term yesterday.  I love that she’s in communication a full WEEK before the start of classes.  She included the textbook information and I was able to put it on reserve at the Worthington Library.  I’m the only requester so far, so maybe I won’t have to buy it at all!  She also included a big explanation of the 8 week course with the same curriculum as the 15 week course and how we should plan carefully to get it all done.  Phew, good thing it’s the only thing I have to worry about for the next eight weeks, right?  Oh, wait!  There’s that other class, and these three kids and the damn laundry, dishes, and dust.  Whatever.  It will get done.  Or it won’t.  Priorities will be set and corners will be cut.  This is just the way it is.  As long as everyone is fed and safe, it’s all good.

Did I tell you I got the A last term?  Yeah, that’s right.  It’s just one class, but so far I’ve got the 4.0.  Somehow I just can’t let that go.  I will be crushed if I don’t keep that.  Wish me luck.  Sure, it’s going to take me busting my ass, but it’s going to take a bit of luck, too.

I have some theological things floating around in my head that I want to write about.  I don’t know how to phrase the questions I’m trying to answer, yet, so I guess I can’t write about them just yet.  It’s coming, though.  Might help if someone asks about them later.