Retirement – 3.10.15

Charlie finally said something nice about retirement this last weekend.

At about four in the afternoon, with a smile on her face, she said that it was nice that she didn’t have to go into the computer room and type out her lesson plans.

Sleep (Siamese cats)

We sprang forward that day, and for the first time in sixty years I didn’t have to worry about the effects of losing an hour’s sleep on that weekend. I’m retired, and the clock really doesn’t matter.

Her knee is getting better.

She is throwing a retirement party for herself at the end of the month.

We went to her school today and brought some of her things home and gave some of her teaching materials away–to those who will use them to advantage.

and Dream (Siamese cats)
and Dream

I did some editing on my novel and finished reading one written by someone else.

Drank a beer in the garden as I read the book–while most were at work.


Monday Cat

Monday Cat
Mist and Smoke Window

Monday Cat

It has been a while since I’ve posted a cat picture. So, here are Mist and Smoke enjoying some southern California winter sunshine.


The Cat And The Moon

By William Butler Yeats
1865 – 1939

William Butler Yeats
William Butler Yeats

The cat went here and there
And the moon spun round like a top,
And the nearest kin of the moon
The creeping cat looked up.
Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For wander and wail as he would
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.
Minnaloushe runs in the grass,
Lifting his delicate feet.
Do you dance, Minnaloushe, do you dance?
When two close kindred meet
What better than call a dance?
Maybe the moon may learn,
Tired of that courtly fashion,
A new dance turn.
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
From moonlit place to place,
The sacred moon overhead
Has taken a new phase.
Does Minnaloushe know that his pupils
Will pass from change to change,
And that from round to crescent,
From crescent to round they range?
Minnaloushe creeps through the grass
Alone, important and wise,
And lifts to the changing moon
His changing eyes.

Our Backyard Birds (in the house, too)

Hummingbirds_3aAs a kid birds fascinated me. To be able to fly anywhere at anytime. Since I couldn’t be bird, I wanted to be a pilot, yeah, and me afraid of heights. My little brother joined the Air Force after one year of junior college and was trained as an electronics technician – he worked on communications and crypto gear.

For a while he was stationed at Vandenberg Air Force Base on the California coast. While there he built and flew a hang glider – he wasn’t afraid of heights.

Merlin and his lovebirdsA couple of years after dad died I moved mom back to where she grew up and most of her family still lived. I flew home. What a rush – the take-off was a blast. Everything was fine until we got up near cruising altitude. The view was fascinating but the thought of being seven miles in the air was not.

The next time I flew was in a single engine four seater owned by a tile contractor friend of mine. He needed to move his plane from one SoCal airport to another and invited me along. This was neat. We never got above twenty-five hundred feet and I had a great time. I’ve flown many times since and gotten used to being so high that I can barely identify anything on the ground, but I still like small planes that fly at low altitude.

As a kid I had a dog and an aquarium full of guppies and tetras but never any birds. Now I have two lovebirds; their names are Bird One and Bird Two and, no, I can’t tell them apart. Merlin likes to sit atop their cage and dangle his tail in front of them. They climb and try to bite his tail, but, to date, they haven’t succeeded.

We also have several bird feeders in our yard: eight hummingbird feeders, four finch (nyjer seed) feeders and three others. We get lots of hummingbirds in both our Bird_at_Feeder_3front and back yards, many finches, sparrows, doves and others.

I also, only half jokingly, tell people that we feed hawks. We can tell when there is a hawk around as the birds disappear or go still. Occasionally “our” hawk perches on our fence and looks for prey. He, or she, also dines in our yard. One afternoon my wife and I were on our patio and the hawk flew into one of our rosebushes to flush a sparrow hiding there. Half a minute later he had the sparrow on a neighbor’s chimney top and was dining. We’ve also seen him hunt unsuccessfully. Occasionally, we find feathery evidence of his presence and success (and also that of the neighborhood cats).

Our hawk on backyard fenceAlthough I’ll never fly like one, I still find them fascinating.