Is An Eye An Eye?

Recently, my husband and I were driving over the bridge when I saw what quite possibly may have been the biggest seagull in existence, which brought about the following conversation, and the question – is an eye an eye?

Me: “Holy . . .”

Husband: “What?”

Me: “That.” Pointing. “That’s the biggest seagull I’ve ever seen. I thought it was a pelican at first.”

Husband: “It’s not that . . . wait. Did you say seagull?”

Me: “Yes!”

Husband: “There’s no way that was a seagull.”

Me: “Don’t wreck the car over it.” Because now he’s looking in the rearview trying to get another glimpse. “But that was totally a seagull.”

Husband: “That was way too big to be a seagull.”

Me: “But it was. That’s the kind you have to protect your eyes from.”

Husband: “You don’t have to protect your eyes from a bird.”

Me: Looking at him in disbelief. “You’re kidding, right?”

Husband: “No.”

Me: “But you are.”

Husband: “But I’m not.”

Me: “Have you never seen the movie The Birds?”

Husband: “That’s a movie.”

Me: “Doesn’t mean it’s not based on fact.”

Husband: “But it’s not.”

Me: “How can you say that? Have I taught you nothing? Of course, you have to watch your eyes around birds.”

Husband: “Birds don’t eat eyes.”

Me: “What about vultures?”

Husband: “That’s different. Other birds don’t do that sort of thing.”

Me: “Seriously? What about crows?”

Husband: “Crows don’t eat meat.”

Me: “Crows eat meat. Crows totally eat meat. Unless the individual crow is a vegetarian. But crows are carrion feeders.”

Husband: Looks at me and decides not to argue because I know these things.

Me: Smirks because I know these things.

Husband: “But we’re not talking about crows. We’re talking about seagulls. And they don’t eat eyes.”

Me: “They eat fish eyes.”

Husband: “But that’s different.”

Me: “How?”

Husband: “Because it is.”

Me: “An eye is an eye.”

Husband: “An eye isn’t an eye.”

Me: “I’m pretty sure that it is. By its very definition, an eye is an eye.”

Husband: “There’s too much traffic, I have to concentrate.”

Me: “Fine. But if that thing’s around when we get out of the car, I’m protecting my eyes. One of us has to be able to see to drive home.”

Husband: “Hmph.”

This is a picture I took of a different seagull, but seriously – would you trust this bird? Look at that beak!

At that point, I almost hoped the world’s largest seagull would follow us to the parking lot so I could see if my husband would protect his eyes or not, but, unfortunately, it didn’t.

AND my husband still claims that worrying about birds going after your eyes is an irrational fear. I shall call his people Team Foolishly Trust The Birds.

My people shall be called Team Hitchcock (it has a better ring to it than Team DuMaurier and to be honest this is one of the instances where the movie was better than the story).

Which team are you?

2.5 Million Steps

Last year I took 2.5 million steps. Well, according to my Pacer app two million, five hundred and thirty-eight thousand, two hundred and twelve to be more exact. And that’s only counting the steps I took with my phone on me. But it’s also counting the steps my phone thinks I take when I’m driving on a really bumpy road, usually on the way to a trailhead, so I’ll call it about even.

I like to walk and it’s one of those things I’m really good at because it’s low risk and I rarely ever fall and even when I do, I do all my own stunts so I’m usually just fine, and since I got a real camera last year instead of just using my cell phone I’ve learned to be a lot more careful. Really I should start carrying it around at home because that’s where most accidents happen because statistically, your house is actually a very dangerous place, and my plan to eradicate anything with a corner or an edge in my home met an early end because of – walls.

Green Heron

But even though walking is something I enjoy, it’s not always something I feel like doing. Half the time I don’t really want to go until I’m on the trail, and even then I’m sometimes grumbly because my body likes to conspire against me and I’m walking with a headache or a backache or knee pain or a wonky hip and really it’s not fair because I’d prefer not to be this way, and I never asked to be hit by a car or to have arthritis and joint problems and a muscle disorder or any of the other little things that occasionally add up and feel like big things, but here’s the actual most important thing – walking always makes me feel better.

The couch is not my friend, and over the years I’ve learned that I’m going to ache regardless of what I do, so why not make the most of it and do what I enjoy doing?

I find nature and fresh air and wildlife restorative. Hiking on a trail gives me something to focus on besides myself. It helps clear some of the fog that sometimes settles around my brain and brings clarity. And even though this part doesn’t really make sense, it takes away my fatigue. That’s not to say that after an eight-mile hike I feel energetic, but the general malaise gets burned away and replaced with a different type of tiredness.

One that lets me know that despite everything, at my core I’m strong and healthy and able.

Probably the most beautiful water lily I’ve ever seen – and it was growing in a ditch!

Those 2.5 steps helped me work out the plots for several novels and short stories. They helped curb angry words and soothed upset feelings. They helped me focus when I got super excited when an acquisitions editor wanted to develop one of my novels into a series. And they helped me recenter when the editor left the publisher and her replacement decided not to proceed with the project and I felt shattered.

On the days when I feel like following my dreams is a waste of time, I make myself walk.

On the days when just getting out of bed feels like an enormous effort and I need something to give me a sense of accomplishment besides just adulting, I leash up the dog and get outside.

When my husband and I start griping at each other because we’re overwhelmed with everything we have to do and there’s never enough time, we make it worse by taking a long hike together – which makes it so much better. We’re blessed to have the opportunity to see so many wonderous things, and they’re all the more special when we get to share the experience.

Even if he does get scared and yell at me when I do my own stunts. If he really wanted to help he’d do something about all those sharp edged walls in the house since they’re the real enemy. 😉

About An Owl

Recently, while on a hike with my husband, we had the following conversation:

Me: “Do you think an owl used to live in that tree?” (Because that’s the kind of thing I think about.)

Husband: “No. I do not.” (He does not think about such things.)

Me: “But, you don’t know for sure. It’s possible, right?” (Because the tree really did look like it should host an owl. It was that kind of tree.)

Husband: “Probably not.” (Obviously, he knows nothing about trees.)

Me: “Maybe it didn’t live there full time. Maybe it just used the tree as like a clubhouse or something.” (At this point, he gives me a look like he thinks I’m weird, but he’s the one who married me, so if either of us is a weirdo, it’s him. Just saying.)

Me: “I was just telling you the other day that I’d like to photograph an owl. So if that’s an owl tree, that would be perfect, right?”

Husband: “I don’t think owls like to be photographed.”

Me: “Are you kidding?!?!? There are a ton of amazing photographs of owls. They’re very photogenic.” (They’re probably a bit narcissistic given their good looks and photogenic qualities and all, but I’d still like to find one.)

Husband: “Well, I don’t think there are any owls here.”

Me: “We never go anywhere nice.”

Husband: “This place is nice.”

Me: “Not if it doesn’t have any owls. Hey, look at that nest.” (Because I had to change the subject fast before I sank into a depression about the lack of owls.) “What do you think lives in that?”

Husband: “It’s pretty big. Probably a buzzard or something.”

Me: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a buzzard nest before.”

Husband: “Doesn’t mean they don’t have them.”

Me: “Doesn’t mean that’s one of them.”

Husband: “Doesn’t mean it’s not.” (Now he’s just being difficult. I suspect he learned this from me.)

Me: “I think I see some feathers in it.”

Husband: “I don’t see anything.”

Me: “Doesn’t mean they’re not there.” (See. This is where he gets it from.)

Husband: “I think you’re wrong.”

Me: “You should have learned by now that I’m never really wrong.” (It’s true. ish. And if I’m not sure I’m right I preface with, “I might be wrong…” which means even if I’m wrong I’m right because I said I could be wrong, but in this instance – like most others where the husband is concerned – I was quite sure I was right.)

Husband: “There are no feathers.”

Me: “We’ll see.” (I zoom in and take a picture.)

My plan to arrange a meeting is in the works. It involves one of the windup rats I bought my dog off of Amazon because he loves to catch lizards but there aren’t as many to catch in the winter which he takes personally, plus, the lizards deserve a break because even though he has such a soft mouth that he can catch the tiniest baby lizards without hurting them, he likes to release them and catch them again and again like a cat. Eventually, they try to hide in the grass and he uses his bear claws to play peekaboo and that is when they meet their fate.

Also, he loves to play and squeak his toys but he doesn’t like to play with people anymore and gets rather offended whenever someone touches them because they’re his and not ours and he puts them in his mouth and he’s never quite sure if our hands are clean enough or not, but I want to play and it’s not fair because my hands are very clean, so I bought the windup rats for him to chase around the house which he enjoyed for two minutes until I touched them to wind them up again. Now he won’t touch them, but I’m pretty sure the owl will like them so I’m going to use them to try and make a new friend. But don’t tell the husband because he thinks it’s a horrible idea and even though I think it’s a good one, I might be wrong……

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