Nature vs Aperture

Meep Meep!

roadrunner cartoon

I’ve been taking my camera with me to work lately to avoid that ‘Arg! I wish I had my camera!’ moment at all times.

I’m STILL kicking myself about the vultures I missed shooting with a decent lens months and months ago.

It paid off.

We have a few roadrunners that visit our office daily.  It started out innocently – and let me say, trying to get a good/non-blurry shot of an antsy bird is not the easiest thing to do.  I share now some unedited shots of one of our visitors.




The Murder

As you can see, we gave it (and a roadrunner friend who I didn’t capture) offerings of cheese.  Which, they ate – but I guess one was still hungry.

I heard a thump a while later, and turned to see a small bird hitting the glass door while one of our visitors deftly snatched it out of the air.

I jumped up and grabbed my camera and prayed for a National Geographic moment.

I’ll warn you now – if you’re tender-hearted when it comes to creatures, (which I am, but was fascinated for some reason behind the camera watching nature at work) then don’t keep scrolling.





It all happened so fast – there wasn’t much of a struggle, and after reviewing the shot I got of its talons above, you can see why that might be.

I went out later to see what was left – nothing.   Nothing but a few feathers.  That gave me some measure of comfort … that none of the prey was wasted.


roadrunner cartoon2

Musings from the Laundromat: Breaking Silence edition


I did not leave the house yesterday.  I did not speak a word to another human being all day.

There were no possible moves I could make that would not leave me at a disadvantage – so I stayed mute.

I declared the day Netflix/Nap day and Butters and I became Saturday hermits and shunned the world  outside.

After six, yes six independent movies – I made my move – in email form, a simple move requiring only a logical, honest response.

And now I wait.

The Movies

I started with Mr. Nobody starring Jared Leto.  If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of  time, you know the capacity I have for inner tangents and the propensity to think ‘too much’.   What I got out of Mr. Nobody was this odd thought

I thought about all of my exes – yes, all of them.   How some of them hated me for ending things.  Then I thought of something coming to me before I broke things off  with a glimpse of the future for me to consider.

“He has children waiting to be born – and they’re not yours.  You have to let him go.”

Next I watched, in no particular order, Prozac Nation, Tiny Furniture, Somewhere and L.I.E.  I capped the night off with Muriel’s Wedding because L.I.E. disturbed me somewhat and I needed an ABBA fix.

 The Elephants in the Room

No, really, they’re there.

I would stare up occasionally at the ceiling and marvel at the shadows they cast.


Above my bed they hang and dance in their shadow form.

Elephants in the room.

Tangent-minded me thought of a myriad of things they represent.

But for once, I didn’t go too deep.

The silence was enough – to be silent and plunge deeper might have been too far for me to resurface from without that need to gasp for air, lungs burning and stinging eyes.

We’ve all been at the bottom of a pool for too long at some point – you know how that feels.

Too many cups

By mid afternoon I was hungry.

I haven’t really been shopping for myself – all the food in the freezer is for my son, who is rarely home.  But I was not going to touch it.

I wanted something warm.  I can’t remember the last time I made the effort to cook something more involved than a scrambled egg.

There was nothing.

Then I happened upon a cup-of-noodles that I was sure Nic wouldn’t miss.

I set the kettle to boil and assessed my kitchen.


I glanced at the dish-rack and had a recurring thought. Too many cups.  Too many cups and too many utensils.

Who needs such an amount?

Soon it will be just me in the house – and as a grand gesture of sensibility  I will remove all but three cups, three plates, three sets of forks, knives, spoons … maybe 4.  4 is a nice even ‘set’  isn’t  it?

I don’t think sensibility is the right word.  But I can’t think of the one I want – so it shall stay.

The cups and silverware shall not.



I’m downsizing – ridding myself of cupboard fillers and unnecessary space wasters.  Of clothes I’ve kept in case I get ‘bigger’ – of dried goods in the pantry I thought I might eat one day.

On a larger scale, I’m relieving myself of internal clutter – persisting thoughts and obsessive compulsive needs.

One box at a time.


And am still waiting for a response to my move.  For some honesty and closure.

Then I’ll remove another cup.



Wednesday’s Wicked Itch

It started at approximately 2 pm.

All was well in the office – I was working away when I announced,  “Something bit me!”

*scratch scratch scratch*

Just above my elbow on my right arm, an itchy spot.

After more scratching and audible discomfort, a theory from a co-worker “Maybe it was a chigger.”

A chigger??

A what??!

*scratch scratch scratch*


Very audible incredulous gasp.


“Do we even HAVE those?!?!?  Gawd!!  They look like shell-less hermit crab/tick/spiders!”

The probability that we have these is VERY slim considering a) the giggles that ensued after my question and b) the lack of vegetation in the desert.

But now I was even more itchy.

I floated the idea that perhaps it was psychosomatic. Just looking at that freaking picture made me want to scratch.

Suffice it to say, I’m highly suggestible and prone to empathetic reactions to my environment and yes, my imagination.

I’ll get that fear ‘whoosh’ sensation when someone is looking off of something like a rooftop or a cliff in a movie.

I find myself panicking and holding my breath when I’m watching someone else underwater or in a confined space.

I acknowledge this – I was leaving room for the itch to be in my head.

Which, coincidentally, is where it ended up.

It would not quit!

By 3:30 I was scratching my face, arms, tear ducts, eyelashes, ears and head.

By 3:31 I was wishing I could scratch the inside of my nose and wash the back of my eyeballs.

“I’m going to get some Benadryl.”

I’ve heard that Benadryl helps allergic reactions – not that I would know.

I am not allergic to anything.

I could roll in grass if I wanted to – during Spring, after eating peanuts, shell-fish, gluten and dairy while any hair adorned creature sat directly on my face and not have a reaction!

(Except for maybe, “Please get off of my face.”)


“Did you eat something different??”

No, I assured everyone that my boring weekday sandwich and chips were consumed and nothing out of the ordinary reached my mouth.

“Sometimes when you get older you develop allergies.” A female co-worker quipped.

kidding me

So now I’m feeling old and itchy.

I scratched over to the gas station, ready to lay down big money for a mini-pack of Benadryl.

They did not have Benadryl.

Groan. *scratch scratch scratch*

They did have a box of generic “Allergy” pills that turned out to be overpriced, bright pink and useless.

I’m talking, seriously BRIGHT pink – I don’t think I’ve ever SEEN such pink.

Until the end of the day when I examined parts of my body.

I’m still scratching and am ready to remove my skin, turn it inside out and grate it with a rock at this point.

And on my elbow?  A small bite bump.

Whatever got me – I am allergic to it.

If only I knew what it was.

It might turn out to be Wednesdays.


Sunday snapping Butters

Butters – my canine manatee and I had a quiet day inside.   Too hot to be out, chores done.  Both still – on our opposing couches.

I took the first photo of her on my ipad – her face mirroring my own boredom.

When I decided to get my ‘real’ camera out – she took off immediately, as she usually does, not wanting anything to do with it.

Then she  came back  – and was uncharacteristically cooperative.  Toward the end of the ‘photo session’ she seemed to be posing for me – allowing me to lay on the ground, zooming in on her, clicking away as she stayed still.

I give you some of our moments.














I’ve always been a little macabre – but my handwriting got better

While cleaning like a mad woman this weekend (due to an ant invasion following one of our monsoon storms) I came across some ancient writings.  Barely legible – i decoded them.  Turns out they were mine.  I’m going to share some with you – put your decoder ring away, I’ve translated.



Pressure valves and tourniquets

Defensive words and dinner plays

Gulping works with dirty water

Sweaty palms grope virgin daughter

Warnings drilled, opinions form

Cautious cold heart replaces warm


Another Untitled One

Nervous glances give me all I need for long due confirmation

Opening wounds containing memories of nightly degradation

Clammy hands that shake with age rest on his boney lap

Familiar hands that shook me from the safety of my nap …



“A toast then, to Mrs. Maple and her generous contribution to the club!”

Lift glass – tilt glass – consume – put down glass – smile

“Her selfless sacrifice continues the tradition of commitment and giving of self”

Applaud – smile – nod in agreement

“Well then shall we retire to the lounge for the festivities?”

Get up – follow person in front – walk to room

“Everyone in?  Good.  Shut the door please.”

Find a seat – sit – smile

“Let us begin.  Mr. Maple, you may bring your wife up now.”

Turn to Mr. Maple – smile – turn attention back to speaker

“That’s it, bring her right in – over there, on the table if you don’t mind Mr. Maple.”

Observe ritual – don’t  turn away – don’t  flinch – don’t cry

 Excerpt from an untitled 8 page writing

…  yet I do enjoy the continuity of the source of my complaining.  The dependable encounters I’ve grown accustomed to.  A home of sorts with no surprises left to find, and people left on guard not willing to trust quickly or care too soon.

I’m guilty of the same crime that keeps me at arm’s length.

We allow the best of our wardrobes out and wittiest comments in discussions.  Our best touched by exploring eyes – purposely blinded to miss any deeper layers – any complex facets, faults or hidden failures.

Afterall, why expose anything more than appeasing traits …


My eyes remained closed as my mother leaned gently over my bed and brushed a few stray hairs from my forehead.  I loved the smell of my mother when she came home from a night out.  Chanel No. 5 and fresh air mingled with her personal ‘motherly smell’.  I breathed her in as I feigned sleep.


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