“Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,” the Mock Turtle replied,…

…”and then the different branches of Arithmetic Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision” (Lewis Carroll)

Ya, I’ve enrolled in the College of  Lifetime Learning. What a time. I don’t know what the heck is going on but our life is in transition and as far as I’m concerned, well, change is good?  You go first. Ultimately, we are trying to narrow in on our new, old, last home in the mountains outside of Asheville but getting there is the challenge. I am in Florida, where we will continue to spend winters and Rich is in Chicago, which is temporary and we are apart far too long. Phone conversations are making me cranky. Skype is better but then he mostly wants to see the cats so I spend my time plonking felines on the keyboard, in front of the computer camera. The number lock bumps away.

So, where were we? I had my 5th Blog-o-versary or whatever you call it while I was otherwise distracted. I think that’s akin to the 7- year itch in marriage. Ho-hum. Thank you, thank you, thank you one and all for your friendship, lo these many posts. Sometimes you are my sustenance. Other times just pals. I’m missing my pals very much right now. Hoss. Sigh. One of my blog friends, Cathy, came up to visit and we had a lovely time. That woman gives so much more than she gets. I suspect she’s one of those truly kind and loving people who get through giving. Sometimes, I’m like that. Not so much lately.

Keri is coming more than 500 miles to see me. Keri and I don’t know each other ‘live’ very well at all- a brief tete-a-tete around a campfire while she nursed a migraine and I told stories maniacally to overcome my social anxiety. It was so much fun we really fell for each other and now we’re going to sit quietly in the pleasure of each others company and take beautiful early morning beach walks at Ft. DeSoto where she has family history.

I went to see that body exhibit at MOSI in Tampa. That was gross and interesting. Actually, it was highly intricate and interesting and not quite so gross now that they are using donor bodies as opposed to dead Chinese prisoners (ala the first world tour of this production). I took this photo with my cell phone, so, you know…



(Why is her brain on top of her skull? This is some transcendental message not yet covered at the College of Lifetime Learning.)

I’ve been doing a lot of felting- made bunches of little horned owls and donated them to the Wildlife Weekend at Boyd Hill this past Saturday and Sunday. And I’ll be teaching some workshops coming up- I’m excited about those.

Wildlife Weekend was a smashing success and hot. What do you Floridians DO about this heat, come, say August? Because it’s already taking it’s toll on me. Driving the tram repeatedly around the park with hordes of people was a bit fatiguing. We were giving free tours every hour so it was the high speed version: “On your right is a 900 pound gator, a great blue heron and a black water snake. Quick, look left and you’ll see a fine specimen of a strangler fig with the palm virtually lost in the middle. Look down, quick! that’s coyote scat. Over to your far right is an osprey nest with two osprey. Here we have a series of gopher tortoise burrows, with the typical apron. Shhhh, there! 5 feet off the trail is a gopher tortoise! This area is where we had a controlled burn last November…okay, get off, don’t forget any of your belongings, have a swell day at the park and don’t forget to say hello to Spirit, our Bald Eagle. Next! Start boarding at the back!”


(Here was our table at the aviary with two of my fellow volunteer buddies and there’s Spirit in the background)

Everyone seemed to enjoy these tours but me- I prefer to linger and discuss, but this was sort of like total immersion in native Florida and when I wasn’t doing the speed tour I was wandering around looking at Seacoast Sea Bird Rescue, Audubon of Florida, Bat Rescue, Florida Native Plants, and numerous other organizations that had booths and tables.

nativeplant(These kind people gave me a free Cypress tree and a free Red Cedar. With luck, they’ll grow, oh 40-70 feet tall. Great.)

I learned a lot. When I was supposed to be working. For a while I was in charge of the chicken/ meal worm concession but that was pretty close to the bat display which I found more intriguing. I sort of abandoned my post.

waddles(Waddles decided to cover for me…)

waddlesandpenny(And then she invited Penny, and pretty soon they were joined by two others. They figured out how to open the lid and then? I was out of a job. Ta-da!)

I was also helping sell the screech owl boxes we had cut and built the weekend before, with proceeds to the aviary. I gave the raptor talk. I wandered around showing the king snake. I gave aviary tours. 


(Mostly, I fell in love with this guy and then I bought a bat house to go with the owl house for the Asheville house. I didn’t ask Rich because he could have rightfully asked, “Yes, but can we live in it?”

Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt driven to distraction? Right.

21 responses to ““Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,” the Mock Turtle replied,…

  1. You really should come in August and see just how hot it is.

    Do you have time for lunch sometime? Huh?

  2. Do have fun with Keri, she is one of my most favorite people in the entire world! I do hope that things improve for you soon – worry really does take its toll on a person.

  3. Woohoo! I’m so freakin’ excited about this I could curl up under the covers and hide until I get there. But I won’t. because it’s SPRING in Wisconsin. And it only lasts for about a week before the humidity sets in. I understand I need to be ready for some real heat down there. Guess I’d better head to storage and pull out the summer wear. Hope I can find it!

    Here’s the real humor of our meeting… That fireside chat when I was nursing the migraine? I was nursing it in my motel room. I didn’t even get the fun of getting to hear your stories. So the sum total of our meeting that weekend was dinner and coming out to your camper to see where you guys were parked. But we DID fall for each other during that brief time! But there you go – a whole new person to tell all those fireside stories to. 🙂

  4. I love chickens. Is that a partridge cochin and a dominique?

  5. Driven to distraction? Are you kidding?!! That IS my life! Somehow I have forgotten to change the clock in my car so I thought I had done well on my outing today and arrived home to see I was an hour later than I thought I was. Now, I am just confused. This time change has thrown me for a complete loop…. it never did this before…. but, days and nights are completely turned upside down and sideways.

    I think it is great that the chickens figured out how to take the lid off…. that would have been worth admission!

  6. Driven to distraction? Yes, right now. We have an offer in on a house (and five beautiful acres). But even before that, the looking at property and the disappointments. So we walk. We find new trails. We explore. I should do more. I thought about volunteering at the Native Animal Rescue, but thought better of it just in case we don’t find a place here, and we end up moving again. Distracted… yes.

  7. I’ve got a few things on my mind what with kids and their business–I miss Gene, who would just say, “And so it goes!” The college of Life time learning? I think we’re all in it, dealing with its “tests,” “professors,” and STRESS.

  8. Oh, those chickens are a mess. Too funny! I love the bat. Sounds like wildlife days was simply wild. You are most welcome for the gifts, but I too get much out of our friendship, so don’t think you aren’t equally as generous. We are eagerly awaiting our felting class and grateful we don’t have to locate olive oil soap! Have fun with your guest, don’t forget the sunscreen and your hat. This is not hot, just wait until August and your $300 electric bill from running the AC at 70 degrees.

  9. Love the whole post, as always. Cute little bat. There’s a line I never thought I’d type.

    I knew Angie would know about the chickens. That’s too funny that they took the lid off and ate all your meal.

  10. I love the bat!
    As for those human body displays–we had one here in our state capital, and I decided not to go. Creepy–yeah, that plus!

  11. We have been meaning toget to MOSI to see that exhibit,but life somehow always gets in the way.And,in August,we stay inside where it’s air conditioned,and if we HAVE to go out,we run like crazy to the car,where,hopefully,the AC is already turned on.They always say you can tell the tourists in Florida.They’re the ones with the tans.

  12. Speaking of MOSI? I’m glad you got there to see it before I come. Blech! 😉

  13. You are an overachiever even when laid off, I see.

    There is no uglification here, ever! (Well, except when you bring out blue and gold shirts and the like. )

    Mock turtle soup is as good for the budget as 17 bean! Yogi/vegetarian types may substitute mock brains and mock organs, of course.

    One of the secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.
    ~Lewis Carroll

    FC: Horses sweat; men perspire. Ladies simply glow.

  14. I just love the photographs of the bat. The NC Arboretum is doing “Masters of the Night,” a wonderful program about bats. Runs through the middle of May.

  15. Yes, distraction. That word sums it up nicely. Husband has been in Nigeria a month and a half now. No pay in electronic bank account yet. Son on Spring Break here at home. No health insurance coverage for me and the husband. Too many things coming at me every day.

    Skype is good. We use it, too, when he has Internet access.

    I feel ya. You are not alone.

  16. We have a bat house lying near the side of the house. I should check to see if there’s any in it. On second thought, no. I don’t think any bats there would be as cute as your’s.

    No wolverines? They probably don’t like wolverines down south. Hea, how about Blue coming through with a win in the NCAA tourney, first win at the big dance in about a dozen years. Even my most partisan Spartan friends have been e-mailing me or telephoning me with congrats. Nothing from your blogging buddy though.

  17. Sorry not to have congratulated you on your first win at the NCAA tournament, Vicki and Dave. I’ve been busy watching the SPARTANS dominate the Dance and helping deliver my new grandson!

    Update, Sista!

  18. So did you fall in the felting pot? I have cabin fever… spinning wheels… lack of luster… but have at least been making myself use some of these thousands of pictures I feel compelled to take. Instead of cat pictures… my leading folder this year are the birds….

    waiting to see more felt… more chickens… more skinless naked bodies… (not really on the bodies thing)

  19. Lovely that you stopped by to my new place and it’s been too long since I’ve been here.

    Yes, distracted – constantly. And I can’t think of a better place to be.

    BTW, we have a big Horned Owl that hoots outside our window and, hopefully, hunts prairie dogs (along with the red-tailed hawks and golden eagles that reside out here). A special prize to anyone who gets the referrence to Bar Nowl, another resident out here 3 miles from town.

    Memorial Day weekend we honor the first “official” year of making it difficult and wonderful. If you’re out this way, we have a place in the mountains and we’d love for you and yours to join us for our second annual kegger.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s