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Anything worth doing is worth doing well. You’ve heard that, nodded your head probably, but that is only half the story. The rest of the story is: Anything worth doing is going to take you down a road riddled with obstacles. I remember the exact moment this truth came to me. I was scanning my watch nervously as the service station guy tried to restart my car. In an unfamiliar, heavy traffic area, my car was behaving like a horse ready to pitch me from the saddle. Why did I, with a phobia about getting lost, make this journey? Jury duty, one month of Federal Court jury duty. I could drive in my county, but this wasn’t even my county. The car was repaired and I made it in time and made it successive days while I served on a case, but it was white knuckles all the way.

 

So I sat in a greasy bay thinking to myself that I was performing a very important service and a lot of people were counting on me. I was doing something worthwhile. So why didn’t the heavens open up and make the commute like a skip down the Yellow Brick Road? Because anything worth doing will take you down a road riddled with obstacles. Maybe we could call it Anhinga’s Law. That poor bird knows fishing for food is worthwhile – or else he would starve. His long pointed beak is built for the job; his strong wings are made for the recognizance flight. Living and eating should be a piece of cake, but it’s not. No. He has a built in obstacle – those feathers are missing the usual water bird oils to keep them dry. Does he stop diving for fish? No, he faces the obstacle. He dives, eats, then stands on the nearest object and holds those ill-designed, feathered wings out to the sun until they dry. But you see, he doesn’t give up. He knows his goal is worthwhile and obstacles are to be expected, and he soldiers on.  “Anhinga’s Law” sounds about right.

 

All this is leading up to another day I had recently that was overtaken by Anhinga’s Law. I needed to go out for supplies. Though my husband was recuperating from pneumonia, he could be left a little while as long as the oxygen concentrator was working. But then the lights flashed on and off a couple of times, finally settling on off. So we grabbed a portable oxygen tank. It was partially full and there was only one more in the house. Delivery was the following day. If the power were off too long, I could probably start the generator myself, though I had never done it alone.  Hurricane season was ending that day, but turbulent weather had been reported in Central Florida just before power went out. Not to worry. Our weather radio had battery backup. I checked it to be sure –dead as a doornail. I dug out the last of the AA batteries. The weather radio lit up and immediately began broadcasting a tornado watch for our county.

 

So I searched for the one old, old phone that plugs directly into the wall without help of electricity. The power company said electricity was estimated to be back on in one and a half hours, but that was only an estimate. We have had it go off for days, but we gave them a chance before going to Plan B, whatever that was. In a little less than two hours the lights flickered on and off, finally sticking with ON.

 

The lesson of this episode spoke to me clearly. Certainly I was doing something worthwhile, so predictably, the obstacles came right and left. When you think about it, it all makes sense in a fatalistic kind of way, doesn’t it? J

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Crescent Moon, Jupiter and Venus

Crescent Moon, Jupiter and Venus

This crescent moon above Jupiter and Venus was in a dark, clear sky tonight in Orlando, Florida. It was stunning. Hope you can feel a little of it.

Check out Wired Science Blog for good information on this cool event: http://blog.wired.com/wiredscience/2008/12/tonight-planets.html?referer=sphere_related_content

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Cat Tale

Whimsical Kitty

Whimsical Kitty

Mysterious Kitties

Mysterious Kitties

I’m thinking of cats, real and not real tonight. I have some of both. My sister has neither, but she sometimes fantasizes about having a cat in her small apartment. Litter boxes are not her thing, though. What to do, what to do?

 

Big sister to the rescue.

 

For her sixty-ninth birthday I sent a furry cat that purrs when his back is touched and meows when you pat his head, but no feeding or litter boxes are necessary. This kitty is a furry toy — with very real feeling fur, Sis says on the phone. Since I ordered though the Web and had the gift sent to Texas, the black and white kitty and I have never met. My sister assured me he is adorable and “feels incredibly like real cat fur.”

 

Uh oh. A few years back I remember China was shipping furry kitten toys that were, in fact, furry kitten toys. Perhaps I shouldn’t have told her my fears. I wondered if I had spoiled the fun for her. She had such plans to show off her new pet to the neighbors. Now how would she feel? Would my loving gift freak her out staring at her from her chaise? I shouldn’t have worried. In a life filled with “Lucy moments,” my sister had simply found another. I knew it was okay when a few days later she wrote to tell me what she had named her new “pet” – Zombie.

 

butterflies-0301

Not Zombie - My very real Luther

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Feathers fluffed in the cool of the morning
Feathers fluffed in the cool of the morning

I called this red-shouldered hawk a “fellow” but the face was far too pretty not to be female. She seemed to enjoy the cooler morning on a tree in our side yard.

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Fall is where you find it in Florida. I found the season’s colors in berries on a fire bush. The plant churns out berries all year, but they look like fall. There is no procrastinating to photograph the plump, deep-colored berries because the next day they have started to fade and are on their way to shriveling. One thing you do not want to be is a fire bush berry. They are beautiful, though.

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[]This is the Swiss Army Knife of painter’s tools. Home Depot gives them away. The paint can opener on one end works great, but I have a question. Do we really want our painters to have a beer bottle opener on the other end? On second thought, after rolling a couple of coats on porous knockdown this week ourselves, Jerry and I vote yes.

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A Central Florida day-care center is under investigation after a toddler bit a one-year old girl repeatedly. Wonder what fairytales they read those children at the Hansel & Gretel Preschool?

 I know.  Sick humor again.

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