Friday, September 8, 2017

The Bird Seed Aisle

I went to get some bird seed at Homebase a couple of nights ago. That store has a rodent problem! Every large bag of seed has been either split or gnawed open, and the shelves are thick with loose grains. When I rounded the corner, a furry critter shot under the shelving unit. I understand the store can't put out poison -- it being bird seed and all -- but why isn't someone vacuuming up all that loose seed and patching those leaky bags? I didn't see any evidence that the problem was being addressed.

Homebase is a strange place -- huge and cavernous, but on any given weekday evening there only seem to be about four employees.

Anyway, I was going to buy a 12.5-kilo bag but I quickly realized I wouldn't be able to carry it home (especially with that hole in the side). So I went for one of the smaller bags, even though it was almost the same price. At least it was sealed.

Abercrombie the Finch has been on our finch feeder every morning this week. Apparently goldfinches often migrate to southern Europe for the winter. I wonder if he's fueling up?

Last night Dave had to work, so I spent the evening alone. I finished the Sedaris diaries and had the last of the tomato soup. I made a cheese sandwich but I couldn't be bothered to grill it. Let me just say, they're much better grilled.

As I sat on the couch with my glass of wine, the dog snoozing beside me, I remembered a time in 1988 or so, right after my college roommate moved out of our shared apartment at a complex called Square Plaza in Tampa. It was the first time I'd had an apartment all to myself, and I was thrilled. I remember pouring myself a glass of white wine, putting Joni Mitchell's "The Hissing of Summer Lawns" on the stereo, and relaxing in my very own living room, feeling like a real adult.

That memory made me realize I hadn't listened to an album all the way through in a long, long time. My iTunes are constantly on shuffle nowadays. So for nostalgia's sake, I turned off the shuffle function and played "The Hissing of Summer Lawns" straight through, white wine in hand. It was nice.

Now it's raining outside, a soft whispery patter falling in the gray light. Olga's not going to want to go on her walk.

Irma is still full of uncertainty, though most of the projections show it hitting peninsular Florida in one way or another. Do you know that in the 30 years I lived on Florida's west coast, I never went through a hurricane? We had a few close calls, but none that hit us directly, and during the one that affected Tampa the most -- Elena in 1985 -- I was on vacation in Daytona Beach, on the other side of the state. (I was also gone for Andrew in 1992; I had already moved to Morocco.) Just dumb luck, I guess, because since then there have been any number of storms pounding away at my old home turf. Looks like Irma may be another.

(Photo: A Unique shop in Upminster.)


  1. Once again it is clear that you need a cool shopping trolley - perhaps in a tartan fabric. Then you could have brought the biggest sack of bird seed home.

  2. I don't even now how many hurricanes I've lived through. And you know what? Every damn one of them was one too many.
    That store needs some cats at the very least.

  3. I wonder if the birdseed guys have ever heard of traps. Without traps they will be quickly out of business.

  4. I like Ms. Moon's idea of that birdseed store getting cats. A very nice, furry solution to that problem. I remember one hurricane when I was in elementary school in 1961 or 1962 in New Jersey. The school let us out early because of the storm, and a neighbor came to pick up all the neighborhood kids. She stood out in the rain waiting for each one of us, while we sat in the back of the car as it rocked and shook like crazy.

    We love listening to music, but mostly especially during dinner. We have a bunch of playlists that we have put together over the years, but even those get boring after a while. And we've noticed that shuffle doesn't shuffle as much as we might like. So lately we've been playing music alphabetically. Last night we listened to all the songs beginning with "G"-- It's been a surprising delight hearing music we forgot we even had.

  5. Yesterday I had the song "Wallflower" stuck in my head but I couldn't remember the first two words of it ("Wallflower, wallflower..." duh) or who recorded it. I thought it might have been Bob Dylan or Mick Jagger. SWMBO thought it was maybe David Bromberg. (She also came up with the words I couldn't remember. When I got home I checked with YouTube and learned that Dylan wrote and recorded the song, as did Mick Jagger and David Bromberg.

    I hate earworms!

  6. I an see how The Hissing of Summer Lawns pairs very nicely with a glass of white wine and a soft rain and a good dog.

    For the year of 1980, when I was living far from home, I had a French guy living in the small studio apartment next door to me and he played The Year of the Cat and Broken English (Mariann Faithful) over and over. When he moved away I missed those records so much that I went out and bought them, even though neither is exactly my kind of music. I still love them both.

    My sister, her husband, my mother, and their cats are evacuated from Cape Coral on the west coast of FLA but it looks like they will miss a direct hit. But they are still expecting flooding so they did their best to move the important stuff as high as possible in a single-story house.

    Your grandmother is funny.

  7. I agree with YP - you definitely need a trolley. Maybe they make a model that you can wear as a backpack until you need to use it?

    And I've been doing the same as Robin Andrea - I have my playlist set to play alphabetically because the shuffle feature isn't smart enough to know that it's already played that song & I get tired of hearing the same handful of songs each time I turn it on. Alphabetically works pretty well!

  8. Oh my, you brought back some memories with your glass of wine story in your first apartment. Mine happened a few years before yours but, I remember that very same thing. Feeling so adult and almost sophisticated even thought I was probably drinking really horrible wine.

  9. Sorry for the deleted comments. Brain not working well today!

    That is a great memory to have, about your first apartment. I remember mine fondly, too, even though it was just a third story walk up with slanted ceilings. It was mine.

  10. You and me friend, and my husband too: He and I are born and raised in the Caribbean and neither one of us has ever experienced a hurricane, unless you count Rita and Sandy, the superstorms that hit New York a few years back. Even our children, born and raised in New York, have experienced hurricanes while visiting their Grandma in St. Lucia. They like to lord it over us with that one. Dumb luck. I'll take it.