We celebrated my birthday last night at the Greek Theater in Griffith Park to see A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. It was a great night sitting outside under the stars watching a little bit of Americana. Where else can you go and watch a radio show? It’s so well done with the most amazing sound effects guy, great music, humor, and then… the coyotes.
It was unbelievable! The theater is outside surrounded by wilderness and wildlife and right in the middle of the show, a pack of coyotes started howling right behind us. At first it sounded like part of the show coming through the speakers but it quickly become clear what it was. I’m guessing it was a large pack because they made a lot of noise for quite a while. The show stopped and Garrison asked the audience, “What was that?” We all answered back, “Coyotes!” It’s a familiar sound to most locals, that squealing and howling they do – but it was beautiful music to me. It’s what I occasionally hear in my own backyard (those are the times I don’t go out to see what’s going on!)
What a memorable evening this was. A night out at the Greek and coyotes who sang for my birthday.
Thanks to the mangy, rat-faced, no-good, low-life, beady-eyed, scum-sucking, apple-stealing squirrel, I was forced to cover my entire apple tree with netting if I ever hoped to make my apple pie bars with my own apples. The tree is about six feet tall and we covered it 2 weeks ago. It’s been keeping the rodents and the birds away but yesterday, I kept hearing a noise inside the netting that sounded like a bee. No problem. But the sound became louder and it couldn’t be a bee, especially at dusk. Denis and I went to look and it was a hummingbird!
He must have flown through a small opening and now was trying desperately to get out. He would fly wildly around (there isn’t much room inside with all the leaves and branches), grab onto the net to rest, and then fly again. The opening must have been near the bottom but he kept trying to get out at the top or sides. At one point, he was able to stick his face out at the top and I thought he’d be small enough to poke through, but couldn’t.
So Denis and I went to work. I cut a big opening in the netting at the side where there weren’t as many leaves and Denis tried to guide him to the opening, but he wouldn’t come over. It was starting to get dark and we had to try something else. By now the scared little bird saw the top as his only escape. So Denis went and got a ladder to reach the top of the tree and cut a hole in the top.
We were prepared to take down all the netting if we had to but as soon as Denis stepped away, the bird found the opening and flew out… gone in a split second, never stopping to say “thank you.” No high five. No fly by. Oh well. It felt good to do the right thing but they don’t appreciate us. Maybe it’s time for their favorite feeder to get a visit… from my plastic snake. Then I can pretend to wrestle the snake away as it tries to choke me, and I finally subdue the scary snake and they get their feeder back. Maybe then we’ll get a “thank you.”
When I heard our zoo got two new lions, I couldn’t wait to go and see. Denis and I went last week and there they were… asleep. I wanted to take a picture but they wouldn’t move. I tried to explain to the lions that I drove a long way to come and see them and the least they could do is wake up. A bunch of other people were standing by with cameras just like me, but the lazy lions wouldn’t give us the time of day.
Still, I refused to leave. Good things take time and finally, the male started making low growling noises and I expected him to start moving around. All he did was yawn and go back to sleep. I think it was a yawn. Maybe he was hoping someone would throw a snack in there… like a club sandwich, or a couple of warthogs.
Have you ever been mad at somebody for so long, you forgot why you’re mad? That’s me. And I’m still mad. Why can’t I let it go… that thing that I don’t even remember? It’s been two weeks! What’s my problem?
Last week we had a 4.4 earthquake and it was really strong, probably because the epicenter was just down the street from us. We had broken glass and pictures and one of a beautiful pair of pineapple candle holders broke apart. The shattered glass was also a reflection of my nerves that day.
Then today, we had FOUR earthquakes, starting around 8 p.m. The biggest one was a magnitude 5.3 and it was a rolling quake, not nearly as bad as last week. They always tell us on the news that an earthquake can also be a precursor to a larger quake to follow. So far, a larger one has not followed but we have had 30 aftershocks. Luckily, we did not feel the aftershocks.
A lot of people are on edge, including me. A truck just drove by and I thought it was another quake. Or maybe I’m just dizzy from the glass of wine I had trying to calm down.
UPDATE – Midnight, March 30th: We felt another earthquake this afternoon and I just watched the news. We’ve had over 130 aftershocks. Luckily, we did not feel most of them. But still….
We fill the hummingbird feeders constantly and don’t give it much thought. We go out, take the feeder off the hook, bring it in, wash and fill it with fresh sugar water and put it back. And we’re usually looking down on the ground because it’s rattlesnake season, not to step on a snake. But we never expected this….
OMG!! We didn’t know what to do. Leave it there? Knock it down? Try to pick it up with a stick? I posted this photo on facebook and someone thought it was two snakes. It wasn’t two snakes – it was one four-foot-long snake! Be it wasn’t a rattlesnake so we decided it was safe to watch him for a while and he didn’t seem annoyed with all the attention. He wasn’t after the sugar water – he was just hanging out. When I say “hanging out” I mean that literally. After a few minutes he started weaving in and out of the loops on the feeder.
Even though we enjoyed the show, our hummingbirds, on the other hand, were not happy. You have to understand they are spoiled, unappreciative little flying brats who take us and their free food for granted. Sometimes they scare us more than the snakes because they zoom at our heads going 40 miles per hour. I think they get a kick out of watching us duck so it did my heart good to see them inconvenienced by a snake.
The birds keeps swooping towards the feeder only to be stopped midair in their tracks every time. I think this bird was saying, “Whoa! Maybe I’ll come back later – when those snakes are gone!”
They left out a lot of other ones though… Remember Gerlado Rivera, Jane Whitney, Gordon Elliott, Queen Latifah, Montel Williams, Rosie O’Donnell, Leeza Gibbons, Sharon Osborne, Rachael Ray, Rolonda Watts, Mark Walberg, who did I leave out?
Jenny Jones crashed my website! But it’s not me. The other Jenny Jones is a snowboarder from Britain who just made history at the Sochi Winter Olympics by winning Britain’s first ever medal on snow. Congratulations to the other Jenny Jones. Her name was trending on Yahoo and when people clicked, it went to me and overloaded my website.
What are the odds? Two blondes with the same name, but the other one actually has talent. I also noticed a third “Jenny Jones” and she is a politician in England. So one is an Olympic medalist, another is a British labor politician, and I’m just here baking cookies. Maybe I should be rethinking my purpose in life… … … … … … … … (I just did. And I’m good.)
I guess my new hobby is making cooking videos at home, and I guess people like them. I’ve already had over a million views! I never expected that! But it just motivates me to make more of my little How-To vignettes in the kitchen. What really surprised me was which ones are the most popular.
My number one most popular video on youtube? Pepperoni pizza!
Well, I guess that doesn’t surprise me. Who doesn’t like pizza and my video shows a healthier way to make it. But then, the next most popular video? Polish cabbage rolls!
This was a complete surprise. Even I don’t make them very often because they take a lot of work but I thought the process might be interesting to some people. So it seems they like it, right? Not exactly. Oh, I did receive lots of positive comments at first… from this country… but then they found my video in Poland.
They called me names. They said I forgot where I came from. They said I was not Polish. Apparently, I have highly insulted the entire population of Poland with my…. tasty, delicious, healthy cabbage rolls. I got hate mail. “That’s not how we make them in Poland.” “No self-respecting Pole puts mushrooms in cabbage rolls.” “We don’t put meat in our golabki! What is wrong with you?” “Only a simpleton would take the cabbage out of the pot to remove the leaves.” “That’s not how my babcia made them.”
To me the best way to deal with offensive people is with humor. So how many Poles does it take to make a cabbage roll? Only one. But he has to make sure the cabbage is round; otherwise, it won’t even roll around once.