Saturday, May 29, 2021

Journeys of Life

The Healing Curve Journey 1980-1998

The Personal Care Boarding Home Description

The home was a one story older home with full basement and lower apartments located high on a hilltop in a rural area with rooms and accommodations for 30 residents plus live-in staff. Access to the home was a long and winding dirt road. There was well water, a septic system and the electric power was provided by overhead lines. An oil furnace was the heat source. For the boarding residents there was a sunroom with seating for several, a living area with television and upholstered chairs, a dining room, a long hallway with doors to many individual bedrooms and two bathrooms with each having large tubs and a shower. There was a “beauty parlor” cove with facilities for hair and other services. The kitchen area was large and a section for staff meals was at one end. There was an office on the main floor. The back stairs led to the basement and the pantry and several storage rooms plus an area for the laundry, including a toilet. The downstairs apartment was where the owners and the elderly mother lived. They both had full bathrooms, bedrooms and living rooms.

Rules and Guidelines

Visitors were free to visit at their convenience and enter the main door in front. There was no lockdown or rules regarding visits. If they brought gifts of foods they were sent to the kitchen for safe-keeping and distribution to the recipient at appropriate times. If the visitors brought clothes, they went to the laundry to be marked before being put away in resident’s room. There was a list on the wall with each name noting their bath day, and other personal care needs. This was checked by the personal caregiver employee as the service was completed. There was a weekly menu posted for all to see. It was planned by the manager/owner. A fire drill was performed on a regular basis and everyone was led, marched, pushed in wheelchairs or walked in a line to the outdoor area in a serious manner. ONLY the registered nurse (the owner) would distribute medicines to the residents, and all medicines were kept in a locked cupboard. No resident was allowed in the kitchen area. Once a day there was an organized walk around and through the dining hall and main hall by all who were able to exercise. Everyone was fully dressed and out of bedrooms in the morning and, unless ill, not in the bed during the day. This was because the beds were remade and the rooms were fully cleaned during the day.  A medical physician was always on call and also visited regularly and administered whatever was needed. 

Staff Characters

Beverly - the owner, boss, registered nurse, shopper and driving force.

Alvin - the owner’s husband, cook and bottle washer, and jack of all trades. 

Christy - the owner’s adult daughter

Bruce - Christy’s husband

Corey - Christy and Bruce’s baby son

Mae - the owner’s elderly mother

Luann - the personal caregiver employee

Other personal caregivers employed

Gere - the laundry manager and part-time bookkeeper employee

Residents (Most were full time, some were part time.)

These are the only ones I can remember by name

Barbara - mentally slow and self sufficient

Clara - nice and very cooperative

Daisy - devilish without knowing it - pockets always full stolen things

Lena - very sweet, slight dementia, always pleasant

Margaret - argumentative with dementia but usually cooperative

Marie - frozen spine in question mark position, used walker, tried hard 

Marion - helpful and industrious to all, a busy bee

Mary - character, former boozer and rowdy, but cooperative

Natalie - annoyed at being there and then very ill

Rose - demented, sweet and cooperative, wheelchair bound

Ruth - loved her bath, wandered unrestfully, dementia

Sadie - quiet and ladylike

A husband and wife together 

Arthur - wild dreams and thoughts daily, a little feisty

Bernie - soft lower lip- drooled, dementia, pesky

Ed - stuck to himself, unsociable

James - smoked, jerky movements, friendly

Joe - ambulatory with terminal colon cancer, masturbated constantly

John - dull and quiet 

Mr. Barnhart - hated being there and cried often, frustrated 

Robert - sweet, mentally slow

Seth - big man, tendency toward violence, mental condition


It was the year 1980. I had had an accident 6 months previously and sustained a severe injury to my right hand while working in a wood products manufacturing plant. It was also the year I was bushwhacked by infidelity of my husband with a “friend.” I was hurt and depressed and angry and dismayed. I had hate in my heart for my “friend.” The plant had just laid off workers and couldn’t take me back as promised. I had worked 7 years there before my accident and loved the challenge and hard work that gave such a sense of accomplishment at day’s end.

There was an ad in the paper for help at the boarding home which was only nine miles away. I went for the interview and was hired to be the laundry person for the entire home. OK, I took it, never knowing what I was in for! In the past, I had many various jobs. I was a typist, stenographer, saleslady, switchboard operator, front desk manager, waitress (both diners and fancy restaurants) home party demonstrator, apple picker, babysitter, truck dispatcher, business secretary, and more. I thought, “Well, I have always liked doing laundry and had a family of eight, so this shouldn’t be too difficult." Yeah, right! So let me tell you how it went.

When the residents were awakened, dressed, and morning rituals taken care of, the personal caregivers stripped beds, and put all daily laundry in large bags to be brought down to the basement by either Alvin or Christy. The bedding had a large amount of flannel pieces between a plastic cover and a top sheet to absorb accident messes. This was changed every day. I washed and sorted tons of those flannel pieces! The “mussies” were separated from regular. Do you know what “mussies” are? I had to take the bags to the toilet in the laundry area, put on my rubber gloves, and dunk and swish stuff out of the bedding, rags and underpants just like I had done so many times when my babies used cloth diapers. Then the rinsed items were washed separately in one washer with bleach. I went through a lot of beach! I had three working washing machines, and my first job was to sort and decide what consisted of a load and what to wash first in the other two. There was a huge drier that worked very well. My work area had a shelf above the long folding table with 30 cardboard boxes lined up in a row. Each one was marked with initials belonging to individual residents and the laundered, dried, and folded socks, underwear and small items were put there according to matching with the permanent marker initials on each item. Dresses, shirts and trousers were hung on racks and they too were initialized. There were sheets, pillowcases, rags, chair covers, blankets, towels, washcloths, and all laundry of the day was completed at the end of the day. The trek upstairs with everything was great exercise and putting it all away in the boarder’s rooms and multiple linen closets was the completion of the work for the day. Then it began all over again the next day. There was a sewing machine and I made all repairs and adjustments besides re-sewing on buttons. I replaced broken zippers, bra and slip straps, and made pillow cases and small sheets from large ones when necessary. 

Interaction with the personal care staff and residents was minimal. However…..many incidents and interesting happenings were evident every day. For instance, daily I gave the kitchen back its silverware that was found in dress and pant pockets. I chased the wandering residents out of another resident’s room with stolen items in their pockets. I helped serve lunch sometimes but didn’t feed or clean up people at meals. As I walked through the rooms, putting the laundry away, sometimes I would help someone adjust the TV or pick up something they had dropped but that was the most of my physical and personal contact. BUT! One time I saw a woman choking on something during dinner and grabbed her around the waist and squeezed hard and she spit it out. It was on Thanksgiving Day and it was a piece of turkey. Of course we worked on holidays. These people needed assistance and the laundry needed doing every day!  NO one ever wore diapers or such. Once in a while, Christy would do laundry when I had the day off. I worked six days a week. If Christy wasn’t free to help, I had double duty the day after a day off. 

Now, believe it or not, by working there for over four years and actually seeing first hand how hard others struggled to live each day, even with good care, my personal problems were diminished considerably.  It was a very good move for me. As I got the laundry down to an organized science, the boss gave me a raise and opportunity to expand my abilities to doing the office work - most of it anyway. I did payroll, I posted income, I paid bills, I set up a system of office management handling all resident financial accounts and concerns and surprised even myself. BESIDES continuing to do all laundry! I ran up and down those basement stairs dozens of times a day. In the good weather I actually hung laundry on outdoor lines strung from trees! It was a five year recovery period for me. In 1985 I left when offered a position in the county extension office as 4-H Youth Coordinator. That was an opportunity not to be overlooked. I gave 2 weeks notice and moved on without a single regret. A new and enriching position to work with youth was then undertaken with gumption I never knew I had. I worked there for 14 years then retired from the “have-to’s.”

It was jumping from working with mentally and physically challenged older folk to working with energetic male and female leaders and kids, plus with highly educated personnel throughout the counties and the state. That was my best motivation to do whatever needed to be done wherever and however. I now understand the human aspect so much better.

Funny how things worked out and my healing was completed. I owe it mostly to the dynamic, sometimes contentious owner of that home who gave me a chance with complete freedom to figure it all out by myself. She was cognizant of my condition and neither pushed nor pulled me in any direction but taught me to really focus on life and its ups and downs with hard work and goals. 

Today, the home is gone, after being run for over 25 years, the owner lady has died and the husband was in a nursing care facility and died in 2017. Today I’m still here with these memories and rocking chair thoughts that remain quite clear with compassion understanding.


(I was never a personal caregiver - until now. 2021)

Friday, May 28, 2021

Wheels Go Around

...and around!  What a week since last Friday! The Mister fell getting into the car right in the carport between the cabin side door and the car door. Got him up using kitchen chair for helper. Later same day, he fell after taking a ride in the golf car when he was walking -with cane- toward the front porch and went down in the pathway and flowerbed. Two falls in one day. Used kitchen chair to help him get up. Then early on Monday he fell in the kitchen. I was able to call a neighbor who helped him get up. I had already reported Friday's falls to the doctor and he immediately ordered Interim Health Care. Later on Monday he fell again in the bathroom and the same neighbor with spouse got him up. Two bloody and scraped elbows. No other injuries! Monday was my brother's 82nd birthday. I had mailed a card. Called, but no answer.

On Tuesday my Schwan's order was delivered, the automatic generator yearly service was completed, and the trashman picked up. Life went on as normal without a fall.

Wednesday the RN came and she did a thorough evaluation. He fell when she was here when walking across the living room using the walker, as usual. She got him up, waited to see if he was going to be ok and left. The neighbor did my laundry.

Wednesday was my daughter's 65th birthday. She and our younger daughter from PA went to the NJ seashore for an overnight stay. It was a double May birthday annual celebration for them. Tomorrow is her actual 61st birthday and there will be a NJ family dinner out tonight and she will return back here in PA on Saturday. 

Then on Thursday the physical therapist came; a very tall man who had to duck his head a lot when coming through any doorways and walking through living spaces. He did his assessment and said he'd be  back the next day. The yard man came and the mowing and weed whacking were done.  That evening the Mister fell again when sitting down in his recliner chair after dinner. Neighbors were called and got him up. 

In Friday, the propane gas tank was topped until cold weather sets in. The pre-payment for the season will be due soon. The occupational therapist came to do her evaluation. She no sooner left than the physical therapist arrived and serious exercises began. A different way of sitting and getting up was explored and finally decided upon with the use of one of the porch chairs that has arms. The physical therapist says he will probably be coming three times a week for a couple of months. There will also be more visits from the OT and even a LPN! The neighbor picked up medicine from the Hospital RX that the doctor had ordered. 

The Mister' legs have been giving out for a couple of years but now they are so weak that this help is really needed. I understand that. But,
I am not used to traffic in my home - at all. I'm rambling a bit now. It's OK. Writing helps me cope. 

Remember that my mantra is "DO NOT FALL." It has been 11 years on Memorial Day that my fall almost did me in but I'm still tickin' and tockin' and kickin' too! 

Thursday, May 27, 2021


When you are frustrated, angry or sad, seize the day! Prove that you've still got it!

Ok I  will. Stepping up shouldn't be too hard.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Time Flies

Oh for sure it does! Sixty Five YEARS ago, a child was born and today is her birthday. I definitely remember the day I first saw her. The funny part of the story is that the night before, some of her dad's friends and his brother - in the middle of the night - came secretively to the little log cabin at the top of a hill where we lived, to frighten us. They climbed up on the roof and made lots of noise! A PRANK! Well after all of the hullabaloo was over, they left and we went back to our pullout sofa bed - for a little while. Then cramps began and soon after I was in a hospital giving birth. They kept mothers for about a week in those days and I couldn't wait to get the belly and breast bindings removed and go back home. She was the best baby! Her bed was the bottom drawer of a dresser until we got a car carrier that worked well. A baby shower from my workers provided all of the necessary clothes and needs JUST the day before when I took my maternity leave. The landlord lived at the bottom of the hill and after a baby carriage was purchased, I did all of the laundry there. Before the next winter we had rented a small town cottage which was closer to our parents. The next year she had a brother. 

Age 2 months

Marriage 1981
Daughter's Wedding
Son's Wedding
Granddaughter and Grandson
And, there is a new grandson on the way, expected in August. There is also her pending retirement! Yes, times flies.

I've posted about this before. Repeating myself seems to be common now. If you care to know more read here: New Mother Memory

Monday, May 24, 2021


They say "Age is just a number." I say, "Baloney!" Everyone is different. We all have diverse strengths and weaknesses. We all have  varied health concerns.  In my opinion, it is NOT all in attitude and positive thinking, either. Some consideration must be given to the genes; some to the the lifestyle. There are tons of factors as to how we feel, how we act, how we cope. Currently age has crept up on us both, but in different ways. 

Right now we just want to feel safe, comfortable, as independent and self-sufficient as possible, and able to meet our ever-changing needs. There is so much that we were able to do in the past that we are now not able to do - at all! That is frustrating. We have finally come to the conclusion that we need helpers. 

When we were younger, for some unknown reason we were not at all savvy enough to consider the importance of hearing aids, eyeglasses. dental needs, and contraptions to help with all other physical situations. There was no organization or preparation of finances for future needs. Heck, it was all we ever could do to pay bills, but we are totally debt free and are able to keep up with these today. So far... We don't have many other options but to live one day at a time. 

We've had a busy past with many enjoyable times and those will always remain in our memory. Some don't have even that. No negatives are going to spoil all of our positives!! Carrying on......

Friday, May 21, 2021

Simply Simple

Daughter Missy drove us around the lake yesterday in the golf car and I was able to bring home a small bouquet of lilac from a neighbor's bush. (With permission, of course!)

I also cut down the few little wood hyacinth stalks that somehow grew in among the porch daffodils. This bouquet is in the kitchen window.
Today she brought me a few portulaca that I really love for their colorful blossoms. They don't take much room, thrive well and spread all season. They look kinda mangy right now but they will be better soon.
The succulents are in the "Henry" flowerpot as I'm not into putting them into the same one as last year. Lost motivation there, I guess.
One more pot to fill and I hope to find a tuberous begonia  and I will be finished for this year. It really has gotten more difficult for me to hand plant flowers.

I anticipate clipping a huge bunch of lily of the valley as they are doing so well. They were my mother's favorite flower and her mother's as well. They grow everywhere around here and have spread in a magnificent manner! The lily of the valley is a flower that is most often viewed as a symbol of rebirth and humility. It can be used to symbolize chasity, purity, sweetness and motherhood. 

It was a beautiful day, reaching 80° and no humidity!

                                 please tap on image to view larger

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Found Again!

bs-flo- Georgia O Keefe- Jack In The Pulpit- V
Did you know that Jack in the Pulpit root can be made into a poultice and used to treat headaches and various skin diseases? If you find them in the wild, you must leave them undisturbed as they are rare. 

They have always intrigued me and always will. Some things never change. What I do is who I am...

Today I found them again on my 2nd ride about.  I posted about them here two years ago:  

Jack in the Pulpit Story

There is a really nice link in the above blog to learn more about this fascinating plant. 

Monday, May 17, 2021


Well today I got the flower garland on James, nipped off the dead daffodil bloom stalks, and put preservative on the "Fish Stories Told Here" sign. This was a gift from Missy in 2011.
The Mister got the air compressor going and put air in one of the golf car tires that was low. He checked the others and then drove by James just as I was finishing tying the garland. I hopped into the vehicle for my first ride of this year. It is a good thing that we both had our canes. We got across the dam and turned around heading back home when it slowed down. R e a l l y slowed down. It was kept charged all winter on the first of the month but should have been again before ever taking a ride. I got off after we got across the bridge and walked home and he plugged along very slowly and got her to the front lawn - off the road! The charger is carried under the seat so it was a matter of wiring it to the socket on the front porch and turning on the juice! 

We were both beat! TOTALLY beat!  All that is now needed to do is to put the distilled water in the batteries. Tomorrow is another day!

Naptime never felt so needed!

Sunday, May 16, 2021

To Do's are Dun

What a list I had for our yard guy this year!  See below. We thank him for being so faithful and dependable which keeps us afloat; there is so much that we are unable to do now. James is drying after receiving his coat of preservative after his fine repairs were completed. I will dig out the flowers for his garland to be worn on the final weeks of May and through June. The daffodils are finished blooming and now will go through the process of rejuvenation of the bulbs. The blooms and stems will be removed in the beds near the porch, but the ones up in the old rock garden will just have to survive without interference. Why do I leave the unsightly foliage in place? Well the leaves absorb energy from sunlight, and through the process of photosynthesis, the energy is converted into chemicals that produce sugar - the food that keeps bulbs blooming year after year. If I remove the foliage too early the bulbs will be stunted which results in smaller and fewer blooms in the following year. It is an ugly mess for about SIX weeks! I still need to buy a few flowers for the front porch plantings. 

                                 Repair James - materials and labor

  • Clean out ditch behind cabin so water can run freely
  • Clean out debris behind shed to keep away from wood structure
  • Clean out catch drains corner of cabin, side of carport and road edge
  • Blow out all leaves from carport
  • Rake stones in carport to break up mud accumulations
  • Rake stones from grass both sides of driveway
  • Blow or rake debris from flowerbeds around cabin
  • Rake all lawns and remove debris including pine cones
  • Put winter shovel and supplies from carport into shed
  • Store snow blower in shed - bring tractor forward  
  • Power wash 4 porch chairs
  • Help uncover porch swing and golf cart + AC - store in shed
  • Gutters-twice for leaves & then for squigglies
  • Apply ant spray all around foundation

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Mother's Day Remembrance

 She was exceptional. 

                                please tap image to view larger

Saturday, May 8, 2021

And What's New in Your Kitchen?

Yeowie! It's a good thing we have a freezer!  Deliveries today even include a new mug from my favorite potter. 

When Fed Ex comes way out here, you just know it will be something delightful!

The new mug holds 16 oz. and will be wonderful in the morning when filled with special coffee and slurped with my scone.

The cake was a surprise because I thought the succulents were perfect! She said she couldn't resist.

please enjoy the treats with me by tapping on an image

Friday, May 7, 2021

Baking and Waiting for Warmer Weather

I bake about two loaves a week. We sure do love this bread! It slices nicely when laid on its side too! I  have a slicing guide contraption but would rather use my eye. It probably won't raise as well when warmer weather comes and the propane stove is resting for the season. Currently I put it on the rug in front of that stove for its rise before oven baking. 
I am keeping my Mother's Day gifts indoors until it is warmer outdoors. They sure do love the morning sun shining on their counter space in the morning. My Missy brought these over for me to enjoy with a lovely hand-written card. She's so caring!
Our yard guy was planning to remove the porch swing cover and the golf car cover yesterday, but it rained and they were just too wet to fold and bag for summer storage in the shed. He also was also going to apply the annual preservative on James. Our spiritual guardian has not sported his forsythia garland nor his flower one yet as he has been undergoing repairs. I wonder what he thinks about his nakedness! All I can can say at the moment is that the pollen will be washed off due to more raining this coming weekend and next week.   Cheezzzz!

don't forget to tap an image to view larger

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

They're b a c k!!!

Just a quick note to tell everyone that the hummers are back and it is a wonderful sight to see! I wasn't ready, and when the first one was sighted looking for his breakfast, I sure hopped to it!  

Later, there were a couple of different ones enjoying the nectar and up to bedtime, more were visiting. 

Sometimes Mother Nature is dependable.

Monday, May 3, 2021


Most of my friends and relatives know that I do not like talking on the telephone. Never have. I don't like taking part in face to face conversations that include more that two people. One on one is OK. My main method of communication is the written word. It's how I connect. Way back when I started to blog (2009) I found that I could express myself and communicate best with this venue. I also believe I communicate visually, therefore my "creations" and crafts. I love to share and that is a form of connecting as well.

This is my way of delivering my feelings and thoughts. Most of the time I feel that it doesn't matter at all if anyone reads or comments on my blogs or my artwork. Once in a while I do feel a strong relationship is created and that is what I aim to do - connect.

Yes, I'm rambling.  I'm a dreamer - IF I had a large space with paints and stuff, I know my writings would slow down and I would have a grand time expressing all inner thoughts. You say, this, today, is all about me. Yes. I'm feeling confined. Trapped. It's one of those things and now I'm letting it out. Gotta disconnect once in a while. 

Connections matter.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Race Horse Story

In 1973 we had just settled in at the new lake house and gotten the television hooked up. I remember very clearly that, since I just joined a local horse club and intended to build a barn and have my own horse again, that the Kentucky Derby was all the rage. My new horsey friends inspired me to be sure to watch the race. Soooo, I watched it for the very first time! Oh my!! I STILL remember the thrill of watching Secretariat winning and the fact that I loved him at first sight as he came onto the track. Something deep within my gut said he was special.

For EVERY year after I have watched the derby, never having a desire to attend nor to bet on a winner. BUT! I do pick my favorites.

The odd thing is that I never read about each horse, jockey, trainer or owner before picking my 3 favorites. I really do not! What my method is to just watch the horses as they approach the gate, and then a feeling comes whether this one or that one is a possible winner. I write down their names on a paper, but not in any specific order.

When the race starts, I just watch, BUT if a horse that is on my list is ahead and one of the the fastest, I start to squirm and then breath hard. If one of my three wins, I feel that special satisfaction that I was right! Usually there is someone in the room nearby who can verify that the winner was on my pre-written list. 

The other thing that happens is, many times, although I didn’t chose a winner, ONE of my three was either 2nd or 3rd. TRUE!  I don't think I have miss a single derby race since 1973. 48 years is a long time for enjoying this unique ability and there is absolutely NO EXPLANATION.

This year I chose Hot Rod Charlie, Essential Quality and Medina Spirit. Hot Rod Charlie finished 3rd. Essential Quality finished 4th and Medina Spirit won. (I have a SC friend named Medina, but that's not why I chose this horse.)

I rarely watch the Belmont or Preakness Stakes.

I’ve never had a mint julep.

I do not like hats!

I’ve never been to Kentucky.

I’m not crazy about red roses, especially cut ones.

If you want to see an old lady really get excited, come visit next year to watch the derby with me on TV.  

1979 My Nifty's Bobbi AQHA
foundation stock mare
Go Man Go line
Go Man Go was an American Quarter Horse stallion and race horse. He was named World Champion Quarter Running Horse three times in a row, one of only two horses to achieve that distinction. Go Man Go was considered to be of difficult temperament.

Saturday, May 1, 2021

Nature and Natural

For the last three days I have been brushing down an abundance of  grasses and twigs from a rear carport beam and another area over a power box. It used to be that the persistent female robins would make nests on BOTH the front porch beams and in the carport - even on the horizontal hanging ladder. This year I think the swinging-hanging-moving craft creations protect the front porch. All of the beams in that area used to have water filled plastic soda bottles lined up as deterrents. No more.

Today I have water-filled plastic containers placed as obstacles. No nesting materials there-yet!
                             please tap on image to view larger

Way back in 2007 I wrote a "Memory Story" about wild critters and my interaction with some. This story reminded me of WHY I do not allow robins to nest in the carport. A reason is at the end of this ramble.


Memory Story

Something you didn't know about me - I have raised and returned to their own habitat, baby squirrels, baby rabbits, baby raccoons, baby groundhogs, baby possums, baby crows, baby owls and more. In fact, the baby squirrels and baby rabbits were put in a clothes basket with my momma cat and she nursed and groomed them along with her own kittens. When they became too playful in the house, I set them free. The squirrels took a long time to adjust to the wild and came, precariously, from the tree to the house on the clothesline, begging for fig newtons (their favorite cookie). Then one day they were gone for good.

I once looked after oriole peeps in a hanging basket that I pinned on the clothesline, too. It had fallen from a tree when they were very young and I found it on the ground.  I would reel it out to the tree and the mother would feed them. I would reel it in to the house so I could see how they were doing. One day they weren't there. I don't know if they flew or were eaten by hawks. The basket was empty except for many little white mites!

I learned early on that if I let the small kittens outdoors the hawks would swoop one up - drop it to kill it - swoop down, get it and fly away. I saw this happen! At first, I thought the kittens had wandered into the woods and got themselves lost, but I could never hear their cries nor find them. It was very upsetting to me.

I killed the crow with "kindness!" Jester was doing nicely in a large home made cage. We had a vacation planned to go to the seashore for the weekend and I put a whole ear of field corn in the cage to last him until we returned. Well......when we came home, he was dead, clutching the perch, with the empty corn cob laying nearby. His crop was huge. We figured he pigged out! Of course he didn't have enough grit in his crop to grind up that much hard corn in one sitting!  Lesson learned.

The raccoons were kept in the horse trailer. I bottle fed them. They were very noisy and loving. When the male became a bit aggressive, I set them free. did you know that they don't actually wash their food? I always had a dishpan of fresh water for them and they would dunk their kibbles before eating. It became apparent that they might not have enough saliva-production to eat. It might also be a habit to better feel their food before tasting it. It is just what they do.

The owls were in auto accidents. Stunned and a bit brain damaged, they were fed bits of hamburger meat until well. It was my brother who found them lying on the road.

If you wonder how I obtained all of these babies, be assured they were all orphans to begin with!  That's another story.

Three years ago, when Ed was recuperating from his heart surgery in May and June, I watched, from my kitchen window in the cabin, a robin build her nest in the carport. I soon saw 4 little eggs. Then, I saw 4 little heads peeking up with mouths opened wide. I saw Momma bird feed those 4 little bare-naked babies. I watched their fuzz turn to feathers. One day I saw a big crow take the last one away in his ugly bill. Boy did that make me angry! Too late for any of them to be saved. I know we shouldn't interfere with nature, but DARN!

GMR April 2007