Dear Tom, I am loving my birdies!

I get so much pleasure from watching and feeding my birds, hours and hours – despite the occasional hawk. But of course I love hawks as well and want to be one in my next life- not anywhere near a wind farm though. Wind farms are deadly to raptors.

Here’s the list of birds in my backyard:


Spotted Towhees.


White Crowned Sparrows.

Golden Crowned Sparrows.

Savannah Sparrows.

Fox Sparrows.

Hooded Junkos.

Dark-eyed Junkos.

Western Scrub Jays.

Blue Birds.


Cassin’s Finches.

House Finches.

White-breasted Nuthatches.


Bewick’s Wrens.

Cedar Waxwings.

Olive-sided Flycatchers.

Red-eyed Vireos.

Warbling Vireos.

Mourning Doves.

Bullock’s Orioles.

Anna’s Hummingbirds.

Black Phoebes.

Oak Titmouses (Titmice?).

Evening Grosbeak.

Mountain Chickadees.

Chestnut-backed Chickadees.

It’s so much fun because they know me and they know Jake and we are both allowed to get very close to them. In fact, they love having Jake about because the redtail hawk won’t bother them when he’s outside.

Things are a bit better. As I await surgery to repair my hip– gotta get that repaired before I can get the knee surgery– I joined a health club, and I’ve been swimming and rowing every day. I’ve had to decrease my hiking to two miles a day, four days a week. That’s about as much as I can do and I’m still pretty slow. Tomorrow I hope to visit a sports medicine physical therapist. If there is a way to avoid hip surgery I’d just as soon find it, but a torn labrum does not heal. It can only be sort of fixed. Regardless, I did get two batches of lemon curd made yesterday. Yay! Already gave most of it away. And I’ve frozen the juice for two more batches. Of course the tree is still loaded with lemons. Want to come help me harvest? šŸ™‚

Perhaps I’ll get around to photos one of these days.

Needless to say, 2016 isn’t looking quite as bleak as it was just a week ago. Of course don’t ask the poor hubby – he’s the one responsible for insane Jake’s exercise now! He might have a different opinion of 2016, especially since his team, the Minnesota Vikings, lost today. He’s a Minnesota native.

(I’ll whisper this secret down a deep well at midnight- While I found Star Wars: The Force Awakens, to be marginally entertaining, I also found it to be pretty much a disappointment. My son and I had a long discussion about it today. Sometimes a discussion can make a less interesting movie more interesting. He liked the movie, but then he’s been a big Star Wars fan since he was a baby. Me? I expected better, although when one considers the three horrendous prequels, The Force Awakens was genius.)

Oh! The PBR is back! Gotta love those bulls! I’ll give you a little taste. I know most of you aren’t as blood thirsty as I am. (Big Airtime fan here):

Love you, Tom. Miss you! XOXO! Julia




13 thoughts on “Dear Tom, I am loving my birdies!

  1. Diana Stevan (@DianaStevan)

    Wow, lots to comment upon here, Julia. Sorry to hear about your health issues but you seem to be trucking along nonetheless. Impressed that you can hike two miles a day with all that going on. Hope you get your hip and knee sorted out sooner than later.

    Oh, I’m jealous about the birds. Love, love, love birds. Want to come back as one as well. Don’t have near the variety you have. What do you do to attract all those varieties? We used to have a bird feeder but don’t now. What do you recommend?

    As for Star Wars, have not seen it. Thought about it as friends of ours have gone twice. We saw the first one and not being sequel fans of anything, have not bothered to see the rest. We have thought about this one, but the urge isn’t great.

    And re: PBR, I recently saw The Longest Ride. You’re probably familiar with it as it’s the story of a bull rider. What a dangerous sport! I keep wondering why someone would take that kind of risk, especially when you can get banged up so badly.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Whoa – lots of questions, Diana! I’ll start with the last first. I think bull riders ride because they love it. Over all there is not much money in the sport unless you are in the top ten. Bull riding is definitely the most dangerous sport in the world, the longest eight seconds… The Longest Ride was a funny movie, as in, two movies in one. It was a little weird, but enjoyable nonetheless. Star Wars – could have waited to watch it On Demand. I was not particularly impressed. It was a rehash of the very first movie.
      I have two hanging seed feeders with sunflower seeds and thistle, a ground feeder with peanuts and shelled millet, and two tree feeders with meal worms. So I get different birds with the different feeders. Oh, plus a hummingbird feeder. I just mix sugar and water together. The hummers don’t care about color.
      I hate being this laid-up. Hate. It. I’m an active person and these injuries are frustrating. However, I remind myself every single day just how things could be worse. I’m trying to stay in shape and I love to swim, so… Thanks for your thoughts!


  2. anny cook

    Well, you’re sounding more chipper than you were. I’m glad you’re still mobile. I am not up to 2 miles anywhere at any speed. But that’s not as important to me as it is to you so I’m glad you are doing better. Hang in there. I think we have two or three kinds of birds and some squirrels. That’s it. Too many kids in the vicinity!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Hey, you too, Anny! You’re right, hiking is super important to me. We used to have too many cats. Jake keeps all cats out of the yard. Lucky birds!


  3. rayplasse

    I’m a candidate for hip replacement now. Arthritis. Old age and playing B-ball till I was 50 and my jobs mostly tended to be on my feet. (Security Cop in USAF, Cloth factory for 2 years, Warehouse worker for 4 years then Mailman for 31 years. I hope things are better for you physically soon. I’m sure Jake will appreciate that. As for Vikings………boy did they give that game away. I was rooting for them int his round. šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Oh my dear Ray– you let me know about your hip! Sometimes I think we should all do what my mom has done her entire life – zero sports, zero exercise. She is slender and has zero arthritis! I figure this is what I get for a life filled with sports and semi-risky activities. Payback. It’s a bitch! Yeah, hubs was pretty bummed about the Vikings. He hates Seattle. I like Seattle so I was cheering for their comeback.


  4. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    You are still – with all your ailments and missing parts – so much better than I am. I can’t walk around the block, between the energy and not being able to be upright long. Sheesh. Praying for swift recovery – and bearable PT from all the surgery you’re facing. I’m sure Jake wants you back in order – he NEEDS those walks. I’m sure your spirit does, too. Walk one for me.

    AND you get more birds. Not fair. Sweet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Yes, Alicia, my spirit does need those walks. Can you swim? Swimming is a wonderful activity for people of many different levels of ability.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

        Swimming requires my body to heat up the whole pool, so no, not for very long. Plus you have to get to the pool, change, do your walking in the pool (swimming takes too much energy), shower, drive home… WAY too many spoons.

        I’m looking forward to possibly moving to a retirement community – we will pick one with a pool. My intent is to get in that thing three times a week and build up (because the getting there, etc., would be much smaller – and the hours much better).

        Also, they have a gym – same deal. When you can do five minutes exercise at a time, and can’t let your heart rate get over 92 bpm, you need two things: a stationary bike with a built-in HR monitor (those are the only accurate ones unless you can stand a chest strap, tight. The wrist ones are NOTORIOUS for being inaccurate); and being close enough to use something for 5 minutes and then get off.

        As soon as we get the last child launched…

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Marylin Warner

    Good job, Julia and Jake! Birdies need bodyguards against the dreaded redtail hawk, so now you’ll have good Karma coming back to you. While you recuperate from your surgeries, Jake will know what to do. Until then, the swimming and walking will keep you sane, and both you (and Jake, with the walking) happy and in good shape as you await surgeries.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. juliabarrett Post author

      Thanks, Marylin. Birds as therapy. Excellent therapy! I also have one surviving goldfish in my little pond. The egrets got the rest. This survivor is a smart little bugger! Watching fish is good therapy as well.
      I would say swimming is keeping me sane. Walking is pretty painful but Jake gets it. He never pulls. He matches his pace to mine. Only once did I have to drop the leash when a rabbit ran right under his nose. Fortunately his leash got tangled in a tree. The trick was hiking over there to get it untangled. šŸ˜‰



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