Weekly Photo Challenge: Regret

Dear birds, squirrels, raccoons, and insects:

I regret to inform you that the bird bath is out of order.There will be no water served until I can procure an unbreakable bird bath. I apologize for the inconvenience.


PS: Maybe if you squirrels would stop jumping from it we wouldn’t have this problem again. (just sayin’)

© Huffygirl 2012

Finally – some help on my one woman war against cheese

English: Individually wrapped slices of Americ...

I’ve been waging my one-woman war against cheese for some time now, largely without any support, as, let’s face it, everyone loves cheese and they don’t want to hear someone telling them to stop eating it because it’s full of fat. But, now, I’m no longer alone. The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) has jumped on the bandwagon, with an anti-cheese billboard campaign in Albany, New York. The no-nonsense billboard campaign features photos of folks with obese abds and thighs, with the captions “…your abds/thighs on cheese…” You can read the full story here, but the gist of it is this:  cheese is the number-one source of saturated (“bad”) fat in the American diet; we eat too much of it, and it’s making us fat, according to physician, food researcher and founder of PCRM Neal Barnard, MD.

Dr. Barnard goes on to further enlighten readers on the evils of cheese “…Americans eat more than 33 pounds of cheese per person per year—three times more than they did in 1970—and our country is more obese than ever.” and “…One-fourth of an average 12-inch cheese pizza contains nearly 13 grams of fat, including 6 grams of saturated fat and 27 milligrams of cholesterol. An ounce of cheddar contains 9 grams of fat, including 6 grams of saturated fat.” Read more from Dr. Barnard here and here, and you may be ready to jump on the anti-cheese bandwagon with me.

Of course, I’ve said all of this before in America’s Love Affair with Cheese, but it helps to have the full weight of an official-sounding physician’s group behind me. Look out America, the war against cheese is back!

© Huffygirl 2012

Downy and Hairy: The city bird and the country bird

Downy Woodpecker (© Huffygirl 2012)

I’ve been seeing Downy and Red-breasted Woodpeckers at my bird feeders for quite a while, as long as I keep putting out their two favorite foods: suet and Bark Butter, which is fancy bird peanut butter. Lately I’ve had a large, animated visitor to the Bark Butter board, who aggressively attacks the Bark Butter and keeps coming back for more, but is easily scared and flits away at the sound of my turning on the camera, even from ten feet away, inside the house. At first I thought this was a Downy gone wild, but I think what I may be seeing is a new visitor, a Hairy Woodpecker.

Downy W. or Hairy? (© Huffygirl 2012)

Hairy and Downy Woodpeckers are quite similar in coloring, although Hairy is differentiated by its larger size and longer beak. Downy has a speckled white patch on the back, while Hairy’s patch is all white, often difficult to distinguish from a distance. Hairy is a shy country  bird, usually sticking to forests and is skittish at crowded feeders. Downy, the city bird,  frequents suburban yards and is not afraid to join the food fray with chickadees and nuthatches at feeders.

This new visitor has been difficult to catch with the camera, so I’m still not sure if he is Downy or Hairy. I’ll let the readers, and perhaps some bird experts out there decide. Meanwhile, I’ll keep putting out lots of Bark Butter at the feeder, as it seems to be like crack for the birds. They appear the minute I put it out, and scrape the board completely clean in short order.Even non-clinging birds like the shy ground-feeding Junco’s will have a go at perching on the board to get a taste.

Junco perching to eat Bark Butter (© Huffygirl 2012)

Do not be alarmed – I’m okay!

Deutsch: English: X-ray of a right shoulder wi...
Image via Wikipedia

I had surgery on my right shoulder today. Nothing serious, although it did turn out to have more things wrong in there than anticipated. At the last minute I had thoughts of putting it off for a better time. But there really is no good time when it comes to things like elective surgery. One can always think of some reason why now is a bad time to have it done. So I got up early, showered with pink antibacterial soap, had my husband write “yes” on my right shoulder, and “no !!!!” on my left shoulder, and off we went, where I was scrubbed some more, given an attractive “one size fits all large people” gown to wear, and bonked into oblivion with multiple kinds of modern-day anesthesia. All this, and back home in time for lunch. 

Surgery has certainly evolved from the good old days when I first studied nursing. Over  thirty years ago this surgery would have been done with a big open incision, and a several-day hospital stay. Or more likely it would not have been done at all, as a male surgeon would have said to me “you’re a middle-aged woman with ‘a little arthritis’ – just live with it.” Of course, it turned out be more than just ‘a little arthritis.’  It was arthritis, calcific tendonitis, a small rotator cuff tear, bursitis and a labral tear, in case you wanted to know.

But meanwhile I’m having a dickens of a time typing this, and just a tiny bit worried that I might be accidentally saying something goofy so soon out of anesthesia, so I’ll stop here. Maybe I’ll post some pictures later in the week, so I’ll warn the squeamish readers now, just in case. Meanwhile, I have even greater respect for blogger buddy Mark, of The Idiot Speaketh, who is bed-bound recovering from foot surgery. My gig sounds like a piece of cake in comparison. Good recovery Mark, and at least now you have someone with whom to commiserate.

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