Sunday, November 20, 2011

The following is a true story. Sigh.

The Bird

We live in the country in a 200 year old brick house; a brick house with a drafty attic. Birds are constantly getting into it. Occasionally, though, they manage to find their way into our duct system.

Under normal circumstances, it’s a daunting process to get them out. However, when you throw in three kids, two labs, one cat and a ferret (there have also been rabbits, chinchillas, pet mice, and frogs in the mix at different times), it becomes a three ring circus.

We’ve always managed to shoo the bird out an open window without more than a light bulb being broken in the process. The birds seem to be as anxious to escape as we are to free it.

Until last week.

We were alerted to the birds presence in our ceiling by the dogs and the cat. They were running around, jumping up and down and making all kinds of noises. Matt unscrewed the vent cover, and a bird peeked down, surveying the animal kingdom that was our living room.

To say that this bird was fearless is an understatement. In fact, if Sylvester Stallone ever wanted to make an animal sequel to his famous movie series, we had just the bird for him in our living room – Rambird.

He casually swooped down into the room, flying in circles just above the dogs’ heads, and then landed on their newly filled food dishes; and began to dine. At first, we were all stunned. The kids, Matt, me and the animals stood there watching this bird casually eat dog food.

He wasn’t just eating the dogs’ food; he was making eye contact, as if daring them to do something about it.

And that’s when the dogs remembered that they were bigger, and the cat realized that he should be hunting it. Mass chaos began to ensue.

Bubba, our big black lab is afraid of his own shadow. After his shock wore off, he couldn’t get out of the room fast enough. He rounded the corner and flew out the door with cartoon like speed.

Mae B (pronounced “maybe”) is the yellow lab and she wasn’t amused at the bird eating her food. Bandit, the cat, turned into his version of a wild jungle cat and began to stalk his prey. Rambird continued to eat, watching them with what seemed like amusement. Or maybe it was mocking them; either way, that was one confident bird.

Mae B went after it right as Bandit pounced. Rambird flew up just in time for the two of them to collide into one another. Bandit was dazed for a second, but he resumed the chase. As Mae was barking like a maniac, jumping on and off the couch, Bandit was leaping to shelves, the fireplace, and just about anything that the bird was near. While this was going on, we were trying to use newspaper to corral the bird and send him out the window.

So there we were; three kids and two adults running through the room wildly waving newspapers above our heads, the dog barking, the cat leaping, fur flying, furniture crashing, lamp tipping over and a picture dangling precariously on the wall; the only creature who seemed to be amused in the middle of the melee was Rambird.

He must have decided it was getting too weird, and he flew out the window. Bandit launched himself after it, and thankfully, he didn’t throw himself out of the second floor window. He did, however, smack into the wall; spread eagle style. Thankfully, he wasn’t hurt, but he disappeared for the rest of the day. We think he was embarrassed; probably due to our pointing and laughing.

We can be so evil.

Things finally died down, and I began the process of picking up the remains of the battle. We lost a lamp in the fight, but due to our condition (having three kids and a veritable menagerie of animals); I don’t buy anything that can’t be easily replaced at Sears. Or the thrift store.

It’s been over a week, and the animals are no worse for the wear. Bandit has returned to normal, but he’s taken to sitting on the window sill, glaring at the birds outside. We figure he’s plotting his revenge.

On the bright side, I may open my own business chasing birds out of people’s houses. I’ll call it exactly what it would be if I actually did it: “Birdbrained”.

You can write to Tamara Kells, The Brunette Lucy, on Facebook.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Price of Meat

Here's my latest! It made the top 5 most popular article in 3 of the cities that have run it so far! 

I’m famous for my grocery store follies; I can’t seem to go shopping without bringing home way more than I’d gone for. More than that, however, is that I keep bringing home the wrong things.

I should point out, however, that my eyesight plays a huge part in this ongoing problem. I need reading glasses – badly. I think I have at least twenty pair or more (I get them at the dollar store). The problem is that I can never find them while shopping. I could be searching for them for half an hour and still not find them. Then, when getting in the car, they fall out of my purse and into my lap; it never fails.

I’d gone to the store to stock up; we needed pretty much everything. Like everyone else these days, we have to be careful with our budget, so I’m always on the lookout for a deal. I was especially trying to find meats of any kind on sale.

I noticed a big sign announcing shank portions of ham for only $1.29 a pound. Since ham is normally expensive, I gravitated to the cooler and began to pick up and compare. I’d say I was like a pig rooting for truffles, but since I was rooting for a pig, that wouldn’t be in the best “taste”.

Another lady was perusing the hams as well, and I pointed out the deal. She, too, began to go through the ham. I’d picked mine, but thought that I’d look at the other hams. Then I spotted it; a HUGE spiral cut ham for only $10.59. I grabbed that bad boy, and threw it in my cart. To be nice, I alerted the other lady about the deal, and she, too, tossed another ham into her cart. We high fived each other, and off I went.

I came home, crowing about the steal I got on the ham. Matt picked it up and asked me how much I paid for it. Gloating, I told him. And that’s when he said, “That’s not the price of the ham; it’s the weight”.

I would have liked to be a fly on the wall when the woman who took my advice found out the same thing. But this wasn’t my only grocery store adventure this week.

Yesterday, my best friend, Michele, and I went out. I had to go to the Wal-Mart for a prescription, but when we got there, it wasn’t ready.

To kill time, Michele and I went over to the meat department. Before us was a sea of gold labels announcing reduced for quick sale cuts of meat. Unfortunately, since we were only going to get my medicine, we didn’t have a cart. We balanced our treasure in our arms, and went to see if my prescription was ready. It wasn’t; we had to wait.

So there I sat, sitting on the gray bench in front of the pharmacy with over fifteen pounds of roast in my lap. To say we got strange looks is putting it mildly.

I wonder what those folks would think if they knew that as I sat there with a stack of red meat, I was waiting for my high blood pressure medicine.

When I got home, I was putting my roasts in the freezer. And that’s when I noticed that on one or two of the packages, I’d only saved a dollar or less. Not quite the deal that I thought I was getting.

Later that night, Michele made a discovery of her own; she wanted me to know so I wouldn’t feel so bad. On one roast, we had made an exceptional deal. It originally cost $11.34, but the final price was $7.21. But how much did Wal-Mart math tell us we saved? $1.81.

Now I don’t feel so bad.

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy
She was pretty dumb.