Monday, November 05, 2007

A New Normal

Thank you friends, for the kindness you've shown me over the last two weeks. Your comments, emails, phone calls and prayers were a great comfort. I don't think I can find words to adequately convey my gratitude. Please know that I thank you with all my heart.
The last two weeks have been so difficult. But I'd like to think that the really hard parts are over and I'm trying to find a new normal for my life. After the burial last Thursday we all came home, changed into comfy jeans and sweatshirts and relaxed a bit. The kids got out the video games on the Wii and quickly had us laughing. That felt so good. Art came outside and helped me clean and fill my feeders. They had been empty for so long I wondered if the birds would come back. I needn't have worried- they came back in droves! Chickadees and nuthatches, both white-breasted and red-breasted were swirling around my head as I put the filled feeders back up. At one point I counted seven red-breasted nuthatches zooming around the feeding stations.
"Thank you!" Check out the tail on this gray squirrel! I try to toss some seed or nuts in this old wooden pop crate for the squirrels. It keeps them off the feeders that hang on our old wooden swing set. I put aluminum stove pipes on the 4X4 uprights to act as baffles but they quickly found a way to jump from the huge lilacs to the top beam. As long as they don't destroy my feeders, I'll admit that I enjoy watching them and they are welcome.
I wonder why her tail is ringed like that.
Even the bunnies are welcome. This one lives under the play house. Rabbit damage was minimal over the summer and we've fenced in the shrubs to keep them from chewing bark over the winter.

I finally unpacked my suit case for Cape May yesterday. Of course I have no regrets about not going but I did feel a little sad about not being able to meet the bloggers. BUT- I have a year to use my plane ticket! And I do plan to use it for the Second Bird Blogger's Conference!


Linda said...

I'm so glad to see you back blogging. Time is a great healer and with time things get easier and the your memories even sweeter. But after 10 years of losing my mom, I still tear up on occasion because you never stop missing them but it does get easier.

That squirrel's tail is funny looking. I've set out my winter suets and bird bells and the like and did get some chickadees. Those are a first for me. I have lots of sparrows (or they could be female finches as I'm not good at telling those little brown birds apart.)

Mary said...

Yay, Linne. So glad you're out there in the yard. The birds, squirrels and bunnies missed you!

It's a hard time for you but it will get better. My Mom has been gone 17 mos. and I have my moments but it's much better. The hardest habit to break is the urge to pick up the phone when something happens.

Keep that plane ticket for one year from now!


barefoot gardener said...

Glad to hear from you, I have been thinking of you often.

It is so nice to watch the birds at the feeders, isn't it?

dguzman said...

Glad to hear from you again, Lynne!! We missed you too, but we knew you were where you needed and ought to have been. Susan Gets Native is pushing for an Ohio trip already, as you know--but I vote spring migration in western PA!

Nature Knitter's Mom [Betty K] said...

Lynne it so good to hear you are back blogging. The pictures are great, we have so many nuthatches this year it is almost unbelievable along with tufted titmice, chcickadees, woodpeckers, finches, cardinals, etc. Ruthie tells me this is going to be a great year to watch birds. Too bad I don't have a camera to take their pics. Prayers and love are still coming your way.
Nature Knitter's Mom [betty K]

Deb said...

Good to hear things are settling back to "normal". I remember just being so exhausted after my mom's funeral, it was a relief to hang out at home for a couple days, tending my garden and other stuff.

That is one strange red squirrel-it's a pretty full tail for one too! I have not seen one red squirrel around here lately, which is odd. I just love red breasted nuthatches--is it unusual to see them there? I don't remember seeing them in Robbinsdale.

Maybe I'll make it to Cape May next year!

Cathy said...

I was so relieved to see your post showing the little creatures that bring smiles - lightness to your tender heart.

You've got wonderful birds! I hope you get some of those Evening Gross beaks that people are seeing here in Ohio.

NatureWoman said...

Oh Lynne, I am thinking about you often. I love your outdoor photos. Nothing like the outdoors to help you, is there?

Lynne said...

Linda- I'm sure I'll always miss Mom, but you're right about time softening the edges. The squirrel is a puzzle to me.

May- No matter when I use the ticket, YOU better be there! It really felt good to turn my attention to my yard friends.

barefoot gardener- It felt good to get back to my yard friends.

Delia- There's a terrific festival in northern Minnesota in February. I'm sure we'd get a great gray owl and other boreal birds....

Deb- I am exhausted. I find mindless activities to be very calming right now. Cape May next year??!! Yay! Any chance you can get away for the Sax-Zim festival in February?

Cathy- thank you fro your kindness. I haven't seen an evening grosbeak in ages. I'd love to see one again.

Pam- The outdoors is healing. It asks nothing but to watch.

Nature Knitter's Mom {Betty K] said...

LYNNE, just looked at the pics again, I think the squirrel and the raccoon did something they shouldn't have, HA-HA, what do you say?
Nature Knitter's Mom [Betty K]

Ruth said...

Glad you are back. Nature shows us over and over how life goes on. I am sure you will miss your mom often, but it was good you were close and able to be with her at the end.

Lynne said...

Betty- Thank you for the prayers, love and virtual hugs. You are such a dear. You know, I thought the very same thing about the squirrel and a raccoon!!

Ruth- It was truly an honor and a privilege to be with my Mom throughout her last days and at the end.

Susan Gets Native said...

You were missed by a whole lot of people, Lynne dear.

Watching the birds...a very nice way to cleanse your heart.
Just like Boston Terriers are "canine anti-depressants", bird are "avian anti-depressants".

You could use that ticket to fly into's only 20 miles from Magee marsh. Or save it and drive in.

Jayne said...

Of course your birdies and creatures welcomed you back and were happy to see you! ... Almost as much as we are happy to see you and your words dear Lynne. Many warm hugs to you as you find that "new normal."

RuthieJ said...

Hi Lynne,
I missed you and I'm so glad you found the chance to spend some time with your "backyard friends" and post about it for us. That little squirrel is pretty cute.

You're in my thoughts and prayers as you adjust to the "new normal." I agree with Susan about the birds--they will bring you much joy.

Hugs from down south (Rochester)

Larry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susan said...

I'm glad you're back - missed you! We feed the squirrels too and enjoy watching them. Rarely a bunny in our wooded yard, though.

Laurie said...

I'm so sorry I haven't been around. So terribly sorry about your mother. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.


Larry said...

I'm glad things are getting back to a new normal and you're back to enjoying wildlife. That is a good thing to focus on when you have a lot on your mind.

Dawn said...

My sincere condolences to you during this difficult time.

I found your blog via Mary's site. Your photos are lovely. The squirrel's tail reminds me of the saber-toothed squirrel, Scrat, in "Ice Age". :-)

Take good care,
Dawn in Austin, Texas

LostRoses said...

Lynne, a "new normal" is a good way to put it, because that's what it is. We missed you, and very obviously, your birds did too!

My bunny also did minimal damage to my garden this summer and he's still hopping around so I guess he's decided to stay. Good to have you back!

Patrick Belardo said...


My thoughts go out to you and your family. I'm so sorry for your loss.

LauraHinNJ said...

Glad to see you back and *visiting* with friends again, Lynne. I hope each day is a bit more *normal*.

Q said...

Dear Lynne,
The birds missed you! The Red Breasted Nuthatches are so cute!!
It is a "new normal" and it took me a couple of years.
Hope you are resting and enjoying some of your Autumn.

Rainbow dreams said...

beautiful photos, nature is wonderful and healing...a new normal will come, take care, Katie

Cathy said...

Dear Lynne,

I'm so glad you responded to my 'Present' post. Sometime in the future you'll be receiving your little 'something'.
(hopefully not TOO future, but my friend is giving herself a year to do her gifting ;0)
I'll need your name and address - which you can send to mushduckAtyahooDOTcom.

Thank you for signing up. I hope you are doing OK. I know your pain is on-going. It can't help that we're going into the dark and cold season. Sending you a hug, Cathy.

Susan Gets Native said...

Still lovin' ya, Lynne!
{} {} {} {} Hugs~

Mary said...

Just stopping by to say "HI, Linne"!

NatureWoman said...

I can imagine you must be really busy Lynne, but I just dropped by to say "hi" and to let you know I'm thinking about you.

Shauna said...

This is my first time commenting on your blog. I am sorry for the loss of your mother. I lost my mom 6 months ago after her very short fight with cancer. I am originally from Minnesota, and now that my mom is gone, I don't really have a "home" there anymore. I feel a little unmoored, like an orphan of sorts. I hope you find peace.


Nature Knitter's Mom [Betty K] said...

Hi Lynn, just stopping in to say may you have a Blessed Thanksgiving, and yes it will be different, but having your family around will help. You are still in my thoughts and prayers and I'm looking forward to the time when you blog again but don't rush it.
Nature Knitter's Mom [Betty K]

Q said...

Blessings on this Thanksgiving to you and your family.