Five Stages of Grief

It happened. It really happened. Once it started, there was no turning back. Initially it moved slow, but within minutes I knew something was wrong, so very wrong. And I was all, you know, HOLD UP…

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I told myself to remain calm. There has to be an easy fix, just REMAIN FREAKING CALM!

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But then I realized it was true, and I couldn’t stop it. I looked something like this…

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The inconceivable happened, I had a virus, a computer virus! And thus, the five stages of grief began.

1.) SHOCK: a sudden upsetting or surprising event or experience. I felt a little of this…

followed by some of this…

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and then a whole lotta of Beyonce…oh, hell no!

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2.) DENIAL: the action of declaring something to be untrue. Nope, no, no way, NEVERRRR!

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So, I guess I will just shutdown, restart, and…

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3.) ANGER: a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility. Yup, that’s me, extreme anger.

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I want to do this to your face Mr. Virus Man attacking innocent computer lovin, internet addicts everywhere…

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4.) SADNESS: emotions experienced when not in a state of well-being. Virus?! Ain’t nobody got time for that!

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And then, I broke down. Flailing arms ensued.

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And some woe is me…

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5.) ACCEPTANCE: the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered. I had become an outcast. I felt so alone,

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and abused.

Tree beats tractor driver

After finally accepting my fate, I did what any self-sufficient, young adult would do, I ran to the number one IT department, my Dad.

I became aware of the virus when Google Chrome stopped working and replaced the browser screen with a message that stated I had been infected by the virus, Sirefef.gen!C. The following text read something like this, “Sirefef.gen!C is a computer virus that intercepts secure web connections and can steal passwords and other sensitive data. Chrome recognizes this virus, but it affects all software on the computer. Other browsers and software may continue to work, but they are also affected and insecure.”

Eeeck! Sounds terrible and I immediately noticed that all processes on my laptop slowed down. So I decided to Ctrl+Alt+Del to halt all processes and shut down to stop any further damage. What website was I visiting when this happened, you ask? I was filtering through job search websites (e.g., CareerBuilder, Monster, and Indeed). So for all you job hunters out there, beware of where you click!

After I shared the details of my “infection” with my Dad, he asked what anti-virus software I was using. Ha, ummmm…so that software is necessary?! Sadly, I had to admit I hadn’t been using anti-virus software for quite sometime. He suggested that I purchase and install McAfee Internet Security with the expectation that it would quickly clean-up this type of virus, especially because Google Chrome recognized it. So I did just that and VOILA, a clean and happy laptop after about an hour of cleaning. I actually had several items lurking in the background of my computer so I am pleased with the results after purchasing McAfee’s product. Woot! High five!

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What up now Sirefef.gen!C?! In the words of super creepy Willy Wonka,

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Has anybody else come in contact with this virus? What was your fix?

Rabbit, Rabbit

It’s May Day? Whatevs…cause this girl remembered to say “Rabbit, Rabbit”! Bring on the good luck, possible presents, or ward off evil spirits! Whatever the true superstition may be, I’ll take what I can get.

Say whaaat!? You don’t know what I am talking about? Well, here is the quick and dirty on “Rabbit, Rabbit” according to good ol’ reliable, Wikipedia.

Wiki

“Rabbit rabbit rabbit” is one variant of a common British superstition which states that a person should say or repeat the word “rabbit” or “rabbits”, or say the phrase “white rabbits”, or some combination of these elements, out loud upon waking on the first day of the month, because doing so will ensure good luck for the duration of that month” (you can read more here).

Two Rabbits, photo

My dear pals, Bethany and Meri shared this superstition with me in college and I’ve (often unsuccessfully) attempted to remember ever since. Typically, the first words out of my mouth upon waking sound something more like this…

  • “Seriously!?” (that can’t be the alarm ALREADY!)
  • “I’m so tired.” (why do I stay up so late?)
  • “Bentley! Knock it off!” (what could you possibly be licking now?)
  • “I had the strangest dream…” (l was totally swimming in a pool white fluff while wearing a bright yellow hat…)
  • “You’ve got to be kidding me…” (why is that alarm STILL going)
  • “What is that flippin’ sound?” (those birds won’t shut up)
  • “TROY!” (quit ripping the shower curtain open)
  • “$!@*#!” (any number of things can hurtle me in to a fit of rage in the morning)
  • “Morning, sleepy puppy.” (Señor Bentley is the coolest in the morning)
  • “Ughhh…” (’nuff said)
  • “Wanna go out?” (usually said within the first five minutes of any given morning)
  • “I feel like crap.” (it happens)
  • “Bentley is a Mr. Sleepy Bones…” (followed by ridiculous baby dog talk, he is the cutest)
  • “Hello? Uhhh…yea, I was sleeping…” (really? phones are not to be used before 8AM)
  • “Shhhhhhhh…..” (if I ignore them long enough they will quit talking/barking/looking at me)

followed by an, “oh, crap”!

Today was different. I laid silently after just waking and happily, with a big grin on my face, welcomed May with a giant “RABBIT, RABBIT”! Superstition or not, today is feeling pretty good!

Don’t worry if you forget to say “Rabbit, Rabbit” first thing in the morning , you can always say it backwards before bed, “Tibbar, Tibbar”.

Happy “Rabbit, Rabbit” day to all! Anyone else share this crazy superstition?

Bird Woman

Bird seed fail. If you dream of quickly becoming the Bird Woman that Mary Poppins sweetly sings about, I would suggest splurging on the good stuff!

Shortly after hanging my new bird feeder, Troy suggested we move the feeders closer to our kitchen window. Genius! The previous location was making it hard to see all the action and snapping a few pics was nearly impossible from our back deck. So two weeks ago we purchased an eight-foot, double hanger, bird feeder pole type thingamajig, and posted it outside the kitchen window. I knew it may take a few days for the birds to enjoy din-din on the other side of the yard but I didn’t expect the new pole to leave my feeders practically birdless!

*Chirping crickets*. Hello?! Anyone…errr, anybird?

Bird Feeder

With the purchase of the new pole, I also picked up a bag of Thistle Seed and a second feeder. Since filling the new feeder with the Thistle Seed, I have a male and female Cardinal that dine regularly, as well as a few Yellow Finches. I guess the new pole isn’t a complete bust, but it is rare for me to see a bird on the feeder that contains the cheap mix (Milo, White Millet, Cracked Corn, and a few Black Oil Sunflower Seeds). I partially believe that our feathered friends may not feel safe with the lack of tree branches but it is obvious there is better food to be had elsewhere.

So, in an effort to cater to their snobbish bird ways, I’m gonna draw ‘em in with new seed! Black Oil Sunflower Seeds!

Sunflower Seed Shake

C’mon birdies…I just need a little bird action to the tune of Julie Andrews!

Bridge the Gap

It was finally warm enough to spend the afternoon at the property without a coat, hat, and gloves! We packed a cooler and grabbed some hot dogs, chips, and our good friend, Sami. 

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My Mom and Dad buzzed over on the Razor and joined us for some simple grilling. It had been a few weeks since I visited the property and I was able to see the aftereffects of winter.

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Barn pic5_041913

More importantly, I finally got to see the recent “projects” started by Troy and my Dad…

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We are officially the new owners of a rope “swing”! Dad bought the marine rope at a recent auction and immediately worked with Troy to get it up and swinging. I took it for a brief ride, VERY brief, and am certain that a stack of waiver forms are necessary for any of my adventuresome, may drink one too many friends. The next step may be to add a board at the bottom of the rope for easier swinging.

Troy and Mom took it for a trial swing. I think Mom lasted 20 seconds and the wild ride left her screaming. After a closer look at the pictures, I’m noticing that it looks as though the rope is no more than a foot off the ground. I swear it is higher than that…right?! I mean, I gotta say, I was a bit scared! Or, maybe that is because my Dad chose an itty-bitty, this thing is gonna break at any moment, I shouldn’t have eaten that last potato chip tree limb!

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Dad and Troy also started building a tree bridge. Ya know, for all those times you want to get to the other side…

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It’s hard to tell from this picture, but the bridge spans 40-feet. They placed two tree trunks that are 10-12 inches in diameter for the horizontal support. I wasn’t there to witness the scary process, but they managed to drag the tree trunks with a chain and the truck from the opposite side of the ravine to set them in place. Four tree trunks will be added for vertical support and Dad is cutting four-foot boards to place across as planks. Eventually, we think there should be a railing but Dad’s initial “plans” didn’t include them. It won’t be long until we can use the bridge to cross to the other side to…um, turn around and come back?!

I’m looking forward to sharing the finished product! Has anyone else built a walking bridge or possibly a tree bridge?

Calling All Birds

“Birds are not aggressive creatures, Miss. They bring beauty into the world. It is mankind, rather… It is mankind, rather, who insists upon making it difficult for life to exist on this planet. Now if it were not for birds…” (Ethel Griffies as Mrs. Bundy from The Birds, 1963).

HITCHCOCK-BIRDS

It’s official, I’m a bird watcher! Troy bought me a bird feeder and Finch sock for my birthday. I started with a Hummingbird feeder last summer but since it was rare that I actually saw a Hummingbird (often scaring them off with my over excited, flailing arms), I decided that it was time for an additional bird buffet in town. We filled the feeder with the basic seed from Lowes, primarily made of Milo, White Millet, Cracked Corn, Stripe Sunflower, and Black Oil Sunflower seeds. The seed mix is supposed to attract Jays, Doves, Cardinals, Chickadees, and Sparrows.

BirdSeed

I was super excited to start feeding the birds. Especially because I enjoyed watching my Grandpa’s bird feeders in the past and my Mom was able to snap this amazing picture at her feeder.

head

Sadly, the Hawk was there to pick up breakfast (and no, not the bird seed special). But, I was told that Hawk’s only kill for food, not for sport (since the can’t watch discovery channel, animal lover in me took over and led me to a mild freak out moment).

After a few days and zero birds at my feeder, I decided to do a little internet research about attracting birds to our grand opening. After a quick pass through Google, I found that it may take a short while for the birds to show up and even then, some birds may snub our seed of choice…humph.  A few sites also mentioned that “better” seed would attract additional species of birds. I quickly jumped to the conclusion that we were not the five-star bird buffet I had hoped for and expressed the NEED to step it up a notch ASAP.

But wait, is it so, by the next morning I noticed that some of the bird seed was gone and witnessed a female Cardinal out dining! Within 48-hours, the birds had officially cleaned us out!! So, after approximately nine days, our grand opening was finally a success. I’ve seen several Finch visiting the Finch sock but assume it will last longer than the seed.

Empty Seed

After a heavy rain, I put on my hubby’s boots and refilled the feeder.

Boots and Seed

So far, I’ve seen small brown birds, Yellow Finches, Cardinals, Blue Jays, and as of this morning, a Mourning Dove hanging around the feeder (some seem to stick to the ground to eat the dropped seeds).

Bird Feeders

In addition to our new bird buffet patrons, there is always one species of bird that seems to come back every spring and without any coaxing from me; it is the Turkey Vulture. There are at least a hundred of them and they float in the sky using the thermal currents. By early summer, their visits happen daily and they can be seen nesting in our backyard. This picture doesn’t do justice to their true size and the number that will circle the house. They are eerie to listen and watch and I can’t help but think of the movie, The Birds

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“I think we’re in real trouble. I don’t know how this started or why, but I know it’s here and we’d be crazy to ignore it… The bird war, the bird attack, plague – call it what you like. They’re amassing out there someplace and they’ll be back. You can count on it…” (Rod Taylor as Mitch Brenner from The Birds, 1963).

On Your Dying Bed

Recently, my Mom read an article that asked, “What advice would you give on your dying bed?” After she spent a few days thinking about it, she decided that her advice would be, “to have patience; with your spouse, parents, children, while driving, when waiting in line at the grocery store, etc.” On Monday, after a long and frustrating day, my mom advised me, “to have patience.”

I celebrated my 31st birthday last Friday. I arrived at work and enjoyed a beautiful confetti cake (seriously, one of the prettiest cakes I have ever eaten) and a few singing co-workers. My friend, Jody gave me a gift bag full of gardening goodies that reminded me that spring is almost here (if only mother nature would get the message), and my husband sent me a beautiful Easter Lily and birthday balloon. For lunch, I met my Mom, who greeted me with a vase full of my favorite flower, tulips, and I enjoyed the typical grilled cheese and side salad. The sun shined for the entire day and by the early evening, I was out for dinner and drinks with my husband and a fantastic group of friends. It was the perfect way to spend my birthday!

FlowerFinal

But, by the end of my birthday / Easter weekend, I was feeling old(er), grumpy, and impatient at the age of 31.

My husband, Troy and I plan to build a house on our recently purchased (in a friendly agreement with the bank), seven-acre, wooded lot. We purchased the property with the hopes to repay our loan within five years before we started the building process. It’s been 11 months since we started making payments and I’m beginning to feel as though building a house is a very distant thought, or even a dream. I find myself thinking about buying a reasonable starter home instead and often scope out the local real estate market. I haven’t seen an ‘I gotta have it’ house until Easter Sunday. On our way home from Easter lunch, we passed the cutest hobby farm for sale just outside of town and a few miles from my parents house. Troy had spotted it a few days prior and after a closer look, we were enamored by its charm!

House2_040313

I would LOVE to own this adorable house and can easily imagine myself living there. The 1930’s old charm, flower gardens, rich hardwood floors, beautiful white trim and windows, and as a bonus, there is even a chicken coop! I found myself obsessing over it and longing to get the approval (from ANYONE) that making this type of purchase would be okay for the interim. I looked at the pictures a hundred times and shared the link with my normal council… and then I looked at the pictures another hundred times! I thought about updating the kitchen, replacing the deck, and decorating it to make it my own.

By the end of that day, I found myself reviewing interest rates and breaking out the calculator. All the while, I had that little voice in my head telling me that buying a house would only set us back from reaching our ultimate goal; to build (in reality, I think that voice was yelling, ‘hey wacko…what the hell are you thinking?!’). As I began to listen to my inner smarts, I grew angry when I thought about bills, student loans, rent, and all the projects that will need to happen before we build. The more I confronted the fact that this house would NOT be mine, the more enraged I became. After a few hours of inner contention, I ridiculously began to think that the world had been unfair to me. Only me. In reality, I had become impatient.

Having patience is not one of my stellar qualities, but I do know that when I want something, I am a whole helluva lot persistent. Hopefully, that positive stuff follows…I am confident that someday we will look back and be pleased with our decision to build. In the meantime, as we make our way to building that dreamy house in the woods, I plan to share all of our doings with you!

After reading a note from my mom, I knew she was right. “…your land will be the perfect place for a beautiful house…just be patient. It will happen, all in good time. Love, Mom.”