Knock Knock

Do you know what happens when you self isolate at home? You spend a lot of time staring out your windows, looking for freedom. Instead, you notice things you never noticed before. And because you have the clear understanding that you will continue to stare out this particular window for literally ever into the murky future, you discover something that bothers you. A tiny thing that makes you crazy as time marches on.

You will have to make it go away.

We have acorn woodpeckers that use our palm trees as long term storage facilities. They fly in with a single acorn in their beak and proceed to ram said acorn into the tree. As hard as they can. Wherever it will fit. I don’t know why the acorn isn’t accidentally rammed down their throat in the process or why they don’t have a profound headache afterward. When we trim the palms, bushels of acorns fall out of the frond pockets, exploding like a piñata (Exhibit B). These birds will spend the following days patiently retrieving every single acorn from the ground and ramming it right back into the trees.

I like birds. I’m happy for their stash. If things go south, I will rob their cupboards and make acorn griddle cakes like the native Kumeyaay tribes. But this spring, they went a step too far and began ripping a hole right into the trunk. A big hole, a bird-sized hole,  a community-sized hole with a billiard room attachment (Exhibit A). And this tree is miles tall.

The internet told me to hang sparkly things in the trees to discourage the birds, but all I had at the moment I snapped were shopping bags. I lifted the bags up on the end of a pole and hung them in the shortest palm. They flapped around in the breeze and the woodpeckers spent 24 hours cussing me out before remembering the malls are closed. Then they went back to business.

I replaced the bags with a surprise birthday party. 24 hours later, they were out there singing along with me and doing the limbo rock.

I replaced the birthday party with Christmas decorations. The floating tinsel kept them away for three days before they decided to fill the trees with presents.

I replaced Christmas with floating mylar balloons on a looooong string. This seemed to do the trick. By now, the woodpeckers were out of cuss words and stopped working on the giant hole. But the helium won’t last forever.

If they come back, I have CDs of really bad movies ready to hang. After that, honestly, I’m going down to the local JiffyLube and borrowing their floater guy. You know the one:

Oh yeah. This’ll work. Dance Party.

The woodpeckers have a lot of housing and cupboard options, including Hollywood. Don’t feel sorry for the little vandals. They sit at the top of the cypress tree and laugh at my shortness and wonder when I’m throwing the next party.

I wonder how they feel about disco balls? Lasers? Fog machines? I know a guy with a drone…

Who’s there?

This means war.

Hot pockets. Piñatas full of acorns. Thousands of acorns!

Logical. Everybody hates shopping. Will keep you from pinching free samples.

Fine. Happy Birthday from the ground!

This Is Not Your Happy Place!

Mother’s Day Hotline 2020

Good morning my dears and here are some cheers for the Mothers Day about to arrive.

No need to fret that the mall’s not open yet or the family has nowhere to drive.

Buying diamonds online is so unrefined, though flowers from the lawn might do.

But laughing is free and we always have tea, so relax with this bit just for you.

Good morning and thank you for calling the Mother’s Day Hotline.

Please listen carefully, as our menu has definitely changed. Who are we kidding?

The planet has definitely changed.

If you were the perfect mom….until you had kids, you’d better press 1.

If you feel like crying along with your toddler, press 2.

If you just need to unwind (un-wine?) with a girlfriend, press 3.

If you need to explain “boredom” to your middle school kid, please press 4.

If “distance learning” is now part of your life, please press 5.

If you are raising teenagers, please press 6.

If you need a heartwarming reminder that it will all be okay, press 7.

If you are the kid and need ideas for your own mother, better press 8.

If you are parenting fur-babies, please press 9.

If you need a reminder that you are rocking this mom gig, please press the pound key.

Thank you for calling the Mothers Day Hotline. Enjoy your tea. Be kind to yourself. Breathe. You are loved.

(We’re having a special this year on last year’s Hotlines! To access previous Mothers Days, please press here: 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016)