Losing Nemo

We haven’t seen her since last Thursday and although we still hope she’ll come home, we know the chances of that are fairly slim.

Nemo has been a good member of the family for the past five years or so. She would run to meet us as we drove into the driveway. She loved to bat at falling water droplets in the tub after the faucet was turned off, licking her paws. She always knew which bed she could hide on and would go there to nap.

Nemo was a good mouser. She regularly provided us with “presents” in shoes left on the front porch.

Nemo loved to follow us to the mailbox down the street and would follow us on longer walks if we let her. Pick Nemo up and she would purr. Open a can of catfood and she’d come running.

We’ll always have many happy memories of Nemo.

We miss you, Nemo.

Farewell to Maple the Bullfrog Tadpole

Tonight is a sad night. We just released “Maple” the bullfrog tadpole into the beaver pond behind our house.

Jamison caught Maple on Saturday and became quite attached over the past couple of  days. Unfortunately, the small aquarium we have is too small for Maple without risking his health. Maple had already developed his hind legs a looked like the front legs would develop soon.

I’m looking forward to Maple’s croaking from the greenspace (instead of croaking in Jamison’s aquarium).

Tough Year for the Swallows

Swallows have used the archway above our front door for the past few years. A swallow couple shows up, cleans out the nest, makes the edges a little taller, and raises a brood or two during the summer.

Here are a few earlier posts on our swallow friends.

Earlier this spring, before the swallows appeared, the nest fell. We wondered what the swallows would do. No need to worry. They came back and rebuilt their nest in three days.

This morning I discovered the new nest on the front mat and the swallow couple flying around. The nest (shown to the left), is amazingly light even though it looks like dried mud.

I don’t know why the nest has fallen twice in about as many months. I cleaned the brickwork, hoping that might help a new nest stick better.

Hours later, the swallows have started building a new nest. I hope they have better luck this time.

Back to Work; Sabbatical is Over

Having cast off for sabbatical eight weeks ago, today was time to plug back into the docking station.

Alpha mail. Thankfully, only 500 e-mails were waiting in my inbox and most could be discarded without reading more than the subject line. After accepting a few meeting requests and placing a few phone calls to ensure the other e-mails had been handled in my absence, I was able to get my inbox down to less than ten e-mails by end of day. That’s the result of having great coverage. Thanks, guys!

Breaking rules. Waiting on my desk was a bookstore gift certificate in recognition of some work I did immediately before sabbatical. During lunch, I bought First, Break all the Rules. After all, work bought me the book; I thought I’d return the favor by getting something that just might improve my on-the-job performance. Coincidentally, this morning I completed an organizational health survey. Upon starting the book, I recognized the twelve core questions. Maybe I’m not the first to have read this book.

Wireless mouse. Going through my drawers, I discovered mouse droppings. Wait — that didn’t come out right. My top desk drawer contained shredded paper napkins and mouse poop. That’s not good; I didn’t even have food there. Not that I suspect my coworkers, but I locked my drawers before sabbatical. Fortunately, the drawer held nothing of value and now the trash can does. Welcome back! I’m tempted to try a trap.

Beat by the Street. I looked up my employer’s stock. Great — there’s a definite improvement that coincided with my departure. Don’t tell upper management…

Staying on sabbatical. As part of my sabbatical, I took a political fast. Normally a political junky, I abstained from talk radio, political blogs, and political commentary. Amazingly enough, the world continued to spin without me. I’m considering continuing the fast or at least maintaining a slim political diet. My heart will thank me, I’m sure. I’ll have more time to do the other things I enjoy. Speaking of which…

Going nowhere not so fast. After a full, fun day at work I exercised today. Just the treadmill tonight, but my board short tan’s going to look pretty funny when I swim laps again.

Yup, I’m back. Good to see you all again. :-)

Swallows in the House

This is our third year having swallows above our entryway — and our third year having a swallow come in the open front door. (Search for “swallow” to find my other posts.)

Once inside, a swallow seems to get confused and has a hard time finding the exit. Rather than chase it though the house, we decided to shut all the upstairs doors, leave the front door open, and go into another part of the house.

After all, it’s a barn swallow. It should be able to find its way out of a building.

Uh oh. I want back to check on our interloper. Things are not improving…

Update: I heard the swallows chirp so I went to investigate. They’re back outside (and the front door is now closed).