Necessity is the Mother of invention.

The war wages on. Peppermint essential oil had no effect, other than to make their mud smell minty fresh.

I took everything down and disinfected the whole area (again).

Then I went to searching for something I could use to block the ledge entirely. I found some old paper grocery bags under my kitchen sink and they sparked an idea.

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I tucked one end of the bottom up under the gap between the porch ceiling/wall and then taped the rest down like crazy. They block the ledge, they’re curved and provide no purchase. The ends are taped down so they can’t get inside. Fingers crossed it works.

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Is it cute? No. Will it work? Who knows. But it was worth a shot.

So far, it doesn’t look like they’ve been back since I put it up. I’m still on the look-out though.

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I’m at war.

Swallows. They’re cute little birds that swoop and soar in graceful circles through the air.

They’re also relentless pests. A pair has determined that they are going to build their nest above my front door. I’ve scraped off their mud splatters at least 5 times now.

This is what my front door looked like a couple days ago.

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Listen. Anywhere else on my house and I’d leave them, but this is above my front door. I open it and mud falls down on me. My front porch is full of bird poop, dried grass and dried mud.

The devil is alive on my front stoop, y’all. They won’t stop.

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I tried a powerfully scented cleaner. They came back.

I stuck a bunch of nails in some duct tape and put it up, so the nails were pointing upwards. The next day, there was fresh mud in between the nails.

The internet said to hang shiny things. I tried foil. I made some hanging things out of old soda cans.

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Didn’t work.

This morning I opened my front door and they were flying around in circles and chattering at me. They’re mad. I’m mad.

I heard they don’t like peppermint essential oil, so I put a bunch of that up there this morning. We’ll see what I find when I get home from work.

I’m going to Wal-Mart to get some more supplies. A plastic owl, some actual bird spikes, anything else I can think of.

They’re relentless, I’m determined.

 

“To sleep, perchance to dream”

I have always been a prolific dreamer. And in this case, I’m not referring to hopes for my future, although I’ve got an abundance of those as well. I’m talking about the kind you have while sleeping. I’ve always been a person who dreams very vivid dreams and I almost always remember them. I’ve always been fascinated with my dreams and the reasons behind what I dream and why I dream have always been of interest to me. I know there are a million thoughts and theories about why we dream and if those dreams mean anything.

My personal belief on the subject changes frequently. I’d like to believe they’re meaningful – but I guess I don’t really know. Sometimes my dreams are bizarre and unexplainable. But for the most part, I can look at things going on in my life and things I’ve been thinking a lot about lately and kind of figure out why particular things were in my dreams.

For instance, I’ve had one reoccurring dream for as long as I can remember. In the dream, I’m getting married. I’m walking down the aisle and a sea of blurry faces are watching me as I stride confidently towards my groom. His back is turned at first but then he turns around and his face is a blurred, black smudge. I can’t see who it is. The details change, sometimes I recognize guests. My dress and flowers will often be different. But the basic premise of the dream is always the same. To me, this dream is pretty cut and dry. I want to get married, I want my life to go in that direction – but I have no idea who I’ll marry, if anyone – so the mystery remains. Sometimes, this dream makes me profoundly sad. Other times, hopeful.

Not only are my dreams usually vivid, but they are almost always connected to strong emotion. I’ll wake up after a dream feeling sad, happy, scared, joyful, etc.. Whatever the main emotion of the dream. Sometimes I wake up smiling or laughing out loud. Sometimes I wake up actually crying. A few times I’ve woken up truly sobbing. It’s always so bizarre to be in such a heightened emotional state without any conscious effort.

Lately I’ve been dreaming a lot about death. I had a terrifying, sorrowful dream about the death of my mother (who is alive and well in real life) and woke up sobbing and crying. I was in such a funk when I woke up it took practically the entire day for me to shake the emotions.

Last night I dreamed of my own funeral. My best friend and her sister stood by my grave and sang a beautiful song and I kept thinking, “Man, I wish I was alive to hear this song, it’s so pretty!”

When you search dream meanings online, you get an abundance of different interpretations. One site says, “Dreams of experiencing your own death usually means that big changes are ahead for you. You are moving on to new beginnings and leaving the past behind.” That could be a load of bull. But I hope it’s true.

Maybe dreams are completely random and mean absolutely nothing. Or maybe not. Either way, they’re a big part of my life. Sometimes I hate them, sometimes I love them- but I always enjoy thinking about them.

What do you think? Do you think dreams have meaning? Or do you think they’re the random misfiring of neurons or other random brain phenomenon? I’d like to know.

Quick Book Review: *Bumped* and *Thumped* by Megan McCafferty

Quick Book Review

*Bumped* and *Thumped* by Megan McCafferty

Read these two books yesterday and today. Quick, easy reads. Satirical, dystopian, YA.

They’re about a future world where people become infertile at age 18 due to an virus, and teen pregnancy has become a booming business. Babies are a commodity. Girls are recruited and wooed by prospective adoptive parents with promises of money, cars, plastic surgery, etc.

They’re a commentary on our culture’s obsession with youth and celebrity. They’re about women’s issues, sex, reproductive rights.

The story focuses on 16 year old twin girls Harmony and Melody who were separated at birth and raised in two very different worlds.

The point of view switches back and forth between the sisters. There are clear differences in their personalities. There are a lot of slang terms they use for pregnancy and sex, etc. that can be a little annoying/off-putting at first, but you get used to it and it adds to the mindset of the girls and the culture they live in.

These aren’t my typical reads, but I was looking for something light and interesting and they fit the bill. They’re thought provoking.

Overall, I thought they were ok. Gave them both a 3 out of 5 stars. ⋆⋆⋆

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“There was a dream and one day I could see it…” : The Avett Brothers

Last night, Dad and I went to The Avett Brothers‘ concert in Little Rock. The tickets were our birthday presents to each other. In all actuality, my Dad isn’t a huge fan of concerts (or any event with large crowds in general) – but I bought the tickets and pretty much told him he was going, and we’re both glad we did!

I have wanted to see them live since the first time I watched a Youtube video of them singing and they did not disappoint. The concert was AMAZING (INCREDIBLE, OUTSTANDING… I could go on, but you get the point.)

There was no opening act. The Avett Brothers came out and rocked the Verizon Arena – it was 2.5 hours of pure, unadulterated awesomeness. They blew us away with their energy. They sounded phenomenal. We left a little in awe.

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This is NOT my photo - photo credit: http://verizonarena.com/hot-shots/album/the-avett-brothers
This is NOT my photo – photo credit: http://verizonarena.com/hot-shots/album/the-avett-brothers
This is NOT my photo - photo credit: http://verizonarena.com/hot-shots/album/the-avett-brothers
This is NOT my photo – photo credit: http://verizonarena.com/hot-shots/album/the-avett-brothers
This is NOT my photo - photo credit: http://verizonarena.com/hot-shots/album/the-avett-brothers
This is NOT my photo – photo credit: http://verizonarena.com/hot-shots/album/the-avett-brothers
This is NOT my photo - photo credit: http://verizonarena.com/hot-shots/album/the-avett-brothers
This is NOT my photo – photo credit: http://verizonarena.com/hot-shots/album/the-avett-brothers

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This is my fav photo I got of the night.
This is my fav photo I got of the night.

Basically, it was a total blast and if I was in LOVE with The Avett Brothers before, you ain’t seen nothing yet. LOL.

If you aren’t familiar with their music – you should be, what are you waiting for? Go you their website, or Youtube and educate yourself!!!

If you are a fan, what’s your favorite TAB song?

xo
j,ft❤

I’m blue!

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A while back I heard The Color Run was taking place in my city and while I knew I wasn’t ready to run it quite yet, I also knew I wanted to be involved. So I signed up to volunteer.

Those of you that really know me, know that this is slightly a-typical behavior for me. Why? Well I’m a bit of an introverted-homebody. Talking to strangers isn’t my strong suit. Writing to them on the internet, that I can do; but face-to-face small talk usually has me running in the opposite direction. It’s not that I don’t like meeting new people or participating in things, I just, well, I take after my introverted dad more than my extroverted mom, so it’s not always easy for me.

Today though, I had a total blast!

I put myself out there, I participated in life. I had SO MUCH FUN!!!

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The Blue Crew!

I was stationed in “color zone 4,” near the end of the race, and it was our job to throw blue powder on all of the runners/walkers as they passed. We cheered and laughed and woohooed.

We turned blue.

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I had a blast volunteering, but I’m determined that next year, I’m going to run. I’m gonna make my dad and little sister train with me this year so we can run it together, it’ll be a challenge for me (Nothing for my dad who once ran the Chicago marathon!) – but I’m already excited!

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xo
j,ft❤