Robins & Grackles

In 1996 I suffered a back injury. I heard it rip at the the time, a terrible sound. It was a weak spot in my back, having been injured way back in 1970 at a Bob Dylan concert at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Ontario. At that concert we were coming down the concrete stairs when the woman behind me lost her balance, or was pushed, and kicked me at the back of my knees. My legs went up, I went down, landing on my back on the edge of the concrete step. The bruising was extensive, and it took months and months to heal. Luckily no bones were broken, but my back was never the same again.

In 1996 I was lifting a heavy box, and I heard that area of my back rip apart. I was bedridden for weeks, unable to move, and Attila, bless his soul, took care of the kids, the cooking, everything domestic, including me and bed pan duty. I was in physiotherapy for six months after that injury, and again, my back has never been the same. At that point in time it looked as if I would not be able to hike in the bush again, and I was advised to take daily NSAIDS for the rest of my life. But I ignored the prognosis, took my time recovering, increasing activity levels, decreasing my dosage of NSAIDS, slowly, slowly, slowly, repeating over and over again to myself, “Rome was not built in a day.”

It took over a year, but I did recover my mobility, and the complete elimination of the use of NSAIDS, or any other pain medication. I still have to think before I do things that involve lifting, twisting, reaching, and so far I have been able continue hiking in the bush, and performing most tasks in our domestic life, and our renovation projects. I never push myself though, I try to work smart not hard when possible. If something inside me balks at an activity, I stop.

I have had very good luck with my back. I am jubilant that I did not follow medical advice, and did not take NSAIDS daily beyond a short recovery time. I feel grateful that slow-but-sure won the day as I attempted to recover from my injury. My body and I are now navigating our way through aging, a time of life when there is almost as much physical change to deal with as there was during early childhood.

Attila called me into the kitchen this morning and bid me look out the window. At first he thought the flock of birds was all robins, but closer inspection of photographs taken revealed that the flock seen in the video is mixed, there are many Robins, and many Grackles. Neither Attila nor I have ever seen Robins behave in this way, and have never really seen Robins at all at this time of year. Something is different this year. I wonder what next winter will bring!

Worldly Distractions


Date: 1:52 PM EST Sunday 5 February 2017
Condition: Light Snow
Pressure: 100.6 kPa
Tendency: Falling
Temperature: -0.1°C
Dew point: -2.8°C
Humidity: 82%
Wind: WSW 27 gust 44 km/h
Wind Chill: -6
Visibility: 5 km


“The worst sin – perhaps the only sin – passion can commit, is to be joyless.”
Dorothy L. Sayers
1893 – 1957

This quote has me thinking!

NOTE: Some days are bad hair days. I am having a bad technology day! I have edited this entry so many times, it is all because I have added a video file, which I usually do not do, and am learning by trial and error, a lot of error is a trial!

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TopsyTurvy (Teri)

The robins and grackles are looking for seeds and/or looking for dried fruits in areas where the snow is thin or the ground bare along the plants. Or, if you’ve had sun, there might be some ants or other insects active there.

I’ve had back injuries before that have taken months to heal. I instinctively started off with numbing the pain with an overlap of ibuprofen and acetaminophen for a week and then slowly withdrew the pain killers. Sounds similar to what you did. But yes, the weakness from my injuries has never gone away, either. At this point, all it takes is someone giving my torso/ribs a glancing blow from the side and my back can be out for weeks. Thank goodness that’s only happened to me twice in all these years, so far.

TopsyTurvy (Teri)

I watch the weather over on the US NOAA site and have noticed we’re already starting to get some of the temperature layering you see in late spring. Makes me wonder if we’ll miss the usual big winds we start getting around March.

I can remember a very early spring that we had back in 1998. I remember a daffodil blooming next to my house in London that February and it never did get cold again. That’s burned in my memory as my grandmother died a few days later.

*grin* Yes, I’m very protective of getting bumped from the side. Self-defense, you know.

Bex Crowell

I thought you must have a birdfeeder out there… they are flocking to that spot so much. We have snow today! It’s been almost a snowless winter for us so far this year… and it looks kind of pretty but it’s quite wet & expected to melt or turn to rain later on. Belle is not a snow dog like our previous 2 angels were. I remember Kip cold not wait to bound out the door when it was white outside… Em, too…she loved her snow-cones… but Belle, nope… she does not like getting her furs OR her feet wet!