Laura Erickson's For the Birds

Monday, January 28, 2008

Random thoughts about living by myself in Ithaca

  • It's usually warmer here in Ithaca than in Duluth--sometimes by more than 20 degrees--but today it was five degrees colder. Right when the John Beargrease Sled Dog Race is running--and the dogs get overheated easily. (Don't confuse that with the John Chickenfat Sled Bird Race!)
  • I love Ithaca, but where are the sidewalks? My street is winding and hilly, with a lot of houses, some very close to the road itself, and plenty of deer crossing everywhere, but there is little shoulder and no sidewalks at all, and yet the speed limit is 45 and cars often exceed that. Okay--I live sort of in the country, but within city limits. But how about in the regular residential neighborhoods? So far all the places I've been to have had no sidewalks except the Cornell University campus itself.
  • Why don't the grocery stores carry frozen pizza with just sausage? There's plenty of cheese pizzas, pepperoni pizzas, and other varieties, but I've yet to find a regular old sausage and cheese pizza. Not that I eat frozen pizzas very often, but what's that about?
  • Everyone says to go to Wegman's for groceries. It's HUGE. I'm scared to go inside. I didn't like shopping for groceries in Duluth, and this is no better. Small wonder Russ did most of that for me.
  • Even with Kasey's litter box stuff, I only have one small garbage bag a week, and would be happiest if I had pickup every two weeks, the way my recycling is picked up. But the choices for a hauler are once a week or once a month. I think it's this way in Duluth, too, but there I wasn't living alone.
  • I don't miss TV except Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. But wonderful as they are, even when the writers' strike is over, cable is too expensive.
  • I LOVE my balcony. My apartment is way more expensive than I can afford, but the balcony may make it worth it. (So if my budget is any judge, I'm afraid Tufted Titmice and Red-bellied Woodpeckers really are more entertaining that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.)
  • When you've been working out of your house and easing into your days and goofing around whenever you want, it's exhausting to get into regular full-time working habits. This would be true in Duluth OR Ithaca. But it's why I haven't been posting. I'm dead tired at night and always asleep, or incoherent, by 9 pm. And that's 9 pm EASTERN time--in Duluth, that's 8!
  • Another reason my apartment is worth the extra money is that it's one of the few places that allow renters to have a dog and a cat. I miss Russ and Tommy and a lot of my friends. I think I'd go bonkers without Photon and Kasey. They are SUCH good company!
  • Tufted Titmice are absolutely adorable. I've missed having them as daily birds since we left Lansing, MI, in 1976. I'm SO happy to be back around them!
  • I'm going to be sad that Red-breasted Nuthatches aren't daily birds around here, but am really glad that there are a few around this winter, including one male that comes to my feeder every few days, to ease me out of the habit of seeing them.
  • As soon as I get back from my trip next week to St. Louis and Duluth, I'm going to order mealworms from NCMealworms.com I'm hoping against hope that I can entice a Tufted Titmouse to come to my hand.
  • I can't wait to get my fluorescent light fixtures from my home office. None of the bulbs in my apartment are fluorescent, I don't have a step stool to change them, and my New York power company doesn't have great deals on them the way Minnesota Power does.

5 comments :

  1. Our library was just able to purchase "For the Birds" and "101 Ways..." through a donation from a book/bird lover.
    What wonderful additions they are--and an especially treasured for me--though I fear I will now have to buy my own copies for personal use!

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  2. Hi Laura!

    Welcome to Western New York! I still get the MN audubon e-newsletter and followed a link there to your blog. If you ever find your way to Rochester, look up Bill and me. Maybe we can meet some March or April day at Braddock Bay.

    You can get me via email at vbmaier@rochester.rr.com

    Ginny Borden (Maier)

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  3. Hi Laura,
    Don't give up on Wegmans! When we moved from Binghamton NY to north Carolina 10 years ago, Wegmans was one of the things we missed most. We still visit Binghamton a couple of times a year & I always stock up on stuff from their natural foods section.
    Thanks for the mention of NCMealworms.com!

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  4. I too agree with Wegmans. Give it a chance. If they don't carry what you want, ask. They might just get it for you.

    If ou do make it to the Rochester area, take a pocketful of sunflower seeds to Mendon Ponds Park. Everyone talks about the black capped chickadees eating out of your hands, but the tufted titmice will as well.

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  5. Laura,
    When I lived in my city apartment, I bought two huge plastic pots (approx. 24" across) and planted one arborvitae in each, ringed with flowers and herbs. I attracted a pair of mourning doves that spent the summer bedding down in my potted arborvitae 'nest'. I, too, had a balcony overlooking wooded wetlands and every now and again, blue herons flew by almost close enough to touch.
    If you are interested in a balcony garden, I would be happy to help with plant suggestions!
    Good luck with the move. It will only get better for you!

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