|This is a blog about the book I am currently writing, CHERRY’S WINGS. This book is a follow up to my published book, CHERRY’S ARMY. My’ blog will also deal with other things that I am doing now.|
|This is the first part of my Robin research.
Robins are also fascinating to observe. They can be found almost everywhere, in cities, rural areas, grasslands, even forests. I have a flock living in my holly tree and hopping around my lawn. Their upright stance makes them look like they’re strutting. We have a few nests in our apple tree and one even nested on the top step of our ladder. It is normal for robins to nest on window sills and porches. The nests are made from many materials, such as twigs, mud, grass, even pieces of string or ribbons. There are usually 3 or 4 eggs in the nest. The mother sits on the eggs for 14 to 16 days before they hatch. Both parents feed the babies, but the female feeds them more than the male. Both the father and the mother aggressively defend the nest. The father often takes care of the babies while the mother attempts to begin a second nesting. Robins usually have two sets of babies each season, sometimes they have three.
I love watching hummingbirds birds flit in and out of my garden and “kiss” my flowers. I’ve done a lot of research to satisfy my curiosity about them. I even wrote a nonfiction article directed to children about these fascinating birds. A copy of it is in my portfolio.
Hummingbirds have been called living jewels, flying jewels, rainbow fragments, and have a number of other names according to the area and language of the people living there. These amazing birds have fascinated humans wherever they have been found. The Aztecs named them ‘huitzil’, which means, “shining one with weapon like cactus thorn”. To the Caribbean Indians, hummers are known as ‘colibri’ or “sun god birds”. In Portugal they are called ‘beija-flor’ meaning, “kiss flower”. The Spanish name is ‘joyas voladoes or “flying jewels”. The small size of the hummingbird inspired the French to call them ‘oiseau-mouche’ which means, “fly-bird.”
They glitter with all the colors of a rainbow as they feast on the nectar found in your flowers or hummingbird feeders. Their wings hum as they dart in and out looking for nourishment. They can take off and land vertically, as well as fly sideways and backwards. When threatened they make a quick exit by flipping into a backwards somersault and flying upside down for a beat or two before rolling upright. Hummers take-off and land vertically, and can fly sideways or backwards. This is a feat even helicopters can’t execute!
There are 338 different species of hummingbirds listed. Most of them live across the countries of South America and can be found from the southern extremity of South America, to the extreme northwestern region of North America. There have been 16 species identified as nesting in the United States.
It’s the unusual structure of a hummingbird’s wings that enable him to hover. Most bird wings have a number of moveable joints, but the only movable joint a hummingbird wing has is in the shoulder. It has a ball and socket joint that enables the wing to move freely 180 degrees. While hovering the wings move in a figure eight. The up and down stroke match, pinning the hummer in place. We might compare this movement with the way a swimmer moves his shoulder joints as he treads water.
Because of its wing structure the hummingbird is also able to tilt the front edge of its wing backwards and fly in reverse. The hummer’s small size, light weight, strong flight muscles, and tapered wings combine to make it highly maneuverable. Hummingbird wings average between 50 and 70 beats per second. When performing aerial dives, as the males do during courtship, the wings can beat 200 times per second. This quick wing movement causes the humming sound you hear.
Constant hummingbird activity burns an incredible ten times the amount of energy as a marathon runner. Hummers eat every 7 to 15 minutes for about 30 to 60 seconds at a time. They eat most frequently in the early morning and late afternoon hours. Their main food is nectar, but as they sip they are constantly on the alert for small insects to add to their diet.
If an adult human were able to burn energy as efficiently as a hummingbird, he or she would need to eat 155,000 calories a day. Think of all the candy bars you would need to eat in order too consume that many calories. Talk about a sugar high!
The hummingbird glows like a sparkling jewel because of the unique structure of its feathers. The outer third of each feather contains miniature air bubbles. There are dark spaces between each bubble. As light bounces off the bubbles at different angles they seem to glow with iridescent color. This is similar to the way we see different colors bouncing off a soap bubble. The specific color of the feather is determined by the thickness of the bubble as well as the amount of air it contains.
If you plant flowers hummingbirds like, such as fuchsias, honeysuckle, petunias, and zinnias, hummers will no doubt be a frequent visitor to your yard. You can also attract these beautiful jewels by using a hummingbird feeder that can be found at most variety stores. You can buy commercial nectar or make your own, by mixing one part sugar with four parts water. Boil the solution for one or two minutes to kill all bacteria. Allow the mixture to cool. Use a small amount in your feeder until the hummingbirds are consuming it quickly. Store extra solution in the refrigerator for later use.
You must change the nectar at least every other day. If you don’t the solution can ferment and, over time, become alcoholic. Also, be sure to clean the feeder out with hot water mixed with vinegar at least once a week. If you don’t have time to perform these necessary chores, you, and the hummingbirds, would be better off with a combination of flowers that provide them with a safe and natural food source
I love the song of robins in early spring
“Welcome to a new day” they cheerily sing
They wear a red vest saying “look at me
I am as handsome as handsome can be”
Their sturdy nest sits on my apple tree’s arm
Where their young chicks will not come to harm
Their strong wings take them way up high
They soar then swoop down from the sky
They pay no attention when other bird’s sass
They eat worms and bugs that hide in the grass
Hopping and strutting across the green lawn
Dancing and bobbing until the day is gone
Hummingbirds are darting through the air
Tasting flowers everywhere
Colors are bright, shiny, and bold
Blue, purple, green, red, and gold
Turning somersaults, flying upside down
Sipping nectar all day, wearing a crown
Chirping and scolding “this flower is mine”
Go some where else if you want to dine
A rainbow fragment flashing in the sun
Humming and waltzing until the day is done
It would be easy to be bitter over all that's wrong
But that wouldn't help-we need to be strong
Dwelling on the past with all of its pain
Will not help us contentment to gain
The future is what we need to prepare for
When our pain will be remembered no more
We know that someday we’ll be free
Of this awful pain and it’s misery
Dawn will come and we’ll be there
With skies of blue and weather fair
Rainbow promises give us hope
We will refuse to sit and mope
Better times will soon be here
We can’t give in to helpless fear
When we’re angry or feeling sad
We must remember that not all is bad
Now it’s time to put our feet on the floor
Stand on our own and walk through the door
I don’t know where I am
I’m lost in time and space
If I don’t know where I am
I could be any place
When I look into the mirror
Someone looks back at me
When I look into the mirror
I’m wondering who I see
They might be young
They might be old
But they are me
Is what I’m told
My heart tells me
Just how they feel
Happy, sad, or angry
I know that they are real
|Besides talk therapy, there are therapies that involve movement, art, and journaling.
If a person is inclined to play music, then playing a musical instrument could be the therapy of choice. Painting pictures, doing research on a subject of interest, or journaling about ones thoughts and feelings are also positive therapies. After I discovered I had DID/MPD, I coped by journaling, and my journaling took the form of rhyming. One advantage of writing down ones thoughts and feelings is that you can go back and read what you wrote at a later time.
|One of the main treatments for DID/MPD is talk therapy, also known as psychotherapy.The individual is encouraged to talk through their feelings and memories. It is important that this therapy is paced in such a way that the patient does not become anxious or overwhelmed. Sometimes family could be encouraged to take part in this therapy. Group therapy could also prove effective. One of the goals of family and group therapy is to help the client become comfortable around others.
|Can a person with DID be cured? All the websites I viewed seem to agree on this subject. The BRIGHTQUEST website compared it to other severe mental disorders and claimed that recovering from DID is a process that continues for life.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) agrees with this statement, claiming that while treatment can help, DID/MPD can't be cured.
The WEBMD website agrees that there isn’t a cure for dissociative identity disorder/multiple personality disorder, but there are long-term treatments that can help.
|People with Aspergers usually have a limited area of interests. They may spend most of their time learning everything they can about that subject. I have helped a few children with Aspergers in my job as a Special Education Assistant. One young student was very interested in astronomy and knew all the planets and their moons as well as where they were located in relation to the sun. Another student was very mathematical and was fascinated with building and dismantling mechanical items. My eight year old grandson knows almost everything there is to know about sharks and just now added snakes to his area of interest.
So, that leaves me. I love to read and write. I am fascinated with poetry and rhymes. I sometimes think that I am a rhyme because of my inability to do much writing without rhyme. A lot of times I even think in rhyme. I would also much rather sit down and read a book than visit with anyone. I am also intrigued by animals and would love to study each one at length and write about it. I once wrote a children’s article about hummingbirds.
I think my brain is scrambled,
I can’t escape the fog
One foot then the other
Through the marshy bog
I must keep on slogging
Until I reach the shore
Gentle hands will guide me
Through tomorrow’s door
No more will pain imprison me
Filling me with dread
I’m reaching for the light
That’s somewhere up ahead
The fog is now clearing
The sun is shining through
The clouds have all scattered
The skies I see are blue
|Many people feel that people with Aspergers do not have empathy. They think that just because they can’t express grief verbally, as others do, that they must not feel it. I know that is not true. My 8 year old grandson, who has been diagnosed with Aspergers, is hyper empathetic. When I cut my hand he was almost crying and kept asking if I was ok.
I am also hyper empathetic. I can put myself in anyone’s shoes and feel their pain. Some of the poems in my book, CHERRY’S ARMY, deal with my empathy.
Cherokee Rose of the Paper Doll Gang
Butterflies with gossamer wings are dancing in the air
They are not afraid to fly, they go everywhere
First they glide, then they land on every lovely flower
The sweet nectar that they sip replenishes their power
Strong wings won’t be caged, they’re always in a hurry
Waltzing through the sky so fast, wings a little blurry
Birds and bees, and butterflies all have silken wings
Flitting from place to place for the joy that it brings
|To continue in the discussion of Asperger symptoms, I will now address the topic of numbers and patterns. Strange as it may seem, those with Aspergers are often good with numbers and patterns. This is true of me. I love putting puzzles together and doing word find activities. I am also very good at solving math equations. I don’t need to follow certain routines, such as getting up at a certain time or eating at a certain time. I do, however, like the dishwasher loaded the same way each time. If someone else loads it, I will often move things around and reload it. When I put clean dishes away they need to be placed in the exact same spot each time. Most of the time I rearrange the silverware after someone else puts them away. When I take eggs from a carton the eggs that are left have to be put in a precise pattern. Which pattern doesn’t matter. They just need to be in a pattern.
|Poor motor skills can also be a symptom of Aspergers. Handwriting, sewing, needle work, anything that requires precision can be difficult. A person with Aspergers is often awkward and clumsy.
No matter how hard I try, my handwriting is very difficult for others to read. I can’t sew neatly or do any kind of needle work. When the other girls were doing cat’s cradle or any other string game at school, it was impossible for me to play with them.
|I meet a number of the criteria for an Aspergers diagnosis. I will discuss a few of them. First, a person with Aspergers has trouble making friends and maintaining a conversation with others. I have trouble making friends. Everybody likes me, but nobody is close to me. I don’t have a close friend to confide in. I also have difficulty carrying on a conversation with others. I mainly listen as others’s converse, and don’t like to participate in group activities.
|I had decided I didn’t have time to write anymore after I finished writing CHERRY’S ARMY. I found out the choice wasn’t entirely mine.
I must have forgotten who I am because I’m once more compelled to write
This time my verses are about good things and not about anger or fright
It’s not as if I’m completely healed, I still contain a large number of survivors
But they want me to write and tell about our life and they will be my advisers
Writing is the way we reveal our thoughts and feelings as we still recover.
You never know what we might find as hidden thoughts and hopes we discover
Rainbows and dreams are in our hearts as we look around at the earth and sky
We were given the wings of birds like doves and we were encouraged to fly