Woodpecker Spa

A few weeks ago, Husband decided to water the strawberry bed with a rotating sprinkler that watered the strawberries as well as a section of the lilac bushes. It was terribly dry then. The backyard birds got very excited and flitted in and out of the bushes through the water. One bird, a Hairy Woodpecker, just sat very still in the lilacs letting the water fall on it, luxuriating in the shower.

One other occasion many years ago in yet another drought we had a flock of Cedar Waxwings sit for a long time in the lilacs as an oscillating sprinkler went back and forth over them. I guess we have a bird spa in our backyard!

I have never been to a spa. I have never had a massage. I know lots of people do such things. I think I fear the intimacy of such experiences. I would rather watch the birds.

What are your spa experiences? How about massage? Any good bird stories?

38 thoughts on “Woodpecker Spa”

  1. In case not everyone saw last night, I received an email from Molly that Steve is in the hospital with Covid. He isn’t on oxygen or steroids, which is good news. He was vaccinated, though. It may be that his rheumatoid arthritis meds interfered with developing antibodies.

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    1. Hey Renee, since you’re the one in contact with Molly. Could you be sure to let her know that if she needs anything or if Steve needs anything to pass that along.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Another OT. Assuming we’re still on for Blevins on Sunday? At Tim’s? 2pm? I’ve heard from Jim and Cathy that they will be attending. Me too.

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      1. Well since tim invited us to choose our own book up from Seth Godin’s titles, I’m guessing it won’t matter whether you’ve read a book or not. I chose the shortest book that Godin has ever written. I didn’t realize it at the time but it was one that I could get from the library on time!

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  3. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    We have two bird baths in our yard. When it rains there is often one or more birds of various species out there taking a luxury bath. Even more likely for bird bath action is when it has been dry, and I put a sprinkler on the garden, then several birds will be out there enjoying the water. I don’t remember seeing a Hairy Woodpecker out there, but I certainly remember the P-I-L-E-A-T-E-D (this is in caps and hyphenated because spell check kept changing it to “pill eater”—geesh) woodpecker.

    I get regular therapeutic massage because I deal with some chronic muscle stiffness and achy joints that respond well to massage. My neighbor is a massage therapist who brings her table to the house and we set it up here. Otherwise “the cure” is steroidal treatment which I avoid as much as possible.

    Today I am back in the garden this morning planting a few peppers and tomatoes before the rain starts later this week. Then I must wait a week or two for the stuff in the cold frame to grow more before my next planting binge.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Our backyard seems like a bird spa. Birdbath, birdfeeders, hummingbird feeder’s, lots of watering. Unfortunately I think the dog kind of negates some of the relaxing spa effects. Although we did have a gorgeous cardinal flitting around on Saturday afternoon.

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  5. Personal spa experiences? Those of you who know me know I’m a little tense and don’t relax well. In my last job (so this is more than 30 years ago now), my boss came into our department meeting on Monday morning and said he got a really good review and he was acknowledging that he couldn’t get a good review if we three weren’t doing good work so he gave each of us a six-week massage gift certificate to a local place. I dutifully went for my massage. The first two times were surprising because my shoes felt bigger afterwards. At the end of the six weeks I was expecting the sales pitch about what I needed and how many more massages I should buy on my own. I was quite surprised when I sat down and they told me that they didn’t think that massage alone was really doing me any good until I made some serious changes in my life, they couldn’t really help me. I’ve never had a massage since.

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  6. Husband gave me a really nice birdbath over forty years ago, and I love to watch the action in it.

    I have been to several Twin City spas over the years. A couple of times for facials, a few times for pedicures, and once for a manicure. But, I really love a good massage, I find them therapeutic. While I was working, I got them on a regular schedule, I viewed them as preventive maintenance, and not as an extravagant luxury.

    About forty-five years ago, I took a three month course in giving massages at some women’s center in Minneapolis. It was wonderful. We’d practice on each other, and it didn’t take us long to figure out who had the magic touch and which modality worked best. I’ve tried many different types of massage by many different masseuses and masseurs.

    For several years, my massage therapist operated out of her houseboat moored at Harriet Island, a truly exceptional place and experience. Unfortunately she moved away from the area after a couple of years. She referred me to a masseur in Minneapolis, who operated out of his home near Lake Nokomis.

    Ned was perhaps the most gifted healer I’ve ever seen. He was also expensive, but despite that, and the fact that insurance didn’t pay for it, so busy that it was difficult to book an appointment with him. In addition to massage he also did acupuncture, cupping, cranio-sacral therapy and Chinese herbal medicine. I saw him only four times, but each time I was amazed at how much better I felt. I should really try to book an appointment with him if he is still practicing.

    Another, a nun who specialized in hot stone massages, lived a block away, and also gave really wonderful deep tissue massages.

    When we lived in Inver Grove Heights, my dear friend and neighbor, Deidra, was a massage therapist who was also involved in Qi Gong and Shiatsu. She’d take care of me when the stress from my job had me all in knots.

    There are so many different kinds of massages that I think it’s a mistake to simply dismiss it as something that won’t work for you. I count massage and other alternative healing modalities as among my most important resources for taking care of my body and mind. I’d love to hear about tim’s experiences with this.

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    1. I agree about them any kind of massage. As part of my job I am often tasked with picking one or two massage types out of a large menu to offer them up to participants on travel programs. Sometimes it’s really hard to pick.

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  7. No spa’s for me thank you very much.
    But I do get massages. It was a few years ago my chiropractor mentioned they could be useful for my knee’s. I didn’t know there was massages for that; I thought massages were just for relaxation.
    At first it was Jess and she was really good. Then it was Deb, and I guess it was good but I’d feel like I got hit by a bus the next day. Then Natalie came in and she had a whole different style. Still good, but more pressure and less rubbing. And we had the best talks; she was just interesting to talk with plus got a good massage.
    They do help, you just have to be sure and figure out what kind of massage you want or need and it might take a visit or two to figure that out. It doesn’t all have to be deep tissue. And I don’t need the “Enya” music. One place I would ask for jazz; we all enjoyed that. Natalie just put her playlist on and I learned new music from her that I really liked.

    Foot massages are really nice too; but I don’t like to ask for them… that just seems a little self indulgent to me. Too much Minnesota guilt to ask for that!

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    1. We have an old birdbath I inherited from my folks; it’s out by the shed and I never remember to put water in it.
      But I have a puddle down by the barn for the chickens and it’s fun to watch the birds come to that.
      I just got the Oriole feeder out yesterday; first time we’d heard them. Saw a hummingbird last night and this morning it was on the feeder. Saw an Orchard Oriole for the first time. It didn’t know how to use the feeder but was pecking around the edges…

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  8. From Molly this morning:

    Thank you (and them) so very much, Renee! All we need right now are your continued good wishes. I talked with him this morning and he is the same, which I take as a good sign. So far they haven’t made him an inpatient, meaning he’s just in observation which they can only do for one to two days, another sign they see him pulling through this. He is bored but feels safer there under close observation. I’ll keep you posted! Many many thanks for the Baboon’s kindness.

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    1. To Molly – about the Observation vs. actually Inpatient – I’ve been told that Medicare doesn’t cover the hospital stay until he’s actually been admitted as a patient. Maybe his supplemental does?

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  9. The only spa I’ve been to was an hour north of Berkeley, CA with my sister., and oddly enough, I don’t remember much about that. I did get a series of massages (following one freebie) with a woman in Golden Valley that had me hooked. And then we moved.

    I agree that they can be preventive maintenance. I can’t usually afford them but there’s a massage program at our Minn. State College SE, and each winter (pre-Covid) they offer $20 massages with students. I try to sign up for a couple, and always find at least one who has really got The Touch.

    Husband does a pretty good job on my back, but there is nothing like going into someone trained, knowing you get a FULL HOUR on a massage table.

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    1. My last massage therapist, Vicky, would come to my house every three weeks to massage Helen and me. Helen would have a 60 minute session, and after a fifteen minute rest, Vicky would give me a 90 minute one. Her table was set up in our spare bedroom so she didn’t have to haul it back and forth. Unfortunately Covid put a stop to that, and I haven’t had a massage for over a year, so I’m way overdue for one.

      I also have a Hmong friend, Hua, who is licensed in Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture. She gives me the occasional tune-up of acupuncture and cupping, but again, I haven’t had one in over a year.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. I had just a minor demonstration of acupuncture. Cupping looks interesting.
        There’s a local place that does reiki and other types of massage. I went there for a while; it’s really nice, but it just a little out of my price range.

        Liked by 2 people

  10. I receive a human massage once a month. Two of my budgies have just recently begun massage of my arm. They have a light touch. Very relaxing.

    Liked by 5 people

  11. I’m trying to catch up after a period of not even lurking. This comment is actually for Friday’s post, but I got excited when I saw the Bigfoot. I may know the artist (at least I know an artist who does the same piece).
    His name is Tom Sack and he’s a remarkable steel artist. His brother is Steve Sack, who is an editorial cartoonist for the Mpls Star/Tribune. My husband and I took a trip to Florida by way of Lincoln NE to deliver a commission Tom did of an Angler Fish for a cousin of mine (might be a blog post there). Anyway, copy the link below to see his Big Foot. (Hope it works!)
    https://scontent.ffcm1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/v/t31.18172-8/15392761_1727099637607131_8714228116192281268_o.jpg?_nc_cat=100&ccb=1-3&_nc_sid=730e14&_nc_ohc=WknYLAZWOiAAX8INqvu&_nc_ht=scontent.ffcm1-1.fna&oh=3756166d7fe6bede4e969f16de82bb2f&oe=60C9F3C6

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  12. I have had therapeutic massages on a regular basis for a number of years. In fact, I just had one this afternoon. A couple of the therapists were just OK – they did mostly relaxation massage which doesn’t help my knots and tight muscles. There have been 3 (including my current one) who give me quite a work out. There are always some parts that are painful but I feel sooooo good afterwards. I almost always have 90 minute sessions so that my shoulder area and lower back can get a good going over. Not being able to have a massage during most of the past year due to Covid was very noticeable when I did return to it in February. I have also been going to a fabulous acupuncturist on a regular basis for going on three years now. She did wonders for range of motion and minimizing scar tissue following my hip fracture and the later removal of the hardware. Insurance doesn’t cover either of these but I consider it essential for taking care of my aging body. I have had massages while traveling internationally, too.The most painful was a traditional Thai massage in Thailand – though I did feel wonderful at the end. And I had a fabulous foot/lower leg massage in Vietnam.

    Liked by 4 people

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