bunt sign

Friday, April 20, 2001

For the last three days, a hummingbird has been peering in my windows. I'll be sitting at my desk and look up to see the hummer hovering next to me, looking the way I look standing at the bakery's donut case.

This morning when I got up, I heard the rain outside the bathroom window and pulled the mini-blinds apart to take a look. Here was my hummingbird, staring back at me. For less than a second, I think, before it moved on, but definitely seeing something.

At first I thought it was seeing a reflection of the flowers and trees behind it. It never crashes into the window, denting its little bill. It just looks, moves a few inches sideways, and looks again.

Considering the season, I have another theory. I'm now thinking it's admiring itself, as a possible mate. I've been down that road myself, and I can tell you that way lies disappointment. I hope my bird finds the real thing soon.

If you'd told me a year ago that I'd be happy to see a PG&E bill for $86, I'd have laughed. It would have sounded absurd to me. I never paid more than half that until I moved to this big house, and even last fall I wasn't paying more than $60.

Then came the exponential rise in energy rates that saw $60 become $120, then $180. So they worked it right, these suppliers and distributors that are sitting in Texas counting their record profits. They made me glad to be paying "only" $86 for last month's bill.

Of course, it was a month of mild temperatures and a lot of time spent outdoors. If we'd have much weather like today — cold, dark, wet — it might have been a different story. In spite of the soaring rates, we're still expecting blackouts as soon as next month. I guess that means they're not through gouging us just yet.

So today I sat bundled up in sweats at my desk, typing with frozen fingers. I think I could see my breath. By the time a splash of sunlight appeared, late this afternoon, the long shadows only made it seem colder.

a jay in my garden

When I stepped on the scale this morning, I had no idea what to expect. It wouldn't have surprised me to see that I hadn't lost any weight after a week of yogurt and celery sticks. I wouldn't allow myself to believe. I didn't really feel very different. Since the whole idea is to feel better (Fernando was wrong; it's not better to look good than to feel good), I could have been on the bare edge of surrender and defeat.

But I felt way different after I discovered that I'd dropped five pounds in the first week of my diet. Realizing that the sacrifice has paid off has made it worth the dearth of donuts. It's just a start, but those five pounds will keep me going. I know the next five will be harder to shed, but I was inspired to make it up and down the stairs ten times today, two more than I could manage yesterday.

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