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Mainline Hit of Chet Baker

Tuesday, July 4, 2006

It's been a long time since Chet Baker made a real cameo on the blog. I'm pining for him myself. There's been too much to say and too much happening for the fun and hairy luxury that is Baker, and for that I'm truly sorry. He is my court jester. He keeps me laughing out loud, no matter what else is going on in my life. Jane, this one's for you!

Chet can make Liam giggle and scream like nobody else.

The bulldog in him comes out when there's something to tug. We tried feebly to follow the book advice, but long ago forgot the dire warnings about letting our dog play tug-o-war with us--all that business about how it makes him think he's top dog. He growls ferociously and grunts and pulls--and is still our sweet Baker. In his case, at least, that advice is just a lot of hoo-ha.
When I'm busy painting, Baker often comes up and tells me that he has to sit on my lap NOW. Will he do this when I'm not busy? No. Will he do it when I need a little sweet doggie on my lap? No. When I really want him to sit on my lap he dances away, grabs a toy, and chews it on me. Here's my BALL! Have a BALL! Don't you love my BALL?
Noo, Baker just likes to sit on my lap while I'm painting, and makes me work around him.You can still see what you are doing. Never mind me. I just want to breathe your air.

Both my kids used to like to do this, too, before they were too big to fit there. Now, they hear the creak of my drafting chair as I ease into it, and think of something that they need that only I can get. Will you set me up with watercolors? Can we make popcorn now? I need some more juice but it's in the basement up too high for me. That kind of thing.

Baker is an inveterate chair stealer. I have not yet sat on him, because I've learned to check to see if my seat has been usurped. Since he was a little pup, he has preferred to sleep in chairs, and he likes to join us at the dinner table if we will allow it. He also plays musical beds at night, especially when it's cold. I never know whose bedroom he's crept into until first light, when I get up.
He has radar for when I'm getting ready to go somewhere. Should I leave the car door open, what do I find in my seat?
Oooo, please don't leave without me. I can come along. I am small and very portable. You can take me in the grocery store. Even in restaurants. People will not mind.

Today was a happy phoebe day. Both birds came and went, eating mealworms in their tent. I didn't have to feed them once. Avis caught a slug and beat it up before eating it. She spent most of the morning in the tent and the afternoon exploring the yard. This is her first night out of the tent or pet carrier. At dusk, she was rainbathing and flying nervously from tree to tree, looking for just the right roost. Luther was tucked into the lilac next to the house. I look forward to seeing them both in the morning.
A pair of Carolina wrens, a pair of house sparrows, and a pair of song sparrows--all feeding young--have discovered the largesse inside the fledging tent. So I'm going through lots of mealworms trying to keep the babies in food. I saw Luther swoop down and peck a house sparrow that was raiding his worm tent, then give it a looping chase all around the yard. He's discovering his tyrant flycatcher roots! I can't tell you how cool it is to see these birds becoming wild phoebes.
At one point I walked out to check a nest box in a far corner of the yard, and both phoebes escorted me, chipping and fluttering by my head. How odd. They'd never done that before. "You're not begging from me anymore, kids!" I said, and walked back to the house. Hmmm. Maybe I'd better check the worm dish. And it was empty, raided by the aforementioned birds. Think the phoebes were trying to let me know? Yeah, me too!


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