Painted vintage mason jars

I think I may have figured out, due to one of your comments, why there are no birds in the trees, coming to the bird bath, or singing me awake.

Yesterday afternoon I was headed out to the patio with Charlie. Then I saw this big hulk (remember The Incredible Hulk?) of a hawk on top of the fence bordering the alley. In one big swoop it lifted itself up and flew away. It was like watching an airplane lift off.

So do these hawks come in and chase down (or make snacks of) the birds? Where do the birds go? Do they take a vacation until the hawk moves on? I sure miss my birds.

I’m watching Charlie like a hawk (pun intended) because I’ve already lost one pet to a hawk. About ten years ago in Texas I had this big cat named Bonnie. She was one heavy girl.

She was an indoor cat, but after the pond was put in she was just enthralled by it. The male cat, Clyde, went in and out all the time, so I let her out there for awhile one day where she loved to sun herself on the big rocks surrounding the pond.

Blue steel rooster garden art

It was about the same time I received a bill showing that I’d supposedly gone on a buying spree in Dallas at a Coldwater Creek store in a mall. I don’t think they even have them anymore.

I was upset and called the store wondering what “I” had purchased. I knew exactly what had happened. My ex had recently been on one of his weekend jaunts to Dallas for the weekend.

Since it was a women’s store, I knew he hadn’t been buying for himself, but for his girlfriend who was probably with him. I was livid because it was my account.

So I spent some time on the phone with the store and forgot about Bonnie being out. I never saw her again. We had a mobile vet that came to our home when necessary to care for our two dogs and two cats (Abi, Charlie, Bonnie and Clyde), and she said it was probably a hawk.

I asked her how on earth would a hawk lift Bonnie up? She said she knew someone who watched a hawk swoop down and pick up her little dog and fly away. She said they were known for taking pets.

I felt so bad. But even if I’d been out there I probably couldn’t have gone to battle with a hawk. I looked for Bonnie all over the neighborhood for a week, hoping she was wrong. But in my heart I knew she hadn’t gotten out.

We’d just had an 8 foot privacy fence built and I knew Bonnie couldn’t make it over that fence. Clyde could have, yes. But not big Bonnie.

Colorful ceramic sun hanging on my fence

As for my computer, I downloaded some drivers that I read might help my situation. But then this morning I noticed it was doing the same crazy thing.

When the computer gets lifted, like when I have to lift it up to let Charlie walk over my lap to the other side, which he does pretty frequently for some reason, the screen looks like an Etch-A-Sketch. The screen flickers and turns all different colors and looks quite weird.

I read a lot about this computer yesterday and found one guy on YouTube say do not get this computer. He took his apart and showed why. He showed that the materials making up the insides were shoddy and cheap.

Then I saw several other YouTube videos explaining how to fix the problem. You had to order a new screen, take it apart and replace it.

I’m not particularly great at following detailed instructions, and I just can’t see myself ordering this screen and taking this computer apart, screw by screw. Then doing all they showed you must do and then putting it back together again. That is just not within my comfort zone.

So I guess I will use it as long as I can. I’ll call around, tell whoever I talk to what I am now fairly certain is wrong with it, and ask what it would cost to fix it. If it’s over a certain amount it simply isn’t worth it I don’t think.

Hard to believe that you’d have to replace a computer screen in just over a year. That seems pretty ridiculous to me. But I read account after account online of this problem occurring and the screen always had to be replaced.

House plants on a table by my couch

I’m fairly conflicted over a course of action. When this one completely bites the dust, do I get a PC that doesn’t cost more than $500 to  a thousand dollars like I usually do? Or throw caution to the wind (money wise) and go with the Mac?

At Best Buy I still owe just under a thousand for my camera and what I purchased for it and I probably should have that paid off in October. I have free interest if I pay it off in the required time. And I will jump through hoops to not pay interest.

Every time I think I’ve just about gotten things paid off, something else manages to happen.

Isn’t that how it always is? Something totally unexpected happens or goes wrong and it takes all the helium out of that balloon.

Such is life, I guess. I know to count my blessings, of which there are many.

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38 Comments

  1. I became a Mac convert some years ago. It was a learning curve but I have never looked back! Goodbye Windows and virus problems. I do nature photography as a hobby and Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are so much more compatible with Apple.

    I am now ready to go to a Laptop and was looking at a sale today that Best Buy is having for a 15 inch MacBook Pro for $1,599.00. (300 off). It is a little older generation but has two USB ports that I would like to have. Still comparing with other MacBooks at Apple at the moment. I’m also considering a 13″, my two photographer sons prefer.

    In regard to your Lenovo, have you talked to them directly? Since it isn’t very far out of warranty and if this is a known issue, perhaps they would do something at no cost. We have had this happen with other types of products. It doesn’t work in our favor but it has enough to try just in case.

    Oh, and I use an external hard drive for much of my photo files. They can come in pocket size with a large amount of room now.

    Wish you luck, Brenda!

  2. I am a falconer and wildlife educator. I work with birds of prey every single hour of every single day. A hawk can carry about 1/3 to 1/2 of their body weight. A large hawk will reach 3 or 4 lbs max. So regardless of what your vet and other people tell you out of fear and superstition, do the math yourself and figure out whether it is physically possible for a hawk to carry a big cat.
    I would blame a coyote, a raccoon, maybe a dog or even a neighborhood kid, or an animal activist (far more dangerous than any hawk you will ever encounter!) before I’d blame a hawk.
    Or maybe your cat just jumped the fence and ran away. It happens all the time. Another reason why cats don’t belong outside…

  3. Hi Brenda, I have been reading you for a while but I think I am a first time com mentor. First, the hawk will hang around for easy pickings if you have feeders. Be very careful with Charlie but you know that. He’ll go away once the birds stop being around, it won’t take long, then they’ll come back.
    Second, I gave up on windows computers once I got my first iPad. Mac and Apple are wonderful, very easy to learn and even sometimes fix yourself. I have gotten every one of mine, I’ve had 5 so far, lost a couple in a house fire last year not their fault. I got every one directly from Apple, at bottom of their store site there is a section for refurbished, all of mine are from there. Same warrantee, big discount. Have had no trouble with any of them. Hope this helps. Dale
    P.S. I am so very sorry about Abi.

  4. Hawks will hang around as long as there is a source of food for them. One thing they are fast to fly down and attack their prey. As long as you know a hawk is in the area never let Charlie outside without you standing near him. There are horror stories about owls and hawks attacking small dogs as the owners are even taking their pets for a walk on their leashes………………………I never let my 5 shih tzu’s out alone even on the porch as we have a family of hawks in the woods by our house. To be on the save side always go outside with Charlie.

  5. Secure one or more of those spinning, colorful thingies that we normally stick in the ground, as far up on your fence as possible where it has movement. No animal likes movement. It may bother your bird bath cuties, but they adapt. Hawks are predators, we have a few here and there, a smaller variety. I always worry about Layla.

    Jane

    1. That’s a good idea. I haven’t seen the hawk again. Hopefully my patio is not as easy to swoop down on as a clear yard or open field.

  6. In a small enclosed space like your patio a hawk would have a harder time attacking birds and animals. We have hawks circling overhead where I live from time to time – they nest in tall electric towers in a major corridor that carries wires with those tall towers for miles east/west. There is a wide grassy plain-like area on either side of the towers, which march down the middle carrying those huge wires. And on the platforms at the top of the towers, the hawks build their nests. They’re not giant size hawks, though. They are smaller and stream-lined. They will swoop through my backyard about once a week. They like to perch hidden in the Norway maple in my next store neighbor’s yard and watch for birds and squirrels that I feed on my patio during certain times of day. I have found evidence that occasionally one of the hawks has caught a bird – bits of blood-spattered feathers on the grass and occasionally, a part of a wing. It’s nature. The hawks hunt to survive, and though I don’t like to think about one killing one of “my” animals, they are entitled to survive too, and they don’t kill for sport or out of anger, malice or mental illness like human beings do. We just have to be vigilant of our pets if we live in an area where birds of prey can survive. The habitat is changing more with climate changes. Areas that may not have had them before may be getting them. Folks need to be wary.

    1. You’re right. They’re just doing what they’re made to do. And climate change, yes, they’re losing their natural habitat. So sad.

  7. In my yard, the chickadees sound the alarm when a bird of prey approaches. Suddenly my yard is quiet (no birds ) and feeders have no birds. When the coast is clear, the chickadees sing their song and the other birds return

  8. Brenda, I have the same computer and same problems with the screen. I was on the phone with support when it suddenly cleared up. I had the computer for one month! It hasn’t happened again but I am not holding my breath. I had a mac two computers ago and I am sorry I didn’t get another one. I loved that mac. My next purchase was a hp which was fine. I bought this Lenovo because of the price.
    Hawks are in my woods and I take my seven pound dog out on a short leash. I am so sorry about your cat.

    1. The guy showing his laptap taken apart on YouTube had only had his a short time too. I’ve never seen this particular problem happen before. But I sure won’t be shopping for another Lenovo.

  9. HAWKS ARE A BIRD OF PREY . . . THEY CAN LIFT AS MUCH AS 20 LBS. AND NEVER MISS A BEAT.
    GUARD PRECIOUS CHARLIE , EVEN IF A HUMAN IS NEAR ( one account I read where the dog was snatched out of woman’s arms ) THEY WILL SNATCH UP THE VICTIM. PLEASE BE EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS !
    SNUGGLES TO THE BOY !

      1. Please stand very close to him for awhile until the hawk decides to move on. Keep your eyes peeled toward the sky and trees. They do sweep down quickly. I know someone who was walking right beside their dog (not on a leash) and before they new it, a hawk swooped down and picked the little dog up. We have had at least one hawk around our yard about the same time of year for the last couple years. They seemed to stay around about 2 months then move on. Charlie is such a precious little dog. Watch him carefully and hopefully that hawk moves on soon.

  10. Yes, Brenda, that is how things go these days. You no longer get one thing taken care of and think you will have some breathing room, and suddenly something else comes up instead. I intended to get new glasses and have some dental work done, but with one thing after another happening, it is almost the end of summer and still I have not been able to do either.
    I also worried about a hawk getting my dog Romeo. When ever I went to visit my middle daughter in Washington State who lives on a ranch, I would worry all the time about letting Romeo roam the yard. He loved to roam the large property with her two dogs, but he was a city dog and had no idea about the dangers of the woods. Thankfully nothing ever happened. Very sad about your cat. My daughter lost a cat to a coyote one night after she ran outside after dark and they could not find her. She was never seen again. They vowed to never get another cat after that, they were heartbroken.

    1. I really need some dental work, but have put it on the back burner. I don’t want to take the chance I’ll get shingles again anyway.

  11. I have noticed 3 huge blk crows this yr that spooked me and now there’s 5. So I’ve been making my dog stay in more bc he always barks at them. I don’t know if crows would grab a dog, but I’m not taking any chances. I also haven’t heard or seen any birds for a few weeks now, just crickets that give me a headache. Lol. I would keep a close eye on Charlie too. Have a great weekend!

  12. On your computer go to the Better Business Bureau and see what they can tell you. I have always purchased an HP and this last one has been a pain, but I have a warranty that costs $14.99 a month and they make everything right.

  13. There is a hawk in our neighborhood that seems to hang around bird feeders. We also have a lot of rabbits, squirrels, and chipmunks. Hawks will go after all of them when they can’t find food elsewhere. I never let my poms out alone either, as a hawk could easily grab either of them.

    Sorry about your computer, Brenda. What a conundrum. I myself would have to settle for the cheapest thing I could get.

  14. Be careful with Charlie when he is outside as those Hawks are very fast . I know we had a nest of Hawks last year and we saw the squirrel and chipmunk population dwindle last summer.
    How’s the AC unit working for you? Atlanta is in another heat/humidity phase and I’m not walking Molly until around 8 in the evening, when it’s a little cooler, not by much, but at least the sun isn’t pounding on our heads.
    Happy Thursday everyone!
    Carol and Molly

    1. The air conditioner in the bedroom window is really helping. I don’t use it at night because I don’t feel a need for it. But it does help keep the rest of the place from going beyond 80 degrees.

  15. I had an extremely expensive Dell for 12 years. Finally after several viruses on my windows system, I switched to a IMAC. I will never go back. I also purchased the support system from Best Buy. They downloaded over 400 cds that contained 10,000 photos and my radio show (I used to be a rock n’ roll DJ on a local station) at no extra charge. They also retrieved everything on my old Dell hardrive. This entire transfer process took 5 weeks to complete. This is a must. I sure hope that you have an external hardrive and backup system for all of your photos on your blog. Thankfully, I was diligent about backing up everything on my old Dell computer to CDS. The Best Buy support system costs about $200. Well worth it. I had received three estimates about transferring the data on those 400 CDs to an external hard drive or to my new IMAC. The IMAC does not have a CD port. I certainly didn’t want to spend about 400 hours transferring all those CDS to my IMAC. The lowest estimate was $32,000 dollars. Yes, THOUSAND. So the $200 to Best Buy was the perfect answer. My new IMAC and external hard drive have enough memory and speed for all my needs. I have donated all the old music CDS to a local senior center. Many of the CDS were classical and very beautiful recordings from many years ago by very famous musicians. My radio show CDS included interviews with very famous Motown and DooWop singers. Before your system crashes completely or your laptop dies, BACKUP.

    1. You may be surprised to learn that I don’t keep my photos. The best ones are on my blog. I take so MANY photos. Some I have had printed out and I framed them.

  16. About the hawk: I may have mentioned this, but my little Dixie(8lb yorkie) was picked up by what I think was an owl, but may have been a hawk, carried about 1/4 mile over fields and dropped beside a highway that a couple was driving by and picked her up. I had her chipped, tagged by the county, the vet and Home Alone, so we received about five calls within 10 minutes. We were hysterical. She is now the miracle dog because she could have easily been dropped from a great height and killed or dropped in the field and never found. I now watch here like a “hawk”. Scary stuff. Keep an eye on Charlie at all times, especially since your birds seem to have disappeared. Not good.
    About your computer: Get a mac with the 3 year protection plan, they will set up a credit card or payment plan with no interest. I have two and I call for support constantly, not with the computer, but silly stuff like how to operates pages(like word) or email, anything and they have Never not helped me. They will set up an appointment and call you back. Amazing support and so few/little issues with viruses. Just call them and they will help .

      1. I went through apple. I can’t even remember if I had trouble transferring information. I also downloaded a ton of classical cd’s onto itunes and donated them. I have over 37,000 photos, ridiculous, I know, but I do so many drag and drop and all my photos from my iphone automatically go into photos on the imac. I just saw a comment about transferring everything through something from Best Buy. Not sure how that worked, but for $200 extra dollars, it might be worth checking out.

  17. I was a pre-K public school teacher. Some of my students were 4, but very tiny..wearing size 2T. Our school was sitting amidst corn fields..literally 30 feet from our playground. We had hawks galore watching for rodents in the fields. I watched these tiny children closely as hawks would circle over the kids daily. I had horrible thoughts of a hawk taking a child. Maybe Charlie should be on a leash for a while.

  18. Oh my gosh please don’t let Charlie outside by himself – that hawk could easily take him!!! That’s so sad about your cat, I would have cried my eyes out. I’m so cautious with little Miss Molly – even though she’s gained weight she’s still only 10 lbs….just a little sweet ball of fluff. I saw a hawk clear out an entire robin’s nest of fledglings I had been watching grow right outside my bedroom window last spring. I ran outside, screaming and crying and trying to get him to drop the birds but he kept flying, with a bunch of robins chasing after him. I was so distraught, those poor little babies.

  19. We have hawks in our yard too ~ a pair of them. Bentley is never ever allowed outside alone now. I have noticed we have fewer squirrels too. I have four bird feeders by the potting shed, and there are days when the birds ignore the feeders, so I know that the hawks must be nearby. I know that Macs are more money, but far less trouble, so it’s worth the extra cash. And yes, it’s always something.

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

    1. I always go out with him or stand there by the door. The patio isn’t huge. But I will just go on out with him. I don’t know if I could stop a hawk, but I’d fight like hell if it got hold of my Charlie.

  20. My cat Emily was taken by a hawk I believe as was a neighbors cat. So sad but what can you do. I hope you can figure out the computer stuff. It drives me nuts to try to fix things. Good Luck.

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