Jellyfish Therapy

My mom grew up in Florida and I owe great gratitude to her, my dad and grandparents for giving us kids the pleasure of summer beach trips.  Little did I know then that long car rides from the mid-west to Florida would be the start of something I would later refer to as Jellyfish Therapy.   For those of you poor souls who have never been to beach, let alone just floated along like a jellyfish, I feel badly for you.  For the experience of just floating along, limp, carefree, peaceful, weightless in the salt water with the sun kissing your body is unlike anything else and I highly recommend it.  It’s just you, the sound of your breathing and the water wrapping you like a blanket of pure love.  At our house, we call it “Jellyfish Therapy.”   Highly recommended on a calm body of salt water like the Gulf of Mexico, it could be done elsewhere I suppose.

Now, this type of therapy didn’t happen by accident.  It happened because my parents spent hours teaching us to swim, how to relax and float, and to enjoy getting salty and sandy.  In addition to the sun, salt and sand throughout the years, we ate countless peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, consumed our weight in cheese puffs, drank grape and orange Fanta and were slathered in vats of Coppertone.  To this day whenever I taste Fanta or catch a whiff of the unmistakable fragrance of Coppertone, it takes me back to a childhood filled with riding waves, my sisters and I wearing matching bathing suits, and spending time in Noxema after a little too much sun.

My grandparents lived in a little house in Ft. Pierce…no air conditioning but an attic fan that kept us cool and sounded like a 747 ready to take off.  There was this great big banyon tree out front that we would climb and there were mounds of earthworms that we would dig through.

We made daily trips to the beach and would stay all day.  We would ride waves, build sandcastles, watch the Australian pines blow in the wind and listen to stories about the jetties being WWII training grounds for the Normandy invasion, how Florida was so close to Cuba during the missile crisis, how my mom would climb the pines when she was young and so on.  See mom, I was listening.  It was on that same beach I would get my first teenage kiss from the son of my mom’s dear friends.  Magical, wonderful memories.

Since those days, I still love to go to the beach.  Perhaps that is one reason our family moved back to Florida after years away.  Like turtles, we had that primordial urge to go back to the beach that calls to us.  And, while it has changed over the years, and more sophisticated roadways make it easier to discover new beaches, the beach calls more often than I can go to it.

This past weekend, my daughter and I went to St. Petersburg Beach where we enjoyed a couple of days of “Jellyfish Therapy” mixed with laughter, singing, cruising the beach road, watching fireworks, listening to a great guitarist Daniel Giron at the Don Cesar Resort, eating German food, witnessing a beach wedding, and so much more.  While only two hours away, it was a world apart from the day-to-day grind.  To unplug, get “off the grid,” not be accountable to anyone but oneself is refreshing.  To reconnect with my daughter is priceless and hopefully I have given her memories of the beach over the years that she too can pass along to her kids one day.

So, I hope that this summer you too can “unplug” from the grind and find your own “Jellyfish Therapy.”  It might be hiking in the mountains, running a marathon, taking a family roadtrip to grandma’s house, or just enjoying a staycation.  Whatever “it is,” know that it is yours to catalog in the annals of time.

If you cant’ make it to the beach but want to really relish in some of the meaning of it’s hosts, the shells, check out the book “Gift From the Sea” by Anne Morrow Lindbergh.  It is a wonderful collection of thoughts and how five types of shells can speak to us at any stage in our lives.  A treasured book my mom gave to me. Thanks Mom.  Every time I go to the beach or read the book, it makes life a little easier to understand.  Here’s my mom with her dear friends the Croghans and with “flat Caitlyn” at the beach.


One Direction after Another…

There has been quite a buzz around Orlando in the past couple of weeks around the grooviest new boy band around…One Direction.  You may have heard “What Makes You Beautiful” and my favorite “One Thing.”  Now, many from my generation will remember boy bands of the past making it big…The Beatles, Hansen, N’Sync, Backstreet Boys, Minudo and yes, The Jonas Brothers.   What makes the Jonas Brothers different is that my daughter and her friends exposed me to a whole other world where teenage girls go mad for music in a way that perhaps I only knew through a brief infatuation with David Cassidy.  The One Direction concert was last night at Amway Arena and in some ways I was sad not to be going, taking my daughter and her friends.  The girls have “grown up” and moved beyond bubble gum music.  In some ways, I haven’t.  For, it is this type of music that is cheerful, fun, “be-bop around,” and just good to clean house or workout to.  (Crazy as it may sound)  So, it is with fond memories of our Jonas Brothers adventures that I submit a few edited down entries from The JoBro Diaries.  For the first time, they make their way to the published pages.  For those of you who have never been in a sea of screaming fans, you won’t get it.  For those of you who have never had crushes on musicians, you won’t get it.  For those of you who don’t have teenage girls in your lives (daughters, nieces, step-daughters), you won’t get it.  And, that’s “ok” not to….you can just move along to your next favorite blog to read something more your style.  For those of you who “get it,” want to try, or are just curious, read on.  Laugh, cry, nod your head, or perhaps scratch your head in wonder.  Welcome to…..THE JOBRO ZONE….

A recent stop in Florida of the 2008 Jonas Brother’s “Look Me in the Eyes” tour was a refreshing insight into the world of teenage girls.  The tour started long before the awaited stops that we would embark upon March 8 and 9 in Tampa and Orlando respectively.

About a year ago, my daughter started listening to a pop boy band named “The Jonas Brothers.”  Listening to their first album, I could see why they were compared to the Hanson’s of years before.  A clean, somewhat high pitched and rather “cute” boy sound started replacing Britney Spears and others on our home stereo.  Summer brought more of the same and then the next album simply titled “The Jonas Brothers” would create the spark for a wildfire that would begin in Los Angeles and spread across the country and now the world.

In the shadows of Hannah Montana/Miley Cirus, the Jonas Brothers’ following was steady and true.  We waited and finally stood in line for what seemed to be the tickets of the century….”Best of Both Worlds.”  We found ourselves in Tampa for a show that would not disappoint. From meeting Miley’s band to having pictures with the Jonas Brothers, my daughter and friends were on cloud nine.   Having left the concert, the girls would go on to listen, wait, and imagine.

Then, it was announced that the Jonas Brothers would be going out on their own.  The time had come for them to “spread their wings and fly” as they say in one of their songs.  The ticket rush started.  We stood in line five hours to get tickets for Orlando and then got more online for Tampa.  Members of the family were brought in as reinforcements to purchase tickets.  Alas, success was ours and we would anxiously await the tour.

Now, prior to all of this, our house seemed to be a flurry of impromptu concerts, complete with store bought microphone.  The Jonas Brothers’ DVD with concert footage was played with vigor on surround sound and it felt like we were there….live and in person.  We had to run out to buy the latest Disney DVD of the Jungle Book, of course, featuring the Jonas Brothers singing “Bare Necessities” and the girls would read the weekly and monthly editions of Tiger Beat, Bop, M, and others in order to get the latest and greatest news on the Jonas Brothers.   The girls even found an article in Newsweek.  The giggles from my daughter’s room were from discussing things like what are the JoBros’ favorite ice cream flavors so, of course we can have some on hand “just in case” they show up.  Other hot topics were what type of a date the guys would like to have, what would they say if they met the guys again and more.  The talk show circuit would be “You Tubed” hundreds of times and every word memorized. Weekend sleepovers became strategy sessions for an obsession that, as a parent, became refreshing.   Each of the girls had singled out their favorite “Jo Bro” and how they would pay homage to them the next time they saw them…poems, songs, pictures, scrapbooks, and more.

In the week leading up to the concert, one-of-a-kind t-shirts were designed and made.  They were handled like priceless artifacts at the Smithsonian.  Sleep deprivation, selecting hairstyles and make-up, picky eating all came with the territory.

The level of excitement is hard to describe.  I suppose it’s the same level of passion that drive people to do crazy things, amazing things and for some, stupid things.   This is good passion however, as witnessed by the level of laughing, giggling, sense of belonging to some Jonas Brothers sisterhood.

We arrived in Tampa, the girls in their matching, designer, one-of-a-kind t-shirts complete with lyrics of self-initiated JB rap on the back.  Each shirt represented the unwavering loyalty to “their man.”

After check-in, we descended upon the arena.  Once there, we were greeted by one of the tour buses where sentiments of affection could be forever monumentalized upon the vehicle with pens, nail polish, and other tools for writing.  I thought one girl who was precariously perched on her dad’s shoulders was trying to find a way to become a masthead for the tour bus, as there was no hood to become a hood ornament.  I want to meet the marketing genius behind that crowd pleaser.

Walking around, we saw clans of fans each with their own matching trademark.  There were socks, scarves, t-shirts, posters and complete outfits.  The posters ranged from usual “We love you” to the more curious “Kevin, let me braid your chest hair.”   Creativity reigned and outbursts of song would erupt from groups in huddles to lines of strangers.   All sizes, shapes, colors and ages were there.  Dads, grandparents, proud mothers, aunts, uncles and friends all bringing their greatest Jonas Brothers’ fan and future Mrs. Jonas wannabe.

The line for merchandise was frenzied but congenial.  The typical items were for sale and all I could think about was the money vendors were making.  After some parents had to refinance their house for the first round in Hannah Montana tickets, hard earned allowance money and pennies scraped from the four corners of ones house were used to pay for posters, lanyards, necklaces, bags, t-shirts, and more.

The anticipation would build inside the arena as not one, but two warm-up bands would start off the events in Tampa.  In Orlando, there were three.  I never caught the first band’s name, but I suppose that was fine as the young woman screamed like either a cat in heat and the other band members looked like a wooly mammoth, skunk, and afghan dog all having seizures on stage.   I was waiting for paramedics to take them away in neck braces.  In Orlando, we were treated to Menudo, take two.  Ricky Martin…come back.  The band’s moves were good and the crowd seemed entertained.  At least they didn’t grab their crotches while they gyrated on stage.  The last band, Rooney, was inviting and had a good sound.  They got the crowd participation going and while they are still a little rough around the edges, they have potential.

After Rooney, the crowd grew restless and the phenomenon called the wave began.  Yes, you remember the wave…where the crowd starts by standing and waving their arms and it goes all the way around the arena.  Then, the classic song by Queen, “We Will Rock You” came on and the arena floor was begging for mercy as thousands of fans stomped to the beat.

Finally, after the last set change, The Jonas Brothers appeared through a white veil.  Hearts stopped and the screaming of teenage girls was uncontrollable.  The decibel level could be used as an anti-terrorist device if recorded and played in hot zones across the world.  The tone was set for an unforgettable performance.  The guys played through songs on their current album to which the crowd was in total sync singing along.   The guys peppered the tried and true songs with ones from their upcoming summer release album.  Wow, creative new ground being covered by this band coming into their own spotlight.  In one song, the use of a trashcan, fire extinguisher, and washboard proved that music can come from many places.  Mind you, a normal fire extinguisher should not be used at home for this effect.  The song was hot and Nick on drums created a fire in the audience that nearly set the arena sprinkler system off.   From dueling drum sets to Joe disappearing in the set like a rider on Tower of Tower, it was a show worth watching…twice.   Kevin would send the crowd into overdrive with his dizzying circles while playing guitar.  Joe could be an acrobat with all of his flips and antics on stage.  All are equally gifted and together they form a trifecta of teenage talent not seen in years and probably won’t be for years to come.   The crowd went crazy when the house lights were brought up at the end of “Hello Beautiful” and the guys looked out into the audience.  All three looked really touched and seem to know how much the fans adore them.  The evening slowed when Nick told his touching, personal story and played “Look You In The Eyes” on the white, grand piano.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.

Since the concert, the girls have all found themselves tapping to music from their iPods, replaying the activities from the weekend, and dreaming of the next time they can see them.  From checking websites to You Tube daily, nothing is missed.  The girls text everything that comes to mind and they seem to be a little “love sick” for each of “their men.”

The power of my daughter and her two friends’ friendship is enormous.  They have learned lessons that in time will continue to reveal themselves.  They can’t wait until the new album is released this summer and I suppose I’m looking forward to that as well.  That, coupled with the upcoming TV series on the Disney Channel will be a welcome relief to the pressures of being a teenage girl.

The Jonas Brothers have been to England and back and are on their way again soon.  They’ve been on Oprah, Ellen, and their blogs are more heavily trafficked than ever before.  Spring break started with Brianna and her friends waiting 7 laborious hours in theFloridaspring heat to wait for the Jonas Brothers to perform for the crowd after the interview with Ellen.  They were so close and of course the girls thought at various times the boys were looking right at them and of course thinking “hello, future Mrs. Jonas.”  That day ushered in a spring break full of conversations, picture review and memories of the day they first met the guys.

We are soon on our way to the Disney Channel Games and the concert that will be yet another highlight of the girls’ adventure in “groupie” land.  They have now been discussing their new syndrome….OJD or as the clinical term is called, “Obsessive Jonas Disorder.”  There is no known cure, just periodic fixes to offset localized depression.  Fixes ranges from blogging, talking at end in person, e-mailing, texting and reading magazine articles to DVD watching and full blown concert going.

September brought the Jonas Brothers to the outside stage in Tampa.  The Veronica’s and Demi Lovato would accompany the band.  It was a beautiful evening and the crowd was so into the show.  After all the opening acts, the boys made a grand entrance in a rising stage that was really impressive.  There were acrobatics, pyrotechinics, guitar solos and more.  Off stage there were crazy merchandise vendors selling every type product imaginable, the Burger King marketing staff were out promoting apple fries and there were even a few Joe Jonas look alikes with swarms of impromtu fans gathered around.

There would be more to come for the Jonas Brothers….television, new albums, their 3-D movie, Rockin’ New Year’s Eve with Dick Clark, calendars, and more books.  And yes, a birthday cake replica of Nick’s guitar.

In the years since, my daughter has outgrown all the posters that used to adorn her walls, but the memories have had a lasting impression. Seven concerts, multiple CD’s, hundreds of magazines, plenty of concert memorabilia, thousands of pictures, millions of giggles, and more.  And yes, there are times when “the boys” creep back into the picture…we have purchased Joe’s latest CD release, seen Nick on various late night and early shows and even follow them on Twitter.

My daughter, who attends college now, works part-time at Disney’s Rockin’ Rollercoaster…I know that one of these days, she will come home and say “you’ll never guess who came through my ride?”  Yes, she will still be excited and yes, I will still stop and say “Whoa, tell me all about it.”

For all those new frothing fans and their moms (dads, aunts, uncles, friends), strap yourselves in,  have fun and enjoy all the excitement and memories that come with your One Direction experience.


I recently took my husband to the airport as he was traveling to Europe to visit family.  As we drove up to the drop off area, I witnessed many different people with one thing in common…a hug.  There were spouses, fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, friends, lovers and they were displaying some sort of emotion through their hugs and yes some kisses…but we’ll stick to hugs for this entry.

I love to hug but not everyone does.  In fact, when my daughter was in kindergarten her teacher called to say “you need to have Brianna not hug the other kids.”  Really? How sad.  Upon further discussion, the teacher told me that some kids are quite taken aback by hugs.  Wow, a kid that doesn’t like a hug or know how to handle it.  Those few words made me sad for the kids not getting them or sharing them.  It was then I realized how special hugs can be and how much I had taken them for granted for so many years.

Hugs translate into any language.  They can mean congratulations, happy to see you, hello, goodbye, hey dude you’re cool, I love you, I like you, and so many other things.  And, there are so many different types of hugs….bear hugs, chest bump hugs, over the shoulder hugs, around the waist hugs, and the list goes on.

When was the last time you had a hug?  What was it like?  What was the best hug you ever got?   I give and receive hugs on a daily basis.  Friends, family and sometimes new acquaintances who I feel like I’ve known forever after a conversation.

There are five people that stand out in my mind when it comes to a great hug.  My daughter (of course), her friend Victor, my dear friend Tammie, a new friend Lauren, and the woman who officiated my wedding…Rebecca.  What is it about these five hugs?  Like many hugs I receive, they are genuine, but these hugs are ones that just go to the core.  They really hug like it is the only thing in the world that matters at the time.  They make you feel like if the world ends today, you would remember them and take that hug with you.

It made me think of the guy named Juan Mann who started the Free Hugs Campaign years ago.  Check it out at    Here’s a guy who stood out in a public place with a sign saying “free hugs.”  What would you do if you saw someone with that sign?   Would you be afraid, embarrassed or would you go and get a free hug?  Or do you view it as you’d have to give a hug to a total stranger?  Is it the getting or receiving part that hangs you up?  Or, perhaps it is both.

When was the last time you went to a theme park?  I’m especially partial to Walt Disney World and whenever we go, you guessed it, there are plenty of hugs to be seen.  What is it about a hug from Mickey Mouse, Snow White, or Goofy that just makes you feel good?  Even adults can be spotted giving and receiving hugs from their  favorite characters.

As you read this, think about those people who should get a hug from you and go give them one.  It might be a hug saying “thanks” or “I Love You” or “I’m happy to see you” or “I’m really irritated with you but a hug will make it better.”   You don’t even have to have a reason to hug someone special.

As Bil Keane who does Family Circus says “A hug is like a boomerang, you get it back right away.”  For more great quotes on hugs, check out…

Now, quit reading and go hug someone!


Natural Flavor

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy grocery shopping.  It’s often times an adventure with twists and turns never expected.  Take one recent trip to my favorite place, Publix where they say “shopping is a pleasure.”  I would agree with that statement on most occassions…recent trip included.  Like most retailers, Publix has tempting displays and weekly offers.  Because I have a list, yes a list, special offers and in-store tastings don’t usually sway me.  However, something caught the corner of my eye that I thought “hmmmm, these sound interesting”  What what it?  Wheat Thins….no, not the regular kind, a new bold Smoky BBQ flavored kind.  So, they made a leap into the cart and off we went.  When I got home, it was lunchtime so I sat down with a salad and a small portion of the new Wheat Thins.  WOW!  They actually were better than I thought they would be.  In fact, they were so darn good, I found myself going back to the box.  Finally, after two handfulls, one bigger than the other, I hid them away in the cupboard.  BUT, before I did, I looked at the box front and there, in small print, “Natural flavor with other natural flavor” caught my eye.   What the heck did that mean?  First of all, what’s “natural about bbq” and what is the other “natural flavor” that goes with the original “natural flavor?”  It was like they are teasing consumers with the recipe for Coca Cola (which Diet Coke goes well with the “natural flavor) or Kentucky Fried Chicken.  So, in going to the Nabisco website, they don’t even have the Smoky BBQ Wheat Thins listed.  How awesome is the thought that I might be an anonymous tester of these new gems to the cracker aisle?   Whatever “natural flavor with other natural flavor” means in this case, I like it.

The small print…..This is a personal opinion of this new flavor and I am not a paid spokesperson for the company nor do I work with any advertisers or other food related vendors.


Step Right Up

We live in a nice, middle-class neighborhood.  Unlike many, we actually know and like our neighbors, including the ones who live in the trees, bushes and inside homes.   So that I stay friends with the human kind of neighbors, I want to share a little about a one animal in particular.

There is this cat named “Carnie” who lives with a couple down the street.  I don’t know about you, but until I met Carnie, I never heard of a cat let alone seen a cat that goes for walks everyday.  No leash, no kidding.  Her owners take their dogs for walks and she just follows.  It is the funniest thing to watch.  Without fail, through rain and dew damped grass, she follows the dogs.  Carnie got her name about eight years ago when she just showed up in the neighborhood.  She is white with various colored spots and got the name “Carnie” from the neighbors across the street who likened her to a carnival worker, a “carnie” because she traveled around and was quite colorful.  Carnie soon became pregnant and for the first time, warmed up to the neighbors across the street enough to come in from the cold rain one winter to deliver kittens in their family room.   Carnie wasn’t much for taking care of the kittens as she was destined to return to her carnival life of moving around.  The kittens eventually all got adopted out and the neighbors moved…without Carnie.  It was then that another neighbor took in Carnie.  They gave her a collar so not to be mistaken for one of the feral cats around and strangely enough, she blended in to this family with two  very large, very seemingly frightening dogs.

Like clockwork , everyday Carnie follows her owner and the dogs for a walk…not once, not twice, but four times a day.  She stays about 20 paw steps behind and never looses sight of the dogs or their master.  Every one-in-a-while Carnie ventures back down two houses down to her original “home.”  She lays on the driveway and will approach those who might be walking by.  She is a little bit odd, eccentric, but colorful and friendly, I think Jeni and Brandon gave her the perfect name…Carnie.


It’s a Rap

Do you remember when Robert VanWinkle became popular?  Maybe not, but you remember his song, Ice, Ice Baby.  Right?  “Word to your mother” and “if there was a problem, yo I’ll solve it”…ok, now you remember….Vanilla Ice?

It was the first rap song and perhaps the only one that I’ve memorized.   I was so cool back in 1989.  A bright, 23-year old college graduate in a professional job riding down the road rapping.  Yeah, so cool…haha.    Vanilla Ice was 16 when he wrote that song…he was cool, all the way to the bank. 

Ice, Ice Baby came on the radio the other day and I was transported back to a time that seemed familiar but then when I look through my now “older, wiser” eyes, I can’t help but grin and laugh a little bit.   And yes, I still remembered the song, word for word.  That’s the scary part.

My daughter has grown up hearing more rap as it’s a part of the teenage playlist.  I remember the first rap song she learned back in 2009, “Down”  by Jay Sean with a cameo from Lil’ Wayne.  Maybe not exactly rap the way people think of rap.   I was captivated as she knew, line by line, the lyrics.  At that moment I realized that the business I should be in is to somehow take every school lesson and set it to rap.  I’d be a millionaire!  Kids listen and repeat.   Well, I looked that up and guess what?  Yup, already exists…

Rap has come a long way since 1989…relatively speaking.   In a strange way, I like some of Eminem’s  music and his bit for Detroit’s comeback was admirable.   It’s a little ironic when you think about some of the rappers and their tough exterior and really what they are doing is setting poetry to music.  The pain and challenges in life are no different than the stories told in country, pop, or even in classical (no words but the music alone can set emotion).  Rap can be traced to African American roots.  Centuries before rap and hip hop existed, the Griots (storytellers) of Africa were delivering stories in rhythm. Unfortunately, there are some not-so-nice rap songs out there these days that might make even Vanilla Ice melt a little. 

Even the once seen “apple pie” and gold medal guy, Michael Phelps listened to rap as he prepared to swim his victory laps.  Motivational?  Maybe.  One song by a guy named Weezy says “Yes I am the best/and no I ain’t positive I’m definite/I know the game like I’m reffing it.”  I like that, might have to go get that one.

So, off I go looking for meaningful music and I encourage you to find yours.  Music is what we make it and it becomes personal to us.  Everyone has those tunes that take us back to places and events and the new music sets the tone for today.  What’s on your playlist?


Cardinal Rules

We have a bird feeder out back and specifically put black sunflower seeds in it to attract cardinals.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved cardinals.  Maybe it’s because when I was young, we had cardinals that would brave the snow and cold to eat off the bird feeder we had around the house.  I’m also drawn to their beautiful color.  As I grew up, I learned that cardinals don’t always have such majestic color.  The males eventually turn bright red, but the young males and females have more muted color.   In fact, there is much more to cardnals than meets the eye.  There are different types (clades)  of cardinals as seen by “buntings” on their feathers.

On more than one occasion, somehow cardinals end up in our screened in patio area out back.  Perhaps they are drawn to the swimming pool as they may see it as one giant bird bath.  Or, they are curious and somehow find their way in.  Whatever the case, I’m fascinated on how they get out. 

They screech and chirp wildly as they try incessantly to get out of the screen enclosure.  That draws attention of their fellow cardinals on the outside.  Ok, the last four times this has happened that I’ve really paid attention too, it’s always the males or young cardinals getting stuck.  To the rescue comes what seems like a flock of female cardinals to save the day. 

Here is where the “cardinal rules” come in to play and what we can learn from them.

Rule #1…Stay calm.  Ok, for birds that means to chill on a plant branch.  It’s as if the female cardinal says “ok idiot, listen up.  Relax and we’ll think of how to get you out of there.”

Rule #2…Watch out.  Look out for dogs, cats and well intentioned humans.  Dogs and cats are more annoying than anything.  Humans really want to help, but don’t understand how fragile we are.  When it comes down to it, you have to get yourself out of the mess you’ve made but guidance from a pro can help.  Just remember, everyone has an opinion on the best way out.

Rule #3…Pay attention.  Listen to what the experts are trying to say.  In the case of the cardinals, usually three or four are helping.  One sits atop two of the corners of the screened enclosure, another on the ground in the middle of the outside of the screen, and one that flies around giving instructions.  It really is quite fascinating. 

Rule #4…If you get flustered, remember Rule #1.  More often than not, the cardinal stuck inside will calm down and almost make it out and for whatever reason starts back to flying aimlessly around the enclosure bouncing into the screen and getting worn out.  This may happen three or four times before the cardinal starts to process what the others are chirping. 

Rule #5…Use your instinct.  At the edge of the open screen door, one of the cardinals will come and just sit there….like knowing exactly where NOT to go.  The cardinal chirps and chirps in what seems like irritation as if to say, “Hello, hey stupid, the door is over here.”   Then, It is almost like the enclosed bird says “dahhh, the opening is there…watch out….hop to the floor and hop then fly out of the patio.”  As they fly out, the others fly to either scold, congratulate, or check for problems in cardinal language. 

We humans can learn some things by using the cardinal rules.  When you find yourself in a predicament, remember to Stay Calm, Watch Out, Pay Attention, If you get flustered remember to Stay Calm, and finally, Use your instinct.  This is why cardinals rule and perhaps why I truly love them.

A Cool Cardinal Fact…In the 1800s Cardinals were much-sought-after cage birds highly valued for their color and song. Thousands were trapped in the south in the winter and sent to northern markets, and thousands more were sent to Europe. This trade ceased, fortunately, with the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.  (Cool Cardinal Fact  from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology)