New Opportunities: Killing two birds with one stone

Gone are the days of drinking multiple cans of my beloved Cokes on a daily basis.  I’ll miss you, my caffeinated, fizzy, liquid sugar bombs! Those first few days without you created wicked headaches! Thankfully, I’m past all of that. Will pita chips and hummus take your place in my life? No. No they won’t. But I must move on. I’m sure you understand. It isn’t you, it’s me! Or technically, my blood.

Hanging out on the sofa while TV surfing is a thing of the past as well. Will walking feel better than sitting on my butt watching re-runs? It will if I lose enough weight so that I can wear really awesome clothes and look smashing in them! I visualize looking into the mirror at a much thinner and healthier version of myself in something spiffy from oh, I don’t know, say The Sundance Catalogue (I’ve never bought anything from there before) and saying, “Worth every craving, every ounce of sweat and every penny!” I have until late April to save enough to actually get myself a little sump’n/sump’n for a job well done. MOTIVATION. Now I just have to do it.


In the meantime, I’ve walked early in the morning and around 10 PM, which is too late to be walking alone. It’s August in Texas and too hot to walk between the hours of 10 AM and 9 PM. Therefore, I plan on indoor mall walking this month. Maybe I’ll find others there with a like mindset as I race up one side and down the other in the airconditioned malls in my area. Why limit myself to just one place when we have several close by to traverse and explore. Who knows what I’ll see on these daily jaunts — beautiful, expensive things, I bet. More than that, I’ll be looking for interesting fodder to write about. Now that’s what I call killing two birds with one stone!


Speaking of birds and interesting fodder, I was walking after dark a few nights ago and found a dead bird under the streetlamp at the corner of our block. Didn’t get to take a picture because I didn’t have my phone with me. I wasn’t about to walk all the way home and back again! I may have to exercise, but I’m not about to overdo it!

(Note to self: make sure you carry your phone with you on your walks from now on!)

Also, I couldn’t decide if a large, dead bird would be of interest to any of my readers.

I see dead squirrels all the time, but a large, dead crow is a much more unusual find. I don’t see many around that are living, much less dead. Grackles, yes, but not crows.  Thankfully, I didn’t see any gore that may have suggested an animal attacked it nor any indication of what may have caused its demise; so I have no idea why it ended up where it did. It couldn’t have been there for long. It was just lying there on its side with its eye staring into the beyond, in all of its head-to-tail splendor, dressed in inky black magnificence, healthy looking…only not so much.

Apparently, I got to it before the vultures or other predators. Something else for which I’m thankful. Even so, it’s a good thing I’m not a super superstitious person. Otherwise, I might have taken this as some kind of evil omen. Since I’m changing my thought patterns to stress less, I will not travel down the mental path of thinking I might have encountered a foretelling of bad things to come.


Okay, too late. I’d already thought about it, so I figured I might as well look it up. Couldn’t help myself. Baby steps.  According to the site, Symbolism and Metaphor,  when coming across a dead crow, “It is also sometimes considered to be symbolic of a bridge between the living and the dead, or a sign of new opportunities coming your way.”

Wow. Glad I looked it up now. How apropos given my current circumstances. The crow may be an omen; but a good one. I like the idea that someone on the other side is sending me a message that new opportunities are coming my way. I just wish this poor bird hadn’t been the harbinger. Unfortunately, I can be a little obtuse at times, so I suppose I can understand having to throw a dead animal in my pathway to get my attention — as long as this was a one-time thing. Also, if someone from the other side was, indeed, reaching out, I wonder who it was?


I will do my best to not let that bird’s death have been in vain by taking full advantage of the next wonderful opportunity with which I’m provided. I hope that whoever else may have come across that poor winged creature will do the same.

When I’m looking for stuff to write about, something usually comes up — just, usually, not dead. So as “the interesting, unexpected or unusual” appears in my life, especially when I’m walking, you’ll be the first to know. I haven’t been to an indoor mall since — well, I think it was before the pandemic. Can’t wait to get back in a groove and do a little window shopping as I get my daily steps in.


What is something you’ve encountered on a walk (or whatever) that was interesting, unexpected or unusual?

Have you ever tried “mall walking?”

Where is your favorite place to walk and why?



Have a great week, my wayward friends!


24 thoughts on “New Opportunities: Killing two birds with one stone”

  1. One morning when I was walking in my neighborhood I thought I heard a dog say “woof!” I looked over and there was a yard full of turkey vultures, and I almost fell down laughing. Turkey vultures bark like dogs and they’re just funny birds. They’re also good for the environment because they clean up carrion. I like crows too because they’re so smart and I’d hate to find a dead one.
    I have tried mall walking but I kept getting distracted by the stores. My favorite place to walk is a park called Radnor Lake because, well, it’s a nice looking lake and being woodsy it’s always changing. And there are all sorts of animals. One morning as I was driving there I passed the entry sign and there was an owl sitting on it. Now there’s a good omen.
    Also I hope this works:

    • Chris,
      I had no idea that turkey vultures bark. I wonder what is different about their physiology from other birds that creates this? That was a great story. Also, I believe seeing owls (living ones) is very much a good omen! There’s a pond with a trail around it that I enjoy walking. I’ll revisit it when the weather turns cooler! Mona

  2. Thank you, Mona, for another entertaining read. Good luck to you on your new healthy habits. I feel your pain when it comes to not being able to walk during reasonable hours because of the heat. We have the same issue in Utah, and I miss getting outdoors. This morning it was overcast and in the low 70s, so I took advantage of the opportunity and took the dog out for a walk. I did not see anything particularly noteworthy, but it felt good to be in nature. I have not tried mall walking. In fact, I haven’t been in a mall for quite some time. I’ll be curious to hear how it works for you.

    • Hey Christie,

      It does feel good to walk outside. Glad Mother Nature provided low 70’s so you and your pup could enjoy a nice walk. Low 70’s sounds so nice right now. The low temps around here are in the low 80’s. Isn’t that awful? Except when it’s freezing outside in January and February and I’m wishing for low 80’s. We’re like on Day 30 something for 100 plus degrees. The occasional “cool front” brings the temps down to around 99…and we’re thankful! It’s crazy how hot it is this summer!

      I was supposed to go mall walking yesterday. I had so much going on though, it didn’t happen. I’m shooting again for today. Fingers crossed. I will dutifully report anything of interest I find on my mall walks. I wonder if I’ll see all the same stores I saw two plus years ago or if everything will be different? I wonder, if like Chris, I’ll be too distracted or if I’ll be able to focus. If ever there was a time when I really need “lead me not into temptation,” this will be it. I’m up for the challenge, though! Glad you enjoyed the post, my friend! Mona

    • First things first, let me add my 3 cheers for your embarking on this new journey! We’ve placed our two exercise machines in front of the TV, and we’ve been proud to report that we have been watching a LOT of tv. Every day. Don’t knock the allure of working out in front of the tv until you try it (though don’t expect it to measure up to a fudgy brownie, either 😀 ). At least you know you’ll have a loud cheering section on your journey in the mall 🙂

      And, yes, lows in the 70s or 80s IS disgusting 🙁

      • EW,
        What an excellent idea! Good for y’all for exercising while watching TV. I wish we had the ability to do that in our house. Maybe one of these days. Thanks for the encouragement. Hip Hip Hooray for y’all as well! Have a great weekend…oh, wait, you’re on an endless one! Well, have a great endless weekend, then! 🙂 Mona

        • You’d think it was cost prohibitive, but we got a couple machines on Craig’s list 3ish years ago, all very new looking (one was for free, they just wanted to get rid of their “clothes hanger”) for peanuts…

          • EW,
            Isn’t it great when two people can come together and solve each other’s problems? You had a need, they had a need…voila!

            My Dad tried to give me my mother’s old treadmill and I seriously considered it. Unfortunately, there is literally no place for it to go in our house. I suggested to David that we put it in our bedroom. He wanted to know where we would put the large chair that he sits in that would have to go if we brought it in. Then we started mentally re-arranging furniture to accommodate this large piece of machinery before David finally said, “Are you crazy?” In my defense, I’d only mentally moved about five large pieces of furniture by then. And while we both know the answer to the “Are you crazy” question, he did make his point.

            With all that said, I’m glad this has worked out for y’all. I truly appreciate your thinking of me and offering me something to consider so that I don’t have to go elsewhere to get my walking done! 🙂 Mona

  3. Great post, Mona! Best of luck on your new healthy habits. Also, good idea to mine your environment during your mall walks for writing fodder 🙂

  4. Mona – if you are walking alone in the dark you definitely need your phone for safety reasons AND blog fodder.

    And good for you for making healthy changes….maybe your virtue will rub off on me. 😉

    • Hey Gigi,
      That’s exactly why I’m going to try out mall walking. Safety. And air conditioning. Nothing at all to do with shopping. *nose grows longer* Thanks for your support, my friend! 🙂 M

  5. I was bracing for an ill omen as well, so am delighted that your little dead friend is a harbinger of something more positive!

    What do you think a dead (baby) skunk is a harbinger of? There’s a skunklet carcass on my normal walking route and I got (she says with positivity) to watch it transform from something that looked very nearly alive to an empty skin and now it is just bones. Fascinating. But I haven’t been able to cull a life lesson or metaphor from its presence (yet).

    • Suzanne,
      Oooh, that poor baby! Finding a dead baby skunk? I looked it up, but I got nothing in terms of what it might mean symbolically. I will say that finding it, though…that just stinks…to high heaven. As a consolation prize, may I suggest the following:
      🙂 Mona

  6. The most macabre thing I ever came upon while out for a walk was the head of a baby deer just laying by the side of the road. No body, just the head. Ick!

    I’ve tried mall walking and it’s not for me. Too much bother to get there. I walk around our neighborhood which is ever changing so I like it.

    • Ally,
      A baby deer? A BAMBI?!!!!! Who would do such a thing?! That would definitely traumatize me. So sorry you had to encounter that. And you’re right about mall walking. Not only do you have to get in the car and drive to the place, but then they’re still on pandemic time (at least in my area)…meaning that they open late and close early. Ugh. Hugs, Mona

  7. Mona, my favorite place to walk is less than a few blocks away, the public golf course that surrounds our development. Lots of geese, ducks, bunnies, groundhogs, and squirrels…with an occasional deer popping up as well. The water hazards (ponds) bring out the wildlife and they share the surrounding area…and sometimes even the course itself…with the animals. Never see the same thing twice. I do see crows from time to time, and I can report in they are all living when I do. 🙂

    • Bruce,
      I fully understand why that would be your favorite place to walk. It sounds positively gorgeous! On a slightly different note, a man not too far away from us went outside to his back patio, which happens to back up to their local golf course, and spotted a mama bobcat and her three cubs just hanging out on the fairway. Now that would be fascinating to safely watch from a distance, but I don’t think I’d want to be walking nearby. Hugs, Mona

  8. Awesome, Mona – loved “inky black magnificence…”

    Texas heat sounds brutal. I live in South Carolina, and the humidity coupled with the heat makes you feel like you are breathing through a wet washcloth at times.

    Best of luck with the changes in your routine.

    My twin brother always says the crow is his spirit animal.

    See you around the blogosphere!

    • Roger,
      I’ve never had the pleasure of visiting South Carolina, but I’m sure it’s beautiful there! I’ve been to New Orleans during the summer and what you described sounds much like what I experienced there. By the time we got inside our hotel room, we were dripping wet with sweat and I was reaching for my rescue inhaler! Not a big fan of humidity or 100 plus degree temps. Keep it in the low 80’s with low humidity and I’m a happy camper.

      The dead bird was gorgeous when I first encountered it. I wonder if he died from poison. Two days later, I walked by and it still he hadn’t been touched/ noshed on. It did look a little more disheveled by then. So, whatever killed it, the predators weren’t going near it.

      Thanks for the encouragement. It’s barely been a month and I’m feeling the stress of these changes! Sugar free popsicles are keeping me from completely losing it.

      I think having a spirit animal is really cool. How does one go about acquiring a spirit animal? Do you have one as well? If not, what would you want yours to be? I want a spirit animal. Hmm…

      Stay cool and dry through the rest of the summer, my friend! (I’d give you a hug, but…it’s too hot and humid!) Mona 🙂

  9. Proud of you!

    I am sure the New Orleans weather was about the same in the summer as it is here – sticky.

    As for the spirit animal thing – I just think it’s funny that my brother claimed the crow. I don’t know how we would go about getting one – but mine would have to be the…SQUIRREL!


  10. With a headline like this one, how could I resist from starting here. Firstly, hi Mona, nice to meet you – thanks so much for dropping in on me when I was off the blogsphere.

    I did not know that about crows, so am delighted you gave in to the urge to investigate.

    We’re fortunate here in the UK that, although our summer just finished has been a hot one, it didn’t reach your kind of temps. Still way too hot for me, so my walking evaporated. I’m re-starting now that it’s raining again (and so cooler) and am fortunate in having a great little park at the end of my road. I couldn’t mall walk as all the people get in the way and I’d get cranky real quick!

    • Hey Debs,
      Sorry it’s taken so long to reply. If you only knew what was going on in my household at the moment. *sigh* I’m so glad you decided to drop by and — welcome!

      It sounds like conditions are perfect to walk where you are. I’m glad to hear that your malls are full of people. The one I’ve tried to go to seems to be dying an agonizing slow, prolonged death.

      I’ve been watching all of the goings on about Queen Elizabeth, may she rest in peace. I know some people are for the monarchy and some are not; and I’m not sure how you feel, but the pageantry and the outpouring of love and support for her is unsurpassed. My condolences to all of the good people of the UK. I hope Charles continues by doing good things for the people and proves to be a good king. Mona


Leave a Comment