We've had problems past and present with barn swallows and their aggressive behavior. They've swooped down on us while we've mowed the grass, they've swooped into the garage when we're coming outside and they darn near took my head off this morning as I rearranged my flower pots out front. To say I've had enough of barn swallows would be a severe understatement.
In a meager attempt to scare them away from the front porch, I resorted to having the girls growl and roar like dinosaurs from an open window a few feet away. The kids thought it was great fun, but the birds were not bothered much. I have to admit that at one point, the girls were roaring and growling like wild beasts, and I couldn't help but crack up laughing at the scene in front of me. I also attempted to open the front door, just a few feet from their prospective nesting spot, and those darn birds just sat and stared at me as if I had invaded their home. So James and I devised a plan in which he placed some large stones on the small ledge where the birds land while I stood guard with a broom, ready to take aim and swing at anything flying in our direction. The ledge is covered and there is no level spot left to build a nest, but those persistent pesky birds are still attempting to build their muddy nest on the slopes of the stones.
This morning I opened the front door, and the bird and I looked each other in the eye. Then I just had a plain (and crazy) conversation with this thing, asking it to please find somewhere else to build a nest. Who knows, maybe it's a Disney bird that could understand my pleas. I haven't seen the birds back since that conversation. But I'm not holding my breath.
Unrelated to birds, here is a recipe for creamy mashed potatoes. These are not laden with large quantities of fat and taste fabulous on their own without the gravy, so serve up a dollop and enjoy.
Creamy Mashed Potatoes with Chives
2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and sliced in 1/2 inch discs
1/2 cup 2% or whole milk, warmed in the microwave for about 30 seconds
1/4 cup low fat sour cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup fresh chives, minced
salt and pepper
1. Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a large saucepan. Add water until it's 1 inch above the potatoes. Place on a medium-high burner and bring to a boil. Cook until fork-tender and flaky, about 15 minutes.
2. Drain the potatoes and return to the saucepan. With a potato masher or an electric mixer, mash potatoes into small pieces, trying to eliminate as many lumps as possible. Mix in milk, sour cream, butter and chives. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.