You can feel something but not put your finger on it. You don’t hear anything. You don’t see anything out of the norm, but there is just—something is askew. That’s intuition tapping at you.

In my lifetime I can recall just two really pronounced episodes of woman’s intuition. Now don’t get all hot and bothered. I do feel men can have this phenomenon too, but let’s face it, historically it is woman’s intuition that makes the world go round. (Please address e-mails to me I have thick skin!) Zipping along.
The first time intuition smacked me on the head we were coming home and the closer we got the more I felt we should drive to the stack yard and “check on” the stacks and stacks of hay we had put up. Yes, like they were our children. Hey you spend the summer putting up two twenty four hundred ton of hay and you would want to check on them occasionally too. Well the thief wasn’t lurking around our piles, but he had indeed been at the neighbors that night-uh borrowing hay from their stack yard. Or as I like to say, he was growing legs under bales and marching them onto his truck and delivering them to his own stack yard.

Had he been in the stack yard? I have no idea. I just know that after we took the time to look, I felt better and none of our bales took a walk that night.

Ah but the second time intuition took me by the ears and shook my head until it rattled there was truly something askew in our world. Again on the way home, after being gone a few days, I felt that “something askew” knot bouncing around inside me. However I didn’t say anything because it was day time and I figured whatever was amiss would take care of itself. Well that was wrong!

We got home opened the door it was eerily quiet. Usually our cats are there to meow us home scolding us for leaving them. This time; no cats. As per usual we both had our hands full of bags and baggage to set down in the kitchen and that’s where we first noticed…

Wait let me tell you this first. It was springtime. We have a wood stove in our living room and light a fire to take the chill off the house in the winter. It is the cutest barrel stove with a damper in the stovepipe and one in the door to regulate the air that goes into the stove and out the chimney. There is a cap on the chimney. Okay now back to the kitchen.

There were some black marks on the kitchen curtains. Cute curtains with colorful little chickens and a rooster sewn on a white background. But the white part had new black powdery yucky streaks. Then we noticed the same black streaks on a wall and across the stove. Moving to the living room there were more black marks, lots of them. Above the curtains, spattering’s on walls, still no cats.

Then movement. A flutter. Flutter? Yes flutter. Then, like a shot a bird flew in front of us and smacked into a wall leaving yet another black splat. The cats appeared, the hunt was on. What a circus.

Seems there was a small hole in the screen around the chimney cap. Small yes, but large enough for this bird intruder to go through, fall down the chimney getting blacker than the black bird he was, get past the stove pipe damper gathering more wonderful soot onto his hundreds of what I suppose were flapping feathers, make its way to the light coming from the open damper on door of the stove and out to, freedom—of our home. That little bugger had the house to himself for two days. Two days to sputter soot and feathers in every nook and cranny of our house. Walls, curtains, tables, countertops, carpets. Birds, black soot covered birds loose in your house is not a good thing in any world.

The hunt was on. It took a little encouragement, some lack luster conversation and an open front door to use as an escape route for that bird to fly off and tell his story to his grand baby birdies. Leaving us with the dubious job of learning that the best way to get rid of soot on everything without smearing it into a bigger black splatters, is a mixture of hot water and Dawn dish soap.

Admittedly, it was after the second bird got down to the stove from the roof we learned to closed the stove door damper before we go on a trip. Live, learn and listen to your intuition.

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinion with her at