Neighborhood Animals, Phobias & Fears

Over the weekend I was walking around my neighborhood and saw some animals…

A black cat just chilling.

I think the cat is well fed. What do you think?

And then I was walking past one of the dozens of restaurants within a block of my home, all which have outdoor patio areas, and noticed a man studying.  With his two “un-leashed” birds just standing on the railing that bordered the outdoor eating/patio areas.

The white bird was more stand-offish and just stood on the railing.


But this smaller and more colorful bird was scampering up and down the railings.

Walking back and forth, shuffling it’s little feet

Moving side to side on the railing

I was pretty surprised the birds didn’t try to fly away and that the man was so chill about not having them somehow “leashed”.  I am obviously not a bird person because I guess I assume that birds will always fly away, or try. Clearly these were his pets and they just stayed on the railings next to him.   Maybe their wings were clipped?  I have no idea.

As as aside, it would have freaked me out if I was trying to dine next to birds. 

I have a semi-phobia of flying birds and their, ahem, waste. It stems from childhood memories and Florida family vacations and tourists feeding the seagulls massive amounts of human food.  Do the math.

Ever since childhood, I really don’t like birds too much.  I am not scared of them, but I just don’t really like them too close to me.  I fear that they will, well, you know…all over me.

Not to mention, it seems like it would be a health code violation to have birds that close to food.  Then again, people bring their dogs all the time into restaurants, grocery stores, and malls here so I guess it’s not much different.

After my walk was over, I followed up my animal sightings with some plant eating.

A crunchy, fresh salad + Vegan Slaw Dressing

And some Mango Ginger Maple Tofu

I just mentioned how much I love mango things and recipes

From my last post about Granola and Granola Bars, many of you said you do make your own granola at home and told me your fave recipes.  For anyone who is still buying granola, try making it at home.   It’s so easy and you’ll save so much money!

I’m glad you enjoyed my granola and granola bar recipes as jumping off points.  Thanks for all the great comments on that post!


Dessert: Peanut Butter Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies (Vegan, GF)



1. Do you have any phobias or fears?  Either of animals or otherwise?

I would not really call my dislike of flying birds a phobia.  I just don’t really like birds.   Just like I don’t like onions but I am not phobic or fearful of them.

I also hate ants!  They skeeve me, make me shudder, and where there is one, there are 25 behind it.  I would say they definitely creep me out.  

And snakes, yes.  Fear and phobia.  As well as most other reptiles.  Ick!  Not for me!

Also, big dogs (un-leashed), yes, I tread lightly around them.

Gosh answering this question made me realize a few things.

However, I am not afraid of elevators, small spaces, I’m not claustrophobic, I am not afraid of clowns, or losing my teeth or some things I’ve read are “common” fears or phobias.

2. Is it common for people where you live to bring their pets out in public places like stores or restaurants?

When I first moved to California, I will never forget the day I was in Nordstrom trying on $200 jeans when a lady’s toy chihuahua walked into my dressing room.

Ever since then, when I go to the mall, I see dozens and dozens of tiny, purse-sized dogs along for some shopping in stores like Neiman Marcus to Victoria’s Secret to hanging out at their owner’s feet in open-air cafes. 

Or just hanging out in their owner’s purses being pampered with doggie nail polish and hair barrettes on.  And I’m not kidding.

In my neighborhood, there are lots of young, childless, fabulous people who treat their dogs (and apparently birds) as their children and bring them everywhere.  Many times I wish I came back in my next lifetime as a toy poodle in this zip code because oh boy, it would be a very pampered existence!

3. Best thing you ate or did over the weekend?

I hung out with Skylar and enjoyed our 78F and sunny weather on Saturday.  Sunday it was rainy, cold, and nasty.

P.S. If you’re just catching up on posts from the weekend, here are mine since Friday:




  1. I have MAJOR arachnophobia – I’m getting chills just typing about this, haha.

  2. I am terrifed of birds, moths, grasshoppers and um…. butterflies… basically anything that flies :-o!

  3. I think I’d have been a little worried dining next to those birds, too! I wouldn’t say I’m afraid of them, either – but…I don’t know. I guess it’s not something I’d encounter around here so I’d just find it odd? haha.
    Thats crazy that you can bring animals into supermarkets and stores around there! Here we have signs saying no pets :P Which, I’m not complaining. I love animals but I don’t need them licking my produce because they want an apple or something :P
    Fears? Well, I’m always afraid we’ll see a bear when my mom and I are trail riding (our horses) in the woods…I guess it’s irrationally rational. haha.

  4. Not really any phobias here, but I guess I could count being in water—I really hate being in lakes and oceans, but I don’t know if I’m really scared of it—I just don’t like to get wet!

    I have completely different animals in my neighborhood—and they are all hibernating right now :)

  5. I had the Conure as a child-the second, smaller parrot. My parents had the first bird. They are both mushes and very loving, but I am allergic to down-like seriously allergic so no birds for me. Your neighborhood is really pretty by the way. My boring suburban street could learn a thing or two from those photos.
    I won’t go near a pit bull. I don’t want to hear how nice they are or were raised, you can keep your pit bull or rot weiler(sp) far away from me and my kids.

  6. I am deathly afraid of snakes! Major anxiety if I see one! We have leash laws here and I don’t see many animals out and about with people. Closer to the city, I think you can take your pets to restaurants near or at the parks.

  7. home owners insurance in florida cgir franklin life insurance =-))) cheap home insurance 8PPP

  8. Ha– I just posted a bird-heavy post as well!! I like birds from a distance…but yeah, if they get too close, I freak out. I don’t mind them when they’re sitting, but when they’re flying overhead, I’m always worried that something is going to fall on me!

  9. I am very afraid of rabbits. I would lie in a pit of snakes before I would share a patch of real estate of any size with a bunny. OK, maybe not lie with the snakes but definitely deal.

    I am not afraid of anything else living that I can think of but prefer animals, critters and insects to keep out of my home. Live and let live.

    Skylar is just getting more and more beautiful!!! I love your photos of her. What a lovely free spirit she seems with her happy face. She must come by it honestly. ;)

  10. Roaches terrify me, particularly big, flying ones. Yes, I grew up in Texas, and yes, I have seen a roach fly towards me aggressively. Super frightening!

    I rather like birds. Their feathers are so soft and baby birds in particular are just cutest! Maybe I’m envious that they can fly ;-)

    Bringing dogs to restaurants (outdoors) is pretty common in NYC. As long as they’re well-behaved pooches, it doesn’t bother me. And yes, I def do see some lap dogs, or should I say, purse dogs, around town.

    Best thing this weekend was freeing myself of an obligation it was time to let go of. Hooray for freedom! AND just chilling and enjoying some downtime was great.

    BTW, been meaning to ask you, this comment system you’re under never shows my last blog post. Is it something I have to sign up for or something like that? (No need to answer immediately, just wondering).

  11. I am majorly afraid of snakes. Like, I’ve actually thrown up when I’ve seen them before. Gross.

  12. Oi, hate ants too! Totally irrational…I just hate it that there are so MANY. One ant? No probs. Seeing a live anthill or lifting a stone to discover a gazillion ants and little white ant eggs. Creeped OUT! Hahaha, and there’s no explanation…

    I used to be scared of dogs as well due to a really unfortunate series of events with some stooopid dog owners when I was a kid, but I’d say that’s more of a rational fear, now. Bigs dogs CAN be dangerous so yeah, caution. I don’t really like dogs I don’t know, big or small.

    I get it that people spend money at the vets when they have a pet, but purse dogs? “Nail” polish? I’m sorry (well, no I’m not) but I will never understand.

  13. I hate, hate, hate spiders and any flying, stinging insect; wasps, hornets, bees, etc. The arachnophobia is irrational, but the stinging insect thing is not; I’m very sensitive. Last time a wasp crawled into my sandal and stung me on my foot, it swelled up on the bottom like a baseball and I could barely walk for a week.
    I also freak anytime something sharp comes near my eyes; I get a strong mental image of my eye getting stabbed.

    • see the stinging thing…yes that’s totally valid!

      i am almost ‘phobic’ of garlic and shellfish…probably b/c i get a swelling reaction like that too. You are anaphalatic reactive to them, that’s how i am to shellfish and garlic, so yeah, not irrational :)

  14. Sometimes i”m convinced you live in a jungle with all the trees and wildlife hah

  15. Oh my God… I love birds. I don’t know why, I just think they;re so cute and smart! I totally want one. That mago tofu also looks amazing…

  16. i’ve had so many birds poop all over me…my head…my leg, my clothing…ugh! i don’t fear animals…i love them…and that pic of the black kitty was so beautiful…thanks for taking it…

    i do however feel the same way about ants, june bugs, beetles, grasshoppers, spiders…they all skeeve me…ALL. OF. THEM. i scream if any of those things happen to be crawling on me…SCREAM BLOODY MURDER…haha…and i have scared many people. many people.

    i am afraid of flying. which i think comes from the fear of death. yep, i am so freaking afraid of dying…don’t ask!

    best thing i ate over the weekend were my mamas homemade yummy cookies…and my homemade hummus…and the best thing i did was pick our wedding invitations…so excited about them…they are truly awesome!!!

    i am so jealous that you are experiencing nice weather…i woke up to minus 20 (or at least what felt like -20) this morning…and froze my poor little (big) butt off waiting for the bus!!! ugh! i am so sick of this cold brutal winter…

    as for pets…definitely not allowed to bring pets into grocery stores or any type of store, although some clothing stores are ok with pets…and definitely not allowed to bring pets into any restaurants…although we are allowed to tie them up outside the restaurant. the laws are pretty strict over here if you are a pet owner. which i am not happy about. thinking about moving out to your part of the world…haha!!!

    have a beautiful day darling!

  17. I hate millers (aka big moths). I have no idea why … I grew up in NE and they were really thick there. In the summer they would flutter outside of your door when it was dark outside bc they like light. Well, anytime you’d open the door about 5 of them would get in, and then they would be fluttering all over your house ramming into the nearest lights, and you. Yeah, I hated that!

    Haha, I can’t imagine people bringing their purse dogs inside everywhere, I don’t think people around the midwest would like that too much.

    Aaanyways, to end this long-winded comment … have a great Monday : )

  18. I have a BIG fear of spiders. I hate them so much.

    The birds look so tropical where you are! We have nothing like that!

  19. Those birds are beautiful!!
    No, here in central Illinois, people aren’t seen with their pets unless it’s on a trail or in the park :)

  20. That is so cool. No one would keep exotic birds around these parts. The most exotic animal sightings we get is the occasional flock of turkeys, lol.

  21. People here bring their dogs everywhere. EVERYWHERE. It’s a little annoying, actually.

    I am sure those birds’ wings were clipped. That’s pretty common for parakeets and cockatoos like those. I’ve been shit on by birds more times than I can count. Occupational hazard. ;)

  22. love that you take your camera with you on walks! Pictures are absolutely gorgeous though!

  23. 1/ Im terrified of birds. Had a bad experience with a peacock and a swan as a child.
    My mother tried to cure me of this fear by buying me a pet budgie I named Quincy .I hated him .

    2/ Its actually illegal to bring dogs etc in stores, restaurants here. I ve worked a lot of retail and I cant say how many times I ve had to ask someone to take their dog outside.

    3/ Best thing I did this weekend was relax and super clean the kitchen lol its snowy and cold here.

    Skylar’s hair is so pretty. Getting very long .

  24. I love birds and would be stoked to see some hanging out with their owner at a restaurant, lol!! :) Their wings were definitely clipped to just be hanging out like that.

    My major fear is spiders. It’s pretty crippling!

  25. I have a full blown irrational phobia of snakes. And worms.

    It affects my life and I can’t swim in lakes or even do much gardening because I’m so afraid of worms and water snakes. The smaller snakes are, the worse I am afraid. It’s very difficult for me to do strawberry picking due to fear of snakes.

    I really want to get over it.

  26. I can’t go surfing without thinking of sharks. I guess you could call that a phobia! And whenever I go hiking, I think about mountain lions and bears and wonder what the chances are of coming across one. That freaks me out….a little bit!

    The best thing I ate this weekend was excessive amounts of chocolate. This tends to happen often!

  27. i was going to say…that cat is definitely a little chunk ball :)!

    big dogs freak me out, too! well, i should specify by saying big dogs that jump freak me out. i’m only 5′ 1″ so when big dogs jump up, they’re basically as tall as me. i’ve been scared of them since i was a kid but i’m sloooowly coming around to them. at least the ones that don’t jump ;) i also hate spiders. and looking at pictures of things underwater. the beginning of titanic? skip it, thanks! i’m weird :)

    the best thing i did this weekend was rock climb! i hasn’t gone in just over a week and it was spectacular. lovelovelove climbing. oh, and all the yoga i did this weekend, of course!

  28. Looks like someone kidnapped my cat and took her to Cali!! She’s a chunky panther kitty too! :)

    Love all the animal pics! I’m afraid of cock roaches, scorpions, and spiders!!! They are just SO CREEPY!

    And I agree w/ the bird thing, they are just annoying to me. I think they are pretty in the wild, but why someone would want to own one as a pet is beyond my understanding. I can’t stand the squawking!!!

  29. i am with you on the phobias! mine are almost 100% animal related: all dogs; the look in cats’ eyes (evil and possessed, i am telling you! as evidenced in your photo, above, too!!); flocks of birds cawing; snakes and all reptile types, fish in the ocean when i am swimming…i just justify it by saying i am a PEOPLE person NOT an animal person!
    so glad you’re having great weather – enjoy!

  30. I am terrified on roaches and spiders. I don’t go near them. WIll not. Never.

  31. I am mildly agoraphobic. Meh.

    The best thing I did this weekend was discover your blog! I posted my own just a few minutes ago about what is now my new favorite breakfast! Your microwave banana oat cakes. Delicious!

  32. great pics…can’t beat so calif
    i’m one of the lucky ones also…orange county

  33. I think this is my first time commenting but I’ve been reading your blog forrrreever! =) I have, by this point, made your vegan PB cups for every person I know haha.

    Anyway I am also terrified of seagulls you-know-what-ing on my head! Probably because I grew up by the beach and… happened a few times =o(

  34. I’ve said it before, but Skylar is so beautiful!

    Weird with the birds. I bet their wings were clipped. The poet whose class I was at this weekend read a poem about colorful birds being kidnapped for pets and the whole ethics (or lack of) with that industry. Chilling. Speaking of chilling, I misread your comment about the black cat just chilling first time–thought you were saying that the cat was chilling! (Those creepy eyes…) I can’t believe you have dogs in Nordstroms! This is Alaska and back of beyond and no one wears make up and bears and moose walk around town…and no one brings their animals into stores and restaurants! Bird poop is great fertilizer–but I agree, not on your head…

    I wrote in my blog last week about discovering that I’m more scared of heights atm than I have been in my life. But the only thing I’m really scared of is electric shocks. I hate them so much! And that includes little static things from people’s clothes as well as the bigger ones…

  35. Cool shots, I remember seeing parrots like that in South Beach all the time. I don’t worry so much about parrot poop, but seagulls and pelicans are another matter! :-)

    1. Unleashed dogs because I’ve had so many of them come after me while walking my dog.
    2. Not really because they’re not allowed in stores or even outdoor farmer’s markets. I’ll occasionally see them at outdoor seating.
    3. Went to the Whole Foods raw foods fest.

  36. I really really really despise ants. Really.

    I spent some time with the kids this weekend and it was bliss. Chopped my daughters hair OFF because she requested it. I was thinking I would be a wreck about it but we were both smiley about it because she looks so stinkin cute now. :)

  37. My only true phobia is of lightning. I follow my cat’s lead and hide away from windows til it’s past.

  38. Aww I actually love birds! They’re so smart! Growing up, we had a huge walk in aviary (cage) with like 200 different kinds. Now my family just has a few parrots inside including the ones you pictured (a white cockatoo and a conure). If you clip their wings, they know they can’t fly away.

    Dogs are what I’m afraid of! Big or small, they freak me out; biggest pet peeve is when they aren’t on leashes!

  39. I totally know how you feel! I have a major bug phobia thanks to a tennis incident my Senior year in high school involving me getting swarmed by probably 100 bugs! I think I must smell good or something! :) But this phobia still impacts me to this very day! Last year I was riding my bike with my boyfriend and had a grasshopper land on me mid ride! Needless to say, it resulted in a 10 mile walk home, a bent bike frame, and some bruises. But it’s okay! Maybe someday I will overcome it! lol! Have a great day!

  40. Not afraid of birds, but I wouldn’t want to eat with them so close! I’m afraid of heights – shudder! I am working toward doing a drop back into urdhva dhanurasana – I know all I need to overcome is the fear factor.
    People in Tucson don’t bring animals inside, but there’s often a dog tied up outside the co-op waiting for his/her owner. I worked at a health food store once, and one time a guy came in with a bird on his shoulder! We made him leave.
    I had delish vegan Chinese food this weekend. I also made your coconut oil protein granola bars, and they came in handy to have tasty snacks as I rushed through work and workouts!

  41. Sienna wants to come down there and give you a BIG lick on the face. And Ellie wants to give you a big hug. :-)

    They are only 40 pound dogs though, hope that size is ok. Medium dogs are my favorite because I’m always afraid I am going to squish the littler ones.

    I am afraid of snakes too. Yikes!

  42. I’m afraid of CATS!!!!! they are so freaky!

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  44. I made your no bake oatmeal raisin carrot cake bites over the weekend with a raw cashew icing to dip them in. Yum!

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  47. That is one gorgeous cat. And he just looks like he *knows* he’s boss! LOL The only thing that freaks me out 100% is spiders. Just the thought of them wakens up my fight or flight response. Well, maybe just my flight, b/c I’d never get close enough to “fight” one. *shiver*!!!!!!!!! I don’t often notice folks around here bringing their pet places with them. Those birds are stunning, but I wouldn’t want to eat next to one, either…

  48. I believe some birds return home by themselves if you had them for some time. Though i never tested the theory because i don’t like birds or pets of any kind. Some might get upset when i say this, but i believe pets are for old and lonely people to keep them company. Since i have enough friends and an active social life, what would i need a pet for?
    I’m also not a very reliable person :D

  49. I hate spiders, mostly Daddy Long Legs cos their legs look so creepy to me.

    I absolutely LOVE birds. I think they’re so cute! It’s not a phobia but I don’t like other people’s dogs. I hate it how dog owners assume you will love their dog and will let the dog fuss over you. I think dogs smell and I hate them licking me!!!

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