Sue Spitulnik

Flash Fiction and personal thoughts



Since bats was the topic of this weeks 99 word flash fiction at Carrot Ranch Literary I thought I would share the following information with you from the National Day of Calendar.  I happen to like bats, and I hope you will too after reading the following.

April is the best time of the year to observe bats, as they are now beginning to emerge from hibernation. National Bat Appreciation Day is also an excellent time to learn about the role bats play in nature. One important reason to celebrate bats is that they are considered to be an “insectivorous” creature because they rid our world of many annoying insects.  In one hour, a bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes. Continue reading

Bird Snob

If you have ever wondered if I have a decorating theme in my house; the answer would be birds. But I’m a bird snob in that all of my birds are western New York state back yard songbirds and a few ducks thrown in for good measure. I have never counted how many different bird “things” I have in the house, but it’s a lot. I say things, because I have photographs, prints, placemats, a shower curtain, needlepoint, bells, figurines, painted eggs, feeders, a thermometer, a clock, window stickers, wall paper, books and one 3-D piece of owls done by Kurt Feurerherm that I paid a handsome price for. You can google his name if you’re interested. Continue reading “Bird Snob”

My Useless

When I got home after two nights away with my sisters, I asked my husband how it went with the cat. You see, Useless is my cat. My husband tolerates him, and actually shows concern for the cat to the point he will sit in my chair, with my blanket over his legs so my cat will have a lap to sit on when I am away. My husband is a softy, but don’t tell him we know.

After my question, my husband tried to glare, and said, “Your cat!”

I asked, “What did he do?” Continue reading “My Useless”

Make Your Own

I’m a home-made person and baklava falls into that category because you can adjust the amount of sugar, honey, lemon or cinnamon used. I decrease the first two ingredients and increase the last two to fit my personal taste. Plus I use a mixture of pecans and walnuts for a richer nuttier flavor. The real secret of making this treat though is how to defrost the Phyllo (or filo) sheets. Yes, I buy them! If the sheets are thawed slowly they handle much better and are easier to work with.  Continue reading “Make Your Own”

Man’s Best Friend

Today is the first “Never Bean Better Day”. The Drager Group, Inc. founded Never Bean Better Day to recognize the unconditional love dogs bring to human lives. Never Bean Better Day honors the birth of a special therapy dog, Bean, who eagerly spreads his Bean wuv everywhere he goes and improves the lives of those who need it most. Visit to learn more about Bean and his many talents, canine and not so canine. Continue reading “Man’s Best Friend”

The Bald Eagle is both the national bird and the national animal of the United States and appears on its Seal. If you think about it, there is often a decorative “head” on your American flag holder that is in the shape of a Bald Eagle. For me, the bird and the flag bring on the same emotion of patriotism whenever I see them.

I have had the good fortune to live in Washington state and New York state near where Bald Eagles live. I have seen the huge bird swooping the lake to grab a fish and it is a sight like no other. It makes you wonder how such a big bird can do such minute movements.

The name “Bald Eagle” derives from an older meaning of “white headed” as the bird is actually not bald. The adult eagle is mainly brown with a white head and tail. Their nests are the largest nests of any North American bird and the largest tree nests for any animal species. The biggest recorded eagle’s nest was found in St. Petersburg, Florida.  It measured 9.5 feet in diameter and 20 feet deep.  It weighed in at nearly 3 tons. (That’s a lot of sticks and mud. I wonder how they weighed it.)

At one time the Bald Eagle was on the endangered species list, but is no longer due to conservation and their ability to adapt to loss of natural habitat.

If you haven’t, I hope you get the chance to personally see a Bald Eagle fly over a lake. It’s one of those things that to be seen in nature is so much more impressive than seeing it on television. The size of the wing span will take your breath away.

One of the Family

It’s National Pig Day. Have you ever had the opportunity to know a pig personally? They are an intelligent, caring, trainable creature. My daughter has one named Niko, who is one of the family, just like her dog, Sasha.


Sasha is a Boston Terrier and Niko is a pot belly pig. They play together like two dogs, love to have their bellies rubbed and compete for the best spot on the couch. The only real drawback is when Niko jumps on your lap, his hooves leave bruises. Oh, and he doesn’t lick your face, but will steal your snacks if left unattended. Yes, he is litter trained. He doesn’t like strangers and hates to be picked up, sort of like my cat. His “fur” is wiry and his nose feels like wet plastic. He’s a messy eater, but cleans up every last bit he drops in the process. We love to hear him snuffle in his sleep.

I always make time to pet the pig when I visit my daughter’s house. I don’t know how he does it, but I will be petting his back and talking to him, then he drops to his side to have his belly rubbed. He doesn’t move like a dog or cat in order to lie down, he just drops, suddenly, onto his side. It is the funniest thing, then he looks at me as if to ask what I’m waiting for. When I rub his belly, he closes his eyes and takes it all in. I’m sure he is purring on the inside.

National pig day was created to acknowledge all the attributes of swine.  Whether you have one as a family member, eat one, or read about one, pigs are wonderful creatures. One note of caution, a mama pig with piglets can be very dangerous to an intruding human they don’t know.

It’s National Love Your Pet Day. According to the calendar, this day is set aside to do something special for your pet, or pay it some extra attention. I think most people show their pet they love it on a daily basis, but we all know that one dog or cat that gets left out in the cold with little shelter and not enough attention.

Our cat is one of those cats that owns us, we don’t own him. If Useless wants attention, he will rub on my legs, get in the way, and meow until I give-in and go sit to hold him. When he is in my lap I can scratch his chin and face all I want, but I better not touch him if he is on the floor. Like I said, he owns me! When he wants to go out, he leads us from door to door to show him the weather is the same on either side of the house. He expects us to stand with the door open as long as he wants to sniff regardless of the temperature. I know this is all typical stuff for a cat. What isn’t typical about him is his name; Useless. He’s a good mouser and keeps me company near my computer or sewing machine so he really isn’t Useless. My husband happens to think all pets are useless, hence the name. Isn’t he pretty?


One of my favorite pets over the years was my son’s ferret, named Casper, because he was almost white. On any given day, Casper could make me laugh with his antics. He loved to steal anything shiny and hide it/them in the couch cushions, usually my son’s truck keys. He could walk/hop down the hall with the front of his body facing you and the back of his body propelling him forward. He could open cupboard doors, to get into mischief, curl up in a boot (so you couldn’t find him), or slither into your sleeve to sleep for an hour. The chattering noise he made got quicker and higher pitched the more excited he got. He was always a lot of fun to be around.

When I was a kid, there was usually a canary in the kitchen. My father liked the yellow ones best. Dad would whistle while he did dishes and the bird would sing its heart out. I can picture it and hear them to this day.

Whatever your pet of choice is, today is set aside to show them some special love. If you don’t have a pet of your own, maybe you could make a donation to your local shelter to help care for those animals while they wait to become someone’s special pet.

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