This is where I go out on a limb and ponder a while.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Your Place in the World

I have to share my friend Jill's blog post from today.  She has got it all together!  She knows that what she is doing is worth while and she values her work.  Please try to remember that the people you work with and live with are impacted by the things you do and say every day.  You are important that way.  It doesn't matter if you are a CEO of a big corporation, a teacher in a classroom, or if you are a mother taking care of little ones inside your home.  In all situations, you are in contact with human beings and your reactions to them can either give them light or darken their day.  Jill is obviously someone who brings light to her students.  Check out her post for today:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Good-Bye Buddy

My youngest son with Buddy at the ranch this past Fall.

We had to say good-bye to our beloved Buddy today.  It was his time to go.  He would be 14 this Spring.  He couldn't stand up anymore and he had stopped eating.  So we took him in to the vet and let him go to sleep gently and peacefully in our arms.  My tears soaked the top of his head as my husband closed his eyes for the last time.  

On the way home from the vet clinic, my husband declared angrily "This is the part I hate!  It makes me never want another dog!"

"It makes me ache for another dog to take his place," I said quietly.

After a pause, he sighed and said,  "I'll probably feel differently after a couple of weeks".

But I do understand how he feels.  It is painful, and it makes you want to avoid the possibility of ever being hurt again.  But I need my furry friends - they give me comfort.  It's worth the risk.

At least we still have our sweet Sugar.

And curmudgeon cat Ted.

We love them :)


Friday, February 22, 2013

Valentine's Day - Huh?

We were on vacation on Valentine's Day, so of course, my sweet husband forgot.  I didn't expect him to remember, and it didn't bother me.  After all, when a Minnesota girl is in a beautiful hotel resort on the warm sandy beaches in February, Valentines are not a priority.  When he realized what day it was, he took me to the store and offered to buy me flowers, which I declined - where would I keep them?  I settled for chocolates, of course!  I am not one to ever turn down a good chocolate :)

What did you-all do for Valentine's Day?  Have we given up the romantic Valentine's Day rituals?  Maybe so.  There certainly is not the pressure to impress anymore.  We've settled in to a very comfortable, sweet lovey-ness and I don't mind it a bit.

Today I read the cutest post on a blog that I wanted to share with you.  It struck a chord with me because it would be the kind of Valentine's evening we would have in our house.  She's also sponsoring a give-away you might be interested in!  Check it out, I think you'll enjoy it:

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Birds of Paradise

When I went on vacation I was hoping to see different birds as birding is one of my favorite pastimes.  I didn't really see too many different species since we pretty much stayed within the resort area.  Some day I will talk my husband into a trip to Sanabel Island, which is widely known as a birding mecca.  Nonetheless, I did have fun watching the birds that were there, and did manage to get a few photos.  
One thing that surprised me, although I should have expected it, was the number of birds there that we have here in the summer.  We were sitting outside one afternoon at a beachside cafe and red-winged blackbirds were landing on the tables!  They were a serious pest and there were signs posted that read:                             "Please Don't Feed The Birds!"

Of course, there are gulls everywhere.  This one is a bit angry with me for parking my beach chair in his prime hunting spot.

One day we went on a fishing excursion, and the birds at the dock put on quite a show.

These pelicans wait around the fish cleaning table for scraps.   There are several species of pelicans in the Keys and they all mingle together.

This is an immature Snowy Egret.  He's standing over the fish cleaning table, pretending to ignore the gentleman cleaning fish.  But when he tosses up a fish scrap, the little guy is quick to catch it in midair and gobble it up!

This big boy seems to be too dignified to beg for fish and stays above the fray :)
This is a Great Egret.  We came upon him while beach combing one day and he just froze.  I was only about 6 feet away from him, but he posed for me for about a minute so I could take a good picture without needing a zoom lens.  Then I quietly sneaked away.  I wonder if he thought I couldn't see him if he didn't move.
The Cormorants - not an attractive bird at all, and I neglected to take a picture of one because we have thousands of them at home.  Now I wish I had taken one because maybe some people have never seen one.  But I did take this photo, because I think they look silly when they do this.  They are divers, so they sit and hold their wings out to dry their wing feathers.  One sunny afternoon we were looking down into the water at some tropical fish swimming around a reef and suddenly a huge dark fish bolted into the school of fish and scattered them in all directions.  But it wasn't a big fish, it was a cormorant.  He wasn't fast enough to catch any of the pretty fish, though.

This was a real treat for me - I have never seen an Ibis before and here was a whole flock of them right on our beach.

But now I am back in the frozen tundra watching my beloved chickadees at the feeder :)


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Men In the Kitchen

How do you feel about men in your kitchen?  That is, if you are a woman?  If you're a man and you're reading my blog, please don't be offended by this post, because you can just substitute women for men and garage for kitchen wherever appropriate, and you will understand just what I mean.

Some of the men in my family are creative geniuses in the kitchen.  I taught them to enjoy cooking - so much so, that I have to admit they may have surpassed me in their ability to create original culinary masterpieces.  I love to cook, but have always gone 'by the book'.  But my boys have encouraged me to think outside the box and we now create in the kitchen together, which I thoroughly enjoy.

However, the kitchen has always been my domain.  And it's a bit dodgy sharing it with someone else, let me tell you.  My youngest son is in college and living at home since he's attending college in our town.  He likes to cook and he cleans up after himself, but he doesn't do things EXACTLY the way I do.  I just came home from an eight day vacation in the Florida Keys.  It was a lovely vacation, but one thing I couldn't wait to do when I got home was cook a meal.  For the past 2 days I have been working my way around the kitchen, finding where he put things - not where I would have put them ;)  But I am grateful for help in the kitchen.  And he is very capable.  The ice maker in the refrigerator malfunctioned while we were gone, and he mopped the water off the kitchen floor and cleaned out the refrigerator.  I can't imagine what a mess we would have come home to if he hadn't been there!  So it's time for me to quit thinking that my way is the only way of doing things.

I think men just think differently about where things should go.  When I go looking for a tool in the garage I am totally lost and have no idea where to start looking.  My husband has a system, but it makes no sense to me.   I imagine the kitchen is just as foreign to him, since his culinary skills are limited to Campbell's Soup and peanut butter on saltines.

So I've decided that my kitchen is an open kitchen.  Maybe I'll even teach my husband how to cook something some day.
Or not.
We seem to get along fine the way things are - best not to mess with success  ;)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Bully? I Don't Think So.

I hear the comment often regarding blue jays:  "I don't like blue jays.   They're bullies."   Personally, I find them to be very entertaining and their bright splash of color on a winter day is a welcome sight.  They don't bother the other birds at my feeder, so I'm happy to see them come around.  On this day I sprinkled some seeds on the deck and got down on the floor to get some close up photos.  It kind of makes a mess of the deck, but always worth it to get that good shot.

We're heading to the Florida Keys tomorrow morning.  I'm more excited about new photo ops than I am about swimming and sunning.  What does that tell you about me?  :)