backyard visitors, birds, Florida wildlife, life, nature, photography

When the red, red robin…

… comes back to Capistrano.  Well, I might have gotten that part wrong, but the robins have definitely come back to my back yard.  I saw one a couple of days ago, and today I saw flocks of them flitting back and forth between all the oaks out back.  They like the small tree that hangs over the edge of the water out there, they were in that tree, and splashing around in the water and enjoying themselves, exactly as I observed last year.  In addition to them I saw a bluejay, a cardinal, a Downey woodpecker, and, amazingly, an Anhinga.  I couldn’t get pictures of the other birds out there, but I did get a lousy one of the Anhinga or you might think I’d lost my mind.  I think it was just passing through though.  The sandhill cranes were also out there on the island where they nested last year.  This area is surrounded by bird sanctuaries so I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised to see so many different birds. I’m glad I’ve finally taken time to notice what nature so thoughtfully provides.

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And oh by the way, I didn’t need Merlin to ID the Robins for me.  Okay, now that I said that I did put a photo through Merlin and it’s an American Robin!  And my assumption that the robins would be out there daily for a couple of weeks has proven to not be true.  I’m glad I stopped what I was doing to go out and take some pictures because I haven’t seen even one robin since that day.  Monday I think it was.

family, humor, kids, life, memories, moments, photography

Sweet memories…

I once saw a Smith Family cartoon in the Sunday paper that was just perfect, I so wish I had saved it. It showed the little boy hurting his knee while out playing, and then you see all the places he stopped and played on his way home. But once he hit the door and saw his Mom he clutched his knee and started crying. This cartoon came to mind when my son burst through the door one day, and fell on the floor outside the kitchen door and rolled around clutching his knee. I was amused, he was too old for such dramatics, and I was thinking about how to react when he got up and stomped his way upstairs. Evidently his knee wasn’t that bad, I thought, so that was good. I continued with whatever I had been doing, and after a little bit I was surprised, and more than a little amused, when I heard him stomp his way back down again. He was still mad, obviously. He stood in the doorway, hands on his hips, and as indignantly as a 9 year old could manage he said, “If I joined the Army… and I got shot… and I called you up and told you about it… you’d probably tell me to rub it and it will feel better!”
When he got to the part where he called me I couldn’t help it, I started laughing, and he got madder, which made me laugh even more, and finally he couldn’t stand it and started laughing also. I wonder if he remembers that favorite moment of mine.  If I ever get dementia I hope that’s the last memory I lose. He was a fun kid to raise.
In the year that I knew her I told my raising-the-kids stories to Mary Ann, my friend and former nun, and she enjoyed a little glimpse into family life. Some of the stories I told her caused her to be glad she had never married, “So that’s what I missed”, she’d say. Talking with her brought back memories of things I hadn’t thought of in years, wonderful memories, and I wonder if they might have been lost forever if not for her. I told her that our becoming friends had done as much for me as it had for her, maybe more…

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dogs, fun, grandchildren, kids, life, memories, photography, travel, weather

Happy feet…

I last went north a year and a half ago for my granddaughter’s college graduation. Since I was heading that way I got a ‘since you are coming anyhow’ request from my son, could I head there (NY) first and stay with the kids for the weekend while they headed to FL for a wedding?  I was happy to do it.  But I didn’t anticipate that turning on the oven to heat up a slice of pizza and then noticing that the puppy had pooped on the foyer floor, would result in the smoke alarm going off during the poop clean up, which caused me to hurriedly flush said poop, causing the toilet to overflow… and my grandson to call down from upstairs, “Is everything alright down there, Mimi?” Eventually it was, with help from the kids..
I’m reliving that memory because my other take-away from that weekend was that I spent it freezing to death. At the end of May! So I went on a quest for warm slippers, and these were the only ones to be found, and they caused my daughter and granddaughter to roll their eyes at my fashion choices. I didn’t care, I think the only place I went during that visit that I didn’t wear them was the actual graduation itself.
Lucky for me I was straightening my closet and discovered them, just in time for them to save me from our current cold spell in FL. My friend Kathy said she’d have to dig deep to feel sorry for me while I suffered through our 50-something degree weather. So my fashion choices for the day are the slippers, jeans, and Charley’s huge #1 Pop Pop sweatshirt, which is the only sweatshirt I can put my hands on at the moment. The dogs think I look just fine, and they also think it’s time to go out…

dogs, home, life, life goes on, losing battles, photography

Who’s in charge here…

For a dog who doesn’t seem to have an aggressive bone in his body, Ozzie sure can boss me around. I once read something written by Caesar Milan, that said that any time your dog tells you what to do, like wants to go out when it wasn’t your idea to go out, then that’s aggression. And it shouldn’t be tolerated. Maybe allowed would be a better word. I remember thinking that if I ever had a big dog I wanted to be sure that they were trained perfectly, and incredibly well behaved. Okay, so now I have two big dogs that do nothing I say, unless I ask them if it’s cookie time, which will bring them galloping to the back door.
And the throw on the bed? That’s my side. I’ve always slept on that much of the bed, a little sliver on the side, so Ozzie really isn’t taking the bed over, that’s just his (now) side of the bed. I’ve had to resort to an extra throw these last few nights since it’s gotten cold, and seeing that makes me see how little of the king-sized bed I actually use. I took a picture because Ozzie was hiding his eyes since I came in and turned the light on to get ready to go to bed. Poor thing, I was disturbing him. I should do the same thing when he gets me up at 1:30, and 3:30 every night. I wonder what Caesar Milan would say about that?

family, fun, grandchildren, life, life goes on, memories, moments, on closer examination, photography

On the way…

We passed this pond every time we went to visit my son and daughter-in-law, Mike and Katie, for a lot of years.  And every time we did pass this pond it nearly took my breath away with how beautiful it was.  And if the dogs were with us, dogs being Zoe and Gleason for most of that time, and then Zoe and Ozzie, once we got to this pond Zoe knew for sure that we were going to their house and she could barely contain herself for the rest of the way.  Which wasn’t far, thank goodness.  But I never stopped to take a picture, I suppose I didn’t expect that heading to Mike’s house would one day be a 21 hour drive north.

After we bought our house with the pond in our back yard, and especially as we had only seen the place twice, plus the neighbor on the left side of our lake kept his yard like a park, I began to imagine that our pond looked like the pond on the way to Mike’s house.  Minus the fountain of course.  And alligators, no alligators in my pond, thank you very much.  But that pond never seems to have the algae that my pond does, I wonder how they keep that down?  At any rate it was a slight bit of disappointment when we settled on the house and I saw the pond again, and saw that it was much smaller, and quite a bit sadder, than the one on the way to Mike’s house.  Oh I love my pond, and I’m grateful to have it, especially after it dried up for a couple of years, but it would be nice…

So I recently found myself passing down this street again, and wishing that Mike still lived nearby, if only because I would have stopped in to use the bathroom.  But on the way home I stopped for pictures, since I don’t know when, or if, I’ll pass this way again…

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coping, death, grief, healing, life, life goes on, memories, moments, photography, the easy way out

It’s about time…

I could have left well enough alone. Or done what I’ve done twice a year for the three years that Charley has resided in his urn. Which is a very nice clock. Of all the urns on the shelf from which to choose this was the one and only one I thought would do for him. And it has proven to be a good choice. It has given him a voice, sort of. It chimes at the perfect moments in conversations, or occasionally when I first walk in the door, so that the excited dogs and chiming urn make me feel welcomed.
I have no idea why I didn’t just do what I’ve always done, even though it’s a pain in the neck, and just roll the clock ahead one hour at a time, 23 times, to adjust for Daylight Savings time. You aren’t supposed to roll it backwards you see, and I always take cautions like that seriously. And since it only chimes from 6 AM until 10 PM you have to consider the entire 24 hours. No, my genius idea was to take the batteries out while I went to the Y to swim. When I put them back in a couple of hours later I figured I’d only have to adjust it ahead an hour and change. Ha! It went to 6 o’clock for some reason, and seems to want to chime two hours off of what the hands of the clock say.
So I need to find the little manual that came with the urn, which I’ve seen not too awfully long ago. Somewhere. Or, perhaps, I’ll just take the batteries out again and set the clock for 6 o’clock and put them back in. Maybe it will be right, or maybe it will be 12 hours off. Or maybe I’ll just forget about it and let Charley do his thing. He always did have to have things his way, eventually I learned that it was easier to just go along with him…

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