This is a true story…


More coffee, please…

Coffee, Conga, & Hawks!

You know you’re doing the parenting thing right when your twelve-year-old is looking at you with a combination of doubt and amusement. At least, that’s the way I figure it. So the other morning, my beloved dog woke me up at 4:30 as she paced back and forth down the halls and up and down the old wooden staircase of our house over and over. I finally convinced myself to give up on the tossing and turning bit and groggily ventured downstairs and to my fuel, ahem, coffee maker at 5:58. As I was pressing start on my favorite kitchen appliance, the electricity went out. Noooooooooo!

The first five minutes of the power outage I was optimistic. I lit some candles, chatted with my ten-year-old, (who was so excited to be using her new flashlight in the dark), and I decided to start my Bible study. But all I could think about was that coffee. So when the power came on about forty minutes later and I had the first cup of deliciousness in my hand, I was dancing across my kitchen. Now, some people know that kitchen dancing is kind of my thing, but this morning I got lost in the moment. All I know is that I glanced up mid-one-woman-conga-line to see that look I mentioned a minute ago coming at me from my 12-year-old. I was singing the Conga beat, (da-da-da-da-da-da), coffee in hand, my favorite cozy robe on, dancing across the kitchen and in place of shouting “Con-ga! Con-ga!” I was singing, “Cof-fee! Cof-fee!” What can I say? I like my coffee.

A little while after my earlier than usual kitchen dance party, I had just finished my yoga and was at the sink, when I spotted a hawk on my neighbor’s fence. I got excited. I always do when I see hawks. I think they’re so cool I had to include them in my teen fantasy book series, HARMONY RUN. I showed my daughters, who both thought the bird of prey was neat, and enthusiastically alerted my husband. Meanwhile, the hawk flew to another tree. By the time Charles got to the window all he could see was, “something black.” Based off his description, I gathered he didn’t quite seem convinced his dream woman had seen a hawk. (Maybe her overactive imagination had gotten carried away again?) To be honest, I think he was only on his first cup of coffee, so maybe he wasn’t as alert as yours truly. Still, in my ongoing quest to prove to Charles I’m holding onto a bit of sanity, I tugged my boots on, grabbed my camera and a winter coat to go with my yoga pants, and headed out into 23-degree weather.

The hawk moved from branch to branch despite my stealth-like approach, (snow boots snapping every twig and crunching every leaf in my yard), but I kept praying that I could just get one picture to show that man. And voilà. I got one, and only one, picture. But thank you, Lord- that’s all I needed!

When I went back inside, my 12-year-old was laughing, the doubt still lingering on her beautiful face. She nodded towards my yoga Capri pants and shook her head. “Cold, Mom?” she asked. “Yes, but I got the evidence I needed for your dad,” I declared triumphantly. The girls were impressed with the photo. And Charles…well, he took one look at the photo and said, “Oh…wow!” surprise evident in his expression, and that made my dash into the cold worth every freezing moment.

I may be a coffee-chugging-one-woman-Conga-line, but I’m not seeing things. Well, not all of the time, anyway. 😉 Don’t forget to look out your window, friends. You never know what you may see. And the next time your morning cup of coffee brings a smile to your face, why not consider doing the kitchen Conga line? I promise I won’t judge. I’m too busy amusing my children.

Red-shouldered Hawk
Hey there, beautiful hawk! 🙂

With friends like Peppy…


I’d like to introduce you to Peppy, one of my house guests.  Truth be told, Peppy and his family are still disputing the lease agreement that they apparently had with the landlord before we moved in last summer.  From what we were told, we were the only ones renting this beautiful property in Jurassic Park.  (Sorry, Sanibel.)  But after dealing with Peppy and friends since day two of our arrival, I must tell you, Peppy and friends do not want to give up the fight for this property.  I am beginning to think that considering their determination to stay here, maybe I should just let them have the place. They not only hang out in the garage, they like the kitchen, the living room, and I have even found three in the kids’ bedroom. (As if motherhood didn’t have enough worrisome issues!)  I am not sure how the dispute regarding the lease agreement between Peppy and friends and the landlord will result…

In the meantime, I would like to thank Peppy for giving me some true pep in my step whenever we meet.  It doesn’t matter if it is one of his younger relatives or friends or a fully developed scorpion, yours truly dances and is suddenly very alive when I encounter one.  I met Peppy the other morning in our garage as I was putting the kids in the car for school.  Talk about jolting my half-slumbering mind to full awareness.  I’ve reduced my coffee intake to one cup per day since I moved here, but now that I think about it, I could probably forgo the caffeine entirely.  With friends like Peppy, who needs caffeine?

Alligator had a rough night?

Rough night? Early morning photo of gator ‘resting’ on bank…This guy needs some coffee.
Or maybe this gator isn’t tired…He or she is deciding what to have for breakfast?


Hot coffee in my cup, I strolled over to look out of my dining room window and was about to take my first sip of my life-line when I spotted this alligator on the bank.  I set the coffee down.  I grabbed my camera.  “What have we got going on this morning, backyard pals?”  I asked to no one in particular.

At first, I thought…Wow, this gator looks like it had a rough night, sitting motionless on the edge of the bank.  After a moment, however, I spotted a White Ibis getting closer to the bank, and I fought the urge to yell out the door.  “Fly, fly away!  There is a gator waiting for you, buddy!”

The gator was motionless for a few minutes on the bank.  I turned away from the window when my daughter walked up behind me, and when I glanced out the window a moment later, the gator and the bird were gone…

I’m not really sure how the scene unfolded, but I’ll let you decide for yourself…