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! 🙂

Tormenting Shorty the Wonder Dog

Ibis

Ibis

Ibis

 

As we drove away from our house the other morning, my youngest child cheered enthusiastically from the backseat.  “Look, Mama, ibis!”  Sure enough, to the right of the vehicle was a group of them.  I smiled, proud my kids are learning to point out varying birds they see along the way, just like some of their great-great grandparents taught their grandmother to do, who in turn taught her children to do.

The next moment she asked, “What are they saying, Mama?”

I smiled again, laughing to myself.  I’m not sure if their great-greats taught anyone that.  In an effort to entertain my children, I tell them stories pretty often, and usually ibises and other birds we spot along our drives end up in my stories.  I tell them tales about the ibises spying on our house, to see when we leave so they can bother Shorty the Wonder Dog, our household hound.  They love these stories because they’ve seen how Shorty reacts to a flock of ibis, or any type of bird in our yard for that matter, and it is always a comical spectacle.  While Shorty might not have the same reasons, one thing is for sure, she is interested in birds.  From the patio door she growls and barks at them, and when I open the door she takes off like lightning, chasing them out of her territory.  After her mighty chase and from pure exhaustion at having worked her tiny legs so strenuously, she goes back to her bed, returning to dreamland.  The dog likes to sleep.  So naturally, when my child asks me what the birds are saying, I tell her they are watching us leave so they can go hang out in our yard and irritate Shorty, who is only concerned with protecting her family from the big bad ibises.

This morning, there were ten of them in our yard, and Shorty was dying to go after them, but I snuck out first and took a couple of photos.  I thought about my youngest child as I watched them.  What are they saying Mama?  The ibises seemed to tolerate my presence but studied me cautiously.  I’m quite certain they were discussing whether or not I was going to let them enjoy their breakfast in peace or whether I would release Shorty the Wonder Dog to disturb them.  So after a few minutes I went back inside, and did what all good pet owners would do I suppose, and I let Shorty out.  😉  Those birds were gone within ten seconds, and Shorty could go back to sleep with a burden lifted.  She had defended her family from the tormenting ibises.  😉