Pastel sky

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! 🙂



At the risk of upsetting my Facebook friends…


Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret

I’ve seen a lot of snow pictures from my friends in the north on Facebook lately, and I’m starting to feel left out. It’s the Indiana girl in me, I guess. You can take the girl out of Indiana, but, well, you know how it goes… Now, some of my Facebook friends have threatened to delete me or hide me from their page if I post anymore photos from the sunny beach.  I am certain they are just teasing because WHO would want to delete their friend in Florida who is jogging to the beach in 70-80 degree weather every morning and sharing beautiful beach pics while they are digging their car out of ten inches of snow and freezing to death? 😉 But seriously, I’m really jealous of those snow photos my friends are sharing. I love the snow! And the photos this year are great… I’ve seen snow-covered trees, sledding adventures, and someone even made a snowman to look like the snowman ‘Olaf’ in the new Disney movie, “Frozen.” Wow, that was creative…

So, I haven’t got any snow, just a little rain lately, but in an effort to join in the snow pictures and not irritate my northern pals, I took a couple shots of this SNOWY egret, hanging out at the beach.  Yes, technically, it is a beach picture, but the SNOWY bird has to count for something, right???  I mean, the Snowy Egret is the closest thing we’ve got to snow here in Florida. Well, besides the snow birds.  You know, the people kind.  So, here I am- at the risk of deletion- joining in the fun and sharing my snow pictures.  I won’t bother you with details about the warm breeze, the sunny day, the gentle sound of waves lapping the shoreline or how warm it was when I took these photos.  Who needs all of those boring details?  Just focus on the SNOWY egret.  😉  I hope I haven’t upset any of my shivering snowed-in friends up north again! 😉

Snowy Egret

Snowy Egret at Blind Pass Beach
Snowy Egret at Blind Pass Beach

On our bike ride to Blind Pass Beach earlier today, I was thinking about how wonderful it was to be biking on a gorgeous, sunny day in southwest Florida.  At this time last year, I was dealing with the sixteen degree temperatures my mother is currently experiencing in Indianapolis.

I had to take a pic of this Snowy Egret fishing at the beach and take a moment to enjoy the fact this is the closest I will be getting to anything ‘snowy’ for a long time…unless you count the extraordinary number of snow birds (the human ones) who have arrived on Sanibel…

Wishing you a blessed and happy holiday from Sanibel Island!