Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Who Knows Where the Time Goes. . .

This past weekend was my 35th birthday.  We celebrated with a trip to the mountains to watch the Potter girls.  I really enjoyed the windy, stormy weather.  It almost felt as though we weren't in SoCal anymore.  I also got in a little bird watching (about 15 minutes!), but was able to identify a Northern Flicker, which I had never seen before.  I think it was nature's gift to me.  :)

Speaking of birds, Douglas got me a great gift.  He bought a doubler for the camera.  This lengthens the lens so that I can possibly take pictures of birds without being right next to them.  I'm still learning how it works, so I will have to post pictures as I take them.

This week is also Girl Scout cookie deliveries.  Mmmmm . . . thin mints. However, because of
 my uber-competitive nature, I encouraged Addison to sell a bazillion cookies.  Now, I must find a way to deliver said cookies.  Sigh.  So if you ordered cookies and haven't gotten them yet - call me!

And for those of you living in less temperate climes still dreaming about spring, well, I must
 say SoCal does have its perks.  Today is absolutely gorgeous.  80 degrees, blues skies, slight breeze.  I spent the afternoon at the park with the boys and watched Elias kicking his soccer ball and chasing squirrels.  I think we all got a little pink.  Here are some pictures (and yes I was trying out my new lens, I never had to get off the park bench.)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A Sigh of Happiness

My little Mason makes my heart smile.  

This is his favorite position on his bouncy chair.  

He will sit quietly for sometime if he has something to chew on, something yummy like a rubber monkey or his jacket.

He always knows when I enter the room.  He makes me feel like a star by the way his eyes light up as he stares at me.  (I know he's probably thinking - that's my woman!  she has the milk!)

He giggles and coos until you think your heart will burst from the sheer pleasure of the sound.

He slept from 11pm to 6am last night.

I love that little guy!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day?


Due to the following, Valentine's Day has been postponed.

One case of bronchitis with a side of sinus infection
One giant-**s cold sore
4 Hours of crying whining toddler -"maaa maaa, sniff, sniff, waaannt a a a hu u u g"
(Strangely enough, said toddler has no obvious symptoms of illness.  none. at all.)
1 giant pile of poopy diapers and snotty tissues. (smells better than roses would have!)
no flowers, no chocolate, no diamonds, no lingerie

Valentine's Day will resume on March 8.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Three Days Until the GBBC

The 11th annual Great Backyard Bird Count begins Friday, February 15 and runs through March 1.  Whooo-hooo!  Don't you just want to whoop and holler a little bit?  I know this news sets my heart a-racing.

Wait - what's that?  You don't know what this is?  You've never participated before?!  Well, now's your chance.

The GBBC is an annual four-day nation-wide event that asks bird watchers of all ages and expertise to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are across the continent.  It takes as little as 15 minutes, it is free, easy and fun.  Not to mention, it helps the birds.

How do I do it - I know that you are dying to know!  Well, it is sooo easy. - 

1. Go to this website: The Great Backyard Bird Count.  Print a tally sheet for your area.

2.  Go outside for at least 15 minutes.  Count the birds you see.

3.  Enter your report on the website.

Even if you've never even noticed birds before, this is something that you can do.  Most people can identify at least the most common species, 
such as a house sparrow House Sparrowor an American robin.  American Robin

So give it a try, get the kids involved - make it a family date.  

After you give it a go - let me know what were the most interesting birds you saw.  I'd love to know!

To get you in the mood, here is a fun little test of your powers of observation - click here to play.  (I made it to eagle eye - but who's bragging? LOL)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

A little story about a man. . .

On this day, forty years ago, a little baby boy was born in the town of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.  The baby boy grew and grew.  And when he was big enough, the little boy loved to run, climb, sail and windsurf.  And he grew some more.  And when he was all grown up, he also loved books, French philosophers, foreign films with subtitles, and raw fish.  And he thought, I am very happy.  But not completely . . .

Then one day, the boy, who was now a man, met the most beautiful woman in the world.  So he married her and they had three beautiful children together.  And the man's life was full of love until he thought his heart might burst - and he is very happy. (Even though he has the sniffles.)

Now he is a daddy and his children squeal with delight whenever he comes home.  They clamor to play with him and to tell him about their day. And he is a husband of a wife who adores him.  She believes that he may be one of the smartest, most creative, sensitive and generous men around.   She wonders how she could be so lucky to have him.  The wife and children are very happy!

And this is the story of the baby who was born forty years ago today, and this is all - but not quite, because the story is still being written and will continue on for many more wonderful years.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

We all have a mental illness - some are just more pronounced

I usually don't need excuses to avoid doing my chore, I just don't do them.  Actually, I'm quite happy to have pared down my chore list to less than a handful a day - dishes, make the bed, sweep, take out the trash.  But every once in a while I have to buckle down and deep clean. 

Yesterday started out as that day.  I attacked the kitchen with a vengeance, scrubbed the oven and microwave, cleaned the grout around the sink, the whole works.  Then it was time to work on the floor.  Anything that wasn't bolted down was removed from the kitchen and I began cleaning the windows and the floor.  It was during this process that I looked again at the giant bookcase in the kitchen.  Because it is next to the kitchen table it becomes a repository for anything and everything.  Books stacked willy nilly, crayon boxes, craft supplies, photos and the like.  Sooo, stop everything!  I must organize this shelf - immediately!

And why was I so inspired you may ask? (or not)  Earlier this week I had come across a great blog site.  This small town librarian had arranged her bookshelf by the spine colors.  (This was apparently inspired by a bookstore in San Francisco.)  I immediately showed this to Douglas, who nearly choked on his indignation. 

"How would you ever find anything!" he yelled at the unresponsive screen. "Books should be arranged logically, by author, subject and title!"  And he looked at me with a rather menacing stare of warning, suggesting that if I should ever do that to our bookshelf, he would disown me.

Well, naturally, I really wanted to rearrange the bookshelf by color.  How else am I going to know if I need more books with, say, yellow spines? So my  instinct to clean the kitchen floor within an inch of its life (yeah, right!) was curbed and my much more OCD side took over.  And here are the results.  I must admit that I didn't take it all the way, I kept certain collections together as a nod to Douglas' opposition to the project.  But overall, I really like the results.  I can't wait until we have room for more shelfs and all the poor books that have been packed in boxes can be set free to find their color mates.
I am definitely doing this to the kids book shelf next!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Say Goodbye to Dings and Scratches

So how is this for total randomness.  The local autobody shop sent me a birthday greeting today.  And not just any birthday greeting - but one of those 'ON  THIS DAY IN HISTORY' pages.  It told me my sign and my birthstone.  I was informed that bread cost 27 cents and that "Crocodile Rock" was rocking the airwaves.  Plus a whole bunch of otherwise useless but nevertheless interesting trivia.  Addison was especially fascinated by these factoids, and was duly impressed when I could actually sing a few lyrics of Crocodile Rock and I knew that Carly Simon sang "You're So Vain."
"Wow, mom.  How do you know this stuff!?"  
"Somethings you just know," I replied.

Now, I am not sure why this envelope was addressed to me.  The last time we used this particular body shop was to have repairs done on Douglas' car after he was rear-ended for the umpteenth time.  And since Captain Hunter's birthday is before mine, it doesn't look like he's getting a greeting.  So I must draw this conclusion -  they think I need some body work.  

How did they know?!! They must be totally psychic, since they have not seen my body lately. And I am desperately in need of some small "cosmetic" repairs.  Some dings here, a scratch in the paint job there, a bumper lift, etc.  

I am suspicious though, this was from Douglas Auto Body Shop.  Is someone hinting that they will be paying for some future "body" work?  I can only hope!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Bird Nerd in Action

I saw these two beautiful birds in our neighborhood today.
(These are not my pictures - the light today is horrible, all grey and overcast.)

This is a Cooper's Hawk.  He looks like he's wearing a dark cap.
This guy has been hanging out in our neighborhod for a while, but I was only able to identify him today.  Several weeks ago, a random neighbor told me that he had called animal control on a vicious hawk, afraid that it was going to attack his cat.  I told him he should only worry if he had pet pigeons.  I don't think he believed me.

And this is an Anna's Hummingbird.  He was visiting our neighbors Bird of Paradise.  I guess they are the most common SoCal hummingbird.