Mar 28, 2015

The Eagle Has Landed......And Built a Nest......

So a friend of mine called me last weekend and said they had found an eagle's nest.  I was very excited and traveled to see it.

I made a journey by car, on a highway, switched to a four wheeler, through a field, walked through some quasy-muddy timber, and came upon this.

There were lots of smaller trees between us, but my chief concern was attack.  Eagles are not to be toyed with and I could just see us getting snatched bald-headed if not decapitated by some miffed parent who can see for a mile, possibly miles, people(!), and has claws and a beak that can break your bones.  Or pluck your eyes right out of your head.  Or just your tongue, first, depending on it's mood.....You get the picture.  Safety first, when at all possible.  

Now, my friend, being a more practical and reality based, rather soothing presence, was just worrying about eagle poop.  So we stayed out of range of THAT and used our camera's to zero in.  I don't know if this is Mr. or Mrs. Eagle, but since they never actually pointed their beady little eye at us and at least screeched "just to let you know I see you, you nosy little creatures!", I think it was the Mr.  I could be wrong, of course.  It just seemed to have that "don't bother me unless I have to kill someone", kind of male vibe, to me.

But I could be wrong.  I am no expert. All I wanted was not to be attacked, snatched bald-headed, or have my eyes plucked out of my head by an angry eagle parent.  
So, we took lots of pictures.

He did not lower himself to notice our presence, which was the most I could have hoped for, and we just watched him (or her) look around and I assume guard the nest.  I guess if there were eggs someone would be sitting on them, anyway.  Maybe she was and he was guarding both heart and home.  But we never saw 2 at the same time.

It was a great time.  I didn't even notice any bugs or mosquitos.  It might have still been too cold at night.  But just look at that nest!  And that bird!  One of my favorite parts about being down here is that I see eagles almost every day. 

But not like this!  Remember to always look up.  Lots of stuff goes on that is simply amazing and most people don't even lift up their heads to see it.  Lori used to say that, and it has always been so true.  She comes back to me a lot lately.  She would have loved this, and it was so good to have her with us in spirit.  

It was a good day.

We stayed there long enough for me to imagine a story around this knothole in a tree

As a doorway for some small forest creature.........

What lies through the door?  A mansion?  Cobwebs?  A snake that will eat you up?  A wise owl that will take you in?  We don't know.  .......and I've wandered completely away from the subject at hand, but that's how it goes in the woods.  I think you probably need some time in the woods.  I know I did.

I prescribe some time outside with the sun warm on your shoulder's, wild flowers blooming, some mud, some green new grass, and if you are very lucky, an eagle suffering your presence with resignation.  You will feel better.  Unless the eagle attacks you!!  Don't forget to be safe first!!  Yeah, I have a little bit of a thing about that!  

Happy Spring.

Mar 26, 2015

My Youngest Baby Is Driving..........

Well.  Today was the day.  Today was the day I knew my Youngest Baby would pass his driver's test.
I don't know why we put it off for so long.  I think we may even have forgotten about it for a while......but then we remembered.

Luckily I knew exactly where the birth certificate and social security number papers were, due to the move.  I carefully loaded those and all other "important" papers into the glove box of the car.  Once there, I promptly forgot about them, and there they stayed until discovered by my Oldest Baby when he was going through car insurance papers.

We would also need a piece of mail with Youngest Baby's name on it.  I took a college propaganda pamphlet that we have been receiving multitudes of lately and felt prepared.  We had a little hiccup when it was discovered that Youngest Baby did not have his glasses with him at this time.  He barely passed an eye exam and did not even offer that his glasses had been lost in the move.  Either that, or they are still at my Fourth Son's house where we certainly hope, but do not know, for sure, they were left by accident on their last trip to visit.  

Still he passed, as I knew he would.  So on we go to the Department of Revenue office (don't you love that they finally got honest with that title?  It's no longer the Department of Motor Vehicles--just call a spade a spade and get real, people.  We are all about the Revenue, we even have a sign that proves it. ;)) and I offer the college propaganda pamphlet, clearly addressed in my Youngest Baby's name.

It is unacceptable.  They need a utility bill in his name, which, naturally, being 17 years old and junior in high school, he does not have.  But wait!  The registration for the car would work, as long as I am willing to sign a paper giving him "permission" to use my address.  As if my address is not also his home.  I sign the paper and he goes out to look through the glove box for the registration.

I am not worried because I just had to renew the tags on my car, for which I had this registration just a few weeks ago.  He comes back with 8 years of proof of insurance, the title for the car, and the Rock Star's birth certificate.  But no registration.

At which point the lady says that I can just run to the bank, get a copy of my last statement, which does not have my Youngest Baby's name on it (but that doesn't matter since I signed the paper), but will show my new address.  Now, what kind of sense this makes escapes me, and I assume could only possibly make sense to government employees, but aside from that, it would only take a few minutes to run to the bank and get said statement.  So we did that, discussing crazy govt. rules most of the way.

On our way back to the refreshingly honest Department of Revenue, it hit me.  This was my last time doing this.  I remembered the first time.  It was kind of sad.  The second time was bittersweet but I was resigned to it.  The third time, kind of a pain because I was tired and there were 2 of them..........but this was my last time.  I wasn't even nervous this time, I was that sure he would pass.  And now it was almost over.  I began humming You Can't Go Home Again by Wynona Judd but had to stop to concentrate on not actively crying.  Something about sons and how oblivious they are to such moments being a blessing floated through my head and then we were there.  We had the (impossible to explain, but hey, whatEVer) required documentation and the cash.  We were ready.

The rest went pretty smoothly, including the part where they offered to go ahead and register him to vote despite the fact that he is not 18 years old.  Have you noticed that?  It's not so new but I have noticed the strangest people, at the strangest times, trying to register me and/or my children to vote in the past few years.  You may have noticed it too.  Interesting, to say the least.  He declined the kind offer with a straight face.  I was so proud, I really was.  His face was so straight that I was unsure if he even noticed that this was strange.  How would he know the difference?  How would any kid who just got his license?  I'm sure it's just a public service.  Right?  Anyway, you might just be aware and see if you don't notice that, because I find it a cloying overstep that should not be dismissed, let alone indulged.

The rest of the trip went smoothly and we decided to stop at The Heart and Home for lunch.  I announced that I was sad, that My Youngest Baby was happy, and that I might cry before we even got in the door.  That Linda, being the angel that she is, arranged a brownie hot fudge sundae in honor of both of our moods, and we still got him to school in time to attend his afternoon classes.  

Mom, it's no big deal.   Please don't cry, Mom.
On the way to school I told him it was a new era in his life, and mine.  I must say I do relish the fact that I don't have to drive anymore unless I just want to.  I told him to shoot my Fourth Son a text and let him know that we must know, and get, those glasses back if at all possible.  I told him he would never remember the score of this particular test in 20 years.  He said he bet he would.  We will have to wait and see, it will take 20 years to find out who's right.  But it will probably be me.  heh heh

Mar 16, 2015

Spring Ramble 2015 and Waffle Brownies........

Weather in the 70's down here and I had the day off.  As on now it is 4:25 pm and I still have not taken a shower.  I washed my face, brushed my teeth, threw my hair up out of my face and took some pictures.

The maple trees in the front of the house are sending out pretty red leaves.  I took this picture on my phone and then played with the contrast.  It turned out pretty.  You can't see the leaves too well but I think the red comes through pretty well.

That's the field that the cows are still in across the road.  They are getting ready to have some more babies.  I have so loved having the cows all winter.  

I bought an old rusted wire basket at the Heart & Home Tea Room/Cafe (you can like them on FB  here) last fall and planted pansies and bulbs in and around it   The pansies are waking up and there will soon be Jonquils, Hyacinths and Muscari all over the place.

I started to clean out the leaves, but thought better of it.  It's still early, even down here in SoMo, and those leaves help retain water and keep everything warm.  They won't hurt a thing, and in Missouri you can't really count out another blizzard or ice storm till May, if then.

This looks like a petunia, which may have come from a Mexican Petunia I planted last summer or might just be a volunteer.  I don't even know for sure.  Either way it is very welcome and so good to see a pretty color in these early days.  I think there might be some crocuses in there too, but so far I haven't seen them.  Might be hiding under the leaves, I guess.

The Hyacinths are poking up their heads.

I think this one will be white.

The Forsythia is blooming out, and the lilacs are budding out.

Forsythia is always first.  Such a relief to see it's cheerful yellow blossoms coming out, even on foggy days.

It won't be long till there are pretty flowers everywhere.  I've gathered up what bulbs I have left and started gathering up my seeds.  It won't hurt to throw the easy ones out and the bulbs may go ahead and bloom this year.  Or they may wait til next year.  They do what they want, which is just the way I like it.  Throw 'em in the ground and forget about 'em.  See what happens.  It's a little method I like to call "benign neglect" and all it takes is resisting the urge to pull them out of the ground when you see something coming up.  Wait and see what it is.  This approach goes quite a ways beyond gardening in my life, and I must say, I have hit my stride.  There is no pressure or maintenance work, you do it once and have happy surprises months later.  These happy surprises become old friends over the years.  You endure the seasons together, waiting for the time you will be together again.  After so many years, when you notice a lot more blooms happening than the year before, and the year before that, dig them up and separate out some of the bulbs and plant them farther apart.  They pyramid, some of them, and this way you can multiply your happy surprises many times over the years.

My youngest baby planted a start of pink honeysuckle by the back fence today.  I don't know if it was still alive or not but, why not.  If it doesn't come up, it doesn't come up, and it's not like I can't get plenty of starts down here.  I figure it will cut down on what the dogs can see to bark at and I love the smell of honeysuckle.

Today was a day that made me feel like I was in college again.

The not having to go anywhere on a weekday.

The not having to do anything but still keeping laundry going, cooking what I feel like and nothing that I don't.
Driving down the road to get a piece of pizza, a Mt. Dew, and a bag of Rolos.

For lunch.

About 2 pm.

I'm making lasagna, with the idea of using brownie mix in my waffle iron running through my head.

 Tomorrow, I will have to get back to real life, but today.........

Today has been filled with sunshine soaking into my bones, a moisture treatment for my hair, goooood music and my hands in the dirt, admiring my happy surprises and thinking about taking a nap.  Knowing I can if I want to, but not worried about it either way.  If it happens, it happens.

Later that day.......
Ok, I made the brownie waffles.  If you like the crispy corners best, I have found a source of happiness for you.

I just used boxed mix and put it right in the waffle iron.  I cooked them a little longer than when the "done" light came on.  The hardest thing was getting them out.  Finally I just loosened them up and flipped them onto a plate.  But man oh man, are they ever good!  Crispy AND chewy!
To make a peanut butter glaze combine 2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 cup peanut butter, a couple teaspoons of room temperature butter, and enough milk to make the glaze.  Drizzle this over warm brownie waffles.  Get a big glass of milk.  Prepare not to move for a couple of hours.

I hope you enjoyed your day as much as I did, but I doubt it.  There is always tomorrow, take some time to take it in and savor it.