Tag Archives: Nature

Spring has sprung and so has my brains!

I think my battle with the evil pink eye super bug has left me mentally compromised. If not the wicked bug then it was the massive amount of eye drops I’ve absorbed but either way, I’ve gone bananas.  And if you need proof just look….


In case you can’t make out the little specks those are chickens people, fowl feathered friends.  Somewhere along the way I decided that I wanted farm fresh eggs but didn’t exactly want the farm.  So, much to my neighbor’s dismay, I settled for eight super charged egg laying peeps, four of which we got last week and the other four are due to arrive this week.  I figure eight layers should keep my food devouring kids egged up and happy for awhile.  And when they get sick of eggs? Well, I’ll come up with some creative recipes or shove eggs down their throats.  Whatever works.

I tried to be a considerate suburbia neighbor and bought these peeps from a place that could guarantee these downy babies would be hens and not annoying roosters.   We’ll see.  If any should happen to be roosters did I mention I have a retriever bird dog?  Just KIDDING (not about the dog but about the fate of poor rooster).  I’m sure I’ll find a farmer who would be happy for Mr. Roaster to take up some table, I mean, yard space.

The coop is up and ready to go except for the outdoor run.  I have been nagging gently asking Mr. Pavlov to finish the run because these peeps are growing quickly and pooping a lot!  N a s t y.  I’m told the run will be completed this week which, is a good thing considering how filthy these egg layers are.

While we wait they eat, sleep, poo, pick, poo, flap their wings, poo, flap their wings and actually fly, poo, peep, poo, poo, poo and they are still small.  If the amount of poo is any indication of what I can expect to come then I am in WAY over my maximum lifetime poo limit. Plus we still have four little poo makers to come.  Yikes.  Let’s hope they produce as many eggs as droppings and then maybe we’ll call it even.


As we await the other four peeps and their completed home, they bask in the heat of their red glo lamp.   This photo was taken just minutes after I changed their bedding…wanna take a guess what a few hours looks like?!?

Didn’t think so.

I’m going to collect my brains now.

All in a year

I am amazed at the difference a year can make in the lives of my little human beings.  Sometimes even in mine (if I’m not in an omigosh this phase is dragging funk).

Last summer you may remember this post where my youngest was apprehensive (and bordering the indications for therapeutic intervention) of our little Tiki Man water toy.

365 days later and wa-la…he discovered the pure joy of Mr. Tiki:

He was content with the quality time he and Mr. Tiki were having

Yes, this is safe but thanks for asking Mr. Tiki

Dancing the Tiki

Drinking the Tiki

Constipating the Tiki

Wait, this constipation is fun....let's put him in the grass and see just how much pressure I can create!

Until….he discovered the raw power he held in his hands….

I'm holding a weapon!

Let's kill some grass

But grass killing is boRRRING!

It all began with this look

And there was not a sibling in sight to “bond” with.  Well, not a human sibling anyway.  He did spot a sibling of sorts. And off he went.

C'mere my sibling!

And our fur child entered into some forced bonding time with the Tiki possessed being.


I know I'm a water loving Lab but this is grounds for animal cruelty!!

See, sometimes I am just too engrossed in my footage that I forget to intervene.  Happens. all. the. time.

Eventually I came to my senses and called off the Tiki weapon wielding child.  It was this intervention that brought the realization of my interactable human status into the equation. Before this, I was just a camera holding prop.

But no longer…




I believe you can even see the splatter on my lens with that one. After he was content with the status of my saturation he went on to the enivitable.  In fact, being a boy, I was surprised that this was not the FIRST and possible ONLY activity he engaged in with Mr. Tiki.

Mr. Tiki, the appendage

Then in true boy fashion he turned proudly to face all of creation (who, after watching what happened to our Lab, screamed and hid in horror).

Look out world. Here my appendage and I come!

I can’t wait to see what happens next year.  Or, maybe I can!

The heat and the power of endorphins!

I caught a quick glimpse of the TV yesterday (while I was vacuuming and dropping sweat that could fill a man-made lake) as the youngest was channel surfing (yes, he is male and inherited this trait from his father’s gene pool).  The quick flash I saw was of the USA pictured on a weather map and the entire country was lit up red with 90’s and 100’s across the board.  A meteorologist was standing in front of the weather map speaking to the camera and wearing a look of concern in addition to his slightly wilted and crumpled suit.

That’s all I got.  I couldn’t hear him and before I could power down the sweeper and make a request that the little TV dictator keep that station on for a minute,  he changed the channel.  I debated on using my rank to overtake him and seize power of the arc of the covenant but decided to continue working and sweating.

Sweating has been a part of daily life.  But I’m not complaining (thank God for A/C).  Although apocalyptic, I love the heat.  Ok, so this might be a bit oppressive (we live in the arm pit of the world) but I’d rather have this heat than the horrid blizzard of a winter we had to endure.  Actually, I’d rather have my butt planted in Arizona where there is zero humidity.  The humidity is what kills us here.

Well some of us more or less than others.  My middle child, Dos, cannot handle humidity in any form and Mr. Pavlov was birthed and raised in the heat ridden, humid, tropical Philippines.

Dos is a big boy and an avid sport player.  By big I do not mean McHeffer, I mean large for his age.  At 12yrs he is 5’7″ and 160#  The boy is solid.  Think hitting a brick wall and you’ll get it about right.  He is also freakishly strong.  I already cut his hair so I know for a fact that we don’t have any Sampson going on here (and he has also taken sips of fermented drink – another non-Sampson trait).

Thanks to his size, power, attitude and natural talent, he is readily accepted into the sport arena and plays just about everything known to mankind.  I have the mileage on my newer Clown Car (the non-affectionate name for our 5 seater downsize after the death of our beloved Honda Minivan) to prove it.  Currently he is on a basketball league.  Outdoors.  An outdoor basketball league. Clear?  Outdoors.  He had a game yesterday in the 100+ degree hot and humid temps.

My Mama heart was feeling a bit sorry for my big sized baby.  Hey, I still remember the day he was born like it were yesterday.  His head and shoulders are the most vivid of the memories (I will remember them forever!) but he will always be my baby no matter how large he becomes.  So when he came to me all pathetic looking asking if he could sit this game out, I knew my sports crazed kid was suffering from the heat.  Was it truly worth it?  Making a kid who sweats buckets, becomes easily dehydrated and then vomits up the attempts at rehydration play in this dangerous heat index?  The image of him hurling all over the court and the other players sealed the decision for me.  I told him he could remain at home.  Indoors.

Now Mr. Pavlov is a heat eating machine.  I think he possesses a mutant tropical gene that enabled him to live (as in play outdoors) in the Philippines. The man is unphased.  He is also an avid participant in sports and his true love is cycling (think Lance Armstrong as in cycling NOT his true love…just so we’re clear!)

He would sleep with his bike if I permitted her in our bed….but I don’t and she is confined to the garage or on the trainer in our family room.  He cycles 25 miles to work “just cause” and pushes himself regardless of the heat index.  He laughs at the sun and the gnats don’t even attempt to buzz his head, dive bomb his eyes or lodge in his sweat.  They know better.  Mosquitos don’t touch him either (I’m thinkin’ the mutant gene repels them).

He is an outdoor god.  But I’m not quite ready to place an image of him in my garden or erect a totem pole just yet.  Even though these next few pictures are totally statue worthy:

What heat?

Unzipping is my secret for ventilation

Feel the breeze baby!

On basketball day he came home from work wearing similar garb to the above photos.  Yes, he cycled to work, again.  His cycling suit was unzipped (see above)and he was joyfully sweaty.

I wondered how long the joy would last once I informed him that I permitted our heat intolerant child to skip his game.  Without further delay I spit out the information.  Mr. Pavlov looked at me, then glanced at Dos lounging on the couch wearing only his basketball shorts and playing with his ipad (nice presentation Dos!), then glanced back at me.  I waited for the speech about team commitment, keeping kids active and off of brain numbing computer gadgets and TV (Mr. Pavlov is also ex Airborne) but instead he nodded and replied a simple,

“Yea, it is hot.”

I offered Mr. Pavlov a glass of water and told Dos he should be thankful for a little thing called endorphins!

But the ground is frozen!

We’ve had a break in the weather recently and it has been almost tropical!  By break I mean that it is hovering around 30 degrees.  It’s amazing how 30 degrees can feel like a heat wave after surviving the brutality of below zero temps.

My youngest is still at the age where he enjoys the outdoors.  He remains undefiled by Xbox or other indoor electronic crack.  He is a fresh air loving, peace dealing, one with nature kinda dude. This weather “break” has been a slice of heaven for him and he spends most of his time outside.

Yesterday wasn’t any different as he frolicked  and slid across the remaining ice. I smiled as I watched him perfect his tuck and roll maneuver…a  necessary skill to master in our home.  He eventually approached the back door and said with deep concern,

“Mom, Winston (cat) won’t get up…even when I knock on him he won’t move…he just keeps sleeping!”


Our cat is the most tempered Tabby that I know of.  He is the definition of patience and has often been dragged, choke hold style across the yard by nature boy. He was also hurled off of our upper landing, by our then 5yr old daughter, when she wanted to test the claim Animal Planet made that cats will always land upright! HOWEVER, nature boy’s description of the tempered tabby was pushing the patience threshold.

“Knock?” I asked. 

“Yea, he’s hard. And his eyes are open – they are a whitish blue!”

Nature boy has had very little exposure to death.  He will not even kill a bug because it is “a living creature.”  See, I told you we had hippy (click to read) in our gene pool somewhere. The only dead creatures he sees are road kills or the maimed and mutilated rodents that the cat delivers to the sacrificial altar.  They are usually bloody and often decapitated with their entrails hanging out.  

A stiff cat that you can knock on like a door screams death but it was clear that nature boy wasn’t thinking rigor mortis.

I walked out on the porch and sure enough…beloved Winston was rock solid.  Our tempered tabby of 9 years was dead.  My youngest looked at me with the “my mommy can fix anything look” and I felt so helpless.  Winston could not be fixed, he could only be buried.  

But how do you bury something when the ground is frozen????  I can’t dump him in the woods.  He deserves better.  I discussed it with the hubs and he quickly black bagged Winston until first thaw, I guess.  But now that I think about it, I better check to see where he put that black bag because the last time he blacked bagged anything it was a racoon and it ended up in my freezer! 

Don’t ask.

Hot and Stupid

A video tribute to Valentine’s Day

Sorry to disappoint but this post is not about a blonde, bombshell Barbie who fails to score above 500 on her SATs.

True, she does have a full body of lustrous locks.  And yes, she isn’t exactly the reincarnation of Einstein but that’s where the similarities between bombshell Barbie and ignoramus Angel end.


Angel is our faithful, dim-witted, family canine who seeks out human companionship like Jersey Shore’s “The Situation” preys upon female flesh.

She is intense.  Her pursuit of love and affection is never-ending even if it means placing herself in less than ideal situations.  Angel will wait.  Patiently.  And then wait a little more for that brief moment of bliss when a random human finally acknowledges her panting, smelly presence and offers her an obligatory scratch.

Why do we have her?

Because seven years ago our daughter, at the ripe age of 7, demanded her and we caved pretended it was our idea.  Chalk it up to hormones, sleep deprivation and insanity on my part…I had a newborn attached to my body 24/7 sucking my life source.  Clearly, I was not in a stable frame of mind.

And many times I question Angel’s mental stability.  I think she got the short end of the cranial material.  Either that or she is truly LOVE starved.  Although, I consider dental checks, brushing, ear cleaning, toe nail clipping and hog-tying-bath-time the apex of sacrificial LOVE.  BUUT  She must desire more agape as evidenced today when she attempted to cook herself just to be by my side.

We were alone.  I was cold so I pulled up a comfy chair and cranked on the gas fireplace.  The kids were in school and she was in her chronic emotional state of neediness.  She refused to part from my presence even though the creature was obviously tormented by the heat.  Because of video size limits, you will only see a clip of her torment below….but it is more than enough.

What you do not get to visually appreciate is the constant discomfort and position changes, the Semi Truck panting, the moistening of the parched lips and the pathetic looks in my direction begging me to move away from the inferno flames.  I did not move.  I chose to remain tush planted and film my intellectually challenged subject.

Eventually compassion moved me.  Well, NO actually I feared she would succumb to hyperthermia induced brain damage and she requires as many actively firing brain cells as possible! 

So Angel, as we come upon the holiday of LOOOOVE…this post is for you…our Hot and Stupid one!

Falling on your butt happens.

In life we fall down. It happens. We all have crashed at some point. Some of us more than others.  Well this New Year’s Day the boys learned this fact literally. We made the most of this beautiful, unusually warm day and headed out to explore the sights, the sounds and the ICE.

But before the ice let’s look at the exhibits….

He LOVED the gingerbread masterpiece creations.  He was pointing out Sponge Bob’s house.


You must be joking.  I am not, I repeat NOT getting on the ICE…no way! I am bred for the tropics.


I see the hubby’s reflection


Rows of Gingerbread homes


Jumps of excitement over the house creations


A form of Art.  Now when can we eat them?  We are 100% recovered.                                           
an indoor exhibit of houses galore                                                                                                                                          
Santa ornament camouflaged in the tree                                                                
And not so camouflaged.                                                                                                                                                         


Santa’s from around the world                                                                                                                                             


How the Italians do it…a bit troubling indeed.                                                                                                                             


La Befana                                                                                                                                                                                       


Now this is a frightening sight for anyone especially a child! She looks like she requires the Heimlich maneuver.                                                                                                                                                                         


 The hubby’s favorite.  Reindeer butt.   Disturbing.                                                                                                                                                                


Looking up                                                                                                                                                                                    


and up                                                                                                                                                                                            


and under                                                                                                                                                                                      


Getting ready to hit the ice



Whoa, this is harder than it looks – getting their skate legs


I can’t let go!!!


I must hold on!  I have a death grip on this rail.
I am getting tired.  This is hard!


Older bro is gaining momentum but I keep falling!


I got this!  No problem! And it’s so hot that I can take off my coat!  Mom somehow failed to capture all of the butt falling moments but there were several and I saw stars.
A hard fall will make you see things like lights around trees…

I was taking the pictures but are you wondering about the rest of the family? Just in case you are….


Monitoring things from the sidelines…the safe way to be.


But wait, Texting???


And Drinking??


She must have found a STARBUCKS!!!


Back outside to the beauty for a short while before it is over.
Good-bye for another year…and we welcome 2011!!!

From our family to yours....

Happy New Year!!

Sometimes the screams are a part of the fun.

I have always been amazed at how different my kids are.  They came from the same gene playground yet are entirely different.  It is fun to watch the various reactions they each have to the same event.  Not to worry, I’m not Pavlov and they are not dogs.  I don’t plan to conduct any freaky experiments here – just observations. 

For example we recently went to a park for some family time and I couldn’t help but notice two very different responses to the same event.  Our youngest wanted to ride across the hand bar, slider thing.  First he asked his big brother to hoist him up and give a little push.  Compliant big brother responded to the task at hand and put the little dude in place complete with the requested “little” push…..

Big brother stood by patiently until the little guy was finished.  He yelled for big bro to get him down which the big guy did quickly and effortlessly….

Some time passed and the little guy decided he wanted to take another spin on the hand glider.  Big bro was gone.  So he called out to his big sister to hoist him up.  With a creative twinkle in her eyes she lifted him to the hand bars…..

And gave him a push…. 
And a push…. 
and yet another generous push….At this point he began to scream and wail for the ride to stop.  He was ready to come down and asked to be removed from the ride. 
But the ride operator was no where ready to end the fun and continued to slide her prey across the rail as he screamed in protest.  It rather reminded me of a cat playing with a wounded rodent.                                          
She was having more fun than her little brother.  She smiled and laughed with each running push and was not about to end the experience just yet.


The grand finale push, which sent the little dude’s legs sprawling in mid air accompanied with equally terrifying screams caused me to pause from my National Geographic photo capturing and intervene (better late than never).  All was well and no parties were injured in the filming of this event.  In fact when the little guy was permitted to dismount from the rail he was actually laughing and giggling but very thankful to be able to touch the ground again.  I will remember these two very different scenarios for quite sometime and the fact that sometimes the screams are a part of the fun!!