February 2007

When I was growing up, there were times when my father would come running into the house, yelling, “Come quick!  Come quick!”  We would run outside to see the V formation of geese flying overhead, hearing their honking cries to each other as they flew.


When I was older, and living on my own, I remember stopping to fuel my car at a gas station when the geese flew over.  Momentous event!!!  Look up!!!


I was the only one who did.


When I was a young mother, I read advice that said we should keep an easy diary by watching all day for one good and special thing to happen that made us glad—and to write it down.  This would keep us from focusing on the sometimes frustrations or drearinesses of a daily grind.  Here are some of the entries I wrote at that time:



Watched a  mole scamper across the snow back to his hole by the culvert.


Sold our old carseat for more than we paid for it.


The bank almost gave me the wrong amount of money today!


Heard coyotes this 5 AM as I was nursing the baby.


Found out Isaac Asimov has written another Foundation book and I didn’t even know about it!


We sat on the front steps in the evening.


Went to Newton while realtors showed the house.  Went to Sirloin Stockade to eat, but walked out because prices were too high.  Went to Wendy’s, but there were 2 busloads of kids eating there.  Went to Burger King and saw a pair of eyeglasses that had been run over in the parking lot.  We ate there.


Saw two old men in Speedo swim suits waiting to cross the street.


Saw a dead muskrat in the parking lot of Walmart!?




We need to watch for those times and stop our busy-ness for a minute, savoring it as it passes by.  When the children are out in the rain with their yellow boots and umbrellas, pause at the window and drink them in with your eyes; store that scene in your memories.  When a snowflake catches on your dark coat sleeve, stop walking and really LOOK at how it is made.


Stop and smell the roses


Wait and watch the geese pass over


Really run to catch the falling leaves          


Pause and listen to the children’s laughter in the other room


Slow down and see the humor of a situation


Relax and read the signs of spring


Stand and see (as I did yesterday) the two old ladies in identical and wild fur coats and hats—one with blue pants, the other with pink



I started entering our bird counts into the Great Backyard Bird Count website today–we’re gonna win those binoculars, I just know we are!!

My son and I compete with each other to see who can “up” the numbers:  HA!  I got more cardinals than you did!

The chickadees are the greatest challenge because they’re so fast….there are 2; no, there are 3; that one is there, this one is here, that one is here…YES!  There are FOUR!  Great rejoicing—-GOTCHA!

We’ve seen nothing out-of-the-ordinary.  Of course, that beautiful hawk had to show himself to us THE DAY BEFORE the Bird Count began. 

It’s tempting to say “Bummer, just another junco.”  But not really.  Each type has its own mannerisms and its own beauty.  The juncos with their crisp line where black meets white.  The tufted titmouse with its clown eye and soft peach tummy.  The fat goldfinches who hog the feeder perch, talking to each other with soft, sweet voice.

IT’S FANTASTIC, what God gives to us!


Here’s my laugh of the day:  I received a spam email entitled



I sprang out of bed this morning because I heard a crow.  I only saw one of the four who live in our crow family, but worth getting up early for, don’t ya think?


Will I be allowed to count what I saw in my dream instead of what I actually see today?  I dreamed there were record numbers of birds at our feeders…but I woke up before I finished counting….

Here’s a joy of homeschooling I’ve never heard anyone mention:  the opportunity to be crude, rude, and ill-bred during spelling dictation.  Keeps the boredom away, and gives that good dose of giggles and groans that everyone needs as often as an apple a day.  This morning I was able to be creative with an illness theme:


croaked          He croaked and then vomited.

does               He does not want to vomit.

moaned          He moaned when he vomited.

owned             He owned a bucket into which he vomited.


You get the idea!


Yes, I should be extremely embarrassed to be revealing this side of my personality.  I do these things mainly because I get such indignation and consternation from my son—what a blast to get a rise out of him!