Hi everyone!! Was yesterday tough for everyone else or just me? We had five days off of our normal schedule and Monday morning and physical therapy came very early. I am a creature of habit so I like having a routine, it was just…jarring to be up and moving so early- and without coffee. Today we have a lot to do but I am still going to finish this coffee first. Maybe even have a second cup, to be honest. I am drinking Seattle’s Best Breakfast Blend today and it has a very mild taste and is really easy to drink. Although not as easy to find, with my Miso sitting there in front of it. But I loves her so it is ok.
Hmm. When I left off we had visited my cousin’s for a get together that left me all emotional and sentimental. I get that way around the holidays, as I imagine most of us do. That was the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving. Wednesday found us out and about again, at an early Thanksgiving at Billy’s brother’s house. Mike works for border patrol at the airport and had to work actual Thanksgiving, so we celebrated early with them. The kids had a blast. And so did Grandma!
Thursday, Thanksgiving, we went to my brother’s for dinner. I put my phone away and just enjoyed the day. It was a great time with lots of food and laughter. I made a wild rice pilaf with cranberries and apples and it was really good. Billy was in charge of the turkey – unfortunately we are sort of newbs at it and didn’t take it out in time so it was very frozen. Lol. Most of those attending are vegetarians so the turkey was just for Billy, my mom, and me (Wyatt is a nope on turkey) so…Billy went to the deli and picked up turkey lunch meat and we had sandwiches with our sides. It made me laugh. Billy ended up making the turkey over the weekend and we turned it in to soup.
By Friday Wyatt and I were ready for some down time. That was a lot of socializing for us both! Usually our days are so quiet and while we had so much fun we were in need of just doing a bunch of nothing. So we did. I even let him stay in his pajamas all day! We played games, watched tv, read books, laid around and it was awesome. Poor Billy had to work but at least he got to work from home.
Then Saturday. Billy and I had a much needed “date night” – or at least a night where a grandma watched Wyatt and we went out without him. I am telling you all, it was a wonderful night. Billy and I always love going to the owl prowls at the metropark, and have been going literally years. Like maybe even 15 years or so. So, that was our date! The group Saturday night was small, 6 people including us, which was perfect (9 if you count the interpreters). Everyone was very quiet and into the experience, which is important. Too much noise made will obviously scare the owls and any other wildlife away.
One of my favorite things in the whole world is standing still and quiet in a dark wood at night in the winter. The stillness, the quiet, the peace of the night. I will close my eyes and just absorb the night, listening for the night animals, feeling the cold air sidle around me, smelling the leaves underfoot and the evergreens around us. Then I will open them, staring up through the arms of the trees, at the stars in the sky. It is perfect to me.
Some owl prowls, we see and hear nothing. Saturday however, was a busy night in the woods! The moment we stepped out of the nature center to head for the trails, we heard the flying squirrels freaking out – followed very closely by the hooting of the Great Horned Owl! He was the reason for their distress, and while we couldn’t see him, he was so close. And kept hooting! They have a hunting ground of five miles so that we lucked out and heard him so quickly and so close was awesome.
Billy and I have been going so long to this metropark that we have become friends with the interpreters. There is a good-natured joke/myth that if Billy or I are on the owl prowl, that the group will not see owls. Like we are a curse! Lol. However, that is only when we are on Kevin’s prowl, not Roni’s. And like I said, Saturday was an active night!
This little screech flew in right over my head and landed in a nearby tree, maybe only 4 feet off the ground. He was so close! And he stuck around for quite awhile, letting us take photos even. I guess he was as curious about us as we were about him! They are super tiny, only about 7 inches in height. Roni was able to get close and grab this photo for me with my phone. It was amazing and otherwordly to experience.
After our magical moment, we were all sort of excited and chattering about how cool that was, walking along, not really looking for owls anymore because nothing could beat that moment honestly. Until the local coyote pack started howling and yipping. I had never heard them before like that, so loud and in chorus with each other, blending their voices in their night song. That was almost as cool as the owl, but not quite.
We did stop and look for owls again later, calling them to us, and a second owl flew in over our heads and took up a spot high up in a tree. It is always so cool to see them respond and fly in. They have completely silent flight so you have to watch the treeline carefully to see them fly in, but they will often call back to the recording.
Billy and I felt so refreshed and happy and uplifted after our walk. It was a pretty awesome night.
The next morning I wanted to take Christmas photos of Wyatt at a nearby nursery. I love this place – in the spring and summer I buy all my plants from them and this year they have started setting up seasonal vignettes for people to use for photos. Which is absolutely brilliant because you come to take photos, and leave with your arms full of other things.
Wyatt was cracking me up with his poses.
But I did get this one and I love it. (I love them all actually)
Despite being surrounded by so much cute mushroom merchandise for the holidays, I refrained from purchasing any. I did however buy an evergreen swag for our door and a bunch of holly. We are learning about holly next week in science so I felt we needed it.
Coffee update: It took me two whole cups to write this today!
How are you all? Did you have a nice weekend? I would love to hear your stories!