What’s on your to-do list?

Shore birdsShore birds

I’ve been busy lately, among other things, getting the kids ready for the new school year.  Of course, setting the to-do list aside from time to time is good for everyone in my household.  My to-do list is quite long and includes everything from laundry to sending emails to packing lunches to finishing my latest book.  My kids have created their own to-do list and at the top of their list?  Play tricks on Mom.

It’s true.  It really is.  They spend hours playing tricks on me, and they almost always get me with their fake lizard.  They hide it in my bed, shower, on top of my mail, and their personal favorite- my office chair.  No matter how many times they trick me and I promise I won’t ever fall for it again, I always find myself screaming at the sight of the lizard under my pillow or on the toilet seat.  It never fails.  On occasion, I catch them plotting.  I hear them whisper, “Let’s scare Mom.”  Those are the times I know I’ve got to act fast…

I’ve learned that if I keep them extra busy with FUN activities, the terrorize Mom plotting subsides…a little.   One of the best solutions?  Going to the beach.  So, naturally, I try to work ‘going to the beach’ into my to-do list as much as possible.  At the beach, they can spend hours playing in the sand, collecting shells, and running into the waves.  Best part?  They forget their plot to scare me to death.  And sometimes, I get to snap photos of birds!

This shore bird was the only one willing to cooperate for a photo opp the other day, but I am so happy it did.  I’m sure all of my bird experts out there can help me out with this.  I think this is a Sandpiper, but as I’ve mentioned before, I’m new to identifying birds.  So please feel free to help me out!  Have a great day, and I hope you can add something FUN to your to-do list from time to time, too.  You might not have the same motivations as yours truly, but it is worth it! 🙂

What kind of woman am I?!?

Black Racer SnakeBlack Racer SnakeBlack Racer Snake

I’m walking my dog this morning when I spot a snake-not this one- slithering from the garbage can on the side of the house into the neighbor’s yard.  “Ahhhh…”  I moan.

‘Get Shorty,’ our recently adopted baby probably wonders what is up.  “Sorry, Shorty,  I need to get my camera,” I explain as I pull her inside the house in a frenzy.  Get Shorty, aka Shorty, came with the name, and being the issue sensitive people that we are, we didn’t want to confuse her by changing her name.  But of course, certain relatives of MINE think it’s degrading to call a dog Shorty and insist on calling her Shortcake… because it sounds ‘cuter.’  Long story short, I call the poor pup everything from Shortstop to Shortcake to Sabrina these days.  (Sabrina is my youngest child.)  If the dog didn’t have issues when she arrived here, I’m sure she’s got them now.  And she has probably never seen a person chase after a snake with a  camera before either.

I unleash Shorty and grab my camera, telling the kids about the snake.  They are excited.  “Get a good picture, Mommy!” they cheer after me encouragingly.

Camera in hand, vowing to walk Shorty as soon as I get back, I tiptoe towards the neighbor’s yard but, suddenly I hesitate.  Do I really want to add ‘mother arrested for trespassing’ to the list of issues my own children might have?

No, I don’t…so I give up, going back inside.

“Did you get a picture of the snake, Mommy?”

“No,” I admit.

“Oh, too bad,” my oldest seems disappointed.

Minutes later, I’m pacing the kitchen floor, sharing my children’s disappointment, so bummed I didn’t get a photo of the snake.  What kind of woman am I?  I can’t even trespass?  I’m such a chicken.  The need to succeed overwhelms me…

I decide to investigate in my own back yard.  Forget the neighbor’s place.  This is Florida, the land of all things wild and reptilian.  Surely, at this early morning hour I might catch a snake hunting.

“This is a wild goose chase,” I mumble as I walk through the patio door.  But I stand still for about sixty seconds in the middle of the yard, scanning my surroundings like a cat stalking it’s prey…and that’s when I spot this black racer!  Yippee!

I move ever so slowly, but not slowly enough, because the racer immediately lifts it’s head to look at me.  I hold my breath, and snap, snap, snap, I get a photo that will work.  “Yes!”  I proclaim victoriously.  The racer waits patiently for my happy dance, and I inform him quite cheerfully, “You’re going to be on my blog!”

Seemingly under-enthused- if you ask me- about this piece of information, the racer goes on it’s way, away from me…and I return to my house.

My children are bouncing off the walls with anticipation.  “Did you get a photo, Mommy?”

Proudly, I look them in the eyes and nod my head.  “Yes. I. did.”

Cheers of jubilation erupt throughout my home.  My children are so proud of their brave, non-venomous snake chasing mother, and I’m sure the triumph of this day will circulate among internet circles for days to come…

My husband, as usual, seems concerned with my wildlife fascination, but kisses me goodbye before he leaves for work.  And Shorty, Shortcake, Shortstop, Sabrina-whatever you want to call her- is excited to resume her morning walk.  And as we walk, I must say, I think she holds her head a little higher.  She’s starting to appear proud to be a member of this issue-packed group of humans.

Of course, now that I’m typing this blog, it would appear today’s excitement has wiped poor Shorty out…

Shorty