We haven't come through on that yet, but we did find a spare pole in the garage. So, in a moment that usually only comes in fiction and fairytales, her grandfather, Popo, took her fishing in the Best Fishing Hole in the World - our backyard river, where we toss hook-less bread to the fish every few days, just to watch them swim.
I feel a bit terrible about this, but she easily - within a minute - caught a fish.
Popo said he never caught a fish with bread before.
Always eager for a teaching moment, I asked our little gal if she'd like to learn how to clean it and grill it, but she knows how much we'd enjoy watching it swim. Popo tossed it back. And so the fish lives on to feed or catch another day.
Four hungry mouths, all crying at once, all of them needing me at the same time. This mama house wren's overwhelming task took me back a few years when I was as twittering as she.
Hers flew out of the nest sooner than mine, though. (I'm not jealous of that.)
If you're a young mama still in the Thick of Things, hang in there and train your babies well. In just a few years, your training will have paid off: They'll make their own food, you'll have time to feed yourself (yes, really), and with the leftover time you can do all sorts of nonsense like blog about birds.
The children and I were blessed to go on a boat called the Bottom's Up one April morning a year or two ago. The boat dragged a net along the sea floor of Perdido Bay, the bay that joins Florida and Alabama so that you don't know which state you're in while you're on the water. The netload of fish was dumped into a trough on the boat, where the children could feel and ask about each live animal. Soon, the animals were tossed safely back into the water to swim away. Below are photos of our one netload of fish.
When we went on this boat tour, we were excited and thought it was interesting and fun, but we also thought it was something we could do "tomorrow," and "next summer when Nana comes."
Late April, I sat on this beach (which is really pure white, but curiously looks dirty in this photo -- I think shadows are causing that)....as I said, I sat on this beach at 5:30am in my bed clothes: a tank top, yoga pants and barefeet (I didn't know I was going to walk out on the beach -- my feet took me there before my eyes were quite awake).
...I sat on this beach at 5:30am with -- you'll not believe this -- a sun rising in the East and a full moon setting in the West. It was a scene so utterly beautiful that it bordered on surreal.
The birds weren't quite up yet, at first. Neither was the sun. The sand was swept clear of footprints during the night, so that the only prints were those of coyotes, hermit crabs, and ...me. When I first arrived, the moon and a single star were the most visible features in the sky. They were surrounded by a white haze, then, as the sun rose, the star and moon faded into a blue-grey haze and finally tucked beneath the Earth.
Before the moon set, and while the sun was rising, colouring the Eastern horizon, pelicans arrived. Pelicans always look like Jurassic birds to me, dinosaur-like. They never fail to make me smile. They flew in a line, one leading six or so across the sea in front of me.
The seagulls arrived a bit later (they are apparently more lazy than the pelicans). What the seagulls lack in early rising, they make up for in worship. Gathered together by the hundreds, a large group met on an tidal island out in the Gulf a ways, while another group gathered on shore, not far from me. They cackled and cawed and made such a ruckus that I'm sure they were having a worshipful songfest to start their day off right.
Just when I thought all was perfect -- just when I was about to join the seagull's prayer meeting -- three dolphins swam across the horizon. Really. "If this was a movie, we'd roll our eyes at this point," I thought. A sunrise on my left, a full setting moon and stars on my right, waves crashing, seagulls worshipping, pelicans flying, and... dolphins? It was a little over-the-top, but in a perfect sort of way.
Just then a dolphin leaped out of the water. (That was definitely over-the-top)
I couldn't be silent any longer. With a quick glance at the beach houses behind me, to be sure I was still alone, I joined the seagulls in worship, singing quite loudly the song that came to mind first, which fittingly begins with these words:
Who taught the sun where to stand in the morning?
And who told the ocean you can only come this far?
And who showed the moon where to hide til evening?
Whose words alone can catch a falling star?
Well I know my Redeemer lives.
If I didn't know my Redeemer lives before the dawn of April 29th, 2010, I'd have realized it right then, right there on that Alabama beach.
And that is why the Gulf Coast is worth saving from the oil spill.
We're loving our new puppy. As if you couldn't tell.
On our fridge is a chart that looks like this:
We each take care of the puppy in 2-hour time slots. Whoever is on Puppy Duty does all necessary puppy jobs: feeding, watering, outside doo-ty, and playing. If the puppy messes, the person on Puppy Duty cleans it! Our little gal, newly 7, is "A". She was put out when she wasn't on the first list, so I gave her a slot, but I know who will really be taking care of the puppy!
So far, a week into our Puppy Duty schedule, it has been working like a charm. I think the chart makes the puppy seem easier than she would otherwise. Especially for me!
I remember when he was almost that tiny. When he'd ball up in a fetal position - like newborn babies tend to do - I could hold him on my chest, his bum with one hand, his head under my chin. We'd cuddle for hours like that.
Now the kid is 14 and 6'4" and I can't even remember the last time I could hold him, but I'm pretty sure it's been quite a while.
I hardly know what to do with a teenager, to be honest. It's not like I've been the parent of one before! For his sake, and for mine, I'm trying to remember what it was like to be his age, when I knew just about everything. I do distinctly remember wanting more freedom and wanting to be treated as an adult.
The thing is, he's still that little puppy to me.
He has so much yet to learn, can't possibly be set loose yet, and is still just a baby.
My man surprised (shocked) us Sunday with this yet-unnamed cuteness.
Oh, good gravy, I'm sunk.
She is the sweetest puppy ever. She tucks herself into bed in the late evening and doesn't whine all night. Imagine! Enjoying the sweetness of a puppy without all the trouble....without trouble so far, that is. I know there is trouble to come. Puppies gnaw, they pee, they chase things. Oh, but what cute trouble she will be!
I am so glad to start a new adventure with Little No Name.
This baby was so brave and fearsome in his teeny tiny sharky sort of way. After our children pet it and pretended to be afraid of it (no longer pretending, I think, when it turned quickly with an open jaw), our friend set the baby shark loose into the Gulf of Mexico to grow larger and live to scare another day.
I hope to never see it when it grows larger, especially if it remembers one humiliating day when humans pet it and cooed, "Awwwww, you're soooo cute!"
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