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Animal House Party

animalhouseparty

2:30am on last night’s moonlit night.  Snow is still on the ground, but it’s a warmer evening.  I’m nestled in my oversized winter coat, mittens and hat pulled over my ears, seated on a lawn chair in the shadows by the house.  The house light is on, but my eyes have adjusted and I can clearly see the backyard’s open field and the trees that line the back and side yard.  I’m waiting, but my eyes are getting heavy.

3am  I must have fallen asleep.  I awake with a start because I hear a rustling sound from the treeline as my eyes adjust again to night vision.  Who on earth is that?

Out of the shadows emerges a party of epic proportions!  It’s a parade of animals, big and small, which seems to include families and friends that come traipsing through the trees onto my lawn.

Much to my surprise, a big group of black bears lumber into the yard.  There’s a pretty lady bear with a portable keyboard, two hippy looking boy bears with electric guitars and one baby bear who heads over to use my garbage cans as his own personal drum set.  Oh how exciting!  There will be music tonight!  I have a big smile on my face as I watch unseen from the shadows.

Soon enough, the biggest black bear gets everyone’s attention and the party begins.  A cacophony of wildlife cheering breaks the silence as the bear band begins to play.  Big Foot, as I hear he’s named, begins to croon Frank Sinatra’s Strangers in the Night and immediately the yard is full of dancers.  I search the couples and immediately spy two snakes undulating and doing their form of the rumba.  Mark was right!  There are deer dancing with big bucks, fawns and does, swaying to the music.  There are some Canadian geese dancing as well.  In the air above, the hawks are circling in time to the music.  On the ground nearby, I see some mice scurrying by, completely unaware of my presence because they are late to the party.  Whew!  Two black cats saunter over to dance, their tails entwined romantically.  There are plenty of animals who aren’t dancing, but are just standing around chatting away.  I can hear them as clearly as if they were speaking English to me instead of their native sounds.  It’s so much fun sitting here watching the scene as it unfolds!  I wish someone besides the moon were here with me to witness this!

As the younger ones get more excited, they call out for faster dances and Big Foot and his family band oblige.  A ruckus breaks out in the far corner by the trees.  There’s a lot of honking and I squint to be able to see what’s happening, but I can’t tell from this angle.  Maybe it’s the geese playing pool?

All of a sudden, I feel a heavy weight on me and down plops a big stork onto my lap!

I’m sorry little lady, but I’m bushed after dancing with Miz Heron and you’ve got the only seat in the house.  His crutch clattered to the ground.

You’re not afraid of me Sir?

Nope.  Not me.  You think you’re over here hiding don’t you?  That none of us saw you in your little lawn chair in the shadows?  He began to laugh uproariously.

I..I…I just wanted to see what was going on out here while I’m sleeping.  After that snowfall  the other day, I saw so many paw prints that I just had to come out tonight to see who was partying in my backyard!

Oh that’s ok Missy.  We don’t mind a bit.  Glad to see some life in this house finally.  You know your house was empty for quite awhile.

Yes, I did know that.  So you’ve been partying here for a long time?

Well, we have a fiesta once a season, but we especially like the snow, so we decided to host the Snow Ball twice this month because tonight is so warm.

Oh, I see.  I guess I picked the right night.

You certainly did, girlie.  He cupped a wing around his beak and bellowed out into the night.  Hey you geese, play nicely!  I hear you honking over there.  No cheating!

From the far darkest corner of the yard came a response:  Yes Sir, Mr. Stork!  It was just a little scuffle, but we’re ok.  Big Goose was trying to set up his shot and Clover the bunny tried to hop over the 8 ball and messed up our game.  It’s ok now.  We’ve put it all back to rights.

Ok, then play on and don’t let me hear you all honking so loudly anymore.  You’ll wake the neighbors over there! 

Mr. Stork turned back to me, leaned over to grab his crutch and got up.  I immediately felt so much lighter.

Now Missy, it’ll be sunup soon, so the party is winding down.  Nice to have met you.  I hope you enjoyed our show.

The music had stopped while I was so engrossed in the conversation with Mr. Stork.  I hadn’t realized it, but all the animals were now nearby and staring at me.  As I looked from face to face, I felt so blessed.  Each one was smiling at me.

Thanks for letting me attend your Snow Ball fiesta! 

Mr. Stork spoke for the group:  We are happy to make you a part of our family.

You are welcome here any time.  Thanks for letting me crash your party!

Next time, we will put a note on the porch to let you know when the party is again.  Bring your dancing shoes and you and I will boogie down!

Laughing, I grinned and said, I would love it!  Thanks everyone!  Safe home! 

As I turned to walk back to the house, I was grinning from ear to ear.  Laughing to myself, I thought, Nobody but Mark will believe this tale, but I will tell it on the blog tomorrow!  Hmmmm…..How did Mark know about the party???

Shine On!

xo

 

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Can You Name Who Left These Tracks?

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All different tracks in the snow!  And none of them human!

So I went outside after the snowfall and in the back of our property here, there were tons of footprints in the snow!  It was, as if once the snow stopped, all of the little animals came out to play and Waaaaa!!!  I missed the show!  You know how I love my little animal friends.  It looks like they had a party while I was asleep.

None of the tracks were human.  There were no shoe prints, only interesting tracks and all different kinds.  There were a few more photos that I took, but they were blurry so there are an additional two different tracks still unnamed.  Maybe you can help me figure out who made them?  Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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1. Who made these tracks?

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2. Do you think it’s a deer?

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3. Bunny?

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4. A herd of deer perhaps?

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5. Any ideas?

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6. This was in a pattern too.

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7. Last but not least…who made these tracks?

For ease in identifying them, I numbered them 1-7.  If you have any ideas or know about paw prints, please let me know!  I thought it was a fun way to put your expertise to the test because I am certainly clueless with these!

Thanks for any and all help!

Shine On!

xo

Winsome Winter

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Icicles! Icicles! Icicles!

In addition to the massive snowfall, the gusty winds and the freezing cold, the house has developed icicles!  These are the biggest ones I’ve ever seen!  What a winsome winter we’re having here!  Thanks Mother Nature!

In the photos, you probably can’t see that there are some which are even taller than me (because they end behind the banister on the stairway), but I think they are beautiful.  When the sun was shining on them and they were glistening, they were magnificent.  Unfortunately the photos I took don’t do them justice.

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Snowfall and morning moon with a snow drift in the bottom forefront! Farm house across the road.

The temperatures with wind chills factored in are reaching – 5 to – 20 which is mighty cold for Jersey.  But we are cozy in the house, so that’s all that counts.  We had some snow drifts that were about 3 feet high in places, so they weren’t shoveled.  But the driveway is clear, thanks to a few snowblowers and some back breaking shoveling.  Thank God, all is well.

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A little Caturday surprise before the tree is removed.

How are you doing in your area?  Snow?  Cold?  Windy?  Sunny?  Warm?  I hope that whatever your weather, you are nestled all snug in your home like our kitty Tigger.  As always, I wish you a lovely Saturday, filled with blessings, goodness and with a heartlight that shines brilliantly!

Shine On!

xo

 

Thank You Pedro!

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We have a snowstorm coming coincidentally when we were planning on getting the Christmas tree.  Who wants to bring a snow-laden tree into the house?  Not me!  So after the children agreed that they didn’t care if they chose the tree this year, I went to our favorite tree place and began my hunt for the perfect tree.

It wasn’t easy and I spent 30 minutes walking around in a daze until Pedro came over to me.  Pedro is a worker at the tree farm who, after watching me walk up and down the aisles of trees, decided to help me.

When I told him what type of tree I was looking for and the size and explained how I was looking for the perfect tree (because who isn’t?), he smiled and said, Come with me.  So willingly I followed him to the back of the lot to the trees which had yet to be put out for display.

This one, he said knowingly, we just got in and I just cut it.  It’s perfect for you.

I looked at it and felt euphoria set into me. Yes, it’s perfect!  I agreed.  Thank you!

Ok, so I will get it ready for you, he said smiling as he easily lifted the huge tree and carried it to be freshly cut for me.  I dutifully walked behind him, chattering the whole time and thanking him.  We have an unusual tradition of naming our Christmas tree so I asked him his name so that we could use it for the tree this year and voila – that’s how our tree was named Pedro.

Right now my house smells like balsam Christmas which sends sparkles down my spine and puts a huge smile on my face!  I love Christmas!

I hope you find the perfect tree for your home too!  If you need help, ask the tree guys because believe me, they know those Christmas trees well!

Now, to decorate with white lights and a beautiful angel on top!

Shine On!

xo

 

Home Is The Nest You Make Yourself

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I love the quote:  Home is where the heart is because it’s simple and direct.  Home is anywhere you find yourself comfortably surrounded by love.  Be it a hovel, an old drafty farmhouse, a small nest or a McMansion.  It’s home because your loved ones are with you.

It’s about being together and being able to be YOU with all of your goodness, your quirks and your insecurities, knowing you are loved for who you are.  Home is the comfort in being accepted for yourself.  Home is knowing you are safe in being vulnerable there.  Home is knowing there are arms to hold you in a strong hug with support and kindness, gentle kisses and soothing words.

There’s no place like home dear friends.  May you remember with gratitude the home and loved ones with whom you share your life.  No matter where you travel, near or far, may you always have a home filled with love and kindness.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

A Particular Wind

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Menacing skies with clacking electrical lines

A particular wind is blowing today at more than 30 miles an hour through the farmland.   Inside we can hear the wind howling through the fireplace and outside the house, the wind is audibly howling as well.  The trees are bending and the electrical power lines are clacking together noisily (that’s a new one for me by the way).  It’s almost a little eery like yesterday, but there’s a blue sky behind the clouds which are moving away at a fast pace.

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Can you see how the leaves are upturned by the wind? It’s really blowing here!

On the cusp of the atmospheric changes, this wind feels like it is blowing away all the debris (quite literally) mentally, emotionally and physically in order to pave the way for the new phase in our lives.  Thank goodness, right?

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A little while later, the sun came out and the winds have moved the clouds a bit. This is the farmland where the geese hang out! No geese today!

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The windy conditions helped the birds in flight! This hawk soared effortlessly for quite awhile above me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are you having crazy winds where you live today too?  How do they make you feel?

I feel lifted and (pun intended) blown away by the powers that be.  Grateful for the change of the season and for the gradual beneficial changes in my life.  I hope you had a lovely weekend as well!

Shine On!

xo

 

Animal Round Up For Halloween

Happy Halloween to you!  In honor of the holiday, I thought I’d take a few photos of the critters I’ve seen recently at the house.

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BIG SPIDER – at my front door.  Glad he didn’t knock!

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Cricket on the back patio during the day. I thought they only came out at night?

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Dead Katydid at the back door

 

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Sadly, dead moth who was feeding the ants as goes the circle of life.

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Mr. Squirrel posing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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But the best part? The deer who were just standing outside the barn after my last lesson. Sorry for the grainy photo, it was dark out!

 

I have missed seeing the deer in my new house.  At my old one, I would see them passing by at twilight across my neighbor’s front lawn.  But when I recently left a horseback riding lesson, while walking to my car, I thought a big dog was scampering past me.  When my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw an entire family of deer a few yards away from me.  How glorious for me!  As I quietly talked with them, they stood there listening intently.  It was such a precious moment!  They even patiently waited while I grabbed my phone and took a few photos.  This was the best photo of the group I got, although I’m sorry it’s so grainy.  It was dark out, but I could see them and their eyes twinkling in the night.

I love deer.  I’ve written about them before in my blog.  I love all animals, even little Mr. Mousey who hopefully lives outside only.  You know, I have two cats in my home whom I adore.  Hopefully one day, I will even get a big dog, but that will have to wait for now.  Maybe I won’t be able to get a dog, but perhaps someone will share theirs with me so that we can play fetch and romp with enthusiasm outside.

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Happy Halloween from Tiffy the American Bobtail and her favorite Witch!

There’s something about animals that I adore.  Sometimes, I think they are better than humans for they are more honest and loyal.  The older I’ve gotten, the more attuned I seem to be getting with animals, especially wildlife.  I wonder if it’s the Pisces in me?

I hope you have a lovely day.

Shine On!

xo