A Visit To Lakeside Nature Center

On Thursday, I went on a small adventure to a local nature center.  First, I took a hike on their paved trail. You can read a bit about that in yesterday’s post.

After my short hike, I ventured inside Lakeside Nature Center where the snakes are safely behind glass.  The boys and I used to visit the center quite a bit when they were young and needed to get out of the house during the long, cold winter days.

I took most my photos from indoors and through the glass windows.

Birds At The Nature Center


They’ve had a pair of eagles on display as long as I can recall. One of the resident eagles unfortunately can not fly. He also did not seem too keen on posing for my camera. The other eagle only has limited flight capabilities. I felt as though I won the lottery when she decided to take a bath while I was watching through the glass.  And leaving the pond area


I’m reading a book about a biologist who adopted a baby barn owl so I really wanted to see their resident barn owl. The book’s called Wesley the Owl, The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl by Stacey O’Brien. Very interesting read though there are parts of the book I think only a biologist could enjoy.  I didn’t take pictures of the plaques about every bird on display. Most if not all are residents due to injuries and used now for public education.

American Kestrel!

I should have snapped a picture of the plaque. It said these beautiful birds were now regularly being spotted in the Kansas City area. I’ll be keeping my eyes open. This one seemed to pose for me. Unfortunately, while my model did great, my camera skills didn’t keep up so just one share-worthy photo.

Mississippi Kite!

Another new since I’d been there resident at the nature center. Also, a beautiful bird! ****

Other birds in the nature center included a red-tailed hawk, a turkey vulture, and a peregrine falcon (I wanted to get a shot of the falcon but his display faced the other direction and there were too many reflections to capture him properly).

One interesting note: I kept thinking I saw a dog wandering behind on the trails while photographing the birds and thinking what? It was not a dog. The nature center now has a coyote in residence (and not on the trails though he has plenty of room). Some ….person decided to try to raise a coyote as a pet. Obviously, it didn’t work out for either of them.


I also enjoyed their large outside area of bird-feeders though I didn’t manage to capture a photo while the birds were feasting. Photo from inside. However, I did manage a quick photo of this busy little nuthatch while hiking on the trail.

Other birds spotted this week: Also on the nature trail, plenty of dark-eyed Juncos as well as a red-bellied woodpecker.  Heard but not seen on the trail: a Bluejay.  Heard and spotted at home: more Blue jays, Cardinals, Sparrows, and Snowbirds. Spotted on a wire while driving: a Dove plus several Starlings. Also, noticed a few Geese on a lake plus flying overhead on my way to work. And a few Robins thinking perhaps spring arrived. Sorry, Robins, today’s forecast says not yet.

What birds did you spot this week?

Linking up with Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’. Be sure and go check out her beautiful bird photos!

Five On Friday (Saturday Morning): Random

This week felt more like a month than a simple 7 days.  And, it did not go anywhere near as planned including yesterday.

Yesterday, I planned to work a half-day, come home and join Five On Friday. That did not happen. Instead, I came home and took a two-hour nap, waking only to go pick up my son from school.

Let’s just get to the random five for the past week:

ONE: Sometimes Sickness Still Arrives

Did you hear the large audible sigh as I typed that heading?  Sometimes, you can take the vitamins, drink the green tea, wash your hands until they turn red, use every other trick, and still end up with a nasty cold.  I felt it coming on Thursday afternoon and drank an Emergen-C, a cup of green tea, and downed a Ziacam packet within moments of one another (not advised, bad tummy ache!).

As J put it, “It doesn’t work like that” Still had to try. I felt horrid yesterday but do feel better today so maybe it worked a bit. And even though I’m sick with this head cold, I’m so very thankful to not have the flu which is making rounds about our town.

TWO: Fresh Flowers To Brighten The Day

I didn’t want to end January without getting a start on one of my 18 things for 2018 list so I picked up some fresh flowers while I was grocery shopping. 

THREE: Winter Weather Means Sunshine, 65 Degrees, and Windy?

After starting out chilly, by Thursday our weather turned spring-like.  I went to a nature center and took a walk.  It required a bit of bravery: Thankfully, I didn’t see anything like him.  Just a menacing stick once: The rest of the walk included more peaceful views:

FOUR: Most of my week was spent working…

On Sunday, I agreed to work on Monday leaving the rest of my week open. Somehow, I ended up working every day except for Thursday.

FIVE: Sleep

As I already mentioned, I took a two-hour nap yesterday.  I also went to bed at 7:30p.m. and slept until this morning.  Sometimes sleep is the best cure.  I feel much better this morning.


Hoping this weekend finds you happy and healthy! Don’t forget to pop over to our host, The F.A.S.T. blog and see what others shared for their five on Friday.


Happy Homemaker Monday, The Evening Edition

Today felt like a proper Monday.  Hard time rousing everyone, myself included, out of bed. Seemed much to early as I headed into work. So it’s evening as I finally sit down to plan my week.

Time to link up with Sandra over at Diary Of A Stay At Home Mom for a Happy Homemaker Monday post. Hoping I finish this before bedtime arrives.

The Weather

Perfect scenery for a sleepy Monday. Clouds most of the day with cold wind and varying amounts of rain, sleet, and snow falling. Thankfully, the warmer weekend meant nothing stuck to our roads. We’re supposed to get more of the same with falling temps so who knows what might happen overnight. I do hope we get a decent snow.  If it is going to snow, I want to see a fully, fluffy blanket of white.  It’s supposed to be in the 40s and 50s all week so anything we do get tonight should melt quickly.

As I Look Outside My Window

It’s already dark outside so I see nothing but black.

Right Now I Am

Thinking I’m cold, also ready for dinner, and simply waiting…while typing up this post, of course.

Thinking And Pondering

After working at a preschool all day, my mind is mush. I love all those kids but at the end of the day I’m done.  Should have had more sleep, probably should wait until after dinner for posting. Also, I’m hoping the Immune boosting vitamins we all took will keep our family healthy. So much sickness in our local area, it’s scary.

On My Bedside Table

I cleaned it last week! Still it contains a bottle of Cocoa butter lotion, one shirt (no idea why), and a few preschool books.

On My TV Tonight

We’ve been watching Better Late Than Never.  It’s about the travel adventures of Terry Bradshaw, William Shatner, Henry Winkler, George Foreman, and Jeff Dye. It’s so fun to watch! And we may finish up season 2 of Humans over on Amazon Prime.

Listening To

The heater blowing. The rest of the house seems suspiciously quiet but my teenagers are just hanging out in their rooms (what teenagers do when they aren’t eating).

On The Menu This Week

Perhaps I’ll do better with it all this week….G did have a stomach bug (not fun for him but it was fairly mild thank goodness and we’ve avoided it) last week so the menu just didn’t work well. Time to try again.

MONDAY: We’re having spaghetti! *I worked 8-4*

TUESDAY: The pork chops will finally meet the crock pot *G has pep band*

WEDNESDAY: Chicken Legs

THURSDAY: I’ve been craving waffles so maybe….or I can still pull the French Toast out of the freezer

FRIDAY: Not sure…probably out or maybe leftovers

On My To-Do List

  1. Pay Bills
  2. Clean out Fridge
  3. Mail packages (carry over)
  4. Take books back to library/ request new ones
  5. Blog posts
  6. Do one thing to get ready for Christmas
  7. Call and catch up with a friend
  8. Whatever other things I’m forgetting to list here

What I Am Sewing, Knitting, Or Creating

Have some new blog post ideas simmering about in my mind. Need to finish my yellow package for a friend

My Simple Pleasure

a cup of tea and a good book

Lesson Learned The Past Week

Just because a book was popular doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll enjoy it.  Suffice it to say Eat, Pray, Love left me unimpressed.

From The Camera

Think we all felt just like this little bird with ruffled feathers when the alarms blared much too early today:

Prayer List

Family members, all those who are sick, friends and their children

Quote For The Week

The heart that loves is always young (Greek Proverb)

*found on Pinterest


How did your week start? What’s on your agenda for the rest of it?




Bird-Feeder Blues

At first glance, you may think this title implies a post full of birds in a shades of blue.

Maybe she’ll share a few pictures of Bluejays? Yes, I have two pictures of a Bluejay to share but this post is about a different kind of blues.  Listen up and I’ll tell my sorry tale. The plans for a beautiful bird-feeder gone wrong.  Attacked by villainous creatures in broad daylight!

They came calling early sneaking along the shadows… And it was uncommonly cold out there with sub-zero wind chills.  I tried to be generous.  Even spread some seed along the deck railings so they wouldn’t have to ravage the actual bird feeder.

Are squirrels related to locusts? Did someone command a squirrel plague upon my bird feeder? A few sweet little song birds did manage to find some bits of seed around the broken feeder during one of the 5-minute periods when I’d successfully shooed the squirrels away 3 feet to one of the maple trees.

The snowbirds did not seem overly intimidated by the sordid squirrel population inhabiting their new feeding grounds.  And my favorite little Chickadees mostly take their meals to go anyway.  The rest of the birds found solace in the sloppy seeds the squirrels dropped on the deck and visited during the times I clapped my hands and stomped my feet enough for the squirrels to back up a few paces.  I threw some bread crumbs and fruit out for the birds as well since the squirrels were sopping up all their seed.  The squirrels weren’t even satisfied with just the seeds! With apologies to T.S. Eliot, perhaps the world ends with neither a whimper nor a bang but when a squirrel or two-thousand of them simply eat the whole dang thing gone!

Other birds spotted (but not photographed) when squirrels weren’t scurrying:

My Carolina wren came out to sing in the warmer weather this morning! Geese flying over head yesterday. A Mockingbird while I was taking my work break at a local park yesterday.  Sparrows, house finches, a nuthatch, the red-bellied woodpecker, and another pair of Chickadees. Cardinals and a few robins in the trees. A starling keeping watch.

What birds did you spot this week?

Any squirrel solutions to offer me?  Even now with the bird-feeder in pieces on the ground, a squirrel sits waiting to see if I’ll come fix it and offer up more food.


Linking up my post with the Bird D’Pot hosted by Anni over at I’d Rather B Birdin’ as well as Saturday’s Critters hosted by Viewing Nature With Eileen.  Go check out both blogs for some amazing shots of birds and other animals.



Book Review: How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind

Wanted to share a proper book review of How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind.

This one surprised me.  I really enjoyed it although I can’t say I enjoyed the entirely too true for me practical knowledge shared.

The proper title of the book reads as How To Manage Your Home Without Losing Your Mind: Dealing With Your House’s Dirty Little Secrets by Dana K. White.  Ms. White owns the blog, A Slob Comes Clean.

My Book Review:

Do the dishes.  Those 3 words pretty much summarize the book.  People like my  husband might wonder why anyone would need to read a book which summarizes such basic knowledge. He doesn’t need this book.  If you are one of those people who naturally can’t go to bed at night until the dishes are all done and the house is tidy, this book is not for you.

I’m the target audience, those of us who simply don’t understand why the house doesn’t stay clean.  I cleaned it this morning, why is it dirty again tonight? I simply need a better system for keeping it clean.  Turns out that no, we don’t need a new system.  We just need to do the dishes. AGAIN.

“House keeping doesn’t end. Ever”

The author presents this knowledge with a conversational tone and practical examples from her own house.  I especially related to her ideas of how thinking of her home as  a project added to her cleaning frustrations. It may take me forever but I love a good finished project. Turns out home management doesn’t work the same way. It’s an ongoing thing and not a single home management system in the world will work for us until we actually do the work.

I found it refreshing to read a home-management book from someone who doesn’t actually enjoy housework and admitted it. The book’s divided into four parts and flows nicely with the exception of the meal-planning chapter which felt a little out-of-place to me.  Maybe it’s just because that is the one area I have (somewhat) under control.

She also tackles the subject of decluttering in the book. Of course, it’s easier to clean when there is less clutter, the mantra of clean-loving organized people everywhere. However, I appreciate her different approach to this topic.  Her advice: Do the easy stuff first. Deal with the visible. Simply, throw away the trash. Her idea of thinking of our homes as one giant container also appealed to me. Let the space you have set your limits on the stuff you own.

Final Thoughts:

I found this book helpful and have been doing a better than usual (certainly not perfect) job of simply doing my dishes than my past attempts at “shining my sink.” The book is  for someone who simply needs to get a handle on an out of control messy house.

Another thing much appreciated by me in this book: the lack of references to other e-books and blog posts. Sometimes when I read books by blog authors, I feel as though I’m constantly  presented with a sales-pitch for their blog and/or products. None of that in this one, a friendly “this is what you have to do” conversation (that I could almost picture having in the author’s kitchen).

The end contains an appendix entitled: 28 Days to Hope For Your Home which I’m finding quite helpful as I work my way through it. It’s super simple and not at all overwhelming.


The Kindle Version of the book is currently on sale for $1.99 on Amazon Prime right now.

NOTE: I get no compensation from Amazon for any purchase you make through my blog (Go purchase it from another blog where the person does get something!) and also did not receive any compensation for this review. I purchased and read this book because I wanted to read it and thought you might like to hear what I thought.

Have you read this one?  What did you think?




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