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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Redbird Ranch

My Sweet Hubby (MSH) and I were blessed with a TLC and LL (Little Leighton) visit last week! Have I mentioned I often call LL “Biscuit?” For some random, odd reason, I started calling her “Sister Biscuit” soon after she was born. TLC had been “Sugar Bear.” Then just “Bear.”  (In Texas, we apparently think our loved ones need nicknames.) TLC and I know a gal that calls lots of friends and acquaintances  “Biscuit.” Instead of “Sugar,” “Sweet Pea,” or “Honey Pie,” I suppose. The nickname Sister Biscuit came to me almost the day of LL’s birth and that’s what I called her for the first year. I mostly have shortened it, now, to (only) Biscuit. Our Girls came last Wednesday afternoon. TLC stayed two nights—got a birthday “Spa Massage” treat and a haircut and color by Kit from me and her Dad. Then headed to her casa after lunch on Friday. Her “30th” celebration was in Dallas on Saturday.

Biscuit, MSH and I had a BLAST. Yes, she’s exhausting when she’s awake. She is everywhere. I mean, one cannot take one’s eyes off of her for more than literally five seconds. She makes the rounds. During this stay, she discovered our pantry. It’s in our utility room. She was fascinated by all the stuff on all of the shelves. In addition to the vacuum buttons. The dogfood container. Everything. She’d sit and stare. Pointing and trying to name what she was seeing. By Sunday, it’d lost it’s fascination. Thank goodness.

The weather in North Central Texas has been YUCKY. Beyond yucky. I hate to complain because clearly there are many places in America that have worse conditions than we do. Seriously, we are ready for temps in the 40s! Heck, we’d go for the 30s, at this point. Friday we couldn’t get Biscuit outside at all. Saturday afternoon, we finally had a chance to put a coat on her and get some fresh air. Gave her a ride in her Radio Flyer red wagon. We took her down to the Big Tank to feed the catfish. (Unfortunately, the top three inches of the tank were completely frozen. No fish had any interest in trying to break through to the food stuck on the ice. Poor fishy-fishies.) We toured our Barn and Barn apartment.

Here she is putting a rock in her camo jacket pocket. (So far so good on NOT putting anything like that in her mouth.) MSH (Biscuit calls him PaPa, instead of Pa-Dad—like the other six Grands) decided she should know about pockets and putting stuff in them…such a “guy” thing, right?

Here she is standing on her head! As y’all know, her Mama loved doing this. Clearly this talent is passed on genetically…

Playing quietly and sweetly on our bedroom floor. (This behavior lasts no longer than about 17 minutes. Then she’s up and runnin’ to another room…Sheesh.)

We (reluctantly and, I confess, with some tears rolling down my Grammy cheeks) took LL Biscuit home to her Mama and Dada around noon Sunday. She slept about an hour and a half during the two-hour trip. We had to literally drop her and scoot. We have Buddy Bear and Morty to take care of, dontchaknow. (They must be fed around 4:00 each day. Priorities, please.) Plus, yep, the weather was looking iffy. It’d started out Sunday morn looking hopeful for the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex. By 2:30 it was acting funky. Cloudy. Cold. Windy.

Yesterday, I spent most of my waking hours in my home office. In my jammies. This drives MSH cRaZy. He’s the kind of man who has, for at least 57 of his almost-70 years, gotten up early and worked hard all day.(You know the saying: Early to bed…early to rise…yadayadayada…) He retired a year ago in January. Had a heart attack in April. Changed his diet and routine immediately (out of deep gratitude to our Lord God Almighty) in order to live with better intentions and health. With usually nothing too-terribly pressing to do, he STILL gets up between 5:00 and 5:30 every morning, walks Buddy Bear to our gate and back—no matter what the weather—unless our hill has solid ice on it (which it did this morning and still does)—showers, dresses and spends his day with projects, purpose and the ability to be ready for anything.

When I began working part-time six years ago, I found myself staying in my jammies more and longer on days I didn’t have to go to town. The kicker? I knew he’d be happier if I was dressed when he got home from his job. (All five of his kiddos can tell you this…hmmm…what shall I call it? ethic?...obsession?...annoying habit?...was taught to them early in their lives. They all have funny/great stories about him waking them up on weekends as kids and teenagers!)  I soon discovered if I encouraged him to let me know he was on his way home from work, I’d have about twenty minutes to get dressed! Okay, so sometimes that was at 4:30 p.m. Or 5:30 p.m. Or 6:00 p.m. (He always left the house by 5:30 a.m.—just didn’t always get home at the same time every day.) Now that we’re both retired, I have to try my best to get in the mood to get dressed. On days like yesterday…(okay and maybe today)… if I smile really big and give him some warning, he can occasionally handle one or two of my  “Pajamas Only” days.

In between paper and computer work, bill paying and organizing yesterday, I’d leave my office to work on laundry. As I walked by my window, I’d see literally fifty Cardinals feeding at our six feeders that are about twenty yards from my office window. I could see them, too, from the window in my utility room. I caught myself stopping and staring at least twenty times in about five hours. Y’all know how excited I was about the ducks! This is even better for my heart and soul. (I’ve previously shared my love for Cardinals. They are, hands down, my most favourite bird.)

I don’t know how it’s happened…or why…but you must believe me when I say there are a minimum of fifty Cardinals entertaining me today, too! A little over half are the males. Some are HUGE. The problem with proof? I can’t get a picture of them from outside. I’d have to open my back door. As soon as I do, they’re gone. Every last one. So this is made from inside my casa. Hence the screen obstruction. And, of course, you can only see a sixth of the total number of birds I’ve been watching for two days.

Yes, Mortimer the Cat has tried to annoy and attack them. See below. Each time we catch him attempting to sneak up on these sweet birds, MSH or I open the back door and scare him/them off. He looks at us like he's saying: "Thanks, traitors." Sigh. Tooty cat.

Can you spot Morty? 
It's like "Where's Waldo?"

This morning I considered re-naming our place “The Redbird Ranch.” (You wondered when I was ever going to get to this explanation, right? Patience, Friends. It’s a virtue! And necessary when I’m involved in a story. You know this by now…)

Like millions of Texans and Americans, we’re praying for some warmth tomorrow. It’s supposed to be 49! Woo Hoo and Yippee!

Hope you’re cozy and safe—Wherever in the World Y'all are…

Gotta scoot—gots to Tweet!