Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reason #264

I've been wondering why the squirrels and birds haven't been around much lately. We've gone through next to no seed in the past couple weeks and now I know why...

 Oh my!

This beauty of a Barred Owl is apparently feasting at my feeders (sorry little dudes!) which is why the critters have been making themselves scarce lately.

In fact, we haven't seen a mouse in many days. Which could be on account of:

1) the peppermint/spearmint mouse-repellent sachets I put throughout the basement (mmm...minty fresh!),

2) the fact that we found a hole where they put the new furnace in two years ago and patched it up,

3) the new kitty...

...nope, probably not Bella, or

4) Mr. Owl.

My vote is for the owl...check out that stare.

He trained that focus on me while I sat on the floor at the patio door taking pictures...

...and the hair on the back of my neck stood up.


According to my favorite regional bird book, the Barred Owl hunts during the day and eats mammals and small birds.

Check, and check.

They are also non-migratory which means he might hang out awhile. Which is actually fine by me. We had a pair of Great Horned Owls (I know, right??!?) when we moved in two years ago and the coolest thing in the world was meditating in the dark of the night and hearing the hoo-hoo-hoo-hooooo. I haven't heard the Barred yet, but I'm turning my ear to the sky.

I love the activity at the feeders and am sad for anyone getting caught unawares, but there's something about consciously being in the middle of the circle of life -- being present and witnessing nature in her own true form. Noticing things change and then learning the reason why.

Reason #264 that I adore where we live. I'm the luckiest girl in the world.

The best part?

I was actually home to see it. What a gift!

In the spirit of self-care and in an effort to get myself organized -- and feel more sane before the runaway train of the next two weeks leaves the station -- I played hooky today.

Positively dreamy!

I meditated, did yoga, wrapped presents,

listened to my favorite Christmas music, worked on a special gift for my sweetie (shhh...don't tell!), opened an Eddie Bauer package for myself,

(hey, nice sweater!) and never got out of my jammies (yep, chili peppers on my pants...I'm stylin'!). I got more done on a personal level in the past nine hours than I have in the past week.


The sad part?

I probably won't even need to use a second of vacation time to get paid for the day. I mean, that's good and everything but...ah well, 'tis the season.

All of my progress was made without any help from these two rum-bums...

...which just made me wish I had made time for a nap.

I did, however, make time for lunch...a rarity these days. I figured there was no excuse since I was at home.

Quesadilla made with leftover roasted chicken, pinto beans, spinach, cilantro and cheese. Served with my favorite medium MinneSalsa -- locally made, microbrewed salsa. Fantastic!

Hey, who left THIS unwrapped on the counter??!?

It was mocking I ate it.

No, not all of it. But enough to make today's installment of...

The 12 Brews of Christmas!

...taste like peppermint bark. Whoopsie!

Since I was alone all day (you know, minus the snoozing critters), I chose...

 ...Odell Brewing Company's Isolation Ale!

I really liked this one! No, not because of the peppermint finish : ) ...but because of the lighter hops. Burnt butterscotch, a little fruitiness -- is that blackberry? -- and just plain old tasty. Might have to pick up a sixer of this one to have on hand.

You know...just in case.

Mellow evening makes a perfect ending to a perfect day.

What holiday hubbub are you engaging in this evening? No matter what it is,


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