When you're a 40 something single mother of a teen with lots of ambition, you find yourself in all kinds of interesting adventures and situations. Come back to laugh at us any time you feel the need, heaven knows where we'll be doing what next. Here you can expect a few words, a lot of images and hopefully ideas on what you can do for your next adventure.

If you're looking for something specific that we've done or a place that we've been, use the Search Box feature to search our blog.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Monkey's day of catching & learning

I'm taking a break from my current task of herding cats - I mean tracking down little leaguer parents who haven't provided all the required documentation for their child to take part this year - to tell you about a very exciting day in my little Monkey's life.

I should stop calling him my 'little Monkey' because he is almost 11 and getting rather big, soon enough he will be as tall as I am, a time that I'm not necessarily looking forward to.

We love to go fishing, we didn't get to go as much last year as in the past and this year we are striving to go every chance we get. Monkey's patience disappears soon after the biting stops or after he's ripped the hook out of a couple fish's mouths and they find another location to hide out instead of under his hook. It's understandable, he's still very young and just doesn't understand. I decided it was time for him to learn what it's like to really catch fish.

Last Sunday, with an impending storm on the horizon, he decided he wanted to go fishing. Badly. I thought carefully about my day and what I had to do for chores and quickly ditched it all. I piled him in the truck and headed out for a secret location.

Well, it's not that secret honestly. It's out in the wide open and actually very well known. It's called Memorial Pond and it's located in Hollis - right on school and town property. You must be under 15 to fish and yes, it's stocked. Hey - I never said it was a wild river fishing expedition! It was a learning experience! :) I knew that it had been recently stocked with Brookies, hence the rationale behind the trip.

So - I explained the hook size to use and we set him up with a worm and a bobber and with a perfect cast he dropped them into the pond. And we waited. I was surprised at the length of time it took but soon enough, he got a bite. He was so surprised that he waited too long and the fish realized that hey - this doesn't feel right. It spit the hook. Ok - more explanation about keeping the line taught and techniques on setting the hook. It remained rather quiet until a brief shower and the wind picked up, then it turned into a frenzy. With much coaching (and my hands in my pockets, it was so hard not to grab the rod for him!) he figured it out and started hauling them in. First fish was 8", second was 9". Then followed by a pair of 10" and finished with an 11"! He was beside himself with pride, and he now has the 'catching' thing down.

We got home and the lessons continued, I showed him how to clean the fish and to check to see what the fish had been eating. For supper, he got pat-down and egg wash duty while I added bread crumbs and pan fried them up like I was taught - whole. I showed him how to flake the fish off the top and use the tail to pull the bones out. And then we ate. And ate. And ate. That was the best meal I've had in a long time!

I asked him how it felt to be a provider. He thought it was awesome that he could catch, clean and cook supper for us and I agreed. And then he hugged me and said the best words one could ask for........

You are the coolest mom ever.

Look at that face with his 8" brookie

This is a Golden Shiner, so he actually caught 6 fish that day

Wiggle, wiggle wiggle!



Can you tell he's excited? #4 - 10"

And the behemoth that let me go home, #5 was 11"

Preparing for the next lesson - cleaning!

With the ruler for proof! I'm even teaching him how to take the right pictures!

Nothing of the actual meal itself, we were too excited to dig in to think of pictures! Don't despair, something tells me this isn't the last blog about fishing... I mean catching........ :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A time for new beginnings

I know, I disappeared again. Things got a little nutty the first of the year and out of self preservation and a desperate need for change, I applied for and was offered a new job, doing basically what I do now, for the same employer but under a different area. Did you follow me? I get to spend the next three weeks locked up in training for the new position and by the time I'm done will most likely be more like a caged animal!

Anyway, I've been buckled down with those details as well as with the secretarial work needed for the little league, finishing up indoor soccer, preparing for outdoor soccer and the boy made a Major's team for baseball too. Phew! I'm lucky if I've had time to breathe. Obviously, my own extra curricular activities - photography, blogging, jewelry making - have suffered in the wake. Time for that to change.

Much like my own 'restart', my backyard is also full of new beginnings. A pair of Bluebirds showed up weeks ago and started to take a shining to the nest box nearest the road and started chasing off everyone that came near it (including the poor Phoebe who was using it for bug gleaning!). In checking the box, they hadn't started making a nest but man - they didn't want anyone else in there either.

I checked a newly placed box, the blueberry bush box (clever, eh?) and found a half-built nest in there. Where the heck did that come from? So I watch the sneaky bluebird pair a little closer. Sure enough, although Mrs. B was guarding the roadside box, Mr. B was tiding up the blueberry box nest. While Mr. B was guarding the roadside box, Mrs. B was hauling in more nesting material to the box across the way.

Those sneaky lil' buggers.

This morning, Mr. & Mrs. B viciously defended the box that they are NOT using all morning from the chickadees, the tree swallows, the pine warblers and again - the poor phoebe. I'm not sure if they just want the entire neighborhood to themselves or perhaps they are saving it for their good friends, Mr. & Mrs. B the 2nd, to finish making the trip north? There is still yet a third box, the East Juniper nestbox, that they seemed to be pushing the tree swallows to - but in the end they started to defend that one too.

I just hope that I get a nest in all three boxes this year - all with a fresh start and a breath of new life in all.

Cat's outta the bag - they fooled me and were building in the Blueberry Nest Box!

Pulling in nest material

The evil Tree Swallows come in for a looksie of the East Juniper box

Mrs. B holds her ground on the East Roadside box they aren't using...

Mr. B jumps in and a fight ensues!

"I told you I don't want your white trash around here!"

Kapow! Blamm!

Bap! Biff!

Now get out!

Perching on their 'actual' home

"Phew! It's hard work keeping the riff-raff out of the neighborhood!"


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