Happiness is a dirty smiling face

In response to today’s prompt question, this is what happiness means to me:

???????????????????????????????They say the first thing that pops into your head is usually the correct answer and this was it.             Happiness is a dirty smiling face.

One of the many adventures Goose and I have had together, destination: Aruba. The endeavor that was in store for us on this particular day involved several broken down ATVs, a swim in the Natural Pool, stepping on a sea urchin (and therefore having them stick 4 inches out of her foot), and the guide forgetting his wallet at the beach and having to wait until dusk until he arrived back to guide us to the garage. Although Goose was in pain from the sea urchin, she didn’t complain, still drove the ATV back, and then dealt with the ER wait and doctor’s remedy of, ‘sorry there is nothing we can do, it has to work itself out’….

Yup she is a trooper, amazing, my daughter, my Goose, and my travel partner until the end.

Happiness is indeed a dirty smiling face….through the good times and bad….love you more


Goose and I visit the animals

We drove out to an exotic rescue shelter of sorts. Not knowing what to expect, I was satisfied with the short-version visit; a handling exhibit of a snake, chinchilla, chameleon, skunk, and bearded dragon (not all at the same time). The young lady was thorough, great with the children, and answered my million questions that were on my mind.

As the handler held up the black snake, I burst into my rendition of: “In Africa, the saying goes, ‘In the bush, an elephant can kill you, a leopard can kill you, and a black mamba can kill you. But only with the black mamba is death sure.’ Hence its handle ‘Death Incarnate’-pretty cool huh…” not too many times do I get to quote this particular Kill Bill scene so we missed what the black snake really was. I am sticking with – it’s a black mamba.


In other observations in the room… Goose and I watch the children pet the animals and their faces light up, but one particular toddler-aged girl pets each furry animal or bacterial laden reptile, and promptly puts her fingers in her mouth. It is always interesting to watch other parents and how they can be oblivious (or lazy… I was giving her the benefit of the doubt). On the upside, I guess that is how you build one’s immune system (but ick!).

Chinchillacharmeleon  skunk

We then were lead outside, passed the goat (I believe his name was Richard) who liked to escape his pen, (and stood proudly showing off his Houdini talent), to the beautifully relaxed lynx cleaning himself and the two foxes snuggled atop the snow drifts trying to nap, peering at us over their fluffy tails laid across their snouts, and a look of distain, “can you not see we are trying to sleep here, honey you forgot to put out the do not disturb sign again”.

goat   fox

From there we headed into the reptile room (more? awesome!) and was greeted by an anaconda on the right and a 200 lb reticulated python on the left. Fingers crossed they ate recently….::slowly stepping behind the toddler::

And like a magic trick, the tour guide brought us to yet another room full of mammals; lemurs, a crowned crane, turtles and tortoises, two wallabies, a kookaburra (yes you read that correctly-the bird that sits in the old gum tree, king of the bush is he… and all that), porcupines, owls, rabbits, and more…


Stay tuned for the next Adventures in the MiniCooper!

The Scarlet Snowflake

scarletsnowflakeI fear I am branded with the ‘Scarlet Snowflake’ because of my love of Snow.

I hear the whispering behind my back, the looks of utter disgust when I share my secrets of stolen moments watching Snow quietly fall during the day or through the streetlight’s glow at night.  How could I possibly be in love with Snow – he is so selfish and has no care for anyone and their driveway! He laughs at how many layers of clothing you must endure to step outside for just a moments time…yet I know he loves me back, with the frozen smiles I have daily, listening to the Cardinals that only sing their melodious song in the winter or the small animal tracks that I find across the freshly powdered path…

He has not been so timid in his love for me, sharing well over 5 feet of his fluffy dandruff and still looking as clean cut and magnificent as the first time I lay eyes on him. And as the wind blows it is hard not to be reminded of Fabio on his most romantic novel cover…swirling long locks of tiny flakes in all directions and just a hint of a crooked smile.

YES I LOVE SNOW! – There I said it for all to hear !

I cannot contain my feelings any longer!

I am a traitor and outcast, and ready to endure the pitchforks (shovels, ice-filled snowballs…) of the village people! You cannot break true love!

(picture credit: unknown)

What is all this honking about!!

It has been said that geese honk while in their formation to encourage the lead goose, for it is that one goose that bears the brunt of the work. What work – just flying is work in itself! The point goose is breaking the air surface and thereby spreading the air current outward. Each goose after the point goose has a lesser degree of air surface to break and makes it a bit easier for them to maintain flight. When the lead goose gets tired he falls to the back of the formation and another goose steps up (or flies up at the case may be). That’s what all the honking is about – working as a team, cheering each other on, sharing the work for the better of the group.

There is so much to learn from such a simple gesture. It goes beyond teamwork and beyond encouragement and it is all natural. They ‘get it’. There is nothing selfish or mean spirited in their quest to get from point A to point B. They don’t secretly wish for one of their feathered mates to fall from the sky so they can get a good laugh from it. They are just honestly praising the hard work and perseverance they are experiencing. What a great concept!

For me, listening to the geese is so self-indulgent I almost feel badly; they bring such a smile to my face while they are working so hard to stay aloft. HONK HONK

The Perfect Wave

A loaded question today as I start to sip my second cup of coffee on a 20 degree F morning . I have to say it completely depends on the time of year and if I won the lottery. Let’s just say for conversation sake, I did not win the lottery and it is midsummer.

My perfect day off would include sleeping in by just an hour and then load up the Mini and head to the beach. I like to leave early (to the dismay of my daughter or friends that accompany me) but I getting the perfect place on the sand is essential! You will find me up against the sea grass to limit the unruly beachgoers that don’t pick up their feet and kick sand all over the blanket and ultimately in my head and face. Once the perfect spot has been claimed in the name of Her Majesty Giselle, the blanket comes out (using shoes, the cooler and other objects to weigh down the corners), the chairs are set up (and slightly spread out to keep the late arrivals at a safe distance), the book is dropped onto the blanket, and the lathering of the suntan lotion shall commence.

For the next few hours before the beach gets overrun, it is all about relaxing… listening to the waves crash on the shore, watching the toddlers run in and out of the water laughing and clapping so hard they look as though they would explode from happiness, sizing up the college kids skipping a summer course or playing hooky from their summer job at the coffee shop or restaurant (hmmm you don’t look sick…), laughing at the people who put too much faith in nature and leave their chips out for just a moment to grab a drink while a bold seagull does a ‘fly by’ grabbing a free snack and fending off other gulls at the same time, and lastly letting the warm sunshine wash over me.

It’s always a beautiful day at the beach. No stress of work, no phones ringing, no emails to answer and the only surfing to take place is by the young men and women looking for the perfect wave.


Seals off the Cape

In response to today’s Daily Prompt question:

Sparkling or Still

What’s your idea of a perfect day off: one during which you can quietly relax, doing nothing, or one with one fun activity lined up after the other? Tell us how you’d spend your time.