Holy Sugar! Where is my Bra?!?

American Bald Eagle

I don’t know what it is about eagles, but whenever I see an American Bald Eagle, I lose the tiny fraction of sanity I am barely clinging to and act like a complete and total idiot. That ruse of cool, collectiveness I attempt so much to maintain washes off of me faster than you can say Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, and I scream at the top of my lungs, “It’s a Bald Eagle!” Sometimes, it doesn’t come off quite so poetically, as in the case I’d love to tell you about. Now this happened over two months ago, but I remember it clearly. Allow me to set the scene…

It’s a Sunday afternoon. My husband and our pirate children are hanging out in the living room while I attend to my chores. More specifically, I am folding laundry upstairs. No, I don’t get paid for this service, despite my attempts, which explains why I am putting fifty percent of my efforts into folding the laundry neatly, (fine, kind of neatly,) and the other fifty percent of my energy into animal watching out of my bedroom window. Animal watching is an activity? Well, in Southwest Florida it is…We live on alligator lagoon, so let me assure you the likelihood of spotting something that this native Hoosier would consider animal-like or wild is pretty good. So, I am sort of tackling one of my household duties, as my eyes periodically roam to the window.

Suddenly, I look up and out of the window again. As my eyes land on the bank across gator lagoon, my breath sucks in sharply. The shirt I am folding slips from my fingers, and I belt out my very natural and perfectly acceptable Midwesterner-transported-to-Southwest-Florida-response, “HOLY SHHHHH*******T!”

That little pest of an angel, who attempts to perch on my shoulder from time to time, whispers is my ear, “Sarah, the little pirates definitely heard that…” Of course, she is correct, but I don’t have time for lectures. I’m already in my pajamas. (Sure, it’s only three p.m., but this is customary in case you haven’t heard.) I flick the angel off of my shoulder and take off running. Being in pajamas means I need to find my shoes, my bra, my camera…my bra!!!

Where is my bra?

I think of what my sister would say…

You don’t even need a bra, Sarah!

She’s right! Forget the bra. Grab zip up hoodie! I push my arms through the sleeves and take off for the steps.

I run, slide, half fall down the staircase and slam into my husband as I stumble off of the bottom step. He looks horrified, worry covering his face. “What’s wrong?” he blurts.

Wrong? He thinks something is wrong? The man doesn’t know me at all. If there is danger, I scream danger. The two times there was a snake inside of our house, (yes, I said two,) I clearly yelled the word SNAKE at the top of my lungs. I dash past him and run for my office. I must find my camera. I hear him calling after me. I yell over my shoulder, “There are THREE Bald Eagles outside right now! I’ve got to find my camera!”

The camera isn’t in my office. Maybe, it is in the dining room. As I whiz past my husband again, I catch the expression on his face, which indicates he does not find the situation sufficient reason to scream an obscenity at the top of my lungs. I don’t have time to chat about my inappropriate language. The man can take a number and get in line with that pesky angel! There are three Bald Eagles behind the house!

No sign of the camera in the dining room. I race to my office again, locate my trusty Adidas flip flops, but there is still no camera. I put the shoes on as I yell, “WHERE IS MY CAMERA?” As I race through the house again, I can hear Charles talking to me. “I think we need to have a conversation about when, exactly, you screaming something like that at the top of your lungs is appropriate.”

I ignore him and continue in circles, my eyes scanning the interior of our home. He continues as I dash past him and something in his voice changes, “Ummm, Sarah, not to alarm you further, but there are actually four Bald Eagles out there right now.”

Four Bald Eagles?!? My heart races to unchartered territory. Suddenly, it hits me. “MY CAMERA IS IN THE CAR!” I yell louder than necessary.

I dart past my pirate children, who I hear giggling in the excitement of their lunatic mother dashing through the house, into the garage and grab that camera. When I return from the garage, I run past my family and towards the patio door, going over my checklist…Camera, check. Shoes, check, (well, flip flops.) Bra, negative. But I have gone out into the wild wearing only a bath towel before, so this is substantially better. Once past the door, I am vaguely aware of the farewells coming from the little pirates, “Be careful, Mommy!”

As I trek through the overgrown foliage beside gator lagoon, I notice voices around me. Loud ones. Not the mental ones or imaginary characters who keep me company and inspire my fiction novels. Real, actual human voices. How rare. I never hear people out here…I can hear them talking about the eagles. They are making entirely too much noise as far as I am concerned, but there is no time to investigate the human intruders. I must get a photo of the eagles.

I barely make it in time. I step through a sticker bush on the way to the water’s edge and see four Bald Eagles as I lift my camera. One flies away before I can get the photo. I silently curse out the people making all of the noise. (Silently, People, sue me.) But there are still three eagles on the bank. On the edge of gator lagoon, I snap as many photos as I can. I get a few shots, and then the Bald Eagles take off, one by one, returning to the sky.

Alone on the bank, I take a moment to smile victoriously. My foot is slightly irritated from the collection of burs I picked up on my adventure, I am wearing my pajamas, no bra, and my mysterious neighbors, who I have never even seen before, are suddenly outside. I figure today isn’t the day we should meet and head back inside.

As soon as I open the door, Charles has that look on his face…You know the one. I figure it is time to own up to the error of my ways and apologize for my sailor mouth, but I’ll feign ignorance for the moment. “What is it?” I politely ask.

“As soon as the door closed behind you, Audrey yelled, “Holy Sh*t, there are four Bald Eagles behind the house, Daddy!”

I bite my lip as I gage his level of irritation. I realize this is the part where I am supposed to feel terrible about the potty mouth my six-year-old has suddenly developed because of me, so I try my best to hide my smile. (No, I don’t think it’s okay, but I’m still riding high from my Bald Eagle experience. This was my first time to see more than two at once!)
“I’m really sorry,” I offer as I sit down and begin pulling stickers out of my ankles and socks. Audrey looks at me, and I try to look apologetic. “Mommy shouldn’t have said that word. It’s a bad word, okay?”

Charles takes over and gently explains to the pirates about not repeating the S-word again. I hear the lecture but it’s more of a muted sound, playing in the background. I’m in a happy place. Charles looks back at me, and I happily proclaim, “There were just four Bald Eagles out there!” Giving up on his reform-the-mother-of-his-children-lecture, he goes back to the computer, and the pirates go back to their quest to commandeer a ship in choppy seas.

Alone, staring out the window, I can’t stop smiling.

I may not be the recipient of a parenting award any time soon. I might not win that award ever. So at the risk of irritating my mother, that pesky angel, and the father of my children once again, I must tell you…

I got a photo of three American Bald Eagles…right behind my house…and HOLY SUGAR it was cool!

You didn’t really think I was going to curse again, did you? 🙂

Three Bald Eagles

One of the Bald Eagles taking off

One of the Bald Eagles flying away

Attack of the burs

Attack of the burs

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A Fly on the Wall

I’d like to welcome a guest blogger to My Name is Sarah for this week’s post. H.H. Fly, (Head Household Fly, from The Sanctuary, Sanibel Island) is known for his keen observations and insights into human behavior and has devoted his life to the study from his spot on the wall, obtaining the prestigious status of Head Household Fly due to his lifelong commitment to his research.  As always, thanks for stopping by my blog, and leave me a note in the comment section.  Thank you, H.H. Fly, for this week’s post.  (I needed a break!)

Love always,

Sarah

A fly on the wall’s journal, week one of new residents…

A most troubled group of humans has moved into my house, and I fear the worst.  The tallest female amongst them seriously concerns me.  (The short females, of which there are two, spend most of their time pretending to be fairies or pirates, which would concern me more were it not for the undoubtedly neurotic female, who appears to be responsible for the shorter ones.)  Prior to their move-in, as Head Household Fly, I met with the welcoming committee, and we planned a most detailed and royal welcome for our new tenants.  We wanted to welcome them with open arms, (well, legs, and some of us have many more than others,) but besides that, we love a chance to entertain.

Day one:

Unfortunately, the new humans were so busy unpacking and rearranging, they did not notice Fred and Ginger, the dancing frog and gecko duo, who so gracefully performed the Viennese Waltz on the living room mantel upon their arrival.  Let down by the humans lack of interest in their performance, I spent the next eight hours attempting to calm Fred and Ginger down and reassure them of their superior showmanship and talents.

Day two:

Determined to overcome our small setback, we rolled out the red carpet and had Damion the scorpion and his partner, Sorsha, prepared to dance the Argentine Tango in the laundry room for the tallest female, who I will from this point on refer to as, the unstable one.  Sadly, one of the humans must have stomped on poor Damion on their rush from the garage to the laundry room, and Damion, well, let’s just say Damion’s dancing days are over.  Sorsha, overcome with sadness at the loss of her dancing partner, fled to her dressing room. Upon discovery of Damion’s lifeless limbs in the middle of the garage, the unstable one immediately began shouting obscenities and pointing her index finger at her mate, a taller, quiet human. This struck me as an odd reaction to Damion’s passing, but I reminded myself the new humans are from out of state, and perhaps their burial customs are different than the ones we are accustomed to in southwest Florida.  I was counting on the quiet male human to calm the unstable one down; however, he muttered an obscenity himself, before sweeping Damion into a dustpan and throwing him into the trash. That was most indecent of him, I assure you, and the committee and I spent the remainder of the night retrieving Damion’s lifeless body from the endless depths of the garbage can, before at last carrying the poor fellow to our pond side graveyard by the royal palm trees.  It was such a tremendous undertaking we had to enlist the help of our neighbors, from the adjoining duplex.  Normally, we wouldn’t even bother them for a teaspoon of sugar, but desperate times…as they say. Sorsha somehow managed to pry herself away from her chambers for the ceremony.

Day three:

Before the humans awoke, the committee and I met, and though Suzette the slithery snake suggested we hold off as our efforts were going unnoticed and with the untimely death of Damion, majority ruled to remain on course with our plans.  The unstable one awoke quite anxious, and spent a great deal of time pacing in front of the dining room window overlooking the pond.  She referred to it as Alligator Lagoon, and I heard her warning the short females they were not allowed to play by the water.  It appeared she was trying to catch a glimpse of one of the alligators, so this pleased the committee tremendously. After all, Alexander the Alligator had been practicing his welcoming performance for days. Of course, he wasn’t set to perform until day four, and we were determined to stick to our schedule.

Sorsha wasn’t exactly thrilled about performing solo, but fueled by her passion for Damion, she decided to do her Flamenco dance as a tribute.  Unfortunately, moments before show time, the unstable one discovered Sorsha waiting backstage, where she was getting a final makeup check in the kitchen dishwasher, and she had a most disturbing reaction.  She began some sort of tap dance, immediately phoned her mate, and she informed him in a very frantic manner of the discovery of Sorsha. Uncomfortable with the high level of alarm and panic in the unstable female’s voice, Sorsha immediately fled to her dressing room and refused to go on.

The unstable one paced back and forth for the next hour, consuming an extraordinary high amount of chocolate and complaining on her phone to anyone who would listen.  Apparently, of all of the places she had lived before moving to our sanctuary, she had never seen a scorpion before, and for some reason, she found them revolting.  Rather than hurt Sorsha’s feelings further, I asked the committee to keep this information to themselves.  Sorsha has been dealing with enough as it is.

Suddenly, the doorbell rang, and the unstable one opened the door in a hurry.  She visibly sighed, and I couldn’t believe what happened next. How could she do this to us? Maybe, she wasn’t going to let him in. Perhaps, he had the wrong address. Unfortunately, my worst fears were confirmed as she let the overly excited pest control human inside our home, and he immediately began spraying poison and looking for scorpions. He informed the unstable one he wanted to capture a live scorpion to take back to his home for imprisonment. Immediately, my fellow committee members and I fled to Sorsha’s side, and we evacuated her through our secret underground security tunnel.  There was no time for Sorsha to pack up her belongings, but she understood that her safety was most important with Tommy, AKA Dr. Death, in our domain.  It turns out, Dr. Death was not looking for Sorsha only.  Many of my comrades were forced into hiding.  The strange man appeared greedy and overly excited about his death mission.  Clearly, the human has ingested too many of those toxic chemicals he so eagerly spread about our home.  After he left, an eerie silence prevailed throughout our once happy home, and I flew around to survey the damage and organize rescue missions for any of the survivors.  The ghost ants were the only ones who didn’t need to evacuate.  Nothing can kill them.  They are most fierce.

That night, the committee held an emergency session and debated over day four plans.  Alexander was ready to go on, despite the loss of lives and the unexpected hostility of our new tenants.

Day four:

As the morning began, the unstable one walked hesitantly throughout the home, always looking at the floor, the walls, and out the window.  She tiptoed everywhere she went and stood unnaturally far away from the countertops and drawers of the kitchen as she removed items.  If she thought she might see Sorsha, she was wrong.  Sorsha has taken refuge with the neighbors until Dr. Death’s dangerous chemicals wear off, which eventually they will.

When Alexander began his show by swimming in full view from one end of the pond to the other, I thought I would fall off of my spot on the wall for the first time in my life.  Such a start that neurotic female gave me with her crazed yelling.  She had appeared deceptively under-caffeinated and slow the entire morning, but when Alexander began his swim, she ran nearly as fast as my fellow committee member, Patricia Panther, when Patricia is on the hunt.  She ran up the stairs, taking four steps at a time, pushing buttons on her cell phone as she ran.  I heard her yell into the phone that there was a big *@& alligator swimming in the lake and that it was much bigger than four feet before screaming another obscenity and then hanging up her phone.  At this point, I didn’t feel the need to observe from the wall anymore.  I could have been sitting on the unstable one’s shoulder, and she wouldn’t have noticed me.  I followed close behind her and watched as she snapped photo after photo with her cell phone, cursing loudly the entire time, muttering her mate’s first and last name, over and over again as she took pictures.  “Why don’t I have a real camera with a zoom?!” she yelled.

The committee was finally pleased with our efforts to entertain the new tenants.  Why would the woman have been snapping so many photos of Alexander if she wasn’t truly entertained?  Deciding to put Alexander on the line up again, we asked him to perform day five as well.  Clearly, he was one of our strongest acts.  Patricia and Suzette were disappointed to have to postpone their acts, but they agreed nonetheless.

Day five:

The tenants were gone a lot, and Alexander decided to do some sunbathing while he waited for show time. However, upon returning home and discovering Alexander sitting on the side of pond, the unstable one yelled louder than any of the previous times, and the entire house watched in horror as she ran for her cell phone, made yet another frantic phone call, and began taking pictures of Alexander merely lying in the sun.  Alexander decided to postpone the show.  Clearly, the female had soaked up too many UV rays at the beach earlier that day, and we agreed she was not ready for his entire act.

Day six:

The committee voted to monitor the humans’ behavior before any more acts go on.  This is a strange breed of humans.  The unstable one is disturbingly jittery.  Today, when her mate walked into a room she was picking up in and they nearly collided, she screamed so violently, we were sure that Suzette or Patricia had already started their acts.  She spends a lot of time running back and forth between her computer, where she types in a frenzy, and her coffee pot, where she consumes cup after cup of caffeine.  Periodically, she turns up her music to an unnecessary high volume and dances like a maniac across the kitchen floor.  I am certain a medical professional would advise her to cut back on her caffeine intake. When golfers go near Alexander’s favorite sunbathing spot on the edge of the pond to look for lost golf balls, the unstable one yells, “Dead Golfer Walking!”  When ducks or birds dive into the lake to cool off, she yells, “Get out of the lake!  Fly, fly away!”  Frankly, her behavior is most disturbing.

Mid morning of day six things got rather chaotic.  Evidently, word never got out to Sammy Snake, one of our neighborhood friends, about the new tenant situation, and on his habitual morning slither, the unstable one spotted him from her upstairs window.  What she was doing looking out of her window in her bath towel, alone, instead of getting dressed right away like a normal human would have after a shower I didn’t even try to figure out.  The woman is clearly unbalanced.  She screamed snake at the top of her lungs and took off with panther like stealth down the stairs of the home, through the kitchen, where she grabbed her cell phone, and was out the patio doors towards Sammy Snake in seconds.  Before she could turn the photo feature of her cell on, Sammy escaped, and she stood panting heavily on the edge of the pool, barefoot in her bath towel as the neighbors’ landscaper looked on in anxious wonder.  The quiet mate appeared seconds later with a rake in his hand.

“What are you going to do with that?” she asked him.

“I’m going to move the snake.  That’s a little too close for comfort.”

“What are you doing?” he asked the unstable one.  (I was a little curious myself, so I flew closer.)

“I wanted to get a picture of the snake, but it disappeared.”

“Are you going to stand outside all day in your bath towel?”

“Just a few minutes more. I want a picture of that snake.”

Day seven:

The committee is trying to get word to Bo-Bo the Black Bear about cancelling his performance before he wanders back home again.  He was away this week entertaining tourists near the light house, but he’ll be back soon. We fear the unstable one is not ready to meet Bo-Bo.  She might scare the fish out of the lake if she screams like that again.  And this is The Sanctuary after all.  We like it quiet here.  If we can not learn to coincide peacefully with these new tenants, we will be forced to evacuate them.  If won’t be a pretty process, and much unnecessary screaming will certainly escape from the unstable one should we have to initiate this emergency plan, but we must do what we must do to preserve our habitat…

~This is H.H. Fly, (Head Household Fly,) from The Sanctuary on Sanibel Island, signing off…

Damien before his last performance.

Damion before his last performance.

(*Note: This was originally posted summer 2012 on My Name is Sarah; Welcome to My Name is Sarah’s new site!)