Raptors, Little Miami River, Fiona the Hippo, and Puking Up Lunch

Raptors, Little Miami River, Fiona the Hippo, and Puking Up Lunch

Dear Kid,

Your Dad is generally a smart man.

For example, he could have said, “Want to go to a dinner event with me?” at which point I would have had to think up 4,862 creative ways to say, “No.

Instead, he said, “Do you want to go to the Little Miami Conservancy’s dinner where Raptor Inc will have birds and Thane Maynard will be the keynote speaker?”

Um, yes. Raptors and Thane Maynard? Of freakin’ course!


So last night we went to the event.

I got there first (I’ll wait while you roll your eyes and say “Of COURSE you got there first.”). There weren’t many people around the raptors which was weird because LIVE RAPTORS. I immediately snagged the spot closest to the raptor people (and by “closest” I mean about 6 atoms away from the birds and by “raptor people” I mean the people that the raptors brought with them because birds don’t know how to drive).

First I met Lucy the Peregrine Falcon. She’s gorgeous. I was close enough to see her nares. Get your mind out of the gutter. “Nares” means nostrils. And Peregrine Falcons have a boney tubercle in each nare which directs airflow so that their brains don’t explode when they dive. The nares are such an exceptional design that jet engines are modeled after them. So pretty much when you’re in an airplane you’re there courtesy of a peregrine’s shnoz.

Lucy the Peregrine Falcon DearKidLoveMom.com

Then I met Sylvester the Great Horned Owl (have I told you how much I love those Raptor Inc people?). I’ve never been that close to a GHO and Sylvester is beautiful. His eyes are stunning. And enormous. Golden. He was beautifully behaved. (Sometimes he casts a pellet in public. And we say “casts a pellet” because he is a classy guy and “pukes up lunch remnants” is not classy.)

Sylvester the Great Horned Owl does not need to suffer succotash since he's served mice, quail, and other delicacies. DearKidLoveMom.com

If you’re in the area, go see the raptors the last Sunday of each month (March – November) from 1pm to 4pm. Well worth it.

Fred Shaw, the Shawnee storyteller, gave the blessing which was beautiful. (When was the last time you heard me say that?) Then food, then Thane.

Our very own 90 Second Naturalist told stories about the Little Miami River and then he talked about Fiona, the Zoo’s preemie hippo. Hard to know which is sweeter—Fiona or the cake they served for dessert.

Thane Maynard talking about Fiona the baby hippo. DearKidLoveMom.com

Love, Mom

Know someone who likes Raptors? or hippos? or who just might enjoy DearKidLoveMom.com? Share the love.

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The Best (and the Worst) Times to Wake Up

Dear Kid,

After extensive scientific research (and by “extensive scientific research” I mean in my opinion) the absolute best time to wake up is 1 ½ minutes before your alarm goes off. This gives you enough time to snuggle under the blankets without falling back to sleep and actually get out of bed before being summoned by All the Hounds from Hell (and by All the Hounds from Hell I mean the alarm clock).

The Best (and the Worst) Times to Wake Up DearKidLoveMom.com

If you can wake up just before you need to, you’ve (probably) gotten the right amount of sleep. Your body (or your mind—or if you’re exceptionally lucky both mind and body) are ready to start the day.

The bar-none, absolutely, completely, unarguably worst time to wake up is 45 minutes after your alarm first mentioned the day was to begin. (Don’t argue—I just said “unarguably”.) Forty-five minutes means you can probably hustle yourself out the door and get wherever you need to be on time—you’ll just look like you slept in a gutter. And you’ll feel that way too because you won’t have had time for breakfast or – gak! – coffee. Oversleep more than 45 minutes and you probably won’t get “there” on time, so you just roll over and go back to sleep or you get up and take your time getting ready because you’re going to be late anyway.

The second worst time to wake up is an hour and a half before your scheduled reveille. (Reveille—the bugle call used to wake up military personnel and prisoners. An hour and a half before reveille—the freakin’ middle of the night.) No one needs to be awake in the middle of the night. I say this with confidence because “middle of the night” shows up at a different time for everyone. My friend who gets up at 4am to tend cow and goat defines “middle of the night” far differently than I do, but would still agree that sleeping time is time for sleeping not for getting up.

The perfect time to be reading Dear Kid Love Mom is – by definition – right now.

Love, Mom

Who do you know who would enjoy DearKidLoveMom.com? Spread the word.

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Did You Hear? I Had a Birthday

Did You Hear? I Had a Birthday

Dear Kid,

I had a birthday. (You knew that.)

It wasn’t really my choice, but apparently I didn’t get a vote.

Most of my birthday was fabulous (and by “most” I mean 99.76%). Lots of people sent birthday wishes, Grandma found the World’s Best Birthday Card, and there were a couple of fabulous surprises during the day.

Best Birthday Card Ever. DearKidLoveMom.com

The teeny little problem is that I got older. When you’re your age, getting older isn’t a bad thing. It can even be a good thing. When you’re my age, getting older means wrinkles. And the older you get, the more “presents” the Wrinkle Fairy drops off.

Dang Wrinkle Fairy. And her cousin Gray Hair.

Most of my friends sent lovely wishes. Especially the ones confirming that I was only 29 (and therefore only entitled to a small drop off from the Wrinkle Fairy). A few people sent weirder messages reminding me that I am an Aging Human. One sent a message saying “Only 50 more birthdays until you can retire”. I kid you not. I still haven’t figured out what to think about that one.

Did I tell you that even Google knew it was my birthday? Is that cool or creepy? I’m just not sure.

Is it cool or creepy that Google knows it was my birthday? DearKidLoveMom.com

On the whole, I think I’ll have another birthday next year.

Love, Mom

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Decisions, Decisions….

Dear Kid,

Not all choices are easy.

Some are ridiculously simple.

“Do you want fries with that?” Heck, yeah. Who doesn’t?

Other choices are far more difficult. Have you ever watched Pi try to make a decision about what to order in a restaurant? So many choices. Such hard decisions.

Which brings up the question, how do you handle difficult decisions? Bad news, kiddo. That’s why they’re called “difficult.”

I figure it’s all Marie Antoinette’s fault. She said “Let them eat cake” which was quickly followed by “You can’t have your cake and eat it too” which of was immediately followed by “Cake makes you fat.” From which we learn that you can’t eat an entire cake and expect to fit into your jeans.

Decisions, Decisions....DearKidLoveMom.comWhether a choice is hard or easy to make has nothing to do with its importance. Jumping off a bridge without a bungee cord or not? Important consequences; easy decision. Which shoes to wear? Next to impossible decision sometimes; not really so many implications.

Life is full of choices. Most of the choices we face are things we hardly even think about (what should I have for breakfast today?). But sometimes we’re faced with decisions that really tax our thinkers. We like/want/loathe all the options. Or feel we haven’t even found all the solutions. Or believe that the decision will be so impactful that it requires extra time and attention.

Life is full of choices. Some big, some little. All of them add up to the you that is you.

Hoping all your choices today are easy ones.

Love, Mom

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Sunday, Dandelions, and …

Sunday, Dandelions, and …

Dear Kid,

Death to Dandelions (at least the ones in my lawn) DearKidLoveMom.comDad: I got all the dandelions.

Me: You did?

Dad: Yep, pretty much. There are still a few over by the driveway, but the rest are all under control.

Me: Really?

Dad: Yes, and it feels really good.

Dad takes a pile of pulled weeds to the garbage can.

Dad: I might have missed some dandelions.

Me: Ah.

Dad: They were hiding before.

Me: Dandelions are sneaky that way.

Dad: Puppy hasn’t been doing a good job of finding them.

Puppy: Zzzzzz…..zzzzzzzz

Me: I’m pretty sure the one over there is mocking you.

Love, Mom

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Happy International Moment of Laughter Day

Dear Kid,

Happy International Moment of Laughter Day DearKidLoveMom.comHee-Hee-Hee.


It’s International Moment of Laughter Day.


Which means you should take a moment to laugh, smile, and perhaps even chortle out loud.

My dog used to chase people on a bike a lot. It got so bad, finally I had to take his bike away.

Listen to jokes, tell jokes, just don’t be the subject of jokes.


Optimist: The glass is half full.

Pessimist: The glass is half empty.

Mother: Why didn’t you use a coaster!


I didn’t say they had to be good jokes.

OK, fine. Don’t like the joke idea? Watch a puppy chase his tail. Don’t have a puppy? Why do you think YouTube was invented?

Find something to laugh about today. It’s a holiday. Celebrate.

Love, Mom

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