Random 5 for November 26 – Predators, snickerdoodles, Mom, deer, germs

Holy moly! – I heard a noise outside and looked out my kitchen window. A ginormous hawk was checking out the pond. Not sure if he was fishing or searching for rodents. This picture was taken through a rather dusty window but somehow I spooked him and he took off. My best guess is a Cooper hawk. (Commenters are suggesting a female Redtail.)

The power of suggestion or really good marketing – Starbucks has a new hot chocolate this year. It’s snickerdoodle hot chocolate. Doesn’t that sound yummy? Their hot chocolate is too rich for me but now I’m hungry for snickerdoodles!

A germaphobe at heart – We celebrated the beloved husband’s birthday twice this year. Once with a birthday cake. There were no candles, not only because the number required would have burned down the house but also because I read an article. When someone blows out birthday candles they also deposit a film of germs. Yeah, I’m a neurotic germaphobe! If I have to eat birthday cake with the spit spray, I always scrap off the icing and hope for the best.

How did Mom do it? – I’ve been hosting Thanksgiving for a long time. Everyone comes late afternoon and leaves by mid-evening. When I was young, people came to my Mom’s at noon and stayed until late. They ate, watched football and ate again. She didn’t have a dishwasher (except for me) or a microwave. It was a lot of work. Now that I’m older I appreciate all that she did and I am gob smacked at all the energy she had.

Putzing – I was driving along the very short stretch between my house and Starbucks early one morning. No one was on the road but me and the guy attached to my bumper. I was doing the speed limit. (Yes, even I am amazed at that!) I decided not to speed up and as I rounded the corner I had to brake hard. Two gorgeous deer loped across the road. Guess their mama forgot to explain about looking before crossing. The guy in back of me slowed down after that.

So how was your week?

66 thoughts on “Random 5 for November 26 – Predators, snickerdoodles, Mom, deer, germs

  1. I enjoyed your wildlife sightings, Kate! I worry about the fish in the pond, but always think that the hawk needs to eat, too! I just don’t like to see nature played out in front of my eyes. LOL! He was a very big guy! And then to have the encounter with the deer was also very special, although you were fortunate to have avoided an accident!

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  2. A deer sighting like that would have thrilled me … even as I was struggling to get my heart rate back down to normal after the near collision.
    Glad to hear the bumper- rider behind you developed a new respect after that.

    … and if I suddenly develop a craving for snicker doodles, I know who to blame 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, those sweet deer! I am glad the guy didn’t run into you. That happened to Mom right after my father died. She had to stop suddenly for a whole line of ducks–mom and babies–and the college student behind her ran right into her, totally my mother’s car. I digress. As usual. The hawk is beautiful, but scary around your pond, I imagine. And you’ve ruined me for birthdays now with the spittle on the cake. I never even thought of that. But I can’t unread what I just read here . . . .

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  4. My mom used to have Thanksgiving too. My grandma, her mom, used to help out. I like to hold a holiday at my house, but yes, it’s exhausting. My sister-in-law always wants to do every holiday at her house. I’m hoping she’ll switch off with me, because I’d like to do at least one holiday once in a while. The exhaustion is worth it, when it’s not every holiday.

    We had a deer cross the road the other day when we were driving near our house, too. I know it’s not uncommon by you, but it was a rare siting near us. There is a small set of woods in that area and a deer crossing sign, but this is not a rural place to live, so it was a nice surprise to see. Thankfully we weren’t going fast.

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      • Rotating holidays isn’t bad. When I was younger, I loved hosting much more than I do now. We always had a New Year’s Day party but a few years back I stopped it except for immediate family. It’s a football day and this way my husband can enjoy the games too. I much prefer to host in the summer in the screened porch. Less work especially since we grill.

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  5. No birthday cake for me if there were candles on it ever again… ick. I am a clean freak, a germaphobe, and a bit of a hypochondriac. We have lots of hawks, all kinds of predators… I worry about the birds that we feed. In winter it makes me feel like we are serving up a birdie smorgasbord. I finally just had to totally tune it out. I have yet to have my holiday fancy hot drink from Starbucks and I refuse to have it until the temps drop below 70. Maybe next week… I see next Thursday has a little snowflake on it on TWC!

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    • The cake thing has been with me a long time. I do all kinds of things to get out of eating “birthday cake with the spit.” After I read an article (and also one of the commenters comments) I am adamant about not allowing it in my house. I know it’s a kid thing so the cupcake will work for them. As for the birds, it’s the circle of life. Still makes me feel badly. A few years back a fox family (mama, papa and young’un) came through our yard. On their way out papa grabbed a squirrel. One that was nice and fat on my seed. I guess they thought it was a McDonald’s drive-through.

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  6. That is a huge hawk! It looks lonely, sad, and hungry. Perhaps it is looking for a field mouse or a small fish from your pond. Winter is hard on birds who prey on small forest animals. It is the nature of things. They do like berries also. But, then I worry about those sweet little creatures.
    I am also a germaphobe, a compulsive organizer, cleaner of everything, neatness, as in “a place for everything and everything in its place” at all times. My family makes jokes about. My sister said to me and the group that was there for Thanksgiving…”Karen, throw some dirt on the floor – Live a Little!” I just freaked out a little – dirt? I am the butt or many jokes from my friends and family. 🙂

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    • We would be besties! Everyone in our family has their quirks and I like mine best. As for the hawk, our area is very rich in rodents — field mice, squirrels and chipmunks. She was perched by the groundcover that hides chipmunks so except for that weird lady with the camera, she would have gotten something. Our robins claim our berries. The holly bushes are flush with berries this year. One cold day in December a flock of robins will come in and eat all the berries and the tiny pears off the decorative pear tree. It will take them an hour. The cats and I will watch amazed!

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      • Kate, that is wonderful that your home is rich with things to eat for bird and rodent alike. I a so glad you took the picture and the story that goes with it. Thank you.

        I don’t think of chipmunks as rodents or field mice either, although, I know they are. I once had a mommy field mouse in my house years ago, along with a doggy, a cat, and a bird, all of whom were castaways, lost and hungry. The mommy field mouse had hidden her babies in my mud room and so, I made sure that were safe until they grew up and the weather was warm. They were the cutest little things with huge pink ears and they would eat out of my hand. The mommy would watch them and I gave her peanut butter crackers, she loved them. She knew I had good intentions and allowed to care for them. When they left, I never saw them again. I hope they all made it. Thank you for a great, heart warming post. Karen 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Very cool to see the hawk! I hate tailgaters and usually tap on my breaks a few times to make them think. We had huge Thanksgivings when I was younger too. Those were the best. I remember helping my mom make stuffing from scratch and there was always raviolis too. Ours was very small this year, just our family of five and one of our friends. I had to work from 5 to 9 at Michaels so we ate early but all the dishes were put in the dishwasher and everything was cleaned up before I left so I didn’t have to come home to a mess.

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    • The odd thing was that no one was on the road. Don’t know where he came from but obviously he was trucking. Usually I let them pass but there was no shoulder. Fortunately for the deer, he had slow down. The T-day of my youth was bigger too. There were 5 of us and I scale stuff down. We have decided to eliminate the pie next year and just go with ice cream and sorbet. Everyone was full from the main meal. I am not allowed to alter either the stuffing or the sweet potatoes!

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  8. Nice photo of the hawk! I spent Thanksgiving week on a road trip to a wedding. It was a country affair with cowboy hats and jeans and two-stepping. Being on the road, Dear Husband and I ate Thanksgiving dinner at a Cracker Barrel. It was surprisingly good!

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  9. I have seen Goshawks in our area, especially on the golf course. They like the open areas. The Goshawk resembles the Cooper, but is larger, almost the size of an eagle, ergo, my comment on it being a Goshawk. We do have lots of retails in the area. I saw one checking out my bird feeder this summer.

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  10. Fabulous picture of the hawk. How lucky you were to have seen the visit. They are magnificent.
    You are right about the energy a Thanksgiving requires. I didn’t realize it either until I had to step in and take mom’s role for the aging relatives’ gathering at met dad’s. Whew. Moms were an unappreciated wonder. (No wonder she snarled we youngsters had to take care of the dishes HAHA)
    Oh, deer! (tail gatering cars are probably the same people who when you park way out at the store so you have room and don’t get scratched by other car doors – some car always seems to park exceedingly close to you anyway despite all the open spaces closer. UGH.)
    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving (as we finish the last of the pecan and chocolate chip pie here…)

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    • The hawk was magnificent even if it dines on my sweet birds and chipmunks. It was close to 2′ tall. The picture isn’t as clear as it was taken through a window but I’ll take it! Moms are the best. Miss mine. Yes on those dopey people who park so close you can barely open your door while there is open space all around. Pecan and chocolate chip pie? Yum!

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  11. Snickerdoodle hot chocolate, you say???? Hmmmmm……..I don’t know if my mom would be proud or not, but I’ve quite “toned down” some of the traditions she had. Don’t necessarily make everything from scratch, and pass on some of the more time consuming dishes. It all tasted pretty good just the same – I just gave myself permission to do a little “less.” Happy belated T day to you, Kate! ~ Lynn

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    • We do less too. Bought pies work. Don’t need mashed potatoes and stuffing and sweet potatoes. Don’t bother with a green salad (no one ever has room!). Also since no one here likes dark turkey meat, I make a breast. Works.

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  12. I don’t know how my mother did it either. But I do know how relieved she was when my older brother and his wife took over the celebration. It just became too much for her.

    I no longer eat cake that has been spit sprayed either. Probably doing so when I was young helped to build up my immune system, but it doesn’t seem like a good idea now. Yuck.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! Other bloggers always make me feel (sorta) normal! As for T-day, I remember when my in-laws who always hosted turned it, over to their kids on a revolving basis. The group was large (13 grandkids) and a lot of work even when everyone helped. I was the one who pushed it after watching my MIL freak out after purchasing one of those complete meals from a grocery store. There wasn’t near enough sides for this group so she started cooking potatoes. That was the last time they did it.

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  13. Everytime someone blows out the candles on a birthday cake I wonder what’s other ingredient is going to be part of the cake I’m going to be eating in a few minutes.
    I don’t like tailgaters, especially when there are cars in front of me and there’s no where to go. I know if I pull over they’re just going to do it to the next person. So sometimes I tap my brakes just to piss them off. I like watching them slam on their brakes in my rear view mirror and yell at no one. It backs them off makes me smile. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Since no one was on the roads they thought they would sail. Fortunately they had me to slow them down or they would have had a deer collision for sure. I’ve never been a fan of birthday cake with spit but after I read the article there is no way I’ll eat it. Kids and old people are the biggest sprayers.

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  14. A few years ago, at my granddaughter’s 12th birthday party, every single person, child and adult, except me and the birthday girl, picked up some of the film of germs and a day later became violently sick. Turns out the birthday girl had been sick several days before. Apparently when you get a gastro thing like that, the germs stay in your body, reducing in number, for up to a week! I didn’t have any cake.

    From then on, in our family, we always have birthday cupcakes!

    Enjoyed your post as usual.

    Liked by 3 people

  15. Your hawk looks like our female Redtail hawks. Those ladies are HUGE — female birds of prey are about 40% larger than the males (also 40% smarter, but in honor of the Beloved Husband’s birthday let’s not go there). There are several successful hawks that nest in our area.

    When the Mama Hawk teaches the fledglings to hunt, it’s incredibly noisy. Once I had three females forming a triangle around my yard, on various telephone poles and pine trees. They looked as big as turkeys. Mama was feating on squirrel and her girls were screaming, “Feed us!”

    Mama Hawk screamed back, “Nope, time to feed your own damned selves.”

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    • Someone else suggested that. It very well could have been a Redtail. We get hawks occasionally (damn birdfeeders!) but this one was huge. It also had a loud bark. Reminded me of a fox which is why I went to the window in the first place. The area she was in is rich in chipmunks and squirrels. Of course the female is smarter! They have to do most of the work. Never saw a male lay an egg!

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  16. Damn, now I’m hungry for snickerdoodles. I love when I frustrate someone because I’m going the speed limit and then I manage to keep myself and the impatient person out of trouble. Heh Heh! Someday soon I will have to take myself to Starbucks. There’s one just inside the grocery store I frequent, but I’ve never stopped. I lead a sheltered life.

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  17. Your raptor appears too bulky for a Cooper – I’m guessing Redtail? But just guessing.

    I don’t know how my mom did it either. In the 50’s through the 70’s She worked full time, was the sole breadwinner, did all the housework, religiously, sewed our clothes, baked, canned fruit in season, papered, painted and all the rest – without the modern appliances and only child-slave labour (moi, in most cases. My brothers got off, most of the time.)

    It’s curious to note that my younger brother is super industrious and he takes after mom. Me? I dust behind the sofa only when the movers take the furniture to the truck.

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