Sunday, March 11, 2007


If my muse was the blizzarding two feet of snow that was dumped on us last week, then this week's snow melt is the anti-muse. Can you hear the air wheezing out of my [hot-air] balloon? Why do I have my knitting needles in so many projects today and why aren't any of them going well? Why does my sewing machine continue to give me grief? Why is the second sock for The Foot still not done?
[Jack and his buddy at The Eagle's Nest indoor playground this week]

In the interest of fairness to the weather, these really aren't problems due to the absence of inspiration. The ideas are flowing from my head and have been all week. The problem is execution. And tools. (Damn sewing machine.)
[Mommy's Little Helper at the dishwasher]

The problem is also that I'm sick. There. I said it. I'm sick. I haven't wanted to admit it, since it was just the sniffles all week, but these sniffles have finally blossomed into a cold. A cold that makes my head hurt and my fingers slow. It also seems to be short-circuiting the "from idea to finished project" track that normally flows effortlessly (semi-effortlessly, or at least just happily) from my head to my hands. But this week, today, this hour, things are...unfinished.
In happier news, we took Young Jackson down to Wabasha yesterday for the Soar with the Eagles Festival on the Mississippi River (seriously slow fingers, you don't even want to know how long it took me to type that river's name just now...). The eagles are migrating north for spring and stop off around Wabasha each year around this time. Dan is suffering from the same cold and while we didn't think that we should expose our friends Kate & Andy to our sniffling misery and, therefore, canceled our game night with them last night, we didn't think the eagles would mind. (They didn't, K&A were cool about it too!)
The drive was much longer than either of us remembered it to be, but Jackson cooperated beautifully by sleeping both there and back. I was packing Jack yesterday in training for our backpacking trips this summer (maybe that's another reason I'm beat today, this kid is heavy!) and we "hiked" all over Wabasha to peek through the spotting scopes into the wild eagles' nests, cram into the teeny National Eagle Center for an eagle program, visit with the birds of prey from the Raptor Center and enjoy some lovely baked goods and hot cocoa while Jackson walked all over the cafe.
Some reflections from our day:

1. Small-town America, small-town Minnesota in fact, is not as nice as you might expect. Let's just leave it at that so this blog post doesn't go down the slippery slope towards becoming an all-out rant.

2. We were a little, er, surprised about the patriotism that went along with the eagle program. Again, probably shouldn't delve too deeply into this one, lest I risk alienating some of my dear, dear readers. But both Dan and I were thinking of eagle watching in the "nature enjoyment" category instead of the "justification for the war in Iraq" category. Enough said on that one?

3. Jackson has grown up. You know this, you see this blog each week and see his new developments. And we should have known this since we are with him 24/7, but there was something about yesterday.
Maybe it was that he said "nana!" when shown a banana.

Maybe it was that he proudly drank from his Nalgene sippy cup full of milk all on his own.

Could be because he watched the eagle program with great focus, then pointed to the eagle statue in the bakery an hour later, waved wildly until we said "eagle!" and then he smiled.

Maybe it's because he proudly walked all over the cafe and flirted with the customers while not giving a hoot where his parents were.

Perhaps it's because we turned his carseat to the forward-facing position while down in Wabasha (because the weather was so darn nice) and when he got in the car and realized his new view, he clapped...wildly.

Yes, all of these things sort of blew us away yesterday, plus others, but I shouldn't keep on about how great my kid is. He is definitely a Big Boy now.

Some things we learned on our adventure:

1. Eagles cannot smell. Don't ask why they have those little nose holes, we don't know either. But they can't smell a thing. (We had a lot in common yesterday.)

2. Eagles look heavy, but they weigh only about 11 pounds. Yes, of course - DUH - they have to fly. But until you think about it like that, well you're NOT thinking that they must be light. At least we weren't.

3. An eagle's wing-span is 7-8 feet. Damn. Get out of the way when they want to fly.

4. Great-horned owls, peregrine falcons and bald eagles are really, really, intensely beautiful birds. We knew this already, but seeing them up close again sent the message home. Just gorgeous creatures.
[Great-Horned Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Bald Eagle]

There were so many more things that I wanted to share today, but honestly, I can't remember any of them right now just like I can't knit and I can't sew right now. What a drag.

For something fun to read on the web, do go visit the Harlot's page and read back a few days. She's doing this amazing secret renovation on her house while her husband is away and in usually Harlot-y style, it's a riot. So maybe my week of fruitless crafty efforts is okay as long as someone else out there is working her butt off and actually has something to show for it. Thanks, Stephanie. I owe you one!
[No idea. Seriously. We saw it on a county road on the way home and had to photograph it. Wouldn't you?]


Eren said...

Wow Catherine, you have been so busy!!! Glad to read your update. Been thinking along the same lines as you re: the war. Blessings friend!

Tipper said...

I've never been to the eagle center, but I have fond memories of it nonetheless. My aunt started the whole eagles-in-Wabasha movement and came up with the eagle center idea. My mom designed the original logo and other assorted materials; I wish it was still in use.

As far as small towns and patriotism go, I think it's understandable. A proportionately greater number of young men and women from small towns are in the armed forces, and the shock waves are felt the strongest there. Going into the armed forces is a family tradition in many cases (it is in mine, and I wish my hearing was such that I could have gone into the Army), and often the best career choice available.

Given that the eagle is our national bird and emotions run high on the war issue from all sides, it's not surprising that there was a nice dose of patriotism mixed in with the natural resources aspect.

stickchick said...

Hi Catherine, Sorry you are feeling under the weather. These colds have been butt kickers this year!!

Jackson is getting SO big!! It's cute to read his adventures in becoming more independent.

The eagle center sounds just amazing. I understand about your feelings of the zealousnous of small town patriotism and not wanting to venture down that road of talking about it. Too many loaded opinions and all hot buttons with no end. I agree with you, I would've wanted to see the eagles and other raptors for their own beauty, not the policitcal implications. Kinda getting tired of having politics slammed down my throat and feeling that my opinion isn't ever "quite right" no matter what I say. *sigh*

Umm, the really big dude is really... okay, he's dang funny!!! Dig them swim trunks!!!

Maria said...

Well, hope you are feeling better! Jackson is growing! It's so exciting to hear about all of his new developments.

-Auntie Maria

theflyingmum said...

OK, tow-truck statue man was totally the icing on the cake for me. Greast post, thanks!