Pains of Passion

It was day one of 2014 and I was utterly exhausted and had done more on that day than I did all last year. The festivities began with Mr. Brickhouse and I attending a crazy New Year’s Eve Party with a Beatles theme, a strawberry vodka killer-punch, a ball drop and a spectacular fireworks show.

After making it to midnight, I was feeling simultaneously hyper and relaxed.  Relaxed thanks to the punch and hyper because it was the beginning of a brand-spanking-new (albeit frigid) year!  And, I was actually awake to welcome it. But by 1:30 am, the champagne had gotten warm and tasted more like stale racoon pee rather than bubbly happiness.  It was time to go home.

One of us was sober enough to drive (we won’t mention names) while the other, was feeling no pain.  That is, until the…

New Year’s Day Pain of Passion

You see, Mr. Brickhouse and I have a tradition of “christening” each new year with an abundance of passion.  It was 2:00 am and we could not break tradition. It was time to start the year off with a BANG (why not start the new year giving my readers TMI too?)  Needless to say, my recently turned 50-year-old arthritic body was once again victim to the New Year’s Day Pain of Passion (NYDPP).  

I’m getting too old for this.

After dragging my aching body out of bed and taking the additional dosage of Prednisone (steroids) – saved specifically for the NYDPP, I resumed my New Year’s Day activities. Shhh, don’t tell Mr. Brickhouse but what we did next was by far my favorite part of the new day.

Being married to an avid birder, we were privied to “on the lowdown” type information that a Snowy Owl was spotted in an agricultural field a half hour away.  Why did we care and why should you care?  Because the invasion of Snowy Owls flying south from the arctic for food is being described as the Invasion of the Century and a Tsunami of Snowy Owls.

Apparently, the population of lemmings (small rodents) in the arctic is lower than in previous years so the adult owls shoo off their young to fend for themselves since there is not enough food for all.  Thus, these young Harry Potter birds are showing up everywhere and as far south as California, Texas & Florida.  They are typically seen on the coast but are now being spotted inland.  Unlike their relatives, Snowy Owls hunt during the day time making them one of the “most wanted” birds on a birder’s wish list.

We successfully spotted the owl perched on a fence post.  It was shielding itself from the biting -100 winds and familiar arctic conditions.  Not exactly my favorite time to be out and about or on a frozen cow field – but Mr. Brickhouse’s passion for wildlife was contagious.  It was a bit far away from the road but we could see its beauty from our telescope.  It was an awesome feeling to watch it as it hunted from the post.

.Photo taken from telescope lens

Photo taken from telescope lens

In spite of the many other spectators who apparently also got the memo, showing up to get a view, it did not fly away.

photos courtesy of John Lambdin

photo courtesy of John Lambdin

photo courtesy of John Lambden

photo courtesy of John Lambden

As passionate as I felt looking at this lovely creature, it too was causing me PAIN on this New Year’s Day.  There it was, my #2 Pain of Passion!  The wind was so brutally strong and the temperature so frigid that even my spleen was hurting – and I don’t even have a spleen.

I would also like to add that I almost caused pain to another human being by being tempted to throw the $5,000 telescope at her.  This lady had decided to bring and walk her TWO dogs (with sweaters on) right near the owl!  I love dogs, but WHAT??  Brilliant! Let us bring dogs to a rare sighting of a bird, why don’t we?  The fact that it is a new year and I am supposed to be kinder to people, saved her and her dog’s life.

My New Year’s Day ended with some more pain.  After making my little family some hot chicken soup to warm up their souls (and their little behinds), I decided to deep fry some green plantains (tostones) to go with the soup.  Because, of course everybody wants to deep fry on New Year’s Day, duh.

My kids love tostones with… you guessed it, a passion so — frying I did.  Pain of Passion #3:  scalding frying oil landing on my arm as it splattered all over the kitchen.  The tostones were worth it (said my family), but I could have done without the pain.

My New Year’s resolution:  To have a more passionate and less painful year ahead.

Did you suffer from any NYDPP?  Particularly of the love kind?

36 thoughts on “Pains of Passion

  1. Stale raccoon pee. Ha. Champagne will never be the same again.

    There’s nothing like starting a year off with a bang. 🙂

    I love the bird theme and the owl photos. You were very brave to stand out there in the cold.


    1. I can’t do warm champagne, it’s got to be chilled to the max. 🙂 As to the bird theme, not only am I feeling ADD-ish (getting bored easily) but the birds will temporarily help me forget about the FRIGID weather and make me think SPRING! Glad you liked the owl photos, such a beautiful bird.


  2. Whoa. You ring in the new year with ringing one another’s bells? Not only did I NOT do that, I didn’t see any snowy owls or tostones. Another New Year’s fail here.


  3. Haha! I love that the bedroom passion warranted about a paragraph and the owl passion was the rest of the post 😉 I won’t go into our passion over New Years… there were some interesting moments but the pain was mostly my FEET! From walking around all night! Blisters, argh! And I apparently stumbled into some things, from the bruises I later discovered. Who knows. Um, Happy New Year!


    1. I did slide right by that bedroom passion/pain thing pretty quickly didn’t I? I was so excited about the beautiful owl and the fried plantains! LOL. Ouch on your feet hurting. Sounds like a foot massage with a pedi is in order! 🙂


    1. I need a month to recover from one day of festivities. I better slow down or I won’t make it to Jan 15th. This weekend I plan on going to a movie, drinking a lot of hot chocolate, digging out of this monster snow storm we are having and sleeping. You sure you still want to join me? 🙂


  4. Your courage never fails to inspire me, Maria. I didn’t have a day like yours (though I would have liked some plantains). Glad you resolved to be more passionate in the new year. 🙂


  5. Racoon pee! Oh, I’m so happy to hear that despite your NYDPP, you haven’t lost your craziness in the new year, Maria! I do hope you’re feeling better. Like your husband, I’m an “avid birder” and I loved the photos you shared…beautiful! Happy New Year! xo


    1. The craziness has only intensified, Jill. I have a whole year ahead to cause all kinds of trouble. LOL. Glad you liked the pics of the beautiful owl. I have become quite the birder myself. BTW, I spent day two of 2014 on my jigsaw puzzles, I need to rest my neck! 🙂


  6. Sounds like an exciting New Year. (Un)fortunately mine was not filled with passion or (thankfully) pain. We didn’t seen midnight. Nor did we get to see a rarely sighted bird (and we are avid birders and a Snowy Owl would’ve been a great sighting). There was no champagne, warm or otherwise. No passion and no party whatsoever. Sadly, we tend to pick the boring instead of excitement.

    Good to know you had a great one without scandal. Sending you wishes for a great 2014!


    1. We don’t always choose excitement. There have been many boring ones and truthfully, I prefer them! Glad to know you are an avid birder as well. It was wonderful to see the Snowy. Here’s to a great 2014! 🙂


  7. No NYDPP here! My kids sleepover at the grandparents on NYE. It decided to snow here over night, so in the morning on NYD it was still snowing and I had to go pick them up. So I had to get dressed and go out in the bad weather to retrieve my children. On the upside, I had to go to the grocery store too and it was delightfully empty on a snowy holiday morning! Those fried plantains look yummy!


    1. NICE! My big kids were home, but that never stops Mr. Brickhouse. LOL. Are you getting blasted with snow today and tomorrow like we are? Two snow days to extend their Christmas vacation.


  8. What a pretty Hedwig! So sorry to hear about your pain, though. I’m a big fan of your resolution to have more pleasure, less pain this year. Me? So far this year has been fairly painless (except the occasional backache). 😉


    1. I meant to watch Carson Daly & Jane Lynch – I love her! Sorry that you were subjected to Miley – I heard she kissed Ryan. I just have a special knack for knowing what raccoon pee tastes like, I’m good that way. 🙂


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