Saturday, May 31, 2008

Is that a banana in your pocket?

I'm saddened to report that no one has won the Weekend Guessing Game. I guess it was just too difficult this week. I should have warned you, too, that these are extreme close-up pictures. What looks big is actually small. So I'm sorry if people new to this blog didn't know that.
This is a close-up picture of a banana that's been sliced straight across. I took the picture and then I ate it.
Please come back next weekend when I'll have a new photo to guess.
It's always good to see new players! Welcome to all of you. So, until next Friday . . .

Friday, May 30, 2008

Weekend Guessing Game #17

You thought I'd forget, didn't you? Well, due to the magic of autopost, I'm able to post this while I'm away. Actually, I've known about autopost for awhile, it's just that you have to actually WRITE a post in order to have it autopost. Unfortunately, it doesn't autowrite for you. Ha!
Welcome to this week's installment of the Weekend Guessing Game. The game in which you try to guess what the heck this picture could be. To answer, click on the comment button at the bottom of this post. If you're answering anonymously, please leave your first name, or your initials. And the reward, you ask? Well, there isn't one. Just the satisfaction that you won the Weekend Guessing Game at this site. Just ask previous winners how popular they are now and they'll tell you! Yes, they'll tell you that they're not, really. But to win! How exciting, eh?
So game on now, as of 6 PM EST. Winner will be announced Saturday (that's tomorrow) at 6 PM. Have fun with it, because there are no clues this week. Another easy one for ya!
Oh, by the way, if you see the answer already posted, or it looks to you as if it's already posted, just guess anyway. You can guess the same thing, or you can guess something funny, like your aunt's porridge when it went bad that one summer when you were little (like I would have a picture of your aunt's porridge). I love reading your answers!
So, until tomorrow evening, my friends . . .
Oh, and PS -- It's not a grapefruit. I already did a grapefruit. Just in case you're wondering. In fact, it probably isn't anything remotely edible. But maybe it is. I don't even remember now.

It's a crutch for creativity, it is

I took this picture a few weeks ago while I was out for a walk with George. I had my macro lens on the camera and came home with lots of little pictures of plantlife and such. You know, really exciting stuff.
Anyway, this horse came up to me while I was walking along the fenceline and just sort of posed there. So I took her picture. I mean, I think she wanted me to. And I had no idea that I could take a big picture like this with my macro lens and well, it just surprised me when I opened it up. The fence came up in very minute detail, and after playing around with it and using Pioneer Woman's free actions on it, namely the B&W Beauty, and the Slight Edge Burn, I liked the way it came out.
Oh, and disregard the Country Girl stuff. I was toying with the idea of creating a new header at the time, and went with the geese you see at the top instead. But still, I thought it was a cool picture. Besides, I didn't take the camera with me while I was out with George on the walk today. And I'm super busy tonight working on a project at home for Graduation at our school on Sunday. So I'm resorting to stock pictures. (Sounds professional, doesn't it?)
Every year since 2002, I've made what we call the Senior Board. It's a display board that I put together that features all the seniors with lots of pictures, quotes I take from the yearbook, and just stuff I make up along the way. People have no idea how much I slave over this project, because well, they just don't think about that sort of thing. But we keep these boards for years. We're still using the ones from 2002 and on, as displays when we have Open Houses, and Upper School Nights. So I want them to look nice. And to look nice, it takes time. And love.
Oh, and wine. Remember when I said I NEVER drink during the week? Well, I never do unless it's a special occasion. And, this is a special occasion. And I don't know why, but the wine just makes me more creative. I hate to use pinot grigio as a crutch for creativity, but it's how it is.

So, come back tonight at 6 PM
when I post this week's Weekend Guessing Game! And yes, I'm definitely remembering this time because (hold your breath, folks) I am autoposting it. So there.
Tomorrow evening, I plan on being with friends on a boat. Actually, it's Tracey and Lynn (if Lynn shows up). Tracey's boat is in a marina just about 20 minutes from my house and she's invited me and some other friends to come and spend some time with her. I'll let you know how it all goes. I've never seen her boat before! So this should be fun. Especially because it's Tracey. And Lynn.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A contest for amateur photographers

Kacey, over at Wine on the Keyboard is hosting another Photo of the Month Contest at her blog. If there are any amateur photographers who'd like to enter, please visit her site. You can read about the contest here . I think the entry deadline is within a couple of days.

There isn't a prize, just the fame you'll get from winning. This month's theme is Motherhood and I was thinking of using the photo above, but I entered a horse in last month's contest and don't want to be doing too much of the same thing. I used my new actions from Kevin Kubota, along with one of Pioneer Woman's, the Lovely and Ethereal.

Kacey over at the Wine on the Keyboard is a true computer wiz. I think what she should do as a a prize is to design one of those little buttons you see on people's blogs, one that would say "Winner. Best Photo of the Month" at . . . and then list her blog.

Yeah, that's what I think.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Adrienne in black & white

Readers of this blog should know my friend, Adrienne, by now. She's actually the daughter of my best friend, Karen. She comments as Acorn, when she comments. She's usually too busy with her job, her dog, and lately with travel. Today she called my cell phone. While I was at school. Here's how the conversation went, as I recall:
A: "Hey, Katy!"
CG: (in a whisper) "Um, hey Adrienne. What's up? I'm at work."
A: "Well, guess where I am?"
CG: "God only knows, Adrienne. It could be anywhere."
A: "I'm at a bar in Key West. Renee (her sister) and I are having a beer!"
CG: "Um, that sounds like fun. Wish I was there."
A: "So guess what the bartender's name is? You won't believe it! It's Katy!!! So we thought we'd better call you right away."
CG: "Well, that's good. Drink at toast to me, ok?"
A: "Yeah, we already did. And we're about to toast you again. Just wanted to say hi!!!"
We then hung up, but I told her to check the blog tonight because I was posting a nice picture of her. I took this picture back in December, shortly after my husband had given me the camera for my birthday. And I have to be honest, people. On Sunday, I did something bad.
On Sunday, I had a few glasses of a lovely pinot grigio. And by a few, I mean the whole bottle. Please don't judge me. It took a long time to drink it, and by the time I was finished, I had discovered that I'd been online at Kevin Kubota's site and I ended up purchasing a set of his actions for Photoshop that I'd been lusting after.
How this happened, I don't know.
So I've been playing around with a lot of the black & white effects. For this picture, I had first gotten it to where I'd wanted it to be, cropping it and doing other things that for the life of me, I can't recall. I originally worked on the picture back in December and I don't recall exactly what I did to fix the picture. But I opened up the retouched color picture and added a "skin cream" effect to prepare it for the black & white process. The one I chose was "Chocolate Syrup 2". Originally, I'd chosen it just because I liked the name, and then after I used it, I realized how much I really liked it.
Well, I'm vowing off the wine for now, and am truly sorry for what I've done. Well, sort of. Here's the original image below. And there's my friend, Karen, in the background. I think the finished product looks so much nicer in black & white.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Through my kitchen window

I'm looking out my kitchen window on a beautiful day. I know I'm lucky to have a nice view. I can see George in the backyard underneath the window. He's playing with his cat friend, SC. That's short for Stray Cat. I can see my husband over in the garden, and my son is out there somewhere mowing. Hope everyone has a good week.

Monday, May 26, 2008

To all those who work on Memorial Day

You know who you are. And I'm thinking of you. We all have off, yet you do not. And I am sorry. I'm sorry that I'm out there with my camera catching glimpses of you. And I'm sorry that I'm bringing those images inside and fooling around with them in Photoshop. Ok. I'm not sorry for all that. But I am sorry that you have to work today. So please accept my apologies.

This is my youngest son on the riding mower. He's hard at work today. See this look he's giving me? I don't know what it means. I prefer to think it means "hey, mom. glad to see you. thanks for shoving the camera in my face. and i am so glad you have off today. you rock my world."
Here's George. I already know I rock his world. It goes without saying.

And here's something I just threw in there. It's my husband working in the garden. I just liked the view.

Happy holiday, everyone.

Beautiful dreamer

"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows
Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with elgantine."
William Shakespeare

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Good morning, world

We were up super early this morning and don't want to waste a minute of this absolutely sterling day. Yesterday and last night were fun visiting with with my friend, Kathy. Lynn couldn't make it after all, as she had to cover in the coffee shop she owns because her help called out sick. And Tracey had forgotten about a party she'd been invited to. We texted her while we were out sitting by the campfire laughing and sharing some wine, and told her that the mares and foals were right near us, not even bothered by the campfire, just munching on the grass.
But this morning, it was up and at 'em. Kathy is an early riser like myself and was out the door by 7 am. My husband had already left to do the grocery shopping and when he came home and got everything away and we had our breakfast, he told me he was going out to pick lettuce. My job is to clean it. It's a good thing I bought that salad spinner a couple of years ago. I think it took me 40 minutes to get the whole load done and now our refrigerator is full of spring mix and all sorts of lettuces, some of which I'll take to two of my friends who own restaurants in the area. We also give it out to my husband's co-workers.
He's a taskmaster, my husband is. He kept bringing in boxes of lettuce. I'm just glad that it's beautiful outside because it's his only day off. Wish you lived closer, so I could share some of this harvest with you!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Magically delicious

It's that kind of day here in Maryland, where the weather is perfect and the sky makes you constantly stop to admire it. The cloud formations are awesome and I'll try take the time to get some pictures, but for now, I'm just taking a quick lunch break from my busy day. I took this photo of one of my peonies the other day and Christine, wait until yours bloom! I hope you'll be pleasantly surprised. Yes, those giant black ants love them, but you've gotta just shake 'em off!

I used a free action on this picture that I downloaded from Totally Rad Actions. It's called Boutwell Magic Glasses. It just added a slight zing to the peony. Then I cropped it. Totally Rad looks pretty darn cool, but right now I don't have the $149 to shell out on their 46 ass-kicking actions (their words). But I did get to download three free ones. All you have to do is visit the site and ask to sample their demo.

This is a quick post, as I'm off to get the marigolds planted around the garden and then fix up the campfire area. A couple of girlfriends are coming over later and I'm actually making dinner. (Yes, I can cook. I just choose not to. Usually.) I think we'll even put up the tent.

What is everyone up to this weekend? Whatever it is, I hope your skies are sunny and your hearts are gay, in this lovely, lovely month of May.

Oh, Good Grief! I think my husband's rhyming habit is rubbing off on me.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Welcome to my home

Have I mentioned the fact that I live in a mansion? In the acreage out back, there's a helipad, and to the right is a barn. The driveway is lined with shade trees and it's just beautiful.
Nah, I don't live in a mansion. I did at one time, in one of the many homes that we've lived in as part of my husband's salary for working on a horse farm. But that's another story for another day. Today's short story was brought on by a memory that I had while driving home under gorgeous skies.
About 2 miles from our house, as I was passing the home pictured above I suddenly remembered the times when I'd bring home my son's friends to spend the weekend. You see, because we live so far away from well, from other people, I always had to import friends for my kids. My one son, Shaun, had lots of friends who always wanted to come and stay over our house. They'd visit pretty regularly, from middle school age and on, until they were in high school and had their own cars, and they were still coming. But while they were young, and I was driving them, I remember several instances where I was bringing about 6 of them home in our old Eurovan, and there was always someone in the group who was coming over for the first time.
And what I liked to do was to pull into the driveway of this house, and slowly start down the lane, as if we lived there. Before we got there, the kids in the car (read: the kids in the know) would be telling the newcomer that, "yeah, Shaun's house is awesome! You should see it; it's so big. There's even a helipad for their dad's helicopter." And then we'd be slowly driving down this driveway, while the kid's eyes are popping open, and then I'd stop and they'd all start laughing and yell "psych!"
Imagine their letdown when we pulled into the real place:
Nah. Gotcha again. But we did live here at one point. This is the little temporary house at the entrance to the farm. It's the house that we lived in when my husband first took the job here. We were told at the time that it would be a 3-month deal, as another house would open up by then. Well, when that didn't happen, the owners of the farm decided they needed more housing for their staff, so a new house was built for us. We ended up living in this teeny tiny house for 11 months. We've been in the new house for over 8 years now.
It wasn't until we moved here:
that we had regular visitors all the time. Shaun's friends were always here, and little did their parents know, but I had them do my housekeeping on Saturdays. The first time my husband came home to find 6 boys sweeping, dusting, cleaning the downstairs bathroom and doing the dishes, he was shocked. "How can you make them do this stuff?" he'd ask. "Easy", I told him. "I ask them to."
Maybe it sounds mean to you, but it didn't happen that often, and besides, they were glad to do it. They'd always want to come over, and I'd warn them in advance that cleaning may be involved, but they always had fun, they were fed well, and they always enjoyed playing the mansion card on the unsuspecting newcomer.
The boys loved taking the little boat out on the pond, and playing football, and walking in the woods with the dog, and it was nice to have them all here.

I haven't thought about those days in a while, but today, while driving home, I noticed they had put a fence up at the end of the driveway of the mansion house. And I laughed and thought to myself that it was probably to keep crazy people like us from driving down it, pretending that we owned the place!

No Weekend Guessing Game tonight. I'm postponing it until next weekend. Apologies to those who look forward to this, but I've got a lot to do this weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The George Clooney of the dog world

I don't remember which reader of this blog coined the phrase of this post's title. But whomever it was who said it, it just seemed to go well with this picture. And when I was fooling around with Pioneer Woman's actions in Photoshop and working on a tutorial that she posted last week, the finished photo that appears in this post just seemed to fit with that phrase.

I get so many comments when I post pictures of George, and he truly is a wonderful dog. My husband would beg to differ, however. Even though George is out of the doghouse, after his escapades one day last week, he's with my husband most of the day. And a border collie likes to be kept busy. He enjoys herding the most. And you can usually find him at the edge of a field, keeping the horses inside in line.

Today my husband had to take his farm truck into town to have it repaired. So he dropped George off at the house at 9 am, rather than the usual 10:30. Well, someone was very upset at this change of plans. So someone dragged my sneakers, a paperback book, a pillow and one of the throw blankets out into the yard. That someone is black & white, and this is what he does to show his displeasure at having his regular routine disrupted. (I hate to see what he'll do when he gets home from the vet after we get him castrated. Yikes!)

I don't have much else to say tonight. We're watching the Survivor Singing Show, as my husband likes to call American Idol. And my internet is still not right. I have a download speed that's adequate, (and so much better than my old dial-up), but my upload speed is only 4 tonight. And that's insane. I can't upload pictures onto blogger. So I'm going with a post that I had written two days ago when I had a better upload speed. And I'm going to bed because I really don't care who wins this show. They're both great, and they'll both do fine in life. I am just too tired to care. Let me know who wins, will you?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Colleen has got it going on with Photoshop actions

This is a picture of my lovely niece, Colleen. She's a natural model and always has been since she was but a wee little thing. Colleen, if you're reading this, you are a total ham! And that's in a good way, honey.

I took this picture over the holidays while at my in-laws home in NJ. Colleen was trying to incorporate all the accoutrements from the gift wrappings onto her person, if I remember correctly. I thought, at the time, that she had done a splendid job of it!

This picture was accomplished with Pioneer Woman's free actions again. I used her Action Set #1. But before that, I got the picture to where I wanted it to be. That included making Colleen's eyes sparkle. Check out Pioneer Woman's site right here to find out how to make eyes pop. It's quite simple, actually, and lends a big impact to the final result.

After I had the picture where I wanted it, I ran the "B&W Beauty" action and flattened it and then ran the "Soft & Faded" action. I love how it looks in the end and only wished that I cropped it further out. Here is the original photo, and honestly, it looks awful. (Sorry, Colleen). But Photoshop is magic. It's wonderful. And it took this awful photo and turned it into something so much better. Well, I think so, at least.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I am not stressed out. Really.

This is one of the busiest times of the year at the school where I work, and the students are finished on May 29. Graduation is the first Sunday in June, and the stress levels are at a high, with exams, grades, end-of-the-year activities. I've been so busy printing the hundreds and hundreds of award certificates that the students will receive on two separate prize nights, the first of which is mid-week. I do them in a mail merge, but still, it's very time-consuming. And today, something happened with my report card system that had me in a near-panic. Luckily, we have a good IT guy at school, and disaster was averted. I was so involved in getting everything finished, that when I looked up from my desk, I saw that it was 4:30. And my day ends at 4.
I know I try not to post about my work, but I'm not really revealing too much here.
So I'm driving home, my hands tense on the wheel, and I'm thinking that what I really wanted was a drink. But, you see, I make it a point not to drink during the week. I have all these stupid rules, and this is one of them. And, for me, it seems to work. So unless I'm celebrating something, or at a nice restaurant that warrants a glass of wine, I don't drink to calm myself down. Well, not during the week, ok? Well, it makes sense to me, and that's what matters.
Anyway, I'm thinking I need to calm down, calm down. And I start to think about getting home, and seeing that dog of mine and how happy he will be just to see me come through the door. And then we'd go out for a walk, and suddenly I started feeling quieter. And calmer. And then I looked up and that's when I noticed the clouds. The sky was full of them. Driving over the canal bridge was simply beautiful. It was a crisp afternoon with bright skies and many well-defined clouds.
By the time I drove down the main driveway of the farm, I was even more relaxed, because it's just so darn pretty here.

And then I came in the front door and there was that beautiful dog, who was so happy to see me. I quickly got changed and grabbed the camera and headed out to get pictures of the amazing clouds. The wind has been blowing at a good clip most of the day, and by the time I got outside, the skies were clearing. So I didn't get the cloud-filled skies that I wanted, but I'm ok with these. I sat down by the pond after our walk, and marveled at how much better I felt.

Ok. All is well now. So, until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Monday, May 19, 2008

More rain a-comin'

I didn't need the weatherman to tell me it was going to rain today. All I had to do was to take a look at all the horses lying down in the field this morning and I knew. My husband told me a long time ago that when you see cattle or horses lying down in the field, it's usually a good indication that rain is coming. And this afternoon, it did rain; so this theory was correct for today.
These horses in the photo above are from the farm across the pond. And the foals below are from our farm. Well, it's not really 'our' farm. It's the farm on which we live, and on which my husband is employed. I took these pictures earlier this week. They're not lying down because of anything other than just tiredness. You try running at full gallop in a field all morning and then see how tired you can get!
I've got a great big cowlick right in the center of my forehead.
I just thought I should tell you that.

I'm getting up. Really, I am. In just a moment.

I'm not getting up. I'm just not.

I'm awake!

But my eyelids are getting very heavy . . .

Have a wonderful Monday, everyone.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

My best friend

As I sat in my living room yesterday evening, working on the meme post (see below), this is what I was seeing through the glass of my sliding door.
My camera happened to be right by my side, so I picked it up and got a few quick shots before this little scene ended.
I've mentioned before that George loves this cat. They're best friends.
This is SC, otherwise known in these parts as Stray Cat. I see SC everywhere: hunting down at the pond, in the woods taking a stroll, climbing trees, or by the mudroom door where I feed the two stray cats that hang around. But I have still not been able to get close enough to see if she's a he or he's a she, because the only person she (he) allows to get this close is the black & white.
That's what my husband calls George sometimes. "Look at what the black & white did today", he'll occasionally say when I get home from work. It's usually nothing, like a toy that's been chewed to death. But sometimes, he takes something from the coffee table outside, like a magazine. And he has a little chew on the edges. Occasionally he takes one of my shoes, the Dansko ones I've had for years. So he's not an angel. And when I leave for work in the morning, the last thing I do is check the living room to make sure nothing is available for George, and I always leave my Dansko's there, because they're, well they're old and I don't care.
I've just come in from feeding the strays and SC let me get close enough to pull a tick off her (his) ear. But she wasn't lettting me get any closer.
Next weekend, my friend Kathy is coming out, and maybe she can get close enough. She's employed at an animal hospital and she's really good with dogs and cats. Tracey may come, too. And we're trying to get Lynn to as well, but she's always so busy. When I mentioned that I wanted to have a campfire and maybe even set up the tents in the backyard, these three said it sounded like fun. You see, I had originally planned on having Karen and her daughter, Adrienne, but they can't make it next weekend. My husband thinks we're crazy for setting up tents in the backyard, but I'm ok with that. He's always telling me I'm crazy.
Perhaps it's a good thing he doesn't read this blog . . .

A view like a painting

I've been tagged again in another meme, but this is one I actually enjoy. Dyln got me this time with the Front Door/Back Door Meme.
The instructions are simple. Stand at your front door and shoot a picture. Go to your back door and do the same.
My view out my back door. I do things backwards sometimes. Ever since we moved here almost 10 years ago, I've always thought it looks like a painting.
And out my front door (mudroom door). A big 18-wheeler came about two weeks ago and dropped off all these fence posts you see to the left. There are about 4 piles of them and they're blocking the view from the front door. The front door is on this side of the house.
This meme's simplicity appeals to me and in the hopes of introducing bloggers and visitors alike to each other, I hereby tag the following: Tombstone Annie, Mental Pause Mama, Shimmy Mom, Hilary, and Meg at Lucchese to Louis Vuitton.
I hope they notice, because I'll probably forget to tell them all!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Guessing Game winner announced

EMILY has won this weekend's guessing game by being the first of many to guess correctly with DANDELION. Emily is pictured here on the left and that's her sister, Samantha, on the right. Emily is a college student (who graduates this month!) and lives in PA. She's also my niece, and she and Sam are the daughters of my sister, Charlotte.
Speaking of my sister, Charlotte . . . When I was in my early twenties, before any of my sisters had children, Charlotte had her names picked out for her future children. She told us that these were the names she had especially chosen and when she has children in the future, it would be really nice of us if we didn't choose them for our own. And those names were Sam and Emily. Great names, and I wish I had thought of them, but we respect each other's wishes in my family, and so the names Sam and Emily worked out well for everyone concerned. I just wanted to throw that out there.
I want to thank everyone who played the game this weekend and yes, Hilary, I saw that you had posted a gorgeous photo of a dandelion and it's actually where I got this idea! I'm thinking that next week's challenge will have to be a more difficult one. This one was wayyyyy too easy! So, Emily, hope you enjoy the fame that comes from this big win and let me know when People Magazine calls ya!
Have a wonderful evening, all.

Does Red Bull really give you wings?

I don't know what everyone else does on a Saturday morning, but for me, it's always been housekeeping day. And when I get done, I'm glad. I love it when my job is complete and everything is gleaming, but boy howdy, is it ever hard to get going sometimes.
I got a good start on it this morning, with the aid of a Red Bull and Johnny Lang's "Lie To Me" CD. I followed Johnny up with a little Joss Stone, just for good measure. I usually don't drink Red Bull, but sometimes it's necessary.
It's in the afternoon as I write this, and not only do I have my cleaning done, but I've got the front gardens trimmed and mulched. All I have to do now is sweep and then I'm calling it a day. And just for good measure, I'm having another Red Bull as I write this. It's the sugar free version, and as far as wings go, I'd have to say yes; Red Bull really does give you wings.
Hey, it's not too late to guess in the Weekend Guessing Game (see post below). I'll be back at 6 PM to post the winner. I've got some chores to finish now.

PS: George says hello.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Weekend Guessing Game #16

Yes, it's that time again, a whole two and a half hours late, when I post a picture and you try to guess what the heck it can be. Remember, it's a close-up picture of something. It's probably too easy, but what the heck. To guess, click on the comment button at the bottom of this post. If you're guessing anonymously, please leave your name or initials. So GAME ON NOW, as of 8:30 PM EST. Winner will be announced tomorrow at 6 PM.
Oh, and in case I forgot to mention, there's no prize for the winner. The only reward is the fame you'll receive from winning this popular game.
Oh, and by the way, I am so sorry for being late in posting this. Circumstances beyond my control prevented me from doing so. It was the Wild Blue Internet guy's fault. He showed up again to work on my internet problems.

Weekend Guessing Game update

I am working late! Check back, as I will have the game posted by 7 PM EST. Sorry about that.

Goslings and turtles and geese; oh my!

Regular readers of this blog will remember this post about the goslings that surprised me on a walk one day by the pond. As you can see, they're growing up, and losing a lot of the yellow down color they used to have. They're about 3 weeks old now and I was able to get them up close because they were coming near to see what George was doing nosing about in the reeds.
We also saw a turtle just finishing laying her eggs by the edge of the pond. George went over to investigate and I snapped some photos. Speaking of snapping, I warned George not to get too close. He's not out of the doghouse yet with his master (see post below) but I've got no gripes with the young fella.
See that mud behind the turtle in the bottom photo? She had already dug a hole and buried her eggs in it and covered it with the mud. I hiked back up the hill to change to my zoom lens after I took these two bottom pictures and by the time I returned to the spot, she was long gone, the mud packed down with her turtle prints.
Another exciting day on the farm, I tellya. I have no idea why my eldest son ever wanted to leave and move to Manhattan when there's all this sort of excitement here! My youngest son is finished helping with the mowing for the week and he'll return on Sunday. It was really good to have him home for a few days, but he's got his own life to return to. Wish he could have stayed for Lost tonight, but it's fine. Are there any other Lost nuts out there besides Miz Booshay?
Stay tuned tonight to see if I remember to post the Weekend Guessing Game at 6 PM EST. I have something in mind and I think you'll have fun with it.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

He's no angel

Look at this face. Does he look like he'd ever do anything terribly wrong? I can't let you all think that he's a perfect angel, because he's not. Yes, he's a good dog. But today, he and my husband had a near-altercation. And by the time I returned home from work, George was skulking about as my husband began to relate the sordid tale to me.
Oh, I feel as if I'm tattling on him. But what he did was bad.
Every day, George gets to ride along with my husband in the truck, as my husband makes his many stops to prepare for the daily breeding. There are mares to check at all the different barns and oftentimes, George is let out of the truck to visit with other dogs. When it's time to return to the truck, he usually always comes running.
Not today.
Today, he did not come running. Not just once, but three times. And the third time was when my husband pulled up to his office to make a phone call. He left the truck window down because it was getting just a little warm. When he returned to the truck, George was nowhere to be found, nor did he come when called. My husband had to check his temper, I'm sure.
Finally, George arrives. He'd probably been off sniffing something or *gasp* chasing something. This is not good on a horse farm. My husband drives him home because the dog's rounds with dad end at 10:30 AM. My husband opens the car door and gets out, telling George to get out. George refuses by turning his head. Then my husband comes around to the other side and opens the door, telling the dog to get out. George promptly jumps into the driver's seat.
Of course, now my husband is mad and he reaches for George, who growls. Growls! Look at this sweet face. He has never growled at me.
That's when my husband yanked him by the collar and pulled him from the truck and told him he was bad.
I believe in karma, though. My husband wrenched his back pulling the dog out of the truck. It's not terrible, but it hurts. And it's bad karma.
The dog is still skulking somewht. If I were in charge for the day, he would be kept home tomorrow as punishment. He would not have the doggie door available to him to go in and out of the house as he pleases. He would have to play by himself with his toys and his sticks in the yard.
I felt bad for him, even though he growled at my husband. But it's a bad thing to growl at your master. I took him for a walk anyway, and I went slowly because today for some reason, I'm tired. I took the macro lens with me and got these pictures. George stayed right by me because he could tell he was still in the doghouse.
The first picture is a peony bud. Soon we'll have massive amounts of flowers. It's the best the peony plant has ever been and I'm glad of it. Such a rich, wonderful aroma these flowers have. Then there's a little white flower I saw in the woods. I should know what this is, but I don't. And finally, a bud and a flower from a tulip poplar tree.
I can see George outside now, on the deck. He's solacing himself with a rousing chewing session on SC, otherwise known as Stray Cat.

Before I end, I'd like to thank Lori, one of our librarians at the school, for lending me our school copy of James Herriot's Favorite Dog Stories. I've been reading it all evening.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Evening quietude

It was a beautiful day here in Maryland and after dinner and a short walk with George, I took the camera in the backyard and laid down in the grass. I like lying down in the grass.
It smelled heavenly too, and was freshly mowed and lush and green. I apologize to those who have allergies, I honestly do.
The sun felt warm and the evening was so pleasant. I could hear the sounds of birds calling to each other and I heard a woodpecker in the tree nearby. Our cat, Blackie was outside, stalking birds, as usual. George was outside as well, and I could see him underneath the walnut tree. He'd found a stick and it was keeping him busy. Then I saw a mourning dove land by the tree near me. So I took a picture.
And then I saw Blackie had also noticed the bird. She jumped up on the fence to get a better look. And then she crept closer. I don't like it when my cats get birds, even though I know it's what cats do. I just don't like it when they do it when we're around. I'll always root for the bird when it comes to cat vs. bird. Anyway, I will not digress. The cat, she is getting closer. And before I know it, she jumps off the fence, and makes a beeline for the bird!

"George!" I say. "Get the kitty." And, like the obedient dog he is, he takes off in a flash for the kitty.
He's scared her off and here he is with the stick still in his mouth. The mourning dove is safe. Yeah, you can thank George, little guy. What a good boy he is. Yeah, you are my good boy, George. God, I love this dog.