Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I took this photo while visiting my son in New York last month. Things don't look good, and it's not just everything that's going on in the country today.

I am just worried. And it's just been one of those days.

Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Monday, September 29, 2008

Into our hearts

I was just thinking that it's been a year ago since our beloved border collie, George, came to live in our home. My husband had been missing our former border, Ralph, and was thinking of getting another dog.

When Ralph passed away, my husband swore he'd never own another dog. And for a year, nothing was said about acquiring one. But then, slowly, talk about a puppy would occasionally enter the conversation.

For over a year, I threw every excuse at him. I reminded him how much trouble a puppy was going to be. And the fact that we'd need a fence. And how we wouldn't just be able to fly to Paris on a whim. And we'd have to plan our vacations and trips around the fact that we had a dog. And you know I was kidding about the Paris thing, right?

We fell in love with George right away. And even though he gave my husband a difficult time in the beginning, especially when it came to training him, they are the best of pals now.

I will add here that he never gave ME a difficult time while training.

I am so glad he is in our lives.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Halloween Give-Away winner announced

And the winner is . . . MAYBELLINE.
Her memory was rather gross, but Halloween can be that way sometimes, right? Congratulations, Maybelline! Please e-mail me at katydid56@gmail.com. And don't forget to go over to A Picture A Day and choose the photo you'd like to have sent as an 8x10 print.
I did not choose a winner based on their memory, in case you didn't know. I assigned a number to every comment and pulled the number from a bowl. (Hey, that rhymes.) It's the old-fashioned way, just like I like my Halloweens.
I want to thank everyone who participated in this contest. I know it's a bit early for Halloween, but I wanted to get your decoration to you early and besides, with the difficulty I'm having typing, the contest was a fun and easy post to leave up for a couple of days. I am even thinking of doing it again soon.
I loved reading your comments about your Halloween memories. Most had me smiling wide, some made me sad, and several made me laugh out loud!
Until tomorrow, my friends . . .

Friday, September 26, 2008

Time's Up in the Halloween Give-Away

Thanks to everyone who responded. I will assign each comment a number and have a drawing, remembering that those who posted about the contest on their blogs will receive 2 votes.

The winner will be announced later this evening!
Until then, my friends.

Enter the Halloween Contest and win a Primitive Jack-O-Lantern candy box by leaving a comment telling me what your favorite Halloween memory is.
Hurry! Contest ends at Noon (EST) this Saturday, September 27.
When I was a child, I loved Halloween. In the old days, my parents would take our family to neighbors' homes along our surburban street, where we would perform a song and receive candy and treats as a reward. But as I grew older, the fascination with the holiday began to wane. Yes, I took my children to neighbors' homes, and had some Halloween parties, and I always carved beautiful jack-o-lanterns but other than that, it's just a good night to sit tight, watch Casper and have a few glasses of wine.
Now, some people have oodles of decorations for Halloween, but I really don't. In fact, this is probably all I have left of the few decorations I haven't either taken to school or given away. And I've always liked this little treat box and have kept it in pristine condition.
It stands approximately 9 inches high and is made of a type of papier-mache. I can't take it to school because it's just slightly on the disturbing side, and since our school is a K-12, I really don't need the littles having nightmares of pumpkins with teeth.
If you would like to acquire this decorative Halloween item, all you have to do is tell me a favorite Halloween memory. I'll leave this contest open until Saturday at Noon, EST. Then I'll draw numbers and choose the winner. Plus, if you pimp this contest on your blog, I'll give you two entries to double your chances of winning! Remember, contest ends Sat., 9/27 at Noon.
This is the tag that was attached when I purchased it.
And what the hey, I'll even throw in an 8 X 10 of your choice of any photo you desire on my Picture A Day blog.
Until tomorrow, my friends!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oh, good grief

And ding dang diddly combined with it. Okay. It's difficult to type. Yet again!

You've heard about my unfortunate incident involving a glass that broke in my hand earlier this month, right? As you can see, it's healing just fine. But what is that big boo boo thing on my finger? Wel, when I visited the hand surgeon after the initial ER visit, he was more concerned with something other than the stitches. I never mentioned this because I didn't think it was such a big deal at the time.
I had a small cyst removed from the joint of my finger; the same finger that I just cut. I won't go any further into it, other than to tell you that I have to keep this big splint and bandage on it for the next two weeks. I can't get it wet or dirty.
I was pretty depressed about the whole thing, mainly because something has been wrong with this finger since the 6th of this month, and I type for a living. I mean, typing is a big part of what I do. Think, for a moment, about all the things you do with your hands and fingers. I can't wash my face with two hands for the next two weeks. Writing is going to be a trip, too. Filling up my car with gas? How cumbersome. And the dishes? Well, I won't miss them.
I got over it pretty quickly, though. I mean, this is nothing really, compared to the troubles of others. And just to show what a good sport I am about the whole ordeal, I'm giving something away on this blog tomorrow. Something for Halloween, too. So stop back to see what I have for you.
Ok. I need a drink now. I think I'll go get a glass of milk. And a cookie.

Until tomorrow, my friends.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

George gets a new toy and I get an award

I took a different route home in order to stop at the Hallmark store and I happened to drive by a pet store. I realized that I hadn't bought George a new toy for quite some time now and so many of them are getting pretty ratty, so I turned my Honda Element into the parking lot and went in. I came out a short time later with a couple of fun new toys and a new ID tag for my favorite dog. When I came home, my husband was doing the dishes. You have no idea how much I love seeing a tall, strapping man doing the dishes. And then he started getting out pots and pans to begin cooking dinner and I had to get outa there before I just got way too excited! I took George outside and let him choose one of the toys. I tossed it and he caught most of them and kept bringing them back for more. These pictures are not blog-worthy as far as I'm concerned, but they're all I got tonight! It is pretty difficult to toss and snap at the same time and there was no way I was going to disturb the dinner process by asking my husband to come out and toss while I snapped photos. Then it was walk time and George decided to bring his new toy with us, dropping it just ahead of me so that I could keep picking it up and throwing it to him. By the end of the little 20-minute walk, he was tuckered out. And as I'm writing this, it's an hour and a half later and this dog is STILL playing with this toy. He loves it!

And now on to the award. Ever since I started fooling around with the little black box, I've been getting visitors from all over the globe on both this site and my Picture A Day photography blog. And some of them are becoming regular visitors. Hello to all of you. Yes, you out there. You know who you are. One such visitor is Suzy at Soo's Stuff. She hails from Cornwall in the UK and has a couple of brand new puppies. I also must mention her vacuum. It truly has a personality of its own. Suzy has bestowed the "I Love your Blog" award to me. And I am thankful. I received another one of these last month and will add this to my collection of wonderful awards. And because I've already sent this award on to three deserving other bloggers, I have decided to be lazy and not pass on, but I will say that I love all the blogs that are on my sidebar here. To me, they all deserve this award.

Until tomorrow, my friends.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The sheep in the meadow

There is a small herd of Suffolk sheep here on the farm where I live. Since I moved here in July, I've been trying to get pictures of them, but they always run away. Run away! Say that like you're watching Monty Python's The Holy Grail.
It's probably because I always have George with me. The sheep see the border collie and they all Run Away! Every single time. So I've been reduced to using my zoom lens. And I was never able to get any good shots.
Well, one morning this weekend, I was taking pictures of flowers and mushrooms with my macro lens and suddenly couldn't find George. I called him and he came running. I saw that he'd been visiting the sheep, who were standing meekly by the fence. And they weren't running away!
I soon found out that the reason they weren't running away was because the cow was in charge, the cow with the awesome hair-do. And when the cow is there, the sheep are ok with having George around. They sometimes follow the cow.
I took these pictures with my macro lens because it's what I had on the camera at the time.
Border collies have been bred to herd sheep, and this is George in his sheep stance.
This is the bravest of all the sheep. She came right up to George at the fence and checked him out. Then she walked back and little bit and was so relaxed that she lay down. I couldn't believe it.
I also can't believe how incredibly boring this post is. But I yam what I yam. And I do hope you don't mind.

Until tomorrow, my friends.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A feather and a compliment

Let me begin by saying that I've been up for hours. Hours, I tellya and I still haven't gotten a lick of housecleaning done. Saturday mornings, for me anyway, are for housekeeping chores. And I actually rather like turning something messy into something shining and fresh. But I do tend to put it off. Um, like today. So far I've accomplished drinking 3 cups of coffee, with half and half. I love half and half. No flavored stuff for me, thank you. And never. Ever. Ever. Skim milk. I'd rather drink my coffee black. But here I go digressing.
I've also accomplished packing up 6 weeks of plastic, glass and paper stuff from the garage and taking it to the recycling center up the road. And then driving down my favorite road to a store to get the aforementioned half and half.
After that, it was time to take George on the Big Saturday Walk. I usually make this an hour and a half so he gets plenty tired and will nap while I clean. It's really difficult to tire out a border collie, however. Anyway, there we were on our walk, and we were heading towards home, down the canopy road. I've mentioned this road before here; it runs along part of the perimeter on this property, is shaded by huge trees and is wide enough for a couple of extra wide pick-ups trucks to pass each other, if need be.

What I haven't mentioned before is that exercise riders also use this road. Every Saturday, I run into at least one or two of them, riding racehorses. Sometimes they're galloping, and sometimes they're so quiet when they come up on me that I don't know they're there until they say something or one of the horses snorts loudly. And then I turn around and am surprised to see four riders right there next to me. But this morning, George was happily sniffing under bushes about 50 yards ahead of me when I noticed a solitary rider turn the corner ahead of him. I can tell the mount is skittish because the guy was patting him and began to approach very slowly.

I whistled to George, who turned towards me and then I told him to sit. Then lie. He does both as I continued walking towards him, telling him he is a Good Dog.
The exercise rider gets closer. He's riding a young horse, probably one that will race at Delaware Park tomorrow. There's a big farm nearby and I don't know if they're racehorses, or if they're steeplechase mounts. But this horse looked like it could bolt. I was at George's side now as he continued to stay down. The rider spoke gently to his horse and then said to me "what a beautiful day, isn't it?" I agreed with him. Then he said, "That's a really well-trained dog you have there." To which I replied, "thank you." He then told me that his mount was a little afraid of dogs, and he wanted to thank me for keeping him still while they passed. I told him "you're welcome", and to have a great day and then I let George off the command.

As we walked, I thought that hey, I do have a good dog. What a nice compliment. Then I looked down and saw this feather. I picked it up and saw that it was a bit dirty, but nonetheless would make a good subject for my macro lens. (Hey, this is about as thrilling as it gets around here, ya know. Newcomers need to realize this.)
So here's my feather. I took it home and popped it into a section of fence to keep it still for my picture. I usually always have my gorillapod on my camera and I wrapped a piece of it around the fence to hold it still, and voila! (Sometimes it doesn't work to click on the pictures and I don't know why. If anyone knows, help is needed.)

And shortly afterwards, my husband drove by in the gator as I was crouching down to take another mushroom picture and shook his head. Ah, well.

Have a great Saturday, everyone! It's beautiful here in Pennsylvania ~~~~

Until tomorrow, my friends.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Everyday favorite

I am shamelessly posting more photos of our beautiful border collie, George. Originally, I had meant to post lovely close-ups of the Suffolk sheep that are here on the farm.
I took George out for the after work walk with me and took about 50 photos, seeing them come up on my camera screen and when I got back to the house to view them, there was nothing there!

This happened to me once before. I don't know what causes it but it's not going to get me all upset at the moment. Perhaps I only thought I'd seen them on my camera screen. I don't think that's the case, but oh well. The sheep aren't going anywhere and I'll get pictures later.

In the meantime, I have a willing subject who seems to love having his portrait taken. Click on photos to make larger, if you like.

America's Next Top Model.

* Border Collie, that is. *

Play with me.

George has just brought me a favorite stuffed toy and is waiting for it to be thrown to him.

Look at this face.

We love this dog!

The first photo was taken with my macro lens and the other two with the zoom lens. I can tell the difference, can't you?

Until tomorrow, my friends.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Counting sheep

By the time I took the walk with George tonight, the light was waning and this was about the only shot that came out at least halfway decent.
The sheep look almost pink because it was another pink sunset tonight. Just beautiful with a chill in the air. I'm looking forward to lighting our first fire in the fireplace. It's been almost 15 years since we've been able to enjoy the comfort of a wood fire, and it was one of the things we considered important when we were looking for a new job for my husband and a home.
I'd like to tell those of you who are into Photoshop that Totally Rad has finally come out with the new TRA The Revenge free set. If you're interested, click here to download. You get a total of 8 pre-set actions at no cost to load into your Photoshop program.
Just wanted you to know that I never did pick up a pair of plastic gloves for the dishes. I sort of like things the way they are. It's got nothing to do with being lazy, but I think my husband is getting kinda used to doing the dishes while my sliced up finger heals. It's doing quite well, by the way, so no worries there.
If you'd like to view a giant mushroom, head on over to my other site. I just have a thing for them lately . . .
Until tomorrow, my friends.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pink skies in the morning and an AWARD

Pink skies in the morning.

Pink skies in the evening.

When I opened the door to leave this morning for work, beautiful pink skies greeted me. I had an extra moment, so I ran back inside to get the camera for a picture. And then this evening, I noticed a rosy glow out the window and there it was, pink skies this evening. Click on the pictures for a larger view, if you wish.

I have been getting so many wonderful new visitors to my blog lately and I think it's got something to do with that little black box! I've discovered many new blogs, some that I will keep returning to visit, and lots of lovely comments from bloggers from Great Britain. It's so good to hear from you!

Today, I've also won an award. It was presented to me by a new blogger named Adventure Girl Wanna Be. She's given me the Dog Lover's Award and I do love dogs. Especially my George. So, thank you Adventure Girl!
I'm going to pass this award on to Dlyn, whose Riley does his own posts occasionally. And I'd also like to award Russell at Iowa Grasslands, whose Bailey also does posts from time to time!

Thanks again, Adventure Girl. George sends his thanks, too. Well, not really. He could sort of care less. He's been too busy making sure the cat wipes her paws before she comes in the house these days. He's turned into the paw police here after he got yelled at for making the floor dirty when it was actually the cat who did it!

Until tomorrow, my friends.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Veggie burger: It's what for dinner

Beef is something we rarely eat in our house, with the exception of the occasional burger. And tonight's dinner is not the occasional burger.

Tonight we're having veggie burgers. My husband loves these things. I think they're just fine, especially when he makes them. Regular readers of this blog will remember that I am blessed with a husband that cooks. Mdeal preparation is not something that comes naturally to me. It is not a pleasure. Although it's something I'm capable of doing and doing quite well when I feel like it, I look on it as a chore and a bother. It's sad, really. And especially so when I visit blogs that I admire like Pioneer Woman or Noble Pig where the cooking is grand and looks so effortless. But let's return back to the point.

This is not a recipe post. I want to make that perfectly clear. All the meal is, quite frankly, is a chunk of rustic bread with a veggie burger and cheese inside, diced cherry tomatoes, onions, pickles and lettuce on top with a dollop of thousand island dressing. There's no recipe needed for that.

When I came home from work today, my husband was doing the dishes and complaining about it. My stitched up finger is doing fine, and the hand surgeon told me I could do dishes, but only under running water. I can't fill up the sink, plunge the dishes in and begin washing. I think it's got something to do with the bacteria and the foodstuff that would sit in the sinkfull of water. But regardless, lately I've been leaving the dishes to my husband. It's only the two of us and there's really not that many.

So there he was complaining about washing a dozen glasses and a couple of plates. I wanted to take out my miniature violin and sing a sad song for him, but instead I took George for walk just to get out of the house and away from it, planning on returning just in time for dinner. I am really a lovely wife, you know. I keep a nice house, and do the dishes and the laundry. But I don't do the dishes with stitches. Especially when I've just changed my dressing and don't want to get it wet!

When I returned from the walk, there was dinner on the table and he was taking a picture using natural light. I am teaching him well, aren't I? He told me that if the photo turned out well, I could use it on my blog tonight.

I love a man that cooks.

Tomorrow I am going out and buying a new pair of dishwashing rubber gloves. I mean, it's the least I can do, don't you think?

Until tomorrow, my friends.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Travels with the black box

The little black box has taken me to many different sites, some where I simply leave a comment saying that I've been by, and others that I have actually added to my blogroll.

One such site that I want to share with you is Crystal Jigsaw, written by a woman who lives with her farming husband, her young daughter Amy, two dogs and a cat, and some spirits that seem to inhabit the farmhouse she moved into six years ago. They seem friendly, although I know that I couldn't be as calm about it as she apparently is. I know that many don't believe in the paranormal, but frankly, I believe that there are just some things that simply cannot be explained.

In this post, she writes of an incident that occured while she was in the sitting room stroking her cat, Jess. The cat looked up, towards the doorway, as if someone was there. And then the sounds and even smells of a meal from long ago invaded their senses.

It's not just the ghosts that have me riveted to her blog posts, either. It's her writing. She is currently working on a book, so that endeavor keeps her occupied when she's not caring for her home and her family. I also find it interesting because she lives so far away ~ in Northumberland, which is located at the northernmost top of Great Britain, on the Scottish border. It's also known as God's Country and was the scene of many fierce battles between Scotland and England in the past. Northumberland has more castles than anywhere else in England, and although they're usually blessed with more sunshine than rain, it's been a bad year for crops and her husband, the farmer, is fretting.

I'm telling you, it reads like a book. And I'm enjoying it so much.

So go ahead and click the word decide on the black box. I've heard that it can become addicting, but I haven't had a problem with it yet. If you'd like more information on how to acquire the box as a widget for your own blog, or to find out how they got started, click on about black boxes and follow the instructions.

Until tomorrow, my friends.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Encourage one other

If any of you have visited Donna Boucher's Quiet Life blog, or seen her guest posts on Pioneer Woman's photography section, you know her mantra is to "encourage one other". And I love that.

In the course of traveling and visiting other blogs, every so often I stumble upon one that either touches my heart, or fills my soul. And this morning, I'd like to share one such blog.

It's called Gardening with Turtles and is a fairly new site that began in July of this year. Written by Maria, who lives in Kansas, it's filled with her nature photography and wonderful writing. I have no idea what sort of photographic equipment she uses, but her photos are lovely, especially those of her two resident turtles. She is also into vintage post cards which I find quite charming. I 'met' Maria when she commented on one of my posts on my Picture A Day blog, specifically the one about the praying mantis. So this morning, if you have any time at all, please stop by and say hello to Maria and tell her I sent you, ok?

I am sopping wet today, having just returned from a walk with George. It didn't help that I found a leaf covered in tiny dewdrops and got onto the ground to photograph it. I am always ruining my clothes with grass stains and it's why I only walk in my (crap) pants.

It rained yesterday and all last night was terribly humid. My husband took out the window AC units last weekend, despite the fact that he lives with a menopausal woman who has hot flashes all the time. I don't have a huge issue with this, but did rely on my AC units for Saturday morning cleaning time (which I should be doing right now rather than writing this post~)

And I realize that this post is full of links, but sometimes that's fun, isn't it?

Have a happy day, everyone. And to those along the Gulf Coast, I am thinking of you.

Until tomorrow, my friends.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Speak softly

Quiet times today on Sept. 11. Remembering that day seven years ago. We talked about it at lunch in the faculty room and most of us were working together at school that day. My sons were in the upper school at the time and I remember being so glad that they were close. Now my eldest lives just 3 blocks from Ground Zero.

I don't have very much to say and sometimes that's ok. It's nice being here this evening with my husband, and my tired dog who is napping at my feet. My cut finger is healing just wonderfully. Thanks for all your well-wishes. You readers are the best.

I'll be back to normal tomorrow (if you want to call it that!)

Have a wonderful day, everyone. And let's say a prayer for those who are in the way of Hurricane Ike.

Click on the picture to view larger, if you like. Oh, and have you seen that cool little black box on the right? Click on the word 'decide' and you'll eventually end up on some mystery blog. It's fun.

Until tomorrow, my friends.