Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Pictures for my mom

My mom was an artist, she painted and crafted, and back when we were kids she ran a ceramics store and tried to instill in her students bravery to try new things.

I’ve often thought of her during this trip. I’ll shoot something and automatically think ‘mom will like that one.’ Most of these images don’t make it into a blog, because they’re not part of a story. These are just individual shots, not related to each other, that I liked.

Turns out there’s quite a few.

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You’ll notice there’s not a single shot of Katie-girl, and that’s intentional. She gets plenty of blog time, and though she’s certainly beautiful this time it’s all about other pretty things.

I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking them. Though that would be hard to do, because I really really enjoyed being in the moment and capturing these beautiful places and things.

And after all, since mom was right there with me, I guess she’s already seen them. That makes me smile.


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WordPress Photo Challenge: A Good Match

Mahogany sable sheltie in the Alabama red clay woods.

Come on mama! Let's go see what's over here!

Come on mama! Let’s go see what’s over here!

A good match.

Want to see some other good matches? Check out the link above. Or if you’re short on time, a couple of my favorites so far are here and here. Go ahead and take a look. I think you’ll be surprised and then you’ll smile.

Katie says everyone needs at least one smile each day.

Smile everybody!

Smile everybody!


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Reflections

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Sitting here in the house that dad built I can’t help but keep one eye, sometimes both eyes, on the water.

Sure the lake level is low, as it is every winter, making it difficult to enjoy this huge lake, but just our little part right here is beautiful.

And it’s always changing. The light moves and twinkles and shifts and the water ruffles and calms.

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I have lots of time to sit and reflect as the sun goes down and the shadows lengthen across the slew.

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I wish my parents were here. But the house is still filled with their presence. Not the same of course, as having them physically here.

But not as sad as it was in the beginning.

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Lots of good memories flit through my mind as I watch the water shift in the changing light.

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We’re lucky they left us this place. I think they’re glad we come to visit.

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But I bet they miss us all too.

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Ain’t no mountain tall enough

Katie here.

I have sufficiently rested up from my mountain adventure to tell you all about it. I know you’ve been wanting to know. (PS: Most of the photos here were taken by my aunt. That’s how mama got to be in so many of them! Thank you Aunt B!)

A little bit of a huge lake.

A little bit of a huge lake.

See, there’s this big mountain near my lake house and it has a restored fire tower on it. Almost every time mama comes down here she and her family and friends climb up the mountain and then up the fire tower.

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But this year she had me and she wasn’t sure, at my advanced age of ten, that I’d want to climb a mountain. Plus it’s pretty warm here and she always worries about me overheating my pretty self. After all I do carry my fur coat everywhere I go. (I don’t trust it to the coat check guy. At all.)

Hurry up mama!

Hurry up mama!

My aunt and uncle came over to the lake house this past weekend and they wanted to go up the mountain. They didn’t worry at all about how I would do, they knew I was a brave sheltie-girl and just assumed I’d want to go. Mama decided to pack a bag with all the essentials like water and poop bags and treats and see how far I’d go. She didn’t want to go so far up that she’d have to carry me down. No siree.

Good spot for a photo shoot...and a rest!

Good spot for a photo shoot…and a rest!

Well it turns out that I love being in the woods. I don’t know why mama was surprised. Once again she underestimated me. We took lots of breaks and most of the path up the mountain was in the shade. She gave me lots of water, in fact I drank almost a whole bottle of water myself on this adventure.

I sniffed lots of cool stuff and scrambled up and over lots of rocks, and pulled mama along cool paths covered in soft pine straw. It was fantastic.

Another pretty spot to rest!

Another pretty spot to rest!

Mama had to carry me the last bit…because stupid people had thrown bottles over the top of the rocks and there was broken glass…and then there were a bunch of steps up to very top and you all know about me and not doing steps. I did all the down steps just fine, but I was scared to do the up steps. Don’t ask. I can’t explain it.

At the top of the mountain I sat on a nice cool slab of concrete with my aunt while mama climbed the tower to get a few shots. She says she doesn’t know why she did that, the images she took look just like the images she took when she was there in November. But she loves being up at the top of that tower.

I'll wait for you down here mama!

I’ll wait for you down here mama!

She says she could stay up there for hours, but she knew I was waiting for her down below so she hurried on down. I said no rush mama, cause I was meeting all sorts of nice people and some nice dogs too! It was a beautiful Sunday with blue skies and warm temperatures so there were lots of folks and a few of their dogs out. Everyone said I was really cute. Of course.

Mama and me on top of the world.

Mama and me on top of the world.

Then we walked back down the mountain which I found easier than the trip up. That’s a good thing because truthfully I was getting a little tired. I stopped half way down and looked at my mama. She said no way was she carrying me the rest of the way, so I took a long drink and trotted down on my own.

I’m a good girl.

Monday all we did was go to the little park which was OK.

I've named this Katie's Park II!

I’ve named this Katie’s Park II!

And take some photos in town. Which was boring.

Mama says this is grandma and grandpa's church.

Mama says this is grandma and grandpa’s church.

And today…so far all we’ve done is this.

BORING!

BORING!

Mama says she doesn’t know what she can do to top walking in the Smokey Mountains and on the Atlantic Ocean beach with my boyfriend Reilly, and taking a boat ride and seeing an eagle and climbing a mountain. She says she’s running out of exciting things to do. She better get thinking. I don’t know how long I can be patient.

Because as you all know, it’s not good to keep a princess waiting.

What's next mama?

What’s next mama?


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And then there was the eagle

Headed up the river.

Headed up the river.

While we were on our boat ride yesterday, traveling up the river into the wilder part of town, we came across an eagle. It would have been a great photo…the sun was behind us, shining on him. But by the time we realized he was there he had flown off behind the trees. I only saw a bit of his white behind before he disappeared into the pines.

So I focused on shooting other pretty things.

I'll just wait over here while you go by.

I’ll just wait over here while you go by.

But on our way back down the river I was ready for him. Sort of. The sun would be behind him, I figured I’d get a silhouette at best. Still I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try.

We puttered down the river, I could see him far far away in the top of his favorite tree. Just a spot really. I took a few shots.

See that black dot up in that tree?

See that black dot up in that tree?

He let us get closer, closer. I continued to shoot. His back was to us and he turned his head to watch us approach.

What are you people looking at?

What are you people looking at?

He let us get nearly under him before he rose up from his perch and majestically flew behind the trees.

You're bugging me people, I"m outta here!

You’re bugging me people, I”m outta here!

He was magnificent!

Bet you guys wish you could fly like this!

Bet you guys wish you could fly like this!

The light still wasn’t great. And he was pretty much a shadow. But boy oh boy.

An American icon.

An American icon.

Just look at him.


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The princess and a boat

At my uncle's house.

At my uncle’s house.

Katie here. Guess what, guess what GUESS WHAT?

This is my bench, but I'll share.

This is my bench, but I’ll share.

I got to go on a boat ride!!!! My mama was all nervous and stuff cause she has no faith in me at all. She didn’t think I’d like being in a boat. She thought I’d be afraid of the sound of the engine. She thought I’d be shaking like a leaf and want to get out. She thought it would be a very short boat ride.

She (once again) underestimated me.

So let me tell you all about it. We drove over to my Uncle’s house on another lake. I thought this was gonna be another drive all day sort of thing and I protested about half an hour into the trip, but mama told me we were almost there, so I settled back down. She lied of course – it was another half hour before we got there. And then there were all new smells to sniff and I liked it right away.

Me and mama smiling.

Me and mama smiling.

Then mama and my uncle discussed going on a boat ride and decided to see if I liked it. They agreed to drive real slow and if I wasn’t comfortable they’d just go back. The entire focus was on whether or not I’d enjoy it.

What do you think?

Relaxed on my yacht.

Relaxed on my yacht.

I thought it was the best thing since cheese! I got to sit on my princess bench between mama and my aunt. And I got to sniff the air a lot. And watch the water go by at the back of the boat. I didn’t shake one little bit. Sometimes I even smiled.

And once I almost fell asleep! Can you believe that?

Lulled to sleep by the engine vibration.

Lulled to sleep by the engine vibration.

My uncle drove us way up the river, so most of our trip was pretty slow but I liked the fast stuff too. Once, on our way home we were going fast into the wind and mama and I both had a bad hair day!

Matching crazy hair mama!

Matching crazy hair mama!

But all in all I thought this was a most excellent adventure. We’re back at our own lake house now, and I have been all wound up, wanting to play with the toy that Mr. Reilly gave me, and wanting mama to pay attention to me and wanting my dinner, and wanting to go outside and not wanting to come back inside. Mama is exhausted. So to give her a break I’m gonna take a little nap now.

I expect more adventures tomorrow mama! I hear the uncle and aunt are coming over here and I’ll get to show them around.

Can’t wait!

Captain princess.

Captain princess.


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The sleepy life of a southern dog

This is my lake house mama!

This is my lake house mama!

We’ve been at the lake house for a few days now, long enough to settle into a routine. Katie thinks it’s pretty boring, but I try to liven it up for her a bit. It’s not easy; she has such high expectations. After all, she had the company of two friendly shelties and the whole ocean where we were last weekend. Now she has me. And a lake with muddy edges. Still, she seems content to hang out with me and nap a lot.

Relaxing in grandma's chair.

Relaxing in grandma’s chair.

I take her to a park every day for a walk. So far the weather has been beautiful, lows in the 50s at night, highs in the 70s during the day, and sun though they say it will rain soon. We’re planning on going on a little road trip tomorrow to visit my brother. I’m hoping there’s no rain over there.

Keebler Park in Dadeville

Keebler Park in Dadeville

Meanwhile she has met the neighborhood dogs. They’re both friendly, but neither of them has the obedience skills that Katie has worked so hard to achieve. Both will sit for a treat, but neither of them will stay long enough for me to back up to get a picture. And Katie won’t sit near either one of them. She finds their lack of social skills a bit off-putting. I guess.

Carson is a laberdoodle. He’s a big bundle of energy and very friendly. But to Katie is he just big. He will sit but if he doesn’t get his treat right away, say I’m trying to get him to stay while I’m taking a picture, he barks one giant WOOF!!! and leaps into the air. Katie is always surprised by that, but she holds her stay. I know she’s not happy because her ears go flat. So I release her so that she can move away. This is the best picture I could get of the two of them.

Katie and Carson

Katie and Carson

And then there’s Dixie who lives next door and is outside after her owners come home from work. She’s adorable and loves to have her belly rubbed by anyone that will pay attention to her. She’s the same size as Katie but stockier.

Dixie!  Stay!!!

Dixie! Stay!!!

They like each other pretty much, though she won’t stay either. Katie gets frustrated waiting for a treat while Dixie follows me around instead of sitting pretty.

I'm not sitting any closer to her mama!

I’m not sitting any closer to her mama!

But they do seem to like to laugh at me together.

Seriously Dixie, she's not going to stop trying to get a picture until you settle down.

Seriously Dixie, she’s not going to stop trying to get a picture until you settle down.

I’ve been working on a shell project…making a frame covered with shells found on the beach for a photo of the three shelties. A reminder for later when this trip is only a distant memory.

Thanks Bree for the extra pretty shells!

Thanks Bree for the extra pretty shells!

And I’m watching the weather up north a bit, debating when to make the trek back home. It would be nice if the snow was all done by the time Katie and I get back…but that’s doubtful. We need to be back for things that are scheduled in March. And I think Katie-girl misses her dad and her house and her park and her school.

Let's go exploring mama!

Let’s go exploring mama!

She says adventures are only adventures if they have a beginning, a middle and an end, mama. Otherwise it’s just life.

She’s a smart one, yes she is.

Enlightened one

Enlightened one


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Exploring

Katie here. My mama has been very remiss in getting my posts online in a timely manner. OK, so she’s been driving and getting food for us and stuff. But still, I’m going to have to play catch up now and that is so frustrating. I hope mama gets her act together now that we’re in Alabama and apparently resting a lot.

So last time you heard from me I was in Florida with the love of my life Mr. Reilly. But you only got to see one of our beach excursions. We went out another day really early (I was good at the really early thing since I’ve been getting mama up at 4 a.m. for months and months!) to the beach so we could see the sun rise. We didn’t count on it being so foggy.

My handsome guy disrupts the shore birds.

My handsome guy disrupts the shore birds.

Still…it was pretty on the beach in the fog. There was hardly anyone else out there. Just us and some birds and a couple other people and their dogs.

Mama and Reilly’s mom got some very nice photos of us. I tried to be good about it but I really just wanted to get up and explore. Mama takes way too many pictures if you ask me.

The three of us tolerated more photos.

The three of us tolerated more photos.

Sadly we had to continue on with our adventure, mama and I, the next day. So we said goodbye to my favorite Florida family and headed across Georgia to visit my Aunt Beth. It was fun to stay at her house overnight. I hadn’t seen her in a lot of years!

My Aunt Beth's front door!

My Aunt Beth’s front door!

The next morning mama took me over to the lake house. This is where my grandma and grandpa used to live. I never got to meet them, but I’m pretty sure I’d have liked them cause I like their lake house a lot. I can see out the big windows and watch the world go by. I get to choose between the comfy chair and the comfy sofa to snooze, and I’ve been snoozing a lot.

Our first sunset at the lake house.

Our first sunset at the lake house.

Here at the lake I have my mama all to myself…and she has promised to take me to parks for long walks. Yesterday we got to go to Horseshoe Bend Military Park where we read all about the Battle at Horseshoe Bend between General Jackson’s army and the Lower Creek and Cherokee Indians in 1814.

The battle site is along the Tallapoosa River. The river was beautiful in the sun when we were there, but I was more interested in smelling around the trees, looking for pee-mail left by other dogs. I didn’t find much to speak of. I guess we were one of the first there after the early morning rains went through.

Pretty river mama, but boring if you're me.

Pretty river mama, but boring if you’re me.

We climbed a big hill and I got to explore the cannon. And mama only took one picture, so that worked out. I guess even mama can learn if I give her time.

Way up on a peaceful hill is the remembrance of a bloody battle.

Way up on a peaceful hill is the remembrance of a bloody battle.

I enjoyed the park, but it wore us both out. We fell asleep at 7 last night! Now I’m ready to find out what mama has up her sleeve for today. I told her we need to explore somewhere new each day. She says she’ll try. I guess that’s all I can expect from mama.

After all, she’s on vacation too.

I'm getting soggy mama!

I’m getting soggy mama!