Katie here. Boy oh boy oh boy. My mama has been feeling guilty because I haven’t had school for two weeks and I never get to do anything fun. So she’s been taking me out on adventures, mostly consisting of walking through the woods, but I’m not complaining cause that’s one of my most funnest things to do!
Yesterday she said she had a special place to investigate and did I want to go on a ride? Well sure mama! I always want to go on a ride!
We ended up in Milford, a little town a few miles south of where I live. Mama saw this giant pumpkin when she was driving through the town last week and she thought it looked perfect for a “Princess in the Fall” photo shoot.
What do you think? Was this perfect or what? Except for the cars going by right behind mama’s back that needed watching. And the people walking by on the sidewalk; most of whom, might I add, stopped to watch. People don’t get to see a Princess very often so I was the center of attention. Anyway, I kept watching all this stuff and not looking at my mama at all until she hollered “TREATS!” and then my head snapped right back around to stare at her. Two ladies on the sidewalk started to laugh but I didn’t care. I smiled for my mama and got my treat!
Sometimes I have to be reminded that I’m working.
After we did the great pumpkin shoot we wandered around downtown Milford. Everyone we met wanted to pet me and I let them. For a little bit. But really, I am a Princess and I have things to do people! If you don’t have a treat for me then I only have a few moments for you.
Mama did make me sit in front of a few other cute fall settings outside stores. I didn’t get to go inside any, even though I walked confidently up to several doors. Mama just said ‘not today sweetie” as if that was going to stop me from searching for treats! I’m sure if she had let me go inside I’d have found people more than willing to give me something good.
Anyway, after we had sniffed out everything interesting in Milford mama took me out to Kensington, the big park just south of Milford. It’s mama’s favorite place to go so I figured I could humor her and sit around in the leaves for a little bit.
Yep, I’ll sit pretty as long as I got a treat after each pose. Really mama, you don’t expect me to just sit there and let you snap away do you? After each click of the camera I expect to be paid, so I get up and walk right up to her to demand payment. I know what a camera lens sounds like when a picture has been taken. You can’t fool me!
We didn’t stay a real long time cause mama is a wimp and didn’t bring gloves. Geeze. I didn’t have gloves either and I was fine. She is just disorganized. You know how mama is. She gets all excited about taking pictures and forgets to bring provisions. Good thing she didn’t forget the treats this time! I would have gone on strike! And then where would she have been?
She’d have been up the park without a dog, that’s where! Hahahahahahahaha.
We walked a lot and eventually I told my mama that was enough. I mean, really, how many pictures of me does she need? She already has about a gazillion billion. I told her I needed my lunch and a nap.
So she loaded me back into my chariot and we headed home to my daddy and lunch. It’s hard to get good help, but I think I struck it lucky when I got my mama. She’s hard at work planning our next adventure now.
I’ll let you know how it turns out.
It was a dark and windy day. I was wandering, looking for fall color. Suddenly the sun came out just for a moment. It made the fence surrounding the tennis court shine.
You can see other examples of shine at the above link. Or if you only have time for a little bit of shine – here, here and here are some of my favorites. It’s early in the week though, so you might want to stop by that link above again and see what’s shiny new.
Oh wait. This week it’s very appropriate that you see this one too. Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians!
Cee wanted to see some nature, so here’s some from the garden now that summer is over. I already miss the colorful blossoms, but the birds will love it like this throughout our long cold winter.
It was a beautiful Monday morning when I drove to my favorite park, intent on capturing my “Walktober.” Every year I do Robin’s walk, and every year I think I want to do it out at Kensington Metro Park. But this was the first year I actually got out there.
Have a seat. It was so beautiful that I couldn’t stop capturing images. And then how could I choose only a few? So this is going to get kind of long. You can skim if you want, or take your time and meander along with me.
That’s the benefit of heading out on a Walktober….there’s no real definition and you get to do whatever suites you best.
So here we go.
Back in the woods the trees were still mostly green, but there was a bit of red if you looked.
On the entire walk the sun and I were racing each other; big puffy clouds kept obstructing the light. I’d see an image and get all set up and then the sun would go under a cloud.
So I’d wait.
Inevitably the sun would peak out again, though sometimes only for a moment. I had to act fast.
Along the way there was a lot of detail to notice too. Like this fungus on the ends of a tree that had fallen…
…and the first of the bittersweet berries beginning to ripen.
This is the park where the little birds like to be fed. And even though there are signs not to feed the wildlife it’s hard to resist when they fly down and hover in front of your face hopefully.
This time I got really lucky. I’ve had chickadees, titmice and woodpeckers land on my hand before, but never a nuthatch. They’ve always hovered around, wanting to get something, but a little too scared. Not today!
At one point I dropped the rest of the seed in my hand onto the path and walked away. The little birds flew in to finish it off. Out of the corner of my eye I saw this guy swoop up to a branch overhead.
“Oh no you don’t,” I said. I marched myself right back there and waited until the little birds finished off the seed. Disappointed, Mr. Hawk flew off to find lunch somewhere else. Darned if I was going to present my birds to him for a meal!
A little way further up the path I came upon a clearing.
This land was donated to the park by the estate of George and Virginia Danz in 1997. It was the site of their summer cabin. It’s just beautiful and I sent them up a silent thank you.
It was such a beautiful day for a walk. As I came to intersections on the path I always took the one that sent me further away from the parking lot. I didn’t want to stop!
The path wandered in and out of the woods, along wetlands, and groves of ceder. The sun poked it’s way into the deep reaches of the woods. The birds sang. I didn’t see anyone else out there until I got back almost to the parking lot.
It just kept getting better and better.
I’m sure there’s a story about this old farm implement that was sitting way out there. All of this land used to be farm so maybe this was from the original owners. Or maybe it was put there to tell a story. Guess we’ll have to come up with one on our own.
There was something fun no matter where I looked.
Eventually I had to stop, so I headed back toward the car. Of course there was one last photo…and then another…
…and when I finally got back to the parking lot these two guys were waiting for me. Silly birds, they’re supposed to be heading south by now.
But I’m glad I got to see them up close and wish them safe travels.
I had such a wonderful time on this year’s Walktober. Thank you Robin for organizing this every year! You make me get out and take a walk!
And for all of you readers out there, there’s still time for you to go on your own Walktober. Take a walk. Urban. Country. Somewhere in between. Take a few pictures (you don’t have to go overboard like I did!!!) and link to Robin’s blog, or just comment in her blog, and she’ll organize it all at the end. The timeframe is from October 15 through the 23rd, with blog posts due by October 25. But she’ll stretch the timing for you if you need a few more days.
I’d love to see what you see in your worlds as you walk! Share with us!
Years ago I lived a few miles north of where I live now, in the city of Flint Michigan. You’ve probably heard of it. Last year it came to light that the pipes connecting many of the homes to their water supply were corroded and the water was contaminated with lead. Many children in the city tested positive for lead poisoning.
The water crisis garnered national attention. Presidential candidates visited promising to help. CNN arrived and interviewed residents. Congressional hearings were held. Celebrities donated thousands of bottles of clean water.
We were all outraged.
The tainted water had already been running into households for more than a year back then. And now it’s been more than a year since. This is what being local to Flint means today:
I heard this week that a grant has been won by the city of Flint to help resolve the problem. Some pipes have been replaced, others have been coated with something to stop the corrosion. A few families now have clean water.
Many still do not.
And most people there don’t trust that their water will ever be safe to drink. After all, they’d been told it was safe before and now their children are poisoned. Their future is uncertain.
There are no easy solutions, but I can not imagine using bottled water for everything. For washing dishes, for bathing children, for cooking.
I’m not proud of the fact that these images define local in a city just up the road. That we seem to have forgotten, moved on with our lives, assumed someone was doing something to fix the problem. Someone else.
But this is still the reality of ‘local’ in Flint Michigan.
Reading blog posts yesterday afternoon I was inspired by Nancy’s notquiteold piece on kindness. She had, you see, been a bit rude to a Medicare employee on the other end of the phone the day before and she wanted to make amends.
Who does that?
The remark she made didn’t seem all that rude to me. Really, it was just a tiny bit off color and I’m sure the people working the phones at Medicare have heard a whole lot worse. But Nancy felt bad, so she called back the next day and apologized, and though the person she spoke to wasn’t the same as the one the day before, I’m sure she made someone’s day.
Because, really, who does that?
Nancy is right, in this election year filled with accusations and taunts, lies and misconstrued actions, we seem to have accepted rudeness as the new normal. But we don’t have to.
We can be trend setters.
Today each of us could go out of our way to be kind to someone. Consciously kind. Take the extra moment to look someone in the eye when you ask them how their day is, then listen to the answer and respond with empathy. Add a little extra to the tip at lunch and thank the server with a genuine smile. Offer to grab something at the grocery store for your neighbor. Visit an elderly relative who lives alone. Hold a door open for someone, let a car cut in front of you, slip that guy who’s always on the corner a dollar with a smile.
Do something kind today. And tomorrow. Start a new trend.
Let’s shrug off the negativity of this year’s campaign. You’ve probably made your election decision by now, so turn off the TV. There’s no point in letting more of that into your brain or heart. There’s no room these days for more drivel and spite and lies.
Spend the spare time you have doing something you love and spread a little kindness about while you’re doing it. The world will benefit and you’ll feel better too.
Thank you, Nancy, for the inspiration. Sometimes we just need a gentle nudge in the right direction.
PS: And if you need to clear your head, today is the first day of Robin’s “Walktober.” The concept is to take a walk, take a few pictures, and then share that walk with all of us. You have until October 23rd to do your walk and until October 25th to share it with us by linking to Robin’s blog. I think a walk in the beautiful October sun (or cool October rain if that’s what you’ve got going on) would be a very good way to spend a few minutes or hours. Go check it out at Robin’s blog!
I’m headed out even as we speak.
I’ve had successes and failures. Sometimes both in the same meal, because, of course, there are two of us here, each with our own opinion, our own likes and dislikes.
For example, this week alone we struggled with the mushroom, brown rice, refried bean burritos and the baked falafel pita with green sauce sandwiches. I loved the burritos, but husband thought the canned enchilada sauce I used over the top was too spicy. On the other hand, he liked the baked falafels, but I thought they were dry, and the raw garlic in the green sauce topping was way too much for me to handle.
But I’m learning. I’m learning that raw garlic is not my thing, though cooked is fine. And that I can stretch my assumptions about what my husband will try.
We’re not truly vegans, nor even vegetarians. We’re just trying to make meat less important in our diet. So once a week or so I cook a meat and potato meal, though never red meat. I enjoy the simplicity of those meals, the feeling of familiarity while preparing them. I enjoy not having to look at the recipe eight or nine times, of just throwing something together.
I guess someday the vegetarian and vegan meals I make will be the same. Familiar. Easy. Tasty. Predictable. But I hope not right away….not the predictable part anyway. It’s a challenge right now, and on good days I’m happy to be puttering in the kitchen. Especially when it works. When it doesn’t, and I’m still hungry after a meal, I long for a simple burger that doesn’t require chopping and sauteing and toasting stuff.
Some people have told me they are amazed at the things I’ve attempted to do. I guess I just don’t know any better. I’m following the recipes, asking people what ingredients are when I don’t recognize them, looking stuff up online. I feel like I’m gaining skills.
It is true, however, that most of the recipes take me a long time to complete. And some of them do seem complicated. There are often recipes inside of recipes. Somewhere within each seems to be a reference to a sauce or toasted something or other that requires another pan and process, the result to be included in the original recipe as an ingredient.
And please. Always have cooked brown rice available in your fridge or you have to start there and add half an hour to the whole event.
But all in all I think we’re doing pretty OK with this change to our diet. I have to say, though, that my hands smell like garlic. All the time.
It’s becoming sort of familiar.