Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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I was tricked!

Come on mama, this looks like an AWESOME park!

Come on mama, this looks like an AWESOME park!


Katie here. Mama asked me if I wanted to go to a park, and I said “OF COURSE MAMA! Are you crazy? I want to go to a park! Let’s go right now! RIGHT NOW MAMA!

So we did.

We drove and drove and drove and I started to get vocal. Mama told me to settle down but I didn’t really. I was just expressing my opinion, and a princess is entitled. Right?

Isn't this a pretty lake mama?

Isn’t this a pretty lake mama?

So anyway, mama was going to take me to visit Auburn University but she couldn’t find anywhere to park the car. We drove around and around and mama saw lots of stuff but I didn’t see anything cause I was in my crate in the back.

Not fair.

But when we finally stopped and mama got me out it was at a park! A beautiful park! Mama says she’s not sure where it was because she was lost by then. And she said she wasn’t going to take her camera, we’d just walk around a little bit.

Mama liked the row of trees.  I liked the shade.

Mama liked the row of trees. I liked the shade.

And then of course she found a gazillion pretty things that warranted a camera. So we walked around this beautiful little lake and then mama and I went back to the car, got a drink and her camera and walked around it again!

Isn’t it great? There was a blue heron the first time we walked, but he had moved on by the time we came back. We did get to watch these turtles though. Mama said they were all looking at me. Well of course they were, I’m the princess!

A little warm for my taste, but these guys liked the sun.

A little warm for my taste, but these guys liked the sun.

And there were these exercise things. Mama tried a couple of them, she said they were really fun. I was not interested, given that I already have a svelte sheltie figure.

These look fun mama!

These look fun mama! For you anyway.

Once we got around the lake the second time mama loaded me in the car and drove some more and when she parked again I couldn’t figure it out. It was a busy parking lot? What are we doing here mama? I dutifully followed along and suddenly we were inside a groomer’s place!!

Mama tricked me!

The lady put my on a table and there were all these little dogs, bichons and chihuahuas and other little fru fru dogs running around on the floor, and then a great dane walked into the room and stretched! Why he could reach as high as the table I was on! And the lady was clipping my toenails! And trimming my toe fur! I turned my head and looked at my mama and pleaded with her to get me out of there!

Mama says she wishes she had the camera, because the whole thing was ridiculously funny, dogs running all over and me looking pitiful up on the table. But she left her phone in the car, so no pictures.

I’m personally glad. It was humiliating.

When we left I was in such a hurry to get out of there that I ran up the 8 stairs outside. Up the stairs. Wait…I forgot I don’t do stairs. Mama called me a little stinker. I think that’s a compliment…right?

I’m ticked at my mama. Taking me to a wonderful park does not negate the secret groomer appointment. But I have to say my feet do look a whole lot better.

Don’t tell her I said that.

Pretty feet.

Pretty feet.


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WordPress Photo Challenge: The Road Taken

Walking a forest fire access road around the mountain we were surprised to find a bit of the lake hiding in back.

Let's go explore that shoreline mama!

Let’s go explore that shoreline mama!

We were glad we took this road a bit further than we ever had before.

Wonder what surprises other people have found on the roads they’ve taken? Check out the link above. Or here are a couple I especially liked.

Katie says she hopes everyone gets out today on a walk filled with wonderful surprises.

And that you all get to take a nap after.

Come along with me!

Come along with me!


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Perfect weather

Sometimes when you wake up in early morning darkness you go back to sleep. And other days, for some reason, you get up, pull the curtains back and check the sky.

Last week I got lucky.

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The sun was coming up over the hills behind me, just touching the house across the way as it sat under a big rolling cloud racing across the sky. The light was only like this for a moment. So brief I might have imagined it.

This morning I woke and caught a sliver of light through a crack in the blinds. It looked a bit gold, so I leaped out of bed and threw back the curtains.

Not gold, but just as rich.

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“Those are Snaphappy Gal clouds!” I cried. (Go to her photography site, you’ll see she loves clouds!) Katie looked at me with held tilted as I raced outside with my camera.

And then the sky turned into a van Gogh right before my eyes.

Which way does the wind blow?

Which way does the wind blow?


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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.