Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Nothing to see here

What to say, what to say. There’s nothing happening around here, yet I feel a need to share photos with you. Photos of regular life in summer here in Michigan.

Little League at Katie’s park under a summer sky.

The grass is growing, the birds are sucking down food from the feeders, trees are fully leafed out and the afternoon skies are often filled with clouds.

It’s been pretty amazing.

Though we’ve seen lots of storm clouds we’re really short on rain. The yard is already turning brown. Watering the gardens will soon be a daily if not twice a day ritual. We’re not even to July yet.

No rain in these clouds.

It’s finally warm enough at night to camp and Katie and I have been on one adventure, but plan on scheduling a few more before the leaves start to turn. It’s still an adventure if it’s scheduled – right?

Hey mama! No rainfly!

For now we’re enjoying the air conditioning and watching the oriole feeder right up next to the window. Lots of things besides orioles visit.

Got any more oranges lady?

They all apparently watch for me to fill the feeder and then rush in to get their share. Or more than their share, depending on their size and boldness.

There you go Mr. Woodpecker!

The flowers have been beautiful so far this season. But now we’re moving into the dry heat of summer so we’ll see. A lot will depend on our watering habits.

Lantana smiles every day.

Really, so little to say, so much to show you. Guess I need to take you on a more formal walk sometime. Lots of beautiful places to go; what would be your choice? A lake? A woodsy park? The back yard? A bike path?

Wonder where that path goes?

All good choices, but each will require me to leave my comfy chair. And I can’t do any of them until I get some weeding done.

Still weeding is better than working a job…so I can’t complain.

Katie can, and does, but it’s all in fun.

Hey mama!


23 Comments

I’m baaaaaaack!

Katie here! HEY! I’ve been gone a hundred million gazillion years people! And I’ve got stuff to say even though mama has been telling me to be quiet for four days! She must be delusional!

Me and my garden.

Anyway.

Mama took me to my park about a trillion weeks ago because she said she felt guilty. I didn’t know why she felt that way, I just noticed she was busy taking pictures of the clouds rolling in. They were making me a little nervous.

Maybe we better get home mama! Those clouds look dangerous!

Well, the very next day after our park walk mama took me on a ride and I figured it was to another park but I ended up at camp! She didn’t warn me or anything so to make her extra sad I pranced right in and tugged my way into the office and walked away with the nice lady there without looking back at her even once.

So there mama!

But then I realized maybe I shouldn’t have been so mean cause it was days and days and days until she came to spring me from the joint. I mean, it’s nice there, but nothing beats sleeping with my mama on her big soft bed!

Still, I needed to make her pay.

So every day since I got home I bug her until she takes me to a park. Every. Single. Day. Sunday she took me over to my park again.

It’s finally spring mama!

The dandelions were blooming! Mama was worried we’d missed our opportunity to take our annual photos with the pretty yellow flowers because the park people have mowed once already, but we got lucky and found some!

Mama says we got lots of rain here while she and dad were out of town. She was worried that she’d have to carry me through the puddles at the back of the park. Silly mama. I was so happy to be back at my park that I didn’t let a little puddle stop me!

I missed my park so much mama!

In fact mama had a hard time keeping up with me. I had to wait on her a whole bunch. She was so busy taking pictures. As usual. You’d think she’d have enough pictures of my park. But no, mama says it’s different every time we visit.

Come ON mama!

I guess she’s right. After all, I know that it smells different every time I visit, and mama lets me take all the time I want to read all the pee-mail that’s been left for me. So I guess I should be more patient with her and her stupid camera.

Still, it’s hard to hang around waiting on her when I just want to run run run!

Better get those treats ready mama!

We had a beautiful walk at my park. Just look at the crab trees! They were stunning, though not as stunning as me. Of course not.

Pink is one of my favorite colors.

I had so much fun that I was a very good girl when we got home and settled down for a nap. And then you know what mama did? She took me back to the park for another walk at the end of the day! Two walks in one day!!! And this time I got to show my friend Deuce and his mom all the pretty places.

Deuce and me hanging out at my park.

I even let him read my pee-mail, cause he’s a good guy and I’m nice like that.

Now that I’ve experienced the “two walks in one day” phenominon I’m demanding extra walks every day. Mama says I’m over the top and I need to settle down. I don’t think she understands that I’m the princess and she is just mama.

I’m not worried, I know I can wear her down.

Tomorrow I’m going to start at about 3 a.m. I find she’s most malleable at that time of the day. She’ll do just about anything to get me to stop bugging her. I think a walk in the park would be perfect.

What do you think?

Hey mama!


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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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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.

img_8586_edited-1

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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Mama is so confused

Katie here. Geeze. I let mama blog for one day without me dogervising her and she fails! Did you see what she did? She posted a “Wordless Wednesday” while I was napping and it was Tuesday! She doesn’t even know what day it is anymore. Obviously she can not be left alone. Good thing I’m around to straighten everything up.

So here it is Wednesday. No sense doing a wordless post, I mean seriously have you ever heard of a quiet sheltie? I thought not. So I’ll give you a brief update.

The Pigeon River flows through downtown.

The Pigeon River flows through downtown.

We are still stuck in this stupid hotel. I know, I know. I am supposed to be grateful that we are somewhere warm and safe and stuff. But I am bored! I’m tired of hogging all the pillows. I’m tired of hearing weird sounds outside my door and having my mama tell me not to bark. Of course I have to bark! It’s a weird sound mama!

The car fixer place was supposed to have my car all fixed by this morning, but yesterday afternoon mama found out that it won’t be done today either. I don’t know if we’ll ever see my car again. I’m an adventurous kind of girl, but this is getting ridiculous.

Big sign for this park!

Big sign for this park!

Yesterday mama took me to a city park so that I could have some time outside that is away from the hotel. It was an OK park. It was pretty big with tennis courts and softball fields. Lots of jungle gym type stuff for kids to play on too. I wasn’t interested in playing. I was having a pretty good time just sniffing all those smells.

What are those kids doing over there mama?

What are those kids doing over there mama?

There was a bright red train car in the park; I have no idea why, there weren’t any signs explaining it. Mama thought it was interesting and of course I had to sit in front of it. Boring mama!

No one cares mama!

No one cares mama!

We stopped by a river walk on the Pigeon River downtown too. The river was pretty, but a storm was coming in so we didn’t stay long. Not that exciting either.

Stop with the pictures mama!

Stop with the pictures mama!

Once we got back to the hotel and mama found out that we won’t get the car today she got all bummed out. I decided to be a very good girl and not bark so much at the rain. It was hard. But I can be good if I try.

Storm blowing in.

Storm blowing in.

I understand that sometimes mama just needs a break.

Winds fluff me up.

Winds fluff me up.


31 Comments

Respect

Life in the woods goes on undeterred by politics.

Life in the woods goes on undeterred by politics.


Four years ago, or was it eight, I had lunch with a good friend. We’ve known each other for more than 40 years, adventured together decades ago, worked together, grieved together, laughed a lot. That kind of friend. But at that lunch we learned our politics were light years apart. I was surprised. So was she. By the end of lunch we had silently agreed to leave the politics out of our friendship, and it’s never come up again.

My philosophy, which I voiced then, was that you didn’t have to like the person, but you had to respect the office.

I had lots to reflect on.

There’s a lot to reflect on.

Yesterday the United States peacefully transferred power and, though I still believe in respecting the office, I’m having a hard time this time. I needed to settle, so instead of watching the inauguration I left home for the day and went to a place where I’ve always found peace.

Kensington Metro Park.

The world feels colorless.

The world feels colorless.

It was a dreary, soggy, grey day and few people were braving the raindrops and cold. I should have worn warmer and dryer shoes. And a hat. Still, the birds, always eager to great me, made me smile.

Thanks for coming by lady!

Thanks for coming by lady!

And there was color to be found if you looked for it.

Love the blues and greens.

Blue and green living together in harmony.

Even when the fog began to drift in and the cold made it’s way into my bones I didn’t leave. So much on my mind, I debated both sides of the argument I’ve watched unfold in the news and in my friends.

Only time will tell.

Only time will tell.

Can a man who has spoken such vile things, a man who apologizes for none of it, a man who essentially uses his wealth and celebrity to bully, can such a man lead the free world? Can he be my president?

Can't we learn to get along?

Can’t we learn to get along?

You don’t have to like the person, but you have to respect the office. Somehow that’s harder to do when your candidate didn’t win. I’m reminded by my more conservative friends that they quietly accepted a candidate they didn’t support for the past eight years.

Can I trust you lady?

Can I trust you lady?

Still…this president scares me.

On the other hand….respect the office.

I am more liberal than many of my friends and family, more conservative than others. Yet we all care about each other and I hope that will continue far into the future, beyond the term(s) of this president, beyond the terms of presidents to come.

Looking for a treat.

Looking for some resolution.

Today I will respect the office, but am mindful that there must be accountability. It’s early yet, but I reserve my right to respectfully, peacefully but loudly protest any actions that take away benefits and rights from members of my family, my friends, and even strangers that deserve the same respect I give the office.

I’ll respect the office Mr. President. But I think we all expect some respect in return.

Change is hard.

Thanks lady!

Thanks lady!


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Walktober

Time to go for a walk!

Time to go for a walk!


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.

Let's start out here, shall we?

Let’s start out here, shall we?

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.

Whatcha doing lady?

Whatcha doing lady?

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.

Standing out in all that green.

Standing out in all that green.

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.

A touch of sunlight made things glow.

A touch of sunlight made things glow.

Inevitably the sun would peak out again, though sometimes only for a moment. I had to act fast.

Golden light.

Golden light.

Along the way there was a lot of detail to notice too. Like this fungus on the ends of a tree that had fallen…

Orange woodland ruffles.

Orange woodland ruffles.

…and the first of the bittersweet berries beginning to ripen.

Berries glow.

Berries glow.

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.

What did you bring me lady?

What did you bring me lady?

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!

I decided to trust you!

I decided to trust you!

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.

Looks like dinner down there!

Looks like dinner down there!

“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.

Inviting place to sit and think.

Inviting place to sit and think.

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!

Pretty no matter which way I went!

Pretty no matter which way I went!

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.

Enticing me to go further.

Enticing me to go further.

It just kept getting better and better.

Red pops.

Red pops.

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.

Lost in the woods.

Lost in the woods.

There was something fun no matter where I looked.

You looking at me?

You looking at me?

Eventually I had to stop, so I headed back toward the car. Of course there was one last photo…and then another…

More color across the way.

More color across the way.

…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.

Is it time to leave already?

Is it time to leave already?

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!

Peachy.

Peachy.

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!

Golden.

Golden.


17 Comments

Inspired to be kind

Thank you rises to the ceiling.

Thank you rises to the ceiling.


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.

Another, cooler walk.

A cool walk years ago.