Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Surprise!

Katie here. No I’m not the surprise…you knew I’d pop up again sooner or later. I’ve been mostly resting since we got home from our grand adventure. I still get my mama up really early every morning, but then we go back to sleep. She seems to need more sleep these days. Guess she’s getting old.

Anyway.

Yesterday afternoon it started to snow. Mama made me go sit in it.

Really mama?!

She thought I looked pretty with the snow on my fur. I thought she was being ridiculous. I mean, when it rains I don’t make her go stand around outside do I? Oh. Well, yes I do, come to think of it.

Ahem.

Mama was surprised that so much snow had stuck around when we got up this morning. It was all over the tops of trees, but didn’t seem to get to the shrubs underneath. She says it was really pretty and we ran outside to take pictures.

Hey mama, come on out, the snow is great!

Well. She took pictures, I spent the time sniffing stuff, checking to make sure it was all safe you know. But when she called me to COME! I ran right over to her. I love doing that because, as you all expect, mama has a treat for me. Sometimes I run with my eyes closed, dreaming about that luscious treat.

Running for joy in the last snow of the season.

Mama was fascinated with how the snow emphasized the shapes of the trees…

Birch branches outlined in fresh snow.

…sometimes, she says, you don’t notice things like this until the snow points them out.

Look at all the cool shapes out there!

And then do you know what happened? The sun came out! Man oh man that sure made stuff even prettier!

Blue sky and fresh snow…with a little bit of cloud action.

Look at all the colors!

A special moment in time.

The green of the pines and the yellow of the forsythia buds next to the white shrouded birch trees was spectacular! I almost didn’t notice but mama pointed it out to me. She’s good like that.

But my feet were getting wet and cold and I was hungry. After all I’d only had one tiny treat and it was way past time for breakfast. So I made her take me inside. But that didn’t keep her from taking more pictures as the hungry birds stopped by for breakfast too.

Incoming chickadee!

I guess having a little spring snow isn’t all that bad, mostly because I know it will be gone by this afternoon.

Already melting.

And this weekend is shaping up to be warm and sunny. I’m going to get mama to take me to my park. Or maybe a couple parks.

A girl can hope anyway.

Waiting for summer.


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Spring redux

Spring. It happens in waves across the country. When Katie and I were in the South we saw spring in all it’s glory. We reveled in the sun and warmth. We forgot that it wasn’t spring everywhere.

One reason to be in the South in the winter.

And then we drove home, north into the gray skies, leafless trees, muddy trails. Cold. It snowed this week.

Why is it snowing??

It was a shock, but all is not lost. As Katie and I explored the yard this past weekend we found traces of spring. Daffodils are popping up from the wet cold ground. So are some of the perennials. The bleeding heart is reaching for the sky.

Purple pink sprouts pushing up through last garden debris.

It will be in bloom sooner than you think. And the monkshood is peeking out too….

Monkshood, excited to see the sun.

..it will bloom next fall — which will also be sooner than we think.

Katie and I went for a walk in her park this weekend. The sun was out, the water was blue. It felt like spring had arrived.

Mama! Is it spring now??

We weren’t fooled. We know, here in Michigan, that winter will take at least one more swipe at us before April ends. But don’t tell that to the goldfinches, they’re already changing into their summer gold.

Hey lady! This feeder needs to be filled!!

Katie and I are very lucky this year. We get to watch spring arrive twice! The daffodils are all done down South. But here they will be arriving any day now.

That’s a very good thing.

You’re going to make me pose with our Michigan daffodils next week aren’t you mama!


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Meandering

Headed out for a day on the lake.


Retirement. What a gift! Here Katie girl and I are wandering without time constraints or obligations.

We’re visiting family…

Riding the waves.

…sleeping in.

Good morning!

Taking lots of pictures of nothing much in particular.

Evening light on azalea.

Exploring places we’ve been many times, and other places we never knew existed.

Morning glow.

We’re watching the weather up north, trying to figure out when we might go home again. There doesn’t seem to be an urgency.

Dangerous dive bombing mockingbird.

Especially when we watch the weather patterns slide across the country full of snow and rain.

Might have to snuggle down here in the South for a bit longer.

Condo living.


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WordPress Photo Challenge: Wish

Tonight as I sit out on the deck of the lake house, watching the moon rise, I wish everyone had such a warm, beautiful and safe place to relax.

I wish upon a moon.

I know that many of my friends ‘up north’ are facing their third night of no electricity following a major wind event. I know the temperatures are heading down toward 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17.77 C) tonight.

I wish that spring could come early for them. That I could somehow share the warmth and color and contentment surrounding me here.

I wish they could all just come down here and soak up the sun. Or sit with me under the moon listening to the waves gently lap against the shore

I wish, not upon a star, but upon the bright moon, that the warmth from here in the South could find it’s way up to the dark and frozen North.


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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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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 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!