For the Dog Lovers

Our dogs are pretty popular here in town. I can’t decide if it’s because they’re cute (well, they are), because they look so happy when we are out walking, or just because there are three of them, which is sort of rare.

I often get comments like “boy, you have your hands full!” And more than once I’ve been asked if I am a professional dog walker, if I work for animal control, why I have three dogs…

It’s funny.

Because I have been walking them for a while now, observing the different reactions from folks we encounter, I have learned to spot the people who just aren’t “dog people.” They’re the ones who don’t even glance at us or crack a smile.

They don’t know what they are missing.

Our dogs are a never-ending source of entertainment.

Sometimes, I think they do stuff just to make us laugh.

 

 

Other times, I think they are just being dogs.

 

I came across a cool dog-cartoon site as I was looking for some interesting clip art to add to this post.

 

 

Every time I thought to myself, “Okay, this is the last one I’ll share…” I saw another I just had to include.

 

The site, a blog, I think, is FunnyFidos.com. I think there’s more than just cartoons there. But I’ll have to check it out further some other time. Because I already wasted enough time scrolling through the cartoons.

What I really wanted to do was share some recent shots of our girls. Because I know at least one of my followers really looks forward to dog pictures.

Remember what I said about them being entertaining? Like kids, sometimes these dogs do the darnedest things.

 

Belle

 

Hubby was playing with Belle the other night. She plopped into her bed at one point and he put one of the other beds on top of her. She likes being in and under things, so she stayed like that for a while.

 

Hubby and Belle

 

After Hubby left, K and Belle were knocking the beds around (they are very light). One ended up, upside-down in the doorway of my office. I was on the phone, so I just left it that way. A little while later, I noticed the bed was occupied.

 

K on the Upside-Down Bed

 

Belle and K are really funny together. They love to wrestle and play. One of these days I’ll have to get a video of them playing in what seems to have become the wrastling room.

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention Meg. She doesn’t enjoy playing as much as the younguns, but she’s still funny.

 

Meg

 

That’s one of Meg’s favorite sleeping positions.

And that concludes my dog post for the day.

Almost.

Are you a dog person? Not sure? Take a look at THIS CHECKLIST to find out.

You Capture – Outside

I have not been the most consistent You Capture participant this year.

But I couldn’t NOT participate this week. The theme was “outside.” And I actually happened to take a few outside pics that I wanted to share.

As with most of the United States, we’ve been in the grip of a pretty long and intense cold snap. It’s been unseasonably cold for weeks. It’s not even Winter yet and we’ve had morning temps in the teens for at least a week now, maybe longer. The image above is the patio at the WV place this past Sunday morning.

I love wet pine needles. To be a bit different, I did some editing to this image. I thought it would be interesting to apply some texture. If you click on the image, you’ll see a larger version. I doubt you’ll even be able to see the texture unless you look at the larger version.

Here’s a version without texture and not cropped.

Do you think the texture adds interest?

The image above is pretty indicative of the weather on that day. Cold, wet and dark. It may not be Winter yet according to the calendar, but it sure feels like Winter has arrived.

The next few shots are examples of why I carry a camera with me all of the time. Unless I forget to put the darn thing back in my purse.

These next few images were all taken with my point-and-shoot on Saturday when I went into town to do some shopping. There’s a craft store on the outskirts of town that features the work of local artisans. One of the owners also likes to collect old stuff. He apparently has a penchant for old tractors.

I did some editing to the picture shown above, too. I wanted the whole picture to have a vintage feel to match the tractor.

Again with the editing. The texture is a bit more apparent in this one. I like the end result. How about you?

That last tractor image is probably my favorite tractor shot of the day.

I think I should go back to this place with my DSLR sometime. Would you like to see more old tractor shots? Or do you think these are boring?

This next shot, taken at the same place, is my favorite.

It’s a koi pond in front of the shop with a fountain. The aforementioned cold snap turned the fountain into what I thought was a very interesting ice sculpture.

It wasn’t shot in black and white. I used PS Elements to remove the color. I softened the focus a bit, too.

It’s my favorite shot of the day, mainly because it is so unique and was so unexpected.

A “normal” person might have seen the fountain and found it interesting. When a person with a photographer’s eye (yes, we do see the world differently) like me sees stuff like this, everything stops. I just HAD to have a picture. In fact, if I hadn’t had my point-and-shoot with me, I would have driven back to the house to get a camera.

I did take a few shots, but this one was the best.

Just because I’m curious as to what other people think, I decided to post the same shot similarly framed, but still in color.

So, which fountain shot do you like better? Color or black and white?

And are my tractor pictures nice? Or over-edited?

If you want to see what other You Capture participants saw OUTSIDE this week, be sure to follow that link and have a gander. You’ll see some amazing stuff.

The Pope of Dope

Hi there. Did you miss me?

Sorry, I’ve been busy. With work mainly. And getting ready for Christmas. And more work. And shopping. Wait, that’s part of the whole getting ready for Christmas thing.

Anyhoo…

I’ve actually been collecting stuff to post about. AND I have pictures for You Capture tomorrow.

I have so much different stuff to post about (“different” is not always a good thing), that I just don’t know where to start. So I’ll start with The Pope of Dope (video embedded below). The first thing I had to so this morning was to respond to an e-mail a dear friend sent to me on November 28. It started off with “Happy Thanksgiving.”

See? You, blog readers, are not the only peeps I’ve been neglecting. Although she’s a blog reader, too. Sometimes. So she has been doubly neglected.

Why did I just tell you all that. Because it was she who sent me this lovely video. 🙂

Only a small percentage of my readers will like this video and/or song. I happen to like it. If it gets on your nerves, just skip over it. ‘kay?

I also owe some people a phone call. Another friend called me over a week ago. I keep meaning to call back, but the days just get away from me. And now it’s way too early. Hopefully, I’ll get to call her today. You know who you are!

As for that stuff I have been collecting to share…

Here’s a picture of K in front of our half-naked Christmas tree. I’ll try to get a better shot with all of the dogs included. For now, maybe this one will make you smile. It made ME smile.

"Ho. Ho. Ho. Happy? Now get this stupid hat off of me!"

Yes, we Americans even decorate our pets for the holidays.

Speaking of pets… what does my yard have in common with the US-Mexico border?

Is it the jacket?

Even though it is the same color as those worn by the Customs/Border Patrol folks, it’s not the jacket.

A lot of DOPE.

Contrary to what some of you think (“Oh, lord, is she on drugs or what?”), it’s not the dope constantly flowing in either. Or even trickling in.

Give up?

Well, I’ll tell you.

I mean, I’ll show you AND tell you.

Hey, cool. Show and tell!

Tunnels

It’s the tunnels. More specifically, KILLERS digging tunnels.

Digging killer caught in the act.

K is quite the hunter. She’s not trying to escape. She is after a mole or moles that in this case happened to go under the fence.

She digs in other spots, too.

On the hunt again.

Fortunately, she doesn’t usually dig in the middle of the lawn. And she’s not digging just to dig. She is HUNTING. Trust me. Her kill list seems to grow every day. Mice, moles and voles mainly. But she gets a squirrel now and then, too.

Accomplices.

She’s not alone in her quest, but she is definitely the ringleader.

Do you have this kind of excitement in your backyard?

Relative Normalcy

It’s never a good sign when you wake up with a headache. I mean, what a crappy way to start a day. Hoping to get rid of the ache, I took some naproxen and then made myself a big plate of blueberry pancakes. No luck so far, but I am still hopeful. At least the pancakes tasted good.

While I ate, I caught up on my blog reading. That’s when I realized I haven’t posted anything for five days. I’ve been collecting various pics to share. But it’s an eclectic collection. So there was nothing driving me to do a posting. Now, however, I think it is time to catch up.

The first couple of shots are from Sunday morning at the WV place. It was in the low 30s when we woke up.

Frosty Window

Doesn’t that just make you want to say, “Brrr?”

Lingering Green

Most of the trees are bare already. Except for the oaks. We have lots of oaks. And they hold on to their leaves for a long time. Apparently some are late in the color-change department, too.

Nakedness

See what I mean about the trees being bare?

Morning in the Woods

This is one of my favorite spots at the WV place. Back before we had Belle and K, we had CeCe and Meg. CeCe was a lot like Belle in that she liked to hang close to Mama during our morning walks. She and I would wait here at the top of the hill on Turkey Hollow Road for Meg to return. Quite a few of CeCe’s cremains were scattered here for that very reason. It’s been almost two years since we lost CeCe and we still miss her.

A Hint of Green

The colors on this green leaf caught my eye. There’s not really anything special about that picture except I thought the leaf was cool. So I am sharing it here.

Cool Colors

Speaking of colors catching my eye, I really liked the way these frosty leaves looked.

Frost

You can see the frost more clearly on these leaves. Quite a few bushes are still green, so the woods aren’t completely colorless.

Belle racing around the corner.

Right before snapping this picture, I’d started walking back toward the house. When Belle realized she couldn’t see me, she came running.

Belle

Here’s one where Belle was waiting with me for the other two girls to come back. As for the other two…

Napping while Mama works.

They did reappear shortly after that picture of Belle was taken. I snapped the above image while I was working. The camera was sitting next to me on the windowsill. My girls always like to be close to Mama. Notice K and Belle sharing that small bed?

K

K is more into sharing than Belle. In this shot, although you can’t see her (the zoom lens was on the camera and I couldn’t fit her into the frame), Belle is pretty much hogging the entire bed. K found a corner to sit on and gave me this look as if to say, “Mama, she won’t share.”

K is truly a Mama's girl.

Belle sits with me in the mornings. It’s rare to see Belle on my lap in the evenings. K on the other hand is all about her evening Mama-time. She’ll come over and give me this certain look. That’s when I say, “You need some Mama love?” Immediately she climbs into my lap.

We did have a bit of excitement on Sunday. Are you ready for this?

The new refrigerator.

We bought a new refrigerator! Now we just need to buy some more food. 🙂

Our kitchen is very small. We never really planned the kitchen. I bought a whole kitchen full of old cabinets and we put them into place. It all works okay, except the door placements are very awkward in a couple of spots. We only had room for an under-the-counter refrigerator. And no room for a dishwasher.

Because Hubby really hates doing dishes, we need a dishwasher. We can’t have a dishwasher unless we re-do the kitchen.

Oh yeah, we have a really cheap, crappy cook top, too. It works, but it is a huge PIA. The burners are super hard to regulate properly. If you turn them back too low, they go out. And they won’t relight unless you put a match to them first. It’s annoying.

Our Little House in the Woods

This is not a great picture since the trailer is sitting in front of the garage. But someone was asking me what our house looks like, so there it is.

Going "down the hill."

The dogs just love it when we walk them down the driveway. They’re all three in the picture, K is just hard to see because she is so far ahead. The girl runs like a Greyhound.

Going back up the hill.

You know what they say… what goes down, must come up. Right? 🙂

And now, for the last picture of the day, we have K.

"Mama, she's not sharing AGAIN."

K is looking a bit pissed off. Is it because Belle is hogging the bed? Or because Mama has no room on her lap at the moment. Or both?

For the record, Belle is wide awake, but she hates having her picture taken. Really. She squints or blinks in most shots unless I catch her off guard.

I hope you enjoyed the mish-mash of photos!

Spring and Smiles

I’m at the WV place with the girls for the week. We’re having some work done at the MD place. Having strange men walk in and out with one particularly barky dog and two bark-followers in the house would not be very conducive to work.

So here I am…

Spring Has Sprung

The weather on Monday was nice for the most part. I was quite happy to see the big bush at the end of our driveway full of green buds. This is the same bush that, a little over a month ago, I was kicking and shaking to clear the snow off of its branches. I don’t know what kind of bush it is, but I like it.

K and Her Stoic Expression

I know I’ve mentioned here before that K, a generally happy dog, almost always has a stoic look on her face. She just always looks so darn serious.

Really. Like in this shot of her and Meg in the truck. Look how serious she seems.

I’m not sure why either. She really is a very sweet, laid back dog. You’d never know that by the expression, or lack thereof, on her face in most of the pictures I’ve shared here.

But things have changed. Finally.

I now know the secret to making K show some teeth (in a good way).

K Looking Sort of Pleased

Okay, she’s not grinning ear-to-ear in this picture. But she does look a bit more relaxed than usual, right?

K Grinning

And this is definitely a grin. Wouldn’t you say?

K Smiling

This picture may be a little blurry, but it definitely shows K smiling.

K Smiling Again

She’s smiling here, too. Her eyes still seem a bit serious, but her lips are certainly pulled back into a smile.

K Almost Laughing

Her smile is so wide here, I can almost hear her giggling with glee.

K's Goofy Grin

And check out the goofy grin in this picture! Doesn’t she look happy?

Wanna know the secret? I’ll tell you. Turn her loose in the woods with no daggone beeping, citronella-spraying electronic collar strapped to her neck. She was, and still is, beyond thrilled. And she stays close by, too.

Now I just have to teach her to keep those eyes wide open when she smiles.

While this next picture is completely unrelated, I just HAD to share it with you.

Meg

It’s a picture of Meg I captured yesterday when the girls insisted I take a short break to walk them down the hill. Meg had just turned to make sure I was following her. There’s just something about this picture that I really like. Which is why I had to share.

Belle is here, too, I just don’t have any good pics of her to share. None taken in the last two days anyway. This next shot, which shows all three dogs running down the hill ahead of me, is the best image I managed to capture that included Belle.

Going "Down the Hill" (something the girls insist I do with them)

I’ll try to get a shot of her today. Hopefully she won’t show up COVERED in cow shit, like she did on Monday morning. Let me tell you, giving a very stinky little dog a bath is just what I wanted to do before I could start working for the day.

You Capture – Hopeful

This week’s theme was “hopeful,” which for me is VERY appropriate. I am really HOPEFUL someone looks at my pics since I’m all late posting them. I took these dang pictures days and days ago. Then last night I went to bed at like 8:30. And when I woke up this morning, I forgot it was You Capture day.

I’m posting them anyway. Because I took every single picture with this week’s theme in mind. Really.

You can read more about You Capture if you like. It’s basically a project where quite a few other people  post pictures each Thursday inspired by a predefined theme. I love checking out all of the other pics to see how different people interpreted the theme.

There are a lot of Moms who participate. And every week, no matter what the theme, it seems I see a lot of baby feet. That’s cool, because I love baby feet. But I’m sort of jealous. I don’t have any baby feet just laying around to photograph.

Not any human baby feet anyway.

I am HOPEFUL not too many people make fun of me for taking a picture of one of my furbabies’ feet. Doesn’t she have pretty feet though?

One of the "Baby" Feet We See Around Here

I found it interesting, after our last pitiful dusting of snow, the see the ground under the bird feeders covered in bird footprints. I know you can’t really get a sense of scale from this shot, but I know they are sort of large prints left by the gazillion Grackles that have been visiting our feeders. This is evidence that on this day there were a lot of birds HOPEFUL for castoff seeds and/or crumbs.

Grackle Prints

Speaking of under the bird feeders… this cat has stood guard out there for years, HOPEFULly watching the birds come and go.

Hopeful Cat Statue

Look closely at the bottom right-hand corner of this shot and you’ll see Belle’s foot. She was helping me look for bird prints, HOPEFUL that she would catch a bird. She is a bird dog (Brittany) after all.

In case you are wondering, these prints, which are much smaller than those shown previously, are  from a Dark-eyed Junco.

Bird Dog in Action

While we’re talking about Belle, here’s a shot of her with her head on my keyboard HOPEFUL that I’ll turn the computer off and take her outside.

Can We Go Out Now?

Once you have dogs, you realize they communicate extremely well. They just use body language, whines and barks. In the next pic, you see K sitting in front of me looking at the door. She’d look at me then look at the door. Look at me, then the door. She was HOPEFUL I’d get up and let her outside.

Let Me Out

Finally, this next shot shows all of the dogs HOPEFUL that Hubby, who just got home from somewhere, will hurry up and open the door.

Dad's Home

That’s it for this week. I am very HOPEFUL that next week’s shots are more interesting. And posted in a more timely fashion.