super friday

Gotta go to the grocery store today. Like you, I’m preparing for Sunday. I don’t care one whit about the football-cheaters or the deflated balls (I said balls!) or who is smack-talking whom. It’ll be the ‘pigs in a blanket’ showdown over here and I’ll snap to attention whenever a Budweiser Clydesdale or cute puppy appear on the boob tube. I brake for Dorito ads, too.

Thought I’d bring you up-to-speed on comings and goings.

Last week found us in Florida enjoying a vacation with lots of the fam.

Florida. Is it any wonder they have sinkhole issues?
Florida. Is it any wonder they have sinkhole issues?

There were activities for every age group.

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I enjoyed whacking the golf ball and taking a few golf lessons. That means I’ve totally changed my grip and swing and can now only contact the ball 1 out of every 10 attempts. ***sigh***

This guy’s little sis had to spend some time in the hospital recently, so he bunked with us for the night.

I love this interesting little guy.

We’re grateful and blessed the little girl is better.

It snowed. A lot.

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Ready for a lifestyle yarn?  We live outside the city in a rambling ranch house. We love it, but living in the serene country comes with tradeoffs. Recently, I’ve been battling mice. Think Don Quixote. Haven’t had any of the greasy buggers in a long while, but this winter they are determined to invade our space. I’ve fought them off with every kind of trap imaginable.

One evening, I flipped on a light in our kitchen and spied a nasty gray rodent peeking around the door threshold. Our eyes met. I froze. He froze. I did what I had to do………”TEX…..AN!!!!” The Texan leapt to my aid with the faithful wiener dog at his side. The wily mouse was still unmoving (was he sick, or what?). Should we grab the flyswatter, or a shoe and pummel the vermin to death? The Texan and I pondered for a split second before realizing the short answer to our dilemma. In unison we commanded, “Doxy! Skit it! Skit it, Doxy!!” With her green light, the fearless wiener immediately pounced on the offending mouse, chomped on it once and slammed it to the ground. She wiped her paws in victory and it was all over in literally 2 seconds.

Our very own American Sniper. Good dog.
Our very own American Sniper. Good dog.

Even though I have the protection of the killer doxy, I still set some sticky traps around the house. I wanted to wipe out any laggers.

Got really lucky when I checked my traps the other day. You’ll never believe it.

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Score!! I snared a goldendoodle. I hear they are high-dollar, designer dogs! Bet I can reap a pretty nickel from this catch.

I’m watching my sticky traps to see what I ensnare next. Maybe a fox…..or a bald eagle. Yeah, a bald eagle. That would be cool.

Enjoy your super weekend of hot wings.

Better mouse-trap love to all.

spirit

 

 

 

Christmas Eve finds my wrapping room looking like this.

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still have presents to wrap

 

Attempted to take my festive yearly weiner-dog tidings of great joy shot, but the pose wasn’t exactly what I had in mind.

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JOY!!

I swear that dog gets closer to the ground every year…even flat on my belly is not low enough for this portrait. Geez.

Made a nerdy Christmas shirt for the Grandson.

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Made it with left over fabric from his sister’s Christmas dress. I’m all about matching these days.

He pronounced it ‘comfy’. Success.

Waiting on some loved ones to arrive and make our Christmas celebration complete.

Random Christmas Rant: This Elf on the Shelf business is ridiculous, people. Let me get this straight…there’s an elf in your house the kids are not allowed to touch. He/she is spying on them and reporting straight to police Santa on their naughty/nice behavior. Then the despised beloved snitch-elf flies back to the North Pole after Christmas leaving the tiny tots in tear-puddles of abandonment. This is helpful during the Christmas season? rrriiiight.

May I offer a healthier option? Behold.

wienerinthewindowI’m calling her Weiner in the Window. The little doxy-reindeer never snitches. She greets your return with unbridled excitement. She doesn’t give a royal rip if you’re naughty or nice as long as there are abundant dog treats and a warm booty to curl up in bed with every night. You’re allowed to touch her all you want and she hangs around AFTER Christmas. She serves as a nice plate-licker, as well.

Weiner in the Window. It has a nice ring…..

Enjoy this day. Hope you will be blessed by the presence of the Christ-child’s arrival. Hope you always find something welcoming in your window.

Festive love to all.

 

 

babysitter

In horse lingo, the term babysitter refers to a good-natured horse. A horse specializing in being kind and protective of an inexperienced rider. The term bomb-proof is sometimes used interchangeably with babysitter.

Babysitter describes my ‘best old-lady horse in the world’, Rodney.

rod The wonderful time spent on his back, I count among some of my most contented hours. He kept me safe on many occasions in the show pen when lesser horses were losing their minds.

rod1He’s shed his winter coat and the new summer hair is absolutely brilliant and shiny. I love this gelding.

He hasn’t been babysitting me lately. Seems he has a new batch of children.

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The ceiling in Rodney’s stall.

These babies are only about 18 inches above his head when he’s in his stall. Like a good babysitter, he takes their hungry chirping in stride.
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This nest is one of three nests near his stall. The other two are directly outside his stall door up in the eaves of his metal barn.

I hear quite a symphony of bird sounds at feeding time. These little birds have lifted my spirits. Something to keep me from being morbidly obsessed with this dreary drought. The birds have a steady source of water when they are near the horses.

Last evening was terribly hot and windy at the barn, but I had fun looking at the babies.

Seems a certain sidekick found an activity to keep her mind off the drought.

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**singing** kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit, kill the WAB-BIT!

Ahhhh, the sights and smells of a freshly-dug rabbit hole.

roxy1Bingo. Dachshund nirvana.

Hope your week is shaping up to be a great one.

Me? Choose either one of the following faces.

birdfacesThat’s me..until it rains.

Led-by-the-still-waters love to all.

 

my lens

I enjoy taking pictures for the blog. I keep trying to up my skills, but that requires donning bifocals and reading and studying about my camera. ISO, aperture, shutter speed, white balance and focus mush my brain into a slimy swamp.

Recently, I acquired a ‘new-to-me’ lens. Bought it used from local photographer extraordinairePam Lary. In case you are interested, this beast of a lens is the Nikon AF-S VR-Nikkor 70-200mm 1:2.8G. It’s heavy as an anvil and as long as a submarine sandwich. Big enough to keep my chiropractor in business for years.

I’ve been trying it out. Learning. Making mistakes. When I whip it out, people automatically assume I know what I’m doing. Lens envy, I guess.

It’s fun to put the camera in aperture mode (‘A’ on the dial for most DSLR’s) and shoot with the aperture wide open. In this case, 2.8.

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mmmm…..creamy background. This photo inspires me to paint a room this mossy green and use purple as an accent color. Amazing color combo.

A gorgeous, milky background makes the subject of the photo really ‘pop’

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Look at the gray hairs on her muzzle. She’s showing her age. Have I told you we can no longer play tennis ball? It aggravates her back.
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My sweet wiener girl. Since we can’t play tennis ball, we have to play ‘rock’ instead. Less running and more digging.

Do you like the fuzzy backgrounds for these portraits? The learned call this ‘bokeh’.

Here’s another wide-open shot.

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Baby H swaddled in a fish curtain at the cabin. I knew those old curtains would come in handy one day! There’s a stack of games in the background. Can you make out the names? Scattergories? Clue? Boggle?

One more blurry background for your consideration.

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Ground squirrels or ‘chipmunks’.

Do you know what instinct these rodents trigger in my dachshund?

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The most natural state of a badger dog.

Another handy setting on the camera is the shutter-priority mode ( ‘S’ on the dial of most digital cameras).

I use this setting when I need a certain shutter speed to capture the action.

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The wily Rufous hummer.

Have I told you I am compulsively trying to get the perfect hummingbird photo? Been at it for 3 years. I know I need a fast shutter speed to catch them, but man, are they difficult to photograph!

I suspect I have neither the skill nor the proper equipment to get a truly great shot.

indexI won’t stop trying.

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The Rufous jealously protecting his feeder. Catching these buggers in flight is like trying to photograph a mosquito. Sorry….I had to catch him through the wire-mesh fence.

Well, that’s the A and the S mode for you and how they look through my new lens.

At times I just point the camera and shoot on auto. Maybe I’ll get lucky.

catThat’s why I enjoy photography. It makes you LOOK. You never know what you’ll find lurking in the weeds.

Hope your week is coming into clearer focus.

Big lens love to all.

nose knows

sea-see

through-threw

hair-hare

ice cream-I scream

I’m not talking about homophones today. I’m posting about a certain hound dog who hasn’t appeared on the blog in a blew…..blue moon.

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Roxy Doxy-Grand Canyon earnestness in a tater-tot canine.

While working in the yard, she’s my #1 assistant. Always on duty. Working to keep me safe. To serve and protect.

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The proboscis doesn’t miss a cent….I mean, scent.
What neighborhood kitty has been padding over the lava rocks?
What neighborhood kitty has been padding over the lava rocks?
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Has the crafty fox been on the stares…excuse….stairs?
Could there be a snake under the patio?
Could there be a snake under the patio?
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Is the smelly tennis ball in the pond? Goin’ in after it!
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Smellin’ a squirrel. Did he flea up the tree?

Sometimes a wafting fragrance causes the earnest little wiener to freeze in her dog tracks.

new lens 039aHonestly, some nature aromas make her stand as still as a statue!!

003aYou know the latest scent she’s been savoring?

It’s totally new.

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The precious grand-daughter!! Roxy Doxy licks her on the ear. We can’t resist kissing her face.

The Texan and I are adoring the girly smells, as well.

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The Texan demonstrating to baby girl how relaxing the hammock can be.

Her busy, busy big brother learns a new skill every day.

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G playing ball with the Texan.

Having fun. Feeling blessed and grateful.

Hope something you love causes you to freeze in your tracks in wonderment.

Pink love to all.