Sunday, June 30, 2013

Hunting in Norway…

The prompts for this week’s Scavenger Hunt are:  Tools, Motion, Sweet, Dots and Stripes.
  All of my entries are from our recent trip to Norway.
I spied this in the window of an art supply store in Bergen, Norway.  I think that these qualify as artists’ TOOLS.

The hotel where we stayed in Oslo had a nice second story veranda where one could sit and have a drink and watch the street action.  This dude practiced his skateboard moves for quite a long time and I managed to get this shot of him in MOTION.

Again in Bergen…a nice, SWEET break in the afternoon after a lot of sight-seeing.

These DOTS are on the furniture in the lounge in the hotel where we stayed in Bergen.

The STRIPES are deck chairs and railings on the Hurtigruten Ferry that was our home for six nights as we voyaged up the Norwegian coast in and out of the fjords.  Beautiful!


Friday, June 28, 2013

Random Oslo and five random thoughts…

The Angry Baby in Vigeland Park is very popular and has been rubbed shiny in many spots.  No wonder he's angry.

Random boat on the Oslo Fjord

Lighthouse in the Oslo Fjord

Oslo sun and sky

1)  Life is Fantastic!  We got home from our trip to Norway around 8pm last night.  Today I feel like I’ve been hit by a semi-truck.  Such is the nature of jet lag.  I think one more night of sleep and I will be right as rain.  It was a wonderful trip and Norway didn’t disappoint for fabulous scenery and lively, friendly people.  All our travel arrangements were just right.  The sign I posted above is on the train station in Oslo.  When you leave the station if you happen to glance back, that is what you see.  I think that might say it all about Norway and Norwegians.

2)  Oslo is a city of about 620,000 with a total urban population of around 950,000.  It’s situated on the Oslo Fjord and is a modern city in every way with nicely preserved old buildings peppering the downtown.  We found that Oslo has a terrific public transportation system and we took full advantage of it.  We had no problem finding our way around even though we are Americans with no knowledge of the Norwegian language.  English is widely spoken and used in the museums, on most menus and in other signage. 

3)  One thing that you might want to beware of if you decide to go there for a visit:  Everything is very expensive.  I think as long as you know that ahead of time, you can prepare for it.  Of course, the prices fund the socialist way of life the Norwegians enjoy.  And it must work for the Norwegians.  According to CNN Travel, Norway is the happiest country in the world with a life expectancy at birth of 81.1 years and an average income of $47,557 USD per person.  The USA is listed as the fourth happiest, by the way.

4)  Over the two weeks we were there, we only experienced two days of rain.  The weather was pretty much a delight.  Cool and breezy.  I could go for a summer like that every year.

5)  Today (or maybe tomorrow) I am going to get some photos together to start my 365 project on Flickr.  I decided to start on my 60th birthday and document my 61st year.  I know there will be days when I just don’t want to lift my camera, but I am hoping that this project will help me grow as a photographer.  On my birthday, which was the 25th of June, I found that I was fairly overwhelmed with the feeling of how quickly time has passed.  Maybe the occasional tedium of having to come up with yet another photo will help slow time down.



Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Life and Times of Olive the Pug: A Dog’s work is never done…

Dogs of this world have many responsibilities.  Olive the pug is no exception to this rule.

First thing in the morning, she has to make sure one of her humans goes for a walk.  It doesn’t matter if it’s raining or shining, snowing or hailing.  They must get out of the house and walk down the street for a ways before they come back to their cup of black liquid and the morning news.  It’s for their health after all.

Of course, it also gives a pug the chance to check all her pee-mails along the way and to leave some for her neighbor dog, Milo.

Because taking the human for a walk is such a taxing activity, it is essential to catch up on sleep.  This keeps a pug busy for quite a few hours.  Some days, however, she still has to wake up long enough to bark at the mail carrier.  That’s a very important part of the day.  She needs to let him know that bringing bills to the humans isn’t acceptable behavior because what if there’s not enough money left over for dog treats??

Then around 3:30 in the afternoon, it is of the utmost importance to wake up and remind the humans that a dog’s dinner time is approximately an hour away and they had best be prepared.

  Humans can be so forgetful after all. 

Plus a dog needs plenty of nutrition because that’s what fuels her to beg at the humans’ dinner table.  The pug has found over the years that humans like to be entertained while they eat.  A pug has to slap copious fives and to dance in a most graceful manner.  The reward of a small piece of cheese or a spaghetti noodle is well worth the effort of making the humans laugh.

But for the next couple of weeks, Olive the pug has an even more important duty.  She has to be a human sitter for Evan, the human, while her other humans are off on some trip or other.   They will probably not even bring back a lousy t-shirt to reward this brave and fearless pup, but she does it all out of the goodness of her heart anyhow.

THE END (well, sort of)

Okay, I have many questions about Bloglovin but don’t even know how to ask them.  I switched my reader over to Bloglovin, but do I have to do anything to my blog?  Life is so complicated for humans as well as dogs.  Of course, I don’t have time to mess with it now and will have to do it when we return from Norway on the 28th, but I will love any answers I can get.  Thanks!  And I will see you all soon…I hope…if I can find you…and you can find me.

 Oh, Internet!  Thy name is complication.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Ahead of the game...

I didn't think I would have time to mess with any photos today but I have to say that I am actually ahead of the game as far as packing is concerned.  I even have all my camera gear in order with clean lenses and about 100 gigs of SD cards at the ready.

I know what this means ultimately...that I am going to forget something major since I think I am ready.  But I am hoping that in reality I actually finally have the hang of this packing to go on a two-ish week vacation.  

Anyhow, I have a friend, who yesterday on Facebook, posted a photo of her hummingbird feeder, or what was left thereof, after the squirrels got to it.  Basically, what was left was the hook it was hanging on.  Squirrels are relentless, obnoxious, frustrating, destructive, clever and about the cutest little devils on this earth.  I had to sympathize, even though we personally have out-squirreled the squirrels and they can't get to our feeders anymore.

So I am looking out the window this morning and see this guy staring in at me.  He even waited until I got out my camera, put the long lens on it and snapped a few photos before he decided to get back to his scrounging around for dropped bird seed.  I'm not sure what he had in mind, but this is what I decided to do with him.  So what if it hurts his squirrely dignity.  I don't really give a hoot. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

More of Moore State Park…

I'm posting a few "leftovers" from the trip I took last week to Moore State Park in Paxton, Massachusetts, with the Massasoit Art Guild.

  I posted one photo I took there on my Flickr page and, lo and behold, it made Explore.  If you are not familiar with Flickr, making Explore means that your photo is one of the 500 most interesting photos posted that particular day.  There is some kind of algorithm that determines this and it is all kind of cloaked in mystery.  But the results are interesting.  And I love looking through the Explored photos when I have time.  They are often very interesting.

This photo of mine immediately got over 1,500 views and was "favorited" by 65 people.  It also prompted four or five new contacts for me.  Okay, I have to admit, it's kind of a thrill to have this happen.  Here's the photo in question followed by a few others less "famous" ones.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Stone Walls and five random thoughts…

1)  On Tuesday, I went with the Photography Group of the Massasoit Art Guild to Moore State Park in Paxton, Massachusetts.  That’s where I took the photos that I am posting today.  I think that one of the most charming things about this area where I live is that one often comes across stone walls.  They meander here and there.  Even walking in the deep woods, you can come upon remnants of them from when the land used to be clear and farms were active.  We have one in our front yard marking our property line.  I don’t know how old the stone walls are in these photos.  They look to be very well maintained, but they are a nice link to the past.

2)  I think that if you have ever checked out my entries for Random 5 Friday, you would know why I was terribly unsuccessful at Twitter and had to close my account.  It made me very frustrated.  I just can’t seem to keep my entries short.  I talk too much.

3)  Yesterday was my husband Greg’s birthday, but we’ve been so busy lately with this and that, we are celebrating tonight.  I am making the usual strawberry rhubarb pie.  We are just not cake people and I got tired of throwing away leftover cakes over the years.  That hardly seems celebratory.  But there is never ever leftover pie to throw out.

4)  I’m cooking up a storm today.  Well, baking up a storm.  I also have a loaf of garlic chorizo bread going.  The garlic has to roast in the oven for an hour or so.   Pretty soon the house will smell like an Italian restaurant and I am going to want something to eat.  Last night I made a loaf of apple/blue cheese bread.  Contributions to a wine and cheese get together tonight.

5)  I’m counting down the days until we leave for Norway – June 12.  But I am still not sure what I am going to pack.  I have a vague idea.  I want to pack light but need to be prepared for different temperatures.  Fortunately, it doesn’t look like it will get below the 40s in any place we are so that is good.  I can stand that.  I actually like that.  Everything I read says to pack layers.  So that is what I am going to do when I figure it all out….  


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

My little Olive...

Here's one of the pictures I took of Olive after we bathed her last week.  Most dogs don't really like baths and Olive is no exception to that.  But I don't think she minded it last week too much because it was so hot out.  In any case, here she is a little more fluffy than usual.  She didn't hold her momentary humiliation of being bathed against us.  Such is unconditional love...


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Scavenger Hunting through my brain and house…

This week’s prompts were all the same…five Photographer’s Choice.  I thought about it for a few minutes and then I decided to do five still lifes of regular things.  I think this will be good practice when I start on my 365 project on my birthday.  All these photos are of stuff I just have laying around the house.  I wanted to see what I could do with them.  Hope you like some of what I’m posting…