Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Worth waiting for…

I think I can say it out loud.  Spring is finally here in central Massachusetts.  I knew it when I saw that my tulips had pushed their heads up through the ground.  You just can’t trust the daffodils to tell the truth about spring.  But I trust tulips.

Thank you, Nancy, I used texture nc_0416-1 when I processed this pic.
  Having your textures on hand is wonderful!


Sunday, April 28, 2013

Finding time for the Hunt…

This has been a busy week.  When I look back on it, I am not really sure why.  But I haven’t had much time to spend in Blogland.  However, I did manage to get out and take quite a few photos so I have submissions for this week’s Scavenger Hunt.  The prompts this week are:  Walking, Yummy in my Tummy, Favorite Toy, What I did this week and Anything.

On Friday this week I went with my daughter Carrie to Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts to check out the Bridge of Flowers.  The Bridge of Flowers is an old trolley bridge over the Deerfield River that connects the towns of Shelburne Falls and Buckland.  Since the late 1920s, the bridge has been planted with flowers making it a very pleasant way to cross from one town to the other.  Carrie and I had a wonderful time WALKING across the bridge even though the flowers aren’t out in full swing yet.  It was still very beautiful.

Once on the Buckland side of the river, we walked on until we found a place to have a little ice cream.  Here’s my new favorite flavor, Caramel Moose Tracks.  It is YUMMY TO MY TUMMY!

My FAVORITE TOY is my Nikon D90.  Duh!

One of the things I DID THIS WEEK, I have mentioned already.  I went out to Shelburne Falls with my daughter to the Bridge of Flowers.  Here’s a view of it from the car bridge that stands next to it.

On the Buckland side of the river while we were walking along, I noticed a door that had the number 42 on it.  If you are a Douglas Adams fan, you know that 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything.  That’s my ANYTHING!


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

The things you see along the way…

I went searching through my Florida pics from January to find some photos of my nephew Neil and his wife Winona.  While on the search, I got stuck looking at some road pictures.  It occurred to me that I hadn’t really looked at these at all and I decided to post some today.  Here are some of the things we saw along the way on our drive to and from Apalachicola, Florida.

I think we may have seen the world’s largest peanut at a rest area in the state of Alabama.

Going through the town of Dothan, Alabama, a charming and interesting place indeed, we saw many murals.  This one reminds me that violence among men is nothing new.

Seen on the back of a truck.  We never did figure out what they support…
but then I’m not really sure I care.

We saw a cat with a deep interest in antiques.

Road Work Ahead…Really???

Have you ever wondered what birds on a wire talk about all day?  Here’s what I think.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Scavenger Hunt on a beautiful day…

Here are this week’s prompts:  Happiness, Spring in Black and White, Family or Faith, Fuzzy and Gathering or Provide.
HAPPINESS for me is living comfortably in a beautiful place surrounded by nature and great neighbors.  We are so incredibly fortunate.


My FAITH lies in the beauty and resiliency of nature.  Our magnolia that was heavily damaged in a freak snowstorm a couple years ago is once again beginning to bloom.  I stand in awe of nature.

Once again, here is our magnolia showing off its beautiful FUZZY buds.

This is my current WIP (work in progress).  I am making an African Flower throw.  This entails crocheting a bunch of African Flowers and GATHERING them together to make one piece of fabric.  I learned a few things from this project.  First, I never have enough scraps to make a project, which is what this started out to be…a scrap busting project.  So now I have even more scraps to use up.  Second, it is really important to read all the directions before beginning a project.  I know that but don’t always do it.  And thirdly, if I ever make another African Flower throw, I will use the join-as-you-go method, which I would have known if I had read all the directions.  Whip-stitching these motifs together is a true pain.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Horses, fences and 5 random thoughts…

1)  The events happening in Boston right now are simply surreal.  I am having a hard time wrapping my head around all this and am wondering how long it can possibly go on.  I have no idea whether or not it is the best way to handle this hunt for the Marathon bomber, but I do know that the news coverage is over the top.  For one thing, I think it is appalling that there is no mention on the national news of the tragedy in West, Texas.  There has been so much time wasted on pure speculation about what is going on in Boston, where this person is, who he may or may not be affiliated with.  Sure, it is important that we stay informed, but there is other stuff going on in the world that is important, too.  I want them to take some time away from trying to guess what may happen to tell us some concrete facts about what is happening.  Rant over.

2)  At times like this, I sure am glad we live in the country.  We are an hour west of Boston and if we didn’t have a television and didn’t check facebook, we would have no idea what is going on there.  But I feel for the people who live there and have been on pins and needles all day.

3)  In order to stay sane, we are going to a rock and roll music trivia night tonight.  We bid on it and won it in a silent auction last year.  This should be fun.  The contest is four against one.  The one happens to be a friend of ours who is a musician who, according to those who have played him before, can’t be beat.  The chance is good that his streak won’t be broken tonight, but we’ll have fun trying.

4)  You know, I love my Toyota Prius, but one of my keys needs a new battery.  In order not to forget that, I put a note on my calendar that shows up every Monday and says “Think about Prius Key.”  It has been there for about a month and a half and, by golly, I haven’t thought about it once when I could do anything about it.  I guess that method doesn’t work.

5)  I don’t understand Google+.  Help!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Life and Times of Olive the Pug: Visiting the horses…

It was a perfect spring day here in Central Massachusetts yesterday.  Temperatures were hovering around 70 degrees and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky.  Seemed like just the day to take Olive to visit the horses.

When we got down to the pasture, the horses were grazing up on a hill pretty far away from us.  But we could tell that a couple of them knew we were there.  Now, I have it on good authority that horses tend to be nosey parkers so I expected them to come and greet us.  But yesterday, these particular horses were acting like we weren’t worth the time of day to them.  So we continued on to the turtle pond to see if the turtles were out sunbathing.  Sure enough, there they were.

We hung around to admire the turtles for a while and then turned to go back past the horses.  The minute one spied us, they all came galloping down the hill.

They probably wanted to see if we had anything for them to eat.  But I don’t feed these horses because there has been a sign out asking us not to.  Still, I am more than happy to rub their noses.  They seem to like that.  We had a nice conversation with the horses.  Olive kicked some dirt on them to show them who is boss in this neigh...borhood.  They paid no attention to her.  Then we said good bye and continued on home where a tired little pug could get some rest.

Here’s a fact about pugs that you may not be aware of.  A pug's tail only curls up tight when she is awake and alert.  If she gets tired out or is sleeping, her tail relaxes.
  Or maybe, in Olive's case, she just liked the way the horses' tails looked.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Look for the helpers…

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in Massachusetts.  I got up as usual and got to enjoy my second cup of coffee watching baseball as the Red Sox traditionally start at 11:00 a.m. on Patriots Day.   It was a good game and the Sox won.  After the game to celebrate the beautiful day, we decided to take the dog out to lunch to one of our favorite outdoor eating places.  And afterwards, we took the long way home.

Once home, I went to my office to begin to wade through e-mails.  That’s when Greg called up to me and asked if I had heard the news.  A bomb went off at the Boston Marathon.
For the rest of the afternoon, we sat, like so many did, watching the coverage as events unfolded.
  Seeing the same videos over and over.
  Despair creeping in.
  Who would do such a thing?

Then at one point, I checked my Facebook page and saw that my daughter, Carrie, had shared a quote from Fred Rogers:  “When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers.  You will always find people who are helping.’”  It made me take a breath and begin to look at the news coverage with new eyes.

My heart goes out to the victims of this heinous act and their families.  And my thanks and profound admiration goes out to the many people who, without thought of their own vulnerability, rushed toward the victims to do what they could to help, to the weary runners who continued on to the hospitals to donate blood, to the citizens of Boston who opened their doors to strangers in need.
  Because of people like you, I will never lose hope for a better world.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Scavenger Hunt Sunday...

Another Sunday...another Scavenger Hunt.  Here are the prompts:
  Glow, Old, Shadow, Spring and Smile.  And here's what I came up with.

On my way home from the grocery the other day, I noticed that the pond was nice and flat and the sun was in an interesting spot.  I had to stop.  Here is Blueberry Island with a nice GLOW.

What's better than an OLD barn?   Nothing!

A ride out in the country this time of year reveals lots of tree SHADOWS.

There isn't a whole lot of stuff springing out around here yet but Carrie and I came across this nice row of willow trees the other day.  I love how they turn gold in the SPRING.

Question of the day:  Do Bearded Dragons SMILE?  I think they do.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Three random fences and five random thoughts…

I got lucky on Monday when Carrie and I went out to Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory.  I came home with fence pictures.  The first was a shot taken inside of Magic Wings, the second was taken at Historic Deerfield, a living museum in (duh!) Deerfield, Massachusetts and the third is on a country road close to the museum in Deerfield.

My Random 5

1)  My son Evan is not done reading the third book the A Song of Fire and Ice series (aka The Game of Thrones) by George R. R. Martin.  I am itching to get my hands on that book.  Read faster, kid!!

2)  I have decided to start a 365 project on my birthday this year, which is June 25, and have started a notebook of ideas.  A 365 project is a photo a day for a year, in case you aren’t familiar.  I will be posting them on my Flickr site.  Any suggestions from any of you would be most appreciated.  
I will definitely not be doing self-portraits.

3)  Friends of ours are having a house concert this evening and we’re going.  The musicians are called “MagicalStrings.” It is a group of harp and dulcimer players.  That’s something different for a Friday night!

4)  I hate iTunes!  Why do they have to make things so difficult?   Can you say "necessary evil?"

5)  Greg and I went to the Red Sox game last night.  It wasn’t a nice night and the game wasn’t very good but I still love baseball.  We were in Boston twice in one week.  That may be a first for me since I quit working there.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Life and Times of Olive the Pug: Three States Edition…

Sometimes when a dog is just lying around sleeping and minding her own business, her dreams come true.  That happened to Olive the pug the other day.  In the midst of her morning siesta, someone said, “Who wants to go for a ride?”  Because the word “ride” always gets a dog’s attention, Olive is at the alert and ready to go in no time.

For that 15 seconds or so before a dog gets settled into the back seat of the car and falls back asleep, her imagination goes wild.  After all, it wasn’t all that long ago that she fell asleep in the back seat and woke up in Florida.  She doesn’t allow herself to remember that last week, she fell asleep in the back of the car and wound up at the groomer.  A dog is more optimistic than that.

This time, we're heading out on the back roads of Connecticut to one of our favorite places that, on nice days, will allow dogs to have lunch with their humans…The Vanilla Bean in Pomfret.

 After lunch, the male human decides that a little ice cream for dessert would be just the ticket on a beautiful spring day such as it was.  And the wanderings began.  It seems that most of the usual places for ice cream in Connecticut aren’t open yet…people being far less optimistic than dogs.  So we cross over to Rhode Island in search of the illusive dish of ice cream.
More disappointment ensues, so we head for home.  “Wait!  Maybe Rondeau’s Dairy Bar is open,” says the man.  Off we go to Palmer, Massachusetts, where in the end a dog gets to lick the bowl.
  Can a day get much better than that?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Looking for lizard babies…

My daughter Carrie has a thing for lizards of all kinds.  Well, if truth be told, I like them quite a lot, too.  So when Carrie found out that there were two new chameleon babies born at Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory, she wanted to go and I decided that I wanted to go with her.  Yesterday we finally made it.  Both of us have been fighting colds but managed to get past them enough that we could make the trip.
Here’s what we saw.  

I think this butterfly should be called the “My next prom dress is going to look just like this” butterfly.  I think that they are just as festive as they can be.

There are always hibiscus flowers at Magic Wings in various stages of unfolding.

This butterfly knows that pink flowers really show off his nice chocolate brown wings.

This bearded dragon was really in a mood to pose yesterday.

But here’s what we came to see.  This precious little thing was just about an inch and a half long not including its tail.  You can see that it is a male as its horns are just starting to sprout.  The other baby was not being nearly as cooperative.