Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Back yard shenanigans

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve captured quite a lot of goings on in my backyard.

My husband gets all the attention, but I’m more beautiful if you take the time to look.

These are the kinds of things I never got to watch when I was going to work every day.

I should take some of this back to the missus.

The kinds of things I always imagined were going on and wished I could wittness for myself.

This place has the best drinks.

So I’m feeling quite lucky that I’m around to enjoy the fun stuff happening right outside my windows.

I swear this kid eats like a horse.

I hope you feel lucky to see it all too.

It can stop raining any time now.

In fact, I don’t have more words to fill the spaces, so I’ll just pile on the images.

Pink brings out my feminine side.

I’m sure you won’t mind.

Do you think this peanut is too big for my mouth?

Enjoy.

I’m just a kid, can someone tell me where the best diners are?
No tree is going to outshine my colors!
My preferred food does not appear to be in the feeder lady!
You’re going to fix that – – right?
Well if I’m going to be ignored I’ll just turn my back on you… you’re watching, right?
A mother’s work is never done.
Doing my pilates.
I’m ready for my post-workout massage now.

I hope you are grinning now. I do every day, there’s always something going on out there.


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It’s been a tough few weeks

Katie here. I know some of you have been worried about me, and I blame mama for that. After all, who is she to call me an old dog!? Do I look like an old dog to you?

This was taken today while mama and I sat in the nice cool grass.

No I do not. The fact that I’m 14.5 years old is irrelevent, it’s just a number, you know?

But it has been a rough few weeks, ever since I got that pesky gallbladder out at the beginning of April. The vets put me on some strong antibiotics for six whole weeks, and they sure played havoc with everything! Especially my tummy.

So, since I wasn’t feeling too good I decided I didn’t want to eat the stinky food they were feeding me. And then I didn’t want my old food either. And sometimes I didn’t even want the food mama cooked especially for me.

The primroses in my garden are blooming right now!

Everybody got worried.

But as soon as I got off those awful medicines I started to feel a little better. I ate some, but every day I’d decide what I liked or didn’t like. And it was always different.

Lounging around, as is due any princess.

I like to keep mama and daddy on their toes. They’d think they had figured out what would work and in a few days I’d decide I didn’t want to eat that anymore. Mama and daddy say their house looks like a pet food store now, they have a little bit (and sometimes a lot) of everything I might possibly want to eat.

Yesterday I decided I might not like the new wet food that I’ve been gulping down the past three days. Then daddy got up and offered the same food to me and I licked the bowl clean. Mama is starting to sigh a lot.

These are my wildflowers. They still have some growing to do.

This afternoon I was napping on the floor and mama got down there with me. I asked her to tickle my tummy which she did, but she seemed sort of sad. She said it was because in the old days when she got on the floor to cuddle with me I’d always get up and move somewhere else. I am not a cuddle dog. But today I felt like cuddling and she wonders if maybe it’s because I didn’t feel well.

I even gave her a kiss, which never happens. I think her eyes got a little leaky then. Mine did too.

I guess cuddling isn’t so bad after all.

So anyway.

I want to reassure all my fans that I still have lots of pretty good days. I get to go on walks and mama carries me home. I got to go to my park last week, and if it ever stops raining I’m sure I’ll get to go again. Mama says we’ll go camping in the backyard if I want to, and mama and daddy are both trying to find me the best yummy food that I’ll love. Sometimes I even bark at mama for fun, just like in the olden days.

Happy in my front yard.

All in all, I’m doing OK. I will certainly keep you all posted if anything changes. Mama says everybody should hug their own pets or kids a whole bunch. She says the more you do that the less the chance your eyes will leak when you get surprise kisses.

I think that’s pretty good advice.

Yep, I’m a happy girl.

Talk later, your gal Katie.


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Smiling in the rain

Seems like the weather all across the country has gone crazy. Temperatures over 100F (37.7C) in Oregon where it’s usually cool and wet. Flash flood producing rains here in lower Michigan and elsewhere.

At first I thought the only barn photos I’d get would be from the Plaza reststops on the turnpike.

Everything here is soggy from days and days of constant rain, and it’s been raining all day today too. You’d think I’d be kind of depressed by all the dark skies and thick humid air. But I’m not. In fact I’m finding it sort of cozy to be curled up inside on the sofa listening to rain on the windows.

Right up against a winding, hilly road, I’m surprised it hasn’t been hit and taken out by a truck.

There’s no pressure to go out and weed, though that’s going to be a huge job once it stops raining. No walks in the park, no bike rides that I never seem to get to. Just lots of time to attend meetings and get clerical stuff done for the two nonprofits where I volunteer.

These first images are from Pennsylvania, with picturesque farms tucked away in the mountains.

Even Katie seems content to nap. Though she’s starting to hint that she’d like to post here soon. She says she has stuff to say. Of course she does. She’s a sheltie.

I loved the cows in the front yard.

But this post was supposed to be about what made me smile lately, so let me tell you about a impromtu trip I made to Baltimore this past weekend.

Perfectly iconic farm.

The Truck Safety Coalition was putting on a small local lunch with a couple of important objectives. One, it was an opportunity for the volunteers local to that area to get together after the long Covid shutdown. And two, we just hired a new Executive Director, and he would be attending, so it was something of a welcome lunch.

In Ohio, the wheat was ripening.

My husband and I decided to go. Katie had been eating well for almost a month and seemed like her old self. I booked her for 4 nights at camp. We planned on driving the nine hour trip, my husband’s first excursion since early 2020.

I had great weather, no significant rain the whole weekend.

Then, 2 days before our departure Katie decided she no longer liked the food she’d happily been eating. We began to hand feed her, one kibble bit at a time. Sometimes she wanted it dry. Sometimes she wanted it wet. Sometimes she’d only eat it if it was soggy.

No way she could go to camp.

Wide open flat vistas.

So husband stayed home with her and I went alone. I spread the trip over two days each way, and most of it was on either the Ohio or Pennsylvania turnpike. As you might imagine I saw lots of beautiful barns. But it was such a hassle to get on and off the turnpike, particularly in Ohio, that on the way over I didn’t stop or take a single photo.

My last day of driving was such a pretty day.

But, after a wonderful weekend among friends, on the way home I stopped twice, once in Pennsylvania and once in Ohio. Each time I drove a big country block and stopped for whatever barns I could find, then jumped right back on the turnpike again.

Red barns and golden wheat sure were pretty.

So the images in this post are from those two wanderings. I can’t show you the images I took at the lunch because I don’t have permission from any of those people to go public. Plus, it was just a bunch of pictures of people most of you don’t know eating and talking and laughing.

Add in some orange ditch lilies and you can’t help but stop for a photo!

Suffice it to say it was wonderful to be back with my Truck Safety Family, though sadly we had two new families represented. There are always new families and that’s the part that doesn’t make me smile.

But barns? Barns will always put a big ole grin on my face.

This one was a gift shop that wasn’t open when I drove by. The better not to spend more money!


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Randomness

I’m trying to finish up working on the photos I took on the camping trip that is now weeks in the past.

Under the Cut River bridge.

I feel like I shouldn’t take any new photos until I get these processed and put away.

It’s for sale, you could own this gem.

But of course there’s always something that needs photographing around here.

Cool car.

So it’s hard as time goes on to go back to the images I took so long ago.

Obviously a math teacher is selling firewood.

But I try to stay disciplined. Kind of anyway.

After 7 hours of torrential rain the only part of my tent site that was dry was right where I had been sleeping.

And looking at these images, these random images not related to any particular story, makes me smile.

Fire dancing, moments before the rains came.

So I guess it’s OK that I’m still working on them after all. Hope at least one of them made you smile too!

Iris at the Iroquis Point Lighthouse. I thought this post needed something pretty.


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Time warp

Sometimes I’ll read a blog post I wrote and then note at the bottom the links to similar posts, and I’ll click on one and read the post and then pick another link at the bottom and click on that and read and so on and so on…and time moves on and the next thing you know I’ve spent an hour or more back in time remembering.

Whitefish Bay

Such a thing happened to me today, and eventually I wound up in 2014 celebrating my 1500th blog post. I read that relatively short entry and thought how much life has changed from 2014, but how much my life is the same today too.

I enjoy blogging because it connects me to all of you, plus I have an excuse to take pictures. But I also like that it’s a history of my life. I’ve often wondered when we did something, or what happened during a particular trip, and all I have to do is go check the blog.

The mouth of the Hurricane River

I guess it’s something of a public diary.

Anyway, today I checked to see how many blog posts I’ve written, but I can’t find that statistic. Seems there’s much more about how many people are clicking on your blog than anything about what you’ve done. I’m sure it’s in there somewhere. But if I had 1500 posts in 2014 I imagine the number is double that now.

On the shores of Sable Lake

Regardless…it sure was fun bopping around in the past. You should try it on your own blogs. I think you’ll end up smiling at the memories you have stored there.

As I headed home she wished me safe travels

PS: The images here are random things I shot on my camping trip. They didn’t make it into a blog post, but I thought they deserved to be seen.


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What it means to have an old dog

Having an old dog means you have to watch where you’re stepping in the kitchen while you cook, as she’s underfoot looking for anything dropped, and she can’t hear you move around.

Having an old dog means you get to open string cheese and actually eat the whole thing because she doesn’t hear the wrapper. Or the fridge door opening.

Having an old dog means you can get up to go to the bathroom at night without her getting up and having to do the same.

Having an old dog means when she does wake up in the middle of the night to go outside she’s serious about it and you better sleep with one ear cocked.

Having an old dog means you don’t travel as much, and never as a couple because someone needs to be home with her.

Having an old dog means shorter walks and longer sits on the deck.

Having an old dog means you smile wistfully when she play bows, or attacks your feet. Because she doesn’t do that very often anymore.

Having an old dog means you stare at her when she’s sleeping, memorizing the way her fur curls around her ears.

Having an old dog means more vet appointments and bigger bills.

Having an old dog means cooking chicken and rice for someone other than your people.

Having an old dog means pointing out the squirrels in her backyard and feeling sad when she doesn’t care.

Having an old dog means sometimes you sit longer in one spot because she’s finally settled and you don’t want to make her move again.

Having an old dog means stepping out of the shower and having to dry your own legs off because she doesn’t come to lick away the water.

Having an old dog means waking her up before you go to the grocery so she doesn’t wake on her own and look for you.

Having an old dog means sometimes finding her looking for you anyway, even though you haven’t left the house.

Having an old dog means reassuring her that you’re still sitting in the same chair when she opens one eye to check on you as she naps.

Having an old dog is keeping all her toys, even her frisbee, out of sentimentality rather than any hope she’s going to play with them again.

Having an old dog means going out in the backyard to explore and sometimes having to carry her back into the house.

Having an old dog means the UPS or FedEx driver can ring the doorbell and she doesn’t go crazy barking.

Having an old dog means checking the floor after she’s been deeply asleep to make sure she hasn’t leaked.

Having an old dog means letting her choose where we go on our daily walks.

Having an old dog means sitting at a picnic table and watching her park rather than exploring much of it at all.

But mostly having an old dog means you are very very lucky.

Love you baby-girl.


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So…..lighthouses

I’m starting to feel repetitive here. All three of these lighthouses have appeared in this blog in years past. Still, lighthouses are irresistible, so maybe you won’t mind seeing them again. I didn’t mind visiting them again myself.

I was exploring the northern edge of the Upper Peninsualia, when I noticed a sign for Point Iroquois Light, and I remembered visiting it a few years ago.

A beautiful building.

During all the years I lived in the UP I never knew about this lighthouse. But it’s a special one, on a beautiful piece of land with a great view of Canada.

Canadian windmills across the way.

When we were here before it was open and we climbed the tower. This year covid has it closed, but I still enjoyed walking around the grounds. I was taking a picture of the lilac bushes along the front of the lighthouse when I realized there were butterflies everywhere.

Do you see them in this image?

So now you’ll have to indulge me while I show you some of those.

Hold still for a moment!

I spent a long time circling this lilac bush, trying to get a good shot of both types of butterflies.

I love the colors on the underside of this guy’s wings.

They didn’t stay still long, especially, it seemed, never stopping long in the sunlight.

Did you know the body of the monarch is spotted? I didn’t until just a couple weeks ago!

But it was so much fun to try. And in the end I got a few shots that I liked.

What a spectacularly beautiful day.

During this trip I camped at two locations, the first on the Straights, and the second at the mouth of the Hurricane River, where it empties into Lake Superior.

My site tucked into the trees. This was a beautiful, but rustic, campground.

This campground has a lighthouse too. You walk a mile and a half up a beautiful, wide, mostly level path above the shore of Lake Superior, out to the point where the lighthouse sits.

It’s a really pretty walk, though 1.5 miles starts to feel like a long way if you’re carrying all your photography gear.

My goal, when I made the reservation for this campground, was to do some night photography with the lighthouse in the foreground. It was a good plan.

Some of the coast here is rocky. All of it is beautiful.

I walked out there late in the afternoon one day. No one was out there, covid had this lighthouse closed too, so no park rangers were around.

Almost there!

No tourists either as the wind was picking up and another storm was on the way.

Au Sable Light Station, a beautiful compound.

It was kind of nice to have the place to myself.

I loved the colors of the brown ferns in the late afternoon light, with the red brick outbuilding.

On the other hand, it was still a couple of hours until the sun set, and a few more hours after that until it got really dark.

And I loved these sweet daisys with this building down near the water.

I started to feel uncomfortable with the thought of walking back down the path in the dark by myself. Plus there were no open restrooms out there.

The weather was changing.

So I reluctantly gave up on the idea of staying there until the stars came out. But I haven’t given it up totally. I plan to go back but bring someone with me so I’m not out there all alone!

The view from up there is stunning!

In the end it was good I headed back when I did. That evening the thunder began far off and quickly advanced until it was overhead. We ended up having 7 hours of pouring rain, lightening and thunder. I listened to it all from my cozy tent, glad I wasn’t running back through the dark and rain from the point!

As I listened to the pouring rain that night I thought about this open window in the tower. Bet no one closed it before the storm.

My last lighthouse is out at Whitefish Point. It’s a totally different sort of lighthouse from the other two.

This is the image everyone gets from the parking lot. It was starting to rain when I grabbed it.

And the beach there is totally different too.

Filled with huge fallen trees turned driftwood, tossed about by Lake Superior, it’s certainly not a swimmer’s paradise.

I had grand plans of trying to get the Milky Way behind the lighthouse. Or at least some stars.

Would have been cool with the Milky Way behind it.

It was sunny and 85 degrees when I left to drive up to Whitefish Point. When I arrived it was 58, windy and thunder was just off to the west. Another plan foiled.

And then the storm arrived.

So there you have it. Three lighthouses along the south shore of Lake Superior. Worth the trip even if I didn’t capture what I set out to get. I guess that’s the fun (and frustration) of photography.

There’s always next year. You won’t mind seeing them again, right?

It’s all about the light. And avoiding the rain.


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Every day is Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day, dad.

On this day when people everywhere are celebrating their dads, I celebrate you.

1953

I wonder what you’d look like today, at age 91. I can’t quite imagine you any other way than how I’ve always known you. You never seemed to change much, you never aged.

1959

But you will always be 75, the age you were when you were stolen from us.

I know I’m lucky we had you that long. I know plenty of families where people have been stolen or injured much earlier than 75. I know plenty of people whose parents were taken when they were much younger than I was.

1980

I know parents whose children were taken. That’s beyond anything I can even imagine.

1990

So I know we were lucky. .

2003

But I can’t help but wish you were here today.

Every day is Father’s Day, dad, because we all think about you every day.

But, I know you know that.