Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


Stress relief

Stress seems to be hovering over me like that dark cloud that follows cartoon characters.  Between Katie’s surgery and her cone of shame, my shoulder which is requiring physical therapy three times a week, and our Aunt’s move to a nursing home, it feels like the days are filled with concerns and difficult decisions.



Sometimes it feels a bit overwhelming.

I don’t remembered even noticing the sky the past few weeks, but as I left the house yesterday  the clouds struck me as kind of pretty.  The weather was changing fast, the wind blowing the clouds around and the sun popping out for brief moments of brilliant light which moved like a spotlight across the yard.

Grabbing my camera I knew I didn’t have time to go far before the sky would be totally cloud covered and we’d be sunk once again into the grey that is often  a Michigan December afternoon.  I headed toward the closest wide open country around here, not sure what I’d find, but hopeful.

And I was right.  Barns, clouds, fields, all pretty in the changing light.



I haven’t been on a barn hunt in months….maybe even a year.  It seems fitting that I get one more mini adventure in this year and that it revolve around barns.


And a church.



I was only out there an hour, and the weight of the camera made my shoulder ache, but it was wonderful.  Recent problems fell away and it was just me chasing the light through crisp air and skies filled with heavy navy clouds.

I guess it’s worth remembering to do something you love as often as possible.  It helps to deal with all the other stuff if you give yourself a break now and then.



Happy New Year everybody!  May we all work through the problems that will inevitably come along, and may we balance those out with moments of pure joy doing the things that make us happiest.






Katie and the big turtle

A year ago last fall Katie and I had an adventure with a tiny newborn turtle.   Diana will remember that I grabbed the baby turtle back out of the water right in front of a big black snake that was anticipating lunch.  This morning we tried very hard NOT to have an adventure with a much larger turtle.

Earlier in the day I noticed what looked like a big turtle in the neighbor’s front yard.  But the light was low and he had mowed his grass yesterday and I figured it was just a big clump of cut grass.  Later in the morning Katie and I went out to do her job and I noticed this trail through the dew…

…now WHAT I thought, would make a big wide flat mark like that?  Then I remembered the clump of  ‘grass’ I had noticed earlier.  I wondered…if there was a turtle, where was she?  So we tiptoed around a spruce tree…and found this:

Katie was not happy to be taken back to the house.

An hour or more later we went back outside and guess what.  She had maneuvered into the middle of our yard, on her way to the pond across the street.

It’s MY yard Mama!  I want to go see what she’s DOING!

OK, OK.  I’ll just sit right here and watch her.

Katie was again unhappy to be told to “leave it’ as we went back inside.

I was worried that she’d get smushed crossing the road, so I thought I’d pick her up and put her in a laundry basket, carry her over the road and let her go in the pond.

Not going to happen.  She hissed at me when I touched her.  So I figured she was on her own.

She’s made it to the pond safely now.  She would have made it faster if we hadn’t investigated her progress all morning.

Silly us.


Busy Sunday

The day started  rainy.  No surprise.  Early in the morning we noticed a visitor who was hoping to come inside and dry out.

Katie and I spent most of the day outside working in the garden.  Last fall we dug up a lot of overgrown perennials and now we have a lot of open garden.  The good news is we get to choose some new things to fill in the blanks.  The bad news is with all this rain weeds had already taken up residence.  After several days of weeding we’re almost ready to get to the fun part.

Katie supervised most of the work.

The tree peony is beginning to bloom…

…the viburnum is in bloom too.

Yet the pansy’s still look good.  I love this time of year!

This morning only one baby robin was still in the nest.

One of his siblings was over in the yard…he eventually flew, a little wobbly, into the shrubs by the flower garden.  If you click on the picture to make it bigger you’ll see the little adolescent spots on his back.

Late in the day we had tornado warnings and a lot of wind and rain.  By then all three baby birds had left the nest; I thought it was a bad time for them to take off on their own.  I hope they’re all right, wish they had stayed in the nest one more night, but I guess all parents, even foster bird parents, feel that way no matter when their little ones fly away.

So tomorrow maybe I’ll work on the vegetable garden which is, of course, a disaster.  Katie will do her usual supervising

It must be hard work, cause she’s sound asleep, upside down, pressed up against my leg as I sit in bed writing.

Silly dog.




Rainy weekend bird couples

Katie and I are getting a bit stir-crazy this weekend, stuck inside as the rain falls.  So we’ve been watching the bird feeder, Katie and I, and we got to watch a very loving cardinal couple.  She sat on the top of Katie’s kennel and he would go to the feeder, choose a special seed, then fly and feed it to her.  So sweet.

Later in the morning I saw this big bird hanging out.

Turns out she’s the female rose breasted grossbeak.  And eventually I was rewarded with seeing them both together at the feeder.

Seems it’s a couple’s day for birds around these parts.

Katie says:  “Enough with the birds Mom….what are we going to do for fun?


No good reason to get wet

I think we need a bit of relief from all the solemnity around here lately.  So of course I will turn to my go-to dog Katie to bring a smile to all our faces.  And it just happens that Reilly is holding another contest, hoping we’ll all share our cutest “having fun with water” photos.

I’m pretty sure Katie isn’t a beach dog, and she probably doesn’t like swimming, though she hasn’t had the opportunity to try either of these activities yet.  She has been around ponds and lakes and is always very careful not to get her feet wet.

She likes posing near water.  Heck she likes posing near anything!

Sometimes she isn’t thrilled when the water is frozen either.  But it’s spring so we won’t go there.


She goes to a groomer for her bath, so I’ve never seen her completely wet, and I didn’t think it was fair to put her in the tub this morning just so I could see what she looks like when she’s soaked.  So the closest I could come to a wet Katie-girl was to run around in the tall wet grass this morning.  Here she is in all her morning sogginess.


Katie says the only good reason to get wet is if there’s something exciting to chase!

And the best water is the water in her bowl.

She may have a point!