Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Something to smile about

It’s been a long week at Katie’s house. She came home from the hospital last weekend, with lots of meds, lots of rules, and a plastic cone she dubbed her Easter Bonnet.

Mama. I just don’t think this is a good look for me.

She did look quite adorable in her bonnet once she started smiling again. But don’t tell her I said that, as her head is plenty big enough as it is. And while wearing her bonnet she insists on smashing it into the back of my legs if she dosen’t get everything she wants.

She’s especially adorable when she’s asleep, and not weilding her bonnet as a weapon.

Anyway.

I did get a walk in – – without her, and don’t tell her that either! – – and noticed something that made me smile.

Proof that spring happens no matter what.

It’s definitely spring!

I hope you found at least one thing to smile about this week too. If I stop and think about it I have plenty to be happy about. My girl is home and getting better every day and the trees are blooming and the grass is greening and bits of hope are pushing up out of the ground, ready for another summer.

It’s time to let those smiles fly! Thanks, Trent, for continuing to remind us all just how much we really have to smile about!


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Our girl

On this beautiful spring day our girl, the Princess Katie, is at an emergency vet clinic having surgery to take our her gallbladder. They will also biopsy her liver while they’re in there, as her bloodwork shows a marked increase in values that are worrisome.

Our backyard this morning.

I had planned on putting the tent up yesterday afternoon, and spending last night with her camping in our backyard. We’re having unseasonably warm weather and she’s been a bit listless. I thought she’d enjoy a night outside.

Hopeful yellow everywhere.

But we found out yesterday that she’s listless for more scary reasons than just being bored.

One strong blossom sitting alone.

She’s in surgery now. She (and we) would appreciate any good thoughts you have to spare. She’s a senior girl, but she’s one of the strongest seniors I’ve ever met.

Hope shines.

If any dog can get through this at her age, she can.

Pure love.

Our girl.

UPDATE: 11:30 am She’s out of surgery, in ICU, they are waking her up now. She did good, some biopsies were taken and are off to the lab. Now we wait for those reports. She’ll stay in the hospital for another day or so. Can’t wait to kiss her nose again.


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Gotcha Day

Hi you guys! It’s me, Katie! Guess what, guess what, guess what?!?!?!?!

Today, Wednesday March 31, is my Gotcha Day! For those of you that don’t know, it’s sort of like a birthday but it’s the anniversary of the day that a doggie (or a cat I suppose, though really do cats truly celebrate anything?) moved into his or her forever home.

Here we are on my Gotcha Day at one of my parks!

Fourteen years ago today I picked mama and daddy to be my furever parents. Don’t tell them but I think I got a good deal. I mean seriously, look at the wonderful life full of adventures that I’ve had so far!

OK, so this past year has been pretty passive, no real adventures at all, but on the other hand they’ve been home with me just about every single day. And to be honest, that’s all I really want, to be near mama and daddy all the time.

Mama says my park still matches my furs, not much green around here yet!

Lately, even though they’re home more, it’s harder for me to keep track of them. I don’t hear them moving around as well as I used to, and if I rest my eyes for a moment they disappear. I have to go hunt them up all the time — they’re usually just in another room, but sometimes it takes me a long time to find them and I start to panic. I think there should be some kind of rule that they have to wake me up if they leave the room.

I’ve told mama off a few times when I couldn’t find her right away. Also when she left me home with daddy and went on an adventure without me. Not fair, but I guess she deserves some mom-time once in awhile. Even I admit I’m sort of high maintenance.

There was hardly anyone out here! I guess that’s cause it was Wednesday, and not everyone is retired like mama.

Today mama took me to a park to celebrate my Gotcha Day. It was pretty perfect, cool with a wind that made mama wish she had worn gloves. We didn’t walk very far. Mama said I could walk wherever I wanted and I did, but turned around sooner than she expected.

I say, no sense over doing, right? Plus mama took me to the park late in the afternoon and it was getting close to supper time. A princess like me doesn’t like to be late to dinner.

Mama likes it when my furs glow.

Anyway, I enjoyed my quiet Gotcha Day. In 2018 I was adventuring down south on my day. You can read about it while I dream about it. It was pretty cool, but I’m thinking I’ve maybe outgrown those big adventures now. I’m much more mature, if you know what i mean.

Surprise! It’s spring in tiny little ways!

I hope you had a great day too and that you spent some time outside enjoying spring (or fall if you’re from the Southern Hemisphere!). Mama says she knows it’s spring now because the skunk cabbage is coming up!

Whatever mama.

Skunk cabbage coming up! Another sign of spring!!!


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When all you can do is take a walk

I was lucky enough to get my first covid vaccine yesterday. Health workers at the clinic were congratulating people as they were being injected. The air crackled with optimisim. I felt optimistic too.

Hey everybody, what’s that up there?

But this morning, with a very sore arm and unable to sleep I began to scroll through Facebook. I got tangled up in reading about Georgia’s new voting rules, put into effect by it’s governor yesterday. Feelings of optimisim began to fade.

I know I’m beautiful.

This isn’t going to be a political post, suffice it to say I don’t see how these new rules can be viewed as anything but voter supression. But I know there are others out there with different opinions.

Anyway. I got so depressed scrolling that I finally just up and left the house. I wasn’t sure where I’d go, but I ended up where I usually go when I’m needing some alone outside time.

I really want to come get a treat, but I’m too cool to sit on your hand.

We had torrential rains this morning, but the rain was letting up as I got to Kensington. Because the weather had been so bad there were very few other people there. The wind was brisk, the air heavy with the last of the rain.

It was cold.

I kind of felt like I shouldn’t head out on a hike around the lake. After all, what would I see? But I dug out my hat and gloves and, putting my head down, headed out anyway. Going home didn’t seem a good option.

The titmouse grabs a treat while Mr. ‘too cool to sit on your hand’ watches.

And I’m glad I went for that walk. Pictures here are straight from the camera today, none are edited. They aren’t anything you haven’t seen from me before, but they are a few of my favorites, and the reason I began to smile even in the rain, even with my sore arm.

Well hi there!

Even if the country still seems terribly divided, even if covid is spiking in my state again.

And by the time I left the park four hours later the sun was breaking through the clouds and the sky was blue. I even put my gloves back in my pocket.

Cutest little titmouse ever!

Kensington succeeded at raising my spirits, as it always does. I hope each of you has a place like this to go when you have a bad day. And if you don’t, I hope these images help just a little.

I’m happy to share them with you.

Turns out it was a beautiful day!


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Don’t miss this waterfall!

On my drive north from Alabama last week I took a quick (or not so quick) detour 50 miles east of my route home to see Burgess Falls. Husband and I had been to see it several years ago in the middle of a summer when there was significantly less water flowing than this time of year.

A little waterfall on the hike back to the big one.

It rained hard the evening and night before I drove over to the falls, and it has been raining for months in the Southeast. There was a squishy walk of about a mile back to the falls. I didn’t mind, there were plenty of pretty things to see along the way. Plus I knew I had hours of driving ahead of me. A little walk would be just the thing.

Everything was damp and green and muddy.

The river was roaring, over it’s banks and moving fast. Just like all the other rivers I’d crossed the day before and would cross on my trek north.

My first clue that the waterfall would be ferocious.

I remembered, as I walked, our last visit to this park where we had trekked down a steep metal staircase, and then climbed over boulders to sit at the base of the falls. I was pretty sure that wouldn’t be possible, judging from the volume of water rushing down the river.

And I was right. See those boulders and trees down there in the river? That’s an island and we sat on those rocks and watched people swimming in the pool below the waterfall.

So much water. And the noise!

You wouldn’t want to be out there now. Still, some steps led down ‘to the falls’ so I went down to see what was what.

Wonder what’s down there?

Personally I think those stairs should be closed. It leads you right to the top of the falls where it would be so easy to slip and fall into the raging river.

Teenagers throwing sticks into the water. I couldn’t watch.

I scurried right back up, and told the family at the top who were contemplating the trip down not to do it, it wasn’t worth the climb, and it was too dangerous for their kids.

Other than that I enjoyed my brief time at the falls, and I’d go back again when some of the water dries up. I’m sure there will be plenty of repair work to do before it’s safe to go down to the bottom again.

It was worth getting a little muddy.

Regardless of the water flow this is one stunning waterfall and worth a detour to see it! And I got to see a few barns on the way over there.

Couldn’t resist stopping for this one.

And some more cows.

Cows and their barn.

So even though it added a few hours to my trip home I think it was all worth it. That’s the best part about a road trip –turning left instead of right once in awhile.

Such a pretty place, Tennessee.


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Torn

I’m back in Michigan, and it’s lovely here, with sun and blue sky, a bit of white snow left on the ground. It might get to 50F this afternoon.

My last night at the lake the sky finally cooperated and provided a worthy sunset.

Still.

The fact that it was a foggy morning made it somewhat easier to leave.

In Alabama it was beginning to warm up too, daffodils were blooming, and when the sun broke through the rain clouds we enjoyed temperatures in the 70s.

For weeks, this trip, I passed this field and remembered one year when cows where there and how photogenic the spot was. But I never saw any cows there until the day I was leaving town.

My last day in Alabama I sat on the deck and enjoyed listening to the birds singing. The brown thrush were chasing each other around the yard. Blue birds were flitting everywhere. Robins sang in the morning and ducks and geese gathered in the lake.

I took tiny little two lane roads that curled through the mountains as I headed north. The better to find interesting things to photograph.

It would have been wonderful, after almost a full month of rain, to sit there for a few more days.

There were a lot of interesting places along the way.

Still.

You don’t always have to have a structure to make an image interesting. Especially with fog.

My husband and my Katie-girl were in Michigan and I’d been gone a long time. I felt somewhat guilty lounging around in the South while my husband dog-sat the demanding princess.

So many old, abandoned homesteads tucked in the hills.

Still.

I think about all the families whose dreams moved on to somewhere else.

My sister and brother are in the South and I hadn’t seen either of them in more than two years, so it was great to spend weekends with them, painting with my sister, going on a boat ride with my brother. It would have been nice to stick around and spend more time with them.

So many barns hanging on.

Still.

So many decisions to make.

My girl, who lives in the moment, had spent enough moments without her mama. She must have felt like she’d never see me again.

A high point in Alabama. Plus the sun started to break through the fog.

Still.

Lots of barns still in use.

There were more adventures to be had in the south.

I turned around to get this, because of the car.

Still.

A cozy barn nestled in the hills.

There are adventures to be had in the north too.

Solidly facing a new day.

So here I am, enjoying sunshine while wearing a coat, tickling the princess tummy, feeding my birds, watching the squirrels. And it’s good.

Some grey barns are by design, not by age.

Still….

Photos in this post are from my last evening at the lake, and my drive north.

Kinda missing this place now.