Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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A Photo a Week Challenge: Delicate

While Katie and I were up north we happened across a wildflower garden that had attracted a lot of monarch butterflies.

You may or may not know that the monarchs are endangered and oh so delicate. It was good to see many of them enjoying the garden on the shores of Lake Michigan.

I felt privileged to have been there while they were lunching.


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It’s too darn hot!

Katie here.

Listen people, I’m totally bored. Mama needs to find something for me to do that is inside with air conditioning! It’s just too darn hot outside for me with all my flowing fur.

Let’s take a walk.

I still like to go outside, but only in the morning, and even then only for a little bit. Sometimes I forget and take mama way up the road on my daily walk. Then, when we’re like four or five houses away I realize it’s too hot and I find some shade and lay down!

Mama usually just stands there and waits for me to rest up. So far I’ve rested up in almost every neighbor’s front yard. They’re OK with that, after all I’m the only princess they know, and so they feel it’s somewhat of an honor to have me choose their front lawn to grace.

Bits of color in the woods.

Sometimes I even make mama carry me home. She’s not so happy when that happens, and every time she reminds herself not to let me get so far from home next time. But then the next time comes and I convince her to go to “just one more mailbox mama!”

Mama is a little slow, as I’ve mentioned before.

Patterns.

So anyway, I haven’t been to any of my parks in a very long time. Even the ones with shade. Mama tried once and I only walked a few yards and then I sat down. Mama says she doesn’t want to take any chances with me overheating.

The most exciting thing I’ve done lately is go out with her when she’s weeding in the morning. I get to sit in the shade and watch her work. I think that’s pretty nice. Even then she watches me like a hawk and if I look like I’m overdoing she makes me go inside. She’s sort of a helicopter mama.

More color hiding behind a log.

Yesterday we were sitting on the deck out back. Mama was sitting in the shade reading and I was supposed to be sitting next to her, watching the birds. Well, I decided (twice) to go sit on the sunny side of the deck and go to sleep. Mama was not happy. Each time she got up and brought me back into the shade. When I went over there a third time she picked me up and put me in the house.

Mama is as stubborn as I am.

Growing into the fence.

She says she’ll make it up to me. She says that once it cools off, sometime in September or October she will take me to all my parks. She says I’ll have a good time then. (Obviously she’s never heard that song about the cat and the cradle.) She says I should be patient.

Right mama. Patient. I’m a sheltie, remember?

Bird condo with covered entry.

But she did scout out a new park for me today. She says I’ll like it. There’s lots of shade and hills and a big wide trail. Brand new sniffing places she says! All the pictures on this blog are from her walk over there.

Lots of hills just waiting for me to explore!

I’m trying very hard not to be jealous.

But it’s hard.


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Just a walk in the park

Felt good to be on the path again.


It’s a misty Sunday morning, cool compared to Alabama where I’ve been, and the chest pains seem to be a memory. Oh the back still aches, but it’s a more muted pain now, so it seemed a good time to take a walk.

Just to see if activity stirred things up again.

Wasn’t planning on getting off the path anyway.

With a hint of rain hovering over me I headed down the bike path at a local park. I was feeling guilty because I didn’t take Katie-girl, and she would have enjoyed the cool breeze.

Heck. She enjoys going to a park anywhere any time.

Sweet smelling milkweed

Still, I wanted to walk at a pace that wouldn’t agree with her. No time for sniffing every plant you know. But don’t tell her I stopped to take a few photos.

I guess my picture taking is similar to her plant sniffing.

So many shades of green!

Hardly anyone was out there so early on a rainy morning. I took advantage of that to jog a few steps. Very few because though walking didn’t do much to up the pain level, jogging seemed more problematic.

I guess it’s been awhile.

Yellow flowers lead up to my favorite tree.

It was only two miles, but it was a pretty two miles and I’m glad I went. My back still aches, but my chest didn’t hurt.

I’d say that’s progress.

Purple accents a good morning.


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All those extras

An evening walk.


For the past three weeks I’ve been walking a bit every day…part of a challenge to walk for 365 days, each day sharing on Facebook a photo of something I’ve seen.

I don’t think it’s a formal challenge, not something a whole lot of people are doing. It certainly hasn’t gone viral. But it intrigued me, and I figured it would get me out the door.

Plus you know me. I like to find things, big and small, to share with you when I go for walks.

I know you’re not all friends with me on Facebook – some of you probably aren’t on Facebook at all. So maybe you haven’t seen the images I’ve posted there. I guess I could put together a slide show of the first 24 days or so….

A patch of trillium hidden back in the woods.

…but this post was meant to talk about the photos that didn’t make the cut. After the first day I decided to limit myself to posting on Facebook only one photo per day for the challenge. I’m posting my favorite one out of the inevitable batch I’ll have taken on each walk.

Crab apple blooms bright in the evening light.

It turns out, not surprisingly, that I can’t take just one photo on a walk. Even when all I have with me is my phone.

Early spring oak leaves show subtle color.

And now I wonder what I should do with the extra photos. Are they destined for obscurity, never to be seen by anyone but me?

Hungry horse down the road.

All the photos on this post were leftovers, extra images, not used, but not unloved.

What do you think I should do?

Evening light shines through new maple leaves.


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Benefits

Katie here!

If you’re Facebook friends with mama you know she’s working on a new challenge. She calls it her #365project. Seems like mama always has some project going on but most of the time I ignore it because it’s not about me, and, as I’m a princess, I believe it should always be about me.

Come on! We’re going for a walk!

But this project is brilliant! It makes mama go on a walk every day and post a picture on Facebook of something she saw. Think about it. A walk every day!

Even before the leaves come in there’s plenty of pretty in the woods.

And guess what? Sometimes mama takes me along with her! I’ve been to more parks in the past 13 days (today is day 14 of her project) than I’ve been in months! Why this week alone we’ve been to three parks!

It’s a perfect day for a walk!

I tell you, mama should get involved in stuff like this more often! I can’t believe my luck, though yesterday we didn’t get going until late in the day and it was too hot for me.

It’s hot mama, can we go back?

We only got a few hundred yards into the woods when I turned around to go back to the car and air conditioning. Mama said that was OK, we still got a walk in. She’s a good egg, my mama.

Earlier in the week we were at one of my parks and mama was busy taking pictures of pretty things that were not me! Most of the pictures in this blog post are from that walk. It was rainy and cool, perfect for a Sheltie Princess.

We had time to enjoy the reflections on the quiet lake.

Also perfect because no one else was out there and I got to walk off leash. When mama was busy taking pictures of not me I got to wander around. Mama didn’t worry, because she knows I won’t go very far away from her.

I’ll wait over here mama.

We saw lots of pretty stuff, even on a gloomy rainy day. It was one of my best walks ever!

The willow trees announce spring.

Mama said she was a little worried about taking on this 365 day walking project, but she’s been enjoying herself, and I love the fact we get to go go go! You might want to try it too. Don’t let the big number overwhelm you. Take it one walk at a time.

And if you’ve got a Princess (or Prince) at home, bring them along too. It’s good to spend time together outside exploring.

This path looks interesting.

You’ll both enjoy it!

Less talking, more walking mama!


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Took time to notice

Ann, over at her blog The Year(s) of Living Non-Judmentally, posted recently about noticing the things around us. I used to do that, notice little things, when I was a runner. I don’t run anymore, but on a good day I can still notice pretty or interesting things.

Yesterday was a good day, and I thought I’d show you a few of the things I noticed. They made me smile, I hope you smile too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Hey!

What about me, mama? Aren’t I pretty?

Why yes baby, yes you are.

I thought so. Geeze…


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Mountain dog continuing saga

Katie here!

I thought this sign was pretty. Plus it helps me remember how to spell Cherokee.

Early yesterday mama was complaining that it was cold. Really really cold. I checked and it was a balmy 36F (2.22C) when we went out to explore the yard around 4 a.m. I don’t know what she was complaining about, it was perfect if you ask me, but she never asks me. At 4 a.m. she mostly grunts.

Anyway, she was messaging with a friend later in the morning and mentioning how cold it was and then it hit her. Cold. Sheltie. Hiking in Alabama. She figured out she shouldn’t waste such a good opportunity to take me somewhere fun. And, because she’s a good mama, she hopped right off her comfy sofa and bundled me up in the car and away we went!

Her friend Jamie told her last week about this cool trail called the Cherokee Alpine Trail not too far from where we’re staying. So she looked it up and decided we’d explore it!

Turquoise waters on a sunny day.

My goodness, what a beautiful place! Though I had to ask mama why we drove for like 20 minutes so that we could have a view of the lake when we have a view of the lake from home? Mama said to hush. But it was really really windy and cold up there, so we headed to the woods as fast as we could.

Hurry up mama, let’s get to the hiking part of this adventure!

The whole Alpine Trail is 4 miles and mama says even though it was refreshingly cool four miles would be too much for us, so we decided we’d just go part of the way and see how it went. Mostly it went downhill.

This is the last time I’m posing mama!

Mama was kinda worried that we’d have a long climb to get back to the car, but I told her what did she think it would be, seeing as we were on top of the mountain at the parking lot? Nowhere to go but down!

Watch your step mama! I’ll wait for you!

She was trying to hold my leash and hang on to her camera and not slip down the pine straw covered path. Eventually she just let go of my leash and let me trot down at sheltie speed while she bumbled her way down behind me. I had to wait for her a bunch, but I didn’t complain. You have to be patient when you’re hiking with a senior citizen.

Isn’t this the best fun mama?

We got down to the bottom of the mountain and I got to play on the lake shore at a pretty little beach. I just loved it!

Worth coming all the way down here, right mama?

I ran and ran, back and forth, barking at the waves and grinning the whole time. Mama told me they were just teeny tiny waves but I wanted to show them who was boss so I told them off. Mama did a lot of eye rolling.

I got the zoomies on the beach!

Then she said we had to head back up the mountain. It felt like we had already walked a gazillion miles and she was worried I’d get tired. I didn’t want to go back the way we came and pointed out that the sign said the parking lot was the other way anyway, and only .6 miles away!

Ahem…mama…I think we should go this way.

Good thing I can read. Mama would have taken the long way back!

The trail went up and down and all around through the woods. Sometimes it was just stuck on the side of the mountain and you had to watch where you were going. Mama let me walk it without her hanging on to me. That works best for us. That way I’m not dragging her along too fast.

This is a good spot to rest while I’m waiting for my mama.

Mama said I was a mountain goat. I think that’s a compliment.

When we finally got back to the car mama checked the map again cause it felt like we walked all four miles, but darn it, it really was just a little over one mile. I think miles should count double if they are straight up or straight down, don’t you?

Back on top of the mountain again!

On our drive home we got sorta lost. The GPS said to turn left but some guys were paving the road so we went straight and eventually the GPS took us on a little road that just got smaller and smaller.

Go ahead and take the long way home, mama, I’ll be resting my eyes in the back.

Mama was starting to say bad words and she didn’t even breath when we had to go over a rickety one lane bridge. But she got to see a barn so that made her feel lots better even though it took us twice as long to get home as it did to get to the park.

Obligatory barn photo.

When I got home I took a really long drink and then wiped my face on mama’s bed. And then I took a nap.

What you lookin at?

What a great day! I think the temperature in Alabama should never go above 43 degrees. I’m sure everyone would agree that it’s better to be cool than hot. Am I right?

Maybe I should try to get that on the next ballot. It would probably be the least controversial issue there!

Talk later, your Mountaineer Princess-gal Katie.

A little wind in my furs.