Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Neither here nor there

Katie here, continuing my travelog. Mama and I are headed home to daddy, and today is our second day of driving. All day. Yesterday I wasn’t very good about being in the car for so long, but I can explain!

Which looks better? Me or the mountains?

No one told me that we were driving home! I thought we were just going to the beach or the park and I didn’t understand that I’d be cooped up in the car all day! So I kept asking mama if we were there yet and by the end of seven hours she was about over the whole travel with Katie-girl thing.

So she says.

What a pretty day to travel!

Today I was a lot better, though by the last hour I did throw a bit of a fit. After all, my supper was more than 2 hours late! I had to remind mama that it was unacceptable to hold up a princess’s supper.

Anyway, we drove a little bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway on our way north. Not a lot of it, mind you, cause mama is on a mission to get home, but we got to see a little bit of it. She loves the layers of blue.

Perfect!

Me too, I could sit and look out over the view for a long time. Or until someone gives me a biscuit.

Enjoying the view.

Speaking of which, I’ve been snacking on treats Reilly’s mom packed for us. My guy even gave me heart biscuits! He’s a special guy, my Reilly.

Thank you Reilly sweetie!

Mama is really enjoying watching spring unfold all over again. It was spring weeks ago in Alabama and now that we’re in Kentucky we get to see the redbud and dogwood trees blooming all over again.

Isn’t this pretty?

And the deciduous trees are just budding out, with red and peach and orange and lime green making the mountains just glow in the sun. Mama couldn’t get a good picture of it cause she was driving. But the image below she took when we were at the Kentucky welcome center. The trees were on the other side of the freeway, and the light wasn’t as perfect as she’d seen when she was driving, but you can kinda see how beautiful it is here this time of year.

Can you see all the colors ?

Tonight mama is worried and is watching the weather channel. It looks like tomorrow we’ll be driving right into a bad storm. She can’t decide if we should get up early and try to beat the storm home, or if we should stay here for another night. But she says it would probably be two more nights because Saturday afternoon all the way into Sunday looks bad.

I don’t know what we’re going to do. Mama says we should get some sleep and see what tomorrow looks like. I personally think we should go back to our lake house, but mama says she has stuff to do in Michigan.

Glad we had a good day, cause tomorrow is going to be different.


Stuff to do? I thought she was retired!

Signing off….your travel guide Katie-girl.

Just another photo of me. Mama just won’t quit.


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How I spent my Gotcha Day

This looks like a magical place!


Katie here! Did you know that March 31 is my Gotcha Day? That’s the anniversary of the day I came home to live with my mama and daddy. Well, this year I am down in the South with my mama and you know what? She forgot my anniversary! She didn’t remember until we got home a whole day late!

But I forgive her because on the actual day we were so busy that even I forgot to ask for an anniversary treat! (Plus I got lots of treats because we were out adventuring all day long!)

Lots of big faces everywhere.

Saturday morning, my Gotcha Day, my Uncle and my Aunt and mama and I went to a very interesting art compound about an hour south of Columbus Georgia. It’s called Pasaquan, and it was built by a hippie kinda guy back in the 70s. (Mama says don’t say back in the 70s cause according to her that was just a couple years ago. Whatever mama.) You can hear him talk about it if you go to the link above. You can also google it and find out more. It’s been restored and is supported by Columbus State University and the Kohler Foundation.

The hippie dude, whose name was Eddie Owens Martin, called himself St. Om, and spelled it St. EOM.

Signed and dated.

It was a warm day but Mama and my Aunt and Uncle made sure I had water and got to sit in the shade a bunch. Still, being the model that I am, I had to pose in front of some stuff.

Lots of pretty color here!

I tell you, the colors here were so bright that sometimes I had to squint my eyes! Oh wait. That was the sun. Well anyway. We walked around all over but my favorite spot was this circle of sand. Whenever we were near there, while mama was busy taking pictures of stuff not me, I would run over there and stand in the sand. I wonder if she got my message that I wanted to go to the beach?

It’s cooler at the beach mama!

Mama would look around when she got done with her silly camera and say, “where’s Katie?” HA! Sometimes I was standing right behind her. And sometimes I was at my beach! After awhile she just never let go of the leash. Darn.

Just one of many crazy and beautiful walls.

There was a cool house there, with these funny steps up to it. I ran right up the steps because they were nice and wide…

Come on up!

…even though I knew that I’d have to pose on them for mama. I’ve got this gig figured out. Pose for a picture, get a treat. Sometimes mama would say “OK sweetie, this is the last one.” But I knew she was lying. It’s never the last picture!

We stayed a long time. They even packed a picnic lunch and ate it under some trees. Mama couldn’t stop taking pictures, and a lot of them weren’t all about me!

I think that guy was watching me.

There were plenty of places where I could rest in the shade while my peeps explored. We had the whole thing to ourselves except for a little bit where one other guy was there taking pictures. Mama says she’ll have to bring daddy here some day.

This guys’s watching me too mama!

I think the man that created this had a different sort of mind than me. For example, just about the only animals in any of this work were snakes. No dogs. I don’t know what he was thinking. Though he did have two big shepherds that kept him company out here in the country.

Layers of walls filled the space.

There was so many colors and shapes it was almost overwhelming. It’s definitely a place you should visit if you’re ever in that part of Georgia.

All sorts of color everywhere.

Full disclosure though, there are some art pieces depicting naked men and women. So maybe don’t bring your kids or your mother. Shelties are OK though.

Call ahead for the hours. We hear they change by the season.

Mama says there is so much more to show you but maybe she’ll put together a slide show later. She says I have to get off the computer now and go outside to play. She says too much screen time isn’t good for me.

Geeze. I didn’t even get to tell you where we went next on my Gotcha Day! I guess I’ll have to wait till she falls asleep and do another post. Shouldn’t be long, she’s old and falls asleep all the time.

Over and out, your art critic gal Katie.

She told me this was the ‘last’ picture. I doubted it. I was right.


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Stormy weather

Yesterday the evening weather guy mentioned a large storm front through the middle of the state. I glanced up to see his weather map featuring a bright red and yellow streak bisecting Alabama. And moving rapidly toward me.

I got up to look outside.

Oh my. Grabbing the camera I ran downstairs and out to the dock.

Spellbinding

What an amazing cloud, with even darker skies to the north. I felt the wind coming down the lake, the waves changed direction and the chop crashed into the side of boats and rocked against the shore. Not so far out there I could smell the rain. I managed to get a few shots as the cloud moved rapidly from north to south, and then I ran as fast as I could back up the hill and into the house.

The rain slashed across the windows as I climbed the stairs to a freaked out Katie-girl. We watched the storm together for a bit and then just as fast as it arrived it was over. Whoa, I said to the dog pressed tight to my side. What the heck was that?! Don’t know, mama, she said, but let’s not do that again any time soon.

OK sweetie. That’s a deal.


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WordPress photo challenge: Sunset

When I saw this week’s prompt I knew immediately the sunset I wanted to show you.

Fire to the south of me.

I was in northern Michigan in December of 2015 when one evening the sky just exploded. To the south it was burning in orange and reds, and to the north the sky was sighing in shades of pink and purple.

Cotton candy to the north of me.

The air was pinkish gold. I couldn’t shoot fast enough, and I never felt the cold.

The waves were tipped in light.

Though I usually limit myself to one photo for a photo challenge, this time I just couldn’t decide. So since the sunset itself was divided between fire and sweet I decided to go with full disclosure.

The islands out at the horizon were crowned by gold and purple.

Picture me turning from south to north and back again, trying not to miss any detail.

It just kept getting better.

It was amazing and I’m so glad to be able to relive it through these shots.

What a place to sit and enjoy the show!

And, as always, I’m glad to share them with you.

A firestorm in the sky.


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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.


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Up and down

Not exactly a sunset. Still it’s striking in it’s own way.


There’s something about water and sky that fascinates me. Whether I’m on the shore of a Great Lake or standing on a bluff overlooking the ocean, it’s the constant movement and change that keeps me engaged.

Sometimes the view is obscured with fog. But that’s pretty too.

These past weeks I’ve been on the shore of a small arm of a very big lake. I worry that you’ve all seen the view from here and it might become boring, might feel repetitive.

But, for me, it never is.

Mama, you’re not taking ANOTHER picture of the lake are you?

Each day is different, the light slants off the side of a neighbor’s pontoon or against the house across the water. Sometimes the water is so still that, standing on the dock, I have moments of dizzy confusion, unsure where the sky ends and water starts, not sure that I couldn’t just step off the dock and stand on the clouds reflected below my feet.

What’s up is down.

When a weather change moves in the sky becomes unpredictable. I can’t look away and Katie and I make numerous trips down to the dock to experience it all.

Can’t you just cut and paste me into these photos mama?

And while we’re always looking for that spectacular sunset we’re never disappointed, even when it just fades to pink.

Vintage pink.

Water and sky. It’s an unbeatable combination.

No need for TV when you’ve got this to watch.

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring.

Interesting promise.


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Just call me a mountain dog (but don’t call me late for supper)

It’s really pretty up here mama!


Katie here!

Guess what? Yesterday I got to climb Smith Mountain with my mama! I told her it was about time cause she’s already been to the top of the mountain twice this trip and I haven’t been up there at all!

Come on with me, this is a cake walk!

Why last year at this time I’d already scaled that mountain three different ways! But mama says I’m slower this trip and besides it was sort of warm out and she worries about me you know.

I’ll wait for you right here mama

So we took it real slow and every time I looked at her she was offering me water. Which I took by the way, I am not a foolish sheltie, no siree.

Let’s get into the shade mama!

Still, I had a really good time and we spent a lot of the climb in the shade, hiding among the long leaf pines and the big rocks.

Mama just loves these big pine cones. I have no idea why. I thought they were sort of boring and not worthy of my time.

Do these look at all interesting to you guys?

We finally got to the top and there were lots of young people there, and a couple dogs too. All the dogs ran up and down the stairs; obviously they are not royalty. I made mama carry me.

They’re trying to get a selfie. The boy dog would rather look at me. Of course.

We found this place that used to be the picnic area when the mountaintop was a ranger station. Can’t you just imagine the rangers out here in the evening roasting something yummy for dinner? I checked out the fire pit area very carefully and unfortunately there were no leftovers.

What do you mean you forgot our picnic mama!!

I thought this rock was interesting too and mama asked if I’d sit on it, cause it (and I) was pretty. I said no way mama, and even when she put a treat up there I wouldn’t get on it. I have my limits you know.

I’ll smell it but I’m not getting on it. Nope, not happening.

Finally we got to the top and mama took the obligatory picture of me with the tower just so you all know I really went all the way up there. Not up the tower you understand, just up the mountain. Mama said no way no how was she carrying me up that tower. She said I wouldn’t have liked it up there anyway. She’s probably right.

People would believe me without proof, mama.

Then we started back down the mountain but I didn’t want to go! I liked it up there! So we sat around a bunch more and she took some pictures of pretty things that were not me. Like this orange rock.

Not getting on that rock either mama.

And this crowfoot violet. Mama says that her mom used to look for these all the time. Mama says she’s seen quite a few this year and they make her smile. Whatever mama.

Reminds mama of her mom.

Once I got her moving down the mountain we made pretty good time. Near the bottom I was even trotting. It was time for supper don’t you know and I have a rule: Never delay the supper of a Princess.

Get a move on mama!

Signing off for now, your mountaineering Princess Katie.

Next time let’s go in the morning when it’s cooler mama!