Thursday, January 31, 2008


Well, it was bound to happen at some point. Yesterday, Tammy at The Color of Home tagged me in the current blog-meme going around. Now, despite the fact that I am almost loathe to do this, I think people have a certain fascination with them. And I enjoy reading those of others. So let's give it a go, shall we?
First, the rules:
(1) Link to the person that tagged you.
(2) Post the rules on your blog.
(3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
(4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
(5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
I thought long and hard about this task (not really) in order to give you an excellent idea of who I am and what I'm all about. So in all sincerity, I'll tell you that
1. My first sports car was a used Fiat 124 Sports Coupe, a 5-speed with a double-overhead cam engine that changed the way I felt about driving forever.
2. I love to drive. I miss my stick shift.
3. I don't enjoy cooking. But it doesn't mean that I can't.
4. I have a lot of friends. And I love a lot of people.
5. I'm the eldest of seven brothers and sisters.
6. I love a good movie. A good glass of wine. A good book. A good time.
Now, go forth and multiply. Amen to that.

Spreading the cheer

I'm interrupting this frigid winter weather to spread a little cheer in the form of a pink geranium I'm overwintering. Just working on these pictures in Photoshop this evening made me feel warmer.
I can't write long because I've spent all my time this evening doing that darn meme-tagging thing (see post above). I mean, it took less than five minutes to write, but gosh darnit, I still have dial-up. And it just makes going back and forth from site to site real s l o w. But I will ask readers, if they have a little extra time, to visit the sites that I tagged above. They've been here before, leaving comments on my posts and I chose six from my most recent. You'll see the Pioneer Woman there too, and I did meme-tag her, but I told her not to come to my site. I know she just doesn't have the time.
I'm psyched because my site has finally been listed on BlogHer and also because Lost is on tonight. Yeah, I'm a Lost junkie. I'm not afraid to admit it, either.
When visiting the other sites tonight, it was a nice surprise to see that some of them have listed my blog as one of their visited sites, and one of them even spoke about me in a post, which I read out loud to my husband. He said it was the first thing I had said in an hour. In fact, he was writing things down that I had said within that hour. One-liners, like "oh, I forgot to feed the kitty!" and calling out a single word answer "Great Tetons!" in Jeopardy. Apparently, when I get on Photoshop, I really zone out.
I think my husband is jealous of Photoshop. And this blog.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Rhyming. It's not just about timing.

Has anyone seen the movie, "The Princess Bride"? Do you remember the scene in the beginning where the two henchmen are on the pirate ship; they're just about to kidnap the princess (Robin Wright-Penn, soon to get divorced from Sean), and they're conversing with each other in rhymes? Every sentence they say ends with a rhyme. It's incredible that they can keep this up, but they do. And they continue to speak in this manner until their leader (In-con-ceiv-able!) tells them to "STOP RHYMING!" It's one of my favorite parts of the movie.
My husband enjoys rhyming. He partly does it to entertain himself, and he partly does it to annoy me and have a little fun. I groan when he starts, because he can and will go on for hours. There are so many words that rhyme with French whore, which is his favorite combination for some odd reason. I think it may be his favorite because, well, a lot of words rhyme with that second one, so that's probably it.
Valentine's Day is coming, and this year I'm going to surprise my husband with a personalized poem. I found a poet through a link from this blog recently. So I e-mailed for pricing information and ended up hiring her. It only cost $15 with my first-time customer discount. She will create a personalized poem for your sweetie, using information that you provide. She put mine on a cream-colored card and I'm going to add one of my photographs to the front of the it. Yeah, I know, I'm a hopeless romantic. I can't help it. But I think he's going to like it.
So when he starts going again on the rhyming, I'll pretend to be annoyed like I always do. What he doesn't know is that I actually don't mind it in the least, because I'm lucky to still have him.
So don't tell him. It doesn't really drive me as crazy as I pretend.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Getting to know me . . . getting to know all about me . . .

Since I've been enjoying the wonderful world of blogging, I've 'met' a few people and we've been visiting each other's sites and leaving comments. I picked this up from a site yesterday and thought I'd post it and let it fly. I wrote the answers on Sunday.
1. If your doctor told you TODAY that you were pregnant, what would you say? That would be impossible. You've got your test results mixed up. *Gulp*
2. When was the last time you flew in a plane? August of 2006 when I went out to California to help with my mother, who was dying. Sigh . . .
3. What did the last text message you sent say?" I am so bummed that I disappointed you. I'm going to stay home and knit and look at the birds. I'm sorry and I love you. ~To my friend Warren, who I was supposed to see today. (Don't get any ideas. We've been friends forever).
4. What features do you find most attractive in the preferred sex? It's not so much the features, but I've always preferred an outdoors, rugged type of guy. A guy who can fix stuff and looks good in jeans and a t-shirt. You know the type. You give them a q-tip and they can go out in the jungle and build a shopping mall. (Anne Heche to Harrison Ford in Six Days, Seven Nights)
5. What is a goal you would like to accomplish in the near future? I would like my photography to improve.
6. Shoe size? Why? Why do you need to know? Are you planning on buying me a pair of shoes? Because if you're not, it's rather a moot point, don't you think? Unless you have a pair of size 9's you'd like to share with me. Oops!
7. Been to Mexico? No, but I had a dream the other night that I was held up and robbed by banditos. Luckily, there were Fritos and plenty of Pico de Gallo. I love when I have food dreams.
8. When is the last time you had a massage? I don't think I've ever had a real massage. I had a dream about one, though .. .
9. What was the last TV show you watched? I'm watching golf right now. That's a TV show, right? Other than that, I'm holding out until later this week when Lost returns.
10. What are your plans for the weekend? I've accomplished my plans. They were to clean, to grocery shop with my husband, to visit friends (unfortunately, I did not accomplish that one) and to relax.
11. If your significant other asked you to marry them TODAY what would you say? I'd have to think about it. Then I'd say "psyche! yes!"
12. What is in the back seat of your car right now? Nothing but a blanket on the seat for George. And a doggie toy. The one especially for the car ride.
13. What were you doing at 8 am this morning? Surprisingly, I was still asleep. I think I was dreaming of fritos (see #7).
14. If you could marry any celebrity today who would it be? Well, if he wasn't married, I'd be interested in Bruce (Springsteen), but would probably marry Tom Hanks.
15. Have you ever been to a strip club? Uh, no. I'm just not into that.
16. What is the best ice cream flavor? Ben & Jerry's Light Phish Food. OMG.
17. What is the last sporting event you watched? I'm watching PGA golf right now and earlier was watching extreme winter sports with contestants younger than my own kids. Sigh . . .
18. Ever go camping? I can camp with the best of them, except lately am into more comfort than my prior life of backpacking could offer. I love camping.
19. Last phone call? From youngest son who wanted us to co-sign a rental lease with him. I've been agonizing about it all day. Let's not talk about it.
20. Are you allergic to anything? Not that I know of.
21. What is one thing you have learned about life recently? That it can all be over in a flash, so appreciate what you have while you have it. That people can change. For the better.
22. What do you do at work? I help to run a K-12 private school. I like helping people, especially the children.
23. What is your mom's name? My mother's name was Charlotte. It's a unique and beautiful name. I have a sister named Charlotte as well. She is unique and beautiful as well.
24. Ever cried for no reason? Nah, not recently. I'm not really a crybaby. It pisses me off when I cry.
25. Can you do the Crank Dat dance? Yeah, baby. It's why I always get invited to chaperone the school dances. Not really.
26. What is your favorite color to wear? Brown or green. I'm the earthy type.
27. What is the longest plane ride you have ever been on? Baltimore to Vegas. My youngest sister got married out there. Chuck Norris came to the wedding. Seriously. I need to post about that one.
28. What is the longest road trip you have ever taken? From here (Maryland) to Maine. About 16 hours, but I love the Maine coast. So it's worth it.
29. What are your turn-offs? People who are mean to their children. Rudeness. Sloppiness.
30. What was your last alcoholic beverage? A chardonnay from the Russian River Valley in Calif.
31. What are you craving right now? Actually, nothing. I'm pretty ok right now.
Bloggers: Copy and paste, answering the questions and send as a link to this post under comments. Have fun with it! ~C.G.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Sunny Backyard in January

The temperature is a balmy 45 but if you're out of the wind in a protected area, it's really quite pleasant. I spent part of Sunday afternoon sitting outside in my backyard, knitting occasionally, and taking pictures. The sun was so warm that it tempted me to take my jacket off, but I'm glad that I didn't. It was just perfect. The sunlight was glinting off the little birds in the viewfinder of my camera and I'm thinking that now I may need a stronger zoom lens so that I can stay far back and get excellent close-up pictures.
Pictured here are a male and a female American Goldfinch. The male is the top photo.
In my youth, I would have considered this pasttime totally unacceptable, preferring instead something more exciting like a hike along the precipice of a cliff just to see a waterfall and other similar daring escapades. Then we had children and became a lot less adventurous, but we were always doing something outside. We've backpacked with our sons at Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. We've camped at the beach at Assateague, MD and Ocracoke, NC so we were pretty hardy souls (all those mosquitoes!) I love camping outside, setting up a shelter for a week's time and taking day trips to places and walks.
We've lived in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey for most of our lives. And within driving distance, there are so many national and state parks that offer exceptional outdoor experiences (OMG I sound like a travel brochure!!!)
Anyway, what I'm saying is that the kind of afternoon I spent this past Sunday is the kind of afternoon that, in my youth, I would have considered an old person's pasttime. But I'm not that old. I've just reached a point in my life, I guess, where quiet, predictable afternoons spent in a bucolic setting are just what the doctor ordered after a full work-week.
So take your shoes off and kick back. And daily, I'll post pictures of the blessedly quiet life I lead. But be warned, I may just try to switch things up every now and then. And I know you'll be coming back just for the sheer rush of it.
Yeah, that's it.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fox Hunt

As we were driving home yesterday from the grocery store in PA, we took some back roads and went by one of the areas we used to live when our sons were small. We came across the Cochran Hunt Club just finishing for the day.
Now, I'm not an expert on foxhunting, but I'm pretty sure that the quarry isn't killed. It's done strictly for sport, and the dogs and horses are in top physical condition because of the sport. I've known foxhunters, and on the whole, they have a deep appreciation for the environment they use, and they respect the wildlife. I think they see the fox more as an opponent in a game, rather than a candidate for annihilation. As we were waiting for the members to cross the road to get to their vehicles, one of the members of the hunt came over on horseback to our car and chatted with us for a few minutes, asking where we were from in Maryland.
By the way, this isn't the fox they were chasing. I snapped this one when we went to Bombay Hook last month. Had ya for a second there, didn't I?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Hobnobbing with the Amish

Every few months or so, my husband and I put the big cooler in the car and head north about an hour and half to Shady Maple Farm Market in East Earl, PA. This place has the best meats and produce to be found anywhere and the prices are pretty darn good. It's a hike and a half for sure, but it's worth it. The scenic ride is an added bonus. Today, we got behind an open buggy and I snapped this photo with my zoom lens. Couldn't believe this Amish gentleman took out his open one, but maybe the closed buggy was in the shop. It was pretty cold out today!

We've been going to Shady Maple for almost 30 years. We used to live in Pennsylvania, and before our sons were born, I was working for a Mennonite man who owned a local weekly newspaper in Morgantown. I answered an ad in the paper looking for someone who could type and before I knew it, I was managing his newspaper. But I digress.

Today, I took photos of cows and sheep, people working outside, and this little boy playing ice hockey by himself on a homemade skating rink. This skating rink is pretty cool. We've been going to Shady for years now, and in the wintertime, the rink is always frozen over and there are always young Amish children playing on it. I would have loved to have my own ice skating rink when I was a child!

After shopping at the best grocery store ever, we went next door to Good's, a department store that takes you back in time. You'll find yourself shopping with Amish and English alike, not that it's any big deal because well, I used to live up here. Oh, and English = anyone not Amish or Mennonite. 

Way back, before my sons were born and I was working at the weekly paper, Witness was being filmed down the road. We sent one of our reporters to cover the scene and he came back excited, but saddened about something. Turned out he had this huge crush on Kelly McGillis and when he saw her in her Amish costume he went apeshit until he noticed that she was smoking a cigarette. He said it just wasn't right. It was over for him and Kelly at that point.

Today in Good's Store, I was looking for a warm pair of socks and found myself lost in the Amish lingerie section. I had no idea there were so many different types of bloomers one could buy. My husband was over in the Carhart section (his personal favorite) looking for work pants. Then we traveled back to the bird seed section. It's just past the extensive selection of clothes drying racks. It's such a cool store.

Well, we're home now and our cubboards are stocked full and we won't be traveling up that way until Spring. I'll get some more pictures then. Hope you enjoyed these!

And we have a winner

ALISA is the winner of Weekend Guessing Game #3. Her guess of CORN STALK was the correct answer. Alisa lives in Maryland and is a teacher, a mother of three and wife to Steven. She's also a crack shot with a firearm and is a true country girl. That's probably why she got this answer so quickly. Yeah, that's it. Bamboo was an excellent guess, as was a segmented stalk, and I can see why some thought of a mushroom. But it really is a corn stalk. A dried up, old corn stalk. So congratulations to you, Alisa, and please, let us know how the fame affects you and changes your life. Past-winners Renee and Judy have both reported that the notoriety has been astounding. Just wanted to warn you.

Sunny Saturday Morning

This is a Tufted Titmouse with a seed in his beak (scientists call them bills). Our Audubon Field Guide book tells me that titmice are social birds, often joining with small mixed flocks of birds like chickadees, nuthatches and kinglets. They're not as tame as the chickadees, however. Believe me, I'm no expert. I just like looking at the little critters. And my husband has lots of books.

Saturday is cleaning day for me, but the early morning is for relaxing while having my coffee. The feeders across the yard are busy, but this one by the house, well, not so much. It's nice just sitting by my sliding glass door with the camera and zoom lens set up, just waiting for the birds to come around. I can see our cat, Blackie, out on a fence post. George is underneath letting her know who (he thinks) is boss. The sun is shining on the cat's black fur and out past her, I can see the broodmares in the paddocks who have just finished their breakfast and are enjoying the morning sun as well.
See the post below if you'd like to play the Weekend Guessing Game. I hear it's difficult, so be warned.

Friday, January 25, 2008

It's Here! Weekend Guessing Game #3

Welcome to the Weekend Guessing Game where you guess what you think this picture is. It is 'of the earth' and that's your only clue. I think it's ridiculously easy, but that's just me (and because I already know what it is). I tried it on my husband and he didn't know what it was until I showed him the whole picture.
Beginning now and ending tomorrow . . . that's Saturday at 6 PM, try to guess what this is a picture of. First one to come up with the correct answer is the winner. If you think you see your answer posted already, go ahead and say it anyway. Go with your gut on this one.
Special note to Anonymous voters: If you're commenting "anonymously", please leave something that indicates your uniqueness. You can leave your first name, or your initials, or your nickname, or you could even get a blogger account (it's easy and quick). So put your thinking caps on and get to work on this one.
For me, I'm sitting back with a glass of my current favorite chardonnay, Frei Brothers Reserve. I had some lovely sushi for dinner tonight and I'm happier than I've been all day. The weekend is here! Rejoice!

Weekend Guessing Game #3

Stop back tonight between 6 and 7 to enter in the Weekend Guessing Game. Guess what the picture is and you can win fame and fortune! Well, not fortune. Or fame either, for that matter. But you can win! And have the satisfaction that you crave. Now I've got to remember to take a picture of something. And I'm hoping it will be very difficult.

Bright Spot in a Dull Day

These little rosehips were in a bouquet of white roses I bought recently. The roses have since wilted but the these little hips are still going strong. I love how they look in the sunshine like this.
It's still pretty cold here in Maryland, and this afternoon during George's walk, the wind kicked up pretty strong. Just thinking of sunshine is a comforting. And looking at the flowers, even more so.
Thanks to everyone who has been visiting this site and leaving comments both here and on my e-mail. I started this site recently because well, since my mother passed away in August 2006, I'd been writing back and forth to my three sisters on a fairly regular basis; sometimes daily. I've always loved to take pictures and would always attach a couple at the end of every e-mail. They were nice, and my sisters would like them, but I wanted to make them look better. I was just looking for a way to jazz things up a bit. So I decided to put them on a blog, not thinking that anyone besides my sisters and other family members and maybe some close friends would visit. So thanks for your words of encouragement, from the people I know and love to people that have stumbled on my site and visit daily now.
I've been working on knitting a scarf for a friend. One of my sisters suggested doing a knitting post some day. I'm thinking about it, Ginny. It'd be a snap if I actually knew more than one knitting stitch! Readers are reminded to check the site tomorrow between 6 and 7 pm for this week's Weekend Guessing Game. It's probably going to be way too easy again. Have a great Friday and stop back after dinner if you want to play the game.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Yellow Flowers

These flowers were in a bouquet I purchased recently at a grocery store.

I love shooting close-ups on my macro lens. I'm getting so much more use out of it than my original Christmas gift from my husband. There's just something really soothing about looking at flowers. Sigh . . . I could do this all day. And let the housework go, and the dust accumulate, and the dishes pile up . . . This is so much more fun.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Border Patrol

Everyone has a job to do and our Border Collie, George, has the job of cat patrol. He created this position for himself and enjoys keeping an eye on the feline situation in the yard. Here he is guarding our house at the fence. (Not really).

We get a few cats that come around, but only one actually lives here. And that's Blackie here. The others are a couple of farm cats that we see regularly. When he's not napping or chasing an empty plastic water jug around the backyard (hours of fun), or catching frisbees, or going for walks, George is on kitty patrol. If there's a cat around, he wants to know about it.

I think Miss Blackie secretly enjoys being chased around the yard by the Absorbent Puppy.

She outsmarts and outplays him every time. She's proud of this. Just so you know, I go to great lengths to get these photos to line up properly with the type, and I've yet to figure out a rhyme or reason how it's done. If there's anyone out there who knows how to arrange posts in this particular template (I forget what it's called) for a blogspot, please let me in on the secret. I've been about half an hour here going back and forth and trying to get it right. Ah, but I don't mean to complain. I'm just stating facts.

"And I'm just doin' my job."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Bird Watching

I have two reasons to keep the bird feeders filled around our home. One, of course, is to feed the hungry little birds. And the other is to capture them, if I'm lucky, for a photograph. This is a Black-capped Chickadee resting on a forsythia branch. I shot this with my zoom lens on a tripod through our sliding glass door. I'm really psyched about this shot.

I wish I had cleaned the sliding glass door beforehand, but it's a done deal now. Besides, you really can't even notice it.

The second photo is of a female Goldfinch in her winter plumage. She's got a seed in her mouth, too. I get pretty excited when I take a good photo of a bird because they're just so hard to come by sometimes. Plus you have to be patient. And patience is a virtue I have a tiny bit of trouble with.I've come a long way since my days of ignorance about our feathered friends. But that's another story.

Monday, January 21, 2008

A Day at the Spa (if you're a Canada Goose)

I know that many of you are wondering how the Canada Geese are faring in this extremely cold weather. I'm sure you woke up this morning and immediately thought of them, humanitarian (or aviatarian) that you are. Did I just make up a new word? So I thought I'd take a look-see and let you know just what the geese on our pond are up to.It hasn't frozen over yet, so they're actually having a good time, or at least it seems that way to me. So let's take a look, shall we? Some of them are sleeping in the sun. They look comfortable sitting right on top of the ice on the pond. I think they have a little trouble getting unstuck if they've been asleep for so long. Others are having a bite to eat under the water. Some are bathing in that freezing water. Still others are walking on top of the ice, sometimes falling in. Those 3 at the top left of the photo above are laughing at one who just fell inon the right. I saw them turn around and look. They're quite catty over there in their little group. I watched them for a little while, but it was difficult to get too close. They all take off when they see you coming. Usually I don't care because they leave goose poop all over the hill and George is always walking in it and sometimes rubbing his neck in it. Mmm, yummy. But to get these photos this morning, I had to sneak up on them.

Call me crazy, but in order to take these photos, I left the pup inside and attached my zoom lens to the camera, got bundled up and went outside. Quietly, I crouched down on the top of the hill and stayed there for a moment. Then I moved closer. The alert went out. There's always one in every crowd that sounds the alarm. Then they quieted down and discussed it among themselves as to what that person was doing at the top of the hill. Their quiet talking is something I hear all the time. It's comforting, really. So me, being the inquisitive person that I am, got down on the ground and opened up my little tripod. Still too far away. So I drug myself, using my arms, army style, to a better location. I know this sounds funny. And to see it, it probably was. But I needed to get closer to see just what these geese were up to. They didn't see me coming, and I stopped and took a couple more shots, but I was still too far away. So more crawling on my elbows. Hey, you can really cover some ground moving like this! Only thing is that, well, remember the goose poops I mentioned before? Um, I'm crawling through them, but they're frozen solid so it's all good. Hey, I'm a country person, I can handle some goose poop.

Finally, I get to a place where the photos will work and the geese still haven't spotted me. But what's that noise? I hear a motor behind me. I roll over and see that my husband's farm truck is coming down the hill, right at me. No!! You'll scare the geese. Now they're squawking . . . the alert has gone out. The wings start flapping and one takes off. But they calm down. My husband pulls up right next to me and asks me what I'm doing on he ground, was I ok? Then he sees my camera and now it makes sense. So he asks if I've filled the backyard feeders for the birds. (He likes to see that I'm busy on my day off, when he has to work.) I mean, that's all he wanted. But I still got my shots! And I only got a little dried up poop on my jeans.

Baby, it's cold outside

On my walk yesterday, I stopped to say hello to this mare. She was sunning herself and seemed quite content.
Today I have a day off from work. Hopefully, I'll be able to have time to meet my son (my youngest) for lunch. He lives with friends, about a half hour north of here. I try to meet him about once a month for a meal. Our eldest son lives in NYC and I don't get to see him as much, but we keep in touch pretty often.
I started knitting a scarf for a friend. Maybe I'll take a picture of the project when it gets a little longer.
Oh, you didn't stop by here for the excitement, did you? Because I have the day off. And I'm taking a break from my exciting life and taking it easy today. Like this mare is doing.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Weekend Guessing Game Winner Announced Early

We have a winner of the Weekend Guessing Game. The answer is AN ACORN LID and the first person to guess correctly was RENEE of PHILADELPHIA, PA who beat out MARY by a mere 10 minutes. Sorry, Mary! But thanks so much for playing.
Now, Renee was stealthy. She didn't actually mention the word acorn on her comment. Her guess was that the answer was 'A's nickname. And I happened to know who 'A' actually is. Her nickname is acorn and that's why she collects them. So Renee, congratulations to you! You will soon be enjoying the same fame that your sister, Adrienne, is enjoying from being mentioned on this site. (Not really).
Thanks to everyone for playing. Also, thanks to most of you for being patient and waiting for the answer. I think that in the future, if I continue this weekend game, I'll give it a 24-hour turnaround rather than a 48-hour. This way we won't have anyone chomping at the bit to get the answer! ~ Country Girl

I love these grasses

I noticed these grasses while I was driving down the farm driveway yesterday. I happened to have my camera with me, so I got out and took some photos. I love how graceful they look but had to wait untitl the breeze died down to take my shots. Behind me, I could hear the horses coming into the barn for the evening, their shoes clip-clopping along the floor. Today, the cold arrived, bringing high winds that have died down somewhat, but it's still blowing some out there. The temp is around 25, but the wind's making it feel much colder. The sun's out, though, and it's coming in the windows of my home and warming me up. Well, the sun and the cup of tea I have. It's all good.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Winter Color

I'm one of those people who loves this time of year. I don't mind the cold because I know that someday it'll be warm again, and besides you can always come inside and be warm. A cold front is supposed to come tomorrow, bringing high winds. But today it's just cold. On days like this, I can spend some time taking photos, visiting my favorite yarn shop in the town nearby, coming home and working on my pictures, doing a little knitting, or reading. I really like wintertime.
Driving home from the yarn shop (read: wine shop. did i actually say that out loud?) early this afternoon, I noticed how bleak the landscape was. It's because today is pretty gray, but there were patches of color that cheered me just to look at them.
The birds enjoy the berries too, and today we noticed they were really chowing down at the bird feeders we have in the backyard. They must know the weather is coming soon and they're filling up.
My husband took the photo of the Red-bellied Woodpecker shown here. You can't see the small spot of red on his belly, but this is the best shot of him.
Well, it's back to knitting for me. Like I said, I do enjoy wintertime. How about you?

Things are looking up

Thanks for all the comments on My Hall of Shame. It's nice to know you're not alone when embarassment comes a-calling. Meanwhile, go ahead and take a guess at the Weekend Guessing Game if you have the time. Maybe it really isn't too easy. Try to remember that these things are items that would be found in nature; they haven't been tampered with and are in their natural state. They are things that most people would have seen at least once in their lives, even if they live in a city. Hey, there's parks out there! Have a great Saturday.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Weekend Guessing Game

Ok. It's too easy. I know that. Or maybe it's so easy because I already know exactly what this is. But no clues. Guess if you think you know, or even if you don't know. It's all interesting to read!
If you find for some reason that you can't post on this site, feel free to e-mail me. My address is on the profile.
Game On now. Game Ends in 48 hours on Sunday at 6 PM. First one to post the correct answer is the winner. Winner will be announced around 6 PM Sunday. Oh, and like before, there isn't a prize. Just reminding you.

My Hall of Shame

An old friend e-mailed me today, and among other things told me about something really embarassing that had just happened to her. She was really shaken up about it. I told her to look at my post today because we all have those moments. And that someday, she can laugh about it. Really, looking back on one of my most memorable shameful moments, it doesn't seem like that big of a deal to me now. 

I had been camping with my family, down in Ocracoke NC and we were packing to leave for home. I was pulling out tent stakes, big wooden ones, because we were camped in the dunes by the beach. But that last stake was a tough one and when I finally got it out of the ground, I felt my back twinge. By the time we got up to the ferry and were waiting for it to arrive, I had to take a couple of Tylenols. We had 8 hours of driving ahead of us and I was driving the VW Beetle and my husband was in our VW Eurovan. My back twinged and hurt all the way home, but I turned up the AC and turned on the heated seat and that seemed to help. That night, I found that I couldn't lie down in bed to sleep, not in any position. I had to sit on the couch to sleep. The second day, it only got worse and well, to make a long story short, I called my friend Mary who told me I had to go to her chiropractor. Immediately. 

I'd never been to one before and wasn't sure what to expect. I called and made an emergency appointment because by now I was in such pain and just wanted relief. Mary told me, "I need to warn you. My chiropractor is really handsome", she said. "He's excellent; it's just that he's really gorgeous. I wanted you to be prepared for that." At the time, I couldn't have cared less. I hurt so bad. It took me over an hour to get to his place, and I had gotten the first appointment in the morning. When I went in, I had totally forgotten what Mary had told me about his looks. But when he came out of his office, OMG, Mary was not lying. 

This guy was George Clooney wrapped up in a white doctor coat. And he was the nicest man. I was practically in tears because of my back. After he took x-rays and found that my back was all twisted, he had me lie sideways on the table. I'm sure that if you've been to a chiropractor, you've had this done. He told me to cross my arms over my chest and move my one leg up to them and then take a deep breath and let it out. And that I shouldn't worry, this wouldn't hurt. I took my breath and let it out and he cracked my back so well, and (and this is my shameful part) I let out the biggest fart I had ever experienced in my life. Oh God, I was mortified. I mean, it was huge. Like a man fart. I could have cried. 

But bless him, this wonderful man, he told me that this sort of thing happens all the time. He said it's natural for it to happen and it meant I was really relaxed. I felt a little better. Still mortified, though. I went to 3 more appointments and at the last one, he told me that I should do 3 exercises each day. He demonstrated each exercise, even getting down on the floor for one of them. Afterward, when he asked me if I had gotten all that, I don't know what demon inside me said that no, I hadn't. I just wanted to see him do them again. So I asked if he could repeat them, really quickly. 

While this handsome doctor was doing those exercises again, I was thinking to myself, "I am a bad, bad person for making him do this." But I knew I'd never see him again and well, I just wanted to see him do those exercises one more time . . . 

So, to my friend who had the bad day . . . does this make you feel just a little bit better? I am a shameless farting hussy. And I'm saying it out loud for all to hear. And people, don't judge me. If you had seen this guy, and he had asked you if you needed to see those exercises one more time, you may have done the same thing I did.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Another Guessing Game Contest Tomorrow!

Due to the great response I had with my first Guessing Game, I'm holding another contest this weekend. Look for a Post tomorrow at 6 PM. First one to answer correctly is the winner. Oh, the fame you will enjoy! (Just ask Judy). Winner will be announced on Sunday at 6 PM. Oh, and there's no prize. I didn't mention that yet, did I? Oh, and this one is too easy. I really need to make these much more difficult . . .

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Winter White

A single rose can be my garden . . .
a single friend, my world.
Leo Buscaglia

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Walk This Way

This is a white-breasted male Nuthatch. Sometimes I like to sit out in my backyard on days when it's not too cold. I'll sit there with my zoom lens and a book and the birds will eventually get used to my being there and I can get a couple of good shots. My husband is the 'birder' in our family. I remember an incident that happened when I first started dating him, back when we were 19 years old and I wasn't quite sure of this guy yet. I was letting him drive my new (used) Fiat 124 Sport Coupe and he had it in 5th gear on a country road when he yells out "oh my God, it's a rare speckled tufted tweeter!" Actually, these weren't the words he used, but I didn't know much about the birds back then. Then he pulled over. I mean, he dropped from 5th gear to a full stop in seconds flat and had the car pulled over and was getting out! I sat inside wondering what kind of nut would stop like that because of a bird, and what had I gotten into here. When he climbed back in the car, he told me the bird had flown away and he wished he had a good pair of binoculars because it wasn't very often that you got to see a (tufted tweeter) like that. I ended up falling in love with this nut and I think you can guess what I got him for his 20th birthday. Those binoculars lasted for years! And I did end up learning a lot about birds after that.

Guessing Game Winner

Congratulations to JUDY from Florida. You were the first of 3 people to guess Indian corn. Judy also happens to be my sister. She tells me that this photo is from a recent trip to the Florida Keys. If you look closely, you'll see that she has a white bird perched on her hand. The bird was wandering around the yard and wanting to have its photo taken. Judy is the 2nd in line, after me, of 7 brothers and sisters in our family. She lives with the love of her life, Rick, my handsome brother-in-law. Rick has been asked for his autograph more times than he cares to admit. He looks just like Kevin Costner.
I was going to post the Big Picture of the corn, but you should just take my word for it. It's really just Indian corn. Apparently, people liked this game. I got a lot of e-mail about it, and although a lot of people didn't guess because they couldn't figure it out, they wrote and said it was a good idea. So maybe I'll do this again. I'm thinking Friday night, around just after dinnertime. Yes, I think I will.

Guessing Game Winner Announced

Congratulations to Anonymous who posted on 1-12-08 at 11:30 PM for guessing the correct answer. It is INDIAN CORN. And I had wanted to post a big picture of it, however I'm at work and my photo files are at home! Viewers will be able to see the Big Picture around dinnertime tonight. Great guesses, too. I liked the onions in a stocking! This Indian corn is a rust-color, really quite beautiful. My husband grew it in his garden. Please note for future contests that the items pictured will be in their natural state (e.g. no stockings or other added items). So, Anonymous, if you'd care to come forward and let us know who you are, I'll post your first name and the state in which you live (don't tell me it's "Crazy" or "Stressed Out")!! Thanks for playing, everyone!

Monday, January 14, 2008

A feather for my cap

Another rainy day, but it stopped this afternoon. I didn't take the camera along for the dog walk today, but found this near my house so went back to get a better peek. I liked the way the water was beading on it. If anyone else has guesses for the guessing game, it's below. And it's not THAT difficult, Char!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Quiet Sunday Morning

It's a peaceful day here in my neck of the woods. A day to relax, read the paper, go for a nice walk . . . This is a cutting from a shrimp plant that my brother-in-law gave me when he brought his plants inside for the winter. It's been growing roots and I'll plant it soon. It's a sweet little plant, named for the the resemblance of its pink leaves to that of a tiny shrimp.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Guessing Game

Since I love taking pictures with my new macro lens, a couple of friends suggested I have a guessing game. At the time of the suggestion, I was polite and agreed that yes, that would be fun. But secretly, to myself, I was really thiking that I hadn't any idea who would actually play because not very many people know about this site. Add that to the fact that I'm sort of lazy on the weekends, I mean after I finish my housekeeping chores and now I'm thinking to myself "how many pictures can I take and have people guess what they are?" I mean, it just sounded like work to me.
So this isn't a regular weekend thing. It's only a thing if it happens again, and it probably won't. But today, I was outside and I came across these lovely colors and well, it all made sense that I would make a game out of it for my family (who checks this site) and some of my friends (I haven't told everyone I know about this blog).

So, do you think you know what this could be? I'm sure it's going to be too easy. But I figured I'd do something easy. I'm giving it 3 days starting today, 2 Pm EST on Saturday. Game on now. Ends Tues., Jan. 15 at 2 PM EST.

Oh. and there's no prize. I guess I should have mentioned that fact.

Remembering an Autumn Sunrise

I took this photo last Fall with our old Sony Cybershot point & shoot. I just happened to look out the back door and saw this gorgeous glowing light from the sunrise. This shot is straight out of camera, no retouching. I don't love using the flash, but I took two photos that morning standing on my back deck and this one was with the flash. It actually looks better than the other because it brings out the morning glories. And if you look really closely, you'll see the puppy at the fence. He's watching my husband leave for work in the farm truck. I e-mailed this photo to my sisters and also to a friend of mine who lives in MS. His wife told me last night that he had a print made of it and he keeps it on his desk at his office.
Warren, if I'd known you liked it that much, I would have sent you an original. I love you guys.