Sunday, September 11, 2016

Saratoga Sunrise

Saratoga Sunrise - sounds like a drink, doesn't it?  Something peachy - peach and vodka, perhaps.  (Well, after typing those first couple of sentences, I thought perhaps I should check if there really was a drink by that name.  There is!  And here I thought I was being so witty. Sigh).

Anyway, Mitzi and I are on vacation at Saratoga Beach on Vancouver Island.  And this is what our version of a Saratoga Sunrise looks like - taken as we walked the beach early this morning:

Saratoga Sunrise - non-alcoholic, a better high, and no hangover.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Piggy Cuteness

These are the two newest residents at RASTA (Rescue And Sanctuary for Threatened Animals), the farm animal sanctuary in Chemainus BC, where I volunteer.  While we have 21 potbellied pigs, these two are the larger kind of pigs and will grow to be 700-1000 pounds.  They came in a week or so ago, very skinny, scared, covered in lice and full of worms.  One has a severely deformed back leg which we first thought to be broken, but xrays by the vet tell us he was born that way,quite possibly a result of his mama being very malnourished.   They are already filling out and becoming comfortable in our presence.  And they are very photogenic.

"Hi, Volunteer Lady, would you like some help cleaning the barn?"

"I think that lady has food.  Be nice to her"

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Puppy Kisses and Computer Misses

Still getting things figured out - my old watermark doesn't work on this computer - I copied it over, and a search says it is in my picture file, but when I go to that file, all I get is a black screen.  I think it has something to do with it being a .pgn image.  In the last post, I had just added my copyright using "text" in my photo-editing program, but for these ones I made a new watermark. It doesn't work quite as well (and I want to change the font to something a bit thinner, but now I forget how I made the watermark on this computer!), but it will do until I figure out how to get my old one to work.  Here's a few more puppy pictures from the Beardie Bounce Pawty I attended on Sunday.  Enjoy:

Puppy Kisses!


"I'll take this one!"

Comfy lap time

"I wanna see!"
"No, me first me first!"

All tuckered out

"I likes this lap.  I wonder if I can keep it?"

"Are you gonna be my new fam'ly?"

"Too many peoples out there!"

Another pup and bowl one,
just because I love the colours and composition.

And this is Star - a two year old guest at the pawty.
One of the puppies will be going to live with Star.
She's gonna be a big sister!
(And blog readers can see what an adult beardie looks like!)

On the new computer, new programs, news again, I can't get my old printer to work with this computer so we're not quite completely switched yet.  In a week or two, my local computer guru will come and move the rest of my stuff to the new unit, and I'm keeping a list of questions for him.  The good news is that I am adjusting to the new keyboard - the new laptop has a bigger screen but a smaller, tighter keyboard, and the "delete" key is a teeny tiny thing in the very top row, instead of a nice honkin' big one in easy reach of my little finger. I also have a new wireless mouse which took some getting used to, but I have finally beaten it into submission and can now control its every move.  Almost.

I don't know that I will ever get used to Microsoft Office 2016 - why in the world did they put so many zillion things to click on at the top and why did they hide so many basic functions in subfiles of files under obscure headings?  It seems no-one in that company has ever heard of KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid.  They need to make a version for those of us who don't want twenty-six ways of doing every little task, and don't have the memory (in our heads, not our computers) to remember under which of a  half zillion different headings something is located. Maybe that's why I still have a cell phone that can only be used for making phonecalls - no camera, no texting, no GPS, no internet - just a simple ol' phone for making and receiving phone calls.  Now I want just a simple ol' computer program. But of course, it does have to be able to do the one or two more advanced things that I want it to do - like watermarking. Sigh.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Puppy with water dish

You may have noticed I didn't post the several catch-up blogs I'd intended to post.  The old computer gets slower and slower, so I have been making a rapid transition to my new one - new computer, upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 10, and upgrade from Microsoft Word 2003 to Microsoft Word 2016.  Steep, steep, steep learning curve for this technologically incompetent senior.

So....maybe I will and maybe I won't ever get to those catch-up posts.  (Okay, I do have one post of Molly Dawg and Lady May and Cuddle Clone King, from their visit last May, which I need to get up  - still editing all those photos!)

Meanwhile, here's a one-photo post, of a seven-week-old bearded collie, one of four pups I photographed today.  I'm posting it here for the sole purpose of seeing if I can do everything - downloading the photos, editing them, watermarking them,writing the blog, and posting - all from the one new computer.  If it doesn't work, or doesn't look right, I may throw up my hands in defeat.

Here goes, fingers crossed:

Bearded Collie Pup and Water Bowl

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Catching Up, Moving On

Reflections at Maple Bay marina

My regular readers will note I've been more and more lax about maintaining the blog.  I post photos and adventures fairly regularly on facebook, but don't seem to make it here (where posting takes much longer and is more tedious as I have to do more work to prepare the photos).  So I've been waffling about blogging at all.  But I know some of my very long term followers aren't on facebook, and I love staying connected with them by sharing my beautiful island and critters this way.  So every now and then I do a post.

Kingfisher at dusk

However, I am about to make The Big Switch to Windows 10 (from Windows XP) and to a much newer version of Microsoft Word, so I have no idea how this will impact my ability to do anything bloggish.  I do know that my best friend on my old computer, The Wizard which makes downloading and filing my photos so easy, has been killed off in the newer versions - and that makes me very nervous.  But I'm hopeful that after the initial painful adjustment, I may find some things easier to do.  Like using Blogger.  So the decision to continue or not continue is still in limbo.  I will be taking a course on Windows 10 starting next week, and hope to have a better idea by the end of the month.

Meanwhile, I'm going to try to get caught up a bit with some photos I really want to share here - of hikes and dogs and farm rescue and nature. I have managed to damage my knee, so I'm not doing much outdoor stuff at the moment, which should be the perfect opportunity to go through photo files from the past four months and choose some of the best before I possibly disappear from the blogosphere forever.

Sailboats and quad rowers in Maple Bay

Today's photos are some I posted on facebook last night after spending a wonderful day with my nephew and his family who were moored at the nearby Maple Bay Marina for a couple of days.

We started the day with lunch at the Shipyard Restaurant at the marina - I always enjoy a good meal there! - before heading over by car to Cowichan Bay for some sightseeing and shopping.

Picturesque Cowichan Bay
the world's best bakery

Then to Duncan for more shopping (so my nephew's family could restock provisions for the rest of their cruise), back to my place for a while to check on Ms. Mitzi (who is doing AMAZINGLY well at the moment, at age fifteen and a half), then back to the boat for a wonderful dinner while we watched sailboats and quad rowers, herons and kingfishers, as the sun set and the full moon rose.

Maple Bay
View from the boat in the marina

Same view as above,
but at dusk

A heron on the dock

Quad rowers practicing

View from the back of the boat. 

Maple Bay Marina at sunset

Sunset in Maple Bay

A light appears high on a hill.....

It is the rising of the full moon

Full moon arisen over Maple Bay.
Time to head home at the end of a wonderful day. 

That's it for today....keep checking back as I hope to get at least a half dozen more posts up in the coming two weeks. :)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Happy 9th Birthday, Scotch and Soda piglets!

Can the Scotch and Soda piglets I fostered for almost two years for Hearts On Noses Sanctuary really be NINE years old today??? 

Happy birthday, Whisper, Rob Roy, Tom, Lizzie, Derby, Toddy, Swizzle, Fizzy, Rickey, and Spritzer! 

It seems like just yesterday I was welcoming these little guys and gal into the world, and now they are seniors. That means that Scotch and Soda are probably around 13 or more, as they were fully grown when they came into our care, just weeks before the babies arrived, the result of a cruelty seizure. May they all have many more happy, happy years.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Oh Canada!

As has been my tradition for the past several years, I pay tribute to my country on this her 149th birthday by sharing some some of my favourite images from the past twelve months. Copyright to all photos is held by the author of this blog;  do not copy images without permission.  Sharing the link via facebook or other social media is permitted. Enjoy!

Oh Canada!

our home and native land,

True patriot love

in all of us, in every single one of us, command.

No matter who we are or where we, or our ancestors, come from,

may we all be proud of this country in which we live.

And no matter where we live or work, 

In rural communities, 

By the ocean or mountains,

Or in urban centres, 

May we celebrate your natural beauty, oh Canada!

From sunrise, 

To sunset, 

Through the dark of night, 

And the light of day,

In rain, 

And in sun,

In forests, 

And on beaches, 

whether rugged coast, 

or sandy shore,

High in the mountains

or down in the valleys, 

on trails through  your tapestry of  natural parks and protected lands, Oh Canada, 

The beauty of your trees and flowers

Of animals and birds and butterflies, 

Of creeks and lakes and marsh and field

Never fails to astound us.

And whether we're on the move, unsure where we'll end up

Or confident we are home to stay 

Whether we're flying high

Or thoroughly grounded, 

Sticking our neck out, 

or much more laid back, 

May we love this land.  It is our home.

Oh Canada, 
You are a country where little kids can dream big, 

And even when we get knocked down 

Or irritated for a while, 

We bounce right back, and welcome others to play. 

And though we might sometimes want to stick out our tongue at the world 

or hope that no one sees us, 

or face an uphill stretch, 

we carry on with pride.

For how can a nation of people crazy enough to swim in January 

not help each other to take the plunge, 

to move forward together,

to help each other out?

Whether we're serious 

or blissfully joyful,

caught up for the moment,

or even  in a flap,

We can find tranquility in nature, 

And joy in life itself

At any time of year.

Oh Canada, 
We have many artistic abilities, 

But Nature is our greatest artist of all. 

We are a nation of diversity, all shapes and sizes, 

and no matter what colour we are 

or what or whom we worship, 

We can share a cup of tea 

Or cuddle with a friend ,

For when we care about each other, all species, and our environment,

And laugh at ourselves and with others

We Canadians have something to crow about 

And we can  step into the future with courage

and dance like nobody's watching

because we have an amazing country, filled with amazing people and places and life. 

Oh Canada, 

With glowing hearts we see thee rise 

the true north strong and free

We stand on guard, Oh Canada 

we stand on guard for thee

Oh Canada,
Glorious and free!

(c) 2016, Jean Ballard