Thursday, August 30, 2012

Do good things happen in threes?

Why, yes, I believe they do.  Following on the heels of my two exciting announcements yesterday, I just learned my photo of George,  the harmonica-playing, fig-selling octogenarian which I first shared on this post has made the very front page of the Chemainus Valley Courier.  Sweet!

It is one of  five or six photos I will be entering in the Cowichan Exhibition this year.  And the deadline is fast approaching, so I better run into town for some acid-free tape to finishing matting them. Maybe I'll buy a lottery ticket while I'm there.  I could be on a roll.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Two wee little brags....

...which made for a very exciting couple of days!

Reader's Digest contacted me today to let me know they wish to use an excerpt from one of my stories  in their October issue of Our Canada, one of their publications, as part of a promo for a new contest they are launching.  I submitted the story about a year and a half ago and had all but given up on it.

And a real estate developer is purchasing some of my images of Crofton for his website and other promo materials for a four storey retirement condo he is building here.  (This achievement is somewhat bittersweet and ironic -  the complex he is building will obliterate most of the ocean view I currently enjoy from my back porch!)

Just had to share with my blogger friends. I am pumped!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Missing Sheltie, Shawnigan Lake

For readers living in the Cowichan Valley, please keep your eyes open for a missing tri-colour  (black, white and tan) female sheltie named Angie who was visiting at Shawnigan Lake Beach Estates on Terrance Rd and went missing yesterday evening.  She is not from this area.  Please do not chase her;  she may come for treats however.

If seen or found Please contact  Eleanor at 250 897 2451    or Ann at 250 743 6149    

Friday, August 24, 2012

Guess who is a Birthday Boy?

Let's PAWTY!

Yes, "Eddie McFreddie Bossy Boots" is nine years old today!  Born Taleah's First Edition on August 24th, 2003, this lucky boy  gets to celebrate two special days each year - his birthday and his Gotcha Day (December 30th, 2011).  In the eight months he has been with me, he has blossomed from a somewhat anxious, excitable stranger to a funny, sometimes bossy, best buddy.  He has particularly come into his own the past couple of months.  Way to go, Eddie.

Now, Eddie would like to tell you about his day:

Deah Blog Readers,

Yup, it's my birfday!  I don't think I ever had a pawty before.  There's just Mama and the cat an' me, but we is havin' a nice day.  I wasn't so sure I'd make it to nine years of age yesterday, when Mama and our friend Margaret took me for a hike around Chemainus Lake an' I saw this sign:

But we hiked anyway, and I didn't get eaten by no bears or cougars.
This morning, I found a big bag of apples on my back deck.  I thought that was my birfday present so I helped myself without asking Mama:

Apples?  What apples?

Oops.  They were some mama got from a neighbour to pass on to Margaret.  Iz okay, Auntie Margaret, I left you lots!  An' they are yummy!

When mama called me back into the house - Wowza!  There were pressies for me!  I got some awesome treats like Kaliwags Organic Beef snacks (made in Canada with Canadian ingredients!), and some sweet potato and fish treats, and a big bag of fresh beef neck bones (though mama says I should wait a couple of days to eat one of them as I've had some tummy troubles this week), and a bag of Carna4 food for times when my raw food might not be available on a road trip Mama and I are taking in a few weeks.  I needs really special food 'cuz I gets really itchy skin from some stuff.

Lookit all mah goodies!

 And best of all I got this cool "Chilly Necks" bandana, which is nice and cool on my neck on warm days:

See mah bootiful new bandana? Itz Kooool!

Mama did make me wear a funny hat for the celebration, but I didn't mind.  Allie had fun, too, playing in the paper everything was wrapped in:

Dis is much more fun than those dumb dog treats!

And then she checked out her food cupboard to see if there were any pressies in there for her:

Humph!  I never get no pressies!

Allie claims Mama  has never thrown a party for her birthday or Gotcha day.  Mama doesn't know when her birthday is, except it was probably in the spring of 2001.  And Mama promises to get her some treats on her Gotcha day in November.  Maybe Allie will share them with me!

I gave my mama a present too.  When I came to live with her, I came with a plastic crate which was a bit too small and a bit too warm, but made me feel safe.  Mama now keeps in in the van for me, and has been trying to get me to use this bigger wire one in the house when I'm eating my bones and also to get me ready for our road trip.  Today, for the first time ever, I decided I LIKE IT!   I went in there all by myselfs when mama was in the shower, and I've gone back in there to lie down for a snooze several times since.  I think it will do me just fine.

Ah likes mah new crate!

Anyway, that's how my birthday was so far.  And now it's time for my dinner.  I sure hope there's cake afterwards - with ice cream of course!

Happy Birfday to meeeee....
and please pass the ice cream!

Love, Eddie. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Feast or famine

It seems like I either have nothing to blog about or far too much to blog about.  Right now, the latter situation applies.  Renos, garden, dogs, flowers, bugs, birds, local characters, blackberries, walks, interesting photography opportunities, old boats, funny thoughts.  The photos and stories are piling up.  And up.  And up.  I'm just too lazy to post them.  So I will keep today's post to just a few, and save some more for another day.  Without any new material, I think I have enough to post every day for the next month or so.

The renos are supposed to be done, but testing out the new range hood resulted in a clang-clang-clang that could be heard from here to Timbuctoo.  (Yes, readers in Timbuctoo, that WAS a range hood fan you heard clanging!).  And the stackable washer and dryer which needed highly technical modifications that only the appliance dealer could do, has now been stacked by them with - ready for this? - duct tape!  Yes, that is all that is holding the dryer to the top of the washer.  And a foot of aluminium foil ductwork is protruding from the top of the dryer to the ceiling of my new kitchen, in plain view like a messy closet door left open.   I am not a happy camper and this is not satisfactory. I can honestly say there are NO good businesses on Vancouver Island. The lack of professionalism and pride in one's work here is my one pet peeve about where I live (well, that and the people who don't pick up their dog poop!).

So, in the interest of maintaining my sanity, I have been playing with the cameras.  Here's a few of my recent favs with no particular story behind them:

Yellow flowers raise their faces to the clear blue sky

An unusual spider hangs from the flower basket on the back deck

Young pole beans through a sprinkler in the morning light

Grasshopper on a stucco wall

Mighty big, rather scary Ten-Striped June Bug

The garden grows

 And I think these next two are my favourites for this batch:

Harvest from my garden
The corn was AMAZING!
Octogenarian, fig-growing, harmonica-playing George.
One of our colorful Crofton characters,
Often found on the Sea Walk or near the ferry terminal.
A great guy to chat with!

And speaking of photos, if you are heading through Crofton on your way to Salt Spring Island, or just live around here, check out the galleria at Lito's Cafe.  You'll find my photo cards on sale there now - all proceeds to the Cowichan and District SPCA.  At the moment, I've limited it to images of Crofton,  as others are offering shots of animals and flowers but none focused on our beautiful piece of paradise.

Beautiful Piece of Paradise.  Well, except for that Bad Business thing.  And I take that back - the people at Lito's Cafe are awesome. So is the food and coffee.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Two-legged Charlie

Charlie G with Sadie, November 2011
Rest in Peace, my good friend.

I heard this morning that my dear friend, Charlie (also known to my blog readers, friends, and family as 'Two-legged Charlie' to differentiate him from my old dog Charley) passed away on Saturday while awaiting a heart transplant.

Charlie and I met over forty years ago in Calgary, Alberta.  The man  I was seeing (and eventually married) offered to help with the Scout Troop that Charlie's father led.  Because we were new to Calgary, and because his whole family are just kind and generous people, they invited us over and we all became friends. When my daughter was born, it was his mom I chose for her godmother.

Charlie and I remained friends for life - through marriages and divorces, through kids heading off to university, and job changes and moves and joys and sorrows.  He loved to tease me about being the 'older woman' in his life - a cougar -  because I was two weeks older than he.  Each year on my birthday, he began his phone call to me with " does it feel to be OLD?", and I would call him two weeks later and respond "So, now you know how it feels to be old!" And we would laugh, every single time.

We chatted regularly over the past several years,  and he visited me as recently as last November.  It was a great visit. But on his last evening here, we talked about his failing health.  I think we both knew it might be the last time we would see each other, though he was ever the optimist and always looked for the positive in everything and everyone. (I still remember the time he gave me heck for writing two gloomy blog posts in a row!).  This September, our birthday month, won't be the same.

My condolences to his children, Adam and Amber, and to all his family and those who loved him.
He was a good and kindly man.

Rest in Peace, Charlie.  I'm so sorry you won't be growing old along with me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Eddie gets his feet wet....

There are two things Eddie absolutely doesn't do:  climb stairs into or inside of a house, and walk into water - a creek, the ocean, a lake, or a puddle.  Attempts to coax/bribe him result in a butt firmly planted on the ground and a taut leash.
Yesterday, my brother came for a visit and in the afternoon we went for a stroll along the sea walk and onto the beach.  The day was very warm but there was a lovely breeze blowing off the bay.  Out on the jetty, I slipped off my sandals and waded into the water,  holding treats out to entice Eddie to follow.  No way.  No how.  Uh uh.  I didn't pursue the issue - my feet weren't use to the sharp pointy rocks, so I was quite happy to return to shore.
We wandered on a bit further, past the RV park to a small area of sort-of-sandy (it's mostly black sand from the old smelter tailings) beach.  I wandered out on a little sandbar, and not bothering to remove my sandals, kept walking right into the water.  To my great surprise, Eddie, on leash just behind me, followed me right in without hesitation - and actually seemed to enjoy it! In fact, by the time I turned to head back in, he was wandering around checking out the flotsam and jetsam to see if any of it was edible!

What next, swimming to Salt Spring Island?  Way to go, Eddie, I'm so proud of you!

Monday, August 13, 2012

After Noon

So, Noon has returned home and I still have many photos to post. So, of course, it is 'After Noon'.  However,  I think Caroline's suggested title in the comments on the previous post might be more apt:  "I Can't Decide, so Brace yourself for 200 Pictures".

As Caroline anticipated, I couldn't narrow it down to just 10.   Noon was so much fun to photograph.  Some are a bit out of focus and/or grainy, though -  I was clicking away from a bit of a distance with little time to adjust the settings as Noon took a liking to running over to me and leaving noseprints on the lens if  she saw me with the camera in front of my face.

So, from over 200 not-bad shots (and about 100 more that were totally blurry and therefore discarded), here are my favourite twenty:

Noon, you have a piece of grass in your teeth!! 

(She's watching the cat !)
 I gave her a rope toy from my supply of dog toys I keep on hand for dogs that will actually play with them - Eddie considers it beneath him.  Young dogs like Noon (she's two) keep me entertained for hours!  I love this series of her with the rope toy:

Am I supposed to do something with this?

Oh, this is kinda fun!

Wait, what do I hear over there?

Oh, it's that lady with the thing in front of her face again.

Here, Camera Lady, I'll pose for you.

Well, that was boring.  Back to the toy!

Num, num, num!

Hmmm.....I wonder how long it will take me to unravel it?

Maybe I'll toss it around a bit!

But first a big stretch.....

And a pawstand or two....

Now I'm all tired out!
Time for a nap. 

 And here's a couple more of her at the beach:

But I still think the one I posted the very first day is my favourite.  I took it just a couple of hours after she arrived.   I was sitting in my armchair watching the news and she was on her dog bed right beside me.  I was snapping pics of anything in the room just to get her used to the sound of the camera.  This shot was a total fluke - it was taken one-handed and sideways from my chair.  The late afternoon sun was flooding through a white blind over the patio doors, giving the laminate floor and white chair legs a soft gentle glow that provides just the right background for a Pensive Pup:

Pensive Pup

Noon, I hope you come for a visit again some time.  Thanks for being such a great model! 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

High Noon (and Eddie too)

You'd think these dogs were high on something, they are both just so happy, happy, happy.  We went to the beach during our morning walk, and - well - this photo says it all:

Noon and Eddie, high on life at the beach.

Noon will be leaving here shortly, and I still have about 200 shots of her to narrow down to ten or so for the blog.  She is so much fun to photograph, the selection will be a challenge.  Clearly, they won't get posted until after she leaves.  Wanna guess what the title of the NEXT entry will be?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

The dog and the frog

Noon:  I hasza frog!
Frog:  The eye!  Watch the eye!

Noon:  Wanna play wiv me and the frog, Eddie?
Eddie:  Nah, it's too hot.  Ask the camera lady.

Frog:  Ow ow ow ow ow!!  Leggo my face!

Noon:  Will you throw this for me, camera lady?
Frog:  I don't think I'm gonna like this.

Noon:  I got him! Igot him!

Frog:  Do I look like I'm having fun?

Frog:   I don't feel so good -  I think I'm gonna pass out!

Noon:  You okay, little buddy?
Frog:  I'm dead. 

Noon:  He's just joking, right?

Noon:  Call 911!  Someone call 911!

Noon:  I'm sorry, little buddy!
Noon:  Oh well.  What can we play with next, camera lady?