Sunday, June 27, 2010

One year old ...

It's my one year Blogoversary this week. (This is how it all started.)

I've had such fun writing down some of my inane ramblings and comments - blogging is, afterall, a compelling but polite way of waving at the world and shouting "Look at me, look what I saw today, what do you think of this?" We share our world with others. We share where we live, what we do, what we can accomplish.

I've loved linking up with people new and old (well, kinda old - in the nicest sense of the word of course), and I am in awe of all the natural, talented writers and photographers out there in Blogland who make me feel humble, pointless and galvanised on a daily basis!

I hope to continue for as long as nature gives me a hearty poke in the eye, or random cluttered cupboards, garden renovations, lunatic dogs and bra-shopping inspire me. It's fair to say, however, that going out to earn a living now puts a slight damper on my ability to photograph pretty things so often, or come up with intelligent conversation half the time (only half?!). I think the contents of my office might only hold your attention for, ooh, say about 4 nano-seoconds. And on some days, the contents of my brain are not much more motivating!

Thank you for sharing my blog. Love and girly hugs, and a sloppy lick from my co-writer, Smudge. (And Honey says "huh?")

Now then, I think a large slice of celebratory cake is calling. Do you want some?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Scenic Sunday - Contrasts

Remember this picture from March? Overlooking downtown Calgary ...
Bleak, grey, colourless.

Look at it now ....

One more - the "Before" shot - bleached of life ...

And the "After" photo - born again!

Calgary has been rained upon for nearly three weeks solid - it is lush and green, vibrant and gorgeous.

But the rivers are really high, and fast flowing, and when the dogs go down to paddle, I nearly have a panic attack - 'cos I sure ain't jumping in to rescue them!

Have a great and super Scenic Sunday.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mini rant for the week

It's been raining here for quite a few days - pouring with rain actually. It is, afterall, June in Alberta - the heavens open and begin to empty all over us.

And the reason for a mini-rant post this week is because I don't feel inclined or able to produce a nice, pretty SkyWatch Friday post - there's nowt out there but grey soggyness! My camera lens protesteth too much.

But the rain is not the cause of my mini rant. I don't mind it really - the garden needs it, the landscape needs it, the low-level rivers need it and how can we go white-water rafting later in the year, if the snow and rain don't all culminate downriver in July?!

And my local water supply needs it. So rain clouds - you have my gracious permission to fall for a few more days, then you must head off back to the UK or Vancouver or Seattle because they will be missing you by now.

I live in an area that is naturally pretty dry - sure we get some snow - but hardly any rain. Maybe a few days in October and then June is usually pretty soggy.

So why has my neighbour got her bloody irrigation system going morning and evening?! Ooh, it makes me cross!

I assume she has set it with a timer - I am unimpressed each morning as I take the dogs around the block, dodging rain clouds and puddles, to see her front and back lawns receiving another 20 mins of clean, fresh water taken from our precious supplies. Aaaghhh!

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate a lush and spongy manicured lawn as well as the next person

In fact, I find my own lawn-care skills severely lacking and the dandelions are currently having an orgy in my back garden. It's disgraceful how quickly they can reproduce. Neighbours and bylaw-officers complain quickly if it gets out of hand - otherwise I kinda like their prolific bursts of yellow.

But the main reason I will never win the "poshest lawn in the street" award is that I don't really agree with irrigation systems blasting our precious resources all over the place, in pursuit of healthy blades of green-ness.

I'm happy to give my perennials a quick soak, or water my veggies and hanging baskets - but if you live in a place that is loathe to naturally water your garden for you, then I think you ought to try and work with what you've got.

So capture some water off your roof, divert your guttering to do the watering for you, plant some native stuff that happily grows where you live - and look up Xeriscaping on the internet.

Rain collectors, rain barrels, water butts - whatever you call them - come in all shapes and sizes now - I don't figure they will ever look truly attractive - how about one with a planter on the top?

DIY - paint your wagon?

Now this one is just butt ugly (geddit?) - but maybe you just go with a "needs must" approach (but does it have to be turquoise? subtle it ain't.)
My favourite, of course is this wee treasure - a simple water butt.

Mini rant over.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dances with Humans - Dogs and Porcupines

Smudge here - how are you good folks doing?

Thought I'd tell you about my daft friend Honey, and what happens when she ignores my good advice. You can lead a dog to water, and all that .....

(I'm the tall, dark and handsome one.)

You remember Honey right, the stoopid one?
Cute as a button but, oh boy, not bright. At all.

So The Boss took us for one of our favourite walks by the Ranch House this week. It was a drizzly, cold day and though I hate to admit it, I was a soggy, shivering wreck at the end, let me tell you. Dignity goes out of the window when you've been rained on for an hour.

Old Honey-chops over there only went and stuck her nose into a dead porcupine. I told her to leave it alone, but does she listen? Nope.

And because she is so dumb, she didn't yelp or cry out at all, so neither The Boss nor The Reluctant Dog Owner had a clue she had done this, and to be honest I was so wrapped up in my own shivering misery, I was too busy looking for a good towel rub-down and a nice warm blanket. Call me selfish.

So it wasn't 'till the end of the day that The Reluctant Dog Owner finally found the porcupine spines sticking out of Honey's head - she had four in her chin, one on the end of her ear, one on her back and another poking out of the top of her head.

To be honest, I couldn't see them at all 'cos the spines were the same colour as her fur, and they were all small, broken ones anyway.

So, The Boss and The Reluctant Dog Owner get into a big conversation about what to do, how to get them out of her skin and how much it would all cost. There is no fee too high to take care of and pamper us, no?

And Ol' Honey-features just looked on blankly - completely unaware and well, just daft really. Totally not bothered that she looked like a walking pin-cushion. So they saved on vets bills and waited 'till the following day.

The next morning The Boss took her off for an hour - didn't invite me along - typical! I miss out on all the fun.

And then they came home again and Honey looked totally pissed. Like really drunk man, it was so funny. I sniffed her, I tried to mount her, tried to get her to play ball. Nada!

Her front legs couldn't hold her up (she is a wee bit on the heavy-side, it must be said), her back legs were really wobbly and she was just no fun at all - she just slept all evening, and snoring like you wouldn't believe. After laughing my ass off, I finally gave up and snoozed on the sofa.

Something about sedation, I think they called it.

But you know what, if we see that smelly old dead porcupine again, I bet she'll still go up to check it out. See what I mean .... D-U-M-B-O !