Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

December 27, 2012

Dogs, a little snow and a Fire!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 4:42 pm
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Some of you may remember that I am not a huge fan of winter, but that even I was wishing for a touch of snow to make things look pretty outside.  The winter storm that just finished piling on the mid-west and made its way here to the northeast last night dropped a few inches here.  Then it rained heavily this morning and washed a lot of it away and left piles of slush.  I’m looking out the window right now at what appears to be what the weatherfolk refer to as a “wintery mix”.  Just messy, not pretty unfortunately.

Christmas morning snow

Christmas morning also brought a touch of the white.  It wasn’t enough to cover the lawn, but the dogs enjoyed it.
Daphne love snow

dogs play in the snow

We had a peaceful Christmas morning.

Christmas morning tree

stuffed stockings

the girls with gifts

Christmas collie

Oh, and you must be wondering about that fire in the title! No, it wasn’t that kind of fire, it was this kind:
New Kindle Fire!
Dear hubby surprised me with a Kindle Fire for Christmas. We had decided we were buying them for the girls for Christmas – imagine my surprise with being presented with one myself!

Later in the day we welcomed family for dinner, gift-giving
The stuff of Christmas

and desserts galore.
Desserts Galore

The new dishwasher hummed quietly throughout the day!  Tell me about your day in the comments if you like!

June 24, 2012

It had been far too long since…

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 9:05 pm
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…the poochachos and I went for a walk.  With the busy-ness, issues and recent heat, Teddy and Daphne had been just a wee bit neglected by their mama in the walk department.  Don’t get me wrong, we have a nice sized yard for them to romp around, but for them, nothing matches the excitement of a walk on the leashes, outside of their little backyard world.

I swear Teddy figures out what is going on from the moment I make the decision to go for the walk.  This past Saturday morning, as I sat on the edge of my bed putting my sneakers on, Teddy began to whine his happy whine.  I hadn’t touched the leashes or the “special orange bags” but I swear he knew what was happening.

It’d been so long since we took a walk along the powerlines into the woods, I was unprepared for the changes that had taken place in our absence.  The path that we take to the fireroad along the powerline was all grown in:
overgrown path #1
We had to hike through some tall grasses and thorny vines to get where we were headed. My legs are a bit scratched up.

Apparently a lightening strike had taken place:
lightening strike?

I was happily surprised by the wildflowers everywhere I looked:
wild daisies

wild susan

Wildflower meadow

Even a little daylily appeared on the edge of our path!
wild lily

I even took a video with my phone because I wanted to share the sounds with you as I followed the fire-road for a bit, but my phone is unfortunately being a bit persnickity about sharing that video.  I tried emailing it to myself – froze my phone in the process – and tried uploading directly to YouTube from my phone – video no where to be found on YouTube.  If I get it to work anytime soon, I’ll add it to this post.

There was a little downside to this walk too.  When I got to one of my favorite sections of the pathovergrown path #2

when normally the only sounds I can hear are the red-winged blackbirds and peepers and on warm days like this one was, the cicadas, the dogs and I were assaulted by deer flies!  I put on my bug repellent before heading out for the walk, but these buggers didn’t care.  I hurried through the normally very quiet and peaceful section of the walk swatting all the way.

Daphne always looks forward to the creek crossing near the end of the walk so that she can do this:Hot n tired golden retriever

but I couldn’t let her linger as long as she would’ve liked due to those nasty flies!  Does anyone know, would a stronger deet percentage repellent help?  I was using fairly gentle “Skintastic.”

I certainly won’t let a few obstacles prevent the dogs and I from enjoying more walks this summer, but I will definitely be looking for a way to be more bug free the next time!

March 3, 2012

Leaping into March

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 11:07 am
Tags: , , , ,

If February hadn’t had an extra day this year, we would have gotten out of it without any accumulating snow.  As it happened, a large storm pushed its way across the country, and arrived here in the early afternoon of February 29th.  It wasn’t too big by the time it got here, leaving us with only a few inches of snow, which are currently melting away on this rainy day, with temperatures promised to get up to 50°.  Since I may not have many opportunities for this type of photo  this year, here’s a few pictures of our little storm:

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I’ve found a new bird feeder problem this winter.  Some of you may remember my tribulations with the “squirrel-proof” feeder last year.  I replaced the broken feeder this year with glass and copper feeders.  Twice now I’ve come home from work and found them unscrewed from their hooks and lying, mostly empty on the ground.  The problem this time around seems to be a pack of grackles; so many of them land at a time that their weight gets the feeders swinging and they come unscrewed. I wrote last year about not having a problem with this so-called nuisance bird, but now I’m starting to understand.  Each time I fill the feeders, a group of about 20 birds flocks to the seed, and bullies away many of the smaller birds.  I’m wondering if changing the location to my back deck would help at all.

I took the feeders down, and this morning, Mrs Cardinal showed up on my window sill looking in.  She seemed to be saying, “Hey Lady!  Where’s the seed?”

If anyone has any bird feeding suggestions that won’t cost me a fortune in seed, I’d be happy to hear them.

I also took the opportunity to try a few macros while the flakes were coming down.  I got out the extension tubes and the tripod, put a black glove out in the snow, and this is what I managed:
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snowflake2

Those are extremely cropped shots; the extension tubes don’t allow me to get that close.

Just for fun, here’s a couple shots of Teddy and Daphne having a grand time in the snow:
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“Hey Daphne, whatcha doin’?”

“Rolling in the snow, of course!  You should try it! It feels great!”

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“Oh yeah?  How’s this feel?  Get up and plaaaaayyyyy!!”

“Teddy!  Ugh, little brothers can be such a pain!”

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“GetupGetupGetupGetup!!!!!!”

“Alright, alright, already!”

The result of this little storm was a delayed start to our school day the next morning.  Everyone knows how much I love those!  So far, March is kind of coming in with a whimper rather than a lion’s roar.

We’re off to a Mardi Gras party this afternoon (yes, we’re aware Mardi Gras was more than a week ago). I hope you all have a great weekend.

January 28, 2012

Did I sleep through February?

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 2:45 pm
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It sure felt like I must have today.  As the dogs and I went for our walk today, I’d swear it was late March.  The sun shined in a cloudless sky
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that reflected in large puddles
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and patches of melting ice
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At 45°F in glorious sunshine, I thought I must be taking an early-spring rather than mid-winter walk.  We meandered our favorite path through mud and muck without complaint.
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Teddy thought it a fine day for a stroll through the freely flowing stream, while I enjoyed taking this handsome collie profile with sun-sparkly water in the background:
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The calendar did indeed say January 28, not March 28 when we arrived home.  If this is Mama Nature’s way of perhaps righting some wrongs of last year, I will take it! Thanks, Mama, for a lovely day!

November 12, 2011

Best of, Part 3

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 8:29 pm
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First were the birds.  Second were the flowers.  Are you waiting with bated breath to see what part 3 will bring? No, I didn’t really think you were, but here’s part 3 anyway!  The critters, of course!  Furry, rather than feathered this time around.

Although they really try my patience when it comes to my bird feeders (I am currently shopping for a new one since they managed to destroy my “squirrel-proof” feeder), squirrels are really rather comical.  I found this one doing quite the acrobatic routine one morning:

gray squirrel antics 1

For my June photo hunt, I asked for a cow picture as a bonus shot.  I’ve had a thing for cows for a while now.  It may stem back to my days as a milkmaid at Old Sturbridge Village, but that doesn’t really explain my love of Oreo cows:
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Teddy and Daphne make fairly regular appearances here on the blog, so here are my favorite shots of them from this year:

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Teddy’s hi-key portrait in the snow

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My solar-powered golden retriever enjoying a sun beam.

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And an animated shot of the two of them showing their doggy love for snow.

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I could hardly leave poor Cedric out of the fun, right?  Here he is in a “serious” game of “cat and mouse”!

I still have more to come!  This was Part 3 of my submission for Scott’s assignment: Best Photos of 2011.

October 9, 2011

Searching for Autumn Color

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 6:51 pm
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It might be a bit early still.  I had it in my head that by Columbus Day weekend, western Massachusetts was usually ablaze in the colors of fall.  I wasn’t able to find much photographic evidence in the archives on my computer.  I searched dates around this time in 2010 and 2009, without luck.  My 365 project on Flickr showed a bit of color on October 10th of 2008.

When the forecast for this weekend said sunny skies and temperatures around 80°, I knew a walk in the woods would be on my “to do” list.  The forecast proved accurate, and the doggy duo and I set out for an afternoon walk yesterday.  I reveled in the warmth and sunshine, telling myself to enjoy it, knowing this was likely the last New England weekend to enjoy such weather.  Hoping to spot hints of pretty color, Mr. Andre Rebel came along for the walk too.

While I didn’t see vibrant shades filling the trees, I was able to find some hints of the autumn palette:
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These little cuties reminded me of Michaela’s post from the other day:
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I also found something new along our familiar path.  While rounding a bend, this popped up:
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Bridge? I thought to myself.  What bridge?  Lo and behold:
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A new footbridge had appeared along our walk, at Daphne’s favorite spot to take a little rest.  Normally, this is the place where I have to figure out the best spot for a little leap across the running water while the dogs happily slog across.  The dogs still slogged through, but I happily made use of the new addition.

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In some spots along our walk, and in general about town, I’ve noticed some of the trees seem to be skipping their autumn display and going straight from green to brown:

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In the pleasantness of the afternoon, we ambled further along the path than we’d been in quite a long time.  As the sunlight peeked through trees in the shadowy section of our walk, it suddenly came to my consciousness that I had possibly obtained my own form of quiet contemplation and meditation.  If meditation is the absence of active thought, then I think it happened, if only for a short time.  For a short time, I wasn’t thinking about chores that awaited me at home, the trials of the previous week at work, or the tasks ahead for the week to come.  It was just me, the dogs, the woods and breathing.  And it felt really good.
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September 5, 2011

Back to the Woods

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Summer is slipping through our fingers, I’m sad to say.  Although autumn doesn’t officially begin until September 23rd this year, today, Labor Day, often feels like the end of the season.  It didn’t feel like summer was over to Daphne when I took this picture though!  Let me back up a little.

Saturday morning seemed like it was to be one of those delightful days – a nice one for either summer or fall – with wispy clouds, gentle breezes and a high of 80°.  I hadn’t taken the dogs for a walk in the woods for weeks, mostly because the last time we did so,  they came back covered in ticks or the days had started out just too humidly for me to want to make the trek.  I decided we would avoid the tall grasses and hope for the best this time out.

I was rewarded with beautiful sights along our path, looking so different from when Becky and I went out together back in the spring, or even from some of our early summer walks.

The old tractor path we follow was lush and green, forming almost tunnel-like feeling
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This field of tall grasses developed a purply-pink color that I don’t remember seeing before – I think it is just this particular type of grass gone to seed.
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Wild black-eyed susans,
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milkweed,

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and goldenrod were in full bloom
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Giant dragonflies hovered above the fields, though I struggled to capture them in a photo:

dragonfly

And just for you, Kathy, I even found a mushroom I could consider a little bit beautiful in its pink color:
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The dogs and I happily ambled along the paths, a few times turned around by impasses likely created by Irene, but had a thoroughly enjoyable walk.  A small swamp with a running stream across part of our path was a bit larger at this time of the year, after the significant rain we’ve had recently, which gets me back to the picture at the beginning of my post.  The last time I showed this part of our walk, it looked like this:

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It was the end of March, and warm for that time of year, but probably at least 20 degrees cooler than this past Saturday.  I didn’t think it was overly warm out, but then I wasn’t wearing a fur coat!
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Hope you enjoyed your Labor Day weekend!  Have a wonderful week.

June 25, 2011

My June Photo Hunt Shots

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 9:54 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hi Everyone!  It is photo hunt time!  As of this writing, I have not been around to check out the links that have been submitted to me so far; I was just finishing up  my own hunt photos and I didn’t want to be influenced by what I saw.

A colorful bird of my choice :

I tried to think of a cheeky way to interpret this one, but both of the ways I thought of wouldn’t work.  The first would be an indecent gesture that no one would want to see a picture of!  The second, I don’t live in the correct country to get the shot – an English girl in a colorful dress would fit the bill too.  So I settled for this guy:

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He’s the chlorine floater for my pool and he’s pretty colorful!

A grad – of any sort :

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This is the daughter of dear friends who graduated from high school this year.  I met these friends when I was a senior in high school, so this makes me feel really old.  This photo also contains the project that I’d been working so furiously on for most of the month of May.  I’m very proud of how Brianna’s graduation quilt came out.

A dad – of any sort:

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For this shot, I resorted to my archives.  Here’s my hubby from vacation last summer, doing what he does best as a dad – acting like a diabolical goofball with his children.

Something purple:
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A fairly typical Karma shot here!  I have these flowers near my mailbox, and I can’t remember what they are called, but they don’t stay open all day long and look pretty after a rain shower.

A butterfly:
butterfly

Hee, hee! Gotcha!  You were expecting one of these pretty things weren’t you?  I had a few twisted ideas for this one, like trying to carve a house fly out of butter or trying to catch the stick of butter flying through the air.  This is actually the very rare sweetcreamerusaltificus species.

A funny face:

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Because a pointy-faced collie fresh from doing battle with the evil garden-hose-monster is pretty funny, and I haven’t had a reason to feature a picture of Teddy lately.

Bonus: a cow, bull, heifer, calf or ox.  Extra bonus points for my favorite, the belted galloway. (Also affectionately known by me as an “Oreo” cow):
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Ha, ha – kid!  I kid!  I really did go out and finally get some pictures of those real-life Oreo cows:
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Awwww, aren’t they sweet?  I want one for a pet.

I hope I gave you a little chuckle with my photos, and I hope you had fun taking yours!  You still have time if you haven’t posted yet.  You’ve got all day tomorrow to post – and I’ll probably let you slide if you do it for Monday too.  I’ll be making the rounds to check out your shots soon!

ETA:  Oopsie, dear sister of mine pointed out an error in my original deadline!  I wrote Sunday, June 25th.  Oops.  Today is actually the 25th, isn’t it, and as far as I know it is only Saturday.  My bad!  I meant for the deadline to be Sunday the 26th, but meh.  You know how I feel about being strict on these things.  Take til the end of the month if need be.

April 10, 2011

My WordPress 5k – or 7mi. as the case may be!

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 8:40 pm
Tags: , , , ,

Today was the big day for the Worldwide WordPress 5k.  My plan was to follow one of the newly marked trails on conservation land here in town.  The land has much history here and lots of memories for me.  If you’d like to know a little more about it, I found a nice website describing the area here.  It holds memories for me of walking the area as a child, usually with my dad, sister and our dog, sometimes with our bff Renae.  Today I made a new memory with a new friend, Becky from Rebecca the Housewrecka.  We began our walk at our town’s middle school and followed Alton’s Way- thoughtfully named for the longtime town resident and farmer, Alton McDonald who owned the lands and passed away in 2004.

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Most of our path meandered along quiet forest and streams like this,
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with occasional clearings into fields.  One of those clearings included Alton’s barn:
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I thought all the snow had finally melted, but we came across small patches in the woods:
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At the end of Alton’s Way (2.4 miles), we came to Lake Trail, and naturally assumed it would bring us to a lake, or really the local pond, so we followed.

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Daphne and Teddy on the Lake Trail.  The dogs were very excited and enthusiastic today, by the way, both for the new smells of an unfamiliar path and for having another 2-legged friend with us.

Lake Trail did indeed come to the water, but we were unable to find a path to let us get closer.  Only driveways like this one seemed to lead directly to the pond:
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After searching around for a path to the water, we decided to start back.  I checked my iPod pedometer and it said we had already gone 3.3 miles, so we stopped for our self-portrait, having completed 5K:

at 5k

Shortly after this picture was taken, the strange little pedometer program started randomly soundly a bizarre alarm! The screen said I had apparently committed some unknown touch-screen sin.  It happened a few more times on our walk back, and I suspect it somehow interfered with keeping good track of our mileage today.  Upon our return to the trailhead, it said we had gone 4.6 miles.  We knew that couldn’t be true having been at 3.3 shortly after our turn back.  When I looked up the trail online and discovered one way on the trail was 2.4, I figured the little app was unfortunately inaccurate.  By my calculations, I walked closer to 7 miles today: 4.8 for the round trip on Alton’s Way, 1.5 for the round trip on Lake Trail plus searching for the path to the water, .2 to the trailhead and back from the school parking lot, and .5 for walking to and from the school.  So I really did two 5K’s today, right?  Pretty cool!  And pretty tired, especially the dogs:

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During our walk today, we heard frogs in the swamp, saw red-winged blackbirds and hawks, and Becky spotted some neat tree fuzzies – although I don’t know what kind of tree it was. Hopefully she will post her pictures from today, which I’m sure are wonderful.  All in all, I had a great walk.  Thanks for coming along with us, and thanks Becky, for joining the poochachos and me!

ETA: Becky did her post about our walk – go check it out!

February 22, 2011

My dog, the cat…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 4:48 pm
Tags: , ,

Found in the sunbeam coming through the sliding glass door this morning:

 

 

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