A Lesson From a Dog

Remember Coraggio, this little cutie cockapoo that I work with (such a heartbreak to *have* to work with a dog and kids, too, huh)?

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Well, the poor thing went in for his summer hair cut, and ended up getting the worst hair cut I have ever seen on anything. They shaved down to his skin on his chest, his back fur was so uneven it looked like a two year old got ahold of him, they shaved his hair up his neck to near the top of his head to make it look like he has a toupee, and his tail was a wreck. The owner was so sick about it she couldn’t even look at him.

And you know what? That dog doesn’t give a hoot what his fur looks like! He is still one very cheery little dog, bouncing around like life is the best thing. A very good example for us humans, I would say!

The Kentucky Derby

I love watching the Kentucky Derby. Just the racing part that is. I don’t need to watch the hours before leading up to the thing and after talking about it forever. Hearing My Old Kentucky Home makes me tear up. I love looking at the ladies’ hats, and I would love to taste one of those fresh mint juleps, mmmm. Oh, and I *love* horses.

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Not my photo.

I love the beautiful horse farms in Kentucky, the green grass and white fences and of course, the beautiful horses.

How do I know? I actually lived in Kentucky for 11 months of my life. Really. Don’t ask.

I Could Scream, Or Why I Haven’t Blogged

So I got new Anti-Virus software, woo-hoo, it is supposed to protect my computer even more than my last package. Except it won’t let me freakin’ blog and I haven’t figured out how to make it let me yet, grrrr. How am I blogging now? Don’t ask. So much for the new and improved version, huh? Phew, thanks for letting me get *that* off my chest. I will figure it out. And I won’t spend 20 hours on some phone with their technical staff, because I know how irritating *that* is.

Just a few of the many photos I’ve been taking – Daffodil perfection, before the rains came and ruined them all.

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Ahhh, I love daffodils!

And sweet kitty faces.

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She was smooshing her nose into the knees of my pants after I had been working in the garden. She’s such a little sweetie, my Dad’s little kitty. Can you believe she still misses him and looks for him?

Oh yeah, I just realized it’s my second blogiversary.  Woo-Hoo.

This Was Supposed To Be Wordless Wednesday

On my way to work my inspiration for Wordless Wednesday is this wicked wind we’re experiencing making the traffic lights sway almost sideways in the wind. So I reached into my back pack to get my camera, and it. wasn’t. there. I left it at home. Bummer!  So much for the resolution of taking photos every day. So while you’re picturing those almost sideways traffic lights, here’s a photo I took yesterday of Coraggio in his new doggie carrier.

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It’s hard to catch him the way I would like to, but I like this photo with him licking his chops.

So was it extremely windy where you are today?

Tiny Footprints in the Snow

Today when I opened the drape I saw this pretty sky:

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And when I went to take my garbage to curve before leaving for work, I saw these tiny little footprints in the snow. I don’t know who they belong to, but they are so cute!

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If they’re not melted by tomorrow I’ll try to get better photos of them.  Do you have any idea who they belong to?

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No time for any other pics today because of work and taking time to pick up my Mom from the airport. She who went without me to my Aunt’s funeral for various reasons.

Wordless Wednesday

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Aren’t these glasses too funny?

Get Me *Out* of This Outfit!

I haven’t been talking about work because there are some major messes that need to be cleaned up and the major messes are making my life a living hell, seriously. The cleaning up will end up in the firing of a few people who are not good for the place. But we have to get new people in so I can have the secretary that I want (she’s worked there for years so I know she’s good), and etc. You know how it goes. . . So I haven’t been talking about it much. But yesterday my boss called down the stairs to me so I could see *the dog* in his latest outfit. And I had to go grab my camera. . .

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Get the me the hell out of this outfit.  NOW.

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There is a little tag at the top underneath the hood that says “IAM BAD.”

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If you don’t take me out of this outfit now I’m going to show you just how bad I am.

Obviously my boss is a Miami Dolphins fan. I’m not, but I don’t tell her that!

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I am so ticked about having that stupid outfit on for so long, I am going to chew this toy to bits.

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Grrrrrrrrrrr. . .

He was flipping that dog up into the air while he was on his back. Unfortunately I didn’t capture it!

Beatrix Potter’s Lake District

 

 

Guest Post, by Susan Wittig Albert

I want to start by thanking Pam for inviting me to be a guest on her blog, which I always enjoy. We are both nature-lovers, so it’s a very good fit. Thanks, Pam, for the invitation!

The Tale of Hawthorn HouseI’m doing a blog tour for the latest book in my mystery series, The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter. The book is The Tale of Hawthorn House, and like the previous three books, it is set in the beautiful Lake District of England, in the early 1900s. It features Beatrix Potter, the creator of Peter Rabbit and a series of other wonderful books for children. She bought a farm in the little Lake District village of Near Sawrey and lived there from 1913 until her death in 1943. So I thought I’d share some of the photos I took when I went to the Lake District to do research a few years ago.

Beatrix was always most at home in the natural world. Her family lived in London, but they spent their annual two-month holidays in the North Country. When she was 16, her family rented Wray Castle, Wray Castleon Lake Windermere, an honest-to-goodness castle. In her journal, Beatrix remarks wryly: “The architect, one Mr. Lightfoot killed himself with drinking before the house was finished.” I think we can see why! But Beatrix loved taking long walks. After walking to the market town of Hawkshead (about 15 miles round trip!), she recorded in her journal, “Had a series of adventures. Inquired the way three times, lost continually, alarmed by collies at every farm, stuck in stiles, chased once by cows.” Beatrix had a healthy sense of humor about her adventures.

On her walks in the Lake District, Beatrix encountered lots of interesting fungi. Fascinated, she began drawing and studying them. You can find some of her paintings of fungi she found near Lake Windermere on the website of the Armitt Museum. The paintings, done with astonishing attention to detail, show you what a passionate naturalist she was, incredibly careful to get it exactly right. When I look closely at her paintings of fungi, I often think that the fungi themselves have distinct personalities, much like the personalities she gave to the animals in her children’s books. She captured what was unique about each one, so fully that you can almost hold it in your hand!

In 1905, after the death of her fiancé, Norman Warne, Beatrix bought Hill Top Farm, Hill Top Farmin the village of Near Sawrey. She loved the seventeenth-century house and the old farm, with its lovely green fields, mature trees, and stone fences, and she immediately began restocking it with cows, pigs, and Herdwick sheep. Herdwick SheepEven in those days, the Herdwicks were an “old-fashioned” sheep, because their wool was so wiry. But Beatrix loved them and wanted to ensure that the breed did not lose out to other, modern breeds.

Hill Top Farm (which you can visit today—it belongs to the National Trust) is nestled against a beautiful little lake called Esthwaite Water. Esthwaite WaterBeatrix thought it was the loveliest lake in England, and I’m certainly not going to argue with her! If you climb the hill above the village, along Cuckoo Brow Lane, you can look out toward Coniston Old Man, the fell on the other side of the lake. If you look closely at this photo, you can also see how the hawthorn has been trimmed against the stone fence. When it’s allowed to grow up, the hawthorn makes a lovely, leafy tangle above the fence, a beautiful home for birds. The stone fences in the Lake District are all works of art, and I took dozens of photos of them.

If you follow Cuckoo Brow Lane a little further, you’ll come to Moss Eccles Lake, Moss Eccles Lakewhere Beatrix and her husband Willie Heelis (they were married in 1913) kept a rowboat. Willie loved to fish and often caught brown trout for supper. Beatrix went to the lake to draw, because it was such a cool, peaceful place, home to birds, badgers, squirrels, and hedgehogs.

The two villages, Far Sawrey and Near Sawrey, are separated (or joined?) by fields fenced with stone walls Fields fenced with stone wallsand filled with grazing sheep. St. Peter’s Church, built in the 1880s, is in Far Sawrey, which was also home to a hotel and a shop. Another shop, which Beatrix immortalized as “Ginger and Pickles,” was in Near Sawrey, along with the Tower Bank Arms, a smithy, and a joinery. Altogether, Beatrix once wrote, it was as nearly perfect a little village as one could imagine.

In 1909, Beatrix bought Castle Farm, on the north side of the village, and after she and Willie were married, they lived there together, in Castle Cottage. Castle CottageShe kept the farmhouse at Hill Top for herself, though, and often went there to work in the garden, to visit the sheep in the meadow, or just to be alone.

Beatrix herself loved the land so much that she wanted to preserve it forever. Her “bunny books” brought her a good income and her parents’ estates (when they died) made her wealthy. During the 1920s and 30s, she used this money to purchase some 4,000 acres of land in the Lake District, to keep it from being developed. She renovated the cottages and farmhouses and employed farmers and shepherds to keep the livestock on the land. When she died, she gave this rich treasure to the National Trust, a gift to all the people of England.

One of the things I’ve tried to do in The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter is to give the reader a strong sense of the places in the Lake District that Beatrix Potter loved. There’s a map of the village and its environs, and a great many descriptions of the beautiful fells and fields. I hope, when you read the books, that you’ll feel as if you’ve visited Hill Top Farm and the little village of Sawrey—and that you’d like to return for another visit very soon.

For a one-page gallery of the photos I’ve linked to in this post, go here.

About the book drawing:

If you would like to enter the drawing for a copy of The Tale of Hawthorn House, go here.

We’ll be giving away three copies of this book. You may also be eligible for the grand prize drawing, which will be held at the end of Susan’s blog tour. But you’d better hurry. This drawing will close at noon on November 12!

Want to read the other posts in Susan’s blog tour? Go here for the schedule.

Cottage Tales

Mystery Partners

blogging at:

Lifescapes

Pecan Springs Journal

More Details

So I’m sure I’ve kept you in suspense long enough. Obviously I have a new job, well, an additional job. I just keep collecting jobs, let’s see, I’m up to three now. My main job is now is Assistant Director at one of the best day care centers in the area. Don’t get too excited. While I’m really good at the computer / office / managerial stuff, I have a *ton* to learn. And I’ve never worked with children before. But I think I learned quite a bit this week. After all, learning the financial end of things there and the state regulations, in my opinion, are some of the most important pieces – I mean of the office stuff. The children are the most important, of course.

How and why did I get this job? I didn’t go looking for a new job. I was hoping that things would progress for my career at my now part time job. But I got a phone call one Saturday three weeks ago asking what it would take to make me say “Yes” to working at my now new job. I thought about it and gave my answers and they agreed. The owner has given me permission to do whatever I want to do, but I can’t think about making changes in processes until I *learn* the present processes.

Oh, and I’ve been asked to be the resident photographer / webmaster as part of my job. Hmmm, I wonder why? Do you think it could be because I’ve whipped out my camera all week taking photos of the dog? So whenever I feel like taking a break and being in a classroom to watch the cute little kids, when they’re being cute that is, I will be able to. Pretty cool, huh?

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I love it when Coraggio plays like this. He’s so cute!

And don’t worry, this isn’t turning into a work / dog blog. It’s just that work is all I’ve been doing, and will be doing until we’re able to make some personnel changes, then I’ll be back to the work hours I want (7-3:30), hopefully!

Regarding my now part-time job, when I gave my two weeks notice, they asked me to stay on as a part-time employee coming in whenever I feel like it. And this week my part-time job manager got fired. You may remember I had a feeling a while back that she was going to be let go. Okay, enough about work. Time to go enjoy the weekend!

Happy Halloween!

Oh my, you have *got* to see this! When my office assistant came in to work today, I laughed so hard and I couldn’t stop laughing! Today he was SUPER DOG!! (Said like you would say Super Man)! While I don’t have a photo of him walking into my office because it was unexpected and the camera wasn’t out, I do have him where his owner (my boss) is showing how she fashioned the little shorts so his tail could stick out

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and so can his pee pee (hee hee)

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Super Dog does not like to be dressed, and wanted out of the whole silly thing. I mean after all, isn’t he beautiful without the duds?

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Super Dog was tired from all of the excitement, and promptly fell asleep. I mean, after all, Super Man had to sleep, too, right?

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