Friday, August 29, 2008

One for the road

And here's my last post before we hit the road. This is a shot from the little "pocket park" that we walk down to and all around. There are several benches scattered around that people can sit on. I thought the sky was a beautiful blue and the view is incredible. I also liked the thought of an empty bench. How many people have sat on that bench and contemplated the river? Life? Loss? Marriage? Job? Change? I have yet to sit on that bench, but when I do, I hope it's because I've been accepted into a gallery with my art and I'm celebrating.

(Incidentally, Brownie has poo-pooed by this bench and I definitely picked it up and threw it away (trash can is nearby) because I didn't like the thought of someone coming to sit and contemplate and getting dog doo on their shoes. That would not be a good start to their day and it is so hard to get completely off, isn't it?!)

Tiny yellow flowers

We have still been running across new flowers on our walks. I thought these tiny yellow flowers were so cute! I love nature in miniature!

We will be going home for Labor Day weekend, so may not be posting anything for the next few days. I'm taking my camera and hope to take lots of pictures, especially of the sunsets and hopefully some prairie flowers (if there are any left). I'm also hoping we get to go rock hunting because I am still in search of finding that elusive arrowhead.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Majestic Clouds

I know I've mentioned that we've seen so many beautiful clouds on our walks because for a couple weeks there, it was really cloudy. Here's another one, taken two weeks ago, different day than any of the other cloud pics this month. I've always found the sky to be so majestic and inspiring and this picture really captures it.

Mushroom Huddle

Imagine my surprise to be walking and run across a mushroom huddle. Very similar to the mushroom tower, but different. I'm sorry these second two pictures aren't quite in focus, but you get the idea. It isn't easy to catch these huddles and towers as they seem to grow in the grass that the city mows every week. Plus, I really don't know what their "growing cycle" is, so there could be many more I just never get to see. Interesting...and strangely beautiful.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Beautiful white flower

Brownie and I were walking in the park and we noticed this bush that had these beautiful white flowers on them. I like that splash of red in the middle.

We picked our Santa Fe up this morning and our door was fixed very beautifully--couldn't tell that anything had happened to it (a freak accident with a filing cabinet a few weeks ago). I am vacuuming it out and detailing the inside so it will be as nice as the outside, but I'm in a bit of a rush as I have to get it to the dealership for an oil change (it needs the oil change, but plus I get a free paint pen matched to the exact color of our vehicle so we can fill in some deep scratches). Maybe by the end of the day, it will actually feel like we have two new vehicles (we dropped the Santa Fe off to be fixed the morning after we got our new Matrix, four days ago). And the Santa Fe will feel as new inside as the Matrix!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bright blue cloudy sky

These were taken on one of our walks earlier last week. I kept snapping pictures throughout our walk of the sky because I loved the contrast of the light blue sky with the clouds. I also loved seeing the rain clouds hanging over downtown. I kept thinking they'd move on in and get us, too, but these didn't (although we did get some rain a few days later).

Giant Sunflower peeping over fence

On our walk the other day, we were walking past our neighbor's house as usual and there was a giant sunflower peeping over the fence! It had not been there before and I had no idea our neighbor even had giant sunflowers planted in his backyard. What a nice surprise! I suppose I could have gotten closer to the fence for a better look, but when it is Brownie and I and I didn't know if he was home or not, I thought I'd better just take the picture from the sidewalk.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sunrise and Walter the Farting Dog

I've wanted to get this posted for several weeks, but with denting the door of our Hyundai then having the Probe unable to be driven and the search and purchase of the new car, I'm just now getting to it.

A used bookstore here in town was open early for customers two Saturday's ago so I caught the sunrise on our way to the store. I really love books and love to read. I mainly read stories with happy endings, stories where I can get away for a while and just enjoy a new place or a mythical world or what have you. Definitely no stories where I could cry. I'd rather smile and laugh while I read because life is already full of too many other things to cry about and I do not need that in my books and/or movies.

Yes, I found more books to add to my rather large collection (I'm going to have a house with a library someday complete with wall-to-wall bookshelves with those rolling ladders attached and some comfy chairs and a fireplace).

This is just one of the books I bought. My sister found it while she was looking in the children's section and brought it over to see if I wanted it (I love children's books about dog's). We sat there and read this book and laughed and laughed until the middle (because Walter was bought at the garage sale by a man who was just using his "gas" to fill up balloons (he'd hooked Walter to a "fart machine" to collect the gas) and he would go into banks dressed as a clown with the balloons and pop them and the "gas" would cause the people to pass out and he'd steal the money--that wasn't too funny--but Walter saved the day at the end). It really was a cute book and I had to have it. I thought it was just too good not to share. Who wouldn't like a book with a cute dog named Walter who farts?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

More beautiful mushrooms

I found some more beautiful, flower like mushrooms on our walk. The first two pictures were taken with a flash and the last one was without. It was overcast when I took the picture, so thought the natural light picture didn't show all I'd hoped it would. Between the three of them, you get to see the beauty in yet another mushroom. Crazy, I know.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Goodbye, Blue, I'll Miss You

I will miss my sweet Blue, but after twenty years of being such a blessing, it's time to let him go. Believe me, I've cried and may cry again when we drop him off tomorrow. In fact, I'm tearing up just thinking about it. It is one thing to know it is time to let go and another to actually let go. I may bawl like a baby. I hope not.

Blue was given to me after I graduated and before I headed to college. He was faithful to me then and was faithful to me now. I would have liked to have kept on with him for a while longer, but a major oil leak (pour it in, watch it drip out) made that impossible. When you add that to the fact he had no air conditioning (compressor went out six years ago), it made putting our money into a newer vehicle a smarter move. I wish I could have been Blue's forever home, but Blue can now move on to his new life after serving me/us so faithfully. And to not have to have a car payment to worry about during college and during the first eight years of our marriage, well, that was perhaps one of the biggest blessings of all (Thanks Grandad and Grandma, Dad and Mom).

And now for the good news... This is our brand new (to us) blessing! A Phantom Gray 2007 Toyota Matrix! Being partial to hatchbacks and wanting good gas mileage made this car very attractive. We went last night to look at vehicles and ended up at this lot. We liked the car, but at 11:00 pm, we left without purchasing it (after sitting at the table) because the interest rate was too high. We spent kind of a tense day calling around, trying to get a better rate. We found several, so in order to beat what we could get, they came down to 5.75% interest (which sure beat the 6.95% it started out as). Yeah to Pooker for walking away from the table!

So tonight, we drove off that lot at 9:35 pm with our brand new gray baby. We were looking in the "trunk" one last time before we went to sign those papers and happened to look in this sack that said "Do not remove" and we found that the car we were told didn't have keyless entry had keyless entry! Out of the bag, to our surprise, Todd pulled out a keyless remote. He was surprised and so were we. That was one thing I couldn't believe it didn't have when we were purchasing it and BAM, out of the trunk comes a blessing. (Todd is the very kind salesman, whom I'd recommend, shown in the middle picture with Pooker.)

After we got home and ate (and after we called Dad and Mom to share the good news), we had to move the lawnmower and clean up the massive oil spot left over from Blue so we could park the Gray Baby inside (didn't want him spending his first night out on the street). I've been in the garage twice now just to stare and I can't stop smiling.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sun peeking through the clouds

I have seen the most gorgeous clouds over the past few weeks. I love the color of the sky and those massive fluffy clouds with the sun peeking through. What a great start to the day!

Where's Brownie?

Where's Brownie? Oh, looks like she's in bed, snug as a bug in a rug.

Excuse me, can't a girl get some sleep around here?

My little red rose

I've still had a few roses on my bushes, despite the heat wave we had. This "Lover's Lane" is such a pretty red rose. It is just a little rose bush and doesn't ever seem to have more than ten roses at a time, but what it does produce is beautiful. I never really show you the other rose bush I have as it seems to produce once all over at the beginning of the season and that is pretty much it, despite it being a big bush that always seems to be sprouting new tendrils and leaves. Another case in point for "bigger isn't always better."

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

On the banks of the river

Some days, we'll take the paths down to the river. (It all depends on whether there are any crazies around or not. The last thing you'd want is for a crazy to see you walking down a thickly wooded path, shielded from view of anyone else.) I loved the reflection of the sky and the trees in the shallow water.

I was surprised to see these shells as I didn't know we had clams in our river, but evidently we do!

(These pictures were taken quite near where I saw the large gray spider on the underside of the brim of my hat and threw it down in the mud.)

Overlooking the river

On our walk, the majority of the paths take us above the river. When we can get near the edge and look out over the river, we do. And she's just as interested as I am in seeing all there is to see.

"Inner Beauty 2"

"Inner Beauty 2" painted 7/25/08

Red leaf with dew drops

We ran across this red leaf on our walk. I thought it was beautiful with the little drops of dew on it. You can see the sky reflected in the drop and a few branches with leaves on them. Besides some of the leaves that are turning yellow, mainly from a combination of heat and little rain, this is one of the few red ones I've seen so far.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Far from home...

I see many shopping carts wandering far from their home, lost and alone. This cart just appeared overnight where we happen to walk on our way to the river. The first picture is when we first saw it and it stayed there for four days, then four days later it is in the position you see it in the second picture. Two days after that, it was gone.

I'd like to tell you it made its way back home, but we'll just never really know for sure unless Wal-Mart circumspectly combs nearby neighborhoods after dark to snatch their little lost carts off the streets and return them to the safety of their home. But they don't get lost on their own, do they now. They were pushed astray. Can't really blame it all on the cart because it was just used and left when it was no longer needed. Here's to hoping stray carts really do get rescued off the streets! They seem to thrive (and multiply) better when returned to the safety of the herd.

Baby Girl

Brownie's cousin, Sherri, gave her this cute little "Baby Girl" charm for her collar. She knows how much this little brown girl means to me!

Lovely Yellow Sunflowers

My mama was in town this weekend and she went on our walk with us yesterday morning! I think she enjoyed it. We got to show her where we walked and the usually friendly people we see out for their walk (no crazies were out that we could see). Brownie really loves her Nana and licked her knees after we got back. Nana loves Brownie, too!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Beautiful view

These were taken on our walk from friday the 8th (note that same beautiful blue in the sky). I love both pics, but especially this second one with the clouds reflecting so clearly off the river.

Every once in a while, the clouds or the sky color or the mist line up just right and transform an everyday view into something spectacular. I'm just thankful to be there to see it and to take a picture of it.

Faux Grapes

I don't know what kind of berries these are, but they aren't grapes (even though they kind of look like it). They are smaller and harder. I liked these because of the way the light was reflecting off them and because of all the different shades of green between the faux grapes, the leaves of the tree, and the grass.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Light blue sky and puffy clouds

I took these last Friday on our morning walk. We walked in the park and when I noticed the light blue sky and all those puffy clouds, I had to capture them. Since the heat wave broke and it has been more overcast lately, we have had the most amazing clouds and I'm happy to be able to share them with you!!

Lunch with Pooker last Friday

Ahhh, proof that Pooker and I had lunch together last Friday. He didn't really want me to pull out my camera at his workplace, but I had to do it. After we ate lunch in the cafeteria (a really good taco salad), we went out onto the attached porch/break area to sit for a bit before he had to get back to work.

I thought these elephant ears added a nice splash of color to the patio, planted in these raised planters that kind of divided it up into sections.

This job and all its benefits are such a blessing.

One in a thousand

I think this could be one of those thousands of caterpillar larvae, all grown up! It was hard to get a real clear pic of him because I had to move the grass out of the way and he kept twisting and turning to get to the grass I had pushed out of the way. Pretty determined little fella.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Out of the top of my eye

We went for our walk this morning. At one part of the trail, I ran into a large spiderweb that I hadn't noticed until I felt it on my face. I immediately backed up and brushed the web off and Brownie and I continued on. We took the little path down to the river and were walking by the river when out of the top of my eye, I notice movement on the underneath bill of my hat. I immediately shrieked and ripped off the hat (while catching a large wad of my hair in my hand). I stood there and ran my hands through my hair to try to get anything else that was alive off me. I didn't stop shaking my hair until I looked down at my hat (which I had thrown in the mud---yuck) and saw a large gray spider crawling back towards my hat. I snatched my hat back up and glared at the spider and it slunk down by a rock and curled up. I was sad about getting mud on my favorite pink hat, but happy to get rid of unwanted passengers. I was also a little sad that I had seperated the gray spider from his/her family and I prayed that God would help it make its way back (we were more than 100 feet from its web). There was no way I was picking it up and taking it back. It took me another 50 feet going in the opposite direction to quit feeling the heebie-jeebies from having given it a ride so long.

Nearing Sunset

This was taken nearing sunset two weeks ago. I just love the light and shadows and the shapes of the clouds.

Angry Lost Glove

I think this glove is a little angry to be lost. It kind of seems like it is flipping me off. Sure hope it gets back with its mate soon. I'd hate to see it get even angrier.