December 31, 2008

Shot Of The Year

As we get ready to bid adieu to 2008.  I narrowed this years blog pictures to my three favorites.  
The worlds most photogenic JRT....Clarice

My adorable little Niece

My most beloved....Obligato

Lets put it to a vote.  Which of the three do you like best?  Do you have a favorite photo from this year on your blog?  Please link it.

See you all next year!

December 29, 2008

Flamin' Wallet

I needed this little guy on the 24th by about 2 pm. To put out the fire of my hard earned cash going up in smoke. YIKES! 

I do love to give to my family...that's what makes the whole Christmas season so expensive.  The little Niece and Nephew are so cute....and when you know that there going to love something it's just so hard to walk away from.  Did you burn a whole through your wallet?

Christmas was fun...there are still a couple presents and cards under my tree that are yet to be distributed to family.  I'm always shocked that the Christmas music comes to such an abrupt halt after the 25th.  For me the Christmas season is just starting.  Oh well.  I have my tree and it will be up for a couple weeks.  And the church will stay decorated till after Epiphany (Jan 6).  So at least the Christmas spirit is alive and well somewhere!

Hope all my new friends had a wonderful Christmas!  I can not wait to catch up on every one's blogs.

December 22, 2008

Woodland Shopping

Christmas Tally:
Gifts Bought 0
Cards to Family 0
Nativity Set Dusted 1
Wreaths 0
Garland 0
Trees Chopped 1
Light Strands 3
Cheeseballs Made 0
Toes Picked 10
Toes Polished 6
Dogs Bathed 1.5
Angels Placed 1

Hours to start of Christmas festivities....48.

Gray hairs to be sprouted in that time.....hundreds.

I like natural trees.  The more Charlie Brown the better.  About 6 years ago we planted 5 Concolor firs along the woods to grow as Christmas trees.  Yesterday I loaded up the four wheeler with dogs and a saw and drove out and cut this one.  (note to self....due to extreme difficulty of holding 2 JRT's and a 10' tree and successfully manuvering around tree holes and ruts....the dogs are to stay home on next years tree cutting excursion) 

Do you have pictures of your Christmas trees posted on your blogs?  Link them below (trying Mister Linky for the first time so if it doesnt work out let me know).  If not tell us whether you like your trees.....fat or skinny....full or natural......big or little.  Lady Claudia likes 'em tall and fat, what do you like?

December 19, 2008

Quitting Time

We have had a couple of atypical sunsets here on the farm over the last couple of weeks.  December in Western Pennsylvania is usually gloomy and overcast with the sun rarely making an appearance.  Who am I to question Mother Nature when she offers up displays like this for the end of the day dog walk?

December 17, 2008

In The Summertime...

When the weather is yucky like this and there is no riding to be done other than bareback around the field. I think of summer and I can not wait to ride my boy. He will be 17 this year...but he is mostly retired so really hard work is out of the question but he has a big heart and enjoys carting me around and around and around.  And he enjoys getting out of the barn and is sound as can be for 'light' duty.

On a totally separate note...this picture was taken with a 35MM film.  I scanned it in to my computer but the image is not good.  Any tips on scanning?  I have a LOT of picture to get scanned in....and would like the clarity to be better than this?

December 15, 2008

The Many Colors Of Smoke

12:59:19 PM
First let me say....this is an abandoned trailer at a farm.
DVM's Wife wrote a post last week.  And because of it I remembered to get two new smoke detectors.  (So thank you DVM's Wife).  While perusing the instructions for the proper place to hang the new ones.  I noticed the strange fact that Mobile Homes need about two to three times the amount of detectors as stick built homes.  Interesting I thought.
Come Saturday I got a lesson in why.  I went to my Mum's to help her make x-mas cookies... I'll leave that experience to another blog.  But afterward we walked over to a farm that they purchased where clean up is in progress.  
The boys had pushed this trailer off of it's foundation and were in the process of lighting it up.  This fire was lite w/out an accelerant.  The first couple of pictures were taken about 1 1/2 minutes before the top one.
I totally 100% get why mobile homes need so many smoke detectors now.
1:01:39 PM
Black, Dark Gray, Light Gray, White....smoke comes in many colors.  All represented here. 

1:02:16 PM

1:07:36 PM

Test and change batteries on smoke detectors folks....and if you have a travel trailer or mobile home.  YOU NEED AT LEAST ONE IN EVERY ROOM.  Were talking seconds to get to safety.  When it was all said and done this thing went from first flame to on the ground in a matter of about 9 minutes give or take a few seconds....along with several trees.  And Ohhhh...the poor trees are being cleared to make room for more farmland. all know how I love I was feeling a bit bad for them while all this was going on.

December 11, 2008

I Miss Narnia

I miss Narnia.  I really do.  As a child I could sit and read these books over and over.  I wore a set completely out.  It was so real to me a place of talking beasts, walking trees, Fauns, Satyrs, wardrobes, lamp posts and magic rings. 

I often wander whether I love trees and animals because of Narnia or whether I loved Narnia because I loved trees and animals.  Either way the thought that a place existed through a wardrobe where animals and trees were our friends kept me enthralled for years.

When the new Disney movie came out for the Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe .... I immediately went and saw it.  And I loved it.  I somehow missed Prince Caspian in the theatre.  But Arctic Fox mentioned that he watched it and thought it was so-so.  So I rented it last night and though I didn't think it was as good a LW&W... Liam Neeson is still the voice of Aslan and the kids were the same.  And seeing the talking animals ... whose portrayal is so majectic.  Lets say LW&W was 5 stars for me and Caspian was only 4.5 stars.  

It's been at least 20 years since I last read any of the Narnia tales. It's high time that I spend a little time with C.S. Lewis and read them as an adult.

Did you read Narnia as a child?  As an adult?  Have you seen either of the Disney movies? 

December 9, 2008



I didn't know what to do with this photo.  And lo and behold I found this A-Z Photo Challenge that Far Side takes part in.  So I'm joining in this week.

Clarice loves to sit squashed in between me and the arm of the chair next to the fireplace.  Well actually in the winter she cuddles in on my right hip because it's by the fireplace and in the summer she wedges herself on my left hip because it's by the fan.  She a canny wee bugger.

I was determined to get a photo of her with the fireplace going in the me I have all sorts of random ideas after two glasses of red at 11 in the evening.  After many interesting attempts I finally decided to use the laptop as a base for the camera and screwed around with the setting on the camera....took about 20 shots with differing settings and never did get the shot I wanted.  But this one is interesting.
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December 8, 2008

Russian Navy


Do you bother with your nails?

File, clip, buff, paint, ponder, pick, bite. Do you do anything with them? Or do you let someone else take care of them for know a professional. A manicurist .... not your dog using them as a chew toy.

A couple weeks ago I posted a picture of my working hands. I have farm girl hands. Dry, scaly, calloused, cuticles messy...unkempt. And they have been that way since...well forever I guess. I remember at a high school sleepover all us girls sitting around giving each other mani's and one of the girls saying 'Oh my gosh your hands are so rough!'  I was shocked...until she preceded to have everyone feel my hands and mine theirs. She was right. I didn't have girly girl hands. I had farm hand hands.

But every so often I shape my fingernails with a file, buff, push cuticle, and slap a couple coats of paint this picture (I didn't mean to take a picture of my hand....I meant to take a picture of a wildflower whilst brush hogging). Yeah I go for the shocking colors too! That's OPI 'Russian Navy'. I have four bottles of nail polish. Blue, Red, Pink, and a weird clearish pinkish whitish color.

The paint never lasts though. Because I work with my hands. So in a couple days they are completely chipped and a mess.

So ....... Fess up!

December 5, 2008


Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday Sisterella......Happy Birthday to you!

Love you! XOXO

December 4, 2008

What is Love?

A couple weeks ago I finished The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons (it was excellent by the way if you didn't see the mini review in the sidebar).  Although there were many outstanding scenes within, one has stayed with me these following weeks (besides the horrors of starvation and basic survival in WW2).  

Dimitri ask's a question to a group on a picnic "What do you think love is?"  Our heroine, Tatia, after much ribbing and thinking responds "Love is...when he is hungry and you feed him.  Love is knowing when he is hungry."  Within the context of the book this is profound.  Within my own life this is an equally profound question and response.  My Grandmother feed her family and husband.  My Mum takes great pride is caring and cooking for her husband.  I too love to cook for my loved ones.  Knowing what another persons needs are and being able to provide a powerful thing.  And not something that I really considered 'love'...until now.

So....Gentle Readers....I ask you "What do you think love is?"

December 2, 2008

Amish Country Letters

I took this picture this fall.  I had to wait till he was well enough past me.  Amish do not have mirrors nor photos.  No images of themselves are allowed.  So you can only take a picture from behind.  
In our small town published weekly newspaper.  There is a section that always occupies the very last page called 'Amish Country'.  The paper runs letters written by Amish community members and sent in to keep there extended family and friends filled in on important news.
I'm going to provide you a few snippets from some of these letters, the comments is parenthesis are mine.

From Mrs. Barbara Byler of Punxsutawney, PA:

Mrs. Elmer Byler, Rachel & Cora Byler were to Atlee Weavers on Tuesday had gone to help Martha pack & were planning to move next week & when we got there we found out they will not be moving so soon as someone was living in the house they were moving into.  So they can't move until the other family moves out.

(now...I found this vastly amusing.  Because what a pain in the rear that would be.  They hitch up the horse, load up the buggy in the freezing cold, go for God knows how far.  Just to find out that there will be no packing.  And what about the people who were did they find out.....a letter?  Because there is no phones, no Internet, no telegraph.  And who is the 'someone' who is living in the new house?)

she continues to write:

Yesterday was the funeral in Smicksburg for Roman Schalbach age 13. (gives family lineage)  A lot of people of this area were viewing and yesterday was the funeral.  He was kicked in head by a horse 2 wks. ago today.

(and that's the end of the letter, nothing more.  Poor little Roman.  Kicked in head.  The End.)

Miss Clara Byler of New Wilmington, PA writes:

Come on I miss your letters.

Rudy M. Byler had a little accident on Fri. coming down a big hill on Means Rd. A piece of harness came lose & his spring wagon went for the ditch & his brand new stove fell off & received some scratches & finally got it loaded up again & went on his way.

(now come on.....surely Mrs. Rudy M. Byler was not happy about her stove.....we want the real scoop here.  And Clara your still signing Miss so....maybe it's not a good idea to put humiliating misfortunes of the neighboring men folk in the newspaper.)

Its starting to sprinkle, so the ladies wash might get wet.

(folks the temperature was 20 F out max on the day she wrote this.  Can you imagine using a tub and wash board and hanging up your cloths on an outside line?)

The globe prints all letters as they are received with no editing.  They are shall we say always blogging but in black and white. so different considering I blog in black and white.  Whatever.

December 1, 2008

Stalker Mode!

Clarice in 'stalker mode!' which apparently must be in the Irish Jack Russell Terrier Puppy Manuel that she was issued when born.....because she has been doin' it since I brought her home as a puppy. She stalks Charlotte all over the lawn. Like a cat stalks a mouse. It's funny and she looks so cute. She crouches down shifting her weight over her back legs and creeps ever so slowly forward on suspended steps.

Charlotte pretends like she doesn't see her until Clarice is close enough then she takes off and the chase is on. Eventually she doubles around so that Clarice can catch her and the tumbling and sparing begin.  Having two Jack Russell Terriers is better than one....they burn twice the energy in half the time.