Thursday, April 26, 2012

And she was singing 'Five green speckled frogs...'

Five green speckled frogs
Sitting on a hollow log
Eating the most delicious bugs

One jumps into the pool
Down where it's nice and cool
Now there's four green speckled frogs
Sitting on a hollow log.....

Imagine me waltzing barefoot along a country road belting out this round at the top of my lungs {punctuated with a few 'ow!'s here and there; my feet are still soft}, camera swinging with every step at my side, and you have a pretty good idea of my yesterday evening. And while we were out, Jack and I discovered something...
It was the smell that alerted me at first... or rather it descended on me with all the grace of a tidal wave. A big wall of scent buffeting against the old sniffer. A honey-sugar smell so sweet it near turns the stomach. It could mean only one thing, so I followed my nose, and sure as the whiskers on your face...
  The chokecherry bush-tree-things are in bloom.

I ambushed My Kitty while she was napping and proceeded to annoy her with the snapping of my shutter. But we have hardly any photos of her and she really does deserve to be remembered as the best barn cat ever. She may look not-very-nice in the pictures but that's just because she's cheesed off at me. She's really quite friendly, and never scratches. {Unless you try giving her a tractor ride, to which she says "No, thank you!"}
At this point you are probably asking yourself if this whole post was just an excuse for me to post some of my latest photos.... Well, yes it was. Is. {Should that be past- or present-tense?} But not entirely, I suppose. You see, I have been experimenting with fonts for my watermarks and I can't quite decide on one. These are a few that I've pared it down to. Is there one you like best?

I've got to go now -- once again my smell-sense it tipping me off, this time that supper might be burning. I think I was supposed to take it out when the timer went off. Wondered what it was going off for at the time.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

O'joy! O'rapture!

Happiness is...
+ A Canon Rebel T3 at last arriving on my doorstep. Three years of scrounging and saving all income but for church offerings. Playing grueling hours for gigs, doing odd jobs, raiding old piggy banks... and at last Jackson {just 'Jack' for short} is home. Yes, I did name it. Why Jackson? 'cause it's a Rebel. 
+ God sending a brief and refreshing rain right after Jack arrived, providing stunning first photo opportunities for me! The sky was beyond gorgeous. I snapped pictures like a maniac, delighting in the satisfactory snap of the shutters and squealing out "Jack's got a little voice!" as it dutifully endeavored to focus on each new object presented. Jack and I shall be great pals.
+ Petrichor: The smell of earth after rain.
+ My sister coming home between semesters. It's her birthdays today so, HOPPY BIFDOG! When you finally get here I will have to show you everything I've learned so far about Jack! So, be warned. I'm about as crazy happy over this camera as Little Brother is over his fish. I'll remember to restock the tea, too, before you get here, 'cause last time at Christmas we plowed through at least four boxes of that stuff. I know you are really fit and healthy running all those marathons down there in the sunny south and you want the whole fam to run a 5k while you're up here, but seriously... please don't make me. I'll be puffing like a punctured blowfish by the 1/2 mile marker.
 Aside from that and Mum nagging us kids to get trotting so we can be all primed for your arrival {Pass the Easter clearance jelly beans, would'ya}, your coming is greatly anticipated. xoxo
+ A totally spiffing couple of rides today with my Pink Horse{my Roanie} and Porkpie{The Black Pony}.  Porky could have been sweeter, but really I don't think she enjoyed being all softened up with a nice curry and then getting thrown into the real Tabasco, i.e. getting a saddle slapped on her and being generally worked into a lather. Ah, but it was good for her. We learned things.
 Roanie was her usual amazing self for me, which seems to disappoint Da, for when he used to take her out he thought her leaning toward the wrong side of the scatter-brain/dump-the-rider-and-bolt scale. I think she just doesn't at all enjoy the hackamore Da likes so well.
+ Happiness is very much the relief of finishing the piano recital alive and in one piece. After weeks and weeks of working on Farewell to Ireland, a song a grade or two higher than my playing ability, hacking and arranging it almost out of recognition in order to have it memorized by the concert date, wigging out the last couple of days, and generally wearing my fingers down to nubs on my brother's keyboard {which has earphone jacks so I could practice well past 10pm} -- at last all trials are past, for it is over. Apart from a few stumblings and the time my foot slipped off the peddle making a noise like the gates of YouKnowWhere slamming shut, it all went rather well. It was with a sigh and a grin that I stepped off the stage and back into the anonymity of the audience, to continue watching similar terror-stricken fish waltz up and do the same, likewise relieved and amazed that it had gone as well as it did and they were yet alive.

So that is happiness for today.Turns out I'm quite jovial. If jovial is in fact the word I'm looking for....
 Well, anyway...

Toodles, my good friends!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I shall regale you with my exploits

Well, if it isn't our little pilgrim returned. 
Hello, everyone, it's been a million years! You didn't know that? Well, then you obviously didn't give up anything for Lent, otherwise you'd join me in the refrain. That being said, it's time to get down to the bean.
little brother & i up in the mountains of steamboat, co
Lent, I think is a time for self-examination, a sort of maintenance check. Where are the areas I need to work on?
 Lent was forty days of trials for our Savior, forty days of tests probing for weaknesses. He didn't have any, but I have several (surprise!). None of them, once revealed, really shocked me out of my shoes -- it's just the regular run-of-the-mill vices like selfishness, temper, negligence that people struggle with every day. What Lent truly revealed to me is the need to try harder not to be these things. For example, one conscious 'good work' doesn't necessarily cancel out the evil thoughts and muttered words said when the horses refuse to be put away and have the almighty gall to actually toss their heads challengingly in your direction as they sprint away.
  Don't Take It Personally has be come my mantra.
{But I'm serious, people, my horses have minds like no others. They're organizing, plotting -- call it what you will -- against yours truly. I know it.}
steamboat valley
Near the beginning of last month, the Parental Figures, LB, and I went road tripping... er, sort of.... down to Colorado for a family reunion, a distant cousin's funeral, a visit to my mum's mother, and then to Denver to send off my Uncle, two aunts, and a cousin who all had flown (?) up for the funeral. Sound exhausting? Because it was. Horribly. In the course five days we traveled over 1,500 miles, spending close to 42 hours in cramped quarters. Plus I was {food} poisoned twice. Not a very glam trip. But, good news for you readers, that is all I'm going to say about that.
my only, pitiful skyline
moon jellies
One bright spot in the halo of doom that was that trip, we had time the second day we were in Denver to stop off at the Down Town Aquarium. I've mentioned before, I think, that Little Brother is obsessed with fish? Yes, well, he thought he'd died and gone to heaven when we walked through those doors. He might actually have seen them as pearly gates of splendor, but I saw photo-ops.

This fish I named Dorian, because his mouth was agape. He followed the red light on my camera preventing the shot I wanted to get of the anemone (right).

I'll admit it, I'm pretty proud of this shot. I mean, straight-out-of-camera goodness -- no editing required -- what more can a Snap-Happy ask for? Plus lion fish are pretty interesting dudes, even if they are an invasive species. Oh, yes I did learn some facts at this aquarium.... promptly forgot them again, but it still counts. Or should.
black canyon, co
Returning at last to our haven on the prairie, away from those formidable mountains, scrubby mesas, and dirty cities, I had a week to recuperate before the Spring Strings concert at the University hall. Big Brother chose this time to announce that we weren't going to play the song I had picked out and had been practicing since before Christmas, because he didn't like his cello part. I blinked and tried to take this in stride. "Okay, then," I said, "What are we playing?" He handed me a sheet of music with two short slip jigs entitled Brose & Butter & Catherine Haye's Delight. They didn't look too hard, but... "So, where's my part? This is in bass clef."
  "Well, yeah. It doesn't have a violin part. But you can transpose."
  "But I can't read bass that well."
  "You could play it on viola, then."
 Panic starts to rise in me. "I can't read C clef at all."
I have seven days to learn this and preform it: "Oh." Is that all you can SAY?!
 That's what I wanted to say. Scream, actually. But instead I determined right then and there that I was going to learn this song so well that if anyone messed up it wasn't going to be me. Desperately, I ran to my amazing and tremendously patient teacher and within one lesson we had sorted it out well enough that with a few {thousand} listens to the CD, I had it down pretty well. And in the end, when we stepped out into the lights, heels clicking on the pine wood stage, it went well enough. However, it has been decided that hence forth there must be a discussion before either of us inflicts a heart attack on the other.

Meet my fur-babies. I dissolve into into a puddle of mush when they come scampering up to meet me.
  I should explain that technically they don't belong to me, but rather, my sister. She hopped off to San Padre Island for a week so LB and I got to take care of these guys and her horses. Hard to say who had the better deal.

I personally didn't care for their names all that much, so I hatched a plan that we would change them before Sister got back. They're only a few months old so they're still very impressionable. Joker became Loki, and Cope -- Munchkin. Or sometimes Munchymunchymunchy!
 Both of them are from the same litter, and they are Corgi-Blue Heeler-Border Collie mixes. Munchkin has the giant Corgi feet, and slightly boxy face of a Heeler. Loki on the other hand is much more Border Collie, with small feet and a habit of ambushing her unsuspecting brother from the bushes. Both are the sweetest, cutest things..! I miss waking up at the crack of dawn and driving for twenty minutes to have them greet me like they didn't think I was ever coming back. *sigh* I think I'm going to have to sue for custody.

Well, there it is. My return post. A week late.
  Ah, well.

Other mentionables:

  • Spring has definitely sprung already! Whooo!
  • I scrapped TLOS again. Began outlining for the first time. Am at last happy with the opening chapter.
  • {I cannot believe I'm about to say this...} I've become a fan of Doctor Who. {The later seasons, anyway.} I believe you veterans have a term for this.
  • ....Aaaaand my brain just went dead.
See thee later, then.