Thursday, June 28, 2012

Out and About

I had a dermatologist appointment in San Luis Obispo (SLO) Wednesday morning.   After my sister posted that Izzy might have ringworm, I developed something similar on my face.   I had ringworm a couple years ago when I brought Beau home from out-of-state.   He brought it with him and I was scrubbing his skin bumps every day, so that's how I figure it got on my skin.  I self-diagnosed and used Lotrimin to clear it up.   About three weeks ago, another similar round patch showed up on my jawline.   Red, round, looking similar to the one I had before.   So I again used the Lotrimin.   It seemed to be working until it became very red and then itchy.   Hmmmm.....I switched to Hydrocortisone cream.   It continued to be itchy so I made the appointment.   It turns out to be some strange spore-based rash which is nothing to be concerned about.   It comes from thorns, most commonly a rose bush.   But I haven't been handling the rose bushes, so who knows?  More prescription strength cream samples from the doctor and a second cream to help the inflammation.   AND my annual skin check!!   You should be getting one too, don't you think???

Anyway....since I was already down that direction, I kept driving south and stopped by a restaurant in Pismo Beach for a seafood salad.   It was okay but I've had better.   Good shrimp, not enough crab, not good enough tomatoes.   Beets that were cut into toothpick sized pieces.   I really like beets but you can't even taste them when they are so small, to say nothing of the fact that it's not easy to get them into your mouth.   If you're going to have a seafood restaurant sitting at the coast with a "to die for" view, please offer the very best seafood salad you can and not some second rate version that disappoints your patrons.   Well, me anyway, and that's all I care about:-)

Still heading a little farther south, I ended up in the Arroyo Grande/Nipomo area and stopped at this place:

Soooo many cute things.   I could have easily taken out the credit card and spent several hundred dollars, right then and there, in a matter of 15 minutes.   But I did not.   There were many ceramic roosters that I would have loved to have, but I don't have enough space for more than one anyway.   They have a gift shop, a garden center, a critter corral (skipped that since I have my own), and I guess an area where you can pick your own berries.   

A few of my favorites in the garden center:

Flying pigs to hang in the tree.   

The sweetest donkey with baskets that would look so cute here at Autumn Sky placed somewhere in a little sitting area.   Of course, I don't know how I would keep the chickens from sitting on it.   But really, that's minor compared to how cute this is.

It was a very nice way to spend the day out and about on the Central Coast.   I really must do it again, without the doctor appointment and marginal seafood salad.   Oh yes, and more photos taken with my Nikon instead of my phone.

Enjoy Thursday, wherever you are.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Lightroom Presets

I think having presets is great for photo editing, especially for someone who doesn't have a lot of time or patience.   You can try a preset and then go to the editing tools for more tweaking, making the process easier when you're considering different looks for the photo.

Just for fun...the same cabin I showed yesterday.

I forgot to mention, my header is courtesy of my sister, aka Blue Ridge Gal, or Di, or Dish.   She took one of my photos and had fun with it.   She's like that, you know:-)

Monday, June 25, 2012

It's the Lines

Do you find some of your photos just catch your eye and often you're not sure why?   I like this photo of a small building in Creston.   I think I like it because of all the lines.   There are horizontal lines, vertical lines, and lots of squiggly lines from the branches of the tree.   I like the shadows of the branches against the building.   Photos are really meant to please the eye or trigger a memory.   Rather than looking at the composition or editing or other such things, it's nice to just sit and enjoy a photo.   Or sometimes, ask yourself why you like it.   

Enjoy your Monday.   I hope you have nice weather and much to smile about.

Friday, June 22, 2012

How's Cooper?

He is doing very well, thanks for asking.   For those of you who don't know, Cooper is my horse who was stuck on a broker's lot in Pennsylvania after going through the New Holland auction.   Horses purchased by these brokers are either headed straight for slaughter or sent back through the auction to make a buck so they can purchase more.   It's an awful situation that I've described here before.   

But this is about Cooper and how well he's doing:-)   He is at a trainer's and I adore her.   And he is very bonded with her, paying attention and trying to please.   Because he was likely a buggy horse, he will take a rider but doesn't know very much.   He was used to pointing his nose straight ahead, keeping his body straight, and getting that buggy where it was going.   

Here are a few photos after he'd been worked by the trainer, rinsed, had an apple, and was drying off before going back to his stall.   Have a very nice Friday and weekend.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Donkey Victory

This past week, a few well known donkey lovin' bloggers have rallied an army to stop the donkey roping competition scheduled for this weekend in Van Horn, Texas.   And yesterday, the Chamber of Commerce stepped up and did the right thing by cancelling the event.   There are several blogging pages that are celebrating today.   Everyone should be celebrating because 40 sweet donkeys will now be safe from abuse.   We are hoping arrangements will be made by the promoter to release his donkeys to Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue.   Hooray!!!

This link is to 7MSN Ranch.   It provides more background if you're interested.   I've been following her blog for more than two years and it also provides daily amusement along with great photos.

Again, I say Hooray!!!

This is how donkeys should look on any given day.   

Monday, June 18, 2012

Waiting for Guava

We planted four Pineapple Guava plants last year and they have done very well.   We have quite a few blossoms on two of the plants and I really hope for some fruit.   I've never had a pineapple guava but I can imagine it's very sweet and worth the wait.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Take a Minute

Running errands is always about planning, getting into the store, executing the plan, loading stuff into the truck, and leaving for the next destination.   Yesterday, after I left Target, I noticed the pretty flowers in the parking lot dividers.   I had my camera with me and so I decided to take a minute.   Or five.   I could have easily spent thirty.   

Just take a minute.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Little of This...

It's just past noon and the drywall crew has gone.   They are finished!   The new ceilings look so much better, even without paint.   And they fixed a place in the dining room which had shifted a little since they did it two years ago.   A few more screws, smooth the texture, and it's all better.   The painter will be here tomorrow morning and will likely be here two days.   Then we can put the rooms back together on Friday and we'll be good to go!   No more camping in the living room:-)

I have the names of paint colors swirling through my brain.   I am bad about marking paint cans.   I usually have all the color cards with the rooms noted on them, but I seem to have misplaced them at this very moment.   The only one that I'm not 100% sure of is the color of the living room/dining room ceiling, and I would like to match that throughout the rest of the rooms.   So a little more work on my part and I'll have it figured out.   

I lost a chicken this week.   Her name was Sassy and she had been struggling with breathing issues for some time.   I always knew she wouldn't live to be a very old hen, but she was 3 years old and was a nice hen that always liked to hang around by the house.   When I put them in Saturday night, I knew she wasn't doing well.   Sunday morning I put a towel around her and held her.   She died while I was holding her and I was thankful it was peaceful.   RIP Sweet Sassy Chicken.

It's HOT here!   Yesterday and today are 100 degree days and no breeze to fool you into thinking it might be cooler than that.   I need to make another trip into town for a few groceries and yet ANOTHER trip to Home Depot.   So I better get going before I decide I can't get out of this chair.

Not such an interesting post today, but that's just how life goes sometimes, right?   Right.

Hope it's cool where you are.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lightroom and Sunday Best

I am sure you all have your favorite photo editing software.   I am still so happy with Lightroom and how relatively easy it was for me to learn.   And mostly, it's very quick due to the presets.   I could sit and tweak a photo for hours if I were looking for every single tone and hue and whatever to be perfect.   But I am able to improve my photos' appearance, get rid of most (I hope) spots that show up due to the fact that I need to clean my filter, crop, and generally make it look better for posting online.   Here is a before and after that I am sharing with Sunday Best.   I am not sure it's my best for this week, but I just finished working on it and I like the shot.

Have a great Sunday.


And After:

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Where the Bugs Are

For the past two days, I have been watching this mama woodpecker teaching her baby how to find the bugs in the redwood tree.   She is still feeding him while she's teaching him to find his own.   The only way to capture them is through the kitchen window.   They are moving around so quickly, it's hard to get a clear shot.   But it's fun to watch them until the marauding magpies come and chase them away.

Mama's on the bottom, checking each spot for the delicious pincher bugs.

She shows him another good spot.

He needs to figure this out on his own so he can have his own baby woodpeckers one day.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Best Laid Plans

I wasn't able to find anyone to install the door this week, so it will have to be done later and hopefully the installer can do any drywall repair that's needed.   I'm not too happy about that,  but aside from installing it myself, I don't have much choice.

The painter I've used before and hoped to use this time?   He's not available for the rest of June and possibly beyond.   He said that last month would've been perfect because he had no work.   Alas, it wasn't meant to be.   He has referred me to someone else who will come out tomorrow to offer a bid.   I wasn't impressed over the phone but I don't really need phone skills anyway.

I put yet another color of paint on the walls today.   I bought it for the hallway but decided to go ahead and use it in both bedrooms too.   I have tried at least 8 colors on various walls.   I am so OVER trying to choose paint colors.   I am going with a light color called Desert Flower to keep the rooms bright.   Enough more paint samples!

A couple of other updates from previous posts:

- The little miniature horse baby is named Danni and she is still cute as can be.   And she has turned out to be so friendly.   She loves to be scratched and petted.   She is so small that you could pick her up in your arms if you wanted to.   I will try to get some new photos soon, but she and her mama live in a fenced area underneath a big tree.   It's not easy to photograph but I will try.

- The chicken with the injured leg is still in quarantine.   Each morning I carry her out and put her in our extra large dog crate to spend her day.   If it gets too hot, we move her a few times during the day so she stays in the shade.   In the evening she goes back into her own room inside the large coop.   She still isn't very mobile but is bright and happy otherwise.   I sure hope she heals and is able to walk again.   

We have been living with wind advisories the past few days and it's just not fun to be outside.   Our pomegranate tree has some blossoms and baby poms that should be pretty for some photos.   If the wind stops blowing the branches, I will show you some.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Anderson Cooper's RidicuList

I don't even know what to say about this.   It's very sad about the shortage of maps in our country.   And of course "whatever she said" about South Africa and Iraq is....well, I'm not sure because I didn't understand.  

Please discuss.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hard Hat Zone

I have been stalling, procrastinating, whatever you want to call it.   If you have read my blog in the past, you know that we have done many small, medium and large remodel projects to this home/property.   Because this place was mine before Erik and I met, lots of the projects were mine alone to manage.   Since Erik and I have been together, we make decisions jointly.   However, with his business commitments and schedule, the project management is still mine alone.   And I don't mind the management part, only the rearrangement and mess part of the jobs.   After the addition to the living room/dining room and later the laundry room/half bath remodel, I have been dreading and yet looking forward to getting a few more things finished.   

But the mess.   And the home being in disarray.   And the smell.   And the dust.    Yes, procrastination has been the name of my game for the past few months.   But now it's time.   *big sigh*

We have a hallway and 2 bedrooms with the old horrible popcorn ceilings.   Not only are they ugly, they are so dirty and nearly impossible to clean.   It's way past time they are removed, to be replaced by lovely smooth and subtlely textured ceilings.   And here we go!   If you've ever tried to remove these type of ceilings, it is incredibly easy to do.   You just get them wet and scrape.   HOWEVER!!!!   The resulting mess is beyond anything I can manage.   And so we have a drywall crew coming next Monday to remove the old and replace it with new.   

And then, of course, we decided over the weekend that we should install a new sliding door in the bedroom to replace one of the remaining old doors/windows in this house.   We have replaced almost all doors and windows with the exception of two.   Erik calls it "sealing the envelope" to keep the energy costs down.   I agree with that, but of course it also looks better with new doors and windows.   The door installation has to happen before the drywall crew comes in, just in case they need to do some repairs around the new door.   I haven't yet found anyone to do the installation, but I'm working on it.   And of course I also have to select and purchase the door.   

After all that is finished, I have to bring in a painter to do the ceilings and put a new color on the walls.   In the meantime, during construction, our bedrooms will be somewhat off limits.   That is the worst part.   Where will all the furniture go while they're working?   Where will we sleep?   Where will I put my computer?   What about my stuff in the master bathroom that I need?   This is the coordination that Erik always thinks is going to be easy, while I ponder and dread because I know it's not.   He's going to be away for 3 days this week and 3 days next week while I am here living in the midst of another construction zone.   

Procrastination, my friends.   You can't hang onto it forever.   If you wonder where I am, I will likely be in a corner of the living room wearing this:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Happy Sunday

This has to make you smile today.   And it's a sweet little song you won't mind having stuck in your head.   This couple lives in Portland and I hope they have a lifetime of such fun.   Enjoy your Sunday!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday Cute

I made the decision to send Cooper to a local trainer.   Since he was a rescue horse, I don't have any background information about his experience and training he may have had.   He needs some basics and exposure before I want to ride him outside an arena.   So he is going to a darling and very capable young cowgirl trainer named Sami Jo.   He left yesterday and I am going out this morning to see how he's settling in, fill out the paperwork, etc.   

The last time I visited Sami Jo's place, her mini horse had a relatively young foal.   OMG!!   This little filly was so stinkin' cute with tons of attitude in her adorable little body.   Everything about her said, "You are NOT taking my picture!"   But of course I did, or at least I tried.   I can't wait to see how she's grown and make another effort at getting some photos, whether she likes it or not.

Don't you just love her?   I hope I can get some new photos and let you see how she's growing.

What Have They Done?

Blogger made some changes this week.   I didn't dig in enough to understand them because most, I'm sure, don't apply to my needs...