Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thoughts for a Snowy Last Day of the Year

FOR TODAY: the last day of 2008
Outside my window: Soft fluffy snow piling up.
I am thinking: About how quickly this year has passed
I am thankful for: my life and all I am blessed with
From the kitchen: the possibility of macaroons(have to get that recipe from DLYNZ blog) and the smell of dog biscuits in the oven
I am wearing: of course, jeans, a new purple sweater and new Minnetonka slippers and always my ‘live the writerly life’ necklace
I am creating: constantly everything but hopefully will get to do more on my blog and make a New Year’s video with my new flip mino camera
I am going: to enjoy every day I have left of my vacation “Back to School on Monday” and maybe if the snow turns sticky I will make a new Snow Dog and write another sequel.
I am reading: "Boy Writers” by Ralph Fletcher (I know that is pathetic that I am reading something for school, right) But of course I am skimming Whole Dog Journal, too!
I am hoping: that 2009 continues to bless all my family and friends
I am hearing: silence and the Labs snoring and the furnace clicking on
Around the house: Christmas beginning to be put away(sigh) and 7 Labradors are lounging
One of my favorite things: our place in NC and the opportunity to be able to visit our sons, Steve and John
A few plans for the rest of the week: Staying in and having fondue for NYE(we just don’t go out) Enjoying New Year’s Day with Brad and the Labs, hoping to do some more writing(please!) and taking a big breath to relax!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

No Matter What the Weather

Labs just want to have fun!
James lies on the frozen grass, taking a rest from chasing his Jolly Ball.
Here we go! Meadow and James on the run.

And Glory determined to get that frozen ball out of the snow.

The Ice Storm

The ice came,
One December night
And in the morning
Such chilling beauty nature wrought
Broken trees like matchsticks lie
Criss crossed over roads and power lines
Now a giant's game of pick-up sticks
Days and days of clean up
Just to make things right again
But for one December night of ice.

Where did December go?

Coda, What a handsome boy!
John and Steve at Carolina State Park

Lindsay, Steve and Coda

Heading to NC on the first weekend in December seemed to take up a big chunk of time. But what a great way to spend a long weekend, visiting with Steve, Lindsay and Coda, and John.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Not a pretty site!

Point taken! This is what happens when Grandma Bounty gets in the picture. Is she sticking her tongue out at me! She will just have to be cut out of the holiday pic for this year! At 10, she has "been there, done that" way too many times with her human mom who is constantly snapping those shots! Not a lot of motivation to just sit and look pretty here. Where's the LIVER?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Hawksmoor Pondview Caroline

My sweet Caroline looking very pretty with her Christmas bow. Funny how photogenic younger subjects are, human or furry. Something happens as we get older and more self conscious, or maybe it is just that the older we are, we have no use for such silliness as posing in front of the camera for a little 'charlee bear' or a 'say cheese'. Whatever the reason, I am always glad to have captured those moments when they are young and innocent.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

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This story is posted on my blog (Sparkling Waters) but I wanted to put it into a slideshow as a memorial to my sweet Vixen who passed two years ago very suddenly from liver failure. For those who have known the loss of a pet in their lives, this message is for all of you.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pre or Post Game?

So, this could or could not be the 4th folder, 4th photo, depending on how I go to retrieve my pics. But in my blog post browse window, this is the actual folder that comes up.

This photo was taken in the limo either on the way down or way back(look at our eyes...maybe the way back!!!) from the Red Sox 2004 World Series Game. My friend Peggy is on the right and I am on the left. It was freezing at that game on October 25, 2004. Red Sox vs Cardinals...but oh what sweet victory for all Red Sox nation!

James here is my fourth photo in my fourth folder...I was tagged by my sister and am to pass this little game on to another blogger but, sorry girls, I only know 3 of you and so I cannot pass this on. Except for you gals, I am a friend to total non-bloggers(which for me could be a good thing) since everyone "thinks" I am sooooo clever! At any rate, this photo is of James in April of 2007 (note: ABC order of my folders) and imagine! snow in April! It is appropriate for what we have to look forward to isn't it?

Now, I have to say that when I go to my browse window on my blog post site to get photos, I actually have a different 4th folder and 4th photo. I confess, I do not want to cheat so I am posting the other picture below for your viewing pleasure. AND it is really hard for me to do this since I really started this blog as my "PONDVIEW LABS" blog. Ahhhhh Well. here goes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Woody Chuck

All summer we tried to catch him. That little fellow undermined our rock wall that supports the pool, digging holes and popping up in most unusual places. My husband tried to entice him with all sorts of tasty treats but to no avail. He eluded our every effort. But with the onset of Fall, he must have foraged enough and become a bit careless in his habits. Perhaps eating more than usual, he became lazy and fat as he got ready to hibernate for the winter. Whatever the reason was, he ended up wandering into the cozy have-a-heart trap. "BANG!", the door snapped shut and he was captured! Poor little fella! He was scared stiff! The dogs felt it their duty to greet him accordingly, curious as to why he was now going nowhere fast.
"I think he's in his crate!" commented Alex.
"Yes, he must be having a 'time out'," James agreed.
"Well, he probably ate poop!" Meadow added.

I think we might be able to rehabilitate him with a bit of clicker training. Perhaps we can try through the winter. Maybe by Spring we can let him go and hope he has learned to stay in the neighbor's yard. After all, he is sort of cute.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Click to play Otter Tales
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Ollie and Olivia(you really otter see them)

When I looked out at the pond today, I was in for a big surprise.
“Something was swimming across the pond this morning”, my husband said to me this morning. “It was diving under the water and coming up in another spot.”
“The comerant has been around and that is what it does,” I replied.
“No, it looked like an animal, maybe a beaver.”
“I don’t think it is a beaver,” I said. “Where would his lodge be?”
“Hmmmm, I wonder if it is an otter?”

Later, while the Labs romped across the hillside, I stood, watching the sparkling waters of the pond, the breeze blowing the last leaves from the bare branches. The ripples spread out in circular bands and as I squinted into the sunlight, I caught a glimpse of something swimming from the water’s edge. Perhaps this was what my husband had seen earlier this morning. Whatever it was, dove down and then popped back up a distance away. As I watched, I spotted two small dark spots, gliding effortlessly.
“Quick, come look,” I yelled to my husband. “Go get the binoculars. Whatever it is there are two and they are swimming and diving.”
So that is how we discovered our two otters, Ollie and Olivia. When I approached the pond's edge with my camera in hand, my lens scanned back and forth. In no time, their sleek heads appeared from the depths. Spotting me, they moved closer, rather than farther away, their bodies perpendicular, craning their sleek necks higher out of the water. Curious, but satisfied that I am no threat, first one, than the other, disappear again, in one smooth motion. I was amazed at the length of them from nose to tail. I could hear them snorting puffs of air from their nostrils and then a strange hmmmmmmm sound vibrating from their throats. I wondered if they were talking to me. "Who are you? Whatcha doing? Taking our pictures? Wanna see us dive and get some fish and frogs?"
And that is just what they did. Under again, bubbles on the surface gave me a hint of where they were, then "POP!", up came a head with fresh catch hanging from his whiskered mouth. Crunch, crunch, gulp, swallow. Whatever it was was gone and then each otter dove again and again.

What a lovely way to spend a day, watching these delightful little friends.
What adventures might they have, I can only imagine. One thing for sure, they have brought a smile to my face and given me a chance to enjoy their beauty.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sparkling Waters

Every sunny day I watch as the fall breeze softly ripples the waters reflecting hundreds of tiny lights that race and jump from one side to another. Did the pond’s water sparkle like diamonds in a sea of sunlight before Vixen died? Perhaps so and I just never noticed. Maybe the sun’s light reflected but just not so brilliantly.
An overwhelming sense of sadness each time I see this but still a feeling that her spirit is strong and continues to watch over her human and furry family. In some way, the rest of the Labs know this as they spend many moments waiting and watching by the fence gate that separates them from the field and pond. I feel their sense of yearning as they silently stand, pointing their noses upward, sniffing the air, peaceful and patient.
The day I scattered her ashes across the water’s edge, the wind blew briskly, spreading her spirit widely before settling it into the clear November coolness. I will never forget the image of the eerie white changing to blue as her ashes blended with the pond. Sometimes, on summer nights, when the sky is crystal clear, I see similar lights, move across the dark waters. Twinkling, dancing, like underwater fireflies. Were those always there too?
Did the pond’s water sparkle like that before Vixen died? Maybe, but I feel her presence so strongly, that for me, I have to believe it did not.

Last Roses of Summer

Sadly, the last roses of summer, blooming amidst the mix of cool misty mornings, frosty nights, and fleeting warmer afternoons as Fall continues to flip flop between Summer and Winter.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Click to play Enjoying Fall
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Welcome Fall,
In all your glory, blazing fiery colors, you enter upon Summer’s demise. Hardly skipping a beat with your cool clean air, refreshing my body and mind after Summer’s lazy heat and humidity.
You lure me into your breezy arms, giving me energy and a false sense of never ending youth as I shuffle through the ocean of red and orange that blanket the lawn. I delight in the chill of your early mornings while the mist rises from the still warm waters of the pond.
The fruits you bear are crisp like your days and bright as the colors that surround them. Orange pumpkins waiting to be carved. Red, yellow and green apples and pears waiting to be baked into some delicious treat. I marvel at your splender, the smell of leaves and pine needles mingled with the faint scent of smoke curling from my chimney, warming me on your chilly evenings. Your darkness settles early, masking the sun’s rays as they slant lower and lower in the October sky. Rising boldly, your harvest moon shines bright casting an eerie glow over the landscape. I marvel at your icy frost, seeking out each and every piece of green. Each time gripping harder and harder until, at last, you win, wilting and withering every leaf and flower left blooming in my garden.
I love you and I hate you. You took the lazy days of Summer from me, yet gave me an artists palette to photograph. You pretend to be kind but with each passing day you steal more and more away. Breezes that begin sweet and gentle, knowingly will end blowing bitterly cold, causing me to shiver as I pull my coat closer and wrap my gloved hands tightly around my insulated coffee mug.
So, welcome Fall. I know you well. Each year that passes I see you come with your hopeful passion, and I watch you go, sadly understanding what you have wrought.

What does James do in the Fall? Well of course, he has a ball!

Pondview Labs enjoying Fall

Alex, Bounty, Glory, James Caroline and Meadow, Lisle

Friday, September 19, 2008

Retrievers and Their Bumpers - a romp on Cape Cod

No Matter that the weather was not cooperative. The rainy day and cold ocean water didn't keep James, Caroline, Glory or the cousins, Susie, Sundance and Winee from enjoying their romp through the mounds of seaweed to reach their ultimate goal. The swim for the bumper....what any good retriever would want to do!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Too Cute

Caroline enjoyed a lovely swim and then endured the towel drying that followed.

Tomatoes to Apples

"Glory come!" Where has she gone now. Usually she can be found sneaking the tomatoes from the vegetable garden. Not there. Sighing heavily I trudge up the hill to the back. Forbidden territory! HA! I glimpse a shadow of black among low moving branches.
"Get here, right now!" I holler.
She ignores me. What is she doing? Picking up my pace I approach the top level. Ah! Now it's clear. She has been stealing apples from the old tree bordering the bramble by the road. She lifts her head and although she realizes she's been caught, she takes one last crunchy bite, pieces of her tasty treat falling from her mouth as she attempts to escape. Her mischievious nature is comical. My impatience and exasperation dissolve and I begin to laugh. Such a silly puppy! I open my arms wide and she wiggles her body towards me, knowing that her apple escapade is over....for now.

Friday, August 22, 2008

As the Sun Sets

Another year of sunsets on Cape Cod's beautiful bayside beaches. 

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Bo's Visit

Meadow's brother Bo poses for a group photo with sister Meadow, niece Glory, mother Bounty and half brother Alex.

While on vacation with his family, Bo's brief visit was a wonderful treat for his human and doggie relatives.

Bo, Glory, Meadow, Bounty and Alex

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

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The Tomato Thief

"Yummy!" says Glory.

I don't have Groundhogs. I have GroundDogs! As hard as I try, I cannot keep Meadow, Glory and Caroline out of the vegetable garden. Munching on green tomatoes is a delightful past time.