a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Sunday, July 24, 2016

What's new in the zoo?

I'm broke.  That's what.  The dogs (Vet bills) are killing me.  But, the joy they bring me is well worth it (I guess).  I don't guess, I know so.  It's still a big OUCH to the pocket book.

Yoko is doing fabulously with her nose-work.  I took her to a mock trial over on Whidbey Island at a farm in Langley.  She was awesome winning the exterior search and 2nd in vehicles search.  We have or rather "I" have more work to do to get proficient in interior and container searches.

Champ is trying harder and harder.  I hope to start trialling them again (on sheep) this winter.  I took a few lessons with Derek Fisher to help me be a better partner with him.  I never understand why there are so many winter trials here in Washington?  They have awesome summer weather.  Doesn't that beat slogging around in ankle deep mud in the winter?  Maybe it's PNW tradition.  haha

The house closed Escrow.  It is a miracle!  In the line of fire and the drought.  Lots of praying and thinking optimistic thoughts.  Lordy...someone up there likes us.  Now, moving on to sell the wreck of a rental in Shelton, Wa.  We dropped the price and we will see what happens.  Surely, someone will come along and want to fix it up to flip it.

What is Wayne doing right now?  He is looking for a place to live.  Living out of your truck and Motel 6 is getting a bit old, especially, since he doesn't retire until March 2017.  I'm sure he will find something that will suit him, sooner rather than later.  He is flying up for our August anniversary.  I think it is 34 years this year.

I am taking a class at Brian's Sporting Goods in town on Salmon and Steelhead river fishing.  Wayne will be here for the last class.  Brian said to bring him along.  There are so many things I like to do.  The dogs are a big part of my life, but I have lots of other interests.  I landed in a good place.  Sequim has everything I like to do and then, some.

I bought a new camera, Canon 80D.  But, it's kind of like the new cars of today.  There is too much to learn.  It does everything, but the dishes!  Thankfully, I am friends with Bonnie Block.  She is helping me figure things out.  Plus, I'm taking the class on shooting in manual to nix my habit of always shooting on auto.  I think Bonnie said it is the difference between an artist and a photographer.  I need to learn how my camera works, so I can control better outcomes.

Next thing is I need GOOD lenses.  All I have is a couple of cheapies.  The lenses make the camera;  not the other way around.  Thankfully Bonnie has a ton of lenses.  So I will ask her to try one every now and then to see if I like it.

I have a lot of work ahead of me with my new camera.  Bonnie said it took her almost 2 years to figure everything out to be proficient at setting the controls for what she was shooting and in what light.  So I guess that will keep me out of trouble for awhile :0)

Below is Bonnie Block's AWESOME 2016 National Audubon Society photograph winner.  Her photo will be hanging in the Smithsonian Institute for the next year.  She does amazing work.

I have trekked along with Bonnie to watch the bald eagles harass the blue herons over small fish that get caught up in the oyster beds by Seabeck.  I don't have any close up lenses like hers,' but I do so enjoy just going to watch the "show."

Where are the Elk?  That is the million dollar question.  It has been 3 months and I haven't seen the herd or the bachelor bulls either.  And, I have pretty good Elk eyes plus I get around all over Sequim. My only guess is that they have taken to the high country for awhile.

I just heard from my grandson.  He is spending a week or more with my son on his property in Roseburg. Now, I must go check my calendar to see if I can make the 7 hour drive down there for a visit.  


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Rainbow Chaser

I am counting my blessings tonight. A young man came to my photography meeting tonight. He came with his hospice nurse. You read that correctly. He came with his HOSPICE nurse. He is end stage cancer with a tumor that has fused his mouth almost totally closed. He had his hospice nurse give a few short sentences about his disease as he wiped the saliva dribbling out of his mouth onto his shirt. His love of photography was very evident as he got up in front of everyone having his hospice nurse add a few things that the main speaker hadn't discussed that he thought we would find interesting. Forget the photography, the nurse in me found it amazing that he was still living his life to the fullest. Honest to God, I will never complain again. God bless him.
People, don't sweat the small stuff. It's all small stuff....

I left the meeting early because the second speaker was talking about something I really wasn't interested in learning.  Actually, I had kind of 'restless legs,' but i'm not complaining. As soon as I got to the parking lot I got a text from my neighbors with a photo of the rainbows they could see from their water view.  I could see the rainbows from the parking lot.  They were amazing.  With only my iPhone with me I headed to Jamestown Beach.  I took several photos there and then as I headed towards home, the sky turned a gold color, the likes that I had never seen before.  I headed to Port Williams Beach.  When I arrived the rainbows were spectacular.  The guys I parked next to were almost giddy.  They told me that 15 minutes earlier the rainbows came across the water and shone directly into their car.  They had never seen anything like that in their lives.  They were ecstatic.  It was an amazing sight.  An amazing night.

My neighbors are calling me "The Rainbow Chaser."  I kind of like it.  Everything happens for a purpose.  I'm sure of it.  I left the meeting early because I was meant to see this spectacular spectacle of nature.  As I watched the rainbows mirror their reflection across the water, I looked up above, giving a nod and a wink to my folks.  I knew they both were there with me.  I had no doubt.  

Speaking of photography, I am thinking about taking the leap....for a new camera.  My camera is from 2009.  Electronics have come a long way since back then.  Thinking of driving to Silverdale tomorrow to look at the Canon T6s and the Canon D80.  I know the D80 is the better camera, but the Rebels are so light. I want to "feel" the difference.  I just bought a tripod.  I have never used one.  LOL  Some photographer I am :)  I am enjoying the photography club and my photography college class starts in a few weeks.  Time to step up my game.

The wildflowers at the George Washington Inn are just insane right now along with their lavender.  Most of my wildflowers are on their way out, but their's are still spectacular.  This is an unretouched photo of what it looks like :)

What a wonderful week with my son and his new "rehomed" Australian cattle Dog (ACD), Maxine.  She went by cargo from Missouri to Atlanta to Portland where Dustin picked her up.  She just turned 5 mos.  She was well socialized and pretty much bomb proof for her age.  It was nice that they could hang for a week with my pack.  They all enjoyed hiking together.  Mine weren't real keen on sharing their home though.  Maxine took it all in stride.  She got a few nips, but it didn't seem to phase her in true ACD style.  Plus, she got to meet sheep.  It was a great week.

While Dustin was here he did odd jobs for me including helping me build a little dry creek bed in front of my cedar chairs where I like to have a cocktail in the evenings.  I have a good view of Happy Valley from here plus in the fall it will be awesome when the geese fly by in the evenings back to Sequim Bay.

What's happening on the home fronts?  Not a whole hell of a lot.  Still hoping for an offer on the modular home in Shelton as a "take it as it." sale.  We had one offer, but that fell through.  The Green Valley house is still in it's second Escrow.  Wayne has been working like a dog to repair all of the items the inspector listed as needing to be done.  The well was tested and no where near the 3 gal/min that LA County wants it to produce.  We have 2 wells and have never had to haul water in, but they aren't happy with what the big well is producing.  So now, can we make a deal, will the lenders go for it?  All remains to be seen. Ugh.  What will be, will be.  Wayne is doing a fabulous job with all of the details.  Thank God.

Other than missing sheepdog trialling, all is well.  Thee weather is beautiful and I'm her so grateful to be living here.  Making the most of it :0)  Happy summer to you all.  

Monday, June 6, 2016

Nothing comes easy

I'm a Caprcorn.  Nothing comes easy for me.  I always have to work at it if I want something.  God just doesn't hand stuff over to me on a silver platter.  The only time I really had it easy was growing up with my folks.  Of course, you never really realize how great you had it until you are on your own trying to make it in life.
I have always been surrounded by animals growing up, so depression wasn't even a possibility for me.  My parents didn't have the perfect marriage.  My mother was outgoing, strong lady who never worked a day in her life.  She had her Masters degree in sociology from Duke University where she met my father.  My Pop had his Masters in forestry, but after serving in WWII he fell into avionics for a good paying job to raise a family.
My mother always fought a deep, dark depression. Thankfully, I took after my Pop.  He was my hero all of my life.  He provided well for our family.  He was a wonderful husband to a difficult wife, fabulous father, an officer, and a gentleman.
Mother dressed us, fed us, and kept us up 'with the Jone's.'  Pop taught us about the land, wildlife, chivalry, and fun. Both were animal lovers.  We were lucky kids.

I have always been an "open book."  I lay my cards on the table for all to see.  Secrecy just isn't my way.  Everything I have learned in life has had a lesson(s) that I feel may help someone else traveling through their lives.

Wayne is doing well, healthy, and back to his norm.  Thank God for small favors, eh?  I knew he was about to croak.  The nurse in me recognized the cries for help.  He is a good person.  He just got a bit sidetracked into addiction and depression.  I'm proud of him.  He calls daily, is attentive (more than ever) not a whole lot of chances to screw up here :)  He is flying out for our anniversary in August for a week.

The houses:  what a cluster you know what this is going to be.  The well in Green Valley, Ca. didn't pass (meet LA county regulations), so now we are looking at our dismal options.  One good note as far as the banks lending money is they passed a regulation the is allowing people to build without good wells by trucking water in to unincorporated areas of LA county.  We are in one of those unincorporated areas.  That just means the banks are looking at ways that they can still continue to make money during the drought.  Our house fell out of the first escrow and is in a second escrow at the moment.

The disaster of a rental (tax shelter) in Shelton, Wa. we are just trying to come out even.  Finally, the renters are out.  That took awhile. But, now $$ to get the place to sell (kind of).  It is being listed as of this month.  Lordy, I wanted to sell both of these places decades ago, but that's water under the bridge now.  We have to deal with what we have today.  One way or another, we'll get er done.

I keep giving Wayne "encouragement" and "positive" vibes.  I think he feels like he will be living the rest of his life in Green Valley and me here in Sequim.  We have options.  I just feel badly for him that I have the dogs; he has none.  The dogs keep me from ever getting depressed.  As soon as Wayne says the "stress" word, I tell him he has NO stress.  He is alive.  We are still together. :0)

So, my sheep trialling is all on the back burner for this year.  My dogs are happy to do most anything that keeps them active.  Sheep trialling is really for the handlers.  It is a fun competition that shows them where the holes in their dog's work are and where the holes in their handling are.  The dogs really could care less about the trialling experience. They just wanna WORK.

I found a photography class locally that starts in July.  It his all about using manual instead of 'auto' focus with your camera.  Much needed.  I signed up.  I also have put in some photos into competition with a local photography club.  Of course, I entered them not according to their specifications. They fixed them for me and will help me with the particulars at this week's meeting. Sigh.....

Glad we got through the little HOT spell.  We are back to norm in the 60's again.  Thank goodness.  Though, our beach trip was welcomed by me and the dogs (just above Port Angeles).  Take care, have fun, and be happy that you got up today!  What else is there to worry about, really?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Photography - Capturing the moment

I love to take photos.  It seems to capture that moment for me in my mind forever.  And, what a great place I live in to be able to have water, mountains, flowers, snow, wildlife, all within an arm's length.
One of these days when I have nothing else to do I will take my camera off of AUTO and start learning how to use the MANUAL settings.  I have the gist, but I just haven't taken the time.  So meanwhile, I will just stay with my Canon 3Ti Rebel until I know what I am doing better.  When I know what I'm doing better, then I might make the leap to buy some new photography equipment.

26,000 photographs to be exact.  They bring me joy.