Tag Archives: photographs

Time Lapse


Good morning Everyone!

2004, Age 3

Kayla, right after she came to live with us
Kayla, right after she came to live with us

2015, Age 13

Kayla, 2015

Kayla, 2015

Enough said.

Have a great day!

Nancy

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Merry Christmas!


Good morning Everyone!

We got the tree and other Christmas decorations at our house up last week.  As I share them with you, I also am wishing each of you a Merry Christmas or other holiday greeting of your choice!  Here’s to a fond farewell to 2014, and a hearty hello to 2015!

Manger Scene

This is our family crèche, also known as our family manger scene. This is the first time in three Christmases that I have been able to put it up the way I like – the rental house we lived in for two years did not have a good place. It never feels quite like Christmas without the crèche up!

small tree 1, fiber optic

The last Thanksgiving that Mark’s Dad was alive (he died in May 2001), he and Mark’s mom and Mark and I went on a trip to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in our campers. We stopped at a Christmas store, and I saw my first fiber optic tree there, and bought it. We still put it out every year, and (knock on wood) it still is shining brightly.

small tree 2, fiber optic

The fiber optic cables shift between different colors.

Tree 2, pre-lit, white lights

Mark is a white light Christmas person, and I am a colored light Christmas person. We thought never the twain should meet until we bought last year’s pre-wired artificial tree – it has a dual personality!

Tree 1, pre-lit, colored lights

Have a very Merry Christmas!

Nancy

Riddle Me This!


Good morning Everyone!

Here’s a favorite family riddle:

WHAT’S BLACK AND WHITE AND RED ALL OVER?

From Print Shop Professional 2.0
From Print Shop Professional 2.0

ANSWER:

 

 

 

 

Boo 1

BOO, ON SPAGHETTI NIGHT!

(Boo is one of Mandy’s nicknames.)

She looks very repentant when caught in the act, doesn’t she?

DSC_0614

Have a great day!

Nancy

Again with the Absent-mindedness!


Good morning Everyone!

As most of you who follow this blog will remember, I am particularly gifted with the character trait known as “absent-mindedness.”  Here are the latest instances:

1) On my way to work, there is a restaurant, one of those small places that always has something moving into and out of it.  For about two weeks, I had been driving by it, absently noticing that the sign read “Coming Soon:  Mandolin Cafe.”  Each time I passed it, I wondered if the town where I work really has room for another Chinese restaurant….until my mind insisted that I notice that “mandolin” and “Mandarin” are two different things!

2) Have you ever wandered around the house swearing because you can’t find your glasses  – only to realize that you’re wearing them?  Funny – me neither!

3) I wanted to download some pictures onto my computer today, so I pulled out the Nikon camera, found the cable to connect it and started my task – only to have the darn thing run out of battery on me!  Digging through the camera bag for the charger, I found it missing.  Kayla was the last person to use the camera, so I began the necessary cross-examination to try to establish exactly where she might have left the charger while grumping that if we couldn’t find it, we had a very expensive camera we couldn’t use – only to discover that the charger was on the table in front of me where I had taken it out moments before in order to reach the camera!

4)  I was in a tearing hurry about two weeks ago, but I had also reached the point where the gas gauge in my car had gone from gentle reminders to crawling in the desert gasping for  fuel.  I whipped into the gas station, used the “pay at the pump” feature, hung the gas pump hose back up, got my receipt and tore out of the parking lot to cross the major U.S. Highway separating the gas station and the fast food place.  Once I was in line at the drive-thru, however, I realized I couldn’t find my wallet anywhere.  Panicking, I stepped out of the car for a second – where I discovered my wallet sitting on the roof of the car, where it had remained safely while I drove from the gas station to the fast food restaurant!  (And yes, I said a devout prayer of thanks for that one!)

Have a great day!

Nancy

Characteristics of a Buskey


Hi Everyone!

Meow0, who works over on the blog site Talented Tails, found the post last week with pictures of Mandy, Stella and Sawyer and wanted to know more about the buskey “breed,” so I thought I’d go over the characteristics all of you have helped me identify in buskeys that we have found so far.

1)  Geneology .  Buskeys are not an official breed, nor are they even an official mix like goldendoodles.  However, to classify as a buskey, a dog must have a basset hound and a husky as parents.

Basset Hound Husky dog

Mandy, The Quintessential Buskey

2)  What does a buskey look like?  A buskey has the long body and short legs of a basset hound, with hair about the length of a husky’s, and a beautiful curved fringed tail.  A buskey’s coloring is highly variable – so far, I’ve seen colors that range from typical husky colors (Mandy) to pure black.  Their eye color can range from two blue eyes, to one blue eye and one brown, to both brown.  Mandy’s eyes are enthralling – she has one blue and one brown eye, but if you look at the brown eye closely, you can see that even it has a patch of blue in it!

buskey, basset hound, Siberian Husky

Mandy – One Blue Eye, One Brown Eye

3) What does a buskey do?  Nothing it does not want to.  If you look at lists about how “trainable” dogs are, huskys (surprisingly) are close to the bottom of the list, and basset hounds (not surprisingly) even lower.  It’s not that they can’t learn to do things; it’s just that they’re only motivated to work on the things that interest them.  A buskey is highly independent.  Even when one is chastised for something, its nose never gets out of joint.  The buskey simply looks thoughtful for a minute, as if to say to the chastiser, “You have an interesting point of view” and then returns to doing whatever it was that got it into trouble in the first place.  Buskeys do love to run – and in spite of their short legs, they are amazingly fast.

Sawyer dives for something

Sawyer dives for something

4) What is a buskey’s temperament like?  A buskey has the most infectious joie de vivre of any dogs I have seen.  Imagine a dog that smiles all the time, much like a dolphin, and you have a good idea of the look on a buskey’s face 99% of the time.  The buskey I have, and the buskeys I have learned about are, without a doubt, the happiest, most content dogs the owners have ever had.  My Mandy, for example, is simply never in a bad mood.  Ever.  Unless you mess with her food bowl.

 

Bo, a black and white buskey, exhibiting the joie de vivre characteristic of the mix

Bo, a black and white buskey, exhibiting the joie de vivre characteristic of the mix

5)  Is there anything buskeys are exceptional at?  Yes.  Foraging.  Mandy grazes the counters and tables at my house regularly, unless we stop her.  Trash cans pose no obstacles to her, either.  I once spent $65 to buy a large kitchen trash can with a pedal and a self-closing lid to try to thwart her garbage foraging habit; she had it figured out in 30 seconds, and turned around to look at me, wag her tail and thank me for my thoughtfulness, since the self-closing lid was slower than the previous trashcan’s lid, so she had time to be more selective in the scraps she chose to pursue.  If there is an apocalypse, and Mandy and I survive it, I am following her to the nearest feeding ground.

Dog, eating, counter

6) Is the buskey a family dog?  In spite of its independent streak, yes, a buskey is a fabulous family dog, loving, sweet and happy.  They do well with children, and other dogs.  I have yet to encounter a buskey owner with a cat, so I’m not sure how they do with animals besides dogs.

buskeys, dogs

Tyra and Mandy Share a Walk

Mandy and Darwin confer

Mandy and Darwin confer

7) Where can I find a buskey?  Beats me.  Every single one I know of so far was adopted from a rescue shelter, so it appears to be pretty much luck of the draw.  If you ever see one, though, you’ll recognize it instantly.

Stella as a Puppy - the only buskey puppy picture I have!

Stella as a Puppy – the only buskey puppy picture I have!

8) Why bother writing about them in this blog?  It’s a basic consumer demand type thing – my first post on Siberian husky/basset hound mixes, which I used to highlight my Mandy, is one of my top 5 posts of all time – it gets viewed continually, and many people now are kind enough to tell me why they are looking and all of them either have or are considering getting a buskey.

Have a great day!

Nancy

Buskeys Rule: Additional Encounters with Husky-Basset Hound Mixes


Good morning Everyone!

In August, 2011, I wrote a post about Mandy, our husky basset hound mix.  Since that date, that post has been visited over 4000 times!  People have been kind enough to tell me sometimes why they wanted to read it – most of the time, someone has either just adopted a puppy or dog who is a buskey.  (For those new to the blog, “buskey” is the name I’ve decided to use to call this most unusual, but beautiful mix.)

I’d like to introduce you to a new member of the buskey family:  Stella.  As you can see, she bears a striking resemblance to other buskeys, as most of them do.

Stella, a basset hound husky mix

Stella, photo from Amelia, her mom

Stella has the body shape and the striking blue eyes common to the buskey, and you can see that her tail has longer hair on it than a hound’s tail would.  Her coloring is interesting, since she appeared to pick up more of the basset hound brown then some of the other buskeys we have seen.

husky basset hound mix

Stella enjoying a car ride.
Photo from her Mom, Amelia.

Here’s a picture of our Mandy enjoying a ride in our motor home.  You can definitely see the resemblance!

Basset Hound, Husky Mix

Mandy Out for a Drive!

Just like all the other buskeys, Stella has a laid back temperament, a generally sunny disposition, and a marked aptitude for foraging/scavenging kitchen counters and any other surfaces which may have food lying around loose.

Stella as a Puppy - Photo from Amelia, her mom

Stella as a Puppy – Photo from Amelia, her mom

We are fortunate in that Ms. Amelia was able to send us a rare photo of a buskey as a puppy.  A lot of the people who now have buskeys adopted them from shelters as rescues (including us) and never had the opportunity to see our buskeys as puppies.

Stella and one of her people puppies; Photo from Amelia, her mom

Stella and one of her people puppies; Photo from Amelia, her mom

This pose looks familiar to me – it is one of the poses Mandy uses when she has decided to get me up in the morning.  It’s usually a warning shot before she starts to walk across my hair, which always gets me up.  (It hurts!)

While we are always happy to meet new buskeys, it’s nice to hear from some of the others we have already met.  Sawyer’s owner, who was the first buskey owner to ever contact me. recently sent me some updated photos.  Believe it or not, Sawyer is now 8!  That hardly seems possible.

Sawyer, Husky Basset Hound Mix, Buskey

Sawyer at age 8 with his family. Photo from Neda, his mom.

He looks happy, doesn’t he?  Here he is on the front steps of their home:

Husky Basset Hound, Buskey, Sawyer

Sawyer in the front yard: Photo from Neda, his mom.

Sawyer’s resemblance to Mandy can be almost uncanny – since he originally was adopted from a shelter in Birmingham, both families have speculated as to whether they might be related – but that, alas, is something neither of us will ever know for sure!

Huskey/Basset hound mix, Sawyer, buskey

Sawyer napping; Photo from Neda, his mom.

Compare that picture of Sawyer with this one of Mandy sharing her bed with Tyra, and you’ll see what I mean about the resemblance.

Mandy buskey update

Tyra and Mandy Sharing a Bed

It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?

If any of you other buskey owners out there who have or will visit here to find out more about these unusual dogs want to share pictures, I’ll be happy to share them!

Have a great day!

Nancy

Kayla’s Turn: Photo Essay, Charlotte, North Carolina


Good morning Everyone!

When Mark and I first married, we lived in North Carolina for three years.  While most of that time was spent in a small town called Rockingham, North Carolina, we did have the opportunity to live for at least a few months in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Even back then, in the late 80’s, Charlotte was a beautiful city.  It ended up being one of the places we enjoyed living in most out of everywhere we’ve been.  We had a chance a few weeks ago to go back to Charlotte for the first time, and we took Kayla with us.  While we were driving through downtown Charlotte, Kayla took the following pictures, which I think (proud mama alert!) are quite extraordinary for a 12-year-old armed with only an iPod.

Charlotte, North Carolina

This one is probably my very favorite of all of the pictures that she took.  One of the unique features of Charlotte is the quantity of trees the city, even the downtown, still has.  Early on in its urban development, Charlotte’s city fathers passed ordinances requiring trees to be kept intact whenever possible.

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte got its start as a town in the first gold rush that ever occurred in the United States – gold was found in Charlotte in the early 1800’s. Now the city is a financial services mecca, headquarters to many different banks and other financial institutions.

photo 1

 

We were riding through on a misty morning, and the tops of the skyscrapers were hidden in the clouds, a fact that fascinated Kayla.

photo 2

 

I, of course, hardly recognized anything downtown from when we lived here over twenty years ago, and yet I still recognized the spirit of the city.  The city that can maintain the balance between old and new and still retain its original identity is a rare city indeed.  But then, that’s Charlotte!

photo 3

 

Have a great day!

Nancy

Da Dogs


Good morning Everyone!

It’s been a while since I devoted a post exclusively to our three dogs, so today’s the day.

Regular readers to this blog will recall that we have three beautiful and unique dogs as pets:  Tyra, who is now 14, Mandy, who is 8 – 9 in August – (which is very hard to believe!) and Darwin, who is 5 (that’s another one that’s hard to understand.)  All three of them are pound puppies; we are forever grateful to the Montgomery Humane Society for Tyra and Mandy and to the Lake Martin Humane Shelter for Darwin.

Tyra is completely blind; we have suspicions that she might be losing some hearing also.  (To get her to hear where you are going/want her to go, you have to stomp like a dinosaur tap dancing – that is known as a clue!)  She is the sweetest dog we have ever had, although she has become a bit demanding when it comes to her nightly snuggle time with Mark.  She has always viewed herself as Mark’s dog, although she loves the rest of us too.  We suspect she is an Australian Shepherd mix.

Australian Shepherd Mix

Tyra

Mandy is a free and independent basset hound/husky mix with excellent self-esteem.  She loves all of us, and she is particularly my dog (when we first got her, Woof was still alive.  Woof was my kitchen dog, as I called her – she wouldn’t leave me to myself no matter how bad she wanted to be in a room with everyone else.  She trained Mandy for the same position.)  She is the only dog we’ve ever had whose response to being scolded and told “bad dog” is to stare at you thoughtfully, let you know that she feels your point of view is interesting but not particularly upsetting, and then walk away to plot how to continue whatever it was she was trying to do in the first place.  While she is absolutely unique, I have been surprised at how many people are interested in or have basset hound/husky mixes.  Over 400 of them have looked at my post about Mandy as a basset hound/husky  mix, and I’ve had a good 8 to 10 people at least send me messages about the buskeys (a good handy nickname) that they own.

Basset Hound, Husky Mix

Mandy

Darwin is the biggest dog we have ever owned.  He is either a black german short-haired pointer, in which case he is not recognized as a short-haired pointer in America although he is in Europe, or a Lab/Great Dane mix.  He is incredibly eager to please his people and surprisingly affectionate for a male dog.  He’s not entirely sold on the idea of being Kayla’s dog (he has an application in for the position of Mark’s dog which is never going to be granted while Tyra is alive), but is beginning to reconcile himself to that position now that we allow him to go to bed with her at night, which means he ends up sleeping on her bed with her during the night, a much better deal than he’d get in our room.

Lab/Great Dane Mix

Darwin

The three dogs care about each other, and their interactions are fun to watch.  Darwin and Mandy play together a lot, which has kept Mandy young.  They like to chase each other around the yard, and while you’d think the larger Darwin would have the advantage, he doesn’t – Mandy is the fastest dog I have ever seen, and can hold her own against him.  Darwin wants to play with Tyra, but she can’t see him “play bow” to know that he is just playing, so things can get a little tense.  I did get to see the two of them figure out how to play one day, and it was ingenious – neither one moved their legs, while they kept moving their heads around playing “tag” with their heads – apparently you somehow scored a point if you touched the other dog with your head.  Tyra doesn’t believe that play is play unless barking is included, so the din was pretty astonishing.

Australian Shepherd Mix Camping

Tyra Camping

Husky Basset Hound mix camping

Mandy Camping

Lab/Great Dane Mix Camping

Darwin Camping

The three dogs like to camping with us in our (gracefully aged) motor home, but they each have different attitudes about it.  Boo is happy to be with us, but her level of happiness is the same as if she was going for a ride in the car or with us for a walk.  Tyra has always loved camping, and the motor home is no exception.  She likes to come to the front while we’re driving, flip up the arm rest on the driver and passenger seats and get her ears rubbed.  Continually.  For the entire duration of the trip, whether it is a five-minute drive to the nearby state park or a six to eight hour drive to the Smoky Mountains.   Darwin is ecstatic to be camping, and shows it with all his might.  Mandy and Darwin both like to sit on the dashboard of the motor home while we are gone and just watch the world go by until we come home.  I have been astonished at how little they bark at anything outside, including other dogs, when they do that.

Two dogs

Boo and Darwin Together Camping

Two Dogs in Motor Home

Tyra and Mandy Together

So there are our three canine family members.  Each well-loved and loving well in return, each unique and each one indispensable to who we are as a family.

Two Dogs on Bed

Tyra and Mandy Share a Bed

I hope your pets are every bit as interesting!  Tell me about them in the comments section if you have time.  I’d love to hear from you!

Have a great day and weekend everyone!

Nancy

A House With a View


Good morning Everyone!

As I mentioned yesterday, I had the chance to visit my sister and brother-in-law in Huntsville during October.  When I got ready to leave, I was stunned by the view outside the house.  Here’s why:

fall mountain fog

The Fog LIfts off the mountain

In this next picture, the sunshine has reached part of the mountain, while the upper parts are still shrouded with fog.

Fall leaves mountain

The Sunshine Reaches the Mountain

This next view has all but a few spots in the sunlight.

Fall Leaves

Even More Sun

In this view, the sunlight has advanced even further.

View 4

For this final view, I took my cell phone camera off of “Zoom” to get a perspective of the clouds lifting off the mountain and the neighborhood.

Clouds, Mountain

Neighborhood View

Breathtaking, isn’t it?

Have a great day and a great weekend!

Nancy

Bark


Good morning/evening  Everyone!

When we are in grade school, somewhere along the line we learn that if you are going to draw a tree, it is going to have a brown trunk and a green top.  My basic trees in kindergarten up looked something like this:

Tree

Basic Tree

When I wanted to get fancy, I would add branches to the top of the tree, and a hole such as a bird might like to nest in.

Fancy Tree

More Fancy Tree

The truth about trees, as is often the case, is much more wonderful in real life.

Take bark, for instance. The next time you have a minute and you are going by a stand of trees, take a minute to stop and look just at the bark on the trees. Notice how each type of tree bark has its own color and shape and patterns. Notice how almost none of them are the true brown that we used in grade school – the marvelous variations of gray and brown and shades in between is unlimited!

While I am by no means a botanist or an arborist, I do recognize a few kinds of trees, so I though I would share photographs of their bark with you, just to get you started.

Oak tree bark

Oak Tree Bark

This beautiful oak tree was right outside our camper this weekend at Joe Wheeler State Park in Rogersville, Alabama. Here is a photograph of the tree with me looking up that is just too pretty not to share.

Oak Tree

Oak Tree

Dogwood tree bark

Dogwood Tree Bark

In the spring, the beautiful dogwoods grace Southern woods and yards with unique, four-petaled white flowers. Here is a picture of one dogwood tree’s bark last weekend.

pine tree bark

Pine Tree Bark (on the left)

Pine trees also abound in the South.

Crepe Myrtle Bark

Crepe Myrtle Bark: Photograph taken and shown on colorlandscapes.wordpress.com

Very few flowers on trees survive the hot, humid Southern summer, but the crepe myrtle is one of the few that do. (I’m not entirely sure if the crepe myrtle is a tree or shrub, but it definitely has wood in its trunk!) It’s bark is very smooth, and a sort of tan color.

Magnolia Trunk

Magnolia

One of the other trees that bear summer flowers is the stately magnolia tree, the grande dame of Southern flora. (You just can’t quite say “magnolia tree” without putting “stately” in front of it. I tried, without success.)

From five trees, we have five different kinds of bark.  This level of texture is something we don’t often take the time to really view and admire, but sometime this week or weekend, take just a few minutes to do so.  The sense of wonder and admiration at the variety and abundance of nature’s giants will be well worth your time.

Have a great day!

Nancy