Archive for ‘Local Color’

July 17, 2015

Vacation Photos!

by Janie Jones

My vacation was lovely, but not nearly long enough.  Hence the eternal question:  How is it that 10 days of school and work feel like an eternity but 10 days of vacation goes by in the blink of an eye?

I spent some of those 10 days shopping, some sleeping, some flea marketing, one celebrating Christmas in July, and a few touristing.

My favorite day was the day Leif took me up the shore.  We had absolutely perfect weather for a rambling drive along the coast/shore, some excellent dining and a little cliff climbing and beach combing.

North shore vacation 2015 008

Wild flowers growing out of the cliff rock

North shore vacation 2015 009

Janie the Mermaid

North shore vacation 2015 033

Black sand beach, rocky islands off shore

North shore vacation 2015 036

Vera on the beach

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Vera and Rupert play water fetch with some random kids and black labs

Best day I’ve had in months.  Maybe years.  I absolutely love beach combing on the big lake.

You know, one of the great things about living in Big City now is that the big lake is practically in my back yard.  The bummer is school and work keep me so busy I almost never get to enjoy it.

I need to start taking more vacations.


July 3, 2015

Channeling my inner Poe

by Janie Jones

And so it did happen one warm summer night a few days back that the sound of crunching gravel woke me from my slumber. As I lay quietly within my bed I listened intently to discern the source of this sound, and my sleep dulled senses scrambled to place it in a context understandable so I could return to my dreams without concern.

But there it was again, like boots on gravel, though not quite. And where would there be gravel but across the driveway? And yet this sound was too close to the window and the more I listened the less it resembled the sound made by any human foot I’d heard a fore.

And in my weary brain thoughts of beasts and man with nefarious intent did spring, and, with the peace of slumber no longer possible, I did reach for my spectacles and torch to identify this intruder and settle the doubt within my breast. To the open window I crept, a thought of Poe and his raven demon on my mind:

Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,’ said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore –
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; –
‘Tis the wind and nothing more!’

But nothing appeared to my bleary wondering eyes, so the window I tightly shut and returned to my slumber.

When morning came and the light of day banished nightmares far away, I once again heard a rustling of gravel directly outside my window. Now fully awake and calm of mind, it was clear that sound was no foot of man or bear or raccoon. So to the window once again I moved and lifted up the curtain. Much to my surprise I found myself face to face with nothing nevermore frightening that this:

star nosed mole

Twas a star-nosed mole who had fallen into the window well, which apparently contained a healthy layer of gravel.  It was shifting a significant amount of gravel, but could not escape the metal walls of the window well.

So, I went out and caught the little critter and relocated him to the wilderness behind the garage, where there was a distinct lack of gavel filled window wells.  I have to say, holding one in your hands gives you a serious appreciation for these fascinating subterranean mammals.

June 19, 2015

Shop girl

by Janie Jones

The spud spent the last 2 weeks at the farm with Leif.  He says she’s been a big help taking care of chickens, rabbits, dogs and the cat.  She’s also become his shop monkey helping with his blacksmithing jobs.


You go girl!  I’m actually quite proud.

June 12, 2015

Turtle soup

by Janie Jones

Leif and the spud heard Vera barking yesterday, and upon going over to see what was up they found her trotting along with a turtle in her mouth.  Apparently she thought it was a self propelling Frisbee.  Or maybe she thought it would make a good lunch if she could just figure out how to chew through the packaging.

The petrified turtle was rescued and released into the bog, but not before being tortured with a quick pic:


Why is it when you tell smalls to smile they grimace like they can’t decide if they are about to laugh or cry?

June 8, 2015

Splish Splash!

by Janie Jones

Last Monday I took the spud to the local waterpark.  It was a ton of fun, and thankfully indoors as it was only 50 something degrees outside.

For an indoor park, it was pretty cool.  They had two big water slides, a rafting “river” that went around the park and you could drift along in a raft, a big hot tub and two large kid water play areas with water basketball hoops, smaller slides, climb -upons, and mini waterfalls.  Some of the college friends I’ve made met us there so it was kinda like a party, one of the girls brought her 9 year old nephew for the spud to play with.  We got pizza and chicken wings, which were pretty good for concession/amusement park fare.  It was hard to get many photos, being as I don’t have a waterproof camera, but here’s one of the spud that turned out pretty good:

waterpark 001

Best of all, was we played so long and so hard the spud didn’t even complain when it was time to go.  And she eagerly showered and went to bed afterward.  Not often you can wear out a 10 year old.

June 6, 2015

Growing up

by Janie Jones

I picked up the spud last Saturday.  At 10 1/2 years old, she’s only about 3 or 4 inches shorter than me now.  But despite her size, she’s still 5 at heart, and wants to do all the little kid stuff like ride the horsey ride at the mall.  Unfortunately, she doesn’t fit.

Outlet Mall Rodeo

May 29, 2015

The Spud of my eye

by Janie Jones

The Spud heads north to visit for the summer tomorrow.

MJ Chick Pic

I haven’t seen my Spud since last August.  I hear she is now 4’10” tall and sports a blingy set of braces.  Apparently she’s picked up a nice downy layer of russet feathers too.  Glad they sent the pic, I might not have recognized her otherwise.