Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Next Project on the List

Hello!  I hope you all had a beautiful Christmas and are now enjoying a deep, refreshing breath of contentment as life returns to a more normal pace.  As much as I enjoy the holidays I’m always happy for a fresh start afterward.  I’m still in the winding down phase, but this little thing called vacation is helping with the decompressing process.

Today I thought I’d share a little peek at what’s been keeping my retired Rich busy since the house painting project.  This started back in September when he sanded off the deck paint to return it to a natural wood finish.  You can see my poor, tired flower pots and our ever-present companions in the background.


I remember what an unnaturally hot and humid spell we were having at that time.  Even with their heavy coats Wally and LuLu handled it better than I did.


After the sanding the deck got a coat of rain repellant. 


Next came the painting of the deck furniture.  This photo was taken yesterday on the back deck which will be refinished later.  The blue and white bench is pretty, but that’s just the first coat.


I wanted something colorful.  I can’t wait to fill the deck with flowers come springtime.


There’s nothing but sunshine and temps in the 50’s forecast for the weekend and I hope to get outside for a little garden clean up.  The worst of our winter weather is yet to come, but the next thing you know the crocus and daffodils will be popping up and I’d like them to have a tidy environment when the time comes.  Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Angelic LuLu

If I’ve got the camera nearby and I’m thinking about it, I’ll grab and snap, hoping to catch Wally and LuLu doing one of those cute things they do so well.  This wasn’t necessarily one of those cute things caught on camera, but it reveals what I’ve always thought to be true about LuLu – she’s a little angel.  See her halo?

I don’t know that the close up shows it any more clearly, but then, I’m probably not meant to know that LuLu is actually an angel sent from Heaven and, therefore, her halo is supposed to be invisible.  However, the camera picked it up and her true identity is confirmed.


It’s funny, but Rich and I always kid that a guardian angel accompanies us when we go out with Wally and LuLu.  We take them out rain or shine, but honest to goodness, it can be pouring when we leave the house, and when we get to where we’re going it miraculously stops and and stays stopped until we return to the car.  As we’re on the drive home, the rain starts up again.  I don’t know how many times we’ve made note of this.  I’ve spoken of it to friends.  It’s quite remarkable.

Of course, I realize it’s just a little lens flare and the misty ghost of a warm “woof” spoken into the cold air . . . or is it?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ice Breakers

It’s been pretty cold here by our standards.  No snow, but plenty of ice.  Wally and LuLu still need their fun and exercise, though, so on Sunday we took them to their familiar and favorite stompin’ grounds for a good run.  Imagine their surprise when they charged out into the water expecting a good dunk and instead. . .


No worries.  This is just rain water that fills depressions in the landscape.  It’s only about knee deep on a Golden Retriever.  In the photo below Wally is puzzling over why he can’t seem to pick up the stick.  It was frozen into the ice.  He did eventually get it out with a lot of determination.


The ice really took them by surprise, slip sliding and breaking through it in spots, and they didn’t quite know what to think of it.  Typical of their happy-go-lucky natures, they came to see it as a great new adventure.  LuLu made off with this big chunk and chewed it into bits.

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A little ice can’t get in the way of Wally and LuLu’s good time.




I hope you’re staying warm, wherever you are.  Enjoy your week!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Another Shutterfly Project

Hello!  You probably remember the Shutterfly projects I shared recently -- coffee mugs, a calendar, and a photo book.  Well . . . the media folks at Shutterfly saw it, too.  I don't know how, but they have ways, and I'm happy about it because they made me an offer I couldn't refuse.  The photo cube pictured below was a very nice gift from Shutterfly to me.

I selected these particular photos from one of my Shutterfly albums -- all that beautiful gold on a dark background -- for an elegant and dignified piece for my desk at work.  Of course, you and I know the real Wally and LuLu are like a couple of little kids, scruffy and wet from playing outside, dragging twigs and leaves around on their coats, and requiring a good brushing to end up looking like this.  But I can't take them to work all messy, can I?

It took about five minutes to make my photo cube online.  Fun and easy and supreme quality, like all Shutterfly products.  I should confess that I've also made a Wally mouse pad, and two of the photos I used in the cube will be turned into large canvas prints with narrow black frames and mounted over our fireplace.    I know. . . we're nuts!  But, really, it's just a couple of coffee mugs and a calendar and a photo book (or three) and a mouse pad and a photo cube and two large framed portraits. . . that's all.  Not a shrine or anything.

You can put your mouse over the photo cube and drag to see all sides of it. 


Thank you Shutterfly, and thank you, all my friends who share your time and your love with me and my furry family.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Wally McDreamy

He’s such a dreamboat, he could be on the cover of a romance novel for dogs.


My handsome boy.  Love.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Capturing the Moment

I knew this picture would turn out terrible, but I so loved the moment I had to capture it somehow.  The lighting, the color, the eye shine, the graininess, reflection, background, everything was awful.  Poor, sweet, adorable puppies in such a photo, tsk, tsk.  I did the best I could to take away the awful and leave the adorable in place.  I did some editing in Windows Live Photo Gallery and some in Adobe Photoshop Elements.  I wish I was better at the editing process, but I can only do the simpler retouching – applying a yellow filter, lightening shadows, smoothing out some of the graininess, correcting the eye shine by cloning a spot of the nose onto the eyes and leaving a glint.  I also added a diffuse glow to the highlighted areas and then softened the edges of the photo overall.  When you want to preserve a memory sometimes you just have to do the best you can.

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Wally and LuLu had been outside playing after dinner.  It was dark, the porch light was on, and they showed up at the patio door ready to come back in.  Wally was looking at Rich through the window, and LuLu was waiting to show off the nice little selection of sticks she’d carefully gathered up.  She’ll parade around with them all proud and happy, showing them to each of us in turn – me, Rich, Wally.  The parading will go on for quite a while as we exclaim over how pretty her sticks are, then she’ll hop up on the couch and sit demurely while I love on her little dome head and silky ears and tell her how much I appreciate her bringing in her pretty sticks to share.  She’ll gradually relinquish them one at a time, dropping first one and letting me take it, then the next, and so on, as though she’d meant for me to have them all along.  She has the most incredibly sweet way about her during this ritual.  The whole time Wally will be looking from one to the other of us with his “Is she s’posed to have those?” look.  It’s okay, Wally.  She can hold them, but she can’t chew on them.

And that’s the way it goes here at Wally and LuLu’s house.  I never smiled so much till they came to live with us.  They are some very special doggies.  Sending you lots of love and a wish for a beautiful day.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Mug Shots

Hello!  Long time no blog post, but thought I would share today a couple of Shutterfly projects I recently completed.  I made a Wally coffee mug for Rich a couple of years ago (pre-LuLu) and have always meant to make a LuLu mug, as well.    Each mug has two puppy photos and one adult photo.


I never seemed to have just the right adult photo of LuLu until last month.  I was looking for a fall photo which would coordinate nicely with the puppy photos.  I would have liked more autumn leaves in her photo, but this one works okay, I think.


Also, Wally and LuLu finally have their own calendar.  Here’s Mr. November:


The calendar turned out beautifully with its 12 x 12 photos and color coordinated pages.  Throughout 2013 we had a Golden Retriever calendar on our wall and I kept thinking that should be Wally and LuLu up there.  Well, next year it will be.

I also made a 48 page 12 x 12 photo book with the year’s favorite pictures, most of which you’ve seen here on the blog.  I’ll make this an annual project.



By now I’m sure I’ve removed all doubt as to how completely over-the-top nuts we are about Wally and LuLu.  Then again, I probably did that a long time ago.

I’ve started a file on my computer with possible candidates for next year’s book or calendar.  When the time comes I’ll sort through them and only take the best of the best.  The enlarged printed photos do look much better than I anticipated.

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Gosh, I’ll try to not let a whole month go by before my next post.  Our kids grow up so fast, don’t they?  Have a beautiful day!

Monday, October 7, 2013

After the Rain

Fall got off to a thundering start with record rainfall and ferocious wind, but over the weekend we had blue skies, warm temps, and photo ops.  Here’s LuLu looking all pretty in the sun’s warm glow.


She sure would like that big stick up there, but she can’t quite reach it.


Big Wally gives it a try.


And brings it down to a manageable level.

Where he can share it with LuLu.

And everybody went home happy.  I hope you’re enjoying a beautiful fall.  I love how we can expect a little bit of everything in regard to the weather this time of year, and I appreciate each new day for whatever it brings.  I’ll see you again soon!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Warm and Cozy

We’ve had our first fire of the season.  The pellet stove has been serviced and we’re ready for come what may as the cooler weather approaches.  I anticipate this change with the same enthusiasm as I feel for spring when its time comes.  There will be beautiful days and dreary days, but any day is good when I’m home with my family.


I’ve spent this past week on a staycation.  I honestly have no desire to venture far from home.  After 30 years on the job, very stressful at times, it means more to me than anything to simply enjoy the quiet.  Monday morning I’ll be back in the middle of a pile of work I can’t finish before the end of the day, and all the while I’ll be surrounded by a cacophony of ringing phones, multiple simultaneous conversations, babies crying, questions coming at me from all directions. . . I’m so ready to retire, but that’s not in the picture for a few years yet.  Today I’ll enjoy the peace of home and hearth and stock up on enough Wally and LuLu love to see me through that first day back at work.  I hope you have a good day, as well.  Love to you!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

What Goes Under Must Come Out

Oh, my goodness, the ball rolled under the deck and not another single thing can be done until it comes out.






And this is how important the ball becomes when someone’s making a sandwich in the kitchen.


What we don’t do for our furry families!  Have a good day!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Beating the Heat

Are you ready for some cooler weather?  I am.  Living here on the Oregon coast I don’t say that often, but I’m a lightweight when it comes to heat and it’s been unusually warm and humid for the past month.  LuLu’s paw is all healed up now and we’ve been giving the dogs a chance to beat the heat whenever possible.  They’re in the shallows here, but there’s also a nice deep swimming hole at this spot.  You can bet we were right in there cooling off with the dogs.



Of course, there’s always the baby pool for a quick backyard cool down.  Not quite the journey of discovery as a trip to the swimming hole, but they still enjoy it.


Wally loves the toweling off almost as much as the getting wet.


All fluffed up and it looks like LuLu’s ready for a nap.  See those sleepy eyes.  She doesn’t have Wally’s stamina by a long shot. 


I hope you’re enjoying these last days of summer.  They’ll be gone soon enough and we’ll be hunkering down for winter.  Take good care, and I’ll see you again soon.