Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blue Moon


I've had a run of day shifts back to back with night shifts.

I promise to return to something more exciting tomorrow or the next day.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Just a day chillin'






All in a day's hike...

Yes...it was very cold.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Like Mother, Like Daughter

I was convinced that my mother had special abilities. Not your ordinary run of the mill abilities that most moms have, but special 'bewitching' abilities.

I recall one especially cold winter morning when the family car wouldn't start. Dad had tried to no avail and had pronounced the 1965 Dodge Station Wagon [with wood on the sides!] D.O.A.

Mom had a grim look on her face when she grabbed the keys from Dad. She threw on a coat and literally stalked out to the Wagon. We followed mom out, curious as to what she would do to the 'dead' car.

Mom approaced the car jingling the keys in one hand and eyeing the Wagon. She gave it the 'mean' look and then proceeded to kick a rear tire and let out a tirade of cuss words and threats.

*You no good old car, how could you even think of not starting!* She slammed her hand on the hood, her breath rising in a cloud around her.
*Do you have any idea what it is like to live in a junk yard where they take you apart piece by piece?*
She paused and took a foot to a front tire.
*Then they crush you into a tiny block of metal,* she sneered as she yanked open the driver's door.

Mom slid in and pulled the door shut. she said something we couldn't hear and then hit the steering wheel with a fist.
The engine caught and turned over with a roar that smoothed out.
We jumped into the Wagon.
Mom was grinning ear to ear. Dad slid into the front passenger seat as Mom patted the dashboard gently.

She looked at Dad and said, *Tom, sometimes you just have to know how to talk to these things.*

I used this method on my older truck the other day.
For some reason it had refused to start for me or my husband. The GMC wouldn't crank, nada, nothing.

A day passed and Mom's 'method' popped into my head. I thought~ no way this would work. Then~ why not?

I launched into a tirade against the GMC, kicking tires and hitting the steering wheel.
With a quick twist of the key, the GMC fired up like a rocket.

Imagine the look on my face.

In retrospect, I believe my Dad had flooded the old wagon and perhaps Mom's verbal tirade had allowed enough time to pass so the Wagon would start.

Perhaps my tirade and subsequent banging on the steering wheel had jarred something loose, allowing me to start the GMC.

Then again.

Perhaps not???

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Winter blues or Cabin Fever?


I think it is beginning to feel as though Winter is dragging its feet. Days upon days of fog [pretty], then days of rain and sleet...and ice...
Our gravel road has turned into a nightmare of ice with a sprinkle of light gravel on the top from the town truck.

The recent rains and subsequent ice has made for treacherous walking even in the woods. I think part of the 'Cabin Fever' is because of the days of rain and sleet, which keeps even the hardiest of souls inside.

Morris really didn't even spend much time out in it!

I'll probably bundle up and take a walk in it today anyway. I need to get out and get some fresh air [that is not work related!].

The woods always seem to revive my sense of humor.

To keep myself busy these past few days of ugly weather, I've decided to view some of my archives from my visit in September-October with my brother and his family in Virginia.
Hump Back Rock...the walk and the view from the top.

Enjoy the views:


Sunday, January 24, 2010

Writing Influence?

I've just met author Leigh Russell and have started following her blog CRIME FICTION.

Some of her musings regarding writing, inspiration, the excitement of having a book in print, ... and the experience of writing in general started turning some little cogs in my head.

Who was your writing influence?
Did you have one?

Me?

Mine was my dad. He was a *Word Artist*.


He could tell a story with a dialogue~~and that story had a beginning, middle, ending, and moral within 3o or 60 seconds.
He used to explain to me that when he wrote, he had to make every word count.
Dad's influence on me was this.
Make it funny.
Make it short.
Make it to the point.

I love to write. I love to write short funny pieces.
The ideas hit me broadside sometimes...
at the worst of times.

While driving down the road, going to sleep, or walking in the forest.
Bam...
A great idea, the words pop into my head and sometimes are gone by the time I get home.

I need a *mind* recorder.

I'll probably never publish a novel. I'll more than likely stick with short pieces and odd ball funnies.

... and of course story books for my Grand children.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Should We?

Most of you have met my Jack Russell, Morris.

Yesterday we got an interesting phone call from a lady who owns a JRT mix female.

This woman works at the Tomah VA and her dog is a Certified Therapy Dog.

She has been searching to find an appropriate JRT to breed to so that she can train more Therapy Dogs.

Her main concern is temperament, attitude, and of course a *people friendly* dog.

She called around to the local veterinarians and asked their opinions. Two vets recommended Morris.

Yes Morris is not neutered [my veterinarian had said at one time to leave him intact as he was such a well bred and well mannered dog, that he should be allowed at some point to pass on those exemplary traits].





I've not considered 'breeding' at all until now.
I know the argument against breeding any dog.

But if one were to breed for a specific purpose such as Therapy Dogs or even a dog trained as a a Service Dog would you consider that responsible breeding?

Morris has proven to have all of these capabilities. He spent the first 3 years of his life at a Doctor's office greeting patients and sitting with them while they waited to be seen.

Morris used to get Christmas Cards from patients. Some patients would only come in if Morris was *scheduled* to be there also.

I think I will have to visit with this lady and her dog.

This is a huge decision, not to be made lightly.
I'm mulling things over of course and expect to have plenty of opinions on this matter.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Doggy Dreams




He runs with me in the mornings and protects me from 'unseen' dangers.
[okay...I'm not running...I'm usually just hiking!]

He stops and looks around, alert with his ears perked up. I look around and see nothing.

We walk on and I turn around to see him with his face buried in the snow...hunting up 'smart pills' or more commonly known as...

deer droppings...

He gets sidetracked by a big downed tree and ignores my calls to him.

When he does come, he has to 'swim' through the snow as he is not on a trail.

Sometimes I think our walks are as much about me having fun watching him, than anything else.
My camera lens always seems to be attracted to him in some way.

I wish I could have his energy. He must travel many more miles than I do on our hikes.

I also wish I had his talent for instant napping and happy doggy dreams.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

ijxdsysguard.exe (Trojan.FakeAlert)

A nasty thing happened to my husband last night. He opened up the laptop he uses [my old one] and a Windows Alert came up telling him that the computer was infected with a virus and to 'click here'....

in the Windows Security Center.


Annoying little 'bubbles' came up each time he tried to close it.
Then the IE would open and try and connect him to a porn site.


He called me and said that he shut down the computer and left it alone. This was a good thing he did.


When I got home I disconnected our wireless connection and opened up his computer.
I found this annoying program popping up and trying to connect to IE.
Hah.

I don't have IE as my default internet browser.


When I clicked on properties, well...properties were 'unknown type of file'.
If I ignored the 'bubbles' ~~~ scary messages ~~ YOU are infected! ~~ type of stuff, they would fade away and come back.

Hmmm.
Check my task manager!
I did.
Alt + Ctrl + Del.
A message came up saying the file was corrupted.

Pissed I held the buttons...
and my task manager opened up.

I found one item that didn't look right and it was the file name I included as the topic of this blog.
If you have an issue with this, open your task manager and look.
You will find it.
I was surprised that there is no info on this .exe on the internet that I could find.

I try to become familiar with the processes that run on my computer. I know, boring but...it sure helped in this case.

I reconnected to the internet and...

I found the following link that discusses the Fake Windows Security Center.

Malware.Org

I went into my Firefox browser and ignored the pop ups.

I downloaded from CNET a program called
Malwarebytes Anti Malware and followed the instructions from Malware.Org.
I cannot tell you how happy I was today to see this 'nasty' vanish!
Deleted...gone! How did it get on our laptop?
My guess was hubby opened a video that was on a message board [of hound dogs baying on a tree].
This is the only unusual thing he has done in the past 24 hours.

The video was on a respected site... but I think perhaps the malware was connected to the video.



This is a bad piece of news. So watch for it and read up on your Malware. I've been on line for many years and this is the first issue I've had to deal with like this.


Avast is what runs quietly all the time ... it has protected my computers from going on to sites that had Trojans and Malware in the past.
But it missed this puppy!

Have a good day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Fog and Hoar Frost





Fog and Hoar Frost make for a great photographic opportunity. Most winters we don't see this phenomenon or if we do it is very rare.

Read about how Hoar Frost develops...Here

This is a few of my wanderings from the past couple of days.

Now you know why I haven't posted on the blog, I've been sorting through about 100 or so photos that I took...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vacuums by Morris




A house dog has a wonderful duty that many people do not understand.
Our duty is to deposit and carefully spread dog hair.
It is an art form.

Deposit hair on the couch. If it blends in with the couch, so much better. That way when your human sits there the hairs will cling to their rear ends.

I have a problem....
she
has been relentless with the vacuum lately.

I mean I work so hard to just get the hair in the proper places on rugs and then end of the couch where she puts a towel for me to lay on.
Then
she
comes along and removes all those lovely Jack Russell hairs with that little vacuum and the big one.

Come on, I know she is not preparing the house for a 'shoot' for Better Homes & Gardens.

I thought
she
was going to vacuum me the other day.
How daring!

I'm sincerely hoping that this is just a phase that she is passing through.
In fact I'm pretty sure it is.

As soon as the weather gets really nice outside, she'll forget about dog hair and the vacuum cleaner.

I mean, I really hope so.
I dreamt the other night that
she
came and vacuumed all the hair off of me ... and I was left hairless.

It was a horrible nightmare.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Hoar Frost & Montages



This morning offered us one of those rare and beautiful 'hoar' frosts that are thick. It seems as if this morning was the ONE morning that I forgot to carry a camera with me for the morning ride home.

The fog was intensly thick and dangerous, but it was offset by the thick and stunning winter landscape of Hoar Frost.

When I did get home I immediately grabbed a hot cup of coffee and threw on my coveralls and barely landed on my feet while running out of the door. Oh yes I was exhausted from working all night, but I decided to 'shoot' a bit before my hands froze off. These frosts did not come along very often.

I wondered what it would look like combining two photos together as I did with Cheyenne while she waited for her breakfast.
I know it isn't for everyone's tastes, but it sure was a challenge to work with in my older Elements program.

Then I decided if I could find a work around to create a 'montage' or 'collage' with some photos of Peaches and Emma.
If one has their mind set, you can just about do anything I think.

Sometimes I feel a bit 'creative' and don't just want a photo. I like to experiment and see what I can come up with.
I made many mistakes before I came up with something I felt would work for me.

If I didn't need sleep, I'd probably see what else I could come up with...after all my computer gives me endless possibilities in creativity.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Ride into the sunset and klutz




With about a half an hour to spare of sunlight, I decided to grab Badger and go for a jaunt.

The air was warm and the snow was melting. A bareback ride seemed in order after all I wasn't really going to go too very far. Just a bit of 'trekking' in the woods on the deer trails and perhaps the long way around to get the mail.

He was willing and I was able.
So off we went.

We eventually ended up on our gravel road and headed out to watch the sun set.
Of course the photos aren't very great...but the fun we had was.


And after all, what kind of sunset would it be if it didn't have mule ears in it???

Oh the fun and embarrassing part happened after this wonderful exhilarating ride. [yeah we loped!]

I put Badger away as the dusk started to close in on us. The skies were turning purple and the temps were dropping rapidly.

The driveway in front of our house had melted considerably during the day. What I didn't realize when I walked between the vehicles...is that that MELT had turned to glare ice.

It is embarrassing to say the least.
I don't bounce like I used to.
In fact I did a dive.
Bent my glasses, chipped a tooth, whacked my head,
bruised up a lot of pieces and parts...
But did not break anything.

What a glorious way to end a near perfect day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Living Life on the Edge

How annoying to wake up in the morning and suddenly get 'sucked' into cleaning the house. I'm not talking about your ordinary vacuum, and quick mop up stuff.
But gettin' down and dirty cleaning.

This from the lady who thinks that a Spring Cleaning is when you wait for a blustery day and throw open the windows and let the wind take the dirt from the west side of the house out the east windows.

If you've ever seen my house [which most of you have not!] I have two little bedrooms which were my goals after the living room.
The beds are heavy. They are made out of metal. The one room is a mere closet. I pulled all sorts of things out from under the beds, sorted, tossed, and re-organized.

I fought Dust Bison under there [no such thing as a dust bunny here]
...it was touch and go for a bit.

But looks like I came out the victor in this battle of yuck.
I moved the bed
yank
yank
yank.
You can only move the one bed a foot or so in each direction. Laying down with a small hand held vacuum is the only way to get all the way under the bed.

Armed with a bucket and a rag I attacked the walls.
Who put cobwebs up there?
And where do those things really come from?

I knew I could no longer use the excuse that Halloween was nearby so I could leave them up...

Next?

Probably some remodeling.
This consists of changing the shower curtains and changing the photos on the walls.
Do I live on the edge or what?

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Of snow angels, clouds, hikes, and puppies


Dot is growing like a weed.
This morning I took her for a little walk. She had to get up and of course smell the camera. Everything was so exciting for her.

I took out an old basketball and rolled it down the driveway.
She was in utter puppy delight.
Then I had a dog swap ... and put on my backpack.
Morris and I headed down towards our section of the creek to see what we could find. Morris did some 'snow swimming' in the open fields.

We found some gnarly roots in the side of a snow covered and rocky bank of the creek. It was an alien looking landscape ... the water was frozen and hidden under a layer of snow.
I took a photo of the snow and trees then ducked under it. I reached up with my hand to balance myself and ...
dumped snow down the back
of my neck.

I had to laugh. I really knew better to do that. But the effect was a bit 'awakening' if nothing else!

When I got home I had to assist my husband by opening some electric gates so that he could put hay in for some of the young mules.

As I waited, I decided to be absolutely silly...
and make a snow angel.



As I lay on my back in the snow, the clouds caught my eye. Something was interesting about them. I pulled my pocket camera out of my coveralls and snapped a shot.
When I downloaded them and then edited it to black and white something caught my eye...

What do you see in the clouds? I see images of women? Of Cloud Angels?

Sort of eerie isn't it?

Fun filled day...I'm ready for bed now!

Morris was correct, we had a day of adventures.

Can I go Play?



After a few days of being on duty I hear this little voice in my head saying...

let's go play,
let's go to the creek,

... and then there is this dog face that looks at me...
and says...

*Come on ... let's go! Adventures await. Winter is fun. Let's go play! I'd like to find something yucky to roll in or chew on...*

Will I give in?
Oh yeah, more than likely.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Storms and snow and bitter cold




I usually don't mind winter. It can be beautiful. And sometimes it can be just plain awful.

I worked 2 midnight shifts this past couple of days. Of course the first day we had a huge snow fall and then some pretty hard winds. I drove around snow drifts on the highway.

It wasn't really that bad, but tense enough when you didn't know what the next curve held in store for you...

This was the next morning, after the roads had been cleared.

Because of the weather, I left early in case the travel would be very difficult. As it was, I pulled over at the wayside. I thought it would be fun to take a 'timed' photo. It was fun to see the effects of the lights of vehicles going by.



I am easily entertained aren't I?

The roads were pretty good for my drive home, but the temps were -15 at the river. If I hadn't been so darned cold, I would have driven over to the boat landing and taken a photo of the 'steam' coming off the river.

As it was...I just drove home to crash and sleep the whole day away.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Sunshine video

Meet Sunshine and her half sister Sundance [laying down].

Sunshine had a terrible injury which left her with a torn collateral knee ligament and Sweeny Shoulder.
After 5 months of stall rest and one month in a small paddock with her half sister, yesterday during the snow storm she decided to show off exactly
HOW much
she has recovered!

Check it out!
Yippee Sunshine!
Way to go girl!
Awesome!


video

Long ear faces~





This is 'it' for this morning. Faces of my friends.
Enjoy.