Life, art, and nature on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SHERLOCK HOLMES AND A FAVOR

This weekend was Talbot Humane's annual Bark in the Park fundraiser. Normally, I have tons of pics to show you, but this year we had Scout, Nigel, and Kelly's Gus all dressed up for the costume parade and as we were being herded and counted and marched along single file in an attempt to break the Guinness record for costumed dogs in a parade...I was distracted, and Nigel was too fidgety for me to bother with my camera.
Not sure yet how many dogs were in the parade, but I have to say we were so impressed by how organized the event was.

Speaking of Nigel, here's the favor...Hair O' The Dog Wine and Spirits in Easton, a sponsor of the Bark In The Park Parade is holding a little contest of its own to promote the event. Costumed dogs were invited to the store to have their pictures taken and the owners of the three dogs with the most "likes" win gift cards. Nigel and I would love it if you'd take a minute to like his pic on their Facebook page. Just click here...Hair OTheDog. Thank you, kindly. Frankly, I think I earned free booze making that hat. So many tiny little pieces, lined and interfaced. It was a labor of love. He had his heart set on being Sherlock, so what could I do?
I did take a handful of photos. My fave people costumes...this pair of mail carriers.
One of the best dog costumes...this Melon Collie.
This is always such a fun event, and it was made even better by the fact that this year, our children and niece were visiting.
Monday morning I was up early to feed Abby and drive down to Blackwater. Bad weather is moving this way and I wanted to take advantage of the abundant sunshine and the first deliciously chilly day.
"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumnal sunshine by staying in the house." ~ Nathaniel Hawthorne
Hope you find the time to enjoy the fall sunshine this week. XO.
Vote for Nigel!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

RAINY MONDAY SEWING PROJECT

Yesterday was so dark and drizzly...perfect for napping (the dogs) and sewing (me). I like these one-piece button pillow covers because they're quick to make and easy to pop off and launder. Important in a "dogs on the sofa" sort of house.
Sometimes I go crazy with buttonholes, but I decided less is more with this lovely toile, and rummaged through my vintage buttons for these big beauties.
Sifting through the buttons in Mike's grandma's old button tin, I came across a bullet. Hmmm...what's up with that, Della Rose?
I stitched French seams to make them more durable, as this Waverly fabric is not technically machine washable. I do it anyway and find it just gives them a soft, vintage feel.
Of course, all pillows must be tested by my quality control team...
Works for Nigel.
Works for Scout.
Scoutie's really thorough and even checks the inside.
Also finished Nigel's Halloween costume for Talbot Humane's Bark in the Park. Keeping it a secret until the parade on Saturday...
Now I'm off to shovel manure and mow while the sun is shining. I hear the rain is coming back. Later gators! XO

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

AUTUMN AND ANIMALS

Made an early start on Monday. I was going to sit with my MIL who is recuperating from surgery, but I only got to the end of the driveway before I was stopped by loud meowing. I was thinking I had shut Fitz in the truck while loading up, he's always getting into vehicles, but there was no cat in the back seat and I realized that the sound was coming from somewhere underneath the hood. Terrified of what I might find when I opened the hood, I was relieved to see an unharmed calico kitten tucked in beneath my engine. I had no idea how to get it out.
I ran back up to the house to grab a cat carrier, cat food, gloves, a towel, and in the meantime a neighbor stopped. We tried unsuccessfully to reach little kitty, so she went home to fetch her husband, hoping longer arms might do the trick. He succeeded in shooing it to the back of the truck where it perched over my spare tire, so of course, we had to take the spare tire down. We almost caught her then, but she leaped over to the gas tank where she was once again, just out of reach. Meanwhile, more neighbors stop, time is ticking, I have a casserole in the car, and I'm an hour late.
Finally, with three of us belly-up beneath my truck, we grabbed the kitten but couldn't hold her, so she bolted and unbelievably, sought shelter up under the engine of the neighbor's car. Same problem, different vehicle. I hated to leave, but couldn't run the risk that she would run back to my truck, so I left my neighbors to deal. Who knew that a little scrap of cat could cause so much trouble? The kitten eventually climbed down from the car, but now we can't find her. I am leaving food out and hoping I'll spot her again. Poor thing. I know we frightened her. 
I can't believe a week of October has flown by already. I am getting the dogs ready for Bark In The Park. This year, Talbot Humane is trying to set a record for the most dogs in a costume parade. Scout is all set.
I bought the fabric for Nigel's costume yesterday.
I can't tell you what he's going to be. He wants to keep it a secret.
Abby isn't going to the parade. So far, no one is sponsoring a "Neigh In The Park," but you know I had to decorate her anyway.
She was surprisingly cooperative, considering she's in season and it was a very blustery day. The first crisp fall days, with wind, are generally an invitation for shenanigans. 
Took a few shots of the full moon last night, but it was very cloudy.
The sky was clearing by morning, so I got up early to watch the eclipse. Not really happy with the pics, it was extremely windy, so even with my tripod they're a little shaky, but it was a beautiful thing to see.
Going to try again tonight to get some shots over the barn.
Check your vehicles for stowaway kitties, blog friends. XO.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

EAGLES AND OTHERS

Monday morning's long to-do list was put on hold while I made a quick trip down to Blackwater. I spotted eagles right away, but they were too far for my modest lens to capture. There were two other photographers there already, with lenses like great cannons protruding from their car windows. Slightly envious, I drove around them and headed toward my eagle tree, hoping to get lucky...and bingo! This beauty obligingly landed in the one spot of fall color. I don't have a monstrous lens that needs to be supported by a tripod attached to my vehicle (though I would like to), but I have patience and persistence and sometimes that pays off. Beautifully.
Great Blue Heron
"Nature gives to every time and season some beauties of its own." ~ Charles Dickens

On Friday, I visited Outstanding Dreams Alpaca Farm again for a few more shots of the crias. One week later, they are thriving and vigorous, with much better command of their spindly legs. Two more were born this week so I will have to visit again soon.
Friday ended with this gift of a sunset...
Trappe Landing
Saturday was for watching skipjack races.
So much outdoor fun to pack into these fall weekends. Trying to spend as much time as we can outdoors, storing up memories to see us through the winter months.
Gotta run. Still working on that to-do list from Monday, cause when Nature whispers and my camera finger gets twitchy, I'm out the door. XO.
"Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." ~Albert Camus

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ALPACAS AND ATHLETES

Over the weekend we had the privilege of attending two fun fall festivals. The Alpaca Festival at Outstanding Dreams Alpaca Farm in Preston and Summer Send Off in Cambridge. This year, the Summer Send Off street party coincided with the Ironman Maryland competition. By 7pm on Saturday the athletes were on the last leg of the competition and spectators could cheer them on while enjoying live music, adult beverages, and great street food. 
Let's look at some pics...
Two crias were born in the two days prior to the festival. They are impossibly cute.
My next truck.
Want so many things in the Farm Shop...
Bought this spinner from art welder, Paul Hays.
We felt like such slackers when we realized some of the athletes in Ironman had about twenty years on us. Seriously, this was taken around 7pm, these people had been biking, swimming, and running since 6am. Wow.
I'm also still playing around with spooky Halloween photos. Do you love old dolls, or find them creepy? I find them a little creepy, so....BOO!
Also taking on the Herculean task of cleaning up my workroom, but keep getting distracted by projects...cut my favorite old tattered quilt into manageable sized pieces to reduce the bulk and started this...don't know where it's going but I had to start something because I am so in love with these fabrics.
Even, or maybe especially, the falling apart bits make my heart sing.
Hope you're working on something that makes your heart sing or you're having good fall fun of one sort or another. Lest you think it's all fun and games, I took a cat to the vet yesterday. Good times. XO.

Friday, September 19, 2014

PIRATE TALK AND PUMPKINS

It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day me hearties, so of course Nigel had to mark the occasion with a little dress-up. You know how he is.
I really like his expression in this next pick, but it was a total fail on the part of me, his dresser. Note the errant earring and the strap of the eye patch going the wrong way. I plead sleep deprivation, my DH was away this week and I never sleep well when he's not here. Not that I didn't have hairy legs in my bed, but they were the four-legged kind. Nice, but not quite the same.
I like a holiday that requires no special food or gift-giving, just a few words of prate-speak and you're good to go. Silly, simple fun.
He's a good and patient boy, my Nigel.
As the Autumn Equinox approaches, I am making ready for winter. Picked up a load of hay for Abby, which was a bit of poor planning on my part. With Mike away, there was only Fitz to help me unload, and his skills are more supervisory in nature than paws on, except in the area of rodent control. The Catman excels in that area.
Treated myself to a stop at TJ Farms for pumpkins and tomatoes. It's on the way and the time for tasty tomatoes is fast drawing to a close. I may have over pumpkin-ed. The farmer was just bringing in a load of gourds and we had a good laugh about the white one. He had no idea what it was called and had never seen one like it. Anyone?

I played around with them, creating some spooky Halloween vignettes, with mixed results. I have a special fondness for the tiny white ones.
Hope you have some autumnal fun planned for the weekend. I'm going to the Alpaca Festival at Outstanding Dreams Farm. There's a brand new cria, born this week, and lots of new alpaca wool items in the shop. Expect to take plenty of pics.
So that's it, except to say, "Ahhrr...ye scurvy land lubbing bilge rats," and now you've heard the whole of my pirate vocabulary. XO.