Thursday, December 31, 2009

I've got New Year's Pressies for you!

Head over to Kristin Anderson Photography Blog for your chance to win a cool book!

But you've only got 12 hours to be in with a chance! I've got a couple of copies of Dane Sanders Fast Track Photographer to give away FREE and I'm doing it before midnight tonight so hurry and enter -> Yes! I want to win :)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Day on the ocean

We didn't really have a big Chrissie planned since none of our family was with us - Dave opened some presents early, the Girls & I went to the beach for a big play and then we headed out to a couple of our secret spots in Exmouth Gulf for some diving, fishing & hard relaxing!

It's a hard way to spend the day - gorgeous blue skies & ocean, a deserted island, perfect temperatures, a bbq lunch on the heck out of what the Midwest had!

I did my first dive since way way back in August. It was a pretty short one since the secret site we were on was very tiny and the day was more about spending time together than spending time underwater. I only shot about 15 frames and most of those were just potshots for giggles so no fabulous stuff, just a few happy snappies to share - of course it wouldn't be a Christmas post without Christmas trees (worms)

Happy Holidays!!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Ho Ho Ho - Merry Christmas to Everyone

A quick kitty & puppy holiday greeting to celebrate Christmas & the holidays. We hope that you all are having a most joyous festive season.

We tried to do a group shot but in the end decided that everyone looked happier with individual portraits! (Honestly, I think the kitties can't wait for next Halloween - mom and I have decided that Drag Kitteh costumes are high on the list of possiblities!)

The Merriest of Christmases to you all!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

A little birdie told me

"Nice car you got here, Lady"

This is what was waiting for me as I tried to go to work this morning

And he would not get out of the car, moving from the door to the front window - evidently waiting for me to get in and drive him somewhere!

And now for a bit of random: have some fun playing in the snow by clicking here! Thanks to my friend Amber for sending me the game!

Monday, December 21, 2009

R.I.P. Patches aka Kitteh

I got some sad news yesterday.  The beautiful black & white kitten that popped into the dive shop in September had to be euthanized a couple of weeks ago.  He had four fused vertebrae that were causing him daily pain (and a heart murmur, and blind in one eye...poor little tuckka had multiple problems) and there was nothing that could be done to improve his quality of life. It was a heart-wrenching decision for his family.

Goodbye, Little One. No kitten was ever given as much love and cuddles from two families. You brought pure joy to all of our lives and it was a blessing to have you.

If you missed the story or just want a walk down memory lane
Agonizing over our choices
Decision Kitteh 2009
So much happiness!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Boof gets some Holiday Happy

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I'm guessing Boof is only using a choice few to comment on his new reindeer hat...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Back in Exmouth

I'm back in Exmouth after a wonderful trip back to the US to spend time with family.  I've been a bad blogger while away and will be catching up over the next week or so, I hope!

This morning I woke up at 2am and couldn't get back to sleep so I hit my office and cleared off a ton of dive shop emails & paperwork before 5. Then I took the Girls out for a nice romp on the beach. I was actually a bit cold for the first half of our walk, but I tried to keep in mind a) the sub-zero temperatures I just left and b) the stinkin' hot temperature that it will be in a few hours!

We found lots of cool stuff in the tide pools today. These green worms were everywhere - there must have been hundreds of them. Lots of teensy crabs out and about and stuck to anemones poking out of the sand. The sunrise was kinda blah today, but it's still a pretty nice way to start the day.

Dora found some sort of bone and happily munched away. She wouldn't let me get a proper photo of her with it and kept turning her head away from me - I think she figured I'd take it away if I actually saw it!

Christmas is almost here and I'm pimpin' here for a minute. Please head over to my Exmouth Photography blog and leave some comments. You'll help make the season a little brighter for someone else - it's super easy and it feels so good!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

OK, maybe not a perfect plan

I admit it, I am a procrastinator. It works for me. However, if I ever move to Alaska or Canada or somewhere like that, I may reconsider.
funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

More winter wonder

Like, "I wonder why I prefer the beach"

We've been in a blizzard warning since yesterday and as you would expect the weather is super sucky. Things started off pretty nicely - beautiful, big, fluffy flakes of snow decorating everything and creating those vistas that people who don't live in this weather for four months a year believe is what "winter" is.

Then reality hit. High winds gusting up to 50+mph, snow falling, snow blowing, "high" temperatures of -5 and wind chills down to -39 (F or C, take your pick it's the same). Super big fun.
Coming out of the driveway this morning

Snow drifts everywhere - they might look pretty but they're cold to walk through and then you're damp and icky for the rest of the day. And it all has to be shoveled out - even when it's still -20 & windy outside.

Two words: Connected garage.

And then there's the fun of driving near the lake where sudden areas of no visibility can pop up. This silly soul ended up buried in a snow drift that was about six feet tall and covering one whole lane on our road; you can see in the upper left & lower right images that the other lane is perfectly clear. Bummer, Dude.

Some things can not be deterred by a mere blizzard...getting a morning pop & hitting Walmart for a few more Xmas decorations are on that list

Plows, snow blowers, ATVs & pickups with snow blades have all been busy. At our house Dad brings out the Bobcat to cope with the white stuff - unfortunately we have the bigger machine home and there proved to be just a smidge too much snow under the wheels, raising the cab height just enough to take out the top of the garage door. And then there was the big rock hidden under a drift that took out the right rear tire...

Winter in Iowa = SUPER BIG FUN!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

It's Iowa

Those who have lived here know; those who haven't, have heard the stories.  It's all true.  Four seasons in a day is normal.  So far this trip we've had sunshine, rain, sleet, ice, snow, warm weather, sub-freezing weather, wind, no wind, crystal clear and fog so dense you couldn't see the end of the hood of your car- sometimes all in 24 hours!

Thanksgiving was clear, but cold & kinda windy. The wind kicked the lake up over the seawall, leaving icicles dangling from the trees & everything else lining the shore. Dave braved the cold during a lull in the breeze and took the baby Canon down to capture some of the neatest sculptures - I stayed in the warm, dry house & snapped a few of him from the windows.

Later I couldn't resist taking a new lens down and having a little photography play myself - this time Dave stayed in the house & snapped me in my super cuddly pink fleecy boots. I love the sun chair covered in ice - just thinking about laying out next to the lake sends shivers down my spine!

The ice had cocooned leaves, twigs & blades of grass. I am easily amused, I know, but I thought it was very cool looking (no pun intended!)

The next evening nature put on a show as only Big Spirit Lake can. I still believe the sunsets here are the most amazing anywhere.
Looking south


Into the basement windows

For those who are interested in such things, I shot these in RAW then bumped the black to +4 in Lightroom (except the basement window where I added +3 fill light, too). I didn't mess with the colours. Isn't the purple house just too funky?!

Then, of course, we had yesterday's lovely covering of snow. And it's still falling, though very gently. Roads are icy and polished to a slick black glass in places but the sun is shining. Zip-pe-di-do-dah around corners, on the lee side of groves and other funhouse road areas. It's a whole 20F (-7C) and that will be our high today - yippeee! I see it's about 37C in Exmouth again today, but I wouldn't trade places (since I'll only be here in the tundra for a short time!)

Heck, I'm so tough I stood outside in the swirling snow for, oh, I don't know, 90 seconds while posing for this shot!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Winter Wonderland

My car sitting outside my dad's office this morning while I am warm & toasty next to the heater.

My Exmouth friends tell me it's 44C there today.