Monday, January 31, 2011

Travel advice for Judy Garland, a Magpie tale

"No, Dorothy, this isn't the yellow-brick road."

"Here, this is the start of it. Follow the yellow part, not the red."
Posted for Magpie Tales #51.
The first photo was supplied, as a prompt to our imaginations, by Tess of Willow Manor.
Writers are given the opportunity to write a little or a lot, according to the inspiration provided.
I found the second photo in Wikipedia.

To see how inspiration struck others from around the world, please click

Other, sunnier, times in my world

I'm going to see my youngest niece and nephew very soon. I was in the habit of going 'home' to the west coast of British Columbia every six or eight weeks when my parents were in care. I did that for three years, so the youngsters got used to seeing me a lot. Now I haven't been there for six months!
These pictures are from visits my brother and his family made to us when the children were little, and when they were a little older.
Oh, the energetic things they did when they were little; the exciting things they saw when they were small; the creative things they built when they were bigger; then we had to say goodbye to them all.

Auntie Kay misses you, J and J, but I'll see you on Saturday!

Posted for My World Tuesday,
hosted every week by Sylvia, Fishing Guy, Wren and Klaus. Thanks to all of you!
To see other worlds as they appear to other cameras, please click

Microfiction Monday is slightly soapy today

"Look at this! Soap to keep us afloat when we take our baths in the ocean."
"Yeah, and we won't have to scrub ourselves with sand any more."
140 characters pre-cisely, if I do say so myself.

Posted for Microfiction Monday, the writers' meme presented every week by Susan at Stony River. Here's how it works. On Sunday evening, or thereabouts, Susan posts a prompt in the form of a photo or a drawing, whereupon we, the intrepid writers, compose a story or poem inspired by the prompt, using only 140 characters including spaces and punctuation, 140 characters being the maximum length of a "tweet"! This is particularly helpful to people who have a terrible habit of overwriting, definitely one of my shortcomings, I must admit.

To see what other writers made of the above picture, or if it prompted them to post another picture in return (which sometime does happen) please click

Sunday, January 30, 2011

For Mellow Yellow Monday, I want to introduce my friend

                                                                                                                                              Photos of her garden by Carola Krebs
Old friends are often the best friends, and Carola is one of my oldest friends. You know what I mean, I've known her almost all my life. We have laughed and cried together, celebrated together and despaired together. We were in school together, and even though we haven't seen one another every year since then, we have never lost touch, thanks to her letter-writing abilities (before either of us had home computers or even dreamed of home computers). I remember when her sons were born, and when her grandsons were born. She and her husband Ken (whom she met when we were in grade 11 and he was an 'older' man by about 3 years) have a lovely 5-acre property on the hill above the town of Winfield in British Columbia's beautiful Okanagan Valley. Their house is more than 100 years old and they've lived there almost that long, it seems to me. Carola is a great gardener, a fabulous photographer, a creative cook, and a renowned talker. Did I say she's been bossing me around since high school? Well, I've tried to return the favor by suggesting she should look into blogging, but she is too busy being a hands-on grandmother, a talented seamstress, a wonderful quilter and, just recently, a creator of her own greeting cards. She belongs to a book club, plus she and Ken take courses at something she calls SLR. To me that means a camera, but Carola claims it also means Seniors Learning something-or-other. So she doesn't have time for blogging. Ain't that a shame?

Posted for Mellow Yellow Monday, hosted each week by Drowsey Monkey.
To see other mellow yellows met by other bloggers, please click

My first award is really for Lindy and Dick

I'd like to thank EJ of "The Chair Speaks" for choosing "An Unfittie's Guide" to win the Stylish Blogger Award.
I was shocked speechless last night, but now I realize I also have to thank my husband Dick and our dog Lindy, because I'm sure EJ and her cats would never have noticed me if not for Lindy's Golden Retriever cuteness, and Dick's excellent photos of Lindy and their adventures. So this award is really for Dick and Lindy. Take a bow, both of you!

EJ says a winner of this award should tell our friends in the blog world seven things not previously mentioned here. A difficult task, to be sure. Let me see if I can find seven things:
1. Lindy loves people, and one of her favorite people is her veterinarian, Dr. Baroughi.
2. Dick loves the Calgary Flames hockey team.
3. Lindy loves cucumber, it's her favorite vegetable, but she also likes broccoli and cauliflower.
4. Dick loves blueberries, and also caramel apple pie.
5. Lindy loves to ride in my car. In Dick's car, she has to ride in her kennel.
6. Dick loves having people stop to pet Lindy when they're out walking.
7. I love Dick and Lindy.
There. Seven things. That wasn't so terribly difficult, was it? I worried and fretted and fussed for nothing.  Dick says I do that a lot. (Oops, that makes eight things.)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

We're proud of our pet, no matter what she does

During their walk the other day, after the snow had melted quite a bit, Dick stopped to take a picture of this little drop of water on Lindy's nose. Stopping seemed like a good idea to Lindy, and she stopped, too, then lay down in the slush to have a rest. So Dick brought me a surprise, a wet dog! The next day, the temperatures dropped and more snow began to fall. The slush turned to ice, and the ice is there under the new snow, very dangerous for dogs and their humans as well.

Posted for the Pet Pride meme, brought to us all the way from Mumbai,
by Bozo and his family!
Lindy says, "Thanks, Bozo!"
To see other pets, as photographed by their proud people, please click

Shadows on Mexico's Baja Peninsula

I've been posting a lot of pictures taken on our trip to Hawaii in December, 2010, but I thought I'd post some today to show why it took me so long to visit the lovely islands of Hawaii. I never felt the need to go there because I went to Mexico almost every winter for 25 years.
My parents and my youngest brother first visited Mexico's beautiful Baja in 1970, when Rob was two years old. They went back the next winter and took Mom's parents, to show them why they had fallen in love with the east coast of the peninsula. The following year, Mom and Dad decided they needed a place of their own in San Felipe, then a small shrimp-fishing village on the shore of the Sea of Cortez.
They drove the 1600 miles (or 1700 or 1800, depending which route they took, because they weren't fond of freeways) each way, every six months, until they just couldn't do it any more.
Therefore, San Felipe was the holiday destination of choice for me for many, many years. We watched it grow from a sleepy fishing village into a tourist town, but it never quite lost its appeal.
These photos were taken after Mom and Dad decided to stay in Canada year-round. I persuaded my husband to take me down so I could show him why I loved it so much.

I took this picture of Dick photographing some caballeros on the beach.
This is the Pacific side of the Baja Peninsula, south of Tijuana, not far from Ensenada.

These two pictures were taken at Playa del Sol, 5 miles north of San Felipe on the Sea of Cortez. When San Felipe became too busy for my parents, they moved here, out of town. The pointed shadow that almost reaches the fence is the roof of the place Dad had built - teaching the locals the secrets of wood-frame construction, and doing much of the work himself, in the process.

                                                                                                                                          Kay Davies, photos
There aren't many shadows in this last photo. There's not much shade in the middle of the day on the road they call "La Rumorosa" - just rock, rock, and more rock. It's a good road now, though I heard wild tales from my parents and their friends about the way it was 40 years ago.

Posted for Shadow Shot Sunday, hosted every weekend by Tracy at Hey Harriet.
To see other shadows shot by other cameras, please click

Friday, January 28, 2011

Reflections on pond behind mystery bird

It's been many years since we spent a day at Busch Gardens in Florida while visiting friends in the Tampa Bay area, but we still don't know what kind of bird this is in the foreground of this photo. In the background, wading gulls and gulls on shore are reflected in the water. I really like the gull standing on one leg with its head tucked under its wing, because I've always had a soft spot for seagulls.

If anyone out there in Weekend Reflection Land can help us identify our mysterious brown and black bird, we would sure appreciate it. He's about the size of a crow, but quite a bit slimmer.

Posted for Weekend Reflections, hosted each week by Newtown Daily Photo.
To see how things are reflecting around the world, please click

This little deer came to visit, this bigger deer stayed home

                                                                                                                                Photo by Richard Schear

The little deer on the left is the youngest member of the small herd Dick and Lindy see on their winter walks. Yesterday, it and another deer (possibly its mother) were photographed behind a tree down by the coulee. Today, the little one came to our yard with another young deer, to dig in the snow for fruit under our ornamental crabapple tree, but we didn't get a picture. When they left, they walked right under Lindy's window. She was very excited, but she didn't bark.

Our forecast is for more snow tonight and tomorrow, and they say it could be 25cm (10 inches) by Sunday. Under that, we'll have the snow shown here, melting and not very deep, which will turn to ice as the temperatures drop down to -13C (8.6 F) Saturday, -15C (5F) Sunday, -20C (-4F) Monday. It won't be easy to walk or drive with deep snow over ice.

Posted for CAMERA CRITTERS hosted every week by Misty Dawn.
To see other critters captured by other cameras, please click

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lindy is skywatching with her deer friends

The sunset tints the snow pink, as Lindy gazes longingly at a deer by the fence in the distance. Nobody knows what she's thinking. Does she want to chase the deer? Catch the deer? Or play with them?

                                                                                 Photos by Richard Schear

Posted for Skywatch Friday.
So nice to see Maria Zelia as guest host this week!
To see other beautiful skies from around the world, please click

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

It's Thursday Theme Song time, so I ask you very...

So far nobody has hit me in the face!!
Until it's our friend Harry's turn!
Here our friend Jeff takes one for the cause.

 Ain’t we sweet?
See us standing in the street.
Taking hits for our community,
ain’t we sweet?

They throw the pies in our direction,
Ow! Me oh my, his aim’s perfection!

So I repeat,
don’t you think we’re kinda sweet?
Yes, I ask you
very pie-in-facially, ain’t we sweet?

Posted for Hootin' Anni's musical meme
Theme Song
(It's a lot of fun!)

To see (and perhaps hear)
the songs others have chosen
from near and far,
past and present,
please click

Photos by Kay Davies and friends

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

B is also for birds - coming back to Alberta!!

This is so exciting! First, I heard birds two days ago. Then, Dick saw these sparrows yesterday!

But late this afternoon, Dick and Lindy went for a walk and saw starlings and Cedar Waxwings!

This must be a pair of Cedar Waxwings. I can see the yellow feathers at the end of the tail on one!

Don't they look wonderful against today's blue sky? No snow on the trees now, but do you think those might  actually be buds? No, it's still January in Alberta.
I've never posted twice to the same meme on the same day, but when Dick gave me the memory card from his camera, I just knew I had to do this. There won't be another B day for six months! (And then, hopefully, it won't be winter in Alberta any more.)
The snow on the ground is starting to melt, too, but very gradually. Lindy comes in wet instead of snowy, though, so that's a good sign. I'll put up with Smell of Wet Dog if the snow goes away.

My second post today for ABC Wednesday's B day. Sigh. I hope I'll be forgiven.
To see other beautiful B photos, please click

B is for bicycle, backbone, borken ...huh? borken??

Bicycles in Beijing... cyclists in this Chinese metropolis are fearless, even when smog covers the city.
This photo, taken on our trip to China in 2008, was retouched to remove some of the smog, but it still isn't clear.
The backbone of a whale, just off the tourist pathway on the island of Fernandina in the Galapagos chain.
In this World Heritage Site, tourists are not allowed to touch any of the plants and animals, or their remains.
Tourists are always accompanied by a naturalist guide who informs them and reminds them not to touch.
Sometimes Dick's work involves him traveling to northern Alberta to see clients. Stopping to refuel on a recent trip,
he saw this sign on the gas pump. He couldn't use his credit card at the pump, so he had to go inside to pay.
(I'm so bad, I just love typos, except when I make them myself.)
Barcelona's beautiful waterfront, with the statue of Christopher Columbus.
The letter B appears twice, in this cloud above the island of Kauai, Hawaii.
Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear.

Posted for ABC Wednesday's letter B.
To see where others around the world have found the letter B, or how they've used it, please click

The Arrow and the Voice, for Magpie Tales #50

"This way is the right way, the other way is the wrong way."
I could hear the voice echoing around me, I could suddenly see a smooth path before my feet. I even seemed to see an arrow in the sky, pointing to the right. But the road was open in front of me, while, on the right, was a hill whose top disappeared into the clouds.
"This way is the right way, the other way is the wrong way," the voice insisted.
But I was tired, and the hill was I-knew-not-how-high. Surely, if there were a town nearby, it would be somewhere along the road ahead of me, possibly behind those trees at the end of the lake, I reasoned, so I hesitated.
"He who hesitates is lost," said another voice, probably the one in my own head.
The smooth path in front of my feet shimmered for a moment, then disappeared. The arrow, which couldn't possibly have been real, disappeared also.
I continued along the road in the direction I'd been traveling all day. Exhausted, I slipped. Unable to regain my balance, I fell, and tumbled downhill toward the lake. As I felt the ice break under my weight, I heard the voice again.
"This way was the right way, your way was the wrong way."
As I felt the cold water closing around me, I looked up, and saw a castle appear as the clouds rose away from the top of the hill. Castles are built on hills to discourage newcomers.

Posted for Magpie Tales, hosted every week by Tess, who provides us with a picture and lets our imaginations do the rest. Thanks, Tess!
To see what other imaginations made of the above photo, please click

Monday, January 24, 2011

My world has big-eared deer on sparkling snow

My favorite deer photo. I just love the face of the little one. These are mule deer, easily distinguished by their large ears and their black-tipped tails.

Bright sun on snow causes it to sparkle. These photos were taken before snow was very deep.
Photos by Richard Schear

This young buck seems to be licking his lips after a tasty bite of the still-visible grass.
Right now the snow is deep enough to cover all but the tallest grasses, so the deer are braving vehicle and pedestrian traffic to come into town and feed on trees such as our ornamental crabapple.
Part of the same herd, closer to town, in slightly deeper snow, a few days later.
That's my favorite sweet-faced youngster on the left.

I cropped this photo of our Golden Retriever, Lindy, used already this week for "Pet Pride" so you can see how deep the snow got, with just the grass tips peeking out. That's Lindy's back foot about three inches down from the top of the snow, to the left, just below her neck. She was stuck but didn't care.

Posted for My World Tuesday, hosted every week by
Klaus, Wren, Sandy, Fishing Guy, and Sylvia. Thanks, all of you!

To see photos of other worlds on this planet, please click

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A little yellow, or a lot, depends which Seattle piggy

Carrying on with the Seattle theme I started on Shadow Shot Sunday (hi, Sylvia!), these piggies are from our 2007 visit to Seattle. It was that city's second display of pig statues. The first was in 2001.
We were there to see the Toronto Blue Jays play the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field, and the colorful display of piggies turned out to be a bonus for our cameras. We often check the baseball schedule and plan a trip to Seattle followed by a visit to the Vancouver, BC, area to visit my family. We also timed our 2007 trip to be followed by a Holland America cruise to Alaska out of the port of Vancouver.

Posted for Mellow Yellow Monday hosted every week by Drowsey Monkey.
To see the yellows other cameras found around the world, please click