Monday, June 30, 2008

A Shaved Leg for the Summer Season

Mat is doing very well after her surgery. We only had to help her with the steps 2 times, then she was maneuvering them as she did before the surgery. In fact - she is pretty much using the leg exactly as she did before surgery. Hopefully as she gets better over the next couple of months she will be putting more and more of her weight on it. At least that's the plan.. We need to be careful these next several weeks as she starts to feel better on it. She must not run or trot on that leg..I can see her getting better each day and she is starting to want to trot up to the bunnies in the yard so I guess I better get the leash out....
Speaking of bunnies. It's like Watership Down around here. Not that the bunnies need to leave - but we have many more this year... probably because Cali, our neighbors outdoor cat died last summer, so there has been no major predator. We have had several tiny guys take up residence in our front shrubs, crepe myrtles and day lillies. I just can't seem to get a good picture of the little guys... Anyway, it has been a fun season with so many ducklings and bunnies.. now I might not be saying that next year if we decide to do a garden. I may be cursing those wascally wabbits... but for now, they are welcomed and seem to know it. One day I hope to get a picture of the rabbits, squirrels and ducks together all having a nibble on the cracked corn we leave out for the's a sweet scene...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tips for taking group photos

I don't have many people around to practice portrait photography on, and even less opportunity for group portraits.. but I have run across some tips for taking group photos that I am going to try out in the upcoming weeks...

Tip 1: If shooting pics of people at the dinner table - get your shot set - then tell everyone to look down at their plate, no smiling, and then on the count of three they should all look up at the camera with big smiles on their faces ... that way - you are ready and they have fresh smiles!

Tip2: When shooting a group - get everyone situated in the position that you want them in, get the camera set..have everyone then leave the position and come to you at the camera, then set the camera timer on and have everyone race back to their positions and smile - you get much more natural looking rosy cheek smiles.. this might be more difficult for a huge group - for for say 10 people or so - should be a hoot.

Tip3: Tell everyone you want to get a picture of them jumping. Get the camera set up and say, ONE TWO THREE……JUMP!!! The picture of everyone up in the air is hilarious, and then, when everyone lands, say, “Ok, real quick, a group shot,” and take it - people will be rosy cheeked and laughing.

Tip4: for smallish groups, if you can get some height, have everyone lay down head to head - and shoot the group from overhead or if the group is young have them huddle, with you lying down in the middle - shoot upwords - or have everyone place their arms around each other's waists and lean to one side...that huddling tip won't work for women of a certain age - we never want to see that angle...

I thought these looked like fun and different ways to capture some group photos.. Beware friends who come to visit - I am going to be trying some of these out on us!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

And the Answer Is....

So What will Tiger Woods and my Mattie have in common this summer?

Both will be recuperating from Cruciate Ligament surgery.

This is Mattie's second surgery for this injury. She tore her CL 2.5 years ago on her left knee. She evidently tore her right knee about a month ago, although it was just diagnosed last week. She has been limping around for several weeks and we all thought it was arthritis. Then I took her back to my wonderful vet up here (who performed her first surgery) and he took a closer look and confirmed the tear. X-Rays showed no significant joint arthritis in her hips, a couple of places in her spine (to be expected on older dogs) and he said that when looking at the knee and examining her while she was sedated, the injury appeared to be older than 10 days, which was when I thought she might have been sustained the injury. In a way I am glad because I thought perhaps she had injured herself in the act of walking, which would be highly unusual. We had the set of X-Rays done after we spoke with our other wonderful vet down in Hudson. His concern was that if she had injured herself walking, that there was the possibility of something else going on in the leg such as osteosarcoma. Luckily no signs of bone cancer were evident in any of the X-Rays. I feel so thankful to have wonderful, and I DO MEAN WONDERFUL vets, both up here at the cabin and in Hudson. I don't know what I would do without them. The recovery is around 4-6 months. I felt so bad taking her in this morning. First for not figuring it out sooner, and second, because she seemed to adjust to it very well, with the aid of the miracle drug Rimadyl. But I have to believe the surgery is the absolute best thing for her, though in the short term it seems like such a torture. I have a lot of sympathy for her.. (and Tiger) - I severed my achilles 11 years ago and it was very painful and a long recovery. So this summer Tiger and Mattie will be rehabbing... just not together.. (could you imagine?) Oh Well..

Below is included for those who want to know more about Ruptured Cruciate Ligaments in canines:

Ruptured cranial cruciate ligament in dogs (CCL)
Ruptured cruciate, Ruptured ligament, Ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), Torn ACL, Torn ligament

Affected Animals:

Commonly, dogs and humans; less commonly, cats. Obese animals are at greater risk for suffering this injury. In addition, certain breeds of dogs are more susceptible than others to developing a ruptured cruciate ligament. Most commonly, these breeds include the rottweiler and cocker spaniel. The Labrador retriever, German shepherd, mastiff, golden retriever, miniature and toy poodle, Lhasa apso, and bichon frise are likely to suffer from the problem as well.

Overview:A normal dog's knee joint works like a hinge, keeping the animal's leg stable as it bends. When the knee has a ruptured cruciate ligament, the "hinge" becomes loose and no longer functions as effectively. This looseness prevents the knee from maintaining stability of motion. As a result, the dog suffers pain, inflammation, and eventually develops arthritis. This is a very common orthopedic disease in dogs.

When a knee injury occurs suddenly -- as it usually does among humans who suffer from injuries to the cruciate ligament due to a skiing, football, or other sports-related accident -- the ligament will tear rapidly. But usually with dogs, the tearing is partial and occurs gradually, resulting in low-level lameness that may improve initially over time. However, progressive injuries can be quite damaging; because of the trauma to the ligament, the knee joint becomes inflamed, leading to arthritis, which only grows worse with continued weight bearing.

1. Trochlea of femur
2. Tibia
3. Fibula
4. Cranial cruciate ligament
5. Caudal cruciate ligament
6. Lateral meniscus
7. Medial meniscus

In more severe chronic cases, the "shock absorbers" of the knee -- quarter-moon shaped sections of cartilage called the medial and lateral menisci -- tear or become crushed because of exposure to abnormal stress that occurs when the knee is loose. Animals with this condition often are severely lame and may not be able to put any weight on the affected leg.

Both surgical and non-surgical methods for treatment are available. Generally, dogs have a good chance of recovering normal, or almost normal, movement after surgery, but the arthritis that has occurred already will not be reversible. Additionally, dogs that have ruptured the cruciate ligament on one side are more likely to tear the ligament in the other knee.

Obesity is a major risk factor for this injury and certain breeds of dogs are more likely than others to rupture their ligaments.

Clinical Signs:
Clinical signs include acute non-weight bearing lameness; chronic progressive lameness; crepitus; pain; decreased range of motion; presence of medial buttress; presence of meniscal click; stifle effusion; thickened joint capsule; positive cranial drawer test; positive tibial compression test; reluctance to sit with normal flexed stifle tucked under the body; and inability to rise or walk if the condition is bilateral.

Rear limb lameness, sudden onset lameness that either improves slightly and remains chronic or worsens again. The affected knee may feel thicker than the normal one. The dog may sit with its injured leg held out to the side, rather than tucked up underneath. The lameness should worsen with exercise. The knee may sound "crunchy" when put through a range-of-motion test.

Found in every joint of the body, ligaments are bands of tough, fibrous tissue that hold two or more bones in proper position. One of the ligaments that stabilizes the knee joint when the leg bends and moves is called the cranial cruciate ligament. When this cruciate ligament becomes loose, it is no longer able to ensure stable movement, and damage to the cartilage in the knee joint, leading to arthritis.

Ligaments are very strong tissues, but once they are damaged, they tend to heal slowly and incompletely. In people, cruciate ligament tears are often the result of rapidly occurring trauma, such as injuries resulting from skiing, football, soccer, and other sports accidents. Although this type of injury can also occur in dogs -- jumping up to catch a Frisbee, for example, can cause rapid trauma -- ruptured cranial cruciate ligament injury in the canine usually occurs progressively, over a period of time. There is often a partial tearing, which may show up as a low-level lameness and appears to improve in days to weeks. This partial tearing sets up inflammation within the knee joint, and the weakened ligament is further damaged with continued weight bearing. Eventually, this leads to complete rupture.

Due to a possible genetic component, some breeds, such as the rottweiller and cocker spaniel, are very prone to this disease. They may have some underlying genetic, conformational, or inflammatory disorder that predisposes the ligament to rupture; their susceptibility to the injury is a topic of research at many veterinary institutions. Obese animals are also at increased risk for this disease. However, dogs of all sizes and breeds can develop ruptured cranial cruciate ligaments.

Dogs with a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament in one knee have a 20 to 40 percent chance of injuring the other side, making a full recovery less likely.

The diagnosis of a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament usually can be made upon physical examination. Two tests, the positive cranial drawer test, and the positive tibial compression test, will confirm the diagnosis. The positive cranial drawer test, in which the dog's knee is bent slightly and pressure is applied to the bones comprising it, is performed to check for instability within the joint. A positive tibial compression test also assesses the stability of the knee joint; this test may be more sensitive in detecting looseness in heavily muscled dogs. It may be necessary to sedate large dogs before performing the test. When the injury is chronic, the cranial drawer and tibial compression tests may be less effective assessments because their results will be more difficult to evaluate, since the body will have built up scar tissue in the joint capsule in an attempt to limit the abnormal motion.

If the dog's meniscal cartilage -- the knee's "shock absorbers" -- has been torn, the veterinarian may feel a "meniscal click." Thirty to 50 percent of dogs that have knee joints with chronically ruptured cruciate ligaments will experience damage to their cartilage, resulting in arthritis. X-rays can help confirm the diagnosis and give an indication of how much arthritis already is present. This information may be important for determining prognosis. X-rays can also rule out diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and fractures that may display similar symptoms.

Occasionally, the veterinarian will obtain and analyze a sample of joint fluid in an attempt to rule out other types of arthritic diseases. However, this procedure usually will not be performed unless there is suspicion that an underlying disease is causing the ruptured cruciate ligament.

The prognosis depends on a number of factors. The longer the injury has been present, the more arthritic the joint and the more guarded the prognosis. If the meniscal cartilage is torn, the prognosis is more guarded as well. Obese animals tend to recover more slowly than animals in good shape. Animals with torn cruciate ligaments on both sides take longer to recover than animals with an injury on only one side. Dogs with underlying diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or immune mediated polyarthritis have a decreased prospect for a full recovery.

In general, animals stabilized with any surgical technique will require three to six months of rehabilitation. After that time, depending on how arthritic the joint was before surgery, they should return to fairly normal activity levels, although they are unlikely to regain 100 percent of their pre-injury function. These dogs may be sore after heavy exercise and occasionally may require pain medication. Athletic animals will have some decrease in function and will be unlikely to return to competition. Hunting dogs may not be able to hunt as frequently or for extended periods of time as they did prior to injury. The TPLO- surgery is purported to be able to return animals to performance levels; however, definitive objective studies have not been published to date.

Transmission or Cause:
The cause can be traumatic, or can occur as a result of chronic inflammation in the knee joint. There may be no known cause to the inflammation. However, the ligament may rupture as a result of the following diseases: medial patellar luxation, a disease in which the kneecap pops in and out of joint; rheumatoid arthritis; lupus; immune mediated polyarthritis; septic arthritis, an infection in the joint; osteochondrosis, which is a cartilage development problem; and problems related to the animal's build or body conformation.

Dogs that are obese are much more likely to develop this disease than dogs that are of normal weight. In addition, certain breeds are more prone to developing the disease, especially the rottweiller and cocker spaniel.

The treatment for this disease can be surgical or non-surgical. Non-surgical management consists of exercise restriction, anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy and weight loss. These therapies can be effective in very small animals such as cats and dogs weighing less than 15 pounds, although these animals will develop some arthritis, they may regain almost normal function.

Most veterinarians will recommend surgery for treatment of a ruptured cranial cruciate ligament. The many surgical procedures that are available for treatment can be organized into three basic categories: intracapsular stabilization, extracapsular stabilization, and a patented procedure called the Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy® (TPLO).

Intracapsular ligament replacement involves either transplanting tissue from other parts of the dog's body, such as the patellar ligament or fascia lata, into the knee joint. Other options for ligament replacement include a synthetic graft made from materials such as Gore-Tex® or ligament from a tissue bank. The goal of intracapsular ligament replacement is to position the replacement ligament in an anatomically correct configuration.

Extracapsular stabilization stabilizes the knee joint, using materials such as fascia lata, which is a strong fibrous sheet of tissue surrounding the muscles in the outside of the leg, monofilament nylon or other suture material, or stainless steel wire. Fibular head transposition is an extracapsular technique that allows another ligament in the knee joint, the lateral collateral ligament, to replace the function of the cranial cruciate ligament. These techniques are not performed inside the joint; rather, they function to counteract the instability in the joint by acting in a manner similar to an intact cranial cruciate ligament.

Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy® (TPLO) is a technique that utilizes a different approach to treating cranial cruciate ligament injury. Rather than trying to oppose the forces acting on the cranial cruciate ligament in the normal knee joint, a TPLO® eliminates these forces -- and thus the need for a cranial cruciate ligament -- by changing the anatomy of the knee joint. This procedure requires that a bone cut be made in the tibia, which is then stabilized with a specialized bone plate. Only veterinarians that have been trained and licensed by the developer of the technique are permitted to perform this surgery. In general, dogs weighing less than 40 pounds are too small for this procedure.

There are advantages and disadvantages to each of these techniques. The results of these procedures are generally very good; however, some surgeries are more promising than others for complete return to function. There also can be substantial differences in cost and recovery time. A veterinarian can detail these surgical options and further explain the various procedures. Although cruciate ligament surgery can be very demanding, many veterinarians have a great deal of experience and success with these procedures.

Rehabilitation regimens vary, but most veterinarians recommend range-of-motion exercises, gradual return of activity, swimming, weight reduction, and pain medication.

While prevention of injuries is difficult, there are some factors that can decrease the likelihood of rupturing a cranial cruciate ligament. First and foremost is avoiding obesity. A veterinarian can assess the dog's body condition and provide guidelines for a healthy diet and ideal body weight. Exercise is also important for dogs, just as it is for people, since a daily exercise regimen will lessen the likelihood of injury. Because animals with other orthopedic diseases of the knee joint, such as a luxating patella, may be more prone to cranial cruciate ligament rupture, early surgical correction of such orthopedic problems is an important preventative measure.

Copyright © 2006, Inc.
All Rights Reserved – Reproduced by permission.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The More You Know - The More You Don't Know - Don't Ya Know

I sometimes wish I was in my 20s during this time...but only for one reason. Photographic Technology and Information. With the digital age, there is so much information on everything photography related and a lot of it is FREE! It amazes me, and awakens the desire to learn and do more. I now understand much better what typically goes into most of the photographs that I admire.

Now when I look at my pictures, I look to see if there is a photograph there. Does the picture tell a story, evoke an emotion, or provide a depth beyond 2D. I've come to the conclusion I shoot snaps, once in awhile a photograph, and I can make my snaps look a little "snappier" with the aid of digital darkroom techniques. I am coming to terms with that. Sadly, but I am. The more I learn, the more critical of my pics I have become and very few evoke the "I really like that" phrase from me.. I am a bit depressed over this.

I don't have small children (or any children for that matter) hanging around. So much of photography is practice and small kids can make such great subjects. So I shoot Mattie and the cats (yes I will post on the cats soon) the cabin, flowers etc., all the while trying to improve technique. But I just can't seem to get the emotion to come through the pic. Cap'n Steve isn't a whole lot a help, though sometimes he can be a kid himself.
I take that back - I do have a small child.

Friday, June 20, 2008

What do these two have in common this summer?

And as you are pondering this little teaser.. I will take a minute and editorialize a bit.. I will unveil the answer next Wednesday...

This is not just a post about golf or sports in general, but if you don't want to continue reading , I understand. Feel free to go on to something you find much more interesting than my dribble.. my feelings won't be hurt - I promise.. but please do come back.. I will miss you if you don't!

Okay - if you didn't see any of the last two rounds or the playoff round of the US Open (for Golf)- you missed an outstanding show of competitiveness, perseverance, skill, determination, and CLASS on both Tiger and Rocco's parts... it was one of the great sports moments I have ever watched - especially the playoff round. My hat's off to Rocco Mediate, and I am sorry that he lost, but if he had to lose to someone, in the fashion that he did, I am sure he must be satisfied that it was to Tiger Woods..In this day and age, I watch the world with jaded glasses. This is something that comes with age as I remember clearly being 20 something and optimistic. I am not pessimistic mind you, but I am dubious of most everything. Sports stars are paid too much, whine too loud, and overall just not the role models that people make them out to be. Well these two men make me believe there is a Santa Claus, at least in sports figures. I can remember watching a few events like this. Curt Schilling in game 2 of the 2004 World Series - BoSox vs Cardinals

and Keri Strug in the 1996 Olympics - which I was fortunate enough to witness in person. My friend Teresa and I knew we saw something pretty incredible that day.

Anyway - just wanted to say it's always good to read about or witness events that are uplifting such as these. Events that show the human spirit at its' best certainly aren't limited to sports. Too bad our political system never even comes close to producing moments such as these. I have to say Al Gore's concession speech in the 2000 election was a rare moment of class in politics and political history, though certainly what lead up to that concession speech was pretty much like a spoiled child trying to get their way. Okay - time to get off the soapbox...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A little levity... I don't know about you - but I could use some...

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

The chicken crossed the road because it was time for a CHANGE! The chicken wanted CHANGE!

My friends, that chicken crossed the road because he recognized the need to engage in cooperation and dialogue with all the chickens on the other side of the road.

When I was First Lady, I personally helped that little chicken to cross the road. This experience makes me uniquely qualified to ensure — right from Day One! — that every chicken in this country gets the chance it deserves to cross the road. But then, this really isn’t about me…….

The problem we have here is that this chicken won’t realize that he must first deal with the problem on ‘THIS’ side of the road before it goes after the problem on the ‘OTHER SIDE’ of the road. What we need to do is help him realize how stupid he’s acting by not taking on his ‘CURRENT’ problems before adding ‘NEW’ problems.

Well, I understand that the chicken is having problems, which is why he wants to cross this road so bad. So instead of having the chicken learn from his mistakes and take falls, which is a part of life, I’m going to give this chicken a car so that he can just drive across the road and not live his life like the rest of the chickens.

We don’t really care why the chicken crossed the road. We just want to know if the chicken is on our
side of the road, or not. The chicken is either against us, or for us. There is no middle ground here.

Now to the left of the screen, you can clearly see the satellite image of the chicken crossing the

We have reason to believe there is a chicken, but we have not yet been allowed to have access to the
other side of the road.

Although I voted to let the chicken cross the road, I am now against it! It was the wrong road to cross, and I was misled about the chicken’s intentions. I am not for it now, and will remain against it.

That chicken crossed the road because he’s GUILTY! You can see it in his eyes and the way he walks.

To steal the job of a decent, hardworking American.

No one called me to warn me which way that chicken was going. I had a standing order at the Farmer’s Market to sell my eggs when the price dropped to a certain level. No little bird gave me any insider information.

Did the chicken cross the road? Did he cross it with a toad? Yes, the chicken crossed the road, but why it crossed I’ve not been told.

In my day we didn’t ask why the chicken crossed the road. Somebody told us the chicken crossed the road, and that was good enough.

Isn’t that interesting? In a few moments, we will be listening to the chicken tell, for the first time, the heart-warming story of how it experienced a serious case of molting, and went on to accomplish its life-long dream of crossing the road.

It is the nature of chickens to cross the road.

Imagine all the chickens in the world crossing roads together, in peace.

I have just released eChicken2009, which will not only cross roads, but will lay eggs, file your important documents, and balance your check book. Internet Explorer is an integral part of the Chicken. This new platform is much more stable and will never cra………… Reboot.

Did the chicken really cross the road, or did the road move beneath the chicken?

I did not cross the road with THAT chicken. What is your definition of chicken?

Did I miss one?

Where’s my gun?

Why are all the chickens white? We need some black chickens.

This was taken from one of my favorite food bloggers: Check out the original post and the comments for even more hilarity: Jaden's Steamy Kitchen

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Happy Father's Day - Daddy

Yes, I am Southern to the core and don't mind you knowing that..I am a still can't say it) something woman who calls her father "daddy"... JEALOUS??? I love tradition... probably would call my mom "mommy" if it didn't sound like I was still.. well we won't go there...

I hope my dad doesn't mind me posting this. He has been a great father, even during the tough times (my hard headedness when it comes to math). And while we can't pick our parents, I am thankful for both of mine. I feel like I have their best traits ( and a few of their not so great ones too). I have been lucky in that my dad and I have shared some wonderful memories, but as I was going through my pictures - I realized I did not have many of them documented.. especially with pictures of the two of us together... for that, I am sorry, and I can remedy going forward. But Daddy, know that our experiences are wonderful pictures in my memory.

I love you,

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Guest Quarters - Another Peak

Finally making good on some more pics of the guest quarters. Here are a few of the bathroom. I know, how exciting. Between vacuum cleaner posts and bathrooms, it's a wonder I have friends and family left reading my dribble...

Okay, this is pretty much the bathroom in all its' glory..Cap'n Steve did some nice first time work in here.. the tile, the cabinets and the frame around the mirror. I have a decorating problem with the slanted wall - which also is at the other end of the living space (kitchen/dining area). I think I will be able to deal with it - I have a few ideas. But remember, I am decoratingly challenged.

Also this space is not so cramped like you see in a lot of suites. I remember all of the B&B's we have stayed in and many of them had bathrooms you could hardly turn around in. Not to mention most EU baths.. eeeeuuuuwwww. We do have lots of cabinet space in here and in the suite itself. I will answer the inevitable question of "Why do you have so much cabinet space?" at a later date.

I thought Cap'n Steve did a very nice job with the mirror frame. I am going to get him to make some frames for some of my photographs, once he finishes this project. Heaven knows I don't want to impede progress. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

So there are a few things left, which the Cap'n will be making; like towel holders and a tp holder from tree branches... but we are pretty good to go here.

Here's a shot of a couple of closet doors and some latches that Cap'n Steve designed. The handle of the latch is carved from tree branches... He's really good at that kind of thing.. who knew?..I hope when he is done with this project, he will fix the bifold closet doors in the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms of the cabin..let's see we have been in the cabin for 9 years now?

Sorry I didn't have the appropriate lens on to shoot the handle/latches but you can get an idea..

Also I have an update on the kitchen. Many of you know I decided to do curtains for most of the lower cabinets instead of doors... I think it will turn out okay. We have branches for rods.. and here's my first stab.. they aren't hemmed and completely pressed, but they give a pretty good idea...Also something funky with the color here - but it's late and I am not in the mood to mess around with the photos.

And a pic with the curtain/door open:

And two final pics of the kitchen as it is today.. Steve will start the tile next week..

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

And the Winner (?) Is?

There's probably nothing much more mundane than vacuuming... yet if you have animals and children, you usually have to do it more than once a week, unless of course you have help, in which case, I slightly envy you. But I like not having to work right now - so springing for help for stuff that I can do is not in the budget.. Not when there are geeky things to buy like cameras and lenses, and photoshop plugins, and Australian Shepherd puppies (non geeky thing).. but I digress..

A couple of weeks ago I emailed some friends who have animals and/or kids and asked for their recommendations. Three came back with Miele.. of which I am so out of it, I had never heard of before, and others came back with the usual suspects... we looked at all recommendations and chose NONE of them... well Cap'n Steve chose none of them. I have gone through several vacuums over the last several years (all while my oldie but goodie Bissel upright managed to hang in there). Having two homes necessitates two vacuums, I went to war with a Hoover upright and currently have a bagless Bissell upright in Florida that I am not stoked about..So after reading the reviews on consumer reports and taking into consideration friends recommendations I left the final decision up to Cap'n Steve, who vacuums maybe twice a year, more if I am traveling for a contract... I secretly wanted the Miele, but at 800 bucks I wanted a new lens or camera more.

We chose this Hoover based on consumer reviews (not on consumer reports). We will see how long it is before I can tear this one up..Any bets? Cap'n Steve says I am hard on equipment... I beg to differ..It seems good at this point.. It is much quieter than the uprights, so Lass doesn't go into a tizzy when I am vacuuming now. The suction and pulling up dog hair seems very good and I like the fact that I can control the suction.. The power head seems a bit heavy - but it is definitely livable. I always wait and reserve judgment for 6 months to a year down the road.. I didn't mention to Steve that one of my friends who has a Miele had a Hoover and had to have the motor rebuilt 3 times before they finally got their Miele...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Good thing I love the color green....

There is one thing about North Georgia - it is GREEN most of the year.

Now I am no master gardner - but we do have a few flowers around the place that I thoroughly enjoy. And they are starting to pop.. We have our day lillies that provide some nice oranges:

Our sick Hollyhock is giving it a good try..

It really should be producing something splendid like this:

And our first Gladiola is blooming - we should have a bumper crop this year. Finally after 5 years of these beautiful flowers, I have purchased appropriate vases. I am looking forward to using them instead of my old wine carafes and pitchers: Yes it does take me awhile to get around to some things...