Using the New Camera

My husband and I got a new camera for an upcoming trip so I was practicing with it. We got a Nikon Coolpix L830 digital camera. I tried it out with my cats.

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Of course, we had spent a lot of money on an orthopedic foam dog bed for Dusty who has hip displaysia, but he won’t use it. At least the cats use it though.

Anyway, this camera seems to be working well for me. I usually have a lot more trouble taking pictures because my essential tremors result in blurry photos, but the camera has vibration reduction which appears to be working. Now I am looking forward to taking pictures on our vacation. We are heading to Japan on Saturday!

Dinner with a Friend and a Clean Dusty

My best friend came to visit me from out of state. It was the first time we had seen each other in over a year. It was great seeing her, and I hope she visits again soon. There is nothing better than hanging out with your best friend, cooking, watching Downton Abbey, drinking tea, eating popcorn and candy. We made these stuffed peppers and roasted butternut squash together.

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For the stuffed peppers:

4 green peppers

1 lb lean ground turkey

about a cup of tomato sauce

1 package of 90 second Spanish rice

Heat oven to 350*F. Cook the 90 second Spanish rice in the microwave. Pour into large bowl. Add the ground turkey. Mix together. Add the tomato sauce and stir until smooth. Cut the stuffed peppers in half down the middle and clean out. Lay flat in sprayed glass dish. Fill with the rice and turkey stuffing. Spoon a little extra tomato sauce on top. Bake for 45 minutes or until meat is done.

For the roasted butternut squash:

1 butternut squash

Brown sugar

Apple Juice

Dice butternut squash into cubes. Put in small glass casserole dish. Cover with brown sugar. Pour apple juice over squash. Put in 350*F oven. I cooked for 30 minutes, then stirred it, and cooked for 45 minutes more. Cook until squash is tender.

Also, Dusty went to the pet store to be brushed and groomed. He looks so handsome! He must have thought he smelled too pretty because the first thing he did when he got home was roll in the snow.

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An Understanding Owl

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When I came home from running errands today, I saw an owl in my yard. In my excitement, I ran inside and got my camera. I started the frustrating process of trying to take a picture. My essential tremors make taking pictures really difficult. My shaking causes most of the pictures to come out blurry. I usually try to find something to rest the camera on. In this case, I tried steadying my hands by putting my elbows on the handle bar of the grill on our back deck. I was glad this owl was very relaxed and not in a rush to go anywhere. In fact, an hour later he is still there. I am glad for that because, out of the 66 pictures I took of him (or her), I deleted 63 due to being blurry. I can’t take a picture with this light-weight camera for the life of me. I have a nicer camera that is a Nikon N75. It is an SLR and I love it because the weight of it steadies my hands and weighs down the tremor. Unfortunately, I was out of film, so I took 66 pictures with the lighter digital camera, and ended up with 3 keepers. Here are the other two of my friendly owl:

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As you can see by the above picture, he is very close to my back deck.

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Thank you owl for sitting calmly while I tried to take a picture that would do you justice (or at least not be blurry). I hope to see you around again!

Dusty’s Snow Day

We have a lot of snow already, and it is still coming down. I hope we don’t get too much more, because my husband and I are done shoveling for the day. Dusty loved the snow so much that he did not want to go back inside. When he started looking really cold we made him go inside even though he sat inside whining because he wants to go back out.

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He likes sticking his head in the snow.

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Happy Shoveling!

Loki’s Scary Night

Yesterday was a little scary. It was just past nine at night. I was on the couch knitting, and my husband was in bed. I heard a noise coming from one of the spare bedrooms. My first thought was that our more mischievous cat, Loki, was scratching furniture or one of the cardboard boxes that we have yet to unpack. I ran in there to see what he was up to, and I found him in a state. He was lying on his side, his mouth was foaming, and his legs were flailing. He looked really scared. I picked him up and ran to the bedroom to wake my husband. I didn’t know what to do. His legs had stopped moving, but he was still not reacting to me and drool was coming from his mouth. We laid him down on a blanket on the couch. He seemed really dazed and was having trouble focusing on us. We called the vet, and she agreed to meet us at the clinic. We found out that he had a seizure. He snapped out of his daze, but he still seemed scared and confused. The vet examined him and ran some blood work. From the blood work, she determined that the seizure was not caused by liver or kidney failure. She said that some Maine coon cat mixes get seizures for no known cause. There isn’t much to do about it right now except wait and see if he gets another one. If they become frequent, then there may be things we could do for him, but we have no way of knowing if he will even get another seizure.

While she was examining Loki, she also found that he has a heart murmur. She asked if he has a lack of energy. We had to laugh at that though because he runs around like a nut. He is only around four years old, so we just have to keep an eye on him and watch for any changes in his energy. We had asked if the seizures and the heart murmur are related, and she said no. Our poor cat.

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Loki is back to his normal self now, but it is hard when you see your furry friend hurting and there is nothing you can do except pet him and love him. It’s difficult seeing how scared and confused he is because he doesn’t know what is wrong with him or why he is doing that. All I can do is try to spend more time with him and all of our furry friends who are part of our family. Mommy and Daddy love you Loki, Ares and Dusty!

Snow, Sickness, and a Stubborn Pup

Sorry, I have been out of commission lately. I took this week off from work, and I was planning on getting a lot of things done around the house, but instead I got sick. On Tuesday, I started to feel unwell: sore throat, head hurting, fever, and achy body. It seems I have strep throat, and, as of today, I am finely feeling better minus the sore throat. I dug out my watercolor pencils, which I have not used in a long time, and I snuck up to my cat Ares who was napping.

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Just when I finished my picture, I noticed it had started to snow outside. I let Dusty out so he could investigate. We are not sure he has ever seen snow before. When we adopted him in June, all we knew was his name and that he is 10 and a half years old. We do not know where he came from, but, along with Lyme disease, he also had something else that is usually only found in the south (we have taken care of both with medication). The snow has not accumulated, but Dusty was rolling around in the grass and refuses to come inside now. I keep spying on him out the window to make sure he isn’t running away, but he is just laying in the grass with his tennis ball in his mouth. Travis should be home any time now, so when he gets here Dusty will follow him inside. For now, though, he’s not budging even though it is his dinner time.

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Girl Power!

Last Sunday, my mom and my sister came over to help with projects around my house. At first we were just going to paint my master bedroom, but, while the first coat was drying, we got started on some other small projects. Here is the bedroom painted in Antique Silver by Glidden:

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Travis and I bought a rug to go in the bedroom. We love it! It looks like a sheep’s coat and is reallllllly soft.

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Our furry friends really like it too! Here is Ares hiding under the bed:

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I find Dusty in this spot every morning when I wake up:

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I have yet to completely put back together the room. I still need to put the outlet covers back on, but that will only take a few minutes. Us ladies also fixed the drip in one of the sinks, and we put a light in above the kitchen sink. I really needed the extra lighting, and there were already wires there. Our new light (and, yes, some robots in the kitchen):

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We also started painting the spare bathroom. The top half was a bright teal, too dark and crazy for such a small windowless bathroom. We chose Frosted Green Grape by Glidden. I have yet to repaint the bottom half, which will be all white, no more gray. Here is the top half though:

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As you can see, when you get all three of us women together, we sure get a lot done in just one day. It is fun to combine our knowledge and supplies. It is also nice to have some girl talk!