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Posts from the ‘Pawprints’ Category

Thinking Big in a Small Way

Last week’s photo assignment was ‘BIG”. Texas is big, of course—and driving across Texas whether east to west or north to south is a very long day’s drive. I thought immediately of the giant heads of famous Texans along I-10 in Houston or the huge statue of Sam Houston on I-45 outside of Huntsville. That would have meant a trip solely for the purpose of taking a photo.

I decided I wanted to try making something that might not be so big–LOOK big. And this is what I came up with.

This pile of rocks from my garden pond have lain in my driveway for a year now—or maybe two. The original rubber base was filled with several holes as Toby decided there was something evil about it that needed chewing on. That base was supposed to last thirty years—it lasted three. We pulled it out and it is now under my beehives preventing the invasion of pests.Sylvia Weir Week 39 Big

I tried several angles to avoid getting anything in the frame that might suggest the rocks are actually about two handfuls in size.


This was the  photo assignment for last week. Although we live fairly close to a marina/yacht club and have a sailboat on a trailer on some property nearby, those all seemed to easy. We also have a dinghy upside down in our backyard to serve as a refuge for the dogs on hot days–and I guess we could use it in case of a tropical storm or hurricane flooding the streets. We are a comfortable 13 feet above sea level and have had water just topping the gutters but never close to the house.

So, I convinced the two dogs to jump onto that dinghy. They were excited and thought it to be some wonderful fun new game–Dora lost interest fairly quickly but Toby thought it was grand because it allowed her to survey the yard from a nice vantage point.

I did take a few other photos that might be better but this week will be another fun challenge.

dinghy-mdinghy-m1dogs20on20boat-mSylvia Weir Week 23 Boat

Rain, Rain Go Away


We did need rain but now my backyard is a lake; my pond is full to overflowing and the wheelbarrow we had been using to mix mortar for the pond and left standing in functional position was full. Toads are busy making little toads, the birds are all hiding, and the dogs are beside themselves. Toby runs to the edge of the driveway to bark at the thunder, then to the pond to bark at the toads and this morning during a brief interlude of hopeful sunshine at the birds who were thrilled the rain had stopped.

But now it is raining again. I don’t have rubber boots to get out into my truck parked in the driveway–the ankle high boots I do have will not be enough.

Off to Tractor Supply to get some mucking out barn boots, then to the post office to mail the bills I worked on yesterday and the donation to SAQA—photo of it tomorrow.

Another day to stare out the window and wish for sunshine so I can add a super to my chicken yard bees.

Wet Feet

11-20dora20goes20over20the20chain-mWe have endured what seems to be weeks of rain of the Noah’s Ark Deluge variety. Standing water in the driveway and the backyard make walking anywhere a guarantee of soaked shoes, socks, and pant legs. The nearby dog park has standing water and where it is not water, it is mud–and lots of it.

I sweep my breakfast room and kitchen daily from the dirt tracked in by Toby and Dora–it is very much like having three little boys running in and out. But what’s a little—or a lot—of dirt?

Toby and Dora have twice daily or sometimes thrice daily dog park adventures–Border collies need to be kept busy, busy, busy or they will find something to do–like dig out underneath the porch  or what is on the other side of the fence?

I usually stay home but after a run to the recycling center and a check on the bees and with sopping wet feet I spent some time at the dog park trying to capture some candid shots. More photos of the two dogs are on smugmug here–they have their own gallery under family.

Welcome Rosie

Weir tis the season

Meet Rosie–a rescue from a shelter who is now living with our oldest son in Burleson TX. She is a sweet dog that is not nearly so active as Toby. She learned that tennis balls were things to pick up and carry around–especially the squeaky ones. Frisbees were a chew toy though–but she is not even a year old yet.


I painted his new office/study/library—can you guess what school he went to?


The paint store clerk matched it from his notebook.

The hot water heater had a broken element—drained water heater–without neighbors calling water department to report a leak.

Rosie discovered two little girls next door and broke through the fence to go play with them—so a woven wire fence went around the base of the fence amd the neighbor replaced some pickets as well.

We talked about a garden and I suggested some pots with some wire around it until he could figure out where the best place for it would be.

Our two dogs–Toby and Dora were very well behaved on the trip up and back–Toby was sure she was supposed to be top dog even though she knew she was a guest—so a few kerfluffles but no blood drawn, just a lot of rolling around and a lot of bits of grass on their fur.



Honey anyone?


I’ve been called ‘honey’ and ‘darling’ by southern gentlemen in Georgia and Texas and never minded even though it was a business venture or a not so intimate encounter. Some women really minded but I didn’t.

However, I digress.

yesterday I went to my shop to mow the back–I had been dreading this as the weeds had really gotten out of control due to our prolific rains. My little garden tractor just could not see its way clear to mow through eight inches of water. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the neighboring huge field with the big brush hogs had mowed that section for me. I still had to mow but it was so much easier than the bit that I had done.

And then I decided to tackle the bee hive. I donned my bee suit, and fired up the smoker—after several attempts. Smoked those bees, lifted the top cover…then the inner cover–hive tool is vital in prying things apart. Then removed four frames that were dripping with honey, brushed off as many bees as I could with my gloves–some kept sneaking back–and then put them in a new Hefty tub bought just for that purpose. I could hardly lift that tub–and that was only half of my frames.


Put that tub on front porch, consulted bee experts, and went back, brushed off the few remaining bees and brought it home. Uncapped the honey and let it drain into two roaster pans, then strained it. And bottled it this morning–scrambling for enough jars to hold it all—–and baked some fresh bread to have for breakfast this morning with my newly harvested honey.

I accomplished this by myself–but advice from all the professional and experienced beekeepers was muchly appreciated—and now my keyboard is sticky with honey like most of my kitchen.


One of the dogs helped by licking the honey that dripped on the side of the counter and off onto the floor—a mopping is in the very near future.

Doc Browne

There is a very nice dog park in our neighborhood. People bring their dogs to play–a set of posts with chains to set at different levels to jump over, a tunnel to run through, a ramp, and a dog watering dish along with a post with a supply of poopy bags. Little dogs can go on one side while big dogs on the other although if no-one else is there you can choose either side.

Toby and Dora love going to the dog park. Whenever Glen opens his car door–they immediately jump in and are ready to go. Toby likes to driver while Dora needs to alert Glen of the presence of people walking, people on bicycles and the really horrible people that are on skateboards–by barking in his ear.

People know each other by their dogs’ names-==and it is a good place to hear all the news about the neighborhood.

However, for the past six weeks or so, everyone noticed a brown puppy hanging around—he was thin–and everyone started giving him food. Glen would take him into the park and let him play–and of course get treats. He talked about him so much–I told him he either had to bring the dog home or stop talking about him.


So now we have a third dog–He has had his first set of shots, treatment for fleas and heartworm—and his ‘procedure’ as my mother would have called it. He is still a puppy and annoys Toby mostly–he leaves Dora alone because she will nip or growl. All three are very protective of Glen—a good thing.


However, my good friend in Wisconsin who has been dogless since last summer will take him on–with peace of some sort returning to our household.

Here he is:


Doc Browne–Back to the Future!

Loved Ones

Today is Mother’s Day. I am rather lonesome today; my sons are all away, one working a turn-around, another on the East Coast, another one busy with his family, and a spouse busily planting his garden on my farm. Our instructions this week were to take unusual photos of our loved ones. The photos have to be taken that week, no cheating and using previous photos.

So I did the best I could—photos of my two dogs.

Each morning when I leave for work, they station themselves at the fence with their noses and one paw each sticking out,, the one eye visible expressing great sorrow at my leaving.

Here are my two fur babies–Toby and Dora.

A day at McFadden Ward beach with two dogs

Toby and Dora playing in the surf on an overcast day

The beach in the wintertime is always delightful. There are rarely many people there and last week was no exception. We wanted to compare it to the one we had just left in Florida. The shells are different–still mostly broken up pieces. The dogs loved it, racing up and down and then exploring the dune area. The dunes are much shorter than before Hurricane Rita and it looks odd to drive along the beach road and see the ocean. A few shorebirds danced along the water’s edge collecting something for their midmorning snack. The dogs were sopping wet by the time we left and Dora slept most of the way back. Toby is like an energizer bunny and never seems to run out of energy.



Traditionally cats are the ones discovering balls of yarn, unrolling and tangling up—–but Toby, our border collie mix prowled through one of my baskets and pulled out a ball of yarn and promptly tangled it all up. It wasn’t as if that ball of yarn was sitting out with a pair of knitting needles and readily visible. She had to dig for it=–and selected this one from several.