Dellabee and Me

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Archive for the month “April, 2012”

The Great Outdoors (project52)

My mom came for a visit this week, and one day we decided to go to the Carolina Raptor Center – which is a rehab/sanctuary for birds of prey. Great chance to take lots of nature photos!

What the heck are these?

Leafy trees

The rare Ella-bird

Eagle couple

Trees

Little bloom

Fuzzy caterpillar

Early bloom

Owl

Close-up

One-eyed owl

It was fun and a nice way to spend the afternoon.

I am participating in project52, a weekly photo link-up. This week’s theme was “things that grow.” Click here to see all of the other great photos.

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Workshop Photos

I attended a 2-hour photography workshop at a local studio recently (thank you, Groupon!). These are some of my favorites. All are straight out of the camera, no post-editing. I welcome your feedback.

Sacrifice

This week’s p52 theme is “sacrifice.” Must be related to the Easter/Jesus/resurrection thing?

Or the bunnies sacrificing their chocolate for the children of the world?

Either way, giving something up for the sake of someone or something else – it’s kind of a big deal.

Being a parent involves a shit-ton of sacrifice. Mothers and fathers give up big stuff (careers) and small stuff (soda) all  because it might somehow benefit the little being at the center of their world.

My sacrifice? Well, it is Spring Break and it has been spent dealing with a stomach bug and pink-eye. Kind of a bummer week.

So now that everyone is better, I brought the kids to the pool.

Poor quality photo courtesy of my cell phone

I have mentioned my hatred of swimming and the community pool here and here. Bringing the kids to the pool, by myself, is a sacrifice in my book. It stresses me out. It is boring as hell. It is hot. Other kids agitate me. I don’t trust the teenage lifeguards. I rarely have a decent place to sit. I basically become a giant mental mess.

But they love it, and I love them blahblahblah so we went to the pool.

 

I am participating in p52, one photo each week. This week’s theme is “sacrifice.” Duh. Check out all the other sacrifices here.

Real? Or not real?*

What a BIG fish you have!

What do you think – is that fish real? Or not real?

Real awesome, for sure!

It’s a real keeper, isn’t it?

The fish, too. *wink*

The fish pillow was a serendipitous find at our local thrift store a few years ago. I actually found it – the kids weren’t with me. I knew as soon as I saw it that it was maybe one of the most awesomest pillows ever.

A boy and his giant fish.

D claimed it when I brought it home. Also, if you are cringing at the thought of purchasing a thrift-store pillow, I assure you it was washed in HOT water before being claimed by said child.

E was distraught that I had not found two such amazing pillows. Alas, the thrift store gods are both generous and fickle. I thought the pillow was a weird, one-of-a-kind thing until I decided to search for them online.

Turns out you can buy them here and here. Thankfully. This past year Ella received a rainbow trout pillow under the Christmas tree. My mom thinks it’s weird, by the way.

The kids have been jumping into their Spring Break like a pool on a hot day.

Real? Or not real?

Sadly, not real. These first few days of spring break have been spent like this:

Sick and sleeping

E has something going on that is causing bad stomach pain and vomiting. This morning, after spending 2 hours with the pediatrician, we still don’t know what she has. I am waiting for an antibiotic prescription to be filled right now.

This is going to be a long Spring Break. Real? Or not real?

????

I am participating in project52. This week’s theme is “Foolin’ Around.” Click here to see all the other great photos.

 

*Ahhhh, The Hunger Games is in theaters and I actually went and saw it last week. In an actual theater. At night. I know, I can’t believe it myself. Anyways, for those who don’t know, this is a quote from the final book in the series.

I Love Animals but Not Your Off-Leash Dog

I am an animal lover.

I am also kinda scared of dogs.

When I was about 8, a German Shepherd chased me down and bit me on the ass when I was walking to the post office. I had to run and jump up onto a parked police car to get away from him. Funny story now but at the time it was pretty upsetting. I outgrew the fear for the most part, but it still hides in the corners of my brain – cropping up when I am outside and vulnerable like I was that day outside of the post office.

As one might imagine, this subtle dog phobia makes running outside a bit of a challenge.

I have been trying to get back in my running groove after a weird weeks-long slump. A few days ago the weather was decent and I decided to take an early evening run. I used to do this several times/week last year but ever since the Sherry Arnold case I have been uncomfortable running in the dark – I do live in a quiet subdivision with little crime but still. So off I went.

It was a good run. So good that I chose to take a lap around a further part of the subdivision. I don’t always do this. There is a one-mile loop that goes in an oval out and back from my front door that I usually do, but heading out into the other part of the development adds another mile. I enjoy running out there more than the regular loop – after a mild hill it flattens out for a decent stretch and there isn’t much traffic.

However, as I came down the hill leading back to my loop, I saw a man with his dog. The dog was a German Shepherd. Yeah. This made my pulse quicken twice as much as the running had.

Now, usually when I encounter someone with a dog while I am running I either cross the street or give them a wide berth as I pass at a pace that is very, very hard to maintain for long. Why the wide berth? Because I know dogs on leashes can actually become very territorial of their location. I also know that most people think they have control over their dogs when on a leash but honestly, some situations can trigger a dog to behave in a way that is beyond controlling. (I know this because once I was walking our very bad Doberman a few years ago and a neighbor stopped to comment about him and his striking looks – the dog had always been fine with new people so I wasn’t concerned, but when the man asked if he could pet him and I said yes the dog jumped at him with a snarl. Totally unexpected.)

As I came up behind the guy with his dog, I called out “is it okay if I pass?” and both the dog and the man jumped with fright. Apparently my breathing and heavy running is not as loud as it seems to me, because he didn’t know I was behind him. Of course jumping in fright because a stranger is running towards your master is not a great situation for the dog. So I gave them all of the road and had to run superfast uphill, even though the dog didn’t even bark or pull at his leash.

Right after this section is the steepest hill of the loop. Sometimes I can make it to the top without stopping. Sometimes not. This time, still keyed up from adrenaline, I ran all the way to the top and celebrated silently at my victory over both the hill and the German Shepherd.

Then I saw the pit bull. Not on a leash. With nobody around. Fuck.

I really, really want to be an advocate for all animals but honestly all the dumb assholes and hillbillies and gangsta-wannabe-thugs have bred the shit out of these dogs, creating a sort of hit-or-miss mix of pit bulls that have over-run shelters. Pit bulls have a bad reputation because people have RUINED them. It is not the dogs’ fault. It is a fact. One more piece of human shame we have to carry on our backs. I know there are nice, decent pit bulls out there – but those pit bulls are typically cared for by nice, decent people with a rider on their homeowner’s insurance. And those pit bulls are probably not out at night, running through a neighborhood alone.

I did what I had to do – I stopped running. My glorious, comeback, take-that-you-big-hill run. I crossed the street. I walked.

The dog followed me.

I kept walking away from it, until I felt like there was enough distance between us that I could safely begin running.

I ran the entire way back, which was only about 1/4 mile to my house.

I averaged a 13-minute mile because of all the walking. Whatever. I’m not really running for time anyways.

Maybe I need a treadmill.

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