Photography ~ Cooking ~ Life

Monday, August 17, 2015

Road Rage

This is a minor vent. It's been a long time since I've vented about something, and I feel this is an important one to share.

Apparently there is a new road rage trigger. At least among young women.

For the second time in a week I've been tailgated and had headlights flashed at me because I dared to wash my windshield.

Today the gal was in a jacked up pick-up truck. She wasn't all that close when I first set the wipers off, but apparently the minor drops that appeared on HER windshield ticked her off. She sped up, rode my bumper, flashed her lights at me, and then kept falling back and speeding up, trying to intimidate me I guess.

I was going 60, but she eventually decided to pass me (on a two lane country road), then sped up to get well ahead of me, before slamming on her brakes and coming to a full stop. At that point she crept forward slowly before turning onto another road (without signaling).

I've come to the conclusion that I have no right to be on the road. No right to make a turn. No right to wash my windshield. And no right to go the speed limit. If I do any of those things I might tick someone off.

Seriously? Do we have nothing better to do?

I have just as much right as everyone else to be on the road. It's there for all of us to use.

And just because you're in a car/truck does not make you invincible, I don't care how big the vehicle. Stop playing road games and drive responsibly.

Btw, living where we do, there is a lot of dust. Sometimes it's necessary to wash the windshield. If you don't want your vehicle sprayed, don't drive 2" off my bumper.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

We are heartbroken....

**I don't know why this is showing up as a recent post, when it happened nearly two years ago.**

Not the first time that I've typed those words in the years I've been writing on this blog.

We have been caring for this girl for ten months.

Her owner has been away, staying with her daughter in an attempt to regain her health. We offered to care for her two cats (Padma and her daughter Walli) so that they wouldn't be boarded for two solid months (which was the original time frame for her being gone), and agreed to watch after the property. We figured 'no big deal', but the time was extended over and over again, until it reached nearly a year.

And during that year a lot happened. A lot.

Not long after our neighbor first left, we had one of the worst fall storms that we've seen in quite a few years. The owner had told us that we were not to let the cats in under any circumstances. The fear was that they might 'break' something in a house full of knick knacks. They were always allowed outside during the daytime, but were always in at night. Sadly, that was not to be the case for the time we were watching them.

There are buildings on the property, a barn, and a green house, but still, the weather was pretty harsh for these cats to be subjected to. And Walli would often cry and paw at the front door wanting in so desperately that it broke my heart. To top it off, Padma was the dominant cat (and always chasing or slapping at Walli), and Walli wasn't very well socialized, which made for a difficult situation.

I attract cats (people jokingly call me the cat whisperer), but it was difficult for me to even get close enough to touch Walli. She didn't know me, or trust me enough to come to me the night of the storm. She hid underneath the car and wouldn't come out. Had I been able to get a hold of her, I would have put both of them inside regardless of what we had been told.

The next day Walli was gone, and we never saw her again.

During the months to follow, we finally got permission to try and find Padma a home. We didn't feel that the little time we could spend with her each day was enough, and she deserved a family of her own that would be there and take care of her like she deserved.

We bonded with her, and her with us (she particularly loved my husband) and we tried to work her into our household. It's possible given more time we could have done it, but that was all taken away.

We held off finding Paddy a home because we had been told that the owner might be placed in an assisted living that would allow her to have the cat. We felt that would be best for her, and for Padma, so we put our attempts on hold.

Wrong move. Such a wrong move. And in hindsight it's one of our biggest regrets. 

Last week the owner, daughter, and her husband showed up. We got to see Padma for a few minutes last Wednesday at her own house. She then followed us home and stayed with us here for about half an hour before I walked her back to the end of her driveway.

I wish I had never done that. Walked her back. Not that she wouldn't have eventually wandered back home on her own, but I wish I hadn't been a part of it.

On Friday I got a call from the daughter asking if we had seen Padma. She went missing on Wednesday night. Had they called us then, we might have been able to find her. She was used to us, not to them.

They hadn't bothered to try and bring her inside the house, and then on Thursday and Friday, they had a crew of people out to clean up the property, using loud equipment, chainsaws, weed whackers and the like.

Padma got scared and ran.

They tried to tell us that they thought she was sick and had gone away to die, but that cat wasn't sick when we had seen her on Wednesday evening. She was her usual self. And whether or not the daughter convinced the owner of that, or she convinced herself, that was what they decided had happened.

We know that what actually happened was that they hadn't bothered to take her inside. That she became scared by all of the activity at her usually quiet house. That she did the only thing she could do. She ran.

She was spotted crossing a neighbors field, and another neighbor saw her a couple of times. Others thought they might have seen her.

They never made any moves to look for her.

They left not too long after that. Leaving us heart broken, and Padma out there, somewhere.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Thinking of my own mother today, someone I lost a very long time ago (I was 15), but that I think of every single day. I love and miss you mom, and wish you could have been a part of my life for so much longer than you were. I hope I'm living up to the woman you wanted/hoped I'd become.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The end of an era.....

The towing company took the Nissan away yesterday afternoon.

It's being donated to the Humane Society, which is a good cause, but it was still sad to see the car headed down the driveway for the last time. 

We purchased it from a fleet dealership 17 years ago (it was a year old with only a few miles on it). We paid cash for it (that was a great feeling), and it served us well for a long time. Minor maintenance issues once it reached the 12 year mark, but nothing real serious until an oil change mishap (with a local oil change company) forced our hand and we had to drop a rebuilt engine in.

Unfortunately that engine didn't give us the years we had hoped. A trip to our mechanic revealed that there was piston trouble. The car could keep going for 2 months, or 6 months, but we'd have to baby it along. Earlier this year the piston finally went out and that was it.

 Our choices, drop another engine in and hope the transmission wouldn't go out next (it too was 17 years old after all), or let the car go and buy something newer.

It had an awful lot of miles on it.

Ultimately we decided against the gamble.  

Our hopes of buying another Nissan were dashed when we read the reviews. Not quite the car they were a few years back. All we knew at that point was that we wanted a used car, one to four years old, in an affordable price range, and that would hopefully last several years.

We ended up with a KIA Forte.....Two years old with low mileage.

A nice looking car, handles well (although quite differently than my old Nissan), and gets great gas mileage. We'll have a car payment for a year or two, but it is what it is.

Nice as this car is, I still miss my Nissan. lol

Monday, April 20, 2015

Let there be cake!

Revisiting an oldie but goody - click on the link below for the recipe.

Chocolate Snack Cake

This time I used walnut oil (Trader Joe's) in place of the oil/butter called for, and I took the cocoa powder up slightly.


Monday, March 30, 2015

Yikes! I finally did it......

I finally bought the camera I've been wanting. I've saved every single penny that I was given for birthdays and Christmas for the past two years. I've been watching and waiting for the 'can't pass it up' deal.

It finally happened.

A good deal, plus the worry that I'd miss out on this particular camera (it's being discontinued by the 'new and improved' model) drove the buy. Although this was far from impulse. I've been thinking and planning for a very long time.

A definite upgrade from my Canon XTi, this one has the added benefit of supporting all of my current lenses (like my macro). The new version will not, but it's got a very hefty price tag, and a ton of features and options that I'd never use anyway.

The plan is to have this camera on me for a very long time. I'm not a pro, have no plans on becoming a pro, but do consider myself a pretty good amature photographer. That said, I still have a lot to learn, even though I've been taking photographs for years (starting all the way back with film). 

I'll probably sell the Canon Rebel body to help offset more of the cost, because really, I don't need two digital camera bodies anyway. But time will tell. This old one might be good to hang on to for those times I don't want to haul the bigger guns.

And it does have heft. Way more than the XTi.

Now I really need to start shooting photos again. Something I've let fall by the wayside for far too long.

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