To Blaze a Trail

On our last day, we decided it would be a good idea to take an early morning hike.

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It was worth taking a time out from time to time.

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Hey ~ Hey!

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Sisters are special and having them for nieces is extra special.

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Another spot to note…

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What happens when we reach a locked gate? Find a way around…

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And when you reach an old car, naturally, you stop to capture the moment.

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Some run ahead…

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While I capture the moment.

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After our cool spring morning walk, we girls hit up Starbucks for a nice treat.

And to wrap up our day, we could not think of a better way to end our day, than to enjoy dinner by the beach.

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A great time was had by all…

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And there is something to be said about our evening visit around the campfire.

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What a great way to spend one on one time with the girls.

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And that concludes spring break, 2015.

Blessings – Debbie

Happy Easter

I’m blessed and thankful

The show must go on. This bit about getting so far behind on the blog will have to wait for another day to fill in the last month.

What a crazy week this has been.

The hubs has been sick all week. So I handpicked some roses from the garden to brighten his day.

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We’ve had over 12 rose bushes in bloom during the course of the week. Spring has showered us with a lot of pretty color.

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Even our pink water lily decided it was time to come out this spring. Did you know water lilies go dormant in the winter, losing the pads and everything? I did not know this a couple of years ago when we moved into this home. When the winter came, I thought all the lilies were dying. Then I called the pond guy and he explained the whole thing.

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I worked on a

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Blessings – Debbie

Boarded

Alert – All photos contributed by cell phones in this post.

Followed by (6) !!!!!!  exclamations. This is the exact text we received from our twin nieces on the morning of March 14th.

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So we quickly took a shot and sent it back to them. Me in my jammies and all.

We said “Sweet, can’t wait to see you!”

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And so the girls official spring break and our quality time with the girls began.

The hubs and me on our way to pick them up!

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The next morning, we girls were up and at ’em before the hubs. So we started in on coffee first thing on the patio.

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But the hubs didn’t sleep in too late, as we all had a date! And off to visit Coronado Island and the Hotel Del was our first stop.

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We were going to have an early lunch right here on the patio. But the wait for them to open was like an hour and a half.

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So we piled in the car and headed to Mission Beach for a little lunch on the pacific. We took note of the Tsunami sign in route.

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While there, we had a little stroll along the pacific and down this cool pier.

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What a pretty day to visit San Diego.

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Another fun stop was Trader Joe’s. I felt pretty special, as I’m the first one to introduce them to this fine establishment. We came home with two great bags of chips, a couple different flavors of humus and a few other fun goodies to snack on during the week.

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To be continued…

Blessings – Debbie

5/52 – Small

Small “was” my assignment for last week. Sorry, I did not get the post up. However, I want to continue with my little project of posting, so I figured a few days late would be just fine.

I’m into my second full week of hiking. And I just love it! But it did not start out well.

I’ll explain. On my first day back to hiking 5 miles, I gained a small blister. On the tiniest little toe of mine. How nice is that? Isn’t it crazy how one tiny thing can throw a wrench into our best plans? And yes, I hobbled nearly 2 miles home that day.

But look out, I was well prepared with a band-aid the next day. Don’t you know, I developed another little tiny blister on my other little toe. Now I had matching blisters. And feeling pretty discouraged, as I thought I had good hiking shoes.

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The next day I took a time out. Gathered my shoes and a clean pair of socks to pay a visit to the local shoe store.

So I’m in my car, half way down my street, when I see my sweet neighbors daughter jogging.

So I stopped the car. Waited for her to reach me. Put down my window and the sweet lady stopped. I said hello to the nice lady and explained to her my situation and showed her my hiking shoes and asked if she had any recommendations on the type of shoe I should have for the hills.

She said all I needed to hear. She simply said “you need a good pair of running shoes and I don’t think you will ever have trouble with blisters again”. She went on to explain that she wears running shoes for everything.

And so I was off to hunt down a good pair of shoes.

After trying on 9 or so pair, I found just the ones that made happy feet. Mind you, I had two fresh blisters and no band-aids on at the time of trying on shoes. And I walked around and around the store with no trouble at all. It was a really good sign that they were meant for me.

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And I’ve walked and hiking the hills and valleys happily ever after. Cheers for happy feet and to hiking band-aid free! I’m telling you, I will never forget the kindness of that gal as she was my angel that day. Running shoes is where it’s at peeps, trust me.

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But for my small shot, I thought this little family of empty snail shells on my little trowel would be much prettier than blisters.

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I’m having a much better week and happy to report those small blister trials are last weeks troubles.

Blessings – Debbie

3/52 – Light

Light is the topic for my project, this third week of the year. So I thought I’d shed a little light on my identity crisis. It’s what I think of when getting used to a new pair of frames.

So I picked up my new prescription and new frames today. I like that they are a tad larger, providing more room for my progressives. I’m sure I’ll adjust to the new me soon.

But the story on finding a pair that I like is a bit crazy.

I already know the style of frame I like. I like as near to rectangle as you can get. I shopped several places in the area and found something I really liked. Only they were a little snug on my temple and the guy (Optician) helping me said there was nothing he could do about it. So I continued to search.

The hubs got in on the search, as he wanted to drive me on up the road a little further to a place that had a rather large supply. That husband of mine rocks my world!

Turns out, I found a pair I liked. Tried them on. But to someone who needs a prescription to see, it’s hard to know if I really like them. So I took a selfie to decide if they were for me. I thought they fit the bill. So we made the purchase and brought them home.

However, I had to have another look at them on a larger screen. So I transferred the image to my computer. I was not a big fan as I found a couple of things that bothered me. I’m so happy they let me return them. Note: I just purchased the frame without the prescription.

Back to square one. This time, I called the place where I originally fell in love with the tight pair of frames. The place where the guy said he couldn’t help me. Yes, that place. Luckily for me, I spoke with a different optician and she told me that they could adjust the frames to meet my comfort needs.

That’s all it took. I got her name and made an appointment with her to nail the frames I really liked.

And just like that, she made the adjustments necessary for a comfort fit and sent them in to the lab to have my new prescription filled.

That was just over two weeks ago. And today was the day my new frames were ready for pick-up.

In keeping with my “Light” project this week, I decided to test the waters and shed a little light on the new me.

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I’m so happy I called that first place back. The place where the guy said he couldn’t help me.And thank you so much sweet lady for loving your job enough to help customers in need of a little extra help.

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As I see it, I give the comfort level 5 stars, the larger frame 5 stars and my new prescription 5 stars. As for the identity crisis, I should be adjusted to the new me soon.

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And there you have it.

Blessings – Debbie

Library

While visiting the library, (yesterday) I couldn’t help but capture the image of this rather large photo. Is this not the perfect image in a library or what?

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And I was pretty excited to get my very own library card. Goodness knows I haven’t had a library card since I was in high school. I know, I almost hate to record this bit of info on the blog. But I’m so excited to have my very own card!

I’m so in love with the e-book feature! I had no clue you could check out books, magazines and a plethora of things to read on the kindle. I’ve already read the January publication of Prevention, Better Homes and several other magazines. And I’m excited to report that I’m already reading some books on the Kindle! Where have I been and why didn’t I know these things?

Oh the joys of discovering new things available thru the library.

Blessings – Debbie

I’m Busy Resting While Things Are Happening

Just how does that work? Well, I was busy painting up a storm. So much so that I’m completely pooped after painting all day, yesterday. And 5 days of painting last week, I might add.

So I’m taking today off to post on the blog. And to take pictures. And to enjoy the things others are doing around the house today.

Last evening – I snapped below image (from the neighborhood) with my cell as we were on our way to the Home Depot – Again.

I truly love this time of the day.

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True Story – Some bunny’s been eating my corn – said the hubs – Better look out bunny, that’s all I have to say about that… I snapped the image this morning with my favorite 105mm prime lens.

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And I snapped images of the plumbers toolbox (when he wasn’t looking – of course) with my favorite lens too. I can only imagine what one would think seeing me stooped over their box of tools with a camera.

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But I could not help myself. It’s what a girl with a camera does.

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And she takes an image of the sink and faucet that was broken out to show things are happening.

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And she takes an image of the new sink and faucet (there are two brand spanking new ones going in our bathroom today) propped on the bathroom floor. Because she wants to show things are really getting done.

Love our brushed nickel faucets!

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And we have our gardner making the backyard beautiful. He moved a pretty rose such that I can get to it without maneuvering too much.

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And working his magic on the things that are much too difficult for me.

The best part of the day was enjoying a little face time with the hubs at lunch. Love when he comes home to check up on the crew and have a little lunch together.

While things were happening, I enjoyed my nice cushy office chair, taking images of my day and blogging. My tired muscles say thank you ~ thank you very much!

But tomorrow is a new day, a day to splash more paint on the walls.

Now to make a little dinner and enjoy the evening with the hubs.

Blessings – Debbie

About Last Week

Greetings from Home – It was so good to get home to my love.

Azaleas – The azaleas were loaded with all sorts of buds when I left to be with my family and say our final goodbyes to grandma.

And this is the pretty sight I came home to a week ago. On top of that, the hubs gave first class treatment as I was one pretty jet-lagged wifey.

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The wisteria was just like the azalea. As in it was loaded with all sorts of buds before my trip. And now it’s in full, sweet aroma bloom!

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Hurricane Weather – So the hubs told me of the hurricane like weather he had (with an eye and everything) while I was away. Check out what it did to the plant holder. Yes, that plant holder is buried in concrete and still secure at the base.

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Last Thursday, March 6th. I had my girlfriend (Julz) over for coffee. We shared bagels and coffee on the patio and caught up with what was going on in each others lives. I was also privileged to have a look see at her new house. What a pretty place and I can’t wait ’til I get to see the inside – They have not closed on the house yet…

I cherish moments like this.

How sweet of her to bring the beautiful succulent (I love succulents!) and thoughtful card.

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Sprouts – We planted our little vegetable garden (in the bay window) several weeks ago. Everything looks good so far.

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Not Quite Before & Not Quite After (image) – Saturday, we worked on this area. We removed several roses, agave bushes and large succulents. And the hubs even removed several massive roots. This is the spot on the upper terrace where we’ve planned our little vegetable garden – coming soon!

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Who knew we could use so many wheelbarrows around here? We have 3. This old one so happened to be on the upper terrace, so it’s the one I used.

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I found homes for the roses and a few of the succulents. But there were some things that I had no use for. Perhaps one day I’ll regret getting rid of this stuff…

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It’s SPRINGTIME – Been waiting for you to roll around, March 9th! I gladly give that hour back. That’s what I posted on Facebook Sunday and I have enjoyed the change ever since…Cheers to change!

Motives Motivate – I’ve had motives to get rid of all the fish in the pond. Motives like – I want prettier fish. Who’s to say what prettier is, as beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So in this case, “I” consider the Shubunkins prettier than what we currently have.

But the thing that really motivated me is when our beautiful “Shubunkin” was taken. Now all I want are Shubunkins.

And I don’t want to cross breed, so I have motives to have the same fish. Thus the motivation to get rid of what we have.

I’m talking with an adoption agency (AKA – the place where I purchased the goldfish last year) to see if they would be willing to come scoop out all the fish + the babies. And take them back with the promise that I will purchase our Shubunkins from them. I’m motivated to make this happen soon – Fingers crossed…

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But there is one fish to remain. It’s this pretty fish with beautiful fins. It’s the only shubunkin in the pond.

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I’m currently waiting on a call back to see if they (the pond store) is up to the task of removing all the fish and babies.

To be continued…

Blessings – Debbie

Happy Birthday to Lyn

Friday was such a beautiful day for a Special Birthday Party.

And we were in our places to form our group for a “BIG” surprise.

We brought the birthday: hat, wand, jewels, a ring, special glasses, blowers, and balloons to shower her.

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Once we gathered, we made our way up the street to surprise Lyn.

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While I did not get the initial surprise “shot”, Lyn was so excited. And here she is getting all fixed up.

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She was given a first class ride to her “Birthday” luncheon.

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And this is the beautiful spot where we gathered.

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What a beautiful and wonderful group of neighbors and friends.

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And what a delight to visit on this beautiful day.

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More guests arrive.

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And yet another…

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And there was love and listening ears, truly taking in the others around her.

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Twas such a festive table.

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And the lady behind the camera was trying many ways to capture the moment.

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And candid images are what I love taking the most.

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And another with everything in focus.

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This hat says it all.

While we waited for lunch, Lyn opened the cards and shared them around the table. I slipped, and failed to capture images of that moment.

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Lunch is served! My salmon was so yummy!

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Tracy ordered the fish tacos, they look amazing.

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Janene had such a pretty plate too and wanted an image to remember. I tell ya, I could have taken images of the entire table as each plate was positively beautiful and delish!

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Happy Birthday too you!

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Every Birthday girl must have a special cake.

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And don’t forget to make a wish!

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And enjoy the moment.

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Then blow out the candle.

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And of course, enjoy the cake!

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That “was” warm chocolate cake. Carol and I shared the above piece together. It was so good!

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The whole group of ladies.

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And our Fabulous Birthday Girl.

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What a lovely day to remember.

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The End

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Blessings – Debbie

Mixed Emotions

To keep the goldfish or not to keep the goldfish. That’s the subject for today.

Of course we want fish.

But are goldfish what we really want in the pond?

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I’m growing attached to these guys. However, we originally got them to see how we would fair with being fish owners.

  • Apparently we are doing something right. The fish seem happy. We haven’t had any trouble with sick/dying fish. And they spawned all spring long. We have about 100 (2 – 3 inch babies) to prove it.

And would we be able to keep the predators away?

  • So far so good!

The conclusion – While I have mixed emotions, we would like to go a full season with the goldfish, to see how things go.

And this spring, (I think) we’ll be ready to replace the goldfish with a few Koi.

I’m dreaming of a butterfly Koi and other varieties. Until then, we’ll continue to take good care of the fish and find a good home for them when and if the time comes.

The sound of the fountain, providing oxygen to the fish, could be the most constant relaxing source of music to my ears. Ever.

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Happy Wednesday!

Blessings – Debbie

San Diego – Wild Animal Park

Situated on 1,800 acres, home to more than 2,600 animals representing more than 300 species.

Its renowned botanical collection represents 3,500 species and 1.5 million specimens. More than anyone can see in a day.

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So the girls in my neighborhood set the date for a Safari. I was so happy to join this wonderful adventure with them. (Yesterday Morning)

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While I don’t know this little gal up in the front, I was totally smitten with her.

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They call it “WILD” for a reason. Twas fun watching the animals kick up some dust while claiming their ground.

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It’s fun to watch these guys at mealtime.

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It was a treat to see this 38-year-old White Northern Rhinoceros out for a stroll. She is one of the 7 left in the world. It’s sad this species is going extinct, right before our eyes.

Bit of trivia, she has lived past her life expectancy of 35 years and still going strong.

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You never know what you will run into on a stroll thru the park.

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there was something about her sweet face that I just had to capture.

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We learned a bit about owls too. Did you know the owl has 14 vertebrae in their neck? That’s twice as many as we have.

Did you know the owl’s eyes are fixed? And the great thing about having 14 vertebrae in his/her neck is that it allows them to spin their head all the way around.

Have you any idea by looking at his size how much he would weigh? I really thought this bird would be quite heavy. Turns out, he only weighs in at 5 pounds. He truly is made with a lot of feathers.

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More Safari adventures to come, I’m sure. But this is all for now.

Blessings – Debbie

Heron, We Have A Problem – The Egret Has Landed

One of the things we’ve known about having outdoor fish as pets, is that trouble could lurk. Ok, trouble more than likely will lurk. No, take that all back, trouble WILL in fact lurk. And if we’re not careful, a really big problem could arise. And the fish could be no more in a matter of days.

As we’ve heard, birds are the biggest threat.

And yesterday morning, the egret landed in my arms from FedEx. I could not get him out of the wrapping fast enough. As we needed back-up “Right Away”!

Standing at a whopping 41″ tall, I’d say he looks pretty cool and real to life. Don’t you think?

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So, the hubs ordered the egret as a decoy. As we know, birds do not share space while hunting for food. And we learned that a large statue of an egret would send a heron flying for the hills.

I love that the hubs is all about protecting our babies. The Egret stands as Top Cover and more reinforcement is on the way. The hubs also ordered a Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler.

The cool feature about the scarecrow, is that it will blast the bejeebers out of anything that moves. I’m fond of the motion sensor feature with an unexpected noise. It’s harmless, but quite effective to any creäture who dare crosses the line.

All the above to say, we had our first encounter with a heron on Monday, just 4 days after our fish arrived. As good luck would have it, I so happened to hear something coming in for a landing. Right there in front of me he was there, a huge heron! And I yelled “GET OUT OF HERE!”

Now, I’m not one to yell, but when it comes to protecting, I surprised myself. And that would be a first that I have ever yelled at a heron on my patio or anywhere for that matter.

That guy (I don’t even think he fully landed) went, up, up and away as if his dear life depended on it! Don’t tell him, but I would never do anything to hurt that beautiful creature. Just for kicks, do you know that harming one of these guys could result in as much as a $10,000 fine? So yea, I’m going to play, but play nice.

I scared him enough that he didn’t dare come back the rest of the day.

Tuesday – I was ready for the heron, as I had a feeling he would return. And return he did. I was out on the patio when I heard him coming in for a landing, so I gave him another tongue lashing.

And over he flew and landed in the neighbor’s yard. (Grin) I don’t see much for him to feed on in the neighbor’s backyard. It’s time to move on, young man/lady.

While he did move on, he was back later in the afternoon. But he still could not get past me. I’m learning that I make a pretty darn good blocker, all by my lonesome.

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After guarding and protecting the last couple of days, I could hardly wait for the back-up to arrive.

Wednesday = yesterday, the pond was armed and dangerous. VERY dangerous with our brand spankin’ new 41″ egret. Reference the first picture up above. He’s worthy of another little peak.

And just like clockwork, the heron was back!

I could feel the blood race thru my body and my heartbeat was more than just a regular beat. And I was on edge as I watched from inside.

Don’t mind the picture quality of the shot below. It’s just the shot I was able to get looking out from the dining room and thru the screen door and share the proof that he’s been here.

Can you tell he’s scared?

No?

Me neither. Other than the fact that he didn’t dare come any closer.

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The heron trolled the mid to upper backyard for nearly 30 minutes. I was the eye from the house looking on as I didn’t want to disturb his behavior. I had to see who was going to win, the “fake” egret or the heron.

May I insert that I had little faith in our fake egret. I really expected some sort of bird fight. And I knew the heron would knock the fake egret over with one swift blow to the head with his long gigantic bill.

For starters, let’s just say, the fake egret did not flinch! He stood his ground. And he made me proud.

But the heron, on the other hand, had some funky movements going on with his very long neck, but he didn’t dare move in.

I could see defeat when the heron lifted up and over to the neighbors backyard where he stayed another 30 or so minutes waiting on the egret to leave.

I have to hand it to the heron, he was one very patient bird, but the egret has patience that will outlast the hunger of the heron.

And one more thing. I played with the heron’s head, I did. I moved that egret 3 x’s yesterday. I hear you’re supposed to move them around, as herons will get wise to one standing in one place for months on end. The pond man told me to move him around at least once every 2 weeks.

So in my mind, I’m playing a game with that heron and he’s going to learn that my fake egret means business.

Just wait ’til the hubs gets his scarecrow motion sensor sprinkler. We will have the safest fish on the block. No worries little babies, we got ya covered.

Blessings – Debbie

Around the Pond

Good Day!

It is a beautiful good day.

I would like to give a little update on the goldfish.

Let me just say, they are coming around. I mean, really coming around. And they seem to be getting to know us.

They no longer “dart” for cover when we approach the pond.

They are beginning to feel freedom and it’s obvious for us as they now play and make quite a splash as we look on.

And each morning when I feed them breakfast, I count all 10 of them.

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And I count all 10 of them when I’m not feeding them. And I count all 10 of them each time I visit. I can’t help but want to know that they are all safe and doing well.

We are quite smitten with our babies and find them to be an extra special addition to our home.

Blessings – Debbie

Peaceful Weekend

Our weekend blossomed with peace, quiet, birds chirping and fish splashing.

The hubs found just the right spot to install our flagpole.

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And Old Glory proudly waves in our new backyard.

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It’s a colourful Monday here at the house.

With the pic below, I like how the water movement lends to an abstract image. I also like the 105mm used for this shot.

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We had the electrician over this morning to provide a lot of goodies for our home. I especially like how the hammer drill made work look like fun.

Happy Colourful Monday and the best to all of you this week.

Blessings – Debbie