Sunday, December 30, 2018

A new camera, an old friend

Right around Christmas Day, my well-used point-and-swear camera died irreparably. I love having a small pocket camera for hikes and walks and everyday use, and so it became a priority to replace it. The day before yesterday (having finally got my car back from being repaired where someone backed into it while it was parked outside my home in early December), I headed into Nanaimo and bought a new point-and-swear.
Those who remember my frustrations with the last one when I bought it two years ago (yeah, I'm hard on cameras - stuff them in my pocket full of dog cookies and sand, take a zillion pictures every couple of days, never use a case for them......two years is a good run for me!), may be surprised to know I bought exactly the same kind (despite the swearing), just a newer version of the same model. I now own a Sony DSC-HX80, to replace my 2016 Sony DSC-HX60.
This is my third Sony, and I stuck with Sony for a few reasons:
1. I have test driven several other point and shoots over the years (Nikon, Canon, Panasonic, Fuji) and never liked the results as much as I do with the Sony.
2. Sony has the best frames-per-second for continuous shooting [for capturing moving dogs or birds or whatever] of any compact point and shoot out there, by far. I liked the Canon point and shoots very much - nice sharp pictures, bright colours , extremely compact size - but their frames per second sucks at a lousy 2.5 fps compared to Sony's 10 fps.
3. This time, Sony hasn't changed the basic features as much as last time, so there should be a lot less swearing.
4. The changes they have made are awesome - a flip-screen for capturing things low down without lying on your tummy and which also can be used for selfies, and a pop-up view finder which I have been wanting point and shoots to add for years! Last time around, there was only one compact camera on the market with a view finder, and it was so big it wouldn't have fit in even the biggest pocket of my oversized clothing. Despite adding a view finder, Sony has also made this year's model a little more compact so it fits in my sandy, dog-cookie-filled pocket even better than the old one.
So, buying another Sony was rather like welcoming an old friend who just gets better with age.
I welcomed another 'old friend' today - my ever-so-talented artist friend Deb Strong and her dog Lily, on their way to visit family. Deb's work as an artist blows me away, and I was once again thrilled to receive a copy of her calendar which brings me great joy every month of the year.
Even though I hadn't had time to set up the camera just how I like it, I had to take it along with me when we took the dogs down to the beach.
So here are a few preliminary shots with the new camera, based on the factory settings and right out of the box. I'd say it's a keeper - just like my friends Deb and Lily.
Deb offers Lily a little gift from Maggie and me.

Lily carried her new ball all the way to the beach, where the ball-obsessed girl was happy to chase it. 

Maggie found Lily's actions with the ball fascinating, and thought she might like to join in too - or at least run run run as far as she could.
Sorry, Maggie, no off leash time for you on that beach yet.

It was a gorgeous day, and the mountains across the strait
showed their snow-covered caps.

Lily, waiting for Deb to throw the ball......again.

I got it! I got it!  Here I come!
Hopefully, over the next week I'll find time to adjust the settings a bit and then it will be time to get serious about photographing our new community.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Who's a good dog?

I am! I am! Okay, Mama always tells me I'm a good dog,  but I know mamas have to say that, and the real test is if Santa thinks so too.  And he does! He does! He brought me prezzies!

I'm a good dog! 

When I woke up Christmas morning, I went to the kitchen for my breakfast, and then while Mama was making her coffee I ambled into the living room, and WHOA - sniff, sniff, sniff - SUMBODY LEFT TREATS AND STUFF IN MY STOCKING! And I know it was Santa, because he even left his hat full of stuff for me!

Snuffle snuffle snuffle

Ohhh....Santa left his hat with presents in it too!
I told Mama my stocking was kinda small! 

My mama heard me snufflin' around, but she was waiting fer the coffee, so I took a chew stick out of the stocking and carried it to the kitchen door to show mama.  Then I dropped it and sat like a good girl until Mama said I could eat it.  She didn't even have to tell me to sit or drop it. Mama was quite amazed with my restraint.  But she didn't have the camera in the kitchen so didn't get a photo of me being extra-special-good.

Then mama helped me check out the rest of the gifts.  I got more treats (dried sardines - yum! and Mini Zukes) and a new Gulpy water bottle that is smaller than my big summertime one, perfect for little walks and winter hikes. And I got a flashy new necklace that glows bright red (and even lights up my furs) for our evening walks.  My little red light that clips on my harness was too small and kept getting buried in fur, but this one, called Nite Howl, is terrific and everyone we meet comments on it.  You can only just see it in this picture, cause it was daytime, but it glows really, really brightly in the night.

My Nite Howl collar even turns all my white ruff pink
when we walk at night! 

I also got a new Outward Hound Fun Feeder - it's the purple dish in the pictures.  It's smaller than my big orange feeder bowl, and not quite as hard for me to get stuff from.  I like it! (Mama does too, because it isn't as difficult to wash).  And my favourite gift from Mama was a Kong Quest.  See that green toy?  Mama can put treats in here and I wobble it to get them out.  AND it is one of the few toys mama can put my raw food into for play time (cuz sometimes when my allergies are really bad, that's all I can have till they clear up).

Wibble wobble, wibble wobble.
Gotta get this dried sardine outta here! 

After we checked out all the presents, we went for a long, long walk all along the beach.  The tide was in, so there was no sand for me but we went as far as we could go, and then all around town.  It was a very nice morning.  Then we went home and snacked and mama read and yakked on the phone and we had a nice lazy day.

I hope you had a nice Christmas Day and all your dogs and cats and birds and piggies and other critters got something from Santa and  you got to spend time with the peoples/critters you love.

Love , Maggie.  XX00XX

Monday, December 24, 2018

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Take Four

Mama sez Santa and the reindeer might need extra help this year, what with all the winds and rains and so many areas here still without power to light the way, so I is getting ready!  

Friday, December 21, 2018

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Christmassy photo, Take Two

Me:  Oh, Maggie, we're never going to get a good photo for this year's Christmas blog!
Maggie:  Ya could try leavin' the costumes in the box, Mom! Hazn't ya ever heard of Photoshop?

Friday, December 14, 2018


Mama, how many more sleeps until Christmas?
And can I please haz a bigger stocking?

Friday, December 7, 2018

The Piggies' Empty Stockings

Remember Scotch, Soda, and their ten little piglets - the family I fostered for Hearts on Noses Pig Sanctuary from 2007-2009?  Soda passed away this fall, but the rest are doing well at the Sanctuary along with their many piggy friends - forty three of them in all!

If you are stuck for gift ideas for the people who have everything, or if you hate shopping as much as I do, or if you just want to reduce over-the-top consumerism and subsequent waste and environmental impact........making a donation to one or more of the amazing charities out there is a great way to make a positive contribution to the world.  And if you enjoyed my many stories of life with the critters, perhaps you'll consider one of the rescues or sanctuaries that I've mentioned frequently in this blog.  Like Hearts on Noses.

Belle herding all the piglets in 2007

I hear rumors that the piggies have written their letters to Santa Claus and what they are hoping for is stockings full of money to pay for food and veterinary care and soft warm straw and maybe even a few treats.  In fact, they are hoping to find a total of $100 in each stocking Christmas morning.

My former foster piggies checking out the empty pan

Hearts on Noses has created a fundraiser page with 43 squares - one with each pig's name on it.  When a stocking reaches $100, that square turns green.  Of course, I'm partial to Scotch and the kiddies (now seniors!), so I stuffed a little into each of their stockings.  I'm hoping some of my followers on the blog might add a little more.  If you use the page to donate through Canada Helps, your tax receipt is issued automatically and immediately. In the message part, just tell my friends at Hearts on Noses, which pig's stocking your money is to go into.  The link is at the end of this post.

RobRoy's wondering if Santa is hiding in the shed

If your memory is failing, or if you are new to the blog but still want to help, the names of my former fosters are:  Scotch, Whisper, RobRoy, Tom, Lizzie, Derby, Toddy, Fizzy,, Rickey, Mica and Switzer (those last two were called Swizzle and Spritzer when I was fostering them.....somehow their names were changed over the years!)

Treats for my babies

I don't get over to the sanctuary very often, but every time I go there I am awed at the progress Janice and her amazing team of volunteers have made  - they provide an awesome, beautiful, safe haven for 43 very happy pigs and a few other critters as well. Let's make their Christmas special.

Visions of sugarplums dance in his head 

Here's the link to their page - just follow the directions on there:

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Happy 14th Birthday, Emma!

A happy, happy 14th birthday to my beloved Emma, who lives the life of a spoiled, happy lab (is there any other kind?) with her dad who keeps me posted on her well-being.  May she continue to enjoy her treats, her toys, her scritches, her pals (human and canine) for a long time to come.  Love ya, Ems! 💗
Baby Emma

Senior Emma