RSS Feed

Skye Blue Waters

I've been a dog- and horse-lover my entire life. I don't ever remember a time when I didn't have SOME animal to love and call my own. Having a pet (or more than one!) is a joy in life I could not live without. It comes with great responsibility – and there comes a time in every pet owner's life when a decision must be made. The biggest responsibility of all: deciding when it's time to let go.

When you reach that point, it's best not to dwell on the here-and-now; rather it's a great time to remember all the happiness and good times brought about by none other than this sweet pet you've loved for so long.

Of course, I say this tongue-in-cheek since I still haven't been able to bring myself to edit the photos from the final portrait session of my family's 27-year-old mare, Joy...and she was put down in May. All in due time :)

So it was with bittersweet emotion I journeyed to a family member's house to take some final portraits of their beloved 13-year-old yellow lab, Skye. She was sound of mind – and still absolutely 100% obsessed with softballs – but her poor little body just couldn't keep up anymore.

We alternated heading outside to shoot photos with watching the Vikings – this family is as obsessed about sports as their hunting dog was about chasing balls. It was a gorgeous, warm dog-day of summer...perfect for a little family photo shoot.

It was great to see her in such good spirits, and she posed beautifully for my camera (although she couldn't wait for the breaks in between shots so she could chew on her baseball!). Between Skye's utter devotion to treats; Zada's incessant begging for someone, ANYONE, to throw the ball for HER; and the antics of various family and friends on scene, it was a fun afternoon.

Although this wasn't even my dog, she had become part of my extended family – of course, why wouldn't she? – and has been in front of my camera on numerous occasions (in fact, it was a last-minute entry of her that took first place, grand champion AND sweepstakes at the Crow Wing County Fair photography competition in 2010).

From the feedback I've heard so far, I think I captured the true "essence" of Skye – her sweet nature, her undying love of baseballs, her proclivity for crossing her legs in a lady-like fashion, her ability to con a hug (or a snack!) from anyone she came into contact with just by the look on her face.

Skye Blue Waters, you were SUCH a good girl, and gave your family a lot of love over the years. You will be truly missed :)

Refrigerator Pickles

I think it's only been about two years since I was introduced to refrigerator pickles by our family friend, who brought them on a horseback riding/camping weekend (I fell in love).

Now I just expect she'll not only make them every year, but give me at LEAST two jars' worth. I've always been a pickle fan but fridge pickles have become my ultimate favorite. I tend to hoard them and not really share...good thing The Hubby doesn't really like pickles.

This summer was no different – I expected her to bring them on our weekend in August of camping at Pillager with horses/food/perhaps some beer – and she delivered yet again. This time I got two jars at once, so I was pretty pumped.

Then – wonder of all wonders – my friend made them for the first time this summer (she gets a TON of fruits and veggies from her CSA every week) and evidently had enough to bring into the office and share...ANOTHER jar of homemade, beautiful pickles à la refrigerator. Plus, hers are different from our family friend's, so it's not as if I have three identical pickle jars in the fridge. Not that it'd really matter anyway, I guess...

So my friend's pickles are more sweet than dill, and while I'm not normally a fan of non-dill pickles, these are incredibly tasty and they were just so beautiful I almost didn't want to open them and start gorging. Had to take a few shots just to preserve the memory :)

I think I've just decided my new favorite thing: friends who're great in the kitchen. Thank you for sharing, friends :)

PS: It seems I'm not the only one enamored with refrigerator pickles. Just on a whim I decided to look them up but didn't even get to type in "pickles" before The Google knew for what I was searching: