Sunday, July 18, 2010

Quick Contest

Just had to throw this out there, for anyone who may be interested.
I am doing a little contest on my photography facebook page. Go to!/pages/Coloma-MI/K-Bollman-Photography-Oh-Snap-Portraits/124039494277694 and either comment on a photo or just add your name to my latest status update and you're entered to win an 8x10 print of any photo in my posted photos.
There are lots to choose from right now, even if I haven't taken your photo, or a pic of your loved one. Fireworks, animals, rodeo shots, and flowers. Take a look around, enter in the contest, and become a fan of the page! There will be more contests as the year goes on! But, Hurry!! Deadline for this contest is Monday July 19th at NOON EST! Good Luck!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Anyone that has known me for any length of time knows that I have a thing for psycho kitties.
To me, the snuggly, super cuddly, schmoozing around, purring in your face kind of cat is the feline equivalent of the Stepford Wives.
I like a cat that cannot pass my patented psycho kitty test.
A cat that is cheeky enough to catch mice by carrying them around like a prize after they've met their fate in a snap trap, mousetrap & all.
A cat that will try to attack the feet of my sisters should they choose to visit or nap on the couch, and with luck and sass, wrap its forearms around it's 'prey' and kick like hell with it's back feet.
A cat that will take on the dog & ride on a horse, but not pee on my hay.
One that is bold enough to take on a pack of wild raccoons and come out on top.
One that is tough enough to ride stray dogs like a rodeo bullrider, but gentle enough to let the kids cart them around like a rag doll.
A cat that doesn't need a litter box in the house because it's smart enough to ask to go outside, and wise enough to come back in when I call it.

But, sadly, no such cat exists. Mostly because I have wrapped up all the best qualities of cats past that we have loved in our family.
Rodeo Roda - who rode her first stray dog on a whim after jumping off the back porch onto said dog's back as it passed under her, and as a result, cleared our yard of any stray dogs.
Snickelfritz, the little black cat that DAD brought home, having found it when someone threw a litter in a burlap sack out the window of a pick up truck.
The legendary Sam-I-AM the half siamese that ended up with only one canine tooth after being hit by a car, and loved to flash it at strangers as a warning.

But, even if I found another legendary personality, it would be for naught. You see, my darling husband is deathly allergic to cats. It makes me sad. I would have him get regular allergy shots if we had the insurance & money to do so, just to have a psychotic & loveable feline around for my personal entertainment. But, we don't. So I can't look too hard.
It makes it that much harder though when I am caring for these little boogers every day though.

Yep. Kittehs. We have 'em. We can't keep 'em. Partly because of the hubster's allergy, and partly because not a single ONE of these little fur balls have what it takes to really capture my heart.

Not ONE of them even paid attention during the psycho kitty test. That means ALL of them have the potential to be lovers.

UGH. LOVEY cats. Is there anything worse??? Not for me.
But for the rest of the population, it's a good thing I'm told. A sweet cat that will purr and lounge and NOT run around the house at 3 am with it's claws out so you can hear them ascend the stairs at warp factor 9.
I just don't understand that kind of cat. There is no adventure there. But there is lots of love.
So, if you are lookin' fo loove, and like the snuggly-wuggly kind of kitteh, let me know. I can totally hook you up.

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Nice Change of Scenery

Today ended a nearly 10 year hiatus from building with Dad. I LOVE working with my Daddy. We are outside nearly all day (unless we're doing inside work) making a real concrete difference in something, working with our hands. WHAT is more satisfying than working with your hands in some manner, I ask you? A BIG FAT NOTHIN' THAT'S WHAT!!! But, I am a physical girl, despite my current state of affairs.

Dearest Daddy has been re-shingling a roof, with my hubby helping on occasion when he's not at his normal job. Well, hubs has been busy, and they just haven't been on the same page as far as getting the job done. As a result, Dad has been working alone, trying to do it all himself. Usually this is fine, but this type of job really is worlds easier with help.

Long, distracting story short - I volunteered to help Daddy out. So, this morning, I got up at 5am, loaded up the kids & brought them to Ma, who would watch them for me whilst I traipsed around the roof like some little mountain goat, bringing needed supplies to Daddy like shingles, nails, underlayment, hammers, and other such fun things.

He had already done the 'easy' part of the roof - the 4/12 pitch, and better than half of one side of the 12/12 pitch.... oh, I should explain here.... a 4/12 goes up 4 inches for every foot from the edge of the roof..... it's about 18.43 degrees. Easy peasy. A 12/12 pitch rises a foot for a foot ... so the angle is right at 45 degrees.

It's tricky, walking up & down that, and true, Dad did have some toe boards up so we could scale the roof at any pitch, but.... when we started the un-finished side I regained my old mountain-goaty-ness and was running up & down the roof uninhibited by anything, and standing under the toeboard, handing supplies to Dad so he didn't have to do anything but get it done.

Even he was a little surprised that I was flyin' up & down that sucker without assistance.

Long story short - it was nice. All of it. The waking up early, the coffee with Dad & Ma, the hauling of tools & materials, the heat, the sweat, the view, and the sore ankles & knees.

I don't know yet if he wants my help on a continued basis, but I plan to get up early tomorrow, if he wants my help and do it again.

It's just one of those things that's in my blood.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Snake was WHERE?

Yesterday looked like it was going to be just another uneventful day. Kids, housework, messin' with the kittens, and doing my horse chores. I managed to spare a little extra time to take Little Dona with Velvet & I on our little ride. It was pleasant. No major problems. All was good.

When we got back, I even decided to slap MY saddle on Dona to see how she liked a little weight. Normally, she gets one of the much lighter saddles. She, frankly, did not care.

Then, as they were happily munching their dinners & getting into a good feelin' kinda groove, I decided to scrub out their water tank & refill it with fresh. Meh, it was time. When I got out there, I found this little guy.

If it wasn't for the fact that I already had the hose on & my scrubber ready to go, I would have run up to the house for my camera. All I could do, though was grab my phone & snap one. Now, I must say ... I am used to seeing snakes around the area. I usually spot at least one on any given longer trail ride. I find them often in blueberry bushes, under wood in the field, and sneaking out from under the chicken coop. I have even found them IN my hay bales from time to time. But, this was the first one I have found in a water trough. What a pleasant surprise.
He/she was adorable. No more than a foot long, and a little thicker around than a good pencil. The only thing, is that I don't really recognize the markings. Comparing him to some pics I found I think he's a northern water snake, but I cannot be sure. You can't tell in the pics, but he had round pupils, and no buds on his tail, so massauga never crossed my mind. Even babies have a bud, right?
This has to be the summer of the snake around here. Without looking for them, so far I have seen 4 garter snakes, 3 blue racers, this little fella, and I heard a rattler when fixing the fence about a month ago. Believe me, I would have looked harder, but when the grass is as tall as I am, I pretty much figure it's a lost cause. Strangely, the horses haven't spent much time in that area this year when they are out to graze. Hmmm.
Is anyone out there talented and knowledgeable of Michigan Herps? If it helps, he was is northern Berrien county. No worries, snake lovers, I gently dumped out the remainder of the water and him with it before I started scrubbing. Don't want to hurt the baby snakeys. They are so good!