Photo A Day: Side-Eye Donkey Statue

Originally posted on

To try and keep me honest in posting my photos regularly: Welcome to my Photo A Day! Topic: Whatever strikes my fancy. Frequency: Daily-ish, I hope.

I admit, I never thought I would write the words “Side-Eye Donkey Statue” in one continuous sentence, but then again, I never saw anything like this fella.


I’m not entirely sure what’s happening here, but I’m fairly convinced the donkey suspects the bear behind him of nefarious planning. I’m also not entirely sure that the donkey is wrong.

Only $175 and the donkey can side-eye your friends and neighbors into an awkward scurry past your yard. No unwanted visitors for you!

Now that I think about it, that actually may be worth it. Begone, religious proselytizers! Off my lawn, neighborhood children! Get thee to Knoebels and get your lawn-friendly side-eye donkey before he’s gone.

Photo A Day: Cardinal in My Back Yard


To try and keep me honest in posting my photos regularly: Welcome to my Photo A Day! Topic: Whatever strikes my fancy. Frequency: Daily-ish, I hope.

As I creep closer and closer to my dotage and accept the fact that I live in a semi-rural area, I am finally embracing the inevitable turn toward becoming a total bird-nerd. We recently set up a bird feeder in the back yard (Day 1: Put up a bird feeder. Day 2: Install a squirrel baffle. But that’s a different story.) and I joked that it’s for the kittens, so they could basically have bird TV from the back porch. But kittens can’t operate cameras. That’s where I step in.

In short, Mr. Northern Cardinal quickly became super-protective of his mealworm cake.


Because who wouldn’t want to claim a basket of mealworms for their very own?

Happy bird nerdery. friends!

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Photo A Day: Beach Rose at Sunrise 2, Newport RI

HEY, PAISLEYFRIENDS! I’ve started up a new website devoted to photos; I’ve been in the process of building that up, and it’s where I’ve been lately. Please drop in at and let me know how you’ve been!

To try and keep me honest in posting my photos regularly: Welcome to my Photo A Day! Topic: Whatever strikes my fancy. Frequency: Daily-ish, I hope.

Herein lies another moment of worship toward the beautiful beach rose.

I’m shameless in how much and how quickly I came to adore these flowers, but it’s easy to fall in love with your surroundings when they are gorgeous. While walking the Cliff Walk in Newport, I stopped to take a picture of the sun and the flowers and the ocean another early riser–a man out for a walk with his dog–nodded and said, “It’s pretty spectacular, isn’t it?”

Well, hello, beautiful.

Indeed it is, sir. And a good morning to you.

Visit the original page at BeyondPaisley Photos!

Scenes from the Rail Trail: October 6, 2013

While I’ve normally only ridden the Rail Trail as far as work–which is about 12 miles round-trip–today, I totally went for it, going the extra 4 miles to the end of the trail and then back.   So, if the maths work like they’re supposed to, that means I just successfully completed a 20 mile bike ride, which is the first time ever I’ve ridden that far.

Feeling slightly badass.  But ow.  But still.  🙂  Woot!

Speaking of “ow”, I have to say that while I’m really enjoying my bike I’ve endured some bizarro injuries I never expected to have.  Last week, a bug flew like it was targeting me, directly into my eyeball.  Which, you know. Pain!  Plus it’s just weird.  And then today?  I was absolutely walloped by a falling black walnut.  They’re surprisingly dense, and it hit with some serious impact.  Welt, bruise, the whole nine.  I developed a whole new appreciation for that Wizard of Ozapple-hurling scene.  Those walnut thingies hurt!

I confess, I don’t mind having a reason to think of The Wizard of Oz.  Only one of the greatest movies ever and I would love to have a flying monkey of my very own. Anyhow.

Occasionally, during my dazzling feats of athleticism, I stopped to take pictures.  It’s extraordinarily beautiful around here so I submit that I had no choice; judge me if you must.

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See you ’round the trail!

Travel Theme: Motion

This week’s travel theme at Where’s My Backpack? is: motion!  As luck or fate or my enviable location in central PA would have it, family is in from out of town.  And it’s family with small kiddos.  Which, of course, means that Knoebel’s is on the agenda for any summer, G-rated daytime adventure.  Knoebel’s, for the uninitiated, is only (really!) Travel Channel’s #2 amusement park in the country…the country, people, and as far as countries go this is a big’un.  Admission is free.  Parking is free.  You buy books of tickets or do an all-day wristband.  And it looks a little like a throwback to some gauzy, nostalgic era that never really existed except in magical places people invent to bestow a sense of gauzy nostalgia.

It’s fantastic.

But enough of me spinning my wheels here, yapping away.  You want motion?  You got it.

The Power Surge is one of my favorite rides.  It flings you about like crazy, but it’s a great shortcut to getting zen and contemplating the impermanence of our mortal existence.  Plus, you spin around a lot and it’s reallyreally cool.

The Power Surge. Surging.

The Power Surge. Surging.

Meanwhile, my niece rocks it out in a bouncy moon walk.

You would never get me out of this.

You would never get me out of this.

The Twister is a giant wooden roller coaster with lots of dips and twists and turns.  Here’s a car going down one of the first–but by no means the highest–drops.

Hands up or it's not a real ride.

Hands up or it’s not a real ride.

Saaaay…is that a pirate ship emerging through the tops of the trees?

No, I'm just happy to see you.

No, I’m just happy to see you.

When I stop and think about all ways our bodies are being enacted on by various forces at work in an amusement park–some of us are being swung sideways at great heights, while others spend their time in the air being tumbled around inside what looks like a giant time-release capsule–I can’t help but be grateful.  I’m so glad science works.  Engineers rule!

Obey gravity. It's the law.

Obey gravity. It’s the law.

And finally: third car back, bald dude mugging for the camera, throwing his hands up in the air to party hearty like he jus’ don’t care?  Yeah, that’s my brother.  The little flame of red hair next to him is my niece.

See I am Wonder Garz and I'd like to say hello.

See I am Wonder Garz and I’d like to say hello.

Go to Knoebel’s.  I’ll meet you there.


Sammy Met a Skunk

Though as skunkings go, it wasn’t super-super bad.  The smell didn’t hit me immediately when I let him in.  It was more like, five seconds after he walked in the door, and I was all, “Sammy, did you get skunked?” and he looked at me sheepishly (it’s true, cats can look sheepish) and walked into the kitchen, like he knew I would want to try and rub him down or something.

I mean, he clearly didn’t receive a direct hit and it seemed more like he was Mr. Wrong Place Wrong Time, because the smell on him was evident but not, you know, get out of the house for the next two days.  We wiped him down with wet towels to try and get some of the smell off and made him stay outside most of the next day, and it was bright and clear and windy and since exposure to oxygen is the best way to get rid of skunky smells by suppertime yesterday he was back to smelling like handsome kitty again.


But in that day, I came up with probably five hundred new nicknames for Sammy.  They include:

-Baxter (as in, Jeff “Skunk” Baxter, rock-guitarist-turned-missile-defense-consultant)

-Smellheim von Skunkelberg

-Admiral Skunkster Nimitz

-Captain Stinkard

-Little Lord Skunkleroy

(and my favorite)

-Emperor Skunkelbutt Smellbottom, Lord of Stinkopotamia

…and so on, and so on.  And I wondered just what, exactly, is wrong with me, as I have way too much fun picking on my poor stinky cat.



I tried to remind him that just because he looks like a skunk doesn’t mean he needs to smell like one.

No, really, he’s fine!  Look, he’s allowed back up on the bedding.

Poor kitty.

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