View Full Version : ANIMAL INN - Our Chatroom for May/June/July

Vivien Maloney
05-03-2019, 12:25 AM
Hullo members - beginning a new Chatroom Thread for May/June/July 2019

We love to chat about anything..... it doesn't have to be animal related and we also like to share photos too. Call in we would love to chat to you!

Our previous Chat Thread is here;

Looking forward to hearing from you all. :thumbsup:

05-03-2019, 09:00 AM
Arrrgh!, Viv. I meant to post my garden photos in this new thread but theyíve gone into the old one.

05-03-2019, 10:34 AM
This is an early purple orchid I saw on our walk, yesterday.


05-04-2019, 01:09 PM
Penny - I took a quick peak at your garden; that is very large and looks like a lot of work. A lot going on here, so I will comment more later.

05-04-2019, 01:24 PM
Ok, Joy.

05-04-2019, 04:02 PM
Oh, boy, I misspelled "peek". Sorry about that. It was past the time window to edit.

05-04-2019, 04:29 PM
Not a problem! Iím watching Recurve Archery finals on UTube through my TV. USA and France at present. The USA won gold!

05-05-2019, 09:55 AM
That's a lovely orchid Penny. I was lookng for them on Friday. I found a common spooted orchid but there was no flower spike yet. I was working In an area only 5 miles from home that I never even knew about and it was so pretty, there was an ancient woodland full of bluebells, veteran trees, a pretty river walk ... Just a shame I was working or I would have taken photos. I will have to back at a weekend with my sketchbook.

05-05-2019, 01:17 PM
The weather has been outstanding here and should continue for another week. Our yard is full a fragrance from our lilacs and lily-of-the-valley and full of song from the finches. Lots of work to do in the yard and I always feel guilty when I want to paint. I have been sitting under our pergola and doing some quick drawing though. That's when our silly kitten :cat: decided to climb a tree and get onto the pergola roof. It took her awhile to figure out how to get down but she did it.


05-05-2019, 01:18 PM
Yes, Kay. This little wood is full of bluebells. I saw cowslips, too. I was expecting to see early spotted orchids, so this was a nice surprise. What s pity you couldnít photograph anything. I hope you do another time.

05-05-2019, 01:20 PM
Silly-billy kitten! I expect she had fun!)

05-07-2019, 10:47 AM
Sanlynn - love the kitten picture! :)

05-07-2019, 11:44 AM
Hey, all I started a nice reply that I spent 30 minutes on last week, and minimized the browser window before dinner, thinking I could finish it, but Jerry closed out the window thinking I left it open in error, thus erasing my reply! :(

Penny - Your garden is so lovely; I especially like the view outside your kitchen window. It looks like you have a lot of property that needs to be maintained. Do many of these things die back in the winter, necessitating cutting them back? Our shrubs are all about the foundation, and we just removed four that died and must mulch the entire area this year.

We have been getting in some outdoor activities, and are going to the Bahamas later this month. This week we have mega laundry to do, as we have been putting it off for weeks. A very windy storm damaged a ridge vent, but Jerry was able to get the correct size nails and repair it, so rain would not get in.

Last week we fell "behind" our usual activities when our lawn service inadvertently damaged our EcoBorder and mailbox. (We do our own trimming, etc., they just cut the grass. Of course, they will pay for the damage and were profusely apologetic.) The mailbox needed to be replaced, as we are on rural delivery and it is on a post by the road. That is obviously a priority, but the problem was that this week is the spring clean up, where we can put out nearly anything for the garbage (furniture, most appliances, etc.) for pick up unless it is hazardous or has freon. It also coincided with our regular garbage day, bi-monthly recycling and branch/yard waste day. Why the borough decided to have four things on the same day is beyond me. :confused: So we had to get a mailbox, then Jerry broke a drill bit installing it, and get more EcoBorder, which is still sitting in the garage. So yesterday was a mad rush to dig out the dying shrubs and climb up in the attic to get the patio cushions and other items we are putting out. My frugality came back to bite me, as I bought cheap cushions at a discount outlet. The chipmunks, squirrels and birds had them ripped apart the first week. Someone did take them (it is a parade of people trash picking this week) so maybe they are going to use them to work on cars in their garage.

Chammi - I hope your exhibit went well!

Vivien - Loved those autumn photos! It is my fave time of year here. Arrowtown reminded me of PA. Toodle pip!:wave:

05-09-2019, 10:33 AM
I took Indy on the bus to Laycock, along with my friend, Rita, and her dog, Wilf.

Laycock is a National Trust Village and its buildings are often used in films and on TV - some of ďHarry Potter and the Half-Breed PrinceĒ was filmed there.

We walked round the village and over the Ford, through fields past Laycock Abbey, where Fox-Talbot, the father of photography produced the first negative, beside the river to Reybridge - Camilla, Prince Charlesí wife, own Reybridge Mill but it was hidden among the trees - and back along the riverside and across fields to Laycock. We sat in the churchyard for our packed lunch, then caught a bus home.









http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-May-2019/1989627-5FBE31E8-8A02-4718-80B3-AD6C0584ABB9.jpeg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/09-May-2019/1989627-D565A98D-9622-4FFA-AC94-334A175D4561.jpeg





05-09-2019, 10:38 AM









As you can see, it was an overcast day but we missed the rain, luckily.

05-09-2019, 04:54 PM
Joy, I thought I'd replied to your post but, somehow, it's not here.

Thank you for looking at the garden photos. Yes, I have lots of trimming to do, especially the privet hedge in the front of the house. Lots of things are self seeded and I will cut those back towards the end of the year. I have a strimmer for the little patch of grass under the apple tree, I've just been given green bean seeds , variety "Cobra", to sow at the end of may and then to plant out.

We have a fortnightly household rubbish collection, but I have to pay for garden waste to be collected.

I hope your letter box is repaired quickly. Have a wonderful holiday. I look forward to photos.

05-09-2019, 04:58 PM
Whoops - The village I visited is Lacock - not Laycock - I think the iPad's predictive text added a "y" and I didn't notice the mistake.

05-09-2019, 05:13 PM
Penny, I was so thrilled with your Lacock photos, especially the unusual roof on the building with the red door. When we watch our beloved British mysteries, there are so many interesting old buildings that I wonder how they are able to use them for filming. You must be surrounded by scenic villages. Seeing Indy in them makes them even more enjoyable!

Jerry did fix the mail box over the weekend, and all of the considerable waste that was put out for spring clean up was collected, albeit a day late as they were so busy. I was disappointed that they put in the recyclables that we spent a while accumulating in with the landfill garbage, as they said they were too busy to run separate trucks. Our garbage is picked up weekly, recyclables every other week, and spring clean up yearly. Many put out several mattresses and what seemed like rooms of furniture! Yard waste is also several times yearly, as the lawns here are quite large.

The predictive text is rather annoying at times, as the results can be comical.

Still plugging away at the eggs from the April Watermedia Challenge.

05-13-2019, 03:20 PM
Iím really pleased Iím not boring you all with my photos, and that you enjoy swing them.

I have a really busy few weeks coming up, minding the whippets and Italian greyhound. That takes me through May. I then have a day trip booked to the Bath & West Agricultural Show - an opportunity for photos- and then I am away at my sisterís house for nearly three weeks in June, minding Zeb, the GSD, while she and her husband go on a caravan holiday in Germany.

I go with Lesley to the small art group in Bath, tomorrow.

Indy is outside on the patio - he spends as much time outside as I let him. 😁

05-13-2019, 03:23 PM
The first iris of the year in my garden opened today.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-May-2019/1989627-FE42E881-DF64-4F5C-AF2E-F1B64C91A9A3.jpeg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/13-May-2019/1989627-7C898BBC-E579-4A29-9A91-2E9DE50F38FD.jpeg

05-13-2019, 04:30 PM
Penny, those irises are spectacular! It is only in the forties here, and raining like crazy the last several days, so my purple irises may open in a few weeks. They do not have the beautiful yellow that yours has. If I would want to use a photo you have posted as reference for a painting, would you like me to ask you and let you know which one before I do so?

We would really enjoy the Agricultural Show, so you are fortunate to see it. Next week we are going on a Carnival Eastern Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas. It was the same one we took last year, but there are some activities that I wanted to do that we didn't have the time last year. In Freeport, we are going kayaking, and have "snuba" booked in Grand Turk. Weather permitting, of course. The Captain told us last year this was the best time to go, as it is not too hot yet and no concern of hurricanes. The local tour company keeps doing this same one, and people are losing interest in the repetition, so they almost cancelled it. Since there is no escort, we are going to get the return luggage tags from the purser, do a head count, etc. Fortunately, they are doing more of a variety of trips in the future. In the fall we are doing a full crossing of the Panama Canal. This year they are doing Alaska, which I hear is wonderful, but they do that every few years and may not do Panama again. Also, new locks are under construction, so one will not have the opportunity to sail through the old locks soon, and they are much more impressive.

05-14-2019, 03:10 AM
Thanks, Joy. No need to ask for permission to use any of my photos. I have uploaded the iris and geum to the reference photo library. The iris is my favourite flower and Iím going to paint it at art group, today.

Your holiday sounds wonderful and adventurous. I hope all goes well and you have a lovely time.

Years ago, when I went to the Show, the grounds were grass paths around the exhibits, but itís been brought up to date with permanent paths. We used to plod through mud! Iím looking forward to attending. Indy is going to stay with a friend for the day.

05-14-2019, 02:08 PM
Penny those irises are beautiful. None of the ones I've seen are in flower yet. The botanic gardens in Edinburgh have a wonderful collection, it will soon be time to go.

We grow Cobra beans as well, they're delicious! They don't seem to stop growing. We need to sow ours soon, and the carrots. The sprouts are coming along nicely, they're in the growhouse for now.

We just booked our September holiday. We're going to be staying in Italy, near Naples. Never been to that area before so lots to look forward to :)

05-14-2019, 03:00 PM
How nice to see the iris at the Botanic gardens, Kay. I must buy some bronze coloured ones, they are beautiful. I'm doing a watercolour of mine. If I use ink on the painting is it ok to use watercolour brushes for the ink? Perhaps a silly question but would Chinese ink brushes be better? I have a dip-pen but thought of using a brush.

I've not been to Italy. A lovely place to go. I look forward to photos.

My friends, who runs a heritage seed business - "Herbs & Beans" - says "Cobra" has a long growing season. Do you start yours off in pots on the window sill, or have you a greenhouse. She said not to plant them until the end of May.

05-14-2019, 08:34 PM
Kay, I look forward to your photos of Italy. I was in Rome and Venice when I was in college, and would love to see more. Rick Steves on PBS makes it look so fascinating. September/October is the perfect time to travel there, with better weather and less crowds. We would never go anywhere touristy during the summer.

Penny, your photos have such lush detail and resolution. Are you using a SLR camera? My Canon is just a little point and shoot, but have served me well. I don't want to get into anything expensive. I am amazed when I see people taking photos and video with their iPhones; it seems to turn out so well, even in low lighting.

05-15-2019, 01:45 AM
Not a camera, Joy. I use my iPhone 6S. I do have a Canon, in a drawer, somewhere, but havenít used it since I started using a smart phone.

05-15-2019, 12:31 PM
Penny, we are one of the very few w/o smart phones. Since Jerry and I are nearly always together and keep pretty much to ourselves, I feel no need for one. It is not as if we have children and others that need to know every moment of our day. Although everywhere we go, it seems as everyone else is on theirs constantly, texting and whatnot. I wish they would ban the use while driving in PA, as they have done in other states. So many drivers are texting while driving. They are also costly to purchase and for monthly phone plans. The cheap Tracfone that I use a handful of times yearly for long distance calls is fine for our needs.

05-15-2019, 05:05 PM
Joy, I have a friend who won't use any mobile phones. She won't have an answer phone, either, and it's difficult to contact her. I find mine really useful to keep in touch with friends and family and, living by myself, I feel more secure with one. It's illegal here to use hands-on phones in vehicles.

05-15-2019, 08:30 PM
Penny, I had to laugh at myself, as I had to look up "answer phone". It is called an "answering machine" in the US. Considering the thousands of British shows we have seen, I am surprised that I did not remember that. Often when we are watching, I look up an idiom. When we first went into practice in 1986, many "refused to talk to a machine", so would not leave messages anywhere! Of course, we have one on our home phone (called a "land line" as it is not mobile and can only be used at home).

The springs greens are finally very lush, as the rains have given way to sun. The boxwood did very well, and are deer resistant, so we are researching replacing the ones the died with more. Both our mountain laurels have never done well, despite it being the state flower. Perhaps it does better in the woods rather than a foundation shrub. The rhododendron are starting to flower, and they are quite abundant. Pity they do not last longer. I see them a lot in British shows, also. When we are away they will be at their peak.

Despite it being a little breezy, we were able to get some shooting practice. Tomorrow it is to be calmer, so we hope to head to the archery range. Friday we are packing, and Saturday just cleaning/workouts as usual before we leave the 19th. Since I overthink everything, I have already "mentally" packed. We just started traveling less than two years ago, so I have a mixture of anticipation, worry and anxiety about the trips. I am trying to go easy on myself, picking the "perfect" activity each port can be a lot of (self-imposed) pressure. Active excursions are preferred by both of us, and I do not just want to sit in a bus and look out the window, preferring to experience the culture.

The Smithsonian Channel has a program called "Aerial Britain" that I am finding very interesting and am watching whilst eating lunch. It is all of the history, architecture etc. that you likely know and have experienced.

05-16-2019, 04:24 AM
Our different ways of speech make for an interesting life, Joy. There are so many ďAmericanismsĒ in use here, because of films and TV. Itís become more usual, here, to speak of a telephone as a landline, now there is the proliferation of mobile phones. I remember my dad wouldnít answer the phone when we first had it installed years ago.

I like dogwood for its coloured stems. It sound as though your garden is getting going.

I know what you mean about packing for holidays. I am staying at my sisterís for most of June and itís surprising how much luggage I will take.

I saw a programme advertising Britain by air, I think it was called ďCoastĒ. I must watch it. Not being able to afford a car in the family, we didnít travel much as children and Iíve always had low-paid jobs and couldnít afford travelling far. Now my friend Lesley is retired, I will get out more in her car, and meeting Rita again, through the dogs, after 30 years of not being in touch is good - she likes low cost and camping holidays. I donít like holidays where you sit around. I would want to explore places.

Iím in a coffee shop in town, waiting to meet Rita and her dog, Wilf, to take a bus to the country park in the next village, to walk the dogs. We may walk home, instead of catching a bus back. It depends on the condition of Ritaís knees. Sheís older than I am and has ďdodgyĒ knees. Sheís had one replaced but wants to go as long as possible before having the other operated on. In her situation, I would have the operation as early as possible and not wait until Iím a few years older. She worries that it could go wrong.

05-18-2019, 01:06 PM
My friends, who runs a heritage seed business - "Herbs & Beans" - says "Cobra" has a long growing season. Do you start yours off in pots on the window sill, or have you a greenhouse. She said not to plant them until the end of May.
We put the seeds straight into the raised bed and they grew absolutely fine (we planted a few in the greenhouse as well, just in case). They grew really fast once they got going! It's raining today so I might not get into the garden today.

I was working away this week and I saw something that would have been a great reference for the July A&W challenge so I attempted to take a photo with my phone. Unfortunately the sun was so bright that I couldn't see the screen at all so I had to guess Ö at the end of the day I had a look, I discovered that I'd accidentally flipped the camera around and I'd taken a rather serious-looking selfie instead :lol:

05-18-2019, 02:26 PM
What a scream, Kay! Sorry you didnít get the photo you wanted.

I did think of planting my seeds direct. I am away from home most of June. So it may be better to take them to my sisterís and grow them on there.

05-23-2019, 06:35 AM
We planted ours yesterday, directly into the raised bed. We also planted the potatoes and carrots. The sprouts have a little while longer to go before they're ready to plant out. I need to get some mesh to put over them as they got decimated by caterpillars last year.

We had a hedgehog in our back garden last night. I just went out briefly and there it was, on the patio staring at me. I'd been wondering about making a gap at the bottom of our fence so they could get in but it turns out I don't need to! I think I might have decided on a subject for my next painting now. :)

05-23-2019, 10:23 AM
Nice to see a hedgehog, Kay. I used to have them in the garden when there werenít so many houses and fences on the estate. Great subject for a painting.

05-24-2019, 12:05 PM
I planted the ďCobraĒ beans, direct into the garden. I am away most of June at my sisterís and will try to get back, weekly, to water them.

The roses are amazing this year. Here are some of mine.








The rose in the tree is


The white rose is "Iceberg".

This is ďWide Blue YonderĒ


05-24-2019, 12:41 PM
I donít know the names of these. I have more varieties in bud but not open, yet.


http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-May-2019/1989627-0150B483-8BA9-4DB1-A1FD-7566635BD92F.jpeg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-May-2019/1989627-D643C363-F1EF-4077-A240-E49AB8485C94.jpeg http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/24-May-2019/1989627-171DBE2B-6857-44EE-A070-D14EEDAB35F3.jpeg

05-24-2019, 02:09 PM
This is ďFeliciaĒ


05-24-2019, 04:04 PM
Beautiful roses Penny, lots of variety and colour. I bet they smell wonderful too.

I'm just sorting through some photos I took in the garden. If they're any good I will share them.

05-24-2019, 04:16 PM
thanks, kay. yes, lovely scents. the best smelling one isn't in bloom yet - "Abraham Darby".

I look forward to seeing your garden. I'm watching Chelsea Flower Show. I've never visited Rosemoor and have booked for the flower show there in August. Off to the Bath and West Show next Friday.

05-25-2019, 05:11 PM
I've been watching Chelsea as well. I would love to go one year. It amazes me how creative some people are - I should really take notes!

Here are a few snaps of our garden. I haven't taken as many as I thought I had so there's a few from last year as well. We've been in the house for 2 years now and all we had in the back garden when we got here was a lawn (more like a meadow), a few shrubs that we took out and a honeysuckle, which is doing really well.

This is a border that I made last year. We've got a small herb patch and all the large plants we've put in so far have leaves that aren't green - a pink cordyline, a black elder and a black canna lily, which I got for half price as it had finished flowering. Eventually there will be a path along the side of it, but we can't decide what material to use.


This is the raised bed I built (photo from last year). As you can see, we over-filled it :D.


When I made the border on the other side, this tiny daffodil appeared - we have three of them this year. It's nice because it's flowering now, a good month after all the others have finished. No idea why it's sideways.


And my magnolia, which finally got around to flowering.


05-26-2019, 02:28 AM
Thanks, Kay. Your raised bed does look well used! I wonder if your little daffy is ďTete-a-TeteĒ. Itís good to have plant appear that you havenít planted yourself. Brick paths are nice, if your back will stand the bending to set them! Paving stones are another choice, obviously.

chammi kaiser
05-27-2019, 04:05 AM
Penny, what a stunning garden of roses. It must be wonderful to be surrounded by so much beauty and delicate perfume. I would love to see your garden.:) :heart:

I do so much miss having a garden now that we live in a flat. My balcony had a leak running into the bedroom of our neighbours below us. Horrors. It is a very old building so we have had to have our entire balcony (which was recently tiled) redone and newly insolation replacing the shot old stuff. Thank goodness it is a building problem and we did not have to pay for it personally. Whew. Today the workmen are back and doing all sorts of workman-like things(very noisy). It is taking forever because of the heavy rains we have had recently. Once it is over, I shall be planting pots of petunias, pansies and herbs. So looking forward to it.

My exhibition ends this Wednesday. Thank goodness. I have had to be in the gallery constantly and have to chat to so many people. Dying for some peace in my life. It has gone well and I have sold several paintings and have commissions for three more so financially good.

I laughed so much at your 'selfie' experience Kay. I know just what you mean
when the sun shines on the screen. It is definitely click and guess!!!

Can't wait to get on my bike and go off into the fields and farmlands with my sketch book. Hugs for you all.

05-27-2019, 08:45 AM
Thanks, Chammi. The roses are stunning this year.

Iím sorry to hear about the building work. Thank goodness you donít have to pay for it.

Very good that you sold some of your work and have commissions. It must make all the time and effort involved in the exhibition worth while. I hope you get some cycling recreation in soon.

Windy and showery today, but the sun is out. I walked Indy and had lunch and now Iím listening to a beautiful String Quartet by Beethoven.

05-28-2019, 08:20 AM
Glad to hear your exhibition went well Chammi. Congratulations on the sales and commissions. We have our annual art club exhibition coming up in August and I'm trying to get some paintings together for it - one is framed and ready to go, one is still in my head and another has gone missing - I don't know what I've done with it! I suppose I have enough time to do it again if it doesn't turn up!

05-28-2019, 09:23 AM
Such lovely roses, etc., thanks for sharing! Mine have bloomed very well this spring as we've had lots of rain for a change.

Congrats on your sales and commissions Chammi!

I have 3 shows to pick up next week or so and did sell one yesterday online so have it ready to ship to Florida.

Have a nice Tuesday everyone!

05-28-2019, 03:39 PM
You are welcome, Kay. I hope the shows go well.

05-28-2019, 03:47 PM
You are welcome, Kay. I hope the shows go well.

I had to have a tooth filled today. It was very interesting to see what was going on inside the tooth - x-rays and photographs, viewed on a computer screen. No wonder it was beginning to hurt, it has a crack from the bottom leading up to a filling and then three cracks radiating off above the filling and close to the roots. The old 30 year old filling was drilled out and replaced.

Vivien Maloney
05-28-2019, 10:07 PM
Whoops!!!! I made a bit of a mistake then..... and somehow my comments for this month's Challenge showed up here in our Chat Room! EEEKKKK :eek:
I don't know how that happened but if anyone saw them I've sent them to the correct area now! :o

Vivien Maloney
06-01-2019, 12:08 AM
Hi everyone - I'm Hosting the June Watermedia Challenge this month, so if anyone is interested here's the link to the Challenge with my photos;

06-01-2019, 08:46 AM
Itís hot here and Indyís on a cooling mat, wearing his wetted cool coat.


06-02-2019, 01:27 PM
Lesley out in the rain with Indy and the three dogs I mind while their owners are at their flat in France.


06-04-2019, 11:58 AM
Well, itís been quite the whirlwind for us lately, so I probably ďmissedĒ a lot at WC. I am still ďrecuperatingĒ from our holiday, as the first few nights we hardly slept. When we got back home and sat down to dinner, a bat had gotten in, so that had to be removed. We caught it in a box and released it. Then the handle of my (nearly) new luggage broke when bringing it in. It was from LL Bean, and a considerable amount of research went into that purchase. It was still under their guarantee, so we had to ship that (and Jerryís) back to them, and start looking all over again for luggage. We over research everything, but did not want to get anything too cheaply made. Some of the highest rated pieces were exorbitantly expensive, so we settled on Eagle Creek, which has a good rating, and a lifetime guarantee. But what a pain! Then, later in the week we had a front door and sidelights installed to replace the badly worn originals. Unfortunately, they door came with a dent and no peephole, so that will be reordered and they still have to finish the trim.

Penny - Your roses are stunning! Iíve always herd that they require a lot of care. Is that true? And I always love photos of the dogs. Indy is so lovable.

Kay - We also thought about raised gardening, as the ground here is rocky and has a lot of clay. Our big problem is deer, but I see you have a fence. The deer ate a lot of shrubs this season.

Chammi - That is thrilling news about your exhibition. Where was it held? That sounds like a lot of work and pressure. Getting everything that needed to be done in time must have been daunting. Trying to remain engaged and cheerful when one is tired is definitely a challenge. Everyone at WC is so proud of you!

The Carnival Cruise we took to the Eastern Caribbean left from the port of Baltimore, which is about 185 miles away. The tour company took us there by bus. It was the same one we went on last year, and wanted to see more at the port areas. Since the company does that one a lot, it almost got cancelled (from the local company, not Carnival), as not as many signed up. So with no escort, I got the ďjobĒ of luggage tags, head count, passing out water and snacks. That went smoothly, as the TA is very well organized. Last year when we spoke to the Captain he suggested May, as it is not too hot, and no hurricanes yet. Luckily, the weather was perfect all week. It was the best week of weather they had so far this year.

On board ship we saw a lot of wonderful musical and comedy shows, and enjoyed the pools and gym. But we go for the destinations, which did not disappoint. The turquoise of the water was unbelievable. Grand Turk, the capital of Turks and Caicos has some of the best snorkeling in the world and the third largest reef. Our tour with a private company was breathtaking; we snorkeled and saw all kinds of colorful fish, and the guide caught a three foot long nurse shark for us to pet! One of the areas dropped off 7000 feet dramatically, called The Shelf. The color changes were wonderful, and it is hard to believe it is real and not a retouched photo. I didnít want to get out off the water! The guide free dove for conch and made raw, fresh conch salad. Conch tastes rather like shrimp and was not rubbery or salty. Jerry and I tried some free diving, but the water is so salty it keeps one afloat, and we have low body fat, which usually causes one to sink. Then we went to an island where stingrays live, and swam with them and touched them, as they are quite used to humans.



The next port was their private island, Half Moon Cay. The sand is like baby powder and it is very peaceful. Tenders took us from the ship to the island. We did the nature trail and walked the beach. I also took some photos of palms and shadows for painting reference.




The last port was Freeport, Grand Bahama. There we went kayaking a few miles through the mangroves their national park, which was very serene. Many just shopped at the ports, but we like to see the beauty of the area. Then the excursion took us to an uninhabited beach area which was very nice, but I would have preferred more kayaking and nature trail in the park.




06-04-2019, 04:52 PM
I loved seeing your photos, Joy. Your holiday sounds very interesting. It must be incredible snorkelling in such clear waters. Petting the shark sounds amazing. I don't think Imwould have swum with jellyfish, though, unless they were not poisonous!

I'm sorry about the problems with your luggage and hope the new lot is more durable.

I'm pleased you enjoy seeing the dogs.

I just leave my roses to do their own thing. I did feed them when they were first planted, some years ago.

Has Chammi posted about her exhibition. I don't see anything here.

06-04-2019, 05:03 PM
I enjoyed reading about your holiday Joy, it sounds wonderful and the photos are amazing! I loved reading about all the fish you've seen - how lovely to be so close to sharks and sting rays. I'm envious, even though I won't go in water if it's too deep for me to stand comfortably (also I don't like swimming)!

We need the raised bed to grow veg in as our soil is pretty bad - some of it is nice and sandy but there are also huge lumps of clay and the water just puddles. The only trouble we have with our plants being eaten is pigeons - they pulled the spinach to pieces over winter! It seems to have recovered now and won't stop growing :)

06-04-2019, 08:37 PM
Penny - Chammi did mention a bit about her wonderful success on page three of this thread, post #42. I would love to hear more detail.

I have oodles more photos of the sea and flowers of the Bahamas, but it such a pain to upload them, as they must be modified from .jpg to .jpeg and my browsers keep telling me the site is not secure. FF won't let me upload photos at all, even if I disable cookies, etc. Safari will, but it takes a bit.

Yes, the water was unbelievably clear, and swimming among the fish was really a treat.

Our shrubs will likely be replaced with deer resistant boxwood, as they fared well. Fortunately we did not plant any yet, as this morning we had some patchy frost.

Vivien Maloney
06-04-2019, 10:05 PM
Penny - Nice photos of Indy's coat and Lesley with the dogs!

Joy - Sounds like a wonderful holiday! Your photos are beautiful! Sorry about the broken luggage handle. I've never had that happen in all our trips overseas but I did have a zip break on one of my suitcases once. Luckily the clips on the case held otherwise there would have been clothes spilling out everywhere.

Hope you are all enjoying the Spring/Summer weather there in the Northern Hemisphere....we are into Winter here in NZ and today have had rain and sleet showers. Yuk I hate Winter!

This is our first Winter in our new home and luckily our lounge, and dining-room/living area faces the North (the North is our sunny area in the Southern Hemisphere) so that's nice and warm most of the time. We have a Heat-pump in the living area and also one down the Hall. I guess we will have to begin using them as the Winter gets colder.

I do miss not being able to get outside and walk around in our paddocks on the farm....but I don't miss all the mud and rain and having to wear wet-weather clothing in the Winter. So not having to cover up in wet-weather overalls to keep dry outside in the Winter is definitely a plus. I used to have to go out twice a day to let Star Dreamer out of his stable into the paddock in the morning and clean out his stable, and then put him back in for the night, late afternoon. So that took and hour or two out of the day....and I'm still getting used to not having to be home by 3.00pm in the afternoon every day to put him back in his stable. But I do miss him very much indeed. I guess I always will.

06-05-2019, 11:36 AM
Vivien - In PA, we have four distinct seasons, and the greens were exceptionally lush this spring with all of the rain. How cold do the winters get in your area? Here, it can very highly variable. Since we are in the mountains, it is colder than the downtown. A "warm" winter day would be about 4 C, moderate about -3 C, and the coldest I remember was -28 C.

After so many years of loving care, you will certainly miss Star. Even though one is always grateful for the experience, I personally feel that is a separate emotion from the loss. It speaks to your great affection for him. You have been through so many life changes and upheavals lately it is normal to feel overwhelmed. IMOSHO, it is better to feel the sadness instead of pretending that one is always cheerful and upbeat.

06-06-2019, 08:46 AM
Thanks, Viv. There must be a lot of differences to get used to in the city, after living on a farm.

Itís sunny today but thereís a cool breeze. I am finishing packing - my things and Indyís - and being picked up in an hour or so to stay at my sisterís for 17days, minding Zeb. Itís surprising how much I need to take, including art materials and the work Iíve started for the challenge! Iíve got a new jigsaw to complete while there. I am going to have to come back in the bus in the middle of each week to water my flowers pots. The rest of the garden will take potluck. I hope we have some rain and things donít dry out too much.

06-07-2019, 08:32 PM
Penny - How far is Ricky's place from yours? The buses must run regularly for you to be able to travel between towns. Here, the seniors ride free, but very few take the bus, as it is much faster and more efficient to drive in a rural area. It is nice that you can stay in a familiar place, so you don't have to bring all of your toiletries, food, etc. When I took a few workshops, I felt like I brought a fair amount, although I tried to economize.

When we are on holiday, we really don't take a lot of clothing, as most people over pack. If I wear a shirt just to dinner and a show, it is hardly "dirty" and can be worn again. But we need different shoes for hiking, running, beach, etc. Also, a lot of toiletries cannot be found nearby. My list of "little things" needed is ever increasing.

06-08-2019, 02:22 AM
My sisterís house is in Devizes which is 10 miles away and buses run hourly. None on Sundays, though. I have a government backed senior citizen bus-pass, which enables me to travel throughout most of England, which is very handy as I wouldnít be able to afford bus-fares all the time on my pension. Itís always being gossiped about that the passes might be discontinued. It would be a great disadvantaged to elderly pensioners and detract from the quality of life.

A lot of my luggage was Indyís food, though I could have bought him some in Devizes. Itís what I already had at home.

Itís good when you can pare as much luggage as possible.

Lesley stayed over last night to help with the dogs as I have a friendís dog, Wilf, staying until this afternoon and have to keep him separate from Zeb - lots of baby-gates between rooms, and I have the two whippets and Italian Greyhound staying for the day while their owner drives furniture to their sonís London flat. They all have to be kept separate from Zeb as they are not used to being with such a big dog.

Lots of rain overnight so the garden will be all right for a few days.

06-13-2019, 04:11 PM
I may not get my challenge finished in time this month, but will try.

I took this photo from a distance and hope you can make out the shire horses drawing the wagon that delivers beer to local pubs.

Here is a link to then, also.



Lots of rain here while Iím minding the dogs. 🙂

06-14-2019, 08:44 PM
Penny - How amazing that buses run hourly there. I believe it is only a few times a day here. When I lived in Philadelphia briefly the buses ran all over the city regularly.

Your hands must be really full with the dogs. Whippets are one of my fave breeds. And your photo came out well. The amount of history there is thrilling. This past week we put in two soft touch holly to replace the plants the deer ate. We have another we planted a few years ago that is doing well, as they are deer resistant. It rained a lot yesterday, so that should be good for a few days.

Being such a slow painter and involved in so many other projects (like housecleaning and shrubs) I did not start a separate project for June from the challenges. I am nearly finished my April Watermedia Challenge. Between my workouts, errands and unexpected events it seems as if I have less time to paint than I thought I would when I retired. Of course, one prioritizes these things and I should just do some art if I have a brief period of free time, rather than feel like I "should" be doing something else.

Overcoming my concerns that something would go amiss, I finally updated our desktop to Mojave. I always wait until the OS has been out a while before I do that, so the "bugs" are hopefully addressed.

Currently we are watching Rosemary & Thyme before retiring, hoping it will get me in a gardening mood. The scenery is gorgeous, but I like other mysteries shows better.