Monday, November 17, 2014


Ocean readers are an endless source of clever ideas and this morning I woke up to another one, coming at me all the way from Australia.

And so early in the day, I go out for just a breath of crispy cold air...


(some birds appear not to mind the snow that much)

... bracing enough to make me just so happy to be sitting down to a warm breakfast,


... and we talk about the chickens and how damn cold it must be in the barn (our outdoor thermometer is registering 10 F, or -12 C). We listen to the winds pick up outside and instinctively, I button up my super warm sweater -- maybe you knitting buffs will remember it? Purchased in June, on the Isle of Islay. Here it is:


... and after tidying up (can you work surrounded by clutter? I cannot), I sit down and explore a website suggested by a commenter --, where selling your art is easy breezy. Well, perhaps not that breezy. It takes me many hours to understand my photo editing software (Lightroom5) enough to be able to export stuff to another website and then more hours to understand the little details of how redbubble works. But I did it. With only a little bit of help from YouTube and Ed. You can find me there by typing in my name.

I have to say, I am not a masterful photographer. I say this in my profile on that redbubble website: I am merely a very serious amateur. There was a time when Ed urged me to sell an occasional photo and if you go back far enough on Ocean, you'll see remaining tags on photos -- tags that right now lead to nowhere, but once led to my old website where I did make a good effort to sell pictures. And I did sell a few, every now and then, but when you do anything every now and then, you just don't get very good at it and after a while, the effort was so huge and the gain so small that I closed shop.

If I'm back in business again, it's only because I no longer have to be involved in the sale itself. And you should know that I'm not really looking to make money off of anything that I do here (Ed, quit cringing -- I am who I am). It's a question of having a presence and frankly, it's the backdrop to what I really love most of all -- writing. My photos help my writing on a daily basis and I hope will keep on doing that in years to come. And in the meantime, if you do want anything (for whatever whimsical reason) that appears here on Ocean, send me an email and with one click, I can fly it off to redbubble and they'll take over the transacting of it.

In the meantime, you should know that I did pick out what I think are the best 13 cheeper photos (or at least they're my favorites) and I put them into a calendar form. Here's a sample page:


Purchase it, or simply enjoy looking at the whole thing here. (I also posted 15 individual photos of cheepers which people can purchase in a number of clever and somewhat goofy shapes, sizes, forms, etc.)

In other news, I have a mouse update for you: the masterfully constructed appendage to the trap flew off as Ed carried it (after a release) on his motorcycle and so for the time being, we are without a effective trap. But, we do have an old, unmodified one. Last night we loaded it and then went upstairs to bed and immediately heard mouse noises from below. Ed ran down, but it was too late. He told me the mouse had gone inside and eaten the treat and left. He reloaded it for God knows what reason. We must be wanting to feed the entire local mouse family, down to the most distant relative.

This morning, Ed went down at dawn to release the cheepers and of course, found the trap to be  again missing the cracker. With no mouse inside.

Later, when I finally toddle down to breakfast, I look halfheartedly at the trap and lo! There is a mouse! Call her Ms. Clueless. Why enter an empty trap? Or is it that she felt bad that she had gone in, eaten the treats and not paid her dues? Sort of like the guy who turns himself in for a crime, even as the police can't quite catch him?

So, we have mouse number 10, bravely released by Ed, off his motorcycle again. How anyone can ride 55 mph in an open motorcycle in this weather is beyond me. Ed and I are very different.

Late in the afternoon, I walk over to the barn...


... to visit with the cheepers. There is a band of sunlight pushing in through the narrow doorway and they are huddled in it, looking out as if so wanting to venture forth but not daring to do so. I sprinkle seeds and pour some more hot water into their bowl and say comforting words.


And I thank them for "A Year of Chickens." It's their images that I played with all morning long and I'm hoping they will make it to at least one home of someone who will find beauty in their quirky cheeperish manners and habits.