Cars, Condos, Corgis and other Canines

I’m finally all settled in to my new condo. After weeks of individually moving box by box up three flights of stairs on my own, my parents came out to help me move the big things. Although I love my new place, I HATE the steps! My parents got here around midnight on Thursday, and we moved my things all day Friday. I think it took us all a week to recover, but on the bright side, we’re all stair masters with buns-o-steel.

After moving on Friday, we spent Saturday car shopping. I had only ever had 2nd hand cars my whole life. My first car was a 1989 Oldsmobile Aurora that my sisters previously drove. It was louder than a jackhammer and about as pretty as one too. Then we got my 97′ Oldsmobile Aurora. (At the time it was only 10 years old and had lots of goodies). I loved that car. It had more steel in it than a tank and was pretty loaded for a car from the 90’s.

Anyway, in the last year it was burning through engine coolant at a concerning rate. Since December it was running through a full tank of coolant about ever 2-3 weeks. We took it to a mechanic and they suspected the head gasket was going to go. It would cost double what the car was worth to fix it. We decided to be proactive rather than reactive and get a new car before it became a serious issue.

So, we headed to the dealerships. The two most important life lessons I learned that day were: I am too nice to be aggressive with a sales person, and I think buying a car involves more paperwork that executing your Will. Anyway, long story short: I ended up buying a new 2013 Hyundai Elantra LTD, fully loaded. It wasn’t what I thought I’d get, but the dealership was able to get me a great deal on the car and gave me double what the Aurora was worth in trade-in. I was sad to see the Aurora (fondly dubbed the HMS Hildreth, as it was longer than a yacht and got worse gas mileage than one) go, but I am absolutely loving the new car!

Goodnight Sweet Prince

Goodnight Sweet Prince

 

Hello 38 mpg!

Hello 38 mpg!

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On that Sunday we went to the Ohio State Fair. State Fairs are my parents’ jam, and they are forever in search of a State Fair great enough to rival the Iowa State Fair (Spoiler alert: It’s impossible. There are none.) The Ohio State fair was pretty good, and we could not have asked for better weather. It was sunny and 75 with a light breeze. This is unheard of for the Iowa Sate Far, where if you don’t at least toe the line of heat exhaustion and cardiac arrest, then you’re clearly not doing it right.

We always have to get some fair food, because it is the highlight of any state fair. This year I got the “Roast beef Sundae” because it would be straight-up un-american not to.  I was not disappointed.

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My parents had to leave early on Monday morning, so we didn’t have any time to do much else. It was great to see them again and I was so thankful for their help.

For the last month I have been working to organize a corgi meet-up. I still don’t really know anyone outside of work and thought “what better way to meet awesome people than by hosting a corgi gathering?” I made a couple flyers and posted them to facebook, imgur, tumblr, and a handful of corgi blogs and websites. The night before the event I had 12 people who has RSVP’d that they’d come. It rained all morning the day of, so I figured not many would come. I showed up 30 minutes early incase we had anyone roll in before the event started. I was the only one there. 15 minutes after the event started, I was still the only one there. At this point I chalked it up to no one was coming, and I was just going to spend the day at the beach with Stoli.

The minute that first corgi entered the park, I got so excited. I was totally not prepared for how good of a turn-out we ended up having! We had between 50 and 60 corgis at the park at one time during the peak of the day. Everyone was so excited for the event, and I have been getting tons of emails requesting more gatherings. I was tickled that it was such a success. There are very few things in life I’d rather do than sit on the beach surrounded by corgis.

Stoli immediately got muddy so none of the other corgi owners would want to pet him.

Stoli immediately got muddy so none of the other corgi owners would want to pet him.

 

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My little chunk

Beautiful Cardigan Corgi (Separate breed from the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which is what Stoli is).

Beautiful Cardigan Welsh Corgi (Separate breed from the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, which is what Stoli is).

 

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Even got Stoli, the dog who’s so scared of water he won’t walk through a puddle, to “swim”. He wouldn’t go any deeper than his chest, but still that’s impressive.

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Another cute Cardigan Welsh Corgi

 

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Cuteness mixed with chaos

Cuteness mixed with chaos

 

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Stoli leading the pack

Stoli leading the pack

 

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Last week I was contacted by one of the volunteer coordinators for the humane society I take photos for. She wanted photos of Jace, her blind lab/beagle mix. We had to reschedule the first time because the weather hasn’t been too cooperative this week, but we were able to get some photos in on Tuesday night. Jace is such a happy-go-lucky little guy who’s just full of love. He plays fetch like a champ and doesn’t let his lack of vision slow him down.

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Perhaps the best news is that my fiance will be moving out here in EIGHT days! I’m so thoroughly excited. We’ve been living in different time zones for over a year and a half, so It will be amazing to have him here with me again. I can not wait! He’ll get here on Friday and start college at OSU on Monday. He’s very nervous with OSU being an absolute behemoth of a college, but I know he’ll be fine. It’ll be quite exciting to start the next chapter together!

 

All photos and content are ©Holly Hildreth 2013 | http://www.hhildrethphoto.com

 

 

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Quick November Update

It doesn’t seem possible, but there’s only a month left to this semester. As every college kid knows, the last week before Thanksgiving break is one of the most stressful. Every teacher has an extremely “important” group project, paper, or hefty assignment that they have due before you leave.

For my nature and scenic class, our professor is having us turn in a portfolio of mounted prints. He offered us 12 categories and we are to fulfill at least eight different ones. Since many students aren’t able to meet those requirements yet, today’s class involved us going to Knob Noster and hiking in the state park in attempts to beef up our portfolios. The biggest issue with this is that everything is dead and brown at the moment. I didn’t get anything too spectacular as a result.

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

After class, I was out and about with my camera and decided that it was about time for another Stoli mini-shoot. We played in the yard and he hammed it up for me.

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

Stoli decided to dig a hole

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

© Holly Hildreth 2011

All Images © Holly Hildreth 2011

A close encounter of the Feline kind

Today was one of the rare times where I didn’t have a massive amount of homework waiting for me when I got out of class. After Wedding and Location finished up at 5, I checked out a Canon 24mm Tilt-Shift lens and a Canon 580X ii Speedlite flash unit. I didn’t have anything particular in mind when I checked them out, I just wanted to familiarize myself with them more before I actually have to use them in the field or for an assignment. I went over to let Stoli out and decided that he could be my test subject. Stoli was NOT a fan of the flash and would whimper every time it went off, so that was short lived. I also had a hard time getting him to sit still long enough for me to manually focus the tilt-shift lens. After getting frustrated, I broke out my trusty 70-200mm f/2.8 lens and did some action shots. No sooner had I put on the lens then a stray cat came wondering into the yard. Stoli has never had an up-close encounter with any cats before, so he went berserk. There are a few stray cats that hang around the house every so often. The other night I let stoli out and one of them scampered out from under the deck, and he chased after it until I called him back. Well today this cat just froze and hissed, so Stoli got the opportunity to get as close as he dared. The cat didn’t have claws, so it must belong to someone. I was worried that Stoli would get hurt since the cat was bigger than him, but I figured he would learn. Stoli wanted to go up to the cat and lick it, but the cat would not have that. As soon as stoli would get close, he would swat at him and start hissing. Stoli took this as a game, so as soon as the cat swatted, Stoli took off running around the yard, doing circle laps around me and the cat for a few minutes before coming back for another attempt. Needless to say, he was pooped after it was all said and done. I brought Stoli inside for a water break, and must not have gotten the back door all the way shut, because as I was petting him, I hear a “meow” from the hallway, and there was the stray orange kitty! I felt bad for the poor thing putting it back outside. It huddled up against the house for warmth. I always feel sorry for animals in the winter. (Granted it’s not terribly cold here today, but it was only in the 50’s, and it will only get colder from here.)

Also, I want to apologize for posting so many things about Stoli. I am trying to be pretty regular about keeping a blog. I drug my feet so much with this blog for the first year of its existence, but I realize now that it can be a really powerful tool. Keeping up with the blog requires me to go out and shoot outside of class and its projects. I most often find myself shooting the dog, because he’s always there to sit for me, and his quirky personality makes me try hard to capture his goofy side. So, I’m sorry if you’re sick of dog posts, but it’s really the best way to get me into photo-blogging

Anyway, enough said. Here are some shots from the evening.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Stoli!

I stopped by Boyfriend’s place today to let Stoli out and there was a random pumpkin sitting in his driveway. I have no idea where it came from, (I’m guessing one of his roommates picked it up?) Anyway, I snapped a few shots of stoli by it. I didn’t get many photos since the sun was almost completely set by the time I got there, so here are a couple shots of stoli in the porch light.

 

Stoli’s first Fall

It’s that time of year again–the temperatures are dropping, the trees are turning colors, and a little corgi is tearing around the yard eating mouthfuls of dead leaves. This is Stoli’s first Fall. He’ll be 18 weeks tomorrow. It seems his favorite new activity is to jump in piles of leaves and just go to town eating them. He loves when the wind blows and it kicks up the leaves. He chases after them and then rips them to shreds. I finally got some more recent shots of him this afternoon while we were playing outside. It was tough to get photos of him, because he’s going through his rebellious puppy stage and doesn’t want to listen on the first command. You can also see his adult teeth coming in. They seem to bee too big for his little mouth! Anyway, here are Stoli’s newest photos. Prepare yourself for the cuteness.