Sunday, July 26, 2009

Summer Thanksgiving

Last summer we decided to have a big feed in June. It was in memory of my sister's father-in-law who used to have a big dinner every year on Father's Day. SFIL has been gone for some years now, but I wanted to do something to thank my brother-in-law for his many years of plumbing, electricianing, and many other saves of my sorry hide over the last 35 years or so. It was a screaming success.

Since we did a whole Thanksgiving type dinner, we, being the clever souls that we are, called it Thanksgiving in June.

This June was cold and wet and miserable, so we decided to do it on the 24th of July. That's a good Utah holiday, so most of us had the day off. We had plenty of guests, but the camera kept heading one way.

There was a baby in the mix. It's a fact that babies are a lot easier to photograph than adults who keep trying to hide from the camera. It's also a fact that SIL is a sucker for babies. What we have in this picture is an Army Viet Nam vet (SIL's dad), a Marine middle east vet, and a baby we all hope won't need to worry about such things. That's what every generation has hoped, to no avail.

Back to the baby. My daughter's babies are 15, 14, 9, and 4. She snags her cousin's baby every chance she gets. A guy can be patient with all these different people hugging and snuggling and loving him up, but there comes a time when he just gets sick of it.

This was that time. He ran out of the good nature that he usually has in generous supply, and wanted his mommy.

Then, on the other side of the good, clean family fun, were the drunken louts. Little devils. Time flies when you're having rum! What we have here is tolerant girlfriend, slightly inebriated cousin, and one of the hammered Bobwey Twins. Her ability for consumption used to impress her hubby's Marine buddies. She could drink them all under the table. And did.

And here we have the Bobwey Twins, although they are legally cousins, they are emotionally sisters. They are also more entertainment that Abbott and Costello, Jerry and Dean, the Smothers Brothers, Cheech and Chong, The Lone Ranger and Tonto, and the Marx Brothers all rolled together.

Can't wait for November Thanksgiving!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Princess vs Punk

On the day the big girls went to have Auntie M take pictures, the little girl was feeling left out. When one is 9 years old, those 14 year olds think one is a baby. They tend to run off or shut themselves away and do big girl things that for some reason can only be accomplished behind a closed door with no one younger anywhere near. We said, "To heck with those teenage punks. The Princess and her mom can have pictures done too!"

See? The little girl isn't really all that little. Girls of all sizes and ages need to have pictures taken every now and again, and the secret is location, location, location.

This is the front door of a real log cabin -- the Knudson cabin. It has been moved twice in its long life: once from where it was built to Pioneer Park, and the second time from Pioneer Park to the Community Center. The Community Center used to be Brigham Young Park and it is where he made his last speech.

Then again, maybe the cabin was picked up by a tornado somewhere in Kansas and dropped in the middle of . . . . . . . . . . . .

Munchkin Land! Don't you think we should check the side of the house for the ruby slippers? The hollyhocks were so colorful and the little yellow flowers were beautiful. Mom and daughter looked like two more pink flowers on the grass.

After a few hours and a few locations, princesses, moms, and photographers were getting a little tired and a lot hot. We found one last favorite location and caught the evening sun at its brightest.

Hey, look! This could be the little girl who lived in that log cabin. She could have lived there with her parents and 14 brothers and sisters, all stacked up like cord wood in the winter. Then again, maybe not. Maybe it was just the little girl, her parents, and their dog. Maybe they didn't have any punk teenagers.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Best Part of My Job

Today I got to go take pictures for work. I sneaked a couple of them in just for me, and I'll show them to you. I'd show you some of the work ones, but I don't know the protocol of that. They were all taken in public areas, so that isn't an issue, but I don't want to do anything that would jeopardize the funnest part of my job. These three little canaries were on the lines WAY up in the air. It was hotter than hell on Sunday, and there they were, 30 feet in the air and snuggled up like they had good sense.

At the Sheepherder Convention, MJ was thrilled to get a good picture of a black and white dragonfly. I'm going to call her to tell her that around the whole photo op area today, the black and white dragonflies were as thick as gnats and as big as small dogs. The only thing there were more of were little blue dragonflies.

I liked this guy in particular, even though he isn't a black and white. I think that's his wife off to his right and a little above. If you'll notice, he's missing a pretty good chunk of his arse and the other one looks pretty satisfied. Don't you think?

Can you see the butterfly? It's disguised among the flowers and the baby teasles. Teazles? Prickley things. I always wondered if teasles were renegade bull rushes or their own species. I know now that they are a species all unto themselves, because I saw a whole herd of baby ones today in my travels.

Do you also see the water? I hate the water. There were times today that I was very close to the water and so was my little green Jeep. This is not a good situation. In places the path was very narrow and not a vehicle trail at all. In places the path was very narrow and there was water on both sides. OK, one side was swampy, but I saw standing water and senior citizen bull rushes from last year. That means water!

I was all alone, a lousy backer upper, and I couldn't call and cry for someone to come drain the reservoir and get me away from the water, so I forged on. After the work begins on the area, I'll be going back again, and I'll be taking more pictures. Maybe they will let me put them on the work web site. I'll let you know.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sheepherder Convention

One day a few weeks ago, MJ and I were bemoaning our lack of "me" time. We decided then that we should run away and be sheepherders. That must be a good thing, because that is what our dad told us when we were little. When things got hectic, he would announce that he would soon be running away to be a sheepherder.

If you think about it, it isn't a half bad idea. The solitude must be wonderful. Said herder would only have the sheep to worry about, and we had no intention of bothering with sheep. We did have to let BJ know so she could come with us. That's what sisters do.

We had a lot of fun acting like we were still 16. BJ and I are considerably farther from 16 than MJ is. The really funny part was when our bodies told us "Ththththththththth! You are old broads and we don't move like that anymore!" We pushed, but in the end the old bodies won out. They simply refused to do some of the things we were asking of them.

We had a good time, took a lot of pictures, and made plans to do it again soon.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

This is not me. This is my sister, BJ. A picture of me might scare small children, so I won't put one on just now.

My other sister, MJ, has been blogging for some time, and is pretty good at it. Again, this is not me. I may get good at it; then again, I may not. Time will tell.

I've been reading my favorite blogger daily and faithfully for some time, and this lady is VERY good. I have no ambitions to go that high, but I might want to say something. I need to get out a little.

I am 57 years old, married, grandmother to a fluctuating number of children, and a native of northern Utah. No, I'm not a Mormon, but they are my history.

I love my family's history, handwork, taking pictures, and gadgets. I have to work at least five more years before I can consider retirement. With any luck, I won't be laid off before then. Working for a municipality is a little more stable than some, but nothing is safe these days, even after more than 15 years.

I suppose I should explain the picture. Yesterday my two sisters and I ran away to be sheep herders. We didn't take husbands, kids, or grandkids. We all wanted to work out our fancy cameras, but I wanted to take people pictures. Scenery is nice, but you can see pictures of scenery any old where. I like people pictures. Being the troupers they are, they posed for me.

You know, 20 or 30 years ago it would have been a breeze to do the things we tried in the places we tried, but our centers of gravity have made serious readjustments. The posing didn't turn out quite how we expected, but we sure laughed a lot.

After we finished traipsing all around the countryside, we went back to BJ's porch and mulled over our circumstances and then waded in the irrigation water. Did you know that in Utah, we say "airigation"? We also say "harse", "harmone", and "crick".

Do you know what made me finally blog? I'm a listener. I listen to everyone else, and no one but BJ or MJ has ever really listened to me. When I talk to people, I think, "What are you doing? This person doesn't care an ounce about what you have to say." Generally, I'm right. So I'll blog. No one ever has to read it, and I can say what I want. I can relate stories about my dad, or tell about my experiences as a hippy, or even express an opinion or two. I can even tell BJ she is too damned old to be climbing trees!