Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Retrospect

2009 is the year most everyone would rather forget.  We're in a recession, folks are losing jobs, famous movie stars were dropping like rain, and the rest of us are getting older by the minute.  

2010 is something from the twilight zone if one remembers 1955 clearly.  And I do!  OK, I don't remember every minute, but I remember bits of it, because Mom brought home the first of three new babies I was to meet in our family.

This is the year I got my new camera and photo editing software.  They have opened whole new worlds for me. I have more than the usual opportunities to take pictures through my work.  I've been worried lately that I'm losing that bonus, but this week I sent about 30 pictures for the Mayor to use in her State of the City address.  

In the spring, Sisters and I went on a sheepherder's convention.  The three of us went all over town taking pictures and mocking ourselves.  It was so much fun we are going to make it a habit of it.  This picture of Hubby has supernatural powers.  It reduces Sister's honey into a chortling puddle from which it takes him days and weeks to recover.  It's a keeper.


We got to see Sis for the first time in way too long.  She came for a week's visit, so we had another photo op.  That was the day someone called the cops on us because we were taking pictures in the cemetery.  I haven't been on the business end of a cop since I was a teenager.


 Another super photo op came around through my work.  After getting some really good shots, I asked if I could come back the next Saturday with Sisters to do it again.  One boss didn't care, so that was good enough for me.  The three of us have a really good time together.  We are lucky to be sisters and friends.


The time came when cousins had to part.  Boo Boo was heading back to Tennessee to stay with his mom, and hearts were broken.  These boys are closer than brothers, and the poor little sausages weren't as much parted from each other as amputated.

One last photo op in Mantua gave me a cheating opportunity.  I was supposed to be taking pictures of finished bathrooms, but how could I pass this up?  There were two does on the far side of the reservoir, but the other went the wrong direction and this one walked into the sun.

I suppose we  could take that as guidance, couldn't we?  There are cold, dark spots in every year.  Bad comes with the good.  Much has to do with choices, and I here resolve this New Year's Eve day to make every effort in the coming year to walk in the sun.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas is Coming -- Damn It!

I'm not into Christmas.  I haven't been into Christmas for many years.  Face it - I'm just not a holiday person at any time of the year.

T is our holiday kid, and even she is having trouble this year.  The fact that there are children in the house makes our feelings of no significance. Christmas is coming, and so is that rotter Santa Clause.

T is cooking zuccini bread and peanut brittle and Roger Whitaker is singing Christmas carols on the CD player.  Actually, he just whistled Brahm's Lullaby, bringing my father to my mind as clear as can be.  Dad has been gone for going on 37 years, but it still makes a catch in my chest to hear beautiful whistling.  I took a little side trip here, didn't I?

This is my candy pan.  I've only ever made peanut brittle and fudge in it, but they are the best you ever tasted.  Grandma Madsen gave me this pan when I married Alan in 1970 and it was old then.  I'm guessing it's a good 80 years old now.  It is a good, heavy aluminum pan that is perfect for candy.  I don't use the thermometer, but T is a light-weight.  (Hawk, spit!)


 It isn't as if she doesn't have help.  You would never find a more willing accomplice, er . . . . helper.  Little Man is devoted to his mommy, and where she is, he is.  


He might be just a little feller, but he knows all about secrets.  He knows how to tell secrets and he knows how to keep secrets. Mostly.  Isn't Christmas all about secrets?  

Do you want me to spill my Christmas secret? I haven't done any shopping.  OK, I got Hubby's, and I do a lot of cash for the kids because they are getting older and I don't have any idea what they would like.  Now I'm stuck.

I don't know about you, but Maggie and I are just saying that if Burl Ives doesn't soon get SOME. SNOW. FOR. JOHNNY. SO. HE. CAN. BUILD. 

A. BIG. SNOW. MAN.  We're going to gnaw him off at the ankles.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Old Pictures, Old Camera, Old Memories

My first digital camera wasn't even mine.  I got it to use at work, and it belonged to them.  Before that we had been using film and Polaroid, and this was a revolution!  I think we paid $800 for  it back in 1996. It took very adequate pictures, and it opened up a whole new world for me.  Mine was the second digital camera owned by the City. 

As time went on, I had to have one of my own.  The grandkids were still little, and I had a computer at home.  I bought an Epson something. Then I upgraded to my Canon Rebel, then later my Canon D50. These pictures were taken with the Rebel.

The weather has been colder than a well digger's . . . . nose in the Klondike for the last week or so.  We haven't had snow to speak of, but every flake that fell is still out there. If you walk out and breathe, which folks tend to do, your nose hairs freeze, and shortly after that, your fingers fall off.

It is supposed to snow this weekend, so I can get new snow pictures, but for now, these from 2004 will have to do. I was a very casual photographer in those days. You will notice that the pictures don't look much different than the ones I take now with all the added effort.  On top of that, these are SOOC pictures, straight out of the camera.  No editing has been done on these pictures.  Help me out here!  I'm trying to make excuses.  

The thing is, you can't go wrong with snow pictures. Besides, I love the snow.  

Rex is very particular about his yard, summer and winter.  It is watered, mowed, and trimmed in the summer, and the snow is shoveled to specification in the winter.  I bought him a new snow blower last year (or was it the year before?) that Bubby and I use. 

This year will be easy duty, because we will only be doing our house.  Other years we have done Mr. Wilson's because his hip was bad and he was alone.  Mrs. C on the other side was an elderly widow who has since gone to her reward. She couldn't do her own, and her handicapped son wasn't able to shovel either.  The new neighbors living in their house are a young couple with little children and lots of energy.

 Frost is good.  Frost is really pretty.  When I'm at work, I see all kinds of frost and snow things that I need to take pictures of.  Of which I need. . . . you get the idea.

Look! There he is, my little man in the snow!  He shoveled his heart out in those days, not so very long ago.  Now he blows the snow once in a while.  We have big galoot Bubby and Nana to hop in there and help.  Grandpa's knees aren't what they once were.  Now they're titanium!


 At any rate, there's no place like home in the winter. . . or in the spring . . . or summer or fall.  

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Holiday Things

The place doesn't look ready for Christmas, does it?  Look in the upper left corner though, and you will see the Santa wreath that's been hanging there since last Christmas.

We have lots of Christmas stuff to put around, when the mood strikes.  It's funny that we didn't miss having so many little pretties when we were kids.  We would put up the huge tree with only blue lights on it, and the old ornaments, and tinsel and icicles. I couldn't help for a lot of years because I would get hives everywhere the tree touched me.


Sarah is our holiday kid.  She went to her storage bay to get the tree, came home and pulled it out from under the stairs.  Well, you forget things in a year.  I bought this tree some years ago because it was fake, pre-lit, and small.  

Maggie wasn't happy with the proceedings because Mom put the stupid tree right in her sunbeam!  She tried a few times to push it out of the way, and finally compromised.  She let the tree stay, but she crawled partly under it to get in the sun.  Sarah had to step over her at every turn, because she refused to move.

I'm not blessed with an abundance of Christmas spirit, and if it weren't for the kids, we wouldn't have anything at all.  Here she is balancing on her poor, sore, recently bunion removed feet to do the whole thing.  Child Abuse - we give at home!

This year she got out their family ornaments instead of the Nana ornaments.  It works for me, and the kids had fun remembering each ornament as it was unboxed.  The kids get an ornament for themselves each Christmas, and when they are grown with their own homes, they will have a tree full to take with them.  It is a very eclectic collection ranging from princesses to Homer Simpson to the evil emperor from Star Wars. Oddly enough, they all look good together on the tree.  It's a riot to hear four year old Little Man remember when he was a baby.  

He did his duty manfully, for a few minutes at a time.  He had other things to think about, like the huge box of Legos that Bubby brought home from the storage bay.  

"Pleathe, Nana! Pleathe, pleathe, pleathe put it togeda foy me!"  Too bad Nana is Lego impaired, a total Lego retard. He was much more interested in the Lego battle ship than he was in the Christmas tree.

Former princess, current teenager helped pretty good, then even she took a break.  She is much more cooperative than I was at the same age.  Of course her sweet mother has instilled the fear of Parent into her that my mom tried, but could never accomplish.

One Christmas tree made to order. Little Man was looking at his mommy on the couch when I said, "Look at Nana!"  His head will turn to Nana, but if you think for one minute that he is taking his eyes off Mommy, you have another think coming. The girls, however, are becoming more immune to the camera.  They see me with it enough that they have given in gracefully to the batty old gal snapping pictures every other minute.


Bubby really was going to help, but he hasn't seen his Legos in over a year, and he was simply giddy.  He built the ship for Little Man and a medievel battle ground for himself, and the war was on.

So, in the end, the tree was decorated, the battle waged, and here we are.  Didn't we just do Christmas last week?