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Man, it's going to be good to get back to work! Yeah, I may regret those words, but the four-day weekend sure didn't have many 'days off' in it. On, the other hand, both the outside and inside decorating are pretty well handled...
Well, the outside is "done-done", but the inside may have some bits and pieces to finish up. ...and both the outside and inside went a lot more smoothly this year due to the boys being able to kick in to help. Daniel invited a friend over to spend the day Friday, and the two of them were able to help with the attic clearing and some of the routine work. They also ended up dealing with two areas by themselves; that freed Brad and me up to get the tree lights done and gave us a bonus of some extra time at the end where we added a little bit to one area...
...and Sunday when Shelley decided to go for the inside show to get the boxes cleared out (the living room was literally impassable), they both were able to make things work out. Daniel was a big help to me on one diorama; my ankle has been bothering me and he took the ladder duty. Yep, all in all a very full four days...
It's about time for a rambling, melancholy sort of post, and the pic on the blog today is the perfect excuse to write one...
Several people asked me in email Monday if the "Monday's rose" for this week was a recent shot or an archived photo from earlier in the year. I wrote back to say that yes, the photo was taken Sunday morning and that roses here can make it through December or even beyond depending upon the rain and the fog and the frosts (those links are from the "Walks" series).
What I didn't mention is how the "Monday's rose" series generally comes about, or particularly how this week's shot happened: After the long day Friday working in the yard on the Christmas lights, we ended up inside all of Saturday while a rain and wind storm swept through the area. Sunday dawned clear and cold, about fifteen degrees lower than Friday. ...but the sun was out and the air was clear and that was enough to drive me outside as soon as I was awake.
About all I have to say when I'm heading out is, "Brad, photo shoot!" and he'll grab his camera and join me. Sunday he needed a sweater too as the air was probably in the low fifties, but that was a matter of moments. We headed down to Cecille's place on the corner; that's where probably half of the rose shots you see on the blog are collected during the year. She has a circle drive with an eastern exposure that makes for an excellent rose garden border on the inside of the curve facing the street. Brad worked on trying to get a decent shot of one of the purple blooms (his nemesis) and I shot my usual dozen or so photos (yes, I am sandbagging some for the dead of Winter "just in case", and for early Spring when people prune their bushes). We also worked a bit on some 'technique shots' to see how they would turn out with the lower sun angle; one of them became this week's rose...
When we left we turned West instead of taking our usual Eastern route around the block. I wanted to see if the rose bushes near where I took last week's sunset shots had any blooms on them. We wandered by the "snail tree" from the other week to see if the cold weather had 'nailed the snails' (it hadn't yet) and then down to the end of the block. While I was checking out the rain damaged blooms on the bushes there, Brad climbed up on the traffic barrier to scope out the field. ...and I grabbed the moment and the shot. Sure, he was wondering how wet the field was from the rain and if I was going to give him any grief if he went out in it (heck, no; be a kid!), but I was seeing him in the context of the place where we take many of our sunset shots (you may recognize the eucalyptus tree to the left; it gets a fair amount space on the blog during any given year).
...and yes, he checked out the field (while I took shots of the mushrooms growing under that yellow barrier. ...and yes, he threw rocks into the ponding basin (while I tried to get a shot or two of the splashes). ...and yes, we wandered home to make coffee and get warm again. ...and all the while I kept thinking about how I wanted to lock the memories of the morning away so I can remember them when he's off to college and too far away to just grab his camera and join me.
Well, if the insanity didn't start last Friday, surely it will burst forth today!!!
It's looking to be one of those weeks where the boys' homework is taking priority in the evenings. ...and when that's over and the house is quiet, some reading to detox seems to be in order. Priorities...
Speaking of which: on Thanksgiving one of the grandkids brought three of his buddies with him from NAS Lemoore. They fit in okay with the clan gathering and didn't have to spend the day on base far from home...
Which leads to this Flash presentation on some of the other guys and gals far from home (link lifted from David Thompson):
I could be writing up something of a tech nature for Friday morning's post, but instead I'm playing "Kitty Hockey" with Mischief... The rules are easy: She's sitting in the recliner defending her goal. I get one point for every piece of wadded up paper (about one inch in diameter) I can get past her (throwing from the workstation area about five feet away). She gets one point for each one she can deflect back to the living room floor and two points if she can bounce one into the wastebasket by me.
Saturday? Saturday!?!?!? We made it to the weekend??? Whoohoo!!! Now to see if we can somehow accept a chunk of downtime...
One plan is already on hold: I was going to work on my office machine, but it seems there is cookie frosting to be done on the kitchen table. Hmmm... The garage is out; I missed the three day window where the temperature passed from 102 to 32 outside. I may just have to pick up a knife and help out.
Yesterday I work up just at seven, a little too early after a bit of a sleepless night. ...and I presented myself with a bit of a quandary: I could go back to sleep and maybe wake up around ten or so (easy choice, -neh?), or I could see if maybe Brad was up and we could continue our adventures over at the field where we'd been taking pictures at for the last several mornings.
Yep, the frosted flower and the two barn pictures came from shoots Wednesday through Friday after we'd dropped Daniel off at school. ...and I knew I had enough shots to maybe do a 'walk' or a slide show of what we'd found, but a few more targeted ones would be nice. ...and I knew he'd be drawn back to the frozen 'pond'. Yeah, a 'pond'...
On of the 'drawbacks' of this modern age where kids don't walk to school anymore is that they miss out on some of the things the older crowd may remember. Like how we could kick or throw frozen clods on the short cut through the field. ...or crack the ice covering a puddle of water just to see how thick it was. ...or if it was thick enough to throw<g>. ...and this steady wave of freezing temperatures we've been experiencing since the weekend finally turned a water-filled area about one hundred feet across into an ice-covered science lab. ...and we'd checked it out on Friday!
The problem on Friday was the natural tendency of a ten year old to not want to 'step lightly' or carefully, and that didn't translate well into clean shoes or clean clothes or a warm body at school. Hmmm.... So I told Brad maybe we'd come back. ...and we did, but with him in a snow parka rather than a sweatshirt. ...and a pair of Shelley's gloves to keep his hands from freezing (it was below 30 again at 0715 when we got there). ...and with fresh batteries <g>!
We ended up walking two fields, a dirt road to the big ponding basin, a third field to the 'pond' and an orange grove (to take shots of the propellers used to circulate the air. ...and where he learned not to kick a frozen orange <g>). I think I have enough shots to put together a piece and he has both his series and some decent play time breaking up ice and throwing sheets across the middle of the 'pond' (great sound effects'.
From last night's rematch of Thursday's game, meet "the goalie":
Click image for larger version
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is
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