Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday Morning Weekend Wrap Up and Tableau Tuesday

Friday was the usual. I worked in the Boys' classroom, and it was 2nd and 3rd graders working with clay. The Oldest had an appointment at an Orthopedic office for what turns out is indeed a broken toe, so I took him right before school let out, while The Dude picked up The Youngest. On the way home from the Dr., stopped at a couple of stores for groceries and ingredients to make a KILLER granola. My first mistake was going when I was hungry. My second mistake was taking The Oldest with me. We ended up with cheetos, root beer, brownies, corn chips, guacamole, and a rack of ribs for dinner that night. Admittedly, all of the junk food came from Whole Foods and was organic, but still... After dinner I made the killer granola which we are now eating for breakfast with plain yogurt (me), or milk (The Dude). After all of that, I needed a break while The Dude and Boys were watching Star Wars 6, so I scooted over to a friend's home for a vodka cranberry and a nice visit. I had no idea I was out as late as I was until I got in the car to come home and it was midnight!

The rain stopped for a brief time Saturday and Sunday. Long enough for me to get outside and soak up some sunshine. Saturday I attended my first college course in nearly 20 years. Color Field Photography looks like it will be fun and the most difficult part is the instructor's requirement for NO editing of images. While I know this will make me much more conscious of what I'm shooting, when I'm shooting it, I am finding it very difficult. I took a few shots after class and I'm unhappy with them all. I WANT to edit them, for lighting and color. In fact, I am putting them as a slide show below so you can see exactly how mediocre they are... I made a ton of croutons in the afternoon which saves me about $15. The Dude and I went to dinner with a couple that we went to High School with. I grew up next door to her, and haven't seen her since High School. It was nice to catch up with them and have a night out.

Sunday was spent cleaning and doing laundry while The Dude took The Boys to the movies. I also rearranged some of our furniture, and got caught up on my shows from the week. By the end of the day my sciatic was killing me, but I felt like I'd accomplished more than I'd planned.

Monday, The Boys had the day off of school, and I had to work while The Dude had a class from 9:00 - 1:20, and a Dr. appointment at 4:15. Woke up to NO COFFEE in the house. None. Nada. Well ok, a few beans which I managed to brew into a single cup. But still, most days include at least 2 cups, and sometimes three. I callled The Dude as he drove to school to complain as he is the coffee maker, and did not inform me of this. I admit it, I was a bitch on the phone and made him feel so bad that he was willing to turn around and get me coffee, and be late to class. I should have called a friend who nearly resides at Starbuck's for an SOS. Not a good start to a Monday, and then I found out that it was Blue Monday - the single most depressing day of the year. I couldn't get away from the phone for long enough for a shower even as the calls started coming in as soon as I was out of bed., and continued until I was on simultaneous conference calls. A playdate was planned at The Jungle, which is a huge warehouse with kid habitrails and an arcade. A bunch of The Boys' classmates and moms were there, and I took my laptop so that I could continue to work. Of course, that was after all of my calls, 3 of which overlapped... The Boys had fun, and got out some pent up energy, just in time for this week's onslaught of storms. I also went back to the grocery store after dinner because we are nearly out of granola. The Dude is eating it like he's a 70's commune dweller!

And now for the most mediocre set of images you've ever likely seen, all without benefit of a single edit at all:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My Town Shoot Out - Sounds

This week's shoot out theme is courtesy of NanU of have genes will travel. "There are two versions of this theme. First, the simple one. We’ve been treated many different aspects of what your town looks like. Treat another sense: what makes your town sound like your town? Traffic? Kids playing? Birds? That annoying dog next door? Fill our senses with a different perspective.
The complicated version (and I apologise for not giving you more lead-time on this) I have heard called a ‘blind hike’. Find a trusty partner. Wear a blindfold (no peeking!). Get your camera, and with the help of your partner, wander around noticing what you hear. Take pictures (no peeking!) while you’re at it. It’s quite fun to do, and the photos will surprise you. Enjoy!"
I encourage you to go and see everyone's contributions here or here.

So, the weather this week has been whatever the word is for Monsoon, but cold - like 40 degrees cold, torrential rain and no end for at least another 5 days. It's a good thing because it may mean we will not have a drought this summer, but it also means that it is WAY too wet to take my camera about town. As such, I will have to pull from the archives the sounds I hear around my town. Most have appeared on this blog in the past:

The Chirpping of local wildlife:

The Whooshing of a BART Train as it leaves the station:

The air brakes of the Wheels busses as they stop around town:

The chains clinking round and round on bicycles:

The splashing of running water falls:

The laughter of children at play and climbing trees:

Happy Weekend All!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Whatzit Wednesday

This may prove rough
or for at least one not too tough
Tell me what plant in this shot
I took it on my frequent walk.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday Morning Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend we spent time visiting friends in Nevada City. LOVE that town and would plan on retiring there, if it were near the cean and it didn't snow. As it is, I do enjoy visiting, and taking The Boys to the snow:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

We all ahd fun, and in the sun it was warm. Had a great visit with our friends, and stopped on the way home to visit other friends. The Boys had today off of school, but I had to work, and I only got a portion completed of what I had planned. Looks like another busy work week to try to get caught up.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Music Monday

We spent the weekend away, so I'll have to update the weekend wrap up later. In the mean time, enjoy what we listened to on our way home:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Town Shoot Out - Birds

his week's shoot out theme is courtesy of Scriptor Senex of Rambles from my Chair. "Whilst visiting some of the town bloggers, I had noticed that photographing birds in the garden was a popular pastime so my first thought was to suggest a subject of garden birds. But then I realised that not everyone has the equipment to photograph the real things.
That made me look out for alternatives and I noticed sculptures, posters, little models and various other things with birds on them so I hope that your town will prove equally productive and am really looking forward to seeing your birds (real or otherwise)."
I encourage you to go and see everyone's contributions here or here.

These are not in my town, but I did take these while on vacation in Yellowstone a couple of summers ago.
A Bald Eagle:

From J9 and stuff

A Crow taking flight, and I think one of the cooler ones I've taken:

From J9 and stuff
While these were all taken in and around my town.
A feeder hanging in my neighbor's yard:

From J9 and stuff
A Gosling from last spring:

From J9 and stuff
Some Wild Turkey:

From J9 and stuff

From J9 and stuff
A local flying rat (AKA Pigeon)

From J9 and stuff
A Blue Heron in San Francisco:

From J9 and stuff
A Blue Jay with some added color saturation:

From J9 and stuff
Pelicans overhead near Santa Cruz:

From J9 and stuff
A Seagull near Berkeley:

From J9 and stuff
Happy Weekend All!

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

After yesterday, I feel purged and empty. Today, I am holding love in my heart - all day. Positive attitude and outlook, and I know I will see more opportunities, and make myself proud! My problems are puny compared to others, and I need to remember to be grateful every moment of every day.
This is how I remember first hearing the song:

And I was searching for a gospel choir version, but only found one that gave me the sound I wanted, from the CMA awards of 1992:

Love to you all, today and every day.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Today I really need to just rant

About this one b*tch.
I signed up The Oldest for the next Theater production, and today was the first rehearsal. Same schtick as always, line up to input contact info into laptop, and pay materials fee. Pick-up paperwork, and head on my way. When I got there, 3 people ahead of me in line - no sweat. By the time I was next in line (maybe only 5 minutes), there were others behind me in line. This b*tch walks right in front of me and starts talking to the director (who is a very mellow and cool guy), hands him her check, and just proceeds to cut in front of me!
Seriously - I have red f*cking hair and freckles, and am NOT invisible! AND it's not like there weren't people behind me in line. I was PISSED! But not wanting to make a scene (pun intended), I just raised my eyebrows, and as she proceeded to LAMELY attempt to input her data, the totally cool dierector turned to me and mouthed an "I'm sorry". I told him no problem, it will end up in my blog. She took something like FOREVER to enter literally 4 pieces of information while f*cking up the spreadsheet - idiot b*tch. So I get up there and have to FIX the b*tch's mistakes so that the rest of us can actually get our info there.
This is what I envision her to be (at least today):

And this was NOT the first run in with this particular beast. She seems to be a regular at this company, and if she pulls any more of her shit, I may have to move my kid to a different company. I mean seriously. During the last production, she made a remark about being with the company for 20 years, and wondering why the line to get into the production was so long and SHE had to wait in it. The first production, she was angry that she didn't get the seat she wanted. I don't want to pull my Theater cred out on her - mostly because I don't want to get sucked into working for free. But I swear, she'd better not rub me the wrong way on an off day for me. I'll get street on her ass!
This is how I felt:

OK. I feel better
Now that I think about it, sh probably lost her mother today, or just had a really crappy day, or got fired, or was arrested for running a meth lab or, or, or...
I need to have a more positive attitude about this woman, and her attitude - I could instead kill her with kindness.
Something Good - A.J. Newman

Wouldn't this old world be better
If the folks we meet would say:
"I know something good about you,"
and then treat us just that way?
Wouldn't life be lots more sunny
If we praise good we see;
For there's such a lot of goodness
In the worst of you and me
Wouldn't it be nice to practice
Just this way of thinking, too;
"You know something good about me
I know something good about You."

Now I have to find something good (sigh)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Whatzit Wednesday

Here we find
A whatzit of another kind
Can you guess this easy one?
Or will you fail to have won?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Afternoon Weekend Wrap Up and Music Monday

First off, this song has been on my brain for about a week:

I'm sure it had to do with the MTSO theme for the week.

Before we get to the weekend, last week was eye-opening for me, and all about The Youngest, and his effect on the opposite gender. Tuesday I asked who he'd eaten lunch with (as I do every day on our way home):
J9: Who'd you eat lunch with, the usual? (this is a group of 4 boys in his class)
The Youngest: No
J9: Really, a different set of kids? New friends?
The Younges: No, just one person.
J9: Who?
The Youngest: Juliet (not her real name)
J9: Oh.
I didn't want to make a big deal of it, as I know they are friends, and I adore this little girl - she is very sweet and nice. And if I tease him, he'll just stop telling me stuff.
Cut to the next morning, when The Youngest is getting his jacket, and insists he wants to wear his Harley jacket (it's indeed a real Harley leather motorcycle jacket and started as a gift to The Oldest). OK, no biggie - I get it, but mention that it might be time to stop wearing it as it has become a bit small on him, though it would proabably be ok the rest of this winter. He says, "no Mom. I have to wear it, I like it." OK, again I'm not one to care as long as he wears something warm. He also donned an orange scarf and knit cap, and looked really cute. Off to school we go. Wehn we get there, he walks in to put away his backpack and jacket, and Juliet is a few kids behind him. She sees me, walks up and says, "I really like it when wears that jacket." A light goes on, and I get it.
Thursday, we were on a field trip and The Youngest gives me a look that would kill when he notices that I can see him running accross the field with Juliet. I pretended not to see them, and returned to my visit with the other moms.
The weekend was really nice.
Friday afternoon I worked in The Boys' classroom, and there were 2 third grader meltdowns. Yes, full blown meltdowns. Over art. I didn't get sucked into the drama, but my co-teacher did. Not even remotely surprising was that as soon as we just ignored it, they stopped. I needed my Friday Girls Night Happy Hour at Elephant Bar, where we stayed from the end of the first, through the beginning of the second happy hour of the night. I had to drink coffee to warm up, and had some good appetizers and desserts! It was nice to just unwind away from the family, and the computer. I laughed pretty hard quite a few times, and even had a guy wink at me at the bar - too funny as other women were flirting with him and he wasn't giving them the time of day ;-)
Saturday, The Dude slept in and took The Oldest to see The Princess and The Frog.

They both liked it alot and The Dude said it reminded him of an old time Disney movie. The youngest styed home and played wii Lego Star Wars while I cleaned house. It took 3 hours to clean, but it looked really nice at the end! I also managed to do most of the laundry. Saturday, we had some friends over for dinner. They have 2 daughters, 11 and 3 1/2, and they all play really well together, which is fun. Their youngest announced earlier in the week that she was going to marry The Youngest. Here we go again, is all I could think! They brought appetizers, one of which I am completely craving now. I have no clue where they got it, nor what the jar even looks like, and this is the nearest I can find on line:

I made rosemary braised pork loin, Aida's red potatoes, haricot vert, and rosemary portabellos. The Dude outdid himself in making a pineapple cheesecake (also one of Aida's), and we really enjoyed the time together.
Sunday, we picked up Oma (The Dude's mom) and drove out to meet a couple of The Dude's cousins, whom I'd never met due to some sort of feud in their family. They were really very nice and funny, but The Boys were bored to death. They were pretty well behaved, considering, and we didn't stay too long, also promising wii at home if they behaved - I'm not above a well timed bribe, they work. I finished laundry, and we had leftovers for dinner. The Oldest also finished Thank-you cards from his birthday, and we enjoyed AFV together before bed.

Friday, January 8, 2010

My Town Shoot Out - Fences

Update - Because many have asked - the final photo is the shadow of my youngest swinging in our tire swing. Time was near sunset, so the sun was low enough to give a great shadow when he got far enough into the air.

This week's shoot out theme is courtesy of Sandra Leigh of Amazing Voyages of the Turtle. "All over my town there are fences - tall ones and short ones, old and new, elegant and shabby. They all have something to say - like "Keep out," "Be careful!" (like this one) or "Stay right where you are," "I'm utterly exhausted" or "Look at me. Aren't I splendid?" Some have gates; others simply define a space or support a heavy vine. What kinds of fences are there in your town? Do they really make good neighbours? Or do they just isolate us?"
I encourage you to go and see everyone's contributions here or here.

I have a few shots of fences, and this week I have just been disturbed by running across a poisoned squirrel to shoot much else. As a result you may have seen these images before.

I like this fence, mostly because it's interesting to look at, on a curve, and see through.

Same Fence - from the other side:

Ok, in looking at all of my fence photos - I think I only take what interests me:

And my favorite of the lot - the fence isn't actually that interesting, it's the shadow that I adore!

While MTSO is in progress

I just had to share this post from Granny on the Web, as it has made me laugh and smile all morning!

MTSO will be up shortly.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Whatzit Wednesday

I'm off of Wicked Wednesdays until I become inspired, so I thought I'd bring up my turn for a Whatzit:

These can be found near my home
And other places you may roam
Kudos to who gotzit
Now tell me Whatzit

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Tableau Tuesday 01/05/2010

Welcome to the first Tableau Tuesday of this year - I have some pics from New Year's Eve, as well as from a walk yesterday:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Friday, January 1, 2010

My Town Shoot Out - Under Construction

Firstly, HAPPY NEW YEAR to everyone reading this post. Really, I mean it. I hope each and every one of you has a happy and healthy year ahead of you.

This week's shoot out theme is courtesy of Gordon of Florida Friday Shoot Outs, and my WHATZIT Buddy. "To kick off the new year our assignment is UNDER CONSTRUCTION. The first thing that comes to mind might be building sites of construction companies, or construction projects that we are involved in.

However, the possibilities are limitless. Maybe you would like to feature the construction of your new year's resolutions.
Another idea, to paraphrase a popular saying, " It takes a village (or town) to raise (or build) a child."
Maybe some of you, literally, have a new life under construction.
A recent thought, posted on my blog "Meandering Moments of My Mind" was, "Our best should, forever, be under construction and improving."
Perhaps, our artists and poets could share artwork or verse, not yet finished.
My Town Shoot-outs is ever evolving, so maybe personal thoughts about our progress could be featured.
I am always fascinated with the steps of "doctoring" a photo by some of our talented photographers. Maybe you could show us how the amazing final products are arrived at. Patty, I demand that you participate in that. Well, maybe, demand is a strong word. Please!!
I'm excited to see your takes and shots on the assignment.
One of the appealing things about our group is the diversity in evidence each week. I am honored to have chosen the first theme for the year. Do us proud as we welcome 2010. Happy New Year!
Thanks to all."
I encourage you to go and see everyone's contributions here or here.
My Town has construction going on around improvements to the High School. This is near my house and I see it almost every day. The progress has been great, though probably not as fast as some would like. All shots taken on 12/31 at around 3:00 in the afternoon.
The New Office - I like how the curve mirrors the hill in the background:

Reflection in glass ready to be windows:

The puddles were so still, that the reflections were clear:

This tree was great against the sky - even in reflection:

Cool Red Spools, and shadows:

One of the forklifts on site:

Hopefully the handicapped parking will be more convenient when they are finished:

One of the newer buildings completed:

The flag flying from the uppermost corner of the new building:

Happy Weekend and Happy New Year all!