Following the third year of a holiday letter comprised
of my (increasingly complex) life via a (increasingly complex) year-in-photographs, I
wondered what it would be like to join the great experiment of 365 days of photographs.
I'm not a photographer,
I'm a writer. I'm a visual thinker, and if ever there was proof that a photo is worth a
thousand words, it would be the story a photo tells me, or in this case, about me.
Follow me on this adventure, where I
learn about photography, my ability to record my life, my dedication to something (I've
never been known for doing anything everyday) in my posts. I've also discovered I'm
learning about time, the history of it, and the odd practice of recording it, measuring it,
turning it into something tangible, and I'll record these explorations in the sidebar.
As always, feel free
to say anything. My experiment is not a spectator sport.

July 31, 2009

July 31 2009 Ways to keep track

It's interesting to take pictures of the kids as they grow. It's interesting to be able to see them do tasks they couldn't do before. It's interesting to study their drawings and how their perception has changed. But I think a simple nostalgic way to keep a memory of the kids as they grow is to look at the clothes they once wore. Once, they were small enough to fit in these shoes. Once they were small enough to wear that hat, or those pants. They were tiny, and they've grown. It's very simplistic, but once you see the old outfit, you recall an instance when they wore it and it's a lot easier to remember more about them and their character just by recalling the memory, the resource of what you have in your head as opposed to what you managed to catch on film.

My little girl wanted a special dress to wear to a wedding tomorrow. I went to the box of hand me downs and saw her now-twelve-year-old cousin in my mind's eye wearing this dress as I slipped it over my only-six-year-old daughter's head. Once that tall independent girl wore this dress, and one day my girl will be tall and independent, too, but first she gets to wear the dress.

My son is wearing hand-me-downs from a friend who is not even three yet, and it's different remembering the last time I saw these jammies on a kid who couldn't even talk yet, and seeing them on my boy who is writing stories, or at least the best parts he can of stories.

One day a younger/smaller kid than mine will wear one of these two things and I will remember today and the way my daughter looked and the goofy dance my son did, in these clothes. It's just a moment in time, when they're just big enough.

Photo auto+ flash

Thanks for playing mad-libs this month. Stay tuned for August's project.

July 30, 2009

July 30 2009 Battling entitlement

Everything that is to come to me, whether it is freedom, health, family, even salvation, all of this is something I work for, make an effort towards. You can't make me anything. My choices lead me.

I sat on a curb today having walked the length of the Farmer's Market and picked up a jar of honey, eaten local chicken, and sipped a limeade. The topic of conversation was that there was something irritating about every place we could think of to go, and that there weren't enough choices. Of course, that's an expectation that this town that thinks it's a city should supply for us. I'm not likely to start a restaurant just so I can eat in it, or a brewery just so I can drink at it, or an outdoor patio just so I can enjoy the incredibly nice day and have someone serve me. What I can do, however, is sit on my own porch and sip a beer or soda I purchased and be satisfied with it. It's better than going somewhere and complaining about the lousy selection, when all I really want is one thing that I'm capable of providing myself.

Sometimes it's pretty easy to forget.

Photo on auto-flash taken toward the sun in the shadow of a sign.

The last day of mad-libs and the word is: track

July 29, 2009

July 29 2009 Some days, I am a square

You know, L 7, following the rules, traditional, part of the machine, earning an honest living.

Me. A peg, a cog.

The contrast hits me hard today as I leave the beauty and time-free world of the open desert in a schedule tight to get back home to go to work, to deposit money to pay the bills, to buy the food to make the dinner.

Chunk chunk churn churn take the job make the money earn earn burn burn.
Do it again.

I drove down the road away from freedom, the ability to run around with no pants and water all the new trees and sit in a hot tub all day and take all morning to eat breakfast and drink coffee.

Some days, I think I'm crazy.

Workbags! Auto+Macro+Zoom+Flash. Yeah, put it all in and shake it up. Photo.

Tomorrow's word: entitlement

July 28, 2009

July 28 2009 A record of whatever I see

I am going to house sit. Today we went for the grand tour. Instead, we got to help protect the house from a desert wildfire. The wind picked up. The columns of smoke poured into the painted sky as the clouds overhead teased with rain and the sun went down. The whole northwestern horizon was shrouded with grey smoke. A scouting helicopter flew over the vast, empty desert to assess. Empty except us and the scattered neighbors, with houses to protect in this vast, dry desert. We watered down the trees closest to the buildings and the grass as far away as our hose would reach, and the power poles, not that we thought it would do a whole lot of good, but it was better than leaving dry timber growing from the ground begging to combust. I took many, many pictures of the developing fire, and I hoped to see firehoppers and slurry planes, but I didn't.

The tour will commence tomorrow. We watched the sun go down on the other side of the smoke curtain, rays fractured through the mesh, from the top of the house. I think the fire is out by now. I don't really know. We won't stop watching though.

I took this picture because I saw it as my husband walked by. I did ask him to repeat his course in order to actually get the shot because he had kept walking and I wasn't precognicent enough to be ready the first time.

Tomorrow's word: square

July 27, 2009

July 27 2009 The week's grand opening

I tend to love Mondays, if for no other reason than to annoy people with my Monday Optimism. Today, however, was just a day that asked a lot of me. I taught and I usually don't teach on Mondays. I work late, got to Tai Chi late. I ate late. I worked school stuff with my daughter, organized a trip out of town, then canceled it in favor of a different out-of-town trip, and then put the first back on the schedule, but on ice, just in case. I have a blue spruce with my name on it and the only thing between it's happiness in my yard and where it is now is about three hours work. I put some editing work on the calendar, and some hours of prep work in. I did some research on homeschool law. It's just been that day today.

I didn't want to take a picture today, so here is the long-postponed idle shot of my ceiling. Auto-flash.

Tomorrow's word: whatever

July 26, 2009

July 26 2009 The far reaches of the land

Our trip to the mountains was shortened in such a way as to chop out the part with the mountains. Instead, we drove through some incredible rain. It's the desert, and it's raining, and there are flash floods in the washes, miniature muddy rivers swarming down the sides of the canyons into the river, which was its typical low level and determined to be lazy despite the extra water. The sky kept reaching its long electrical fingers into the valley, but I couldn't catch it on camera. Water puddled on the road. Desert drivers pulled over until they could figure out how to work the windshield wipers, or cursed their off-road tires unfit for wet pavement, or more likely cursed the rain for rendering their rig useless.

I normally get a sense of clausterphobia driving through these mountains, having grown up in Missouri where hill upon hill is backdropped by hill and the sky reaches out forever. Here the mountains channel activity through a course and looking north and south only sees striped canyons pointing the way down river. The layers upon layers of cliffs look like a flat photograph with no depth but ragged top edges, except today, when the sky came down in an armament of clouds coursing through all the valleys and changing the color of the farther away mountains to a dark blue, and as they get closer, a grey, until the ones just on the other side of the river and railroad tracks are striped black and yellow and red, like usual. Colorado is bigger in the rain.

Photo taken on Landscape setting with the repeating shutter turned on. It has a name, says the photographer, taking several photos with one shutter release press, but I don't remember what it is. It didn't work anyway. No lightning shots.

Tomorrow's Noun of the Day: opening

July 25, 2009

July 25 2009 An engineering wonder

I stayed home and cleaned house today while the engine compartment got cleaned and the new engine got (kind of) installed. ("Kind of" because it doesn't get properly installed until the transfer case and transmission are also installed.) It's gorgeous. There's all these colored stickers with inspection numbers and dates and names on various parts of the engine applied before the whole thing was assembled. It's brand new, never been run. It's got high-end roller cam instead of normal ol' cam and it's around 380 hp (410 ft-lbs tourque). Now to get it attached to the wheels...

Can you imagine someone having invented such a thing as a gasoline powered engine, and how that thing evolved into this shiny creature in my van?

Stay tuned for photos of the van's new-part break-in period. It should be fun!

Thus, compare this photo with this one:

Photo taken by the photographer because I could not be there and I really, really wanted pictures. Plus, my house is so incredibly dull even when cleaned up that I really wasn't inspired to take a picture of it, or anything in it.

Tomorrow's photo: Land

July 24, 2009

July 24 2009 "Two Birds With One Stone" J A Lindon

Today was the last day of first grade for my girl. She successfully hosted a poetry recital (and reading! she always reminds me) and everyone who came enjoyed themselves, and it was a really great, and really interesting experience.

Things I learned:
The poem read by my aunt called "Beyond our Asking" by her neighbor when my aunt's husband was sick with cancer is about death in a grateful way, in that God provides hope and anything else we need and may ask for in a much greater quantity than we have ability to deal with. One bud from a million roses. This was contrasted by my friend's brother (also my friend) who read Dylan Thomas' "Do not go gentle into that good night" about going out kicking and screaming, hanging on to the last threads of life with all appreciation and all the vivacity of living.

Shel Silverstein is popular: "Three Stings," "Hot Dog," "Sick," "Biblely," and "Hug O'War" were all chosen by different people independent of each other.

A poem written by my mother in law has changed another friend of mine, and the poem he read was remarkably similar: "wind" ends in appreciation of this violent turbulence, and "10,000 times" is an appreciation of the strenuousness of Tai Chi study. Both are internally cleansing.

People like cookies and lemonade, apple juice not so much.

Four-year-olds can sit through a poetry recital (and reading!), at least until after they recite a Mother Goose Rhyme.

Most people are just as shy as a four-year-old when they read outloud their chosen poem. We hide it better when we grow up, as opposed as to when we are four, when we hide in momma's skirts.

The poem that is the title of this post is a good introduction to an intermission including refreshments.

My daughter has written two poems since the recital (and reading!), maybe more. One was before we even left today, called "Beginning, Middle, End" and is about the poetry recital (and reading!) (I truly hear her little voice correct me every time I pause after the word recital.) The other she wrote just before bed and it's about roses. I think that listening to others read their poems, and her year-long exploration of the six she memorized really changed the way she hears words and patterns them. I think she was highly influenced by the poem read by my writer/neighbor, the poem my aunt wrote, and the poems my mother-in-law read.

I have to apologize, all the pictures from this event are on a memory card in the fancy photographer's camera and I can't get them off yet. I'll get it up as soon as I can.

Tomorrow's word: wonder.

July 23, 2009

July 23 2009 The same function despite differences in form

My son has this incredible gift: he can sleep anywhere! He generally sets up a good napping arrangement, too. He carries his pillow and blanket and snuggles up and crashes. Well, if he's home and knows he's going out. There have been times he just loses himself, once in the tour truck at the December bottom of the Canyon de Chelly. I was bracing myself and holding him, and I looked down and he was asleep. I was bracing myself and he was sleeping.

We made cookies tonight for the poetry recital and reading tomorrow and he didn't even stay awake to eat one once it had cooled. He was reading a book, then left and got his bedding, then crawled back next to us while we practiced her poems. We didn't even notice he wasn't reading "SPLAT!" anymore (loudly, too).

I didn't like the wider shot. Auto+Zoom+Flash=Photo

Tomorrow's word: stone

July 22, 2009

July 22 2009 Making my own amusement

A day with no one to entertain me is what I imagine being single must be like. It is remarkable how much my general happiness and well-being is dependent on the proximity of the man I married, hence the aforementioned super-hero identity Proximity Girl. On the other hand, it is a relief to be free of the simple restraint of coordination.

So for my day, which included three child-free hours, I had to entertain myself. I went swimming for the first time in maybe two years. I like swimming, it is a great sport with the ability to strengthen my muscles without aggravating my hip injury, and I think I may do it more often (except that my tolerance right now is about 30 minutes and admission is five bucks).

This evening was the Weekly Fiber, or knit group, as it's less comedically called, and I had to have the kids entertain themselves because I couldn't very well leave them home. They did great, with a brownie and a hot chocolate piled high with whipped cream and their stencils and writing FanFiction (Junie B. Jones episode, anyone?).

Any way you cut the day, it was slightly more demanding than most days to stay happy. It's okay, I can do that.

Macro auto + flash from across the table.

Tomorrow's word: Form

July 21, 2009

July 21 2009 Laugh and point

I have a new idea. One month I am going to do all contributions to my favorite blogs, whether I draw a comic or post a picture that would fit into a specific group, or what. Now, it should be forewarned that I mostly read blogs that make fun of people or things people like/have made, so you should not be concerned with my willy-nilly finger-pointing amusement. It's not willy-nilly. I choose these blogs because the authors are funny, and the things they make fun of are totally amusement-worthy.

This thought arises because this is the second post this month where the photograph was inspired by one of my regularly-RSSed blogs. The first was the Cake Wreck, where I also wrecked every semblance of slang I could muster, and this one is inspired by the amazing art over at skull-a-day (which is not a poking-fun site).

Enjoy, my husband's way cool button-down shirt:

I stood well back and shot full 24x with flash and moved, so it sucked. Finding the subject again in low light at 24x zoom is really difficult, so I had to retract the lens and reset, this time with less zoom and I covered part of the flash (not sure which exactly) and got a good shot.

Tomorrow's word: amusement

July 20, 2009

July 20 2009 There's always something

I've always wanted to be cooler than I was, and I generally have achievable definitions of cool, like Mercedes-Benz ownership, making something useful out of junk, being a supporter instead of a criticizer, being able to help someone with their Calc 3 homework while I slack off, gutting a car, soccer, writing a webpage. Some things I'm not so cool at, like hacky-sack, skateboarding, basketball, photography, net-speak, knowing lyrics and artists and names to songs, weilding power hand tools, painting fingernails, experimenting with ilicit stuff, using a sewing machine, remembering my left from my right.

At tai-chi camp I flaunted a "cool" thing I just learned how to do by opening beer bottles with flat objects like pocket knives, key fobs, and bic lighters. I was really tired of everyone trying to use this little lame claw-like thingie to pry off the lid one wrinkle at a time.

My husband taught me this trick. He's about all the types of cool I will never be, and facilitates the types of cool I'm capable of. He, however, is still cooler.

He can remove a bottle cap with anything. Anything! Case in point:

I'm not so hot at catching the "right moment" but this is just after the "right moment." I stopped his progress so I could prep the camera (auto) and then shot when the top popped but I missed it anyway.

Tomorrow's word: point.

July 19, 2009

July 19 2009 Invitation generation

"Come! Welcome!" People say, people write. It's summertime, filled with events because there really is no better cure from being home from school all season than to go see your friends. There is nothing better than finding a great place to hide from the heat.

It's actually been lovely busy, delivering invitations, receiving invitations, the visits that come with each exchange. Nothing is as simple as dropping it in the mail. Hand to hand, face to face, genuine. Come! Welcome!

Play composition, stand-back-and-zoom for the flash to do its work. (does the flash work harder if the camera knows I have zoomed? I wonder...)

Tomorrow tomorrow: something

Milestone? Today is day 200. 165 left.

July 18, 2009

July 18 2009 Learning a new method

We caravaned to my husband's uncle's shop about an hour away. Said uncle is retired, and trying to sell the shop, so we're taking advantage of the space and time the uncle has to do awesome fun things with our van (Chevy 86 army-converted 4x4). We pulled the beast into the bay and raised it on the jack, wandered underneath looking at this and that, lowered it, poked around under the hood, raised it up, took off the drive shafts, lowered it, took out the front end, air conditioning unit, radiator, and carburator, as well as all the accessory hoses and wires and whatnot to these things.

I have stained fingernails. I've never gutted a vehicle before! It's exciting. Battling the greasy muddy remnants of two and a half decades of ignored leak residue, learning what it's like when the bolt finally releases and I bash my hand on some other greasy-muddy-remnant-covered piece of steel, and how to predict how fast I can stop my hand and which piece I'm trying not to bash into. How many things are attached to a carburator, with clips, tension, bolts. I also know how heavy a steel bumper is, as I kept it from hitting the floor when removed, and carried it across the shop. And a driveshaft. And a radiator. And that I bleed the same color as transmission fluid, so unless you're brave enough to taste it, you don't lick your wounds.

It was really something. I always wanted to know how to work on cars, how to be a grease monkey. My dad built buildings, I already know how to do that. I dreamed of more mobile creatures.

Auto setting. I was back against the shelf to get this "after" pic. The "before" pic was much more, um, assembled.

Oh yes! Let's not forget tomorrow's word: Generation

July 17, 2009

July 17 2009

I worked this morning clearing weeds, spraying wasps nests, raking, moving lumber and old railroad ties. I wanted to get up early so I could beat the heat of the day but the headache I woke with made me close my eyes and pray for rest. I got it, but had to work in the heat as payment. I felt lethargic as I worked. My mind was active enough, ordering the task to maximum efficency, but my muscles would not follow. I thought, "I'm not even thirty, what's with this exhaustion?" and I groped for what may have changed since I could work in this environment. Then I thought, "When was I ever able to work in this environment?"

I grew up in the midwest with the humidity--sweltering days with heat indexes that would make you dig a hole in the heat just to sit in the shade of the wet, cool earth once it was deep enough. I never had to work in thin atmosphere and desert dryness. The sun pierces with needles, and even dry shade is cooler than standing in the sun. I don't even know I'm sweating, the moisture evaporates so quickly. My skin burns underneath my bluejeans and t-shirt--even covering myself is insufficient.

I do not deal with this heat well. It possesses a quality far surpassing that of the hell we joke about in St. Louis. Furthermore, I see people recreating in this heat; people hike and bike the desert trails--it actually draws people to this area. It's not for me. I am more seriously thinking about changing my sleep schedule to 10am to 6pm and getting work done in the dead of night, where it's a breezy 70.

This picture: 4:30 in the afternoon. Actually 2 degrees cooler than when we passed the intersection a half-hour earlier.

Tomorrow's noun of the day: method

July 16, 2009

July 16 2009 At the end of my rope

I found out I mispronounce the word harrowing today, as I was trying to use it to describe my day, and on a certain level I shouldn't be surprised at that because I'm pretty good at mispronouncing things. I read more than I listen, or at least I did for a good portion of my life. Now I have talk radio and all my satirical comedians, and very little reading. But that's a tangent.

I was trying to do a million things at once today and managed to get a lot done, though one thing kind of slipped through. I found myself running out the door to teach and earlier than that a student a half-hour early and one student didn't show up today at all and a tiny pile of copyediting and I think I forgot to make coffee when I said I would and I just now remember that I have laundry in the wash which I'll need to take care of before I go to bed. And the laundry is part of the rush as someone is supposed to be sleeping on those sheets this weekend but I'm not sure if they are going to but I got the beds ready today. The bees came out and threatened my husband with their wicked daggers and I had to rescue him in the hot sun but really there was nothing I could do until it cooled off and I was SO not inclined to go out there and spray when we got back from going out to eat which we did do.

No dishes, no prep, no leftovers to take care of. We went out to our favorite chinese place instead of ordering in and I got the Jalapeno beef which is exceptional and it was just spicy enough to encourage the endorphins in my brain to give me a rest. "Smile, honey," my mother in law said to me on the phone when I called her and I bet I sounded a lot like I do here in this post. "What?" I asked. "Smile."

Oh no, the last-thing-before-bed photo. Indoor with zoom and flash.

Tomorrow: resistance

July 15, 2009

July 15 2009 Moment versus location

As much as this blog is about writing, it is about the photos. I've noticed there are two main types of photos: one is the preservation of a moment of time, a permanent record of something transient. The other is a photo of something perpetual, a location, a place. I could go back day after day and take the same photo of a particular spot. What makes this second type of shot impressive is the perspective: this is how I see it, a manner instead of a subject. "Look at this thing like I do" it begs.

I remember going to an art show in the gym at my first high school and there was this photographer with a name I remember as being odd in some way, and she took this picture I could not wrap my mind around. It was a pile of rusty nails. "Yeah, so?" I remember thinking. My dad is a carpenter. We had milk jugs with the top carved out so they were open jugs with handles and that's where he accumulated all his nails, and it looked just like rusty nails, just like the picture. So what about it?

So what, then fifteen years has taught me something? No, it isn't the fifteen years that taught me. It is the constant quest for the reason behind the photo of rusty nails. Eventually I learned to appreciate that photograph. She wasn't trying to show me something extraordinary, she just asked me to see it in an extraordinary way.

Thus, join me at looking at the only reserved parking space I'll ever get: as a customer at my bank.

I had the lanyard of my camera looped into my belt and shot this from my hip, which is an odd angle to peer into one's display, there.

Tomorrow's word: rope

July 14, 2009

July 14 2009 I never thought

Right so like this friend of mine totally linked me to a blog about making fun of people's stuff, right? so I read every one which at teh time wasn't very many but it was totally rotflol material, right, so I followed it ever since and always dreamed of being half as cool and know I know I am!

What is it? It's a Cake Wreck!!1! It's not bonifide unless she publishes my pic (the blogger's name is Jen) but if she does I'll surely let you know!

My daughter's photo experiment from yesterday led her to have a camera in the grocery store. Score!

Also, apologies on the slang. I am, I guess, too much of a nerd to actually pull it off. Yeah, you heard me, too much of a nerd. I also think I blended a sick number of generations' worth of slang in there. I am not fit for pop culture.

Tomorrow's word: location

July 13, 2009

July 13 2009 To the top of the charts

My kids got a magazine in the mail today, the National Geographic for Kids (complete with ADD information color/bubble/swatches/font things) and in it is a photo contest! National Geographic is known for their photographs, if you didn't know and/or I like to be Sherlock. So my daughter now has her own memory card with a gig of space (borrowed from her mommy) and is learning the settings and strategies for taking good pictures. This is the very first one she took. It's really quite cool because I am capable of helping her with the troubleshooting, since I've spent (what's today, day 194?) every day so far this year trying to figure out why my pictures suck. I am getting better! And so will she, and by November 2nd she will have chosen four photos to submit, one from each category: Humor, People, Scenery, and Animals, and have submitted them. It's an international contest for kids ages 6-14, and it will be her first contest. (Watch, near the end of the contest time she'll have learned how to use the photographer's rig, far surpassing my skills. It could happen.)

She used the Kids and Pets setting with a flash, and covered part of the flashbulb with her finger to end up with this red glow (red eye flash). I know, I've done it a million times, even on purpose. She was also very gracious in letting me use her picture.

Tomorrow's word: Thought

July 12, 2009

July 12 2009 The opposite of infinity

There are certain things that I know will and will not happen before I'm done living. One of these things is something that I have found to be difficult to predict in which category it belongs.

I have two children, twenty toes that by this time have walked miles. Earlier this evening I saw two children, the fifth and sixth of a friend of mine, which she didn't plan on having. These two children are barely a week old, and their twenty toes are in that fragile, finite stage of having never been used to walk--soles yet untrodden.

I discovered today something about a friend of mine that I had not noticed: she has a daughter. This daughter does not live with her and this is an event with a story I have never heard, nor is it necessary that I ever hear it, but it changes things. Being a mother changes things. A lot of things.

I visited a friend a few months ago to deliver a gift for her newborn. I went home destitute that I did not have this overwhelming urge to have another kid. I spent this evening with two babies and I cared more for their mother and her well-being. These children were these women's gifts, and I didn't want another one.

I knew before I got pregnant the second time that I wanted and was ready for number two. I recall missing the quickening, the movement, the experience of being pregnant. Not four months later I discovered I had a tot incubating.

Four and a half years after the end of that pregnancy, I am done. I have said that I am not ready to be done, but I think I know. I think I am truly done.

The monsters I have now, my twenty toes, they are a lot of work. They are amazing, and all the things a mother feels towards her children, these kids are. They are mine and I need them. I have my work cut out for me, because these are the two children I get. These make me mom.

Willing and impatient models, giggling. Flash and auto, because they're in a box. The cell phone attempts (because the camera was missing) earlier did not get enough light.

Tomorrow's word: chart

July 11, 2009

July 11 2009 A certain kind of stick

Up early enough to make the household complain, I had a student this morning, which is out-of-the-ordinary for a Saturday. Remember the drafting discussion? It was proper drafting day. We converted a toy block into three different scales, first in one dimension where there was plenty of fraction-converting patterns to establish, then in two, where new tools for the job were introduced, as well as a ton of new vocabulary, and three, where I basically demonstrated because drawing a picture in 3D for someone who had, before today, only been introduced via logic to intersecting lines, was a bit of a mysterious feat. There were plenty of specialized tools today. My cutting pad is working excellently for measuring in two dimensions, and will work out well when 2D drawing will become something more of an area discussion (How much more will this size cost if materials are xx cents an inch?)Then there were rulers, squares, protractors, not to mention pencils.

I took this at night with very little ambient light in the room, on portrait macro with flash. Yeah, it sat on my table all day.

Tomorrow's word: infinity

July 10, 2009

July 10 2009 A pleasing kind of slime

I worked early. It was fractions. I like fractions.
I visited my now-not-pregnant friend and one of her two beautiful babies.
I got home to find a new carburetor in the Mercury.
I went to work again. It was how many legs bugs, animals, and birds have, and adding them.
I got home to find a good reason to take the Mercury for a test drive: Palisade peaches and fishing.
I got peaches.
I got my feet stuck in the mud of the river bank.
I helped my son get his out of the mud when he really, really sank in.
I had no way to wash the peaches. I peeled them instead.
I got covered in peach goo. So did the kids.
I had a beer and popcorn at the brewery.
I took a nap when I got home.
I cured sadness when writing in a book wasn't an option. I suggested a journal. It required a trip the 24hour store at 9 pm. She got to pay.
I transcribed all the entries I had handwritten. All that's left is photo and publishing.

Portrait setting, no flash, a ton of zoom. I love the composition of this one.

Tomorrow's word: stick

July 9, 2009

July 9 2009 Writing myself into a hole

I know you can't tell that I predicted "hole" as my mad lib for the day, and I know that you haven't been able to enjoy my Mad Lib month as much as I have for the past month, but if you read in my sidebar there, you'll see that I've been out of cellular range with no internet for a week, so all my photos are scattered in different cameras and all my writing is in my journal. Last night I was not about to try and explain myself like I have been able to today, so I just added another entry on some notebook paper, as my journal hadn't been unloaded yet. I'll get to transcribing all my entries and getting all my photo collected and the days between the first and today will be filled in one by one, and possibly not in order, which takes some of the fun of the mad-lib out for you, but know that I have thoroughly enjoyed this. I usually write late at night and can't seem to remember what that word was the next day until I sit down and write again, which makes me think of an entire day and all the photos I took and decide how some random word fits for a title. In any case and in all cases, the next 20 days should be fun to write about as much as these past 10 have (the first was not a mad-lib day, just the intro to the game).

Writing on paper has been an interesting experience because there is no editing like there is here electronically. I can scratch and write, but mostly it is completely freewriting. I have yet to decide if the task before me will be merely transcription of what I wrote or if I will edit everything to be more like I usually write. I hope to have these missing days posted in the next week, and I am slightly daunted by this task.

Portrait setting with no flash or zoom.

Tomorrow's word: Slime.

July 6, 2009

July 6 2009 Live bait

Pick one, drink like a fish or swim like one. Either way, there was plenty today. We returned to the boys' old stomping grounds: they had both spent time in Nederland at separate times but enough to know some common ground. Brewery in the town being the destination after a non-traditional trek over the mountain instead of around, with dirt roads and a cemetery filled with children who couldn't survive the thin oxygen. Brewery was awesome. Eat and drink and be merry and drink. The boys headed to a second bar while the kids and I headed to the lake and discovered a playground. Fishing when the boys return yielded fun wading for the kids, but no fish. The boys joined us at the wading spot and waded much, much deeper...full immersion. It was a reputedly less-cold than expected experience. They ended the day with another drink at the brewery while the kids and I took another turn exploring the town.

Tomorrow's word: Art.

*This post is as handwritten.

July 5, 2009

July 5 2009 A million uses for a strap

It really was a million-events day, full of things being fixed or held together.

No rain: tarp down, reading in the hammock
Naptime: reassemble tent fly after days of rain shift the earth.
Rain: reassemble tarp cover
Fishing: use rarely-used seatbelt for fifth passenger down the mountain
Blown tire: assist a couple of teens with their roadside emergency (their dad had taken the jack out of their car. Sucks for them.)
Return from dinner: dog now has a fishhook in her lip. Dumb freaking dog.
At lake: My attempt at hook removal fails for lack of sharp enough blade.
Return trip: nighttime and frontage is empty, except for the frantic, wet, waving kayaker needing a phone for aid for his injured shoulder and kayaking partner of unknown welfare.
At the house: Hook removal takes three to accomplish: one light, one holding, one operating.
Tonight? Bedtime hopefully requires no rescuing/emergency quelling/restrapping of anything.

Tomorrow's word: Bait

*This post is heavily edited from the handwritten version.

July 4, 2009

July 4 2009 To catch a light

It rained on and off again today all afternoon, but this morning was bright and clear. We decided against Grand Lake on the 4th in lieu of reverse traffic battling for the 5th. This led to the conclusion of the day wrapped around the last few moments of daylight for a hike after the weather let up, and a small fire in a little grill under a cloudy sky with a nearly full moon desperately trying to peek through. The trees disguised the source of the firecrackers as they reverberated through the narrow valley with a resounding thunder-esque babble.

Tomorrow: Strap

*This post is as handwritten.

July 2, 2009

July 2 2009 Variety on my tab

Our trip east into the mountains and across the Great Divide was fueled by two stops at breweries and a range of tasters at each. One offered no in-house brewed soda, which is kind of a bummer.

For Tomorrow: Twist

*This post is as handwritten.

July 1, 2009

July 1 2009 I Feel Like A: jerk

I was, today, kind of a jerk. I realized this especially when this kid was selling raffle tickets for two bucks and all I had was three dollars in quarters for the sole purpose of procuring milk. I managed to slip by on the way in unnoticed but grumbled at the sales pitch. He accosted me on the way out and I produced my lack of give-a-sh*t by wordlessly demonstrating my two quarters remaining. "The kids can still have a sucker," the girl at the desk said as I walked away after seeing the flabbergasted look on the boy's face. I did not acknowledge, but the kids tugged and muttered before recognizing mom's Jerk-Mode.

This is packing for camping. These blue things are lists, categorized, so the stuff on them can go in corresponding bags. I finished before the night ended, but not before a few more jerky moves. I truly shined, today, just a polished apple, all rosy and cheeky. It did make me $50 when I paid bills today, to call and be a jerk. The girl was so nice, too...

I really have no idea how I took this picture and I'm really not in the mood to read the settings and find out.

Tomorrow's Noun: Tab