Welcome to my little ol' blog. I'll be upfront about it: I don't blog very often any more. If you found your way here because you read my book "Trailer Life," have a gander! But it's easier to keep up with me on Instagram or on my Facebook page. I have this long, drawn out theory on why I'm a terrible blogger, but that is a story for another day. Enjoy the ramblings of my life from the last 8 years or so.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Use It or Lose It

This goes for fitness, chemistry, and for me, photography skills. It's very possible that I never really had skills to begin with, but I took some pictures of my nephew yesterday and although I got a couple of "good ones," I am frustrated with the lack of focus on my part. Why don't I see that the focus is not where I want it to be when I'm taking the picture? And don't get me started on lighting. I don't get paid for taking pictures, which is great because I don't deserve it. But if I were so inclined to head that direction, I would so get some lighting, ASAP. It's hard to work with natural light while traveling to other people's houses, where who knows which direction the light will come from, what kind of color cast the stucco might bring (and don't bother with the white balance with me. I put it on auto and call it good- but I'm thinking I need to learn that, and soon)... it's a little stressful. Anyhow, here is Louie, and although I like almost everything about this picture, I hate how soft it is. Good thing his toes are in focus...NOT. 
I used my 50mm on this shot, f/2.2. I needed to maybe close that up a bit, maybe in the 3-4 range? Heck, since there is no background to really blur, a 5 would have been okay...maybe. I'm not sure, since I didn't try it. In fact, I'm not sure I've ever had my 50mm that small before. The pictures with my other lens (28-135 f/3.5) were clearer. Oh well, what can ya do? Practice, practice, practice. I'm not so naive as to think I could carry off a 365 project again. Maybe just force (bribe) my kids to pose for me, and get those little focusing dots all lit up at the same time, and learn to use the flash I bought myself for Christmas last year. And, I'll brush up on my owner's manual and what not. I'll just add that to my To Do list, of course.

In other news:
Yesterday the kids and I went to a retirement home/assisted living center and sang carols with April, Caley, and April's friend Karrie. Seriously, I never thought I'd met another KARRIE, but I did! Anyhow, going into the memory care section where the dementia/Alzheimer's patients are can be hard. I caught one lady's attention and she was motioning to me, kind of singing to me, but I didn't know what she was saying. Her eyes were bright, but she was just not all together, mentally. I kept wondering what to do, as she waved her hand close to me. It seemed like she wanted to hold my hand, but didn't have control over her hands. I tried holding her hand, but she pulled away, only to bring her hand back to me. While she was singing to me and motioning, I just stood there, smiling like an idiot. What else do you do? I felt like she really wanted to tell me something. I imagine it was that she enjoyed the singing (cousin Caley has an amazing voice) or she was remembering a time from before. It was hard to see someone's grandma or mother that way, and I don't think I'll ever forget it. One of those brief encounters that leaves a lasting impression. The kids walked away with lots of questions, and I walked away grateful that I have my mind intact. I won't be taking that for granted.

We are getting a real, live Christmas tree this year! I got the ornaments out of storage, and great news: none of them melted in the intense heat of the last six summers. The kids are thrilled. Ryan says we will sleep in the house for Christmas Eve, but if he doesn't go get my king size bed out of storage, there is no way I'm sleeping in that house. He can camp with the kids in the house, and I will be a pretty princess and sleep in my home sweet trailer. I was raised in Oildale for the first four year of my life, you know. Really though, maybe I'll pretend to sleep out there. I will stay up until they sleep, and then get back out there before they wake up. No one should have a grumpy mom on Christmas Day!

Today Ed choked Will and Will beat Ed. Then I interfered, separated the two and chewed them both out, making all manner of threatening statements and then walking away because I was so mad. I know, I know... boys. But it made me mad because I could HEAR the weird strangling noise from Will. Then I heard two "thumps" and the "Stop it! Owe! You hurt me! You weren't sharing! Mooo-ooommm!" And on and on. This, after I had just told them to cut it out and be nice, and blah blah blah. I about flipped out, as is becoming something of a Sunday morning habit for me. That, too, needs analyzing and a change. Being a parent is NUTS. Last week I lost it because not one child brushed their teeth or found their shoes when I asked them, and the boys were fighting in the shower. (My boys really do love each other, but they have shower issues. "He's taking my water! You didn't get me soap! Get out of the water!" This, with two shower heads. Amazing.) Well, this Sunday when I told them to go brush their teeth and find their shoes, they hopped to it. No, today was a steel cage death match, instead. Minus the steel cage. They were really good the rest of the day. Ed apologized to Will, and was penitent for the afternoon. Will actually cleaned up his mess without being asked... it was a small miracle.

I will take any and all small miracles.

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