Monday, May 23, 2022

Better Late than Never

For many years, I have done a birthday collage for the kids -- pictures from the previous year. Because we see them a lot less, I don't have the same variety from which to choose, so I thought I probably wasn't going to make it this year. But when I sat down to it, I found enough to create some sort of little memory for them. 

They're late, of course. Jonathan's birthday was in early February and Danica's in mid-April. 

Sunday, May 22, 2022

The Second Booster

It has taken me a whole week to get around to posting about our second booster from last Sunday because I've had a lot of spring blooms to show y'all.

As soon as we could go ahead and reserve our spots about a month ago, we did. I booked mine about a scant 5 minutes after securing Sue's appointment, and that resulted in a time slot a whole 2 hours later. Go figure.

It turned out that the turnout wasn't great when we got there, so Sue asked about me getting in early. Sure enough, they weren't overwhelmed this time, and Sue texted to let me know that I could come on in.

She was already done and waiting her obligatory 5 minutes when I entered. I saw her; she saw me. What joy and bliss!

As you can plainly see, Lacey was with me in spirit.

I was soon well shot and joined her for my obligatory 5 minutes. She had me take this picture with her phone.

For me, it was as easy peasey as the first three C-shots. I didn't feel a thing, and there were no subsequent repercussions. Sue hasn't fared quite as well. While she hasn't been terribly unwell, she has been incredibly tired. It's been a week now, so I expect her lethargy will soon pass as I seem to read of some others having a similar experience and then rebounding after about 7 days.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Blooming Bush and Boulder

Three years ago, I did a little photoshoot posted here of the blooming trees at St James Park with St James church in the background in some of them. I returned in both of the past two years, but my timing was off in one year and the road was under construction in the other year.

Here are two of the photos from 2019.

It's tight shooting, and I wasn't sure what I could do differently this year, but I returned regardless because you never know.

I think I was earlier in the day this year because the light wasn't on the trees so much. My attention, however, was drawn to a smaller bush or tree adjacent to a boulder, which the sun was reaching nicely. These were my three photos.

Before I left, I took another of the old mill (now apartments) across the river. There's almost nothing but green in this one, which almost makes it seem like a completely different location despite it being quite a small park.

Friday, May 20, 2022

Myosotis and Taraxacum

Sunday was overcast, which can be a pretty good time to photograph flowers. You don't have to worry about uneven lighting and overly bright highlights. I was drawn outside by the lilac bush, which was blooming, but they were completely washed out in those conditions. However,  the dandelions (taraxacum) and forget-me-nots (myosotis) looked good way down there at ground level.

Yes, although dandelions are an unwanted weed for the most part, they can be photogenic. I found one right next to a little patch of forget-me-nots and thought the two would contrast nicely. Complement might be the better word.

Then I focused on another little clump of the forget-me-nots. I like the heart-like shape of this patch.

In both cases I used a wide aperture to keep the background blurry, but with macro photography the depth of field is tiny, and that threw many of the flowers out of focus as well. So, I kept changing the focal point and then combined the different shots in post. Both of the above photos are, thus, a combination of 7 different images. I more or less accomplished what I wanted to with the second photo, but the farthest of the forget-me-nots in the first photo remain unfocused. It still came close to what I envisioned, however.

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Tulips in the Garden

On Saturday morning, I decided that I couldn't wait any longer for the breezes to subside. Nope. I had to photograph our tulips as best as I could while they still looked good. There was much rain in the forecast, so the opportunity might soon be lost.

While there are more than two tulips out front, given the light and distracting backgrounds, I concentrated on two flowers that I could focus on pretty tightly.

My first target was an orange variety.

Actually, they may have been two different tulips↑. I can't remember for sure, but the light is different. I prefer the second one with the backlight.

There was a smaller magenta bloom bent over a bit, so that became my next target.

Now what? Well, the forget-me-nots have not forgotten us again this year, so I'll try to get a few, as I do every year. They're harder to photograph, though – much smaller and lower. Groan, grumble, grumble.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Raising Cane and Kicking Up Our Heels

After many years of creating cards of various kinds for various family members, I may be more or less done with making full inside-outside cards – at least sometimes. But I did post this ↓ one-sided card on the bathroom mirror for Sue to see first thing yesterday morning.

We are a pretty low key pair, so we seldom do anything too very grand. A certain issue from 53 years ago was repeated, however. To begin to unravel that thread, let us go way way back. This ↓ is a portrait of Sue before the nuptials.

And here ↓ is the wedding party after the blessed betrothal.

Notice the placement of the flowers in the first photo (of Sue) and my foot in the group photo. We were doing what it took to hold Sue's veil down in the mighty wind.

Yesterday was also very windy and even more so. Sue's theme for the day was contrast and mastering. She decided that we were both in the process of mastering canes, and a contrast between b&w and colour would fit nicely.

We are ordinary folk, but we can raise a little cane on occasion.

That ↑ was the photo that she chose to post to her group, but we did take some others – with help. We sort of required assistance because the wind was wreaking havoc with Sue's very flimsy phone tripod. A nice lady saw us struggling and offered to help.

We are kicking up our heels in this ↓ photo.

Other than that, we did our usual pizza: a tradition after having one delivered to our motel room on our honeymoon. I am not sure that we have done this every single year, but we have repeated it an awful lot. A treat of fudge is also a part of the tradition. We haven't been able to follow that quite as much as the pizza, but we've also done it a lot.

A pleasant touch was having our car and driveway strewn with what looked like confetti from blossom petals being blown from the neighbours' tree.

Fifty-three years have brought one or two mild changes (wink), but what would have really floored us all that time ago was being told that we would be taking pictures with our phones. Can you imagine how we would have processed that, trying to picture, among other things, how long a cord we would need.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Following the Rays

Way back on April 07 I posted Spring Has Truly Arrived because that is the day when I first noticed the sunlight reaching my computer screen in the early morning. As you realize, that is several weeks after the the supposed arrival of the season via the equinox, but you know that true spring weather at this latitude doesn't arrive until later. In point of fact, it didn’t get here much before last week, and then it suddenly became more like summer  

Of course, as the days passed, more and more of the screen was lit up or would have been lighted had I not reverted to closing the blinds. But on Friday morning (May 13) I opened them again when I shifted over to my chair. I looked up and saw that the rays were engulfing almost the whole wall.

Distortion results from having to pan the phone in order to get the whole wall in the frame.

The next morning, May 14, I looked up even earlier and saw that the rays reached farther, all of the way to the corner and even the door.

Unrelated, except that these photos were taken on the same mornings, here is big Lacey hanging over her little pedestal.

That was on Friday, but on Saturday, she took to her little hidey hole under the self that is in the background of the above photo.

Being not the cleverest of pussy cats, she tends to use this enclosed, almost airless space, more in summer than winter when it is already very hot and stuffy up here on the second floor. Cats, eh?

Monday, May 16, 2022

In the Pink

Sue’s prompt for last week was Pink, and the secondary, additional prompt for Friday was Backdrop. She  wasn’t sure where to find a pink backdrop, but sure enough there was a blossoming tree by the neighbours' driveway. For the benefit of Sue's requirement, I pretended to be taking a photograph so that, with me as the supposed subject, the pink blossoms could form the background.

It was just a setup, and I hadn’t really intended to take photos, but I did press the shutter button. The photos came out very soft and high key (ie bright), and I sometimes find that effect to be pleasing, and I did like the outcome in this case.

Just in case the expression In the Pink is new to you, this ↓ is its etymology. 

In the pink is an English idiom that means to be at the peak of health, to be in perfect condition. The expression in the pink to mean to be at the peak of health goes back to the 1500s when the word pink did not refer to a color. At that time, the word pink referred to a certain type of flower called dianthus, still referred to as pinks in the English vernacular, today. Pinks, the flowers, were considered the pinnacle of floral design and so the word pink came to mean anything that was the pinnacle of excellence. 

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Trilliums 2022

It’s trillium time in Ontario, at least it is in our corner of this vast province. It’s our official provincial flower. I repeat that information every year or close enough. I try to make it a point to get a photo or three, but I just managed one this year.

They grow on the edges of shaded, woodsy roadsides. I suppose they grow in lots of other places too, but that’s where I see them when I’m driving around.  Except I don’t really see them when I’m just casually driving around. I have a idea of when and where to look, and when is now.

It was a hot day, and the light was up too much, and most of the flowers were a little way back from the road: places that I couldn’t easily access. They’re low, and I wasn’t much inclined to get down to their level, so I used my moderate telephoto lens to look for compositions.

The only take that I was at all happy with was this one that I posted above. In this patch, the flowers were strewn about chaotically, and the bramble around them was also busy and messy. I decided that these four flowers lined up in a somewhat orderly fashion, and I used a very wide aperture to try to fuzz out the messy branches as best as I could. It more or less worked. It’s not my best trillium photo ever, but it’s the one for this year unless I find another patch, but it will have to be soon or not at all.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Caturday 38: Lacey Digs My Foot Aroma

While awaiting the family for Mothers Day, I saw that Lacey was all snuggled up with my shoes by the door.

The same photo with an extreme crop applied.

Those were taken with the handy dandy, ever present phone. I thought a photo with the real, zoomable camera would be better. Alas, the most charming moment was forever gone. I still wandered about trying different shots.

But when she stuck her tongue out at me, I gave up.

Happy Caturday

Friday, May 13, 2022

No Fries With That

Last night was better: not perfect but much better. I had 4+ hours of pretty deep sleep plus another 1 or 2 of okay sleep. While not enough after 4 poor nights to perhaps overcome the deficit, it's still much better.

Even Alexa is having her difficulties. Look at the second item on the list.

Our pharmacy has a seniors shopping day every Thursday; they give us 20% off regularly priced items. On the last Thursday of the month, they add a $10 voucher for seniors who spend $50 or more. For many years, we would add to the list during the month and wait for that Super Senior day. We got away from the practice during the height of the pandemic when we eschewed in-person shopping for long stretches, but we're now edging back to the pattern.

Of course, for most of those years, we made lists without Alexa's help, but she saves us from keeping track of paper lists on fridges. I am not sure where on the fries came from, but we did want a new cold pack for Sue's sprained ankle.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Pity Party

When I posted that I had to make do with only 2 hours of sleep after I stopped a certain medication on Sunday night, I was leery about possibly succumbing to more poor sleeps. The next night was better at 6.5 hours, but that has been as good as it was going to get. 

Indeed, last night was very poor as I shuffled from bed to chair and back again, while also enduring some intestinal cramps just to put the icing on my cake of misery. I had gone months, it seems, without any of those nasty cramps, but they have descended upon me in all of the last four nights. I’ve had worse, but they have been bad enough and quite a nuisance.

So I am not sure how much sleep I got last night and when I am restless, even the sleep app on my watch is unreliable. So, I’ll put it at maybe 3 good hours and another fitful hour or so  

In any case, I gave it up as a lost cause at 4:30. It wasn’t Sue’s mellifluous sonata that was responsible, for I was awake anyway, but she was in good form. When I can hear the noise that loudly without my hearing aids, ya just gotta know that the volume was prodigious.

I didn’t bother with coffee but went for about a 20 minute drive, hooking for a sunrise over the river. It was cloudy, and I have nothing to reveal to you. Sigh.

Thanks for participating in my personal pity party. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

At the Coffee Shop

We had reason to pick up the kids after school, and our first order of business was to take them to Tims. Visits to the coffee shop were yet another casualty of Covid. It used to be quite the treat for all of us, so we took the opportunity to do it again after more than two years.

Of course, it's a little different now. They're older and deport themselves differently, but it was good to do it again.

In tight quarters, here ↓ are the four of us. The kids are very good at masking in school. Very few kids do, apparently, but I think they mostly do it for us. We all wore masks until we got to the table; mine is still around my neck. I wear a double elastic one, so I don't have to hook it to me ears and interfere with my hearing aids. I can easily raise or lower it without having to remove it entirely.

Here's another of Sue and Jonathan. We knew it would be a difficult photo with the backlight, and JJ had his own vision of how to pose.

Danica and I had better light, and she cooperated more. 

In our subsequent travels, Jonathan spotted this ↓ sign that he felt he must have. He has a problem keeping the youngest stepsister out of his room in dad's house. I am not sure if this will actually help.

While the pandemic had a deep effect, the kids are also older and so we gather less frequently. It was nice to be with them in this way once again.

Monday, May 09, 2022

That Was Mother's Day

It's just after 6 on the morning after Mother's Day, but I've been up for 4 hours after having slept for about 2 hours. I'm not surprised that this happened because I stopped some meds last night, one's that I have been on for 6 months or so. They did help my sleep somewhat although that wasn't their purpose. I came off slowly, reducing the dosage by 1/3 for a month and then another 1/3 for a month, but  I expected that it would take some time for my body to adjust. We'll have to see how long it takes to get back up to a whole 5 hours or so.

But, yesterday was Mother's Day, and I have a few snaps. Of course I do.

The first order of business after coffee was to give Sue her cards: one from me and one from Lacey.

The inside of my card

Lacey's card was in postcard format
Lacey had a most appropriate garden ornament gift for Sue.

We had a  quiche brunch in our little porch which had warmed up in the sunlight after an overnight frost threat. It wasn't much warmer last night either although the past few days have warmed up nicely by afternoon.

What you can't see in the ↑ photo is that Sue had her for up and wrapped after missing a stair on the previous day and spraining it quite decisively. She has just taken a picture for her 365 of the day. Her theme for the week is pink, and she photographed her bandaged foot resting on a pink cushion. Oh she just got up and hobbled to the bathroom with the help of a cane, so she's no better this morning.

Sha and the kids came over for a bbq supper, and Sha had a few gifts to unwrap from them.

And that was Mother's Day – Sue's 49th and Sha's 14th.