You Capture My Year In Review

I’ve been trying to participate in a photo forum on Thursdays. Brought to us by I Should Be Folding Laundry (me too, by the way)  It’s called You Capture. Every week there is a new theme. This week’s was “My Year in Review.”

Click on the link here to read about how to play along. Then do your best to visit the other participants’ sites – everyone loves the traffic, the comments and the feedback (not just you!) Next week’s photo challenge is Your Winter. Everyone will post pictures of what winter is like where they live. That should be interesting, don’t y’all think?

And yes, I realize that today is Friday. I wanted to have this ready yesterday, but I’ve been working 12 hour shifts all week. The last few weeks have been brutal, y’all. I feel like it’s been all I could do to just keep my head above water. Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve were spent working. The whole month of December was pretty much a blur.

Today is the first day of a seven day break for us. (We work really odd hours in case you didn’t know.) I’m hoping to get back on track in the next seven days with a lot of things; eating healthier, cleaning my pig pen house, trying on clothes I got for Christmas, putting away Christmas stuff (ugh!) managing piles of laundry, catching up with friends and family, getting reacquainted with my hubby and last but not least, blogging.

But today, I’m dedicating to doing as little as possible. If that means lying around in my bathrobe drinking Bloody Marys all day, so be it. Reminiscing about last year is a good way to start off the week.

In January, we had a rare sprinkling of snow. It hardly ever snows on the coast of North Carolina, and when it does, we all lose our minds, y’all. Everybody except the damn Yankees, like my husband, who have moved down here to make fun of all of us silly southerners enjoy our balmy weather.

February was spent worrying about our love tree. We call it our “love tree” because when we first met, it was just a little stick in the ground, basically. There was some discussion about whether or not to just pull it up. But when I revealed to Jeff that a former boyfriend of mine had said that this tree “would never amount to anything”, Jeff decided to dedicate his life to making this tree grow.

After much fertilizing, it is now taller than our house. But we may have fertilized it a bit too much last year. As you can see in the photo, it developed a nasty split right down the middle of it’s trunk last winter.

March brought a chance to enjoy a golf getaway in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Jeff and I got a terrific deal on Ebay. We stayed two nights at a resort, played three different golf courses and took in a show at The Palace.

April was spent getting ready for my first grandchild! I gave my son and his girlfriend an Eco Baby Shower and almost went crazy in the process. You can read all about my ordeal  here. Amazingly, I found enough time to blog about it.

In May, my darling little grand daughter, Freya, was born.

Also in May, my oldest son, Kyle, not only graduated from college, but he and his wife, Erika, found out that they were finally going to have a baby! What perfect timing!

In June, we made the painful decision  to take the chain saw to the “love tree.” Jeff loped off half of it, hoping it would continue to survive –  as strong as our love for each other has. Six months later, it appears to be doing fine, just a little on the crooked side.

July was spent going on vacation to Busch Gardens and hanging out at Wrightsville Beach. This is one of my favorite photos we took this year. This is Jeff’s daughter and her friend, fighting the surf. These two fourteen year olds from Upstate New York were more than happy to spend the summer down here,working on their tans…

…and their texting skills.

In August we hosted our annual chicken spiedie dinner. It was my mother’s birthday, and she enjoyed playing patty cake with her great grand daughter, Freya, who was getting so big!

In September, we took the girls back to New York and spent some time outdoors with our rottweiler, Hannah, enjoying the last bits of summer.

October was a hard month. My son and his girlfriend moved to another state 800 miles away, taking my precious little grand daughter with them. They brought her over so we could say good bye.

The cooler fall weather in November inspired us to try out our golfing skills at a beautiful golf course, Lockwood Folly Country Club in Shallote, NC.

And the end of the month, on Thanksgiving Day, my grandson, Kole, was born! Another baby, another blessing!

December was spent getting to know this little guy! I took a week of vacation after he came home from the hospital to stay with Kyle and Erika and help out with Kole. And, of course, I have spent countless hours trying to capture this adorable face with my camera.

Advertisements

You Capture Photographer’s Choice!

I found a new photo blog to participate in on Thursdays! It’s called You Capture. Every week there is new theme. This week’s was “Photographer’s Choice!”

Click on the link here to read about how to play along. Then, do your best to visit the other participants’ site – everyone loves the traffic, the comments and the feedback (not just you!) Next week’s photo challenge is Real Life. Do I have one of those?

Since I get to display whatever I like this week, here goes….

IMG_7614

The last time we saw Freya, just before she and her mom and dad moved to Michigan.

IMG_7618

Look at that face! I think she’s going to be a real mischief-maker when she’s a little older, don’t y’all?

IMG_7644

She’s cute from all sides!

IMG_7649

We sure do miss this little one.

 

 

Random Ramblings

randomtuesdayKeely, over at Unmom, does this thing.

You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it. Try it – it’s addicting. Then link back to Unmom and see what other people are randomly thinking and typing about.

I’ve come to the conclusion that when people stop blogging, it’s  for one main reason. Y’all want to know what it is? It’s  work. Now,  I’m not talking about how jobs interfere with important stuff like keeping up with your blog, although that’s a problem, sure. No, what I mean is – keeping up with a blog is hard work, y’all.

It’s not like you can just sit right down and start writing. You have to figure out what you want to say, figure out if you think anyone is interested, figure out if you want to post a photo, or not, then try to find the photo you have in mind, give up looking for it because you saved it onto a disk several months (or years) ago, figure out what your title is going to be, decide if you want to just post something without a photo (or there’s always stock photos!) actually get around to writing something, spell check it, preveiw it, decide whether or not you like what you’ve written, worry that it might really sound stupid, go back and edit out the stupid sounding parts, preveiw it again, decide you really do need some kind of photo, spend a half hour perusing all your photo folders, finally pick one out and wait for it to upload, go back and change the title you had written while you are waiting for the photo to download because you obviously need something that sounds more dynamic, preveiw everything again after the photo is in place, go back and rewrite parts of what you had written because now that the title is more dynamic the post doesn’t quite measure up, glance at your watch and realize you are running out of time to get ready for your real work (the one that you earn your living from) save the whole mess as a draft, and try the whole stinking thing over again the next day.

Seriously, who has time for this?

Certainly not me, not this week. Remember my sad little post a few days back, about my grand daughter and her parents moving to Virginia? Well, it’s gotten a little more complicated. Now they are moving to Michigan. Up near Ann Arbor, to be exact.

This little complication has been happening since last Wednesday morning, when after working a twelve hour night shift, we rented a moving van for them to pack all their furniture into – in order to move to Virginia. On the weekend it was discovered that there was no longer an offer of a rental home in Virginia, so after the house they lived in here had been cleaned out, the key returned and the land lord had been kissed goodbye, the excruciating decision was made to move, instead, to Michigan.

Thank God her parents in Michigan had a vacant house that was offered to them. If only it wasn’t so far away.

Are we the only people who didn’t know that yesterday was Columbus Day? And that all the banks were  closed? And that a young couple with a four month old  baby, who are down on their luck, and trying to move all their earthly belongings somewhere, anywhere, with one set of parents in Michigan trying to deposit gas money into a bank account and the other set of exhausted parents working a twelve hour day shift in a place where they are virually cut off from outside communication, would be unable to withdraw any much needed traveling money and be forced to put off moving for another day, while the meter ticks on the exhausted working parent’s credit card to the tune of $60 per day for every day the moving van, which was due in Virginia last Wednesday, but now is being rerouted to Michigan, is turned in late?

Yeah. But it’s all because we love them, y’all.

A few things I don’t love. Like, having to carry a damn radio everywhere with me at work and being forced to listen to everybody’s boring conversations for twelve hours. Like, pretty young women (who know quite well that they are pretty) who spend their whole twelve hours at work giggling and simpering to all the male coworkers after every single sentence that comes out of her mouth. (Really, honey, everything you say is not that funny, OK?) Like, having to have an evacuation drill in the middle of the morning, which forced us to stand out in the parking lot in the beautiful sunshine, knowing that we have to go back into the building for the rest of the day until it gets dark.

Like, having to proofread this post now before I can post it. And edit it. And find a picture. And…oh fiddlesticks!

No picture today, y’all. I’m just not in the mood.

Precious Subject in Sepia

IMG_6597 - Copy

Freya. I think she looks good in sepia, don’t you think so too?

I’ve just discovered that Mary the Teach has another photo blog, besides Ruby Tuesday. It is called Sepia Scenes. Every Wednesday, she posts a picture in sepia, and invites everyone else to do the same. She also has a tutorial on her blog on how to produce good photos in sepia. I you are into photography, like I am, go on over and check it out.

longvalleyandChesterNJ013copy

We Are Family

IMG_6562

I was going to post this for Wordless Wednesday, y’all. But then I decided I had to add a few words.

This is “Pop Pop Jeff” with his new love, Freya. From the expression on his face, you would never guess that she is not his real grand daughter. Her father is my son, from my first marriage. When Jeff and I got married, my son Ryan was already in his twenties, so it’s not like he and Jeff ever bonded as step dad and step son, exactly.

In fact, I would have to admit that there have been a few rocky patches between them. Let’s just say they have not always seen eye to eye. It has gotten better through the years. They still aren’t madly in love with each other, but this baby sure hasn’t done anything to make the situation worse.

Thank God that Jeff would never consider not loving my grandchild.

When Jeff and I got married, I was already in my forties, and unable to have any more children. I felt kind of bad for Jeff, because he only had a five year old daughter at the time, and I’m sure he would have loved to have another child. We got a puppy, and she became the child we take care of together. But in the back of my mind, I was hoping for the day that we would have grandchildren together. I figured it would be the next best thing.

And I was right.

I smile to myself whenever Jeff talks about how he and Freya have “already bonded.” Whenever he holds her, she just lights up. She studies his face as if she is trying to remember him from somewhere – and maybe she is.

I love the fact that he treats her like she belongs to him. I love the fact that she has brought our family full circle. I love the fact that my son has proven to be one of the most loving fathers either of us have ever seen. I love the fact that Jeff says Ryan reminds him of himself, when he first had Danielle.

I love the fact that a tiny baby can work miracles without even trying. She has turned both daddy and Pop Pop into quivering bowls of jello. She has made the two of them have something in common. She has made the two of us into grandparents.

We are no longer just “Ryan’s mom” and “Danielle’s dad.” We are no longer just “stepmom” and “stepdad.” We are Freya’s grandparents.

And that feels so good.

We also have another little miracle on the way. My oldest son, Kyle, is having a son. So Pop Pop and I will have one of each. Granddaughter. Grandson. Family.

Random Tuesday Whining

randomtuesdayKeely, over at Unmom, does this thing.

You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it.

Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all.

It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.

*Warning: Full Blown Whining To Follow*

It has been kinda tough posting something every single day this month. It takes more time than y’all would think. Thank God I’m on vacation. I have no idea if I will be able to continue to do this after we go back to work. Not really having any idea what to post about, I decided I would chronicle our vacation with pictures of what we have been doing each day. Sort of a vacation diary, if you will.

This is not going over very well with y’all.

Y’all? Y’all?

*Ginger hears echo*

See, the thing is, there is no one here. That’s right. I’m apparently all alone in my blogging adventure. No one has commented me in two whole days, and the day before that, I only got one comment (thank you so much Jan, at planetjan. Love you. Mean it.) Whine, whine, whine. This is leaving me to scratch my head and wonder what I’m doing wrong. I used to pretty much just post random pictures, and I got a few comments. But that was OK, I really didn’t expect many. Now that I’m taking time to actually write something, nobody is reading me.

*Ginger’s lip is poked out so far she might trip over it when she gets up*

Maybe I should just go back to posting pictures. Maybe I should crawl under a rock and die.

*Heavy sigh*

Yesterday, on my other blog, I posted a picture of a door knocker. A door knocker, y’all. (Wait. Sorry. There is no y’all.) Anyway, the door knocker received 137 views and 5 comments. This blog recieved a grand total of 24 views and zero comments. Clearly, I am doing something wrong. I just have no idea what it is.

*Update: my husband  explained this to me. It was the word “knocker” that did it. Hmm.*

So as long as I am all alone in this here place, I’m going to post some random pictures that make me smile to cheer myself up. Surely, if cats being silly, babies playing piano, wandering peeps, decorated toes and me showing my fat ass my cute, little, southern derriere won’t warrant some comments, then nothing will!

This is my cat, Pixie, pretending to be an elephant ear. She thinks that if her head is hidden, her whole body is, too. Cracks me right up.

IMG_5102

This is my grand daughter being introduced to the piano. She has such long fingers, I can’t wait to teach her to play!

IMG_5200

A mother duck and her brood wandered into our yard.

IMG_4862

Dani decided to draw faces on her step brother’s hairy toes.

IMG_4888

Her finished handiwork.

IMG_4894

Yesterday, to update my Staycation diary, we went golfing. I was pretty much in a pissy mood all day. This is how I expressed myself. I figure this will be a good ending (no pun intended) to this post.

IMG_5319

For Wordless Wednesday – Another Baby Picture, sorry!

SSPX6677

This photo is for Wordless Wednesday, normally hosted by Dixie over at French Lique, Texas. But Dixie is real busy tendin’ to her okra (how southern, is that, y’all?), so her blog is being hosted for a while by Heather at Simply Joyful Photos. The theme for this week is “Blogger’s Choice”.

Check out more Wordless Wednesday photos here.