Friday, September 19, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 277)


Greetings from crazytown. Remember, when you are done dosing yourself with the blather you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, faster than Scotland’s fleeting attempt at freedom, over to Conversion Diary to see what else is going on.

Blather that even Scotland can’t say no to.

I have not been grocery shopping in two weeks folks. My brain may explode in a little mushy pop. For most of the past 29 years I have gone to the grocery store on Monday morning. Every Monday morning unless we were out of town. It didn’t matter if the progeny were just babies, we went on Monday morning. There was a time when I would have one in a baby carrier and two in a cart and I would be pulling a cart with groceries in it….but we were there on Monday.

Now I work on Monday.

No grocery shopping happens on that day.

Saturday has now become my grocery shopping day. But last Saturday I was doing this……

2014-09-13 13.29.35

Is that not the most fab color for bridesmaids!

So naturally I didn’t go grocery shopping.

And then we went out of town.

SO here it is Friday and we had to stop on the way home from work last night because we had no milk and no bread.

This work thing is messing with my schedule.

And the worst part is that we are out of ibuprophen. That is bad. I need my 4 ibuprophen before I go to bed so that in the morning I don’t feel like I am an achy pile of post menopausal crabbiness.

Yes, I said I take 4 ibuprophen at a time. Don’t send me emails please. It is OK to take that many if you have a doctor’s OK.

We took Max to the office yesterday for the first time.

2014-02-18 12.15.06

He did fabulously so we are going to do it again today.

Yesterday we really didn’t have a choice in the matter. He had to be picked up at the kennel, which is a 40 minute drive from Chez Knit (I know!) and I didn’t have time to pick him up, take him all the way home and then go back to the office. I already had food and water bowls there for him and he just checked everyone and everything out and then flopped on the floor with a big sigh and went to sleep.

Everyone who came into the office loved it.

And the EXTRA SPECIAL plus is that there is a wooded area where I can walk him and I DON’T HAVE TO PICK UP THE POOP.



2014-09-16 10.50.20

I am fascinated and obsessed with the panorama option on my phone.

This is the WWII memorial in DC (obviously).

Seriously obsessed.

I know that Fall is almost upon us because I have begun to sleep like a bear in hibernation. It may also be because the sun doesn’t come up as early and shine right into our bedroom, thereby waking me up at an hour that makes even me, the early riser, rather unhappy.

But it is more that that.

I am dead to the world once my brain shuts off.

Now if I can just keep myself from eating everything in sight in preparation for hibernation I will be doing OK.

You know what is fun about going on a short trip.

Vacation eating.

2014-09-16 12.26.30

Falafel schwarma with all sorts of “extras” like beets and pickles sauce and Oh be still my beating heart.

It was delicious. And the falafel store owners was hilarious.

We also ate at this place, which is TMO’s favorite

Founding Farmers

I had the Mushroom Meunier with risotto. Mother of all that is holy and good was it delicious.

I have SO many photos to edit and stories to tell you guys. How am I going to get it all done?

You do what to hear the stories right?

Cuz I have a few to tell.

Instagram. Because it is what I do.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

From One Generation to the Next

Some days are just a boat load of fun. Life right now is about as busy as I have been in a long time. I am not complaining....generally......but it is a rare day that I have totally to do as I choose.

Today was one of those days.

We are visiting TMO and TSiL for a couple of days. TMO had Monday off as she has just gotten back on Sunday afternoon from a month in Ghana overseeing a project for her work. She gets off the plane at 3:45p and we arrived at 8:15p. Poor thing. Yesterday found HHBL, TMO and I at the Newseum. TMO's office had kindly given her the day off and so she had enough energy to show her poor, old parents around for a bit. I will tell you about that another time. All I will say is that the Newseum is worth the price of the admission.

Today TMO had to go back to work. And TSiL had to go to work. And HHBL had to go to a conference. That left me a day ALL. TO. MY. SELF. SWEETNESS!! I will give you the whole long story when I get home so brace yourselves for that. Just know that I took pictures...a boat load of pictures. I walked A LOT. I ate falafal schwarma for lunch....burp......and I might have bought some yarn.

I just generally had a blast.

And YOWZA to I need a shower.

I ended up down by the WWII Memorial for a period of time. It was a beautiful day to just wander and watch people and to see the interaction between students of all ages and the veterans there to answer questions.

One generation passing on knowledge to another.


Friday, September 12, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 276)


Friday has rolled around again despite my thinking that I lost a day or two this week. Where DO the hours go?? You know the orders from on high. When you are done diagraming all the sentences here you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, at the speed of Winter coming, over to Conversion Diary.

Blather that is relatively sane.

Yelling at the copier when it will not do what you want it to is rather useless. Cursing at it under your breath is also not a great way to get it to print out the collateral material that needs to be printed and put in the folders and shipped out to parts unknown.

Threatening to get out all of my calligraphy materials and do it that way didn’t seem to phase the copier one bit. It just laughed at me…and continued to print blank pages.

Kicking it felt good but still did not yield results.

But the pain from my foot took my mind off the pain of not having the collateral that I needed.

All 800+ pieces of it.

The problem was finally resolved after I got the IT guy involved.

Stupid copier.

Taxes, and the figuring out of them and when to pay them and who to pay them through is a tool of Satan and the government.

I have made it through most of the taxes and I have a spreadsheet with all the dates that taxes are due and where they get paid and they have all been entered as tasks in my Outlook calendar for the next 6 months.

That isn’t too obsessively over the top is it?

My brain hurts severely.

I had to have ice cream to soothe it.

Even as you are reading this I am most likely on my way photographing another Towards Employment graduate. I can hardly wait to tell you all about them AND the company that they work for. Funny story about that too.

Sarai 2

Strength and power and dignity and joy all rolled into one little person!

Yesterday was our last poultry CSA pick up of the year. I have been stock piling so that we have enough chicken to last until next June when the CSA will start up again.

I don’t think I can even buy chicken from the store again. It just doesn’t taste as good as the birds that we get from Brunty. 

The weather was going to be bad yesterday evening and so I ended up getting there just a bit early and had to wait for a few minutes for the birds to be packaged. It gave me time to do a bit of “shopping”. I bought breakfast sausage in both links and bulk.

Sunday brunch here we come.

Do you think 5 whole chickens and 8 cut up chickens is enough to get us through? I am worried.

I spent one more evening out on my driveway photographing the Supermoon. The sky was definitely not as clear as in July and August and I was just plain tired on Tuesday night. But I sort of like this one. The clouds were moving at an incredibly rapid pace and….


I just like it. It needs a bit of work, this is almost straight out of camera. I just “tweaked” it a bit. When I have time…whenever THAT is….I will play some more.

Super Moon and clouds 9-9-14

I am totally obsessed with watching the Holderness Family on YouTube.

LOOK! It’s Instagram photos. Because I have to have all the adulation and attention.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Power, Strength, Dignity and Joy

Sometimes I love my job so much that I am overflowing with emotion. To tell stories through the power of photography is what I live for.

Today was one of those days.

It started with this young lady.


This is Adaora and she is delightful. We met at a photo shoot last year when I did some work for the company that she was then employed with. Since then she has moved on to work for a non-profit here in Cleveland called Towards Employment. Towards Employment empowers individuals to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through employment. I was so excited when Adaora contacted me a while back to see if I would be interested in taking some photographs of some of their TE “graduates”. What could I do but say yes.

Getting the photo shoots set up has been a bit challenging as there are a lot of moving parts and pieces but this morning found me up in Cleveland to spend some time with Adaora and Sarai, a Towards Employment graduate.

Sarai 1

It is a rare thing indeed to meet someone like Sarai, who is so full of joy and brimming over with enthusiasm for life. Her story was amazing and the effort and energy that she has put into taking hold of everything that Towards Employment had to offer her to gain the skills that she needed to be employed in a job that she loves, was truly humbling. Her story is her own to tell. I am sure that she would say I could share it all if I had asked her to, but let me just say that she readily admits to making some mistakes in life before being urged by her sister to contact Towards Employment. She has had to walk through fire to get to where she is now but you would never know it by her joyful take on life.

Sarai 4

Sarai’s grandmother is her inspiration and she let me take two pictures with Sarai before scooting off to take up her day again. Grandmothers are awesome.

Sarai laughter

We had to squeeze in the pictures in between bouts of laughter.

Sarai 2Sarai 3 without hairSarai 5

Thank you, Sarai, for being willing to share your story with me. You are a woman of power and strength, dignity and joy.

And thank you to Towards Employment for asking me in the first place.

Friday, September 5, 2014

7 Quick Takes (Vol 275)


I am late! Time got away from me. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it. You know the rules and routine. Once you are done here you need to click on the picture above to be whisked, surely at a faster speed than my updating iPhone, over to Conversion Diary.

Tally Ho the Blather!

Even though it is HOT outside……

It smells like Fall.

And the light has taken on a different quality. It just screams shorter days and Fall.

And the sun is just barely thinking about coming up when I pull my aged body out of bed.

I have a feeling that Fall is just around the corner.

Especially considering the high tomorrow is supposed to be a blistering 69F with rain.

One of the nicest things about being a free lance photographer is that I can do a favor for a friend and if I want to do it free of charge….I can.

Today I spent some time taking interior shots for a friend who has put her house on the market. She is a knit sib and I was uber glad to be able to haul Big Bertha and several tripods and all the lenses (even though I only needed the wide angle) over to her house.

The extra added bonus was that she had made lunch for us! Plus I got some kitty time with her three furry children.

That is what I like about working for myself.

I love music. Have I told you that? I still remember what it was like to learn to put the record on the record player and have the sounds of Simon and Garfunkel appear from the speakers.

You do remember a time before digital music and iTunes and iPod’s right? You had to PUT the record that you wanted to listen to onto the turntable. You didn’t take all your music with you wherever you went. 

iTunes is just another way for me to hoard something. Music tracks.

Children…..I have almost 11,300 songs stored in my iTunes and therefore available to me on iTunes match. I am almost embarrassed to say it.

I cannot buy any more music until I have listened through ALL of those songs.

That most likely means that I can never buy any music ever again.

Pshaw! We know that is unlikely.

While we are on the iTunes vein of talk. You won’t know this but I started writing this blog post several hours ago. I had intended to post it somewhere around 2pm……

Because I cannot do just one thing at a time I was writing a blog post and doing my once a month hard back up of iPhone to computer and I was surprised to see that I had very little space left on the iPhone, which I have never actually named, poor thing. It goes through life just being known as Debbie’s iPhone. I should give it a name.

But I digress.

Shoot! What could possibly be taking up all that space. It isn’t photos, although you would think that would be it. I regularly delete photos from my iPhone after I back them up to Drop box and my computer. It couldn’t be that. I am a tad bit behind on listening to all my podcasts so that is a bit of space. I store only a bit of music on the phone, I usually listen with iCloud, so it couldn’t be that. All my audiobook are on Dahling (the slowly dying iPod touch), so it couldn’t be that. I regularly delete emails, so it couldn’t be that.

And then I realized…..

It is the txt messages.

I send a lot of txt messages over the course of a day, week, month, year. A LOT. I like to see the ever increasing thread of messages that the progeny and I send back and forth. And then there is the ummm, how shall I put this, slightly off color and often riotous thread that the cousins have going. I don’t want to lose any of those txt threads. But I need room on the phone.

So I just spent 90 minutes researching what to do about transferring txt messages from iPhone to computer (of course it is not cut and dry and you ALWAYS have to pay someone for the privilege of doing it) and buying a program that will download all those messages to my computer and store them so that I can review them at leisure. They are like a revolving letter that we have been sending back and forth and I don’t want to lose them.

Once I was sure they were safe I deleted most of them……and got back almost 2 G of space.

Good golly.

Isn’t it always the way that when you are busy then you keep adding more and more long term projects to the list of things to do.

You do that right?




I have had oodles and boodles and tons of time on my hands the last twelve months. And did I make headway on any of these long term projects that I have on my list?

I did not.

And now I have a part time job.

Insert dope slap here.

Guess where we are going to be in a bit of time….


HHBL has a conference in Washington, DC. TMO and TSiL live in Washington, DC. We are going to sleep on their floor. I have an entire DAY to myself to wander the Mall and go all over. I am so excited that I don’t know what to do.

The same day that we arrive…..TMO gets home from a MONTH long work trip to Ghana. Yikes. But she says she can handle it.

Just pray that I can handle the floor.

Instagram. Because I am behind schedule and because I can.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Math, A Tool of the Devil.

I had to do math today.

I don't think that my brain exploded but it was a near thing at times. A very near thing.

I am finding that it is a much more difficult thing to learn new skills as a 54 year old than say when I was 35. It really isn't so much that I am learning new skills, I have done payroll and taxes and all that stuff before. I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing so OF COURSE I know all about payroll and taxes and billing and invoicing and doing market research and writing blog posts about education and data sets and other fun stuff. Didn't you learn the same things in nursing school??

I managed to generate payroll today without screwing anything up....I think. And I got a bit of a handle on taxes. CURSE the person who thought up all these stupid taxes that have to be paid at just exactly the correct time. Not a day late thankyouverymuch. Mother Mary and all the Saints I hate taxes.

Am I being a whiner? I don't really care.

This evening finds me watching William Wallace hack and hew his way through the English army. He probably had to spend part of his day doing taxes and payroll as well and is just getting out a bit of aggression.