Category Archives: Miscellany

Changes

Fall Wall 0212

I’ve recently had several changes in my life, but they’ve been for the better. The first of September I left my job of almost three years and started a new one. In the process I also got a very different schedule; I’m working noon to 8:30. I do leave earlier on the two days of the week that I teach clogging; my bosses knew of my classes before I started and were fine with that. I’ve adjusted OK to this schedule, which has it’s plusses and minuses, of course.

I feel the new job is working out; it’s quite different from what I’ve done for the last 25 years or so (working in the printing industry). Much of what I’m doing is not difficult or challenging, but I do get to be a little creative now and then and I like the people I work with, which is so important.

Along with the new schedule—having mornings free—I started swimming laps three times a week. We’re fortunate to have a large indoor pool about 10 minutes away. I’ve always enjoyed swimming but rarely get to do it, so when I started I took it very easy and gradual. I’m not a fast swimmer but I am a comfortable swimmer. I’m now swimming twice as far as I did on my first day two months ago and feeling really good about it.

This fall I upgraded to an iMac from an Apple G5 computer and I’m loving it. Along with the new computer I also have new office space—our sons’ old bedroom. Having the whole room gives me space for my photo projects and I’ve already filled it up. I’m really enjoying my new office.

The last major change—and the most exciting—is the birth of our first grandchild at the end of May. He’s now five and a half months old and never ceases to make us smile. What a charmer! He lives about 6 hours away but thanks to the internet, email, cell phones, and videos, we get regular updates on his progress. We’re looking forward to seeing the family at Thanksgiving.

Around the end of the year we’ll welcome our second grandchild, also a boy. The excitement continues.

The picture at the top of the post was taken in the fall of 2009. A solitary red leaf clings to an otherwise bare vine climbing a wall in Fremont, California.

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Learning to Say “No”

1798 Stop in Your Tracks
My son says I’m too nice. That’s part of my problem. I want to help out others and have a hard time saying, “no.” Last night I did say “no” and still feel bad about it. It’s a project that I’ve done for a few years off and on (the layout of an event program book).  I enjoy doing the layout and am proud to be able to do a good job with it, but the job also comes with frustrations. One of the biggest issues is the stress that grows as I have less and less time to work on it as I’d like.

I’d really like to help out but know that it would not be good for me in the long run. I wish I had the time and resources to be able to volunteer my time for many organizations. Since I don’t, I have to say no to some of them, even though I’d enjoy the work. I think most of us have a part of us that wants to please others. We feel good if we’re able to help someone out. Volunteering our time can do as much for us as it does for the recipient, unless it gets to be a burden. So we have learn when to draw the line.
The photo above was taken a few years ago near my work. The stop sign had been planted in the middle of some unused railroad tracks. I’m sure it was a warning in case a train accidentally ended up on those tracks. Notice the tracks behind the sign.

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Christmas Dogs

dogs

Christmas dogs

These are the dogs at my workplace: Dutch, Chloe, Buster, and Lexi. We love ’em!

(This is a composite from three shots. Boy! It’s tough to photograph a group of lively dogs!)

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Colors of the Season

Colorful tree

Multicolored tree

It’s autumn. That means the trees are showing some of their best colors. Although I live in an area that isn’t known for spectacular fall colors like in the east, we still get to enjoy some. This year I’ve noticed a bit more color for some reason. Perhaps I’m just more observant.

The tree above is near my work place and I’ve been watching it for some time. I haven’t been able to get a picture of it with the light just right, but this one, taken on a partly overcast day, at least shows the variety of color. It tickles me that one tree can have every color from green, yellow, and orange to red in the leaves. The next couple of trees next to this one haven’t been nearly as spectacular. The picture was taken about 10 days ago, and it already looks much sadder with half the leaves left on it.

Fallen Leaves
Here’s where most of the leaves end up – on the ground. These are from a different tree. I loved the glossiness of these leaves, and they weren’t even wet.

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Ice

Melting ice cubes

We had a bag of ice cubes in the freezer that had solidified into one chunk, so I pulled it out and put it in the sink. My son sprayed some hot water on it and then commented that it looked like an interesting photo subject. I set it on the windowsill to get some backlight and snapped a few shots. I liked this square crop the best. This is a color photo, by the way.

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Kitten Recycling

kittens

A real "litter" of kittens!

We have kittens! That is, the place where I work has kittens. These cuties appeared in the shipping area of our company at the end of July. We first saw them darting between pallets outside. The next morning five kittens were in this trash can. I can’t imagine how they got there other than their mom moved them. The can was too high for them to get in or out on their own.

7 kittens

All seven kittens

The next Monday there were seven (!) kittens in a larger trash can outside. It still must have been mom, although we’ve never seen her. They’re feral but still so cute, as all kittens are. A few days later one of our temp workers took three of them home, cleaned them up and hopes his mom will let him keep them. So we’re down to four. The picture above is one of the few I got of all seven of them by putting out a tray of food.

Kittens

Kittens in the pallets

Since then we’ve gotten used to them hanging around and they’ve gotten used to us and to the handouts… the reason they’re still hanging around. They’re growing. They hide and play in the stacks of pallets and other stuff at the back of our parking lot. One employee has named each kitten, although the only one I know for sure at this point is Stitch, so named because he/she got into the stitcher in our plant and had to be rescued.

Stitch

This kitten is Stitch, the adventurous one

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Happy Fourth of July

cosmos

Cosmos flower in our yard

I’m writing this as I listen to the sounds of fireworks in the street in front of our house. They’re out there every year, even though fireworks are illegal around here. Our only worry is a wayward rocket landing on our shake roof, which did happen one year. Other than that, I don’t really mind. It’s just part of the holiday.

The day was a good one with family and lots of good food. We all ate so much we crashed afterwards.

The flower in this post doesn’t really have anything to do with the Fourth of July except that I took it today.

I hope you all had a happy and safe day.

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