Sunday, August 31, 2014

The week

Highlights from this rainy Sunday include Ben telling Chandler "Come join us" and she heard "You walrus" and hilarity ensued.  She did not think he was being mean, they were both just confused the further the conversation progressed.

At the moment the four of them are in the basement singing along to the Beatles so loudly I can barely think to type!  I am upstairs watching the mist roll off the hills and the hummingbirds fight at the feeder.  They are kind of violent!  I've only had a few at the house this summer because I can't keep wasps away from the feeders and wasps will nail Matt.  I have seen them fly in from nowhere, sting him and leave.  So being swooped and on occasion nailed by tiny birds has been a new experience.  I was observing Matt redoing the wiring on the trailer hitch this morning between storms and one popped me in the head, Matt said it sounded like a Mac truck!  It's one of those terrifying/delightful things.  In the medicine wheel, hummingbird is the symbol for joy.

Here are a few shots, other than running to get a few groceries and seeing Maleficent at the discount theater Friday and a couple runs home, one overnight, we have not been doing much this week.  On Thursday we were heading to dance and Jake RUSHED (I am putting a ban on anything over a slow walk) outside and peeled the side of his foot on the rock patio when he went flying off the deck.  UGH.  So we have not even seen friends all week.

Ben's hair!

Mr. Bones jumping off the dock

My foot, not healed. It hurts in 3 distinct places, 6 weeks from the incident.  That bruised bit, my shin and across the top of my foot where it meets the ankle.
The bruise was purple and green, I am not sure if black is better or worse.  The bruise darkens at the end of the day.


Long exposure of the dogs wrestling.  This one Nia is running back and forth and Mars is watching her go.

Slowed down with the flash, even more scary!

Mars attempts to absorb Nia and her powers.

Tallulah on Tire

Geocaching around the mountain in a break in the rain.

I got out to help and ended up in the mud!

Finally found it!

Back at the house, the rain hit again, we are going to watch a movie later and have some nachos.  In the meantime, Chandler has found a pun book.  Help.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

New Camera!

Picked up a used Olympus Tough camera on eBay for $50.  Yay!

We have an older model that is smaller and looks more rugged.  This one did NOT look like it would survive being under water, it's clunky!  It has a slightly better zoom and the video is in HD.

But it did!  I kept it in my pocket the whole hour I swam, Chandler used it while, too.  :)

Back at the house, the dogs were at the window.  SO cute!  Do you see little Nia?  Awwww!

Today was different, not only a new camera to play with, but I spent the night last night at our house to wait for the meter reader who, for the first time in 18 months, wanted me to put the dogs up.  She said she would be there before noon and I waited until nearly 2.  I hope they did not eat her.  (I heard back, she lived.)

While there, I cleaned out shelves and cabinets and bagged up stuff and dropped it off on the way through town.  I plan to do more of that tomorrow when we head back for the kids to mow before dance class.  I am in a 'clean' mode, Katy's house has SOOOOOO much light, the whole east wall is solid glass.  Our house is dark, it's always been not just dark, but light disappears in it, the cedar walls and ceiling absorb it. In an effort to at least make it more open I moved some things around, it's practically empty because the music stuff and computers are all up here!  Just beds, dressers and empty desks.  I can't make a glass wall, but maybe we can get some bright lamps, help with that gloom!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Trigger Happy

This morning the light was gorgeous!  I could not resist just walking around with the camera and taking some pictures.

beat each other up...

Little cuddle time

Beat each other up...

I laid down to take this shot of Mars and he came right on over to investigate, then tried to stick his tongue in my ear.  I had to tell him I'm not that kind of girl!

Prepping the ear prober


Chan is up by 9 every morning to feed and water all the animals!  Then she rides bikes for half an hour and jumps on the trampoline.  I have been impressed with her efforts, I am glad she's taking full advantage of being here!

Matt is heading home tonight to check on things there and then to get groceries on the way back up.  I walked into a chest Sunday afternoon and cracked 3 of my toes.  At least it was my already-sore foot, but they are an ugly purple and I can't put a shoe on.  Again.  I am going back and forth between hoping for the best and just being resigned to never walking more than a mile again in my life.  Needless to say, I am a BIT melodramatic and more than a bit fucking tired of my foot hurting all of the time.  It does not help one bit that it's my fault.  I can't even think stink about someone else for it.  hahaha!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Minor Details

I read a story once where the mom was struck with an aneurysm in her brain and realized that over the course of a few hours that she was going to die and leave her three small children.  During the time she had left, her speech was robbed words at time, causing her to use the wrong nouns and leaving her unable to say anything coherent though her thoughts were still solid.  It was the scariest thing I have ever read and it caused me at the time to write out my whole life story, hitting the high points and talking about how each of you came to be and some of the things we spent our time doing.  It was a 50,000 word essay covering not a whole lot-I have not had a dramatic life or a particularly difficult or interesting one either.  But it was my experience and I wanted you to have that if anything happened to me.  Memories are important to me, even mundane ones.  Going somewhere we have been ten times before is still worth savoring and sharing. We were together, well, happy and enjoying a day.  That's worthwhile, vital even.

That was several years ago, you were all still single digit age.  Your memories are developed enough to hold things we have done for yourselves now.  At this point in time, I don't fear leaving you with no clear idea of who I am or how much you mean to me or at a loss about our history.  Now, I feel the pull to give you something more than a whole of my telling, I want to give snippets of what I have discovered without bogging with details.

1.  If you don't know something in particular, just ask someone who does.  Don't apologize or feel bad for not knowing, you can't know everything.

2.  If someone asks you about something they don't know, be kind and explain as best you can, even if it seems like something everyone should know already.  They can't know everything.

3. You don't have to answer any personal questions from anyone, ever.  That's why it's personal information.  Don't tell things about yourself too soon.  Your trust needs to be earned and it's worth working for.

4. Follow your gut.  If someone sets off your inner alarm, distance yourself, even if it means losing friends or family. This is incredibly hard and it's not over and done with in a hurry.  They get the pleasure of being angry and wronged while you get years being the bad guy-maybe for the rest of your life in that one circle.  But your inner peace is more important.  True friends will show themselves as such.  You don't need people who won't be there for you.

5.  If you find yourself being the one who makes all the plans and does all the work in any relationship, take stock.  Talk to the other person and let them know how you feel.  If they don't step up, there's your answer. And unbalanced relationship can tip too much weight on you, sometimes it's best to just set it down and walk away.

All you can do is be yourself and hopefully people will see your value.  That's not always the case, of course, and sometimes you get the shaft because their values change.  A decent friend will tell you why, but these days when people have 300 'friends' they barely know, you are expendable.  One less on that list hardly means anything any more, there's someone else (or maybe just a new cow in Farmville) to fill that small void in their life-even if it's a big void in yours.

I feel like that will not change any time soon.  While it's easy to find superficial connections, real friends are becoming obsolete. It's work to care for someone who is having a hard time.  It's easier to do things with people who have less problems.

People don't like when you are not happy, peppy, flush with cash, in a stable relationship and unconcerned with health, weight or things like the roof over your head.  I don't know what to do about that, I can't fix other people.  If someone makes you feel small or sad, take that energy and do something with it, don't mire down.  It's so hard to get back up and it only harms you.  That is SO much easier said than done, but try.  Be sad, then be useful.  If you hate the whole world and everyone in it and don't want to help a soul, then be useful to animals, or a garden or a patch of ground that has trash on it.

The only thing I have left to say is to take happiness where you find it.  You guys are my world, your dad is my best friend.  There is so much joy in a day just spent at home, with the four of you nearby, the dogs on the porch.  I know that's not a permanent situation, but guys, nothing in life is.  One day I will be without you three, without our dogs, maybe without dad.  But I know every plan I made, I tried to include you.  I kept the house as comfortable as I could for you, I had ideas that sometimes worked out, we went places, I took photos. I have so many memories and I know every where I love in this world, you were once there with me.  That's sustaining.  And I hope you have that in your adult life, even if I am the one who is not around.  That you will have one another and a best friend and a porch with a dog of your own and your own sustenance from life.

Don't pin your dreams on another person, or an event that may never happen, don't narrow your lives until the edges barely brush against anything.  Enjoy the thing in front of you, dream and scheme and plot and plan, but don't pass by that sunbeam that can warm you a moment or that chance to share laughter or that view that will never be the same again.   That book or bath or nap in a hammock that can feed your inner peace. Take as much enjoyment from your lives as you can manage to wrangle from it.  Live as freely as you can, be open to new ideas, don't stagnate your hearts or minds by becoming set in your beliefs.  Look for people to share experiences with and if no one will join you, experience them for yourself, don't give up. You are worthwhile.  You are important.  You are loved. You will find your way.  You can not disappoint me, you are your own person and not responsible for living up to anyone's expectations. You can do so much more than what someone else thinks you can, including me.  You owe me nothing, you were a gift from the start, one I have cherished every day.  I only wish I could have done more for you.

That's my four decades of living there.  Not that I have it all figured out, not that I ever will.  I still make bad choices, my feelings get hurt, more often than I'd like to admit.  Maybe after five or six decades, I will have something of more value to share, or by then you will have had 4 decades of your own experiences, maybe you can give me some of your wisdom.

Panther Run

The rescheduled Panther Run was held Saturday down in Springville, AL.  We had a team at one point, but it fell apart until it was just Matt and Ben running.  Matt had been training all along, Ben I think ran 3 times the entire year.

Anyway, I wrapped up my ankle well and headed to the race with them.  I stopped in and picked up my official orange vest so I could be on the track to take photos.  I needed an official MAP as I had no idea where the dang obstacles were!!  I was the ONLY idiot in a vest.  hahahaha  I tagged along with another photographer who was taking shots of his wife and her friends in the race and kind of remembered where some spots were from a couple years before.

First, my sole artsy endeavor of the day, a road to the sky.

Okay, RACE!

I braided Ben's hair up, I loved it.  He wanted it to stay out of his face while he ran and this worked very well.

Lots of this, they were getting all pumped up!

They were in the 9 a.m. wave.  There were waves every half hour from 8 until 11 with about 70 people per wave.  That's a lot of people anxious to die of heat stroke!

There were 24 or 26 obstacles.  8 mud, 8 water and 8 24 I guess.  hmmm.  Math.

They had already run a mile of the 3+ miles at this point when it looped back to right where we had parked, so that was kind of nice.  For me. hahaha

It's water filled with water balloons.  And a lot of mud.

I love running in 100 degrees!

See Ben's shoes, well, shoe?  THOSE are the 'trail running in muddy conditions' 100% recommended Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice shoes that I was wearing my blue version of when I slipped on a damp spot and killed the rest of my summer with sitting in bed with a swollen foot.
His worked.

I missed them at this one, but took photos anyway.  

I liked shooting strangers, I took about 125 shots of other people to share on the race site.  The guy above was one of half a dozen men in kilts.  Next year, Matt wants a kilt, too.  For the record, they all had running shorts on under them because I saw up every one of their skirts during the day.  It's a mud race, not a modesty race!

That being said, if anyone has stumbled across this just looking for 'Panther Run photos', then women, I have some advice.  Wear doubled up lycra because I saw several buttcheeks from tears.  Also, camel toe does not photograph well and if your bottoms are mashing you in half, go up a size.  Or two.  Seriously, it's not worth the yeast infection to get in that medium.


3 miles in and my boy is one-handing over the obstacles.  I was so impressed, especially since his training involved lots of Minecraft.

The end is in sight!

Last obstacle of the day!

Yes, one other orange vest, but he was getting paid.  He got a 4-wheeler, too.

Soapy water slide!

You can see Matt launching off at the top behind Ben


Matt in his underwear in public

He enjoyed going shirtless so much that he has said he is never driving with a shirt on again.

There were more obstacles than on this map and this is not the final-final map because the tornadoes that caused the race to be postponed also damaged parts of the track and they had to reroute.  One part, the racers went over and under downed trees and the swamp, cattle gates, cargo net thing are not on here and those are just the ones I saw.  But this is all I can find, so I am adding it.