Monday, July 21, 2014

Day 202 - 07/21/14

My Beloved loves me; I know he does.  When I cam home tonight, I found a wonderful surprise in a trash can in the front yard.  He told me that he had sighted a snake slithering around the edge of the fence and ran inside to get the grabber.  It was gone when he returned.  He heard Baxter barking under the azalea bush and then out he came with this treasure in his mouth.

Thankfully it was a box turtle and was fully secured inside its shell.  No damage done.

I took him out of the trash can and waited patiently for him to emerge.  He eventually warmed to me, gave me a few candids, and then began to leave.  I decided to give him my legs and saw him safely across the busy road and into a cozy camellia bush.

Now to add a few more folks to my project.  This is Sara.  She is a sweetly tanned and freckled paralegal who works on the other side of my office.  She has a precious 18-month-old daughter, Elise, who is never without monogrammed threads and a dotting family.  She has the most beautiful eyes and studies everything with them.  Sara's picture was of Elise riding on their dog--their very patient dog.  I just love that age. 

This is Donna, our office administrator (remember "REDRUM").  She spent the end of last week in San Antonio, Texas, attending a legal administrator's conference.  She was inspired by motivational speakers who made her laugh and cry.  One such speaker was Dr. Dale Henry of Tennessee who told them that there were two things good leaders never say, "That's not my job" and "I wish I had."  To be a leader, you must be a servant to all.  (It sounds like he studied the life of Christ.)  Although she had a full schedule, she was able to visit the Tower of the Americas and the Alamo.  Her  picture was of the Tower of the Americas.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Day 201 - 07/20/14

This spider built a nice nest under the pecan tree.  She cobbled together various pieces of bugs and bark to create her own cornucopia for hiding.  She tended to her eggs, but would quickly retreat to her lair if she felt threatened. I'm hopeful the toads will be ready for a feast when her young'un arrive.

Lantana

Puff enjoying a Sunday afternoon on the front porch.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Day 200 - 07/19/14

Our Sunday School class had a luncheon at our teacher's house today.  These are her new kittens, Hobo and Carrots.  She said that the first two cats she and her husband ever had were named Hobo and Carrots, too.  I don't think anyone should have one kitten; they should always be placed in homes in pairs.  Can you feel the love they have for one another?

Again, I asked for participants in my project.  This is Karen, our pastor's wife.  She is a well-loved kindergarten teacher, so sweet and always happy.  Although she didn't know about the project, she willingly found the last photo in her phone and posed for me.  It is a picture of the shelves in her classroom littered with tiny bits of paper.  The rats had gotten into her classroom during the summer and eaten some of her books.  She was mortified to find that I was going to share this with you.  What would you think?  The only reason she had the picture on her phone was to show her husband the mess they made, not to share it with the world.  Since she doesn't read my blog, you know what I'm going to do--share her story.  I'm not as nice as her.

This is Jean.  She is my fellow commuter.  While we don't ride together, we both travel to Mobile each day for work.  I travel about 120 miles round trip and I would suspect Jean's trip is closer to 130 miles.  She lost  her husband a few years ago and is beginning the task of downsizing, getting her home ready to sell and looking to move to Mobile.  We'll certainly miss her when she's gone.  She has been such an asset to our church and community.  She shared the last picture on her phone, which was a photo of some of the ladies at our luncheon today.  Karen, again, was mortified because she is grinning, holding her tiny little tummy in (as if she needs to).  Love her spunk.

This is Kim.  She is a first grade teacher at Leroy.  She is always soft-spoken and a genuinely caring person.  She has a son and a daughter.  Her daughter married a few years ago and moved to Kansas.  Kim misses her terribly, but knows she is happy there.  The picture in her phone is of baby's clothes.  That's right, Kim and her husband are going to be grandparents!  Her daughter is expecting and it's a girl.  It's going to be an exciting year. 

This is Margaret.  She is a retired teacher, but she still keeps very busy.  She is our church librarian and leads our church in a lot of missions.  Her daughter is an audiologist who is married with one child.  Margaret and her husband adore their granddaughter.  Their son is a West Point graduate currently serving with the U.S. Army.  He travels all over the world, working hard to protect our country from the many who seek to do us harm.  He recently married, moving his new bride and her son from Arizona to Virginia to begin their new life together.  The last picture in Margaret's phone was sent to her by her new daughter-in-law.  It was attached to a text that said that Corey was passed out on the floor.  Margaret panicked, worrying something was wrong and asked if she could do anything (which she could not since she is thousands of miles from there).  The response was to look more closely at the wording on the bottom of the photo, which said, "Think they took the news well?"  The photo shows their rottweiler, Sammy P, and Corey passed out on the floor.  There is a spilled cup of coffee, Corey's sunglasses, and prominently in the foreground--a pregnancy test.  They're expecting too and are elated.  Corey is in his 30s and this will be his first child.  Yes, it's going to be an exciting year for Margaret and their family too.

And this was our hostess, Alliece.  She is a retired teacher too.  (I know, I'm surrounded with all this education.)  She is the mother of five--all married--all with children--and the grandmother of . . . I've lost count, but I'm pretty sure it's over a dozen.  She has a home that is warm and inviting and is always gracious to take us on a tour.  Her bedrooms are straight out of a magazine, with beds so piled high with comforters, quilts, and pillows that you would think they were used by the princess in The Princess and the Pea.  I didn't ask her to share a picture from her cell phone because I don't think she owns one.  On our tour, she shared the story behind this little jar full of change.  This year for Mother's Day, she and her husband went to the home of one of her sons.  Their 7-year-old grandson was so excited that she would be at his house for Mother's Day that he told his mom that he needed to get her a gift.  He went into his bedroom and emptied all of his change (except for quarters) into a Ziploc bag and presented it to Maimmie when she arrived.  Such a sweet gift would be remembered forever.  Now Alliece keeps that change in a jar on her dresser.

Goodness, I'm about ready for grandchildren.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Day 199 - 07/18/14

This is our "young lawyer" Smith.  He was out of the office yesterday, but he was willing to be a participant in my project.  The last picture on his phone was of his boat.  He lives close to and spends a lot of time on the water.  He said he and his girlfriend both like to fish, so they do a lot of boat riding and fishing.  I was surprised to find that with such a nice boat he has never water skied--never in his life.  He's young enough and needs to give it a try.  I think he'd like it.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Day 198 - 07/17/14

I was reading a news story the other day about a 52-year-old woman, Sharon Budd, who was riding in a car with her daughter and husband, headed from Ohio to New York.  She had just finished talking to her son on the phone and was crying.  He was being deployed to Afghanistan.  She was smiling through the tears as she looked at a picture of him on her phone.  It was the last thing she saw before her life was put into jeopardy when two teens threw a large rock from an overpass through the car windshield.  She was hit and is now fighting for her life.  My thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family.  That got me to thinking, "What's the last picture taken on my phone?"  What's the last picture taken on your phone?

Today I asked my co-workers to help me with a new project to document just that.  Everybody has a story.  This is Nancy.  She is a single mother of three.  Her daughter just graduated from college, her eldest son is in his sophomore year in college, and her youngest son is beginning his senior year of high school.  She is resilient, strong, and funny.  Her father recently died from Alzheimer's and her mother is in the early stages of this terrible disease.  Through it all, she keeps me in stitches with her perspective of life.  I truly think she should have been a stand-up comedian.  All three of her children are home for the summer.  She was happy to show me a picture she took of two of her children, William and Mary Kathryn, last night.  While she was taking the photo, William did something to Mary Kathryn to make her burst out laughing.  It's a cherished moment she is glad she captured.

This is Kimberly.  She is a talented singer and musician.  This weekend she played at a spectacular wedding.  They spared no expense and even flew in a popular singer from New York.  The wedding was open invitation, but the reception, held at the Mobile Convention Center, was by invite only.  The invitation wasn't printed on ordinary stationery; it was engraved on crystal and delivered in a perfectly wrapped box.  The picture she shared was taken at the reception with her friend.  Everyone's favor to take home was a bottle of champagne, dipped in gold glitter.  Wow!

This is Patti.  She is always a big help to me.  She doesn't take a lot of pictures with her phone, but the last one she had was a picture of her granddaughter, Olivia.  She has two grandchildren.  Her son recently married and now she is awaiting her third.  Life is good.

This is my friend, Terri.  She used to work with me at the other law firm.  She is a recent breast cancer survivor, just celebrating her third anniversary of being cancer free.  She's a heck of a fighter, a feisty little thing.  She has a beautiful granddaughter, Catalina, and a new grandson, Mark.  I think she looks pretty good to be a grandma.  The picture she shared was taken a few nights ago at a meeting of the Order of Venus, a parading Mardi Gras organization.  She and her friend, Robin, took a selfie to send to another friend who was not at the meeting.  She was missing out on all the fun and they wanted to rub it in her face.

This is Kaylin.  Isn't she beautiful?  She is an attorney who is married to an attorney.  They have a young son, Preston, who is ALL BOY.  She was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and had a double mastectomy.  She is so remarkable and such a positive person.  She is now in the midst of chemotherapy.  The last picture in her phone was taken this past Friday when she was taking her third of six treatments.  She is smiling with her baseball cap, holding up three fingers to say three down.  We have all laughed and cried with her.  She is so strong.  She lifts me up with her great perspective and fighting spirit.  Please keep her in your prayers.  I know she's going to beat this thing.  Positive!

And, of course, this is Patrick.  The last picture in his phone is one of him and his "Big Bro" at the gym.  He is still working hard preparing for his first body building competition.  He is so remarkably disciplined.  I have seen him grow so much in the past year, especially with respect to his spiritual life.  He has found a "peace that passes understanding."  God is good.

And, last, but not least, is Victor.  He is a clever little prankster.  Last year, he went on vacation, but had to come into the office early one morning during that time to tend to some business.  As always, he was first in, but no one knew.  Our office manager, Donna, arrived later and went about the business of readying the office to open and starting the coffee.  As she did, all of the lights went off.  She came back down the halls, turning on the lights, only to have them go off again.  She returned to her office, she found a note taped to her door that said "REDRUM".  She had no idea what that meant.  She had apparently never seen The Shining.  She thought that perhaps someone needed some rum for an upcoming event.   She went to get Nancy to see if they could figure out what was going on.  When they returned, they found a knife lying in the threshold of Donna's office door.  Nancy knew immediately that Victor was somewhere in the office playing a prank.  They eventually found him hiding behind a door and had a good laugh.  Victor recently purchased his first cell phone.  He said he took a picture when he first got it, but that it had long been deleted.  He told me, though, that he would be a part of my project.  I could take a picture of him intensely working--he donned the sunglasses, picked up the phone, and told me to take the pic.  He's such a nut.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Day 197 - 07/16/14

My Beloved and I met up again at the river to watch the sunset.  We also met an older couple, John and Maxine Winters, who were there to watch it too.  Mr. Winters entertained me with stories from his travels all over the world.  When the mosquitoes came out, we headed to Sonic to grab a half-price milkshake and to catch up on the happenings of the day.

Camera Update:  I'm still using my old camera, as you can by the first photo.  Although the Ricoh GR shoots RAW, it's in the .DNG format, which cannot be processed by Capture NX2 (which is what I use).  If Nikon wants to be a player, it needs to get with the program and make their software accessible to other formats.  Capture NX2 gives me the flexibility of changing white balance and color control points.  I was hoping that their new program, Capture NX-D would allow processing of other RAW formats, but it does not.  I'm disappointed and hope I won't have to leave them for Lightroom.  Also, I downloaded a free photostich software from Panorama.  It stitched 5 pictures together to create the above.  I'm pretty impressed with its accuracy and simplicity.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Day 195 - 07/14/14

We live in a small house that was built when chifferobes were used instead of closets.  When we moved in more than 20 years ago, this sunroom had been turned into a closet, with galvanized pipes held up with 2x2s.  Several years ago, we saved our money and eventually bought a wonderful closet system from EasyClosets.com.  We have lots of suits and lots of stuff, so it holds a lot of weight--well, it did.  A small portion of it fell in April and we were finally able to get with EasyClosets to have the unit replaced (for free I might add).  Thank you, EasyClosets.  

Tonight we re-installed that small unit.  We still have to re-enforce the cleats with L-brackets, but the clothes are back up.  Yay!