Ick

These live in my barn. I’m not kidding. Somebody actually hung a wooden box in our barn for these creatures to live.

 

Bats

Bats

 

I almost puked while trying to photograph, then later edit this. I know that I should love all creatures, great and small… tis the curse of the veterinarian. But really, these are just plain icky. 

When Gary discovered them, I pleaded that he relocate them. Not kill, or maim, just move them somewhere else. He did a little research (such a good veterinarian) and discovered that these are fruit bats and they eat flies and mosquitos. They do not, much as I would have thunk, feed on human blood in the dark of night. Gary decided that these bats can stay. 

That’s fine. And the barn has been renamed. What was once the man cave is now officially the bat cave. 

Party on bats. I’ll be inside, in the no bat zone.

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Bittersweet

Today is a bittersweet day… it is the day my grandma would have turned 100 years old. She almost made it, too… My grandma passed away a month shy of her 97th birthday. I remember always joking that she would be on Willard Scott’s segment of the Today show, her smiling face on a jar of Smucker’s.

Well, it is not exactly Smucker’s, but I thought I would post a photo of my grandma on my blog. I don’t have any digital photos of her, so this is scanned.

My grandma

My grandma

I’m not sure who took this photo (I’m guessing my Aunt Linda), but I just love it. I love it because it shows my grandma in a canoe at their cabin on the pond. I love that my grandma is smiling. I love that my grandma (probably in her 60s or 70s at the time) is out being active, having a good time in nature. I love the colors in this photo. I love that you can see her reflection in the water. I aspire to take photos like this one. Not because of it’s composition or any technical aspects, but because in one image, it tells such a story about a person. It is a visual synopsis of who my grandma was, without saying a single word.

I wish that I could say I knew my grandma well, but I didn’t. Sadly, I never spent much time with her. In the first part of my life, it was a matter of geography – we lived on the west coast and she lived on the east coast. I the later part of my life, it was more of a matter of demographics – I was a self-absorbed genXer, more focused on my education and career than on family. I regret that.

A few years ago, my grandma was in the hospital, her heart was failing, Ninety six years is a long time to work without a break. And after some 4 billion beats, her heart was just worn out. I booked a flight, my sister met me at the airport and we went to the hospital to visit. I was 6 months pregnant with Chloe at the time. My grandma patted my belly and said hi to her newest great grandchild.

She died that day.

To say that was a sad day would be a gross understatement. But I don’t choose to look at it that way. Because when my grandma died, she was surrounded by two of her children, four of her grandchildren and one great grandchild. We held her hands as she passed and let her know that she was loved. For her memorial, friends and family gathered at my grandma’s senior living facility, played her favorite game and ate her favorite dessert. I think she would have had a wonderful time. And I think that is just the way she would have wanted it.

I am not one who is big on tradition or who likes to dwell in the past. But when I found out that I was pregnant with my second girl, I thought it would be nice to honor my grandma, in a subtle way. I named my daughter Ella, which was my grandma’s middle name. And hanging in Ella’s room is a doily that my grandma crocheted. It is right by her door, and is a little symbol to remind us of the importance of family. I think that my grandma would like that.

On this day, I would like to say Happy Birthday to you, grandma! I hope that you and grandpa are celebrating on this day, and every day.

 

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Maddie the Chorkie

While I was at work yesterday, I had the pleasure of photographing the most adorable little dog, Maddie. She belongs to one of the technicians I work with, and she is just the cutest, most sweetest thing ever! She is a Chihuahua and Yorkie cross – a chorkie or a yihuahua. I personally like chorkie better, mostly because I cannot pronounce yihuahua.

Maddie was having her hair done, and I thought she needed the complete model experience with photographs and everything. Here is Maddie with her mohawk:

Flat Maddie

Flat Maddie

You can’t quite get the full mohawk effect in this view, but I thought she looked so cute, all flat on the table. There is no way on Earth either of my dogs would willingly assume this position.

Here are a few more shots of Maddie and her rocker look:

The Mohawk, lateral view

The Mohawk, lateral view

The Mohawk, VD view

The Mohawk, VD view

I thought I would play around with Photoshop a little and have some fun. I asked Heather (Maddie’s mom) her favorite color. Can you guess what color she told me?

Maddie in Purple

Maddie in Purple

We thought it would be fun to give Maddie a rockin’ red mohawk:

Rocker Chick

Rocker Chick

I have way too much fun on my computer.

I tried to take some portraits of Maddie with my macro lens. I really love this lens a lot, but it is pretty difficult to use on a moving subject. But I got this photo, my favorite from the day:

Maddie's Antenna

Maddie's Antenna

Besides her one little antenna at the top of the photo, I love that you can see so much detail on her nasal planum (the leathery part of her nose, for all you non-veterinary, normal people).

Before we were done with Maddie, she had one more style to try out. One word to describe it: rad.

Rad-y Maddie

Rad-y Maddie

The intention was to create a fabulous comb-over, but I think it turned out a little more 80’s retro-punk. It reminds me of Molly Ringwald’s crazy friend’s hair on Pretty in Pink (you know, the one who had the record shop… can’t remember her name).

Thank you Heather for donating your dog so that I may practice with my camera and my computer. I think Maddie had a great time:)  

*No animals were hurt during the production of this blog post.

Tub Time

Since we have moved in to our new house, I have spent hours upon hours peeling wallpaper from the girls’ bathroom walls. After I finally finished peeling, I painted the walls and hung some “wall decor” that is decidedly girly. There is one blank wall (above the toilet, of all places) that is screaming “hang a photo on me, PLEASE!!!!”. So after much contemplation, I decided it would be fun to hang photos of the girls in the bath tub. I shot a bunch of pictures today, and here are the ones that have made it to the final round:

Ella and the Shower Curtain

Ella and the Shower Curtain

Chloe and her Rubber Duckie

Chloe and her Rubber Duckie

Cool Hair, Look 1

Cool Hair, Look 1

Cool Hair, Look 2

Cool Hair, Look 2

 

Ella's Pseudo Mohawk

Ella's Fauxhawk

I did manage to get a few shots of the girls together. Like this one:

Silly Ella

Silly Ella

And this one, where Ella was trying to wash her big sister’s hair:

No Sister!

No Sister!

Since their bathroom has a bit of a retro vibe going on, I thought I would edit the photos as such – desaturated with a hint of pink. Of course, I think my girls look adorable in all the photos, and I can’t decide which ones to hang. Perhaps I will hang them all. What do you think?

Ella’s Sweater

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but in 6 short weeks, Ella will be turning one. My baby will be one year old… holy cow! To commemorate her birthday, we will be having family portraits taken. I am so super excited because Jo Ann Manolis will be photographing our family. She is an amazing photographer that I simply, purely and wholeheartedly ADORE! I would be counting down the days to our shoot if it didn’t mean that my baby was no longer going to be a baby.

Jo Ann shoots for my favorite children’s clothing store, Peek… Aren’t You Curious. In fact, that is how I found Jo Ann. I’m pretty sure that I will be dressing my girls in something purchased from Peek, but I don’t want Jo Ann to be bored and think “I have looked at hundreds of shots of this exact same dress”. So I have dusted off my knitting needles and started knitting Ella a sweater that would compliment a Peek ensemble. With only 6 weeks, I will be knitting at a fast and furious pace. I’m off to a good start:

The Yarn

The Yarn

This is a GORGEOUS cashmere merino blend from Debbie Bliss. LOVE IT! 

On My Needles

On My Needles

The pattern is actually quite simple (thus far), alternating rows of a tiny diamond pattern, which I will sew a crystal bead to the center of each. I am actually thinking of enlisting my mother-in-law to complete that task, as she is a master seamstress. It is actually quite fun to work on a project together.

A Work in Progress

A Work in Progress

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some knittin’ to do.

Chester

Here is a photo of Chester, the hospital mascot. Mary said she might steal the print off the refrigerator at work, so just in case she does, I want to be sure that all my peeps down at the PEC (ya you know me) get a chance to see their little buddy. And many thanks to Jaylene who donated her lap upon which Chester is perched.

 

Chester

Chester