One last week of summer break. My dad came back last Tuesday. He surprised me just as I was sitting down to dessert. He had called & left a message but he had called my cell phone which means nothing if I am in the house. The voice mail came through at 10 pm. I really need to get a microcell from AT&T. They are now available in our area.
The boys were going through a period when they were on each other’s nerves. But they seem to have settled down. Maybe having a babysitter made them realized it’s not so bad when it is just the three of us.
I got to go out on Friday night to a photo walk on Clearwater Beach. It was an evening shoot which means mostly tripods. So I really didn’t get a chance to test out my Black Rapid strap for women. It felt good for the short time I used it. And speaking of tripods, I had thought I had my next one picked out. It was going to run me about $400. But now I am pretty sure I want an L bracket. I do enough macro work where this would come in handy. And if I start working on portrait photography this would save a lot of time. But the L bracket means a different time of head and if I spend the money on that, shouldn’t I spend the extra on better legs? So now I am looking at $1100. Ugh! It makes sense in the long run but that means I need to just use what I have for now and save up for the tripod. I am really trying to not increase my current debt with new purchases. Patience. Sigh.
I also have to stop relying on my dad except for the basic tasks. He will feed the boys if he has to, but don’t expect him to clean up after them. Yeah, I a, whining about having to do the dishes once I got home at 11:30 Friday night. And no sleeping in on Saturday since they won’t feed themselves. They would be willing to learn but are wary of things that produce heat like ovens, toasters and microwaves. Oh well. It’s just small stuff.
We went on a photo walk this morning.
Yesterday, I was going through my mail and saw the reminder and asked Ryan if he wanted to go. To my surprise, he said yes. Phillipe Park is in Safety Harbor and I knew we wouldn’t get there on time without rushing out the door so I didn’t worry about it. We got there at 8:25 but took a while to find every one. We found their cars but didn’t find any photographers about. We started walking.
Phillipe Park is quite active with joggers, walkers and bicyclists. We saw a few birds but Ryan managed to scare them away. We walked to an area that has a beach. I asked Andy if he wanted to get his feet wet since he and I have sandals which can get wet. Ryan said his shoes could get wet and walked in the water. Converse really aren’t meant to get wet. We squished and squeaked the rest of the way.
We did find Jeff and the rest of the group. They walked a bit then drove then walked some more. Phillipe park is not that big, we walked about a mile loop though there was some more to explore. Ryan was bored and wanted to go.
We had to stop for gas so I told Ryan to look out for Hess. He spotted one right away and it was $2.51 per gallon. Closer to home it was $2.57 per gallon.
We got to the clubhouse at 10:35. Ryan wouldn’t swim because it was too “late.” Andy and I got in the water. It was almost too warm but after the walk this morning it felt good.
Then we went to lunch and Target for groceries. At home, the boys played on their computers. Ryan played a Game of Life by himself. I read Love and Summer by William Trevor.
I was looking at camera bags this evening. What is it about photographers and camera bags? We claim that we haven’t found the “perfect bag.” I don’t think it is that. I think we just like to buy stuff. And camera bags are a lot more affordable that $2000 lenses.
Then again, I am not happy with the 3 bags I have. The first one is way too small. It was purchased when I first got my dSLR and only wanted it to hold an extra lens and my wallet. The problem was that the strap digs into my neck. My second bag is a bit of a piece meal. I got a Crumpler Bucket in hopes that it would work with my many tote bags. It didn’t. So I got the Crumpler messenger bag for the Bucket. It seems really bulky. I used it on one photo walk/hike and thought I needed a back pack. I do like my Crumpler backpack. Mostly. It fits well and feels good. But I tend not to take it off and access other lenses. What is the point of carrying them if I don’t use them?
I like the styling and padding of the Crumpler bags. The bags don’t scream camera bag and the construction is solid. I don’t like the price nor that no one seems to carry them locally so I have to buy them blind.
I don’t need a new bag. I want one. I have no money for a bag right now. Too many other accessories which should be purchased before another bag. But I keep looking at bags because flash modifiers and reflectors are pretty standard and dull. Tonight I found two that I had never heard of; CamSafe from PacSafe and ClikLite. Both are pretty interesting and don’t look like camera bags.
Meanwhile, the boys go from playing quietly in their rooms to both wanting my attention at the same time. Yesterday, Andy ate all of his grilled cheese right away and all of his chicken right away. Today, I made 2 grilled cheese sandwiches and he had the cold waffles instead. And then he only ate half of the chicken.
My dad is leaving for Michigan tomorrow. Actually, he is going to Atlanta, then Louisville, Troy (Indiana), Elkhart and then Michigan. He will be back in about a month.
We are used to him leaving. He has been coming down for the winters since 2001. By the time he would leave, we were all ready for it. I grew frustrated feeling like the child in my own house. He wanted to be back at his place where he had no one to question him. And for as much as the boys do not like change, this was normal and they didn’t seem phased by his absence.
It’s different now. He lives here. His travels are rather short, only a few weeks at a time. And I’ve grown used to him buying the groceries, and getting the boys dinner, fixing Sunday breakfast. I have to shift my schedule a bit.
Dad said he wanted to move down here to help with the boys. Yet, I feel guilty asking him to watch them more than once or twice a week. They aren’t a big bother but they are used to me knowing how things should be done. I think I need to instill some more independence.
My photo walk was cancelled yesterday due to rain. One photographer went anyway and said it only drizzled and added to the atmosphere of the cemetery. It was gray and gloomy and we stayed home until late afternoon when Andy & I ran some errands. Andy wanted to go to Chick Fil A but we had ice cream in the car. I said we could go another time.
Today was also wet. The sun tried to peek through at times. Andy had the choice of going to Chick Fil A today or on Wednesday. He likes to eat inside and play in the play area meant for little kids. Ryan does not like going inside so we can only dine in when it is just Andy & me.
We had to stop at Target for batteries, rubber bands and iTunes gift cards. Then we went to Chick Fil A. It was crowded because it was a holiday weekend. Andy ate some of his food before going into the play area. Yes, he is way to tall to be in there but the owners do not mind since he is calm and mostly quiet. The little kids, about half his height, all look up to Andy is awe. He doesn’t know what power he has. At one time, there looked to be a log jam in the climbing area and I saw Andy’s long legs. I went in and saw kid trying to get Andy to play tag and tagged Andy as it. I don’t think Andy understands tag. Besides, he had his headphones on and probably did not hear what the boy had said. I made sure Andy was not causing problems and went back to read.
It was raining when we left Chick Fil A and we had to make a dash for the car. Andy had to dry off everything that got wet from the rain. We stopped at Steak n Shake for a strawberry milkshake for poppa and Wendy’s for fries for Ryan. I just read that Baldwin Park, California is banning new drive through restaurants. I would definitely have to limit the amount of stops if we had to park and get out at each one.
The evening is wet and gray. We heard some thunder but saw no storms. Andy donned his slicker and jumped on the wet trampoline. Now it’s bath time.
Why do people insist on swimming laps in a crowded pool without lap lanes? And why do these same people swim the backstroke so they don’t even know where they are going? My guess is their advanced aged makes them believe they have the right and privilege to act as they please.
The rain finally came. And now the tree frogs are shouting for joy.
We are just now getting into our routine and poppa is leaving next week. We are spoiled with him around. I can walk in the mornings knowing the boys feel safe at home even though poppa is still sleeping. Andy & I can go swimming on those days Ryan doesn’t want to go. I can go to my meet-ups without having to worry about the boys. And most of all, I don’t have to go grocery shopping with the boys.
All of that will change next Thursday. We will cope. We will all go a little stir crazy doing the same things week after week. I will do my best to talk Ryan into doing so ethnic different. It’s best if I make him think it is his idea or at least his choice.
Last summer, we tried to visit different county parks. But being summer, it was very hot and humid and I wasn’t really in the mood to explore strange parks in questionable neighborhoods. I have been to some places on our photo walks and making I can convince them to go.
I got a haircut today. My hairdresser wants me to photograph her family. I am not a portrait photographer but will try. I like the new types of shots done at locations and less formal. They are more like candids than posed shots. I like candids. Now I need to check out sites and look for the popular poses.
Ryan lost a tooth last night. He brought it to me wrapped up in a hand towel. I congratulated him and put it in a baggy for the tooth fairy. The tooth fairy took the tooth and left $.50. It was still on the fridge at mid morning. I mentioned it to Ryan but he seemed non-pulsed.
“What do you think?”
“There is no tooth fairy.”
“Who brings the money?”
“Oh. So I don’t need to give you any money?”
“No! I believe.”
Yet, the money from this tooth and the one he lost months ago still sit uncollected.
No unexpected visitors today.
I asked Andy if he wanted to go swimming but he said no. I was surprised.
The boys were scheduled for haircuts. Then we went to the bookstore. Ryan picked out a new volume of The Complete Peanuts. I hate paying retail when we can get it for 30% off at amazon. He said he was “just reviewing it”. But then I noticed the 20% off hardcover books and figured it was OK to spend the extra $5. And it made Ryan very happy. Andy found a book he didn’t have which made me happy.
Then we went to Arby’s where they were getting everything wrong and Chick Fil A where they know what they are doing.
Swimming at the pool. It is getting mote crowded and that bothers Ryan. He wants to be in area without any kids he doesn’t know. There are only 4 nodes and every time when to another node, Tubby would follow.
Odd that people are allowed to bring floats. It gets too crowded for that.
Some parents just don’t seem to keep to care what their kids do in the pool.
My neighbor came over. I am not sure if it is alzheimer’s, but she is having some periods of dementia. She said that she had company and didn’t like them. She wanted to call the cops. But it was just her husband. She came back over just now (9:30 pm) and said she didn’t want to come home. She said she was scared. Her husband came over and took her home. She was crying. It’s so sad. Dixie isn’t even 70 years old and her parents have their own issues are are living in assisted care. Aging sucks.