67 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 9-14-16

  1. Yup, Chas, I agree. That is not a very friendly looking critter.
    Went to the marching band concert tonight. It was good, but there was no John Phillip Sousa. Oh, well. I will have to wait until next summer to hear the “Stars and Stripes Forever”

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  2. It’s a nice morning in Atlanta land. I believe we are in drought conditions again. Perhaps I should have waited on mowing the lawn because it was holding some moisture. Now it is looking like a pale crewcut.

    I am trying to figure out what I need to pack for the hospital stay since it will be at least Monday – Thursday. I do not know what Art will feel up to doing. He usually enjoys some crossword puzzles and reading. I usually take some knittingvor crochet to alternate with reading my books for review. I have a book we both like that I can read aloud to him if he wants that. And I have some course lessons I am going through on my writing that I can do. Does anyone have other hospital patient entertainment ideas?

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  3. The author is the daughter of one of my prayer partners in our former town. She and her husband are raising an extraordinary 3 year-old in Silicon Valley. I don’t know if the photo will post, but the story is one you’ll all love.

    (He’s already reading and writing, so he’s got the basics down.)

    Ah, no photo, too bad. Use your imagination–it’s of a little boy sitting in a chair, his feet swinging a foot off the floor as he waits in an office:

    This is my toddler, awaiting his very first job interview at a staffing company in town today. He pleaded with me to visit this business after dropping off Ben’s dry cleaning (he REALLY liked their address because it was an “odd number!”), so I explained to him that it was only for people looking for jobs.

    “I want a job.” He stated plainly. “I want to go get a job there.”

    I wasn’t going to take him in. I thought it was silly. I was in a hurry for the sake of being in a hurry. But then I paused. I viewed things from Isaiah’s perspective. I remembered that these occasional “give-ins” can make for unique experiences that have the potential to help shape my child in ways that I may never expect. Plus, we really did have time to kill before dinner.

    So we signed in under his name and he waited oh-so-patiently for an employee to meet with him.

    The lady who called us over was wonderfully sweet. She encouraged him to be a hard worker and he promised he would be. She said he was welcome to come back as soon as he is old enough. He even got some cool swag! My child is now crazy excited to have a job someday.

    These are the moments I live for.

    Oh, and he totally nailed the interview πŸ‘ŠπŸ»

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  4. Fantastic photo Cheryl!! A rather sinister smile I believe πŸ™‚
    The air is crisp in the forest today and the deer are meandering through….the fawns are losing their spots…it is so fun to watch them grow up! It is quite a sight to watch the mama chase off the Bucks who are following too closely…they don’t dare mess with mama!!

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  5. I actually thought she looked rather innocent in this one–deceptively innocent, since when I picked her up, not only did she pinch me hard (expected), but she even bit me (unexpected). Of course, I don’t usually pick up an adult mantis (a mantis with wings) unless I’ve been picking it up as a nymph and it knows me, so it was my fault. At any rate, she didn’t draw blood, just wanted away from me since she expected me to try to eat her. I don’t usually “pose” my subjects, just take them where I find them. But when I put her on the top leaf of the milkweed (what is now the top leaf, since I lopped off the top of the plant because it was already finished blooming and it had aphids), I realized I would be able to get her in focus a lot more easily than when she is half hidden behind shrubbery, so I went ahead and got a photo and I really liked the results. But if you think that photo is sinister, I also sent AJ a photo of one of her suitors . . .

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  6. Great photo, an actual posed shot πŸ™‚ So sharp …

    And did you ever notice that all the space aliens depicted in movies look very insect-like? What big eyes they have …

    I stayed up too late (again — I revert quickly to my nocturnal habits when I’m off work) but today’s a busy day.

    I have to drop the dogs off at the groomer by 10 a.m. and then I think I’ll head over to pick out some new glasses, I’ve been carrying the new prescription around for at least a month now (and I really do need new ones). I may also stop at Lowe’s & Home Depot to check out tile options, I think ordering the tiles from one of those places (which should come with an installation option or at least tile installer referrals) will be the easiest way to go.

    I never did hear back from the bead board people, so that’s still a mystery (on what and how much to order, what I’ll need in the way of border trim pieces, etc.). I’ll check what they have at the big box places for that, too, but someone said all they usually carried for use in the bathroom was the acrylic type and it was a little cheap looking.

    But I really should begin ordering things, I think. Gulp. I may have (finally) found the right medicine cabinet online last night, but I will have to do more checking on the measurements as it’s a recessed model that has to be smaller than the current recessed space that’s cut into the wall now.

    And in the rest of the house, I’m still paring down, now going through bookcases to weed out books I’m willing to part with. I have quite a pile of bags started again for the Salvation Army. And I’ve resolved to get rid of a lot of the Christmas decorations, they’ve accumulated through the years and someone else can surely make better use of it than I can in the this small house (and I’m not decorating like I used to). So parts of the house now look like a (Christmasy) war zone — and it’ll be that way for a little while, I’m afraid.

    I also sent some ‘before’ pics of my lovely 1950s peach-tile/gray acrylic tub surround/red plaid shower curtain bathroom to Kim. Wow, was she impressed. It really will look different/better when this is all done.

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  7. “I also sent some β€˜before’ pics of my lovely 1950s peach-tile/gray acrylic tub surround/red plaid shower curtain bathroom to Kim. Wow, was she impressed. It really will look different/better when this is all done.” πŸ˜€

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  8. Well, Pastor Paul addresses some of my concerns, though not on cremation and burial. Recently we had a brief discussion on putting up with each other in church. I wondered why we could not all get along. And now, I seem to be treading in that area. After several very brief discussions with our new pastor, a very nice guy, I have some questions about where we are attending. Baptism seems to be equated with salvation and only by immersion. We can lose our salvation. We are not the elect, that was a general plan, not specific. And several other things I cannot recall off hand but the biggie was when we were talking about election or choice and I mentioned that God wept because the people would not turn to Him. He corrected me and said, “Jesus wept. Well, probably God did too.” I guess I need to get back to him and find out if he meant that Jesus is not God. That would be a termination of our attendance, I think.

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  9. What denomination is it, mumsee? Or is it an independent church? I would imagine it’s harder in areas less populated as yours is to find a robust choice of churches that don’t require long travel times just to get there?

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  10. Bobbuckles, grits and corn meal are not the same at all. Cornflour is basically a gritty yellow “flour,” used to make cornbread. Grits are white, ground hominy corn, used to make a breakfast cereal. (If any of this is inaccurate, Kim will correct me.)

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  11. It is a Christian Church. Disciples of Christ.

    Linda: I can put up with a lot of stuff and have for years. But the deity of Christ thing is important. I was sprinkled and have been in many churches that would not have considered me a Christian had they known. But it did not bother me as I believe my baptism in the Holy Spirit is reflected in the sprinkling done to me as a new believer in the Methodist church. I am part of the Family. But if I am attending a church that does not believe Jesus and the Father are one, am I doing a disservice to my children?

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  12. The butterfly: it is a gray hairstreak, a tiny little butterfly in a species I never saw until this summer. (I’ve seen multiple hairstreaks, two or three other species, just not this one.) This is the butterfly I made reference to yesterday as landing in the dewy grass and opening its wings, fairly close to me, allowing me to get several good shots.

    It’s called a “hairstreak” because of those two little filaments at the back (one on each hindwing). They are more obvious in some other species than in this one, or in this specimen at least, but you can see it on the wing that is on top. Some other hairstreaks are prettier than this species, but this one is more likely to perch with its wings open. And it does have some pretty touches, like the splash of yellow at the back and the dainty striping on its antennae. When I first started photographing small butterflies, the detail of striped antennae amazed me–God really is an artist.

    For those who would like to photograph butterflies, note that this was pretty much the perfect opportunity: Butterflies can’t fly well when it’s too cool, so they perch and open their wings to let the sun warm them. You don’t want to get too close and spook them off from a good basking spot, but when they are cool they are sluggish and not quick to fly, so it should give a decent opportunity to compose your shot and possibly move a little closer.

    In this one, I think it’s all the sun-reflecting drops of water on those individual blades that “make” the shot. Books on macro photography will tell you such tips as using your sprinkler or a watering can to add water to the foliage. I don’t do things like that (even the mantis, I didn’t move her to get the shot, but I simply picked her up and looked at her, and then put her down in a different spot, and she arranged herself on the leaf where I had placed her rather than moving to a different one). I don’t know that it’s precisely “cheating” to add drops of water to get a more artistic photo, but I personally prefer to show “this is the beauty God created” rather than “this is a scene I arranged.” Different photographic philosophies, and I don’t imagine either is wrong. I also prefer candid shots of people to posed ones, as a general rule, though I definitely see value in family portraits.

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  13. Okay, I have been reading about them and apparently there is no doctrine other than the baptism by immersion thing. Anybody can believe anything as long as they are following Jesus. That explains why I did not get the same answers from the last pastor.

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  14. Mumsee, I would say if the pastor does not believe Jesus is God, you cannot attend because it isn’t a church. Several other things you mentioned are red flags; that one is apostasy.

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  15. I have not had time to read previous posts. I am upset by the tree work situation. With everything else and having had a stomach problem again last night I just feel sick.

    The guy said yesterday they could do it today or tomorrow, but he would call and let me know when. I did not receive a call but a crew showed up with company shirts on this a.m. When I went out after I heard them cleaning up, I looked up and saw the big limb they were suppose to remove still there. They had taken out the piece of jagged limb where the break was. They also cut down the broken off cherry tree and redbud tree that the big limb had fallen on. I had to tell them that was not what was suppose to happen. My brother could have done that later. They called the guy who did the estimate, and then he called me. Then he called them back. Then they left. I do not know if they will be back to get the overhanging limb down. The cost was suppose to be 1,000.00, but who would pay that much for cutting down one broken limb and two small broken trees? Well, the first estimate I got on the tree work, the other company failed to mention their lack of insurance. I just don’t trust people doing business in our area. I wish I knew if the tree crew is just on lunch break and will be back to do the job I thought I was to get or if they left without collecting payment. People may wonder why I have let our house be in disrepair. This is a sampling of why.

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  16. Mumsee, I think it is quite likely that isn’t what he meant. But yes, I’d double-check because minimally his wording was clumsy. And he has given you reason not to assume that he is going to take the biblical side of a question.

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  17. Karen!

    Your email is doing stupid stuff again. Sending short un-capitalized sentence with links you allegedly think I might be interested in. I’m not clickin’ it. In fact, I already deleted it unopened and unclicked. Might wanna change your password or something. If your email allows, have it search for bugs, viruses, add-ons, and whatnot, ‘cuz I’m pretty sure you might have an issue.

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  18. Cheryl is correct, except grits do not HAVE to be breakfast cereal. One of the favorite foods in the South is shrimp and grits. Have it for dinner. But grits with ham or sausage is good anytime. But most people do have them with eggs and sausage, bacon or ham for breakfast.

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  19. The work crew came back and did some more and have left again, maybe for their afternoon break. I guess I will know when they knock and want payment.

    My brother did have a job interview. Hopeful he will get hired soon. Maybe he can be with me while Art has surgery.

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  20. I want some grits, cooked right, with butter! They are good by themselves with a touch of salt and butter for flavor. They are the flavor of buttered popcorn, but a totally different texture.

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  21. Cook some grits. Put them in a bowl.
    Cook some sausage patties
    Fry some eggs

    Layer the grits, the egg, the sausage and top with cheese. Add some Tabasco on top and have yourself a good Southern breakffast

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  22. I like grits with butter only, nothing else. I discovered I actually liked grits once I convinced Mom to leave the cheese out of mine. I eat it alone, or with sausage, or with ham. Instant grits are not the same thing, and any Southern lady should be ashamed to be caught with them in her shopping cart. πŸ˜‰

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  23. In Phoenix, though, grits were the “What’s that?” breakfast. Kid at school would ask, “What did you have for breakfast?” “Grits.” “What’s that?” And there’s really no explaining them to a child who hasn’t eaten them. “Well, they’re made from hominy, but they don’t really taste like hominy.” “What’s hominy?” “A type of corn, but they definitely don’t taste like yellow corn.” “Then what do they taste like?” “Grits.”

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  24. The new photo is one of the males that came to call on our lady mantis. Both of them stayed on her back for more than 24 hours, though as far as I know only one succeeded in mating with her, so I don’t know why the second one stuck around. (They stayed for a good many hours after the mating was finished, presumably waiting around while her body finished processing the eggs.) Fortunately for her, males are smaller than females, but not enough smaller that she wanted to bear the weight of both of them on her back for more than a full day!

    I sent this photo to one of my brothers last night with the note, “If I told you some monster was preparing to attack our planet, and showed you this photo to prove my allegation, would you be inclined to want to negotiate, or inclined to surrender?” If you’re a grasshopper, you don’t want something that you thought was a stick to move and reveal that face and those claws. Or, rather, you want to see that face soon enough to make good your escape and not be grabbed by those claws. (Praying, ha!)

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  25. I attended the best funeral today. Bet you haven’t heard that too often, have you? This is the note I just wrote to one of his 6 children.

    Dear G,
    Where do I start? This is the first time I have ever attended a funeral where I came away jealous that I didn’t know the deceased. I listened to all the stories and laughed until I had tears and once I think I might have snorted or at lease sprayed spit.

    I know that you know you received a priceless gift in having him as your dad…all of you did and it was evident in the stories each person told about him. I wasn’t sure where you were going with the Johnny Cash song, but since I was going to marry Johnny when I grew up; I hung in there with you and gave you a chance because I can find a Johnny Cash song for almost any occasion. When you said that would have been your father’s life had he not met your mother, I got my vision of him. You are probably too young to get the comparison but in my mind he became Hawkeye Pierce from M*A*S*H.

    The absolute best, which you may not remember because today will become a blur; was after we left the church and were going south on 65. Everyone from AOC was lined up out front to watch him go by one last time. I have always said the day of my dad’s funeral was both the longest and shortest day of my life. Perhaps you feel the same way.
    I will close with a smile on my face thinking of someone saying that none of you would have been here is USA didn’t give free meals to their residents.

    Peace be with all of you,

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  26. One of the best stories from today was that that the guy was an orthopedic surgeon. He died of cancer and at the end was in ICU. The family were there but saw this giant of a man standing outside. He had a pony tail and a couple of tattoos. Someone went out and spoke to him. He told them Dr. Z was the most important man in his life. He had been in a motor cycle accident and several doctors had wanted to amputate his leg. Dr. Z went in to see him and said he wanted to be the doctor that saved his leg. During the time the man went through 14 different surgeries and and extended hospital stay he had met a nurse in the hospital, courted her, and married her in the hospital. Dr. Z was his best man on his wedding day.

    The family promised everyone at the funeral they were writing a book.

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  27. Linda, you do not put sugar in grits. Grits are a savory not a sweet.
    You also haven’t cooked REAL grits until you have boiled them over at least once, Clean up will require a hammer and a chisel but they are SO worth it.

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  28. I didn’t understand Cheryl’s comments about the male hanging around. I thought the male mated and tried to make his escape before the female ate him.

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  29. Well, what my brother said about that second mantis was “Cheryl, wow, even good photography annihilates the myth that small creatures are simple.” That mantis is an armored machine, and compared to him, the first mantis looks soft and feminine and dainty. Partly it’s the angle, partly that he is more brown and she is more green, but I think he is also more armored, or at least he looks that way. I was trying to focus on his face and let his body be a bit out of focus, but I think the strongest focus ended up being on that deadly claw, wiht the expression on his face just backing up the power of that thing.

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  30. Yep, that’s how movie makers got their space aliens ideas …

    I don’t put anything on grits, I’ve never had them, probably never will. But i was raised on lots of corn on the cob, thanks to having Iowa parents, and sometimes white rice with sugar and milk for breakfast.

    Karen’s had computer issues of late, she probably has some kind of malware that might need to be removed (which is what happened to me a while back).

    Busy day, I dropped the dogs at the groomer then went to Lowe’s, talked to someone there about tile, have a little more information but also more questions … then I shopped for & ordered new eye glasses. I wanted frames like my current ones, so she tried to find other stores in their chain that had them. One place she called said they’d just been broken into and had no frames left to check. The other place had 1 pair in their inventory, but they were gone.

    So I picked out a similar pair. Nothing’s easy.

    Then I went to an antique hardware store to poke around — they have bins and bins filled with glass door knobs, old hinges, hooks, whatever you can think of. It’s in my previous hometown that has lots and lots of craftsman houses and is also a gay hub of many years (so lots of homeowners who love the old houses). The crosswalks over there are painted in rainbow colors, so there you go.

    Anyway, I wanted to ask the owner about wood window repair people but someone came in who needed a rather lengthy consultation on putting in an antique door, so I finally gave up (I’d also gotten the call that the dogs were ready to pick up).

    When I picked the dogs up, it was a bit of a surprise — they shaved Tess, I’ve never seen her like this. They insisted they couldn’t deal with the mats any other way. She looks like another dog. It’s embarrassing. All her glossy black and white hair — gone. She’s a long, skinny thing with a silly POOF ball on the end of her tail, she looks like a shaved poodle.

    .

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  31. Chas, from what I’ve read, most photos of mantises mating have been staged–in captivity. And the female eating the male is an exciting story line. Indeed mantises do eat one another–the female lays an egg sac with up to hundreds of eggs, and their first meal is one another, until there are only a few left.

    But mantises have rarely been observed eating their mates in the wild, according to something I read. How often they do so is anyone’s guess, and apparently some species are more prone to doing so than others, so if you breed mantises, you are told “with this species, introduce the male only when the female is very well fed, make sure there is a place in the cage for him to escape, and take him out immediately if they show no interest in mating.” But apparently in the wild the male knows how to approach in a safe way, and stay away if she isn’t interested. And maybe in the wild she doesn’t mate until she’s sated and her body already has extra fat to make up for making eggs. Why he (and another male) would stick around for many hours afterward, I have no idea. (I first observed them mating–the additional male on her back, too–maybe 2:00 one afternoon, and checked on them repeatedly over the next 24 hours or so. They continued to mate all afternoon and into the evening, and the next day they were still in a threesome, but no longer mating. She clung to a plant, and they clung to her, but whether any of their weight was supported by some of their legs being on other plants, I couldn’t tell. I didn’t want to get close enough to scare them.)

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  32. They shaved her without you permission???!!! A new groomer did that to Fly one time…never went back…I was an unhappy mama with a female toy Aussie who looked like a boy!!! Of course Paul thought she looked cute!!

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  33. They said they may have to cut her ‘short’ due to the mats, I said if they had to OK … But cutting her short was different from shaving in my mine I guess! And — they said that Cowboy got skittish so they could only trim the nails on one of his feet. Huh? (this was the Petco grooming department which I’ve used before). Anyway, may be time to find someone new. When Tess’ hair grows back in that is.

    My former Aussie (blue merle) had a weird curly coat so he often got shaved, which worked for him since otherwise his hair stuck out and frizzed. πŸ™‚

    But Tess’ coat is so beautiful and glossy. It doesn’t even look like her. 😦

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  34. Babe had a beautiful thick coat but she overheated in the summer…we did have her shaved once a year… she loved it and she was still as cute as could be….Fly just plain looked like a boy dog with a shaved coat. Lulah has the most silky sleek coat…she will not be shaved…ever…. πŸ™‚

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  35. AJ – Thanks for the heads up about my email. I changed the passwords (I have two accounts, & changed them both just to be safe.) If you get anything else hinky from me, let me know.

    Do you remember if it was from my Live account or my Yahoo account?

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  36. Speaking of my computer problems, as DJ was, that is all taken care of, I think. Hubby bought & installed Ad-Aware on his computer & my laptop. After that, I tried reinstalling Chrome, & it came up without the hacker thingie this time, Everything seems to be fine.

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  37. My former Aussie looked like a puppy again every time he got shaved. Tess still is a pretty girl, but … it’s just hard to get used to seeing her all skinny with no hair. Her face looks the same πŸ™‚

    It’ll grow

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  38. Heidi gets a very short cut about twice a year, & looks very cute when she does. Like DJ said about her Aussie, she looks like a puppy when her hair has been cut short.

    When her hair grows back in, she is quite shaggy & disheveled, but also very cute. πŸ™‚ I think she’s cute either way.

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  39. Michelle’s mention of her adorables reminds me . . .One of my friends is the mother of six children, ranging in age from almost-six to nineteen. The younger two, both girls, are almost-six & almost-eight, & my friend refers to them as “the littles”. πŸ™‚

    The youngest is tiny. At four years old, she only weighed about twenty pounds, but was healthy & fine. (Not sure what she weighs now.)

    Mmacmurray has referred to her three boys as Little Dude, Littler Dude, & Littlest Dude. But then Little Dude turned 13, so his nickname does not apply anymore.

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  40. Michelle, thanks. πŸ™‚

    I love taking people shots, and I especially love taking candids and getting a wonderful shot that captures the person’s personality perfectly. For most people I know, I have one shot I’ve taken that is a “once-in-a-lifetime” perfect shot: the photo of Misten that is my gravatar is that shot of her. I took a lot of pretty ones, but that one is my one “perfect” shot. (I know, she wasn’t a person.) I had a friend in Chicago who wasn’t at all photogenic, and it was a personal challenge to get a perfect photo of her someday, and I did. I also have a perfect shot of my favorite brother and his first (late) wife holding their first granddaughter, two or three hours old, and looking at her in wonder. It isn’t posed; it’s just a natural shot of him holding the baby and his wife standing as close as she can get to both of them. I also have two shots of our daughter’s wedding day in which she is so beautiful it’s breathtaking, and her professional photographer might not have gotten anything so good. (I’ve not seen the pro shots yet.)

    But . . . as a rule my camera does outdoor shots better. I don’t really like its flash, and if the subject is moving at all, an indoor shot blurs it since it slows the shot down just a smidge with the lower light inside. I have to take extra shots indoors to make up for having to toss half of them. All in all, I think you’re better off hiring someone local or taking your own. πŸ™‚ I do, however, have a book on photographing children, and I have every intention on knowing it by heart by the time we have grandchildren.

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  41. And it looks like we are ending the day with a kinder, gentler “bug” photo. Until I lived in Indiana, I’d rarely seen dragonflies and never paid much attention to them. Since my husband likes them, I started taking pictures of them–and then and only then did I realize what a variety there is among them. This summer is the first time I’ve gotten pictures of some with wings in colors other than clear. (I have gotten photos of some with patterns on their wings, but none with the wing itself colored.) I believe this one is an eastern amberwing.

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  42. Growing up in LA with local native for a mother and a Pennsylvanian for a father, my siblings and I never heard of grits. When my sister graduated from high school she joined the Army, was shipped to Germany, and married a young Southerner she met on the base there. She wrote home:

    “Since Robbie is from the South I will have to learn to cook some new kinds of food. What are grits?”

    As if any of us would know!

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