Wow! MIA again

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder but I’m pretty sure that only applies to a few situations. Perhaps that only pertains to loving relationships, not errant bloggers. Lately I feel like one of those bloggers. I’m MIA, “missing in action”.

Certainly it does not apply to those who profess to love the art of expression though blogging, and yet in their absence from the ‘net show a position which could be construed as indifferent at best. I hope that’s not me.

What can I say that I haven’t said before, life gets in the way. Didn’t a wise man once say that?

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.
John Lennon

Enough of that, it’s been said here too much before.

I’ve been a nomad of late, travelling here and there, mostly back and forth to Kelowna where my daughter and family live/work. Let’s face it, that’s where my grandson Madden is too.

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At any rate I’m frequently mobile, not lots of time at home. And when my needs for grandson attention call you can bet I’ll respond.

He’s a big one for electronics as you can see from the photo above. I think that’s a genetic thing as both his mother and father, and me of course, are addicted to e-devices of one sort or another. Not something to be proud of necessarily, just an observation. I for one can’t seem to shake ‘the beast’. They are addictive, so even if I’m not around, if I’m MIA, I can still likely be found on my device

I’m Spent, Like the Last Dollar in my Pocket

I’m spent, physically and perhaps emotionally, and only because the day was gorgeous and I wanted to spend every moment I could outside.

It’s not like it’s totally unusual. Long days out and about in the yard are pretty common once the days lengthen and the sun warms the ground. I feed off that warmth, soaking it up like a sponge, like those little flower buds we yearn to see.

We have company coming on Good Friday, family and not the least of which is my grandson (daughter too of course). I’m sure I’ll have a picture or two to share after the weekend completes, even earlier if I can find a quiet moment and I have the energy and oomph to take on a new post. Time will tell.

I did find enough time yesterday to get out with my camera, for a few shots at least. It was on a return trip from running errands, but the timing is not important, the fact I took the time to take the shots is. I had wanted to get back to a rushing creek location I had photographed a week prior. On that trip, the earlier visit, I had played with shutter speed to try and get that ‘look’ to the water where it’s almost like foam, where the longer exposure allows the movement of the rushing water to blur and become somewhat surreal. I didn’t quite accomplish it on my first visit. It was my first attempt and I only went as low as 1/10 of a second. See below.

Hanna Creek, rushing water, blurring
Hanna Creek

Now I know that this type of picture is not new, it’s probably been done a million times, but for me it was a first. I had never tried this type of shot before.

So on my second trip to the same creek (slightly different composition) I lowered the exposure to 1 second. Unfortunately, or not, the original shot of the photo below came out overexposed. I did not, or my camera did not, allow me to use a longer shutter speed at my lowest ISO (100). Obviously something I need to research. In post development I had to tweak the brightness and contrast to get what you see below. It has a somewhat surreal look itself. The water does look a bit more blurred too, which is what I was going for.

Hanna Creek, Trail,
Hanna Creek

Now when I took this next shot, after the one above, I again didn’t realize my exposure was off (neglecting to look at the shots after taking) and I dropped the shutter to 2 seconds. This one is totally over exposed, but I liked the look of it anyway, kinda ghostly.

What do you think??

ghostly, Hanna Creek, over exposure
Ghostly Hanna Creek

Totally washed out, but neat too.

Comments?

Did Putting up Christmas Lights Darken My Day?

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It’s cold today, bitter cold. Not the kind of day you want to be outside working, no sun, some fog, and enough breeze to put a chill in your bones. One of those days where the cold goes right to your bones. I had to do it though, go outside to put up lights I mean, it was only my procrastination and lack of motivation that put me there so late in the season so “quit your bellyaching” I tell myself, and move on.

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Christmas lights on handrail

It was putting up Christmas lights that placed me out in the frigid air, 2 days in a row no less. Mind you it was only about 45 minutes yesterday to put lights on the front of the house, maybe an hour today to put them on the handrails of the deck. All told not too bad, a small effort for a big reward. And todays effort took longer than it should have because I screwed it up the first time and had to re-do it.  I was afraid it was going to hate putting out the lights, I thought it might bum me out as that’s what it generally did prior years. For whatever reason the whole Christmas experience often ended up being a negative thing, hanging the lights was the least of it.  And it wasn’t the meaning of Christmas, I’m totally onboard with that.

I think the biggest cause of my Scrooge-like feeling was the stress it used to create, primarily between my wife and myself. It was partly the shopping, partly the ongoing house decorating, but I think primarily the big family gatherings. Now don’t get me wrong but it wasn’t family per se that put me off but rather the number of family (people in general) and the ensuing din throughout the house. I’ve never been one to thrive in large groups, preferring smaller more intimate gatherings, and throw into the mix the rambunctious kids all wound up from the Christmas festivities and accompanying treats. What can I say, I’m an introvert and happy to be so.

But I digress. The point is Christmas used to be a dreaded holiday, including lights, but now not so much. In some ways I actually enjoy the event of hanging lights , not withstanding the sub-zero temperatures. Dare I say that I feel somehow blind-sided by this turn of events. I think I actually might have enjoyed putting them up, and hold your flippin’ hat, I may want to put up more.  Maybe Christmas ain’t so bad after all, perhap the lights didn’t darken my day.

My Baby’s Birthday

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It’s my baby’s birthday today.  Although she’s certainly no longer a baby, being that she’s now 32, she is my baby and likely always will.

We are visiting my baby and her family for the weekend to celebrate and bond but by the time this is posted we may be home.  In my zeal to organize (consolidate) all my photos I’ve taken almost all photos off my phone and will have to be at my pc to access anything I want to post.

20121014-200028.jpgSo here she is/was back in the day.  I think this was taken in 1981 when she was around 1. Anyone reading any of my past posts will recognize a strong similarity to my grandson, her baby.  Ain’t life grand?

Been a long time

10 days have past since my last post. Where have the days gone? Where did the many hours slip to?

In that period we have travelled, shopped, attended a car show, and drove some more. We had anticipated taking this most recent leg of our travels to Edmonton to help our niece and nephew move into their new home. Enroute we planned to divert to Kelowna to see our daughter and family, and to take in Cirque Quidam.

Over dinner on Tues., the first night here, we discussed the upcoming events, particularly the Cirque concert we were planning to attend on Wed.. Not having seen the tickets, even though they were purchased in Dec., I asked to have a look and to my surprise saw the event they were scheduled for was on Sat., not Wed. as we first thought. That put a proverbial wrench into the works, now our weeks events would have to be rethought.

We chose to stay in Kelowna hoping not to overstay our welcome. 5 days can be a long stay with any family member so we are cautious, or attempt to be, when it comes to our visits.

We will see Cirque on Saturday and while it’s later than first thought, and we we won’t be involved with the family move, we can bond with Madden and I can take more photos. On one of our trips I purchased a Nikon D-SLR and look forward to posting some photos. Another interest, for another day.

I Saw an Old Man Walking

I saw an old man walking today, poking along the roadside, meandering along his path with the appearance of looking for lost items, perhaps bottles and the such. He was dressed for the excursion with sturdy boots, a small pack, and the ever trusting walking stick. He reminded me of Larry.

Larry, my step-father, passed away a year ago March. I think of him often.

Larry would also often be seen strolling slowly down the streets near our home, his home too as he lived with us. He would stop frequently to chat with neighbors, children, or whoever had the time or inclination to visit with him. He was that kind of guy. he loved all, and was loved by all.

I think about him during times when I meet my Dad. They are/were about the same age and they had the distinct luxury of being married to my Mom. That is about where the similarity ends.

20120726-004343.jpgLarry was full of life, even if he had to search it out from the depths of his being. Toward the end it was a struggle for him, he was forgetful and struggled for words. Continuity of thought often eluded him, and he was terrified he was losing his mind, so worried he would get Alzheimer’s the way his first wife did.

He lived with her disease and raised their children while their mother declined. Finally she became too much of a danger to her family, and herself, and had to be hospitalized.

Despite that past, or perhaps because of it, he wanted to live and experience life. Especially he wanted to experience family. There was nothing more gratifying for him than to have all his children come together, nothing that meant more.

My Dad however sees no challenge in life. He is satisfied to sit, nap, watch tv, and take the occasional lunch break with me. He has no desire to build connections with his family or form attachments with his fellow residents of the “Village”. He has little knowledge of current affairs nor an interest in discussing them. Granted he is suffering early symptoms of dementia and has experienced a number of small strokes but these personality traits are not new. More exaggerated now perhaps but not new. Sometimes I’m so afraid because I’m more like him than Larry.

It would stand to reason of course, I am his blood, Larry was “only” my step father. I am sometimes saddened to say I felt more kinship to Larry as a father figure than my biological Dad. I feel somehow bad saying that. That too saddens me.

20120726-004106.jpgI went in to have lunch with Dad today. During our stroll from the car to the restaurant he said,

“You know who I saw in the mall the other day?”.

I answered,

“Who, Desmond?”,

Des was a co-worker of my Dads.

“No”

he said,

“I saw Larry and Ida”

I was dumbstruck……..Larry was my step father, now deceased, Ida was his first wife who died of Alzheimer’s about 25 years ago. Where on earth was Dad getting this? I didn’t really know what to say so we had some brief discussion about it and moved on. It troubled me.

So I saw an old man walking today. I miss Larry.

Lost in Time – July 16 Camping

I will have to ramble again. My time is likely short and I feel lost, lost in time.

20120716-205316.jpgI’m alone for the present, I chose to stay back while others went to the beach. My options are: puttering about the site, reading, or posting. At this point in my free time I’ve chosen to blog, although because I’m ADHD I’ve tried to do all 3 and just just finished up with blogging.

My daughter and her family left yesterday morning but my sister-in-law, her husband, their daughter (my Neice) and her husband and 3 kids are still camping next to us. In addition my wife’s cousin and her 3 kids have also been camping in Herald and have just relocated their tent to the site next to the family.

I don’t want to sound like a stuck record but the activity is, at times, overwhelming. I’ve noticed that even my wife, who espouses the “gotta spend time with the family” philosophy has even retreated on a few occasions to her “castle”, which at present is the trailer. It seems even she is not immune to the vagaries of this camping life.

“Teach me to behave sincerely and reasonable toward every member of my family and all other human beings, that I may not cause confusion and sorrow to anyone.” -Unknown

I feel for my nephew who at times strikes me as being a bit submerged in the activities on any particular day. We have similar needs I suspect and where I have the ability (read luxury) to temporarily depart the hubbub I don’t know that he does. Or he may have the ability but like me on so many occasions cannot muster up the “stones” to do so.

I’ve lost my “alone time” and will have to wrap it up. The time is lost again, perhaps I’ll find it tomorrow.

Lights out, cya

July 14 Camping at Herald

Oh what a relief it is. The temperature has dropped but it feels to me like some emotions may have heated up.

It could just be me however, I have been known (or so I thought) to be a poor judge of so many things emotional and people. Funny thing is I used to consider myself quite adept at reading situations, and people’s moods in them. Are they mad or stressed? Now I just wonder, are they or aren’t they? Only their hairdresser knows for sure.

Apart from any possible sub-currents of tension I am having a pretty good time. I’m not too stressed at this point, and I don’t really see that changing soon. I certainly hope not anyway. I like it when we get time with my daughter, her husband, and our grandson Madden. I just love that little guy to death, but I think I’ve said that before.

Other family is here as well and although I also love them, and enjoy spending time with them (most of the time anyway), there are moments where I miss my quiet times. I would love nothing more than just being alone for a while, in my castle. That would be my yard, or on my deck surrounded by my roses. There is no one but myself that I can charge with the responsibility of my happiness though. It’s up to me to make my bed isn’t it, it’s not up to anyone else to make me happy.

20120715-113658.jpgWe went on a bit of a family walk this morning up to Margaret Falls. It’s a local touristy thing, a walk through the forest along a meandering stream. That doesn’t truly paint the picture though, the forest is lush in sections with dappled sunlight, and the stream is fast and turbulent. A beautiful walk nonetheless, a calm in a sea of chaos.

I am getting some quiet time now though. It’s what’s allowing me to write this and I fear at any moment it will be cut short as family arrives back from the beach.

My wife and I offered to babysit as the “kids” went back to the beach to swim and paddle board. They don’t often have the opportunity to escape together so this was good for them, they can spend some alone time and we can contribute by caring for Madden. I had just taken him for a long walk while others napped so they actually had a good couple hours of aloneness already. It’s good for them. It’s good for me.

Supper will be ready shortly so this little hiatus of mine will end. I’ll be lucky to have anything meaningful posted by then, or so I suspect, but with some luck I can come back to it if it’s not completed. Here’s hoping.

Carry your Loved Ones in your Heart

20120622-223118.jpg Long days, and nights that fly by.

We have hit the road again to see the fam and celebrate a belated Fathers day and my upcoming birthday. I’m pooped and have become quite disillusioned with the time spent driving, but you knew that didn’t you. Be that as it may we will thoroughly enjoy our time and we will also look forward to going home. I certainly will anyway.

I will miss my lil buddy but I will always carry him in my heart.