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Archive for the ‘My Camera Sees’ Category

 donna tiger

This cuties name is Donna and the date is 10-31-58 and she is a mystery to me, as I have some of her photos and would love to return them to someone who might have a personal connection with them.

If I had “life” to do over again, one of my choices would have been to be a photo journalist, possibly even before I would have been a classical violinist.  I love faces and I love photographs.   In fact, I grew up with a camera in my face and a red sweatshirt on.

My parents loved to take pictures.  Dad loved to take movies and they both loved to take 3D photos.  This extended to other family members and even when I went to my grandmother’s house for the holidays, we would get out of the car and my aunt would be standing out in a blizzard to capture every moment of the holiday, on celluloid.

I worked for law offices for years and occasionally, we would be told to go through boxes and take out anything we wanted.  This usually was the result of a marital break up or an estate case.  For some reason, no one wanted the stuff in the box and the lawyers were stuck with it.  One time there was a photo album in one of the boxes and, not being able to abandon photos, I took it home.

Eventually, I quit carting that photo album around in my many moves, but I could not throw away the photos.  I saved those photos and they are like owning a mystery to me. 

Most seem to feature a girl named Donna or Bobbie.  I am thinking she went to West Technical High School in Cleveland 2, Ohio. (That is not a typo, that is an address from the 50s.).  The reason I say that is this photo is stamped on the back: DEPARTMENT OF PHOTOGRAPHY, West Technical High School.  Not too dumb, am I?

bobbie donna

I believe the girl’s name is Donna or Bobbie as she resembles the girl on the left in this photo titled, “Winding up For The Take Off” and is dated Oct. 8, 1951.

donna bobbie

And, I think that Miss Vanek must have been one of her teachers.  This photo was dated December 1954 and identified by the teacher’s name on the back.  Doesn’t the girl on the left resemble Donna or Bobbie, but then the girl on the right could be one of them too?

donna and miss vanek

Finally, and there are other photos without any identification, we know that somehow they know “THE SKIPPER FAMILY.”  Season’s Greetings to all was included in their album.

donna the skipper family

I have to tell you.  This is such an iconic photo.  I love it.  It is obviously for Christmas but I gather, by the foliage, that they are in the south?  And, here stands Mrs in a fur hat, scarf, coat and gloves, while daughter is just in a sweater and he is in a suit. 

So, if anyone out there in the blogosphere, knows Donna or Bobbie or the Skipper Family, maybe we can get these pictures back to their family.  Just email or comment and let me know.

Oh, and the red sweatshirt reference??  Mom thought red showed up really well in color photographs.  So, for vacation, every year, she bought me a new red sweatshirt.  If you find any photos of a girl in a red sweatshirt, standing by the sign for entering every state in the country, or by every statue, landmark and waterfall ever seen on vacation, you know who to send them to.

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I’m not sure how Global Warming makes it cooler, but our climate is not normal this year.  The nights are so cool that the tomatoes are not doing well at all.  I was really looking forward to playing summer Santa with the folks at mom’s Senior’s home. Last year they all flocked out when I arrived with produce. This year I do not have enough even for us. 

The tiny red hot peppers are growing like wild though.  The twin orphan fawns even eat the chili peppers but not these baby hot peppers

red hot peppers

Then there is the last redish/pink/white rose I got before the twin baby fawns.

redpinkrose

And, the last yellow rose I had.

yellowrose

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They say that people who are social live longer.  I cannot help it.  I am a loner and I have always been a loner.  My brother was six years older than me and my sister, 10 years older, grew up in the next state.  We lived on a half acre with empty lots on both sides and farmland in back.  Mom was very protective and there were not many other kids on our road either.  I am used to being alone.

I am sitting here watching the males of the house playing cards.  Since Gaffer came home, the table has been clean awaiting the nightly game marathon. It starts by 4:00pm.  EMT gets home from work by 6 and joins the game, no matter what it is.  Risk, Monopoly, Clue are favorite board games.  Pinochle is being taught to JCountry right now. 

I have no desire to join their game.  Anytime I have been forced to play, usually because they are short a person, I have spent my time, in my head, wishing I was doing something else; something that seems productive to me. 

Personally, laying in the grass watching patterns in clouds is more productive.  Usually, it becomes more productive because I run back inside and grab my camera and do a series of sky photos. 

My last series of photos, involved looking up into trees.  I think I have five good shots now to paint from.  The series before that, involved shadows.  So far, I believe I have only one shadow painting to do.  It needs more work.

I do enjoy an evening, or day, laughing and socializing with good people.  We had a wonderful evening, sitting around the fire in the back yard of my oldest daughter’s neighbor’s yard, not long ago.  I think most of my “good evenings” involve a campfire.

Maybe if they played cards outside, I would enjoy it more.  I have wonderful memories of playing chess and cribbage, by the fire, with my brother. 

Or, perhaps it is just that social people, who are playing games, feel as if they have lived longer.  I usually am saying, “will this never end?”

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I am so tired of the snow and winter and having such a time trying to find anything worthwhile to post, that I thought a change of banner was in order. Trusty camera and Irritating little Chihuahua and I went out to capture the newly opened daffodils on film. I do wonder what has happened to the grape hyacinth. I thought they always came up first. But, alas, they are nowhere to be seen.

First, I should say that Irritating little Chihuahua slept in her own bed last night. All night. She did wake me twice to let her out, but I feel like a mother whose child is finally sleeping in her own bed, rather than on my stomach. Which, is too nicely soft and padded. I have lost eleven (count them) 11 pounds, so perhaps my stomach is not as padded as it was. I will also not post here how many pounds to go.

Chihuahua is not feeling too well this morning. She refuses to eat anything: her favorite Milk Bone original little pillow like, marrow, treats; the remains of my oatmeal with Brummels and Brown butter on it (which she loves); a peanut (which I am not sure she should even have but which she acted offended to have dropped by her, while she normally would have gobbled it down before anyone could retrieve it). So, she was not particularly cooperative about modeling for the camera (she never is). I thought, how cute to have a picture of the dog sniffing the daffodils; given that she would have to raise her head up to sniff them.

This is the best I got and you can be happy it is so small because at normal size, it is blurry enough to turn your stomach.

daffodils-skeeter

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mom-glasses

Do NOT, tell my mother I put this picture up on the Internet.  She would not be pleased.  This is her squinting to see through the “special affect” glasses that Master’s Daughter passed out this year.  There were two kinds.  One put snowmen around the Christmas tree lights and the other, as you will see below, put santas around them.  Ironically, mom was the only person who could not see the special affect.santa-glassesThese are not actualy Santa lights, but something wierd the glasses did.  Now, aren’t you glad I told you that?As I was growing up, my mother would sit in the window and watch me play outside.  To pass the time more productively, mom would bring a mirror and tweezers and use the time to pluck her chin.  Chin hair is equal to having snot hanging from your nose, in my mother’s world.  So, we were not surprised to see mom pull her chair over to the bearded lizard’s cage, which has a bright light, and get our her mirror and tweezers.  Mom has the smoothest chin on the face of the earth.

Master’s Daughter told me that I was not allowed to ask her what my “blog” notes mean, this year.  This is because I write cryptic words and then forget what they mean.  So, I sit here this morning trying to decipher what I thought was clear at the time.  The note for the above paragraph read, “Plucking hairs by Komodo Bearded Dragon light grew up with hair plucking in window.”  I did much better this year, than my usual two word notes.

Possibly not with all of them, however.  “Does Kronk trump Spock  -LaSalle-Dice.”  Okay, I think this has something with a dice game they were playing.  This year, with Gaffer there, the only breaks in  game playing for days was to open presents and occasionally to sleep.  I think Spok is Spock from Star Trek, and Kronk.  Could that be Christmas at the Kronks?  I vaguely remember hearing the comment and a lot of laughing, but that’s all I got on those notes,  folks.

game-lineup-small

Here is the gaming line.  My three are closest: EMT, JRock, Gaffer and then two grandsons, Electrician and Army guy.  The gaming line was usually at the table with anyone they could corral and playing Risk or Monopoly (with two boards connected, at one point), cards or dice.  Anything they could think of.  They are a noisy group and Master’s Daughter is considering a temporary sound barrier wall for Christmas celebrations.

Okay, the last Holiday blog note, I promise (or not), is the good one.  Ready?  “Grandma had a winky in her face.”  Okay, this did not happen at Master’s Daughters house, but it was a story mom was telling us about a life-drawing class. 

It was her first experience at life-drawing and she was not real comfortable, but doing her best, when the teacher came over and pointed to her sketch pad and said, “I don’t think you want that area, that big.”  Needless to say, the class broke up in laughter.  Later, as the model took a break and mom was adding touches to her sketch, he came over to see the “that big” area and mom looked up to find he had NOT put on a robe and “IT” was right in her face. 

Okay, maybe you had to be there.

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Like the state of the Nation, the state of my bog could be rather depressing, when I check what my top posts are.  So, here they are in order. 

Top Posts

Viggo Mortensen – 99.9% perfect

Update on Brown County Indiana floods-tornados

Floods in Brown County, Indiana

Chemistry of Photography-Thursday, prints-Friday, Chemistry Painting

Pringles Can Pinhole Cameras

Film Canister Pin Hole Camera

Ben Stein and his FLDS comments

Update on Central Indiana flooding 

And, the meaning of all this is that if it was not for Viggo Mortensen, Flooding, photography and Ben Stein and his idiot comments about the FLDS, I might not have any readers at all. 

All I can say is, thank you again Viggo Mortensen.

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Were you ever in a relationship where you woke up one morning and said, ‘This person is making me old.’?

 

It’s not that they are actually making you old.  Mother Nature does a fine job of that on her own and when your genes add something like heart disease or cancer to the mix, it is scary. And, it is not that I am afraid of death, because I am not. And, someday I will explain that when I am feeling very psychic and ready to open my soul to the world (plus a death experience- not my own though).

 

What the thing is, is that I want to enjoy every minute of this life while I am here.  It is way too short not to.  I used to hike, picnic in the Dunes State Park in the winter, ski (cross-country and downhill), and just explore.  I went camping every chance I got.  Daughter-of-eleven and I once went camping with the tent and a roll of aluminum foil.  Seriously, I forgot blankets, bedding and utensils.  I stopped and bought a spatula and a blanket.  You can make a very good bacon and egg breakfast on foil, over an open fire.

 

I have visited every state in this union except Alaska. I have camped in Canada and spent two hours in Mexico.  That’s a whole other story.  I have whale watched and driven a large cargo van up a gravel mining road in Colorado.  That MAY just be what is wrong with daughter-of-eleven.  She was with me and never quite got over that adventure.  She did not mind going up so much, it was the backing back down the narrow, steep, drop-off, gravel mining road that did her in. 

 

The point is, and I am sure there is a point somewhere; I am not ready to sit in a rocking chair yet.  I have given up most things for years now because it seemed so unfair to my husband to do things without him.  He cannot help being disabled, but I realized a few years ago that I was getting older than I should be because of not living and it was not doing him any favors either, that I was declining.  He does what he can and I need to do what I can.  As I said, life is just too short.

 

I started out taking violin lessons.  It was something I had always wanted to do and I inherited my uncle’s violin.  So, the last year and a half I was in Wyoming I studied with Rainer Schwartzkof and, if I do say so myself, and actually, my teacher did; I’m rather an advanced case study on violin.  It may have been the years of music in school. and teaching myself to play organ.  But, by the end of the year and a half, we were doing Mazas duets and, oh, how I loved that.  I gave that up when I moved.

 

So, now that I am all better (my chest has been opened and my heart repaired) and I again have health insurance to get some rehab to help me get exercising again, I am anxious to get back to the violin.  My goal: to play Hay Una Mujer Desaparecida by Wolff; Three Pieces from Schindler’s List by John Williams and I have a book of Classical Solos to tackle.  I am also anxious to get back to painting.  

 

Until they get me settled in rehab, I walk (on our four acres), and I tend the garden (getting my pulse rate up a bit) and I take pictures, and I write. Irritating Chihuahua accompanies me and occasionally sneaks away, but when I am out of doors, it recharges my batteries.

 

Life is too short, not to live it.

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Mine grows with watermelons, tomatoes and marigolds all in a row; in October.

I took my morning walk and photography expedition.  Somehow, I just do not think this poor little watermelon will have a chance to grow up.

It’s also raining leaves today. It is very hard to get a picture of the leaves raining against a background of fall colored trees.  Below is a picture of just one part of our pond and the fall colors.  If you look really close in the front right is the board the boys jump off of and into the pond. It’s thirty feet deep in the center.  If you look really, really close on the far left, you will see a white speck. Apparently, someone got tired of standing up, while waiting for the bus. Or, while finding a place with cell, for their phone and drug a chair out by the road.

I’m off now to scan more of the old photo albums.  Although, the house is very quiet so I just might return to my line editing today.  Gaffer is in Santa Fe with girlfriend, EMT boy is off working at a leather store in Nashville, IN (He came home proud of the commissions he made yesterday on his first full day at work there.), and JRockGuitarMan is taking a break from guitar and piano to walk around the auto race track today in his fire gear.  No, it is not an exercise. Apparently they need fully geared firemen in case there is an accident.

Enjoy this beautiful fall weather.

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Excuse me for being absent but I have been gone to a wedding this past weekend and week. It was only a three hour drive, and that was truly nice. I had been asked to do the photography for both weddings I attended this summer, as my nieces say they love my pictures.  I was not sure I was up to a twelve hour day of shooting and I do not have professional equipment (in any area), so I said I would be back-up.

 

This did not work out at the first wedding as the photographer stated no one could shoot a picture but her.  I’m sure she did not realize the stubborn independence of our family as most said, “My daughter’s in the wedding party, just let her try and stop me.”  Since the photographer did most of her shooting sitting in a chair, I got completely frustrated by the time of the reception and got up and moved around the floor taking pictures of the attendants dancing.

 

I do like to mix things up in angles shot and such, but frankly, with a raised dance floor and a photographer sitting in a chair, I do not know how she thought she could get all eight couples, each in a nice picture, without moving her sorry butt.  Either she was ill or she was a big fan of Bollywood.  (It seemed to me the first few times I watched a Bollywood movie they do tend to favor angles shooting up the nose.)

 

Anyway, so by reception time, and after my scene with brother-in-law, see *Savanvleck’s Weblog* I had my lovely glasses of Bailey’s and when the second bride’s mother came over and told me a horror story about a friend paying $3,000 for pictures and having them end up looking like crap, I threw good sense to the wind and said I would photograph the second wedding.

 

SCENE: Weeks later, and the second wedding.  The night before, I was able to access the reception hall, set up my trusty light tent (a must have for artists) and take some formal pics of flowers, etc (a request by the lady who did them as she is setting up a new business. 

 

 The morning of the wedding, I accessed the church early and did some interiors of this beautiful morning sky, stained glass lit church.  Note, that my camera worked then.

 

 

I also took some of the bouquets without my tent, not a good idea, but ok.  I did some of attendants and guests and camera still worked fine.  Here is one of a brother and sister.  I love to shoot pictures of people.

 

 

 

And, then the wedding was starting. I went in and shot some of the organist and the crowd and my battery began to lag.  I have a Nikon D50 and I have never had problems when it was fully charged.  This battery pack is like the energizer bunny.  Even flash pictures are fast. Yet during the entire ceremony, the lens was lagging or just would not open on time, even when the flash was off.  I totally missed the kiss. I got maybe two good pictures.  SEE, this is why I did not want to be the main photographer.  

  

I asked my nephew, who was also taking some pictures, if he had gotten the kiss and he said yes, but that his camera was doing the same thing. 

 

Later, after the ceremony, we went back into the chapel and the pictures I took were fine.  I do believe that the chapel is either haunted by a past bride or their massive sound system equipment was interfering.

 

Tomorrow: more on the wedding and my week.  A week that I should have been home fixing all the pics for the wedding couple and instead I was visiting. Sorry, Jen, I’m working on it now.

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Monday night, the sky was a quilt of clouds.  I could see the sky blue stitching in between the shapes.  It shows a bit in the upper left corner. Now, if it would not have been midnight, when I let the dog out, and saw this sight, I would have grabbed my tripod, but no, I shot it free hand and so this is all I have to offer.  The moon was full too.

And, then there is the matter of the irritating little Chihuahua sleeping with her head buried under the blanket.  I guess she did not want to be disturbed.

And, finally, just why is the visiting rabbit (Charlemagne) sitting in her dish???  She has a food and a water dish, and I used to put lettuce and carrots in this one, but she much prefers to sit in it, so now the most I put in is a bit of chewable hay.

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