A holiday tradition in my house is having all our local nieces and nephews over to bake and decorate Christmas cookies......in January. Sounds weird, but when it started, about 8 years ago, it made sense. Most the kids were involved in some kind of activities around or before Christmas and it is always a busy time for us as well. And besides, only one kid of the group could drive and that's when he could pick up the rest of them to cart them the hour drive to our house. And, by the middle of January, we are usually out of the usual Christmas treats so this is a good way to restock. The tradition has continued through this year. Not all make it every year- some years there are girlfriends/boyfriends, some years not- some years different boyfriends/girlfriends-and the last few years have included a husband and offspring. Over the years we've dealt with humongous hangovers by some, jobs getting in the way for others, or lack of transportation Next year we are looking forward to another married one in the bunch. Its a fun Sunday afternoon that really isn't about making cookies. That's just the excuse. It makes their Aunt Laney super, super happy. Plus, I like having some guys around to watch some of the playoff games happening at the time. It's been a great experience to watch all of them grow up into athletes, medical techs, mothers and fathers, wives and husbands, managers, etc. An experience we hope continues for a long, long time. Here's an early shot and a shot from this year.
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
With the bitter cold weather and being on home arrest(no driving till doctor clears me and my leg), I went into the vault for tonight's post. Its always a pleasure doing this and I can lose myself for hours while doing so. Tonight is a shot that I hope to show again and again......at his graduation, at his wedding, at his induction to the hall of fame(of whatever brings him fame), etc. When doing people pics, number one goal is to catch the emotion of the moment. I think its pretty obvious the emotion of this moment, about 30 seconds after dad has let him know what he thinks of his artwork. I've seen better mug shots on "Cops"
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Made my way up to Green Bay a few weeks ago. While everyone was sleeping late on a Sunday morning, I grabbed the camera and drove the lakeshore up towards Door County. Of course, in early January, not alot to see unless you really look forward to seeing the latest makeup of an ice shanty. If that's the case, you would have had lots of opportunity to see the newest models. I did find an ironic point, though. The sign was all the warning I needed to not go for a plunge in the bay.
Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Ohhhhh, the experiences we adults live through trying to give new exciting experiences to our children. Several months ago it was announced our Cub Scout group was organizing.......a campout.........in January..........in a cave........in Wisconsin. Sounds really cool. Literally. So, we definitely had it marked on the calender as a must do event. And very cool it was. Not as cool as you would initially think. First of all, the cave maintains a year round temperature of 62 degrees (sometimes colder in my own house depending on whether the furnace wants to works that night) so the January thing wasn't a big deal except getting down to the cave and getting back up to sea level. There was a mighty treacherous hill to go down to get in and that same hill was there to go up when coming out. Once you were in the cave it was about a 15 minutes walk through tiny walkways to get to where our group was camping, all underground. During that walk, there is two way traffic in a lane that doesn't really even fit one grown adult, much less two adults......carrying camping gear. Since we were in an enclosed area where the weather doesn't really change (always cool and wet) no tent was necessary. Just a couple of cots, sleeping bags, and tarps to put under you and for some, over you, to protect you from the water drippage from the ceiling. Once at your camp area, the trick then became to find an open spot big enough to lay out your cots, amongst over 200 other campers. Let me just say, you get to know the sleep habits of perfect strangers quite well. You pray that you don't setup next to a heavy snorer or a child that has night terrors. And, of course, you try to setup where you can have easy access to the walkway out in case nature calls in the middle of the night, which means about a 1/4 mile hike (remember the hill I told you about). For some of us, it was a normal night of decent sleep. For others, not so much. I kind of fit the second group. But, it wasn't awful. When people asked me if I would do it again, I replied, "Yeah, if my survival depended on it. Otherwise, probably not." What really mattered is that the kids all seemed to like it. And it's one of those memories, my son and I will always have.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Evilbear is a misnomer. The name may sound threatening, but in reality, I am a peaceful creature trying to spread a little peace or humor through photography. Unfortunately, not everything carrying the moniker of "evil" is the same. Evilsquirrel, also known as Steve, by my wife, is the antithesis of the name. He constantly paws/knocks at the glass on the patio door to let him in, of course, upsetting the dog and cat. He knows what he is doing- creating a disruption in the house. I can almost see him laughing at the domestics. He sits up on my suet feeder(the 3rd suet feeder purchased since he has discovered how to remove it and steal it) and literally sticks his tongue out at me, mocking my inability to reach through the window and wring his little neck. You have your fun now little evil creature. Your day is coming. I have plenty of time these days to figure out the best way for your demise.
Friday, January 10, 2014
I sat down tonight to do a year in review of my pics. I always get pleasure doing a review since its nice to look back and remember all the places I/we went to, events we attended, things that we did, etc. I was a little worried that I wouldn't have much of selection due to, well, not as much production this year as others. But, I was a little surprised. Pleasantly surprised. While I didn't do as much shooting this year as in the past, I had close to the same number of "prized" shots (the ones that go in the vault), as I usually do. I guess this is where having kids helps since it seems you can always get a nice shot or two while shooting their activities. Also, the kids are a big driver in doing some of the activities we do such as camping which is always a good venue for some keepers. So, the following video is a montage of, in my mind, the best shots of 2013. Here's to getting off my butt and getting my shutter finger more active this year.