12 June 2010


My Mom, Dad, Sister (Kati) and me (clapping my hands) - 1960 or 1961

...has taken over my house! The advent of digital SLR cameras has heralded in a new generation of "amateur professionals" who can take wonderful photos, email them, print them, etc. And having six grandchildren, I now have a photo glut. But do I want to pare them down? Absolutely NOT! And I don't have them out for others to "oooo-and-ahhh" over. They are for me. While we all live in the same state, we do not live in the same town. I do get regular doses of my children and grands for which I am thankful but when I'm back in my regular domicile, I do miss them all. And photos help ease the ache that absence brings. So, other than replacing some baby photos of the now almost-six-year-olds with current pics, they aren't going to go anywhere.

Tim and Megan's Bridal Shower - 2003

Jenjer and Chris - Mirai's birth - 2007

Which leads me to my dilemma - how to harness the emotional power of my photos without reverting to wallpapering my house in them and ending up on one of those "hoarder" reality shows? I'm sure my house cleaners were very happy to find this week that I'd removed approximately 10 of the framed photos from our master bedroom (anyone who is willing to come into my house and DUST with all the "stuff" I have, having to pick it up and put it back, is almost a saint!) but the photos need to be removed from the frames and put elsewhere.

Mike and I after our wedding - 1976

Jennifer and Jason with Emma - 2000

I've thought about doing old-fashioned scrapbooks for each of the grands, putting in the photos from frames when they are replaced with newer offerings. But there are many photos with multiple children in them as well as having six grands - that would be six books going at one time. I've also considered scanning them all and putting them into photobooks by year - which really seems to be the most practical way to go. But it also requires a TON of scanning, cataloging and then making the books. In the long run, I do plan to do this but that will require a chunk of time which I do not have right now.

Uncle Charlie and me - 1957

My Grandpa Crawford - whom Timothy favors greatly! 1926

Jennifer and Megan are good about making annual books with their photos - kind of a Family Yearbook. And I've been the recipient of several of these and LOVE THEM! I seriously need to get into the habit of keeping the jpgs all organized and do a little each month on them. I also need to update Quicken so getting to photos is going to take some serious discipline on my part. :)

Kennedy and Ben - "Kissing Cousins" 2006

So, for now, I've about decided to purchase large linen covered note boards or framed cork boards (like this one at Pottery Barn) and put one on either side of my computer desk in my study. And I also have a French note board in my dressing area with photos on it. I noticed some large framed pin boards at Home Goods a few weeks ago for $49 which is about half of what Pottery Barn wants so I should go back and see if they still have them.

Mike and Shelby, England - 2003

It's funny ("peculiar", not "ha-ha") the power of a photograph. Almost like the memory triggered by smell, photos can take you back in time in an instant. And for those of us fortunate enough to have had great childhoods, loving families and, in comparison with a lot of the world, a GOOD life, photos help cement us to our past and give encouragement to "soldier on" in the future. I mean, who can dwell on bad thoughts with a photo of beloved grandparents smiling down on you? As with most things, a balance is called for or we'll spend our time, thoughts and days dwelling on "what was" and not on "what is". But for me, photos help make me feel connected to those with whom I'm, at least for today, separated from. And give me encouragement until we are reunited again, whether it be in heaven one day or in Fort Worth next week (cue "Circle of Life" in background....)

Disney Vacation - 2006

09 June 2010

I'm having a Mac attack...

...and I'm not at McDonald's! I recently received my custom ordered MacBook Pro which my lovely husband gifted me for Mother's Day. And let me tell you, having over triple the hard drive space and a faster processor is bliss! It's like the lunchtime drive through line at our local Chick-fil-a; fast, functional and friendly! Even the transfer of data and applications from the Time Capsule was very fast - only 8 hours wirelessly. (The Apple Store said it would be about 24 hours.) The main thing I'm excited about is having the ability to keep more photos stored rather than having to dump them onto an external drive asap so as to not bog down the system. I guess you could say I'm lovin' it?

So, enough emoting about my new toy.

Summer is upon us and with that brings the humidity and heat for which Houston is infamous. Even the dogs, who normally love a "sit in the sun" time, are quick to get out, do their business and trot back into the cooler, drier house. And the texture of my hair is competing with the Wicked Witch of the West's broom for "most hideous texture". I'm winning.

But with summer also comes visits from the grands, pool time and lots of Chick-fil-a iced tea runs. Even though I have no "at home" children anymore, it still seems like life slows down a bit as schedules are relaxed, speed limits for school zones are on vacation as well and, gross though it may seem, I get a kick out of watching the frogs swim in the pool after dark as if to proclaim, "Hey guys! Check THIS one out!" I guess some folks swim with the dolphins but we're stuck swimming with the frogs.

I will soon be bringing you photos, glorious photos, right after I figure out how Aperture works (hey, I got it loaded...that was enough for one day). Grandchild #6, Lady Emery, is a sight to behold with all her long locks at the tender age of 3-1/2 months. Kennedy graduated from preschool last month. Luke and Ben are playing t-ball. Lleyton started preschool last month. And I hope to see Mirai next week. So lots of grands catching up to do - a picture is worth a thousand words so perhaps you'll get off lightly on the novella part.

Following Kennedy's ballet recital - yes, we support the arts. I'm not sure the arts will return the favor.

Have a great summer! May your a/c not conk out, your mosquitoes be few and your watermelons thumping good! (No jokes about the watermelons folks. This is a family website...)