Friday, June 21, 2013

Checking In

Many of my friends and family know that my little family lost a loved one last week. I know that those of you I haven’t talked to personally are checking in here – wondering how we’re doing; wishing us well. And part of me feels a little badly not to put a full tribute here: not to explain the relationship, our emotions, and how much she meant.

But the truth is, this blog has never been the “for certain” place of significant recordings. It’s rather  unpredictable what gets put down in this space – and whether something appears here or not has never been a really strong indicator of it’s weight or significance in our lives. It might be a birth. Or it might be a picture of a kid eating a bowl of cereal. . . . Lots of cereal eating goes unrecorded here . . . as well as lots that truly matters.

Only know this: this event ranks among the most significant in my experience, and if I don’t write it all here it is only because I would rather not get Leisa down in this spot at all than get her here without doing her justice – because when I say, “Mike’s aunt died.” Well. What does that mean to anyone? Who could guess or know that “Mike’s aunt” does very little to describe our relationship or the depths of our connection to her.

I have worked hard – very hard -- to get bits of her down in my journal and in my funeral talk; and for now, that is where it will stay. But we do adore that woman. Adore adore. Our little world is all pocked with holes just now.

But, we are doing fine. We are mostly calm and happy and things must be all right because Anders is still playing with toy cars:

Jesse is still taking things apart.

And the kids are still saying smart-alec things to each other.

In fact I just heard this:

Penny: “Mom! Daisy taught me how to play bowling on the wii and then I WON her!”
Daisy (from the other room): “Beat. You beat me, Penny.” And then, in a low mumble, “You’ll never beat me at grammar.”

Strange how normal life – mundane things and even happy things – keeps happening and flowing along even when it feels like it should be holding its breath – waiting for us to fully cope and recover before exhaling and continuing on as normal. Weird that it doesn’t know to stop.

I will end with these two pictures of our darling Leisa:

Oh, all right, three (I hope you’re happy, Blaire.)

I tried to make Blaire (Leisa’s daughter) not use it as one of the ones she put up at the funeral, but she insisted because it does capture the essence of Leisa and Jesse’s relationship – he could be taking the world apart around her, talking her ear off, . . . or even picking his nose. Yes. Even that. And look. She only adored him.

We were so lucky to be in her inner circle.

(Leisa pics compliments of Blaire)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Grass, Swimming, and Cell Phone Photography

It turns out I’m allergic to grass. I mowed the lawn one day and then went about weezing and gasping and overall finding it difficult to breath for several hours. It gave me a lot more sadness for my little Jesse. It is really no fun to have to suck in every breath of air with all your might and still feel like you haven’t filled your lungs.

But, that’s really nothing to do with anything. It’s not like I can’t sit on grass. I sit on it just fine. I just have to avoid inhaling it. Big whoop-dee-doo. Mike and Abe can mow the lawn.
Though, to be honest, I think mowing is one of the more pleasant chores to exist. I’d take it to doing dishes any day. And it sure beats a kick in the pants. (What? What am I even talking about?)

Anywho, since you asked, here is a picture of Jesse at swimming lessons. And Goldie too.

Goldie doesn’t actually need swimming lessons. (Heaven knows how I actually have HALF of my children worry-free swimmers now.) She just begged to take them one last summer because . . .  well . . . it’s swimming. Penny and Jesse on the other hand . . . they passed off like one of the ten or so things necessary to move out of level 1. I think they mastered something like “bobbing up and down”. But never mind that. I’m sure they will be swimming their little hearts out . . . someday.

Moving right along to the next wholly unconnected thought:

I am, as you know, quite fond of using a nice camera and manually knowing how to mostly do what I want with a photo these days. I shy away from taking pictures with our point-and-shoot or with my mobile camera because it irks me so not to be able to control much. But, one can’t deny that it is rather handy to have such a small and easily accessible camera on hand.

Last week Blaire showed me how Instagram worked. It is a little like facebook, but no status shenanigans; only shared mobile pics. Yes, yes, some cetainly upload dslr pics, but it seems to be controversial and viewed a bit as cheating, so, I daresn’t. (It’s not a word spell check recognizes, but it’s a word. Dare not. I dare not!) So, the past few days, I have been messing around with my phone camera a bit more than usual – trying to be less averse to using it.

And , it has been kind of fun! With my dslr pics, I don’t like to over-edit them very often – meaning that, even though different filters and actions are fun, they don’t generally strike me as timeless the way natural looking color or black and whites do; and, for my main documenting of my kids, I want timeless. My style, sure, but I don’t want to look back and be put off by photos that strike me too much as part of a fad that came and went. However, with my phone pics, it has just been fun to goof off and do what I will with them. I downloaded an editing app or two, and let me tell you . . . if you don’t think my girls fell IN LOVE with “lumie” and the ability it gave them to cover themselves, and me, and Anders, and Lego men with blurry colorful things. Well, you are wrong. Oh, . . . you’ll be seeing hazy blobs covering us in phone pics for a long long time . . .

And, some normal moments were also captured (and didn’t look too bad):

And, I even discovered that I could actually – using a bit of knowledge about light, etc. capture something that didn’t look too terribly far off from what I am used to getting with my fancy-pants camera!

Here is a cell phone pic of Daisy (edited in snapseed):

And here are the pictures I took at the same time with my Canon:

Yes, well, I’m not jumping ship and becoming a full time iphoneographer (particularly since I don’t even have an i-phone). All I want is a bigger fancier camera and bigger more expensive lenses, BUT it’s been fun messing around with other means of capturing moments. It all appeals to whatever little artsy genes are floating about inside of me. Yes, even (or perhaps especially) Lego Revolutionary soldiers covered in sheer stars.

So, there you have it. Bless you all. And have a good night’s sleep.

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