STORK SIGHTING

Every morning when I walk into our new kitchen and grab my cup of extra strong coffee (thanks to my husband), I go out my French doors on to my wood deck and see that our 4 acres of backyard and the neighbors pond (!) are covered in the most glorious sheath of fog.  Even though we are going on day 18 without a moving truck, I can still revel in all the amazing that I have been able to experience. Last night it was fireflies–fireflies people!  I have never seen fireflies before; I didn’t even know that we would have fireflies here. My husband was very matter-of-fact that there were fireflies outside, ‘Babe, have you seen the fireflies?’ Uhm, no, I have never seen fireflies before and this is basically a small miracle. My goal with this move was to be closer to nature, but I had no idea what was in store for me (I am totally going to skip tick-gate 2012). When we were sitting on the deck yesterday morning I saw a stork.  Can you wrap your mind around that one? A flip, flappin’ jackin’ stork! My husband thinks it’s a sign, unless that stork is delivering our future baby in it’s beak I am not going to believe in signs just yet.  Did you know storks are nearly 3 feet high?  They can have a wingspan of over 10 feet, they are magnificent!  I have never given a stork the time of day and now I can’t wait to see if I can photograph one for y’all. When we were in Georgia a couple of months ago there were birding boutiques in every strip mall, I haven’t seen any here, but I am anxious to join in on this Southern birding extravaganza; you know how I love me some Victorian pursuits. Any day now I might go into a fern frenzy.  I’m curious have any of you gotten into any genteel past times? Birding, ferning, badminton, croquet?

THUNDER SHIRT REVIEW

This is a photo of my girl prior to her Thunder shirt. I bought her a Thunder shirt before we left Los Angeles, just in case she got a little anxious on the cross country drive, she actually was a trooper and only had one mishap–she vomited over the entire back seat of the car. If that made you sick imagine what it was like driving with her and her smelly self for thousands of miles.  The other night we had a huge thunderstorm, I’ve never been through anything like it and neither have my dogs. It was so loud the house felt like it was shaking and the random blasts of light from the lightening were straight out of a haunted house story. Bella was not sure what to do and took to pacing and whining, I tried everything to calm her down to no avail and then I remembered her Thunder shirt. I ran out to the closet and put it on her, we went back to bed, only I couldn’t sleep because my once terrified pup was so comfortable in her shirt that she was sleeping on her back, legs splayed and snoring up a storm. The Thunder Shirt worked like a charm and it worked immediately. I was so impressed, if you saw how she was acting prior to the shirt you would have figured I was up for a long night of her weird shenanigans, but the shirt makes her sleepy, very sleepy. After another series of lightning blasts and house shaking storm rumbles I was wishing I had my own Thunder shirt to wear, people think earthquakes are scary (California having many of them), I am thinking random thunderstorms are more scary. Earthquakes don’t last that long (I’ve been through two major ones), thunderstorms seem to go on for hours, seriously I could have used my own Thunder shirt last night. It’s supposed to be worse tonight but not until 1 a.m. which should be great since I am hoping I’ll be in a deep sleep by then

SEEING IN BLACK & WHITE

I didn’t want to write today, because I was afraid if I did it would be fueled with anger and expletives and I don’t like to be angry in public nor do I like to cuss if I can help it, most of the time I can, I’m a lady after all. We called the movers to check the E.T.A. and found out they did not leave Friday as promised but supposedly left today.  Today?!  We are supposed to see our haul in 3-5 days,  I am irate.  I am having trouble seeing straight. I need my things, my entire studio is on that truck and I desperately need to get back to work. We have no furniture and nothing to do, but drive each other crazy.  I noticed some beautiful light tonight streaming from a window in our empty living room. I have been wanting to practice shooting with black & white conversions in mind and knew this was good light for that.  So I asked my husband to model, “Hon, can you help me take some practice shots? Just sit on the floor there.” His answer?  “How do you want me to pose? Like this?” See image above.  WTH? Who poses with their thumb like that? “No, no, don’t pose, I don’t want you to pose, just be natural.” How does he respond to that? “I don’t know how to be natural.” That’s obvious. I suggest, “Just have a conversation with me.”  “So, what would you like to talk about?,” he asks. You know a conversation is going to be absolutely titillating when it starts with, ‘What would you like to talk about’.
I opted to have him not talk at all and just tried to adjust him accordingly. Moving a very stiff, nearly 200lb. man into a position that would be desirable for flattering catchlights was about as easy as climbing Everest in high heels–impossible. I was about to give up and started to stand in resignation when he looked up and asked if the shoot was over, “Yes it was”, I hissed. He knew I was upset so he smiled in that way that implies he is going to try to be serious now (he never is), right there in that moment I had the light I wanted and the perfect look without the stupid thumb on the chin pose. I think I may stick to still life if this is going to be the only model in town.

STAR LIGHT, STAR BRIGHT

We moved into our country house on Thursday afternoon, I could not have been more relieved to be able to call anyplace home. We both have been so tired, angst ridden and have had a general case of the overwhlems. For many months now I have been wanting to photograph a star filled night and have lugged my tripod with us on many an adventure to no avail, there has just been too much light pollution to see the stars.  I had basically given up when on Thursday night after my well water shower (sans water pressure) I heard my husband futzing around on the deck, I came outside to see the tripod set up, camera ready and a request to look up. I did as told and saw so many stars, it was hard to focus because big, fat, salty tears obstructed my vision. My husband, terminally pragmatic never forgets anything, it wasn’t so much him being a romantic as it was him ceasing an opportunity, but in his own quirky way it was terribly thoughtful. I loved the sentiment and reveled in the blanket of lights outside our back door. I haven’t seen stars like this since I went away to camp in the 4th grade. I never saw them in Los Angeles and truth be told, I didn’t expect them here either. I just thought we would need to go some place like a National forest or the desert to be able to see them. I love surprises like this, don’t you? My other surprise was not so happy, the movers left Los Angeles Friday, this last Friday. We have been here a week, which means they won’t be here for another week. We have nothing but what we brought in our suitcases. You never realize what you need that is on the moving truck until you really need it. We had to go out and buy a couple of dishes, can opener, a knife, some utensils, towels, a bed (we didn’t have to do this but I thought I might die if we didn’t), a table and chairs, Tupperware, etc. This move has gotten more expensive each day. I am not allowing myself to freak out, because Lord knows that’s not going to make the moving truck arrive any sooner, if freaking out helped then they would have been here, moved everything in and I’d be set-up already. Sigh. I am going to concentrate on the stars and that I saw two baby bunnies on my front lawn this evening. Two bunnies folks!

P.S. For those that are wondering these were extra long exposures (that’s why the tripod was needed), it was pitch black outside, we don’t even have street lights on our road (yes, road).

5 CROSS COUNTRY DRIVE COMFORTS

I am no moving expert and since this is only my first ‘official’ move cross country (I moved one summer to Boston, but that was more of an extended vacation), I just wanted to throw out some tips I did and some I learned along the way on this cross country move/trek.  I thought I was pretty clever on some of them and some that I forgot to do I had to mentally flog myself, ‘What were you thinking you IDIOT!?!’  I will share those in a different post.  One of the things I did, my husband was adamant that I didn’t do, he thought it was silly and would take up too much space in the car.  I am so glad I didn’t listen to him, because it made a world of difference.  
  • I brought a couple sets of clean sheets, duvet covers, my down pillows and comforter.  It made staying at ugly La Quinta Inns (the only places that allowed dogs on our route) so much more comfortable. The sheets were high thread count and they were mine.  When we got to our house sitting destination I washed everything a few (or more times) and it made our house sitting stay more comfy.  
  • I brought a wine opener, it was a little luxury but it was nice to have a glass of wine the minute we arrived in NC. 
  • I carried travel size versions of Advil, allergy tablets and saline solution in my purse. To have to grab any of these things from our suitcase (of our very packed vehicle) would have been maddening. 
  • We packed a cooler with healthy food–Fixin’s for sandwiches, crackers, cheese, granola bars, yogurt, raw almonds, etc. such a smart idea, it saved us money and we didn’t have to eat at greasy fast food restaurants for at least two of our meals, dinner of course was a different story.
  • I downloaded free podcasts from Itunes. This made the trip so much easier and stopped us from bickering for at least 45 minute stretches at a time. I am nuts about Stuff you missed in history class’ and I didn’t mind the Adam Carolla podcasts either.

P.S. Remember the other day I mentioned I saw a dead wild turkey that could have been a vulture?  Well, I found out that there’s these ugly Turkey Vultures here, they are gigantic!  I just about had a heart attack when I saw them hanging out.  Word on the street is they only eat dead animals so the girls and I are safe (for now).

P.P.S. This photo is of Jordan Lake, it’s a mile walk from my new home, isn’t it pretty?  I plan on going canoeing there, even though I have never canoed in my life, but how hard could it be?  I’ll bring my husband in case it’s harder than it looks, he’s really strong and I think he would love it if I was a damsel in distress, instead of bossy pants.

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