A Photo a Week: Candid Camera

Those of us over 50 most likely remember the old TV series Candid Camera – I can still remember the last line of its theme song: “Smile! You’re on Candid Camera!” Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week challenge this week is candids. I offer my submission, first with two photos taken of family members at my grand-nephew’s birthday/going away to college family gathering (that’s him in the second photo); and a few animal candids of wild and domestic furred or feathered friends.

Our cat had been sleeping behind some propped pillows on the bed – she’d never slept there before, and she seemed a bit surprised and perhaps annoyed that we found her hiding place!

Bodhi is a Tibetan spaniel (very much like lhasa apso).
A pair of swans preparing their nest – swans mate for life and both share the nest preparation duties. Tragically, shortly after this photo was taken, the male swan died!
A different pair of swans, a happy couple – they are always together!
I seem to have caught this Canada goose at an awkward moment!

Countdown to Christmas

Tourmaline is hosting her first Countdown to Christmas challenge this year! Here are the themes:

I am admittedly lousy at keeping up with a daily challenge, so I am going to take this one by chunks, this time at least!

Dec. 1: Decorations
Many people here at our senior community put wreaths and other decorations on the doors and shelves outside their apartments. Last year when it was too cold to walk outside, I instead walked the halls of the apartment building and took lots of photos of decorations. I will probably do the same thing this year. Because of COVID-19, to get us into the holiday spirit, there is a door decorating contest, so there ought to be even more doors decorated this year!
Here are a few from last year. I especially like the ones that reflect different ethnic traditions.

I made this collage of some of the door wreaths.

Dec. 2: Family
I have a large family so we don’t all gather together. Mostly we get together with the kids and grandkids of my sister and brother-in-law, who live in this same community. Last Christmas, our daughter & son-in-law hosted the celebration at our old house (where they currently live).

Dec. 3: Traditions
We have several holiday traditions, such as putting up my collection of creches (Nativity scenes – I have quite a few), a Christmas tree decorated with lights and ornaments, and games – we always play some games! We also sing carols around a piano (if there is one). My sister has two Christmas carol games and we also love to play Charades and Categories. Last year our daughter and son-in-law had a new game for us, where everyone at the table takes turns unwrapping a large ball of cellophane full of little prizes. One person unwraps while another throws dice. When the dice come up as doubles, the person unwrapping has to stop and pass on the cellophane ball. It was frustrating and fun!

My brother-in-law unwraps while my friend Marcia rolls the dice. My sister Mary is closest to the camera.

I think we will have to forego the games this year, because we can’t get together – but maybe we can play Categories via Zoom!!

Kinda Square #3: Two Kinda Weird Guys!

Grandpa & grandson: kinda weird or two of a kind? You decide!

And because I had to cut off their lovely legs & feet to make the above photo square, I kind of thought I should post the entire photo too! (Notice their socks!!)

Grandpa’s socks have beer steins; grandson’s socks have flamingoes – he bought them to match the suit!

Posted for Becky’s October Kinda Squares #3.

Irreconcilable Frustrations: Based on a True Story

I felt guilty even as I was dialing my sister’s phone number. This was the first time I had called her since the pandemic started, but what better day than on her birthday?

She answered on the third ring, saying, “Hello” in the way she always does, as if it’s a final statement, not a question. I sang Happy Birthday to her.

She was surprised to hear from me but not being the emotional type, I could tell she was glad I called.

“So what’s news?” I asked her. (I may as well get this over with – my sister can talk non-stop for fifteen minutes, at least.)

“Oh, nothing much. I’m staying home a lot, not going out much. But I keep myself occupied.” My sister lives in a senior community where she’s involved in many things. During the pandemic it’s slowed down, but not completely.

“How are your beautiful granddaughters?” My sister has two very cute granddaughters, aged six and five.

“Oh, they’re fine. Ginny is really getting into distance learning with Molly. The teacher has the kids doing projects. They go around to various places to experience them, they look for things, like a scavenger hunt. Ginny says she’s exhausted, what with her new job and Molly’s kindergarten teacher keeping her occupied!” My sister chuckled as she said this.

“How’s Sophie?”

“Sophie’s okay. I’m worried about her though – she’s getting confused, first with remote learning, then living in the house with only her mom one week and her dad the next week…”

“Huh? Why’s that?”

“Oh, I thought you knew. Nate and Julie are living apart. They each have their own place to live, so Sophie lives in the house all the time, and the two of them alternate living there with her.”

“Weird. Expensive, too, I imagine.”

“Oh, yeah. They couldn’t agree on who would get the house, so they left it to their six-year-old!”

“Why are they split up?”

“Well, a lot of things built up over time — Nate’s been taking this computer course, you know. He dropped all his piano students to do it, while Julie works all the time. Apparently she also suspects him of infidelity, but he doesn’t have a perfidious nature. Nate can’t handle her frustration and accusations, so he blows up at her. Then she rants about how she’s having to support the family, while Nate gets to just ‘do his thing,’ you know.”

“Wow, I’m so sorry! They’ve been together so long! I hope they reconcile their differences.”

We moved on to lighter topics and chatted for another fifteen minutes.

Image downloaded from Google Images: https://adamsfamilylaw.com/2018/03/irreconcilable-differences-mean-divorce-case/

Posted for Fandango’s One Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, and Your Daily Word Prompt.

The Changing Seasons, Jan. 2020

A NEW CHALLENGE! Here’s what the host, Su Leslie, has to say about it:

“About The Changing Seasons
The Changing Seasons is a monthly challenge where bloggers around the world share what’s been happening in their month.
If you would like to join in, here are the guidelines:
The Changing Seasons Version One (photographic):
Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery that you feel represent your month
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.
Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so that others can find them
The Changing Seasons Version Two (you choose the format):
Each month, post a photo, recipe, painting, drawing, video, whatever that you feel says something about your month
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!
Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons so others can find them.”

Here is my contribution for January 2020:

Family and friends: 
Left: Colorful family members – my brother-in-law in lederhosen and my grand-nephew (we were at his house to celebrate his 18th birthday) in a flamingo suit we bought him last year; Right: Friends we rarely get to see nowadays, at dinner in a restaurant called Nando’s, which features Afro-Portuguese and South African cuisine.

Cats:
Top L: our cat, Hazel; Top R and Bottom: Two of our four “grandcats” (our daughter’s cats), Freddie (being held unwillingly by our daughter) and Stevie.

Home:
Our senior living community as it looks in this relatively warm January 2020: At right is my car during the only major snowfall we’ve had this month (which is very unusual, but we have had brutally cold as well as mild Januarys these past several years – none has been just “average”, I guess a result of climate change. I’ll take the mild winters any time, though!).

My artwork:
I love to draw and am taking an art class, which has inspired me to renew my artistic output! For the leopard cub I used a special technique, using dark Sharpies so it bled through the paper, then used the back side to color in with pastels. At right is a portrait I did in art class. We are focusing on portraiture this session.

Life Lines

For Becky’s October Square (lines & squares) and Nancy Merrill’s A Photo A Week Challenge: hands, I decided to take a look at the lines on my palm.
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Analyzing these lines is called “palmistry” and while I consider this to be superstition, much like astrology, it still somehow interests me. I guess it has to do with the human desire to predict the future, which cannot be done with any certainty, so we resort to such things as palmistry and astrology to tell us what will happen in our future or something about our personality.

I was most interested in my “life” line and my “fate” line. The life line is the one that is closest to the thumb and curves downward. Here’s what one web site had to say about it:
Is strong and deep: You have a lust for life and you strive to reach your full potential.
Is shallow and faint: You tend to be less ambitious.
Is curved: You are strong.
Is straight: You are cautious when you enter a new relationship.
Is broken: You have experienced a sudden change in lifestyle.
Has circles: You have been hospitalized or injured.
Isn’t alone and you have multiple life lines: You are a very lively person.
My life line is definitely curved, so I am strong. It is pretty strong and deep, so I have a lust for life and strive to reach my full potential.  Physically, I’m not very strong. But I have endured a lot in life (even though I’ve been pretty lucky, too), so I guess by that standard, I am strong. I do have a lust for life and I sometimes strive to reach my full potential, but on the other hand (no pun intended), I have ADHD so I get distracted and never seem to finish what I start.

I won’t bore you with what my “fate” line or other lines say. You can analyze your own, if you wish, by looking up “palmistry” or simply “lines on palms.” The web site I looked at was the kind of thing people share on Facebook.

But these are photo challenges, so getting back to images… One of the things I love to do with my dominant hand is to draw. Here are two sketches of hands that I drew several years ago:

I don’t have photos that are particularly focused on hands, but I do have several of people holding children and one can get a good look at the holders’ hands.

Finally, here is a newlywed couple whose hands combine to cut their wedding cake.
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One final opinion: I like astrology better than palmistry!

Weekly Prompts Photo Challenge: Yellow

I’m just barely making it for Weekly Prompts Photo Challenge: Yellow!

Tulip in my garden
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Proliferation of dandelions (they’re more prolific this year than I’ve ever seen!)
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My grand-nephew Joshua’s T-shirt (doesn’t he look spiffy?!)
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Mexican-style tiles in a bathroom at a Chicago wedding venue (there’s some yellow in almost all of these!)
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Outer wall in Rishon le Tsiyon, Israel
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Sunrise in Tiberias, Israel (looking out on the Sea of Galilee from our hotel room)
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Sunset clouds, Jerusalem, Israel
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Colorful Israeli poster at Tel Aviv airport
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Egyptian flower, near Aswan (I’m starting and ending with flowers!)
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CFFC: Make Me Laugh!

The theme for Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week is: Funny.

I looked through my photos to see which ones really made me laugh. Here’s what I came up with.

Fish mailbox (Dempster Ave., Des Plaines)
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Speaking of fish, here are fish and duck Toby jugs:
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Dog Toby jugs:

(If you are scratching your head, wondering what a Toby jug is, I will be posting about it soon in my Open House Chicago series.)

Banana dog on Halloween
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My cat, Hazel – she would rather quench her thirst on toilet water than from her water “fountain” with constantly running water.

When she gets new catnip, she goes wild – we attached a “carrot” full of catnip to her scratching post – here she is enjoying it by licking it (and getting a little high!):
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Hazel loves to play “chase” – when we are upstairs, she’ll “hide” on the stairway and when we start coming down the stairs, she takes off!
phone photos 147I laugh also at funny political cartoons and signs, like this one at Resist Café in Des Moines, Iowa.
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More (non-political) funny signs…
Good sign! (Fire and Ice, Marengo)
This one is a funny English translation on a sign at a beach in Buzios, Brazil.
Dale and I still laugh when we remember this sign we saw in Buzios in 2003!
This one is actually a bumper sticker.
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Children can be funny! Here is my three-year-old grand-niece, Frances, pretending to dry her hair…
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…and playing dolls with her four-year-old cousin, Sylvia.
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This last picture is hilarious – my grand-nephew (age 7, first grade) drew this portrait of his mom for Mother’s Day – and I just had to include it, even though I didn’t take the photo, because…
Ben's portrait of his mom-1st grade
it really MADE ME LAUGH!

CFFC: Music & Coffee

Cee’s Fun Photo Challenge is 4th in a series of photos, in which we are to find themes.
Here is her photo for this week:
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Looking through my archives, I found the themes 2 guys, guitarmusicians, instruments, coffee, coffee house, sofa, messy stack of magazines on a coffee table.

Coffee

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Dale (my husband) enjoys a cup of coffee on his Valentine’s Day birthday, 2015

Guitar, musicians

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90 Miles Cuban Café, Lincolnwood Town Center, IL

2 guys, guitar, musicians

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Size of Sadness band members Liam (left – my future son-in-law!) and Brian,  performing at Breaking Records, Chicago

musicians, 2 guys, instruments, guitar

Tom on sax & Alicia's dad on guitar for Amazing Grace
My nephew Tom (on sax) and his father-in-law (on guitar) play at Tom’s sister’s wedding, Jan. 2014

 

coffee house, musicians, guitar, instruments, sofa, 2 guys

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David (my nephew-in-law) and Nicholas (my grand-nephew) jam at Curt’s Café, Evanston, IL, while David’s son Benjamin plays on the sofa.

 

messy stack of magazines on a coffee table

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Our cat, Hazel, sits on a stack of magazines on the coffee table.

 

 

 

 

 

CFFC: N is for…

My grand-nephew Nicholas (picture taken several years ago; Nicholas is now 21.) Not only is he handsome but he’s a talented musician also!Nicholas Keriazakos.jpgNicholas-Xmas14

November nature display in my neighborhood20171108_121602

A Nissan in NicaraguaPanama Cruise C 441.JPG

Northern Lights on an Alaskan nightDSC_0780.JPG

Native American culture at the North Dakota Cultural Center (Bismarck, ND)

KODAK Digital Still Camera
Reproduction of the first house in North Dakota, made of wooden posts, covered in bark or hide

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KODAK Digital Still Camera

 

KODAK Digital Still Camera
This winter count, created by High Dog, depicts 114 years of a Teton Dakota band’s history. Spiraling clockwise from the upper left hand corner, each pictograph represents an event in a given year. Modern winter counts continue to record significant events in tribal history.

(More about the North Dakota Cultural Center in a separate post.)

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: The Letter N (must start with N)