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!
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!
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!!
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.
“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.
Posted for Fandango’s One Word Challenge, Ragtag Daily Prompt, and Your Daily Word Prompt.
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.
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.
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!).
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.
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.
One final opinion: I like astrology better than palmistry!
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)
Speaking of fish, here are fish and duck Toby jugs:
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
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!):
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!
I laugh also at funny political cartoons and signs, like this one at Resist Café in Des Moines, Iowa.
More (non-political) funny signs…
This one is a funny English translation on a sign at a beach in Buzios, Brazil.
This one is actually a bumper sticker.
Children can be funny! Here is my three-year-old grand-niece, Frances, pretending to dry her hair…
…and playing dolls with her four-year-old cousin, Sylvia.
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…