Well, that didn’t last long…

The Engaged Girl is getting married on September 15, and I’ll be standing in front of a photography class again on September 24. How did this happen, you might ask?

My friend who took the class when I “retired” last fall had a health scare with breast cancer this summer. Fortunately, treatment is going well and it looks like she is going to triumph in her battle with the Big C. As is often the case with people who go head to head with life threatening illnesses, she has reevaluated her priorities and decided that there are some things she wants to do now, rather than later. She and her husband have a big camper they took on a road trip to the Northwest over a year ago, and it sounds like they want to put some more miles on that baby. A LOT MORE MILES. I say “GO FOR IT!”

When she mentioned she would not be teaching this fall, I found myself offering to come back if she didn’t have anyone else lined up. I honestly don’t know where that came from, except I kind of miss it. I know I said a lot of stuff in a previous post about “passing the torch,” and it being time to move on. I guess a woman always reserves the right to change her mind. Ha!

The class will be starting nine days after my husband and I become “empty nesters,” so it might be a grand opportunity to refocus on some past loves. Watching photography tutorials to refresh my knowledge and find new ways to explain concepts will help lessen the silence in our home during the day while my husband is at work, and getting back out there to capture more photos should help add steps to my FitBit. And I’ll get to meet some more lovely people—which is always a delight.

The Shutterbug is back!

Choosing a Positive Perspective

It’s 10:27 pm and I’m choosing to write a quick post before taking care of business. It’s no secret that I have time management issues and am somewhat of a procrastinator. Oh, let’s call a spade a spade and correct that:

I am a procrastinator.

There. That’s much more honest. Ha!

A while ago I was internally bemoaning that there’s so much yet to do with the Engaged Girl’s wedding and my business has suddenly gotten very busy. Clients are wanting quotes on custom window treatments. I need to find shoes for the wedding. I need to trim and frame the table numbers for the reception. I still have to design, print, and assemble wedding program fans (because an outdoor wedding in Texas in September could go either way when it comes to (a) what we hope for—that first tiny breath of a cool front, or (b) August, The Sequel.)

The positive perspective on this is thank goodness, there are clients wanting window treatments! And thank goodness, my dress for the wedding is long, so a simple pair of flats (either navy or nude) will do fine. And thank goodness, the fans will not be that hard to put together while we watch a movie (Father of the Bride, anyone?) and will serve double-duty in an adorable way.

So here’s to looking at all life throws our way from a positive perspective!

So This Happened

It’s crazy busy (what’s new?) with work and the Engaged Girl getting married. I can’t call her the College Girl anymore, because this happened:

It’s really strange, because it doesn’t seem that long ago I was calling her the Teen Girl. Regardless, she’ll always be Our Girl, even though she’s DD’s Girl. He’s such a nice guy, we don’t mind sharing.

When one project ends, another begins…

So I’ve been meaning to post about the wrap up of our home renovation, but I wanted to wait until I got things put back in place to take some pictures. Well, I haven’t gotten things put back in place yet. Some of it, but not all of it. I still have a few cabinet doors to finish painting before I unpack the last few boxes. And I need to get my sister to help me fix the chandelier that I broke…

It will get done, and all will be well.

In the meantime, I have very exciting news! Our daughter, Jami, is getting married!

We are so excited for her and her young man. Jami and DD have known each other almost four years, and they’ve been dating almost three. He proposed on March 21, and they will be getting married in September.

I couldn’t ask for a nicer man for a son-in-law. He is a hard worker, kind and generous, and he loves our girl. Most importantly, he knows and loves Jesus.

So we’ve hit the ground running planning a wedding that is less than six months away! A venue has been secured and we hope to meet with a caterer that comes highly recommended sometime next week. The first few days were a bit stressful, but after talking with our potential caterer, we are feeling a lot more at peace with everything. Thank goodness!

I have to admit, I was a bit sad last night when I realized that this past Christmas was our last Christmas with our girl at home. I guess there’s no way to know when anything is the “last” of anything until after it’s already come and gone. We just have to focus on the happy firsts in our future. From what I can tell so far, there will be a lot of them and that makes everything all right.

DD and Jami

Little by Little

Work continued today. Jami and I ran some errands, and the crew was probably grateful that for once I wasn’t walking outside every thirty minutes or so to stare at the work being done. It didn’t stop me from taking a few more photos to share on the old blog.

This is what started the whole ball rolling – a soft spot in our kitchen floor (tile has been removed) – we were worried that our subfloors were rotten.
After our crew removed some of the old flooring, it was determined that the damage was actually minor, and probably the result of someone spilling a glass of water at some point in history and it seeped under the vinyl tile.
There are a few of these spots, though, so the plan (part of which has been executed) is to remove the plywood subfloor, leave the shiplap (or whatever that stuff up there ^^^ is called), lay hardiboard over that with a vapor barrier, and then install our new flooring.
While some of the guys were working outside on Monday, other guys were inside marking the studs behind this wretched accoustical ceiling tile. Chalk lines were popped in preparation for our new ceiling.
These are 3 1/2″ wide tongue in groove planks that will be installed on our ceiling. After an understated “crown” molding is installed around the perimeter, we are going to paint it Ultra Pure White (Behr).
The pups are a little confused by all the chaos. We’re having to keep them in the back of the house during the day and when they are set free after the crew goes home at 5:30, they are so excited!
Jane chases Kona around the empty living room!
They run a few laps around the room in the evenings after running a few around the backyard. Poor pups.
Jane honestly has had a hard time with the upheaval. She doesn’t like storms and always leans against us when the weather’s bad. The last few days the weather has been fine, but she will come and lean against my leg while I am working at my desk. She wants to know when life will return to normal. Me, too, Jane! (But won’t it be nice???)
In the living room looking toward the dining area. I am trying to imagine after the ceiling and floors have been finished, the walls have been painted and we put everything back in place. It’s almost more than I can imagine.
Standing in the dining area, looking back toward the living room. Someday those three windows (and the two in the photo above) will have plantation shutters on them.

I have to go into Houston for just a bit this morning. Whenever I have to leave the house, it’s so hard because I can’t watch the progress. Coming home is a bit of a kick, though, because there is definitely progress being made! More photos either later tonight or tomorrow!

Sally Needs a New Dress

We bought our little home almost nineteen years ago, from the widow of the man who built it in two stages. The first – a two bedroom, one bath house with a small living room and eat-in kitchen was built in 1950. The second, done in the mid 60s’, made the living room into a third bedroom and bath, the kitchen into a little sitting room and added on a new living room, dining area and kitchen. The little 900 square foot house increased to almost 1,700 square feet.

We have been dreaming of this day forEVER. We paid our last mortgage payment in October, enjoyed not having a mortgage for a couple of months, and then took out a small home equity loan to get Sally a new dress. Her crumbling blue siding was well past its prime, and she also needs some subfloor repair and new flooring. While we’re at it, we’re going to put up a beadboard ceiling!

I am really looking forward to the finished project in two or three weeks (hopefully sooner). In the meantime, here are a few pictures of the progress, beginning with the brick repair we had done:

Sad little house — we originally planned to have the brick stained to match the trim color we planned, but after they pressure washed it, we reconsidered. I’m glad I was there to see how good it looked before they stained it!
It’s looking so much better.
He is sealing the brick so it holds its color better over time.
New Hardiplank over foam insulation. This side of the house gets COLD in the winter, so we are hoping this will help.
This used to be the front of the house before the original owner turned it sideways and added on. That little window over the a/c compressor is a bathroom now, but it was the front door!
I noticed this out the brand new backdoor a few days ago. Beautiful.
Repairing rotten wood and putting in new porch posts.
They used to be skinny posts – we really like the simple way our builder dressed them up for us.
Of course, there’s always a surprise. The flat roof over the garage had a hidden leak. This has been repaired and Monday we are having a new roof put on the garage.
New backdoor and painting coming along!
First coats of paint are almost done. I am so happy with how everything is looking. Look at our red door!!!

This is all for now. I’ll be taking more photos and sharing them as the work progresses. Right now I need to go take a chandelier apart…

And then there were two…

Thursday night was a blessing, a confirmation of my decision to “pass the baton” of my photography class to Cheryl. While I enjoyed sharing my thoughts on composition that evening, as 9:00 pm rolled around I was tired and ready to call it a night. One of my students asked a question about capturing the little raindrop splashes formed when rain hits existing puddles. I froze — not because I couldn’t answer, but because class was over and unlike in the past, I did not want to stay late.

Cheryl jumped in and offered to take the two students who’d stayed behind (everyone else was gone) out to a fountain near the entrance of the building. She said they could play with their cameras and see what they came up with. I put my things in my car and then wondered over to the fountain to see how the impromptu shoot was going.

I could not be putting this class in better hands! Cheryl very generously explained some technical concepts required for shooting both moving water and shooting in low light. She then offered to pull her car around so the two students could use its headlights  to play a little longer, since by this time it was well past 9:30 pm.

We have two classes left (if you don’t count the Saturday field trip to Galveston that I throw in as a “bonus”). I’m feeling a little bittersweet, but in a good way. I’ve already given some of my resource materials to Cheryl to use (or not) as she sees fit. There’s a lightening in my spirit with the passing of this particular responsibility.

I expect I’ll always enjoy making photographs of the things that I find lovely. For that reason, I expect my blog name will continue to be “A Scribbler & A Shutterbug” for the random occasion I share a visual story with you.

 

fullsizeoutput_c1c0
I regret not picking up this Baby Brownie I saw in an antique store in Comfort, Texas last May. Aside from the fact that it’s so stinkin’ cute, I wonder who owned it and what memories he or she captured with its lens.