As of today, we have a student driver…
I’m not really ready for this, but here we go.
If you follow on Instagram, you saw that we had to put our pug, Gigi, down yesterday. Gigi was to turn 11 this September, which is pretty old for pugs. Her health was beginning to deteriorate as well as her overall happiness. So, we made that hard call.
We bought Gigi at a little pet shop in Bangkok in 2005. We had talked about getting a family pet prior to the day, and we happened upon this shop the day they had two baby pugs. Gigi was the smallest of the two, and most likely the runt of the litter. She was just so cute, so we brought her home. We named her after our home state of Georgia, but decided to call her Gigi.
Gigi was a rambunctious puppy with a strong mind of her own. She was funny and playful until about year three when she began having clusters of seizures every 6 months or so for almost 8 years. She was never fully the same after her first episodes and each cluster most likely brought about some damage to her body. She became less and less playful and more prone to just lounge the days away. She was a sweet companion, even so.
Her favorite winter lounging place was by the fire.
She was the ever hopeful dog for whatever morsels of food she could find, or beg for though. She guarded her food like nothing else. “Treat” was her favorite word.
Thank you to those who left sweet words on my Instagram feed yesterday. That means so much! We are sorrowful over the loss of our Geege, but happy that she is no longer feeling the effects of age and health issues. She was a good friend to us for 10+ years. We are heading out today to take in some sweet time of fun and rest in Florida with family before the school year crazy begins.
We will miss you Gigi…
I didn’t mean to disappear for over a week. You may remember that my kids and I traveled to Cherokee, NC to participate in a trip to serve the Eastern Band of Cherokee in North Carolina. The internet was bad, very bad. So, I was not able to blog or check in. In fact, I pretty much used up our monthly data just to check in briefly on my phone.
However, our trip was good, very good.
I’m not sure how to talk about it here. I want to be careful to keep the dignity of others in tact. I’m not sure how much you may know about the lives of the people of Cherokee, but I want to speak of those concerns with grace. I’m still figuring that out a bit. I’ll share more this week.
Cherokee is in The Great Smokey Mountains. Aptly named.
There is a good deal of touristy type things along some stretches of roads, but there are also some great museums that tell the story of the Cherokee. I wish I could have visited those. I hear the Cherokee have a drama that is really well done and tells their story.
We stayed on the “reservation” and I was in awe of the beauty of the land. With the exception of a few areas of shopping and tourism, the land is just gorgeous this time of year.
The Cherokee reside in the Qualla Boundary which is roughly 82.6 sq miles and is not truly a reservation, but a land trust governed by the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Our church has served the people here for 18 years of summer trips. There are generational connections and relationship that have been built in those 18 years and both sides greatly look forward to the week spent together. It was so good to go and photograph the trip and just be a learner.
We spent the week with babies, kids, teens, young mothers, and older mothers who have brought their kids in those very first years, and are now bringing their grandkids. It was such a sweet time.
The Cherokee kids love painting rocks, and the day began this way every day. What a joy it was to spend a week with new friends.
More on that later…
Linking up with Randomosity!
What a week for us all here in the U.S. of A. I’m sure many of you are as heavy- hearted and discouraged as I am this week with all the tragedies unfolding out of Orlando this week. Perhaps more than ever we need our Little Things this week to remind us that even in an ugly world, there are still good things to be found. Grace is still keeping us. We really need to put on our grace googles going forward, I think. It is so easy to get bogged down in this broken world, but I think we need to do a better job of lighting the way through the darkness for others.
To that end, a few nice things this week.
What’s your little thing this week?
Welcome to Little Things Thursday, the linky where we share the little things that are making us currently happy through images and words.
This week has been busy with getting the kids back and forth to VBS. They are enjoying their week, while I am enjoying a little time to work on a few things.
Some things I am currently enjoying this week are:
I’m only halfway through, but I’m learning a couple of fun ways of approaching the topic of happiness. Gretchen Rubin is a podcaster that I have recently been introduced to and her thoughts on the tendencies of people are intriguing. I really love the topic of personality. So, I decided to pick up a couple of her books for summer reading. Rubin essentially selected 12 things she desired to improve in her life to work on over the course of a year. She breaks each of those topics down to tell how she approached the changes. The biggest take away that I’ve learned so far is to “act the way you want to feel”. Yes. I think this is such great advice. You know?
Speaking of podcasts…
I found another fun one called Sorta Awesome. You can find it in iTunes. Megan Tietz used to write for the blog Sorta Crunchy, and has now developed to a full-time podcaster. I’ve added this to my exercise podcast-listening rotation. If you like podcasts, check this one out.
Finally, my three kiddos and I are preparing to head out on June 25th to Cherokee, NC. to assist with hosting a VBS program with kids living in the Cherokee nation. My daughter has participated twice, and this will be my boys’ first trip, of many, I’m sure. I will be helping with the documentation of the week, while our kids serve the kids from the reservation. Everyone is looking forward to the time. Oh and yeah…the little one here has a busted forehead after a run in with an exercise band. He is all glued up and on the mend. This kid…
How’s your summer going? What’s making you happy this week?
Happy Little Things Thursday! Hope you guys are having a great week. The weather is looking up here as we finally hit the 80’s and I think those temps may be here to stay!
In other words…basically summer. I couldn’t be happier about that.
In summer’s honor, beach photographs!
I love these idyllic images that I can go back to when I need a little escape from reality, which may not be too far off in the end of the school year rush. 4 weeks til summer!
What are you shooting this week?
In the middle of our street…
…on a Tuesday morning…
This past Friday the boys and I decided to go for a hot chocolate date during the hour my daughter spends in math tutoring. I realized that an hour spent pent up in the car, in a packing lot, was just not a good fit for two active boys. Furthermore, two bored and ansty boys are not a good fit for this Mama. Know what I mean?
We have a couple fun outings nearby that we can totally see in a hour. This week it was the Senoia Coffee Cafe, also known by Hollywood as Woodbury Coffee House.
We ordered a couple hot chocolates and a mocha for Mama. No zombies on the menu, today.
Gosh, I love coffee shop light! Who wants a coffee shop session?
Sipping hot drinks quietly only lasts about 3 seconds, so we took our cups on the go. Our boys do not watch The Walking Dead, but since it is still fun to see the filming area, we walked a few paces over to where the sets sit behind a barricade.
We tried to use the big rocks across from the sets to peer over the wall, but no such luck for we three shorties. There are signs nearby that say, “No, Nope. Not you. Don’t even think about it.”
Well, not exactly those words, but those sentiments. The security guards basically look the same way. But anyway, there it is behind the wall.
I think filming ended in the fall, so not much is happening here currently. The last activity I can recall was the odd catering tent set up last October on the way to school drop off.
I love this wall of rocks in the area and always have, so we grabbed a couple shots.
And then our hour out and about ended. We had five minutes to spare to make pick up for my daughter.
It was a short and sweet way to kick off the weekend.
It takes me a few months to get through a couple rolls of film, so I just got my scans in this past Thursday from late fall! My family and I spent Thanksgiving in Florida with my husband’s parents. I only brought film cameras along so I could not only practice, but also be in the moment.
My keeper rate was slim out of 72 shots and 5 or so were blank due to a sticking shutter. But, failing is part of the process of making changes for future rolls, so I always take a little something away to work on. And I made a big boo boo on one roll of film in which I thought I was shooting with one stock, but it was actually not the stock I thought. I rated for the other stock, which meant that I have to compensate for my mistake in development by pushing. I know many wonder, “why bother with film?” But, I really find the experimenting fascinating, challenging, and creative. So, I persist!
Portra 400 35mm rated 200
We spent most of our days in Mimi and Puppa’s pool. Heated, of course. The hot tub was also a hit.
Ektar 100 rated 200 and pushed 1 stop in development.
Here is where I made a mistake. Can you see the difference in the two stocks of film? I thought I was shooting Portra the whole time, but in a rush I grabbed Ektar 100 and loaded. Ektar is punchy and a great stock for summery colorful images. But, you need to rate your ISO properly. Thinking I was using Portra, I left the ISO at 200 because I like to overexpose it. But, 200 on Ektar 100 is underexposed. I needed to have the lab leave my film in the developer longer to bring back contrast and cover my mistake. The punchy, strong contrast doesn’t bother me, but I typically favor creamier skin tones.
Ektar 100 rated 200 and pushed 1 stop in development
I ended up toning down the red around her eyes in Photoshop. Ektar can really make redness pop. I do love the strong colors here, generally. The greens look amazing!
Portra 400 rated 200 and Ektar 100 rated 200 and pushed 1 in development
Ektar 100 rated 200 and pushed 1 in development
So my take-aways from this round were to watch my stock and rate accordingly. Two, try to control the harsh light a little better in strong sun, and to maybe use my other film camera more to combat the shutter issue with the Minolta SRT 101. I just love that the Minolta has a prime lens, and my Nikon FM 10 is a zoom.
Until next time…
I’ve been on a mission this January to find the good of normally gray, glum days. January can be a bit of a drag, to me.
But not this year.
And though we aren’t quite out of the month yet, I’d say that January has been good to us! We’ve had sunny days more than not, I think!
We’ve enjoyed creature comforts like warm soups, savory pot pies, hot chocolate teaming with marshmallows, and Funfetti cupcakes.
I saw a few snowflakes the day before I turned 44. I’ve always wished for snow on my birthday. This was pretty darn close. And a bit hilarious when you see the “accumulation”.
I’m really thankful for the good that I found, but honestly, I’m learning that it’s all about fixing your eyes to see the good before you.
If you look for it, you will surely find it!
Linking with Randomosity.