Friday, October 10, 2014

Carbon Dioxide

When Lucy loses track of me or wants my attention in a busy store, she yells "Carbon Dioxide" instead of Mommy.  This sets her apart from all the other kids yelling "mommy".  It is a very unique but effective call.  It is said that mama birds teach their young a distinct call so that they know their babies cry.  This is ours.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lunar Eclipse

On Wednesday morning, I woke up my children at 4:45 a.m.  Lucy grabbed her favorite blankie and Emma grabbed her phone for pictures.  We padded barefoot out the front door, across the street, to a neighbor's driveway and looked west over our house as the moon fell into the earth's shadow.

It was a morning I will never forget.  We three sat in our neighborhood and talked and talked and talked.  I tried with words to explain to Lucy what was happening to the moon.  After I finished explaining, Emma said, "Do you see that leaf out there in front of us?"  There was a leaf about 3 feet out in front of us on the driveway.  It was lit up by the garage light behind us.  Emma used her hand to make a round shadow and began covering the leaf with the shadow.  She told Lucy that her hand was the earth, and the leaf was the moon.  As we watched it fall into the shadow she stopped as it became fully eclipsed by her hand.  Then she moved it again so that the leaf would fall back into the light from the garage (sun) from the opposite side.  Lucy immediately said "Now I've got it."  What a great lesson for Lucy.

I remarked that I had always wanted to go to the moon and really wish I had had the opportunity.

Emma said "I will take pictures for you when I get there."

Blood moon mosaic by Πανδώρα Άγαδακις
Ingress Mosaic from Texas
Image every five minutes with a regular DSLR and processed using Gimp (just as good as Photoshop and free!)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Goat Island

Last night we met sailors from our lake on an island called Goat Island. We brought our sailboat over and met up with old and new friends. Everyone brought a dish for a potluck meal on the beach. It was one of the best nights I have had on our lake.

Mike and Emma went exploring and hiking with a good friend after dinner. Lucy and I explored the shoreline looking for fossils. 

The shore where we were was rocky and had beautiful smooth stones that had been weathered by the water. 

The girls played on the beach (aka mud). 

We watched the sunset with friends, laid in a hammock and looked at the stars. We watched the international space station fly over and pondered what the scientists on board were doing.  

The girls fell asleep on the boat before we could make it back to the marina. 

It was a great night.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Uncle Bob's

We drove the three hours from the west coast to the east coast and made it to Palm City, Florida. We are staying with Mike's brother Bob. 

Saturday morning we got up early and went out on a boat to go snorkeling.  Thank you Lee!

It was a beautiful morning to be out on the water. 

Emma saw a sting ray leap out of the water and curl it's wings back. I'm so glad she got to see that. We also saw a rather large nurse shark while snorkeling.  (Don't tell Lucy.)

We saw dolphins while we were heading back in to the dock. That was definitely the highlight of the trip. 

After getting the boat cleaned up we headed out to bathtub beach for more snorkeling and playing in the sand. Mike made Lucy into a rhinoceros. 

We saw a full rainbow right as the rain hit. So we packed up and headed home for the night. 

It was an amazing day.

Florida: End of Week One

After stopping in northern Florida and giving the girls a taste of the beach, we drove all day and arrived at our hotel on Sunday night.  Settling in was a big job, as we have a lot of stuff.  The bell man seemed unaccustomed to a family of four staying for nearly a week.  With only valet service for our car, we felt the need to bring anything we might want from the car to our room.

View from our room.

The week was full of sailing for the girls, chauffeuring for Mike, and working for me.  The girls were in sailing camp on Davis Island.  They have a very active yacht club, aptly named Davis Island Yacht Club.  Their youth sailing program is top notch.  Those counselors worked so hard.  The girls were bone tired in the evening. When I arrived back to the room at the end of my conference they were just getting the salt water off of them.  I was met with stories of jellyfish and pelicans and moon jellies and manatees. 

While I was learning about exporting data, Lucy was learning this handy little trick called "tiller towards trouble".  When you look like you are going towards something in your little boat, like another boat, or a dock you don't want to hit, or something else you would like to avoid, you push your tiller towards it.  This pushes your boat the other direction.  Tiller towards trouble.  She will never forget that.  (I hope they told her to duck when she does that.)

Both girls were on Opti's.  Emma learned how to rig one from start to finish.  She was on a boat by herself from the beginning.  They put her with a much younger boy who was afraid midway through the week, because she was such a capable sailor that they knew he would be safe.   

We went to the beaches in the evening.  We went to St. Pete Beach and combed the shore for shells.

The water was so warm.

The next day we took Emma out of sailing camp at noon (Lucy's was already over at noon) and drove out to St. Petersburg again and this time spent some time on Ft. Desoto Island.

Quite a few people are asking me what I shoot with.  I do some pictures with my iPhone 5s, but the really in-focus photos are shot with a Canon Rebel T5i.  But the great shots are because of two lenses.  One is the lens that came on my Canon when I bought it from Best Buy here.  The other lens I can't live without is my 50mm lens.  But I dump everything back onto my phone to edit using Instagram. And I do this using a wifi  SD card. This sends the photos from my DSLR right to my phone, so I can edit using Instagram and then upload.

This was in YBOR city.  An immigrant community and mecca for cigars and great food!

When it was time to leave Tampa, we picked up our little sailors from sailing camp and said goodbye to the Opti's and new friends.  Emma was approached by one of the counselors who asked her "Has Ray asked you about trying out for the sailing team, because you are really good?"  She explained that she was from Oklahoma and it would not be possible, but that was quite a compliment.

We left Tampa on Friday for the three hour drive to the east coast of Florida to see Uncle Bob.  But that is another post entirely.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Tampa: Day One

Report on the day:   Emma and Lucy loved sailing camp.  When I returned to the hotel room from my conference I asked both girls about their day.  Emma said "It was awesome".  She took a boat out all by herself.  She said she feels confident and even though she hit the buoys a couple of times she feels like she can handle it.  She doesn't feel like there is a lot of room in the Opti but is comfortable sailing it.

Lucy went out on an Opti with two other little girls all by themselves.  "We just barely ran into a big boat with our boat, Mom".  It sounds like she had a great half day at sailing camp.  She spent the afternoon playing with her daddy.  She also described her day as great.

I went to my conference in this building.  It is one amazing place.


And if you ask me about my tour of this magnificent facility, "It was awesome!"  Although they would not let me take photos; I was so disappointed.  They were running a trauma simulation that was similar to a Boston marathon trauma and I can see why they wouldn't have wanted that on film.  It was very, um, disturbingly real. 

This facility is really spectacular and I get to go back tomorrow!

We went to dinner on a trolley and had the most wonderful evening. We watched flamenco dancers and ate in a beautiful historic restaurant. 

Good night!