Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Evolution Of My Blog and Photos...

Morgan, your comments have inspired me to write this particular blog... I hope that you and others will continue to enjoy reading my ramblings about my family, critters, travels, or just watching my precious grandson grow.   I want to say thanks to all of you who have made comments via email, Facebook, or on my blog itself and for encouraging me.  I am certainly not a professional photographer and I am fairly new at blogging.  I'm really not sure what I am doing, but I am having fun sharing my thoughts and pictures.   For those of you who have followed from the beginning, you know my travels to South Africa was the inspiration and start of my blog in October 2010.  I knew I would not have access to my cell phone while traveling and this gave me a way to communicate and share photos with Ashley and friends throughout our adventure.

My daughter, Ashley, found a company to print a portion of my blog into a hardcover book covering our trip to South Africa and gave it to me as a surprise... I love it!
Dennis and I have 122 pages of great memories of a fabulous trip
After returning home from our travels,  I then ventured into posting a few random things and when Tully arrived, I had no problem of having enough pictures or things to share.

I am now compiling my first photo book of Tully on my laptop.  My MacBook Pro has a program called iPhoto and it has various photo book themes to select from.  I don't really know the maximum number of pages I can put in a book just yet, but I have 78 so far; so I will just keep adding new pages as he grows.  It gives me the option to place pictures with or without captions and has various layouts for 1-6 pictures per page.  The program is simple to operate but does have it's limitations.  The book will be hardcover with pictures on front and back.  It also comes with the loose cover and gives me space to write on the front and back flaps.  Maybe I can get a few months of Tully's life in this first book before printing it... and surely the number of pictures I take will slow down at some point.  They call them grandchildren for a reason and while I might be partial, I obviously think Tully is pretty grand!
I reflect back on the way I used to compile a photo book-- for me, starting in the 70's, first taking the pics on 110 film but eventually advancing to 35mm!  I got to select from all the great speeds of film 100, 200, 400, 800, etc... depending on the action in the picture!
I thought we had a nice camera...
I'm sure you can recall the flash cubes that attached.
And we were even known to use disposable cameras before we had this!
As you can see our 35mm camera was nothing fancy either,
but it did have a built in flash!
I would then send the film off to have it developed... "Owl Photo" was one of my favorite places to send my film to, they seemed to have the best prices; but later I could take them to Wal-Mart, Mays Drug or such places locally.  I used to put my negatives in my safe deposit box (well some of them, when I remembered) in case of a house fire... thank goodness that has never happened to us.

I do also recall when the Polaroid camera came out and within a few seconds it would spit the picture out!
We had this Polaroid at the same time we had the 110 camera
I remember waving the Polaroid picture in the air as it developed being careful not to touch it... as if waving it would really help, but within seconds I had instant gratification of seeing the picture!

We also owned 2 different versions of the movie cameras, I cringe as I think about the Polavision cassettes that we have, with no way to play them...
Polavision Camera

Projector for the Polavision
which no longer works!!
And I must not forget the infamous VHS Cam Corder we owned...
...for now we can still play these videos!
I guess I still have the great memories in my head!  I keep thinking that one day I'll find a place to have them all converted to... well, what would I convert them to?  DVD's... and when will those be obsolete?  There's just something about having an actual photo in my hand to look at.

Regarding my still photos, I would place my pictures in photo books; actually I placed them in photo books for a few years, but that fell by the wayside and now I have shoe boxes and trunks full of photos.  You may remember the books that had the little black corners you placed on the page and then put the photo inside those corners... then I graduated to the photo books that had the clear pages that you lifted the flap and then placed the pics on the page that had those sticky lines... which now over the years have faded most of my pics!  But, I also do have some of the photo books with those clear sleeves that you just slide your photos into... and some of those had a space to write captions.

I managed to complete a scrapbook of our FreeWheel Bicycle trip across the State of Oklahoma ending up in Arkansas; and have started a couple other scrapbooks on vacations to England and New Zealand... but those two are yet to be completed.

So now our simple point and shoot digital camera provides me a new way to keepsake precious photos and I think this has been my best way yet!  Maybe one day I'll spend the money and buy a better quality digital camera.

Ashley and John own a nice digital camera with various lenses,
but she told me the other day "while the quality is nice, Mom,
it's capturing the moments that count!"
I don't know why I was reluctant at first to change from my 35mm to the digital?  Just change itself, I guess.  But I am so glad that I made the transition.  Taking that tiny SD card on vacation is much more simple than lugging numerous rolls of film and fearing the x-ray machines at the airport!!  I had even bought the lead bags to place my film rolls in, but who knows if they really made any difference... and who wants to pay for the "lead" weight now at an airport!

In the digital world, we have all heard the horror stories of people losing all their photos because their computer crashed!!  So, thanks to my daughter, I do backups to an external drive and this gives me hope that I won't lose my photos.  Ashley is much more computer savvy then me.  I guess the key is printing the photos and placing the external drive in a fireproof location... our safe is as fireproof as it gets for me.  I have to laugh, because there is nothing valuable in the safe, only things we don't want to lose!

Who knows what the future will hold as to cameras, but for now-- my digital camera, laptop, blog, and iPhoto will help create and share my memories.  I will have faith that the photo pages in my printed books will not fade.   I hope that one day Tully will enjoy reading about how much he is loved and how precious we think he is.  I hope he will have great memories of spending time with Grammy and PawPaw.
...the best memories will be in our hearts and our minds!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Wren Family Update...

We continue to see the male/female wrens fluttering around.  At the time of these pictures, it had been approximately 14 days since the eggs hatched.  I looked in the nest to see if the baby birds were still there and they were... they are getting big!
I think there are three of them
When I moved the plant to take a picture they began to move around a little, I could see the pink on the back of one of them, so they have not gotten all of their feathers yet.  I bet it won't be long before they leave the nest though.
Woo Hoo my plant is surviving and so are the birds!  Those aqua bulbs are working; the downfall is that I have to fill them often with water.

Other Wren Posts:
Mama Wren
Baby Wrens are Here
Empty Nest Syndrome

Friday, June 24, 2011

PawPaw's Card Shark...

June 18-21, 2011  Father's Day Weekend and Beyond... John and Ashley brought Tully and came to visit for Father's Day Weekend.  Since John was leaving on a business trip on Monday, Ashley and Tully stayed for a few days longer to visit.  I loved having them here.  He is such a good boy and such a joy!

On Friday evening we played cards on the patio.  We had Tully all ready for bed, but I think he wanted to play cards too.  I could see that look in his eyes, he is just beginning to reach for things...
Hmmm... what are these things?
...maybe I'll get closer
...almost there, maybe PawPaw won't notice!
... now maybe I should tell PawPaw which card to play
It's so fun to watch Tully see things and be intrigued with the colors and to see him use his motor skills as he begins to reach for things.  He loved those cards!

He is also easily entertained with his Activity Center at Grammy's.  He waves his arms around and whether it is intentional or not, he manages to bat the toys that hang down once in a while or he will kick one of the cross bars and it shakes the hanging toys... either way he is amused with their movement and improving his motor skills.
He watches the star light up that hangs from the top
and listen's to the music, he is such a happy baby!
June 18, 2011
Grammy's sweet little Tully is a little over 2 months old
Papa Jim and Marge also made it over for Father's Day and dinner.  Always nice to have family together.
Tully just woke up from his nap... he was full of smiles!
June 19, 2011
Cool Cat for a swim with Mommy... where's my speedo?
More Pictures?  I'm ready to stroll!
We took a few three-mile walks, even Zac got in on the action
Mommy gets some snuggle time after Tully's bath!
June 22, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Baby Wrens Are Here...

I've learned a few things about the House Wren... and yes, in fact it is a wren who built a nest in my Coleus planter!  I finally got a good view.

After reading, I learned they usually choose to build nests close to the ground and close to human homes, thus being called the "House Wren".

First of all, the male wren is the one who begins building the nest and attracts his mate by singing.  If she finds the nest to be suitable, she then finishes the nest and lays her eggs.  Sound familiar?

To solve my dilemma on how to water the plant without getting the eggs wet, I decided to buy the "as seen on tv" Aqua Globes.  (Which I had previously seen at Wal-Mart.)

I placed three of them in the planter, one at the base of each plant and somehow I have managed to keep the plants alive and not kill the eggs... because we now have baby wrens, three of them I think, maybe four.  The hole is so tiny and in an awkward spot that I can barely see inside the nest.
On June 18, I peeked in and could see the eggs had hatched
Very quickly all their little beaks were open and ready to be fed
but, obviously I had nothing to feed them!
This pic is taken a couple days later and I can see
their feathers beginning to grow.
I've learned that the male and female wren both feed the babies.  I'm sure we disturb them some when we are out on our patio, but we rarely see them coming from or going to the nest!  I understand the babies will leave the nest in approximately 12 to 18 days.

Their diet mostly consist of crawling insets and spiders...  I hope they are really hungry and clean up all my gardens!

See Other Wren Posts:
Mama Wren
Wren Family Update
Empty Nest Syndrome

Reflection in Tully's Eyes...

June 11, 2011-- 2 months
I loved this picture that Ashley sent to me...
If you look close, you can see a reflection in Tully's eyes... it is of his daddy in a blue shirt holding him AND Mommy taking the picture over daddy's right shoulder!
This is the original pic she sent me...
but, I got to looking at his eyes and noticed the reflection and zoomed in.  I was amazed that I could see them!  I emailed Ashley and asked if she had noticed it... she had not.

I thought it was a pretty cool picture... I'm lovin' his big, bright, blue eyes!

I Might Be A Farmer...

As if I am not busy enough, in April I decided to buy a few vegetable plants -- squash, zucchini, and tomatoes.  The next decision was where to plant them?  I  knew I needed to have a spot that I could easily watch and water them.

For some unknown reason to me, I had lost a few of my plants behind the pool waterfall -- my 2 Dwarf Alberta Spruce's just died along with an Euonymus shrub that I had transplanted there several years ago.  The Euonymus was just old and got a disease; and I think the Spruce's were a lack of water by me during a harsh dry winter... I really don't know.  Even with that bad luck or lack of my green thumb, I decided that would be a good spot for my vegetable garden.  It gets good sun mid day but has late afternoon shade.

I managed to get the few things planted... but weather did not totally cooperate!  It was obviously too early to plant... I don't remember exactly when, but I think it was early April, and we had a nice spell of great temps, but it seemed that soon after I planted them -- every other night temps were dropping into the 30's!  So, I began to cover them each evening with a plastic ice cream bucket until finally the  temps were suitable.

The vegetable plants actually survived and began to grow...
Squash was first to have signs of produce
Then the zucchini
and now the tomatoes
Woo Hoo... can't wait for my taste buds to savor the fresh veggies!!   I actually have harvested two squash and two zucchini and have lots of green tomatoes.  I went out on a limb and got 3 different types of tomatoes, each are to harvest at a different time, so I'll guess we'll wait and see how this farmer does!

Ashley and John were here Memorial Weekend and we grilled the first squash, but I had two zucchini and another squash just waiting for us to eat...
Father's Day was a good day for grilling them...
They were yummy!
Now, I'm ready for my tomatoes; but they are not ripe yet.  Marge tells me it is too hot for them, that the  blooms on her plants are just falling off and won't produce.  I have lots of green tomatoes, so I'm ready for them to grow and ripen!  Come on... bring on those tomatoes, my taste buds are watering!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mama Wren...

I went out to water my plants one day...
They look pretty normal, huh?
Well, look a little closer at the two twigs hanging out of the pot...
I started watering the plant and pulled on one of the twigs to throw it away, but it didn't come out... I then realized there was a bird nest in the pot.
This is the back of the nest
I looked closer and could see the opening to the nest in the front.  There were no eggs, so I just watered the plant and went on.  I had noticed a wren previously sitting on one of the patio chairs for several days, which is unusual for a bird to be under the patio.

The next time I went to water the plant, I moved the leaves to look in the nest and a bird flew out... it startled me; but, I could see several eggs in the nest... now watering the plant is a challenge!
The challenge is to get water to the roots of the plant without getting the eggs wet... but, that is not easy  because she has burrowed down into the dirt for part of her nest.  She has built the nest with twigs all around and over the eggs, with only a small hole to fly in and out of.  I'm afraid if I water too much the water will run onto the eggs... and my well water is cold!  She flys out every time I water, because I have to move the leaves to get to the base of each plant in the pot.  She is so fast and flys low behind the patio chairs... 

This is her flight path behind the chairs...
I can never get a good look to see the exact species of the bird and I have never seen her fly back into the nest.  By color of the bird, eggs, and the way the nest is built, I think it is a House Wren.  Will be interesting to see if the eggs make it with me trying to water and keep the plant alive.  I hope so, I love my birds and my gardening!

Last night was a downpour of rain and I thought how lucky this little bird is with her eggs all snug and protected under the patio.  This plant only gets a peek of sun and then is mostly shaded.
I'll update this blog when the eggs hatch!  I'm thinking positively  :-D

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Those Awful Immunization Shots...

Wednesday, June 8, 2011... 9 weeks old

Time for the dreaded immunization shots.  It was hard for Grammy to watch that blood curdling cry for the first time -- only in the Dr's office!

Tully didn't feel good all day...

Poor little legs... 3 shots!

A nap with Grammy seemed to help!

Almost a smile...

He is such a sweet boy and is growing so fast!

Papa Jim's 75th Birthday

Thursday, June 2, 2011

It was a nice surprise birthday dinner for Papa Jim with family & friends at Freddie's Steak House in Mannford.  We celebrated Jim's 75th birthday and it gave him another opportunity to spend time with Tully.
4 Generations...
Ashley, Papa Jim, Dennis, and Tully
Marge takes her turn holding Tully

Jim Tull, Jimmie Donaldson, George Worthy

Sweet Audrey Donaldson

Rick & Linda Bruner, Lou Worthy, Missy Donaldson, Audrey

George Worthy, Debbie &  Joe Maggard

Marge Overlease, Sherry Rowland, Don Stafford

Ashley, Tully & John Cockerham
Me with my sweet grandson, Tully

Tully made a quick change of clothes
and was headed to the kickball game
8 weeks old

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