Sunday, January 27, 2013

So Falls Niagara Falls

Carly was curious about my other shots of Niagara Falls in winter, which date from February 1986. I think John took most of them, possibly all of them. Here's some of what I have floating around on my hard drives. They have mostly been posted before, but six years ago and longer.

I think it was -11 degrees F that day, and windy. Miserable weather, but well worth it to see this! This was during our "driving around the country, looking for someplace it wasn't winter" trip. But when even the Florida Keys were rather chilly, we drove north to where it was really winter. We saw the Falls, visited my Dad in Syracuse for his birthday, and ended up photographing snow sculptures in Montreal.

My favorite moment was when we stood on the river itself, just a little upstream from the falls. There was a little island that the water would normally rush past, but it was so heavily frozen that the snow and ice extended past the land. Daringly, I stepped out on the frozen patch of river, perhaps a few hundred feet from what you see here. 

I think my pseudo death defying feat was somewhere near this spot!

I think of this as the "grotto" shot. I remember looking through an observation window in a gift shop or museum or something, and seeing nothing but ice.

 I later did an FX version of the lamppost shot above, lighting the inside with fire.

All of the photos were originally developed in some other city after we left the Niagara Falls area. They came out all gray and awful. Fortunately, that's fixable to some extent with modern photo editing software!


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Round Robin: Long Enough, Far Enough

Okay, so I can't give you the oldest of my old photos for the Round Robin Challenge: Long Ago, Far Away. My oldest photo album, the one I filled up in about third through eighth grade, is hiding from me. But I do have lots of photos from 1986, when we drove around the country, looking for someplace it wasn't winter. I've shared a bunch of them before, including shots of Niagara Falls in winter, Boot Hill in Tombstone, and some backyard wildlife photos. But let me try for some new 1986 scans for you.

 Hannibal, MO. I eventually won second or third prize in a camera store photo contest with the photo I took a few seconds later.

 Niagara Falls in February. The store that developed the film basically ruined the roll, making everything gray.

Lookout Mountain and Rock City, Chattanooga, TN.


Now let's see the bumper crop of other Robins' pictures from long ago and far away!

Linking List
as of Saturday, 1/26/13, 5:46 PM MST

Karen - Posted!
Outpost Mâvarin

Carly - Posted!

Freda - Posted!
Day One

My Blog Thingy

Martha - Posted!
Seaside Simplicity

Jama - Posted!
Sweet Memories

Tina  - Posted!
Tina´s PicStory said...
my entry:

Ria **Welcome, new participant!** - Posted!

Bobby **Welcome, new participant!** - Posted!
Creative Collision

3 Sides of Crazy **Welcome, new participant!** - Posted!

Flashback Friday #5: College Compadres

Here's a quick scan for Flashback Friday.

From left: Evelyn Orlando (now Dee Wolke, then nicknamed Schmendrick), Betsy Cronin, whom I lost track of immediately after leaving school, and me, circa early 1979. Evelyn was my sometime roommate and friend through most of my first stint in college, and ultimately my co-maid of honor in 1979. Betsy was also a close friend at the time, but I could never find her again afterward. We hung out together, played D&D together, went to see Superman (the first Christopher Reeve one) together.

More old photos coming right up!


Friday, January 18, 2013

Flashback Friday #4: Thinking of Dad

Martha of the blog Seaside Simplicity has a meme, Flashback Friday. I have a bunch of photos from my dad's papers that need scanning, so....

My mom had this old photo of my dad on her vanity mirror as I was growing up. Until the divorce, that is. I found this in my dad's desk in June after my stepmother died.

This was in a box of my dad's papers when we went through his stuff after Christmas. It was almost certainly taken at my brother's high school graduation party in our back yard in Manlius. It's my dad, me, and my brother Steve.

Steve told me something while we were in Wilmington that I'd never, ever suspected. When my mom was pregnant with me, my dad asked Steve what girl's name he liked for a little sister. Steve was watching Mickey Mouse Club at the time, and he had a bit of a crush on little Karen (Steve was six years old at the time). So I'm named after Karen Pendleton! 

He doesn't know it yet, but my dad is leaving North Carolina soon and coming to live in a memory care unit a couple of miles away from me here in Tucson. He'll be here on February 6th.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Round Robin: In My Hermit Cave

Two weeks ago, when it was time for the Round Robin Photo Challenge, I was at my dad's condo in Wilmington, NC. My stepmother died back on June 1st and my dad had been in the hospital or in a rehab facility since mid-November, and he wasn't very computer-savvy even before his dementia hit. So there was no longer any Internet at my dad's place, except for on my iPhone. If you've ever tried to do a photographic blog entry on an iPhone you know it can be a tedious, frustrating process.

The next night I was on the road when I posted the next Round Robin Challenge, In My Room. I was trying to play catch-up that night on some work I'd promised to do for my second job, so I didn't put a lot of time into my post. Neither did anyone else: so far I'm the only one who has signed up for it. (Updated: Jama has posted her entry, too!) And I only signed up yesterday myself!

Nevertheless, here's my entry. I asked to see anything you might think of as your room, whether it's a bedroom, an office, your favorite room at a museum or library or whatever. I illustrated the Challenge post with a shot of my hotel room that night. But now I'm home, and my thoughts turn to other rooms that have been "mine," past and present.

Here's the only bedroom shot I intend to give you tonight. This is me in my room in Manlius, NY in 1971, age about 14.

I grew up, ran a store for a while, worked in other people's stores, became a travel agent, and then became a bookkeeper. At Worldwide Travel from 1993 to 2005, I worked in a back room with a window on the rest of the office. I used to say that someone could give birth up front and I wouldn't know about it unless someone thought to come back and tell me. I called that office my "hermit cave."

My next office, at First Magnus, was not a hermit cave. It wasn't even a room, just a flimsy cubicle.So never mind showing off that one tonight!

This shot of my office at church was taken three years ago. It's a bit messier now, and the bulletin board has a lot more on it. Otherwise it hasn't changed much. And it's a bit of a hermit cave, too. On Tuesday I brought my dogs to work, because they're welcomed there and to give the dogs a treat after being left alone at home and at the animal hospital, respectively, while we were out of town. Unfortunately, Father Smith's very jealous dog was also in the office that morning. So my door was closed to keep Stevie from getting at Cayenne and Pepper. At least two people who wanted to stop by and see me saw the closed door and did not feel free to come in.

My other hermit cave is a little office off the reception area of Small Non-Profit, my second job (not its real name). The post-Christmas addition is that black box on the left side of my desk: a SoundFreaq dock and speaker system for my iPhone and iPad. Hooray!

Just yesterday I took a lot of pictures of another room, another potential hermit cave.  I had just received word that The Cascades of Tucson, which has a memory care unit, is willing to take my dad, based on detailed discussion of his medical history with the place where he is now. The room pictured here is the mirror image of the one I just put on hold for him. He'll be in Tucson before the end of the month. With me now working three jobs and resuming work on my novels and trying to start walking again as my knee heals, I don't know how I'm going to fit it all in once I add daily visits to my dad to my routine!

It's not too late to join in on this Challenge. Check out the link, and let's see your room!


Linking List
as of Saturday, January 12th, 2012, 1:21 AM

Karen - Posted!
Outpost Mâvarin

Jama - Posted!
Sweet Memories

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Round Robin: Good Riddance, 2012!

For the Round Robin Challenge: Goodbye 2012, I asked to see one or more photos that represent 2012 in some way. For me it's been a year of transitions, and mostly not in a good way. I am actually in a car going west at 68 mph right now, so let me just share one photo on my iPhone and fill in details later.

Here are my dad, myself and my brother on Friday, December 28th, 2012. It's been a difficult year for all of us.

In January, my brother Steve went into the hospital with congestive heart failure, severe edema and kidney trouble and nearly died. He was in two hospitals and a rehab center for the next several months, recovering his ability to walk and feed himself while navigating his way through the Social Security and health care systems and trying to get the doctors to coordinate his meds and not overdose him. He's much better now, but still walks with a walker.

As for me, I lost a friend, Jan Lockett, to MRSA and kidney failure in January. In March I finally got a second part-time job, but as a temp, with a long commute. I finally became an actual employee in November. I've lost over 90 pounds this year, but hurt my knee a couple of weeks ago, which puts the kibosh on my walking any decent distance for exercise until it heals. So it's definitely been a year of ups and downs!

My dad started the year slowly going downhill with aortic fibrillation and dementia. In May my stepmother Ruth was diagnosed with cancer; on June 1st she died. Since then my dad has deteriorated rapidly in cognition. After five months of round the clock caregivers at home he went into the hospital with a-fib and urological issues, got a UTI and MRSA and nearly died. He's about to be discharged from rehab, and will need to be moved to Tucson, never again returning to his home. I had a great place lined up for him, but the concern is that his level of health may preclude his going there. So it's back to square one in finding him a place to live.

This week what's left of the family - my two stepsisters, Steve and I - convened at Dad's house to divide his personal property so the leftovers can be disposed of and the house sold to help pay for his care. Steve was delayed over 24 hours by storms and US Airways shenanigans and missed Amy entirely, who had to return to Detroit. Dad had no clue who Steve was, and introduced himself. But we got the job done and the papers signed.

Now John and I are on our way home in my dad's 2005 Prius, which is now ours. My dog Pepper is currently in an animal hospital at home, recovering from tick fever, not eating much or popping at all, and possibly cancerous. And my boss wants to know when I'm going to get the work done that I promised to do while on the road. But there was no Internet access at Dad's house, so this is my first evening back online since Christmas. I'm sitting on a bed at a truly cruddy motel with a cracked microwave oven and a messed up heater, but at least I've got free Wi-Fi. I'd better get to work!

Normally I would post the Linking List here so you could visit the other Robins and see what they found photographically worthy for this Challenge, but it's already taken me forever and three different devices to get this far with this post. Please click the link at the top of this entry to see the original Round Robin Photo Challenges entry, and click on the links you will find there. Thanks! And I promise to be more cheerful in my next post - I hope!