Saturday, January 31, 2009

Project 52 - The road home

I have a gypsy spirit. I don't know how I came by it, but it's as much a part of me as breathing. I always wonder what's over the hill, even when there is no hill. It's led me to have more than 13 addresses as an adult and I'm reasonably sure there's a couple more to come.

This shot was just before sunset, on my way home from work. I didn't think the camera would even focus, since I was driving and holding it with one shaky hand. I do love the traffic here.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Memories of Another Time

James Mundy Tollman
My poor, frozen sister is home in Arizona again. She made good use of her time here.She came with the intention of visiting with our uncle and hopefully being able to scan the small number of family photos and documents he had collected through the years. Almost 1500 individual scans later, she breathed a huge sigh of relief and was done. With only one night's sleep and then off to the airport,she sure has earned her rest. I wish she could have stayed longer.

It will be a while before she manages to rename and organize her files, make an index and then bless everyone in the immediate family with this massively impressive archive of our Tollman/Anderson ancestors. For anyone who's interested, here's a tiny peek at the wonders to come.

Meet my maternal great grandfather, James Mundy Tollman,at age 17 in 1893. He's an ambitious young man, soon to become a western Nebraska homesteader in 1899. One day, he'll be father to four children. I wonder what he was thinking this day. He's certianly handsome, isn't he?

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Project 52- Week 3

Winter in Nebraska takes many forms; snow has it's own personality. This morning we awoke to a light, gently falling peaceful snow, just the kind of snowy memory my Arizona sister needed to take home with her. No harsh wind and a balmy 14°.This isolated scene is outside the town I live in and captures rural midwestern winter in my mind's eye perfectly.

We had plans to have brunch with relatives in a nearby town. On the way home we did a little detour to the small town where our Dad grew up. My sister hasn't had too much excitement on her visit; for most of the week either the Viking or I have been seriously flattened by a virus. Fortunately she's escaped and I recovered enough by Saturday that we did a little antique shop memory hunting and wandering around ancestoral stomping grounds.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


It's funny how the littlest of things can elicit memories. Who would have guessed that both my sister and I would have such a fondness for old door knobs?

She's visiting this week and we were able to spend time in our grandparent's old home. It was built in the early 1900's as the Friendship Church of God, and became their home in 1951. Much of the house remains the same, all these years later, the things we remembered most as kids.

My sister and I were both elated that the elegant orignal glass door knobs we both remembered were still there. I honsetly expected to discovered that other relatives had taken them off. The home is still in the family and used as an office.

We grew up in a typical 60's era tract house. For me, at least, visiting the grandparent's on their farm became almost as much a trip to soak in more of the house as it did to see family.
This this most unusual house full of glass door knobs,
arched doorways and wooden trim was so different than my own, it was like venturing into another world. Today was a day for time travel.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Pink Glasses

Aren't these the most fun glasses ever? Well, they are if you're a crazy cat lady! I think they may be the wildest glasses I've ever worn, and I've had some colorful one's since "readers" became a mandantory part of my wardrobe. These little beauties were tucked into my Christmas stocking by an equally crazy cat lady.

The way I see it, if you're going to be over 50 and have to wear readers over your contacts to use the computer or read anything, you might as well have a sense of humor about it all. Besides, the "meow,meow" and "here kitty, kitty" all over them distract everyone from noticing that the crinkles around my eyes aren't quite fulfilling the promises of renewal made by Oil of Olay, just yet anyway.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Project 52

There's a lot of buzz these days about Project 365, Project 52 and others I can't even remember. They basically all boil down to the same thing, creating a photo record of your life. The photo a day Project 365 just sounds like too much to me so I'm going to go with the 52, one photo a week idea. Ideally, I'll get them digitally scrapped too.

I think it's interesting that all around me EVERYONE, whether I know them in person or just cruise their blog is getting turned on to doing more with their cameras this year. On almost the same day, my sister posted about her "my year of the camera", I enrolled in a photography class, a coworker started talking about buying a new camera, daughter and son-in-law started Flicker pools for their photo experiments. It's like a massive wave of photo-lust has swept the planet.
I pretty much take a photo every week (at least) anyway, so maybe it's cheating just a bit to do my normal thing and call it a project. Either way, its good. So, here are my catching up photos. Week one at the top of the page was on New Years Day. This is straight out of the camera, at the west end of the small city of Beatrice,NE.

Week 2, is this little organza blue angel. She's just the palest shade of blue imaginable. My sister has one almost exactly like her, only in pink. They came from my Grandma Opal. As we were told, they were package decorations on Christmas presents. Since my third sister doesn't have an angel, we had to have gotten them from 1957-1959. Mine is missing a little golden instrument of some sort, maybe a harp?
She doesn't like having her photo taken. I have taken 30 some shots of this ornament this season, ALL except this one have been awful, blurry despite even resorting to a tripod. Almost makes me wonder if someone wasn't sending me holiday wishes each and every time I focused on her, until this very last shot.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Back to School

I'm back in school... in a fashion. When the community college booklet of continuing education classes came a couple of weeks back, I decided it was time to do something different this winter. An intro to digital photography seemed like just the thing. Once I decided to go, the Viking thought it might be an ok thing too.

So tonight after a quick dinner out we went to class. I expected this first class to not be very enlightening since I'm pretty savvy in digital terminology, file saving, pixels and resolution and tonight was starting from ground zero. I was right. I'm sure next week will be more interesting for me.

The class is a short one, only 6 hours, but I'm hoping to pick up some new ideas and hints.The instructor has been a professional photographer for 30 years. He's an interesting speaker and has an excellent way of explaining things like image compression in .jpg format and what lenses area actually doing. One new thing I did learn tonight, is that I prefer my photography education without religious commentary. 'nuf said.

So, wanna see my camera? It's not exactly point and shoot because it has full manual control, but it's also a great point and shoot. What I am hoping to get out of this class is an understading of it's capabilities and how to begin to use them. And some tips on better flash shots. Right now, I almost always turn the flash off because when I do use it the pictures are awful. Once I get this little guy mastered, I'll join the big leagues.

Anyway, this camera has
  • 7.1 megapixels
    6x optical zoom with optical image stabilizer
  • ISO 800
  • 1 centimeter (.4-inch) Macro mode

It can handle additional lenses, and it's a rugged camera, great for me. I dropped it, lens down last summer on the pavement, and the only problem was the cute little lens bezel got dented and wouldn't stay on. I love this camera.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Weird Word Wednesday

This one comes from a novel I'm reading, Lisey's Story by Stephen King. The word as he uses it, incuncabilla, isn't one I could find exactly, but it is how the main character hears the word.

I think the actual word is incunable or incunabulum, either of which is completely new to me, maybe you won't know it either.

in·cu·nab·u·lum , (nky-nby-lm, ng-) n. pl. in·cu·nab·u·la (-l)
1. Bands holding the baby in a cradle

2. A book printed before 1501; an incunable.
3. A work of art or industry of an early period.

Either way, it's certianly an unusual work, seeming to date to the 1860's in first use. Somehow, I don't quite see how it's going to come up in my daily writing, but what a killer word to know for a Scrabble game!