I have three photo shoots that must be wrapped up before I can devote my full attention to yesterday's Fifth Annual Worldwide Photo Walk photos, but I just had to share this one of Gracie, who went inside a barn yesterday at the Wyoming Hereford Ranch and met me at the door wielding a pitchfork. I have a Gracie, and she knows how to wield a pitchfork. I hope the world feels a little safer for you this Monday morning.
What an odd collection of pictures this turned out to be : )
1. Sunrise over the 20th AF building, 7:19 am. I miss the pine trees that were lost to the pine beetles, but their absence does allow one to see the sunrise a little better.
2. We live in one of the safest places in the entire United States. We joke that it's like walking out the door into a movie set in 1953. And yet, in a week like this one, I battle against the parts of myself that could easily cause me to become completely paralyzed with worry when these two (and their sister, seven minutes before) walk to the top of the circle to catch the bus. We let them do it on their own now because we probably won't let them do it on their own in the next place we live, wherever that is. Jessica Ridgeway's physical description was identical to Madeline Dillow's.
3. Because I hurt my knee last weekend, I am not running right now—which means I'm back to drinking coffee in the morning. I have my coffee after the girls leave for school, making me feel like one of the moms in Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle.
4. There are so many benefits of being married to The Sunbeam of Knowledge; on this particular morning, it was saving Bridget from ingesting metal shavings in her Frosted Mini Wheats. Apparently there was a recall on Frosted Mini Wheats 12 hours before, and The Sunbeam came into the kitchen to tell me to throw them away just as I was about to pour milk on them for Bridget.
5. This was a day of a multiple projects all requiring the computer, and this is the black computer screen after the power went out again. I don't know what's going on around here, but the power has gone out more since September 1 than it has in the previous five years. And we all know what happens to my nerves when my computer is hard-powered off abruptly.
6. Before base housing was privatized, having a leaf on one's yard was very near a felony around here. It is very odd to me that no one is raking leaves this fall, including the new private company that took over all our yardwork. There are leaves everywhere.
7. Checking on the desk. It is ready to be sanded and primed. I've decided to paint it instead of stain it.
9. I am the official photographer of the 320th MS. No, this is not Matt's squadron. Ahem. We had to improvise because the perfect light suddenly turned into blazing sunshine in all the wrong places while we waited for the last of the crews to arrive from the field. There were actually 57 people in this photograph, which is the largest group I've ever done. We're going to create an old-fashioned version, because while I may not (yet) be the official photographer of the 321st MS, I am married to the official advisor on how to turn modern day squadron photographs into cool looking old-fashioned-ish ones. : )
10. Maddie and Gracie don't usually do Friday gym, but they did on this day because they missed on Monday and will have to miss next Monday, too. While they were there, Bridget and I went to Lowe's to study paint samples for the Big Desk Project of 2012. The only thing I know for sure: it will not be white.
11. I like to flood my Instagram feed with sky pictures. Sorry.
12. We pitched our dinner plan because of late work arrival/gym schedule and went to Guadalajara instead for a late 7:15 dinner. Guadajalara is a Dillow Family tradition, as it was Maddie's first ever restaurant experience when she was a baby. It is nice to have some history with a place.
It is sunny and I have no tours scheduled at the library today, so I decided I would begin refinishing the desk for Maddie that I got in the Great Vintage Lockers Deal of 2012. (I actually got two desks in this deal. Lucky me.)
It is kind of like someone tried to pick out the ugliest color of yellowish wood stain possible. Job well done, someone.
It's been a long time since I've refinished anything. I am a self-taught refinisher; in August 1998 I spent about 40 hours a week for three straight weeks refinishing my old ginormous upright piano (may she rest in peace) and hey, if you can pull that off, you can do anything, I say. My only technique goal for today's Phase I was not to rush. I am a terrible rusher when it comes to painting and refinishing. All this backstory is to set up an important part of the story—that I was wearing something that resembled pajamas at noon today (full disclosure: also at 2:34 pm), as there is nothing worse than taking a shower and then immersing oneself in chemicals. And, no rushing. Leaving plenty of time between coats of stripper = late shower.
On one of my in-between-coats-breaks, I took Ellie for a walk around the circle at noon. She is getting better on the leash—moving from a C- to a solid B- in
the last few weeks, so walking her is relatively enjoyable unless she senses there are bunnies and squirrels within a 300 foot radius. Bunnies and squirrels are not just menaces in her world, they are morally reprehensible. Just last week I was walking her down Randall Ave. when we came across live squirrels in squirrel traps (plus a perfectly preserved dead squirrel a few feet away, YUCK) and she very nearly lost her mind (much to the amusement of the base law enforcement parked a few feet away from the scene, I'm sure). I don't like squirrels much either—they destroy pumpkins and chew through our giant plastic trash bins—but I don't lose my mind when confronted with them. Until today. Ahem.
Anyway. It is fairly well established that I share a ridiculous startle reflex with my sisters, yes? It is also a fact that my family's genetic code includes a sound called the Willis Cold Weather Whinny, which is as obnoxious as it sounds. But today, unshowered, and mostly in my pajamas laced with a faint smell of toxic chemicals at lunchtime, I discovered I have another category of obnoxious noise: the Pet Has Caught a Rodent noise. To call it a noise just doesn't do it justice, though, because apparently it is accompanied with an unfortunate element of full-on flailing around and waving of arms in such a way as to indicate seizure. And maybe speaking in tongues? Definitely some channeling of my mother's yuck noise, too, which she often made when we were little and were about to/had already put something yucky in our mouths—kind of an active throw-up sound/stick out one's tongue move, while saying BLEH! YUCK! BLECHY! Do you have this picture in your head? Because that's pretty much what it looked like when Ellie somehow managed to catch a baby squirrel in her mouth in our front yard—from the radius of her leash. Speaking in tongues and blechy-ing is not effective, but there was no way I was going to TOUCH the baby squirrel peeping frantically in the dog's mouth.
After about 30 seconds of this (count to 30, it's a long time) the dog dropped the squirrel, which I attribute to sheer desperation on my part. The baby squirrel proceeded to peep and hobble over to the tree while I ran inside with the dog and my embarrassment. Neighbors! This definitely tops the night I dragged the Christmas tree out of the house at 1:59 am!
I went upstairs this morning after running and taking Ellie for a walk with the goal of taking a shower and getting a load of laundry ready to take downstairs. But as I am highly distractible, I decided THIS was the right moment to inspect an under-the-bed box that has been sitting in its own dust bunnies for right around two years. I knew it had random photos and miscellany that needed sorting. No time like the present.
There were many gems that I sorted into like piles, but today we will focus on this particular one:
It caught my eye because it appears that I am chatting with someone in outer space on that phone. GOOD HEAVENS.
1. It is clearly my birthday, evidenced by the wrapping paper.
2. It is clearly my birthday AFTER I HAVE BEGUN COLLEGE, because I am wearing a necklace that Matt bought for me in a shop in uptown Oxford.
3. Why, oh why, am I dressed this way? Because it is post-1991, and apparently that's how people who watched every episode of Friends (not in syndication) dressed at this point in history.
4. I can't remember what I might have received on this college birthday, but I could kind of make out some of the words on... a poster? in the corner. Peter's. Sociopath. What?!? You'd be surprised how accurate Google is, because within a few seconds of typing "Peter's sociopath" as my search terms (and forcing myself to look at the results, because really? Peter's sociopath?) I came up with this:
I don't know who gave me a poster of these laws (or why I have no recollection of it)(or what happened to it), but well-played, whoever you were. Well-played. Now I will go back upstairs repeating shower and laundry, shower and laundry over and over.