Terrible Mom Alert!

November 23, 2013 at 3:26 pm (Birthday Wishes, Day to Day, Family, Food News, For Jeff the BF, For Mason, For Stevie, Picture Posts, Super Saturday, Wasting Time In General) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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TWO missed birthdays! The boy. Above. Oct. 13. He is 16. The girl. Below. Nov. 21. She is 15.

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Thank you Outback Steakhouse for having large mirrors and flattering lighting in your bathrooms, men and women’s, so that both of my children could, separately, but at the same time, go into the bathrooms the night we were there and take pictures of themselves without the other one knowing. They both came back to the table and were very excited about the selfies they got in the excellent washroom photo studio they apparently have there. Also, it’s good because I have no actual pictures of them with their cakes and mini-party celebrations we had here at the house. If I find any pics later, I’ll just post them randomly and you can guess what they’re from. Kind of a “Where’s Waldo?” but with cake. At least I only missed the girl’s by 2 days. And we are going out for a collective dinner tonight. An expensive, collective dinner. We really spend way too much on food in this family unit. Plus we get to dress up! But I need to finish this now quick, so I can shower, shave, and shine. The BF is yelling because he doesn’t think we’ll be ready to go. He’s walking around confiscating cell phones and electronic devices. This is serious business. But first, quick quick: Old mom alert! The boy has a driver’s license now and a vehicle. That he paid for. And the girl will be starting driving school soon. Here’s a picture of the truck that he bought:

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It’s good for both kids actually, because now he can drive them both to school. And anywhere else they need to go! One of the only sophomores with a license, a car, and a parking permit. I knew he’d be ahead of everyone else in his class at something! Alright, I’m seriously getting a side-eye from the time police over here, so I need to go. Happy (late-internet) birthday, Mason and Stevie! I love you! XOXO. Later!

 

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The First Squash! Times 2!

August 2, 2013 at 1:14 pm (Books, Day to Day, Family, For Mason, For Stevie, Nature, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, School News, Summer, Summer Break, Wasting Time In General) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Look at that! Two yellow squashes. All of a sudden, BOOM. squash everywhere. We looked it up and we are supposed to start picking them small. But we might let at least one try to monster grow. The internet says they will be too tough and inedible if they are too big, but nature must be allowed to have its way. If the animals don’t start chewing on them first, that is. We had 2 more good size “pickers” out there but some little creatures were nibbling all over them and left bite marks and chunks removed from either end. We picked and tossed those. Here is my most recent plant picture. Lots of flowers, lots of small, yellow tubes laying in between the leaves.

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OK. That’s it for now. I have to go to work now. I will get the weekend list here with pics. I just downloaded all of them mere minutes ago. So exciting. And I had my day off yesterday which is where I got those fab veg pics from, and high school registration. Times 2! See how I did that? Not that I am comparing my children to squash, but…sometimes…when they are laying v e r y still….only teenagers, and the very old, can achieve the vegetable type of non-movement that makes you actually have to get up close to them to check for breathing and a pulse. Anyone who has been around either group will back me up here. Last picture of this post will be the stack of books we left the school with yesterday, and that my kids will have to haul back with them, in about a week and a half. Very heavy. And very hardcore. This is freshman and sophomore curriculum. I seriously do not remember having such advanced text books. Is this a reflection of the new education standards for a good life vs. the old education minimums to just stay alive? Or as pre-req to Harvard or Yale, (for extreme) example, or NU/SIU, in Illinois, as opposed to the pre-req for Hamburger University?  Or was I just “special”?? Either way, I am still alive. And I have a job. Have a great day all.

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13 Minutes On The Oven Timer That Rules My Life

July 31, 2013 at 1:21 pm (Day to Day, Family, For Mason, For Stevie, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Random Images, Stevie Pics, Summer) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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And these children, who periodically shout out to me, from the other room, to go take a shower because they want me to drive them someplace before work. At any rate, this is the only picture I will ever be using of myself and the kids for a very long time. They are good looking and photogenic. I am not. I am breaking my cardinal rule of never having myself in a picture, because I actually kind of like this one. My daughter took it and BW’d it so I would appear more attractive. Also I am in the back, stretched a bit. This should give me a few more years play before I have to take another picture. This was from the Zoo Day that I still haven’t posted from. It’s coming I promise. And below, are 3 more pics, that you will also be seeing in the “About Us” section, if you ever look there, which I really don’t anymore, but have to, because I desperately need to update it. I was saving these just for that, but I was feeling like I needed something fast, and this was ready, and extremely general as a subject. Plus, my kids like seeing themselves when they open my page. The color version:

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Not too bad of us. That’s the same zoo, just another angle, and in color. Here is an action shot, also the zoo:

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But the really risky one is below. From the beach. The beach. This is the morning we let our snake go free. I should prob post the zoo and beach pictures next, now that I have brought it up again because it’s a good chance to clear out another folder. But that damn work bell is calling. I have off tomorrow, and I am going to try to post more, but it’s school registration day, which I think I already talked about, and I have an entire list of things that I need to do before the weekend, that I have to work. Bummer. And speaking of lists…I figured out how to post the BF’s weekend list he texted me. I’m going to give it it’s own separate posting so I can add the pictures to accompany all the fun we had. We did the entire list, plus more.  I think I said that already too. It will be much more exciting for you, and you will really feel like you were doing all these things with us, if you can see the pictures with the words. It’ll be like a virtual reality, activity, participation, picture thing. Now you know you want to hang around for that. Plus it’s 100%, completely and utterly, no strings attached, FREEEEEEEEE!!!  And you can jump off the fun bandwagon, if it gets to be too much, or take a potty break whenever you want, at any time, by just clicking away from this site! YOU control the adventure! Now in case you forgot, here is that beach picture of me and my kiddies. First and last. Have a great day!

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Bug Close Ups. A New Low.

July 24, 2013 at 12:39 pm (Big Bugs, Caterpillars, Day to Day, For Stevie, Nature, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Stevie Pics, Summer, WOW Wednesday) (, , , , , , , , , )

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Why? My computer will not let me pull up and crop my bench pictures. It is taking way too long to get the images. I have to work today. This is my long week and I am impatient. These two pics were all ready to go. And they are in the folder that needs to be used. I am desperate to post something every day if possible. I guess this is desperate. Anyway here is some phone camera action for you to enjoy on WOW Wednesday. More like, Wait. What? Wah. Wah. Wah. Wednesday. I took the one above with the GS4. Stevie took the one below with her IP4. Yep. That’s it. Have a great day!

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Benches Before Work

July 21, 2013 at 12:42 pm (34 Day Summer Slim Down, Big Benches, Blood Pressure, Day to Day, Exercise, Family, For Mason, For Stevie, Getting Old, Heat, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Summer, Thank You, The Grass, Wasting Time In General, Zoo) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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Trying to be quick before work today. I have been off for several days now and I am kind of dreading going back. I like staying home. But I like money too so… This is Little Red Riding Hood. It has a back too. All of the benches have backs obviously, but some of them are decorated with something extra. This is one of them.

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This bench has texture and depth and it’s really kind of cool. The next one is kind of plain like the Snow White one, so it gets second tier post status. Aren’t I just Judgey McJudgey over here. My site. My opinions. This is Let Down Your Hair. The Rapunzel story.

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That takes care of 2 more. We are at 6/20. Next up is our intermission pictures. There is/was a Dodge, now Fiat, dealership in the middle of town that always has something we like to take a picture of. So we wasted about 15 minutes there, looking at cars, while my girl complained that this is NOT what we came here to look at! She was right. Plus it was scorchingly hot on all that black asphalt. But I still took too long to take a photo of a Super Bee Charger. 392 Hemi. $46,000. Black as night paint. Called “Pitch Black”. I’ll just put those pics here to save time. The front. And the logo. That’s all anyone cares about anyway.

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That should lead me nicely into Zoo pictures and Beach pictures. And also fishing, flowers, clouds, sky, birds, wildlife, and some landscape pictures that I teased with, but never posted. My goal in the next few days, (weeks?), is to get this “current” photo folder clear before it gets cold again, and before the kids go back to school. I haven’t even mentioned my summer slim down plan or what I am doing to achieve my goals for skinniness and less B/P medicine. Big fat nothing, that’s what. I am eating less. It’s only working a little bit. And very slowly. Cardio is the thing. At least that’s what the doctor said. It’s always cardio. Let me stop here and try and figure out the next post. I have to shower and do another load of laundry before I go. I may or may not post overnight. I have to get up early tomorrow to take my girl on her annual summer trip to my sister’s house for a week before school starts. And I desperately need my hair colored. I look old. Yucky gray roots. I miss my hair that used to grow in all the same color. Not fair. Then me and the boy are going to meet the BF for lunch at his work. Don’t we seem busy? Monday funday. Then I have to work all week. All week. Man. And the boy has his last week of football camp. Ok I think that’s enough of the list of things to do from one small woman in the world. If you are still reading, THANK YOU! I wish I had prizes or something, but it’s just this. Beep beep beep beeeep. Blast. That’s the timer. Measuring out my life in minutes. Load change. Shower up. Sprinkler switch. STOP. TYPING. !! Gotta go. Later.

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Let’s Not Over Think This Now

July 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm (Big Benches, Day to Day, For Jeff the BF, For Mason, For Stevie, Graduation, Heat, Motorcycle News, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Summer, Super Saturday) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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How about I just post the pictures in the order that I took them? I can not believe, no, scratch that, of course I can believe how much brain time I devoted to this issue of how and what order to post these benches in. Who cares? Doesn’t matter. We didn’t walk in any particular order. They are not arranged in any particular order. (I don’t think anyway). So what difference does it make how you see them? It’s all the same theme. My head hurts. And it doesn’t even have to. Oh well. The other post had the dragon bench. This is, above, Thumbelina’s Garden. Pretty sure. Below is, Goldilocks and the Three Bears. That makes 3 posted.

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I will keep going as time permits today. I have laundry and one more, last graduation party to attend, for the season. I also have Zoo pictures! And I finally bit the bullet and got back on that motorcycle that has been mocking me in the garage for over a year. I rode. I did a wheel screeching, head turning, back end wiggling, burn out, when the bike stopped dead in it’s tracks after I killed it coming up to a stoplight. I stayed upright. I did not poop in my pants. Or just drop that bike where it stood and said, “Done.” I started it back up. Gave a little wave to all the people on all the corners. (A lot of people. Damn kids and adults, fund raising all over the suburbs today. Watching me re-learn this skill.) Thanked the heavens above that no one was behind me, and rode off into the sunlight. Real cool-like. I almost gave the BF a heart attack. I probably had a small one myself and will now live 2 years less, but what do they say? Live to Ride, Ride to Die? Something like that. I had my helmet on and jeans and thick shoes. I would have been fine. In fact, I feel better than fine. I almost, almost, felt comfy. And I’m not afraid this year. For whatever reason. That I will not be thinking about in any detail. At all. The throttle is way too high and it feels like it’s trying to leap forward every second I don’t have the brake on, but that’s the fun right? And I didn’t fall. This post may have gone in a whole different direction if I had been laying on the pavement trying to get the bike off my shaking, scratched up, burned up legs. Anyway, I’m going to take a picture as soon as the BF brings the bike back from his, “blow-out-the-old-gas-get-the-engine-moving-again-so-we-don’t-have-to-keep-the-choke-full-on-to-prevent-the-bike-from-dying-when-we-stop” ride. In the meantime, let’s put up one more bench. It’s like, Super Saturday! Here is, A Stroll In The Woods. I think. I’m not really sure. It’s Snow White, at any rate. And not my favorite. But here it is. That makes 4/20. Later.

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Ahhh. Another Year Of Torture Is Complete.

July 19, 2013 at 7:09 pm (Big Benches, Day to Day, Family, For Mason, For Stevie, Heat, Pictures, Posts In Pictures, Summer, Weather, Zoo) (, , , , , , , , , )

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The Benches are back. And I finally got an afternoon free, with all of us, for the annual “Kick-Scream-Drag Summer Event”. The official name, per the Tinley Park village program is “Benches On The Avenue” with the theme this year being “Fairy Tale Festival”.  As usual, no one wants to go. And no one wants to take pictures. I was lucky to get this happy girl right at the beginning. The boy wouldn’t even let me get near him with the camera. And yes, I bring the actual camera for these, which just causes more complaining and whining about “why can’t I just use my phone??”  and “we look like *swear word* idiots out here” and “why do we have to do this every year??” and, finally, “it’s so *swear word* hot out here!! Uugghh!!” Then I tell them to be quiet. and don’t swear because there are little kids around and don’t be such babies. Then I tell them how old they are to remind them. This year it’s 14 and 15. Then they just say it’s stupid and they are not doing this and walk ahead. Here is that annual picture:

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But eventually the heat, and the mile or two of walking, gets them, and they have to return to the mother ship, weak and weary and beat down. Then they just shuffle quietly along side of me while I take my pictures and talk to the air around their heads. It’s a beautiful thing. And the temperature wasn’t even 100 degrees. So I don’t even know what they are complaining about.

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Here is an actual bench:

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This is, The Prince and the Dragon. There are 20 of them according to the village website. You can look there, and read more about this yearly event, by clicking here. I’m not sure how many of them I took pictures of. I think all of them, but I will have to go to the folder and count. I will put them up here as I have time to post. That was yesterday. Today was the zoo. Oh yeah. More heat. More walking. More pictures with the camera. The two things I like to make the kids do every year. Done. It’s going to be a busy picture posting week. The children are currently laying around the house in various, frequently changing locations, in the air conditioning, waiting for the BF to come home so we can go eat dinner. They’re “ttt-iii-rrr-eee-ddd”. But say that in a whiny, sing-song voice and you’ll feel the mood over here. And it was only 97 degrees this afternoon. With a breeze. Practically a cold snap. Cry babies. XO XO, my little darlings. Until next year…

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Stepping Up Our Wildlife Game

July 14, 2013 at 1:05 pm (Big Animals, Day to Day, For Mason, For Stevie, Nature, Picture Posts, Posts In Pictures, Snakes, Summer, Unusual, Weird Shit Around House) (, , , , , , , , , )

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S is for snake! This little lady was laying right in front of our door last night when we got home from shopping at Target. I mention the Target part because we do not live in an area where this type of snake roams free. And truthfully I didn’t even see it. I apparently walked right over it. Stevie too. Mason started yelling from the door, “Are you kidding me?? Did you guys NOT see this giant snake sitting out here on the ground?? Are you kidding me??” I am paraphrasing for time. Add many more swear words and repeat 10 more times. I thought he was kidding. Nope.

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Of course she slithered herself in between the outdoor plastic tub we have and the house. It was near dark when we found her and could not get a good look. She was rattling her tail and beating it against the ground and bricks while trying to move. So we thought rattlesnake. This is my night pic. The only one I could get:

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Looks like a rattlesnake to me. Sounded like one too. So we called the police because we thought they need to know about potentially dangerous animals. They do. BUT. This isn’t really in their scope. They sent an officer who helped us move the tub so we could catch it. We did. Put it in a plastic bin and then into a pillowcase. Left it outside by the garage. Then went to the internet to try and identify. Success! I feel kind of smart too since that is a crappy picture and memory is not as good as you might think when you are terrified that a rattlesnake is going to bite you or try to crawl into your house. Our pretty little snake though, seems to be a Fox Snake. Often mistaken for the rattlesnake in Illinois. Often. Quick FYI’s and possible, relevant, future knowledge, you might need too someday:

Rattlesnake: Similiar colors, but, with a lighter enhancing outline around the dark pattern. And shaped like bow-ties. Thinner in the middle.

Fox Snake: Darker, rectangular pattern with light background. Picture proof obtained.

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Rattlesnake: The rattle on the end.

Fox Snake: No rattle, but tries to mimic the rattle, by vibrating the tail just like a rattlesnake. Yep. True that. It rattled that rattleless tail alot to scare us. But, no rattle. Also confirmed via pictures.

Rattlesnake: Slit eyes with vertical pupils. Vertical. Up and down. Very scary looking.

Fox snake: Round eyes. Round pupil. You can see her pretty eyes in the above pic. And here. We really got in there this morning with the picture taking.

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Rattlesnake: Light bottom. Similar coloring to top.

Fox Snake: Yellow bottom. Or orange. Could not confirm that until today. Yellow.

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Both snakes are available in various lengths, but the Fox Snake is 3-5 feet. Ours is prob 4 feet.

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The head is lighter in color, like the pattern gets blurry or smeared, whereas the rattlesnake head keeps the pattern same as the body.

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And constricting. Bites for defense, but not poison. The internet claims it doesn’t hurt. Hmm. That will remain unconfirmed. Eats mice and rodents. It’s a sub species of rat snake I guess. Not aggressive unless attacked or threatened. Also, most likely female, based on size. We are just going with it. We played with her for quite awhile this morning and she never attacked. She did try and constrict and curl and keep trying to get out of the bin, so I picked her up bare handed and was able to look at her closely and then put her back into the pillowcase without physical harm.

A few phrases come to mind: “Snake charmed.” They do have a mesmerizing magnetic effect that makes you want to keep them and touch them. “If it was a snake it would have bitten me.” I NEVER even saw the damn thing laying straight and flush against the house. Camouflage in action. “Snake wrangling.” We were quite hilarious and ridiculous last night chasing that girl all around the house trying to pick it up with rakes and sticks. Little did we know we could have just grabbed it. But in our defense it was pretty “strikey” last night until we calmed it down.

At any rate, I posted it on Facebook for anyone to have. We can’t keep it, but we won’t kill it or let it loose somewhere. Could be a pet that got free, because it is not really indigenous to our particular location. One more interesting factoid: It is unlawful to catch, keep or kill this snake in Iowa. Endangered I think. Protected maybe. Mason found that info. There are like, 39 different kinds of snakes in Illinois at any one time, (4 are poisonous), and we get an out-of-towner. Seems funny. And don’t worry, I’m not going to just give it to anybody. It’s not food for something else or material for shoes or purses. If no one legitimately can take it and care for it properly, I am calling a private owned pet store we know of–that only deals in fish and reptiles–to see if they want it or can at least take it and fine a home for it. No animals will be harmed in the making of this post.

So, that was our night. We have to go to a grad party now (Yay Jesse!! High School Over!! College Bound!!) and prob won’t be back until dark again. I cannot wait to see what will be hanging outside the back door later on! The lost reptile wildlife of suburban Chicago must know we specialize in taking care of fish and turtles and are hoping to expand the family with snakes. What will it be tonight? I am hoping alligator! Or crocodile! Either way, it’s going to make an awesome photo gallery tomorrow! Last shot because I have one more picture I want to use.

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Underwater Update

July 9, 2013 at 8:53 am (Day to Day, Family, For Mason, For Stevie, Heat, High School Football, Summer, Things The Kids Like, Underwater, Vacation, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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The last of the Kentucky shots. The waterproof case seems to have held up well. It got taken to the beach when the kids got back but the pictures were all out of the water. Sand, pebbles, waves, shoreline…the usual. Nothing shared at this point, but it always takes a few days for the complete phone empty and picture dump because my daughter literally takes hundreds at a time. And now that my son has his new camera, I mean phone, the kid-view pics should double. I saw some already, (pretty good stuff), but he hasn’t forwarded them. Plus, he’s not happy today because football camp started again and he has to go sweat in the hot and humid, dreary morning. The problems of high school at 15. I wish. I have to go to the eye doctor, take a shower, remove body hair, do the laundry, clean the house, go to work, pay the bills, cook dinners; Ho hum. Problems at 40. (Plus. Yes, plus. I know. I can almost hear my sister snorting on the 40 thing. I am over 40, but just barely, and I can still technically round down.) Here’s the kids. The girl is above. The boy is below. Later.

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And Meanwhile, Driving Down To Kentucky…

June 29, 2013 at 5:32 pm (Big Sky, Clouds, Day to Day, Family, For Stevie, Holiday, Nature, Road Trip, Stevie Pics, Summer, Thank You, Vacation, Weather) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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This was about 2 pm, Saturday, driving down, what I assume to be, I57, near the town of Mattoon. The kids are on their way to grandma’s with their dad. No one confirmed location for me, but the fastest way south is 57 from here. My daughter took this picture while it was happening. It’s a really good picture. Especially from a moving vehicle. She said it was only a funnel cloud when they saw it and she got a picture of it going back up. But I like this one. Very impressive. Then it hailed and rained so hard they couldn’t see and then it cleared. She texted, word for word, “It’s done now. Clear as a bell perfect now!” She sent a picture of the blind windshield but it’s just a grey square that kind of looks like smeary, foggy rain. This is the next picture she sent:

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The girl takes good pictures. I almost feel bad that while the kids are driving through weather and tornadoes, me and the BF are at the liquor store buying all kinds of alcohol for the BBQ we are going to later, and then something for the rest of the weekend. Without children. Eh. Life. I took equally stunning pictures of the new wines I just bought to try out, and then later, post and share my opinions with you, good people. Let me end this with the last two pictures she sent me, because they are also really good, and she knows that I LOVE pictures of the sky and clouds. And you probably, secretly, like them too or you wouldn’t have kept reading!  It’s OK. I thank you! Thank you thank you every day! It’s a peculiar world, this blogging, internet place; big and diverse, the way I like most things, but still managing to feel close and intimate, like we are all sharing this life through our words and images, the way we are taught that we could, if we lived in an ideal world. Hmm. Not one drop to drink yet, I swear it. Anyway, the sky…I’ll take the pics (or my daughter will), and you can look and move on. No one ever has to know. But we’ll know. Here is the first, with her comment, also word for word, “Look at that fat ass cloud.”:

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And the last, below, is just one of the sky. I assume it’s off to the side. It’s very pretty for some reason. Good color/contrast and lighting I think. If I don’t get back here tonight, be careful all. Weather or not, Saturday in the summer can be tricky. Stay safe. Later.

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