I know I said I would only shoot in monochrome for my 365 but the pastel colors of these pens are what make them my favorite, so I wanted to show that. As you all know, coloring has actually saved my sanity during the pandemic while we work and play from home. And these pastel pens are my favorites to color with.
Back in December 2019 I bought this Instax printer that pairs to my phone so I can print any image stored on it onto mini Instax film. At the time I thought it would be great fun at family and social gatherings, as well as with my students. Needless to say it hasn’t seen any use since March. Hopefully someday soon I’ll be able to put to use again, but for now it’s gathering dust.
With school starting up this week, my schedule has gotten busy again and I totally forgot about yesterday. I hope that doesn’t mean I have to start over!
Anyway, this picture represents the only place I have been since March aside from one doctor visit and the occasional grocery store. No, it’s not Domino’s or acupuncture, it’s the local post office where I rent a mailbox. I end up stopping in here about once a week for one reason or another. I’ve rented a mailbox here for over a decade but it has taken on more significance now as one of the only places I go to interact with other living, human people aside from Doug.
I just got through tutoring a student who, like me, is staying indoors as much as possible even though a lot of our area is opened up and has been for some time. She lives with extended family and they are high risk for the virus, so they are all staying home 24-7. She mentioned hearing from a friend who went to the beach over the weekend and feeling so envious of her, and it made me think of my own conflicted feelings when I hear or see others I know going out and doing things, some masked and distanced, some not. At times I wonder if Doug and I are being “fanatics,” or being too cautious,, but my instincts tell me we are doing the right thing and should continue to eschew any and all activities outside the home. But it is harder when you feel like you are in the minority and the rest of the world is going about their lives as if there’s no pandemic. In the beginning of this, there was about a month where the country was unified about flattening the curve, but in our current state America was only able to stay unified for about four weeks. It’s a shame, but at this point there’s no way to reconcile those who feel staying home and being cautious is proper and those who feel everyday activities are fairly safe and life should return to normal. I only know one other person, a nephew, who stays home and avoids social activities with the vigilance we do, so at times it feels kinda lonely. But we have been so good up to now, so if one of us slacked off and got sick it would have all been a waste of time – so we persevere.
My swimming schedule is all wonky – before the pandemic I only had time to swim in the evening, but since I work from home now and can tutor students all day I get to nip in for a quick dip at all hours. It’s hot as hell here though – triple digits with no end in sight.
I’ll have more to say about this photo in a blog post later, but I want to link to the artist who did this transformation for me.
I haven’t posted any 365 photos in awhile, so here are some more, plus a few I took that didn’t make the cut.
Most of these were taken last weekend, which we spent at my father-in-law’s house. I’ve looked back over recent posts to see if I’d already shared any of these, because it feels like I have, but I can’t find anything so maybe it’s just that I’ve shared most of them on Flickr already so that’s what feels familiar. The above photo is detail of a huge wreath that hangs over the fireplace; Doug’s mother had it custom-made at some point and as you can see, it’s pretty massive. I mean, that is NOT a small birdcage attached to it!
Everything my mother-in-law did as far as home decorating was thoroughly researched and planned to the finest detail; Doug said she was always walking from room-to-room, investigating every nook and cranny for what might be the next thing that needed sprucing up. Unfortunately, she died after Doug and I had only been married a few years, so I did not get to know her as well as I would have liked, but that was certainly true of her in the years I knew her. In fact, right after she died, Jimmy said a huge delivery of new drapes for the living room showed up at the house to be installed, and he’d known nothing about it. And yes, she was very old-school about home decor; custom drapes hang over every available window. I don’t even think people “do” drapes anymore, do they? And nowhere in that house will you see a window blind; it’s all sheer curtains, plus drapes with tassled tie-backs, and those fancy custom overhangs across the top of the window that I don’t even know what they’re called. She was full-on Southern Living magazine, from top to bottom. And in just the few photos I had a chance to take of the house last weekend, I came to appreciate how good she was at it.
Every picture I took in the house looked so good, like, magazine-spread ready. The colors are so rich, and everywhere you turn are fabulous details. Like this table that sits in the entryway – Ruby (that was her name) found this huge piece of driftwood on the beach in Galveston, somehow managed to lug it home, then had it custom-treated and painted to be the base to a glass-top table. Doug says it’s had many different glass tops over the years, and has also been painted several different colors, including black and gold. And of course, the vases and figurines resting on top of it match the walls and marble floors to perfection.
That one wasn’t a 365 shot, but you can see her attention to detail in the way the silk flowers match the vase. And when I say she paid attention to details, this next picture reveals that better than any other, I think:
It’s not a great shot by any means, but note the custom silk fabric hiding the cord that hangs the chandelier from the ceiling! I mean, who does that anymore? In fact, who ever did that? Well, Ruby did, that’s who. Also note the fabric walls, which are padded and soft. Something else I’ve not seen anywhere else but her house.
The picture was painted by Doug’s sister, and of course adding the silk bow behind it is all Ruby. All the framed paintings hanging in the house have some sort of little detail added to them, a swatch of fabric draping the top, a bow hanging behind. Note the way the silk matches the walls in the living room and ties the two rooms together (this is hanging in the entryway). I honestly don’t think I’d ever appreciated all these little touches until I walked around taking photos.
But now, onto the things that represent my father-in-law:
This is an old bottle of liquor on a bookshelf in a spare room. I’ve heard of Rock and Rye before from stories about Doug’s grandfather; he loved this stuff, which is rye whiskey that had a piece of rock candy in the bottom of the bottle to make it sweet. Sounds absolutely horrid to me, but I guess this is what old Southern boys from Central Texas liked to drink back in the day.
That bookshelf was stuffed with old treasures I photographed but haven’t had time to process: an abacus Jimmy hand-made for his daughter, a boat made out of wood with a boat propeller fashioned out of a soup can lid he made for Doug, and this little gem – a handmade cigarette roller. Jimmy showed me how to use it, but it made no sense to me so I just photographed it and nodded while he talked. I took a few pics of this sitting on the bookshelf too, but in the end I liked this one because it shows Jimmy’s well-worn fingers holding it up.
This was a paperweight sitting on an end table and I snapped it really quick, but later I liked the tones in it and worked in editing to accentuate them. I don’t have much to say about it except that I like it. Now for a few quick 365s that weren’t taken at my father-in-law’s house.
OK now, this shot is messy because this was the split second that it started to rain outside. I didn’t even realize when I snapped the shot that I’d caught the rain falling down, it happened that quickly. I ran inside to prevent my SL1 from getting wet, which is why the shot ended up a little blurry. It wasn’t good enough to share for the 365 because there was one I took of leaves after the downpour that I thought was better, but I like it nonetheless for catching the very first raindrops of the storm.
This is the one I used for Day 39. I think it stands for itself. A nice shot using my little SL1 – taken in a hurry because I had to get the shot before humidity fogged up my lens again.
So, there you go! A catch-up on my 365 shots for what turns out to be a Happy Monday for you, I hope.