Remember to Print and Share You Photos

Everybody clicks today, but do they share?

Today there is a new accessibility to photography.   Even the dumbest cell phone can take some kind of photo.  Which is great because so many more family moments are getting captured.   Unfortunately in this digital age very few of these snapshots are getting saved in a means that will likely survive time.   Before the digital age the only way to know what you took was to have your film processed.   For most of John Q Public that also included printing your photos.

I have boxes of photos taken before the digital age.  There are many that my husband and I have taken.  My mother had tons of photos she took and she has gone through them as well, labeling them, and sharing them with the kids.    Before that  grandparents had photos they saved and passed on.   By the very act of printing photos they were preserved.   Someone has to look at them and consciously pitch them in the trash.   It increases the odds they will survive.

In this age of digital photography we tend to share photos by asking people to look at the back of our phones.     That for most photographers is as far as it goes.   If you are a little higher up on  preservation, you are moving photos from your phone or camera to a computer.    Being a tech-weenie I can not tell you how many times folks have called me and said I lost my pictures or music.    Most folks never back things up, so history is lost in many cases.   In a perfect world that stuff on your computer gets backed up to a  local external hard drive and some cloud based place.

Even if you are preserving your digital photos on the cloud odds are when you are gone no one is going to look through them determining what to save and keep.   Odds are when you are gone so is your digital photo history and the significance of them.

Five years ago a social acquaintance at a mutual friends birthday party showed me the answer to preserving memories.   Print your digital photos and share them.    This acquaintance was there with her digital camera recording the friend’s party.   Two weeks later in the mail I got a snapshot of my husband and I walking hand in hand she had taken, with a post-it on it that said “We don’t often get pictures take by others. Enjoy!”  This picture still sits on our bedroom dresser, it was a great moment she caught, because we seldom are folks who PDA even as simple as hand holding.  It is a rare moment saved.

I can’t tell you how many times at gatherings someone has asked to take our picture.   We are dressed up and think yeah this would be a good photo and yet we never see it.    We have all been there.  Today many photos are shared on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Flickr and other online social media.    It is there for the day and then as more stuff comes in it is lost in the shuffle.   I recently saw a family snapshot taken by a waitress in a restaurant of friend’s family.   It was an amazing photo of the whole family.    Hope they print a couple and share all of them together smiling deserves to be looked at a year from now.

How can you do this print and share?   I suggest:   If you have a color printer it may be as simple as that.   I personally like sending them to a local pharmacy or discount store and having them printed “traditional.”   Whatever works best for you.   Bring a smile to some one’s face.   Be an unexpected bright spot.   Be the only thing in the mailbox besides bills.     Who knows someone might pay it forward and you will receive the same?  Preserve and share some memories this holiday season as you gather with family and friends.

Thankful For My Brothers

BrotherPeople are writing about all the things that they are thankful for this holiday season.  One of the things I am  thankful for is my brothers.    I have a whole assortment of them each different and special.   One is older, three are younger.  They are all sorts: one regular, one step and two halfs.    They have been friends, confidants, rivals, protectors, pests, public embarrassments, tattle tales, but always there.   You four know who you are.    I am glad you are part of my family by blood or by marriage.

Shift of Duties

In over 30 years a couple settles in to a division of duties they don’t think much about until something happens to rock the boat.   In our household,  we  are in a routine and take so much for granted.  Now that my husband is laid up with his injury we are seeing a shift of  the household duties.   Until at least December 2nd he will be in a cast with his toes pointed and no weight on the ankle.   What this means is that there are a whole host of household duties that I am going to have to suck up and provide cover him  on the household chore list.

RangerSir is sure that no one can do laundry as well as he can.    Since he thinks he does it best, for the most part I have gotten  out of the way and let him have at it for over 30 years.   Our laundry room is on the lower level, and most of our living happens on the main level.   He can get downstairs, but honestly he is not very stable doing stairs on crutches.    I am now the family laundress.   He has already raised his eyebrows when he sees what I have put in the same load.   He has questioned items that went through the drier that he would have put on hangers or the drying rack.    So far the most I get is the look of horror, but as long has he doesn’t end up with pink underwear or shrunk clothing I suspect that my skill-set will suffice.

The other household chore I have been forced into is running of the vacuum.  My migraines are audio sensitive and even when I don’t have one, noise is very difficult for me.    The noise generated by the vacuum puts me over the edge, even when I am not suffering from migraine pain.     In the time RangerSir and I have been together the number of times I have run the vacuum I can like county with the fingers on one hand.   He runs it when I am in the shower or out of the house.   He is a real is peach  and so sensitive to my needs.   Though if he is a little put out with me, he has no qualms running it at any time he thinks is most effective to make his case.     Now I am going to be forced to run this nasty tool at least once a week.

Bottom line is I don’t mind.  I know if the roles were reversed he would have my back the same way. I  am reminded to appreciate all that he does.    I sometimes forget that it is him that makes many things happen, not some magic trick.

A Gift of Love done

amber-doneI have finished the baby quilt I made.    I had lots of fun doing it, and sharing the progress with all of you.    It was a project of love.   I have now given it away to be used by a little baby girl  who will be here soon in the loving arms of her father, mother and big brother.

It was lots of fun to get back in quilting.   Now I am wondering if I can find more time to sew and quilt.   I have plenty of fabric to do so.

Nothing Good Comes From Eavesdropping

Thursday night I eavesdropped on my husband, sort of.   I listened to him on his cell phone when he was unaware I was listening.

My husband is part of a racquetball league and plays a couple times a week.    This week he had a match at 6 and 8 on the same night.   Just after 7pm his cell phone rang.   I answered it in my typical smart mouth fashion, thinking he had called to pass the time with me between matches.  I was greeted by the muffled voice of my husband.   It soon became apparent he had not called me, and was not aware I was listening in.    He was hard to hear, but soon I heard him cursing and complaining about being hurt.   This went on for nearly three minutes until the line was lost.   I was unsure what was going on.   My mind was now racing trying to understand what I had heard.   I can tell you nothing good came to my mind.   I was worried he had left the club between matches and been jumped by thugs.    I  imagined he was having a heart attack someplace alone.    I decided my best order of business was to call his cell, before calling friends and heading to town.     He answered, while driving.   I was unsure if I should be mad or thrilled to hear his voice.

It turned out he had torn his Achilles tendon completely.   He was driving home and when he got in his car, his gym bag had turned on his phone.    He was in pain and talking himself through the trip home while driving his manual transmission car home.  It was a tough time for him to make the trip with a foot that hurt like the dickens and he said felt like it was detached from his body.   It was a frightening  time for me, because I did not know what was going on and felt helpless.   It was really an odd set of circumstances that came together to create a sort of perfect storm in failed communication.     Yet it all turned out well, he is scheduled for surgery for repair and will have a long recovery.  I am thankful that this the worst thing that happened in what for a few minutes sounded much worse.

Living by Honor

vetdayToday is Veteran’s Day.  In writing this I  reflect on all the members of my family who were served this country.    As the family historian and researcher I have learned about  those in my family who have served in wars and conflicts since the beginning of this country.   My history is dotted with multiple great grandfathers who fought in the Revolutionary War; the War of 1812; the Mexican -American War;  the Civil War both sides, Union and Confederate; and World War I and II.   My father was a career man serving in both the Army and Air Force.   My brother was the only one who served in the Navy.  They were all enlisted men, regular US citizens who helped to make the country what it is today.

I don’t think I ever said thank you to any of them who I knew.  Except for my brother they are all gone now.    I hope I do them proud, and in spite of what JFK said I think I will call my brother today and tell him how proud I am of him and that I appreciate all he gave for me.

Precious Eggs

chick-webAs fall progresses here in southwest Montana our  egg production has reached new lows.   Our flock is the smallest each year at this time.   Chickens ability to lay eggs is directly related to the number of hours of light, aka length of days.       This can often be compounded by a fall molt.

Egg farmers today often light their chicken barns to ensure that they lay regardless of what is happening in nature.  I raise my chickens more naturally and work with what light nature sends my way.  I allow the natural rhythm of the seasons of life to cause my chickens to slow down and even take a break from laying eggs.

Molting is that time when chickens decided that their feathers must be replaced.  For my birds  it  is usually happens during the fall and winter months.   It seems to be one of those things that is counter intuitive to mother nature.    Why would birds naturally lose all their feathers when it is getting colder out??  Who knows but molts traditionally occur in fall and winter.

With a small flock then compound in the shortening days and the loss of feathers eggs become a precious commodity.