Throwback Thursday Family Film Print Photos

My new desk arrived this morning, earlier than I expected. I returned to the spare bedroom yesterday evening to continue my decluttering and organizing. I spent way too much time on a box full of old print photos all over twenty five years old.

None of the photos I found were taken before we moved back north from the Wichita area to the Kansas City area. Once we relocated, I switched from taking photos to taking video in VHS-C format, at least for the next ten or fifteen years, until both our kids were in college. So all the sports, concerts and family vacations are locked up on video tape that I haven’t converted to a more current digital media format.

I selected a dozen photos from the dozens I sifted through and snapped quick digital versions of them using my smartphone. I can scan these with our multifunction printer device once I get my new office setup this weekend. But for the purposes of this post, I felt this method would suffice.

Terry (on the right) and me (taken at a wedding where he was a groomsman in August 1985)
Click the photo to see the other eleven photos in this throwback photo album.
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Whimsical Wednesday

I made my weekly jaunt to Dillons to partake in my Seniors Moment (aka the senior’s discount granted by virtue of my spouse being over 60 – but now that I think about it I think I’m eligible now anyways as of last October because I’m officially over 55). Anyway, as I was discarding some empty water bottles from the van into the recycle bin, I noticed our cherry tree blooming. Just a few days ago it didn’t show any evidence of buds but now they are all over the limbs.

I also found my old hummingbird feeder and a package of the nectar concentrate mix yesterday. I cleaned everything thoroughly, mixed up a small batch and placed the feeder outside my upper patio door, which I sit near in my current home office setup. I haven’t seen a hummingbird yet, but it’s only been twenty-four hours. I’ll need to switch out the nectar today as it got up to the mid-80s and was very sunny yesterday and will be so again today. My back patios are not in the shade so the nectar will go bad quite quickly. Once I move upstairs to the spare bedroom, that won’t be a problem, if I hang the feeder outside the upper east facing window.

While on my first conference call of the day, I heard strange noises coming from my front yard including on my roof. I surmised, since I could not get up and check, that the lawn service had arrived that we contracted last week to power wash the house, refresh the landscape mulch, haul in some dirt to fill in under our huge black oak tree and seed that portion of the front lawn. The finished the house scrubbing within an hour or so and will be back this afternoon to complete the rest of the work.

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All Hallow’s Eve

Balrogs, Dragons and Ravens, oh my!

While visiting my daughter last weekend, (see previous post), we spent part of Saturday visiting the Museum of Flight, and the rest of the day carving pumpkins, something I hadn’t done in decades. The last time I did this as a kid, was in the mid to late 70s when my grandmother spent a couple of weeks with my brother and I in October while my mom and dad were away on a trip. We did the more traditional carving of a face – eyes, nose and a mouth with jagged teeth.

Rachelle adding the finishing touches to her dragon carving Sunday morning.

Skip ahead a decade and a half in the mid 90s after I’d spawned two children of my own, both of whom were vastly more artistic than I ever dreamed of being. My daughter especially has always been good at 3D art. Thus her dragon is center stage in the photo above. My Balrog isn’t too shabby but not nearly as frightening as I’d hoped. Nic’s Raven is his nod to Poe, nevermore!

The kittens are not phased by the Balrog-to-be.

Happy Hallowe’en everyone!

Spring House Guests

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Three robin’s eggs in a nest on top of my back porch light. This is the second time since we’ve lived in this house that a robin has nested in that exact spot. The last time it didn’t end well for the robin chicks.

Robin’s Nest Flickr Album

I took these photos using my Samsung smartphone standing on a step ladder inside the house with my arm sneaking around the top of the patio door. I could not see the screen when I snapped the shots. Two of the photos I adjusted afterwards to enhance the visibility and vibrancy of the eggs (which were hidden in shadow inside the nest).

Porthos is lounging in the background (on the step watching me taking the photo above).

Resurrecting My Inner Artist

The first snow and winter storm of Winter 2019 finally arrive the second Saturday of January. In my experience, that’s a delay of nearly ten days from when we usually have snow or a winter storm or if nothing else bitter cold below zero temperatures and wind chills. The snow we received was wet and heavy, perfect for making a snowman but not so great for my back when I went out to shovel the driveway.

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Daughter Featured at Contralto Corner

This post at Contralto Corner featuring my daughter became the high point of my evening.

I really need a Spring/Summer home in the Pacific Northwest so I can enjoy her live performances in person this season, or any season for that matter.  I miss hearing her unique, powerful and beautiful voice.

For a full list of her upcoming engagements, visit her web site here:

http://rachellemoss.com/engagments/

Visit her Patreon page and become a supporter for exclusive content, such as behind the scenes view of the creative process of preparing and performing classical music, discussions on the history and origin stories of operas she’ll be performing, videos featuring the music from those works, discussing opera history, and the current life of an opera singer.

 

 

Monochrome Mania

A friend and work colleague of mine who also happens to be a photographer started posting snapshots in her Facebook feed last week.  The challenge was to take a photo a day from your life with no people featured in them and provide no explanation.  Oh, and they must be black and white photos.

This intrigued me as my first camera back in the early or mid 70s had been a small inexpensive fixed lens camera that used small rolls of black and white film.  My dad had a dark room at home but I don’t think we ever developed film that I shot in my camera, at least not until I was much older and part of the yearbook staff in high school.

I decided to revisit my youth and took up the challenge.  I also happened to be on vacation this week so I had plenty of time to think of what sites in and around my home would lend themselves to good black and white photography.

Here’s the seven I posted daily on my Twitter and Facebook feed:

Day 1 Day 2
Day 3 Day 4
Day 5 Day 6
Day 7

And here are all the photos I took in the last week that I used as the pool of photos to choose from:

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Autumn 2017

Madame Butterfly from Coast to Coast

Tonight is opening night for Seattle Opera’s production of Madame Butterfly.  My daughter, Rachelle, is once again a member of the cast.  She appears third from the left in both photos below.

MadameButterflySeattleOperaAug2017RachelleMoss3rdFromLeft
[ Philip Newton photo ]
MadameButterflySeattleOperaAug2017RachelleMoss3rdFromLeft02
[ Philip Newton photo ]
Earlier this year, Rachelle was also a member of the cast of Sarasota Opera’s production of Madame Butterfly. So she really has done this show from coast to coast.

Rachelle as Kate Pinkerton
Rachelle as Kate Pinkerton

Now I’m wishing I was in Seattle so I could attend opening night.

Break a leg!

Tenacious Dedication

I feel nostalgically melancholy today.  I am remembering a time, about a decade ago, when I seethed with frustration surrounding a disappointing rejection my daughter suffered through.  When I requested an explanation for the rejection, the response I received  accused my daughter of “not being dedicated enough.”  In my mind, “not dedicated enough” became “not rich enough” because the evidence supporting that theory appeared overwhelming.  Other more affluent students with less talent and training achieved admittance, while my daughter was passed over.

Across the intervening years, I’ve watched and listened to my daughter devote countless hours in vocal training and coaching, music studies, daily practicing, auditions, rehearsals and performances.  Her perseverance, tenacity and, yes, dedication, knows no bounds. Her vocal coach is amazed out how extraordinarily large my daughter’s voice is, the largest she has heard.  I weep with pride, joy and love when I get a chance to hear her perform.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vism9va0CBk]

She recently performed the Contralto solo in several performances of Handel’s Messiah.  My only regret is I couldn’t afford to fly to Seattle to listen to it live.

Next week, my daughter flies to New York for her last audition of the year.  To date, she’s flown over 20,000 miles this year for auditions, all across the Continental United States:  from San Francisco, to Chicago, to Houston, to Chicago again, to New York, etc. etc.

Where are these other ‘more dedicated’ students now? Personally, I could care less.

Break a leg next week Rachelle!