Monday, September 29, 2014

the dreaded day ~ and other stuff on a monday

 Last Thursday - September 25th - was the five year anniversary of Phil's passing.
(That's Phil in the green and white striped shirt, between me and Brian.) This was
the last family photo taken of the four of us in July 2009. We were celebrating Phil's
21st birthday at one of his favorite restaurants - Maggianos. Anniversary dates are
never easy. I don't think it matters how many years it's been been. Brian and I drove
out to Tim's place after he got out of school and we went to the cemetery together, then
out to dinner. I'm thankful that Tim isn't going to school far away where we couldn't
just hop in the car and be at his place in 1-1/2 hours.


On to other news...I finally saved up enough money to buy a nice lens for the Canon Rebel
xsi camera that Tim gave me a couple of years ago. (He was given a much nicer camera
for shooting a wedding.) I got a great deal on this lens from a seller on eBay. This lens itself
retails for almost $500! I was able to get this lens for a little more than half the retail price.
And it's in perfect condition. Now for the even harder part: learning how to use this camera
and lens! I have never used a DSLR camera before - just a point-and-shoot. Just looking
at all the buttons and knobs and stuff on both the camera and lens have me overwhelmed.
I know there's tutorials online, so that's where I'll start. Tim told me to learn how to shoot in
manual, not automatic.
 

 Speaking of photographs, there's nine of Tim's photos that I want to mat and frame
and hang on a wall in his old room/the guest room. I laid them out on my bed today
and I think this is how I want to display them on the wall. Now I need to make a trip
to Hobby Lobby or Michaels and check out my framing options. I'll wait to purchase
all of the frames until one of the places has a 40% off sale.


The weather here in northern IL continues to be just about perfect every day: warm
temps, tons of sunshine during the day, and cool nights. My desk faces a west window
so that the late afternoon sun comes streaming in - which the cats love. I caught Miss
Clemmie rolling around in delight yesterday. 


Sir Zippo prefers to just nap. Smart boy.


 One last thing ~ did I tell you that I'm back in my regular yoga class now that my
shoulder is feeling much better? After almost a year in a gentle class, it feels so
good to be back in my regular class where I feel a bit challenged. Namaste!
 

31 comments:

  1. Hi Melanie, I just stopped by to see what you were up to. I am so sorry for your pain . . . I know what you are going through and it is one of the hardest things in life. Of my four children, I have only had the privilege of raising one to adulthood. That's a long short that I do not share with very many, but knowing your pain, I am adding you to my prayers. I am excited about your camera and I'm looking forward to seeing your photos as you learn more about the functions that a DSLR will provide. It will be a learning adventure that will bring you much pleasure. I wish that we had a regular gentle yoga class in our town. I believe that yoga is the one exercise that can take you into your 90's and older and keep your body as pain free as possible while aging. I've met women that do it regularly . . . that are flexible and obtain good posture well into their 90's. I know that you are very young, but good health is something to obtain now and stick with . . . I'm proud of you:)
    Your blogging sister, Connie:)

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    1. Oh, Connie...I had no idea that you have suffered the loss of a child, too. And even worse...3 children! I can't imagine. Yes, yoga is wonderful and helps keep you strong and flexible, even as you age. I'm not exactly "very young"...I'm 52. :-)

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  2. Hugs to all of you. I am sure it must be a very hard day for you but I'm glad you're able to be together. Your new lens sounds great! Have fun with it. DSLR's can be intimidating but I'm sure you'll get the hang of it in no time. I look forward to seeing what you do with it. Good for you for getting back to yoga, that is wonderful news. Take care and have a good week.

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    1. I haven't looked at any online tutorials or books yet, but I've been fooling around with the camera on my own. NOT good results, lol.

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  3. What a great picture of your family! The only way to learn a new camera is just jump in and do it. I'm lucky because Brenda is close and when I have a problem or question, I just pick up the phone and call her. So much easier than reading that book! Good news that you're back in your Yoga class. Hope the shoulder is doing okay.

    Shipped your runner today! Enjoy!

    Judy

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    1. I can always pick up the phone and call Tim - the expert photographer - if I have to. I'm pretty good with online learning though, so I should be OK.

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  4. Anniversaries are very hard, no matter the years gone by. As for the camera, I know everyone says to take pics in manual mode, but I'm too lazy. I just keep it off Flash and put it on Automatic.
    Brenda

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    1. Yes, anniversary dates will always be hard. I've been playing with the camera in both automatic and manual mode. I want to learn both.

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  5. I'm so sorry that you have to go through the pain all over again, but as a family, you and Brian and Tim do well supporting one another and making it a positive day. I think Phil would love you for that.

    The camera will be fun...like Judy said, jump in. I bought DSLR Camera For Dummies (the book...Ha!) and it's great. I skimmed to get the basic downs and I keep promising myself to delve further!!

    I'm happy you are back in Yoga! The regular one. You must be so happy that your body has mended. Good for you.

    Jane xx

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    1. Yes, we do all support each other and try to keep the day positive. I'm thankful that the three of us are so close. I bet my library has that Dummies book - I will check. Good idea.

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  6. Every year has to be hard for the three of you. I think it's a good idea to spend that day together. I dont think i could handle a rea o camera. Glad your shoulder is better. You would, like my dil 's fitness classes. Hugs

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    1. If I can handle a "real" camera, I'm sure anyone can! Fitness classes? I dunno about that...I'm not exactly fit and all I do is walk and practice yoga.

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  7. Mel, you are right that time does not make it easier. Every day we have with our kiddos is precious. CC is now 4 hrs away but that beats Korea by far. I can shoot outside in manual mode easily but inside the house it gets much more difficult for me. I am glad your shoulder is better. My progress is always complicated by my rheumatoid arthritis and usually I have surgery. I cannot sleep because the block has worn off. Back to PT tomorrow. xo, Olive

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    1. I didn't realize CC is now four hours away from you. But you're right - at least it's not Korea. I will have to try shooting in manual mode outside. Inside hasn't worked for me at all, like you said. On the other hand, all I'm doing is playing around right now. I don't have any idea what I'm doing yet! I hope your shoulder is healing with not much pain.

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  8. Melanie, you are in my thoughts and prayers, today. I'm thankful that Tim does study close by, so that you can support one another, be there for each other, for all occasions.

    Good luck with your new lens. I'm still using my Sony Cybershot Point & Shoot, always in automatic, so cannot even imagine tackling a DSLR with such a lens, although I won't lie and say that those soft, blurry backgrounds are very tempting to me!

    Glad your shoulder is better and that you are able to resume your yoga classes; I'm sure that you will benefit from them, both physically, and therapeutically. I have only taken a few yoga classes when we lived in the city, and I miss them for the calming effect they had on my anxiety, even though some of the moves were tricky, since you had to support your weight for some of those moves, and when one is carrying extra pounds, it can be challenging!

    Your kitties look very cozy in that stream of sunshine.

    Poppy

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    1. Believe me, I carry extra pounds and so do other women in my classes, and we still all practice yoga as best as we can. Yoga doesn't discriminate with body type - anyone can do it! You can always start out with a gentle class.

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  9. Hugs, prayer and blog friend caring to you.
    Love your cats names

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  10. You are living one of my worst fears. My son is cancer free after years of fighting, but my fear of losing him never leaves me. I can't even begin to imagine what you are going through on this anniversary. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Actually, I think I got the idea for a memory shelf from you. I have one hanging in my bedroom with memories of my husband. Thank you.

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    1. I agree that a parent's worst nightmare is losing a child. Somehow I have lived through it and keep doing so. I am so glad to hear that you were inspired to make a memory shelf of your husband. Thank you for sharing that with me.

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  11. That camera is really nice! I, too, have been using a simple point and shoot camera and would probably be intimidated with one like yours. I will probably have to replace mine before very long, as it is coming up with a reddish pink image when started up and it takes some time to get it to focus properly. It has been reliable for years now but things get older and wear out, like me(lol)! I am glad your shoulder is so much better!

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    1. Nothing wrong with a point and shoot camera - I still love mine. I have discovered that I really love photography and would like to step it up a notch. Hence, the DSLR.

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  12. Hi Melanie,
    You were on my mind today so just stopping by to see how you are doing. Your new lens sounds amazing, although challenging, but I am sure you will conqueror it.
    I am thankful you have such a close family to get through these difficult times.
    Have a lovely weekend,
    Jemma

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments, Jemma. I'm glad you were thinking about me. :-)

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  13. Anniversaries are hard! It sounds like you spent it the best possible way you could.

    Our weather here has been lovely too. A few too warm days for me but we are enjoying some really brisk weather now. Your kitties look like they couldn't be happier!

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    1. It's been pretty brisk here now, too. Yes, I have happy kitties. :-)

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  14. Hi Melanie, I'm new to your blog and just wanted to let you know I've spent some time looking around and have enjoyed getting to know you a little bit. I'm so very sorry for the loss of your son Philip. I can't imagine what it feels like to lose a child.

    I have the same camera. Although I'm super tech challenged, for some reason I find shooting in manual super easy (maybe I'm doing it wrong! lol). If you have any questions I would love to help.

    We share many blogs friends and I hope we can become friends as well!

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    1. A new reader! Hello, Doreen. So nice to meet you. Thank you so much for offering to help me with my camera. I look forward to getting to know you better.

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  15. My heart goes out to you, Melanie. I'm glad you have supportive friends and family to get you through all those tough days.

    I finally paid for "Shoot fly shoot" online photo class offered by the Lettered Cottage. I can log in any time I want to refresh my memory. It's all broken down into individual short videos and it all makes sense to me now. I think it was around $60 for the class and it was money well spent. I used my Canon Rebel on automatic for 3 years until I took the course! Have fun with your new camera and lens, Melanie!

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I read and appreciate every comment!