Friday, June 23, 2017

Focus On You

This week we've officially entered SUMMER. I am not ready for the heat and humidity, but I am ready to enjoy the summer flowers. I don't know of another flower that says summer better than a simple, sweet daisy. Honestly, can you even look at one without smiling?

I love these daisies against the gorgeous blue sky that Evangelina Murray has captured. Her photo makes me think of happiness and light and makes me feel a little nostalgic. I had daisies in my wedding bouquet way back in the early 70's!!  You can see more of Evangelina's beautiful photos on her Flicker stream.

Keep those summer photos coming to our FOL Flicker stream. Just a reminder that our focus this month is backlighting. Early summer mornings are a great time to get out and capture the light!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Reading

by Linda

Well, the kids are out of school and the temperature's up. It must be summer! I still look forward to summertime with as much glee as I did as a child! Certain aspects can appear not so fun but all in all, summertime is fun.

It doesn't matter if you stay in town or plan a get-away trip, there's nothing like longer days and backyard BBQ's with family and friends. And fireflies, oh yes fireflies! Those magic little creatures that appear for an instant. I remember spending many summer evenings chasing those little flying insects. This is something I have been able to do with my grands and to see them delight in it as much as I do just warms my heart!

Summer's more leisurely pace (and high temperatures) often has me looking for a book to get buried in while I wait for the oven outside to cool down, at midnight, or 2 AM.

But I digress...

There is an app called Overdrive that I enjoy. It connects with my local library and allows me to check out books, audiobooks and videos. They stay on my device for 14 days then they go away. While the selection is not as extensive as what is actually available in the library, new titles are added daily. It's getting there. It is just so convenient to just do the whole thing online. No trips to the library to check out/return books. If a title I want is checked out, I can place a hold on it, just like at the library, when it is available I get an email and it pops in on my bookshelf. (virtual bookshelf)

Overdrive has partnered with Big Library Read. This is like a giant book club all online. The selection of the month is available for immediate download. I was somewhat interested in this when I got the email but didn't look at which book was selected. Then I started watching Genius on the National Geographic channel. Are you watching it? It's about Albert Einstein from his higher education to the end of his life. 2 different actors play him. I think they did a great job. His name has become synonymous with genius. I'm no Einsten but Albert Einstein is a well known name but how much do we really know about him? We know he was a scientist, but who was he? And for that matter, how much do we know about his first wife? Mileva Maric?

Here's a spoiler-she was from Eastern Europe at a time when Eastern Europeans where looked down upon and she was a women at a time that women were forbidden to attend school and she was born with a handicap. She was also quite a genius herself, having managed to attend school and do very well in the face of a male dominated society. Extremely well, she was a physicist and mathematician, a lone woman in a male dominated profession. She was at least at bright as Albert Einstein and perhaps, more, and there is much discussion about how much input she had on the many papers he wrote and published during their marriage and how much input did she have on his most famous paper - the Theory of Relativity.

You know, that one. The one that involved lots of physics and math.

The paper he won a Nobel Prize for, and interestingly gave Mileva the prize money, was a paper he wrote in 1905, while married to Mileva, was an explaination of the photoelectric effect.

You can imagine how surprised, and interested, I was when I took a look at which book was selected for the Big Library Read.

"The Other Einstein" by Marie Benedict. This book is based on facts but there are so few facts about Mileva Maric Einstein, the author did have to use her imagination to fill in some of the gaps, a fact she acknowledges. Mileva did not keep a diary but there were numerous letters written between Mileva and Albert that capture the nature of their relationship. A relationship initially based on intellect and equality as well as passion. This book was very thoughtfully written. It was not written to discredit Albert Einstein in any way. It was written to show Mileva and her life with Albert Einstein, her struggle with choosing between an intellectual life and a domestic life which is probably one of the reasons their marriage did not last. And it's fascinating. She was fascinating.

If you're looking for an online book club, or a good summer read, check out Big Library Read through Overdrive.

All you need is a library card.

Do you have one?


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Being A Nana

by Deanna

I love being a Mother, I love being a Grandmother, and I really love being a Great-Grandmother.Let's back up just a wee bit. I was married young, (20) becoming pregnant instantaneously followed up 3 years later with baby number 2. I think I was a good mother, with both children having good memories of their childhood, but I think now looking back, I could have been better. I think I am a good Grandmother, at least my 3 grandchildren also have fond memories of being with their Nana and Pop Pop.  Bailey (one of the three on my left) even lived with me for a year What fun we had together, I miss her still.  This photo was taken almost 6 years ago, it's difficult to get us all together now that everyone has either married (Brandon) and left home or their careers took them away.

When these 3 were young they would come to Nana's and Pop Pop's every year a few days before Christmas with just us without parents.  We had great times, shopping, eating out, playing games, going to the movies, but then little by little those times spent together began decreasing by one....Brandon first with college and jobs, then Bailey with college and working, and finally Brie was the last one to come to stay with us at Christmas.  Now all are graduated from college and all are living the life of adults with jobs, responsibilities and families.

But now, we have a new generation that is in progress. I'm sure you have heard me mention my great granddaughter, Matilda Mae. Oh the joy she brings to us all. It's been many a year since we have had little ones around, since my youngest grandchild is 24. Tilly, as she is called is a bright spot in each of our lives. Look at that smile, that's pretty constant all day long.

Her grandmother, my daughter, Lisa, is as charmed and in love with her as we all are. It's just too bad that she lives a good hour and half to 2 hours away from us both. I would love to stop in and eat breakfast with her, or walk her to the playground, or drive her to pre-school. But because of the distance and time constraints it's just not possible for either of us.

When we do get together, I don't know who has more fun, Lisa or Tilly. And then her grandfather, Sam, my son-in-law is just perfect for Tilly. He is a big kid himself. Look at them together taking selfies.....

Lisa even admitted to me that she likes it when we girls are by ourselves, it gives her more time to be with Tilly. When Sam's around, Tilly is drawn to him like a magnet because he has the inventiveness that children love. He gets down to her level, both mentally and physically, what a gem of a grandfather. My sweetie was like that with our 3 grandchildren. He would hoist them on his shoulders and march around the house singing at the top of his voice. "stout hearted are the forest rangers..." from Little Mary Sunshine. They love him just as Tilly loves Sam.

And I am pleased and thrilled to announce that Tilly's Mom and Dad are expecting baby number 2 which is a boy for sure.  I've known for awhile, but they asked that we not publicly announce until all was well.  See below for how they announced it on social media.

Please notice the baby bump. Hilary is about 22 weeks pregnant and doing well. Another lucky one who doesn't get sick during pregnancies, unlike so many.  Baby boy, we won't know the name until he is born, is due in October, about a month after Tilly turns 3....perfect.

Tilly is super excited that she will have a new baby brother that she can help with changing diapers, play with, read to, sing to. I wonder when she will begin the "is he here yet?" Please notice the red boots. A new addition to the always changing, never boring, always accessorized wardrobe.

Life continues on, and I am so blessed and happy that I am still here to enjoy and love our ever growing family. Oh, by the way, I'm still Nana to this next generation, easy to say, easy to remember.

"What children need most are the essentials that grandparents provide in abundance. They give unconditional love, kindness, patience, humor, comfort, lessons in life. And, most importantly, cookies."   ~Rudy Giuliani

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