as September ends

Since June, one of my favorite photographers and writers, Karen Walrond of Chookooloonks, has been sharing at the end of the month her five favorite photographs.

My sweet photographer friends Xanthe & Andrea both share their five favourite photographs they take every month — isn’t that a great habit? Not just because it inspires fans like me from a technical photography perspective (and really, they’re just so talented), but I imagine that the practice of going through their archives to look at their images more critically to pick their favourites helps them get better as well.

And so, of course, I’m copying them.

I was inspired but never got around to it (or a round tuit – nod to my late father in law) until now as September ends.

Is it just me or does September always seem a little endless? It does. At least it does here under The Big Top and, of course, I have this on a loop in my ear pretty much all month long…thanks Green Day!

Sorry. Off topic.

Me when I sit dow to write lately.

Like our friend, Shaun, here I am tripping down memory lane staring at baby pictures…babies with incredibly big hair.

Think what you may about Greek life ladies, but these ones are fierce, driven and super smart…watch out world!

Whatever will Dr. D. do when the last Scarborough living under The Big Top is straight outta braces?

And while the rest of the world seems to be overwrought over a recent news story about a 13th Zodiac sign, it really isn’t news after all. Regardless of the news, I remain Pisces forever!

smiling eyes

When it comes to the selfie game, most of this circus act has it down to a science. Now don’t hate on the selfie. Were it not for the art of the selfie some of us wouldn’t even be a part of their own narrative…ahem…because they almost always are behind the camera. Here under The Big Top, we love the selfie and love to share with one another a selfie or more while making great adventures away from home.

Bill helped Jodie move back to Arizona this weekend and the two of them, as promised, kept me updated with pictures so that I can in a small way be there with them.

Currently this will be my favorite picture of these two and I made sure to tell my darling husband so.

His selfie game is improving; and yes, he was smiling with his eyes…and that makes all the difference, my darling husband.

When he gets home I will try to explain why he must never use “smize” in a sentence again.

seeing eye to eye again

Nothing is more maddening to a seasoned mamarazzi like myself when people related to me won’t cooperate when I am trying to take their portrait. Under this Big Top, if mama pulls out the camera, there will be picture taking. This mamarazzi doesn’t ask for eye contact very often because there is so much more magic in the candid…at least in my humble opinion. But when I call out to look this way…my clowns look this way.

Except for Fallon over the last year or two. Fallon is Fallon and if Fallon isn’t feeling having her picture taken, Fallon is not going to. Period. The game of capturing Fallon in a photo has been my PokemonGo. Capturing her making eye contact with the lens has proven to be about as easy as finding Squirtle.

Note, I have not found Squirtle, yet. But I will find and catch that little Pokemon. Mark my words! After all, I managed to catch Fallon.

Truth be told, Fallon actually POSED for this shot and was quite pleased with it too. When I comment that she looked at the camera, she rolls her eyes just a little because she is a big girl. She is a big girl who is FOUR AND A HALF who has cultivated the most amazing garden, paints and draws the most amazing art ALL OF THE TIME, on a daily basis states matter of factly wisest of truths, decided in her infinite wisdom that her mother’s father should from now on be called Papa Papa, and who initiates the most epic FAMILY GROUP HUGS always at the right moment. Of course she looked directly into the lens, Mima! And now, literally every chance I get, I am going to capture this incredible, bright, beautiful child who is just one of my amazing grandchildren because dammit, she, just like her sister is growing up much too fast for me. With my camera I shall slow her down as best as I can.

So yeah, Squirtle, I am coming for you!

after the first 10,000

Saturday afternoon chill poolside at a friend’s as we celebrate one of their grand babies’ first birthday.

No complaints y’all. Not one.

I brought my camera, as I almost always do because I am the Mamarazzi and any good mamarazzi knows you never know when the moment to take a snapshot might pop up. All good mamarazzis are prepared.

That’s true.

That’s some camera! Are you like a professional photographer?

No. No, I’m not. I just like to take pictures…a lot of pictures.

Hubs adds, A LOT of pictures!

You must be good with a camera like that.

Well, I take like 10,000 pictures and maybe two or three or four are really good.

Hubs adds, She IS really good.

Thank goodness my darling husband appreciates the photos I take…

and display.

everywhere under The Big Top.

Literally everywhere!

With more than thirty three years of memories  and moments captured in snapshots of course they would be everywhere.

Thank goodness my darling husband appreciates all the photographs that I must display since he is the one to help me hang the photo ledges that display so many of them. As I sat in our sitting room this morning, drinking my morning cup of coffee, I couldn’t help but feel home surrounded by years, decades of memories.

Downsize my moments captured? I don’t think so. I remember reading once about the passing of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis where she went peacefully surrounded by those she loved and her books and her photographs. I can only hope and pray for an end like that someday…hopefully a very long time from today.

A good snapshot keeps a moment from running away.

~ Eudora Welty


I basically can’t live without

You know you did very well in gifting when your child shares with her nearly 10K followers on her business Instagram account  that which you gifted her.

Seriously, this bag is pretty awesome. All the more awesome is her Pinterest board because she really is hard to shop for sometimes. Of course, she gets it from her mama! But this last year I gifted her well. Thank you Pinterest and Hollie pinning all the things.

I just might need a bag like this because, like my darling daughter, and pretty much anyone, there is absolutely a bunch of shit I basically can’t live without.

  1. like my favorite face wash because the oil slick that is my face keeps waiting for the dry, flaky, crepe-y skin that is all part of the joy that is menopause. Sure it might feel like a certain body fluid, as someone I know compared it to, but it works very well for me…and that is all that matters.
  2. Sunscreen! All the sunscreen because ginger girl problems are real.
  3. This lip balm because more sunscreen and because I am always licking my lips so why bother with heavy lip color?
  4. My latest favorite Acoustic Chill playlist on Spotify because the drive to work is too stupid and too real

  5. My old, well-worn, gray sweater I got from Costco years ago.
  6. Eyeglass cleaner because the glasses I wear every waking moment are always smudged and dirty and I just might be obsessed about cleaning those glasses of mine.
  7. This whiteboard calendar which just might be ridiculous if I were to carry it in a bag.

    Then again, I am not the only one living under The Big Top who basically can not live without it which is why everything and everyone on the calendar is color coded.
  8. My blackout curtains because I am Vampira, the night shift nurse.
  9. Coffee, nectar of all the nurses.
  10. My Amazon Prime account
  11. Dental floss. I blame my dentist for lecturing me about gum disease while deep cleaning for what has become an addiction.
  12. My cameras…Canon 60D and iPhone because I am indeed the Mamarazzi
  13. My favorite pen…don’t ask to borrow it…ever.
  14. My Moleskine notebook
  15. a bottle of Coke Zero, just one, for my lunch break at work
  16. My ASU ball cap to hide the epic bedhead when I take my son to school in the morning. Not that my son’s principal would ever call me out for the bedhead or the pajama pants I might be wearing (if I’m not wearing scrubs) because she isn’t nearly as judge-y as Kate Chisholm and because at least I am wearing a bra. There’s that!
  17. My Caffeine and Kilos ball cap for when I can’t find my ASU cap.
  18. A good bra.
  19. My water bottle. I blame Jodie and my membranes rupturing at 26 weeks while pregnant with her for my ALWAYS carrying a water bottle and ALWAYS drinking all the water.
  20. A Sharpie marker…you never know when you need to mark something permanently.
  21. Altoids, you are very welcome Day Shift!
  22. My Asics
  23. My favorite Scünci hair ties…they are discontinued which would explain why I am hoarding them.
  24. My favorite hair clip because thick hair can be a problem, even thinning, menopausal, thick hair. But hurray for the fact that my hair is long enough 20 months after my latest pixie cut to twist up into an undo with my favorite hair clip…it’s the little things that make me happiest, really.
  25. Scarves…I have no idea how many I have. That might be a problem. But who cares because I basically can’t live without them.

What shit that you basically can’t live without would you stuff that duffel bag with.