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Archive for August, 2008

Palin????? It would seem the Republicans have a death wish or something.  Maybe that’s not fair.

That’s the instant message I received from my dad the moment she was confirmed as McCain’s VP choice. She’s an interesting pick, no doubt, but I can’t see her helping their campaign in the way they seem to think. When she spoke, Palin thanked Ferraro and Hillary for paving the way for her. What about Shirley Chisholm running for President in 1972?  I think she missed an opportunity there. Wouldn’t it have been beneficial to them to have mentioned and thanked Chisholm too? Then when she mispronounced “nuclear” just like Bush, I think McCain flinched a bit.

On the other hand, Obama’s speech at the DNC was amazing.

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Today I spent about four hours digitally restoring a photo for a distant relative who recently contacted me in regard to a common Main family ancestor. I’ve restored photos previously, but this one was a particular challenge requiring about 36 Photoshop layers of enhancements to get to the “final” stage. I probably could have obsessed over it longer, but decided that after four hours, it was probably good enough.

Joseph Main Family Farmhouse

Joseph Main Family Farmhouse - Original Scan

Joseph Main Family Farmhouse - Digitally Restored

Joseph Main Family Farmhouse - Digitally Restored

Joseph Main Family Farmhouse - Restored Sepia

Joseph Main Family Farmhouse - Restored Sepia

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Empty Nesting

We are back from having moved enough furniture and belongings to fill a 16 ft. truck and two Saturn Ions from our home to Jenna’s and Jen’s new apartment in Lubbock, followed by a couple of days unpacking and getting them settled in. A few days after our return, we saw Ali off at the airport so that she could meet Matthew in California for their three-year dating anniversary. This week is just a short, empty-nesting preview, but the real thing will be coming all too soon.

Although it’s a slow time of the year for selling real estate, we’ve had enough interest in the house to keep us paranoid about leaving daily messes. We thought we had a young family showing interest in the house toward evening yesterday when we spied a couple and three children examining our creek. They left and then returned with others collecting under the trees on our creek-front property for thirty minutes or more. Over the years, we’ve had several mistake it for public property and we eventually concluded that it was probably a church group. We made our presence known by taking the dog out and getting the mail, but they still seemed clueless that they were trespassing. We saw no harm in what they were doing so we didn’t tell them or ask them to leave.

My typical summer morning routine takes about an hour with pets, tidying, and some yard work — and then there’s too little to do the rest of the day. Earlier this week I got another glance at one of our creek owls gliding over my head as I was watering. I awoke this morning and immediately took Phoebe outside, as I normally do. We’ve had some rain lately so instead of grabbing the hose to start watering potted plants, I sat in a lawn chair to enjoy the cooler morning for a few minutes. I looked across the pool and spotted a familiar face cautiously peering back at me. Butterball? What was he doing outside? Happy to see me, he came running as soon as I called and I put him inside, but I soon realized that Sox was also missing. I dressed and began looking for him, first in the house, and then outside. Finally, Steve awoke and began looking too. He’d gone to bed late and they must have escaped when he let Phoebe out one last time before he went to bed. They’re inside cats and don’t usually even try to go outdoors. We had just about given up finding him when suddenly I saw Sox timidly sitting in just about the same place that I’d seen Butterball earlier. I sat on the diving board, wiggled my fingers and coaxed him to me. About that time, I spied a probable victim floating lifelessly in the pool — a good sized rodent the cats had probably chased to its demise. They may have had an adventure, but both were glad to be back inside.

With all that done, this is the time of morning I usually start hearing footsteps bounding down the stairs — but strangely, it’s very, very quiet.

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The girls and I drove back Wednesday from a few fun days in Houston with Joel, Blake, and Zoe, who is a very busy toddler. She’s talking more and more these days, and over the course of our visit, her favorite word, “No,” was occasionally followed by “Nokay” (with a tone implying “Okay, if I have to”).

Although I’m technically challenged and too impatient to figure out their TV and TiVo controls, Zoe seems to have it all figured out. I was quite impressed when with what seemed like a few random pushes and twists, she successfully turned on a TiVo recording of Sesame Street! I also kept a window open on my laptop with Sesame Street videos so when she came to sit by me whenever I was using the computer, she could point to a character and we’d play a song or a learning segment. I left the laptop open once when she was otherwise occupied. While I went to the kitchen for coffee, she managed to activate the window and start a video herself. She’s not even two yet!

We enjoyed the 5-day visit and arrived home on the 29th, Jens arrived the 30th and celebrated his 22nd birthday with us on the 31st, and Jenna and Jens left this morning for the first round of their move to Lubbock. With Jenna’s car packed to the brim with all they could take, we hugged and said goodbye. They’ll be back in a few days and we’ll rent a van and help them get the majority of their things to their new apartment on another trip.

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