Blog Archives

Misadventures of a snowbound photographer

Tonight I have to direct you towards another url.  As I’ve already chronicled this particular misadventure on my photography website.  I do promise though, the many photographs of our frosty day are well worth the visit.  I know you’ll laugh as much as we did as we battled the environment to get these important shots.

http://tdphotography.me/2013/an-unexpected-snow-filled-adventure/

Hip deep, completely stuck, immobilized in the snow and ice.

Hip deep, completely stuck, immobilized by the snow and ice.

 

And a big thank you to Jamie for not only volunteering as my assistant today, but for capturing the entire thing with her iPhone.  LMAO

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A sweet story and a building project!

I had three completely unrelated things to share seeing how I needed to post a photo for challenge days 18, 19, and 20…  but then I realized I could very honestly share a project the three of us worked on today and have it fit for all three topics.  Yeah, it may be a bit of a cheat – but it’s not a huge one, especially considering I did grab snapshots on both Friday and Saturday, even if I’ve decided to only share a series of images from today.  LOL

But first?  First I have to share a really quick little story that is super cute and totally warmed my heart.  😀

On Friday I was over at my parents place – watching everyone so Mom could go with Dad to an out of town gig.  When Marie, my sister (whom Lily-Ann is named after), got home she came upstairs as usual then asked for my attention.  I stopped working on supper and looked over at her:  “Yes Marie?”

“Moby.”

“Yes.”

“Moby, look.”

And with that she held up the index finger on her right hand as if to say just one second.  Then she bent WAY down to where little Thor (one of my puppies from the Avenger litter whom is now my Dad’s puppy) was standing, and gave him a little pat.  She then stood back up.  “Moby.”

“Yes Marie?”

My sister, who has never been much of a pet person and who does her best to just ignore the other two dogs in the household, gave me a great big grin and an enthusiastic thumbs up.  To which I replied “Awwww….  Marie!  I’m so glad you like him.  He’s a cute little guy, isn’t he?”  She nodded in approval, which made me feel awfully wonderful.  😀

Okay…  now onto my challenge photos.  😉

So, I need to share for something I bought, sweet, and someone I love.  Well…  here are the girl and her Dad working together to put up the last couple of shelves in her room (which he and I started putting up while she was out with my sister Riki earlier today).  I think this series of pictures covers all three challenge topics pretty darn well.

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photo a day challenge for january

The Hobbit (my anti-3D rant)

Every so often I go through one of these anti-tech phases…  shunning FB, twitter, pinterest, wish, wordpress, and my phone.  And yeah…  I’m kinda in the middle of one right now.  That said, I will attempt to resume my regularly scheduled, six nights a week, blogging.  To that end, here I am.  Blogging.

On Christmas (yep, actually ON Christmas, at 10:45 PM) Damon and I went to see The Hobbit.  Now, to give you a little back story, and I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this all before, The Hobbit?  It’s more than a book, more than a movie, more than a script to me.  It’s a huge freakin’ part of my life and has been since my childhood.  After blogging for as many years as I have been, I’m certain I’ve mentioned this before, so I’m guessing if you search my blog for “hobbit” that more than a few entries will pop up.  It’s been a big deal in my life, and helped shape me in many ways.  However, I’m still feeling rather anti-tech-ish, so I don’t feel all that up to typing and sharing a peroration.  So just pretend that you are with me and as excited as I am/was.

So YAY!!!!  The Hobbit!!!

Well…  all I really feel prepared to say is skip the 3D.  Honestly.  If you have yet to catch The Hobbit at your local cinema, watch the 2D version of it.  The movie should have been incredibly immersive experience, but I found I was constantly pulled out of the story by the 3D.  It’s not that it’s a bad use of it, it’s just that stylistically it doesn’t work for much of the storytelling.  Sure, there are a few scenes that looked really impressive, but the majority of the time it just pulls you away from the story.  And that, my friends?  Is a sure fire way to ruin what could have been an amazing movie going experience.

So my YAY became a disappointing sigh as I was repeatedly pulled out of the story because of what?  Tech.  That’s right.  Which probably doesn’t help my current anti-tech phase.  Too much tech.  Boo.

With that, I’ll sign off for the night.

Wishing you all a wonderful tech-filled night without disappointment.  😉

The worst kind of bad dream…

We’ve all had bad dreams.  The kind where some horrific thing happens to “your” family… but they aren’t really your family, it’s your dream family…  and you are kind of there as both a character and silent observer.  So you feel the pain, but are also able to be detached.  It’s scary, but it’s not real.  A normal bad dream.

Well…

Several weeks ago I had a bad dream.  And not your average, run of the mill, bad dream.  We’re talking the kind of bad dream that keeps you from sleeping for an entire week, and leaves you quaking in bed unable to move because of fear.  Where you wake up and it takes time to realize that it all was a dream, and that your family is fine, you are fine, and they’re all sleeping soundly right next to you.

It was such an odd experience, because it really was unlike any dream I’d ever had before – ever.  I didn’t know it was a dream.  I wasn’t an observer.  I was me.  We lived in our house.  My dream family was MY family.  So when the terror began?  There was no separating myself from what was happening.  I felt it all as if it were real.  And the fact that the dream even followed a real time line, it didn’t jump around, I didn’t change from one person to another…  It really was an odd thing to experience.  Dreams are usually odd, let’s face it, they’re downright weird…  so for this one to play out as if it were really happening was weird within weird.

The dream started with my seeing something in the field near our house.  Even in the dream I wasn’t clear on what I saw.  Just something unusual.  And like in reality, I blogged about it that night.

The following day, government agents showed up at my door, asking about what I’d seen.  They then asked me to come with them to discuss it.  Damon was home with the girl, so I agreed.

It became very unreal as things unfolded…  I was never truly clear on what was happening, but the mounting panic was clear.  Something was going on.  Something terrifying.

We were rushed out in vehicles, a procession led by police, clearing the way.  The sky had become incredibly dark in just a few hours, when it still should have been bright daylight.  I tried to get on my cell to contact Damon and Lily – to tell them to stay inside, in the basement.  Reception was bad, and I could barely hear them.  I knew they were scared.  I tried to tell them what little I knew.  Tried to offer them some comfort.  I wanted to tell them I’d be there soon – even though I had no idea where I (and others) were being taken or what was really going on.  And the phone cut out.

I tried to reach them again, but got dead air.  I couldn’t text.  Couldn’t get internet.  There was no way to get a message to them…  Then there was just a deafening bang, and darkness.

I woke up in a total panic.  Sleep paralysis.  I could barely breathe and I couldn’t move.  I hadn’t felt terror upon waking like that since I was a kid (I used to suffer from night terrors).  But I could hear them breathing in the darkness.  And slowly I got to the point where I could open my eyes and look around.  Saw the light on the alarm clock, the standby light on the tv and the hard drive…   The anxiety didn’t fade, but the panic did.  Slowly.

I didn’t sleep the rest of the night.  I just laid in bed next to Lily and Damon, listening to them sleep.  And I had a difficult time sleeping the rest of the week as well.  Just fitful bursts of sleep – dreamless, but not restful.  Thankfully it wasn’t a repeating dream, but it was so vivid that even now, weeks later, I can recall it with clarity.

I’d never had a dream like that.  Ever.  And I’d always been a very active dreamer (it wasn’t until having Lily-Ann that my brain finally slowed it’s night life).  It really was a crazy ride.  The idea that it was the end, whatever it was…  it was the end…  and I wasn’t there for them, I wasn’t there with them.  It was just so beyond terrifying.

 

A2Z – Heroes

Blogging our way from A to Z on issues of sexual and gender identity - Heroes!

Heroes.  They are something we should all have, and they come in many shapes and sizes.  Some may be the usual suspects, heralds of a cause, but others can be found unexpected places.  In truth, I believe everyone has the potential to be a hero.  And I can’t think of any better way to demonstrate this fact that to share a few of my local Saskatchewan heroes who also happen to be members of the acronym community.

Mikayla Schultz is the founder of TransSask (support services).  She is a tireless advocate and campaigner for equality.  Through tremendous efforts, she recently put government to the test and had many successes with the signing of a declaration formalizing March 25-31 as Transgender Awareness Week in communities across Saskatchewan.

Don Cochrane is a former University of Saskatchewan professor, who continues to educate everyone he meets.  His groundbreaking work into subjects of importance to the Sexual Minority and Gender Variant community continue to force change, improving the lives of everyone in Canada.  You can see his hand all over this province, and especially at the annual Breaking the Silence conference here in Saskatoon.

Sarah Houghtaling is a local high school student.  She strives diligently to make lives better not only for those who attend school with her, but for minority students across our province.  A student activist who’s name I highly recommend taking note of.  She’s one of the many young people who WILL change our world for the better.  If you are ever able to attend one of her talks, DO!  You will be inspired.

Kay Williams is one of the most outspoken allies you will ever meet.  A determined advocate for her son, and a helping voice in a confusing world for parents new to the world of parenting LGBTT2QI children and youth.  Kay is a proud volunteer, and one of the founding members of PFLAG in Saskatoon.  She also was awarded the Peter Corren Award for Outstanding Achievement this year at Breaking the Silence – and yes, I teared up during her acceptance speech (which I recorded, and will share at some point).

Four individuals, all unique, all at different stages of their journey, all willing to do whatever it takes to see things become better for those around them.  All four are heroes, and all four I’m proud to call friend.

Who are the heroes in your life?

A2Z – Family

Blogging our way from A to Z on sexual and gender identity - Family

One of the most difficult things in the world is coming out to our families.  There is so much emotion wrapped up there, that it can be hard to separate our own fears from reality.  And listening to the coming out stories from previous generations only reinforces that sense of fear.

I had the privilege of serving as coordinator for a youth retreat last Summer, for Sexual Minority, Gender Variant youth.  During an exercise led by our Artist-in-Residence, Spencer J. Harrison we all got the chance to share coming out stories while in small groups.  One young man’s story in particular made me cry – and not for reasons you might suspect.

At first he didn’t feel he should contribute to the discussion, he didn’t feel that his story was worthy of sharing.  Upon encouragement, he opened up and told his story.  The story of coming out to a family who loved him and supported him – a family to which it didn’t matter what his orientation was.  Unwavering love and reassurance.  And that is what moved me to tears.

More and more people are realizing that orientation doesn’t matter, a person’s sexual desires don’t change who they are as a person.  More and more families find it easy to accept the idea that one of their children may be pansexual, bisexual, asexual, homosexual et al.  More and more young people have GOOD stories to share – and those stories are so worth hearing.  And in those instances where the outcome isn’t so positive?  That’s where community comes in.

If your family doesn’t accept you for who you are, they don’t deserve you.  Family is a choice, and is built on love.  So whether family of blood or family of choice – surround yourself with people who know how amazing you are.  Because you really are incredible!

 

 

a to z, april blog challenge

“And then the princess…”

Tonight the girlie wanted to tell me a bedtime story.  So as we lay together in the black of the bedroom, lit only by the red standby light on the TV and the 9:51 on the clock (way past bedtime), she began her story.  It was a tale of a princess, lost in the forest.  Guided by a new-found friend, she finds peace and contentment amongst the wild things living there.  It started out with such zest and eagerness, but within mere minutes drifted off with “and then the princess…” as my princess fell asleep.

It was so sweet.  Lily-Ann’s words floated away, carrying her to dreamland.  It was a perfect end to a day that was generally lovely.

My parents celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary today, and they spent a gift certificate we had given them for their birthdays while we stayed at their place to watch everyone.  Previous to that I had an afternoon shoot – an outdoor boudoir session, which is always fun and a little risque.  A last minute cancellation of an evening shoot opened up my night which allowed me to spend it with my family (still spent most of it working, but working in their company is always nice).  My sister Riki had even stopped by my parents place while they were out, which was nice too.  She finally got to meet Deedee and Alice, who I had brought along and had set up in a puppy play pen in the kitchen.  Yep.  Just generally a nice day.

Way to go Dr. Coren!

Way to go Dr. Coren!  If your plan was to have your readers crying by page 13, you did it.  Kudos to you!

Jeepers.

LOL

I’m starting to think this book may be a tough one to get through.

It sounded like the truth and only cleaning up after a disease could justify using such awful smelly stuff to wash the floors and walls.  It was then that I finally began to believe that Skipper was really dead. I turned to the bucket with its malodorous disinfectant solution and began to damp mop every surface of the house that I could reach — no other dog was going to die in that house if I could help it.  I cleaned everything so vigorously that I could barely lift my arms at the end of the day.  That night I fell asleep dreaming of God sitting on a white throne, with Skippy curled up next to his foot.  Skipper was still my dog; he hadn’t run away from me because I wasn’t kind to him.  I was sad, but God was a  good person whom I could trust to take care of my dog until I got to be with him again.

Stanley Coren tells the story so many of us dog people already know.  Be it distemper or parvo or a host of other infectious canine diseases…  we all know too well the feelings that accompany washing down your home, feeling the pain of the life lost the fear of further loses and the hope that you have the power to prevent them.  But, on page thirteen, in the words above, that story comes through the eyes of a boy barely old enough for grade school – an experience I can only begin to fathom.

So, wish me luck getting through the rest.  An enjoyable, albeit emotional, read so far.  😉

Page 13 of Born to Bark by Dr. Stanley Coren

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