“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.”
~Henri Cartier-Bresson



Saturday, July 14, 2012

"Until one has loved an animal, part of their soul remains unawakened."

Oh, Brownie, my "show pony", my silly goat with the crooked smile and horns that grew in all directions.  I will miss you  and always see you standing in the goat house waiting for attention and some peanuts.
The vet came Wednesday and put Brownie to sleep forever. He kept falling and couldn't get himself up anymore. He was loosing weight and very weak. It was time for him to leave us.
It's been a very hard week... so I will just leave you with some photos, and some memories,  from the day we picked him up at the goat farm.
He was a most handsome goat.
With bright eyes and a little smile.
He was "show' goat quality and knew it. 
We had four Nubian wethers. Brownie was always smiling for the camera. 
Then, his horns kept growing back. We had them cut back many times, until we finally just let them grow. He was proud of these horns. The other goats were envious.

Bart comforted Brownie when he had to have them cut off because they were growing in the wrong directions.
But when the accident happen, Bart and Freckles started picking on Brownie. At first they were OK and seemed concerned, but then they started knocking him around and wouldn't leave him alone. Because of this abuse, we gave them to another farm. After that Brownie and Murphy became good friends and Murphy kind of took Brownie under his care.
They were buddies. and Brownie loved his Murph'. He followed Murphy everywhere.
We lost Murphy to urinary stones on Memorial Day and  I think that Brownie started going down hill from that day.He lost weight and then, worse, he kept falling and getting stuck in the fence. He couldn't get up. We would help him and, for a while, he would stay on his feet. But, this didn't last and he would fall again.

 Memories...They could be wild things when they were young. 
Almost magical...
I miss all of this goat activity.

The goat run, their house and the pasture lay empty now. It's filled with sadness down there.
Brownie was the last.
Goodbye, sweet goat.




Sunday, July 8, 2012

Swim Meets, pools, rivers and a happy 4th.

I forgot to tell you that I had a roommate at my sister's house. He was good looking in a creepy sort of way.
He is a permanent resident in the upstairs bedroom. He is called a Leopard Gecko. He belonged to my sister's oldest son, who moved out recently. I guess the Gecko didn't want to live in an apartment. He doesn't easily put up with any changes in his environment. He is very particular.
I would uncover him in the morning and say "Hello." to him. He would lift his head up and look at me. Unlike chickens, he makes eye contact with you and he seems like a nice guy. But, he eats baby mice, so that's a bit disturbing.
We did well together. My sister takes care of him and he has a name... which I have forgotten. He's certainly better than a pet spider.
Anyway, I drove to Pleasant Hill last Friday so that I could get up earlier and go to our grandson's swim meet Saturday morning. It was in Alamo at a swim club. The excitement was palpable.
The pool was ready and there were already kids practicing their swim strokes.
Mommy put on her apron. She would be getting the kids lined up for each race.
The competition began...
Our youngest grandson is five. I think that he is an amazingly good swimmer for a five year old. Look at that "ready, get set, go", and that smile on his face afterwards. He was so cute. Sometimes he forgets what stroke he is suppose to be doing, but it's all good  and he seems to be a naturally good swimmer.
The Bean, on the other hand, takes all of this very seriously. He's seven and very competitive.
And he comes out of the pool like he just devoured the competition.
Dad is always there to tell them what a good job they have done

 and then the coach gives them a pat on the back and any advice they may need.
 Both he and his brother were very concerned about their scores.
 At this age, the emphasis is not so much on winning. It's more about perfecting the strokes and following the rules. There seems to be a lot of fun going on too.
But The Bean, who takes it all very seriously, is getting a taste of winning... and 'the agony of defeat" and he doesn't like loosing.
While The Bean was learning to be an Olympic swimmer and placing in his "heats", little Bean was talking to the teenagers, being his very social self and goofing off with grandma.
The whole day was wonderful. My grandson took photos of me too, but you won't see them here. They were OK, but I LOOKED LIKE A GRANDMA. Who is this woman? He was very careful with Noni's Nikon and he took some good pictures... but even a really good camera still doesn't make you look like you're 40 years old again. Darn!
When are they going to make a camera that takes the years off and  turns the gray back into blond . I know, I know... I'm suppose to accept this growing old business, but it ain't easy.

I took the boys to lunch a few times. I ate what they ate. My stomach hasn't been the same since.
 I found this in my purse when I got home.
I hate to admit it. I had two "happy meals" which include french fries. They also give you apple slices. I guess the apple slices make you feel better about eating the french fries. I know I felt better. MacDonald's is The Bean Boys favorite place to eat. They love "happy meals" because they have toys in them. .. and the shakes have whipped cream and a cherry on top. I'm now an expert on "happy meals". Ask me anything.

Mommy got sick after the Swim Meet and wasn't doing well for a few days, so I went to the boys swim practice on Monday and took them to my sisters to swim, etc. Between the sitter and I , Mommy got some rest and felt better by the 4th of July.
We had a little get together on the 4th and the Beans got to... SWIM some more.
This time they just played. Daddy tossed them in and swam with his boys and they dived for weighted pool sticks that turned on and blinked under water.I got them at Walgreens- $5.99 for a set of 6, two of which lit up.
 Little Bean was patient about sharing the shark... for a while. "Come on Bro, let me have the shark."
"You been on it too long."...And finally had to yell at big brother who didn't want to give up his attack position.


After dinner it got cooler. The wet and tired little boys needed to be wrapped  in warm, dry towels and settled in for some snuggling. I love this photo of my sister and Little Bean. She is such a good "auntie" to my grandchildren.

The next day I drove home. I decided to drive the river road from Rio Vista to Walnut Grove instead of highway 12. It was a nice change. I found a place on the river near Walnut Grove that we could buy and be closer to our family.
 I could live here, easily. I might even learn to fish.
That's Mt. Diablo way out there in the distance. I have lived around that mountain all my life. I can even see it from Jackson.
This would be a good place to live. Beautiful water, closer to everything, but still away from the business of the cities.
We could swim with the grandkids, have a dock to jump from... and fish for dinner.
Yep! It looks pretty good.
**************************

This morning we went for a walk on the road to the Mokelumne River.
 We took the dogs and went early. It's really hot again, but it's good to be home. Guess we'll stay here for a while longer.