Like Tumbleweed Blowing Across the Prairie…

Phew.  I think that would be a fairly accurate description of how I feel!  Things just keep on moving right along…

The kids finished their last classes at FLCC for this semester.  For Michelle, this also closes a chapter in her life story.  She has now completed two years at Finger Lakes Community College,  although she will be taking three online courses this summer so she will receive an Associates in Applied Science Degree before beginning classes at Rochester Institute of Technology. She was a bit nervous about her grades as she wasn’t sure she would get an A in Micro Economics. Today, though, she received the good news she did indeed get an A.  She was thrilled, as she completes this semester with a 4.0 average.  Ben also looks like he is going to get an A in his class he took this semester as well.  We are so happy for both kids.  Although we have had some pretty stressful Tuesdays and Thursdays rushing to get out the door on time, it seems like the time flew by.  The kids think so, too!

We have been so busy taking the kids places the past couple of weeks.  It seems like they have a list of constant social engagements!  Mark and I really don’t mind taking the kids places,  as we find this allows us some time to kick back and relax!  The kids also have friends over an evening every week.  This is a bonus for me, as they scurry about, cleaning and putting things away.  That lessens my load!

We have been getting rain. And more rain. And even more rain!  I am not complaining, but it really is adding up!  The lake remains swollen and looks like it will take some time before it recedes.

After my little Panasonic camera took a tumble down into a ravine a few weeks ago,  I was a little heartbroken, as I missed my little point and shoot.  Well, Mark tried to fix that camera,  but it was just to no avail.  The camera is history.  Mark realized I really missed it, so he bought me another Panasonic camera.  This newer model was supposed to be great,  but after shooting in several different conditions, I was not impressed.  More like “de” pressed!   This sent Mark into deep research mode, looking for a high quality replacement. 

Mark’s saga found him turning to Ken Rockwell. Mark looked under his recommendation for the “world’s best point and shoot pocket camera” and saw the Canon S95. He then began looking for one of these models to no avail. One day,  we went to Best Buy, looking for something entirely different,  when Mark said we should check out the cameras.  Amazingly (and totally not showing up in the store’s inventory on the computers, as Mark had already checked) we saw one Canon S95. Naturally, we grabbed it.  I have been using this camera for my photos since May 5th and  I am still shaking my head in disbelief  that such a small camera could compete with images taken from my Nikon D-90. 

Yesterday, I joined a community (site)  that originates from Scotland after inquiring about it from a friend in Scotland who uses it.  The gist of this site is that you can only submit a photo you took on the day it is published and you may submit only one photo per day.  I have been looking for just such a challenge for some time now, as I love honing my skills and taking a bit of a more critical look at the world around me in an artistic light.  Grabbing at subjects becomes second nature and makes life more appealing and vibrant!

Today, I felt at such a loss when it came to shooting photos.  Taking an electronic device out into drizzling wet, damp weather could mean the recipe for a disaster!  I did sling my tiny camera bag over my shoulder “just in case” .

After picking the kids up from school this afternoon,  we took a (much needed on my behalf!) trip to Waterloo to shop at the outlet mall there. Mark set up his computer and, being in the good company of Angus and Murphy, said to take my time shopping.  Now, realize I rarely ever shop.  Sincerely,  I buy few clothes and wear them until they are pretty much useless! This past winter,  I  finally discarded a beautiful plaid jumper I had purchased at a Salvation Army Store for $4.99.  I wore that jumper for seven years, over and over again, until it had a few holes in it and was nearly threadbare in some areas. So, for me to go shopping at a real store is quite unusual.  (I have shopped a few times for clothing for a special occasion, though)

As I hopped out of the truck,  I did take along the tiny Canon camera. I walked the entire perimeter of the mall (quite a nice hike, methinks!) and even found some things to photograph! I did buy a pair of sneakers and when I stopped at Coldwater Creek, I found a skirt, blouse, and a beautiful tee shirt. 

When we got home,  I had to sort through my photos and find one that I really liked and wanted to share for my journal.  I was disappointed that my choices would be limited,  but was surprised by what I saw on the SD card! And so, I will share a few photos from today.

I took this photo before we left to take the kids to Canandaigua this morning.  I love the way it turned out with the fog in the background, making the leaves even more exciting, but I wish I would have been more careful not to capture the side of the garage. These are leaves coming out on the Shagbark Hickory tree.  I love the way the outer “shell” rolls back and exposes the cluster of leaves in the center, looking like hands clasped together.  At this ‘point,  they remind me of drawings I have seen of candles hung on Christmas trees before electricity was a mainstay in homes.  The candles were placed in little “cups” and clipped onto tree branches.

After dropping the kids off at school,  Mark and I went over to Lowe’s.  I wanted to look at some things,  so Mark pulled out his small travler guitar and began strumming  away.  He connects the guitar to the sound system in the truck and his music issues forth through the speakers!

Having  no one else with me,  I got to really look over all kinds of goodies in the store.  It sure was fun.  After looking at lots of building materials and lights and all sorts of other things, I went outside to look at fountains and flowers. These New Guinea Impatiens were so beautiful and had just received a good watering via Mother Nature!

After I returned to Mark and the Scottie boys in the truck,  we passed some time just talking and waiting for the kids to call us when they were done. After we picked them up, we were off to the outlet mall.

I was originally looking for a sundress or two.  It became evident within a short period of time Iwasn’t going to find anything Iwas looking for. All the dresses are such bold colors and I just didn’t like anything I saw.  Also, the lengths of the dresses were so short! I  have never liked short dresses and these remind me of what one wears on a wee baby….short dresses with tights!  Ugh!  Oh well, that didn’t phase my intent to look inside several stores and walk the perimeter of the mall.

As I walked along,  there were areas where the sweetest “perfume” seemed to be pouring out.  As I halted my brisk pace,  I spotted the source!

I only wish  I could send along a sample of their scent….

There were many kiddie rides with different themes located throughout the shopping areas.  I saw some Mickey Mouse,  Sesame Street,  but most of all……

The rides were all shiny and sparkling clean, power-washed by (once again!) Mother Nature.  It seemed so sad seeing them sitting idle,  but kids would need some serious rain gear today!

I got back to Mark and the Scotties before the kids.  So we waited…

When the kids came back,  Angus was very happy.  So was Michelle!

As you can see,  the image quality of this little Canon camera is awesome!  The only problem, though,  is this camera is made in Japan. Because of that,  it is nearly impossible to find one.  We have discovered that some auto manufacturers here in the US have closed some production because they cannot get parts because they are made in Japan.  Many Japanese companies remain down because of insufficient electricity to run them.  Forget seeing any of the new cameras and gadgets recently introduced.  I read that some autos shipped to the US from Japan had higher than safe levels of radioactivity.  I am thinking this terrible earthquake and resulting tsunami might cost the entire world some inconvenience and maybe even some jobs….at least for a time.