Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How Hot Did You Say It Was?

Last week, Bruce, Brian , Lindsey and I went to Arizona to deliver Getaway magazines to schools in Tucson and Phoenix. Arizona in August is...hellish. Even for me, who likes it on the warm side.

115 degrees is just too hot. Too hot to move, too hot to breathe.

We went to work as early as possible to beat the heat. My job was to drive the van, program the GPS, point the air conditioning vents at my face and watch Bruce do the hard labor. Bruce's job was to lift heavy boxes onto a hand truck and haul them into the schools in over-100 degree temperatures. I think this system worked fairly well.

Here's Bruce loading up at a school.
 We always bring along a treat for the faculty and staff. This time is was these cute Winnie the Pooh cookies:
In old historic Tucson, across from an old historic elementary school, there was a little park that marked where some old historic springs had once been the happnin' place to take a bath. This colorful mural marked the spot.
Interesting imagery.
But 115 degrees? Really? Too hot for me.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

My Own 1st Day of School

So, today I am going back to work at Bell Photographers. It's a month later than I would have normally started, but with my crazy August I asked for a reprieve and they were ok with it. But now it's time to face the realities of working in elementary schools. Here are a few of the must-haves that I have learned to have with me at all times.

First, my Mickey bag, which has served me well, lo, these last 4 years, with some help from Gorilla Glue. I hope the straps make it through another Fall because I don't know what I would do without my Mickey bag. Also my blue lunch bag- I've been promised that I can reception (take money) instead of shoot pictures this Fall, which means I might even have time to eat lunch between classes. The skeptic in me has doubts about that arrangement.
 My water bottle, filled and frozen.
 My snack of choice: dried apples from Harmons and only Harmons.
 My work notebook. It's filled with notes and essential work information.
Such as diagrams of the light and camera layouts.
 It also has individual school notes. I started making notes about each school 2 years ago on a particularly frustrating day. These include an overall ranking of the kid's behavior from 1-10, teachers to watch out for and anything unique about each school. If you want a chuckle, enlarge this picture and take a closer look at these notes, usually written at the end of a long day of kid-wrangling.
 HAND SANITIZER- my lifesaver. A little dab l' do ya between each and every class. I've had to touch every type of bodily fluid. More than once. I buy this by the quart. Which reminds me: I need my flu shot.
 Mr. Pig. He has helped more than a few reluctant toddlers to smile. I used to have Mr. Monkey, but some preschooler walked off with him at Magna Elelmentary one day. I still miss you, Mr. Monkey. 
My work shoes. Soft, comfy, great for being on your feet for 6 hours at a stretch. And sometimes the Goth kids will complement me on them. They are looking a bit ratty, though. I think I'll be making a trip to the Vans store soon.
 My work clothes. Uggh. I'm sick of them just by looking at them. I do like not having to put much thought into what I will wear to work, though. I have Bell shirts in black, navy, tan and red.
 So, now I have my own First Day of School. Wish me luck!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Gone Most of the Time

I just realized that I've only been home for 8 days this month, and the month is almost over. What have I been doing? Mostly horse shows, and a working trip to Arizona for a few days. Work at Bell starts for me next week. It's been a crazy month.

The photography website is going quite well, due to a few enthusiastic moms of girls who ride. I feel like my photos are improving, but sometimes I make some rookie mistakes, like accidentally bumping the dial on my camera to another setting. I've also started clearing all of my settings at the start of a show so that I am forced to adapt to the lighting right then. That way I don't have leftover setting that might not work ( and look horrible!). Here are some shots from the show last week at Rose Ranch. The ring is small there, which forced me into taking some closer shots. Note to self: Take more shots that are close. I kind of  like 'em.
Shannon and Rocko were super-stars at this show, getting the highest score in the Horse Crazy Hunter Series class, and winning the Intermediate round. They got a boat-load of ribbons, but it was So Hot- 95 degrees and high humidity. We almost died. You can see Shannon's pink cheeks in these pictures. I concentrated on keeping her hydrated, and she did so well that we stopped for Slurpee's on the way home!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Polo Field Show

Horse Disclaimer: Rocko really is a good boy. Really. But he's an animal with a brain, and sometimes that brain thinks funny things like:

"Ok, we're going to the jump."
"Whoa, I'm really looking at that jump."
"Wait a minute, Little Mother. The flowers on that jump are really white. And I haven't jumped this jump yet. Sure, I've walked and trotted and cantered past this jump at least 15 times in the last 4 days, and now you expect me to jump that crazy jump with the blindingly white flowers? I don't think so. I hope your legs are feeling strong because I'm about to put on the brakes in a big way."
"I told you, that jump is terrifying. It will eat me! Nope, not jumping it. Good thing you have strong legs, Little Mother."
Rocko redeemed himself and jumped the scary jump on the 2nd try. They went on to win the Adult Medal class on Saturday which qualifies them to compete for a year end award at the last show of the season, so the day ended well.

They say to never work with small children and animals, and getting a cute posed picture was a bit of a challenge. It started out well, but the breeze kicked up:
 Then Rocko just wasn't feeling it, but the bling on Shannon's helmet is amazing:
 The 3rd try was the charm.
Pretty darn cute- both of them!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Latest From Little Missionary

Pf course you've been wondering what Little Missionary has been up to lately. He's been using a new form of transportation:
 But I guess he was either hijacked or had some kind of terrible accident, because I found this earlier today:
 Poor Little Missionary!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Vernal Temple

I made one last stop on my way home from Colorado, so see the Vernal Temple. I never get to Vernal, so this is the first time I'd seen the renovated tabernacle-turned-temple. I loved the historic feel of this temple.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

On The Tundra

On my drive home from Estes, I drove up through RMNP on a road that took me up to the highest part of the park- the Tundra. Up where the there are still glaciers, even in August. Where there are not a lot of trees, but lots of hardy plants.
 At it's highest point, the road took me to 13,000 feet. It was 48 windy degrees- mighty chilly for the summer! I saw this marmot- basically a giant squirrel. He was bigger than Xena, but just as chubby!
There were also elk that high, feeding on those hardy plants! I spotted this massive set of antlers behind a ridge and waited a while until this big fella got a little closer.
And always the mountains, with glacier-fed lakes.