Monday, September 29, 2008

If the world didnt have Gramma's

Seriously. If the world did not have Gramma's, it would be a much lesser place. Gramma's have patience, when Mommy's do not. Gramma's are always there, when mommies need them. And when grand babies need them too. And honestly, I think Gramma's have a sixth sense for when their own babies are desperately needing to be babies themselves again, and figuratively speaking of course, need to curl up into their mommies arms and cry about how the world is not always a perfect place to be in. I love my life, and my children, and my husband and my horses, but when all is not well, I know I can go to my babies Gramma and she will make me feel OK again.
Thanks mom :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sweet Saucy Svea

This child feels with her entire being.

Feels angry, feels mad, feels frustrated, feels sad.

She rages in tantrums that can rattle the calmest of souls.

She loves deeply and gently...Dotes on her baby brother even though she is only two.

Smiles sweetly and says "I love you mommy" perfectly clear amongst the other garble.

I believe she is wise beyond her years.

And I cant begin to tell you how much I love her.
(give me a break, one baby at a time)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Kaija's learning curve

So I do love to take photos, but being GOOD at taking them, well that's another thing entirely. In the last few days I have been reading about ISO, aperture, shutter speeds, white light balance...and frankly, I am a little overwhelmed. But I didn't buy a dSLR camera to use as a point and shoot model, so I am stubbornly insistent on learning to use the things manual options. I like the creative kinds of photography. The Sears shots just kind of bore me, actually. And to be honest, the last shots I got from Sears I could have done better on my point an shoot camera. Nothing like paying through the nose for some pimply teenager to stand behind a big expensive camera, get you in the viewfinder and press the button.

So forgive me while I swamp my blog with photos. Some good, some bad. Some a lot of both.

I am unwilling to use the auto function on my camera, so most of these photos are taken on either manual, or AV, which chooses the appropriate shutter speed for the aperature you choose.

You can tell me to shut up if you want to, but I wont listen anyways.

The girls have decided that they want no part of my learning. The big black thing I always have in my hands is an annoying intrusion on their play and Olivia mumbles things like " no mumble mumble" while she turns away from me. Svea gets this sly little grin and takes off. Hayden thinks the lens is an intriguing object and therefore, will be the subject of many, many of my photos.

The pic of Olivia is way overexposed. I have no photoshop programs and am currently working on Ben to spend even more money on my newest expensive hobby. Mind you, even photoshop couldn't likely save that particular photo. And poor Svea, her face is one big shadow. Its a learning curve for me, but I think it was the high ISO I had set.
I love the boots. And they wont fit them for long. I spose next year will have to bring a couple of new pairs, wont it?

I don't like flowers..or plants..or trees, or any kinds of shrubbery, OK?!

Olivia HATES plants. I don't know why, she just doesn't like em. And if I can figure out how to wing a shot of her riding in the wagon strapped to the back of the quad while Ben drives through the trails at camp, I can show you her infamous "duck and cover" which will make you pee your pants. Its that hilarious. Trust me.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Yippy Kaiyiyay!

I am so very excited! Yesterday I got to order my new Canon EOS 40D. I was warned off the lenses that come with the packages, so I got the camera body and ordered a specific lens (50 mm f1.8) to use until I can afford my coveted 28-70mm f2.8. The Canon models of lenses get the great reviews, but there is a company (Sigma) that makes a copy of this lens for much cheaper. I will dream about this lens until I have it...but until then, the lens I did buy gets great reviews not only online, but from actual real people I have chatted with that love it.
I couldn't bring myself to purchase one of the oh so boring bags available here in Thunder Bay, so I found this bag (Tracy Joy) made SPECIFICALLY for mothers who tote around their little ones and their camera alike. This is actually a camera/diaper bag. The dividers are thick and padded so camera parts wont bump together, but it can also accommodate for some diapers, etc. Seriously? How cool is that. The one I ordered is similar to this one, only chocolate brown rather than black. And I included a picture of what the inside will look like too.
To make life even sweeter, I just got the LAST spot in a 20 hour college offered camera workshop specifically for DSLR cameras. I am currently enjoying a wonderful online course I am taking through Sheye Rosemeyer (Australia) and am hoping to double up on figuring out aperture, iso, shutter speeds and so on and so forth. I cant wait to get some real "bokeh" with my new toy, that is en route as we speak.
So today is a GREAT day and I cant wait for tomorrow :)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Atikokan Show Girls

Good Girls are just bad girls who don't get caught. Keeping this in mind, and as to not blow our cover, I will give you a condensed and cleaned up version of Lee-Anne and my weekend trail ride/poker derby in Atikokan.

We arrived Friday night to our first ever poker run in Atikokan, Ontario. The grounds were beautiful grass, with a great huge pond (or is it a small lake?), fire pits, a great chalet and some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Fuji blew a shoe the night before and the easy boot/duct tape route was not working, so Jessica loaned us the coolest leather boot and saved the day, as well as Fuji's foot.

We acquainted ourselves with the company around the campfire on Friday night, REALLY got to know each other (some more than others), roasted some smokies, lunged the geldings in this large beautiful sand area that was wonderfully level and perfect for the occasion, and generally had an awesome time. The police made regular checks on the facility to be sure all was well, and some of the rowdies got frisked on the police car.

The weather was a bit shaky on Saturday morning and the set 10:00 departure time was pushed off for those fair weather riders (aka, ME) we left a bit closer to noon. The first 20 minutes with the "show" horses was a bit hair raising, as both were wet, cold, and completely unfamiliar with the concept of being bush whacker trail riding, water crossing, hill climbing, cliff dwelling true blue redneck real workin horses.

We had a few hops, leaps, spins, and otherwise scare the hell out of my pansy self's panties moments when the snobby show horses couldn't wrap their delicate sensibilities around the sound of large groups of horses coming up from the rear, but in all fairness, between the gaited horses and the loose rocky, gravelly section we were in, the sound did remind me of a wild herd of horses thundering in from wild yonder. We did survive it though, and were awfully thankful it didn't happen on the very beautiful, but very scary (for me) cliffs with the sheer 1000 foot drop offs. Thankfully, we decided, since horses are rarely suicidal, most wont leap off cliffs even in a moment of panic. But truthfully, we did make it through these sections uneventfully (though I wouldn't let Lee-Anne be the photographer she wanted to be while in these sections). I thought.....the more time we linger, the more chance for umm...difficulty.
For Fuji, this was his first trail ride ever. He was well educated. Turns out he is a great pack horse (he wore his AND Jag decided saddle bags were fine EMPTY, but full ones were totally unacceptable..and rightfully so, he IS a show horse (aka pansie), after all.). Fuji did a great job and so did Lee-Anne, who piloted him through a few horse eating rock piles, boogy man water coolers, and monster leg dissolving water sections. He sucked it up like a true trail horse and was ready to say uncle about 10 kms into the 25 km ride.
It took us close to 4 hours to complete this ride at a nice graceful walk. Slow and safe wins the race. In fact, we were SOOOO slow, the other riders dubbed us the "Show girls" due to our super speedy mounts and actually sent someone looking for us, as apparently, there was some concern about what may or may not have happened in the cliff section (I should remind you that these sections do have a fair amount of trees dividing you and the actual drop off...but what I could see THROUGH the trees still made me pee a little). Ha. We were hiding in the last section during this time and arrived back at the camp a few minutes later, safe and sound.
We arrived to a hot meal of homemade chili and buns, pasta salads, burgers and smokies, drinks and desserts, the announcements of the poker winners, and the very cool prize winning. There was a large, beautiful tent set up for eating in, and a warm chalet with hot chocolate for those of us needing some warming up.
I cant say enough how awesome this ride and experience was. The trails were perfectly groomed, marked so well you could have found your way completely drunk (NOT that we would do that....), the people were wonderful, helpful, cheerful and welcoming. The facility was beautiful. The prizes (that absolutely every rider received) were great, the money (that we didn't win) was awesome ($350 for first place), and everyone left with huge smiles on their faces.
Thank you all for a wonderful weekend!
See you next year :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

WAIT, it is the Canon 50 D I want :)

Aren't they cute?

Olivia lately has been the devil. She has this cry, sounds like a wounded calf, but more irritating like...maybe more like a Siamese cat in heat. Makes you CRAZY. Last few days she has started to use this cry first thing. By 10:00 am, I am hanging precariously on the bottom of my rope hoping to hell that Ben or Mom, or someone, ANYone comes to my rescue. And someone has. Lee-Anne, my sister in law.

We leave this evening to go to Atikokan for the weekend for a trail ride. I can hardly wait.

Hayden is SOOOO close to crawling. He can get up on all fours and rock, but he has yet to discover to move his arms. This is a frustrating situation for him. He makes his way around backward, but this is not pleasing him anymore. He gets his eyes locked on something in front of him and he wants to get to it the fastest route possible. The kid has amazing hand eye coordination, and I am starting to be concerned that when he does get going, he is going to be a true handful.

Svea loves boxes. We bought them a new toy box and she has had a blast with the box. I loved boxes too, so I am thinking its hereditary. I let the girls colour the box with crayons, and have since discovered all kinds of artwork on my walls. Nowaday crayons wash easily, which has been my saving grace, since we all know how much I love cleaning.

I have been delinquent in my blogging for several reasons. Camp, and this photo workshop. So bear with me, I should be back to my regular blogging self in a month or so.

Cheers :)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Photo school

So, I want to get decent at taking photos. Mom bought me an online photo workshop and this was lesson number one. Telling a story with a picture.

How have my children changed my life? lol. Seems obvious. Truth is, its much more complicated than what can possibly be seen from anywhere besides in my particular pair of shoes.

Who I am, and who I was, and how I think and feel and wish and dream has completely changed. Obviously on so many levels, I am the very same Kaija you all know (and of course, LOVE). But I am not the same. I am forever a good way.

Anyways, my big the Canon D50. So if you are thinking of shopping, please get me one :)