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March Heat Wave

It was hot, hot, hot here over the weekend!

I had lots of family at the house for the weekend ….

And now, sadly, everyone has left.

On Saturday evening, Fred made his first trip to the beach.

Fred has been hiking on the trails above, and around, the beach before.

But, this time it was ALL ABOUT THE ACTUAL BEACH.

I was having one of my traditional beach nights with my friend, Nike.

Nike explains “waves” and “ocean” to baby Fred.

Fred, clumsily, attempted to walk and run on sand.

He liked the ocean water, but then a wave hit him and scared him a little.

He watched other dogs dig in the sand, and then he tried it for a minute or two himself.

Nike brought her dog, Reggie.

Fred had a joyful time playing with a dog-pal.

Reggie is a very fast runner and Fred is … not.

Sometimes, when Reggie would get tired and stop to rest Fred would sit on him.

It was Fred’s way of trying to make Reggie stay with him and play.

The problem is Fred, at four months of age, is bigger than adult Reggie.

Reggie was patient with puppy Fred.

When he got tired of it, he’d give Fred a little growl to say, “You’re way too giant of a puppy to sit on me buddy – get off!”

It was pretty funny.

Poor Fred … he’ll never be as fast as Reggie.

He’ll also soon realize he can’t go around sitting on his friends in an attempt to keep them close.

(Thank you Reggie for helping to teach this to Fred!)

Sunset was beautiful.

Fred The Newf enjoying a California beach sunset.

The two dogs played until around 9:30 p.m.

When it came time to leave, Fred was so tired I wasn’t sure he’d make it back to the car.

He was asleep before I pulled out of the parking lot …

With a huge puppy smile on his face.

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Fred Friday

It was very warm here yesterday.

Fred The Newf, my son, and I went swimming.

It was supposed to be my son and I swimming,

But, well ….

I couldn’t help it Mom!

I have more family arriving today.

Temperatures are expected to soar this weekend as we endure our first summer heat wave of 2015 … in March.

I’m sure Fred will find his way to the pool and/or ocean more than once over the weekend.

I’ll try to take some photos of him for you, too.

I need to put him next to a person (for a frame of reference) so you can see how big he is now.

Hint:  He’s HUGE!

I can’t believe how tall he’s gotten just in the last week.

It really is amazing to watch how rapidly a Newfoundland grows!

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What’s Going On …?

My son is still here so I’m just going to squeeze in a quick post.

•  We had a mom/son day on Tuesday to celebrate his birthday.  It was fun.  I’m so glad he was able to be home for his birthday this year.

•  We’re having a bigger family birthday celebration this upcoming weekend.

•  I’ve been practicing Kendama.  I’m getting better!  (I love it, but I’m really terrible at it – which is kind of funny!)

•  It’s going to be hot, hot, hot here the next several days.  I hope to spend a lot of time at the beach with Fred.

•  Fred is doing REALLY WELL with his training.  We’re still in the early stages, but I’m so proud of him.  He’s doing great.

•  I’m sorry I haven’t had much time for taking Fred photos.  It’s been a chaotic week or two.  I’ll try to do better.

•  Sometimes I wish I could blog about some of the work projects I’m in the midst of, but I can’t.  (Busy is good though!)

•  Here’s a photo I took at sunset one day this week.  It’s definitely  summer  spring.  I was fortunate to catch a bird in-flight as it built a nest.

Nest Building at Sunset:  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

•  I looked into a 15x magnifying mirror yesterday and I was horrified.  I might have screamed.  I won’t be doing that again – ever!

•  I feel like doing massive spring cleaning.  I’ve done a little here and there, but I need a BIG dedicated block of time.  I’ve had a lot going on work-wise and my son is here, and more family is arriving, and, and, and …!  But, it’s going to happen next week for sure!

•  Most dogs are microchipped these days.  Why hasn’t anyone built GPS into the microchips?  I’m sure it’s bound to happen SOON.  It would be such a great help in recovering lost/stolen pets.  (I’m not too worried about Fred wandering off.  He likes to be right with me.  In fact, he whimpers, pathetically, when I leave the room.  The rest of my family refer to him as “Mommy’s boy.”)

•  I’m waiting for the arrival of the new Canon 11-24mm lens.  I should have pre-ordered it when it was first announced by Canon.  I didn’t, and now I have to wait until it’s back in stock.  This year is going to be the year of many changes to my camera bag.  I will try to get my website “gear” page updated soon to reflect those changes.  I’m very excited about this new lens because I shoot wide the majority of time.  I can think of so many things I want to shoot with it.  Can you tell I’m impatient to get my hands on it?

•  I’ll try to get a post up tomorrow, but if I don’t you’ll know it’s because I’m busy with both work and family events.  Next week should be a little calmer and, hopefully, I’ll have my life back into some semblance of a routine.

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Goofy Newfie

I thought I’d share a recent photo of Fred today.

It’s a good example of why Newfoundland Dogs are often called “goofy Newfies.”

Yes, that’s Fred in all his goofy Newfie glory.

His mouth is a mix of baby teeth and budding adult teeth.

His head was soaking wet when the photo was taken because he kept chasing the garden hose.

He was excited and playful … and crazy-eyed … and smiling.

Most of the time Fred is VERY calm.

(His calmness is pretty amazing considering his young puppy age.)

Sometimes Fred is very regal and majestic.

But, once in awhile (as you can see above!) Fred is absolutely crazy and goofy.

The many faces of Fred …!

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Kendama Craze!

Are you playing Kendama yet?

Kendama is a traditional Japanese toy involving a ball on a string and a … stick/sword with cups and a spike.

440px-Kendama

It’s not that different from other stick/cup games I played as a kid.

But ….

Kendama has recently become the rage among kids, teens, and adults in the United States.

The basic game is catching the ball in one of the three cups on the stick and/or with the spike.

And, there’s also zillions of tricks you can learn ranging from beginner to advanced.

I AM A KENDAMA BEGINNER!!

Everyone in my family has a Kendama including girlfriends/boyfriends/significant others.

We’re going to see who can become the reigning Kendama champion of our group.

(Hint:  It won’t be me … I’m trying to do Kendama left-handed due to my bum arm.  I’m right handed!)

Kendamas are surprisingly addictive no matter what your age is.

(Don’t say I didn’t warn you!)

They’re made in varying colors.

Many people like to collect the different colors.

Some Kendamas are made from expensive woods and/or with fancy designs.

I’m a fan of the inexpensive beginning Kendamas.

I don’t need to worry about damaging or losing an expensive Kendama.

If you haven’t yet tried/played, I’d encourage you to consider it.

It’s FUN!

And yes, it’s also challenging.

I think it’s probably good for my brain and hand/eye coordination?

You’re never too old for toys, right?

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The Weekend With Fred

My (Texas) son is home.

It’s so NICE to have him here.

We have beautiful, warm, beach weather … in the 80’s, for his visit.

He and Fred immediately re-bonded.

Fred grew five feet (??) over the weekend.

He is currently super tall … definitely taller than a retriever, and very skinny.

Fred was not happy to get a bath this weekend.

My son took a couple iPhone photos of the process:

Fred The Newf thinks being dirty is a better option!

Newfies have such expressive faces.

You can’t help but feel guilt when they let you know how terrible you’re treating them:

Save me from the torture of a bath!

Poor Fred!

After his bath, however, Fred got to join us on a trip to the beach.

I might just take a tiny nap in the golden glow of the sunset …

I know … sand, dirt, etc!

But …?

There is no keeping a Newf clean.

You just bathe them periodically and know they will only be clean for a minute or two before they’re dirty again.

While we enjoyed a nice bottle of wine (with crackers and cheese) as the sun set,

Fred played with sticks, met lots of people, and might have received a few slivers of cheese himself.

Several people commented that Fred “looks like a giant teddy bear.”

Oh, and that sunset?

It was pretty spectacular!

I had the opportunity to test out my new lens.

Sunset behind Catalina Island:  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Overall, it was a really nice (and very relaxing) weekend.

It’s exactly what I needed after last week’s over-booked craziness!

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FAIL Friday

Sorry, I’ve got nothing for you today.

I didn’t even have a chance to take a photo of Fred yesterday.

This morning Paul Newman is working on my bum arm.

This afternoon I’ll be working (photography stuff) and preparing for my son’s arrival.

It was a really, super, extra, busy week.

On a positive note, a few of my all time favorite images are headed to a commercial printer.

One, in particular, is going to be printed HUGE … multiple times.

I don’t like to disclose client information on my blog so I’m not going to go into details.

I will tell you, however, the image will be around 25-26 feet in size.

Which image?

This image … titled California Sunset:

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I’ve never seen one of my images printed THAT big.

It’s very exciting.

It’s even MORE exciting because it’s one of my personal favorites … and I was not the person making the image selections.

Crazy, huh?

And to think I wasn’t supposed to ever hold a camera again.

Life is full of twists and turns!

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Behind The Scenes

•  I’ve been very busy working on multiple corporate projects.

When I work with large corporations, the work varies but it’s often all-consuming.

It’s gratifying in many ways.

It’s pretty awesome to see an entire office and/or building and/or business dressed in my art.

A lot has to happen behind the scenes though …

Pricing, bids, quotes, phone calls, emails, meetings, invoicing, quality control, etc., etc.

There’s a lot more work to a photography business than making a beautiful image.

In any case, I’ve been very busy with all of THAT lately.

•  In addition, I’m training Fred.

Some days Fred and I are really on top of things,

And other days we’re not.

I’m pretty sure that’s real life?

Fred is still taking up a lot more of my time than what many of you experience with an adult pet dog.

First of all, Fred is still a young (albeit very large!) puppy.

Second, Fred is in training for service work.

Fred is very adorable.

And, Fred needs a lot of my time.

•  My (Texas) son arrives home in a day or two.

He’ll be home for a little over a week.

He’s SO excited to see Fred again.

My son will also be celebrating his birthday while he’s here visiting.

I have a lot to do before and during his visit home.

•  I have four very “big events” (work & personal life) coming up in the next couple months.

All four events require clothes/outfits I don’t own.

In my “spare” time I randomly search websites and order clothes.

When those items finally deliver to my house, I try them on and, inevitably, end up returning them.

It would probably take less time if I just forced myself to get out in the real world and shop the old fashioned way?

But, I have no time.

Also?

I hate shopping.

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Busy Is, As Busy Does?

Taking a few weeks off work when Fred first arrived?

It’s killing me.

I’m crazy-busy playing catch-up.

The photography world always seems to be clicking this time of year.

Clickingaren’t I funny?

Our few “cold” days seem to have passed.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Things are back to our normal warm weather.

Yesterday, the wonderful UPS man delivered my new Canon 100-400 IS II USM lens.

It will replace my previous Canon 100-400 lens which I will be selling.

I can’t wait to take the new version out for a spin.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

Canon has a lot of new equipment coming out in 2015.

I’ve been taking a hard look at what I have, what needs updating, and what needs replacing.

For instance, as much as I love my current camera,

It has a LOT of miles on it.

The shutter can be replaced, but the wear and tear (and travel) has taken its toll.

I know it will need to be demoted to my back-up camera within the year.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I’m so tough on my gear.

I always have the best of intentions, but  in the heat of battle  when I’m shooting I, mindlessly, toss stuff in and out of my bag.

It gets pretty beat up.

It’s always fun to get new equipment …

Even though I hate having to actually pay for it.

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Rain In Orange County

We don’t get much rain here in Orange County.

When we do, it tends to be an occasional, brief, shower.

We ooh and aah over it and, in general, freak out because RAIN!

We are, without a doubt, Weather Wimps.

The last couple years have been even dryer than usual.

Last weekend we got *some* rain.

And yesterday ….?

We got REAL rain.

The “real” rain included emergency flash flood warnings, etc.

People got on social media to flip-out about “snow” which was, in reality, just a little hail.

And yes, I even have to make fun of my 5th generation Southern Californian, self.

Here are some of my actual thoughts yesterday:

•  Oh, look rain!

•  I wonder when it will stop?

< Checks weather online and sees it’s expected to rain all day.>

•  I guess I’ll have to cancel my day.

•  I can’t drive anywhere if it’s raining.  (The car might explode if it gets wet??)

•  My house smells like a wet dog.

<Puts beach towel down for Fred to walk on as he goes in and out of the rain/backyard.>

•  I should make popcorn.  (Popcorn is a rain food.)

•  Will my jeans fit me if I make popcorn?  Maybe not.  I guess I won’t.

•  How am I going to walk Fred if it’s raining?

•  He will just have to play in the backyard today.  (It’s just for one day, after all.)

•  I bought cute rain boots a few months ago.  I should unpack them.

•  Meh … I don’t want to get them wet.  I’ll leave them in the box.

•  Did I really just decide to leave my new rain boots in the box so they don’t get wet?

•  That’s ridiculous.  I’m ridiculous.  I should write a blog post about this.

And, after all that …?

It stopped raining shortly after noon.

I did not make popcorn.

I did not wear my rain boots.

Fred DID get a walk.

I apologize to everyone for being such a Southern Californian.