Maddie will be going away to college in about 5 years. While we are fortunate that Pete has a good job, and I haven't had to work outside of the house since I was pregnant with her, I'm sure I'll want to do something when she leaves. When I was young, I would work up to 60 hours a week at the Dairy Queen. Then after college I worked at IBM and often stayed late and I even worked quite a few Saturdays. What I'm trying to say is that I like working. I like being busy and doing things.
So, the question is, what will I do when Maddie is gone and my time is no longer spent homeschooling her. Five years seems like a long time to figure this out, but I've already been thinking about it for a few years and I'm not all that much closer to figuring it out.
Last night was the last night of my first photograpy course, and by taking over 1000 photos, I discovered a little something about what I like -- at least when it comes to photography. I love to photograph nature.
And dead trees -- especially dead trees. And architecture.
And while I love being able to take better photography of my family... hey, look at that, a nature photo disguised as a portrait photo!
So, by taking the class, I found out a little more about myself. I'm getting closer to figuring out my future and I'm enjoying the process. I think it's time for another class!
Five years ago, we went through a bathroom remodel. This may not sound that trying, but when you really only have one bathroom (plus a mini powder room that was added to the top of the basement stairs at some point and a scary pseudo bathroom in the basement), it's a pain. In the end, it looked much nicer than the before photos.
However, the guy who did the remodel was probably not as qualified as he should be. Here is the ceiling of the foyer on the first floor, which sits directly below the bathroom...
The last guy who remodeled the bathroom also talked us into painting our tub. DO NOT PAINT YOUR TUB! Seriously. It started getting awful stains and then it started peeling. Total disaster.
So, this time we are going with the guy who did our kitchen remodel. (Before and after.) New tub, new flooring, most likely a bunch of new plumbing, and more. Since we had to tear everything out to get at the plumbing problems, we are also putting in a new granite vanity top. The marble top we bought last time was cheap and was already badly etched and stained. Lesson learned.
Here is the granite slab that will become the new vanity top:
The yard sales have been weak this year. In fact, last Friday looked like it was going to be another sad day, but near the end of our rounds we found an estate sale where I found this great Cathrineholm bowl and platter set in a lovely pale turquoise blue and these awesome Swedish mid-century modern trivets made of stainless steel by Gense. While the prices were more than I wanted to pay, Maddie talked me into getting them and I'm glad I did.
I've been taking literally hundreds of photos each week since I started the photography class. Thank goodness for digital technology.
This past week we learned about composing photos, so I've been playing around with that a bit. It's a lot of fun to be able to get the camera to do what I want now. Being able to see the wings of the bee on this flower was awesome. (Click to embiggen.)
And last week's assingment was a lot of fun also -- taking photos in the dark. Since it was the week of the 4th of July, there were plenty of fireworks to photograph.
It was especially fun playing with long exposures so that multiple fireworks appeared in one photograph.
This week is portraits, which is much more difficult for me. At least learning about light is helping me to get better shots, but I'm still pretty bad at posing people and my teenager loses patience quickly when I'm fiddling with my settings.
Since I got my "fancy" camera, I've gone back and forth about taking a photography class at the local junior college. This past week, one day before the class began, I finally signed up for "Secrets of Great Digital Photography", which is the first class for the photography certificate.
After one class I'm already obsessed with taking photos. And surprisingly, I think I'm taking better photos already.
The instructor had us change all the setting on our cameras to manual and I find that I'm loving it! I'm not sure why it took me so long to sign up for this class, but I'm very glad that I finally did it.