Thursday, January 29, 2009

Updates

I have been feeling very fragmented of late. I have a ton of things that need to be done around the house and yard, and yet it seems to be all I can do to keep up with the washing, and produce food for my family. I usually try to clean the entire house around this time of year as well, and have yet to even begin.

Anyway, it is time for some updates. I am doing pretty well with compacting I think. We have eaten out at Sweet Tomatoes a couple of times over the past two months which breaks my rules, but was such good value with the 99 cent kids meal vouchers we had. We rarely eat out so it is a treat to go there. I also bought Kendra a few pairs of pants and tops at Target because they were such a great deal, and because there seems to be a dearth of clothes her size at the consignment and thrift stores I go to of late. They always seem to have loads of baby clothes though. Robert made a fantastic little bed rail from salvaged wood for Emmie's crib because after we finally took the side off, she had been rolling out a lot. All that is really for another post though.

The girls and I planted four kinds of peppers, four types of tomatoes, tomatillo's, and more basil into salvaged nursery stock trays which I use again and again. They are on the patio where I hope they are sheltered enough.




It hasn't been too cold at night so far this winter. I think we have only had two nights below freezing so everything else is doing well. I still have a ton of swiss chard. I always seem to be really good at growing one thing each growing season, and mediocre at the rest. I was running out of recipes to use this lovely veg' until to my delight I found this post from Farmgirl Fare's blog where there are many great recipes, all of which I will be trying.

I have been waiting to get enough time to relax and look through the amazing and beautiful catalog for Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, and this evening I am going to make the time. I haven't planted a lot of heirloom seeds so far, and so I will probably order a few packets next week.

We also had some kind of hawk on the back patio this afternoon. I think it was going for the birds on the feeder because suddenly there was a terrific commotion as they all tried to fly away, and then there was the hawk perched on the chiminea. I ran to get my camera, but of course it had gone by the time I came back. I have never seen one so close to the house before, and it was an amazing sight. I never seem to have my camera in the right place at the right time.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yet another post that has nothing to do with sustainable living

Birth story tag, thank you Leaner.

1. Where were you when you first found out you were pregnant?
1st: In my bathroom
2nd: In my bathroom

2. Who was with you?
1st: No one.
2nd: Kendra.

3. What was your first reaction?
1st: Happy.
2nd: Relieved. I was getting impatient to be pregnant again.

4.What was your husband's reaction?
1st: Happy but calm as always.
2nd: Same.

5. Who was the first person you told?
1st: Robert.
2nd: Kendra though I don't think she was too interested, then Robert.

6. Were the pregnancies planned?
1st: Yes.
2nd: Yes.

7. Was everyone happy for you?
1st: Yes.
2nd: Yes.

8. What was the sex?
1st: Girl.
2nd: Girl.

9. What was the nursery theme/colors?
1st: Definitely no theme, but yellow. I hated pink at that time though I have had to warm to it since with my two pink obsessed daughters!
2nd: Same nursery. (Sorry Emmie).

10. Did anyone throw a shower for you?
1st: Yes, My friend Jill.
2nd: No.

11. Did you get any outfits you wouldn't use?
1st: No, I don't think I did.
2nd: Emmie has had all the hand-me-downs!

12. How much weight did you gain?
1st: 50ish lbs.
2nd: 50ish lbs.

13. Did you get stretch marks?
1st: No.
2nd: No.

14. Did you crave anything crazy?
1st: No, just any food.
2nd: Same.

15. Who or what got on your nerves the most?
1st: No one more than usual.
2nd: I probably wasn't as patient as I should have been with Kendra towards the end.

16. Where were you when you went into labor?
1st: At home.
2nd: In Ikea.

17. Did you have any complications?
1st: EXTREMELY long and hard labor of over three days, although I didn't progress during that time. It was ridiculous. If I had known then what I know now it would not have been nearly as long believe me!
2nd: None.

18. Did your water break?
1st: Nurse broke it.
2nd: At the very end just before she was delivered.

19. Who drove you to the hospital?
1st: Robert.
2nd: Robert after my doula had finally convinced him that we needed to leave NOW!

20. Did you go early or late?
1st: I went into labor on her due date, she was born three days later.
2nd: Two weeks early.

21. Who was in the room?
1. Robert, my friend, a nurse, and my midwife.
2. Robert, my doula, a nurse, and my midwife.

22. Did you video tape it?
Absolutely not.

23. Did you have any pain medication?
1st: Epidural eventually at the very end.
2nd: Nothing at all.

24. Did you have a c-section or natural?
Vaginal both times.

25. What was your reaction to the birth?
The most amazing and wonderfully ecstatic days of my life. I still remember the way I felt, and I am forever changed by it.

26. How big was the baby?
1st: 8 lbs, 12 oz's.
2nd: 8 lbs, 12 oz's allegedly, but I still think she was much smaller.

27. What was the baby's full name?
1st: Kendra Lindsay
2nd: Emily Clair (Clair was Robert's Mom's name).

28. Did your husband cry?
1. No, much too practical for that.
2. Same.

29. When is the next one coming?
Never, two lovely little girls are enough for us.

30. If you could, would you do it all over again?
Totally!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wacky Weather

There has been much in the news over the past few days in relation to climate change.

A new study written by Susan Solomon, who is a top climate scientist, and published by the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences", states that the current levels of climate change that are occurring are irreversible. The study also states that even if we reduced carbon dioxide emissions completely now, the effects of climate change that we are already experiencing will not be reversed for over a thousand years. Read more about this story here.

The next story that caught my eye is about President Obama, who during his second week in office, is allowing California to legislate that the emission standards of vehicles are increased as a specific measure to lower greenhouse gases. At least ten other states have indicated an interest in doing the same. President Obama also ordered that new federal rules be put in place to force car makers to manufacture more fuel efficient cars. Read more about this story here. This is long overdue, but it has of course caused much debate about whether measures such as these will significantly hurt an already ailing auto industry, and a nation that is struggling through a major economic recession.

The last story that caught my eye in relation to climate change was this story that came out of the United Arab Emirates, where they reported snow for only the second time in living history, and in far greater amounts then ever previously seen. Weather such as this is extremely rare, so much so that there is not even a word for snow in the local dialect. Could this be yet another sign of our changing climate? Possibly, although it would be difficult to prove unless perhaps this becomes a regular occurence.

My personal opinion for what it is worth, is that we have to start making what may be some difficult changes right now. I understand that many people are struggling, and that climate change may not be at the top of their list of priorities right now. I also believe that fighting climate change, and regaining economic security don't have to be mutually exclusive if we can accept that we need to start making changes to the way that we have been living. We have to start somewhere, we can't keep on ignoring this issue.

Do we really want our great grandchildren to look back at our generation and ask, "why didn't they do more?" as they live in a world that is very different to the beautiful one that we live in today.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Just For Fun

I found this over at Farmer Julie's blog. It is fun to do, and makes me realize how very much there is for me still to do.

Highlight the one you have done
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (a little more would be nice so my DH didn't have to work quite as hard as he does!)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelos David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Belated thanks for my prizes


I recently realized as I was perusing through Esther's archives on her blog LOOSE AND LEAFY, that she nominated me for a special prize way back in July of last year.

I remember Esther asking me if she could copy one of my pictures, but never really thought about it again. Now I see that I was most honored in receiving the "Esther Montgomery Memorial 'Prize' For a Particularly Memorable Picture". And to think, I never even realized. I need to nominate three other pictures for the same prize which I will do when I have decided which three they will be.

Thank you dear Esther, you made my day! :)


Thank you too dear Bo over at BODAAT for my Lemonade award. I am very grateful, and will try to get those other ten blogs nominated as soon as I can.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Busted

I got this little desert willow tree a while ago. It was a gift from my Dad with some money he gave me for Christmas, and I was really happy to find one small enough for me to afford. Often they are really big, and really expensive. I love desert willow trees because they are extremely drought tolerant when established, and they have beautiful, scented flowers in the spring and summer that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.


It doesn't look like much right now with its bare branches, but hopefully by the summer it will be looking something like the one we have in our front yard which though still quite small, is rather pretty. These pictures were taken last summer.



I have spent literally hours walking around the back yard looking for the perfect spot to plant my new tree. I kept moving it around and trying to find the perfect spot, and so I was relieved to finally make a decision, and to start digging a hole.

We have irrigation in our backyard as most people do out here, and I am not used to irrigation coming from England where we don't really need it. I am usually pretty careful about where and how I dig, and have so far managed to avoid any major issues. Not so yesterday unfortunately. I managed to put a large hole through one of the main irrigation pipes for our grass.



I literally saw dollar signs flash before my eyes as soon as I did it because irrigation repair is very expensive, and although Robert is pretty handy at the minor stuff, I think this will involve replacing an entire length of pipe.

My only slight consilation is that we are planning to completely re-do the irrigation back there anyway later in the year before we xeriscape, but that will be dependent on finances of course. So for now, we have a hole back there with a busted pipe inside, and I still have a desert willow tree in a pot waiting to be planted.

I was out there just now and I actually think I may have found a better spot anyway. Decisions, decisions......

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Moderation Is Good

I really enjoyed listening to Mark Bittman talking about his new book, "Food Matters: A Guide To Conscious Eating" on NPR's "Morning Edition" today. I especially loved his emphasis on the fact that even seemingly small things such as reducing ones overall intake of animal products, rather than cutting them out entirely, can still be beneficial for our environment.

I think sometimes people get overwhelmed by the all or nothing environmental ideals that are sometimes conveyed by us treehugger types. A more moderate approach has to be a good thing, so that people start to think about the small changes they can make to reduce their overall carbon footprint, without completely turning their lives upside down.

Mark Bittman: Eating Right Can Save The Planet

Morning Edition, January 22, 2009

If you're one of those people hoping to change the world in 2009, writer Mark Bittman says you can start by changing what you eat.

In his new book, Food Matters, The New York Times food columnist writes about the environmental impact of industrial farming — and how individuals can make a difference by cutting down on the amount of animal products they consume.

"All industrial farming — from fish farming to chicken farming to egg and dairy farming — has an environmental impact," he tells Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep.

Bittman's recommendation? Eat more fruits and vegetables and skip a few helpings of meat.

"There's nothing wrong with eating smaller amounts of meat," he says. "It's quite common sense that you can eliminate animal products from some of your diet."

Bittman says that Americans raise and slaughter 10 billion animals each year for consumption. If we all decreased consumption of animal products by 10 percent, he says, it "would have both an environmental impact and an impact on all of our mutual health."

As for Bittman's personal diet, it used to be that he'd eat bacon and eggs for breakfast and a hamburger for lunch. But a few years ago, he changed his ways. Now, a typical day's fare might include a bowl of oatmeal (see Bittman's recipe for porridge) with maple syrup for breakfast, fruits and vegetables for lunch, then a more "old-style" type meal — which might include meat — for dinner.

After just a few months of the new diet, Bittman says, he noticed improvements to his health: "I lost 35 pounds — which is about 15 percent of my body weight — my cholesterol went down 40 points; my blood sugar went from borderline bad to just fine; [and] my knees, which were starting to give out as a result of running at too high a weight, got better."

All of those things — and, he says, he's shrinking his carbon footprint.

"Feeling like you're changing the world," he says. "That's a nice thing, too."

Happy Birthday Emily!

Three years ago today, a few minutes after midnight, Emily rushed headlong into our lives on what is the joint second best day of my life to date. (I have had some other pretty great days in my life too but the joy of having my babies beats them all).

Emmie took us completely by surprise because she was two weeks early, and I felt those first few overwhelming contractions as I was walking round IKEA. These soon led to many more overwhelming contractions, and almost five hours later, once I had got over the denial that I really WAS in labor, our perfect baby girl arrived into this beautiful world. (She was VERY close to being an unplanned homebirth!) To this day each time I go to IKEA and smell that cinnamon-ey smell that is piped to the entrance, it takes me right back to that wonderful January evening, and brings a tear to my eye.


Dearest Emily, Happy Birthday!

I love you my ever funny, sweet, feisty, happy little girl. Thank you for being in our lives, we love having you here!

Mama.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

One of those nice, relaxing, stay at home kind of days

Today was one of those really nice days of just being home and getting stuff done. First I relaxed with a large pot of coffee and planned our meals for the week, and decided what seeds to plant next.


Then the dogs and I all went outside to clean up our backyard which was rather a mess. I haven't been out there as much as I should recently, and it is amazing how much stuff had accumulated out there.



The grass looks awful since it stopped getting water, although I feel much better about that of course. We are definitely going to take it all out in the spring and xeriscape the whole area. I can't wait!

Tex is completely back to normal and is up to his old tricks of digging through the woodpile and the rocks, and running around chasing all the other dogs. Love it!




The girls came out and helped me to plant some beets, tomatoes, cilantro, dill, and lettuces.




After that they played for a while. Emmie is going through that stage of changing her outfit seven times a day and obviously felt that her swimming suit was suitable attire for the lovely weather we are having!



Then I planted out a succulent that I inherited from a friend. It has been potted until now, and I am interested to see how it will do.



I would be remiss if I didn't mention the Cardinals and their great performance in the game today. I don't claim to be a die hard Cardinals fan, unlike Robert who has supported them through good times, and many not so good over the years. He is ecstatic at the prospect of them going to the Superbowl, and I have to admit to feeling secretly proud myself.

January In Our Garden







Saturday, January 17, 2009

Confused Caterpillar

Remember this post back from November? It describes our encounters with some extremely large caterpillars, five or so inches in length, that were feasting on my Orange Bell plants. They were the caterpillar for a type of Sphynx moth called "Nandina Rustica", and are common here after the monsoons. They apparently bury themselves underground over the winter, during which time they metamorphose into "Rustic Sphynx Moths". All of them it seems, except this one...............


I went outside yesterday afternoon and found this chap enjoying my Orange Bell plants. He seemed to be a solitary fellow, and after his brief appearance has disappeared. Is he confused? Does he not know that he is meant to be safely buried underground awaiting his transformation at this time of year? I wonder whether the warm weather has hatched a new batch, of which he is one?

Anyway, whatever the reason, it was nice to see one again, they really are amazing, and the girls and I enjoyed admiring him for several hours.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Newish sofa, and the kindness of neighbours

You may remember that I have been going through somewhat of a dilemma regarding our sofas. They are old and beaten up to the point that all the stuffing has been coming out of the cushions and driving me crazy. I toyed with getting them re-upholstered, but that would have been rather pricey, and I am really not a fan of slip covers. I also thought about buying some lovely indian bedspreads to drape over them, but what with our dogs and the girls, I don't think that they would have been very practical. I started vaguely looking for used sofas in keeping with my compacting rules, but I haven't been very inspired. It all seemed rather exhausting until Robert's Dad decided to off load his old sofa and arm chairs. Guess who are to be the lucky recipients of these? They are really nice as well, leather, and in great shape considering that we will be the third owners! I just love that, and the fact that we have a new room makeover for nothing. Now I am wondering what to do with our old ones. I would love to donate them, but they really are in terrible shape, and I am not sure that even a charity would want them. I hate to think of them in a land fill though. Any ideas?


We are also now the very proud owners of this piano! Our kind neighbours are getting a new one, and were planning to sell it. Instead they decided to give it to us. The girls love going over to their house to play it, and are so excited to have it here now. We never imagined we would ever have a piano of our own. How very kind people are. Now we just need to learn how to play it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

I thought this was supposed to be a green blog?

What with one thing and another, I seem to have strayed away from my primary blog theme of green issues so far this year. An occasional deviation would be OK I think, but nothing at all so far? Hmm, not so good.

And so this afternoon after I finished work I went outside to tend my garden. It has been pretty cool here, well cool for us, but nothing like so many of you are experiencing right now. I always think that I want to live somewhere that has snowy winters, but I have to admit that I have been a little less inclined to be outside the past few weeks even in our balmy coolness.

The garden looks OK. I still have radishes, and lots of them because now that I have discovered I can grow them, I find that none of my family will eat them. Typical, although I have to confess that I have never been very fond of them myself. I also have some lovely parsley, and a few spindly snow pea plants. This bed contains tiny leeks and green cabbages, spinach, carrot, cilantro, and dill plants.


There are also baby lettuces all over the place. I think there must have been a few stray seeds when I sowed them!


I have some maturing cauliflower and broccoli plants,



and the red cabbages are slowly forming heads. I am especially proud of my swiss chard which is producing well, and is delicious.


None of my kale grew well. I will have to try again. I also got caught out when our first frost of the season hit a few weeks ago, and my eggplants got frosted. I managed to cover them after that first night and they seem to be recovering now I am glad to say.


I harvested some baby lettuces and the first of the broccoli and cauliflower for dinner this evening. I have never grown either broccoli or cauliflower before and they are two of my favorite veggies. I can't believe that I actually managed to grow some myself.


I have a constant companion with me everywhere I go these days. Tex will not leave my side and now seems to view me as his exclusive master. It has been very nice though I have to admit after I thought we may lose him!


I start classes again tomorrow and didn't do many of the things that I had planned for my break. Time seems to be one of the most precious commodities around here these days.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Tex

I am sorry for leaving you hanging. I have had a few emails asking how our fuzzy pooch is doing but I only have a moment right now.

The news is good, he seems to be getting better every day, and is almost back to himself, though is definitely more subdued than is normal for him. Thank you everyone for the good wishes, I really appreciate them all! I know it might seem strange to some of you out there to be so upset over a dog, but really, our dogs are so much a part of our family, and they mean the world to us all. I am very happy and relieved that he seems to be doing OK now.

Thank you too Bo for my award. Very exciting, and I can't wait to nominate others out there as soon as I get the time.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Update On Poorly Dog


It feels as though the past 48 hours have been consumed by Tex and his health issues. Of all our dogs I never imagined that it would be him facing this now because he is the youngest, and after a somewhat rocky start, has always been very healthy. Oh well, that's life right?

The vet remains "cautiously optimistic" that he is recovering. He definitely seems brighter today, managed to grab some broken sleep last night, and is peeing, albeit very small amounts, frequently.

I have been over the road to the vets twice today, once this morning for a general check up, and again just now so that they could do a urinalysis, and add another antibiotic to the one he is already on. The urinalysis among other things showed cells from the bladder lining apparently which could mean that the bladder is sloughing off damaged cells and is healing, or well, I prefer not to think of the other option and will focus on the former. His kidneys seem to be working OK again after becoming somewhat impaired due to the severe blockage yesterday. Tex's ears are up today, his eyes are bright, and he is eating and drinking small amounts. All good signs.

I am so grateful that we have our wonderful veterinarian literally across the street who is both skilled, and extremely patient and caring. I am also grateful that we have some savings because without them it wouldn't be pretty right now. Finally I am grateful that today has been a better day, and I feel sure that tomorrow will be better still, and that we will soon have our bright and bouncy Tex back in full force.

I am also acutely aware that our beloved family dog has probably received a great deal more high-tech, and extensive health care over the past two days days than millions of people are receiving in many countries around the world right now. Certainly a very sobering, and humbling thought for me.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Poorly Dog


There hasn't been anything very sustainable of note going on in our house over the past twenty four hours or so I am afraid. We do however have a very sick dog.

Tex, our youngest, and fuzziest dog started acting strangely yesterday afternoon. He was really hyper, running around and barking, a lot more then usual that is. I didn't think too much of it until the night when he continued to do this, and also started whimpering and crying. His tail was still wagging, but his ears were down, and he did not sleep all night. Needless to say neither did we. I hesitated all night thinking that I should take him to the emergency vet, but I have done this several times before with our other dogs being the neurotic dog owner that I am, only to find that I was over reacting and that they were just fine. I find it so hard to assess animals health, people are much easier, mainly because they can usually tell you how they feel.

By this morning however I knew that we had to get him seen immediately. He was obviously having trouble either peeing or pooping, I wasn't sure which, and he was exhausted. I got him seen first thing at our wonderful veterinarians office across the road. He noticed immediately that Tex's bladder was huge, and then did x-rays. From these he saw that Tex had two large stones in his bladder. The largest stone was blocking his urethra, and had caused his bladder to become obtructed. I felt TERRIBLE, and wished so much that I had taken him in during the night.

He was taken into surgery immediately and the stone was pushed back into the bladder, and then both the stones were removed. Our vet said that the bladder was so stretched out that it wouldn't have been too much longer before it would have ruptured. I am so thankful that it did not.

Right now Tex is acting so sick, and so miserable. There is still a danger that the bladder will tear apparently, and I am so worried about him. He ate a tiny piece of chicken just now, and is dribbling urine both of which are good signs, but he is also still acting very sick, and is so not himself.

I hope that he has a better night tonight with painkillers on board, and that tomorrow is a better day in our house.

We love you very much Tex, please get well soon so that you can be running around the backyard, and digging it up again very soon. I don't mind, honest!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Las Noches De Las Luminarias

I never got around to posting these pictures back in December. Funny that they are showing up for my first post of January, 2009 now that the season is almost past.

Anyway, Las Noches De Las Luminarias is a yearly holiday tradition here in the valley at our wonderful Desert Botanical Garden, it was even better than usual this year with the addition of "Chihuly, The Nature Of Glass". This is an exhibition of the glass artist Dale Chihuly that is currently running until the end of May. My Dad was meant to come along with me but couldn't because his trip was sadly postponed, and so I dragged Robert along. It really wasn't his thing, but he was very patient with me, and it was so stunning that at times it almost bordered on becoming a romantic evening. :)

These were the pictures I managed to salvage from the MANY blurred and shaky ones that I took that evening. I needed that tripod you see, yes the very same one that I sold at our garage sale back in May. Oh well, one lives and one learns!