Another Birthday. Lots of good wishes, emotions and “70”

I’m probably not alone in being emotional when my birthday comes along. This year was an especially difficult one. Not sure if it was because it was the “Big 70”. When I think about my birthday the next day, it is just one more day! Did I have unrealistic expectations? I don’t think so. Or is it the fact that I feel I need to make some decisions, and I am not sure what I want. Do I want to travel? Really? And time marches on. Faster and faster.

Much can be attributed to the very real loss of my darling Libby. When it was apparent that Liberty would not be getting better the very tough decision was made. This has caused me so much sadness. My very first dog, and Libby was such a good girl. The sadness comes over me at different times of the day and night. We didn’t have enough time together. My wise granddaughter told me that Libby was there for me when I was going through the tough times over the past 9 years. And now the tough times will be followed by good times. Libby did her job! And she did it so well. But I do feel a big void coming into my house these days. It can’t be helped.

My sweet Liberty Love

June is an interesting month to have a birthday. With the start of warm (often hot) weather there is a need to adjust wardrobe, and see what still works after another year. When still in school I can remember having to take finals on my birthday. As a teacher/librarian there was all the rush to conclude the year. Papers to grade, report cards and paperwork to complete, book returns, inventory and budgets. June was a time to end things.

June is also a time to change up the daily schedule. As a mother when June comes around, summer plans all of a sudden must be made. How to keep kids busy. This transition from very busy to leisure time throws me off.

As an adult June can be just another month. Five months into the year so the year 2019 isn’t new any more. Almost halfway through the year.

I noticed more of my contemporaries are talking about “Bucket Lists”. I’m not sure if I ever had one. What do I want to accomplish? Do I need a goal? I know myself, and I am better when I am busy, but not too busy to feel stressed. I think that I will have a plan to do at least one thing daily. This way I won’t let my emotions get the better of me when I have quiet down time to think. Think positive!

I retired in 2005. Fourteen years ago. My husband of 49 years retired in 2009. Ten years ago. I can hardly believe it. With both of us at home it was the right time to add a dog to our home. Best decision for us! Libby was my happy place. Always ready to show us a wag.

Liberty Love

I know that I want to have a dog in my life. So I am already thinking about what puppy breed is in our future. I’m thinking of an English Lab (any color but black), Labradoodle, or Lagotto Romagnolo. If I can clarify this decision and find a reputable breeder I “may” be able to wait until spring.

Good bye my sweet Libby Love

Computer Time Genealogy

After working on my travelogue for a couple of days, I quickly decided I needed to actually take some of my photography from Kauai and create a photo book. Spent all of Thursday working out the details, and sent it off to Shutterfly. I haven’t been disappointed with my book produced by this company. If you haven’t tried them, send me your email and a free 8×8 hardcover book is yours. Full disclosure. I will also get one too. Shipping is not included, though. Just got an email saying my book has shipped. Fast service. Sent it in on Thursday 1/31 and it is on its way 2/4. Excited!

While at the computer, I caught up with some of my family genealogy. I have a world subscription to Ancestry.com and Family Tree Maker software on my iMac. After much worry, and much reading, I decided to sync both trees. My next goal will be to bring this tree to life. I would like to put a face or information other than vital statistics (birth, marriage, death) to names of my direct descendents. I check the hints that appear, and that usually draws me away from this goal. And it is so easy to do. Follow one hint, find another. I am getting better at keeping track of my research by using a notebook, and adding notes to my online trees.

My father and his two brothers (Doctor Rubinstein) are part of the story cited in
Schindler’s List

Another distraction is my DNA test matches. I find a match, and I try and figure out how this can be. Recently connected with a second cousin online with a DNA match. I think of this person as a little kid, who I understand is a recently retired physician. Talk about where did the time go.

Before I went to college most of my relatives lived in the New York metropolitan area. And every couple of years there would be a large family gathering. I knew the names and faces of most of the 100+ people, but I could not see how I was related. I never had grandparents, so anyone over 25 was called uncle, and under 25 cousin. A family tree would have cleared a lot of this mystery up. A suggestion for large family reunions would be a family tree.

I remember thinking that it would be nice to have a Grandma.

I’m thinking of trying to connect with my living relatives online since we are now spread around the country, and beyond. I plan to gather as many email addresses from extended family so that we can send out event notices and keep connected. I may set up a private family page where we can share. Kind of like Facebook’s original intent to connect people. I haven’t decided if Facebook is the way to go, or should I create some other venue. I belong to two private pages, and they have worked. But maybe there is another way to connect. I’m looking for suggestions. How does your family stay connected?

I now possess all my parent’s photo albums, and I have a cousin (1st cousin 1x removed) who researched one branch of my family since 1985. All his research was done without benefit of computer. It is remarkable that his research checks my online hints. He is no longer working on this, and will be passing along more of his research to me. Problem is that I live on the west coast, trunk full of stuff on the east coast. So either I make a trip back east or have another family member ship it here. Will figure this out soon.

A Time to Reflect

In the Jewish religion, Yom Kippur is the time of atonement. How can I contribute to the upcoming year?  I like to look at this as a time to slow down and reflect on the past year, and think of the coming year. The past year has been one of change. Moving to a new home, watching a new life being brought into my family with the birth of my grandson. My brother certainly made some changes as well. He and Leti moved into a new home, married, and my niece gave birth to her daughter making my brother a first time grandfather. Happy, life affirming changes.

The last part of the year brought one additional unanticipated change. My 16 year old granddaughter is currently living with us. I am back in the parent role, and I find that this is harder to  accept. There is a time for everything, and I planned this time for travel. With this delay I am going to continue to plan to travel, eventually. I guess I am trying to act logically, and not be so emotional about this turn of events. Logic pushes me to take positive steps toward my end goal.

Step 1.  Develop a way to communicate with fellow travelers. I know that I can only speak English. So I am using my computer to learn some Spanish. Maybe I’ll look at being able to speak some Hebrew. Who knows.

Step 2. Photography will be high on the list when I decide where I want to go. I plan to travel with my mirrorless cameras. I just sold my Olympus OMD E5 gear and purchased a Fuji XT2 camera and the Fuji X100F. I plan to use this time to become very comfortable with my gear. This also helps my emotional health.

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When I traveled overseas in 1964 I packed my things in a bright red Samsonite suitcase. It was easy to spot on the luggage carousel.

Step 3. Keep an eye out for places to visit. I plan to start making a list of where and when (best season) to visit my destinations. Facebook is one place to view good photographic places. Another place I check out are the many Flickr sites. And I’ll do some travel reading.

I just received my first passport, as an adult. So as far as travel goes I am quite new to foreign travel. My last time overseas was when I was still in high school over 50 years ago. Kind of funny the way life works out. When I left Karachi in 1966 I was thinking that I would work in the airline industry and be able to travel all over. When I graduated from college my husband and I even made plans to move to Israel. It has been over 40 years since I made the move from New  York to California. Vacations out of California didn’t take me very far in the United States either. Traveled back to New York, to Florida to visit In-Laws, Indianapolis to visit family, and to the Hawaiian Islands. I guess I have some catching up to do.

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Planning on hopping on the People Mover when the time comes!

Meanwhile I’ll enjoy the year ahead. Photo time, dog time, and time at home with my husband and granddaughter.

Who knows what the year 5779 will bring? May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.

Any suggestions as to where I should set my sights? I’ve got time to plan!

 

Online, Prints or Albums?

How do you like to look at your photographs? In the past the choices were print or slides. The prints were placed in albums and carefully labeled, or at the other end of the spectrum left in a box or trunk unmarked. Some photographs become part of the household display in frames on the mantle or hung on the wall. There have been instances when film was found undeveloped. The discovery of Vivian Maier, a noted street photographer comes to mind. If you aren’t familiar with her work the documentary, Finding Vivian Maier is worth watching. Many WWII film canisters have been found. Slides often in containers without a projector available.

I began my digital connection early with a 3mg pixel Sony Mavica on mini cds in about 2001. I liked the idea of seeing results immediately, but the digital world had a long way to go before I could use it consistently. The shutter lag, and resolution were not up to the task. I probably have the disks, somewhere. But the technology changed and even my iMac doesn’t have a CD player. My digital switch came in 2004 with my first dslr Nikon D70. Followed by D200, D7000, D600, D7100, Panasonic point & shoot, Olympus OMD-E5 mirrorless, and Fuji x100f. I use one of the highlighted cameras depending on my subject matter, and how much I want to shlep. They each serve the purpose and I can get great image from each one.

My photo collection in Lightroom CC is about 35500. I have used Adobe Lightroom since it began, and the changes also grew with the improvements in digital photography.  I retired from my teaching position and high school librarian. I have the need to be organized, and I like to  to have a place for everything. That includes cataloging my images. Lightroom (LR) originally was created to keep images organized. Photoshop was to take care of processing. I’m very glad the two work together now. I have keywords for my images going back to 2004, and my needs change. And crazy as it sounds,  I like to catalog my images. When I am stressed I often review, redo, and remember my photo journey. While making these changes I get to look back over my work. I enjoy this time. I review my growth, impressed by some of my earlier images, saw camera improvements especially in noise reduction, and the improved LR can assist with  changes.

I like to see my photographs enlarged and hanging around my house. Though these are not family snapshots. Many of the images were taken a while ago when I was enrolled in photography classes at the local community colleges. I use Nielsen Bainbridge frames, and I use Bay Photo service to print. Now in my new house I may change out some of these prints.  I also have a couple of photographs printed on metal from a local company with nice results.

I also like to be able to browse through albums though I haven’t kept this going as much. Shutterfly allows me to print books, and I find it easy to share my work. For an online presenceI like the way my work looks on my Flickr site. Flickr recently partnered with SmugMug and I hope that this will prove a positive move. I used SmugMug many years ago when I first started my very brief photography business. Family stuff happened. Now photography is for my pleasure!

Back to my original question. I enjoy my photographs in a variety of ways. In the back of my mind I need to think about my eyesight. My mother lost her eyesight due to macular degeneration. Unfortunately, I also have this condition. So far the dry version has a slow progression, and has not impaired my vision. So using a variety may help me in the long run.

So what do you do with all your images? I hope you enjoy them, and have fun creating.