Nate’s Notes: Very “Twicky”!

Happy Fall!  Speaking of weather (although Fall is really a season, not general weather), I’ve been feeling a bit under it for the past few days, so I haven’t written much.   Don’t worry though, I’m BACK!

So…my momma is very “twicky”!  My dad is also, but I expected as much from him.  He’s a superhero.  Anyway, I overheard them discussing a trip to REI for a new family toy.  Of course, my ears perked up at the mention of a toy.   I would have driven to the store myself if my legs were longer.  A new TOY!!  OH BOY, OH BOY!!!   (Hey, that rhymes.) What will it be?  A ball…a drum…a car…a book???   Drive faster!   Okay, we’re here!   What is it, what is it???  A….backpack???!!!  What am I missing here?  Wait a second (as I’m being lifted into the backpack)…this is a twick…(I’m in the backpack)…I protest!…Wait…this is AMAZING comfort!  Wow! (I’m on dad’s back).  This is the Cadillac of backpacks for sure.  And the view up here is cool!  If momma and dad brought their camera, they could get great shots of the concrete floor and the galvanized pipes overhead.  Not that I care about that stuff…I’m just saying.

On the drive back home, I listen sleepily (I should really take more naps), to them discussing a field adventure tomorrow to try out the backpack.  I’m game.  I’ll ride in that thing all day long!   The comfort, the things I can see.  Okay, okay.  I get it.  Although…we might have to discuss the definition of toy.  Clearly the parental units don’t know what a toy is.   But, this new “family toy” will buy mom more time and patience from me for some field adventures.   Very, very twicky indeed!

Nate’s Notes: Mom Left Her Journal Out Again

Hi everyone.   So…once again, my mom left the journal out.  Okay, maybe I went looking for it.  The details are a bit sketchy, but let’s just agree to not discuss it.   Here is another entry from momma, titled, “Thank You”.

“Not only do I get to “see” the world every day, I also get to share it with people during the day…as long as I don’t miss the opportunity.   Besides the little helper on my back, sometimes I do get so wrapped up in taking pictures,  that I do forget people are around me!  This day was different though.  I decided that on today’s field adventure, I’d make it a point to make eye contact with passersby and engage them.  And if I didn’t, Prince Charming on my back certainly would!   So, today’s outing took us to Sonoma, California.   We were taking pictures around the old barracks there, the mission, and the old town square.   There was great light and an abundance of adobe, mud, wood and stone.  I was deep in thought and excitement over these textures when a man stopped me.  He said, ‘Excuse me.  Excuse me.   I’ve been watching you take pictures and I just wondered what it is you’re taking photos of.’   Here goes…so I replied, ‘I’m glad you asked! Thanks…  I’m taking shots of texture.  So look at the wood grain on that beam, or the peeling paint on that window frame.  Or check out the brick pattern on that building across the street- so cool!   Oh! Oh!  …And then there’s the broken glass or the stained glass in those other buildings.  I guess I’m headed there next!!  They are all so beautiful, and so often missed… and when you just isolate these textures in the images, it’s really amazing.  Again, thank you for asking.’ 

He stared at me for seconds, shaking his head.  Then he surprised me and thanked ME for helping him realize what he had been missing around him.   We said good bye, he complimented the helper on my back and we parted ways.  Not bad for a day at work!”

Nate’s Notes: Joy

The other day we were on a field adventure, looking for graffiti to shoot.  No, not bang-bang shoot people…geez.  Take-pictures-of shoot.  I hear graffiti is when someone paints in places they shouldn’t…like walls of buildings,  dumpsters, and fences.  Some say it is artistic.  So…I’m just trying to be artistic when I draw all over my bedroom walls.  Is that a crime???   Anyway, we were walking along, and all of a sudden my mom realized my lovey wasn’t in the stroller anymore. (The lovey is the MOST important blanket ever, necessary for all daily functions and special operations).  Everyone should have a lovey…it gives you special powers, I swear.   Well, I kept my cool, but my mom totally panicked.   So we went from a leisurely walk to a sprint, all to find my lovey.  It was odd because I knew we were looking for this strange painted art, but we passed sooooo much of it! (Who’s in charge of graffiti abatement in town?  Are they napping or what?? Don’t they know naps are overrated???)  My mom, she just kept running and running!  She must really love me and know how much I love that lovey!!    After about 15 minutes, we turned the corner…and there it was!  On the ground…right where I had chucked it out of the stroller…right next to the most beautifully painted graffiti dumpster.  The best shot of the day!  See…the lovey has special powers.  The look on my mom’s face as she handed it to me…she seemed so proud to have found it, so happy to give it to me, so full of joy.

Nate’s Notes: Happy Birthday to Me

September 11, 2012

Today was huge.  Big, big day.  You see, today was my birthday!  Yay for birthday cake, balloons, and bouncy balls!  We had pancakes and bananas for breakfast, my favorite.  Mom even put cream stuff on the pancakes. Heaven.  After breakfast, we hit the town for a walk…and of course pictures.  You’d think there would be tons of photos of ME on this day…but the camera was also for images and textures.   That’s fine…I can share:  sharing is caring, after all!  I had to, of course, do my job of distracting and disarming those who stare at us while momma was shooting photos.   She stopped at a wood table that had scratches all over it.  Super distressed wood (this is where momma starts using words like “aged”, “weathered”, “scratched”, “worn”, “engraved”, “old”)…well, forget the wood, I became distressed when an entire family stopped and stared at my mom while she snapped photos.  She, lost in her world, didn’t notice them, but I had to really turn on the charm, pulling out all the stops.   I waved, said, “hiya”, and then did a really surprised look and pointed behind them.   It worked!  Mom finished up and we moved on to the water fountain.  Yes!!! I love that fountain!   Again, she zoomed in on the bubbles in fountain, the splashes, the moving water…and again, the people began staring.  They always go from her, to whatever she is focused on…and back and forth a few times.  In my act of distracting a couple (they looked like really cool grandparents), I flashed a big smile, and got this response from the lady: “What a cute baby!  He’s just adorable!”   A baby????  Me????  Shut the front door!!  What is she talking about?  I’m not a baby.  I’m one as of today.  That’s a big deal.

Nate’s Notes: Another Journal Entry

September  7, 2012

Hi folks, Nate here again.  I’m still a little bitter about being excluded from the field adventure the other day.  It’s hard for me to talk about.  Still too hurtful.  So, I’m going to share another journal entry of my mom’s that  I found.  What???  She’s the one who keeps leaving it out!    

“I am so blessed.  Besides having an amazing family, a fantastic support group, a great little house that is remote and quiet, I have the best job…ever.   You see, my job allows me to work from home and hang out with my little guy, Nate.  It took about 10 years for time to bring him to us, so I want to enjoy as much of being his mom as I can.   Now, that is a cool part of my work, but the best part is that I get to “see” the world.  Not travel, though I’ll write about that later.  What I mean is the everyday world.   So many people just go through their days not noticing the beauty of everyday tasks.  They don’t notice the texture of the pillow on the couch next to them, the depth of the bark pattern on their trees, the intricate beauty in the veins of their tree leaves, the vibrant colors on their kitchen counter,  the maze of wood grain on the office floors, the way the light bounces off the ice in their cups, the fabulous character in the brick building across the street, the personality of the clouds above them…I could go on and on.  I, however, get to look FOR all of these things, daily.  I get to literally search for and find these textures and images in order to capture photographs.    And I have to tell you…it kind of makes my day.  Try it.  It will take your breath away.”

Nate’s Notes: Uh-Oh

September 5, 2012

“Uh-oh” was one of my first words, so I know it well.  And this definitely calls for an “uh-oh”.   Okay, maybe I’m too vocal about how crazy I think my mom is with her quests for the perfect shots, the number of photos she takes and uploads, the pictures she takes of the sidewalk, the adjectives she uses to talk about dirt (you should hear them…about dirt people)…all that stuff.  Can you blame me?   I mean, there’s passionate about one’s work…then there’s a line…and then there’s crossing the line.  She’s on the other side of the line in my opinion.  It gets worse when you bring in the others she works for and with.  I know, you’re thinking, “uh-oh”.   But that’s not the “uh-oh” I’m referring to.    Anyway…yes, perhaps I voice this opinion too frequently because today she dropped me off with Papa and Gram so she could do a field adventure alone.  I’m actually composing this now as I sulk in the corner.  She’s got NO IDEA how much she needs me out there!  Who’s going to point out things?  Who’s going to help keep track of categories?  Who’s going to charm all the strangers and gawkers, distracting them from her odd behavior?  What is she thinking???   I’m going to miss all the fun!!!  I mean, errr…did I say fun?  Uh-oh.   Ooo…gotta go, Gram is coming my way.

Nate’s Notes: “Good Luck Getting All Your Sh** Done, Because I’m Not Taking Naps Anymore!”

September 3, 2012

Have you ever heard the expression, “Good luck getting all your sh** done because I’m not taking naps anymore!”?  No?  Well, let me back up a few thoughts…

One of the best things about the work my mom does is that I get to hang out with her all day long!  That’s right, she’s home; and when she’s not, we’re out on field adventures together getting a gazillion photos.   I put a lot of effort into planning our days…the swing, books, puffs, throwing balls, piano, puffs, walks, dancing, books, puffs, chase, etc.   Honestly, sometimes it just doesn’t feel like she appreciates my effort.  She tells me I should rest a while, take a nap so she can get some things done on HER list.  HER list?  I should be HER list!  Selfish much?  Geez.  Does she really need all that time to take photographs, upload them from the little thingamajigs she puts in the camera (if I EVER get my hands on one of those!), sort and tag the images (what happened to tag with me?), chart and write too?  Ummm…no.  She even acts like she has fun doing it!!  So, I came up with this little idea.  My solution:  give up the naps.  That way she can spend all day long with me doing the things I have planned!  Brilliant, right?!  I don’t see a problem with that. You’re welcome mom.  *Yawn*

September 1, 2012

Hi folks, Nate here.  I found this little journal entry from my mom.  Yep, you should know the crazy field trip coordinator is my mom.   Well…anyway, she left her diary out, and I read this (shh!).  Please read it…hang in there.  Remember I mentioned she mumbles…and rambles.  It really explains a lot about her.  *Sigh* 

“In my life, it is hard to stay focused!    Take this morning’s run for example.  It was to be an easy 5-miler, home within 45 minutes.   It started out at a great pace… for the first 300 yards.  Then I saw the sun hitting the oak leaves.  “Oh man! That would be a great shot,” I mumbled to myself.  Just keep running.  “Whaaaat?!  Those grapes are lovely!” I exclaimed.  I wondered if I should turn around and grab my camera…but then what was I going to do, run with it around my neck?  I guess I COULD…hmm…NO… just keep running.  Out the driveway, I focus on my breathing, settling into a nice pace.  As I set my eyes on the road ahead of me, I notice the great textures in the gravel with red, white and gray pebbles illuminated by the rising sun.  “Must. Have. Camera.” I think to myself, “…I could capture some amazing shots here…that ivy … the railroad tracks …that pile of firewood…the oil stains…squirrel…the graffiti on the overpass…the eucalyptus leaves.”   Never mind. Just run.  Resuming my gazelle-like form and speed, I trekked on.

By mile 3, I had seen a gazillion more shots and was trying to pick up the pace in order to return home for my camera.  I shook my head in a scolding frustration,  wondering if it would be physically possible to kick myself (it would have to be more of a heal jab than a full frontal toe-kick).    As I rounded mile 4, I groaned at the deep purple plum tree leaves, and the old, battered pile of doors and windows in the back of a parked truck.  Beyond them, vineyard equipment.  Beyond that, a field of white and yellow flowers (wasn’t it late in the year for them to be blooming?  And what is that bird doing over there?).   I started blinking furiously as though I thought my eyes were capturing the shots.  This, of course, translated to a twitchy, head-shaking, mumbling runner. 

Not that I was distracted or anything, but at this point… I tripped.  Okay, so maybe I run more like a clumsy giraffe than a gazelle (sorry if you’re a giraffe reading this).  Fortunately, I regained my form without a complete face plant.  You’d think this near fall would have reigned in my focus, or what little attention to running I could muster.  But as I righted myself, I was face to face with a weathered barn full of character, covered in moss and old signs.  With a shake of my head, I decided to walk the rest of the way home.  It just seemed safer!   That’s it, I was grabbing my camera and heading back out… with any luck, the lighting would still be good in some of the spots.   My frustration abated, I turned up the driveway satisfied with my focus.”