Friday, November 30, 2012

Mom and Her Sisters

On Thanksgiving day, I set up my portable studio in my mother's craft room to take some pictures of Mom and her siblings. This is my favorite of the pictures I took that day:

(My mother was sitting on a stool to facilitate this diamond-shaped arrangement; she's not that much shorter than her sisters.)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Carillon at Stone Mountain

While Anna and Jessica were in Minnesota for Thanksgiving, Elyse and I went to Stone Mountain for several hours. We did lots of things, but it seems that the thing that made the biggest impression was going to look at the Carillon; for days after our visit, Elyse talked about "the big, big instrument."

But we were there on a Monday late in the afternoon, and only got to look at the keyboard through the glass and see the speaker tower looming over the lake, but not actually hear the big, big instrument being played. So we went back this afternoon, this time with Mommy and Jessica, to see an actual Carillon concert. The Carilloneur, Mabel Sharp, played beautiful Christmas music for about half an hour. It was a wonderful experience. I recommend it.

(These pictures were all taken through the glass, but I had my lens right up against it so they came out okay.) 

This is a view of the booth that houses the keyboard, taken from the top of the small stone amphitheater:

Afterwards, we walked around the Crossroads area for a while; Jessica and Elyse paused for a moment to pose with this Santa statue:

Friday, November 23, 2012

Daddy and Elyse Week

This week, from 6:00 a.m. Monday morning when they left for the airport until about 4:00 this afternoon when they pulled into the driveway, Anna and Jessica were away to visit Anna's family in Minnesota. Elyse and I stayed here to hold down the fort and have a week of adventures together.

I made a conscious choice not to take my camera on any of our outings, because I wanted to be focused on enjoying my time with my daughter and not on looking for photo opportunities, so I can only describe what we did. Here are the highlights:

  • Monday afternoon we went to Stone Mountain Park, one of our favorite places, and spent hours exploring the walk-up trail area (though we didn't actually climb very far up), walking around Crossroads, riding the train, and looking at the Carillon.
  • Tuesday morning we went to visit my aunt Kathy at her house in Scottdale, only a few days before her move to her new condo in Tucker.
  • Right after visiting Kathy, we went to Zoo Atlanta and spent several hours looking at the animals (and also arguing about whether or not we needed more M&Ms). Elyse was especially captivated by the flamingos and the meerkats.
  • Elyse spent Tuesday night at her Granny and Pa's house, which was the first time she's ever slept away from home without Mommy or Daddy. She did fine, but didn't get to sleep until 11:00 (probably because of the long nap after the zoo).
  • Elyse stayed at Granny and Pa's house until around 2:30 Wednesday; I took advantage of the time to watch a movie, something I don't often get to do these days. I watched the 1974 Francis Ford Coppola film The Conversation, starring Gene Hackman. It's every bit as good as Leonard Maltin says it is.
  • Thursday we went to Granny and Pa's house for Thanksgiving with our extended family. There were, I believe, 37 people there altogether. We stayed all day, having leftovers for supper, and didn't get home until 8:30.
  • Friday we went to Stevie B's for lunch. We were going to go to Stone Mountain afterwards, but Elyse feel asleep, so instead we just went for a long drive through various parts of Dekalb and Gwinnett counties. (I'd intended the visit to Stone Mountain as a surprise and hadn't told Elyse, so she wasn't disappointed when she woke up in our garage.)
Anna and Jessica got home a couple of hours after we returned from our Stevie B's/nap drive outing. We were very glad to have them home, but I'm also very glad I had this week of adventures with Elyse.