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I am posting one (or two) photos each week that describe common and often overlooked aspects of daily life. 
In a culture that puts so much value on the sensational, I want to learn to appreciate the beauty and precticality of the ordinary.

Week 1:

The New Year began with an intense winter blast. From late Sunday night to Wednesday afternoon, the temps stayed below 32*. We stayed quite toasty with an additional small heater. Although we had plenty of propane for the furnace (TSC ran out as they filled the tanks of  the guy behind us) we didn't use much with our two space heaters working so hard.

It took us a couple of hours to decide whether or not we needed to buy an extra heater (no desire for "extra" things when you live in a small sapce). So glad we decided to part with 25 dollars for this gem! It was worth every penny!

   1801 Heater

Week 2: 

Each winter we return to Austin to see family and work temporary jobs we have with the Regional Science Festival. Trey has been working the fair since the early 90's and this is Susan's eighth Science Fest year. The long hours are tiring, but it is always rewarding.

This is part of the team working out contractual issues in the event center.  Right now it is just a big open space, but in a few weeks, this hall will have over of 2,500 science projects coming and going. 

  1802 SFHall

Week 3a: 

The second winter blast hit. Fresh water in the tank was running low. Normally we would just fill our tank from the campground spigot, but our winter campground has very poor water. With no clean water source nearby (and an aversion to moving our rig to fill up), we needed to find another way to supply ourselves with fresh water once the temperatures dropped below freezing. Trey bought a simple $2 part and altered the cap on a 5 gallon jug. With an assist from our trusty ladder and multiple trips to the store, we were able to put enough water in the tanks for showers and such until the weather grew warmer. 

  1803 Water

Week 3b: 

When you find yourself Goggling "Do I need stitches?" you know your day has taken a downward turn. Trey's head had a close encounter with the hatchback of the Durango. It was a loud enough BANG that Susan dropped the groceries and ran back to the car.

It has been five days and the wound is almost healed without stitches. Trey makes a nice redhead, don't you think?

  1803 Injuryr

Week 4:

We began making freezer jam about six months ago. We keep experimenting (less sugar, different fruits, less pectin) so we haven't made the same batch twice. It really more like a compote rather than a jam. We use this to flavor  homemade yogurt, but we have been known to put it on chocolate cake, ice cream and cheesecake. Very versatile stuff! 

This is our first attempt at blueberry freezer jam thickened with apples rather than pectin.

When photographing this today, I had trouble getting color on the jam without blowing out the rest of the shot. I need to better learn my camera settings. Some things don't work well on auto.

  1804 Jam

Week 5:

For two weeks every February, it seems like life consists of removing paperclips from pages, rearranging those pages, and putting the paperclips back on -
1,800 times!

Science Fest Life!

  1805 Paperclips

Week 6:

Overcooked black beans ready to be transformed into delicious hummus. Trey has been making this for a few years and tried it with Chipotle peppers this time. It was the best ever!

   1806 Hummus

Week 07:

Within days of Science Fair, I move from paperclips to printing. When behaving itself, this printer is pretty awesome! Over a very short period I will have printed a stack of documents over ten feet tall: research documents, labels, registration cards, signs, judge forms, certificates, and the like.
Each page has a place and a purpose.

We serve almost 300 schools across dozens of school districts.
Next week is the big week. Seven days from now we will be unable to think or move.

  1806 Printer

Week 08a:

The elementary science boards are up and 2,000 3rd - 6th graders are entering the project hall. I took about 30 seconds to stand on a chair in the corner of the hall to snap a fuzzy picture of the room with my phone. I should have taken a full minute to get a better shot, but as soon as I got down I was reminded by a fellow worker that it was against the rules to stand on chairs to take pictures. Yikes! I took my life into my own hands!
Better picture here, but not mine.


  1808 ElemSF

Week 08b:

The JR/SR event concludes with an elaborate awards ceremony where many young scientists are awarded tropies for thier efforts. This is one half fo the trophy table.
Out of 750+ projects, dozens will advance to the State Fair and six will proceed to Internationals in Pittsburg.
It was another quick snap and the lighting was terrible. I wish this photo did a better job of showing how great this table looked!



1808 Trophies

Week 9:

I am in Science Fair recovery mode. I forgot to take pictures at work (those would have been much better) but this represents part of my weekend.

Dryer Lint: decisively uncreative, but definately ordinary. I'll do better next time.

  1809 Lint

Week 10:

Packing up and pulling out after four months in one place is always a bit nerve-wercking. The scooter is usually the last thing to be loaded before we hitch up and take off. This usually works well unless the wench decides to quit and you have a three hour delay dealing with that. (Unexpected repairs are the main reason we load the scooter last - much easier to make a quick run to the store in the scooter rather than the truck.)

  1810 Leaving3

Week 11:

Well, I failed. It has been another very busy week and I only took two pictures. Neither were interesting and both were dark and grainy. Then I discovered a few test shots I took last Sunday. Of the seven times my finger snapped the shutter this week, this is the best shot I could find. I was testing the focus mechanism repair from various distances. My subject was the kitchen sink - the clean side, not the dirty side. (Not sure why we used so many knives that day.)
From the first of the year until yesterday (March 19) I have not had much free time because of long hours of work. I hope to get better shots now that I have more flexibilty.

  1811 Sink

Week 12:

It feels good to be on the road again. This shot was taken out the truck window driving south through Georgia on the way to Florida this week.

I often visually check the trailer using the truck rearview mirror as we drive. There is convex mirror mounted on the hood that gives a different view - but that photo will be for another week. 

  1812 RearviewMirror

Week 13:

This photo of the week thing is hard! I searched all three cameras, including the phone and the only photos I took this week were of a receipt we needed for work and this rag rug I just finished last week. I began working this rug (about 2' x 2') right before Science Fair week and picked it up again while we were in Florida.

I tore up two old  sheets (burgundy and gold) and there are still tiny threads everywhere! Not sure where I will put this run. Maybe outside the shower, or maybe in the truck.

  1813 RagRug

Week 14:

It has been cold and wet here in North Carolina, but even the cleansing rain can't eliminate the pollen. This is the road by our campsite - covered in the yellow stuff. The temps might not be signaling spring but the trees are! 

  1814 Pollen

Week 15:

A view of our current driveway.

   1815 Driveway


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