Read the Lines in My Hand*

April 20, 2017

AAAAAAAAAAAACCCCCCCKKKKKKKKK.

OK. Yeah. Better. Nope. Not really. Realizing how many things are on the to-do list while simultaneously realizing how little time there is to do them. My right eye is twitching again. It’s not supposed to do that on break. And it doesn’t seem to matter that I got a ton done yesterday…today it has multiplied into a monstrously larger amount, I don’t even know how. Part of it is trying to manage four different shows (maybe more?)…finishing work, putting labels on, suspect I need to go shopping for slats or dowels, plus shipping them off…gotta get all that done today and tomorrow. Plus the parentals are gone, so I have their dog on top of mine. And I’m supposed to be deciding what quilts will be in my solo show in July, because I need to know by next Friday. Aack. Double Aack. I have some that are definites (including the one I haven’t finished, oh shit), but I’m blanking on some of the others. Not sure. Need it to fit with the title. Maybe. Maybe it all fits. Who knows? I can’t wrap my brain around it right this minute. Realizing that this weekend is busy as hell, all of a sudden. OK, the realization was all of a sudden…it’s been booked for months.

All I can do is start banging through the list, as always. This is how school stuff doesn’t get done, though…because I’m trying to finish the personal stuff…and that doesn’t even include my original Spring Break goals of finishing all the weeding (ah ha ha ha) and figuring out where all the quilts should be stored and getting my bedroom chaos under control. That shit’s just not happening at all.

So. I got up yesterday and graded one of the longer assignments. Then I started cutting, and I did that for about 4 1/2 hours…

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And then I was done. So 9 hours plus total, I think. And my hand isn’t even that stiff. Good deal.

I had two dogs on the couch with me for most of it…not sure why. I know I’ve been the most boring owner ever this week. Sorry guys.

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Then the third dog showed up and the shenanigans began…

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I ignored them and went on to sorting the pieces out…

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And then came in here and started ironing…

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I am doing all the stuff around the bathtub first…it seems easier that way…

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Well, this tree wasn’t really easy…but it was logical…sort of.

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And I got the cat done after midnight…and that’s where I stopped.

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200 pieces ironed down…only 500 to go. That was my goal for today…I think. I’m not sure I can pull it off though. I have 5 quilts to pull from the pile, check all of them for labels, put labels on those that don’t have them, ship 3 to one location, put 2 in a pile for another location, and then there’s another that’s still in a box that needs to be shipped back. Each batch, I need to look up what else needs to be sent…artist statement? Slats? Return shipping? Who knows. Pain in the ass. Except the work is gonna be out there, so that’s a plus.

Two of the pieces are in this show…which will be up until July 10, I think. The piece on the right is mine, and there will be another smaller piece of mine in the show. I won’t make it to the opening though…it’s free, but you need to register. I think that gets you a free wine ticket though, so you should go.

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And then I’m in this one…but I’m not sure whether it’s just the one piece on the announcement or not. I should be at this opening…

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Anyway, wasting less time here and trying to get everything done without panicking. This is the part where my counselor tells me I must like being overwhelmed because I keep getting into that space. WTF. I don’t know how NOT to get there. Sigh.

*Elliott Smith, Miss Misery

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Looking Up…

April 15, 2017

So we made it back, alive and still a bit muddy (one load of laundry is done; the tent and rain cover are out on the deck, waiting for me to have the energy and help to clean it out), still a bit exhausted. Driving through Los Angeles can do that to you. Ahhh, traffic, I miss you not.

It’s the first time I’ve taken a week’s vacation without the fam in about a million years. Being a mom and a financially strangled one at best doesn’t allow for such things, so it was much appreciated. And there will be more, once we do the math and see how bad the money actually was, and then try to focus on future travel plans. There was lots of WOW said; even if you’ve seen them before, the redwoods elicit WOW.

So then I have about 50 pictures of the trees, looking up…

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Because that’s what you do…

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(That was the one non-rainy day on our trip…the day we chose to hike around…)

I’ll have to write a post later this week about the trip, I think. Too many pictures for a Saturday-morning brain.

I did draw each night…well, minus one…

Certainly what I was experiencing ended up in the drawings. The first night, we had set up the campsite and cooked under a lean-to tarp, and sat there listening to the rain for hours. We’d made it to the visitor center and read about local animals and plants, and seen a beetle and lots of ferns and trees.

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That beetle on her cheek was on my sketchbook for a while…I saw his big brother in the bathroom for the next three days. Just hanging out…on the toilet paper rolls…waiting…for something.

We hiked the whole next day, with on and off rain…but a lot of sun. We cooked tacos that night, and tried to get the fire started. I think it lasted a whopping 20 minutes before the rain kicked up again. We had moved the tent by then.

I don’t think this one is done, but I was tired.

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At least one hand is facing the wrong way…or both are left hands…or something.

The last night, we had very little rain (after rain on and off all day, mostly on), but lots of high winds, which is a little nerve-wracking in a forest that really only loses trees to wind and the occasional flood.

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I skipped the next night…but the last night, food was on my mind apparently. And misplaced arms. They’re just wrong, all wrong.

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As part of the last day’s drive, we stopped at the California Fibers’ exhibit at The Blackboard Gallery in Camarillo, California, where two of my pieces are currently hanging through early May. This is Give Me Time

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As always, I love having my photo taken and can’t figure out what to do with my hands.

And here I am with Holding It All In, which is a big quilt…

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I’ll be writing a California Fibers’ post about the show, with details, later this week. I’ll link it here. It’s a nice show…in an interesting space.

I did keep up with these once a day stitches, albeit barely. I did some green lazy daisy leaves on the right with that curly line I added earlier in the week, with the pinky lazy daisy flowers (that’s three days right there)…then a feather fern stitch thing next to the tree trunk (hard to see here) and some star-shaped flowers in red/burgundy with straight stitch green leaves to the right of the feather, under the bird…finishing the thread off with some French knots (or colonial knots, who knows) down the side there.

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I didn’t actually do much stitching (or reading) on the trip. I finally pulled this out the last day for in-the-car stitching (mostly I can’t stitch with curvy roads…or while I’m driving)…finished the tree trunk, which I’d started at the campsite until I couldn’t see in the dark any more, then finished the flower center and started the bird. I think the bird is all that’s left, and then I’ll be done with this one. Maybe tonight. Not sure what my plans look like yet.

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I know they include cleaning and drying these, the second load of laundry, finishing my taxes…

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Working on the current quilt, which has to be done in a week, a ton of grading, some emails/contracts/headshots (ugh) to be sent out, and I don’t even know what else. Trying to get my head around all of it…which I will…eventually…maybe not today. Still looking up…even though the trees are gone…but here, at home, the furry beasts are all around. Both cats slept with me last night (strange), although I did not appreciate Midnight’s hairball extraction in the middle of the night (guess the duvet cover needed washing) or Calli’s early morning plea to pee. And the house reeks of skunk…fun stuff. No one cleaned while I was gone (another wonder of living alone). But I’m glad to be here, in my own bed, surrounded by annoying beasts, where I can make a proper cup of tea whenever I want dammit. (still wanna travel more though)


Restless as the Wildest Way*

April 6, 2017

Here’s a blog post I wrote for California Fibers on the exhibit Time, which just opened at Blackboard Gallery at Studio Channel Islands, Camarillo, California. I have two pieces in the show. I was not there for the opening, but will be stopping by on my trip next week. Give Me Time

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And Holding It All In

Are both in the exhibit. I’m looking forward to seeing it…it looks like a beautiful space. The show is up through May 9.

So I knew I had a bag of Wildflowers variegated thread, which has always been one of my favorites, starting when I was a crazy quilter (OK, I’m still a crazy quilter, but I meant a person who made crazy quilts)…I found them!

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This house has a lot of embroidery thread in it, just so you know. But now I have some different thread to use…I get tired of using the same ones over and over. I did the bullion rose under the tree branch, and then used up the rest of the thread in some stem stitching below the tree roots. I actually used two strands of thread, because I couldn’t finish all the bullions otherwise.

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Julie says it looks like a skull. She’s right. For now. Not on purpose.

Then I decided to blow off work completely (whoops…I will probably regret that later…) and start the fabric-picking part of this quilt. It has a top and bottom on the backing…a floor and wall, if you will. The other two bathtubs don’t. Not sure why this one does, but thought I would honor it with two different fabrics.

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I got the drawing hung up and started picking. Honestly, it was a pretty slow start.

That’s a plate of cheesecake laid out in fabric. A first for me.

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I’m really tired at the moment. Here’s the first 100 pieces laid out.

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Here’s the first 50 pieces cut out of fabric. No. I didn’t get very far.

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It took a really long time to decide what color to make the rug. I can’t explain that. It just happened. Greens are complicated. Interestingly, I think all the bathtubs have a green rug. I want a better bathtub…if I can ever afford to remodel the bathrooms here (they need it), a nice bathtub is a requirement. I miss baths.

Anyway, the way I number the pieces on the bathtub means I cut out everything that’s AROUND the bathtub first, and then I do the bathtub, then the water, then the human. I try to be methodical about things sometimes. The first bathtub I did, I think I was not that organized, and it made it a pain in the ass for picking fabrics. Anyway. More tonight. More Friday night, as I try to pack for this trip. Pack for potentially sopping wet and freezing temperatures while sleeping outside and then delightful and sunny while touring wineries. It’s not like I have a wide selection of clothes anyway. Layers!

Deep breaths for today. Spring Break is two days away and the kids know it! There is some dumbassery going on, as usual. And it starts with an early meeting for me…woo hoo!

*Crooked Still, Undone in Sorrow

 


Art over Work…

June 4, 2016

Although I have 700 things to grade and the deadline is positively LOOMING over me (it always does…some times of the year, it just feels like I’m ducking down to avoid responsibilities for weeks at a time), I am blowing it all off today for art. Seriously. It’s the weekend. I’ll deal with it tomorrow. And Monday. And every freakin’ day next week. Whatever doesn’t get done…doesn’t get done. Honestly, nobody’s grade is changing THAT much at this point.

Teachers at the end of the year…sigh. I was done yesterday, and we still have nine more days.

Anyway, I got nothing done last night because of gaming and exhaustion, but I will today. First, I have to deliver Mammogram to the Oceanside Museum of Art…the opening of the California Fibers: Eclectic Fibers show is Saturday, June 25, from 6-8 PM. If you’re planning on coming, let me know and I can put you on a list so you can get in free.

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There will also be some sort of artist talk on July 12 from 6:30-8. It will either be artist meet and greet or an artist panel, but I’m planning on being there either way. The show is open for quite a while, so you have plenty of chances to go see it.

The closing exhibition for Feminism Now is next Saturday from 6-10 PM, which is part of the Barrio Art Crawl. I will need to be there at 10 to pick up my work, but I won’t be there for the whole 4 hours! (Sorry)

I have a post-it attached to my computer with all the upcoming deadlines and ideas for some of them (at least one of them needs a drawing in the next month or so). However many things I have on my phone to remind me of stuff, sometimes I just need to go old school so I can SEE it every day. All the ways you can poke the brain into remembering shit.

The rest of today will be tracing stuff and then the Art around Adams two-mile art and music event this afternoon and evening. Because it’s a weekend and summer and it doesn’t all have to be work all the time. Because that’s what makes us cranky. But first I have to drive to Oceanside. Eh. Oh well. It’s for a good thing. The other stuff today will help with inspiration for the next few pieces (that nightstand thing is currently rolling around in my head, and not necessarily in a good way). Hopefully I can get some drawing in soon too.


Upcoming Shows

March 13, 2016

Yeah. I blew off writing yesterday. Head in a place. May write later. Well, technically writing now, but just about upcoming shows.

Primal Scream will be in a local show, The Power of Feminine Energy, at the Centro Cultural de la Raza (in Balboa Park, one of the round buildings on Park), San Diego, CA, March 19-April 3, 2016.

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The opening is March 19 from 6-10 PM and will have 50 women artists and over 100 pieces of work.

Then if you happen to be in Pennsylvania (there are some good fiber reasons to be there), I have a piece in Art Quilt Elements, Work in Progress.

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In Deep will be at Artist as Quiltmaker XVII, FAVA’s 17th Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Quilts, Firelands Association for the Visual Arts in Oberlin, Ohio, from May 15-July 31.

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Then I just found out Friday that Mammogram will be at the Oceanside Museum of Art in our next California Fibers’ exhibit, Eclectic Threads.

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The opening is June 25 from 5-8 PM. There will be at least one other exhibit there at the time, Love Letters in Metal: Jewelry by Svetozar and Ruth Radakovich. Lots of work out there. I keep reminding myself of that when my brain goes for a swim in depresso-soup.


Can Do…

September 11, 2015

I could have sworn I took more than one picture while I was sewing last night. Apparently not. I was incredibly tired. So tired, I quit early and went to bed and zonked out. Same as before, getting into the sewing when it’s hot…ugh. I just can’t do it. Plus I had to enter a show. I’ll probably get rejected from one today, so this is like a karmic balance. Rejection? Enter a new one. So that took some time. I have so much stuff out traveling right now or in shows that I don’t have much available to enter…well, until today, when a few will get rejected, right? Yeah.

So the Ventura California Fibers show is up at the Ventura government buildings, 800 S Victoria Ave, Ventura CA. The opening is tonight from 5:30-7. Being in the buildings means it’s only open during government hours, Mon-Fri 8-5, closed weekends and holidays. You can see my piece Earth Mother for Ventura there…named because it had to be no politics, no nudity, no violence. I won’t be there. Can’t possibly leave school at 3:45 and get to Ventura on a Friday afternoon in time.

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Then tomorrow from 7-10 is the Response opening at Space4Art. If you do come to see the 17-foot-long woman, go through the main gallery into the back yard where the food and stage are. There’s a small building with a funky sculpture in front of it. My piece is in there. I will be there. Although I don’t know that I will always be in the building.

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And in Utah, Celebrating Silver opens tomorrow as well and the St. George Museum of Art. Awakening the Crone will be there. I won’t. Obviously. Because I’ll be here.

So yeah, there’s a lot of stuff going on. I do still think I can finish stitching this big piece down tonight. I just have to be able to focus as soon as I get home, instead of sprawling on the couch for an hour with a book before I do anything. It was easier when the girlchild was here, because SHE would be sprawled on the couch (genetics?) and I couldn’t be in there because I’d get yelled at. Or there wasn’t room. Actually, Friday was often the only day I could be there, because we were both tired, but it would inevitably turn out that I said something totally horrible like “How was your day?” or “Why?” and then I’d be out. And then I’d head for my studio/office. I should just pretend she’s there on the couch and not even sit down. I’ve joked about having this 17-foot-woman hang out on the couch with me at night when I’m feeling alone.

So I did eventually sew, but it was after 10…

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I finished the kneeling figure. So I’m probably halfway done. I feel like 3 or 4 hours tonight would do it. I’m a little less than 5 hours in so far. Then I could sandwich it tomorrow and start quilting on Sunday.

It’s been so hot here lately that the dog has been cooling herself off in the pool. She goes in up to her belly and then wants to come back in the house. She gets mad when I dry her off (I don’t dry her completely), but I do it anyway. Except she apparently went in this morning and I didn’t notice. And then she walked through the whole house. I just noticed that. Sigh. Now she’s laid out in the entryway, damp everywhere. Oh well. This is why my house is not a showcase, right? Yeah. That’s it. Hopefully today is the last day of the heat wave. It did rain yesterday, enough to cool things down slightly, but not enough to make it actually cool.

OK. Survive the day at school. Come home and stitch. Eat leftovers for dinner. I can do all that.


Finishing Up…a Quilt and an Exhibit…

June 30, 2015

Normally I’m a fan of rain, but not when the thunder associated with it makes the girlchild’s dog want to climb into my lap. Then it just sucks big time. She shut the computer down in the middle of a long post for one of the art groups I’m in. I finally managed to close the door to my office, just to get some peace without her trying to dig a hole in my fabric (she’s a Golden Retriever, not something that is easy to hide in a drawer of fabric, but she does it nonetheless). Her mom (the girlchild) is apparently NOT at the Fair, because it’s raining up there too, and the boychild just lost 4 wisdom teeth, so his patience is worn a bit thin and bloody. Plus it’s humid and muggy, not good for me either. But I’m trying to get all this computer crap out of the way, and then I can come out and sit with Ms. Whinypants, because I really need a Retriever on my lap.

Last night, finally, after a ton of stuff was done, I managed to finish ironing the pieces for the newest quilt…

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I told you I would be adding color. It has 49 fabrics and it took about 5 1/2 hours to pick them all.

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Pretty fast, actually. That’s because the majority of them were the same fabrics, so I just had to find them all and figure out which of the 6 flesh or 4 bone colors it needed to be, rather than find all new fabrics.

Kitten has appropriated the chair once taken by Babygirl and by Limbo before her.

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In fact, she’s sitting there now, curled up against my back. I rarely get to sit in the chair properly. I’m always sharing it.

I did start cutting them out last night, mostly because I had to stay up until the girlchild came home, but also because I’m a night owl…

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Although I’m feeling it this morning. Hopefully I’ll get the rest cut out tonight and then move on to ironing. Or maybe I’ll cut out the commissioned breast fabrics. That wouldn’t take long. We’ll see how tired I am. Cutting is fine while tired (I still have all my fingers). Ironing is harder. It requires standing and conscious thought. Always a problem.

I posted for California Fibers about the show opening on Saturday. You can see it all here, on the California Fibers blog. There were a few other artists involved in the show, so I wanted to post about them here.

This is Dani Dodge’s Sutured Jane with her video The Weight of Fabric playing on top of it.

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I met Dani and had a conversation with her after we accidentally photographed each other in this panoramic…

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She’s holding up the camera in the right middle…you can see how crowded the gallery was.

And here’s another view from more in the middle…of the gallery, not Dani.

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Sandra Lauterbach was there with 6 pieces…yes, I know there are only 5 in this photo. I’m not sure where the 6th was.

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Here’s a view from the stairs in the back, where more pieces were hiding…notably, Camilla Taylor’s We Waited, 4 figures total.

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Here you can see three of them and her piece on the right, Feign.

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I was more than a little fascinated with their construction…

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listed as fabric, welded steel, paper pulp infrastructure. The stitcher in me wants to know HOW.

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Terri Hartman’s work continued down the stairs with her Melancholy Sideshow

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Her Bullseye pieces…

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In different sizes going up the stairs…

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And her highly amusing My Family Tree

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consisting of descriptions of people we ALL want in our family…

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Sold separately!

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Seriously. I know these people.

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And her Altered Definitions

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Lastly was a room with an installation, photographs, and video by Marisa CaichioloNo More Blood in Your Clothes

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As you can see here…

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The requisite picture of the harried artist, finally in front of her art (which was in a good place, right in front of the wine station)…

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This guy matched the quilt…

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Anyway, it was a good exhibit opening, which was nice, considering the drive. I would love to go back and peruse the hardware store as well…

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Walls and walls of fun stuff. Now on to the next exhibit…although, honestly, I’m not sure I have one coming up with a local opening (or even one within a 3-hour drive), so it might be a while before I get to have those types of photos again. All the more reason to enjoy this one.