At least partly because Cuppa and I are enjoying an unexpected day off, I find myself with the opportunity to post a blog that might eventuate to be a little more that just pictures. This leaves me with some hope that I might someday once again blog more contemplatively and thoroughly than I have in the recent past. That time may come more fully in a little more than eight months when we plan to resign from babysitting duties.

As much as we adore the grandlets, they do tire an aging body out and leave us a trifle short of both time and energy. So, come September, the plan is to send Zach off to daycare when Nikki Dee goes back to school after the summer hols.

I feel that it has been very beneficial for Zach to be on his own, so to speak, while Niks has hightailed it off to school. Suddenly, he is using his imagination and playing really well on his own as opposed to following his sister around and trying emulate whatever she does. He still tends to do that when they are together, but the situation is getting better. However, he also does well in daycare, which he attends once a week, so I don’t fret about sending him into the cruel world once he has had more time to learn to amuse himself.

By the time September rolls around, we will have babysat for the lion’s share of four out of five years, the year off being while Mom attended to Zach during his first year. It’s been a treasure by and large, but we’re tired and, therefore, need to retire from this gig.

With not a bundle of energy at hand I find it problematic to keep two hobbies going, and I have been devoting more time to Flickr and posting and commenting more on that site, which has resulted in my neglecting this one a bit. However, just having today off and finding myself sitting down to write this much gives me some hope that I will someday be paying more attention to blogging again.

Meanwhile, I thought I would share some family portraits that I have recently published on Flickr. I don’t mean “portrait” in the studio sense of the term but just closeups of people taken on the fly, meaning that the moment was flying by, not the people. πŸ™‚

Ma Femme

Cuppa in a pondering moment

Dance Class

Nikki Dee at the one dance class per year that family is permitted to observe.

Dance Class

She was as pleased as punch to be showing off her stuff


Thesha celebrating her 39th birthday, yesterday, after opening her spiffy, new iPad.

Rusty Drives Out of Bounds

Does a portrait of a rusty truck count? Well it does for me. I was also experimenting with an OOB (Out of Bounds) technique for the first time. It was a struggle to make even this much progress as it relies on skills which are neither natural nor developed in me. But I still like it and may try again some time.

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13 Responses to Portraits

  1. QMM says:

    I can sure understand the decision to retire from the caregiver job. I know too you love them dearly but time catches up with us. You too have done a great family bonding gift by caring for them all this time. Blessings to you and family.

  2. Oh Ac! These are all Wonderful! You’re braver then I am with that out of bounds photo…Looks Great!
    Retiring? Well, it does get harder as they get older I think. I STILL have to bring my 16 yr old Grangirl her strawberry milk…Hahaaa

  3. Ruth says:

    You have invested so much into your grandchildren and I am sure you will still be an important part of their lives after you “retire”. Your photos are very well composed. I have never understood why so many male photographers love rusty trucks, but your editing makes an interesting picture.

  4. Mary says:

    A beautiful set of portraits, AC.

    The kids are so lucky to have you and Cuppa. How joyful it must be for them, too.

    I look forward to the days when you’ll be blogging more often.

    Much love, AC. (See you soon…. !?!?)

  5. KGMom says:

    I see from your prior post that you and the camera have been LONG time friends.
    So, the portraits post proves the life-long friendship.
    Keep on shooting…as you have energy. πŸ˜‰

  6. Bernie says:

    It will be nice to sleep in on those cold winter mornings and I am sure you and cuppa will always be there for the grands. It will be nice to have more time for each other. Love your photos, such a lovely family…..:-)Hugs

  7. June Kellum says:


    You and Cuppa have given a lot to your ‘Grands!’ It has been time well spent for you all, I’m sure! I can say that because we went through the very same thing with 3 of our Grands…and the 4th to some extent also. (so I know what I’m talking about!!)

    NOW….in a few months we will start a new adventure with our “5th” grandchild! I consider it a blessing to have this experience again-long after our first ones are grown and, mostly, gone out of our life! (not gone- but out of our care) Our new baby will be a little boy named Drake Charles! πŸ™‚

    Just hope I’m up to this “Granny/Ginga” stuff again! πŸ™‚


  8. Hi AC, we know how much fun and Cuppa have had with the grands, but there comes a time when you see the need to “retire” again. Thanks for sharing these portaits, the ones of Nikki Dee at her dance class were lovely and so natural as was the one of Cuppa. That last out of bounds photo was in a word – amazing! Merry Christmas.

  9. Hilary says:

    I often wonder how you have the energy to look after those two sweeties as you do.

    Your photos are wonderful. Cuppa is beautiful and your granddaughter just adorable. I love rusty vehicles, too and the photo treatment is so cool. Please do keep on blogging. I miss you when you don’t.

  10. Ginnie says:

    I am so glad you wrote this post, John. I’ve been missing the written word and you do it so well. I look forward to your return to the “old style” blogging that I’ve come to enjoy from you. BTW … your picture of Cuppa is amazing. My husband was a free lance professional photographer when I met him and he would agree that you caught her perfectly …

  11. garnetrose26 says:

    I know I am worn out after a few days watching the little one. I think the photographs are great. The kids are gorgeous.

  12. Lorna says:

    The portraits are lovely, as always, although I think a little make-up would have helped the truck portrait. As you know, I fully and sympathetically admire your devotion to your kids and grandkids. It speaks so well of you both that you’ve committed so much and that you’ve planned a retreat. And yes, the kids ARE gorgeous.

  13. Interesting OOB photo of the trucks. Some of the best family photos I’ve ever seen were done by a photographer who dressed the grandnephew in twenty’s style clothing leaning up against a rusty truck very like that one (think newsboy style clothing).

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