Tag Archives: Family

CY365: Photograph Your 365

Anniversary / Celebration / Years

Well, apparently it is the 4th birthday of CY365.  It seems like the prompt is asking for a retrospective of photos from the past year’s CY365 posts.  Since I have not participated but for a few days, I thought I would just post a picture of “family” since a majority of my photos from this project will be on or about my family.



Cody Creek

On Sunday, my Mom and I, along with my middle daughter and niece, rode up to Dobson, NC, to have a late lunch and practice some photography.  Cody Creek has a very nice event facility for weddings and such.  It was a nice quiet afternoon taking some pictures on the property, even if the weather was not the most cooperative.

DIY Hummingbird Feeder Moat

A few weeks ago, I posted about our new hummingbird feeder.  We have had lots of fun watching a few stop by to have a drink at the new watering hole.  It appears we have one that has sorta made the area home as he tends to chase off any other hummingbirds that try to stop by.

Unfortunately, the sugary treat that is intended for the birds, also attracts some less desirable visitors…ANTS.  Within 24 hours of setting up the feeder, the ants were marching up the shepherd’s hook a la Tom and Jerry.

So, I have seen a few solutions to this problem.  You can buy a commercial solution either built-in to the feeder or buy one to put between the feeder and the hanger.  But I was able to go to Lowe’s and get a couple of parts for about $3 and built my own.  (Disclosure: One part cannot be purchased by itself.  See below.)

Turnbuckle, nut, washer, and spray can cap.I purchased a 1/4″ x 7-1/2″ turnbuckle hook, a 1/4″ nut, and a 1/4″ washer.  I already had an old spray can cap.

The first thing to do is to drill a 7/32″ hole in the center of the spray can cap.  By drilling the hole just slightly photo2smaller than the threads on the turnbuckle hook, the assembly makes its own water tight seal.

Be aware that the threads going into the turnbuckle are reverse of each other.  The one you want to remove from the turnbuckle is the one that turns left.

photo3Thread the nut onto the hook you just removed.  Note:  If the nut won’t thread onto the hook, you have removed the wrong hook…try the other one.  Turn the nut until it is near the start of the hook.

photo4Slide the washer on next and then start to thread the cap after the washer.  As you get the cap close to the washer, hold the nut still and gently tighten the cap down to the washer.  Don’t force it as you could break the seal that makes it watertight.

photo5Finally, thread the turnbuckle back onto the hook inside the cap.  Tighten the turnbuckle down to sandwich the washer and the cap against the nut at the bottom.  Again, not too tight.  If necessary, you can add some silicone caulk or use hot glue to seal the bottom of the threads.



photo6The final step is to check your moat by filling with a bit of water to see that there are no leaks.






Photo7_reducedAnd finally, just hang the moat above your feeder and no more ants!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’

This week, share a photo(s) that says summer lovin’ to you. It might be a favorite pair of sandals you can’t bear to part with, the homemade salsa you made with veggies from your garden, the flowers you planted, or your family frolicking on the beach. If summer is on the way in your hemisphere, show us something hot hot hot: your homemade sriracha sauce, some friends shuckin’ and jivin’ on the dance floor, or even the furnace or boiler that heats your home.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Summer Lovin’


Hummingbird Bistro Grand Opening!

This afternoon, I thought it would be fun to help the girls set up a hummingbird feeder.  We have planted a cardinal flower, which is supposed to attract hummingbirds, but so far we have had no customers.  So, I thought we would add a new item to the menu.

I took Morgan and Emmelyn out to Lowe’s to get a little feeder, and we came home to set it up.  To begin, we started to create our nectar.  I will include the very simple recipe at the bottom of this post.

IMG_0951IMG_0950Each of the girls had a hand in mixing the solution and also helped to
carefully pour it into the feeder when it was done.  While cooling, I went out to the shed and picked up one of our Shepherd’s Hooks to hang the feeder on outside our window on the side of the house.
IMG_0958Now we just get to wait and see if we get any interested birds.

Nectar Recipe:

1 part sugar
4 parts water
Bring to a boil for 1-2 minutes and let cool.

It used to be customary to use red food coloring in the solution to help attract the hummingbirds.  I have read in some places that the red dye can cause mouth sores to form in the hummingbirds, which is obviously not the intended outcome.  We chose a red feeder so that we wouldn’t have to add food coloring to the solution.  For more detailed information you can check out this article about how to care for the feeder and making the nectar solution.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

It has been a while since I have posted for the WordPress Photo Challenge.  When I saw the subject earlier today, I started going through in my mind of where I might be able to find something to represent a container.  I thought about going to a trucking terminal and taking a picture of trailers backed up to the dock, loading and unloading their freight.  I thought about riding over towards the tank farm and trying to get some wide-angle shot of all of those.  Nothing really worked in my head, so I came home…and found my daughter.
Meet Savannah.  Now at first, you might wonder if ISavannah have lost my faculties, but I assure you, I have not.  What you see in this picture is a container.  This container holds my oldest daughter.  Savannah.

Some of you who know Savannah, know that she was born with CHARGE Syndrome.  A little later, as a side-effect of CHARGE, she had to have a trach and a colostomy.  She doesn’t walk and she doesn’t talk, though before her trach she had an eight or so word vocabulary.  While in the hospital, she suffered a brain injury and never regained her ability to speak.

The short (very abbreviated) story above is only part of the story.  While Savannah has had a lot of difficulty in her development, she has also made a lot of great progress.  She is able to pull up to stand.  She loves to laugh.  She knows that there are things she is not supposed to do and does it anyway just to see if she can get away with it.  She can use limited sign language.  She is strong.

But she has not become strong enough to break out of her container.  This little body that holds my daughter.  Savannah is stuck inside a body that will not let her communicate what she needs or help her get where she wants to go.  I have two other daughters that have, to date, had a healthy life.  I love being able to do things with them, but as much as I love to do things with them and watch them experience and learn new things, I miss being able to do the same with Savannah.

I was looking through some pictures on my computer today and noticed that I don’t have as many pictures of Savannah as I do of my other daughters.  This hurt.  It is also part of the life that we have.  Savannah doesn’t know or care that I am trying to take pictures of her.  She spends the majority of her time on the floor, and will roll out of frame before I can get a shot composed.  Now some may say, “Use the rapid fire shutter,” or “Just take a picture however it turns out.”  I could do that, but when she moves, I usually get a picture of her back, or worst case, an empty frame because she fell out of it at the last second.  She does seem to have a pretty good sense of when I am about to press the shutter.

I want to, and would love to have, a more typical life with all my daughters, but Savannah is trapped inside that container.  That container that is sealed up and will not let the words, “I love you,” or “I’m scared,” or “My stomach hurts,” come out.

At this point, you are probably saying, “Man, this guy sure is having a pretty large pity party here on the Internet; maybe he should get some help.”  Maybe.  I just had these thoughts about the photo challenge and needed to get this off my chest.

Savannah, even with her in spite of her disabilities, is still a very happy little girl.  She loves to snuggle up and will curl up and go to sleep.  She will also laugh like nobody’s business with a laugh that will make anyone nearby also laugh…it is that contagious.  She has a little stubborn streak (it’s really a big stubborn streak, but I am trying to be nice about it).

When we eat meals, she sits in a high chair next to the table.  She likes to try to put her feet on the table beside her, which we don’t allow.  Savannah will wait for me to turn my head and put her foot back on the table.  When she sees me starting to turn around (I have already seen her foot out of the corner of my eye.) she pulls her foot back off the table.  She knows she’s not supposed to.

She is in there; in that container.

I really want her to be able to break free of that container.

I love my Savannah.

We Are Monsters – High Point Community Theatre

Today, I had the privilege to visit the High Point Community Theatre as they presented “We Are Monsters” at Centennial Station in High Point, NC.  This is billed as “A New Children’s Musical” where kids ranging in age from six to 12 perform.  If you have not yet seen this presentation, they have one more show on Sunday, June 29, 2014.  You can get additional information from the High Point Community Theatre website or from their flyer.  Below are some pictures I took while watching the show this afternoon.  I had fun watching the performance, and it seems that these kids really enjoyed acting.  They put on a great show.