A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…  No, wait; that’s Star Wars.  For today’s Throwback Thursday, I’m not going that far away… or that far back in time.

Back in January, I showed you the photos of my new couches.  Since then, my sister Michelle and I have been redecorating the entire house.  In the living room, we’re going for a late 1950s/early 1960s inspired theme, so we got a couple of funky rugs with wavy lines for the living room and foyer.

I’ve also been going through my Grandma’s old 50s/60s vases to sit around the room.  What’s so frustrating to me is that even though her favorite color was green, and my living room’s main color is green, she apparently had every other color vase but green!  This is so aggravating!

So, I’ve now amassed a nice collection of vases to store in my closet, and still have nothing for the living room.  Grrr!   I’ll keep you posted as we go along…

Time to talk:  Have you ever redecorated a whole house at once, or do you take it one room at a time?  How often do you redecorate?

Visionary (Part Three)

Today, we learn the fate of Claire and her family, introduced to you in Monday’s Micro-Fiction Monday…

*     *     *

“Visionary”
Part Three of Three
By: Rachel Carrera

Three weeks later, the Keene house was abuzz about Van’s upcoming business trip to Elmhurst.  Billy grinned.  “Dad, will you bring us back a present?”

Susie hugged Van’s neck.  “Daddy, be sure to send us some picture postcards.  I’ve got some three cent stamps you can take with you.”

Van stood and straightened his tie.  “Of course I’ll send you postcards and bring you gifts, kids.  And what would your mother like me to bring home?”

Tears shimmered in Claire’s red rimmed eyes.  “I’d like you not to go, Van.  Please change your plans.”

He rolled his eyes.  “Kids, it’s time for bed.  I’ll see you in the morning at breakfast before I leave.  Goodnight.”  After the kids went upstairs, he gently grabbed his wife’s shoulders.  “Claire, we’ve been all through this before.  I have to go.  It’s for work.  Nothing’s going to happen to me.  Now, would you please calm down?”

Her body quaked.  “I can’t!  Van, I’ve had the same dream all week long.  You can’t go!  If you do, you could be—”  Tears spilled down her cheeks as she buried her face in his chest.

He sighed and patted her back.  “Hon, I don’t know why all of a sudden lately you think you’re some sort of soothsayer, but I couldn’t get out of it if I wanted to.  The Smithfield account depends on me making this trip, and Mr. Watley left it in my hands.  If I can secure this account, I could get a promotion, then we’ll be set.  Besides, don’t you see I have to go now to show you that there’s nothing to those dreams of yours?”

She buried her face in her hands and gritted her teeth as she put her back to him.  “You can’t.  You just can’t…”

*     *     *

The following morning, Claire’s eyes were bloodshot as she spooned up four bowls of oatmeal.  A loud crack of thunder made her gasp and jump just as Van and the kids entered the kitchen.

Van peeked out the window.  “Wow.  That’s gonna be some gully washer.  I hope when I get on the road, I can outrun this storm, and it doesn’t rain all the way to Elmhurst.”

Billy stuffed a bag of marbles in his pocket and flopped in his seat.  “How long is it to Elmhurst, Dad?”

“Six hours.  Don’t worry; I’ll call when I get checked into the hotel.”

Susie smiled a faraway smile.  “Imagine, a luxury hotel.  You’ll probably have room service, and valets, and everything!  Daddy, that’s just so… dreamy!”

Van chuckled and eyed Claire who was looking down.  He frowned.  “Aww, come on, Hon, lighten up.  I’ll be home in four days.”

She silently shook her head and stirred her oatmeal.  “Never mind me.  Just do what you have to.”

He exhaled loudly.  “Kids, go get your teeth brushed and gather your books.  I’ll drop you off at school on my way.”  As they made their way upstairs, he held Claire’s hand and tucked her chin to face him.  “Honey, please, don’t make this harder than it has to be.”

Her chin quivered.  “Van, don’t you understand?  I love you, and I don’t want to live without you.”

He smirked.  “Claire, I’m going to Elmhurst, not Mars.  I’ll be back Thursday evening.”

“No, you won’t!”

He rolled his eyes and picked up his suitcase.  “I don’t have time for this.  I need to get going.  Now, kiss me goodbye.”

She turned her face away as he tried to kiss her.  He shook his head.  “Alright.  I’ll call you when I get to the hotel.”

She nodded and sucked back her tears as he and the kids stepped outside.

A few minutes later, Van came back in with a red face.  His stride was purposeful as he headed to the kitchen sink and washed his hands.

Claire followed him.  “Where are the children?”

He dried his hands on a dishtowel and scowled.  “They walked.  Someone cut both back tires on the Pontiac!  I’m gonna have to call Howell’s Garage and have it towed.  I can’t believe you’d do this to me.  Claire, really!”

He jumped when the phone rang, and he picked up the receiver.  “Hello?  …Yes.  …Oh?  …Oh, okay.  Next week, then.  …Alright fine.  Thanks.  …Yes, goodbye.”

He narrowed his eyes.  “Honey, did you seriously think I wouldn’t find out that you called Mr. Smithfield’s office and rescheduled my meeting?  Look, I don’t know what’s going on with you lately, but this is ridiculous!  You could’ve very well just cost me my job!  Claire, I’m seriously starting to question your decision making abilities.”

Tears streamed down her cheeks.  “Van, I did it for you!  Can’t you understand how much I love and need you?  The children need you!”

He rolled his eyes and threw his hands in the air.  “This is unbelievable!  I love you, too, but I don’t understand why you think something’s gonna happen to me!  You’re not prescient!  I’ve had enough of you and those silly dreams!  Now, you really need to—”

They both turned their heads when their neighbor, Maxwell, knocked then walked in.  He carried a portable transistor radio, and his face was grim.  “Van, thank God you’re still here!  I was afraid you’d already left!”

Van furrowed his brow.  “No, I had car problems.  Why?  What’s wrong?”

Maxwell turned up the radio.  “Because the bridge over Owl Creek just washed out.  You’d have been there right about now.  They said the fog’s so thick up there, you can’t see your hand in front of your face.  Eleven cars went over the edge before anyone realized what had happened.  They’re trying to get a crew in there to pull them from the water, but with the rain and fog, they say it’s doubtful they’ll recover anything.  Van, it’s a lucky thing your car broke down, or you’d be a goner.”

The End

*     *     *

Time to chat:  Do you believe visions can sometimes accurately predict the future?   Do you believe we’re sometimes sent dreams for a reason? 

Visionary (Part Two)

It’s time for the second part of yesterday’s Micro-Fiction Monday.  Hold on to your seats…

*     *     *

“Visionary”
Part Two of Three
By: Rachel Carrera

Early the following morning, Claire whimpered in her sleep.  “Nooo!”  She bolted up and gasped loudly.

Van stepped out of the bathroom with shaving cream on his face.  “Good morning, sleepyhead.  What’s wrong?”

Tears glistened in Claire’s eyes.  “Oh, it was horrible!  I had a dream that Billy got hurt.  He fell out of a tree and broke his left arm.  Oh, I hope Howard Stevens’ tree fort isn’t very high.  Van, you don’t think—”

He wiped the shaving cream off with a towel and made his way to the bed.  “Honey, I think Billy’s just fine.  The Stevenses would have called if there was a problem.  Besides he’ll be home before nine so we can eat breakfast and get to the furniture store for the lamp sale.”

Her body still quaked as she stood and hugged him.  “Alright.  I know you’re right.  It’s just that–”

“Darling, let’s not start this dream business again.  You saw what happened with Susie last night.  Now, please, let it go.  Let’s have a good day together.”

She sighed and forced a smile.  “I’m sorry.  I’ll go start breakfast.”

A short time later, when the front door opened, Claire ran to greet Billy and hugged him tightly.

Billy winced.  “Mom, you’re smothering me!”

Tears poured down her cheeks.  “Oh, let me look at you.  I’m just so glad you’re alright.”

Van stepped into the foyer and tousled his son’s hair.  “Of course he’s alright; aren’t ya, Champ?”

Billy furrowed his brow.  “Why wouldn’t I be alright?  Mom, you’re acting crazy.”

She smiled through her tears.  “I’m sorry.  It’s just that I had another dream, and, well… I’m just so happy to see you!”  She hugged him again and kissed his cheeks.

Billy grimaced and wiped the side of his face.  “Eww!  Mom, come on!”

Van chuckled.  “Son, go put your BB gun and your suitcase up in your room, and tell your sister breakfast is ready.”

As Billy hustled upstairs, Claire said, “Be sure to wash your hands!”

When the family ate, Billy swirled his waffle in syrup and asked, “So, Mom, what was that dream about?”

Susie raised an eyebrow and pursed her lips as she eyed her mother.

Claire took a deep breath and blushed.  “Oh, I guess it was just nothing.  I dreamed that you fell out of a tree and broke your left arm.  I was just certain that you fell out of Howard’s tree fort last night.”

Billy chuckled.  “Mom, Howard’s tree fort isn’t even this tall.”  He gestured to his chest.  “It’s on the lowest branch of that old oak tree.  His mom was too scared to let his dad build it any higher.  There’s no way I could fall out of that.”

Van laughed, and Susie cracked a smile.  She picked up a bowl of blueberries and handed them to Claire.  “Mother, I’m sorry about the way I acted last evening.  I was simply horrid, and you must have hated me.”

Claire blushed.  “Of course I could never hate you, Darling.”

Van straightened his tie and smiled.  “So, is everyone ready to go help your mother pick out a new floor lamp?”

*     *     *

That night, Claire woke twice following dreams of Billy breaking his arm.  Too terrified to sleep after the second event, she tiptoed to the living room and read, praying morning would come soon.

A short time later, Van yawned as he wandered into the living room and sat next to her.  “Claire, you really need to get a handle on these dreams.  Maybe Dr. Steadman can come over after church and prescribe you a sleeping pill.”

She waved her hand.  “No, I don’t want to bother him.  His daughter’s in town visiting, and besides, we’re going up to Hallinger’s Falls.  We’ve already promised the kids.”

He rested his arm around her shoulders.  “Was it the same dream?”

She snuggled into his chest.  “Yes.  Billy falls out of a tree and breaks his left arm.”

“Hon, he already told you Howard’s tree fort isn’t four feet off the ground.  Nothing’s going to happen to him.  Now, why don’t you go pack us a picnic basket, and get breakfast ready, and I’ll go wake the kids.”  He stood and extended his hand.

She took his hand and stood.  “Alright.  Do you want scrambled or poached?”

“Poached.  And, Hon, please don’t mention this to the kids.  There’s no reason to keep calling attention to these silly dreams.”

She took a deep breath and forced a smile.  “Yes, dear.”

*     *     *

After church, Claire tried not to yawn on the drive to Hallinger’s Falls.  She simulated a happy façade as the family sang “My Darling Clementine” and “I’ve Been Workin’ on the Railroad.”  When they arrived, she forced a smile as she unpacked the picnic basket.

After everyone ate their potato salad and fried chicken, the kids went exploring, and Claire and Van held hands as they walked along the river’s edge.  “It’s really beautiful out here, isn’t it?” he asked.

She nodded and stifled a yawn.  “It sure is.  Honey, I’m really sorry about this week with all my dreams.  I guess I was just being silly.”

He kissed the side of her head.  “Oh, Darlin’, your silliness is one of the things I love about you.  But I hate that you’re losing sleep and worrying yourself and the kids.  If you could just allow yourself to relax…”

As they came upon a few trees, Claire gasped loudly when she saw Billy balancing on a high limb with his back to them.  “Billy!” she shreiked.  “Get down from there now!”

Billy jerked his head around, and as he did, he lost his balance and fell to the ground.  “Oww!  Oww, my arm!”  He clutched his left arm as he curled up in a ball.  His lip quivered as his parents raced to him.

*     *     *

Two hours later, the emergency room doctor wiped his hands on a white hand towel as he approached the family.  “Mr. and Mrs. Keene, Billy’s going to be just fine.  It’s a clean break.  He’ll be in a cast for a few weeks, but otherwise, he’s just a little bruised.  My nurse is cleaning the plaster off him, then he’ll be ready to go.”

Claire let out a loud sigh of relief.  “Thank goodness!”

Susie’s eyes grew large.  “Mother, it’s just like in your dream.  Billy did fall out of a tree and break his left arm.  The only difference was it wasn’t Howard’s tree.”

Claire furrowed her brow.  “Actually, I didn’t know if it was Howard’s tree or not in my dream.  I just assumed since he was playing in Howard’s tree fort—”

Van rolled his eyes.  “Would you two cut it out!  Now, listen, I don’t want any talk of these silly dreams once Billy gets back.  Hon, I don’t mean to cast blame, but if you wouldn’t have startled him, he probably wouldn’t have fallen.”

Claire’s jaw dropped open.  “Are you saying this was my fault?”

“I’m not blaming anyone.  It was an accident.  I’m just saying that—”

Billy’s face beamed as he ran down the corridor to his folks.  “Mom, Dad, look at this cool cast!  I can’t wait to have all the guys sign it!”

Claire cut her eyes sideways at Van, then forced a smile and hugged her son.  “I’m just glad you’re okay, Sweetie.”  She planted a kiss on his cheek.

Billy grimaced and wiped his face.  “Aww, Mom!  Not in public!”

*     *     *

Stay tuned…  Tomorrow brings the conclusion to Visionary

Let’s talk:  Have you ever believed someone who claimed they experienced a vision?  Do you have a favorite picnic spot in your area?

Olé!

Since yesterday was my sister Michelle’s birthday, for today’s Throwback Thursday, I’ll tell you what happened a few years ago on a different birthday of hers.  Michelle lived in Virginia at the time, and drove to Florida with a friend who dropped her off with me, so the two of us could travel to New Orleans for some concerts that we were photographing.

The day her friend dropped her off was also her birthday, so I made arrangements for them to meet me at our favorite Mexican restaurant where I had several people on hand for a little surprise party.

We pulled off the surprise just fine, and Michelle was even more surprised when the restaurant wait staff brought her a huge sombrero to wear while they sang “Happy Birthday” then left the hat with her so we could all get photos.

But the surprise was on them when afterward, Michelle walked out to my car wearing the expensive sombrero!  I was mortified!  “Why’d you take that?” I asked her as I hid my face in embarrassment.

She shrugged her shoulders.  “I dunno.  They gave it to me for my birthday.”

When I explained that it was not a gift from the restaurant, she was equally as embarrassed!

—–

Michelle & Me

Speaking of embarrassing restaurant birthday traditions, last night, I arranged for a bunch of friends to meet us at the Roadhouse where, unbeknownst to any of us, the staff brought a saddle mounted on a sawhorse to the table, made Michelle mount it while they sang, and forced her to swing a napkin in a circle over her head while the whole restaurant gave her a rousingly loud, “Yee Haw!”

Now THAT was funny!  (And no, she didn’t try to keep the saddle… or the napkin.)

She said it was only slightly less embarrassing than the time we took her to Bubba Gump’s for her birthday a few years back and they made her stand on a table and hold sparklers while the staff sang and danced around the table.

Talk to me:  What’s the most embarrassing restaurant birthday tradition you’ve ever witnessed?  What’s your favorite restaurant to visit on your birthday?

SCARED!

A couple of weeks ago, I had a scare…  (Thankfully it wasn’t the kind of scare I had in my younger days… you know, one that involved the calendar.)  This scare involved something like the blue screen of death. I was working at home and was in the middle of searching for a graphic for my job when I clicked on a site and my entire computer locked up and turned blue.  I was petrified that I’d suddenly gotten one of those viruses that force you to restart, and when you do, it eats your hard drive, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

I do back up my computer regularly.  About three times a year, I burn the entire hard drive to roughly twenty DVDs.  And at least once a week, usually more often, I put only the latest versions of the important stuff (documents, recipes, and most importantly, my manuscripts!) to cloud storage.  But the thing that takes up so much space… the thing that’s too large to put on (free) cloud storage, is my massive collection of photos.

A few years ago, my son Jeremy asked how he could get access to “every photo that was ever taken of him.”  Challenge accepted!  He soon forgot all about his request, but I did not.  I made it my mission to scan in every photo every taken of him.  I started by making year folders for every year since I was pregnant with him…

Then within each year’s folder, I made a folder for each month…

But I didn’t limit my scans to only include photos, I also added school work, report cards, etc…

(By the way, I’m not insane with the desire to be über-organized… It took me nearly a year to complete Jeremy’s project!)  When I was done with Jeremy’s photos, I copied his folders to my daughter, Stefani’s file, and deleted any photos that she was not in, then I added her photos.  (Because I had a lot of hers scanned in where she was in the photo with her brother, hers only took me about five months.)  That seemed like the best way to organize my children’s memories, and even though some months have empty folders, it’s kind of neat how sometimes they get filled this many years later.  For example, my daughter’s former stepmom recently put an old picture of both my kids on her Facebook wall.  I’d never seen the photo before, and it was so cool to add that to my “collection.”  (Of course I copied it twice, once for each kid.)  And recently, I was at my birth mom’s house and we found an envelope of pictures my Grandma took of my kids when they were little that she’d never shown me.  It feels almost like finding buried treasure when this happens.

Of course, after I started my children’s projects, I wanted to scan in my grandparents’ photos.  However, unlike my kids, I had no desire to attempt to organize each of them by month and year…  (Grandma was never one to write dates on the back, so that would have been impossible.)

So for each of them, I made folders such as Grandma Alone, Grandma & Her Siblings, Grandma & Her Children, Grandma & Her Grandchildren, Grandma & Her Great-Grandchildren, Grandma & Friends/Other Family, Grandma & Granddaddy’s Wartime Correspondence (yes, I scanned in their letters to each other. Okay, actually, I photographed them on a black blanket because that was faster than scanning them.), and Grandma’s Cool Stuff…

“Cool Stuff” includes just about anything that isn’t a photo, and it’s also stuff that my birth mom, uncle, cousins, or my own children might want copies of.  For example, I photographed Granddaddy’s track letterman’s letters and his trophies and ribbons.  For Grandma, I added her high school diploma and a short story that I recently found which she apparently wrote shortly after she was married in the 1940s.  (How cool that she, too, fancied herself a writer… a well-kept secret that neither of her children or I ever knew!)

So these days, unless I get the rare treat of one of my kids allowing me to do a photo shoot of them, I mainly add to the “collection” when I find a new photo (generally a selfie they post on their Facebook, which, with me being a professional photographer, makes me cringe!)..  And that’s the main reason I panicked when I clicked on that bad website and thought I got a fatal hard drive virus.

Thankfully, after I rebooted, I ran a virus and malware scan, and haven’t had any problems since.

Time to talk:  Do you keep your photos well organized?  Do you scan your old photos that were not digital?  Do you regularly back up the photos on your phone and camera?  When was the last time you had a computer virus?

Gone Fishin’

It’s been a crazy hectic week, and today, I’m suffering from blogger’s block.  So I apologize in advance, because all I have to offer on this Throwback Thursday is this little fish I made in kindergarten.  (Mrs. Cook sure kept us busy with fun projects, didn’t she?)

The photo doesn’t depict it well, but this fish is actually stuffed with newspaper to give it a 3-D effect.  (I think it’s hilarious how many bubbles I had to draw to keep the little guy alive.)

Let’s talk:  What do you do when you suffer from blogger’s block?  Have you ever made a 3-D fish before?

 

 

What happens in Florida stays in Florida…Until Now!

Last week, a friend of mine walked outside and found an alligator in his pool.  (No, not the one in the photo.  His was much smaller – only about three and a half feet long.)  Until a couple of days ago, we haven’t had much rain here, and it’s been over 95°F every day (with the humidity making it feel more like 105°-110°), so the ponds and lakes were low at the time, too.

A lot of people from other parts of the country think when they hear about this, it’s a freaky occurrence, but it’s actually a lot more common than you think.  Believe it or not, alligators are actually pretty delicate creatures in that they have to take an active role in self-regulating their body temperature to stay between 82° and 92° F, or they may perish.  Because it gets so hot here, that’s the reason many alligators are nocturnal during the summer months.  When the lakes and ponds start to dry up, they need water to cool off, and they head for pools.

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I bet you already guessed that my story involves an alligator.  When I was a kid, my Uncle David would sometimes drive down with his wife and kids then pick up my Grandma and me to go spend a few days at his house in Northern Florida.  It was always such fun when this happened because I got to play with my cousins who were like siblings to me, and we’d get to ride in the back of the truck with the camper top and wave to the people behind us. Plus, it was private back there away from the grownups who seemed to always want to tell us to be quiet.

Every time we made that three and a half hour drive, we’d make exactly one pit stop at the Florida souvenir shop along the way.  This was always the most fun, not only because we got to get out of the extremely hot back of the truck, but because Uncle David would spend a whopping 99¢ on each of us when we went inside.  While the souvenir shop had tons of junk we all wanted, he stood firm and always bought us the same thing every single time:  David Jr. got a rubber alligator, and Kathy, Jennifer, and I all got orange blossom perfume that came in a glass orange.  And while I did (and still do) love the smell of orange blossom perfume, I always coveted Junior’s alligator.

But, back then, there was a distinct line between what toys were and weren’t acceptable for boys versus girls, and my grandma was especially not one to allow me to cross that line.  (I was ten years old before more than ten percent of my wardrobe was anything but dresses!)  I actually think every kid in Florida, at one time or another, has owned a little rubber alligator.  (Everyone but me, that is.)

Fast forward a few years decades.  My sister Michelle and I had recently moved into a house with a pool.  This was not my first time having a pool, but it was Michelle’s.  She had actually only lived in Florida for about five years and had only recently seen her first alligator crossing I-4!  (Actually, I’d shown her dozens of alligators, but she never knew what she was looking at if their entire body wasn’t exposed…  Nowadays, she can spot them before I do, such as the one we recently saw in our local Sam’s Club parking lot, but that’s a story for another day.)

Anyway, on this particular day, I was inside, and Michelle was mowing the yard.  I didn’t think much of anything when I heard the lawnmower stop until moments later when she ran inside flailing her arms and screaming, “Help!  There’s an alligator in the pool!”

Well, needless to say, between the two of us, if there’s anything reptilian in the house or yard, I’m usually the one to get the closest to it.  (*Right, Michelle?)  So, while she continued screaming, I was eager to go see how big it was.  She swore it was as long as her arm, so I’ll admit, I did proceed with caution.  (Adult gators are usually between 8 and 12 feet long.)  But as I approached the pool, I didn’t see it.  “It’s at the bottom,” she yelled from the cracked door.  So, you can imagine how foolish she felt when I got the skimmer and pulled up a little rubber alligator that some kid must have thrown over our fence!

(*Don’t worry.  I’m not picking on my sister.  She’s actually the one that suggested I write about this because she thinks it’s hilarious now.)

Time to talk:  Have you ever seen an alligator or crocodile in the wild?  What’s the biggest, scariest animal you’ve ever encountered?

As the end of spring draws near…

…so do the numerous sightings of beautiful butterflies.  I don’t know why it’s so much fun for little kids to trace their hands or feet, but for today’s Throwback Thursday, I want to share a two-part art project that I made in kindergarten:  Feet Butterflies.

I still remember when Mrs. Cook traced my little feet to make this project.  I have no idea why we were only allowed to use four construction paper dots on the toes instead of five.  But I loved using glitter and glue, and I especially loved getting to use sequins as eyes!

I wonder if anyone else that was in my kindergarten class still has any of their Mrs. Cook projects?  I wonder if Mrs. Cook had any idea that decades later, the fun projects she helped create would not only still be preserved, but then posted on a forum where the entire world could see them?

Let this be a lesson to you teachers out there in Blogland…  You make more of a difference to the kids you teach than you may realize.  And also, thirty or forty years from now, there’s no telling what kind of advances in technology there may be…  For all you know, one of your students just might be showcasing a project you helped them with… on the moon!

Time to talk:  What’s the oldest school paper or project you or your parents have saved?  What grade were you in when you had your favorite teacher?  Are there butterflies still prevalent in your neck of the woods?

The Debut

Back in March, I told you how this year I’ve been busy writing, directing, and producing some TV commercials for an attorney friend of mine.  Sounds fun, right?  (It is!)  However, unlike commercials for other products or services, in the State of Florida, any ads for attorneys must be carefully reviewed by The Florida Bar (and that review process isn’t cheap, either).  It’s a very tedious process, and it can take them up to six weeks to give their answer.

For example, we recently sent in some radio commercials for review, and two of them were denied because of three words.  The original dialogue said, “…Now I’m double board certified in Civil Trial and Workers’ Compensation…”  The Bar nixed these because they wanted them to say, “…Now I’m Florida Bar double board certified in Civil Trial and Workers’ Compensation law…”  So we had to re-record them before we were allowed to send them to the radio stations.

However, I’m pleased to announce that our first television commercial was approved and is now being shown on two local TV stations.  (I’m also frustrated to admit that I think everyone I know has actually already seen my commercial on TV but me!)  As I’ve told you before, these commercials will be a series of more than a dozen ads.  The second one is at The Bar right now for review, and the third is just waiting for the musician to record the song.

Oh!  I also need to sneak a Proud Mama Moment in… My son Jeremy did all the sound engineering for the music and the voiceover (and he also engineered the radio spots, as well).  Furthermore, both my kids are featured as extras in six commercials we shot recently, so I’ll be excited to share those when they’re ready.

Anyway, I wanted to share my producing debut with you, so here goes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rw1E1SydR6E

I actually only put the link (rather than embedding the video) above so that you can click on it and go to our YouTube page… and hopefully, you’ll “Like” the video on YouTube so that my boss will keep me around.  (Hint, hint, and thank you very much!)

Please click “Like” on YouTube. Thank you!

Time to talk:  Did you watch the video?  Did you have any idea that lawyers had to go through so much just to get an ad aired in public?

What Makes Me Smile…

For today’s Throwback Thursday, I’m going to share a photo that always brings a smile to my face.  As a professional photographer, I always get a kick out of those Facebook posts where adult siblings have recreated their childhood photos into a calendar for their parents (such as in the following links):

http://abcnews.go.com/Lifestyle/brothers-recreate-childhood-photos-gift-mom/story?id=28611425

http://twentytwowords.com/adult-siblings-meticulously-recreate-childhood-photos-as-a-gift-for-their-parents-12-pictures/

https://www.pinterest.com/explore/childhood-photos-recreated/

I always wish (out loud) that my kids would be inspired to do the same for me, but alas, they just aren’t that thoughtful.  *SIGH*

Anyway, one of my favorite photos of my son when he was little was one Easter morning when the Easter Bunny brought him a straw that was in the shape of eye glasses.  About ten years later, the Easter Bunny found a similar straw, and I was able to get the same photo again.  Now I can love it twice as much.  I hope the Easter Bunny is able to find this straw again by the time Jeremy nears the end of his twenties.  (Now, if only I can get my kids together to pose for eleven more photos, I can finally have that damn calendar!)

Time to talk:  Have you ever recreated a childhood photo?  Have you ever made your kids recreate a childhood photo?  Would you, too, love a calendar of recreated photos from your children’s youth?