Photos of the Week, W/E 4/4/15

I am probably going to go off-prompt for a while. It usually happens, once spring is here and there is light! However, at the end of the week, we will see if the subliminal messages I receive from the daily email manifest in my photos.  (of course I am posting late, AGAIN)

29. Look For The Light
30. Glow
31. Painting

1. Sundown
2. With the Sun
3. In the Garage
4. Dappled

11119729_10206890775131858_2095377917_n29. Look For The Light  Channeling Dorothy.
11102802_10206878093534826_2518979486605774316_n (1)30. Glow-Laylabug decorated us with daffies…
11016837_10206890438403440_7240659109111706505_n (1)31. Painting—a little app magic with an order I designed and framed…
11130593_10206890348441191_305427662_o2. With the Sun, we make designs.

20150402-IMG_61724. Dappled

10404883_10206915848598679_668719898177407690_n Portrait of a Proper piece of pie.

10347803_10206924601897506_6524219441506793759_n (1) Pre-Easter baking.

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Context Matters. Let us talk Outlander, shall we?

Are there differences between the reality of a fictional book world and the reality of a fictional television drama and the reality of reality?

There was much noise about “this isn’t the way that happened in the book”  and “how could her belt disappear” starting in episode 1 of OUTLANDER, but in truth, it is all made up. If you are able to buy the notion that Claire traveled through standing stones, back 202 years and immediately ran into her husband’s ancestor, who just happened to be in the same location at that moment, and who is the spitting image of him despite there being, what, 1/16 of the gene pool from Black Jack Randall, why can’t you accept a belt disappearing? (Continuity accidents on set, people. It’s a fictional belt, in any event.)

The costume designer has explained the how and why of Claire having more clothes than you think she should. Why do you deserve a reason, anyway? (Time. It helps to indicate passage of time. When you change Claire’s clothing you are inferring a different day. And the housekeeper, Mrs. Fitz, runs a tight ship and was able to find any number of outfits to borrow–six mix and match, “Granimal” type deals in Castle Leoch.)

But it wasn’t in the book, you continue to lament!

You love Frick and Frack Tweedle,  aka Angus and Rupert, and yet they are not anything like they are in the books, where they are scary, dour and large. They are comic relief  on the show, and yet, you have come to love The Tweedles.  You who know their fates are asking that those be changed, because we love them so much. Why can you accept the Tweedle’s place in the adaptation, embrace them (the typical TV trope of numskull neighbors), but you can’t handle that TV Jamie is  maybe a wee bit more romantic than book Jamie, who bought a ring instead of having one made, or is an inch shorter on screen than in real fictional life?

None of this actually happened!

It is ALL PRETEND. Some of it is book pretend and some of it is TV pretend, but none of it is documentary.  None of it is actual history. (Well, within reason. Some events did actually occur, although Jamie and Claire were probably not there. And, yes, as they do have a certain Forrest Gump way of being in the right place at the right time, they do run into actual historical people, albeit in a fictional way.)

The sole reason I can see that Jamie had a handmade ring on the TV show was because they needed to find something for the Tweedle’s to do that created a wonderful soft comic moment, that fell into the rhythm of the flashback storytelling of The Wedding.  It’s the symbolism of the the ring that is important, not it’s design, composition or origin. A ring made from the key to his home (?—Not verified, but strong indicators are that it’s a key to Lallybroch) indicates an acceptance and willingness to fully embrace Claire. She is part of WE now. And, we have to learn to TRUST RON. There will be pieces that move around (or get lost) for a better telling in episodic TV.

You are not going to go back and read the book and discover it’s now a key. The book you love isn’t changed. Can I insert here that that concept –of electronic books, especially history books, being changed to suit what the ruling class wants you to know is a continuing fantasy/horror/dystopian nightmare of mine?

How do we KNOW Frank didn’t do what he does on the show? Didn’t search, didn’t love so deeply, didn’t mourn? How do we know that Diana hasn’t told Ron what DID happen? Diana knows what happened/happens/will happen, even if we don’t.  There is so much that could happen off screen—

None of the costuming is accurate, historically, because even if the wool was spun by hand in a room lit by candles on a treadle spinner, the sheep the wool came from wasn’t even born in 1743, so it’s totally inaccurate. I am not interested in coming off like a sycophant, but really there are so few things that actually bother me about the show. I am looking at the big picture.

It IS a ripping good yarn, as show runner Ronald D. Moore points out, and it deviates almost immediately from formula because Diana Gabaldon WASN’T writing it for publication, but to learn how to write a novel. Or so we HAVE to believe, because Herself SAYS so, and were you there to disprove it? Ok, a bit of “aw shucks” about the retelling of such a happy accident; how much is what she wants the story to be?  Or better yet, why do we question it? It is the story of OUTLANDER’S birth. It was a practice novel, and, the hero and heroine marry early in the novel. Already not a romance by the numbers. And, 8000 or so pages in, they are still in love, and are grandparents. Much more than an epic love affair, OUTLANDER begins a multi-generational sweeping historical fiction series of novels.

In Diana’s ORIGINAL story, OUTLANDER, the first of 8 books, Frank is a cipher. By WRITTEN IN MY OWN HEARTS BLOOD, he is a very different man, and one who, in my humble opinion, is a more sympathetic character. Whether Diana had always intended for him to be more complex, or whether he showed up and wouldn’t leave, he is much more than one note.  He is actually a note on the show that a lot of folks don’t want to accept, because they are all about ALL Jamie/Claire, all the time. A lot of those readers are not particularly interested in the history, the tapestry she weaves, the other characters stories. How many times I have read people say, get on with it, stop writing about battles, about Willie, about Bree, about… well, about anything that isn’t 100% Jamie/Claire-centric. Those readers are totally missing what this is all about. I hope that viewers will embrace the fullness of the story.

We have had to wait over 20 years for this to become a TV show. And we were then given only eight episodes of magic.  And some complain about that, too. Then some complain that we have to wait too long for part two.

So, one more itty bitty thing. We are Diana Gabaldon fans. 10698621_10205421072830219_4101314330111693137_nApril 4, 2015? Jamie can perch on a windowsill that long. We’ve got this.

#Droughtlander ends Saturday

(Spoilers from this point if you haven’t read the book-and my comments are from the books depiction, as I haven’t seen the episode yet)

And now, some will complain about something else entirely. Let the wailing and gnashing of teeth and the carrying on of ‘The Reckoning,’ 1.9 begin.

As fiction, THIS IS the way things were, in THIS world, whether or not it’s historically accurate or not acceptable today. Jamie and the men were put into amazing bodily peril by Claire not truly understanding the danger she was walking into. A woman of the 20th century believes in a civility and world order that is vastly different than where she ended up. 

In order for his men to continue following Jamie, for him to be able to lead, he has to make SURE Claire understands, and he points out that her punishment is mild compared to what one of the men might receive. The punishment is measured, but not in anger or fury. It is to show that he is in charge, that he takes the protection of his people seriously, that there is justice and that there are consequences to actions. This is incredibly different from the modern husband smacking his wife around and bloodying her nose because she didn’t bring his beer fast enough or because dinner was not hot enough.

The larger point is—he sees Claire as an EIGHTEENTH CENTURY woman who is being willfully disobedient, who should know the consequences of her actions and yet still puts them all in danger, all for a nebulous bit of wandering around. He has no clue she was trying to go forward in time, to get back to Frank. For all we know, he could think she has turned on them and actually is a double agent.  Jamie has one piece of information withheld from him that would make it all different. If Jamie were aware that Claire was from a different time, she would explain her thoughts about strapping, and he would explain his reasoning to her. But because he has no reason to think she wasn’t from his time, he would think she would know, expect, assume the consequences of her actions.

He doesn’t know any better than to use corporal punishment, not because of a big moral failing on his part, but simply because that’s how it was then.  A wife was property. Legally, a husband could punish his wife for disobedience.  Or, a father could have his daughter beaten for disobedience. Just a few episodes (chapters) back, the community at large was willing to allow a teenaged girl to be beaten in front of them in the Great Hall for disobedience. (How many of us who know the future wish Jamie had just let Rupert have at Laoghaire?) And remember, too, that Colum Mackenzie was the law. There are no Edinburgh policemen to enforce law. Just the laird.

Also, keep in mind that Claire is an unreliable narrator; in the book, she often says one thing and then does the polar opposite. Who is Claire telling this story to, and what editing, embellishment, or changes does Claire make as she recounts what had occurred? (And the bigger unanswered question—WHEN is she telling this story??)

This is one episode—But this is the very, very beginning of an 8000 page love story. It’s brutal, it’s bloody, it’s real (fictional real).  Jamie becomes a man among men through his experiences. He learns from Claire. He becomes a better, more rounded, and definitely a more modern man, because of Claire.

Of course, your mileage may vary. If you have had intimate experience with abuse or with sexual assault, it may be a difficult thing to let go by. It isn’t glorifying these things, but it isn’t shying away from them, either. It can be jarring. It ISN’T real, though. Except in it’s own world, it is a work of fiction. 

There is this website called StoryWonk. The couple who run it are dedicated to the idea of “story.” They have done an episode by episode podcast, and at hiatus started a seminar for the book.Listen to Scott and the Sassenachs seminar for Outlander. It’s a 17 episode podcast that takes apart the story chapter by chapter, and gives great insight into the story—the structure of it; the good the bad, and ugly. It is like taking a college literature class devoted to one book.  It draws your eyes to the incredible story telling as well as the deeper meanings that can be found implied in the text. I’ve read the book more than a half dozen times, and yet this seminar has drawn my attention to any number of things in a new way. Fascinating stuff, by very interesting people.

*I welcome discussion about this topic. Because I know it is very, very subjective and delicate, I ask that you respond with the same civility that you would if we were standing face to face.

Photos of the Week, CY365 W/e 3/28/15

Yes, better late than never.Smile with tongue out

22. Step Outside
23. Weather

24. Run-Down
25. Go for a Drive
26. Escape from the Everyday

27. Reflections
28. Hanging

1010150_10206815901260058_9131513084719917916_n22. Step Outside
11091047_10206830212257824_1771715001_o23. Weather—It’s cookout time!
10320597_10206836920025514_7182959747625269638_n25. Go for a Drive
10409016_10206853736885925_4236030502876524139_n26. Escape from the Everyday (wandering through boxes of old photos, I ran across photos of miniatures I used to make)
19202_10206853471279285_5677544183203296538_n27. Reflections
10931073_10206861341796043_4324289254393930489_n28. Hanging

10924704_10206838246218668_458030430733383791_n When in doubt, a cat in a box is always a good photo.

11084276_10206815911620317_7305778165602113337_n Last week, I hadn’t found anything for SWIRLY… and then, the next morning, viola, Swirly Happened.So, Bonus this week!

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VACATION!

Wow. Time does move faster as you age! I JUST got back from vacation, and yet, it’s a month later!   We flew to Las Vegas in late February, and from there drove to:

11003241_10206697905270232_1504499733_o (Links take you to my photo albums.)

  • Hoover Dam— JUST amazing. To think of the time it was built, and to see the scale of everything….
  •  The Grand Canyon —We overdid on superlatives these few days. By going in the winter, we were able to get a room at one of the lodges, approximately a 90 SECOND walk to the Canyon’s edge.
  • Bedrock City —Yes, Fred and Wilma’s place.
  • Pima Air and Space Museum —This one was for Timmy,  but I had fun, too.
  • Slide Rock State Park—Driving by, down toward Sedona, and we decided to stop. Glad we did.
  • Gold King Mine in the ghost town of Jerome Arizona. HAS to be seen to be believed.
  •  Rooster Cogburn’s Ostrich Ranch—Toss up time. Do we drive south to Tombstone? Or back to that odd little roadside attraction?
  • Picacho State Park, AZ.  For sunset, I wanted something dramatic. I think saguaro silhouettes gave me what I wanted.
  • And, back to Vegas! An adult Disneyland is all I’ve got. It was wet. And sparkly… I’d go back, certainly, but I don’t need to go back. We had fun, though!

Plans to spend my 50th birthday walking some of the trails at Red Rock Canyon were squelched by the appearance of an errant ice storm, but by continuing to follow the 13 mile trail, we managed to out-drive the storm for a while, and see some Joshua trees. The little black cloud caught back up with us in Boulder City. My wonderful daughter gave us tickets to Mystere, one of the older Cirque du Soliel shows, which, as always was fabulous! (They were in a one ring Big Top tent on the edge of Battery City, NYC the first time I saw them perform!) Photos of us, of funny signs, and of everyone’s favorite pal WALDO are here. 

Yes, it was another “If it’s Tuesday this must be Belgium” trip….   (What can I say, we want to practice before we take THAT trip!)

Screenshot 2015-03-25 16.19.53The only regret I have? We didn’t go back to this rock shop. I took a few minutes walk through the yard. I was sure we would see more rock shops along the road over the course of the week, and we wanted to be back at the canyon for sunset. LOOK at the size of it! It’s right next to the Grand Canyon Inn on 180 in Williams, AZ. If you found this post and are planning a trip, don’t miss it. (I probably would have had an over-weight charge at the airport is all I’m saying.) And, be pleasantly surprised by the friendly people and good food at the Bedrock City ‘diner’ tucked away in the back corner of a curiosity shop that has every random kitch  for sale…Plus, it has Fred and Wilma, Barney and Betty, Pebbles and BamBam, AND  Dino!

Ok. It wasn’t the ONLY regret. I would have loved to have stayed EVERYWHERE longer. I would have loved to have stopped at The Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale. I would have LOVED to have had a chance to spend a few days exploring Sedona, not just driving through trying to beat a storm cloud. Of getting to spend a bit more time with my brother, or of detouring just a wee bit further and convincing my other brother to drive up from San Diego. But the best part of vacation is spending time and making memories with my hunny, and that we certainly did!

IF YOU follow my Facebook page or this blog, (and WHY don’t you??) you may have seen SOME of these photo albums, but not all.  The last few weeks I have posted a few blogs pulling out some of the albums)   ENJOY!!!

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Photos of the Week. CY365 W/E 31/21/15

15. Patterns
16. Markings
17. Repeat
18. Shadows
19. Stitched
20. Polka Dots

21. Swirl

11063117_10206763346226215_1023825659_n15. Patterns  (that will probably never be used)
11012683_10206775053678894_5945580647954514375_n17. Repeat Smiling Irish Eyes.
961800_10206785318695513_2139764938_n18. Shadows  First BEACH day of the year!
17986_10206796553216369_1820129401565076495_n19. Stitched  A few quilts I have made….
11083029_10206801414497898_1903329406_n20. Polka Dots Poor, beaten down daffys……

11082818_10206795168061741_1970070745_n  Second Best is how they title the tickets and marquee at theater….not necessarily what they meant, but a funny take on English language being funny…and a bit of truth in having Reece’s pieces instead of M&M’s to snack on…

11067638_10206770530285812_724793396_o Safety First! Laylabug has recently graduated to a booster seat and is quite happy to be fussing with seatbelts. So,

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we decided that Jasmine needed to be buckled safely as well…

Airplanes and Ostriches.

Saturday saw us on the road, again. This time we awoke to particularly overcast and not very promising outdoor weather in Scottsdale, AZ. We were headed for the  PIMA Air and Space Museum. As we drove farther south, the sun became a bit more determined to force it’s way through the clouds. We were left with wind, but gorgeous blue sky and white clouds, rather than the threatening gray of the morning.

I know NOTHING about planes. I can identify very few. But I do enjoy taking photos of them. Timmy was enjoying himself immensely.

20150228-IMG_4732Originally added to our itinerary because of the airplane graveyard, we had determined

we weren’t going to arrive in time for tickets. So, we actually went

on a Saturday and didn’t take the tour.

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They have a number of planes from the graveyard on the museum grounds.

They have been painted by local artists.

 

 

 

 

 

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20150228-IMG_459620150228-IMG_4569

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  More airplane photos.

 

Sperm whale or guppy?
I’ll let you decide. I believe that Douglas Adams may have seen this, and then a bowl of petunias…… because that is all I can say. Laughing out loud

 

 

 

 

And, then, OSTRICHS.

On the way down to Pima, we saw a roadside attraction that caught Timmy’s imagination. After the museum, we were debating our next move. South to Tombstone? Start back to Vegas? Timmy thought that the ostrich ranch sound too funny to pass up. Besides the silliness of that, they were giving monster truck rides. So, of course, we had to go.

As we were driving, I decided to Google Rooster Cogburn’s Ostrich Ranch. I came across some Yelp! reviews that had us laughing out loud.  It’s worth your time to read some! (We visited on 2/28/15, so reviews before then)

20150228-IMG_489220150228-IMG_488220150228-IMG_4880

20150228-IMG_483620150228-IMG_482720150228-IMG_493820150228-IMG_4816

20150228-IMG_480320150228-IMG_477920150228-IMG_4760

20150228-IMG_4901 There’s one in every group that just can’t keep it together, isn’t there?  The rest of the visit to the ostrich ranch is here.

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Hoover Dam and more Vacation photos

Vacation, part two. Day one of vacation brought us to Lake Mead, Nevada, on the way to Hoover Dam. The day was beautiful. What an oasis!

20150225-IMG_304720150225-IMG_3033

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Hoover Dam, one of the wonders of the world… Astonishing.  Because of time constraints, we agreed we would walk along the bridge on the return trip, hoping for a lovely early morning or late afternoon, low in the sky sun to really show some color. Little did we know that this moment was about the sunniest, calmest weather we would find.

20150225-IMG_312320150225-IMG_3087

On our return trip, we had company. This little black cloud had followed us all the way from Vegas. The second photo is showing you the Arizona side of the river. The storm hadn’t reached there yet.

20150303-IMG_596120150303-IMG_595020150225-IMG_311820150225-IMG_3101Notice the tree at the top of the cliff! And a selfie using the mirrored glass window…

After the Grand Canyon, everything else paled. But we had an amazing time and found some incredible things to do.  We stopped on the way to Sedona at a state park called Slide Rock.

20150227-IMG_417920150227-IMG_410120150227-IMG_403811063248_10206697904990225_658254810_n

The weather looked ominous and the forecasts even worse, so we didn’t end up staying in or exploring Sedona. NEXT TIME! These are all on the road toward Sedona.

20150227-IMG_422420150227-IMG_425620150227-IMG_4244

To see the rest of Lake Mead and Hoover Dam, follow this link.

To see the rest of Slide Rock Park and traveling shots, follow this link.

PART THREE coming soon!

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