It's hard to believe that her junior showmanship days are over! It really is nice to have Darcy back for the summer though.
Don't forget to stop at the 13th annual Hosta Fest at Al's Auto Body and Arboretum in Walworth on Memorial Day weekend and then again on June 1st and 2nd. This is a highlight of the spring gardening season in this area!
Back to back weekend shoots went pretty well, and we've got a lot of keepers. There were a bunch of kids waiting for me when I got to school (Jen had gone ahead to set up). I was a bit late from church—but it was completely worth it. Harry Beeson sang a beautiful piece for communion meditation—it was incredible. Jaw-dropping, tears-in-eyes good. What a voice!
This little unnamed penguin-lover came by, and I was able to get a few snaps of her! Too cute!!!
And it's not even half over yet. While we had a great time at Deanna and Randy's last weekend, I took a little abuse (completely undeserved) about our painting project. I blame Jen. I was planning on repainting our bedroom and bathroom this year, but she decided to lump in the family room, foyer, and Noah's room too. Our family room is a two story monstrosity with a 17 foot vaulted ceiling in a 16 x 26 foot space. The taping from the drywall was coming off on the ceiling, so that needed to be worked on (see last post). I finished that up this week, and took Friday evening to wipe down the ceiling and walls and get rid of the dust. So painting commenced this morning. We got two coats of paint on the ceiling, thanks to my remote controlled scaffolding. I yell 'Jen', and she pushes it to where I need to go. It worked great and it saved me from getting up and down from it at least a dozen times. I'm still exhausted, but I'm sure I wouldn't have made it half as far without her help.
We also got the end wall painted in 'Mission Tile'. It looks really sharp. We'll throw another coat up tomorrow and call it a day. Well, except for cantoring at 10:30 at St. Johns. And shooting the rest of the Brighton Drama Troupe at noon. And then cantoring for vespers at St. Francis.
I can't wait to go to work on Monday…
Proof for Randy and Deanna. I have until the end of May. Hah!
So, we were gainfully occupied this weekend. After a Saturday morning dump run, Jen and I headed up to school to set up for a photo shoot for her drama kids. The play this year is titled Dr. Evil and the Basket of Kittens. It promises to be a lot of fun. We got through shooting 8 kids, so next Sunday will be a bit busier (I think there are 20 this year total). After that work, I headed to church to cantor the 4 pm mass. And for dinner, we headed out to Deanna and Randy's place for some of the best lasagne I've ever had. A bit of wine flowed, I told many exceedingly long stories—and the girls were starting to doze off by the time we called it a night. Randy was my hero—he had flown in from Orlando and had arrived just before 6 pm, so he couldn't have had more than a half-hour to himself before we showed up. It was a great time and we really enjoyed it.
In fact, I enjoyed it perhaps a bit too much. Sunday morning rolled around and I had 8 am choir duties at St. Francis Xavier. It was a good thing that everything I was singing this morning was in the lower range. When I got home from church, I made biscuits for Jen and Noah—Grace was in Chicago this weekend showing at the International. After cleaning up breakfast dishes, we started to attack the living room painting for real. We took down all the paintings and photos, moved all the furniture out of the room, and then I worked on fixing the drywall seams at the top of our cathedral ceiling with some fiberglass drywall tape and mud. It's a pretty decent size job—about 26 feet long (two of them) at 17 feet high. The scaffolding came in handy. Hopefully we'll get this finished in a day or two and be able to paint the ceiling and end wall next weekend.
And so it goes...
Test photo of unnamed subject.
On Tuesday, my beautiful and talented daughter wrapped up her illustrious career in Junior Showmanship at the Westminster Kennel Club. She's been showing dogs forever (more than half of her life), and she's done very well in competition (taking 3rd place at Westminster last year). She's at the 12:45 mark of this video:
She goes out the same way she statrted all those years ago; showing a curly-coated retriever (Thriller). They looked beautiful together, and I thought they got a nice long look from the judge—but they didn't get through to the finals (only two kids from each group do). Amazingly, this was the exception for Grace—her previous two times showing in juniors at Westminster she did make it into the finals (that's tough competition and long odds).
I'm so very proud of her. Over the dozen + years, she's learned so much for these shows: how to win and lose gracefully, how to handle and build rapport with dogs, how to interact with adults, and how to do something she loves with passion, dedication, and grace. She's made so many friends (both kids and adults)—she's mentored several younger juniors, as well as having been mentored by some really great handlers. She'll still be active in the show ring (she's fantastic), but this is the end of her junior showmanship career.
A win would have been great, but Dad couldn't be more proud of her. Congratulations, Grace!
We had a good deal of snow fall on Thursday and Friday morning (about a foot). When it starts to look like this:
I'm thankful for these:
And my diesel-powered snow shovel...