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Hollow Tree Ventures parenting humor
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February Foto Challenge #1-5

I spent the end of last week sitting quietly in a corner of the internet searching for blogs with which I could identify, like a pimply high school teenager scanning the lunchroom for some cool kids to sit by at lunch. I learned quite a few things, besides the fact that there are a. lot. of. blogs. out there.

But what I'm going to blather about today is a photo challenge inspired by Jen O. at My Tornado Alley, who (for the legal record) has been warned in advance about the merciless e-stalking I have planned for her.  I believe that according to Innerweb Law, if you tell someone in their Comments section that you're a deranged lunatic who will never again leave them in peace, that they must in turn waive their right to file a restraining order against you. I'm no lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that's right.

Anyhow, back to the photo challenge. In it, you take a different photo every day in February based on these prompts.


Or, if you're me, you take 5,289 photos based on each prompt, and then spend several hundred hours deciding which is your favorite. This promises to be great fun, until (I predict) right around February 9th when I will forget about it for three days in a row and subsequently give up, due to distractions from the school's food drive, various diaper explosions, the trauma of the follow-up dental cleaning I have scheduled, and my recent accidental promise to supervise breakfast at the kids' school.

So, obviously I'm already way behind on this Photo Challenge, but not to worry, I took a jilliondy pictures this weekend to get myself all caught up. Here we go.

1) My View Today


This is a diorama Zoe and I assembled together in a valiant effort on my part to prevent the kids from continuing their punching/scratching/wrestling/kick boxing contest. Note that I was careful to frame out all bruising and welts.

2) Words


Apparently the owner of this fine establishment decided to drum up business by selling cigarettes at the state minimum price. An excellent idea, I suppose, except that he probably should have entrusted his advertising signage to someone smarter than a drunken monkey.

3. Hands


It was hard for me to decide which photo to use for this one since there are so many cute hands around here, getting their sticky prints all over everything. My original idea was to photograph Maddie holding onto my thumb, which is how she pulls herself to stand up these days. However, there were a few fundamental problems with getting that shot, such as:
  • A wobbly baby makes it exceedingly difficult to hold a camera steady, resulting in multiple blurry shots with only half of one pinkie in the frame of each one.
  • Holding a camera in one hand and a wobbly baby in the other is not recommended for those whose top priority should probably be keeping the wobbly baby from falling over.
  • After several photos I realized just how very, very much I'm in dire need of some lotion. Nobody needs to see those scaly hands in dizzying close-up on their computer screen.
4) A Stranger


I was worried about the difficulty I was going to have with this one, given the rarity of my ventures outside the house and (thankfully, I suppose) the dearth of strangers I find randomly wandering around in my living room. The one time I knew for sure I'd be out was when I took the biggish kids over to their dad's, so I had my camera at the ready in the car as I drove (safety first, I always say). Unfortunately, I don't know if it was the gloomy sky or the time of day or just general bad luck, but there was scarcely a single person outdoors anywhere between my house and his. I thought I saw Cheech (or possibly Chong) standing on a street corner as I cruised by, but he looked directly at me as I snapped the picture, an odd mixture of curiosity and growing anger spreading across his face, so naturally I freaked out and pretended to be looking for an address (in an area with no buildings) and accidentally snapped a photo of my passenger seat.

As I turned onto my street, I recognized the decreasing likelihood that any more photo ops would present themselves before I got home. However, I saw a woman walking her dog up ahead, and fumbled with my camera to try to get a photo of them from behind (I wasn't keen on getting caught in the act again). Due to my clumsiness and all the cars parked on the street blocking my angle, I couldn't click the shutter before I pulled into my driveway, much to my dismay. Then I saw that she had stopped directly in front of my house, just prior to me rolling by on the street. At first my paranoid brain assumed that she had somehow surmised the intent of my sneaky plan and that she was waiting to confront me - but no, as it turned out she was paused there momentarily, waiting on the sidewalk for her dog to finish doing his business on my lawn.

I had to laugh inside, imagining the panic going on in her head as the Lawn Owner came home just when her dog was least likely in a mood to be dragged away. But based on the facts that A) she was carrying a bag and planned to tote the offending droppings away with her, 2) her dog was wearing an absurd zebra-print jacket, III) this was in all likelihood my last opportunity to photograph a stranger, and Four) I am incredibly non-confrontational, I decided to fiddle with the knob of my radio until they wrapped things up, then got a picture of the two of them skulking off.

This was, officially, the first and only time I've been able to consider myself lucky that someone chose my yard to use as their dog's toilet.

5) 10 AM


On a typical night, I fall asleep on the couch with the baby in my arms, sometime between the hours of Unreasonably Early to Ridiculously Late. Gerry, not wanting to leave our side, works on the laptop in his Office (the floor next to the couch) until he eventually falls asleep there at a twisted, painful-looking angle between the floor and the 2 square inches of couch not occupied by yours truly. At some point in the wee hours we stumble upstairs to bed, usually about ten minutes before his alarm goes off. Needless to say, he's not exactly what you might call "fully rested" on the weekends after working full time, laboring over 100 projects designed to eventually get himself out from under the thumb of The Man, and getting 90% of his sleep in a position a professional contortionist would rate as ludicrous at best. On those days, I get up early with Maddie and we play together until her morning nap, then I take her upstairs to curl up with her daddy - that is to say, I dump her off in his arms unceremoniously, and relish the few hours per week when I have my arms free to do jumping jacks and other arm-related activities.* So, 10 AM at my house today found Maddie and Gerry snoozing together, blissfully unaware that they are being incorporated into the photo challenge while they sleep (and to any spouses out there who might object to having their picture taken while they're sleeping, allow me to remind you that turnabout is fair play).
*For the record, I haven't done a jumping jack since 8th grade gym class.

So there you have it - my Month In Photos so far. Feel free to play along, and/or to call me out on it when I give up on the project all together.

I hope you enjoyed yourself while you were here - and I hope you come back! Please share inappropriate giggles with me on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook, or subscribe via email so you don't miss a thing!


6 comments:

  1. Don't give up! You can do it! Just have fun and don't take it too seriously! Your pictures are wonderful. Can't wait to see more. Keep on clicking. ;)

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  2. Eleventy and Winner, winner, chicken dinner? What more can I ask from a soul sister

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  3. I love this!! Do you have to start from the first day of February? Keep it up, this sounds fun!

    Following back :)

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  4. Carissa - I'm sure you could start whenever you wanted, or do them all out of order, or make substitutions (like I would've had to do if that - eh - kind stranger hadn't stopped in my yard). I just found out from The New Modern Momma that there was a challenge in January that I missed altogether! So I wouldn't worry about days you missed - you should try it!

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  5. Hey Babe! I see you have a blue million comments already, but here's my three cents' worth anyway:

    1) What's this about supervising breakfast?
    2) I didn't publish your sleepy pics on my blog (yet).
    3) Ima getcha

    P.s. Ilu. Be nice to the Chauncey today. I got up in his grill for barfing on the stairs this morning and he slunk off all dejectedly. Poor fuzzball. And if this comment posts several times it's because this thing is being disagreeable.

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  6. I welcome any and all internet stalkers as long as they're NICE stalkers and not MEAN stalkers. I think you're nice.

    That chubby finger is just about the cutest thing I've ever seen.

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