I definitely have a soft spot for Raffi in the world of children's entertainers. I break out in warm fuzzies at the very thought of Baby Beluga, Mr. Sun, or Wheels On The Bus. I am transported to a specific place and time -- Vashon Island, WA, 1988 (a very happy place and time) -- when I hear (or sing) The More We Get Together. I remember singing all those songs and more -- Down By The Bay, Shake My Sillies Out -- with my kids. If there's a soundtrack to my children's young lives, Raffi's the headliner by a longshot.
I think Mack and Addison have experienced a smidge of Raffi, but the headliner in their childhood soundtrack (so far) is definitely Dan Zanes. Mack went to see him in concert last year and they've been waiting for a return engagement. This year, the closest to Wisconsin that Dan Zanes will be on tour is Chicago -- this weekend, and we're going! My BIL wouldn't go if his life depended on it, so I get to go in his stead.
I'm driving to Madison this evening. My car is full of luggage, camera equipment, and chairs (I had some inspiration and a bright idea) -- I have six (6!) chairs in the back of my Saturn S(mall)W(agon) -- for a family photo shoot tonight. My BIL did agree to that (no small miracle), and his two older sons will also be there. You might think, "piece of cake," "it's family," "how hard can it be," but you have no idea... I have my work cut out for me with this group; if I can shoot these guys, I can pretty much do anything! (Any tall buildings you need leapt? Ask me tomorrow.)
I have rented a lens for the occasion. I've been wanting to try some different/premium lenses and, since I don't have $1,000 (minimum) just waiting for something to do, this is a good option. I have read about a few different companies that offer this service, and ended up using BorrowLenses.com -- they had what I wanted, when I wanted it, and at a very good price. I have it for a week, shipping both ways and insurance included for less than 1/10th the price of the lens. Bonus for me: it arrived a day early. Double-bonus for me: it doesn't have to be returned 'til the day after Maddy's graduation.
I couldn't wait to use it last night, of course. For the camera buffs, it's a Canon EF 24-105mm F/4L IS. The L must stand for LOVE! I can already tell that it's going to be hard sending it back. I took these photos with it, and a few others. The top photo is wild columbine -- as prolific as bloodroot in my garden; middle is allium in bloom; below is...
Now here's the weirdest thing. There are two evergreen "bushes" that we transplanted from my mother's house about 20 years ago. They are very near our trash cans -- in fact, they act as a shield so the cans aren't visible from the street. I cleaned some trash out of my car when I got home from Zumba last night and there was weird orange-y "plops" of something all over the trash can lid. I couldn't figure out what it was or where it came from... 'til I looked up. Those two bushes are covered with this sort of translucent orange "flowers"(?) -- that's all I can think to call them. They look even more translucent -- magnificent, even -- because of the light (and my borrowed lens that I love more every minute). Honestly, I don't ever remember seeing this happen in all these years. They have to be flowers because there are so many of them, but they're so... gelatinous.
OMG. Did you catch that? Maddy's graduating. From high school. Next week. My baby. The last one. It's the end of an era. I'm starting to feel a little freaked out!