2020: An Historic Year of Views Outside Our Home

#Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge Outside of Your Home or View.

The world will remember the year twenty-twenty with twenty-twenty clarity. For Cee’s Black and White Challenge this week, I decided to choose one picture outside our home for each month that I had a picture beginning in January.

January, 2020

I got carried away with January’s photos.

Playing with Photoshop near midnight makes some people act strangely. Puppy Girl still acts the same with a Threshold Filter.

Puppy Girl loves these cool damp days. She explores the dry creek bed Vince created nearly twenty years ago as though she had never seen it before.

Each year Vince adds a new touch to the house. This year he outdid himself starting with this pathway created from the left-over cement he took out of the garage when he created the cabana sixteen years ago or so. Puppy Girl does what she does best. I added a bit of a green filter to this photo. January is the only month I’ve seen moss growing on the concrete.

February, 2020

On this February morning we could almost see each individual snow flake on the mountainside. By August we didn’t have mountains. For this shot, I shot blind by raising my hands as high as I could and shooting. It wasn’t a professional shot, but I got above all the fencing and the neighbor’s buildings across the creek.

March, 2020

In March Moji relaxes and enjoys her breakfast with the elephant outside the room. This table is right outside our dining room, and we rarely use it except to feed our cats where we can watch them eat. I love the shadowy patterns on the patio.

April, 2020

Who knew this would be the last April picture I would photograph the outside of the home where we have lived and completely renovated continuously for almost twenty years.

May, 2020

In May through June we completed the garden project we started last year, including the addition 1966 dump truck as yard art. We had lots of time to work because of COVID and sheltering in place. It never seemed like a hardship during those first few months. We were way too busy to even care too much when our air conditioning unit died. We did not know that COVID would make finding a replacement more difficult than finding toilet paper.

June, 2020

By June the temperatures climbed into the 100s. The plants did not seem to mind as long as I watered them every day. I preferred to do that early and stay in my office and look outside at them from the house. Unfortunately we did not have air conditioning during the month of June. So Vince installed a window air conditioner in the living room and it was bearable if we did not do much. We were still sheltering at home.

July, 2020

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At the end of July, a company out of Porterville, CA installed the air conditioner that had gone out on May 2. They neglected to hook the condenser pipe to anything inside the attic, and water poured into the attic for several days before it soaked through the ceiling of our spare room. The process Service Master took to dry out the room, remove all the drywall, bit by bit, bag it up and purify the air to remove any possible sign of mold lasted another month and a half.

August, 2020

August and September brought forest fires our way. Parts of our neighboring town, Three Rivers, had to evacuate. We were more fortunate. Our air conditioning now worked which was excellent since the air outside was not fit to breath. It fell from the sky in chunks and turned the sunrise a bright red. You can barely see it trying to peek through the smoke.

September, 2020

My husband is a perfectionist worrier, which I count as a blessing. Since the installers had done such a poor job with the condenser pipe, Vince called in a roofer and another air conditioner installer to make sure they had not damaged the roof or created any other damage that might cause more leakage once it started to rain. They both said, “Uh, yeah, this wasn’t done right. You have some issues.” We could see the hole in the roof and the fact that there was a large gap between the air conditioner and the roof. So in September the roofers came and worked. We didn’t need to keep sheltering at home, the world came to us.

October, 2020

During the course of events that careened through our lives, we decided to fulfill a longtime wish and move to the high desert. We both loved Prescott every time we visited, and in October we sold the home into which we had poured twenty years of our dreams.

As a part of the sale of the property, we had to insure that the septic and leach lines worked properly. That meant some more work to the outside of the house. I couldn’t even watch, but Vince took a video. Warning: It’s not black and white!

Thank you Cee for offering us this opportunity to share a little bit of our lives with you and those who follow you.

To my readers, please visit Cee and don’t forget to check out some of the other great entries as well. #Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge Outside of Your Home or View

Bellavista

As a native Hoosier, my tendency is to be hospitable.  My mother always loved to have company, and it didn’t matter when you came, if she was home, she would get you a glass of iced tea or Pepsi, and you all would sit down and visit.  At Grandma’s that visit also included a walk through the yard to see what had bloomed since the day before when you were last there.

The cherry tree is a hybrid, and one side has cherries, the other doesn't.
The cherry tree is a hybrid, and one side has cherries, the other doesn’t.

I guess I haven’t outgrown that upbringing.  Even when Vince and I don’t have company, we still walk around the yard almost daily to see what new things he planted or how his garden grows.

TC BV 2013
Don’t complain about the fence being unpainted. Vince likes the “cottage” look.

When we bought our home 12 years ago, we named it Bellavista.  At the time the house was more of a shack, and the acre a blank slate than a beautiful view, but for 12 years my husband has worked on creating his own bella vista.  I have to admit that most of my contributions have come in the form of praise, which he adores.

Vince likes to decorate with old furniture in the yard.  He planted this bed in memory of his mom.
Vince likes to decorate with old furniture in the yard. He planted this bed in memory of his mom.

Two days ago we went out, because he wanted to try my new Tameron lens.  Unfortunately, I forgot to put it back on automatic focus, and I took some of the pictures with my vision corrected differently, and Vince took some of the pictures, and his vision is different from mine.  So some of them are just not as sharp as the lens is capable of producing.  At least I know what was wrong with them.  You get to see life the way my lasik eyes see things unless I correct my distance vision.  It’s not as good as walking a mile in someone’s shoes, but the idea is the same. 🙂

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Hoosier, by the way, is the blurred way we say, “Who’s there?” in Indiana.  I don’t have much of a Hoosier accent, but I do blur my words as well as my pictures sometimes, according to Vince. hmmmm  Hope you’ve enjoyed our spring walk around the front of the house.  Now, what shall we talk about?  It’s open.  I’ll chat if you will.  🙂