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August 26, 2010

A pretty day (but almost my last)

Every day, while the girls are at school, I upload my favorite podcast onto my iphone and head to the park where I stick headphones in my ears and let myself relax into a nice 4 mph walking pace.  And I keep that up for about an hour and a half.  It's my 90 minutes of sweaty zen.

Today, I was totally into that happy place when I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye and looked up just in time to see a large white dog charging straight at me at full speed.  In the time it took for my brain to register that I was about to be viciously attacked, the dog had closed much of the gap between us and was less than 3 feet away and looked to be about to lunge.  With no time at all to react, all I could do was cover my neck with my hands and brace for the impact -- and scream.  So that's what I did.

But instead of attacking me, the dog did something really weird...  It caught a ball.


Relieved but bewildered, I watched the dog trot off with the ball in its mouth then heard a distant voice calling out an apology (several times).   I found the source of the voice and all of the pieces quickly fell into place.   Obviously, it was a guy throwing a ball for his dog and the ball and the dog and I just happened to arrive at the exact same place at exactly the same time.  Of course, the dog always knew the ball was his target but my thumping heart was absolutely certain that the target was me.  It doesn't matter if the threat is real or fake.  If you believe it, then it's real to you!  It took about 10 minutes for my heart rate to get back to normal!  

After school, I brought the girls back to this park.   We've had temps in the 100's this week and today was much more mild.  It was an incredibly beautiful day and I got some really nice photos:

Edenvale park-5
While the girls played in the sand, I looked up through the canopy of trees above us and saw this lovely sight.  I've never tried to capture a sun flare on camera so this is my first attempt.  It seems unnatural (and medically risky) to look directly into the sun -- even through the lens of the camera.  Why doesn't it damage the camera or the photographer?  Anyone know?

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The park has a beautiful one mile loop of shaded paths like this.  See why I love to walk here?

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Maddy collects sand while Gwen searches for branches...

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Gwen made several trips with armloads of branches/strips of tree bark.  What could they be building?

Edenvale park-0950

Ummm...... I'm still not sure what it is but they sure were proud of it!

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Maddy loves to pose for me now.    I have to work to keep the photo sessions genuinely interesting for her or she'll give me a really corny fake smile.  This is a real smile though (above). 

Gwen can fake a smile - or really ANY expression - better than anyone I know.  The camera loves her almost as much as I do (and that's a lot!).

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Isn't she gorgeous?

Here's Gwen climbing a rock wall.

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And here's Maddy at the TOP of that same wall!  I heard her call to me and looked over and she was up there for the very first time!  A huge accomplishment for my very very cautious girl!

Just behind her is the spot where I thought I was going to die this morning.  What a strange - but happy! - turn of events!

Edenvale park-20
When Daddy came home from work this evening, we had lots to share with him about our day!  :)


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