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I am posting one (or two) photos each week that describe common and often overlooked aspects of daily life. 
In a culture that puts so much value on the sensational, I want to learn to appreciate the beauty and precticality of the ordinary.

Week 1:

The New Year began with an intense winter blast. From late Sunday night to Wednesday afternoon, the temps stayed below 32*. We stayed quite toasty with an additional small heater. Although we had plenty of propane for the furnace (TSC ran out as they filled the tanks of  the guy behind us) we didn't use much with our two space heaters working so hard.

It took us a couple of hours to decide whether or not we needed to buy an extra heater (no desire for "extra" things when you live in a small sapce). So glad we decided to part with 25 dollars for this gem! It was worth every penny!

   1801 Heater

Week 2: 

Each winter we return to Austin to see family and work temporary jobs we have with the Regional Science Festival. Trey has been working the fair since the early 90's and this is Susan's eighth Science Fest year. The long hours are tiring, but it is always rewarding.

This is part of the team working out contractual issues in the event center.  Right now it is just a big open space, but in a few weeks, this hall will have over of 2,500 science projects coming and going. 

  1802 SFHall

Week 3a: 

The second winter blast hit. Fresh water in the tank was running low. Normally we would just fill our tank from the campground spigot, but our winter campground has very poor water. With no clean water source nearby (and an aversion to moving our rig to fill up), we needed to find another way to supply ourselves with fresh water once the temperatures dropped below freezing. Trey bought a simple $2 part and altered the cap on a 5 gallon jug. With an assist from our trusty ladder and multiple trips to the store, we were able to put enough water in the tanks for showers and such until the weather grew warmer. 

  1803 Water

Week 3b: 

When you find yourself Goggling "Do I need stitches?" you know your day has taken a downward turn. Trey's head had a close encounter with the hatchback of the Durango. It was a loud enough BANG that Susan dropped the groceries and ran back to the car.

It has been five days and the wound is almost healed without stitches. Trey makes a nice redhead, don't you think?

  1803 Injuryr

Week 4:

We began making freezer jam about six months ago. We keep experimenting (less sugar, different fruits, less pectin) so we haven't made the same batch twice. It really more like a compote rather than a jam. We use this to flavor  homemade yogurt, but we have been known to put it on chocolate cake, ice cream and cheesecake. Very versatile stuff! 

This is our first attempt at blueberry freezer jam thickened with apples rather than pectin.

When photographing this today, I had trouble getting color on the jam without blowing out the rest of the shot. I need to better learn my camera settings. Some things don't work well on auto.

  1804 Jam

Week 5:

For two weeks every February, it seems like life consists of removing paperclips from pages, rearranging those pages, and putting the paperclips back on -
1,800 times!

Science Fest Life!

  1805 Paperclips

Week 6:

Overcooked black beans ready to be transformed into delicious hummus. Trey has been making this for a few years and tried it with Chipotle peppers this time. It was the best ever!

   1806 Hummus

Week 07:

Within days of Science Fair, I move from paperclips to printing. When behaving itself, this printer is pretty awesome! Over a very short period I will have printed a stack of documents over ten feet tall: research documents, labels, registration cards, signs, judge forms, certificates, and the like.
Each page has a place and a purpose.

We serve almost 300 schools across dozens of school districts.
Next week is the big week. Seven days from now we will be unable to think or move.

  1806 Printer

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