Wednesday, November 19, 2014

It’s Toby’s Birthday Today!

Today is Toby’s 9th birthday. He’s been my shadow since he was 6-weeks old. At that time, he used to climb up and snuggle with his head tucked up on my shoulder. Now that he’s 48kilos he sits next to me rather than on me, unless firecrackers are cracking and bombing. Then, he sits on my lap and gets as close as he can.

Now that he’s a 9-year-old Ridgeback, he has a gray muzzle, but he’s still a youthful, playful goof! Although he does like to sleep a lot. In the morning, when Lipton (you know Lipton; my adoptive Sri Lankan son – and photo partner) and I are having coffee on the veranda, Toby comes to me to get his backend rubbed and goes to Lipton to get his head scratched and kissed. I’m not sure how or why that came about, but it is what it is and it ain’t gonna change!

Lipton is Toby’s playmate. The minute Lipton shows up, Toby wants to play hide-and-seek, or play chase with him. The favorite is; Lipton hiding his hand under a sheet and Toby pouncing on it. Lipton usually ends up crying ‘Uncle’ when Toby gets too rough.

Saturday, my German friend Tina, is coming for a 2-week visit. She used to be scared to death of all dogs, but over the years has grown quite fond of Toby. It’s her birthday on Sunday, so we are having a joint birthday party for Toby, Tina, Lipton’s girlfriend (as a belated birthday party), and me (also as a belated birthday party).

Since Toby can’t eat chocolate, we’ll have to figure out an alternative cake that he can celebrate with. Any suggestions? Actually Toby loves to eat what we eat, so a cake just for him isn’t really necessary. Just give him a cooked carrot, a slice of orange – a chunk of chicken! – and he’s in heaven!

Photos of Toby are spread out over a gazillion hard drives, but I’ll try and find some for this LucysBuzz.

Actually I found 9 – one for each year! Plus 2 for good measure!

Happy Birthday, Toby!

Toby as a cuddly pup.

Love this portrait!

The big Snoozer!

Ah, fresh morning air.

Toby's favourite place to sleep - my bed - taking all of it!

A balloon popped and Toby jumped on my lap!

He's thinking - why are you taking another photo of me?!

Checking the wall for cats!

Lipton and Toby!

Still a cuddle bug!

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© ShadeTree Productions

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wedding From the Sky!

We did a wedding at Nisala Arana Boutique Hotel for the third time. Our very first wedding took
place there a dozen years ago. It was a very cool event. The hotel owners went all out for it.

Lately we’ve had two more weddings at Nisala Arana and the hotel owners again went all out. I
was curious how different each wedding would be and I wasn’t disappointed – at all!

Of course, we, as the photographers and videographers, had to do something different, too. And that we did. For Alison and Rob’s still photos and video, there was an elephant, the ceremony took place at the beach, and we captured them from the air by using a drone and a GoPro. It was magic!

See for yourself.

PS—If you want to book us for your December wedding, and you refer to this blog, we will give you a 20% discount!

Check out our Sri Lankan wedding photography, travel photography, portrait photography, female
photographers, commercial photography at our website at:
© ShadeTree Productions

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween Baby!

My mother spent 3 days in labor because I was turned upside down – a breech birth. I came out feet first, a double Scorpio, and born on Halloween. I’m surprised my mother didn’t send me back to the storks!

Halloween in the US is the best holiday ever, especially if it’s your birthday. I remember one of the first Halloweens, my mother made me a costume. I was a pumpkin. The pumpkin part of the costume, she stuffed with newspapers. Trick or treat! When I was about 7, when a house didn’t give us our treats, we tricked them by soaping their windows! Fun times!

In grade school, we lived out in the country and my step-father would drive us to neighborhoods with lots of houses, but the roads getting there were dark with no street lights. He would suddenly swerve the car, saying he barely missed running over a ghost. To my brother’s and my delight!

After I married and had my daughter, I would stay home to hand out treats to the kids, while her father took her around the neighborhood to get her treats. I always dressed up like a witch, with scary music playing, in the house and would open the door very slowly to the trick or treaters could hear the Halloween music. It was such fun scaring them.

As my daughter got older, I finally had time to go to Halloween parties with my friends. BIG parties. Once 8 of us dressed up as convicts and chained ourselves together. Our costumes were white industrial suits that we had painted black stripes on. One of us was Rosie, the con. Another, the Great PumpCon (with a real pumpkin on his head and a file embedded in the pumpkin, so he could break his way out of prison). I was the Unknown Convict (like the Unknown Comic) and I had grossed out my face with scars and burns, but then I put a white paper bag on my head that was striped like my prison suit. People would constantly tell me to put the bag back on my head because I freaked them out!

I can’t remember what the others were, but it was great. We had to learn to walk in sync. We had it pretty much down, until we got to the grand party where there were 30 steps to get up into the entrance!!! That took some doing and we had to chant a road prison song to get the rhythm to make it.

Once inside, we wandered around the ballroom looking at all the freaky costumes. There was quite a bit of drinking happening with our road gang and at some point a party official told us we were picked to be 1 of 10 contestants chosen to go up on stage. Well, at this point, we were all pretty looped and had no clue what to do once we got on stage. When it was our turn to walk up more steps, one of us fell off the stage and the rest of us did some stupid dance. We were actually booed off the stage!!! But that didn’t spoil our fun. No way!

Another year I got a full head mask of an old woman with stringy grey hair and made the mask up with lots of gaudy make-up as if she were a 90-year-old whore. I didn’t want anyone to know who I was so I didn’t say a word all night but made rude gestures to everyone! I had made up business cards and named myself ‘BB; Biker Bitch.’ It was wonderful, even though I was sweating up a storm under that mask. I left the party and had a friend pick me up a block away and so no one knew whom I was. Hahaha. I was the talk of the party and won $50 first prize!

The next year, my mother died 5 days before my birthday. Two years later when I went to sort through my mom’s things I found the birthday present she had meant to give me the year of her passing. That broke my heart. The year after my mom passed, my darling dog died on my birthday. After that, I wasn’t too keen on celebrating Halloween.

Since I’ve come to Sri Lanka, where they don’t celebrate Halloween, I’ve missed the celebration – at least the kids coming around trick or treating. Last year I got a little crazy and in the spirit and had my friend, Asoka, from Salon 7th Avenue make my face up and went out with a bunch of friends (picture at the top).

This year was much quieter. I watched DVDs. But then the next night, last night, my friend Jana Rathnamalala, her sister and her sister’s 3-year-old son came over and brought an amazing cake that Jana had made. We went crazy taking pictures! And feeding each other cake. It was lovely.

I wonder what next Halloween will be like?

 Biker Bitch!
My boots were knee-high and big chunky heels,
and I put sparkles all over them!

Jana's cake! Yummy!

Jana and me! And the cake!

Cutting the cake. When I blew out the candles, 
I made a special wish!

Jana's sister and her son. Feeding him the cake.

Feeding Lipton!

Jana feeding me!

The icing is my favourite part!

Camera photos. Phone photos!

Blue teeth from the icing!

Cute portrait! Toby's in the background.

Check out our Sri Lankan wedding photography, travel photography, portrait photography, female photographers, commercial photography at our website at:
© ShadeTree Productions