Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Remembering Maw Maw Irene's Coffee Milk (Café au lait)

Daily Photo Challenge
Subject: Stretchy
July 27, 2010

For the stretchy challenge, I tried to get my husband to draw back the sling shot. He finally cooperated with a stipulation which was... "IF" I took his pic while sitting in the big boy chair as he was watching TV. Not alot of enthusiasm there. So, that was not really the image I was going for. Then, I looked around and remembered that I had flexi straws. They are a tiny bit stretchy, right? You know how one idea leads your imagination in all kinds of directions? Suddenly, I remembered my favorite drink when I was little kid. MawMaw Irene would fix me a big glass of sugary sweet coffee milk. She had this one certain green glass that was THE coffee milk glass for my brother and I. In good ole MawMaw style and for the special touch, she invariably plunked in a bent flexi straw. Well, actually she would put it in straight so that I could bend it over to hear that cranky sound.  Oh, yeah. It was so delicious down to the last little slurrrrrrrrp! Lastly, I would turn the glass up and throw my head back to get that final tiny drop. What a simple treat but a memory in my heart forever. Now, I am nostaglic for the Sunday evening program I used to watch when I stayed with MawMaw...Wild Kingdom.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Laundry Buds

laundry, originally uploaded by michelle*sibley.
The photo challenge today was "Holes". I posted this picture. No, the subject of this photo is really not holes (even though the laundry basket has holes). Rather, I posted it because I liked it. To be honest, I don't know why really I like it so much. It is an ordinary simple life chore. For some reason, this moment of two young (mostly spoiled type) people working together on a menial task like hanging clothes  captured my imagination. Instead of telling them how  I would hang all the blue towels together neatly on the front row....  I think The blankets should be hung straight and neat by matching the corners before pinning them on the line. And, certainly if there are any underwear to hang, I deliberately hang them on  the middle clothes line. Because, a) never on the front lest anyone can see them hanging front and center in clear view, or b) never hang undies on the back line because the neighbors can see the unmentionables through the cracks in the fence!   HUh? !!! The heck you say! Do I really think that my neighbors are going to peer at our underwear?  Hardly!   We have the sweetest neighbors we could ever hope for.  I'm just saying that thought crosses my mind and as a result, the unmentionables get tucked behind the bigger items.  Who really gives a flying poop-de-doo what our undies look like anyway?  Seriously, I did a Chester Cheetah head shake as I type this because I realize how those silly little idiosynchysies can pop into our consciousness.   OK, don't go getting all holier-than-thou on me...I know you have a few silly little hang ups too.  It is called being a human being.  We have to learn to call out those poison darts as they really are.  All lies from you know where!  Hang ups are hang ups whether  goofy like the one I described or an ominous phobia that gives you night sweats.  Know what to do about that?  Shake, Shake, Shake it off and start living!  About any fear (or goofy hang up) ask yourself..."What is the worst thing that can happen?"   Talk out the answer even if it is to yourself.   Usually, we can snap out of a hang up as quickly as we got trapped if  we can realize a paradigm shift.  Go ahead, think of one of your silly hang ups.  If you can't think of one right now, some day when it pops up on you unexpectantly, I hope that you remember to do your own Chester Cheatah head shake.  Rattle the rocks in your head hard enough to make you get back on track with what is real and important. Real and important?  That would be living and loving friends and family.  Accepting people for who they are, warts and all.  Then, your own warts won't be so noticeable, even to yourself. 

Did I get off on a tangent or what?  I think I did.  So, I will hop back off my soap box...(pun intended)... and continue with my laundry story.  This is where I quickly realized that I need to get over my useless idea of what is the right way to do a simple thing.  Also, I  figured, if they are going to volunteer to wash and hang the laundry, I should let them.  And, that I should also let them do it however the heck they darned well please. And, so I did and so they did.

I shot a series of photos of Kayla and Trevor hanging towels and blankets in the backyard...no faces....just legs and shadows. Then, puppy Mia pops into the mix.  I like the anonymity of these.  It could be anybody, anywhere.  Also, the shadow play behind the pink blanket was pretty cool. 
p.s.  Kayla walked up on me while I was working on this post.  She squinted her eyes and looked closer.  She said, "WHAT in the world?  Are those MY legs sticking out?"  She just laughed and walked off. 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Earthy Evening Shade

earthy evening shade, originally uploaded by michelle*sibley.
Today, I posted to the Daily Photo Challenge. I really enjoy participating with a group of very encouraging and talented photographers. Every day a new challenge subject is posted. Today's topic was favorite color. I like lots of colors. I like to wear red. All bright colors and shades of blue remind me of water which is wonderful. Anyway, when it came time to decide on a a final image to post that represents my choice of colors, I chose earth tones. I find that the older I get, the more earthy I have become. I appreciate nature and natural things more now than ever. Remember when you were a kid or even young adult? The most fun vacation idea would be a great amusement park or some kind of physical adventure, right? For me, it was my choice. Now, at this stage in my life, I long to see the natural world and experience places that my eyes have never seen.   Just last night, Terry and I talked about how we appreciate all the places we have been and experienced.  But, we also were making a list of the places we hope to visit.   All of those places include unique landscapes with amazing natural views.

In the picture above, I captured the sun beginning to get low over the old oak trees at my husband's parent's home. I absolutely love those big swaths of golden highlight landing on the ground and tree on this evening. When I see that golden sun, I get so excited.  This is the color of my favorite time of the day.  I thought it created a beautiful and peaceful scenario with the benches under the tree.  Yet, for me, the subject of this image is the earthy colors.  The greens, golds and warm brown tones are what attracts my attention.  When I posted the image to my flickr group for discussion, some of the comments made me smile. So many said they thought this looked like a nice place to sit and relax or read a book. This was truly a great compliment because I knew that my image evoked a certain mood as they pictured themselves in this very setting.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day Trip to Covington Antique District

Mrs. Frances, Tracie, and me while having lunch on the sun porch of a restaurant named New Orleans Food and Spirits. Below, is the entrance to the restaurant.
After lunch we strolled a block to the English Tea Room for a pot of steaming hot Earl Grey Cream and desserts. 

The man seen in the picture above is the owner of the English Tea Room.  I enjoyed his English accent and friendly personality.  I hope to go back again soon.

* Below, I posted a slideshow with all the images I captured from today's outing. 
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

E-Session with Felicia and Austin!

Well, it finally happened!  I met my December bride today and she is a doll.  Felicia asked me to be her wedding photographer about a couple months ago I think.  We have been wanting to get together for a face to face meeting but just never found the right time.  Anyway, we did talk on the phone for a good little while.  I was asking her questions about what she and Austin like to do together.  What does he like to do?  mud riding!  I didn't figure she would want engagement session caked in mud.  :-)  Then, I asked her what she likes to do.  She said anything on the river.  Jet skiing is her thing!  So, I knew I had a couple of outdoorsy fun lovin' people.  What I was trying to get was inspiration ideas for the Engagement Session.  In the end, she came up with an excellent idea to go to her PawPaw's land because he has a beautiful pond and wooded acerage.  Both of us got excited and made a date for the photo shoot.  We could only hope for good weather.  Well, today finally arrived...photo shoot date.  The weather has been good all this week leading up to today.  So, when she called me yesterday to see if we are still on, I told her all was still a "go"!  

But, as it happened the rain clouds starting rolling in at about the time that we were to meet up.  Man!  She called her PawPaw and he said it was sunny at his house so we made the decision to give it a try.   Terry went along to help me with lighting.  So, he drove his truck.  As he was following behind Austin's truck to PawPaw's land, the bottom fell out and the rain poured down on us.  ooooh!  It was looking pretty ominous.  We kept going though and ended up coming out of the rain as we got closer to our destination.  Oh, goodie.  I was happy because I though we were going to slip by the rain.  Wouldn't you know, as soon as we drove up to her PawPaw's front door, the rain started.  So, we took shelter on his front porch and decided to do a wait and see.  The rain seemed to ease up for us so we decided that since we drove all this way, we wanted to get in a few shots.  No time for chit chat...it was a rapid fire photo shoot!  We managed to take some photos by the pretty trees and worked our way down to the pond.  Felicia asked if they should do a different outfit.  I told her sure.  We walked back up to the house so they could change clothes.  I'm telling you, as soon as we stepped up onto the porch the bottom fell out.  We all looked at each other and said we thought the rain was set in.  We didn't really think it was going to let up for a while.  I packed up my gear and Terry and I got rain soaked as we ran back to our truck.  All in all, we had a wham, bam, thank you mam, get'er done in record time Engagement Session.  But, the images I captured show a couple very much in love.  And I am proud!

Check out their gorgous E-Session.  Press Pause on Playlist Music above.  Play Smilebox.
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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lauren's Beautiful World

Oh, what a wonderful day today! First thing this morning, I decided to go browsing around the Antique Village. I had in mind that I would like to get some props for children's portraits such as small chair, etc... I happened upon some vintage hats. Oh, boy the wheels of inspiration started to churn. All of a sudden, I really, really want to do a series that I immediately titled "Pouty Parisian". Before, I could acomplish that, surely I would need some young girls willing to have some fun with me in a photo session. Well, I picked up several items and walked around the shop to make sure this is what I was willing to spend my money on. After thinking about all the stuff that I have in my closets, I decided to put them back. I knew that I didn't need to just collect stuff based on an idea. So, ho, hum...back on the shelf they went.

I walked into the store next door and allowed my eyes to roam over all the antiques. Then, I looked behind me and I heard somebody say hey to me. It was an old friend (another Michelle) from our softball days. I was happy to see her. Just behind Michelle, was her youngest daughter, Lauren. The last time I saw Lauren, she was digging in the dirt and running around at the ball field. I think that was around 8 years ago. Lauren has always been so pretty and petite. What do you think popped into my brain? bingo! I want Lauren to be my first Pouty Parisian!

I mentioned to Michelle and her daughter what I had in mind. Lauren seemed up for the idea. And, Michelle kindly invited me to her home to photograph her gorgeous Lauren. And, so ladies and gentlemen...below is the result of the last minute, planned on a whim, photo session. Of course, I could not wait to go through the images and create a slide show of Lauren's beauties! I am not sure if we captured "Pouty Parisian" necessarily. To me, I think it was more like Lauren in Wonderland. You will see what I mean in the slide show. When I first arrived, my sights were on that great big, beautiful golden sun beginning to sink low over a meadow. I knew I needed to work fast because I was racing the sundown. I asked Lauren to position herself where I could take advantage of the golden hour. Truly, I became so enthralled capturing that pretty sunlight washing over Lauren and creating a rim of soft light around her hair that I forgot to pull out my props. duh, me. "Props?", you ask. "What props?"... The very ones that I walked around the antique store deliberating about then put back on the shelf this morning. So, I should say, my friends, that I did indeed go back to the first antique store and purchase those vintage items. Yep, yep. I had good reason, I just secured a willing subject from a chance meeting. How cool is that? Pretty cool.

Check out Lauren's Beautiful World. I think the photo session was amazing. I loved every minute and adore the images from the session. I have decided that for a limited time, I am willing to offer a special location photo session for $150. After the session fee is paid, I will issue a photo credit of $100! That means the session fee is only $50. ..."and, that Ain't bad A-tall if you ask me!" If you have been wanting to get your family together and get a nice family portrait, or, if you want to get a beautiful picture of your kids while they are on summer break, give me a call at 225-933-6953. Please mention "Lauren's Beautiful World" and I will be sure to know how you found me and honor that special rate offering. Now, enjoy the slide show.

*press pause on playlist music before playing the smilebox.
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Saturday, July 10, 2010

Emily's Baby Shower/Fellowship

I had the priveledge of photographing Emily's baby shower today.  I met Emily's mother-in-law at a nail salon and through a little chit chat, she invited me to photograph the baby shower.  I enjoyed meeting some wonderful women today.  And, I should add some gorgeous very tiny princesses!  I promised the ladies that I intend to put together a smilebox slideshow of the pictures that I captured today.  First, I will have to work on filtering through the images and weeding out the duplicates, etc..  Hopefully, by Monday, I will be able to post the slideshow and provide a link to the images. 

By the way, Emily is expecting a baby girl who will be named Allie.  Allie was given some precious monogramed fancy-pants outfits today along with other nice gifts.  I bet she will be beautiful.  If she grows up like Emily, she will be a sweetheart too. 

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My fave Melissa Moments...

Melissa Roe was my 2nd shooter at Kristin & Michael's wedding. She did an amazing job. While I was taking the family group pictures, Melissa dropped back and took a picture of me in action..."Ok, everybody, 1...2...". snap! Here are some of  the scenes that caught her eye.  I am glad she captured these priceless moments.  See if you can read the stories that her pictures tell. These are a few of my faves from her batch of 'beauties'.

Thank you Melissa. 
You are a Rock Star!
LOVE IT...!  :)

I posted a Smilebox Slideshow a couple posts earlier of my 'beauties' at  http://michellesibleyphotopage.blogspot.com/2010/07/slideshow-of-michael-kristins-wedding.html

Homemade Hand Cranked (no doubt!) Ice Cream on the 4th of July, 2010

If you want to hear a very important message about the only help for our nation's freedom, please listen to Charles Stanley's bold stance. He does NOT hold back on how he feels about the political disgraces that have brought self inflicted hardship on our country. His courage to speak the truths about how he feels is very impressive. I hope our government does not bring retribution down on him.
Please join with Charles Stanley's committment to pray for 140 days for the American family's future.

Message here: 

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sprouting Dream Seeds!

I think life is worth remembering. If we do not write our experiences and feelings down, time has a way of making them vanish. I hope to encourage you with this thought. I started my blog in secret. I really didn't think anyone would be interested in anything I had to say. I blogged day after day just for me. My idea was that one day my children and family will have my simple thoughts and images to carry on. With each passing day's blog adventure, I became a bit more free. Then, little by little I began to share my blog address. Not to mention Mama shared my blog address for me too! :)

Today, I have people who signed up on my followers list! Do you know how thrilling that is for me?  I thought that there might be someone else who might be interested in writing their own blog or begin their own adventure in journaling their life.  Here was my comment of encouragement to someone special who is starting a new thing.  I wrote,  "...Blogging has somehow been theraputic for me. I think that each person has a creative voice inside just waiting to bust out. Writing, photography, or any artistic outlet is a wonderful way to acknowledge and recognize your own creative self. Sometimes our creative voices get pushed so far down inside that we can hardly hear their heartbeat. But, that heartbeat keeps pumping & waiting until the time is right for you to share the hidden heartbeat with the world. Freedom is when you drum up the courage to step out past the vulnerability, shyness and fear of exposing too much. Each step outside of your comfort zone, is a step towards knowledge and acceptance of who you are and who you will become! Isn't that exciting?"

So, maybe you don't give a hill o' beans about blogging or photography or any of my interests...! But, I bet you have a dream seed planted inside your heart that is ready to sprout. Yeah? Then, do something. Do a little something. Step a toe into the shallow end. Gain courage to wade in a little deeper...before you know it, you will dive in to your life adventure and become free!

Happy Independence Day Everyone!

*If you want to see me as a Leaping Lizard going all out and becoming free, check out this post. Notice: This post was only Day 20 of my 365 adventure! Freedom comes faster when you just jump in with both feet! http://michellesibleyphotopage.blogspot.com/2010/01/day-20-of-365-wwwjump.html.

Today's Challenge was Churches

I had my camera with me today as Terry and I were on our way to dinner and a movie. Earlier, I had mentioned to him that the photo challenge theme today was churches. We made a detour swing around the antique village in Denham Springs. I asked him why he made a block that was out of the way. He said, 'I thought you might want to get a picture of this church.' How sweet of him! He parked his truck along the street so that I could hop out and take a quick snap of the exterior of the oldest church in Denham Springs. Just about the same time, a lady pulled up and rolled her window down. She called to me and asked if I wanted to come see the inside! Perfect timing! I asked Terry to park and come in with me. She was so nice. She happened to be coming to the church to put out song books voluntarily. She gave me all the time I needed inside the church. We thanked her and went on our way after I got the shots I wanted. Of course, I could have spent a long time picking up on the small details. But, I figured I didn't want to wear out my welcome. With the few wide shots I made, I hoped that I had captured the essence of this historic traditional Methodist Church.

Pause Playlist Music. I have captioned the little bit of information that I gathered from the nice lady.
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Thursday, July 1, 2010

Slideshow of Michael & Kristin's Wedding Day!

Whew!  I just finished putting together my wedding dvd slideshow!  Then, I made a smilebox for viewing on the internet.  I hope you enjoy my "beauties" and wonderful memories of a gorgeous bride, groom and their wedding day!

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