Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The day finally arrived. Baby girl flew da coop.

Yes, I cried.  As she was loading her boxes to the car, I sneaked off to the bathroom for a little boohoo session.  All I could think of was the day that I met her her.  I will never forget the way I felt when I saw those pink chubby cheeks-both kinds!  I heard...'ooooo...you have a big girl!'  My eyes were reaching out to see my brand new baby while the nurses cleaned her up.   I remember hearing the nurses & doctor take bets on who could guess her weight.  A few said 8 or 9 lbs.  But, my labor nurse who came back on her off duty to witness our delivery, said, "My guess is TEN pounds!"  When they put all of her little pinkness on the scale, I heard...."na, na, na, na Can't Touch This!"  Carmen (labor nurse) was on the money!  I gave birth to a 10 pound baby girl.  I love my sweet baby girl.  She has been a joy to raise.  From the day she was born, she has made me laugh & have not stopped laughing at her silliness ever since.  Karmyn has a great big wonderful heart.  I am very happy & proud of  the lady that she has become.  Also, I am glad that she is able to become independent.  I hope she enjoys this new step forward in her life journey.    But, I remind her often that she will always be my baby girl.  I plan to bribe her with homecooked meals so that she will come visit at least once a week. 

Even though I got kinda sad, I also got kinda happy.  I now have an extra room for all my photography gear.  Oh, man do I ever need that extra room.  My 'world' (as Terry calls it) is just about to push us out the backdoor.  TOO much!   But, before I can completely claim that room there are a few more boxes that Karmyn has yet to pack.   I borrowed Papa T's truck to help her move her bed and some bigger items.  We were not able to move her chest of drawers and tv so her daddy will have to help us asap. 

A few years ago, my brother built some custom cabinetry and desk area for her room.  Look what is still left on her shelves.   Homerun balls and Softball accolades and awards, Letterman Jacket and even a Homecoming Crown.   I was there for every one of those moments.  We lived it.  We enjoyed it.  We treasure the memories.  Karmyn moved into her apartment a couple nights ago.  She has not yet boxed up these things so I had to snap this picture. As the years go by, I am sure these High School  Treasures will eventually make their way to a dust covered box in storage.   Bittersweet.  

 And, The beat goes on....

...la, da, da, da, daaaa.....

Hey Mama,
I think the way I feel about this shelf of memories reminds me of what you said when I moved to my first apartment.  I heard you tell the story about what happened to you a day or so after I finished moving.  You walked into my bedroom that was completely, 100% empty of all things "Tootiefied" (that's me).   So, you were getting excited about how you were going to use the extra space.  When you whooshed open my closet door, the force of the wind made the singularly, solitary item left behind start swinging on it's hanger.  It was a pink velvet beauty pagent dress that you made for me when I was in the 4th grade.

So, now I know how you must have felt.   Did you have a boohoo session too?

Today is a new day.  No more boohoo!  Azaleas are blooming in my backyard. 
Good old hardy azaleas make me happy every spring. 

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Jessica – Walker High School – Senior 2011

Jessica – Walker High School – Senior 2011
TommieAnn called and told me that her only child will be graduating this year! She is a sentimental mom and loves her pretty Jessica very much. When I drove up their driveway, Jessica’s dad, Mark, was rolling out a four wheeler. He had just put a spit-shine on that sucker. No joke. This thing was super detailed with amor-all on the tires and a mirror shine on the chrome wheels. I am sure that all the while he was working, he wanted to please his daughter and make her proud. I had met Jessica once before. It was New Year’s Eve. She is dating my 2nd cousin, Dustin. I did Dustin’s Senior Portraits so he recommended me to Jessica. Thanks man!

Mark, TommieAnn, and Jessica walked with me around their large property to show me some wooded acreage behind their house. Their family is the outdoorsy types. As a family, they love go to the fishing camp, ride four wheelers and all that kind of good stuff. So, today we wanted to capture that vibe. I really enjoy it when my client is in their element. Especially, for a High School Senior, I think it is important for them to be free to be themselves! It is so important for them to show their individual, unique personality during this very short WINDOW IN TIME of their life. So, today, Jessica’s unique vibe is exactly what we got. Jessica is a rubber boots wearin’, four-wheelin country girl for this photo shoot. In real life, she is also girly girl sugar and spice all things nice. She had a smile from start to finish. Speaking of finish, we finished with a change in gears so to speak. When we got back to the house, Jessica changed into a bright pink top which looked outstanding with her complexion. I set up my lighting situation which included a small portable beauty dish as our key light. Also, I went to my portrait lens to capture some close-up beauty shots.

Thanks to the Deshotels family for welcoming me in to capture their Jessica’s Senior Photo Session. Enjoyed it. Hey Jessica, tell all your friends about me! If they haven’t gotten their Senior Portraits, please send them a link to me. I would be honored to capture their unique WINDOW IN TIME, as well.

*p.s. Mark, how could we do a four-wheelin’ photo shoot without getting her back in mud? oops…It sure was a shiny mud buggy!

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Create your own free photo slideshow

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Photo Field Trip to Bluebonnet Swamp

While lounging around this morning, I got an unexpected phone call from Mom, "Aunt Clara Faye wants to go on a photo field trip to Bluebonnet Swamp.  Do you wanna come with us?... She said she would pick you up....Oh, probably in about an hour...Can you be ready by then?....Ok, well get ready."  clunk.  I hung up the phone.  Minutes later.  "Aunt Clara Faye said she is on her way....No, no, we want you to go...Come on, get ready....Well, can you be ready in 15 or 20 minutes?...Ok, go ahead and get ready because she will come pick you as soon as you get ready."  At this point, it was a quick splash in and out of the shower, shampoo, blow dry, spot of make-up.  Ringggg, Ringggg!...Mom again on the phone, "We are on our way!  You ready, huh?"

Yes, I was ready - in record time for me!  Bella was in her cage and I was standing at the ready at the back screen door.  I had my my purse and camera bag at my feet ready to pick up as soon as they wheeled into my driveway.  I jumped into Aunt Clara Faye's "rumble seat" of her VW Bug and zippety doo dah down the road we go.  We were on our way to the Bluebonnet Swamp.  It was a pretty day.  Signs of spring are showing up so we are anxious to go, go go!  We parked and began our walk on the boardwalk that meanders around the swamp area.  There are no leaves on the trees and the swamp is basically dry but we were able to find photo opps by looking for small details along the nature trail.  We had a great time on our hike.  Then, we made a stop by the Piccadilly Cafeteria for a late lunch.   It was nice to get out and enjoy the pleasant weather and make pictures at the Bluebonnet Swamp.  I am sure we will do it again as the season progresses and brings more greenery back to the brown & gray environment. 

Here is a slideshow of our experience today.  Check it out. 
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Personalize a slideshow

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Dinner

Text messages:
8:50am Terry:  HAPPY V DAY SWEETIE!!!
8:56am Me:  Happy valentines day to you my love!
9:00am Terry:  HEY GAL, HOW ABOUT ROMANIC SUPPER? (when has he ever called me gal?)
9:01am Me:  Oh?  What's the plan? (i figure-there is no plan.  i know that  i will have to make the plans)
9:09am Terry:  YOU&ME, DINNER AT YOUR FAVORITE PLACE! (just as i thought! no plan-just an idea!)
9:11am Me:  You are smooth.  What time are you getting home?
9:14am Terry: REGULAR TIME...3:30PM
9:16am Me: Ok.  I will try to be ready.  Looking forward to it.
9:18am Terry:  OK FINE!

So, it was the restaurant inside the Bass Pro Shop. 


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Happy (Day Before) Birthday Tracy! & A Brief Photo Lesson

Tracy, my sister-in-law, called and told me she wanted to get out of the house and have a little fun today because tomorrow was her birthday!  I could totally understand this reasoning.  Personally, I think we should have a Celebrate The Day Before You Turn One Year Older Birthday Day! :)  What do you think?

  We thought about a movie day to celebrate her Day Before..DAY.  Then, neither of us were motivated to do a movie  So, I told her we could just take a ride and see what we see.   Before the gas prices went up, Terry and I used to enjoy taking what we call a 'country drive'.  Country Drive is code for get in the car, pick a direction, any direction because we had NO direction.  Drive maps not included or necessary because we intend to follow our nose. Terry likes to drive and look.  I like to ride and look.  I know that eventually, one of us will bring up the subject, "Are you getting hungry?"  Then, the other will say, "Why? Are you getting hungry?"  That's when the Country Drive becomes a search for a new Country Lunch Dive

Today, Tracy and I got in my car and headed west on the interstate.  We decided that we were going to look for photo opps.  I put my Nikon d5000 with a 55-200mm lens for Tracy to use and of course I brought my camera along with several lens options.   It was cold so I asked her if she wanted me to turn on the bun warmers.  :)  I love my heated seats.  We drove. We looked. We saw.  Typically, I can always find something that compels me to park the car and explore photo opps. But, for some reason today was different.  It was a ride and see what we see sort of Country Drive day.

Eventually, we did the "Are you hungry?" and a true search was on.  Tracy and I decided that we wanted to find a place for lunch where we can 'make good choices'.  She has recently begun a regime of fruits and vegetables and found her new diet was giving her a better sense of well being.   We ended up deciding on Mike Anderson's keeping in mind that we wanted to make good choices.  We both chose the soup and salad option from the lunch menu.  We each ordered a cup of gumbo and a small shrimp remeloude salad.   It was not the fruits and vegetables choice that was our original search but nevertheless, it was good lunch choice because the food was delish! 

On our way home, we stopped by train station park in Denham Springs.  There was a biting nip in the air because it was pretty windy.  But, we braved it out because I didn't want to go home having never whipped out our cameras.  The initial intent of the day was to teach Tracy a few tips about photography.   When we got out of the car, Tracy asked, "So, do I just put this around my neck?"  You see, today was going to be her very first experience with dslr photography.

I love the way the warm evening sun was lighting the empty park bench.  I Had to get this shot. 

Speaking of evening sun, I showed Tracy an example of using a small aperture to capture the sunburst effect.  f/16 used here.

In this image, I was teaching her how to use a single focus point to be deliberate about her image making.  I was at a f/4.5 at 180mm to blur the foreground and background and selectively focus on the center post cap. 

Here is Tracy's image.  I love how she went a little wider and her aperture was at f/9.5 at 135mm.  At this smaller f/stop and shorter focal length, the viewer is able to see the entire image more clearly.  Yet, look at what she selected as her focal point.  It was the same exact center post cap that I had selected in my image.  You see how small differences in camera settings can create entirely different perspectives?  The differences are obvious but we were both standing very close to one another at the moment of capture. 

For some reason, I absolutely love that Books sign capped by that metal owning.  There is just something about it that makes me notice it every time.  After I clicked off my shot, I told Tracy what I was seeing. 

After I mentioned it, Tracy swung her camera up to take a picture.  When she did, I said, "Looks like they opened the traffic flood gates."   After, I viewed her image,  I like the way the traffic has converged at this little corner.  Tracy placed her focal point on BOOKS.   Isn't this a great image?  If only a boy or girl were walking around the corner engrossed in a good book. 

Happy Birthday Tracy. 
Time keeps on tickin', tickin', tickin' into the future. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Baby Cypress Knees & Row Row Row Ya Boat back to the house cuz you have to be freezin' ya buns off!

Today's photo challenge was knees.  Knees.  Well, we live in Louisiana and I always thought that Cypress Knees were an anomaly.  Here are some baby cypress knees.  That's the best I could do today.  It was cold and rainy so I went to only one location, lake at LSU.  I thought that I had seen Cypress trees on the edges of the lake.  When I parked, there was a small cluster of Cypress Trees close to the bank but not in the water.   The water you see surrounding is rain water from today and yesterday's rainy weather. 

row, row, flap, flap.
Standing on the edge of the walkway, I looked out over the lake and could not believe what I saw.  Somebody pinch me!  I thought I went to sleep at LSU and woke up at Harvard.  No way!  These people can NOT be from Louisiana.  Didn't they hear that we had school and office closures because we got down to freezing temperature last night?  Besides, I didn't know they made pirogues that long! 

whew!  I realize that I must still be in Louisiana.  There's the familiar aluminum bateau.  At least those couyans are wearing their LSU hoodies.  :)  They might be asking themselves, "What's dat lady couyan doin' over dere wit dat camera, Cher ?!" 

I repositioned myself and waited for the rowing team to appear in the frame because I wanted to provide the viewer more information about the setting.  I chose to show the picnic table and bbq pit in the foreground because it helps describe the area as a pedestrian friendly location.  Also, I used that big tree as an anchor on the left hand side.  I think the image would not be as strong without the tree element.  Do you see our State Capital Building in the misty, foggy background?  I deliberately wanted to show that in the background.  It is a recognizable icon of the city of Baton Rouge and State of Louisiana.
This image is sooc (straight out of camera).  If I had taken it into photoshop, I might would have cleaned up some of the twigs seen at the top of the image, vignette slightly & straighten the horizon line a bit.  But, creating a wow! photoshopped image is not what I am reaching for.  My intention for explaining my thought process before capturing this image is to share the fact that I actually had a thought process.  I'm not saying this is an award winner.  Hardly.  But, if you take time to think about making a picture before taking a picture, I think you will impress yourself!

I focused on the upper / center rain droplet and branch.  Do you see a jogger or a house or lamp post in the background?
A second after I took this shot, I snapped the pic below...

..I focused through the skinny branches and rain droplets to see the lone jogger.   
note:  Isn't it amazing how the droplets and branches almost disappear?  I am standing in the exact same spot with my camera pointed into the exact same spot with the exact same focal length as the rain droplet picture above.  What changed?  My focus.  With my 70-300mm lens racked out at 300mm, I allowed my focus point to train in on the jogger in the distant background instead of the tree branch or rain drops.  When it locked focus on the jogger, the foreground almost blurred away.  This creates a mysterious impression because the viewer instinctively knows that they are seeing through something but can not clearly identify.  
Do you think that is neat?  I do.
It is a great technique. You can try shooting through leaves to get a mystical looking impression of a flower or garden statue. I think if you try it, you will be impressed with yourself!  :)  
Being impressed with yourself is good, right? 

We had a stand off. I have to say, he/she won.  It began to rain again.  Headed home to see my pics. 
It was a slow photo day but a slow photo day is better than a
no photo day any day.

p.s.  I realize that this is the 2nd post from this week that include water drops on twiggy branches.  so, no more.  Hopefully, the weather will clear so that I have a different subject.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

brrrrr...Louisiana Snow Day, without the snow.

Well, yesterday Terry and I went out and about town to run a few errands.  I threw two cameras in the vehicle along with my tripod.  But, my goodness it was so cold, I never wanted to get out to make pictures.  I mean it was biting wind that slices right through you kind of freezing cold!  Last night, the local weather was calling for freezing rain, sleet, possible snow.  So, today the kids got our version of a Louisiana Snow Day.  It was cold today but I never saw any kind of freezing rain. Terry did say that he had ice on his truck when he left from work this evening.  I am not sure what we will see tomorrow.  I think the schools are closed again just in case.  This situation reminds me of a skit that I had seen on Onion News Network which airs on the IFC channel.  The whole show is a spoof on CNN.  Anyway, as I type this, I had to laugh at the idiotic skit about New Orleans temperature dropping to 44 degrees and the city shuts down, National Guard shows up, the reporter was speaking very loudly as if to incite people to realize the urgency of the possible snow flurries.  Oh my goodness, it was a totally ridiculous spoof.  I know it was a blown out porportion image of how we, in the deep south, are not equipped to handle 'inclement' winter condition.  On the other hand, I can see how wimpy we must seem to a Minnesotan! 
Mia keeps warm in her snuggly turtleneck. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

From the Archives. Gatlinburg Vacation 2007

Today, I watched a photography workshop on kelbytraining.com.  kelbytraining is the brain child and extended enterprise of Scott Kelby.  He became a popular photoshop teacher through his 'how to' books.  Now, he hosts a website where a group of professionals teach instructional videos pertaining to photography, photoshop, lightroom, etc.  I pay a monthly service fee for access to the courses.   

The reason, I reached back to my 2007 Vacation Archives today was because I was reminded of Gatlinburg this morning.  I watched a new course where the video setting was Cade's Cove, Gatlinburg, TN.  Actually, the setting was a frozen wintry 12 degree Cade's Cove.  The premise of the workshop was Intimate Landscape.  The instructor was explaining the way he finds and composes images in places where it seems to be the 'off season'.  He eluded to the fact that during the spring and fall, there are lots of photographers but not during the frozen winter.  He demonstrated that during the frost bitten, bare treed winter forest, there are still interesting photos to be created.  He started the video in the area of the rustic little house and fencing pictured in the top image.  This charming little house is one of the first things I remember seeing when we entered Cade's Cove when Terry and I visited Gatlinburg in early March 2007.  As you can see in the image, the leaves are not yet on the trees but it was still beautiful. 

The Old Grist Mill above is a restaurant now in Pigeon Forge.

The Ubiquitous Tourist, that's me.  Taken by Terry (in 2007 of course).   See that red jacket?  I wore it today.  Do you know how old that red all weather London Fog is?  um. I can't remember the exact year that I purchased it but I remember that same winter the girls received a pink and a purple bike with little white baskets and plastic tassels on the handlebars.  They will be 23 and 21 this year.  I do remember the day that I bought it.  It was Grand Opening week for the Tanger Outlet Mall in Gonzales.  I just can't retire it.  The weight is perfect for our Louisiana weather.  It is still in perfect condition..I think so anyway.  It might be my proverbial Linus Blanket.  I'll probably be a little old lady dragging my red jacket behind me.

I took this picture of Terry reading about the Mountain people in the same area that he took my picture.  This was at the lookout point at the Tennessee/North Carolina State Line.  All of these pictures were taken with a Kodak camera that I borrowed from Mom.  (I didn't get my first dslr until October 2008.)  From what I understand, the Kodak company might be in trouble right now.   I appreciate the history and contribution that Kodak has made to the photographic industry.  The gold and black Kodak brand was the most popular brand of film as far as I remember.  I know that digital has almost eliminated the film development business.  There are some people who still use film.  But, obviously the digital photography age is here to stay.  I hope things turn around for Kodak.  Of course, they had to jump into the digital game and have produced great quality modern products.  I just read about a professional Leica S2 camera that sells for somewhere around 26,000 dollars. 
Can you guess who made the sensor for that camera? 


Go figure. 

Monday, January 31, 2011

I like to spin a yarn but here is a Master Yarn Spinner! Take a listen...

I heard this Story Teller talk this morning and had to share.  I found myself sitting in front of my laptop.  Then, I began leaning into my laptop monitor.  Then, eventually, I was standing on my feet with elbows on the counter still leaning in because I was completely dialed in to the story delivered by a Master Storyteller.  His name is Jay O'Callahan.  Take a listen.  I hope you have several minutes to give him your full attention.  If not, I am afraid that you will not be able to fully appreciate.  And, appreciation is GOLDEN!

Free your mind...T minus 5,4,3,2,1...PRESS PLAY and be swept away!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Raindrops Keep Falling On My {umbrella that Terry keeps holding over my} Head!

We left the house. 
Destination:  movie theater to watch Green Hornet

Looking through my passenger side glass through the rain bubbles.  This is the corner lot intersection at Amite Church Rd and Hwy 16.  It has been a vacant field for a very long time.  It looks like a development is coming.  I suspect it will look very different soon.  I wish I had old pictures of Hwy 16 when it was a curvy 2 lane highway with trees on each side of the undeveloped land.  Now, we have 4 lanes, 3 red lights and we will soon be getting our very own Walmart!  I remember when Linda's Chicken Hut put up a neon sign in the early 80's, I believe.   A neon sign?!  That was a big deal and great source of pride at how uptown we were becoming! 

 Over the last few months, construction has begun on our new hometown high school & my own alma mater.  From what I understand, it will be the largest school in the entire state.  Oh my goodness.  28 years ago, my HS graduating class totalled 54 students! 

Terry and I went to Chilli's.  As we were walking up to enter the front doors, I saw these twiggy branches full of water droplets.  I asked him to hold the umbrella over my head while I tried to get a picture.  He kept telling me to hurry up.  My point and shoot had a difficult time focusing.  I think he was getting embarrassed because he thought people were looking at us from inside.  He cares about stuff like that.  I don't give a fig.  But, he kept putting the pressure on me so this is the best I could do.  I like the colors and I think the image has a sort of abstract appeal.  I kept the image and posted it because it helps me remember Terry holding the umbrella over my head even though everything in him wanted to escape from the worst possible thing...Someone thinking something about him...!
  He loves me.
But, he needs to get over himself.

p.s.  We ate, felt stuffed, skipped the movie, went to Best Buy for a car charger for Papa T, went home.   The end.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Turkey Pot Pie in a Jiffy!

I made two Turkey Pot Pies tonight from a Taste of Home Comfort Food diet Cookbook.  Actually, I found the recipe titled  'easy chicken pot pie'.  I decided to use turkey in place of chicken.  This recipe is certainly very easy.   To prepare the turkey, I cooked 4 turkey breast cutlets in onion powder, garlic & herb seasonings, salt & black pepper seasoned boiling water then diced into small cubes.  I made a couple modifications to the recipe simply because I wanted to use what I had.  You might like to try the original recipe on page 208.  (image of cookbook cover at bottom of post)  Below is how I put mine together and they came out perfectly delicious. 
For pot pie filling, mix:
1 c. cream of mushroom
1 c. cream of chicken
1 c. peas and carrots, drained
1/2 c. milk
2 turkey breast cutlets or 2 chicken breasts, diced
1/4 tsp. of black pepper
salt to taste
*spray cooking spray in pie plate and fill with mixture


1 1/2 c. baking mix (I used Jiffy)
2/3 c. milk
*drop by tablespoon full over the top of the turkey pot pie filling

375 degrees / 30-40 minutes
(I lined aluminum foil under the pies in case any liquid bubbed over. It didn't.)

My family enjoys the pot pies that I make with double layer crusts.  I like those too. But, I can tell you this recipe is so easy and delicious.  I simply doubled the recipe above to make these two pies.  When I took the hot pot pies out of the oven, I had to take a quick snap because Terry was waiting in the wings with saucer and fork in hand.  On my, 'go', he dished up a nice serving of Turkey Pot Pie to enjoy while he watched his ESPN on this, relax away Saturday.  

Kayla and Trevor came home from dinner and a movie and stopped for a tasty taste.  After I told them that it was a diet recipe, Trevor went back for another taste!

If you try the recipe, write back and let me know if you like it too.  This was my first recipe that I tried from my new Taste of Home Cookbook.  I'm anxious to test more.  I'll let you know when I do.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WHOA NELLY! Hop off Yo High Horse There Lady!

Today was mani/pedi day.  AhHH... I could not wait to sink my tootsies in the hot bubbly water while I sat in the massage chair.  I picked out my favorite Red polish for my toes, then shuffled through the selection of magazines.  There were the typical Nail Pro Magazines that really do not interest me.  shuffle. shuffle.  ok.  I'll take Time Magazine.  I'll take Herrington Catalogue.  I'll take Charisma.  I didn't know what Charisma was.  As the water began to fill up the foot basin, I chose Charisma.  I was prepared to thumb quickly through the thin pages to see if anything caught my interest.  You know what I mean by flipping through magazines absentmindedly.  It's just a pass time or a way to stay within your own little bubble as you get your pedi..  The first advertisement was  for a Joel Olsteen seminar held in January.  I flipped through.  Then, a title page caught my attention.  There was a large sinister looking face staring straight ahead.  The title of the article read something like Devil in Pew 7.  I was curious about what it was about.  I began to read.  The first paragraph captured my attention as it began with the tension of any good suspense story.  The character was running scared.  In first person, the author writes how she could feel the pain of her bare feet slapping against the black asphalt street.  She could not stop.  She needed air.  She could not stop to breath.  She was running in fear and running for help.  As the story unfolded, the author went back to the beginning to tell of a character named Mr. Williams who sat in the Pew 7.  Mr. Williams was a manipulator within the church.  What he said, went. No one EVER went against his wishes.  Until, that is, her father became the new pastor.  Her father recognized this man for who he was.  He also realized that even though Mr. Williams had been sitting in Pew 7 for many years, he was not even a member of the church.   The new pastor explained to the church that only members are allowed to vote on decisions within the church.  Mr. Williams, realizing that he lost his authority, began to threaten the new pastor and his family.  They found their tires slit, found bomb threats against the church.  One night, there was a glass that was shattered in her baby brother's room even as the baby was in the crib.  Miraculously, with shards of glass all around, the baby was left unharmed.  Then, one night, the Devil from Pew 7 entered the family's home and shot to kill her mother and father.   Her mother died that night.  The author who was a young girl at the time, ran for cover under the kitchen table.  She remembered hiding behind the table and chair legs.  When she saw her helpless father try to lift his arms and could not.   She knew that she was the only person able to run for help.  It took all her courage to try to be as quiet as possible and sneak out the kitchen back door. She ran and ran with everything she had. 

Years later, she received a phone call.  She could not believe who it was.  It was the man that murdered her mother.  During his stay in prison, he was ministered to and found true salvation.  He knew that the first thing he needed to do was seek her forgiveness.  

Wow,  then the next article was a teaching on the Principles of Forgiveness.  Do you sense a pattern here?

Then, the next article was a re-telling about the mad man who went into the Amish School House and fired away at 10 Amish school girls.  5 were killed.   Even though their loss was so great, the parents of the children reached out to the wife of the murderer.  They wanted to let her know that they held no ill will toward her.  After burying their own children the day before, 75 Amish men and women attended the funeral of the man who turned the gun on himself after the massacre.  Along with their forgiveness, they brought food and gifts for the family.   Heartbreaking and Heart Lifting at the same time, right?

Yesterday, I wrote about the bitter distaste that was left with after someone disappointed me.  'Whoa NELLY!   Hop off Yo High Horse There Lady!'.  That was the message that my spirit received loud and clear.  By some 'strange coincidence',  I got the preachin' that I needed through the pages of a random magazine at the nail salon.  That magazine, like most of the literature was probably something dropped off by someone as a donation.  You know the sort of publications I am talking about... previously perused and passed on!  Do you think it was a random coincidence?  I don't.  I think there are no random coincidences.  I know the Word says that God spoke this world into existence.  I think God speaks to us in many ways.  Sometimes a whisper, sometimes He will snatch us by the ear.   I think I got an earful today. 

I received that needed preachin' and I have to say I was properly humbled.  Humbled by how I blew a  situation all out of proportion in my mind.  I blew my cool.  I repent of my own sin of pride and unforgiveness that I was willing to carry.  I need to get over myself because my SELF can only get in the way!  I am humbled by the examples of forgiveness freely offered by the Amish.   In my SELFishness, I realize that I could only see how I felt.  How I was impacted.  How I was being taken for granted.  How I refuse to budge one more inch.   ewe.  yucky selfishness. 

Please forgive me AND my silly SELF, O' Lord.
i see you, seeing me.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

From Disappointment to Bountifully Blessed...All in One Day!

The cute shoes, 30% off purchase today. 
The big bounty of white?  El Noope'! 

Definition of Bitter-having a harsh, disagreeably acrid taste, like that of aspirin, quinine, wormwood, or aloes.  

I don't know if I have ever actually had a physical taste of quinine, wormwood or aloes as referenced in the dictionary definition.  Although, recently,  I have been left with a taste of bitter disappointment.  I can attest, my friends, that kind of bitter after taste can be described as harsh and disagreeably acrid. 

All I can say in this blog post is that over the course of a few days, I have been bitterly disappointed by someone.  I will not express specifics. There are only 2 people who know the instance that I am talking about because one of them was directly impacted. The other is my lifelong confidant. What I can say is that "When you push against me, expect resistance.  I have a low center of gravity and will not back down or give one inch more than I am willing!" That is a promise and you can quote me on it. Enough said.  

And, then today...! Thank you, Good Lord, for giving me today!

I met someone who heard my heart's desire and then blessed me beyond measure. I have been contemplating a set up for a bridal shoot. I want to recruit some models and create a 'Destination Wedding' portfolio. The problem for me is the fact that I would need a supply of wedding gowns. Well, I have my own wedding dress that is now almost 25 years old. Other than that? Nada. Obviously, my starting point is to find some affordable bridal gowns. In photography, sometimes you can fake a few things. You know what I mean. Think about props and backdrops. Sometimes, the setting is real. Most times, the image presents a mere illusion of reality. With that in mind, I was on a hunt for an affordable wedding gown. I figured that I could simply modify it, if need be, by clamping the bodice, etc...

Along my path, I first stopped at a thrift store. blah, blah,.. Nah! Nothing there. I really didn't expect to find anything at the thrift store that I would like to use but I thought to give it a try. So, I left the thrift store and continued down the boulevard. Actually, I knew exactly where I wanted to shop next. I had been thinking about this shop and even picturing myself talking to the owner. The shop I am referring to is a small, well run consignment boutique. Years ago, I purchased two beautiful formal gowns for my oldest daughter. She still has them today. In my mind, I had practiced what I wanted to ask. I was going to offer to rent the dresses if the shop owner was willing.

I went into the store and there against the side wall were an array of white bridal gowns in clear plastic zippered bags. I saw price tags ranging from 299.00 to 599.00. uh oh. That was way out of range for me to purchase as a prop. The owner stepped up to me and asked if she could help me. That is when I asked her if she ever rented out her dresses. In her kind way, she told me no but wanted to know what I was thinking. I told her what I had in mind. Then, she told me that she might have a dress in the warehouse that didn't sell. That's when she said, "If you look at it and think it is something you can use...Then, I can bless you with it." Ummm. Ahem. Did she just tell me she would give me a dress for free? Yes, that is what she said.  My heart was rightly 'blessed' simply by her offer. Just to have someone who is willing to give me something made me feel very, very blessed indeed.

She had her helper go to the store room and pick out a few of her favorite dresses. I picked out my favorite. Then, I offered to purchase a couple more that were left hanging. My intention was to give SOMETHING to the store owner for her generosity. She refused to allow me to pay anything. She said that this selection of dresses were left at the store. They did not sell and the owner never picked them up. She didn't know exactly what she would do with them. Long story short. I left the consignment boutique with SIX bridal gowns! FREE! El Noope'! (no out of pocket expense!) Yes, I was blessed today as I drove home with a back seat chock full of fluffy white bridal gowns! Thank you Lord from whom ALL blessings flow!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Me & Melissa check out latest wedding files at Starbucks

Melissa and I met at Starbucks to share our images from our latest Wedding.  This was Melissa's 1st commissioned wedding.  Because she assisted me on almost all of my Weddings last year, I was excited to help her out. 

ooooh, so lovely!  Don't you wish you could see?
Time for another swig!
Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. McQuiddy!

Melissa's daughter is behind the lens!  When I saw that pom-pom on top of my head, I was scared it was a glamour don't... 

So, I 'whip my hair my hair back and forth' to just 'shake 'em off'!  Just whip it, Whip it Real Good! & Got my Swag On!  lol! 

BEWARE, ADVISORY WARNING:  If you watch this video,  you just might feel the need to uncontrollably "Whip Your Hair Back and Forth"! 

Willow Smith - Whip My Hair ( Official Video TyhansTV )
Uploaded by tyhansofficiel. - See the latest featured music videos.