Monday, May 31, 2010

A Day to Remember

Happy Memorial Day

Hope you all are having a safe and happy holiday weekend. Don't forget what the day is for, to remember those that served and lost for us.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oh deer(s)!

Soon I'm going to tell you more about her:


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and her:

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and even them:

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But first I sleep. I've had a long day. As you can tell, I'm out of town! Hope thes pics look ok, I'm editing on my laptop which I don't normally do. We're having a little adventure.

Don't worry, the ducks and chickens are being well taken care of, as well as we have someone taking care of the house, so all is well back on the homefront.

Maybe tomorrow, when Gene isn't snoring in my left ear, I'll update a little more about our goings on!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Where I am...

Here's some hints....

Some of the local flora:

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And here's some of the local fauna.

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Any guesses yet?

Friday, May 28, 2010

Life's an adventure!

Not too long ago, I went out on a little local adventure. I decided that I wasn't ready to go home one afternoon, so I went out, and drove around near our home, a place out in the country I'd never went before. You see, when I get on a route, I just get on autopilot and never get off of it.

I'm stubborn that way.

I decided that I'd explore around in the country and see a few places I'd never seen before. I started about 2 miles away from home, and trust me, it's so flat where I live, I could still see my house.

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New roads I'd never seen before....




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with a little country entertainment.




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Random wildflowers. No idea what these guys are.




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The bottom side of a perfect dandelion.




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And then I noticed, the bend, up the road.

I contemplated for a while. I didn't know if I was going to be intruding in someone's front door, or if this was a real road, it was dirt after all. I started envisioning myself hacked up in tiny pieces, or playing the banjo on the porch with a hairless boy.

I worked up some courage, and went for it....


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and came to another curve, unknowing where it went either...

Around the curve took me to no place scary. Just a curving road, winding through bean fields, up and down hills, over a river, and around more bends.

I stopped at the top of a huge hill, and decided to stop and take a couple photos of some flowers I saw along the road.

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Fallen branches.




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Red buds.




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Beautiful red and green foliage.


I decided to park the car in a little turn out, and explore a little more at the top of this hill, what I found was this beautiful overlook...

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Full of yellow flowers, overlooking a newly turned field. I'm going to bring a couple here someday for photos.

I already have the whole session planned out in my noggin.


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Then I noticed the redbud tree.




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I love redbuds!




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And random old barns




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Where I took my own photo.
(for some reason I just like it this way)




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There was a random little violet, all alone.




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And a fallen log covered in moss.



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It was time to go, before I got caught and yelled at. So I made my way back to the jeep.




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Stopping one last time to get a pic of my feet in a field of clover.

Flip flops are not appropriate wear for adventures.


Right now I'm on another adventure, a bigger one. I'll tell you more about in over the next couple days. Stay tuned

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Effective advertising - showing you how it's done right.

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I realized something over this past couple weeks. It's not earth shattering, or a giant secret, but as someone that loves marketing it did make me laugh.

Strawberries, the beautiful little creatures they are, pretty much advertise themselves. Sure, there's the bright red color that flashes as you walk by, and the cute little green top like a lop sided hat, but mostly, it's the smell.

Twice in the last couple weeks, just walking through the grocery store minding my own business I pass the strawberries. I notice the price, or the color, and say "not today" and then it hits me. Kinda like a cartoon where you can see the smell lifting into the air and waving across the store until it goes straight up my nose, then I turn and float back through the air like a magic carpet. I then buy one, two or twelve packages.

Yep. Strawberries pretty much sell themselves.

Think about it. When was the last time you saw a superbowl ad for strawberries?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hello my honey, hello my baby, hello my ragtime Gal...

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When we go on our antiquing excursions, we always find the coolest old hats, and quite frankly, I think my husband has a hat fetish. He's forever finding something Jackie O wouldn't be caught dead in (which sounds kinda horrible considering), and asking me to try it on. Rarely do I look good. I guess, I'm just not a hat kinda girl. Maybe my head is way too big.

Shut up in the cheap seats.

Sometimes he plays along and lets me take pictures if I swear not to put them on my blog.




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Oops.

Oh well, he doesn't read here. He'll never ever know! shhh.


Last weekend, I found this hat, complete with an old time american flag. I WANT IT. It was way too expensive IMO ($22) but I can't stop thinking about it. I think it would make the most fun prop ever. Plus I'd wear it to the fair, and memorial day, and picnics, and church. If they ever let me back into church.

"I cast you out unclean spirit!"
(name that movie)

Anyway, I want that darn hat, but I got that disqusted look, which means I'll have to sneak down there someday by myself. heh.

In the meantime, I'll be happy with a photo of me in my straw boater.


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And for the photogs out there. Yes. I used selective coloring. I think it's purdy. Please don't kick me out of the cool kids club!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Operation Love: All of Dustin's girls

Around a couple years or so ago, I really wanted to "do something". I wanted to help other people, using the skills that I have. I can't go out and clean the shorelines in an oil spill, or go in after a hurricane. I just can't be away that long, but I wanted to help people, in some way. I looked at the skills that I have already, and considered many different volunteer photography opportunities.

I seriously considered an organization called "Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep". It's a hard job. When a couple loses a child during or shortly after childbirth, a photographer is called in to take some photos of the child (and parents and/or siblings) as these may be the only photos the family may ever have of their lost child.

Yeah, I decided that I can't handle that. It's a noble act, and I bow down to each of those photographers. I just don't think I could handle it.

Then, last year I heard about another group and realize that this was probably my perfect fit. It's called "Operation Love". OpLove is a group of volunteer photographers, that shoot families that either have a parent/spouse deploying, they are deployed, or they are coming home for a reunion.

From the OpLove website:
"If you have ever been through a military deployment, there are no words to explain how hard it is to send the father or mother of your children off to some foreign, dangerous land, leaving you all behind…. Alone. It’s indescribable to watch their faces light up as their mother or father comes up the stairs of the airport after months, possibly a year or more, of not hugging each other. Emotions fly through the main lobby, it’s so very good to have them home. Your base’s Family Support Squadron will help you with your deployment. But the last thing on your mind when your wife or husband arrives home after a 4 to 18 month tour, is capturing all this love– on film. Most people are so overwhelmed with emotions they forget to simply point and shoot the camera they are grasping of their child’s first hug, or that single tear of relief from a mother being able to hold her twenty year old son again. With the help of Operation: Love ReUnited and local photographers near your base, you can.

The Operation helps those long months go by a little faster. It’s designed to capture moments that you will never remember. It’s art. It’s love. And it’s all made possible by artists wanting to give something back to those who make the United States what it is, and ask for nothing in return- but to come home. "


I was so in!
I signed up, filled out my paperwork, got listed, and waited excitedly.... and heard nothing for quite a while. It slipped to the back of my mind as wedding season picked up and I had plenty of other editing and shooting to do.

Then one day, out of the blue, I got an email.

It literally said "Operation Love" and for a moment I thought "wha?" and then OH YEAH!

It was from a wife of a deployed soldier named Katy. Katy's husband is in Iraq (his third deployment). She was kind of poking around the internet, and just happened to find OpLove, not expecting to find a photographer in her area, she popped in her zipcode, and lo and behold, she found ME.

We corresponded back and forth for a while, trying to work out a schedule. There was rain, and more rain, and then they left to see dad for almost a whole month as he was on R&R, then a cold, but finally we worked it out.

I was very excited about the shoot, moreso than usual. I had all kinds of fun ideas planned out in my head, and was really looking forward to a little bit of playing around with different props and just following two little girls around.

Normally I spend an hour with someone on a similar shoot, and I found myself at her house almost three hours! My husband even sent me a text asking if I was ok I was there so long.

I took about 9 million photos. (well, maybe not QUITE 9, more like 3.4 million) and excitedly downloaded them. So MANY awesome pics, but here's one of my favorites that just kept popping out at me:



Operation Love


It tells a whole story on it's own... Dad's gone, mom's on her own taking care of two mischieveous little girls. Everyone waiting and excited for daddy to be home soon.

He WILL be home soon, last word was, around July - they don't know for sure.

I'll share more photos with you soon, but I have a couple other shoots I have to get sorted out first and then I'll share. If I can narrow the 3.4 million down to my favorite 50 or 60.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I have severe empty nest syndrome!

Friday Evening:


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Sunday Morning:


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From hatching to leaving the nest... two weeks.

Robins have it so easy!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

This photo pretty much tells the whole story, no?

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Chick Flicks

Never try to write a post at 11:30 pm when you're groggy and really wanting to get to bed.

"I have a coop. My coop is red. The coop has a door. It's a little door. I like chickens." Yeah about that exciting. I'll try to ramp up the wit a little bit over the next few days to make up for it.



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"I'm so disappointed in you."

This is my third grade teacher, Miss Jones. She's an angry disappointed old woman.

Oh wait! My bad!

If you wanna entertain a chicken, show them a camera. Don't let them peck at a lens that you could buy 900 chickens with tho. Although that would be cool.

*for a day*




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They seem very excited about the puddles, but not the rain. No one wants to go out in the rain. Cept the ducks, and I didn't want to chase them in the rain so I left them inside that day. I'm such a mean duck momma.

The ducks however, were VERY excited about a big puddle in the run. They have spent most of their day today splashing around, which reminds me I really need to get their pool set up.




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(yes I know it's out of focus. It's called "Being.creative."

(It also means I wasn't actually looking through the viewfinder. I just set it on the board and snapped away.. then called it "creative")



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We have a temporary partition up between the ducks and the chickens in the coop. This is where the chickens sometimes roost, and taunt the ducks.




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Or just on the floor. Whatever feels good right?




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"This IS my happy face."

(or as Gene says, "I'm not mad, I'm light sensitive")




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The ducks however, they are drama queens and part of the mean girls club. (well, cept for the boys anyway) If a chicken comes around, they tap em hard. Only sometimes do those chicks got it coming.

This is about as close as I can get to them without them flipping out on me. Really, the ring leader is the duck on the far right. "QuAcK, QuAcK, QuAcK!" Unless I have peas, and then she is first in line to be a gluttonous pig.

Peas? Srsly?
gross!

BTW, any of you locals have a dog crate you want to get rid of? I'm thinking that'll be our temporary duck home until winter. I'm too worn out to make anything, and I'm really tired of making things. I just wanna buy it and be done.

Totally disappointed when I saw a full kennel with cover for $300.
*blink*

Sigh.

PS. Gene said we should eat the drama queen duck.
I responded that we should punch him in the face.

He didn't think that was as good of idea as I did.
Go figure.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Da coop doorz

chicken coop pop door


The chickens love their new pop door. It needs a hook and eye and/or a rope to pull it up, yet, but for the most part, it's done. It didn't take very long either!

This morning, it was raining and I debated opening the door. I did, and within 30 seconds, 18 chickens went out. Then 18 chickens came back in. Seems they don't like the rain much.

Ducks on the other hand, love the rain/water, but I didn't want to chase them around back and forth all day, so I left them in their side of the coop. I think they were rather happy that I didn't chase them around (they hate it when I pick them up). Actually, I think just one is a big fat drama queen, the other 3 don't seem to mind me much.

Frankly, I really wish this coop was DONE. I'm kind tired of working on it. There's still soffits to put on, trim to put up, building a duck house of some sorts (which might be an old doghouse), adding a middle fence/door to seperate the ducks.

Can't they just live in peace and harmony?

*singing - ebony, and Ivoryyyyyy.... live together in perfect... harmony...*

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The night my brother stabbed me.

I have been holding back a primo story.

You see, I have this bump, a scar, from a brother... I bet there's a lot of girls out there that do.

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It's about an inch above my eyebrow. Right there next to the aging spot. No, no, a few inches from my roots, over by that grey hair

OMG, are you BLIND?
That's what happens when you take a photo, while driving, left handed at f2 (which is very shallow depth of field)


Here's a "better photo" and I say that with great sarcasm.

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See that bump?
Yeah, That's it.

So let me tell you a story about a boy.
My brother.

Yes, I'm one of those darn lucky few that got to have an older brother. No, not one of those older brothers that protected you from bullies (ok, maybe a couple times he did), but mainly an older brother, that ganged up with the older sister and tortured me while my mom was at work ... on a regular basis.

His name is Curtis and he's a couple years older than me. Yes folks, there are people out there that are indeed older than I. Shocking isn't it?

I was the middle child, and had the typical middle child syndrome. The source of entertainment, the person that sees both sides to every situation. But before I was the middle child, I was the baby, for 11 long years. Trust me, I'll have plenty to tell my therapist about that.

Being the baby, I got lots of extra torture from my brother and sister. They would spend hours forcing me onto a bicycle trying to get me to ride. To this day, I still have scars on my knees in the process, and at nine, I thought I was the oldest person in the world to ever be unable to ride a bike. Then I remembered my grandma, who never did learn how to ride a bike and all was right with the world.

Mom would come home from work, I'd rat them out, they'd get yelled at, and I got to go back to being the baby for a while. But I was marked until 8 a.m. the next morning when she went back to work, and the cycle would begin again. BTW, never leave the 13 year old in charge of the other kids. There is much torture going on behind your back.

So anyway, when I was in the 6th grade, we had moved into the country in the house my parents build. It had a semi-finished basement with a pool table, a hideabed and a TV. It was our own personal little rec room paradise.

I was sitting on the couch, doing my homework (math to be exact, I know this because I happened to be using a pencil), like the perfect precious child I was. ;) Curtis was sitting in the much more comfortable chair and made the HUGE tactical error of getting up to go to the bathroom.

SCORE!

I got up, and jumped into his chair, math homework in my lap. For some reason, I guess I thought this would actually pan out in my favor. {Oh, Lana, you percocious little thing, you.} So when he gets back, he of course, tells me to get out of his chair. I refuse. He starts to pull on me, I refuse. If I remember correctly, somewhere in there I swore at him.

Maybe.
I was perfect so I doubt I swore.

*bats eyelashes*

Then it happened. Looking back it was like slow motion. It's true when tramatic things happen and you look back, ever millisecond seems like a minute. Curtis picked up a pillow (and not one of those wimpy foam pillows either, this was a heavy duty feather pillow - because that's all they made).

He went to hit me over the head with it, and I used my left hand to protect my forehead.

There was a pencil in my hand.
I had just sharpened it at school hours before.

{I know you can see where this is going.}

The pillow made contact with my hand, holding the pencil. It went IN to my forehead right at the hairline, and traveled under my skin next to my skull, and came OUT right above my eyebrow.

Curtis looked at me and turned white as a sheet.
I felt my forehead and screamed bloody murder.
Mom or dad yelled downstairs for us to shut the hell up.
Curtis turned and ran upstairs as fast as he could go.
I sat there screaming and did something you'r not supposed to do, but my gut reaction took over.
*I pulled it out of my head*

Let me repeat that last part...
*I PULLED IT OUT OF MY HEAD*

Mom comes running down the stairs and this is when I PROVE I'M A GOOD SISTER.

The first thing that ran through my head, was that my brother was going to get the crap beat out of him. Cuz you know, it was the 70's. Sometimes our parent's kicked the crap out of us when we did stupid things. (They did better when they knew better).

So here I sit, on the chair, with blood running down my face, my mom and brother look white, I'm wondering if I'm going to die or at the very least, pass out, and the FIRST thing that came out of my mouth was... "HE DIDN'T MEAN TO DO IT, IT WAS AN ACCIDENT!!"

Mom rushed me to the ER and I got stitches which I milked for all it was worth for over a week to stay out of PE. I'm pretty sure my brother did NOT get the crap knocked out of him, and I had a great story I was able to tell all the kids in my class for years to come.

I'm still disappointed I didn't actually get to SEE the pencil sticking out of my forehead.

A few months later, I accidentally dropped a pair of scissors on that big purple vein on top of the foot. Blood shot everywhere (gosh, I'm so lady-like aren't I?). First thing I said was "don't tell mom!" because I didn't want to get yelled at for a second trip to the ER. LOL.


BTW, someday I'll tell you the story of when Mom turned the table on my brother and shot him with a BB Gun.

I'm pretty sure the statute of limitations is up on that one.

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