Friday, November 30, 2007

What are YOU Thankful For?

Thanksgiving Jigsaw PuzzleThanksgiving Jigsaw Puzzle
OK. So What if it is a week later??? I hope you each hold something dear to your hearts with undying gratitude.

So, here's my short list:
  • My family. What a blessing it is to have a husband who adores me (love is blind!) and grown children that still willingly and affectionately call me mom.
  • My extraordinary good health . . . in spite of the little annoyances.
  • My JoyBell Ringers. In fact, all of those sweet, eager, little faces that call me "Miss Charlotte." Today Rachel brought a loaf of bread that she made for me. As I left rehearsal today, they called out, "Bye, Miss Charlotte, I love you." Love you, too.
  • Debbie Rice and the Rejoice Ringers. I thank my lucky stars that I get to be part of such a dedicated, professional ensemble and sit at the feet (so to speak) of one of the few, truly great masters of the art of handbell ringing every week.
  • The bottomless well of inspiration, information, and encouragement for my little photography business that I have through the Pictage community.
  • That God looked past my sins and filthy rags to extend to even me, the gift of eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Of course, there is so much more, but as I said, this is my short list!

Here's a little glimpse of the McPherson Thanksgiving celebration:

Your Turn. Write a comment and tell me what you are thankful for!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The MOM Overture

Here is something just for all the moms out there, or anybody who has a mother, or anybody else who has ever said or heard the words, "Because I said so!"

I spent a sweet couple of hours today with my firstborn before she crosses back over the big pond. She flew from the nest at age 15 (school at the NC School of the Arts) which means she got short-changed hearing these life-changing words of wisdom for only half of her life. The ones I hope she remembers the mosts are "I Love You." "I'm the MOM!"
Pictures at an Exhibition Jigsaw PuzzlePictures at an Exhibition Jigsaw Puzzle

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Noyes Drive

The Red Carpet Jigsaw PuzzleThe Red Carpet Jigsaw Puzzle

This is Thanksgiving day on Uncle Jimmy's street in Silver Spring Maryland. These pictures were snapped in a flurry (a passing cold front had stirred up quite a stiff wind) during a brief escape from the feast preparations. We were just stunned by how much color was there when we arrived there. Their fall was so much more impressive than ours this year! Click here to see the last days of fall go out in a blaze of glory! Last Day of Fall on Uncle Jimmy's Street

Monday, November 26, 2007

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Where It All Began

Click to Mix and Solve
Yup! That would be me, nearly 30 years and 30 pounds ago. That baby is my Baroque violinist.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dancing Up a Storm in Floyd

Click to Mix and Solve

At long last, I have created a slideshow of pictures at the Contra Dance in Floyd last week. This is SOOOO much fun! Just look at all the smiling faces! Contra Dancing in Floyd

On a less than happy note, Please say a little prayer for Debbie Rice and me tomorrow night as I have to inform her that I dislocated a finger yesterday, and we are less than 2 weeks away from our first concert of the Christmas season. Mercifully, good ol' Dr. David was there and successfully yanked it back into its joint less than 60 seconds after it happened.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Ramping Up for the Holidays

Pet Me! Jigsaw PuzzlePet Me! Jigsaw Puzzle
I was supposed to be in Richmond this weekend shooting on a project for the Handbell Guild, but the job was cancelled at the last minute, so I received the gift of time instead. This year is McPherson Thanksgiving so we are going to spend the holiday with David's brother, Jimmy, in DC. I took a giant step out of character (always doing things at the last minute) and actually launched into the cooking and preparations yesterday. I wouldn't want to get too far ahead, though; I'll need something to keep me up until 4 in the morning on Wednesday night, Right?

So, here's a little documentary from our quiet day at home:

Cranberry Chutney: As tasty as it is pretty!
And here is how you make it:

Holy Batmobile, Robin!! The cracker house village is already under construction!!
Dr. Mac with his cat and Mac (sporting his latest in techno-geek wear: a brand new bluetooth ear thingy.)
CatNap and MacNap:

Our kiddy-widdies are such a big part of our day . . .
I love Mata Hari's big, rosy pink ears, a nod to her Siamese heritage.

How about those McMuffin whiskers!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Yummy, Yummy, Infrared

Slate Mountain Chu Jigsaw PuzzleSlate Mountain Chu Jigsaw Puzzle

I am in love all over again with infrared film!!!! It's been years since I have been able to shoot with this film due to failing eyesight, and then the meter died in my beloved Olypus OM-1 (my very first SLR camera, acquired with a tax refund back in our poverty days.) While searching for an add-on diopter correction for the viewfinder, I discovered that my OM-4 already had a built-in diopter adjustment knob. Eureka!!!! I'm back in business! I took the camera along with me to Chris and Christina's wedding just for fun and WOW! It was ideal infrared conditions both on Friday and Saturday; I actually had 35 perfectly usable exposures on the roll (and that is some kind of record: I am usually pleased to get 5 or 6.)

I hope you all enjoy these as much as I do!

And it's not so shabby in color, either!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Swing Your Partner

Click to Mix and Solve

It's been many moons since we had the time to go to the Floyd Contra Dance. Have fun with the puzzle for now and I will post up some more pics when I can hold my eyes open.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

1 Bike Ride + 2 Hikes to No Where and (Almost) No Pictures to Show, Either

Fly Away Home Jigsaw PuzzleFly Away Home Jigsaw Puzzle

. . . Or we could just title this entry "If I only had a brain." Today was one of those bonus, serendipitous, last little bursts of Indian Summer. My friend, Barbara, called up and asked if I wanted to go for a walk with her. Of course, there being nothing more important to do (like finish editing the final, last, yippee-yi-o folder of a wedding to upload, or write that proposal for another job, or pay bills, or balance the checking account after 8 months, or work on my 2006 taxes, or finish the score study and making assignments for the rest of the music for my handbell groups, or practicing Rejoice music, or start cleaning house for Thanksgiving) I said, "Why OF COURSE! I would love to go for a hike. In fact, it's so warm and beautiful, why don't we just go for a bike ride instead? I'll pick up your bike and meet you at Kroger."

My body proceeded to load my bike in the van, pick up the cameras (I need something fresh for the blog, you know, or I might see some good bushes for Johnny's project) and a water bottle, and head down the road, but my brain was not on board! It was still on the unfinished business. I drove halfway to Kroger when I remembered that I forgot to stop and pick up Barbara's bike! So now I'm distracted AND late. We arrive at the trail, I unload the bikes, put my camera on the back of my bike and we take off up the road to the trail. I realized right away, that I was not the last person to ride my bike because the seat was down too low. I had to stop and fix that when we reached the trail, and what a God thing that turned out to be, because I discovered that I had forgotten to bungee the camera case to the rack on my bike!!!

How incredibly lovely the afternoon light was! We stopped at a big bend in the river where there is a sweeping view both upstream and downstream of Double Shoals, a magnificent rock garden (and my favorite tubing adventure ride spot) so I could take the perfect blog-worthy picture. ACK!! Camera won't work!!! No CF card! DUH . . . I resign myself to the fact that I will just have to write about the big one that got away again.

Barbara was pointing out her brother's property and saying what a fabulous view he had from the crest of the ridge overlooking the river, and that there was a path from his cabin down to the river. We decided to hike up to the cabin, but we realized we had already passed the trail, so we backtracked to what, she thought, might be his trail. We pushed the bikes a short way up this trail, hid them in the brush, and set out climbing to the top of the ridge, which is a pretty stiff climb. (Note to my offspring who might be reading this: Remember the path we used to take carrying our tubes up from the end of Double Shoals to where we parked the van on Sweeny Hollow Road? Same hill: That kind of steep!) Barbara pretty quickly realized that this is NOT the right trail, but I prevailed upon her to continue anyway, just to see where that trail would take us. It led to an abandoned cottage nestled up to a substantial apple tree alone in a field. I sampled the apples and deemed them worthy of presenting to the apple-eating machine, Dr. David. (I believe they are Yorks judging by their rhomboid shape.) It was under the apple tree that I experienced the third revelation of my brain-lessness today. I had left my $1300 camera with $1100 lens strapped to my bike all the way back at the bottom of the mountain! While it was certainly unlikely that anyone would have discovered it, I was nontheless, greatly relieved to see it upon our return.

Since that wasn't the right path to the cabin, we figured that we had not gone far enough along the Trail, so we set out again, looking downstream for the right path. At the next trestle we came to, sure enough, there was a path right along the stream. This must be the right way! I keep asking Barbara if this looks familiar. Yes, she thinks so . . .maybe . . . um. . . I don't know . . .but it has to be . . . Then, "Do you want to kill me now? I just remembered that the cabin is AFTER the house, not before!" So no, this isn't the right trail, either! Another hike to nowhere, but hey, it's still daylight and it's still warm, so bless GOD!

We have a good laugh all the way back to the van about our two hikes to nowhere and no pictures to show for it. When we got back, I found that the other camera had a card in it, so I quickly ran back across the street to get a picture of the cows and geese contentedly grazing together in a field beside the river. I was getting ready to shoot when it became overwhelmingly obvious that I could not put off any longer taking a leak at the nearest toilet-tree. SO I put the camera down, dropped my drawers, and then my cell phone popped off my waistband directly onto ground zero. I managed to snatch it up out of the way a split second before the deluge. Good thing because it would have had to lay there until David retrieved it, and then I doubt that I would ever be able to use it again!

While I am relieving myself, all those geese started honking like crazy and a big flock of them took flight. RATS! I can't reach the camera and I can't stop peeing!! But thankfully, they didn't all leave, and I managed to get dressed, get the camera, and was ready when the second wave of them took off. So, the pictures are not the best composition, but, as I have written before on this blog, it doesn't take a perfect picture to hold the perfect memory. I will remember the humor shared with a good friend, the goodness of God to take care of me in spite of my vacant head, and the gift of a pleasant day in what is otherwise, a pretty bleak month around here, every time I see these pictures of those geese taking flight.

Oh well, since I haven't figured out how to resize this show to fit on the blog, here is a link straight to the show: "Fly Away Home"

Friday, November 09, 2007


Click to Mix and Solve
Help! I'm editing!! And I can't stop!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Monday, November 05, 2007

Wedding Bells in Charlotte

I Pray the Lord Jigsaw PuzzleI Pray the Lord Jigsaw Puzzle

North Carolina, that is. I had a splendid time in Charlotte this weekend shooting my first weddding for Bella. Cheryl, Parrish, their families and guests were such nice, nice people to spend the day with. Jay Premack, the lead photographer was a gracious, kind gentleman and generous, knowledgable mentor. I'd like to think that Jay's straight-up, well-honed photojournalistic approach and my artistic, aesthetic style will compliment each other's work to give Cheryl and Parrrish wedding images that they will love for a lifetime.

Chris and Christina were so gracious to take me in at 12:30 am to spare me the drive back home in the wee hours. We spent all morning looking at their wedding photos. I can't tell you how much their love, appreciation, and hospitality have blessed me!

OK! Here's just one shot from the wedding of Cheryl's sumptuous dress:

Make that 2 shots :)

Of course, there's lots more where those came from, so stay tuned.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Fall Days

Click to Mix and Solve
Fall is so pretty! What a shame it's followed by winter.

Here is Agape with her new best friend, Barbara:

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Walk in the Woods, Part 3

Falling Cascade Jigsaw PuzzleFalling Cascade Jigsaw Puzzle

Here's a few more pictures from our last hike. I hope they bring you some peace and beauty today.