Friday, June 4, 2010

New Blog Address

Please visit me at at my new blogsite!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Most of what I write here is inspired first by an image. I've always felt a little guilty as a mom for not getting more video of my children, but I'm beginning to truly understand the impact of a photograph and why I prefer still pictures. There is something about freezing time that evokes a thought, emotion or memory and causes it to linger there for a while. Everything stops in that moment allowing you to savor it. A photograph is open-ended... leaving you also to wonder what happened next, or how life goes on...and wanting a sequel! Photographs invite you to participate emotionally and develop your own interpretation of the subject. You can write your own story around the way a picture makes you feel and it will be uniquely yours.

I was looking at this dandelion photograph today. The flower itself makes me want to take a deep breath, blow and make a wish. The blue backdrop reminds me of the sky and its infinity and the privilege we have to indulge our dreams. To me, each of those little seeds represents one of those dreams, that if given the opportunity, can take root and grow. This photograph makes me feel peaceful and hopeful. It reminds me of all the possibilities in life and the gift of another day to realize them. But, that's me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Thank You, Julie!

Today's post is written to thank my dear friend Julie Pishny of Prairie Thistle for all her advice, encouragement and support. She pushed me out of my comfy little nest and encouraged me to start writing and sharing my photography. Most of us are our own worst critics, and its so essential to have someone in your creative corner to tell you that you are mistaken when you have those moments of doubt.... that your work is meaningful and worth sharing and deserves the chance to grow. Thank you Julie.

The above photo is one of Julie's creations, a vintage spoon transformed into a bracelet stamped with "Joie De Vivre" or Joy of Life. This embodies who she is and I gotta tell ya, if you spend any time with her at all, she is contagious!

This month she is celebrating her 400th blog post! Please take some time to visit her and experience her amazing work. There is a link to her online store at the top of her blog page Don't forget to shop with her for Mother's day this year, as she has something for everyone and what better gift for Mom than a special piece of art made by loving hands?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Life Is Good

The sixty degree weather this week is definately a welcome change! We are loving it here - the pups included! This is my Great Dane, Anderson. He is not an outdoor dog...atleast not in the winter time. But, yesterday it was like new life had been breathed into him. He was running and rolling around in the grass... Talking about a hard guy to photograph! I like to get pics at his eye level, but when I get low, he thinks its an invitation to play. "Play" to him means pinning me to the ground and holding me there as long as he likes...and licking my face and biting me in a fashion similar to nibbling rows of corn-on-the-cob. Its insane...laughter and panic all rolled into one! He plays and loves enthusiastically!

Finally he located an old bone in the yard - from who knows what or where - and I get a few shots. For him...pure bliss. Warm weather. Soft grass. Tasty bone. Life is good.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Embrace Spring

Here's to spring... but will it ever arrive? Its still cold and dreary here, and I'm amazed how the lack of sunshine affects our mood and perception of most everything. I'm so ready for redbuds, dogwoods and daffodils. I'm ready for renewal, which is what spring is about for me. Its about waking up after a long winter's rest and shedding old layers. Its about new life. Spring is a fresh start - like God's grace. And for that I'm blessed and eternally thankful!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


This is my son, Sam. He is a super hero. A FEARLESS super hero! He is not worried that others in the park might think otherwise. He is not at all concerned about the fact he is not wearing super hero clothes or packing his magnetic nuclear blaster thing... He is what he is and no one can talk him out of it. You could try to convince him he can't be a super hero because he doesn't have the right equipment, official outfit, or bulging muscles - but he won't buy it! Unwavering confidence and limitless imagination. This makes him MY hero - and I want to be just like him.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Go Confidently in the Direction of Your Dreams...

When I first glance at this image, I feel the goose is moving swiftly away from something. Is that a matter of the cup being half empty or half full? I wonder about what I am moving away from in my life... away from pain of losing loved ones, doing my taxes, denial of the state of our economy (I'm in real estate, of all careers), bad habits, junk food.... or am I moving away from some good things?... like spending more time reading my Bible and in prayer, embracing the opportunity to live a more simple meaningful way of life, helping those in need, the pursuit of my dreams and love of photography... or opening my heart to love? It doesn't make sense that we would move away from good things, does it? But we do, because good things in life can also bring feelings of fear and inadequacy and they sometimes come packaged with great responsibility. Often its easier to go the other way, or stay in our safe, although mediocre, corner of the world. I'm reminded of the saying "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take". Its true. So why are we so afraid to step up to the plate and take a swing at life? Or, several swings for that matter! Why are we so hesitant to move swiftly toward all the good stuff? Cautious...
I'll bet there were some children feeding the geese on the other side of the pond, and this spruce goose wasn't wasting any time getting there! He wasn't going away from anything...he was simply moving swiftly toward something good. As Thoreau said so well... "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the live you've imagined." As we begin a new week, here's to moving confidently forward!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Breaking Rules

I spent some time this weekend at my home town - Mansfield, Mo. I had a few hours without the kids, so I took some time for a country drive to the cemetary where lies my Father, Grandfather and Grandmother. I don't always visit when you're supposed to - like Memorial day. There's something about commercializing my loved ones that just doesn't set well with me, and I'm not fond of those plastic flowers, either! I like to plant crocus and daffodils for them instead. And because its in the country, there are no rules that say I can't! I love that! Its really in the middle of nowhere and so very peaceful. The views are gorgeous and its quiet... Its not far from the house where my Dad was born, which is still standing today. The biggest changes from my childhood are that it has running water now and the outhouse is gone! I could write for hours with stories about weekends spent there. What I would give for more pictures from that time, and the older I get the more I'm drawn to that simpler way of life.
Now, this post isn't meant to be sad - no way! And the photo looks a little creepy, doesn't it? When I took it last year, the groundskeeper was there. His name is Freddie and he lived with his family just up the road from my Grandfather in our childhood days. He still returns to keep things nice and neat. I was using my Lensbaby to try for some interesting effects and he happened to be walking by. The old church hasn't been used in years. All the windows are broken and birds now inhabit the interior. But, I like this image for some reason. Many rules are broken here... sky is blown out, and the focus isn't good. Oh, well. Just like sometimes preferring not to visit on Memorial weekend, I enjoy breaking the rules with my camera now and then, too.

Friday, February 12, 2010

With All My Hearts...

Valentine's day is almost here, but at my house we are celebrating Valentine's weekend! Why not stretch it out? I found the cutest heart shaped plates at Target finished in glittery red. Then at Walgreen's I couldn't resist the light-up drinking glasses with hearts. So, Saturday night I will light some candles for the table and serve my little men heart shaped pepperoni pizza on glittery heart plates and serve a sparkling drink in the light-up glasses. Now, how can you beat that? It won't be long before they will no longer tolerate my glitter and hearts... My oldest son is 11, and his valentine bag contained black rubber barn boots...filled with candy and some Redi-Whip, all to himself, to be eaten straight from can to mouth! On any other day this would be forbidden! My youngest is 8, and thank goodness he still enjoys the sweet sentimental things - so he received his load of candy with a giant, furry Valentine's frog. He refused, though, to allow "hearts" anywhere near his Lego themed valentine's box for school. I'm slowly losing him to big-boyhood. I'm going to miss these days when they're gone.
Of course I can't write here without a corresponding photo. What I love about this image of the Queen Anne's Lace is the heart... I didn't discover it until later. What a nice surprise! The simple flower with the tiny heart...set with the old rusty fence in the background. Isn't that the best kind of love - the kind that surprises you, or springs up in places you wouldn't ever expect? That's when it makes its biggest impact on the world. Happy Valentine's weekend :-)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Where Has The Year Gone Already?

I found a template for a calendar a few weeks ago and decided to give it a try. I know, its already February! But that's how I roll! I think its nifty... you can make it from your favorite images and a cd jewel case. They are so easy to do - just download your photos to the templates in either of the links below, then take to your favorite printer. I made one for my mom and also for my aunt - both of them are hair stylists and these are the perfect size for their stations. I hope the flowers bring good vibes of spring, which is right around the corner (atleast that's what I keep telling myself, as we are covered in snow here). These calendars would be great Valentine's gifts, too.
Here ya go:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Symbols, Signs and Salvage

I regret not capturing an image of the recliner with the stuffed man just behind the right side of the gate..

Something about a shotgun...

And I mean it!

Two locks are always better than one!

Bad Bulls..

Wire butterfly with beads

No trespassing... I love the old box springs!

Do you think this really is the actual address?

I found this gate to some farm land on a backroad near my house. I have no idea why so much effort was put forth to confuse passers-by like myself with all the symbols, signs and salvage... but nonetheless the display definately caught my attention. I hope whoever reads this post finds these images as interesting and entertaining as I do... I'm just grateful I didn't get shot while taking them! I'm not trying to express deep meaning between the lines of this text or within these pictures - unless, that is, they evoke something for you... then I want to hear about it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Other Side of the Fence

I couln't resist putting my work away yesterday to go out and snap a few photos. We've had some snow here lately, then yesterday's freezing fog created the most beautiful giant frost on all the fences and leaves. If you've ever tried close-up or macro photography, you know it is more difficult than anyone would imagine...especially outside - if there is any wind at all. There was so much beauty all around me, but my attempts at capturing it mostly failed. My attention then turned to the neighbor's Basset Hound on the other side of the fence. How can you not love a Basset? Those long, droopy ears and sad eyes. But once again I was trying to hit a moving target. I managed to get the pup's attention, down low through some of the frost covered weeds. Finally! I got both the frost and the dog.
When I look at this image, it makes me wonder what is on his mind. Does he think my yard looks more fun than his? How many times a day or week do we have these thoughts...about the other side of the fence? And how about all life's moving targets? It seems like we are trying to hit them every day, then when we finally nail one, its all the more sweet! So, I dumped my memory card of all the images that were taken either the wrong way, or a fraction of a second too late. I'm not gonna sweat those failed attempts. I'll learn from the misses and celebrate the hits - and try not to pay too much attention to the other side of the fence.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

"The Dot" Make your mark, then see where it goes.

I bought a children's book last week - for myself! Its called "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds. Its about a young girl named Vashti who didn't think she was an artist. Her teacher encouraged her to just make a mark on her blank page. She did, and it was just that - a mark. A dot. It wasn't much, but it was the beginning of her creative journey. This is a very short but powerful little book that everyone should read. Its not just about art. Its about taking a step. Then another. Then seeing where it goes. Its about not getting so caught up in the details and fear of failure that you are paralyzed. I can sometimes spend too much time pondering what I want to create or photograph, that at I end up with nothing. I become so concerned about the end result when I should just be taking that first step. It seems fear and vulnerability run rampant when something beautiful is about to be born. Those feelings should probably be our first clue that we are on to something good!
In the same week of finding "The Dot" I also saw a post (thank you Kathleen Catania) with a video of Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love" speaking on creativity. Its amazing how it tied into the theme of "The Dot".

When my friend Julie of Prairie Thistle encouraged me to start this blog and share my photography, I felt much like Vashti and her dot. But here I am, making my little mark. And I'm excited to see where it goes.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Shack

Today I was a real estate appraiser. At least it started out that way. I was viewing a home (not this one!) at least 45 minutes away in the country. Assignments in the city area are much easier than rural ones.... however, the miles you get to drive between points "A" and "B" are the consolation! I always find something interesting along the way. Today I found an old shack sitting on the corner of the highway and a dirt road. It was so tiny...maybe 10'x12' at the most. Inside were two rusted beds that were similar to the portable rolling kind you get in a hotel for the kids. In the center was an overturned stove or heater of some sort. The sunken floors were merging with the dirt underneath and the roof was full of holes, open to the rafters. The best surprise was the Bible left on one of the beds. Everything in the room was so old, then there it was, with sunlight shining down upon it. Ironic. Everything old, worn-out and dirty, then this new bright blue Bible kissed with sunlight. Maybe a parallel here? On the outside of the shack, I couldn't believe the charm...the stone on the side and the brick trim around the windows and doors. This is a great example of someone making the best of what they had! I need to pay attention here, for this is a great lesson in gratitude. Someone was obviously very proud of this little shanty at one time. I wish I knew the history of this place. Maybe I should have taken the time to visit the neighbor across the road to find out...but then again, I might have been disappointed! I'm okay with my own idea of who might have dwelt here and what they were all about... and who might have been visiting lately. I'll leave it at that.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Another Good Close Look

My family is planning a trip to Florida this summer. This is a vacation long over-due for us! I was thinking about the water and white sand when this photo came to mind. Can you see it? The sand and the blue ocean with soft waves in the distance? This is actually a view of an old tractor I found along a walking trail. It was sitting off in grass with weeds grown up all around it. I'm not sure why it was left there, but I couldn't resist a closer look. So, through the tall grass I went and started snapping. Of all the photos I took, this is my favorite because it evokes something more than just the wheel of a tractor. Wouldn't that be a great way to view everything and everyone in life? Not just what we see at first glance, but from a different or closer viewpoint allowing everything else to fall away. This is only a wheel of an old tractor, but its a work of art in my eyes.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A Good Close Look

Welcome to my blog! I am mom of two boys and four dogs. I'm also a real estate appraiser and passionate for photography! I spend alot of time on the road, and within the miles between points "A" and "B" are loads of visual treasures... quaint little towns, wildflowers and wildlife, sunsets, glorious landscapes, old barns and a few Ozarks oddities as well. I love capturing overlooked beauty in unexpected places. You can find it in just about anything or anyone if you stop, take your time and give a good close look....