Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The month in review

Wow, February is over. AND I have complete two months of a PaD project. (yea me!) That is about 6 weeks longer than I thought I would have made it.

About a week ago, something clicked. I started having ideas of what to shoot, and I started to be able to make it look like I wanted it to. I have struggled for probably the past 18 months just trying to get a decent picture. It was frustrating. (is frustrating). I don't know what the difference is, but I'm not going to fight it. I'm not saying that everything I shoot is a work of fine art, but I am enjoying it again, and that goes a long way. I am also trying to do new things with the camera and post-processing.

My favorites for February? Hmmmmmmm. I guess the 14th and the 24th.

February 28, 2006

The cross at Lake Junaluska, NC

This picture tells alot about me on a couple of different levels.

I am a Christian, so the cross has obvious implications for me.

Also, though, I grew up about a mile from Lake Junaluska. I spent many a summer day there, riding my bike, swimming, and just hanging out. Later, I worked at the lake in a bookstore. This particular spot looks out over the lake and has a small amphitheater under the cross. Many, many, many times I have gone there just to sit and reflect on my life. I've worked through many a crisis at that point. Maybe it is being a Christian and sitting "under" the cross that helped; I don't know. I don't get there much anymore, even though I am not far from it, I just don't seem to have time.

The mountain in the background is Eagle's Nest. There are five mountain peaks around the lake, and if I were looking at a map, I could possibly remember the other four, but not right now. All five were sacred to the Cherokee Indians who roamed this area, and whose reservation is just over that peak.

Monday, February 27, 2006

February 27, 2006

Baby Shoes

(Wow, where has the month gone?????)

Two of the most important people in my life are under 4 feet tall. One of them currently wears these shoes (and will probably walk in the next 3 to 4 weeks) and the other one had a pair very similar to them.

You've seen their pictures (and will undoubtedly see more), and to try to describe them would take a lot more space than you are willing to read. (Maybe I should devote a whole week to each of them, like soni did with her kids. That was cool).

So, in looking at these baby shoes, I am reminded, once again, how quickly they grow up. I remember bringing Travis home from the hospital and being so totally overwhelmed at this little baby boy completely dependent on ME. That was scary. Then, three years later, bringing home the little girl. I was less nervous, this time, but still in awe of them.

At one point, my ob/gyn had a posters on the ceilings (ladies, I am sure you can figure out why. Guys, ask your lady). One of them said, "Babies show that God still has hope for the world."

Sometimes I read the news, or see stuff, and wonder what have I done by bringing two more little innocents into this world (until Kristi gets mad, then she can flat out bite~~)? But, I know that I can commit to raising them the best I know how, and teaching them how to be "successful" (not necessarily by the world's standards).

My children are definitely loved.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

February 26, 2006

This was my painting with light entry. I really liked it, and it scored over a 6 (barely). I have a notion to do a whole series of these with our various instruments, then put them together in one big ole poster thing. :)

February 25, 2006

Junior Mints

I love these things. I was going to do something like this for the "comfort challenge" at dpc, but decided not to because 1) there will probably be 50 eleven shots of chocolate (understandably so), 2) I had to clone a bunch of stuff out cuz I was lazy in my set up, and 3) I have a painting with light shot that is way too cool! (I think. I might actually score a 5)

Back to the subject. I think many people like or dislike stuff based on their childhood/young adult experiences. I know I do. One of the reasons I like Jr. Mints so well is probably because my daddy would buy a big ole' box of them when he would take us to the movies. I always enjoyed that time. Our movie theater was an old fashioned type theater that had one screen, and one movie would show at 7, one at 11 and a matinee. Nothing like the mega-plexes now that go 24-7 with a gazillion movies. Life was simpler then.

My daddy was an interesting man. He was always very quiet, preferring to listen rather than talk. When he did say something, it was wise to be quiet and listen, because it was probably important. Oddly, both my sister and I married guys with that same trait and my little sister is dating a guy like that. Maybe it is just so we can talk more. :) He was also an avid outdoorsman and absolutely hated winter time because it kept him in. At one point, he had broken his leg (long story), and the dr. had ordered him to stay off of it. Mom missed him one day and found him outside in a chair working on the water lines of the house. Growing up, if a big snowstorm was predicted, he would load us up and head to Florida. No lie. I remember, more than once, checking out of school on Friday, going to Disney World on Saturday, Sea World on Sunday, and back at school on Monday.

On June 1, 1999 my dad suffered a massive heart attack. Attempts to revive him were successful, but he had been "out" for almost 20 minutes. As a result, his brain swelled and caused irreversable damage. He was in a chronic-vegatative/semi-comatose state for 2 1/2 years after that. My mom kept him at home and took care of him 24/7 despite the fact that she had never had any medical training. To those of us that knew Daddy, we could tell when he was "alert" and when he wasn't. We could tell when he was aggravated and when he was trying to communicate with us. It wasn't easy, and I know that many would say it was unfair of us to "keep him alive" (he had a feeding tube, very similar to the Terry Schiavo case last year), but I know that for our family, those 2 1/2 years brought us (including Daddy) closer together than we would have ever been without that trial.

Daddy passed away, quietly in his sleep, early on the morning of January 3, 2002. Interestingly enough, it was the first snow of the winter. That was about like him. :) Eight days later, I would give birth to my first born son. THAT, my friends, was an emotional week, but speaks of the cycle of life.

Friday, February 24, 2006

February 24, 2006

With this Ring

I had originally planned to "tell" about me in an organized, logical fashion. BUT, as life would have it, that ain't happenin' this time around. I guess in one sense, it's almost more logical this way -- my life is kinda haphazard a lot of times too.

Anyway. If you were to meet me in person, you would know that any conversation won't go far without some mention of my husband or kids. Tonight, the picture represents my husband and marriage. (If you want to see his PaD, click on the "nards656" link over there ------>)

Bernard and I started dating in December 1993. I was a college senior, and he was, well "grown-up." :) About six months earlier, I had gone to a funeral to make a guy's girlfriend mad (yea, real mature, eh what?), and the place was packed. As many southern funerals go, there was local quartet singing. I won't say it was love at first sight, but I do remember standing in the very back of the church, seeing Bernard, and thinking, "Hey, there is a potential." (Yea, real mature again.) My next thought, though, and I kid you not, was "But he is only about 16." I was 22; might be a stretch there . ..

After the funeral, we were hanging out talking, because that is what good southern people do after funerals, and a woman that I have known practically all my life comes up and says she wants to introduce me to her nephew. Oh, Lord.

Then, she walks up with the "16" year old. Is she crazy???? Nope, he just looks almost 10 years younger than what he really is. We met. Good. On with our lives.

SIX months later, he calls. The rest is history. Well, except for 3 days earlier in our "courtship" when I decided "maybe not."

We were married on May 10, 1997. He is my best friend and my confidant. Things aren't always perfect, but I am committed to him and the life we have chosen to live together. When I look at friends around me, I know that Bernard is a true blessing from God.


February 23

A Horse

Not the shot I wanted to get today, but it was there, so I took it. One of my sister's 17 horses. Nothing metaphorical/autobiographical about this one. :) Just a picture for today.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

February 22, 2006

I was thinking the other day about how I would describe myself to someone meeting me for the first time; someone with no knowledge about who or what I am. It got kinda complicated. I have never fit into any one "mold."

To the redneck, I probably look high class. To the high class, I look redneck.

To the non-intellectual, I come across as smart. To the true genius, I am an idiot. :)

I listen to country, comtemporary Christian, pop, classical, "oldies" (which now seems to include the 70s and 80s -- when did that happen?), and even bluegrass occasionally.

I like 5 star dining, and I like McDonalds. There's nothing like a good 4X4 to take to the Monster Truck show, but then, that Jag would be great to take to the ballet as well.

I'm a former public school teacher (now at the Community College level) who wholeheartedly supports homeschooling.

I seem to be made up of opposing forces, so I decided to use my photography to help me (and anyone that reads this) understand me better.

So, today's picture is a Bible. The first and foremost important thing in my life is my relationship with Christ. {Please note, I did NOT say "religion."} The Bible (just one tool in my walk with Him) is how I get to know God/Christ better. It's stories comfort, encourage, convict, and direct me. The passages between these two covers has given me answers to some of life's most troublesome questions. It has made me cry. It has made me laugh. When life is swirling around me in a sewersome current, I can trust the Bible to give me the words I need to hear.

So, today's PaD is my Bible -- my guidebook for life.

February 21, 2006

Travis, age 4

He was playing with one of our laundry bag things . ..

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

February 20, 2006


Sorta handheld 4 second exposure. The tripod wouldn't fit where I needed it, so I had to use it like a monopod.

Monday, February 20, 2006

February 19, 2006

CDs. An outtake from dpc's 1980s challenge. I saved over the original, so was afraid to submit. Like, duh.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

February 18, 2006

My Backyard

Nope the picture isn't crooked. This is the hill behind our house. I swear, we should start a Christmas tree farm.

This image is straight from the camera, just resized.

February 17, 2006

Karma's Constellation

If you look really closely, you can see some red and blue pixels. This is a 30 second exposure of the back of my lens cap. It was done as an experiment (to see if there were any dead/hot pixels), but before I could take and actual picture, my son decides he is sick and my time is *poof.* So, this was my PaD. :/

Thursday, February 16, 2006

February 16, 2006

So close, yet so far.

Using my macro ring thingys again. Hand held, so it was a touch underexposed (duh, no big surprise there).

In PSP, I adjusted white balance, levels and contrast. Then, because I was shooting at ISO 200, I swiped it through Neat Image to get rid of the noise.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

February 14, 2006

(2 pictures today. I was going to enter the one of my little boy in dpc's HEART challenge -- calling it Lonely Heart, but I figured that was too much of a stretch.

A bird, taken from really far away

Lonely Hearts

February 13, 2006

The things we fear.

When I was little, my older brother and sister used to tell me all kinds of scary things about basements. We didn't have one, so of course I believed every word of it. (And that is just one of many mean things they did to me). I was especially terrified of my aunt and uncle's basement, though I'm not sure why. I have outgrown this fear, to a large degree, though I won't go down these steps without the light on!

The other fear is stairs. I absolutely hate them. I'm not phobic in that I avoid them, I am just really really cautious and slow. And if there is a handrail, yep, I'm holding on for dear life. (Incidentally, the handrail here is cloned out -- helped the symmetry a bit).

Kind of an odd subject just before Valentine's Day, eh what? ;)

Monday, February 13, 2006

February 12, 2006

I think we need to clean our keyboard. 8-)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

February 11, 2006

Guitar Man

The sequel to February 3rd's "Piano Man." :)

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Friday, February 10, 2006

February 9, 2006

I <3 nards656!

(he is my husband, in case you didn't know!) Sometimes, I just like to think about him. :)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

January 8, 2006

From the Ground, Up

The land around our house is extremely wet. I don't know if it is a series of underground springs, or just one big honking one. While neighbors redrill wells, ours keeps on pumping away.

The down side is that every winter, it gets cold and the water just under the ground freezes and pushes up. (The brown things are little bitty dirt clods). Then, they melt, and we have nice loose topsoil. Unfortunately, it is usually on a hill so that means erosion when the rains come. Interesting cycle.

Back to the picture. Taken with my +4, +2, and +1 rings almost "blindly" because of the angle I was having to shoot and I couldn't see through the viewfinder.

The area represented is probably one to two inches wide.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

January 7, 2006

Blue Ridge Paper Company, Canton NC

My husband has a much, much better shot of the plant. His is all nice and colorful (not to mention he has a bigger zoom). Taken with my 70 (?) - 200 lens.

February 6, 2006

Shoe without a Foot

Background -- I was rapidly developing a migraine headache and simply wanted to go to bed. Looking around, I noticed this shoe and my first thought was "Why is Travis lying there?" Then, I realized there was no foot in the shoe (which is a good thing). Just one of those weird moments that make you startle. ;)

But hey, I got my picture and didn't have to skip a day, headache or not.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

January 5, 2006

Kristi is turning ONE!

As per the Valentine family tradition, the birthday girl gets her own birthday cake. She was hesitant at first, but then got the hang of it fairly quickly. Oddly enough, despite the amount of cake on her face and hands (this was actually towards the end of her adventure), she had none on her clothes. Except around the sleeves.

Her birthday is actually Wednesday, so I will probably post her again!

February 4, 2006

Hair Ribbon

Playing around with some abstract stuff (none of which I liked) but thought this one might work in my PaD.

February 3, 2006

Ain't He Cute!

This is my husband (nard656) playing the piano (which he does beautifully) at the Adult High School/GED graduation at the community college where I work.

I underexposed it quite a bit (I am soooooo good at that), but looking at it now, I think I still have some work to do on the colors. They look a bit strange to me.

Friday, February 03, 2006

February 2, 2006

Emotive Rubber Bands

Started out trying to do something for dpc's "Abstract" challenge. These are my rubber bands again. I wanted to go with a more emotional type shot.

Rubber bands aren't emotional. ;)

And this shot will NOT be entered into the challenge.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

February 1, 2006

The Cow

IF I had a theme for Feb., I was thinking about Black and White. Surely this fits. HAHAHAHA

This beast was so not happy with me. Shot with my bigger lens (I can't even remember the numbers right now, how lame is that?).