Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Beginning. . . .

In an effort to be more organized, or at least able to follow myself, I am separating my "personal" blog from my photography "stuff."

There may (and probably will) still be photography stuff on my personal one -- especially if I need to "illustrate" something, :), but not as much "personal" stuff on the photography-related one.

The personal one will still be Random Musings at, but we will give wordpress a whirl with


Kristi is at that age where she possesses a great vocabulary, but sometimes the word still seems to escape her. When that happens, she "improvises."

bsketti = spaghetti

breksbest = breakfast

mimps = mints (of the tic tac variety)

earrings = onion rings (this one took a while to figure out. I could NOT figure out why she wanted earrings. . .)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Go Fish!

We went fishing today on the Qualla Indian Reservation.

There was only one small mishap (that I was responsible for)
and this wasn't it. :)

Kristi has a Barbie fishing pole that is about 2 or 2.5 feet long. I went to cast it for her, and about halfway through, my shoulder said, "Nope, you are NOT!" and without thinking, I opened my hand and the rod followed the hook. What I wish I did have was a picture of Bernard's face. He just said, "Why did you do that?" or something to that effect. Unfortunately, some of the others fishing there saw it. Fortunately, they either didn't say anything or thought Kristi had done it. :P

(Oh yea. The picture. There is a set of power lines going above one of the ponds we were fishing in.)

Travis caught between 15 and 17 (we lost count). This is just one of many that I could have taken a shot of (kinda unhealthy looking, but I promise to all the PETA people that may happen by, he swam off happily a few seconds later)

another one --

Kristi also caught her first fish.

But, frankly, she was more interested in having her picture made!

Bernard caught several. Here's one --

And just in case you don't get enough looking at Bernard -- (ain't he hot!)

I caught five, and would have loved to keep fishing, but the ole' shoulder didn't see a need for that. So, here I sit, heating pad giving me some relief. :P I'm not liking this getting older stuff, btw.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

True Randomness -- Christmas Traditions and Memories

I remember. . .

peeking at a present and being so proud of myself for "rewrapping" it so that it was not noticeable. It was a Sesame Street figure (I was probably four or five).

Using empty wrapping paper rolls, Kelly (older sister) and I would "sword fight" for hours.

Opening said presents and watching my brother never change his expression.

Always getting a BIG candy cane and box of thin mints in my stocking.

Neon socks and penny loafers.

Opening presents, eating lunch, going to Mimaw's -- in that order.

Mimaw's peanut butter pinwheel candy, mint candy, gopher balls, fudge.

Getting the pink huffy dirt bike and riding with Anthony and Patrick (who had just gotten yellow and blue ones) in 6 inches of snow.

Playing Donkey Kong on my Atari for HOURS!

Handel's MESSIAH sing alongs at App State.

Auditioning for "the horse" in Sleighride.

Christmas Eve at Mimaw and Papaw Shuford's -- looking like a domestic violence victim because I had just had surgery to remove wisdom teeth.

A very special kiss later that night. :) :) :) :)

Exchanging presents with Bernard -- and giving him almost exactly what he gave me!

Hot chocolate at the Dixie Stampede.

Christmas lights in Pigeon Forge.

Going to PF -- sick, but insisting on going.

Driving around looking at lights.

Trav's first Christmas -- he was so tired and had so many presents, he almost wouldn't open them at home.

Making cookies with Travis and Kristi.

Family Christmas pictures.

(technically, Bernard took this shot. I had the idea and arranged everyone, and did the "post processing," but he actually set the camera up and pushed the shutter button).

Stockings!!! (My mom is the stocking queen).

Conspiring to ruin Kasey's Christmas.

The year Kasey got a "Throw in a Row"

Kasey getting revenge by arranging "The Christmas Story" Christmas to aggravate Kelly.

The year Pops got at least 6 bottles of Old Spice.

The year Brayden got several boxes of cocoa mix.

Christmas plays, cantatas, and those brown paper bag sacks with two oranges, one apple, a Hershey bar, and a some peppermint candy.


Randomness from 2008

Apparently, my nephews' version includes Joseph wearing dreds. . . . .

What an attitude (the blue mouth is from a sucker she had just eaten)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Cheer!

See, I know what a kitchen is. I will spare you the picture of the chocolate chip cookies, because at the moment I took it, I'm not sure I knew what a camera was. :P

Sausage Balls --

Peppermint Snowballs --

And on Bernard's blog, I alluded to how Bernard was keeping the youth's attention. Well, I won't go into the details, but here is a shot from our church's Christmas party last weekend. . . .

Keep that "ensemble" in your mind (though, admittedly, I probably will enjoy keeping it in my mind more than you will!).

Now, this is a shot of Bernard getting ready for the church service the next morning.

Hmmm, yep, he wore them the whole time. Even while he sang "O Holy Night" (I think that is what he sang, I honestly don't remember -- I was too stricken by the shorts).

Monday, December 22, 2008

IT'S MONDAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Definitely not my normal sentiment towards Monday (which is odd, because I don't work full time so Monday isn't a lot different from the weekend, but, I digress).

However, this Monday is special.

It is the Monday after yesterday, and yesterday was the last big brohaha I was involved with that had stress as part of the equation.

The Christmas Cantata (I'm the choir director) was last week. The Christmas Play (and my itty bitty part) is over. The family pre-Christmas get togethers are over.

I have nothing "scheduled" between now and Wednesday night when we go to the in-laws. How cool is that.

I get to wrap presents! Bake cookies! Listen to Christmas music! Eat cookies! Play with my kids! Look at Christmas lights! Take pictures! Eat more cookies!

Oh yea.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The War on ?????

The Rambling Prophet posts THIS about the "war" on Christmas.

Yes, I have "war" in quotation marks. This would indicate that I do not think such a war exists, and it is time to stop fighting it. Why? Because there are other, bigger fish to fry.

I read Tony's post moments after reading some of the following quotes --

I stated that when I was a child, I sinned. But my sins were absolved by a christian church, just as yours were. When I grew older, I developed my own moral code that I have lived by ever since. And, amazingly, its a pretty easy code to live by.

You seem to assume that maybe one of the religions have it right. What if god IS gay? Didn't god make man in his own image and woman for that matter? Maybe just you and (name removed) will be screwed?

Further, sin has a specific religious context. It's not equivalent to right and wrong, but merely something that's prohibited by a god. For example, killing is considered a sin, but not necessarily wrong because God supposedly demands stoning and other untimely deaths for certain crimes. Now, if you think that particular god is complete fiction, then whatever he/she/it supposedly prohibited is a moot point. So if Athena declared that eating broccoli is a sin, would you consider yourself a sinner for that? Probably not. You'd have a chuckle and a second helping because Athena is fiction and never existed to make such a rule. The same applies to Horus, Odin, Vishnu and 1,000 other gods that you believe to be myths. Most of the world doesn't believe your god existed either, and so those associated sins are simply not applicable. We can still believe in right and wrong... just not because your god said so.

Yes. I am without sin. Just like I am without unicorns and heffalumps. There is a difference between 'sin' and following a moral code.

The whole point of life is to grow and learn. In the last 10 years, I can honestly say that there is nothing I have done that I would question with regard to your idea of sin.

I am not a sinner.

There is no sin in my philosophy, only unfortunate or immoral acts. No sin.

So, while the two ladies referenced in Tony's blog continue to raise thousands of dollars to convince people to leave Christ in Christmas, I'll continue to interact with the "sayers" of the above and convince them by my life and actions that Christ even exists.

If you are a Christian and you read this, consider for a moment that it is not against flesh and blood that we fight. If you show someone who is a non-Christian any less respect or favoritism than you would a fellow believer, you are, imo, sinning. Christ commands us to love all.

We have got to drop this US vs. THEM mentality.



Fighting the atheist over whether to say "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Holidays" would be akin to beating up a Jewish person because he was in a concentration camp. You would be fighting the wrong "enemy." You would be fighting the "enemy" (that's not really the enemy) that you are trying to reach.

Christ can never be removed from Christmas, just as God can never be kicked out of the country. Christ doesn't live in Christmas. God doesn't live in America. He is to live in our hearts, and when we celebrate the birth of Christ by living as Christ wants us to live, Christmas will be celebrated 365 days a year.

And we won't need a "campaign" to convince us to do otherwise.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Mom Song

Now, I know that most of my reader's are male (I think that is why the gender analyzer thinks this is a man-blog), but this is just too funny. Seriously, if you aren't a mom, you HAVE a mom somewhere in the time/space continuum. Enjoy.

The Mom Song from Northland Video on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

December 10, 1993

Nope, the title is not a typo.

That was one of the best days of my life. 15 years ago.

I was a senior at Western Carolina University -- finishing up my classwork for a B.S.ed in Music Education, and preparing for my student teaching.

I wasn't dating anyone, having broken up with a pathological liar type a few months before.

It was winter and threatening snow.

It was a Friday night.

I saw Mrs. Doubtfire and ate at Shoney's at Exit 44 afterwards. I had a turkey club croissant with fries, and the date, who would later be my husband, had a chopped steak.

I remember being impressed that he didn't eat a hamburger. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

I would like to point out that we had actually met almost 6 months earlier at a funeral. I was standing at the back of the church, and he was singing with his mom and two uncles.

Love at first sight? I'm honestly not sure, but there was definitely a "Hmmmm, there is some potential" at first sight. My immediate next thought was "but he is only 14 or 15, maybe 16, so bug off." (He was around 25 at the time). Long story short, his aunt introduced us, and I didn't hear from him until Fall.

He called a couple of times, we talked, and then I didn't hear from him for several days.

My confident, self-assured person was cool with that. (ha) No problem. (ha) I can handle it. (ha)


I remember seeing his aunt (the one that introduced us), at a restaurant at this time and mentioning that I hadn't heard from him.

He called shortly thereafter, and asked me out.

So, one breakup, a long engagement, a wedding, several pounds, two children, and an open heart surgery later -- we are happily married.

It's been a wonderful 15 years.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

I Know I Shouldn't, But . . . .

I typically don't post pictures of "clients" without their express permission. However, sometimes I cannot help myself.

The first shot was from the helicopter as flew into to do an on-location shot. It was not in one of the better parts of town, and the house needed a little "pick me up" to be returned to its shining glory.

Then, the next shot is Mr. Bread, as in Ginger Bread, himself.

I love Christmas!

Saturday, Fun Day

Yea, real fun. Well, it would have been if 25% of the family hadn't been feeling, shall we say, a bit woozely. My advice for anyone, after today, is that if you feel the need to strongly, and almost violently, eject the contents from your stomach, something a bit more "leakproof" than a McDonald's bag is definitely recommended. ;)

I didn't take any pictures today, obviously, though the Christmas lights against that awesome sunset (that I saw between naps) would have been nice, but here is one from yesterday. . .

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Things that Make You Go, "Hmmmmm"

There is a particular passage that I have read in the Bible several times. I've heard sermons about it, and it even created a *little* firestorm for the Southern Baptist a few years ago.

From Ephesians 5:
22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Three little verses that make every woman squirm. And not in a good way. I confess, I've had small issues with submission before. (Bernard says, "SMALL?") I mean, heck, it is hard to yield to a husband when you so want to do it your way. Any amens from the sisters?

However, what often happens is that women hear these three verses, get indignant and tune everything else out. Men, on the other hand, hear these three verses and start thinking of everything their wives need to do. I even know of some husbands who use this verse to mentally and emotionally abuse their wives, which makes me want to throw up, but that is another blog post.

As with many things in the Bible, you gotta keep reading. If Dora, from "Finding Nemo" was with you, she may say, "Just keep reading, just keep reading, Just keep reading, reading, reading." Yea, just keep reading. Keep your ears open. Forget the indignation and the gloating. Look what is next.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. 30 For we are members of His body,[d] of His flesh and of His bones. 31 “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”[e] 32 This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Husbands get EIGHT verses to tell them how to treat their wives. Wives are given three verses -- a "command" and how to do it in three easy to remember verses.

Husbands, on the other hand, are issue a "command," that appears simple -- "Love your wife." And, then, they are given 8 verses on how to do it. (and wives have a little reminder at the end).

Now, I know how hard it is for me to do "the submission thing" at times. But, seriously, in the context of the rest of the passage, my job is a heck of a lot easier than Bernard's.

AND, if Bernard is doing his job correctly, submission actually becomes easier! For that matter, if any man is following verses 25 - 33, their wives will have a much easier time with verses 22 - 24.