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Monday, April 23, 2012

Flying Lessons

I was a little bit late for work this morning.  Just a few minutes, but still a bit late.  Here's the reason:

As I began to load my folders, purse, etc. into the car, I noticed a blue jay flying frantically back and forth from my house to the big oak tree over the driveway.  Fortunately, I took a second to see why.  THis little baby was in the driveway, experiencing a flying lesson.  Actually, it was more of a hopping lesson, because he never seemed a bit interested in actually flying.  As he hopped into my flowerbed, overhead, his mama (or daddy, I'm not sure which) flew from branch to branch calling out the direction for him to go.

He began to follow the calls---straight across the sidewalk . . .

across the grass . . .

across the driveway  . . .

and into the yard next door.  Once he was safely across the driveway, I jumped in the car and headed to work.

However, when I got home from aerobics tonight, I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye.  Sure enough, he was back in the flowerbed again.   I sure am hoping the neighbor's cat stays inside tonight!

Defenders Of Freedom

This weekend was Barksdale Air Force Base's annual Defenders of Freedom Air Show.

For several days prior to the weekend, I always enjoy watching (and hearing) the jets roar over my house as they practice their maneuvers.  This year, however, the stormy weather limited their ability to practice.  But, that didn't stop the show on Saturday!  After spending the afternoon weeding my front flowerbed,  the Thunderbirds performance began just as I was cleaning up.

As I sat on the lawn out front, the roar of the engines overhead soon brought Hart and Gabriel out of their house next door to join me.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

We Walk, We Run, . . .

The weekend began with widespread thunderstorms all day and much of the evening on Friday.  But, Saturday morning, I joined several of my friends from church for the Skeeter Run, a 5K sponsored by the United Methodist Church.  The storms of the previous evening brought MUCH cooler temperatures to our area and we ended up bundling up in layers and windbreakers.

    (me, Pamela, Veda, Robin, Cindy, Leah, Callie and Rachel)

It also resulted in a very muddy race course!   Callie ran the 5K in pretty great time, but the rest of our group walked the course.

After taking care to step around mud and large puddles on the first lap, we decided to cut our walk short and head back to the house before completing the last lap.

While it would have been great to do another 5K, I decided that 1/2 of one was more exercise than I would have got had I stayed home.  Besides, our entry fee went 100% towards the eradication of malaria in third world countries!   
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Photography Lessons

So how are the photography lessons going ?

Glad you asked. Right now, my head is swimming with so much information that I'm afraid that I won't ever get it all sorted out! But, I'm having so much fun with it, I really wish I that work didn't get in my way and I could just practice all this stuff I'm learning!! And the more I learn, the more I need to remember as I'm setting up a shot.

Karen gave us a preview of her lessons on focusing and I found that information really helpful! When I bought my camera, I knew it was important to have a variety of "focus points", but I had absolutely NO idea what to do with them. I just learned that I can actually CHOOSE which focus point I want to use for any given picture and how to do it!

Of course, that doesn't all translate into wonderful pictures---at least, not yet.
As I have snapped pictures of my neighbors and kids I teach, I've had some real "misses":

And I've had some pretty great shots, as well:

Hopefully, gaining some consistency will be coming in the near future! (as well as some really great shots)!
Saturday, April 14, 2012


This morning, I got up bright and early and met my friend, Veda for the Walk for Humanity. It was a 5K that benefits humanitarian causes in Africa. I haven't done a walk in a while (and I know it's a "run" for most people), but at the suggestion of our fitness guru, Patrick, we decided to go ahead and sign up.

It was a little breezy this morning, but pretty hot and humid. I enjoyed the walk and visiting with Veda along the way, although we sweated up a storm! (some of you may "glisten", but I SWEAT!)

From there, we both headed to a mission project that we're working on---quite a challenging one, at that. Veda and I are "wimps" and there were quite a few squeals as much of what we were doing was thwarted by bugs and such. A couple of other friends joined us and we worked ALL. DAY. LONG !!!! I'm pooped now, but am also ready to get back tomorrow and see if we can finish up after church. No pictures of that, though in order to respect the privacy of the person receiving our efforts. :-) (beside, believe me--you don't want to see any pictures!!) I am really thankful for friends that I can drag into these situations along with me, however! Love you, Veda, Rachel, Mimi and Leah!!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's Official!

It's official----and the package in the mail proves it. I just received the notebook that accompanies the Karen Russell photography class I won---The Photographer's Workshop.

Just like everything else Karen does, the notebook is really attractive and well-designed.

And did I mention that it's really thick! Like 4 inches thick!

I've begun the class now, and am already enjoying it so much! I can tell that there will be so much information that it will take months to all soak in (and LOTS of practice), but it's really great. There is a really great network among other class participants, and while it is a bit intimidating to realize how very little I actually know, I figure this is the perfect platform to get out of my comfort zone and OPEN to learning, critiques and all that comes with this.

Please excuse me while I go buy some more ink for my printer---looks like it's going to be getting a good workout, too! (hopefully these photos are "before" quality and with practice, I'll be getting the hang of snapping nice, clear pictures each time I shoot!)
Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Wow! I'm a bit overwhelmed right now! Today I received an email from Karen Russell, notifying me that I'd won a seat in her Snapshots Photography class! I was nominated by my scrapbooking buddy, Pam, and am just so touched that she would even think of me! I usually read Karen's blog each day, but since I was out of town for several days, I haven't quite caught up. Apparently, this post is among those "yet to be read":

These two great people won spots as regular students in my workshop:

Screen Shot 2012-04-03 at 6.19.16 AM

Isn't that just awesome!!! This is definitely something I've been wanting to do, but Pam's right-- I just have not been able to justify it financially. But, I have my log-in information and the official welcome letter now, so I'm ready to begin!! Thanks again, Pam and Karen!!!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Warrenton Warriors 2012 - Part Three

A post about our trip definitely would not be complete without some photos of amazing wildflowers. This year, they certainly were at their peak while we were there. As we drove down one of the roads, we noticed a field of bright red poppies along one of the fences--something we'd not seen before.

With our bright blue shirts on, we knew this would be a great backdrop for a few photos.

We stopped again among the bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush.

Throughout the weekend, we saw "photo ops".

Lots of flora . . .

And fauna

Of course, all good things must come to an end and we all returned to our various homes and jobs filled with good memories. Next year's festival falls right at Easter, so we may set out on some kind of new adventure. Whatever it is, I'm sure it will be filled with lots of laughter, good food and stories to tell, not to mention a few antiques.

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