Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chef Academy

For years my sister's culinary skills have been, how can I say this nicely,
a little below sub-standard level.
Take the time that she proudly served pork chops that had been
breaded with Raisin Bran (she thought it was like Corn Flakes).
Not to mention that my nieces and nephews thought for years
that the smoke alarm was the dinner bell.
You can imagine the shock and delighted surprise I had
when she proudly walked in with this beautiful platter of
home-made items.
And they were GOOD! I mean really good!
For two weeks she would come home from work every day
and bake or make some kind of treat.
All of us got something, but I think mine was the best.
I'm so proud of you, little sister!
Just wait until next Thanksgiving.
No more "just bring soda" for you.
I, on the other hand, have always loved to cook and bake.
When I saw the movie Julie & Julia I just had to get my hands
on that cookbook.
Let me just say.........this book was published in 1961 when most
women were home all day and could start dinner at 1 o'clock in
the afternoon.
I planned a special meal for my special husband.
His favorite vegetable is asparagus.
According to Julia, asparagus is no good unless it is peeled.
By hand. With a paring knife.
I had bought 2 bunches, so it took me 45 minutes just to do that task.
I soaked them in one pot as I peeled them, while a second pot
was on the stove with the water preparing to boil for cooking.
After ransacking the house for twine, I tied the asparagus into
their little bundles and dropped them in the pot.
On to the hollandaise sauce.
Actually, mine turned out perfect the first time, but took
forever to make, and again, several dirty dishes in the making of it.
The beef was wonderful.
Add some plain buttered noodles, a salad
(with bottled dressing) and we had a wonderful meal.
Glen was absolutely impressed and appreciative.
I was exhausted. My kitchen was a disaster.
Last night we had sandwiches.

So, sister, here's to us.
I think this is what we were really cut out for anyway.
Ball gowns and (good) beer.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My Holiday People

Another year gone by,
another Christmas gone by.
Nothing left but wrapping and trash
that won't be picked up until next Saturday.
However, I keep the smiles and warm memories
of my favorite moments all year long.
These are a few of them.
This is my little Einstein getting his laptop from mom & dad.
He was so surprised! I can't believe they kept it secret from him.
Now he wants to go to Barnes & Noble with me for the Wi-fi
(whatever that is)

Nothing makes my mom happier than a hug from one of her grandkids.
Especially this little one. She doesn't give them out too often, but great-gram
always gets one from her.
What's this? Little Miss Smarty-pants got a laptop from Santa?
You bet. Just like Ralphie in A Christmas Story who only wanted
a red ranger rifle. All Chloe wanted was a laptop.
How could Santa not see that she got one?
"Grandpa could you pretty please hook up wireless internet for me?"
(it was in the next day)
Here's that sweet little Grace with the pretty face again!
Talk about sweet.......little Lexi is one of the very sweetest girls I know.
She is my great-niece and one of Chloe's best buddies.
Honk! Honk! Outta my way!
It's the naked baby behind the wheel of her
cartoon car.
One of a set of twins. This is Kylie and her mamma.
She is my great niece also. They are adorable!
Hey! Who gave me these fake pearls?

Tomorrow.....the biggest surprise.
My sister actually baked! And it was good!

My holiday home

Things were done simply this year, due to my inability to climb a ladder
(or the basement stairs for that matter).
All in all I was happy with how the holiday spirit and a few decorations
were in my home this year.
This is what was hanging from my dining room chandelier. A little greenery
and a few of my Shiny Brite ornaments that were my grandmothers.
My antique sled that stood by the front door.
Three little frosty's.
Lindsay put the greenery on my breakfast room chandelier.
I think I might keep it up all winter. I love those snow berries.
My Santa, circa 1956.
A very simple mantle this year. Glen & I decided it would be nice to have
nothing more than our favorite photos of our dads nestled in a some snowflakes
with a few white lights. It made us happy.
This ornament makes me smile.
The Ho Ho Ho photo frames that never got any photos
looked pretty sitting on the piano.

a few of my favorite people shots from Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009


I can't believe it! I WON the contest I just blogged about!
I am sooooo excited for myself! :) A perfect weekend with Karen Carey
at her Art & Commerce Workshop! What a lucky girl I am!

No pics today, but a funny story.
My two nieces, ages 8 & 11, are staying with us for a couple days
over their Christmas holiday. Add to that Peyton, 10 and Chloe 9,
of course our little miss, 17 mos. old. We have been having a great time.
At 1pm this afternoon I was in the kitchen, still hadn't even brushed
my teeth or taken a shower yet, wearing one of Glen's flannel shirts,
my red & white snowflake pj bottoms, when the doorbell rang.

All 4 big kids ran to see who it was. They flung the door open and
one of them yelled "It's the man from TV". What? "You know that
man from TV for Christmas!" they repeated excitedly. OMG! Was
this a newsperson, did I win the Pub. Clearing house sweepstake?
What were they talking about? They kept calling me to hurry to the door.
Okay.....I'll either be humiliated or looked at like a crazy lady, or both.

I get to the door to see the Incredible Edibles delivery guy, doing
his best to keep from cracking up. It was just like the commercial
we had seen last night for those gorgeous carved fruit bouquets!
A lovely gift from our thoughtful Pittsfield folks. A delicious gift too!

So, we came in, took photos of it, then proceeded to carefully pull out
the chocolate covered strawberries, followed by grapes, cantaloupe,
and fresh pineapple.
What a welcome surprise it turned out to be.
Even if I'm not going to be on tv. (whew!)

Thanks so much, Jim & Brenda!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Wish #11

Design Aglow has done it again.
I'm drooling and gasping over new information they
have put into my head.
They have the greatest products and information for
photographers, really cutting edge stuff.
I love getting their loaded to the brim
Article Collections - every issue is always full of
things that help me out as both a photographer
and a business owner.
The blog is full of shares from other photogs
using their products.

Now they are having this workshop........

Just the images alone make me drool.
Look at that charming studio! (gasping)
If anyone (Santa) is wondering what to get
the girl who says she has everything,
this would make me really, really happy!

And now......
back to our regular programming.


When you wish upon a star...................

My Top Ten Wish List for Christmas:
1. That I will get to wear 2 shoes
2. All of our large, white outdoor lights will change into colored bulbs
3. I will escape the flu
4. My family will escape the flu (so I don't get it)
5. All my photos will be straight again (when I get to wear 2 shoes)
6. The house will be clean on Christmas day
7. The elves will come in and wrap all my gifts
8. I get a seat in church on Christmas eve
9. We will have snow (just a little) on Christmas morning
10. That everyone remembers what we are really celebrating

How about you?

Monday, December 14, 2009

another thank you

just had to throw this one in because it's so dang cute.
This is an elf in the true sense of the word.
She has helped me so much over the past 2 months.......
painting and decorating my living room and dining room,
hauling tables and chairs around for Thanksgiving,
cleaning my house, running errands,
all while taking care of her own little family
and working.
I love this little elf.

Thanks, Linz.

Another thing checked off the list.

This is the house that Pam built.
These are the kids to pose with the house that Pam built.
These are the outtakes of the photos of the kids
who were supposed to pose
in the house that Pam built.

Next year.........Hallmark.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Road to recovery

No Parking. That's what the sign said.
The little birdie didn't pay attention.
Neither did my mother. I wanted that shot.
She parked so I could get it.
I downloaded my CF card tonight and found that I had only taken 167 photos since October 31st.
That's just not like me. I usually do that in my backyard. Half of them were taken while sitting in a wicker chair on the front lawn shooting away while my daughter power washed the front porch.
You can tell I was on drugs (legitimately, recovering from a minor surgery). So I had to throw those out right off the bat.
The ones that I'm sharing here were taken from the car as my mom was driving me around.
Bless her heart. She's been my chauffeur, nurse, maid, laundress, and cook for the past four weeks. Add to that, my photo assistant. She really wants me to get well now. It's been too long.
Back to these photos. These were taken at dusk in Cottleville, along Highway N. Those familiar with that winding road, especially at that time of day, know that there is more traffic than there should be and it's not easy to pull over or slow down to shoot which is why I've never had the opportunity to take some of these in the past.
My chauffeur found a good spot to get off the road. She even inched along and slammed her brakes on (whiplash) when I asked her, politely, to stop.

She really wants me to get well.

I am at the halfway point today.
This road to recovery has been a long one,
and I've got some new CF cards to fill.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A little share of love

This was my last Littlest Heroes shoot with the charming Elijah. He was such a joy to work with and a very, very smart little guy. I was glad that Jeff captured these photos for me while I was working. There's no better payment than a genuine hug!

Speaking of a little bit of love........this sweet little baby, Charlie, just happens to be one bundle of joy in the true sense. See how proud his new parents are? I hear that the entire family is pretty smitten with this little boy. What a cutie. I could have taken him home with me.

Back off to bed.
I've got a foot to heal.

Monday, October 26, 2009

East meets West

My lovely friends, Loydene and JoLynn.

Loydene relaxing on her dream sofa at Neil Hill's in Briarcliff. See the lovely view from the second floor window?

Lisa tells us one of her entertaining stories, using her hands of course, while waiting for our delicious lunch at The Webster House.
Yes, JoLynn, the Mac'n cheese was to die for!

Had a great time!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fall Weekend

This was the last morning of our weekend at Rend Lake this year.
I got up early to have a cup of coffee on the deck and had to run back in for
my camera when I saw how beautiful the day was beginning.

This is the first year that I didn't take any photos of my dear old friends, but I will think of them when I see this scenic photo.

Had a great time Colleen, Karen, Dan, and Jerry!

Friday, October 02, 2009

Giving Back

This was recently brought to my attention through one of the many photo related blogs that I visit regularly. What a wonderful idea Jeremy Cowart has come up with. Please take a minute to go here and look at the his video explaining what this is all about. The nice thing is, you don't have to be a photographer to participate. There will be needs for many areas. Just go take a look and see for yourself. Then I ask you to please join me at the St. Charles, MO group then go add a comment on my page.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Strolling down Main

Today I was thinking that I needed to increase my happy meds.
Instead I went back to a happy place.
Life is hectic, but so full of rewards.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Solidly Enchanted

Did a post-wedding shoot tonight for two people that I truly love.
Bryan is my godson and he brought Kristen into our family circle.
She is a solid foundation for him, and he is a rock for her.
Together they have a beautiful family, which I will share with you next week.
In the meantime, here are a couple of my favorites from this evening.
A solid foundation for the two of them.

Here they are, ending the evening, with a group of their fans cheering them on.
But they didn't pay attention. They had their own little private moment.

Love and happiness to both of you and your perfect little family.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Going Green

On my Top Ten List of things I like to do, one of them is spending the day at the Botanical Gardens. We have a beautiful garden in my city and it is a never ending source of pleasure and wonder for the senses. Last week I spent the entire day wondering through the gardens until they were kicking us out at closing time. I even discovered two gardens that I have previously not seen. As an added bonus for myself, two good friends were my garden buddies for the day. One of them a Master Gardner. That really put a new twist on all the flora - actually learning the names and not just trying to describe to my local nursery "the pretty green plants with leaves that are sort of small, rounded with a point, and tiny purple - or was it yellow - flowers in either the spring or fall". Now I am armed with a little notebook with the species name and gender. The other bonus was having a buddy along who would sneak off with me to smoke. It was the perfect day. I am going to schedule more of these on my calendar. We need them.

And what's a trip without yet another shot of the gorgeous Chihuly chandelier? Here's the latest and I love it still. That piece of art always takes my breath away.

Last night we attended a trivia night fundraiser for a family member who is battling cancer.
He is 21 years old. I am happy to report that his mamma found him treatment in another state that seems to be working. We were so very thankful to have heard that wonderful news.
The event also raised several thousand dollars to help defray some of the expenses. It just goes to show that miracles DO happen and that there is nothing stronger than family pulling together to help one another. It warmed my heart to witness such happenings.
D, you are in our thoughts and prayers.

BTW - for the inquiring minds who wondered about my search parameters when I found the amazing boots, in my defense I did find these draperies on that same site first. See Exhibit A below.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Give a Sis a Camera.....

and this is what she sees.
What a pretty photo.
It has my 3 essentials for landscape -
a beginning (foreground greenery)
a middle (church and buildings)
and an end (background forest).
Way to go, little sis!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A little retail therapy

I am supposed to be finding the perfect drapes for my newly remodeled dining room.
Found these luscious leathers that I think would be a much wiser investment.
I think they would even help me take better photos.
Hmmm, I could just make a statement this Thanksgiving with some silk floral on the drapery rod, don't you think?