Dec 13, 2010

What's left to do?

It's hard to believe it's the Christmas season already. I haven't even put up the Christmas tree yet! It would have happened tonight except it's a live tree and we have to saw about a half inch off the bottom before bringing it inside... and it's frigid outside with the wind making it even colder. So, the tree will have to stay outside for another day or two, or three...

UPDATE: 12/15/10
The tree is inside! And it's a biggie! Special thanks go out to two very special people...1st, my husband, and 2nd one of our best young friends, Jeremy. Jeremy is a "quasi" adopted son. Since high school, Jeremy has been a part of the church we attend (Amherst Baptist earlier, and now Oasis). Hopefully by this time tomorrow evening I'll be able to sit back and enjoy a decorated Christmas tree.

I have nearly completed my Christmas shopping--95% done and 85% wrapped. I have addressed all the Christmas cards though I still need stamps. I packed 6 Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gifts and they're on their way to children somewhere in the world. I just made the wine parfait sauce and all the jars have sealed. I have wrapped 3 "dirty Santa" gifts and have ham biscuits to make for tomorrow's office party. I put out the Nativity scene in its usual place in the living room. What's left to do? The most important...

I need to thank God for coming to us as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. I need to recall and meditate on why He did this for me (and you). I need to ask forgiveness for doing so much to get ready when what was really important was just a baby... a baby that saved the world... a baby that saved me. Jesus Christ, son of God is the true reason for the season. This is all that's necessary this Christmas--thank you Jesus.

Nov 24, 2010

A Tribute to Daddy


It's hard to believe it's been 28 years since you were with us on this earth. Though you may not be here physically, you live in our hearts and in us and our children. You would be so proud to see how many grandchildren and great grandchildren you have. You fathered some fabulous kids! None of us are perfect and we all mess up from time to time, but the core values you taught us have stayed with us through out our lives. Thank you Daddy. We miss you and will always love you.

Your daughter, 
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Oct 27, 2010

A Real Vacation!

Well I finally did it! My husband and I took a week long vacation - just the two of us. And this was the first real vacation I've had in over 10 years. Our summer trips are what I call "trip-cations". They're basically trips with the family - not a vacation in the true sense of the word. There are people to feed, beds to make, sunscreen to apply on little bodies, groceries to buy, etc. So, this past week we spent a week at North Myrtle Beach right on the water courtesy of my daughter-in-law's father who owns a condo on the beach.

Our days went something like this: rise about 7AM to see a gorgeous sunrise over the water (take photos), read Bible and write in journal, cook a yummy brunch, go walk on the beach a couple of miles, sit in beach chair for several hours reading a good book, take a shower, go out for a movie/putt putt/and/or dinner. Relax in the condo or stroll on the beach in the moonlight. (And take more photos throughout the day).

The one thing I definitely learned from this wonderful peaceful week is that I will definitely repeat this next October and the next.... you should try it too!

Sep 20, 2010

After the Rain

As you might have noticed, I've changed the background and title photo of the blog. The photo above is titled "Summer Rains Pink." I am donating a 16x20 framed print of this photo to the 6th Annual Lynchburg Pink Auction. It will be auctioned on October 24, 2010 at the Holiday Inn Select downtown.

The orginators of this auction are three lovely sisters, affectionately known as "The Mitchell Sisters," and they are very enthusiastic about this years' event. They have been collecting pink items throughout this past year with the purpose of auctioning them and then donating all the proceeds to cancer research, education, and prevention. Some of the monies will be used locally to fund the cost of mamograms for women who cannot afford them, some monies will be given to a state hospital for breast cancer education, and some monies will be given to the National Cancer Society to help fund research that one day soon may lead to a cure.

If you would like to bid on my print or other pink items in the auction, you'll need to purchase a ticket for $20 from one of the sisters, or tickets are available at Givens Books or the Heritage Connections Gift Shop at Holiday Inn Select. There are a limited number of tickets and this event has sold out in the past, so purchase early!

Aug 21, 2010

Dr. Suess Baby Shower for Allison

Music is back on. YouTube disabled it because they thought I infringed on a copywrite, which I didn't. They have a form on line where you can contest their decision, so I did and it took about 4 days, but wha-la!! Thanks YouTube!

Aug 19, 2010

Allison & Brian.... and Raleigh on the Way!

Why is it that whenever I did a family photo-shoot this summer, it turned out to be the muggiest, most humid day in the history of the world? At least this time I brought a towel to wipe my brow, my eyes, my neck, and so on. Fortunately the young people don't sweat like a menopausal woman does! LOL! Oh, and did I mention that I had to let all my lens air out for 20 minutes before shooting... they all fogged up like I was at the beach! Well, the shoot finally began and thankfully before Allison gave birth... and I think it was all worth it. Even their brown lab Lexie got in some of the shots, and sneaked in others (as you can see in this first shot).


The Family Feet


Aug 13, 2010

God Has Given Us Beauty

This is my first attempt at posting a video. I created it in a Windoes Movie Maker. These are my photos and the music is compliments of American Greetings.

Jul 27, 2010

Old and New

This is a photo of the Sunset Island bridges, the old one and the new one. The new one is scheduled to open by the end of August. The old one is the last operating side-draw bridge in the United States. Many people aren't happy about the new bridge, and vice versa. I have yet to make up my mind.

Jul 9, 2010

Beach Music

We're off to the beach for a whole week!! I can't wait till I smell the ocean air and feel the warm breezes. I hope you all have a great week. 

Jul 8, 2010


Sometimes you just have to soar, and if you catch the wind just right you can just float along! I'm heading to the beach this weekend and looking forward to floating along through a hot summer week. I'm looking forward to being with my family, eating lots of seafood, reading a couple of easy reads, meditating on God's Word by the ocean, and playing in the waves. I know I'm 52, but I still like to play! May you all have a blessed week!
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Jul 4, 2010

An American Prayer

An American Prayer

A Prayer for America
by US Rep Dennis Kucinich, Feb. 17, 2002

I offer these brief remarks today as a prayer for our country, with love of democracy, as a celebration of our country. With love for our country. With hope for our country. With a belief that the light of freedom cannot be extinguished as long as it is inside of us. With a belief that freedom rings resoundingly in a democracy each time we speak freely. With the understanding that freedom stirs the human heart and fear stills it. With the belief that a free people cannot walk in fear and faith at the same time.

With the understanding that there is a deeper truth expressed in the unity of the United States. That implicit in the union of our country is the union of all people. That all people are essentially one. That the world is interconnected not only on the material level of economics, trade, communication, and transportation, but innerconnected through human consciousness, through the human heart, through the heart of the world, through the simply expressed impulse and yearning to be and to breathe free.

Read the rest of the prayer...

Jul 2, 2010

Jul 1, 2010

Crocodile Hunter!

The grand kids spent last weekend with us in VA. It was totally fun and totally exhausting! I'm glad we were really young when we had our kids... now we're still pretty young to be grandparents. In this pic, Halle and Josh were "staging" a skit about a handsome crocodile hunter saving a pretty lady in distress. As you can see, Josh the Hunter saved the pretty lady Halle in the nick of time... and he bagged a pretty big croc as well!

Jun 29, 2010

Splish Splash!

Splish Splash on a Hot Summer Day
5 mins. to find sprinkler
10 minutes to set up sprinkler
5 minutes to dislodge balls from inside sprinkler that have been there for over a year
5 minutes for grandkids to slowly get wet
15 minutes of wet fun
10 seconds to say they've had enough are ready to take a bath!

The grandkids were up for the weekend and we had a blast. It was so hot Saturday that we pulled out the toy sprinkler and let the kids play. We figured this would give them at least an hour of so of fun and they could run off some energy, but it was over within 20 minutes after we got it set up. They were ready to go inside and take a bath! (Of course, my bathtub is as a big as pool--or so it seems to them).

Jun 26, 2010

The Artist

River life is something to ponder. As you can see, artist Randy Smith stares intently at the scene before him to determine what final brush stroke to add to his canvas. It was the start of the 25th Anniversary of the James River Batteau Festival and more than 20 batteax were afloat and ready to go downstream. The usual river characters were there with their period costumes and canons! The skies were blue, the temperature hot, and the humidity close to uncomfortable. The atmosphere was pumped with feelings of excitement and apprehension as crews formulated plans on managing the river. On batteau day every year, the dam at Buena Vista releases extra water so the batteax can safely float out of Lynchburg when the river is low. This year was no exception, and from later accounts the river was pretty low and several boats pulled out after crews were exhausted from dislodging their boat from the rocks.

As a former member of the Travelogue Batteau, my memories bring me pleasure. I remember that no matter the time of day, it as was always "3 o'clock river time"... and how much futher to go..."2 more miles, just around the bend." We went through hours of bends! I remember the slow moments on the river when we floated with the current and the fast moments when we went over small falls and tricky sloops. My first time on the front sweep had me in the water within 5 minutes and once on the back sweep I managed to make the batteau horizontal in fast moving water--a real danger as batteau have been know to take on water and snap in two if that happens! I remember the campfire atmosphere in the evenings as we gathered to share our wild stories of the day with a cold beer or a glass of wine (I stuck to soft drinks--really I did). Most of all I remember my river family. Our hearts were bound together by the river and it's events. Great memories.... just great!
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Jun 17, 2010

Bleeding Seas

Bleeding Seas - Comments Not Necessary
I first posted this on June 17. Now that the bleeding is over, thank goodness, what happens next? I've already heard stories on the news that the oil is being broken up basically by Mother Nature. The ocean currents are stirring it up and supposedly BP put some kind of detergent in the oil stream to break it down faster. It seems to me that once a disaster is "officially" over, we Americans forget about it very quickly. I hope that doesn't happen here.

The livelyhoods of many fishermen and the tourism industry in the Gulf states may suffer from this bleed for a long time to come. BP is still drilling for oil, and though this accident has put a dent in their profits, I do hope the American government will hold their feet to the fire and make them pay enormous fines (and then use the fines to help supplement the industries they nearly shut down).

Finally, I hope this is a wake up call to all the oil industry tycoons who think it's all about making money. First and foremost, they must consider the safety of their employees and the environment. If they can not guarantee backup plans that will work in case of major accidents, then it's simple: don't drill! We don't need the oil if it is at the expense of the natural environment. If there is no liveable environment, then there is no need to drive anywhere!

BP, please, please, please, do the right thing. Don't wait for the government to force you to do the right thing. Set an example for the oil industry and the world that you care about what has happened--to the men who lost their lives and the families who will never be the same, to the fishermen who help feed this nation, to the tourism industry that encourages the world to visit our beautiful Gulf shores, to the wildlife that has been killed, to the water creatures who have had to leave their natural habitat, and so on.

"Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war..." (Loren Eiseley)

How sad it is to know that many Gulf coast beaches are now being raped by man's desire to get rich. See this NYTimes link:
(NOTE: Today on the National News it was reported that the oil is gushing at 50-60 THOUSAND barrels a day!)

As a young girl I was raised on the Gulf coast beaches and many a day we ran along the clean beaches playing and jumping in the salty water. The worst thing we had to watch out for was an occasional jelly fish. Today, boys and girls can't run along the beaches because crude oil has turned the once pristine sand into a red sludge and the waters are too toxic to swim in.

It is now time to separate the real men of character and integrity from the men of power and greed. And to help move things along, I'll be praying this happens quickly.

"...a third of the sea turned into blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed." Revelation 8:8-9

Jun 12, 2010

New World

Sometimes you have to look closely to see new worlds. This iris takes on a whole new look magnified. What can you see today from the ground up?
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Jun 6, 2010

The Look!

This is an ospri. The photo was taken on Daufuskie Island, SC while my husband and I were visiting our daughter's inlaws for Memorial Day. At first, Larry and Bob thought they had spotted an American bald eagle, but after I zoomed in with my 300mm we were able to identify this magnificent bird.
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May 28, 2010


Taking macro photos opens up a whole new world to me. I love seeing things from a different perspective and scale. If you look closely you might see a couple of critters in this dandelion. And the bluegreen color in the background is from a waterhose.
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May 22, 2010


One year ago I had the wonderful pleasure to photograph Elizabeth and Rhett's wedding day. It was one of the best weddings I've shot. The couple was wonderful to work with as well as the entire family. They've been married a year and are still in newlywed bliss!Posted by Picasa

May 19, 2010

The Window of Hope

This photo was taken from inside the little Chapel at the Old City Cemetery in Lynchburg. For me it's a window of hope for those that are waiting to hear the Gospel. How sad it is when many of our churches shut out the light and keep everything they learn of God within their walls. God said for the church to go–not stay.

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May 16, 2010

The Adventure of the Village Ladies

Several of my best girlfriends took one of our friends "in custody" for the day and went to Roanoke for some shopping and fun. Betty Sue (above) needed some R&R and we were happy she did as it got us all out of the house for the day without our husbands. As for the picture with the stuffed animals, we all picked out one we thought best represented us! LOL!!!

The day was so much fun and we were all worn out when we got home that night. It was such a sucess that we're going to make this a habit several times a year.
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May 12, 2010

Seniors: Allen Twins

Last Sunday I took Senior photos of twin boys that I hadn't seen since they were literally babies! Jonathon and Jeffrey were great to work with and didn't seem to mind all of the twin comments I made. What didn't surprise me was they both had girlfriends, but what did surprise me was that one's name was Laura and the other one was Lauren! How freaky is that.... I guess that's twins for you!

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May 10, 2010

Senior: Melissa

I had the pleasure of photographing a young lady who just finished high school. Melissa is a sweet girl with a wonderful smile. We spent an hour or so at Sweet Briar College, mostly down at the boat house, to get a variety of senior photos. The day was perfect, though a bit windy and as you can see, Melissa's long hair just did what it wanted to do in all that wind.
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May 8, 2010

Best friends!

Meet Daisy–Leigh Anne's new lab mix puppy. Daisy was adopted from the Humane Society. She has got to be the most gentle and best behaved puppy I've ever had the pleasure to meet. You might notice the healed wound under her neck...supposedly another dog attacked her at the shelter. It's a blessing that Leigh Anne rescued her. She is in good hands now. And as Leigh Anne can attest to, it takes a village to raise a puppy.
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Apr 27, 2010

It's good that I have a small point and shoot camera in my purse. The sky opened up one afternoon on my way home from work so I pulled into the grocery store parking lot and took a moment to capture the scene before me. Notice to the one bird flying below--almost as if a dove coming from heaven. It was a glorious sight. I can only imagine this is but a speck of what heaven truly is like.

Mar 13, 2010

I'm not used to blogging yet, as you can see... it's been a while since I thought about this. Anyways, here's a photo of my kids/grandkids that was just recently published in Lynchburg Living magazine. I love the look on Josh's face as he takes his first major sleighride!