January 30, 2011


because you haven't seen them in so long....(and because the oldest needed some shots for his year book.) they weren't happy getting dressed on a saturday but it made their aunt and momma happy so in the end, who care if they were  a bit grumpy at first....

a friend called this harry potter

seriously, can you get that camera outta my face?

sure, we're brothers but way too cool to act "close"

this is my new favorite wall

i love black & white

the make momma happy shot

those eyes slay me - why didn't i them them?


no black eye - shadows and backlight. 

this is a favorite too

January 28, 2011

the barest branches and other lovely things

today i am loving...

the barest branches in the blue winter sky.  the lace-y braches curling and reaching towards the sky.  the flocks of birds perching in respite before flying on.  before i know it leaves will bud out and cover the branches.  the branches will shelter me below and i will listen to the winds rustle through the leaves.  this brings thoughts of contentment.

the freewrite friday exercises at gigi's the magpie's fancy blog.  if you have an interest in writing you may want to check this series out. check out the initial post and you will see that gigi has been writing and publishing since her early twenties (!!! exciting).  so far the exercises have helped me expand my mind and though i'm a bit behind, i am really digging the series and always look forward to fridays to see what she has dreamed next.

all things grapefruit - especially ocean spray ruby red grapefruit juice and bath & body works pink grapefruit body spray.  yum. 

the music stylings of van morrison...and it is true, momma told me that there would be days like this.  i've loved him for years - before there was a van morrison song on the end credits of any romantic or meaningful movie....before, i slow danced at weddings to crazy love....before it was cool to love van morrison.  yes.  i am always loving van morrison.

the ideal of flashmobs that are as cool as the one on glee (safety dance).  i would be so thrilled to be somewhere and everyone around me started dancing and singing.  can you imagine?  if the idea intrigues you, check out youtube for the one around christmas that flashmobbed the hallelujah chorus.  so very cool.

and cherry pies.  cherries are so good this time of year and remind of my father.  i think i have to have a cherry pie this weekend.

hope you have a beautiful weekend...and do something you absolutely love.  (ps - i'm still rather smitten with my entirely ugly but comfy pink bedroom slippers)

January 27, 2011

i'm not crazy - i just work here

though i know it was not the kind of justice that dr. king spoke of, i had the opportunity to see some small type of karma repaid yesterday....and i have to admit it felt the slightest bit good.  (so good that i'm fighting not to gloat so please forgive me here) it was just the proof of the adage "be careful how you treat the people you meet going up the ladder, they are the same people you will meet going down the ladder."

please tell me that tomorrow is indeed friday.  i'm not sure if i could hold on to this week much longer.  and on another tangent - i'm also officially tired of the hoopla over auburn's championship.  it never when this long for alabama last year (who did the exact same thing - heisman + championship).  they act like it's never been done before.  oh wait....it has...by alabama.  thank you - it's good to get that off my chest. 

i guess when i get down to it - my main issue with the week is that it's been so crazy and off-kilter that i worry it is really me that is crazy and off-kilter.  know that feeling?  it's sort of that feeling that if you can't find the drunk at the party - it's probably you.  right? 

i've asked my contractor that question and she assures me that i'm not crazy...now if we can figure out why my instructions are not being followed by the other staff.  *smile*

January 24, 2011


there was a line in a blog tonight from someone i love...of course i love most of my reading list. "Huge lightening bolts of silence." isn't that the most beautiful of lines?  it resonates in my soul and i hear it echoing through my senses.  i wish i had written it (she writes beautifully)

i love the little bucket that sits on my desk these days.  sometimes i fill it with something i love that week and sometimes it's empty.  i love the morning light on it especially when it turns blue and soft. 

after the hoopla of last friday the weekend was quiet, unassuming and sweet.  dinners with brothers, visits with sisters, driving in the country and golden afternoon light.  though i look at cobalt blue skies and bare branches, i see the very beginnings of what will become spring.  the world has its cycles and i welcome them.  i live - i breathe - i am.  acceptance.

the slippers on my feet are new tonight - they're ugly and truly the very ideal of carnation pink (never my favorite crayon) but they were cheap and warm and feel snuggly.  my feet are protected from the hard wooden floors.  i can't turn my nose up at that.

sleep calls me...or is it the end of the fun but trashy novel that sits on my bed.  i shuffle off to bed on the cotton sheets in my pink slippers.  today, life is good and the thunderbolts still echo in my head.

January 23, 2011

January 21, 2011


i need to go to my happy place ... really, i do - all by myself and perhaps stand on a big ol' dune and scream at the top of my lungs.  i couldn't go to the beach with beth's generous offer due to the doings last week...and just when i think things are settling back down - someone stole my tablet (you know the kind of laptops you can write on?) from my desk sometime between 5:15 last night and 8:15 this morning.

ugh - now comes that weird, slightly guilty feeling about why would they take something so random when i'm sure to notice it is missing from my desk? and there is a second one on the other side of my desk?  yes, i'm the person that needs two laptops (work issues - one does e-mail, the other travels and synchs up my iphone)

but...it's friday and that makes for a good day - i hope.  and the weekend is supposed to be beautiful.  so...hopefully something beautiful will happen too.  *fingers crossed*

today on my ipod - fall down (toad the wet sprocket), heart of gold (neil young), mercedes benz (janis joplin), nobody knows (tony rich), at the chime of a city clock (nick drake), baby did a bad bad thing (chris isaak cover), you get what you give (the new radicals), ice cream (sarah mclachlan), 100 years (five for fighting)

January 19, 2011


late sunday afternoon - the girl, the photographer and the mom....and lots of experiments in photoshop. 

mom wanted some beauty shots...and as always, christy and i like to goof around.  this set was taken at fort tolouse, a state park near wetumpka, alabama.  i was swooning over the abundant spanish moss and will be back there soon!

but even my best model has some "oops" shots

January 17, 2011

head full of doubt, road full of promise.

i've been mulling this post over in my head since thursday night and it basically comes down to this, be careful what you put out into the universe because someone may decide that you need quite the lesson about acceptance of your situation just as it it.  thursday morning i wrote that my life was mostly drama free - thursday afternoon, approximately two to three hours after, i was hit in the face with full fledged, full throttle, heart stopping drama ... that may have repercussions for a long time.  suffice to say it is much too personal for this blog because it is not my story to tell. thank you for understanding that i just needed to share the lesson learned. 

this is my young friend christy - my willing model.  on sunday, while we were out taking pretty pictures that mommas love, i spied this beam - she happily jumped up and walked in the late afternoon golden sun.  gotta love a girl like that willing to jump into the situation.  now she is interested in photography too.  i gotta love that.

now to get back to some old habits that i used to have:

i love this video posted by my friend megan.
i want this ring that i saw in "southern lady" magazine (in "c" of course)
i'm addicted to her photography
i used to say, "i could bathe in this shampoo"...now i do thanks to a sweet christmas gift
someone clued me onto the avett brothers....thank you and thank you. 

"There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light
In the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right
There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light
And I’m frightened by those that don’t see it"

today on my ipod:
head full of doubt, road full of promise (the avett brothers), rain (patty griffin), if i die young (band called perry), memphis city rain (angie aparo), come away with me (norah jones), here comes the sun (the beatles), smoke gets in your eyes (the platters), that's the way they always said it would be (carly simon)

January 15, 2011


when the power of love overcomes 
the love of power, 
the world will have peace.  

~~ j. hendrix

January 13, 2011

i never can pronounce it right - chop-RA or CHO-pra

thoreau was right, there is not remedy for true love - unconditional love.  just an observation really.  and a thought about love.

i've been giving a lot of thought lately to what purpose my  life has ... well besides just the living it to the best of my ability.  sometimes i struggle with that - about, mattering and leaving something behind that i can be proud of at the end of the day.  and, i do think that...mostly, usually....well, on the good days.  and most of my days lately are good days.  of course on the bumpy days i certainly tend to think "nobody loves me, everybody hates me, think i'll go eat worms."  isn't that self-doubt thing a pain in the rumpus?  but aside from all of that... am i here only to be a good sister, a good aunt, a good worker, a good friend....a good...something...fill in the blank...depends on the day of the week? 

how do you know?  i feel stagnant and stale.  not in a bad mopey way.  i mean, my life is good.  there is no drama - my family is well, work is settling back down (i think), and well....it's good.  is this contentment?  am i supposed to feel something ...more?  what is more?

or is more something like that funny thing....happiness?  the more you search the further it is until one day you just wake and realize, it was right there beside you and you didn't shake it's hand?  these are thoughts running through my brain.  and i relate some of them back to reading chopra's thoughts on "how to be happy" when he says, "life has a purpose."

January 11, 2011

the shop on the virtual corner, mondays (sorta) and caramel kisses

yesterday i updated my etsy site - one of the things that can be somewhat tedious to do as it involves, uploading, writing descriptions and the other assorted tasks in making the shop appealing.  it can be that one little thing that can catch someone's eye to entice them to buy.  i don't push the shop a lot and in fact it was neglected for far too long.

i enjoyed the exercise as it made me look at my shots with a very critical eye.  it also allowed me to viturally stroll through the etsy mall, looking at popular photography to see what is selling these days and if i had anything that might fit those bills too.  it is always interesting to me to see what is selling.  for example, i added a simple black & white magnolia shot....within minutes it had 46 views (not sales mind you) and it was one that i really added at the last moment, thinking it wasn't my best shot.  *shrugs*

so...(bad transition there), i didn't start this blog as a sales pitch - so i will shift gears.  i had one of those, "why isn't life simple" moments today as i dropped something, couldn't find my freaking college diploma, ankle starting aching, spilled my coffee in the span of say, 15 minutes.  as i had my mini freak out - i gulped in air and gave myself a good talking too.  it passed.  funny how what seemed so catastrophic a mere few minutes ago becomes laughable when you take a deep breath.  i still couldn't find my diploma but, i'll just deal with it.  my ankle still kinda hurts too - but i swallowed advil and i'll be okay tomorrow.  my internal clock is still a bit off from the days off ... so, what felt like a monday all day long made me smile when i realize tomorrow is wednesday.  *double score*

i hope your day got off to a better start than mine....and that you're just as excited as i am about tomorrow being wednesday.  i think that calls for a couple of caramel kisses as i read my new book tonight.  do something indulgent for yourself today - you deserve it.

January 10, 2011

the ice storm that wasn't

so this was my weekend.....washing, a bit of fun and then waiting on the "ice storm."  seriously....waiting on ice - what could be more exciting really? 

now i can appreciate the value of weather forecasters but...i think it's gone a tad too far.  the shelves of the local grocery were empty of bread, batteries and milk and my town had nothing.  really....maybe a few ice patches from where the rain frozen in potholes or the whatnot.  now to prepare for that we had three days of horror weather forecasting and schools were shut down on s.a.t.u.r.d.a.y. yes...saturday.  now i understand the liability and legalese of the matter but the city went insane and the state shut down.

krazee - really (ugh, why did i type that like a 12-year-old?) 

so....*shakes it off*  i was mostly a weekend shut in - except for a fun bout of mexican food and bowling with friends on saturday night.  the new bowling alley here has these cool lanes with leather sofas and coffee tables - so.much.fun!  i hung out and chatted instead of actually bowling.  we laughed so much my jaws aches.  then... raise your hand if when you drive by krispy kreme and the red "hot doughnuts now" light is on your car takes matters in your own hands until you're sitting in front of that sign digging through your purse for six bucks for those hot glazed?  *raises hand*  and you know the bad thing, as i sat at home having one...for the first time, it didn't really taste that good.  hopefully the jeep will remember that the next time.

anyway, my poor little tulips have now seen their last day.  i have to go out this afternoon and see what calls my name.  wherever you are, i hope monday is good to you.  i hope it caresses your cheek and loves you well.

January 8, 2011

soup's on

Inspired by Willow Manor
on a cold rainy day i love, love, love soup.  and since last weekend was new years - i needed something to substitute for black-eyed peas (the southern good luck charm)...and as you know, since i blogstalk, i had stumbled upon life at willow manor and all of her luscious recipes.  i didn't have a meaty ham bone so i adapted the recipe a bit.  the original recipe is linked above, i will post my adaption below.  this is one of my new favorite soups...i highly recommend it (the right on the left is my version of the soup)

ham & bean soup (inspired by life at willow manor)
1 bag dried navy beans (i think any of the white beans will do)
3 carrots diced (i wished i had used more, but they were smallish carrots)
3 ribs celery diced
1 onion diced (i'm not an onion fan so i used 1/2)
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 tsp thyme (had to use dried - couldn't find fresh)
1/4 tsp white pepper (i used black)
1 tsp salt (i tasted first before adding a smidge - the ham was pretty salty)
1 1/2 to 2 cups diced ham (depends on your desire for lots of ham versus not so much)

prepare dried beans for cooking by following directions on the bag (i soaked mine overnight).  rinse beans and put in a large stock pot. i used a combo of chicken stock and water to simmer beans but any stock you prefer would work (i think).  add remaining ingredients. if you are using a ham bone, then place ham bone into the pot, (about a 7 quart size) cover with water (about 2 inches from the top), cover and simmer on stove top (the recipe instructs that you bake all combined ingredients in a 300 to 325 degree oven for about 4 hours.) check periodically and replace any water that may have cooked off. broth should be dense and beans soft. 

remove ham bone and cut up any large chunks of meat, and return meat to pot. check for flavor and adjust seasonings.

totally yummy!!!  i served it with fresh from the oven cheddar rolls that i picked up from fresh market but i think it would be great with either biscuits or cornbread too.

January 7, 2011


being back in the small town it is evadable that i run into you in the weirdest of places, usually at lunch and when i'm in a hurry.  the last time i was vulnerable, whipped and hurting.  today not so much.  today i felt confident and happy - the sun was shining.  i didn't notice you at first or maybe out of the corner of my eye i saw a ghost, i don't know.

it wasn't until i heard your voice behind me as i signed the charge slip, 'pick up for robert' that my stomach lurched. i slipped my wallet back into my purse.  i didn't turn my head - that would give it away that i cared after all these years.  and i tell myself i don't.  not really - i don't think about you much except in the hazy, fuzzy, life used to be romantic ways.  we had so many shared memories that when someone says "as you wish" or "make it so" i think you you.  just like the sight of andes mints, sail boats, and moccasins remind me of you.  i don't remember the bitter feelings or have that taste in my mouth until ... well today, when you didn't acknowledge me but instead watched me drive away in my blue jeep. 

and as i drove away i remember thinking, 'he's so gray'. 

January 6, 2011

open hearts

this is one of those blogs that i've started way to many times to be coherent.  i started off typing and thinking about confessions.  i was thinking in confessions in terms of my word this year - acceptance.  acceptance of myself exactly as i am, comfortable in my own skin.  as i thought about that subject, i read a number of my daily readings - which leads me to one confession. 

i probably blogstalk you.  about once a month i look at who you are reading and click on the ones that strike my fancy as you go down your reading list.

but i digress (as usual) - in doing that this morning, i found myself being sent messages.  some so strong and loud that they were jumping off the page at me - demanding my attention.  the three that spoke the loudest were:

"few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own heart." - albert einstein

"only through the heart can you touch the sky." - rumi

"follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls." - joseph campbell

well, thank you very much universe *puts hands on my hips*  now do you plan on giving me a roadmap or is that something i have to figure out for myself.  yes, i realize that is a retortical question.  i think in accepting who i am this year, i have to confess that i've closed myself off to chasing some of my bliss (if you will) in tellng myself to be sensible and responsible...

confession #2 - when i typed "sensible and responsible" just now i started singing "larger than life" by the backstreet boys.  and you know what...i'm not ashamed that i like the backstreet boys.  it's like eating a soft gooey caramel - probably not that good for you, but man does it make you feel good at the time.

so....get ready heart - it looks like i need to be opening you a bit wider.  i've been peeping through windows and around doors.

January 5, 2011


the week between christmas and new year's day the world seems to hover in limbo, waiting to spring forward.  then the new year begins and there seems to be a rushed frenzy, a relief that we turn the page and move along.  and it's funny the difference a day can make.

even i did that this year - the waiting for the bad ju-ju of '10 and embracing the powerful '11.  i want to hold it fragile like a tiny baby bird, afraid to let if fly not knowing if it will crash or go safely into the blue.  but...i know like any momma bird that i do have to let it go regardless.  all hovering ... banished now.

i bought flowers on saturday, going out into the stormy weather.  they're pink and fresh - reminding me that spring will be here before you know it.  i look at the cold weather and repeat that to myself.  "spring will be here soon.  so soon"

for the next three days i'm in charge at work.  a bad situation happened and as we move forward past that, we have come to the place where we can smile about.  i will say she is handling the whole thing with more grace and dignity than i could.  a beautiful example of what faith can do for you.

i hope your year is off to a good start.  i think mine is.  it was quiet and very low key.  quiet on the cusp of the year, comforting and cozy soup making on the new day, full of fun and adventures on sunday....and in the words of the song, "and i'm feeling good...."

January 1, 2011

my year of photographs...

these are a few of my favorites....from january to december 2010