Sunday, September 30, 2007

Aliens & Afghan Hounds

I love Afghan Hounds. Sometimes I think they might be an alien life form because they don't act like other dogs. They're very intelligent in an independant way, not the usual canine subservient way. Each one has a unique personality. I've known some that are very reserved, and some that will plop right next to you on the couch - and I swear if they had vocal cords like ours they would strike up a conversation. They can be drama queens (or kings) and divas. I could go on, but now I'd like to introduce you to a personal friend - Blu2.

"hi, how ya doin'? Be sure to get my good side now. Grooming is my least favorite thing to do, but hey, gotta look good for the ladies. I really don't mind the bath but the brush out is a pain in the tail. I'd much rather run, run, run. I also enjoy sleeping, eating, chewing rawhides and taking walks."

"this is me doing my regal look. It's a reputation we have. We Afs are enigmas....we're aloof and regal, yet affectionate and clownish."

Blu's fancy name is Alutah's Shades of Blu. His mama's name is CH Wynsyr's Winnie the Blue. She's called Blue for short. Our son's favorite band is U2. Putting it all together, we came up with Blu2. Get it? I thought it was so clever.

"this was taken after a grooming session and during a long photo shoot. I was thinking here 'put the flippin' camera away and let me sleep!"

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Vision is Ageless

Recently I met the most wonderful artist. He's originally from the Dominican Republic. His wife is from Paraguay and was a Catholic nun in her youth. They met in New York City when he was a young man playing in a band in a club. There's a lot of backstory right there! Eventually someone led him to Jesus and he raised his family to have faith in the promises of God. When his son was 12, a rare form of cancer tried to steal his life but the boy put his trust in the promises of God. Another long story here with a miracle ending. Today, his son is a handsome, married man in his early 30s; one of only a handful of survivors of this kind of cancer.

Vini is 71 years old and so busy I'm not sure I could keep up with him. He paints, travels, teaches, and you'll find him at many juried art shows in this area. By divine appointments, he's met many important people & celebrities in South America. He's computer savvy and is discipling several of them in the things of God through the power of the internet. He also has plans for a tv show where he would teach painting to the Spanish speaking community; he already has the financial backers for it.

Why am I giving so much space to VIni? Recently, there's been a lot of changes in my church as we try to update our look and our worship style to attract younger people. But there's also been a lot of talk around me that the old folks need to get over themselves & make way for the "hip, progressive" younger people. Someone even went so far as to imply that "old people" have no vision. I'm getting more annoyed by the day over this issue. Vini is proof to me that as long as we have breath in our body, we can have VISION. There is no limit to what we can learn and the things we can do. God has a purpose for each and every day of our life until we take the last breath of Earth's air and pass into eternity with HIm.

Everyone has a story. My son is going to do a short video about Vini and we're going to tell his! I'm really looking forward to this project.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Remembering Gramps

I mentioned last post that Ohio has interesting bridges. The one pictured here has particular significance. My Gramps helped to build it! I remember him saying he was paid $12 a week & he was so excited on payday that he would run all the way home. He was rather given to embellishment but he did tell great stories. He was in the Calvary in 1917 and he loved to tell of his days at Ft. Sam Houston in Texas. Gramps had a pair of crossed sabres tattooed on his forearm. I always thought they were so cool looking. A couple years ago we were visiting San Antonio. Ft. Sam Houston was nearby and I insisted that we stop there. It was right after 9/11 so security was tight and we didn't get to see much. But just being at the Legendary FT SAM HOUSTON, where my grandfather had served was enough.

Another note about this bridge - it s only about a mile away from where my husband grew up.

And it doesn't cross a river at all! It actually takes you from the valley to the hilltop. The architecture of this bridge is gorgeous. There are so many potentially great shots but it was getting dark when we were here. I plan to make a special photo-trip here next time I visit the fam.

I don't remember where Gramps was working at the time, but he would get a ride to this spot where my mom would pick him up. The image of him sitting on these steps has never left me. I wanted to stop and take this picture so I would always have this memory.

All the grandkids loved Gramps. Thinking about him from an adult perspective, though, I have a feeling he was a real pistol. I bet a personality test would prove him to be a sanguine. He liked to have a good time, saw humor in everything, and delighted in irritating my grandma until she would just BLOW up at him in a way that only an Irish red-head can. But he was a good grandpa.

We climb many hills, cross many bridges and take many steps in life, but God is with us every step of the way. Jesus promised never to leave us nor forsake us. Does He not see my ways and count my every step? Job 31:4

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A Look Back at High School

I love photography as an art form. I'm amazed how good photographers can capture ordinary people and everyday objects in such a way that they look absolutely precious, important, and unique.

Every human being is precious, important, and unique in God's eyes. But as we bustle through our day, we look right past them. The artists who specialize in people photographs are blessed - through the eye of their lens, they're seeing what God sees.
I know the pros try to get their finished shot from the camera. But I really have fun manipulating the photo on Photoshop Elements (someday I'll graduate to the Big Boys Photoshop). So I aim for interesting composition, thinking ahead how I might play with it later on the computer.

Here's the story on the following pictures: last month I visited my family in Ohio. I heard that my old high school was being torn down since the new one is finished and the kiddos are settled in. My sister took me to see our old school. Our grandmother, our dad, and all our siblings graduated from here. The 2nd floor hall was lined with the class picture of every graduating class since (I don't know - the 20s or 30s). It was so neat to see my dad & grandma's picture everyday and know that mine would be there, too, someday.
We picked up some scraps of the brick as souvenirs and took some pictures. It makes me sad that my sister had a very rough time in school. She's one of the most beautiful souls I know and deserves only goodness from life. I had a great high school experience. Good friends, fun times, happy memories. So to see the building like this was a bittersweet moment. I met my husband in band camp our freshmen year and for me, it was love at first sight. It took some doing to convince him, but what he didn't know at the time is that I always get what I want! He didn't stand a chance :)

This is the cafeteria door. There's quite a bit of personal history in this photo. In our junior year, my locker was hidden behind this door when the cafeteria was open. It made a great rendevous spot before classes started in the morning, if you get my drift.

This is a piece of ornamental architecture from the school entrance.

The trip home was great (funny how we still call it 'home' after all these years). The weather wasn't very cooperative and I didn't have as much time as I'd like for visiting loved ones and just going out getting shots. But I'll post a few more stories and pictures later. I'm looking forward to my next trip specifically for taking pictures. The Ohio River has the most interesting bridges anywhere.....

Friday, September 21, 2007

Summer Saturday Morning

My first post on this new site.

I'm a late Saturday morning sleeper, (well, not just Saturdays but work requires me to get up Monday thru Friday) One Saturday in August I woke up at 6 a.m., feeling unusually rested & refreshed. It was wondrous to, well, ALIVE! I really do wish I were a morning person, but alas....So I got up & decided to go out for a newspaper & latte (usually my sweet husband does that for me; I'm really a spoiled little empress). 

It was a perfect summer morning and there was a fog hovering around a cluster of trees. I saw a photo op and went home for my camera. These pix were not retouched in any way; they're totally in the raw. I just got lucky that morning!

Isn't this a cool shot? The turnpike is reflecting in the water of this protected wetland area.