26 July 2012

I believe

A quick post tonight because I have to pack for a road trip and clean the house - because who wants to come home to a messy house?  The week flew by without me finishing items on the "to do" list.  Oh well!  I made this for some friends.  I used one of my favorite rose macros and layered on a phrase I saw in a store somewhere.  I thought it was very comforting for all kinds of things.  I hope you had a good week and look forward to coming back with more fun after the weekend.

22 July 2012

A baby no more

When I first got my camera, many of my friends were having babies.  So, I took photos of a few, but Baby A was the first try at getting portrait like shots.  They were rough, but she was cute, so really that counts for everything.  Here's one of those early shots - coloring, lighting and focus all wrong.  

This weekend we tried again with a toddler A.  And even though she wasn't really in the mood, I think we got a few great shots.  She was pretty entertaining and there was no crying, so I call that a win.

I think the one above is one of my favorites, but really I was happy with everything.

Ok this pose - totally spontaneous and adorable.  
All of these from the weekend are adjusted with Pioneer Woman's actions - love those!

The one above was taken from a pretty good distance and then cropped in.  She was getting tired of playing model and was running around the garden area.  I just kept shooting and got a few nice ones.

Here she was sitting with Mom, but I loved the head shot so much, 
I edited it to just her.  Mom gets to be in the next one, on the bench.

And finally, the look that indicates we are done with the camera for today - Ha!

I hope you enjoyed attempt two of the adorable photo shoot.  I do see great progress in the final shots and Mom and I think if we do it with a little more frequency, she'll get used to it and be more comfortable.  She's pretty great with people in general, but after a long day it can be hard.

18 July 2012

Bits 'O my summer so far

I thought I'd throw a few things together in this post.  Some fun events and a summer treat.  First, ladies night out - this time dinner and a Barry Manilow concert!  We were blessed with a box and had a great time singing along with the crowd and Barry.  Not a huge crowd, but it was located in an arena venue, so all the little purple lights that were handed out made it look really cool.  

Another fun adventure, breakfast with the President of The Ohio State University.  There were about 100 folks there and we all made new friends while enjoying a nice (EARLY) meal.  I chose to not shoot a crowd photo, you know because we were eating and who really likes to see that shot?!

A little speaking engagement I threw in my already overbooked week in May.  I'd tell you what it was about, but then I'd have to... ok, just kidding.  I talked about some software I use in my work and how it applies to large scale events and in-progress emergency situations.  Clear as mud, right?  

And a yummy summer treat I stumbled upon, southern sweet tea for the Keurig coffee makers.  You just put a regular tumbler with ice and brew like you would normally, a perfect iced tea!  You can find them online or use a 20% coupon at Bed, bath and beyond (and free shipping on these if you don't live near a brick and mortar store.)  Not a product endorsement, just a fun find if you like tea.

Have a great day!

14 July 2012


While I was on my little hiatus, I attended a couple different memorials.  One for my friend Heather and one for police week.

First, I met up with friends and family in Marietta, Ohio to celebrate Heather's birthday, the first time without her.  She was a triathlete and when she got sick, many people talked about having a run or a bike ride to raise money for her bills.  She made us all promise that we would never make anyone run on her behalf!  So we had the first annual HeatherZG 0 k.  No running, just good memories, good stories, and some margaritas.

It was a sunny day, so it seemed a little extra sad to go to the cemetery in the middle of a Saturday afternoon.  A time usually reserved for family fun and weekly errands, the events of the living.  I had thought of driving out there so many times over the past few months, thinking that maybe seeing the plaque in the ground personally might help me feel closer to her.  But I never made that drive until this day.  We stood around the grave, sharing our thoughts, a few feelings, generally just wanting her to know we were there.  One of the group had put a Margarita in the water bottle from Heather's last tri event.  We passed it around to share and sprinkled some on the grave.  We talked about how much Heather would like that we were together and Wendy poured the last of the drink on the ground, including the ice.  We joked about how Heather was an ice cruncher and she would have been mad if we hadn't shared it all with her. 
Just then, in the full sunny day, it started to lightly rain.  If there was ever doubt she was there, it was gone at that moment.  We all quietly stood in the rain and smiled.

On the shirts her sister had made.

In May, I attended a police memorial.  May is National Police week in the U.S.  Not every one can make it to Washington, DC for the main event and large memorial, so many smaller ones are held throughout the nation.  This one had officers speaking, a police horse, a laying of the wreath and bugle player off in the distance. 

(I took about 30 different shots of this wreath, it was so gorgeous in person.  Many macros and some cluster shots.  I will use them with some flag shots for future events.  I also sent some to the event planner so she would have one to take to the florist each year.  It helps in getting exactly what they want for this ceremony.)

09 July 2012

In the Navy!

My friend Abbie has had a few challenging years.  So, a few months ago she decided to find more meaning in her life and signed up for the Navy Reserves!  This is a test of endurance for most, but as a second career and her age not being in the 18-22 year old range, she is looking at an even more difficult path.  I applaud her dedication, her running over the months to build up strength, the changes in eating habits to encourage a more healthy existence, and the mental toughness she'll need to push through.

Here's a grainy photo of Abbie and I at her send off party.  She's been happier than I have seen her in years as she looks forward to this new place.  The first few months of basic training will be the worst, but after that we'll be able to write and email her again.  I know we all wish her well and expect nothing but success!  Congratulations Abbie and well done!

03 July 2012

Happy 4th of July! (and some memories)

(Still one of my favorite first shots with my Nikon.)
Fourth of July was always a big deal where I grew up.  We lived in a neighborhood of about 250 families, where everyone knew everyone else and it was a good thing.  The day would start almost before the sun was visible, with truck fulls of kids (and some adults) driving around making as much noise as possible with pot lids, bull horns, and whistles to get you up.  Then, there was a kid's bike parade, with crepe paper draped on every available surface, sparkly objects were woven into the wheel spokes and red, white, and blue tassels were on the end of the handlebars.  Some of the kids were big enough to ride, some were pushed on trikes by their parents or siblings.  It wasn't a long parade...unless you were 4 and you had to pump you little legs the whole way!  This went on rain or shine, with the sunny days being more fun, but the rainy ones getting everyone colored and festive by the crepe dye early in the day.

The parade ended at the "meadow", which was the grass space in front of the beach and the lake.  The celebrations were kicked off in earnest by a heartfelt singing of the national anthem and one BIG firecracker from the island.  There were booths set up for food, soda, and beer.  Games included egg carry, water balloon toss, and capture the watermelon.  The watermelon game was something you almost have to see to believe.  They grease it up, throw it in the lake and then teams attempt to get it to their dock first.  The winning team then wrestles it out of the water, busts it open and shares with everyone.  There were team sports - softball, volleyball, and tennis matches.  There was a talent show, which brought many a tear of laughter to your eyes!  There was much swimming and catching up with friends from school, neighbors who had to move out of the area and had come back just for this day, and then in the later afternoon - nap time for the kids.

(photo credit: Betsy F. Mast)
In the evening the neighborhood roads would be covered with cars bumper to bumper of visitors from near and far.  In later years we had to have people come in through a designated entrance to the community and keep a list, as to keep out too many people that would make the fire marshall nervous.  We would all grab folding chairs, blankets, bug spray (really important after a day of perhaps a wee bit too much sun and then sitting near a water source at night), longer pants, and flashlights.  We would make the walk from wherever we lived in the neighborhood back to the meadow and stake a claim on the perfect spot to watch the fireworks display.  They shot the fireworks from across the lake, with some sparkler ones on the island.  You could always tell when the island ones were about to start, because the guy lighting them would strike the match and then dive away into the water for his own safety!  This wasn't a large city display, so the firecrackers were a little further apart, but that made us appreciate them all the more. It gave us time to discuss and debate which were the prettiest, the most interesting.  Some of the little children would be wearing big headphones to try and block the noise (*raises hand*) and others would sleep right through the later portions of the act.

When the finale was completed and all the memories had been made, we packed up and walked back home.  This is where the flashlights were important.  We didn't have street lights or sidewalks in our neighborhood and we had many, many full grown trees.  We hoofed in home almost as part of an evening parade, saying goodbye to each other as we reached each respective house.  We lived there long enough that I could have walked home in the complete dark and found my way, but having a little light is always nice.

This neighborhood still has a version of these celebrations each year and now some of the children I grew up with are the parents who own the homes.  The lake photo is from one of those folks, a high school friend of mine raising her family a couple streets over from where I lived and where her husband grew up.  Cheers!

(An earlier story about the Lake, if you're interested.)

01 July 2012

Heaven shines through

This was the morning sky on the way to work this week.  The rays (toward the bottom) were much more pronounced than it seems here, they were gorgeous.  I didn't have my Nikon, so the iphoto has to suffice.  It was a beautiful peaceful way to start the day.  Especially considering our week ended with 82 mh winds and rain, taking out power to 1M people in Ohio.  No complaints from me though, as it could have been so much worse.  We'll clean up and search for the items blown around the neighborhood!