Monday, August 30, 2010


Melinda just called.

Their beloved baby will be here in....

most likely...

24 hours.

I'm headed for Omaha!

Please pray for a easy labor and a safe delivery.

Back to what I was working on before I got that most exciting phone call....

Watch this funny and really amazing opening for the Emmy's last night.
(there are two racy bits.)

This will win an Emmy next year. I think it was possibly the best opening of an Emmy show. EVER!

Here are my favorite dresses last night.
I did not take these pictures cause I was home on my comfy couch.


I just like Tina so much and this dress was different and pretty.


I think this is my favorite dress. I don't care for Kyra's messy hair with it....but gosh....
I love the 50's sillouhette and the crush of the fabric. It's a gorgeous dress.

Eva Longoria Parker arrives at the 62nd Annual Primetime Emmy Aw

This dress had lots of interesting details for a black dress. Black is boring to me a lot of the time. This had those flowers on the bottom and it had tailored black bows on the back. She is amazing...and tiny.


I loved this dress so much.

Betsy Brandt

My favorite red.


This is just so pretty.

Okay. I am dashing thru this today....

all I can think about is baby Asher and Melinda and Matthew...

I will probably update thru-out the day and night on Facebook....
if it's okay with Melinda.

Love you guys!!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Oh dear. It's not Sunday so that means I shall blog.

Patrick and I will get to go on a date tonight.
A real on without chaperones.
Katie is going to a birthday party and has a sleep over too.
She chose her outfit on Tuesday.
When I woke up this morning at seven,
she was already dressed.

She is a sweet little girl.

But it will be fun to go out to a movie and dinner without her anyway :o)

I think I would like to see The Switch or The Kids are Alright.
If you have seen either of these movies, let me know which you would go to.


Yesterday afternoon Katie helped me with a mentoring session.
She models for me. And she gets paid.
But even with the incentive of making a little money,
she is finding it trying.

I may need to start looking for a different model.
If she really doesn't want to do it, I don't want to force her.

Mother yelling at her child is not the thing we are going for here.

"For when she was good she was very very good,
but when she was bad she was HORRID."

(Capital letters because when I recite that poem to my children.
I yell. Horrid.)


She pulled it together in the end.


Our backyard is like a regular wild kingdom right now...

morning dove,

It's the best.


Edition Two of What is my favorite part to this picture?


I fear it is rather easy.

We shall see.

Wishing you the best kind of day!


Friday, August 27, 2010

For some reason,
I have an urge to go shoe shopping....

I went to and looked at flats.

Vogue says the kitten heel is in.
Perhaps I need a pair of those for church.

Thought you would all like the red.
I think I could handle that heel.



Do you remember when you were nine months pregnant?
Do you remember those days when time stood still?

My daughter in law Melinda is really feeling all those feelings right now.
She is due in one week.

I think it is the hardest wait we ever have to endure.

It is emotionally draining and physically difficult.

I had insomnia with the girls. In fact, I was up watching To Kill a Mockingbird, timing my braxton hicks contractions,
once again, when I realized i was in real labor with Emma. We waited until the end of the movie and then we headed to
the hospital. It was 4:30 am.

Neighbors bring food with death, and flowers with sickness, and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a knife, and our lives.
One time Atticus said you never really knew a man until you stood in his shoes and walked around in them; just standin' on the Radley porch was enough. The summer that had begun so long ago had ended, and another summer had taken its place, and a fall, and Boo Radley had come out.
I was to think of these days many times. Of Jem, and Dill, and Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson, and Atticus. He would be in Jem's room all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.

I will always remember that voice and that music and Emma being born...

Emma was born at 7:30.

It's a wonder we didn't name her Scout.
Or Harper.


If you have a reasonable way to induce labor or even some encouragement for Melinda,
feel free to share it in the comments.

Encourage one another,


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Houston. We've got a shopper.


And she seems oddly attracted to shoes.
and boots.

The ones she sees in Mini Boden are very expensive for a 5th grader.
She will have to wait for $110 red boots.

And she actually wants to wear different shoes each day.

What is this strange behavior.

I am happy wearing Emma's cast off flip flops. Every day of the summer.
It was a struggle trying to find something to wear to the last funeral I went to because
I thought the rubber flip flops were just a tad casual.

I wore Emma's fancier sandals.

But I had to call Cindy first and ask her what to wear,

She wore cute black patent leather thongs.

Hey! Why don't I have some of those?

In the winter, I wear clogs. I have worn clogs for over 25 years.
For a long time I wore the clogs with the leather tops and the wood bottoms.

In the last few years I have been wearing the woolen clogs.

Every single day.
In my mind. They go with everything.

I think I don't like to make decisions.
Or I don't like change.
Or...who knows.

I am content with my one little pair of shoes.

Back to Katie. And her shopping.

I have to say 'N0' a lot.
That's no fun.

Fortunately she loved this little pair of plaid shoes she saw on the commercial for Payless. (pictured above)

Buy one, get one for half price.

We did. Two pairs for $28.00.

So much better than the deal she found in the Mini Boden catalog.

Buy three, get the fourth one free.

Too bad you don't get the most expensive item for free.

Reality bites.

No boots for you.


p.s. Do you have to say NO a lot?
I don't like it. I'm sure my kids think this comes easily for me.
But it's not.
It's slightly painful.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I will never be a style editor.


I'm pretty plain.

Someone once called me a plain jane and it hurt my feelings.

But I think it is true.

I just have to redefine the term plain.

It is not fancy and made up.
It is not styled.
It is not frilly.

I like to buy make up....I just forget to put it on.

I like to look at Vogue magazine to see all the pretty pictures.
(There is a KMart ad in this months September issue.)

I adore the fairy-like styled photoshoots I see on the internet.
The perfect outfit with the perfect setting.

Love em.

I just don't think I have it in me.

I do have a swimsuit from the 60's. It's Pucci-like.

It crossed my mind to do a stylized photoshoot with Emma in that suit.

Then I forgot to do it.

But it would be really cool wouldn't it?

Maybe some day I will get there.

Until then I will be a plain shooter.

The one thing I have discovered....

Plain can be beautiful.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Quotes that mention the stars make me go all soft inside.

And when I shall die, take him and cut him up in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will fall in love with night and pay no worship to the garish sun.

~Romeo and Juliet

"Twilight drops her curtain down, and pins it with a star. "
~Lucy Maud Montgomery

Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven,
Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline

"the darkness is a cresting wave. It sweeps me up out of my body until I float among the stars, those tine bright pores on the sky's skin. If only I could pass through them, I would end up on the other side, the right side, shadowless, perfectly illuminated, beyond the worries of this mundane world"
— Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (Sister of My Heart)

and just last night I read this lovely section from Les Miserables;

Just as he knew when to keep quiet, he also knew when to say something. Such a wonderful comforter!
He did not seek to efface pain in forgetfulness, he sought to elevate it and to dignify it with hope. He would say,"Be careful how you turn to the dead. Don't think of the rotting. Hold your gaze and you will see the living light of your dearly loved departed up above in heaven." He knew how healthy believing is. He sought to counsel and to calm the desperate by pointing to those who were resigned, and to transform the grief that gazes on the freshly dug grave by showing it the grief that gazes up at a star.

@ Monsieur Myriel
Les Miserables

Day hath put on his jacket, and around
His burning bosom buttoned it with stars.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., "Evening"

Stars are the daisies that begem
The blue fields of the sky.
~D.M. Moir

(begem. sort of like bedazzle ;o)

These blessed candles of the night.
~William Shakespeare, referring to stars, Merchant of Venice

The stars are for those who dream and love and believe.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Emma went back to college yesterday. Her senior year.
She has so many things up in the air right now...
and yet she is serene.

It's the Holy Spirit.
Cause she doesn't get it from her parents.



You are loved.


We will miss you.



Then we went for a drive.

The town was Milton.


We found it interesting...

well, two out of three found it interesting.


As a special treat, we stopped at the World's Largest Culver's near Edgerton.


It was a hot and lazy day where we meandered from one thing to another...

It's good to have an afternoon like that...

the magic of ordinary days....

seven more ordinary summer days and then school starts....

we will look for the magic in that story too.

Encourage one another,

“We’re going to live like we’re telling the best story in the whole world. Are you ready?”
~the brothers bloom

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I liked this beautiful performance on my Flickr but wanted to put it here too.
I just love this song and Jordin Spark's voice.


Heidi and I had a second mentoring session yesterday. She is just so passionate about learning more about photography
and she was sporting a fantastic 50mm 1.2 so we worked a lot with using that big fat aperture.

We also are always looking for the best light and catchlights...I couldn't see them in Katie's eyes but
every time I looked at Heidi I could see a nice, big, white catchlight.


It was me.



Katie came along to model for Heidi.


She was a little a squirrely.

(We said squirrely in the 70's)


I have to start trusting myself....

I fret so much about finding the perfect light....and it usually turns out okay.


I have an idea for a book.

It is not photography related.

It might just end up being a blog.

Most likely.

But my brain was spinning last night and I could not sleep.

I'll tell you about it sometime. I think.


Happy Weekend!

Janet is home and recovering. She has lots of help.
Melinda is two weeks away from her due date.
I get my hair colored on Tuesday.

All of these things make me extremely happy :o)

Love you guys!


Friday, August 20, 2010



Snoop Patrol: Life in Madison

1. One thing on your nightstand?

2. One thing on a wall in your living room?

3. Three things we would find in your medicine cabinet?

4. Do your dirty dishes go in the sink or dishwasher?

5. Maker of your everyday dinnerware?

6. Maker of your fine china?

7. If you had to save one “thing” from your home, what would it be?

8. Color your living room sofa?

9. What reading material would we find in your bathroom?

10. Most embarassing thing in your home that you hide when guests come over?

from the archives....

later gators,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Look who got her hair cut!!!



She has the bangs pulled cause she is going run-ning.

So cute.


Janet's surgery was late yesterday so I haven't been able to talk with her. Janice texted me that it was more complicated
than expected but she was fine and headed to recovery....

I am waiting patiently to text her this morning...I don't want my 'bing' of the text to wake her up after she has just dozed off...

Don't you hate having bad timing? I do. I hate it almost as much as grey skies.

I have called people at the WORST times and felt so terrible about it...I really hate to call anyone.
I got up the nerve to call Stephanie when her mom was sick and I picked a perfectly terrible time.
I called my friend Karen to see how her labor was progressing....and she had just given birth, her husband answered...
and he hadn't told the family yet...and there I was on the phone. Ugh!

So now, I wait.

Nine o'clock will be eight o'clock Arizona time...will she be up?

Someone tell me what time to text?
I know I will pick the wrong time!


The biggest loser,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hi Everybody!

Let's see...what's on my mind this morning....

My sister Janet is having surgery this afternoon.
She has had such a rough six months.

I know she would love it if you prayed for her.

This surgery is harder to recover from than her gall bladder was
so let's lift her up. I know she will feel the love.


That's Janet in the middle.
She is the baby.

We love her.


My head has been firmly attached to photoshop for the last few hours.
I have been editing a senior session.
The photo shoot was yesterday afternoon and of course it was cloudy. Really dull and awful cloudy.

I was despondent.

As soon as the family arrived at the gardens my heart was uplifted.
Hope, the mom, was super upbeat and sweet.

I set to work.

All three children came along for a family shot with Kathryn, the senior.

They could not have been better models. It's remarkable to have three people all look at
you at the same time and smile. ;o)

I made them get super close to one another, tip their heads and bossed them around,
sweetly, of course.

But really. You have to be comfortable telling people...where to go. ;o)

Then Kathryn and I set out to find the pretty light.

She was great! She could sense the light and was patient with me as I made her squat and sit and spin and turn.

Thank you Kathryn! I loved shooting you!

Here are just a few I edited this morning....

DSC_4472-3 copy

She has such a natural, happy smile!
And she likes to smile.
Couldn't be cuter!


I edited this in color first...and on a whim I tried my black and white action. (Sesame Ellis)

Sometimes...the black and white really works.

I love the tones in this picture.

DSC_4645-4 copy

DSC_4385-3 copy

She loved the purple. I was making her fling her head around.
AND I am standing on a bench.
When you make people do unusual things you often get the best, most natural smiles in response :o)

I left the gardens feeling hot and sweaty and relieved that we were able to find some pretty light and capture some beautiful pictures....
even tho I seem to be cursed.

I'll stop feeling sorry for myself some time today.

Praying for Janet will help.

There are worse things than grey skies.

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I am just learning how to cook.

Not altogether, but I learn something new every week.

This summer I learned to make kaysudeeahs aka quesadillas.
(This morning, I learned to spell them)

If you don't have these tasty treats in your dinner or lunch arsenal, you gotta add them.

Last night I needed to think of something for dinner. I didn't have a big chunk of
meat in the fridge and the hamburger meat was looking grey. (hate when that happens)

I spotted the small tortillas sitting on the shelf and dinner was born.

We had cheese and a little left over chicken, a jar of salsa and a ripe avocado in the house.

Katie just likes cheese and a little chicken.
I like the avocado and a teeny dip in the salsa added to my cheese and chicken.

It's quick and easy to make.

You need a hot frying pan.
Tortilla on the bottom, fixin's in the middle and tortilla on top.
Heat up.

Try it! You'll like it.



We went to a classic car show on Sunday afternoon.
The humidity had disappeared and the wind was blowing.
It was a perfect Wisconsin day.


What is your favorite classic car?

Katie likes the convertibles and the corvettes and vipers.
I like the trucks and the muscle cars.
Patrick likes the trucks and the Super Sport.

Later that night....


Encourage one another,

p.s. that storyboard took every bit of my brain power this morning....
i need to rest.

Monday, August 16, 2010

In your eyes...


Sometimes the only place to find the light is by looking straight UP.


Hi ladies! In my usual fashion I positioned us in the line of oncoming cars.
(they were going's a parking garage)
We were fine. Others were paying attention :o)


We stopped by my favorite location and I was not disappointed by the light there.
I love the colors reflecting in the train and the lines....lots of lines in this picture.

(Hi Dawn. You look gorgeous! Love that necklace bookay ;o) )

Thank you old train spot. I love you.

We visited a new spot and took pictures in this colorful slide and practiced our bokeh.



The sun came out just as we returned to our house....


I think my workshop attendees thought we were done with pictures....but I was determined.
They were going to get to practice a backlit shot WITH backlighting.

I seriously think this is the most important trick to have in your pocket.

So we shot Katie in the street and Emma on the grass.

Then we went inside and I taught some more.
And the we hugged and said so long.

If you don't want to be hugged upon coming and going...don't come to my workshop.
Cause...I'm gonna hug you.

I am so thankful for the sweet and inspired women I get to meet and teach.

I am.
I am.
I am.
the lucky one.

Encourage one another,

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Here comes the SUN!

I am so thrilled that we will have sun for the workshop!!!


The heavy clouds and rain came though town yesterday.
I had to put the ISO on 800.

But just before the rain...


We went shopping. Our small local grocery store was celebrating Children's week.

Now here....I must give Katie extra credit.

She said, 'Yes".

I would have been okay with a 'no'.

But now we have this funny picture to look at and smile at for a long time.

Who can not smile at Katie and Frankie Furter?

Happy Saturday! Happy Workshop day!

Encourage one another,

Friday, August 13, 2010


Life. As I know it.

"We just get the one life, you know. Just one. You can't live someone else's or think it's more important just because it's more dramatic. What happens matters. May be only to us, but it matters."
~Ghost Town

"Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?—every, every minute?"
~Our Town

Realize it.
It matters.


Thursday, August 12, 2010

I've always loved passing on the good things.

My sisters got to listen to me read the good parts in books, out loud to them, because I just had to
share them. I couldn't keep the goodness to myself.

I am not kidding when I say the most wonderful feeling is when I tell someone to read a book...
and they read it and love it like I did.

We are connected for life thru that book. It's odd. But it's true.

I feel pretty much the same way about teaching photography classes.

It is such a joy to teach something I love to students who are so inspired to learn more!


Last week, I had a one on one mentoring session with Heidi.
She had a nanny there to watch her little girl...but she couldn't stay away from all
the learning and fun.


Camera Nikon D700
Exposure 1/8000 sec
Aperture f/1.8
Focal Length 50 mm
ISO Speed 400

We worked on full sun/backlit photography.
(Model tip: If your model doesn't like to stand still have them run toward you.
Over and over.)


Katie came along to model for us....


Exposure 0.001 sec (1/2000)
Aperture f/1.6
Focal Length 50 mm
ISO Speed 200

But there were beautiful models all around :o)

And so as I prepare for Workshop #3 on Saturday....I will think about the fun and learning and sharing we will have.
I will not worry about the weather.

There is no sense in worrying about something you have no control over, is there?


Saturday night at the Union.

No worries mon.

No worries.

Guess what my favorite part of this picture is?

Happy cleaning day!

Encourage one another,

Alright. I can't make you wait. You have been such good guessers....


This curve. I love.

I do love her expression...but this curve just pleases my eye.