Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas...a day late

This shot was taken last year. I like how the light shines on the wall and the ribbon looks so creamy. But my admiration for this shot is not why I'm including it in today's post. I'm including it because I haven't taken a Christmas shot this year. I'm what one would call, "a day late and a dollar short." But let me explain.

Last year, 2007, Thanksgiving was on November 22nd. This year Thanksgiving was on the 27th. We had four weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas this year and five weekends last year. Really. I just checked it. In the scheme of things, not having that extra weekend meant a lot.

There were other extenuating circumstances that caused my lateness. The first major interruption was kitchen cabinets. This project actually began on Halloween; that's when the demolition began. I had to cram everything that was in the cabinets all over the house. They finished the Monday before Thanksgiving. You can imagine the chaos. Usually I try to start decorating after Thanksgiving, but this year I had to find the electric knife so Tom could carve the turkey, and the plates, and the silverware, and on and on. It reminded me of the time that my stepson had a party (after many warnings from us not to try it) when Tom and I went out of town. In the spring when the bushes were trimmed, all sorts of things surfaced. We even found Pepperidge Farm fish crackers in places you couldn't imagine. But that's another blog.

The other project that interfered with Christmas was the front stairs. To be perfectly honest, this started about two years ago when Tom pulled up the carpet from the stairs at my request. Then it was my turn. I pulled out a million staples and then took a year to rest. I like to pace myself. In early October I began again with the spackle, sanding, caulking, priming (two coats) and two coats of beautiful Benjamin Moore white satin paint. When the cabinet work began, I had to stop the painting (the tread needs to be painted black) to oversee the kitchen project. Yep, I was right there. I have pictures.

So to make a long story short, I'm still behind. I have some friends coming over for lunch on Monday, the 29th and I'm looking for the elves to go on the mantle. But before I put up the elves, if I ever find them, I'll have to stash the pumpkins that have been holding court on the mantle since October. Oh, and while I'm at it, I'll just throw away the candy that is still in the bowl next to the front door from Halloween.

I'm doing my best to catch up. Before you know it Valentine's Day will be here and those elves will still be on the mantle. Maybe I'll put some cute little hearts in their arms.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Penny's Day

Penny and I have been friends for over fifty years. Boy, that sure does sound like a long time; I guess because it is. We spent our childhood about two blocks from each other. She lived on Rural Avenue and I lived on Hall Avenue. We spent summers playing hide and seek and walking barefoot. Then before going into the sixth grade, I moved and went to a different elementary and junior high. We stayed friends, though, thanks to bicycles. In high school we reconnected. This time the summers were spent going to the pool and again, walking barefoot. Then came college and during the summers working at the beach. She got to spend entire summers at the beach, while I on the other hand could only spend half summers there. Summer school always called my name.

This is a picture of Penny standing in the yard of our apartment from the first summer at the beach, 1966. What a bathing beauty. Judging from the curlers, she must have been getting ready for work. We used to spend the mornings on the beach and return to the apartment in time to get ready for work by three.

Here's a picture of Penny, Mary and I working on our tan before going back to the beach for the second summer (1967). It looks like Penny is the smart one, NOT standing on her head. Mary and I, on the other hand are just showing off. Early yoga.
Always ready to pose, here we are again. That must be Penny's John Romaine purse on the blanket. We were in our second year of college. Does anyone see a book? I guess the sun was more important.
The Kit Kat was where we sunbathed during one of the summers. Again, here are the three of us: Penny with the sunglasses, Mary and I squinting. As usual my hair is hanging on my body. Why? I bet it was in the 90's. I must have been brain-dead. Check out the coke bottles. I wonder if we had already eaten our daily allotment of two or three Krispy Kreme Donuts. I think this was the summer that our buddy, Fred, was the lifeguard in front of the Kit Kat. Maybe he was the one taking this picture, that is, if he wasn't saving lives in the riptide, or those 20 foot waves!
After hanging out at the beach for four summers, it was time to get real jobs, so we all moved to Atlanta. We lived the single, dating, and shopping and dating. Penny was the first of the four of us (Barbara, Mary, Penny, and I) to get married. She was also the first to have children...Erin and Ryan. Two great, smart, and good-looking kids.

I know how rare it is to maintain friendships through the years, but we have done it. We have always been there for each other and we always will. Thank God we have good health and a sense of humor. From Simms Elementary to Huntington High School to Marshall University to Myrtle Beach, and finally, to Atlanta, Penny and I have been there, done that... together.

So, Happy Birthday, Penny Gail. Call me.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Debbie's Christmas Card

In early December I met my friend, Debbie, her husband, Dick, and their two cute,little dogs, for a Christmas photo shoot at Kennesaw Mountain. As a rule, I really don't like to take pictures of anything or anyone that breathes. When one breathes, one moves, and that makes it difficult to get a clear shot. Now I know that I could increase the shutter speed, but in this case, that would necessitate taking my frozen hands out of my gloves to move the button on my camera. Here is an example of what I'm talking about. Dick is trying his best to get control of the white one. Debbie told me a thousand times what her name was, but my brain was concentrating on getting THE SHOT.

The white one is cute and playful, while the brown one is behaving. But wait, it doesn't stop there.

Dick and white one continue to play. I'm thinking, "We've got work to do. This will have to stop."

And it does, for minute or two. Everybody seems to be calming down.

Oh, no, here we go again, only this time it's the brown one.

Someone has got to get control of this situation. I'm thinking, "Hey! I'm over here! Look in the camera."

Now we're ready, but somebody moved. The camera? This one would have been perfect. My fault.

Debbie, you have got to get control of yourself!
FINALLY! Got the shot! It just needed a little tweaking.
I just added a little vignette and it's a Christmas card !

Here's what I learned: 1. If I'm taking shots of animals, take treats. 2. Learn the names of all involved so when I need their attention I can use their names, and not just make weird noises.That goes for the dogs, too! 3.Don't take outside shots in less than 50 degrees. And finally... 4. Use a remote. That would enable me to get closer to the subjects without moving the camera. Maybe I'll get one for Christmas. Are you reading this, Tom?
Thanks, Debbie and Dick. I had fun and learned a lot. Next year? Maybe I'll have my remote.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Everyone Needs A Thank You

I must admit that this title was not my idea. My sister, Janie, the one who went with me to Art in the Park, thought of it. As she was watching people enter my tent and going straight for the cards, she told me that we should move the cards to the front of the tent where prospective buyers would have to trip over them. Anything to make a sale! She also added that I needed to make a cutsy sign giving people ideas as to why they should buy the notecards. That night in the hotel, I made the sign and it worked! Will wonders ever cease. Janie should have been in merchandising or maybe even a think tank. She does that a lot, think, not merchandise.

As friends see my cards, some of them ask me to do a set for them. I absolutely love to do them, especially when they give me an old picture that I can enhance with my magic wand. Some call it Photoshop. The card pictured below is one of my friend Debbie and her friend on a lake in Michigan. I used a sepia tone with fancy edges. It makes it look even older than it is.

I used this shot in an earlier post and then made it into a card. This was a shot of our neighborhood gang. It was probably taken in the early 50's. What a motley crew we were.

I've sold several sets of personalized golf shots for Christmas gifts recently. I'll show them in my next post.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happy Birthday, Nancy Faye

Here she is. Ms. Nancy Faye T... great friend (brought me food in the middle of the night, kept me in that t.v. show, and so much more), excellent teacher (was 11 Alive teacher of the week, or was it year?), comedian (one of the funniest people on earth), athlete (played highschool basketball and, I think can beat my husband in golf), pretty near genius (understands all of that science stuff), world traveller (went into that jungle in South America with a team of science teachers), great cook (was featured in one of Tyler Florence's shows) and most importantly, a cancer survivor for ten years, with MS!

I took this shot two years ago at Christmas. I have no idea of what we were talking about, but she obviously had a strong opinion. Wonder what it was?

Things must have calmed down, or the wine kicked in.

Have a great day, Nancy. Did I forget to say that you are proudly a THIRD GENERATION Atlantian? For heaven's sake, let's don't forget that. (You know, native Atlantians can be sooooo snobby...I'm just sayin'.)