Me (Linda), Debbie, Carla and Gary
This is not one of the “best” photos that we took but it is the one I loved the most. Because this is what my life is about….Laughter….the only thing I love more is laughing with my family.
I grew up in Texas but at the age of 20 (actually on my 21st birthday) my husband and I moved North to Wisconsin where he grew up. I say that I only cried for 6 years and now I’m okay. I’m the baby out of 10 kids. My mom always said we were like the Lucy movie “yours, mine and ours”. I have one full brother Neil. He is 2 years older than me and even though we don’t see each other much I always feel like that we have a unique bond. We are truly brother and sister. We grew up in the same home at the same time and share the same memories and life experiences. That’s one of those things that you can’t put a pricetag on. I have brothers and sisters that I see occassionally or maybe years between visits. But I always say that what I love about our family is that even if that is the case we can see each other, hug and get right into catching up. Life is so busy for everybody and relationships are alot of work. I know they all love me and I pray that they all know that I love them as well.
I have 2 sisters that I am the closest to. My one sister Debbie let me live with her during my senior year when my parents moved out of state and that created a true bond that has connected us for life. And then my sister Carla is the sister that has been there for the births of both my children and so many other moments I can’t begin to count. Debbie and Carla have taught me so much about life. I have watched them parent their children and be Godly women but they have also taught me how to treasure a relationship. They have taught me first hand why the Bible says that it is better to give than recieve. It is in the process of “doing” that relationships are created. So through the years I have went to Texas to help with weddings and graduations and holding hands during cancer and they have been here for births and graduations and birthday parties. That is the way our relationship works. That’s the way any healthy relationship should work. Sometimes I feel almost guilty for our relationship. Sad that others don’t have what we have. But I also think that as with any relationship you get out of it what you are willing to put into it. I have learned over the years that I can give of myself and I enjoy that, I love to see others happy. But when it comes to where my heart goes – it goes to someone who wants the same for me. Someone who wants the best for me, someone who shares themselves with me and allows me the same, someone who is willing to invest their time and energy into me as much as I do into them. That is a relationship. I have had to let go of the feeling that it may seem selfish to say those words. That is the reality of how I can live a productive joy filled life.
This last weekend was a treat for me. Since we live so far apart alot of our relationship happens on Facebook. I am notorious for posting alot. But we love it because it is like being neighbors. We know the everyday things in each others lives. We are always being silly and saying “so, do you want to do lunch today?” because it feels like we should be able to. A few weeks ago I said that and that started our minds turning….which usually means trouble. So, the result was a weekend in Kansas City (which we thought was half way but not quite – it was a much better deal for me). While we started planning our little adventure my older brother Gary got wind of our sister’s getaway and asked if he could Crash it. So we laughed that it was a Girl’s getaway (and Gary). It ended up being me and my daughter Becca driving from Wisconsin. Then Debbie and Carla with her Daughter Amy and her 2 girls McKenna and Lexie driving from Texas and then Gary and his wife Mona from Arkansas. We had such a fun time together. Lots of stories and the hugs that I had been needing. A blessed weekend for sure.
I am grateful….actually beyond grateful for my life. I love to love on people….. but it feels so wonderful that because of the love that I give someone would drive 12 hours to spend basically one day with me. It is acts of kindness like that that make you want to offer more when people treat you like that. If only the world could figure that out….it would be a much happier place.
Have a beautiful day!!!
One of the many benefits of living in the middle of the woods is the variety of flowers that just pop up in various places. It’s not like with a garden when you know that you planted pansies along the border and you have Salvia in the back. When you live in the woods everything is a surprise. One of favorite things to do in the spring is go out and look for columbines. They are so delicate and intriguing. At the tip of each section is a little bulb. I remember years ago my husband’s Aunt showed me that if you put that tip in your mouth that you could taste a tiny bit of honey – somewhat like a honeysuckle. I don’t know that I really think it tastes like that but it doesn’t stop me from always trying. This photo is actually from a columbine plant that a friend gave me. The wild columbine’s in my woods are orange but this one is suce a beautiful shad of pink. I thought it was lovely.
Street photography makes me a little nervous. I have done alot of research on it and I LOVE the feel of the candid moments. For those of you who are curious to know the “laws” on SP the way I did…..You are able to take photos of anyone if they are in a public place. You are able to sell them but can not use them in advertising…(such as a person holding a Pepsi can photographed at a ball game can not be used in a Pepsi add without permission). This is a photo that I took while on vacation with my husband. This couple was having their wedding photos taken in the middle of the street which was beautiful. I was sitting in a park waiting for my husband to come out of a store. I snapped a few photos but was really just enjoying watching them. When I got home I saw this one and thought it was lovely and simple. There are so many reasons I am excited to start blogging again. I am excited to meet people who will challenge me with my photography. People that will inspire me with their photography and their lives. My first venture out and I meet Nicolasa who has been very kind and helpful with me on this journey. Thank you Nicolasa!
My life is going through “transitions”. I have a daughter that is in her 2nd year of college and a son who just purchased his first vehicle (a Jeep Wrangler…aahhh). Although I have been the secretary of our Excavation business for 21 years my primary role has been “mom”. Several years ago I returned to school and truly loved it. So a few months ago I decided it was time to venture out into the world. I applied for a job at our local hospital for a position that I was very qualified for and had the recommendation of the Chief of Staff. But, I did not get the job. Another interview – another No. While I was waiting on the decision for my 3rd interview I had a talk with God. If I did not get this position than I would focus on my photography – something that I had done as a hobby for years. Well, the 3rd no came so I had to hold up my end of the bargain.
And so my future begins.
The last several months have been a whirlwind of activity. Now I am in the final stretch of everything becoming a reality. My website should be finished by my designer anytime. I originally spent weeks building one myself. Once everything started happening I realized that if I was going to take this serious I needed a professional website. So, as soon as the website is complete I expect the craziness to really begin.
I am fortunate to have businesses that would like my work in their shops and have already sold several prints. And as an ego boost I have one photo that was picked for as a feature photo on the National Geographics website. I have visited numerous galleries and boutique type shops meeting managers and making lists of what type of art would be a good fit.
If you ask me what I dream of when I think of with the future with my photography my mind goes a hundred different directions. Mainly I want to travel the world. I would love to do missions and document our journey. I would love to work for a magazine photographing and writing articles. All of this with my best friend (my husband) by my side.
The most rewarding and difficult part has been (re)starting my blog. I blogged for quite awhile. But through some unfortunate circumstances I chose to stop…. I have missed writing – I missed challenging myself with new photography – I missed my blogging friends. But through this journey I realized I Needed “this”. I realize that blogging can be very vulnerable – to put your life out there for others to enter into – to critique – to judge – to ignore. But I have to be willing to take that leap. So this is a whole new blog – a fresh start. It makes me sad not to have all my previous posts lined up on the side – somewhat proving to my reader that I can be taken seriously as a blogger. I am still in the process of reconnecting and filling up my sidebar with my favorite buttons. But I will have to say it is exciting to be creative and construct something New.
Well, I can’t wait to reveal my website to you all. I am looking forward to connecting with my old friends again and excited to make new friends along the way.
Have a beautiful day!!!
Now if somebody would come do my dishes…..
Serves 4 * Prep Time 30 minutes * Total Time 30 minutes
1 TB olive oil
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 TB fresh lime juice
1/4 cup packed fresh cilantro
1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low. Season chicken on both sides w/ salt and pepper, and cook until lighly browned and just cooked through, turning once, 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a plate cover loosely w/ aluminum foil
2. Raise heat to medium; cookonion, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes; cook until tomatoes soften and release their juice, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lime juice and cilantro. Season with sald and pepper. Serve chicken topped w/ tomato mixture.
I served it with steamed green beans w/ lemon zest and sliced almonds.
(Fresh Flavor Fast – Everyday Food – Martha Stewart)
We have the very good fortune to have many Amish friends. We have learned so much from them. Sometimes I think that I should write a book with all the info. My husband does alot of excavation work for them and everytime he comes home from being there he has something new to teach us.
A few years ago they were working with their tomato plants and Rob noticed they were doing “something” with them. When he asked them they explained that they were “suckering” them. Since then “suckering” is just a part of our gardening chores. I thought maybe I would explain it to you in case this was a new thing to you like it was to me.
So…..what is a tomato sucker anyway???
Tomato suckers are the growth that appear in the crotch between the stem and a branch. (See photo above) If left to grow, they will become another main stem with branches, flowers, fruit and more suckers of their own.
How do I sucker my tomato plants?
It is as simple as just breaking off the “little sucker”….;-)
So why should I sucker my tomato plants?
The main reason to sucker your plants is because it allows more energy to go to the rest of the plant. The more stems you have the more the nutrients are spread out. The earlier you start suckering the plants the better. We are pretty faithful with it until they start producing and we begin to back off.
I know that there is alot more information out there if you want to dive deeper into it…(but then you are much more dedicated than I am…) But I thought this gives you a place to start…..
I hope that you have a plentiful garden season…….
I have a Love/Hate relationship with my garden. There are times when I’m out working in it that I don’t want to quit. I love the feel of a hoe in my hands. I love the straight weedless rows. But what I don’t care for is when you go away for a couple of days and come back and it has turned into a jungle. Now I shouldn’t be complaining because I know I am blessed that our weather has allowed us to have a hearty garden while others have suffered from droughts or floods. But last week I walked out to the garden and felt a tad bit overwhelmed. The green bean plants needed picking and my tomato plants needed staking because they can’t decide if they are plants or trees….they are Huge. My lettuce must have gotten jealous and tried to see if it could grow taller than the tomatoes.
So now begins the canning season. When I pour over canning recipes and dream of filled shelves and of writing the dates on the top of jars with a sharpee. So far I have 11 quarts of green beans canned. It never is as much work as my mind seems to think it is. This year I have big plans. Plans of being adventursm. Of trying new and exciting concoctions….
Well, I had better go…..My garden awaits
EVERYDAY FOODS – FRESH FLAVOR FAST by Martha Stewart
During the summer months this is the cookbook that you will find opened up on my kitchen counter. I am always looking for new and interesting ways to use the produce and herbs from my garden.
Some of my favorites are…
- Pasta with Goat Cheese and Roasted Asparagus
- Pasta with Roasted Summer Vegetables and Basil
- Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes, Olives and Cilantro
- Chicken and Basil Stirfry
- Grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs with Mint-Feta Sauce
- Flank Steak with Parsley-Garlic Sauce
….from time to time when I make some of these I will upload some photos and recipes for you
LOVE OF COLOR AND TEXTURE
My mother in law quilts. She quilts a lot! I am sure that she has made hundreds of quilts in her lifetime. I myself went through a period in my life where I accompanied her to quilt guild meetings and fabric stores. I made a few quilts and table runners but the love for sewing didn’t stick with me like it has her. I was at her house today to take some photos that would work for cards for a local fabric store.
When you walk into her sewing room you see that there is every possible color or print you could imagine.There are stacks in cupboards and rows lined up in drawers. I understand this love of collecting. I too love the colors and prints and how wonderful they look all lined up together. The difference is – she knows what to do with the fabric. (I mean besides photograph it). It has a purpose. I began the think about the fact that there is a good chance that most of the fabric in her sewing room will never make its way into a quilt. And yet as I look at her “stash” I love the dreams behind the purchases. I saw a card once that stated….”So much fabric, so little time…” I can relate, maybe my passion isn’t sewing – but I have enough dream projects that will keep me busy for quite sometime…….
I hope that you never run out of “dream projects”……
This is a must bookmark page for anyone who touches a camera. This is a breakdown of 150 of the best and most useful photography sites. From what kind of camera to buy, how to use it, where to store your photos to legal information concerning your photos. The information is clear and the links are easy to get to. But be prepared to spend some time here because you just might get a little sidetracked.