Sunday, April 29, 2007

Inspiration

I attended the services for our Mayor this afternoon. For those of you who didn't know Sharon, she was an avid gardener. People said that she treated Toledo like her own backyard. You always saw her weeding, planting, landscaping, and beautifying our little town of Toledo. Her own yard with its many many flowers is nothing short of spectacular. She instigated Toledo's now-famous hanging flower basket display.

I think I've caught her bug.

I put a hanging fuschia basket up at the studio about 3 weeks ago. I had hanging flower baskets last year too, but I think I'm the only one in town to have one out that early.

This afternoon after her services at the high school, all I wanted to do was come home and dig. So I did. I got my vegetable plot all ready to plant and even placed some counter-sunk stones as a border. I weeded out another little planting spot too, where a couple of weeks ago I planted a gigantic elephant ear bulb. I haven't seen it coming up yet, but am watching for it.

Tomorrow I'll get our many pepper plants in, along with a couple of different cukes, and yes I bought more zucchini plants. 3 to be exact. I'm going to plant them at the other end of the yard so they don't take over the veggie garden. Eric and I thought it would be funny, since I really only wanted one plant, and the containers for sale came with no less than three, to sneak into the yards of people we don't like and plant the other two zucchini plants. We like zucchini but last year we had two plants and we had WAY too much zucchini.

I think I've finally caught the gardening bug again. I haven't been inspired to do much in the yard the last few years. Maybe some little part of Sharon's enthusiasm for it has been channeled to me. All I can say is THANK YOU.

We will miss our Sharon so very much. Yet she will live on in our hearts and our gardens.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

And so it goes...

Nearly two years ago I was hired to create portraits of a very special dog for a Father's Day gift . He was only a year old then, and was very well-behaved and smart. We took this portrait in the back yard here at the studio.

A year and two days ago, the recipient of this Father's Day gift passed away. Three days ago, the dog was killed on the highway in front of their home. Damn. He was only 3 years old. *sigh* I gave a 16x20 studio display print to the family because I know they will always cherish it.

I am covering a wedding today that holds lots of irony for me personally. It should be interesting. Eric is officiating. Should be really interesting... ;-)

Then after that I have a baby session with a 3-week old and of course his parents. I'm looking forward to that.

Then, we are going to HogFathers for dinner and entertainment. If you haven't checked it out, you really should. Make reservations well ahead of time, they are often sold out.

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Critters

First, a pretty picture of Donnie, taken by Eric while he was lounging on the porch swing.The nanny goat had three kids, one of which did not survive. The other two are now residing with the horses, geese, ducks, and their mama in the pasture. One is quite a bit bigger than the other and he is definitely the trouble-maker of the two. He refused to get his head outta one of the horses' feed buckets and ended up being picked up and thrown, bawling, by said horse. I'm afraid it will take a few more lessons like that for him to learn that he shouldn't oughta do that. Here is Frick.
The smaller of the two doesn't have any horns yet. He is very sweet and sociable. He is definitely human-imprinted. He's really vocal, too, and his little maaa is really endearing. This is Frack.
They are now about 15-18 inches tall. Very cute.
This is Quincy, reacting to the dinner bell. "Ho hum. Guess I have to drag my ass all the way up to the barn so those people can feed me some grain and alfalfa."
My Lucky, on the other hand, shows much more enthusiasm for his feed. "Woo hoo!! Dinnertime!!"
And on the homefront, Eric posted about the freebie porch swing and the nice warm spring day we, well mostly he, recently spent lounging around on it.
And as Eric also mentioned, I planted three tomato plants. They look kinda silly, being so little with such huge cages, but I'll take new pictures of them periodically so we can see how well they fill up and even overflow their cages.

We've always had really good luck with tomatoes (and zucchini - ugh! lesson learned there...) in this location, except we have some issues with blossom end rot. Maybe I'll rig up some kind of drip watering system this year. Or maybe I'll just add it to Eric's Honey-do list. ;)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The Best Friend a Town Ever Had

Was our beloved Mayor, Sharon Branstiter. After some obviously very serious health issues, Mayor Sharon passed away this morning at her home. Godspeed, Sharon. Rest assured your legacy will live on in the 'gardening of a town', and the garden will continue to grow under your watchful eye from above. Thank you for all you have done for Toledo and its people. We all loved you, and we could feel the love pouring from your heart every day, in everything you did. You will be sorely missed.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Another fine day

I met this lovely family out on the beach this morning and captured some really great images for them. It was really nice on the beach, warm and calm. Felt good to get out and get my toes in the warm sand.

I'm doing fine after my surgery on Wednesday, and am hoping that will be the end of it. Eric's lump is being labeled 'suspicious' so we have an appointment in a couple of weeks for a 'consultation' in Corvallis. Keep your fingers crossed for him. I'm hoping an outpatient surgery will be the end of that for him, too.

Have a great weekend!!

Monday, April 16, 2007

One Fine Day

I got what I had asked for in a day off yesterday, a warmish day without rain. Eric and I spent the day working in the yard and then he washed both vehicles. I planted a couple of artichoke plants, some sweet pea plants, several pansies, some cilantro and catnip. It felt so good to be outside and absorb a little sunshine.

While I was out in the yard I happened to notice that the twig that I had stuck in the ground to mark my Gypsy’s grave was growing up one side and down the other. Just about the same time I had to have her put down this past January, our huge corkscrew willow tree had gotten broken by strong winds and Eric and our neighbors had cut a lot of the big branches out of it. It was a piece of that tree that I happened to use for a quick marker, and this is what it looks like now. Eric and I transplanted it away from the fence so it can eventually grow into the large tree that it wants to be. And it will always be Gypsy’s tree. Eventually it will be a bookend tree with our cedar shed in between them.
Here is a picture of the flowers along our fence row. The white one is a daffodil, the red ones are tulips, you can see a peony bud on the left, and the purple ones are the bluebells that are constantly trying to take over the entire yard. They are everywhere.

This is a close up of a flower on the Akebia vine I planted last spring.

And these are a couple of my lilac flowers. They smell so good.

And by request, here is the picture I got of my Sissy from 2001, when she lived with someone else and her name was ‘Lil Girl’.
Eric and I had the horses’ hooves trimmed on Saturday, and while they were doing that I wandered down into the pasture to get a couple of pictures of the new ducklings. Here they are paired up, two by two as they follow mom down to the pond.
And here is a good example of skunk cabbage. As a kid I remember mistakenly calling it skunk spinach.
This is the nanny goat that lives with our horses, and she thinks she is also a horse. She’s pretty sweet. For a goat.


Now I'm gonna get personal on ya. Eric and I have had our share of hard times in the last year, but right now we can use all the good vibes you can send us. Eric had a mammogram last week - yes really - so keep us in your thoughts while we hope that it's just a cyst. I am having a cone biopsy on Wednesday, so keep us in your thoughts while we hope that it's curative and no more treatment will be needed. Much appreciated.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Another fun shoot

I enjoyed another high school senior shoot this afternoon, even though the weather wasn't all that great. It was windy and kinda cold, but we got some great shots and had a fun time anyway. Here's my favorite.


I've got spring fever. I am SO ready for some nice warm sunny days. I bought some vegetable plants (artichokes, sweet peas) and some pansies and a fuschia yesterday. I have seedlings up of columbine, red poppies and some dwarf delphinium. I'm just dying to get out in the yard and get my hands dirty, pulling out stuff I don't want to grow there and planting stuff that I do want to grow. Right now the yard is full of bluebells, daffodils and red tulips, all in full bloom. Now I wish it would warm up and stop raining for a few days.

The lady I mentioned that had adopted my Sissy as a baby sent me a 'thank you' card and a picture of my sweet kitty from 2001. (This one is not it. I took this one at the studio last year...) Now I know where she came from and how old she is. Yay! I'm thankful every day that she chooses to spend her time here, she is the most loving and affectionate cat I've ever known.



Happy Friday the 13th! Bwa ha ha ha...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Cute, cute, cute!

The Easter Portrait Event was a success. And a lot of fun. I love seeing all the little kiddies all dressed up and out having fun with Easter egg hunts and the like. Here's my favorite shot from the day.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter

It's starting out to be a nice sunny day here at the coast, and I hope it stays that way. I hope I get lots of people stopping by for Easter Portraits today as well. I've got a cute set up and am looking forward to seeing people all dressed up.
A couple of days ago I had a session with a lovely lady who just has oodles of personality. When she first called me she lamented -on and on- about how she NEVER takes a good picture, she's so un-photogenic, has the face of a horse... you get the picture. So I suggested she have her hair done, and go see a Mary Kay consultant for some instruction on the art of make-up, and bring some different blouses to the studio for a session. I was hoping to change her mind about her own photogenic-ness. It seems I succeeded. We ended up with several portraits of her that she really likes. I am thankful for her faith in me. Here is my favorite.



Yesterday another client stopped by to pick up the prints she ordered of her one-month old daughter. She happened to see Sissy, my studio cat, and exclaimed, "THAT USED TO BE MY CAT!!!!" She had adopted "Little Girl" along with her brother, "Little Boy" when they were babies, and apparently when they moved across town three or four years ago, the girly-cat ran away. When she started hanging around the studio about a year ago, I thought maybe she had been dumped off. But apparently she was looking for the perfect home. I guess she found it. I am positive she's the same cat, because she drools when she's happy. And she drools a LOT at the studio.

Have a wonderful Easter!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Tis the Season

Spring is springing up all over the place, and I am SO glad to see it. This has been a long hard winter for me personally.

Now. Who among you does NOT have a picture of yourself as a small child, all dressed up for Easter, with basket in hand, squinting into the sun as your mom looks down at you and says "smile!" I can picture the ones of me right this very minute.

I know there are a lot of people who get all dressed up for Easter church services and such, and they want to capture that in pictures. That's why I'm going to be open on my day off for Easter this year, offering professional studio portraits for the occasion, so you will have a nice 'picture' for your album, instead of the squinting-into-the-sun one we've all seen, or have of ourselves.

After that, I'll be attending the reception for the YAA Photographers Show at the Newport Visual Arts Center in Nye Beach. Hope to see you at one or the other - or both!!