Monday, January 26, 2009

I didn't actually shoot this today--it was shot last Tuesday. But I have been sick as a dog with a terrible sore throat for the past 3 days and just didn't feel like getting the camera out...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Today, I am sharing something a little different. These aren't exactly photographs I took, but album pages I am putting together for a friend/colleague of mine. The photographs were taken by Rebekah Pope, and the album design is Leah's from LCH Design. I had a lot of fun putting this all together! I've also done one for this young lady's twin brother, using another of Leah's designs.

Friday, January 23, 2009

I had the pleasure of photographing this little darling today. I photographed her parents nearly 3 months ago, and got to meet her today. This was one of the rare moments we got her to sleep during the 3 hour session!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Finally! I got the kitchen all cleaned up, except for the corner where I am standing when I took this shot, lol! And the reason that corner is still a mess is because it's full of tools and supplies that Kelly needs to take back out to the barn and put away. I love it on the rare occasions that I can get the whole house clean at the same time, but for now I will just enjoy the fact that most of the house is clean.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's time, it's time, it's time! Season 5 premier of LOST tonight! Three hours of the most fascinating show on TV. Not to mention, sexy, shirtless, Sawyer with his southern drawl.

I had to do some Make-up portraits today for one of our school clients. I set up everything in the lobby. This shows my seamless white paper, my plexiglass sheet I use since the paper is on carpet, my giant foldable softbox on my AB 800, and my giant reflector. This is my standard lighting setup for most things.

Monday, January 19, 2009

OK, nothing all that interesting today. But my friend Donna loves SnoCaps, so I photographed some to put on her Facebook wall for her. Here they are...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Years ago, I worked a cosmetics counter at Dillard's, then at Castner Knott department stores. One of the perks of such a job is all the tester bottles and free gifts you get, along with the employee discount. I adore fragrances. During the 2 and half years I worked in retail, I must have collected close to 100 different bottles of perfume. Some of them, I never wear but I still can't seem to part with them. (See several previous posts about me being something of a packrat.)

But different fragrances evoke different emotions and memories for me. For example, a wiff of Lauder's Cinnabar brings back visions of college and my best friend my first semester there. Cinnabar was her signature fragrance. The scent of Joop! reminds me of a girl I worked with on the Clinque counter at Castner Knott--that was her signature fragrance. Ralph Lauren's Lauren and Polo both take me back to the halls of Ridgeway High School my senior year. I remember one day someone dropped a bottle of Polo from their locker and the hallway reeked of it for days. Chanel No. 5 is what I wore on my wedding day. I bought Donna Karan's Cashmere Mist on a fantastic shopping trip to Chicago with my husband. He dutifully followed me around stores for 3 days, and carried the many, many bags back to our hotel. Calvin Klein's Obession remains a favorite all these years and reminds me of my early 20's. Hermes Caleche reminds me of a horse-drawn sleigh ride on Mont Royal in Montreal.

I can associate different events and people with so many different fragrances. Most of them bring back pleasant memories. I treasure those fragrances and the memories they evoke.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

During most of my childhood, my only grandparents lived on the other side of the country. We were in Florida, Georgia, and then Tennessee, while my mom's parents were in Maine. None of us were rich, so visits were few and far between. Because of this distance, I would say I was never very close to my grandparents. My grandfather died my senior year in high school, and my grandmother passed away 9 years ago this March.

After I had married and moved out of my parents' house, my grandmother came to live with my parents. I was busy raising my daughter and managing my own home while working full-time, so I can't say I spent any more time with her then. But she did spent time with my daughter. One of the ways my grandmother passed the time was crocheting afghans and making quilts out of scraps of fabric. She made quite a few for my daughter. Keep in mind, my grandmother had grown up during the Depression, lived through WWII rationing, and was a very frugal person. The afghans and quilts were made with inexpensive fabrics and yarns, and I always thought they were scratchy and they made me itch. So these items were rarely used, but packed away.

While cleaning out the attic, I came across some of these items. While I still think they are scratchy, I appreciate the time and the love that went into making them much more now than I did then. So I laundered them carefully, and they will be wrapped in tissue and stored in my daughter's Hope Chest. And one day she will grow to appreciate these things her great-grandmother made for her.

Friday, January 16, 2009

I live in the South. I have lived in the South my entire life. It's pretty warm in the South most of the year. Our summers are blazing hot, with humidity levels that turn the air to steam and your hair to a giant frizz-ball. You clothes stick to your skin within seconds of walking outside. It's hard to breath sometimes because there is so much moisture in the air. In the winters, we rarely see snow. It gets damp and rainy, overcast and chilly, but rarely COLD.

Well, this week is definitely one of those rare occasions. It actually got down to ZERO degrees last night. It's only about 20 degrees right now. And it will get down to 10 degrees tonight. We haven't been above freezing in 2 days, and won't until sometime on Sunday. They closed schools all over Middle Tennessee because of the frigid temperatures.

So how do you spend a day when it's too cold to step outside? With Peppermint Hot Chocolate, warm slippers, and a good book! Preferably with my cat curled up beside me--but he's a little moody today. Global Warming? Yeah, right.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I love sugar. And I love chocolate. Up until about 6 years ago, I could eat all the sugar and chocolate (and fat) I wanted, and still be skinny. Then I got old. OK, maybe 41 isn't old, but sometimes it feels like it is. Well, after 36 years of eating all that crap--and loving every bite--going cold turkey just wasn't going to work. I would have had the DTs or something and needed to be hospitalized. My body would have gone into shock. But since I did get old, I cannot eat that stuff anymore without serious repercussions. By the pound. So meet my new favorite snack as of this week.

As I wrote about the other day, we had a nice little walk down memory lane while cleaning out the attic. But what wasn't in the attic, is something I have tucked away, tied with fading ribbons, in a special box in my office. Its a bundle of notes and letters that were written by me, and my best friend, during high school and college. Some of these notes and letters were of the kind written during class and passed to one another when the teacher wasn't looking our way. Or left in the locker we shared for the other to find after the next class. Some were long missives written after we were no longer living in the same town, after we were in college, or married. The letters contain silly things like complaints about teachers and homework, or that the Spanish classroom was so cold that our noses were running and our fingers were turning blue. And they contain our opinions of boys, what catty girl was driving us crazy, who we wanted to ask us to homecoming or the prom, and what we would wear when they did. They contain our hopes, our dreams, and our heartbreaks. Our tears at the death of a dear friend. Our guilt over a failed marriage. Our struggles with who we were, and who we wanted to be.

At some point, the letters became less frequent, then ceased altogether. I saved these letters all these years because they are important to me. They contain so many of my thoughts and feelings during those years of my life. And they contain a friendship that was dear to me.

Now, thanks to technology and the internet, I am in touch with this dear friend once again. Nearly 20 years after we last spoke, we had lunch together today. We spent 4 hours catching up, and filling in all those years. And fell right back into the comfort and ease we had together as kids. And it turns out we have so much in common, still. One of those things is scrapbooking and paper crafts. My friend made this beautiful altered journal for me! So of course, I had to photograph it for today's entry. I can't wait to get together with her again. We now live about 2 hours from each other, so visits will have to be planned, but this friendship is so worth the effort!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I love my Mac. I joined the Mac cult the weekend before Christmas 2007. My PC laptop had just died again. It needed a new motherboard for the third time in 18 months. It had also had a new LCD panel replaced during that time. And it was slow. I decided that I was tired of using inferior PC/Microsoft products, and went down to Mac Authority and a bought my Mac Pro. It's a monster of a machine, and I fell in love with it immediately. Then in August, the spousal unit bought me the Leopard OSX upgrade. Love it too.

I finally helped talked a friend into making the switch from the dark side last week. So he asked me to come to the free class on Leopard last night at the Mac store. Well, unless you have never seen a computer before, it's pretty much a waste of time. But afterwards we had a nice dinner out, so the evening wasn't a total bust. I had intended to take a photo during the class with my beloved iphone, but once I was there I completely forgot to do it. So here's a photo of my Mac Pro at home for today's entry.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Growing up, I always remember my mother keeping the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer full. She told me when I was older that it was sort of a compulsion after an experience she had when I was a baby. My father had lost his job, they had $20 to their name, and almost no food in the house. The stress of wondering how she would feed her children until my father got another job and got paid again was such that she vowed never to have an empty pantry again. Because I grew up that way, I guess, I can't stand to have dwindling food supplies, either. The grocery store is a 30 minute drive for me, so running down the street for something I run out of isn't really an option. I plan my menus two weeks at a time. We may not always stick to them exactly, but they are a guideline and a basis for shopping lists. On Sundays, I sit down with all my favorite cookbooks, and plan our meals, making my list for the grocery store at the same time.

Now, living in the south, food is a big part of our lives. Nearly all of our socializing is done around food or church, or both. I enjoy food. I enjoy the socializing that comes with dinner with friends. I can't tell you how many times we have been the last patrons to leave a restaurant after enjoying a delicious meal and a good wine. I enjoy the sensory pleasures of a rich chocolate cake or a savory pot roast, or a crisp salad. Oddly, though, I don't enjoy cooking. I am an adequate cook, at best. I can follow a recipe. But I am easily distracted from the task of cooking, and lack the creativity that comes for those who enjoy the process. These days, nearly all our meals come from Weight Watcher cookbooks. They really are quite tasty, and you don't think about it being 'diet' food. In fact, I would bet that no one would guess if they didn't see the cookbook. But since we are no longer young and seemingly immune to poor eating habits, we are trying to eat healthier and drink lots more water. And I greatly appreciate that while I may be a merely adequate cook, my dear husband is a fantastic cook!

I love having a refrigerator full of delicious foods and beverages following a trip to the market!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Today, we continued on our quest to purge. Kelly has been in the attic numerous times, throwing (yes, literally) junk (again, literally) down for me to check before he throws it away or burns it, or occasionally sets aside for the Goodwill run tomorrow. In one box, I found my size 0--yes, that's a ZERO--Guess jeans from my freshman year of college. Why was I keeping those all these years? Did I really think that my fat 41 year old ass was ever going to fit in those teeny, tiny jeans again? I mean really. I also found t-shirts and sweatshirts from the Bahamas, UCLA, and the Sorbonne. And Adam Ant's Strip concert in 1984, which I attended in the middle of a snowstorm. Kelly found his Peace Corps handbook. I also found a pay stub from 1997 where I made a whopping $713 for two weeks of misery. And the contract for our first (and only) house. I found my term paper from my senior year of high school--Symbolism and Characterization in The Great Gatsby (I made a C--I hate research papers) and all my notes from College French. I found drawings that were exercises in perspective from high school art. An old sleeping bag of Kelly's from college. A broken floor lamp. Canceled checks dating back as far as 1991. My old gym membership card. Not even that would help me get back into those jeans these days!

It was a brief little detour down memory lane. But none of it really warranted keeping. I guess this is what happens when you stay in one house for 15 years--things just don't get thrown away like they should. Moving is always an exercise in purging. Who wants to pack crap you don't need or really even want?

Now, I didn't really want to photograph all that junk--it would have been embarrassing. So, in keeping with the predominant theme so far this year, today's photograph is of the newly organized many hats, gloves, and scarves.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Well, the Titans just couldn't pull it off today, and lost to the Baltimore Ravens. Boooo, Ravens. Any given Sunday, right? one of the several photography forums of which I am a member, someone was asking to see everyone's office space. So I had to straighten mine up a bit before I could photograph it, lol! But here it all it's cluttered glory.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Today, I had my favorite soup for lunch--lobster bisque in a French bread bowl from City Limits Cafe. Rebekah and I love eating there on Fridays, since that's the only day you can get the lobster bisque. We have our business meetings there, and today we discussed marketing plans and promotion ideas for Pope & Schwartz Photography. But I didn't take a photograph of the soup. After the lunch meeting, I ran errands, and since it was chilly, I had to pop into Starbuck's and get a tall Peppermint Hot Chocolate. Yum. So here is what's left of my Peppermint Hot Chocolate, sitting in front of my beloved Mac. It's the little things in life that make you smile, right?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Today, i have to share two photographs. The before and after so to speak. Kelly and I decided that 2009 would be the Year of the Purge. We have way too much stuff, especially for our small house. And so much of it is just stuffed away somewhere and forgotten. Today, I decided to sort through my handbags and totes. Even after a major purge of these items last year (3 garbage bags to Goodwill) I still had 48 handbags and totes. Here they all are on my dining room table. Then sorted and photographed one at a time. All but about a dozen will be dropped off at Goodwill tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

This represents my morning and evening routine. My skin has become much more sensitive and volatile as I get older, and I deal with the thyroid issues. I've been on this regimen for about 4 weeks now, and I'm still not sure it's making a difference...

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Parrish is making lap quilts for her roommates (all 5 of them!) as Christmas gifts. They are exchanging gifts when they all return to school from Christmas break. So she's been a sewing fiend for the past two weeks! She's hand-stitching all the custom appliques onto the quilt squares. She has way more patience for this type of thing that I do!

Monday, January 5, 2009

We braved the cold this morning for a downtown shoot. It was 36 degrees and heavily overcast--which made for great lighting! Our first stop was Starbuck's for peppermint hot chocolate and some pastry. Then Rebekah and I took the girls down near the main branch of the library and shot for about an hour before the girls were too cold to continue. Here is my favorite of Parrish...

After shooting, we headed over to Red Robbin for some delicious bacon cheeseburgers and chicken bruschetta, which warmed us up nicely!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Not a lot of time for anything really creative today, but if anyone has ever been through a remodeling process, you know that when you get to the point of putting the accessories in the room, it's a happy day! We still have to install the tile backsplash, but I think everything else is done. This little dish of soaps and the reed diffuser in my new bathroom just makes me happy...

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Home Projects...

Owning a home means work. Maintenence is just the least of it. Remodeling is a nighmare, though the end result is hopefully worth it.

We have spent the past two months remodeling the hall bath. You may wonder why it's taking so long. Well, last time we did anything to that bath was about 8 years ago. And we covered the walls with Venetian tinted plaster. Then we had a leak and had to tear into the drywall. The patch job didn't hold, and we were sick of the plaster, so we sanded all that plaster off the walls and repainted. We also stripped and stained the cabinets, changed the hardware, and scraped all that popcorn crap off the ceiling. Then added moldings and new baseboards. We still have to put the tile backsplash up, so we went to Home Depot today to buy the supplies...