I had SO much fun. My friend, Lori, and I went to Stone Mountain, Georgia for the Country Living Fair. It was cold. It was beautiful. And I couldn't keep my head out of the glorious trees! We met the Junk Gypsies - Amie and Jolie Sikes! They have a wonderful new book and we got to have our copies signed. Such a thrill to meet them! They are absolutely adorable. These pictures are from my phone - I didn't bring my big camera with me. Next time?
I won't leave home without it. Sigh. I missed it so much. But gosh, I had a great time! I plan to go again next year!
Our world may be badly broken and it may be severely hurting and how I worry, and cry, and hope that it mends as my heart breaks for all who suffer. But, like the incredible Louis Armstrong, I will always believe our world is wonderful and I will always see trees of green and find the good somehow, someway, wherever I go.
I leave in the morning for the mountains and will be gone about a week. Which means gone from "my" lake. Which means I admittedly have anxiety about leaving behind Papa Goose who is not "mine" of course but tell that to my possessive and obsessive heart!
Though so excited to slip away a bit, I will miss him terribly. I will worry about him terribly. As I fed him this morning, I told him "I would be right back" - the same thing I always told my children when they were young and what I always tell my fur children now - even if only going to the grocery store. Papa Goose looked at me and let me pet his head. His wild in nature head. Me being a sensitive freak, I teared up. And as I reminded him to stay away from cars and bad people, he shook and spread his gorgeous wings to dry off droplets from his early morning swim. One of his feathers fell floated to the ground at our feet. The thing is, Papa Goose doesn't leave very many feathers behind. So, I asked him if this treasure was for me. And with his good eye he told me yes. This I know.
Love has no language barriers.
I will take his most beautiful feather with me. And yes Papa, I will be right back.
I made sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving which was held in my sister and brother-in-law's beautiful back garden, and, as always, it was magical! Her table settings are always so very special - you feel like a much loved and wanted guest family member. There were little handmade fabric pumpkins for everyone to take home, along with an inspirational bookmark. The food was over-the-top delicious and the company even better. There were the usual family shenanigans as she always has a little game to play and some of us do not follow the rules.
I had Summer Lynn the day after Thanksgiving and her very first request was to go feed Papa Goose so of course we did. He ate quickly and returned to the water as he is on new family watch with five little ducklings under his care. The pekin ducks LOVE this little girl so much and I am pretty sure the feeling is mutual. She fed them until all of the corn was gone and then she pulled her red wagon all the way home reminding me that she would do so, "all by myself." There may or may not have been a toasted turkey sandwich on white bread with a little mayo, salt & pepper stop along the way though. Oh the joys of having family living within a few blocks of each other! I love it and am SO incredibly thankful for that.
And in these lingering days of leftover Thanksgiving sweetness, I am thankful for you too. But then again, I always am. 'Tis always the season for loving you.
I photographed The Fancy Flea this past Friday and Saturday and, as always, it was amazing and wonderful and there were so many treasures to be found! A fabulous time was had by all, even if we were having record breaking heat as this adorable little one was seeming to say:
"Hurry up and take my picture lady, it's 100 degrees out here!"
I photographed the La Petit Fancy Flea for my friend, Lori, on Saturday and as you can see the turn out was amazing! And we even had Marie Antoinette make an appearance! ;-) There were so many wonderful vendors, treasures, and people there. It was truly an outstanding show and I am so honored to have photographed it. I will be working on those images this week and speaking of images, these images have all been wrapped with loving care and are now on their way to their new homes ...
Thank you all so much for your kind, generous, and always sweet support! I hope to keep painting in the days and weeks ahead and I will share and list on Etsy as I can.
I was able to stand in front of this house on Tuesday. And while I stood here once before when I was 12 years old, I didn't really remember it too well. And my 12 year old self didn't have a crystal ball to know that one day I would have a son who would serve and sacrifice for his country far away in a war. It is a strange feeling, as a mother of a soldier, to stand there on the other side of the fence from our country's beautiful white house. I don't know, I can't really explain it. I guess it's just that one morning our soldier left our little yellow house and when he returned, months later from Afghanistan, he was not the same. And he never will be. He will be better and he will be worse and he will be everything in between. He will be brave and he will be strong and he will lead. He will grieve and he will heal and he will give back. And he will begin again. But he will never be the same. And I know that other mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers of soldiers understand.
From house to house, and sea to shining sea ......
I will always remember this tree on the south end of town and Summer Lynn's innocent two-year old wonder as she marveled in all of the yellow glory. Such a sweet sweet child. Just like spring, she really knows how to make hearts sing.
These are just a few of the many images that I had the honor of taking last Saturday for a favorite family of mine. They mean the world to me and I love them very much. They wanted to have their shoot at the college campus that they graduated from. It is a beautiful campus and the flowers were all in bloom in the garden. The boys were intrigued with them and were lovingly bestowing their Mommy with their chosen ones. Our time there also included water play, skinned knees, laughter, tears, and little shoes that kept coming off.
And hugs. Lots and lots of hugs. Exactly what the world needs so much more of now......
The above images were taken this Wednesday morning from 7:30 - 8:30 a.m. - give or take a few moments of chit and chat and this and that with my early bird human lake friends... no pun intended.
As the lake sparkled and I - as I always do, marveled - I fed Papa Goose who was not in a talkative mood and I fed Miss Mini who was. I saw the bald eagle fly above me and tried to capture in that fleeting moment its majesty. I took the heron's picture in the sky and as it stood nearby though I do not like him. And yes he knows it. :-( I took the Australian swan's picture as she was about to begin her bath and yes I do love her and yes she does know that. :-) I tried to capture the golden sunlight as it illuminated the egret perched on top of the tree. I happily took the pekin duck's picture as he posed from his chosen rock seemingly just for me. I looked up to see the always amazing and independent anhinga spreading his wings so I took that shot too. And as the Great White Pelican from Wisconsin touched down on the water with my threatening approach, I clicked quickly, hoping to capture his beauty even if he was afraid of me.
The brand new blooming iris with a wee bit of dew WAS beautiful. The wooden bench on the west side where many in solitude sit and reflect and pray was empty. There were woodpeckers and a hummingbird in a tree that I could not capture as they eluded me. There was a small plane in the sky and an ambulance going by and a dog on a leash growling.
And there was life above and under and to the right and to the left and to the......
I almost stayed home. I needed, or so I thought, that second cup of coffee.
But I don't NEED coffee. I NEED the life around me. I am so very grateful that it is here. Often feebly captured with my most often dirty lens but..... it is here. To see, live, and embrace.