Posts Tagged ‘photographer’

New Adventures

May 21, 2015

It has been so long since I posted an update, I had to relearn my blogging software a bit. I have been trying to decide how to best utilize my long-term blog since my photography business has slowed a bit and our travel life has increased. My plan is to update more about that and our family adventures, for now.

This past week I was very interested in the Galena Triathlon that has been running for the past 20 years. Last Saturday the athletes began with their swim at Nixon Beach. We were really interested since our daughter, Dawn, has been training for an upcoming triathlon in Davenport next month.

Last Monday, Molly, Jason and four of his friends came to Freeport hoping to get in the lake, ride the trails and hang out together before they started their summer jobs. Jim and I are so proud of our oldest grandson who just completed his freshman year at Fordham University. He brought friends that he has know since early grade school and despite awful weather, they managed to have fun. Tuesday was the best weather day so we headed to the lake, built a fire and they rode around the entire lake on our souped-up golf cart. Then, we headed down to the lake for a little fishing only to discover the marina closed and we were without bait. A few minutes later I secured wax worms from a veteran fisherman and we were in business. The sunshine felt so good that afternoon. Wednesday was terribly cold and rainy so Molly drove the group to Monroe – one of his friends has done very little travelling and Wisconsin was added to his newly extended list of states. We said goodbye to the group this morning around 8 am.


On Tuesday, my Highland friend, Jeanne and her husband, left for an extended trip to Canada and Oregon. I love to follow their trips on her retirement blog.

Today, we also got ready for a very brief visit from Dawn’s family who is flying to Germany tonight. They packed their suitcases into the Highlander so Jim could drive them to O’Hare and after a quick lunch, we said goodbye. Time for a little relaxation, knitting and dog walking. And, some camping this weekend at Apple Canyon Lake. Who says retirement is boring??


Today was just my day. I went to Twice as Nice Home with a mission and, this time, I scored – big time! I was actually looking for dessert plates to match my old, old punch cups from the Unicorn Restaurant. Find #1: 20 dessert plates for $15. They have one rectangle for dessert, one to fit the punch cup and one is an ash tray! How shockingly retro. Find #2: This sweet antique doll that was asking to go home with me and sit on the bed with Grandma’s quilt. She reminds me of the China Girl from Oz a little bit – can you think of a good name for her? Find #3: these hand-painted plates that were made in China. 20 dessert plates and seven dinner plates came home with me for $9.99. Leaves are so beautiful, aren’t they? Find #4: paper towel holder now holding the garden string that I’m fond of using to tie up my climbing roses. Find #5: a garden angel that matches my purple bird bath and candle holder. Find #6: this tray magazine holder. I’ve been sorting through everything in my house and was having such a tough time giving up some old Southern Living, Country Living, Midwest Living, Martha Stewart, etc. and now I don’t have to!








Garden Angel



This past weekend I finally met Kali and her family of nine for their outdoor photo session. This has been planned for a long, long time starting with a gift certificate purchased for Christmas last year. Kali and I have had many email conversations about scheduling, what-to-wear, etc but this was the first time we met face-to-face. It’s a small world in NW Illinois, though, and I remembered her mother-in-law from classes at Highland and her mother worked with my son at one time. Our original plan for the session was early May but that day turned out to be too rainy so we all agreed to reschedule for last Saturday and I’m soo happy we did. The field was full of yellow flowers, the sky was perfectly blue with some clouds mixed in and the temperature was surprisingly warm. The bigger girls amazed me with their tumbling skills at only seven and four and one-year-old Reese just smiled and smiled! Who could ask for more than that?

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Summer is so short! We no longer take vacations during the summer as we love to spend time here and have family join us at the lake. We’re thankful they will come from Ohio and Iowa during the short summer months. We now prefer to vacation during the cold & miserable midwest winter if at all possible. We have been to the lake several times this summer and are looking forward to lounging on floats in the lake again this weekend. I’m sure the water has warmed dramatically since the last time we were there.

Last weekend, though, we did make our way to Madison with Dawn’s family to go to the Farmer’s Market. It was hot and crowded and overwhelming so we were all ready to leave after only doing half of it. Do you know it’s the largest in the country? We had a nice, cool lunch at the Great Dane after eating a whole loaf of warm cheese bread and sampling lots of cheese – it’s all about the cheese! State Street was just as busy due to Maxwell Street days and the patio of the union was packed, too!

On the way home, we stopped at Brennan’s in Monroe to get the rest of the ingredients we needed for Dawn’s special gourmet, grilled pizza. Everything but the fresh mozarella had been purchased at the Farmer’s Market. We were really proud of ourselves for dragging along a pull-behind traveler and a cooler in the car. We were all pretty exhausted at the end of the day! What are your favorite things to do in the summer time?

A couple more tips for you on photo processing: I use purchased actions for much of my blog’s photo processing. I always use MCP’s Crystal Clear Web Resize to prepare my images for this blog. On these images I also used the Pioneer Woman’s free Action Set 1 How nice of Ree Drummond to give away these actions and to provide so many, many wonderful tutorials on photography and photo processing. If you are an aspiring photographer, spend some time on the photography section of her blog. She has some Flickr groups, too!


This last photo appeals to me so much: Lars, our son-in-law, is pelting his wife with some little beads off of the trees and in the background it appears that Grandpa, aka Gpa, is telling Erin another fanciful story about how his little finger became crooked (yes, it really is). Jim is so much better at this pretending and story-telling than I am. I love him for that!

Erin was a happy, little six-year-old last weekend. She was enthralled with this little monkey from one of the State Street stores and had it riding her Webkinz pet. Lovingly wrapped around her is the fabric we found at Hobby Lobby for her new, tied blanket. We located the perfect color fleece for the other side at JoAnn’s so she didn’t understand that it wasn’t going to get magically done and go right home with her that day.

Kelby is such a fun kid, now! He doesn’t talk constantly any more but when he does, it’s usually a conversation about animals – more specifically fish of all kinds. He’s a walking encyclopedia and though he’s a voracious reader and listener of fiction, he checks out just as many non-fiction books from the Iowa City library.

We spent quite a few hours shopping last weekend in Ohio in between lunches at Brio and Cheesecake Factory. BTW, the Key Lime/Mango cheesecake we shared was the best I’ve ever had.

Polaris and Easton malls are just beautiful and I was astonished at how much Easton had grown. The stores that were added make you feel like you’re shopping in NYC: a huge Anthropologie and Tiffany’s store (didn’t get to either of those). I love to stop in the Fossil store and this time Molly found these perfect charms. I obviously needed the camera but the little scooter charm reminds me of my Metropolitan (it even has wheels that spin). Can’t wait until it’s spring and I can start riding the scooter to work again.

The charms are sitting on my Apple store purchase: a new case for my Verizon iPhone. I’m having so much fun with the phone! I took lots of photos out shopping and in the house and a few videos, too. The latest app I installed is a bright, LED flashlight. I know that most photographers have had an iPhone or Blackberry for ages but it’s all brand new to me!

Here’s the newest edition of suggested color combinations for families. I really like the combination of magenta, gray and blue. These are pretty trendy colors right now but will look great for a long time, I’m sure. The ruffle texture on the two tops adds interest as do the different shoe detail.

I Found Some Color

December 31, 2008

The leaves on this tree caught my eye while walking in the park the past two days – lovely yellow color in a white & brown winter landscape. So, I stopped to get the shot and my dog, Mully, leaps into the front seat and honks the horn at me. I thought, no problem, and then she lays on the horn and doesn’t stop until I get back into the car. I have to remember to take the keys out when the dogs are in the car. I was doing an engagement session this spring and after the couple’s dog had appeared in a couple of photos with them, they put her back in the car. When we moved to the next location, they found their dog had locked them out!

Yellow leaves picture.

Yellow leaves picture.