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December 29, 2011

This is going to be educational Thursday today. We were outside and I told Munchkin that cows did not have upper teeth. She didn’t believe me. So we went out to the pasture and up came our longhorn buddy. I told him that I wanted to show her that he didn’t have any upper teeth. Well he obliged with a smile. Cross my heart he did! I promise you! Yes huh! OK, ok. I probably wouldn’t believe that he did either without photographic evidence. So here you go people.

CHEESE!

See! No top teeth. If you didn’t know, I’m glad I could be of service. If you knew, just smile along with him.

Christmas at the ranch

December 26, 2011

We can’t go out to the ranch and NOT have a ranch post.

So we arrived yesterday, but it was too cold to go outside and enjoy doing anything. After opening presents, I spent most of the night setting up Munchkin’s new iPod from her Pa-Pa and Gi-Gi. I got most of what she wanted on it. Now she just needs to learn how it functions. And, yes, I did disable iTunes, and adding and deleting apps so she has to come to a parent to change anything.

This morning we awoke to the sun and stayed indoors to avoid the cold until the sun warmed up the ground and air all around. We browsed the Internet, munched on some snacks, read some interesting materials, and checked out our Apple products. Then I decided it was time to go out and grab some pictures as we do every time we visit.

Munchkin wanted to come out with me, so we just walked around snapping pictures and visiting with the animals. They love her, and she loves them. She bundled up, but I think it was more for avoiding Mom’s camera than trying to keep warm because it wasn’t uber cold.

We started with the cows and goats. Two of the goats are very much pregnant. Hopefully, there will be little goaty hooves trotting around soon. The goats and cows licked us a few times, but when they discovered we had not come to feed them, they lost interest in us.

We decided to head on over and give a hello to the horses. Of course, our main man Romeo was the first to see if we had anything for him. (yes, that’s the way Romeo’s ear rolls. It’s part of his swagger tat he uses to attract Senorita Pippi.

Munchkin loves the horses. She gave her horse, Stormy, his kisses for today.

And she couldn’t forget Miss Dolly (who loves kisses, but still isn’t broke).

Coco was busy being a Little Miss Meany who wanted all the attention, so she didn’t get any kisses. After kisses and attention, we walked around some more and got some more pictures.

Then Pa-Pa said it was time to feed the animules, so he and Munchkin headed off to the barn. Someone is a little vertically challenged, and had issues with getting the feed, but she made the best of it.

She actually did the work, too. Didn’t let Pa-Pa do it all himself.

She even drove like a pro and hopped out when she was needed.

She’s getting to be a real ranch hand. I told Pa-Pa that soon he won’t have to help. He’ll just have to tell her when it’s time to feed them.

 

  1. Vikki posted the following on December 27, 2011 at 12:12 pm.

    I loved reading this story about the ranch, i love watching Em grow up and read all about her adventures. She is lucky to be able to escape to the ranch and have so many beautiful memories now and in the future. Love you guys. Lets see more of the ranch and the beautiful outside of the home.

  2. oliveoyl posted the following on December 29, 2011 at 9:33 pm.

    I grew up spending weekends with MY papa and grandma. They worked my tail off, but I didn’t know it was work, just thought I was having fun. These are memories that still make me smile.

  3. MoMo posted the following on January 1, 2012 at 1:24 am.

    The pics are terrific! Reminds me of when I went for a visit with you. Miss the mountain out back. Em and you seem to be having a great time. I didn’t know that cattle didn’t have top teeth – and wouldn’t have believed it if I hadnt have seen the smile! What has GiGi done to the outside of the house? The cabin is beautiful – love the pic with Em on the top floor! Have fun! Love you guys!

A big Lil’ Man

December 9, 2011

I first had a session with this little man and his momma a year ago.

Back then he was a bundle of energy. And this year was no different. Due to the wonderful Texas weather changing very 30 seconds, we had to stay indoors, which is not my favorite place, but we made it work. I arrived after only getting slightly lost (stupid toll road). Lil’ Man started out just wanting to see all my gear. He was enjoying moving my tripod up and down, and seeing the umbrella that I used. I made a deal with him right off the bat that if he let me take his picture, afterward, I would let him take some pictures. That seemed to be a good deal which worked for all of 5 seconds. LOL. Then momma stepped in with Smarties. (Note to self: keep a roll or two of Smarties in the camera bag from now on. It’s always good to have material to use for bribery on hand.)

Just look at how big he’s gotten in a year’s time. (Look out ladies. He’s working on that killer smile.)

He is a sweet, loving boy who loves his momma, his grandparents, and dinosaurs. During our session, he had to show me the sound that a Tyrannosaurus makes. Loud, scary, big roar!

He also showed me that he had an umbrella like I did. Even thought his umbrella was more interesting since mine was only white. He told me about all the animals on it. Not only was this a fun shoot, but very educational.

And, yes, I kept my promise and he got to take a few pictures himself. Mostly of the carpet and of blurry feet, but it was fun. I’m not done editing, but I thought I would give Momma a sneak peek. How can you go through these and not want to share?!?!? I can hardly wait to get the gallery up. Definitely can’t wait until the next time we get to have a session and maybe then the weather will cooperate!

  1. allison posted the following on December 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm.

    I love these. I can’t wait to see the rest!!!!!

Elf on the Shelf

December 2, 2011

So this year was the first year we adopted our Elf on the Shelf to help maintain our best behavior this Christmas. Munchkin named him Elliott. Boy, is Elliott a handful, and this is only his second day in the house.

When Munchkin got home from school, she found a box from the North Pole on the front step.

But, wait! The box was opened! Had our dear new friend been abducted? Were we not going to see our elf? Would Santa never know of Munchkin’s behavior? NOOOOOOOOO.

We searched high and low, and high and low, and high…

Oh, Hi, Elliott. (Notice that he has a picture so that he knows which child is in his new family. We do have several kids from the neighborhood who visit regularly, so he’s got to make sure he gets them right.Some of the other children have elves of their own, so maybe Elliott can find a friend in the neighborhood, too.)

So last night Elliott traveled back to the North Pole to update Santa and came back. He didn’t hesitate to begin elfish antics. Munchkin woke up to this -

Not wanting to damage anything before her friends could see what Elliott was up to, this is how she exited her room.

Are we sure it was the work of our sweet, new family member, Elliott? Well, you view the evidence and make your own judgement. In the bathroom, we found this -

And looking up, we saw this -

BUSTED!!!!!! Throughout the day, I guess Elliott didn’t want to hang there, so he took up the toilet paper, and made himself comfy until when he has to jaunt back off to the North Pole to update Santa later tonight.

I wonder what other hi-jinx Elliott will perform during his stay with us this holiday season. Have you adopted your own elf this year? If so, I’d love to hear about your adventures. If you have a blog, please post a link in the comments, or just simply share your story.

 

 

Soaping Adventure

October 20, 2011

So while we were out at the ranch during our July vacation, I saw some handmade soap that my mother-in-law had in the bathroom. The curiosity bug hit me, and I began to research. I checked out websites and blogs. I watched videos. I was determined to pick up a new hobby. I started cold processing soap. So I’ve soaped a bit, but I think I’m ready to blog about it. :-)

A castille soap is a soap made purely of olive oil, lye and liquid such as water. This is a simple recipe, but I have never attempted one, that is, until now. And I must say, I LOVE the way it feels just sitting on the curing rack. Of course I photographed the process as I went.

First, I mixed my lye and water so that it would have a chance to cool down while I got my oil ready. When I took the temperature, the mixture was about 125 degrees F. And, no, I didn’t stick my head over the pitcher. I avoided the fumes and only held the camera over it.

Here is my olive oil just waiting for the lye water to cool down to be ready to mix. There wasn’t much prepping to do for the oils since there was only 1.

Since the temperature of the lye water was so high, I helped speed up the cooling process by an ice bath.

When the lye water was around 100 degrees F, I slowly added it to the olive oil.

Now I use my trusty stick blender to mix the oil and water. We want emulsification, people!

After enough stirring, it’s all emulsified and looks like butter. I did not mix it to thick trace as in the past my batters have thickened too much.

Now into the mold we go. Since this was a small test batch, I decided to put it into the silicone medium cupcake pan. Hand-sized that way. Could be used as guest bars.

Now to just put Saran Wrap over the top and wrap in a towel to set.

A little after 24 hours – no peeking! – I unmolded them and set them on the rack to cure. They feel as smooth and silky as they look. Now jut to wait 4-6 weeks longer to reach perfection.

Here’s a peppermint loaf I unmolded on the same day.

And here’s the peppermint cut and curing on the rack. Unfortunately, the peppermint scent is not as strong now as when I unmolded it a few days ago.

I also soaped my lovely milk and oatmeal soap this day, too. This time using buttermilk instead of goat’s milk. Maybe pictures of that tomorrow. Stay tuned to find out. And as always, comments are welcome!

So today, at my day job, my real job, the work I do during the week, whatever we want to call it, we had an offsite at a local movie theater. We got to choose the movie we wanted to see from their limited selection. Now I say limited, but there were about 8 movies from which to choose. I’m used to having about 12 selections at larger theaters or unlimited selections from Amazon.

Anyway…in finding out that we did not have to return to work when our movie was over, most of us so brilliantly opted for the earliest show so as to be able to go home early. The earliest show was Straw Dogs. Now it was not the best movie I have ever seen, but was neither the worst movie. I do not suggest it if you are offended by graphic sexual encounters & violence (including,but not limited to bludgeoning).

As we watched the movie, the theater offered the service off having food and drink delivered to your seat. Not just normal movie food like popcorn & candy, but burgers, pizza, salad, desserts. We’re talking a full menu, folks. While the concept is nice, and some may like it, I did not enjoy it. Don’t get me wrong. The food was good, the drink was cold, and the service was satisfactory.

What I didn’t like was eating my food without being able to see what it was. Sure, there was a tray and a small under-cabinet light system by the tray, but it was not enough to distinguish what was on my plate. I ordered a burger and fries. Fumbling among the fries, my stealth fingers detected a pickle spear alongside them. I cut my burger in half in an attempt to avoid any spillage of fillings into my lap (which I can proudly report was a success!) Something tentacle-like dangled from the cut edges. I poked at them, and ran my finger over them. I pinched them between my fingers. It was like that game at Halloween where you put your hand in the box to guess what was inside. I’m assuming the danglies were onions, but since my burger and I never shared the light of day, or any light in which my eyes could adjust for proper visability, I cannot be certain. We can only hope that everything on my plate was edible. (I wonder if they have any rules that they can’t put anything inedible on the plate because no one would see it.)

As I said before, there are some people who enjoy the experience; who have no qualms of not being able to distinguish tentacles from fries or a burger before sending them on a journey into the pit of their stomach. As for me, I like to see my food in its plated glory before gobbling it down. I think I’ll stick with dinner and a movie separately.

Just one more….

September 4, 2011

I have been editing Stef’s pictures, and I just had to share one more. It’s so difficult not to share them all! But I have to save some as a surprise for her and her lovely momma.

For this one, we wanted an urban feel. We went downtown to some of the alleys. Stef drew 2012 on this door in the dust/dirt/griminess/whatever is on an outside door near the street. I love the way this one came out.

Oh…and just a reminder before the reveal of this picture, I’m still looking for more Senior Superstars for Georgetown and the surrounding areas. If you are a 2012 Senior, or know of a 2012 Senior who may be interested in promoting my services and getting free stuff and even a chance at cash, fill out or have them fill out an application here.

Now for the picture, because what is a post without a picture!

And as always, comments are welcome!

Introducing….

August 26, 2011

OK. For the record, I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth, or down a well, or get sucked into some vortex never to return. I’ve just been busy, busy, busy. Busy at my day job, busy trying to enjoy summer, busy editing, busy thinking about different projects. But enough about that. What I would like to do is introduce you to my new Senior Superstar for Georgetown High!

:::::::::drum roll::::::::::

Stefanie Schutz! So if any of you attending Georgetown with Stef want or need your pictures taken and like discounts and some free prints, see Miss Stef for a referral.

I’m still editing from our session, but we did have fun going to several locations, even though it was like a million degrees. Stay tuned for more pictures of our adventures featuring smiles, fun, and even a bit of glitter!

I’m also still taking applications for a few more Senior Superstars, so if you’re interested, please fill out the application here.

I would like to thank the people that were giving me a proverbial swift kick in my arse. I haven’t been the best blogger out there. But I do have excuses. Out the wazoo. Well…only one excuse really. I’ve been busy. I have learned how long it takes to edit 8 sessions. A long freakin time. LOL. I had 5 shoots for the pediatric office and 3 other sessions. I am proud to say that I finally finished them all. Everyone has been advised of their galleries, so I think it’s safe to post some peeks now. Well, they wouldn’t really be peeks if they’ve already seen them, but we’ll call them that.

So here are some sneaks from some of these sessions.

First up was the brother and sister who are children of a high school friend. It was a good way to start off the day. They were very cooperative until brother got hungry near the end, but we got some shots before then. We found a really good spot in a big tree. Big brother D loved this spot.

Little sister L got to play in the lantana with the umbrella.

My second session was with 3 sisters. Sister 4 couldn’t make it because of work, but maybe we’ll have a session later. We pulled out the umbrella again for this session.

The last session of the day was with a wonderful little man. Perfect way to end a busy day of sessions.

He and his momma were having a blast.

The next day was a session with a fabulous teenager. She was a joy to work with. She knew her angles and was comfortable being herself. I captured some great shots during this session.

I love how this one is so fully of personality. Thank you Miss M!

Then I did a shoot for a new client (friend of a friend from work). We headed out to the Domain for some fun.

We tried to get the fountains to cooperate, but that was one of the most frustrating times of the day. It didn’t seem like there was a set pattern. Random water spouts is a challenging subject to work with.

I then had a Quinceanera portrait session. We headed out to Southwestern, hoping to beat an incoming storm that was looking to roll up. Fortunately, the storm never made it’s way over us.

We found a wonderful archway with some columns.

My next session was with a return client. I’ve done several shoots with her and her family. She’s an up and coming musician and was looking for shots to use for her business cards and other promotional items. We headed downtown for some laid back shots.

It started getting dark. I pulled out the old OCF and kept snapping. I think we got some nice ones, even though we could hardly see anything. Thank you Miss B for a fun time, and for bringing Miss W who was a great flash holder!

My last session was my Seester and her BF and his daughter. Again, we headed out to Southwestern and some locations around Georgetown.

Love you, Seester!

As always, comments are welcome!

  1. Seester posted the following on June 12, 2011 at 11:04 pm.

    HAD THE BESTEST TIME AS ALWAYS!!! EVEN WITH A SICK KIDDO THE SHOTS TURNED OUT FABULOUS! LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK SEESTER!

G.H.O.S.T.S.

March 23, 2011

So I was listening to the radio the other morning and they were talking about this study done in the UK. The findings were that approximately 32% of women under the age of 30 have already started going gray. Up from 18% reported 20 years ago. Now I am no longer 20-something, but I have seen the occasional gray hair. What does a gray hair mean? You’re old? You’re stressed? You’re wise? You’re destined to because of your genetics? You’ve been traumatized?

I don’t really know what gray hair means. It could mean one or all of the above. I just know that for me it means that it’s time to go out and find a cute new color creme rinse to hide them away. Who’s with me?!?

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