RSS Feed

There are Actually Pretty Things in my Yard...

I believe, due to the copious amounts of rain we've received this spring/summer, the plants which someone else planted back in the day have finally started to spring forth in my yard.

There is now somewhat of a garden by my garage...I use the term "garden" loosely because, again, I think at some point, someone put this vegetation on purpose in the ground. I have ferns, some hostas, little purpley-flower thingies, and even a DAY LILY! Excellent.
Not that this will keep me from actually planting in the areas Clint's worked on for actual flowers/plants, but I'm excited that even though I've put forth no effort, I have pretty growing things in my yard.

Ok, maybe the berries are from weeds, but still nice to look at. They seem to be cultivating on the neighbor's side, anyway, so until they encroach further I'll enjoy the colors.

PS: Who said chainlink can't look neat???

It's been brought to my attention that those pretty little berries creeping through from the neighbor's yard are, indeed, poisonous. Good thing Zada doesn't eat that stuff. I'll have to have a chat with the neighbor about her "garden" :) Thanks, Julie!!!

I am NOT Mac Compatible

If I were in a Mac commercial, I'd be the geeky, frumpy guy who looks horrible in his icky suit while standing next to the cute, trendy-hip guy.

I'm the new girl on the job who's not Mac compatible in a world of PC-bashers. That being said, I'm comfortable using a machine which may or may not decide to crash on me (or need to be in time out - i.e., shut down - for a minute). I'm okay with that. I use it for "document" focused work, vs. "application" focused. So it's alright.

They'll still order me my own set of speakers (so I can blast my iPod in my office), a wireless mouse, an ergonomic keyboard, etc. OH, plus they haven't banned me from the fridge or cupboards yet, so that's a bonus. (*Note* Today is Cookie Day. Every Wednesday is Cookie Day here at work. I'm not even a sweets eater, but these're the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever had in my life.)

I digress - in my defense, I did attempt a software download (ShapeShifter or something) to try to NOT use the Mac Dock system (I prefer the Taskbar, thanks so much), but to no avail. Sigh. Oh well, the new girl starting in a week or so will get a really nice, barely-used Mactop (that's right, I'm combining Mac with laptop there) to use.

I always do like to be different :)

Hamel Rodeo

For those of you who're rodeo-goers out there (and I realize the list isn't long), I do have to say the Hamel Rodeo is the best Minnesota rodeo there is. Nothing says "summer" like sitting on a hillside in the sunshine, eating a hotdog & swilling beer while watching hottie cowboys a) roping calves, b) riding broncs or c) braving the bulls. I don't mention the gals racing barrels because, let's be honest, it's just the "respite" before the bull riders come out, anyway. (PS: Girls, let GO of the horn and RIDE that horse, for crying out loud!)

Of course, every rodeo always starts with the national anthem, and then whoever carries it in always carries it out in style - i.e., at a dead run. It IS pretty cool.

Oh, and let's not forget the alcoholic references - go, Budweiser :)

It was a beautiful day, and other than the fact none of the bull riders came close to 8 seconds, it was a great rodeo. No injuries - to either people OR horses - so that was a sigh of relief...of the last few horse events Clint and I have watched together, 2 times a horse broke a leg (a different rodeo and of course, the Derby).

They keep the action moving along pretty quickly and they always have good bucking stock, plus big payouts attract more participants.

Anyway, so that's my "plug" for the Hamel Rodeo. At $6.00 per ticket (we went on Family Day) how can you argue some good, live entertainment?

Even the kids love it :)

The Troth

On July 3rd, at the end of my parents' dock - with the setting sun shining on us - Clint asked me to marry him and I said yes!

That's right, we're engaged!

(Much to the delight of both our mothers, who've been waiting in anticipation for this for quite some time :)

He truly knows me - there's no other place I'd have rather been when he asked than barefoot on the dock, throwing the stick for the dogs, looking out at the lake where I grew up. Sigh. Yup, there's a bit of romantic stowed away in me after all!

Evidently there was quite the ordeal to get the ring out to me, since the thing came in a HUGE box, and he couldn't fit it in his the fact that my sister was still there (she and the girls were up for a couple days) and was ... feeding ... Charlotte in the room where Clint would be staying, so he couldn't get to his bag. Meanwhile, I kept wondering why he needed to 'change his clothes' or 'get his flip-flops' (i.e., needed to get the ring). I thought, "when did he get so picky about what he's wearing up at the lake?

I love, love, LOVE it - and him, of course! - and it's more beautiful than I could imagine while looking at ideas. It's hard not to stare at it all the time! Which, of course, we did all the rest of the weekend. I have to admit, in a client meeting yesterday, I'd catch my glance wandering down towards my finger to check it out - AGAIN.

It's a tension ring - well, they call it that, but technically it's a compression ring - using only the strength of the metal (and tiny grooves on each side) to hold in the diamond.

I like to see people's reaction when they see the diamond seemingly "floating" in midair. I wasn't crazy about the concept when we first started looking, but I was curious so researched it and wouldn't you know, they (Gelin Abaci) have never had a stone come out of the setting. I figured if the Roman aqueducts are still standing - using only compression and keystones for support - then that'll work for my ring, too.

The next day we decorated Madge & Merle's pontoon and headed out for the annual July 4th Mission Lake Pontoon Parade. The parade's been growing in popularity, as there were more boats in the parade than normal...leaving a scant number of spectators. But, we still had fun.

Mom broke out the bubbly in honor of our engagement and we all toasted to a long and happy marriage...haha, MARRIAGE. Still sounds funny.

It was a gorgeous day for a boat ride and very fun to watch the diamond sparkling in the sun! Overall, it was a VERY fun and relaxing weekend.

And now I get to plan a wedding!

Candid Photography

Zada, My European German Shepherd I find that the majority of the time (probably 90%), the best photos I get are the ones that are a) unplanned or b) a tad unorthodox.

This goes for random events - like tonight, when I whipped out the point & shoot & grabbed some cute images of Zada - all the way up to (and especially!) - weddings. Granted, there's more pressure at a wedding since you're being paid to render the day in images...but those "gems" you capture are worth it.

When you take a lot of images, you're going to get a LOT of usable ones, a bunch of good ones, and some REALLY good ones (Again, this goes for weddings or just in general). In my opinion, of course. If you're Ansel Adams or something, you might get 1,399 stellar shots. Then again, I'm not sure I've ever seen him do anything but landscape/scenic stuff...

I think the key to getting those unexpected shots is - of course - being prepared, but there's also an element of not tying yourself down with "expectations"; you must stay open. Basically, I 'shoot now, assess later'.

Some shots might not look candid or unplanned; that's the beauty of them. A lot of times, I'll tell anyone BUT the people who have vested interest that the photo was serendipitous. For example, the parents of the little boy in the yellow flowers - unless they read this blog - will never know as they were desperately trying to call him back from the edge of the wedding gazebo (the bridesmaids/groomsmen were walking down together) I happened to turn and snap this shot of him. Can't lie, it's better than I'd have gotten if we were posing the kid :)

Another thing to keep in mind is don't always think "straight" - unless you're taking a scenic photo of the ocean, you don't NEED a straight horizon anymore. Shake it up a bit - be daring.

Of course, you can venture into the "too daring" category, which includes putting yourself (or others) in danger just to get that shot...I'm talking about hanging out of trees or cars in order to take a photograph. Granted, MOST of the time when I shoot out of cars, I'm not driving, but that's not always the case. However, in my defense, when I'm photographer extraordinaire AND behind the wheel, I don't focus/aim/compose; rather, I shoot and what I get is what I get. I.e., my eyes are on the road.

For the "desolate" shot (above) I was the passenger and I cheated a bit...straightened it a tad & turned it B&W...but who's to know if I'm not saying anything?

Ok, so for the Minneapolis Skyline shot, I was driving (hence the blurriness and horrible composition), but again, my eyes were on the less so than if I was checking things out normally, anyway. All I'm saying is keep an open mind and you'll find you can get some pretty neat shots.

Happy shooting!