S is for Snake

With the title of this post alone, I'm sure I've already lost some of you.  But for those of you who are hanging in there, here's the story:

At the beginning of the summer, the hubbs and I started a brick patio project in our newly fenced-in back yard.  A week into it, the temperatures soared over a hundred degrees and never came back down.  We totally walked away from it until this week...eighty degrees is much more like it!

Well, in those few months, weeds took over.  Like, totally.  It was almost literally a jungle over there.  But, alas, if it was too hot to lay bricks, you can bet your britches it was too hot to pull weeds.  Tuesday was the day I decided was a good day for yanking things up by the root.

Tobey McGuire has Spidey Sense.  I have Snakey Sense.  Before I even plucked the first blade of crabgrass, I knew I was going to meet a snake that day.  And I was right...three times over.  Much to Wyatt's delight (and mine, if I'm honest), they were all harmless garter snakes.  I actually want these little guys to hang around.  

 This was the biggest of the three we found.  He was so docile and didn't seem to mind one bit being handled. 

 He looked bigger in Wyatt's hands. 

Wyatt was in heaven.

So, have I earned any "cool-mom" brownie points? 

These shots are SOOC.  I'm trying to push past my purist nature a bit by forcing myself to edit photos that are not for clients...slowly but surely...but I liked these just the way they are (except maybe I should've closed the aperture a tad).  I don't know what my deal is. 


Project 64: Bittersweet

Have you ever taken a picture without really paying attention to the entire scene because you were so focused on your subject?  Um, it wasn't until I was editing my Pioneer Day Festival photos that I realized the hilarity of this photo.  I was merely trying to capture the bulldog puppet (Skiatook's mascot).  Due to my intense focus, I neglected to notice the toy poodle sniffing his butt.  Guess that explains the wide-eyed expression!  

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Me, Myself, and I

Lest anyone think I am vain for taking a few selfies, let me assure you, I am quite the opposite.  I do think that I am beautiful, but not in the typical sense of the word.  I am a daughter of the King, and the bible says that the King is enthralled with my beauty...so that's what I'm clinging to. 

I've always loved taking pictures.  I've never liked being in pictures.  Until now.  Inspired by Chelsey over at Paper Mama, Casey of One Day at a Time, and Ashley over at Ramblings and Photographs, I thought I'd dabble a bit in selfies.  If they turned out ugly, I could delete them and no one would ever know.  I recently bought myself a treat, a 50mm, and I thought it would be a great opportunity to play with it in any case.  I've got to be honest, I love these pictures.  They well up all kinds of emotions in me.  I don't know why.  I think for the first time ever, I feel like my outside matches my inside....does that even make sense? 

To Chelsey, Ashley, and precious Casey:  Thank you!  Thank you for challenging all of us ladies whom you've never met to stretch our imaginations and get outside of our comfort zones.  I have always loved photography, and because of women like you who are so willing to share your knowledge and wisdom, I have finally found an outlet that gives me pure joy.  And I feel God's joy, too, when I use the gift He's given me to capture memories for other people!

I'm entering this one over at I Heart Faces for the People's Choice link-up.

I Heart Faces - Photo Challenges & Photography Tutorials


LEM Photo Challenge: Anything

I did an extended family grandkids session this weekend at a local playground.  Three of the five kids were two or under, and two were young teens.  I'm pretty sure they had just as much fun playing on the equipment as the toddlers, though!  I really loved this silhouette against the beautiful sky...plus, I barely had to touch this photo!


Oh My Beans!

Hello everyone!  I've missed blogging over the past few weeks, but this recipe is too good to keep to myself!  Bonus:  it's a crockpot dish, so you just set it and forget it!  I totally made this up as I went, so I am ever so thankful that I wrote it all down!  In case you're wondering...yes, I do photograph lots of meals every step of the way, then they turn out awful, so I just delete the images.

First of all, you'll need to put a can of chicken broth, a can of fire-roasted tex mex style diced tomatoes, and a 7oz can of chopped green chiles into your crockpot.

Then, in a large stock pot, bring some water to a rapid boil and quick soak half a pound of navy beans and half a pound of pinto beans (to quick soak, you just dump the dry beans into the boiling water and let them boil for about 5 minutes).  Once they're soaked, drain and rinse, then add to the crockpot.

Add 4-5 chopped green onions (or one small onion).

Add about 3/4 lb of bacon, cut into 1 inch pieces.  It'd be best to separate the slices from one another before you drop'em into the crock pot.

Add about 1 1/2 cups of water, plus a clove or two of chopped garlic and about a tablespoon of ground cumin.  If you like some real heat, you can add a few slices of jalepenos...but it's already pretty spicy, so skip if you want it milder.  Set the crockpot to low and let it cook for 4-5 hours.

About an hour before serving, stir about 1/4-1/2 cup of fresh chopped cilantro into the pot.  Go ahead, relish in the incredible aroma that is now permeating your entire house.

After the cilantro has cooked for about an hour, spoon into bowls and dive in.  This is even better with fresh, buttery cornbread...just sayin'.  


Project 64: Sepia

Hello everyone!  In case you've been wondering, yes, I am still alive.  I'm pretty blessed to be busy editing photo shoots (!!!), so I've had to take a break from blogging for awhile.  P64 is the first photography project I've ever done, and I've been with it from the beginning, so I cannot fight the urge to press on.  I mean, it's only one photo per week...I can handle that!

This weekend, my small town celebrated with its annual Pioneer Day Festival at the new park.  I was honored to be asked to be the photographer of the Golden Anniversary Couples!  I was surprised to see that over 25 couples showed up for the ceremony to celebrate their marriages which have sustained at least 50 years!  How inspiring, right?! 

I also had the pleasure of being asked to submit "people watching" type photos to our local newspaper.  Seriously, I am ecstatic to see the photo credits!  I'll definitely shell out the fifty cents for a copy this week!  On top of all of that, I had two photo shoots yesterday, plus two during the week last week.  I feel like my dreams are coming true, and I'm having the time of my life!  God has been good to me, that's for sure.

This beautiful girl was enjoying herself at Pioneer Day.  She is half Malamute, half German Shepherd...and all goreous.  She had such a warm disposition, too.  I took this photo hoping her left eye would translate to sepia for the week...and I think it does!

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Project 64: Blue Violet

I hope no one minds a couple more photos from my day at the Oklahoma Aquarium...I've been pretty busy these past couple of weeks with photo shoots and editing!!!  Unlike most of the other pics from my aquarium day, these are...drum roll, please....SOOC!!!  These jellyfish were in a tank lit by a blacklight, so they glowed with a beautiful blue-violet bioluminescence.  I could've stood there all day watching them.  

Here's my entry for the week...I just loved the shape of this guy and his frilly little cilia.

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Scavenger Hunt Sunday

This week's hunt was a blast!  On my husband's day off, we took Wyatt to the Oklahoma Aquarium.  While there, I forced myself to shoot in full manual...indoor photography is my nemesis, and the dark, backlit environment of the aquarium just screamed "learning experience" to me.  And learn I did.

1.  Stairs
I know that this isn't technically a photo of stairs, but rather an illustration of my sweet son's obstinate refusal to use them while playing on his slide.  I suppose that slipping and sliding maniacally during the attempt to climb the slide is almost more fun than going down it...?

2.  Macro
 This huge starfish was attached to the front glass of his tank by only two legs...he was kind of leaning back towards the light source as if trying to sun himself.  Gave me a great opportunity to photograph his tube feet!

3.  Clouds
 I know...I'm stretching my imagination a bit here for the "clouds" prompt...but I could have stayed at this exhibit all day.  The jellyfish tank had a current that continually swirled these fluffy guys around in a dreamy whirlpool.  Watching them drift along felt just like lying on the ground watching the clouds billow by!

4.  Abstract
 Seriously, this may be my favorite picture of the day, and it's totally abstract.  See that column in the middle of the picture?  That pillar was the center of a tank in which these shiny, silver fish swam around and around at lightning speed.  I just opened the aperture all of the way and slowed the shutter waaaaaay down.  So cool!

5.  Smile
I took this one while visiting with Clifford and Joella, our sweet friends who live down the street.  Wyatt and Joella were rocketing a hotwheel back and forth to one another across the patio table...I think that Wyatt's attempt sent the car hurling into the empty chair next to Joella, which to him was hysterically funny!  I just love his laugh!  And if you're wondering about that great hair of his...it was SO WINDY that morning!


Paper Mama: Heart

This week's theme over at Paper Mama was Heart. 

Quite simply, this little boy is my heart, walking around outside of my body. 

The Paper Mama


Project 64: Melon

Many of my photos are going to be themed this week...the Mister and I took our Huggie Bear to the Oklahoma Aquarium yesterday!  We usually make it out there once a year, so it wasn't Wyatt's first trip, but in years past, his main obsession in life has been cars or bugs.  Currently, the boy is ate up with all things ocean, so needless to say, he rather enjoyed himself....which means we rather enjoyed ourselves, too.  Nothing like watching your kid's face light up!

I not only had a great time looking at all of the aquatic life, but used the dim, mostly backlit setting to learn a few new things about my camera.  I had it in full manual the whole time, and I'm pretty pumped about some of the photos I walked away with!  That said, I was kind of not impressed with a bunch of the others, but hey, I lowered my expectations going in.  Indoor photography is a major challenge of mine, but I am determined to master it!

I loved all of the wispy anemones.  This one was a perfect melony color!

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Texture Thursday

I was just trying to take a walk, and this tree kept barking at me.
Yup, I'm super corny. 

The Daily Wyatt