Posted by Rhonda On March 4th, 2011
I’m going to choose to ignore the fact that I haven’t blogged since Thanksgiving, and that the title of this post is clearly three months past the traditional January appearance.
I hope you can ignore it too.
Clearly I have not placed ridding myself of procrastination habits at the top of list for the New Year, since the year is already almost a quarter over and I am just now starting to solidify and write down the list that has been bouncing around in my head for the past couple of months. But it’s my list, my blog, and my life and I’m choosing to think a late list and goals are better than none at all. If anything, I’m picking up on resolutions and goals at a time when most of the ones made at New Years have long been abandoned. Right? How’s that for a positive spin?
2010 was a great year.
Personally for me, it was kind of a transitional year. After a solid two years, Stephen and I finally broke out of the ‘slaves to home renovation and our house’ phase and could actually have free weekends that didn’t involve wearing paint clothes and making multiple trips to Home Depot. We could actually enjoy the hard work that we’d done. Also, after four years, I said farewell to a good and steady job and stepped into the unsteady yet freeing world of contract work. The world where, while you have free time, if you’re not working, you’re not making money. I took some awesome trips including a girls weekend jaunt to New York, and a three week roadtrip from Vegas to Vancouver with my husband. I’ve had various thoughts and goals about my photography, some of which haven’t panned out, and some of which have changed (and are still changing). And, just because I guess I felt the need to cram one more thing in at the end of the year, I also started a bit of a completely unrelated side business the last couple of weeks of December selling vinyl records online. (Yes people still buy and listen to vinyl. It’s quite awesome. You should try it.)
2010 brought a lot of change itself, but also completed a lot of things that started in 2009. Therefore I feel that 2011 has the potential to be the year where I’m not in transition, slowly going from one thing to the next, but instead actively and (hopefully) confidently moving ahead. To where? We’ll see.
One thing I do know is I want to make a concerted effort to write and blog more about the things that happen this year.
And again, I’m choosing to ignore the fact that its March and not January. Who says one must have thoughts of focus and determination only in the first month of the year?
Since I don’t have a specific image to go with this post, here’s a generic picture of the ocean and sky I took off the side of a cruise ship last September. Feel free to make your own cheesy motivational poster with it.
Posted by Rhonda On November 30th, 2010
Hands down, my favorite holiday.
Perfectly situated in autumn with it’s crispy leaves, cool weather, and warm homes, Thanksgiving has all the wonderfulness of Christmas (festive relaxation, family, and ridiculously good food) but without all the hectic shopping and commercial craziness. Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas and the act of giving and exchanging, but have really started to not enjoy the burden of shopping and giving gifts, just for the sake of giving gifts. I absolutely love giving a perfectly and thoughtfully chosen gift for someone, but don’t enjoy the feeling of buying and exchanging gifts out of obligation because you feel you have to. FYI: If you ever feel you need to buy me something but aren’t sure what to get, save yourself the hassle of shopping and spending money and lets go out to coffee or dinner and have fun together instead. I believe it will be much more enjoyable for everyone.
Anyways, I absolutely love Thanksgiving. After a wonderful lunch with Stephen’s family on Thursday, we gathered with my family at our house on Friday. Despite being a bit nervous about being in charge of the turkey for the first time, it was a lovely day filled with people I love and delicious food. Amidst the busy cooking schedule and crowded kitchen, I made sure to shoot a few images during the day. To document the process of my family together. Right now it seems that this is our routine for this holiday, but I know that someday it will change, and I’ll want to remember that this was our happy normal.
Therefore, welcome to Thanksgiving at my house.
Stephen and I were brave and decided to try and cook the turkey on the grill. It was actually super easy, very tasty, and kept the oven free for everything else. We may have just found a new tradition.
Quite possible my favorite dish ever: My mom’s hashbrown potato casserole. I used to request this on my birthday. If I ever found myself in some sort of ‘last meal’ situation, I’d probably request it there too.
Any holiday in which every side dish is in casserole form is fine by me.
Pumpkin cheesecake with nutmeg whipped cream made by yours truly. Quite heavenly if I do say so myself.
I hope your Thanksgiving was as wonderful as ours, and the leftovers just as tasty.
Posted by Rhonda On October 15th, 2010
If I could package up my current environment and all the associated feelings I’m having right now and send it to you via UPS, FedEx, carrier pigeon, courier, or whatever your preferred method of transport, I would.
It’s just so lovely.
So lovely that I know whatever phrases and descriptive words I try to use won’t be adequate to fully convey the scene. Yet still, here is my poor attempt.
Screen porch. Empty glass beside me that held a wonderful (and my favorite) Scotch Ale. Voices of children at play from across the street. The high school band drumline warming up for the homecoming game a couple of blocks away. Squirrely squirrels climbing trees, eating nuts and dropping shells on the tin roof of our cottage. Falling leaves rustling. Crickets starting their evening serenade. The sun descending behind the old oak trees in our backyard, casting warm and golden light through their leaves that have just a hint of color.
All of these sights and sounds are wrapped up in the most perfectly cool and comfortable, yet-oh-so-slightly breezy air.
It’s wonderful and makes me happy. So happy I stopped everything I was doing, grabbed my camera and took a few shots to remember and savor the moment. I’d like to invite you to savor it with me (or inspire to find your own moment to savor). I’m so sorry the internet doesn’t have scratch-and-sniff-and-feel features yet, these images will have to do to illustrate until Google develops them.
They were taken through the twinkle lights on my deck. I purposely shot through the twinkle lights because so many of my autumn evenings are spent under them. And if you’ve ever spent an evening beneath twinkle lights, you know what a very good thing that can be.
Posted by Rhonda On October 7th, 2010
Although I’m ridiculously happy that it seems we’ve finally turned the corner into cooler weather, in fact I’m writing this from my little screened-in breakfast nook, sipping coffee in the most glorious slightly chilly fall weather, I can’t help but be an itsy-bitsy, teeny-tiny sad that summer is over. That actually seems quite blasphemous for me to say to myself after all the complaining and loathing I had this summer for the heat, humidity and mosquitoes. Yet still, even in the miserably hot South, summer has it charms.
Here to say a proper farewell to summer until next year (which sadly will probably start here in Atlanta in March), are a few images from the lake weekend we spent back in August with our friends. I’m pretty certain I would like summer better if I lived on a lake, or the beach or any form of water. Water has such a relaxing and wonderful affect, and I fully believe Atlanta would be 10,000 times better if it had been centered on some form of water, rather than a railroad terminus. Despite the ridiculous urban sprawl ATL has, I doubt the city will ever expand to that degree. Therefore, I must be content to have good friends with lake houses in South Carolina, and a sister with a beach condo in Florida from which I can enjoy the summer months.
All of these images were shot on film with my ‘new’ old medium format camera. Not my TLR, but another one I recently bought for a steal from a college student who decided to change his major from photography to biology. I thank him and wish him well. This lake weekend was the trial run for my Mamiya; I purposely left my DSLR at home to be forced to use it. It’s big, heavy, and awkward, with manual settings and focus. However, after getting the film back (although in no way perfect) I think I can overlook it’s faults.
So farewell summer with your lazy days, cookouts, fireworks parties and lightning bugs. I’ll think of you fondly.
At least until next year when I start cursing you again.
Posted by Rhonda On October 2nd, 2010
Well, I guess I should say favorite ‘non-fictional character’ redhead as not to offend Anne Shirley whom I have loved and admired for many years. Every couple of months when I was little I would get sucked into those Saturday afternoon marathons of Anne of Green Gables on PBS and sit there and wish that I could find a bosom friend like Diana Berry who would come over for tea and invite me to Christmas balls where I’d wear a lovely dress with puffed sleeves.
However, my favorite real-life redhead is not even three yet, but I’m pretty sure his imagination could already rival Anne’s.
Back in August I had the pleasure of photographing this wonderful family for the second time, only this time they are one tiny boy bigger. Just for kicks here’s Bryson from last October.
A year makes quite a difference, doesn’t it? Even though Bryson is a year older and wiser, he is still the same fun, energetic and adorable little boy. Once I arrived and he remembered me (we had hung out for a bit July 4th and watched some fireworks together), he wanted to play. And play we did. We started by playing with a little Cars.
Bryson’s dad Chris joined him in on the race around the coffee table.
Bryson is such a funny and happy kid. I dare you to look at this picture and not smile.
Sometime during the car race, Bryson “got” a boo-boo and “needed” a band-aid.
After getting patched up, he led me to the other room to play with more toys.
We then headed upstairs to check out his room, where there were more Cars items to be had.
We were joined by the newest member of the family. Little Ryland was just about a month old, and such a cutie.
I can already tell that Bryson is going to be a great big brother.
We then focused on getting a few shots of Ryland by his adorable self.
He was so alert and looking around.
LOVE this little face.
A few with his beautiful mother Hillary.
Hillary said there’s been a little debate as to what color hair Ryland will have. Believe it or not Bryson was pretty bald for over the first year before his red hair started growing in. I said I bet Ryland will be the same. To me his little peach fuzz had a tiny reddish hue to it. You can kind of see it in this picture.
But, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
I don’t mind waiting, and hopefully Bryson and I can have a few more playdates in between. I just hope that if Ryland’s hair does turn out to be red, he won’t spend his entire childhood like Anne hating it and losing his temper if anyone dare call him ‘carrots.’
But if his personality is anything like his big brother’s, I think he’ll be just fine.