Thursday, April 26, 2007

Howdy again. Hannah's been taking hip-hop since September, and I've never taken photos of her. I thought they'd do a recital, but it was cancelled due to lack of participation, go figure. So, May is the last month of class, and I knew I'd better get while the gettin's good!
They've learned two songs (erm, two dances) and below is the beginning of one. There are only about 4 girls in this class and Hannah's the oldest (and tallest!!)

Here's Hannah with one of the girls.

Hannah doing her Famous Face Plant. She can hold it for about 116 seconds.
All three of them doing it. So, that's what Hannah's been learning every Wednesday afternoon since September. We rush from school to home, inhale dinner at 4:30, rush to dance, rush to community group, and get home around 9:30pm, utterly wiped out. But it sure is fun, watching her dance.

It makes me tired, too. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Hey there! Things are great. We had a terrific storm last night around 1:00AM but aside from pounding rain and brilliant lightening, we weren't too troubled.

Here are photos I took last night of Hannah with the Sixth Grade Choir at Canyon Middle School. Hannah has participated in school choir since third grade! Morris Vader (Vah-der) is their teacher and does a fantastic job.
Hannah is a soprano, by the way, and the whole group sounded angelic! I was extremely impressed. Ms. Mary Nell and Madison came with me to hear. Below, you see Hannah with two girl friends.
Hannah with Mr. Vader.
And here's a quick image I snapped this morning before work of our new flowers. Fortunately they weren't shredded by the hail last night! They won't be thirsty for a long time...
GREAT news! I've received all the money I need for my trip to Turkey in June! THANK YOU to all who gave so generously and quickly!! I stand amazed. It never ceases to amaze me. Love, Rachael

Friday, April 13, 2007

Greetings from south Texas! It's a gorgeous 80-something degree day here. My favorite thing to do right now is ride my bike around my neighborhood and breathe in the scent of freshly-cut grass and look at all the flowers blooming in people's yards. Hannah and I will buy some plants this weekend and make our humble contribution to "spring fever" lawncare.

Above, you see the logo I created for WIM's international conference in August, in Kerrville, Texas. We've been working feverishly all week to get over 4,000 letters and brochures mailed out for this conference. I'm so proud of my brochure! It's the best I've ever done. It's nice to know my skills are improving, especially when I recall sitting in graphic design class 10 years ago, thinking, "I'll never do graphic design for a living." Never say never! :)

Below, you see the most darling cherub in the world, my nephew, Eli. He is about a year and a half old. I took these pictures of him on Easter Sunday at his house in Lake Park, Georgia. We'd gone to church and had lunch at Mom and Dad's house and spent about two hours with my cousins before leaving to go be with Chris's family for the afternoon. Big Mama's party had been the night before, and I'd gone to bed a little after 1:00AM.

There are hundreds of photos I could post from our celebration of Big Mama's 90th birthday, but these of Eli were my favorite. He's so difficult to photograph, too! He never sits still.
Here's one shot of Big Mama sitting with Mrs. Geraldine, my uncle Wayne's mother. They were watching 13 great-grandchildren hunt Easter eggs and not paying attention to me at all. I think it's the best photo I've ever seen of my grandmother!

I'm reading A.W. Tozer's "Knowledge of the Holy," which is his book on the attributes of God. A very weighty book! And it's not even 200 pages. Of course, it doesn't cover ALL the attributes, but it's still great material to meditate on and I feel it has already changed the way I pray.

I'd write more but I'm so far behind on work and it's 20 minutes before I leave to get Hannah from school. It's been a hard week, but it got better, and today and yesterday were great! I love my job!!

Have a good weekend. RLC

Friday, April 06, 2007

Camellias: heavily perfumed, gorgeous flowers that grow on large bushes in the South. An older couple who lived at the end of West Cranford Street when I was little (eg., under 8) had tons of these bushes, and we (my sister Jenna and I) would pick tons of flowers and bring them home to Mom. She was always worried that we were stealing flowers but really, we would never do that.
These are camellias growing about the yard of the oldest house in Valdosta. The yard is huge, unpruned, uncared for, and I love it. The house itself is a disappointment; some committee has fixed up the crumbling, peeling house and repainted it, so it has none of its old degraded beauty. But I stomped around the property anyway around 10 this morning, clicking away with my camera, searching for interesting shots. It was a whole uninterrupted 90 minutes of solitude. Ah.
Below, you see the back of the house. Looks haunted, right? The trees are great; I love 'em. Anyway, it was fun. My goal was to photo all the old houses downtown and then meet Craig at his studio and maybe get a few shots of him with his work.

This is a house right across from the one above. This one is inhabited, and is still in the process of remodeling. It has this weird turret-thingy poking out from the wrap-around porch.

Moving on across downtown: I parked (illegaly) behind Ashley House, a retirement apartment building, and crossed Ashley Street to get some good "industrial" images; old business signs, interesting textures to use at work, whatever.

This is an abandoned (?) warehouse which had that sign "POLICE NO1577" spray-painted on it every few feet. I don't know why, but thought it was worth photographing. The one below is a cool lock I found on one of the doors. I like locks.

Here's the whole facade: I shot individual pix of the painted bricks up close, the individual words, etc. etc. but wanted one whole image as well.

Moving on, because it was time to meet Craig, I took a few fast images of the old Army/Navy Surplus Building on Patterson Street. Jenna got her first (and only) pair of combat boots there back in the late 80's or early 90's, whenever they first became popular. The store's closed now but I'm sure every photography student at VSU has shot this building for an assignment. Curiously, I never did while I lived here. But now I have the strong urge to photograph and capture images of the town I used to live in. Nostalgia.

This almost looks like a painting to me.

The greatest thing is, the steps lead to nowhere. Where DID they go, back in the day?? By the way Krissy, if you ever read this, all of these images you're looking at are posted just as they were shot. I was really practicing getting good exposures.

Now we come to Craig! Craig Hawkins is a good friend and fellow art major from VSU (my second stint at VSU). He married the lovely Donna, and paints for a living. Check out his blog at Recently the planets aligned and Valdosta actually remodeled the old GoodWill building downtown and turned it into an art store/gallery downstairs and the upper floor was chopped up into studios which rent at decent prices. I'm sick with envy!!
Here's Craig with some of his work:

Donna found him this wingback chair, and in Harry Ally fashion, Craig painted it. Mr. Ally has a similar one in his office in the VSU Art Dept. There's a drawing of Donna beside him.

Craig goes through a lot of "looks," and this is one of my favs. He looks so "artsy," to be perfectly lame and cheesy. I'm so glad to have such cool friends. Our time was short, but sufficient. He had to get home and eat lunch and get on the road to ATL. He had several paintings in a show opening tonight.

So those are a few of what I took this morning, between 9:30 and 12:00pm on Good Friday. I'm home for my Big Mama's 90th birthday party, 50 people will show up at Mom's house tomorrow around 6:00pm for dinner and festivities, it's 12:34AM and I should be asleep, but I had to tell my story. It's made me so happy.
My sister's here and we watched the History of Motown and Rock n Roll on Biography. Great stuff. Mom's downstairs, finishing the German chocolate cake. Hannah's sacked out. Dad's listening to the Allman Brothers outside. They (he and Mom) had to take Thelma, their black lab, to the vet today, to have her put to sleep. It just happens that today is also the day that Dad and Jenna went and picked her out as a puppy and brought her home, nine years ago. So, it was sad. They only have Louise now, the blonde. Thelma and Louise. They were indeed a pair.
Happy Easter, my friends. I miss you in Texas, and I'm so glad to see you who are here in Georgia.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Greetings, Reader!

We're getting ready to leave for Georgia tomorrow and I wanted to post some pix I'd taken recently beforehand. Above you see Hannah with Izzy, our remaining parakeet. He's calmed down quite a bit since Houdini's sad demise and our subsequent sole companionship. I bought Izzy a mirror, and the little guy sure does love chirping and poking at his own image. He's much better about sitting on our fingers now, though he does seem to prefer his cage to anywhere else. We finally had to leave the ceiling fan on at all times in order to dissuade him from perching up there permanently.
On the way to community group a couple of weeks ago, I was zooming along the country road, and suddenly saw this field. I yelled and Hannah thought I'd hit a deer. Nope, I was just overwhelmed by beauty!!
The sun was sinking fast as I clicked away to get these shots, which of course, don't do the real thing justice. You'd just have to see it yourself. THIS is what I meant by all the rain and ice in January being worth it! THIS is the result!!
Bluebonnets are the state flower, and Hannah informed me it's illegal to pick them. What's curious to me is that deer don't eat them. Wonder why?

Lastly, this is a small pond by someone's house, also on the way to where our community group meets. This is in the beginning of Hill Country, going west toward Boerne and Blanco, Texas. There happened to be a crane by the pond, just for the photographic opportunity, I suppose. I admire this sight every Wednesday as I drive by it. Very tranquil.

Happy Easter, every one!

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