Why photography?

Northwoods Photographer

Well while pondering where to even begin with the first blog I’ve ever written I decided it would only be logical to introduce myself.

I am a 3rd generation small town business owner (more on that later). I’m also a nature/wildlife/landscape photographer. Photography is my passion but in this day and age it’s hard to make it a full time job and actually contribute to a household, so I started a retail business (not that starting a retail business allows you to contribute right off the bat haha)! I’m very lucky and thankful for a husband who supports our household so I can chase my crazy dreams. Anyways, I’m here thanks to a good friend of mine who mustered the courage to start a blog and convinced me I needed to do the same for my photography.

I’ve loved photography for as long as I can remember. This is likely thanks…

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Buying my dream house

50 years old and I’ve never owned a house.  I was never ready.  Maybe I never felt grown-up enough for that level of commitment. Sometimes I was too poor, most times I was too scared.  Right now I’m ready.  Unfortunately my money isn’t ready, so while I wait for it to catch up I dream.  And I go window shopping online.  Zillow and I are great friends.  Love you, Zillow!

I’ve had a few favorites.  Most of them have been sold, or I stopped liking them when Google Street View revealed what was across the street.  And then there’s my Dream House.

My Dream House is a lot like me.  It’s weird.  It’s old.  It doesn’t have a lot of the things that other houses have, but it has some remarkable things that other houses… well, they would scoff, that’s what they’d do.  But we don’t care, my Dream House and I.  It’s just not our way to care what others have, or what others think.

I’ve never seen it in person,  but this is what I know…  It was built in 1899, as a railroad facility (switching station?).  The listing calls it a 3 bedroom house, but in reality it’s just a bunch of rooms.  It has, as far as I can tell, no closets.  What it lacks in closets it makes up for in exterior doors.  You can go outside from almost any room, including the bathroom.  Speaking of the bathroom… blue tub, blue sink.  The pictures don’t show the toilet… please let there be a blue toilet!  In the kitchen… cedar cupboards, the full length of the room, with space on top for decorative Fiestaware.  It has a cold room.  I have no idea what that is, but I think I love it.  It has a huge bell mounted on a pole in the yard.  I could go on and on, but I doubt if anyone one made it this far, so instead I think I’ll log into Zillow and make lovey eyes at my weird, little, closetless railroad house.wpid-cymera_20150201_0253012.jpg.jpeg

Saving Sister from the boogey man

I never believed in monsters.  Even as a very young child I was concerned with authenticity.  I hated Dr. Suess stories because they were filled with things that were made up.  When I learned new things I was constantly asking if it was a real thing, or made up thing.  Monsters were not real.  Mean people… crazy people… bad people… those were real.  Those were the “monsters” that frightened me.

My imagination supplied a monster, in the form of a “bad man” who would come into children’s bedrooms at night armed with a machete.  He would come in silently, and with his razor sharp knife he would chop off anything that wasn’t under the covers.  Feet sticking out?  Chop!  Arm uncovered?  Chop!  Head??  That was the worst.  Every night I would get into bed, I’d remember the machete man, and I’d cover myself head to toe.  Then I’d remember my sister.  I’d look across the room, and there she was… arms, legs, head… everything sticking out, all over.  I don’t know how she ever survived before I was born.  But I knew my responsibility, and every night I’d run across the room and cover every bit of her, being careful to tuck the covers under, nice and secure.  Then back to my own bed, under the blanket, and we both survived another night.

My two brother in the next room were on their own.

Jump ahead about 20 years… my sister was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  It was successfully treated, and she’s alive and well today, but because of the tumor she had to have a lot of cat scans, MRIs, and whatever other kinds of tests they wanted to do to her head.  I was driving her to an appointment one day for an MRI, and she was noticeably nervous.  I did my best to assure her that everything would be fine.  The tumor had consistently gotten smaller with every test, so surely there was nothing to worry about.  That wasn’t the problem, she told me.  The reason she was nervous was because she suffered terribly from claustrophobia, and MRIs were stressful for her.  I was shocked.  How did I not know this about my sister?  She said that she had always been ashamed of it, so she kept it a secret.  Then she told me how it all started…. when we were kids she used to cover her head with the blankets in her sleep.  Every night she would wake up in a panic, trapped and gasping for air.

So, yeah, I guess that was my fault.  But on the other hand, she’s got all 4 limbs and her head is still attached, so I’d say she owes me.

(and no, I didn’t tell her)

Yet another oil pulling diary

I decided to try oil pulling because, hey, everyone’s doing it!  And I decided to blog about it because, hey, everyone’s doing it!  The benefits of oil pulling are supposed to be endless, depending on whom you read.  I’m led to believe that I can expect anything from nothing at all, to immortality, with emphasis on whiter teeth and fresher breath.

Day 1 – Bought a big tub of organic virgin coconut oil on my lunch break.  You’re supposed to do this on an empty stomach (why?), but I’m way too excited to wait, so I try it out as soon as I get home from work.  Some people report gagging or a revulsion to having a mouth full of oil on their first attempt.  I didn’t have this problem.  I attribute this to the diet I’ve been on for what seems like forever.  A mouthful of coconut oil is practically dessert to me.  Yum.  Swished it around for 20 minutes, as directed, while I took a bath and read Facebook posts.  Afterwards I wished that I had flossed first.  Flossed and brushed after, instead.  Went to bed, having experienced no miracles.

Day 2 – Woke up, scooped up a big spoonful of coconut oil, and went at it.  Took a bath (yes, again.  I love baths.  Sue me) and caught up on Facebook.  Spit out my oil after 20 minutes and inspected my teeth.  The backs of my teeth have no tobacco stains at all.  This is normal because I quit smoking almost 6 years ago, but I rarely look at the backs of my teeth so it was nice to see them all white and pretty.  Oil pulling doesn’t get to take credit for it, but it does get to say, “made ya look”.  Drank a whole pint of water at once (another new thing I’m doing now) and went into the kitchen to cook my breakfast.  I thought about cooking my eggs in coconut oil.  Told myself, “no way, only vegans cook their eggs in coconut oil!”.  Laughed at my own joke, cooked my eggs in butter, and had a lovely breakfast.  The instant I swallowed my last bite of eggs I was tasting coconut again.  I love coconut, and I really hope this doesn’t make me hate it.  After about an hour I couldn’t take it anymore and I got a breath mint.  Maybe this is how oil pulling cures bad breath.

And that’s probably the last you’ll hear of my oil pulling experiment.  I’ll keep doing it for a while, because I’ve got that big tub of coconut oil.  If something wonderful happens (like if I lose weight or look younger or win the lottery) I might buy another tub of oil.

Unexpected update: day 3 – what was I thinking? 20 minutes a day of oil swishing? Using the rest of the coconut oil for stir fry.

Hank Aaron and me

In 1973 Hank Aaron was approaching Babe Ruth’s home run record, and I was an 8 year old girl living in Augusta, Georgia.  I didn’t care about sports at all, but it was impossible not to hear about Hank Aaron, especially at that time, in that place.

Most of our extended family lived in Oklahoma, so we made the drive halfway across the country at least once a year.  The rules were simple on those roads trips: sit perfectly still and make no noise at all. Our car trips were always miserable because, to put it simply, my dad was a jerk. He also liked to listen to sports radio, so one particular trip in 1973 stands out in my mind as the year when we listened to men arguing about Hank Aaron until the radio station finally faded away into static.

The argument seemed to be whether is was a good thing or a bad thing that Hank Aaron was going to break Ruth’s home run record.  I was young and naive and I knew little about life, and almost nothing about baseball.  In fact, almost everything I knew about baseball came from a reading assignment I had in school that featured a story about Babe Ruth.  So here’s what happened: I sided with the hate-filled racists who didn’t want Hank Aaron to break Babe Ruth’s record.

I know, I know… it sounds like I was a terrible person.  In fact, I didn’t even know that Hank Aaron was black, and it wouldn’t have made any difference if I had. I didn’t know that was the issue. Somehow, even after all the time we spent in the car that day listening to the arguments on the radio, I missed that detail. The reason I didn’t want Hank Aaron to break that record (and I probably assumed this was the reason so many other people also didn’t want him to break the record) is because I felt sorry for poor Babe Ruth.  Hank Aaron would break his record, and then Babe Ruth would be forgotten.  I remember silently making a promise to Babe Ruth that no matter what happened, I would always remember him.

I find that my fears were unfounded.  Babe Ruth hasn’t slipped into obscurity. And now there’s this Barry Bonds fella… I promise, Mr. Aaron… I’ll never forget you.

The beginning

When I was very young I wanted to be famous. I didn’t care what I was famous for doing. I just wanted to be interviewed on talk shows. Then I learned to read and I didn’t want to be on talk shows anymore. I wanted to be Dear Abby. That dream grew up and evolved, and ultimately my secret dream was to be an editorial writer. My grandfather had an editorial column, so I knew a little bit about what you had to do to get there. It was too much. I gave up. After all, they don’t let just anyone have an editorial column.

That was a long time ago.  Now it’s 2015 and they DO let just anyone have an editorial column,  but now we call them blogs. So now is the time.