Wednesday, December 3, 2008


edited: I did it again. I meant to put this on JAMI AINSWORTH PORTRAITS. Now it is in two places. I guess sick and tired is really obvious today. lol (thought it's not that funny at the moment)

According to my recent email, I put December 8th...

DECEMBER 6, 2008

Way Back WHENesday...

Edited: I thought was posting this on Natalie's World...I really wanted to do some kind of update to keep her blog going. I have so much to update, but I am sick today and so behind on other things. So I was just going to post 'WAY BACK WHENesday". Once I hit post blog, then view blog, I realized I had it here instead...sometimes it is quite difficult to keep up with 3 different blogs. Normally, I would have deleted it and then re-done it (yes, I have done this before), but since I am pressed for time and sick, I made the other blog 'WORDLESS WEDNESDAY" with a link to this one. Better than starting over, huh?
Four Months old...such a precious age!
Natalie was just over 4 months old when these were photographed. She had recently started sucking her thumb. For some reason, I thought it was the cutest thing I had ever seen. I guess that as grandmother we think completely different than we do as a mom. When Cari was born...when she was just a few weeks old, she would suck her thumb...stories of children sucking their thumb until 10 years old kept creeping in my mind. [I would remove her hand and put her pacifier in her mouth.] For some reason this not seem to phase me when Natalie did this many years later. I did read in a book sometime later that this was often common at this age for a child to pick this up for a while. And that's what she did--I don't' know when she's just gradually faded away, just like so many of the sweet things our children (grand) do. One day it is such significant part of their day-to-day activities, then one day you realize that don't do it any more. It's all sort of sad too...

I enjoyed so much being one of Natalie's caregivers at this age. We began our relationship so soon in her young life. For that I am so grateful!
Oh! And by the way... when she learned to find her pacifier, that was when it faded way. LOL

~~Natalie's Mimi~~

Saturday, November 29, 2008


NOVEMBER 29, 1985 was the day we married! Today my husband and I were married 23 years ago. It was the day after Thanksgiving. We pick that date because his cousin, Mike, had recently joined the Army. I think it was his first time home after enlisting. Now it seems all our major special dates happen at the same time. November 12th is Cameron's B'day and the 29th our anniversary and 10 minutes into December of 1992 Cari was born (12:10 a.m.--12.01.92). So Thanksgiving, our kids b'days, our anniversary and then Christmas all seem to run together.

The two images were photographed about four years ago. I would like to scan and post images from 23 years ago...I am not sure you would recognize us, but being so limited for time, I found these. These were the easiest digital files to find since they were part of a family session that I did of my own family December 2004. Cameron (my son) actually captured these...I must say that both my children and even my daughter-in-law also have a great eye for photography too. I was new to digital and photo shop then and as I look at these image, I see they could use some more photo shop adjustments...oh well. I need to make this do for now. We are leaving here in a bit to have a birthday supper for Cari since her b'day this year is on a Monday. It has been a family tradition to have b'day supper at any restaurant (their choice) since my kids were young. Cari chose Little Dagos for this one. I still remember when she chose Burger King. Cameron was old enough think she was cheating herself out of a great b'day dinner by choosing Burger King, but that was okay with us!



Two days later and we are back home. I am very tired, but I enjoyed the last two days. It was nice to get away from the computer and away from my camera. Now I love what I do, but everyone needs a break. When I was packing up, I decided to leave my camera home. I did take a few from Cari's camera that I will probably just post on NATALIE'S WORLD because the only time I used the camera, it had something to do with here.

While chilling at my mom's...looking over sale ads, etc., I also went over the list I started on THANKSGIVNG ABC'S...I got this idea from Amanda from a post she made on her blog the other day. I decided to change mine up a bit and make do it with a personality twist. Of course, I am so thankful for the obvious things in life...God, family and friends, and the necessities of food, clothing and shelter...and not just the basics: good food (too much quite often), nice clothes (at least they seem that way the first time you wear them no matter where you get them...there's just something about wearing a new outfit, top or just anything for the first time...) and a nice home (quite often unorganized and even dirty), but warm and functionally (a mansion to someone homeless). So not make little of the real important things in life because of I am so thankful for these. GOD has blessed me and family more than words can express.

So here is my quirky personality ABC'S of THANKSGIVNG that I am thankful for...
  • A is for Actions. Okay, I said it was quirky unless you are a photographer, you may not know what actions are, but they are pre-recorded steps done in photo shop for editing and manipulation of images. They make my job so much easier, but saving me many steps.
  • B is for Babies. I have always loved babies. I love baby things from clothes to toys and of course, not props. I love photographing them. I love how they remind me of my babies when they were that age.
  • C is for Chocolate. I have always loved chocolate, but older I get the more in love with chocloate I have become. I heard a news report that said that chocolate is a stress reliever. No wonder I love it so much!
  • D is for Diet Coke. My most favorite beverage...I know, I know I really shouldn't because of the aspartame or whatever. I will quite one day...I am just not ready yet. LOL
  • E is for email. What would I do w/o email! By far one of the best means of communication in the modern world.
  • F is for Fast Food. How would the busy mom survive w/o it!
  • G is for Gymboree. I love, love shopping for Gymboree for my little sweetheart and I think she actually loves wearing it almost as much as I love shopping for it!
  • H is for Hats. I love buying outfits from Gymboree, The Children's Place or any where with cute matching hats for Natalie. I also love using Hats for babies and children for studio props too!
  • I is for Ice cream. I don't eat tons of it, but I love it and it is one of the foods on top of my list for comfort foods. I how I love comfort foods!
  • J is for Jesus. Without Jesus there would be no hope for me or anyone. I am so thankful for Jesus came to save our lives from sin and give this world hope!
  • K is for Kettlecorn. My 2nd favorite popcorn (Carmel is my first favorite)!
  • L is for Little Girls. Little girls are such fun to dress, photograph and to play pretend with. I loved playing dress up with my know dressing them in cute little baby makes you feel like a little girl again playing with your baby dolls, but dressing up your little girl (or your "grand" little girl), is like playing Barbie dolls again. AND I LOVED MY BABIES WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL!
  • M is for Memories. I love capturing images in my life and my children's thus documenting our memories for life. I don't think I would have become a photograph, if I did not cherish memories as much as I do.
  • N is for Natalie...need I say more. If you really want more, read NATALIE'S WORLD.
  • O is for Ornaments. I love Christmas ornaments and I love collecting personality ornaments for my family. I now how have a Christmas tree full of ornaments that depict the little stories (memories of our lives).
  • P is for photo shop. I used to think I was pretty good photographer and then I discovered photo shop. Now I don't like my images very much until they have been edited in photo shop.
  • Q is for Quincy. Quincy is my baby brother. I was almost 15 when he was born. He was the first real baby that I "played" mommy with. I remember loving him so much and thinking how I could not love my own as much I loved him. I was wrong. But I am thankful of my experience of helping take care of him as a baby.
  • R is for Red. I love the color red. I especially love to wear read around the holidays.
  • S is for Soup. Soup is another one of my favorite comfort foods. There's nothing like a nice warm bowl of soup on a cold day or when you're sick...oh so comforting.
  • T is for Tutu. My new favorite prop. I have plans to purchase more of these and do a tutu/ballerina baby promotion.
  • U is for Uterus. Okay, I guess this is the strangest sounding one yet, I am thankful that I have a uterus. I love that two beautiful babies grew in there. The first one was born 20 years and 3 weeks ago. And in about 30 hours and 10 minutes and my second child celebrates 16 years that she made her debut into this world. And I also love other people's babies who were recently in their mommy's uterus. Who doesn't love a newborn baby?
  • W is for WORLD WIDE WEB. I love surfing the Internet, I love blogging and reading others, shopping, researching and I get so much from the web for my business that I can't even begin to list it all at this time.
  • X is for Xylophone. I love the music that a baby, a toddler or a child can play on a toy xylophone. I even love playing it with them.
  • Y is for Yahoo. I don't use yahoo that much. But I am thankful yahoo accounts. I would not have 1/2 the email addresses that I have if there was no yahoo.
  • Z is for Zebra Print. Zebras are neat, but I love Zebra print clothing, purses...just about anything.

Now that was just a little fun and required a little thinking and even a little input from my daughter and daughter-in-law (that title still sounds strange to say). But they helped me come up with a few that are so ME! I know it is a little late, but I challenge others to come up with a personalized ABC THANKSGIVING list.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008


You know you are behind on blogging when you're even behind on reading your favories (besides your three...which may be one reason I am always behind on blogging is because I am trying to keep up three different ones!). I have a few other blogs that I keep up with...meaning I check daily (usually), read updates as they post them and often post comments. As a blogger too, WE REALLY LOVE TO READ THE COMMENTS. PLEASE COMMENT!

Tomorrow is Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve. I am still a bit overwhelmed and trying to re-cover from all the computer problems and re-covering things like downloaded software and such that I use on a regular basis. I have a portrait session tomorrow to do for a family (one of my blogging friends) who is originally from this area and after that I hope to get 3 days work done tomorrow since I haven't gotten too much done the last few days...Natalie has been here, Cari has had company...well...Cari always has something going on. I have several things I would like to post about her too. But for now....a little venting.

This evening Cari and I went to Wal-mart to buy food for her and her daddy to cook for Thanksgiving. I am thankful for them and that they love to cook or we would just provide the paper plates, napkins and such. I am looking forward to few days off (Thanksgiving Day and the weekend).


Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Nutcraker Ballet

Tonight I had the most fun at the ballet...I've never enjoyed watching a ballet more (other than when my own child was performing). We took Natalie to the Nutcracker Ballet. It was her first time ever. We intended for her to start dance in Baton Rouge. I was going to pay for it, but with so much going...her parents schedules, Hurricane Gustav, and more...we decided to wait until next year.

Cari's friend Alexa was performing and this was the only night that Cari could really watch. She volunteered to work the lights. She alternated this job with someone else. This was her only night that she would be able to watch w/o her "job".

It was my most delightful pleasure introducing the Nutcracker story to Natalie through the ballet. I only wished we had read the story before going so that she would understand the story more. I tried to explain what was happening as much as I could explain to a 3 year and as much as I could has been a while since I have read the story to a little girl. I am looking forward to doing so as part of the special moments we will share this holiday season.

One of the things I think she loved so much was watching the girls in all the different tutu. I recently purchased her first tutu as part her costume for Pumpkin Day (Halloween). I have purchased some others for props and I am looking forward to photographing Natalie in some of them soon. I think she is going to always love tutu. I did ask her if she wanted to be a ballerina like Alexa and of course, her answer was yes...WHAT LITTLE GIRL DOESN'T WANT TO BE A BALLERINA. After all the do have the "coolest" costumes!

Again it is so awesome to view life through the eyes of a child, with such child-like wonder! This wasn't something I had even planned to do until a few days ago. I am so glad I did. I took a few photos...I am not sure they won't be too great (no flash), but I will share what I think is decent here as soon as I can. I know I am posting a little out of order, but often I loose my enthusiasm of a particular event before I have the time to post the images. So I wanted to share this now before the my initial reaction fades away with the day-to-day duties and obligations of life and work.

How sweet it is to be Natalie's Mimi!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Last night my husband, daughter and I had pizza for supper to commemorate Cameron's actual b'day. For twenty years now, I have heard the story (in a joking manner) of how my family (who came from out of town) ate all of my husband's pizza that was left at hour home the night that I went in labor. Randy and I did the it all for our first child...child birth classes, lots of reading in bed together...we stayed in tuned to his development at each stage of the pregnancy. We even bought a nurses stethoscope to listen to his heartbeat. I still remember I was yellow a tee shirt this first time he had hiccups while I was pregnant. I enjoyed being pregnant with him so much! We both did! It was such a special time in our lives...memories that I will cherish forever.

Back to the pizza.
It was ginning season toward the end of my pregnancy thus we took our child birth classes early in the pregnancy than they normally recommend because of the upcoming season. Because of these classes, we knew once labor started that I was supposed to eat. We had just picked up our supper (pizza from Pizza Hut) and had just got back into the car and was our way home to eat our supper. My water broke just as I sat in my seat. Randy being the sweet husband he was didn't eat because I couldn't eat...looking back now...I am sure he was probably so excited and too nervous to eat either. But through it all, and being I was the one in labor, I don't remember exactly what happened, but at some point my family who came (from out town) stopped at our house, at the pizza. I am sure they want to eat it be before it ruined. The story has grown (by Randy) over the years, but he says he had not ate because of was busy ginning...I kept him right by side the whole 12 hours of labor (almost the whole time) so he didn't get a chance to eat his pizza. I don't remember when he did get to eat, but I have heard the story at least once a year now about how he had no pizza to eat when he got home!

Okay, I didn't mean to spend so much time on this post. This was supposed to be called my baby is 20, but I will do that one later. I had to change the title to match the topic, huh?



Many of you probably follow Casey's post too, but those who don't please read this.

I had so random thoughts from time to time about the election on what going on in our world, but it seems between, family, Natalie (and Natalie's World) and Jami Ainsworth Portraits that I can't seem to find the time to elaborate on many of these things. But my friend, Casey, tell it just like I thought it. Read the comment also. Because many of them word it well too...I just read them as I was getting the link and I was thinking how so many of them read my mind too. I am not racist. I just listened to views. I admit that I have never been very political...I still now, but this election from the git-go make my eyes and ears open up and listen. I knew the Republican campaign represented more of my personal convictions, but after listening to all the polls after Hillary lost out of the Democrat thing...I sort of gave up...that is until the day I heard the annoucement of Sarah Palin. I still remember it vividly. I thought we (the republican party ) now have a chance. During the hurricane, when we had no air, but while we were still watching our bedroom TV using our generator (the big TV was too much for it), we watch the Republican convention the night they made the formal announcement. I love her!
Often I feel like many people, don't listen to the issues. They just go by the color of the skin of the candidate. I forgot that I mentioned this to my husband until he told me that he repeated this to his employees, but I continually thought this...I almost wished both candidates had been black so that everyone would listen to the issues and vote according to that. As I said read the comments, as I read them it seemed like some of them had read my mind as well.

I don't think Obama is bad and I think he does have our country's best interest at heart. I pray that God leads him and I pray for our country all it it's leaders. I think he's wife is beautiful and I love her style and look forward to what she has to offer for our country. I feel for his daughters growing up in the middle of the media. I heard on the news how Jackie O told Hillary that she suggested to Hillary to keep her Chelsey out of the media. And they showed how they were pretty successfully with that. I just hope the media will respect this again for these two sweet little girls growing in history making time of their lives as well as the whole country (the history making part). Sure we won't to see a few shots of them and the new little puppy, but I hope they will respect their privacy. After all they are just innocent little girls, who did not ask for this position.

I am proud for our blacks in our country and if I offend anyone by say black (my daughter recently told me they prefer to be called that case, I guess we are Caucasian), I apologize. I am not racist. I try to judge people according to who they are and they stand for. My heart did cry bitter-sweet tears in celebration for Obama's race especially for the older generations who have suffered much more than today's one should not be allowed sit a certain place or go to a certain place because of the color of their skin.

Okay, that's all I will say on this.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Did you vote yesterday?

I have had so much that I have wanted to post on this subject. But I think some of my blog friends have put it better than I ever could. Nicki actually got hers from someone esle, but it was so good I am adding a link to's a must read:

Then while I was blog hopping (something I do when I am stressed about other things in life--right now it is my major computer problems), I ran across this one.
So to confirm what I got out this, let's pray for our country...let's pray for them without ceasing. I know for many of you (like me) it didn't seem to go our way...maybe that's was so we will pray harder and not feel to comfortable. Sometimes when things seem okay, we tend think let things go and not pray for least that's the message that I got out of all this.

Friday, October 31, 2008


HOT AIR BALLOON AS VIEWED FROM MY CAMERA LENS For those of you who are not familiar with this image in relationship to this area, I will give a little brief history. Each year Natchez/Vidalia had the Great Hot Air Balloon Race (I think that's the title). Years ago before moving here, I remember viewing some photographs that my cousin took when she and her mom came here...actually she is the person who got me into photography...she later went to nursing school while I went in debt and bought professional camera and studio supplies. Okay, back the balloons...then one year I was on my way with my children to Baton Rouge on Saturday morning in October and I saw the balloons as we drove the through Vidalia and Natchez. It was years after we moved here, before we actually witness this great local event. The first few years it was a Saturday morning that we had AVA (peewee) football games. Then finally Cameron playing junior high football so we got up early that Saturday morning, but it was too windy and /or too cool...I am not sure what standards they require. This seemed to happen for several years in a row. Then finally one year I got to the seem them come in the afternoon after we were finishing shopping at the flea market on the Vidalia side.

So this year, Randy had the opportunity to go with us to see them. This is has been the strangest fall for us because he hasn't been ginning cotton 24/7 like he usually is doing this time of year. We went Friday night to balloon glow, rode the ferris wheel...which I wanted to scared Cari...I guess she has her daddy's fears of height. I'm okay about heights though no fast spinning ride for me! My stomach can't take it! Natalie and Brittany met us there. I didn't have my camera to document this. Brittany did take some. Maybe she will post some on Natlie's TigerLand soon. I know she has been busy hasn't had a chance...I can't say much can I since this was about two weeks ago, but better late than never, huh?

The next morning Cari, Randy and I got up early and went to the Vidalia Riverfront to watch them take off. It was really cool so were wondering if that was why they weren't coming yet. Finally by 8:00 a.m. we went to Micky D's for breakfast and decided to drive to Natchez to see if we could see any there. We had only seen one earlier take off and it went toward Natchez. They usually come toward Lousiania. Randy has often seen them land in the gin yard and then take off again. So started seeing them as we were driving through Natchez---the first time I really enjoyed our sunroof of her new suv--they were right over it at times. So stopped in the Stine's parking lot to watch and take some photos...along with many others I might add! The first balloon shown was from Stine's and the next few.

Randy and Cari watching:

With a cool zoom lens, some cropping in photo shop, you can almost see the passengers.
With more cropping you can see them.

And a little tweaking in PS, you can see how bright and vivid these balloons were.

This is the area right beside the new Stine's parking lot. You can see the construction going in Natchez, the new Pizza Hut, and in the distance you can seeTaco Bell and Natchez Regional Hospital along with Hot Air Balloons floating above.
You also see truck like this...some I think are balloon chasers and some are the owners. I am pretty sure this one is one of the owners and this trailor stores the balloon and basket during read, "Hileigh Kentagious". I am sure for those involved it is another one of those addictive hobbies.
After a while, in the Stine's parking lot, we left and went to another parking lot on Highland Drive...

The sponsors of this balloon must be dentists or is it the owners. I don't know how it goes, but I can read the title, "The Second Molar".

another view of it and another balloon too...

Across the street from this location we saw this balloon trying to take off.

still trying...

and it just didn't make it up--it deflated after this
Soon after this, we went back to Vidalia to flea market. We were some of the first people coming through. It didn't seem as nice this year. Maybe because I just don't really have any money to spend...who knows. I did still spend plenty on festival food. Brittany, Natalie and Emma arrived as we were about to leave. We stayed a while longer so that Natalie and Emma could have their caracatures sketched. Again, my camera was in the car and Brittany took a few...wait I just remembered. I may have some on my little camera...Cari's. I will have to post them later and that will probably be on Natalie's World. I am not sure where that camera is now. I will be posting the rest of the images on Natalie's World since they do involve her. I will add links here after I do that.
It was a special morning that Cari and I got to share with Randy. Even though our family that lives here is only the three of us, we can still share special memories like this morning. I hate what has happened to the cotton industry this year and all the businesses that it effects, but I am so pleased that Randy got to share this with us and that he got to take Natalie to the fair (the balloon glow the night before). Because of the nature of cotton ginning, he never saw one of his little ones at a fair in the fall. So this made this year extra special to us.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008



While I was "scared to death" waiting for someone to get this alligator out of MY YARD...

While I was trembling, I kept thinging a "real" photographer would be documenting this. And as you can see from these not-so-great images that I do not have a future in wildlife photography.

I think I will stick with portraits...

I would not get off the Randy took these next two, the closer images. Can you blame me?
[Randy said he was about 8 feet...I was thinking 6. Zoo size is what I told a few peopel on the phone today! Not like the baby alligators that I have usually seen in the bayous around here.]
Then as I was watching this whole scene, I thought I really must document this...three grown men staring at this alligator. Sort of, funny, huh?

I am knee deep in the middle of a lot of stuff so I will add the story behind these images later. But for the record....I do not have an alligator in my yard any longer!

And by the way, Nicki, these are the alligators that I am afaid of!

Last week Jonah and Nicki came for cotton portraits and they got to see alligators in their natural habitat...this is NOT (my yard) their natural habitat.


Thursday, October 9, 2008


Yes, I think that's how she worded it. Okay...I copied it:

"In the true spirit of Ebay I would like to offer $5.00 for this dress since it has been worn. I am looking at the other prices of pretty yet worn dresses, and they seem to be lower than higher. " This is what I am selling.

I actually feel guilty selling it this low. It was gift for Natalie her 2nd Christmas. I often didn't have her as much on church days and she only wore this very nice dress one time. I don't even think I washed it because it wasn't there is no fading, pilling, etc. that often accompanies washing clothes. By the next season, it was too small.
So this is a venting post. For some reason this really irritated me, I am knee deep in the middle of getting ready for a big garage sale to sale some of Natalie's "like new" clothes that she didn't wear often enough because I buy too much. I love dressing her like a little doll. So I tend to get caught up in it. Now I need to re-cover some of my money so that I can buy more...maybe not. I am trying not to buy as much now...only special things.

Are you curious as to my response? "In the spirt of ebay, you either bid or pass! " Am I not right? That's what an auction is bid or not. I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. trying to set up auctions for things that I thought I could get more via ebay than a garage sale...I haven't always had the best of luck selling on ebay...I think a lot of it is timing--I've never been too great with timing. But yet I have sold many things on ebay for prices that would never happen at a garage sale. [I stayed up late because a 3 day auctions would end Friday night just in time to try to sell the items that do not sale.]

Randy and Cari were proud of my response...yes, it does sort of sound like a "smart a-- answer", so I didn't leave at that. I did ellaborate about the nices ness of the dress and that I don't do "reserve" auctions...that I prefer to open my auctions with the least that I want for an item."

Okay, I am through. I have many things to finish marking and signs to make too...well at least wording of the signs...I need to compose it and then Cari will do the signs. I just didn't want to let this one go yet. I am just shocked at this request. I know I have been watching something ebay before and the seller has literally canceled an auction...was she selling to someone like this? It really urked me and I think this is against ebay rules. I believe in fairness to all.

EDITED: I didn't check the link immediately afterward. I came back and checked it and then I read the posts. Let me see if it works now.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

RC and a Moonpie

Isn't that a funny title? You younger readers really think that's a strange title. People my age and older certainly remember RC's...especially the big RC sign at little country stores. Today I had a MD appointment. I have chronic sinus problems. I probably should have gone months ago. The week I was down with the bad stomach virus I had one of my really bad sinus attacks. The thing is when I feel okay (never really great in that area) I don't want to stop what I am doing and go to MD. I just hate to sit around in a doctor's office. I just have too much to do. Then when I am feeling really bad, I don't want to go either.

So what does all of this have to do with a Moonpie and RC. I had a really early morning appointment so I didn't have enough time to eat breakfast. So when I finally left I was famished. I stopped by the new Fred's in town to pick up some potting soil to re-pot the mum's that Natalie and I picked out last Saturday. Since I was so hungry I scanned the ailse for a snack, I occasionally crave a vanilla Moonpie. I skip the RC...doesn't even come close to my diet coke!

As I got back in the car, I tore open my vanilla moonpie (no other flavor will do). Smells, songs and tastes so often take me back to my childhood memories. When I was a little girl, my papaw (my mom's dad) worked very hard (even then he was an older man). He drove a bull dozer and worked for a construction company who did dirt work (land leveling, etc.). My mamaw packed his lunch for him. I am not even sure what the rest of his lunch included, but what was usually left was the moonpie or honey buns. Often he did not eat his dessert, snack or whatever it was. So the little girl that I was, I looked forward to those late afternoon snacks in my papaw's lunch.

So today as I ate and smelled my moonpie my thoughts drifted to the hard-working man, my grandfather was...the man that my almost 88 year old grandmother still misses. We weren't especially close (not like I am with Natalie or like some kids are w/their grandparents), but he was my special grandfather.

Some things I recall about my Pappaw McCowan:
  • He was hard of hearing (the side effect of working a bull dozer).

  • He was one of the hardest working people I have ever known.

  • He loved sports on TV. He always got into whatever he was watching especially boxing. He sure took some punches too. [He moved and jumped as if he was in the fight himself. I will never forget that about him.]

  • He was always very accomadating to his guests (always family).

  • He was a very handsome young man. My cousin and my sister and I had so much fun looking at those old photographs.

  • He served his time for our country in the Navy after my mom's older sisters were born and before my mom was born.

  • He had many tattoos that he got on his arms during his time in the Navy. He regretted it and often wore long sleeve shirts (even in the summer).

  • He loved babies. I have several photographs of him holding each of his great-grandchildren. I would love to scan and post a few, but I am not that organized any longer. I was going to scan a photo of him and my grandmother, but my scanner wasn't working. So the next best thing, I photograph of a photo. Which is the image you have already seen. I still do not know how or even if you can post an image at the top after you have included text.

  • He passed away several years agos. I am embarrassed that at this moment that I don't remember exactly which year...I think 2001 or 2002. I am sure that I will have to ask my mom next time that I talk to her. We all miss him so much, but no one does like my grandmother. I know they were married well over 50 years because I do remember that Cameron had just turned 2 years old when they celebrated their 50th anniversary.

I am sure as I finish this I will remember more little things about him. Isn't it so nice how some little insignificant moment in life can trigger such sweet precious memories about someone we love. Thank you God for fond memories.


Friday, October 3, 2008


I hope you can read this post. I can't seem to change it w/o starting all over...not good...not fun...I am not going to do. I see how the words on the left side of the images are really chopped up. So I promise to you, my readers, I won't do it again. I will put may images back in the middle, at least I understand that! Sorry.




Last week was Homecoming Week at Cari's high school! She loves to get into it as you can see. I was a very sick mom most of the week, but I did manage to get some photographs of the mornings that she was here. Monday was
"Geek" Day; Tuesday was "Hobo" day; Wednesday was "Twin" Day; Thursday was "Disney" Character Day (as seen in these first images),
Friday was class tee shirt day. (The only day that she didn't get into...long story so I won't go into details).
I have never even seen the show "the incredibles". Lauren and Cari were planning on being Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana. However, the day before (after they had bought clothing and accessories) it was announced over the loud speaker at school that it to be a Disney Character (no Hannah Montanas). So needless to say they were back at the drawing board. Being so sick, I was not involved in this at all and I don't even know who came up with this idea. How cool were they! I don't think they could have done any better job if they had planned on this for weeks.
Just many of you out there have seen this show... "The Incredibles". It is obviously a shown on Disney Channel. I can't believe Natalie has never insisted on watching it...though I must admit it doesn't really look "our" speed. Maybe it's for older children or boys. We probably do watch too much TV, but I try to make sure they are educational shows. This doesn't look too educational, but what do I know. Please comment and tell me about it.
All I can say is that she and Lauren did a great job looking like an Inredible. Don't you think?
Earlier in the week (Tuesday) they were Hobos. I feel sort of like we are making fun of people in a bad situation with this one. So I won't go on about this a whole lot, but I do think she did a good job of depicting this as well.

We even mad Precious a homeless dog for the photos. She played her part well too, don't you think?

I also need to find the images from Cari's camera of Twin Day. She and Alexa were double mint twins. They already favor so much. I will add them later.

On to another subject, I have wanted to post several different subjects here, but I have been very busy trying to catch up or sick. I had a very bad stomach virus last week. I am so glad to be feeeling better. I will try to post some of those other subject later, but for now I want to brag on my daughter a little more. I think they are finishing their second week in the 2nd six weeks. Monday was parent-teacher conference day. She was sure she had mostly A's. We stayed home...not to much to complain about, huh? So she waited until Tuesday to get her report card. And she did it! All A's. She wasn't sure about a particular class that she had not see test scores. So once again I am very proud of Cari. She doesn't always come off as the "sharpest knife in the drawer", but rest assured she is very sharp and SHE KNOWS IT! I am so proud of how confident she is as much as or more I am about how bright she is! Thank you God for sharing her with me and trusting me with her precious life. She is such a Bright Light for You. And Thank You for that!

That's it for now. I have to get my shower and get to work. I have few"mini" portrait sessions today. These are my make-up sessions from last week when I was sick. I have to get my studio together. It has been a while since I had a session in there. I guess it is time to get back to some work and I think I am beginning to miss photographing babies. Babies truly are the most fun part of photography for me.


Friday, September 19, 2008

Work, Work...


That's definitely the story of my life.
My blog regulars are probably wondering what's going on...that is unless you regular view JAMI AINSWORTH PORTRAITS too. You can see that I have had several new posts these last 2 weeks. I had many topics that I have wanted to post a little something about several different issues that in the air, in the media and/or my mind like McCain/Palin, 9-11 anniversary, Hurricane Ike and some personal issues. All of this has been going on since my last post almost 2 weeks ago. I may go back and discuss them just so that I can remember them. Blogging really is a great way to remember things by documentation of the events in your life. I have already found myself look back at Natalie six months in the past to remember something. I have suggested this to my friend who has a new grandbaby. It's like a baby book/journal/scrapbook all rolled into one. And yet it is something easy to share with friends and family...what's going in your life and baby (children's) new accomplishment. Which I will use this point to remind me to mention Cari's first day of dance was this week (09.15.08)...well not her first day ever, but her first day at this new school and first day since she was in elementary. But I will give the rest of this story on a later post. But I do encourage others to blog and I want to find a fine line of not getting to busy to do this, but not so into that I don't get other work done. I will pray about this. I definietly this it is worth it!
I spend last week editing and getting several sessions caught up. I finished one more this week. I thought I would finish all of them, but several things have come up, but I have also got all my orders caught up and stayed on the new orders as they have come in. And I am also knee deep in the middle of catching up on some paperwork/organizing and some serious tax stuff that I am behind on. There just aren't enough hours in the day and when I push myself beyound the normal working hours. I get exhausted and realize that even if there were enough hours in the day, there wouldn't be enough hours that I felt great enough to accomplish everything that I desired to accomplish. So God teach me to take one day at time and accept that I am only one person.
Back to my first statement. Even when I work I play. The next two images were taken before my trip to Baton Rouge to take Natalie home and take groceries to Cameron and Brittany to replace so much that they lost in the storm from no power to keep food cold. That's was a "Play Day"...I wasn't here in the office (okay it's my home, but if I worked for someone else it would my working, but I definitely was working. Buy groceries is always work not much fun in that, huh? Add a 3 yr. old to the cart and it's definitely not play.
It is definitley time consuming to document all the little things you want to remember and hard to take the time to take pictures for all the little things, but I try even though it's work (too). So I got a few images of Natalie with the cart full of groceries. She was really tired at this point. She didn't want to look at me. I don't remember what she was wanting at the time (I should have done this sooner so that I would remember), but I told her she couldn't have it if she didn't look at me for the photo. The sun was hot and bright so I didn't much of a smile. After a few images, I put her in her car seat and put her movie for her to get content while proceeded to load a cart full of groceries in a SUV that was already pretty full of things to take to BR. It was so hot (over the weekend it was cooler more fall like which is probably why it seemed so hot). Before I got the 2nd bag in the car, Natalie was out. She slept all the way to BR even through the bumper to bumper traffic just before we got to their exit.

I have notes on little stories that I still haven't posted about Natalie. Hopefully I can learn to balance and manage my time that I can add them sooner or later. But I have one that I want to remember from this day. I don't guess it's a story, but I want to post it just remember it.
As I was almost through Natalie was getting very tired thus she was becoming a little disrespectful (hard to explain, but she makes these ugly faces and just acts disresptful). Of course, it was frustrating to me because I was already getting tired too and frustrated over the inability to find some of the things on Brittany's list. Then I remembered the game we played in the car over the weekend on our way to my mom's when she was getting tired of the drive and wanted to know if we were almost there. I SPY! I recently introduced it to her (I think it was the evening we sat on the porch before I cooked supper...the night we got our A/C back!). I was amazed as to how quickly she understood this game. We often played this on road trips when my children were young. It was much more fun in the grocery store with lots of colors than it was in the car almost dark. Though she does seem to understand it, she tends to blurt out what she's spying before we have chance to figure it out.
Okay, a long post for a long absence! How's that!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Okay, I will go ahead and tell you that I won't be posting any images on this post. I just thought that I would ramble a few minutes before figuring out what to do first.

I titled this Recovering because I feel like I am still recovering from the whole hurricane aftermath along with recovering from the summer and well maybe I am still recovering from the last few years of chaos.

Yesterday I took Natalie back to BR. Her mommy and daddy went back over the weekend, but Natalie stayed a day longer to visit with family. I will post a few images of that on her blog later today or tomorrow. I am still so tired from it all and like usual I don't know where to get started.

Baton Rouge and St. Francisville are still not back to normal. Many places still do not have power and many traffic lights still aren't working (which really hampers the traffic flow). It took days to get cold and frozen foods back in our stores around here last week. So I felt sure that they would have a problem getting food in BR. So before I took Natalie back I bought groceries for them to replace the food they lost in their refrigerator from their loss of power. School started back at LSU, but it seems weird that it did because of everything else. But I guess LSU has to try to start to get things back to normal. I have been told that some of the fraternity and sorority houses still do not have lights. That's gotta be strange....going to classes, but no lights in your home!

Wal-mart in Natchez is where I shopped for them. They needed some extra help. There were so many people shopping. I am sure some of them were like me buying things to replace lost items, but there were some like the mom w/ 4 children in front of me w/four carts shopping from St. Francisville. She said they still did not have power and nor grocery stores that were stocked...she said they would open up for a few hours a day operating on generators selling bread but not a lot of the staples like milk and other cold things. It is just amazing me as to how long it is taking for some people's power to be restored. Just when I think I have it bad God so quickly points out to me that I really don't!

I am thankful for A/C and I am thankful for the extra time we had with Natalie and her parents this week. And I am also concerned that Natalie will have to re-adjust to her new "school" and I know she will have to get used to waking up early again. She is not a morning person!

Well, I am going to end this post with a prayer on my heart that she does well this week. It will make everything else a little easier for her parents and it will make me heart adjust to her absence a little better too.

And if you will pray for this for her and pray for me to as I try to recover from the last few weeks (and the last few years) and get things function here again as I develop "new" normal for our home and my business.


Sunday, September 7, 2008


I named this post "coming to the rescue" because Randy and I sort of felt like we came to Cameron and Brittany's rescue in Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge was hit much worst than us and much of the city were out of power much longer. So of course their stores and such were out of power too. They could not even get gas to come home. So Wednesday we (Randy, Cari and I) headed down there with 2-five gallons of gas so that could come home and get out of the heat (literally since they had been out of power for over 2 days at this point.

I had not been out of the house much either since we had been hit with so much rain the days following the storm. The storm made its path here Monday night. This was Wednesday sometime after lunch. From the damage that we saw in our "neck of the woods" (Frogmore) and the damages that we saw along our route down Highway 61 South to BR, that it appears many many tornadoes spread out and hit many trees. Now I use the term mini-tornado lightly since anything that can uproot a huge pecan or live oak tree can't hardly be called mini. But it was "mini" in the sense that there no apparent path of destruction appeared as I have often seen after a really huge tornado path has gone through a particular area. The more appropriate tere could have been sparatic you can see through my writings or ramblings, I don't watch the weather channel or discovery channel too often. I don't know the proper terms and I really don't care to know them. At this point (Wed...09.03.08) I was tired of worrying about my holdest two (Cameron and Brittany) and I was ready to get them home.

BACK TO THE FIRST PHOTO IN THIS POST: It is isn't a very good image. But it is the rather large Pecan tree in the field to the right side of our home. This tree and one at Frogmore Plantation (that was almost split in half) were the most significant damage near us. It was the first time I really got to see it well and I to photographed as we left here.

With my camera in hand as we left out of here I was prepared to try to document some of the sights or remains of Hurricane Gustav. But while driving normal speeds on the highway and photographing through windshields, I can't say that I really captured much more than something to stimulate our memories about this storm. I often say that it is photos that trigger our memories about things that have happened it the past....which it makes me want to be more like Nicki with Jonah. It makes me want to document every thing that happens in our lives from the special memories to the most insignificant little details of our lives. Because I truly believe when the moment is over (what the moment--from weddings to the first time our child tries a new food), all that is left is the memories. Memories in the form of a visual image last forever!

So my memories do not have to be award winning photographs and rarely are they are because of I am too busy living the moment as well as capturing it. It is my memory and I want to remember it!

So next I will share a few things I wanted to remember from this trip. I didn't photograph as much as I wanted once I realized that I wasn't do a very good job because as good as my camera and lenses are they just didn't focus well at 55 mph (or more). So I didn't photograph any of the many uprooted trees that we saw along the way. But I did just included it I think I will remember this along with these next few images:

This was as we were leaving Vidalia. The intention of this image was to show all the power trucks as they were coming through town headed to the next place on their list to restore power. It was photographed from the front seat of the truck and Randy has a crack in the windshield that I noticed was affecting the view of this. So I only took one, but that all it takes for me to remember this.

I had made sandwiches to eat for our lunch when we thought we were leaving earlier this a.m., but we ate some of them before leaving. I made sandwiches because of the reports of all the power outages...we knew there would not be any stops at McDonald's in St. Francisville or convenience stores for a diet coke and a snack. Well, somehow the two main/convenient stores of Woodville got power and had gas. We were wondering what was going on before we made it to town because the traffic was really backed up...they were inline for gas. This photo is taken as we left town. I gave it to Cari to photograph from the back seat. I told her to wait until we got far enough out that she could see the last cars in line and still see the SHELL sign. Traffic was linged up about a quarter of a mile. The circle that I drew was the SHELL sign.

After seeing many trees uprooted along the way, we finally arrived to their apartment. I didn't get the camera out until we were on our way back home. Cameron had already gotten into Randy's truck. So knowing how he often does not like to be photographed, I didn't even try. He had been several days w/o air conditioning. I knew might be extra grouchy. So I am using this photo of Brittany and Cari bringing the last things down to the cars. According to Brittany's smile, she must be happy to be leaving a hot apartment!

Cameron rode back with his dad and Cari and I rode with Brittany. It was a nice trip home visiting and catching up. And I am pretty sure the next time there is a storm any where near and if school is being cancelled for the storm that they will be more than glad to come HOME to ride the storm out.

I know they are grown kids, but you don't quit worrying about them when they grow up...actually you worry a whole lot more...and often, as in our case, you have more to worry about [a little one (Natalie) and a wife (Brittany)]. We were glad to get them here and to know that they were okay. WE LOVE Y'ALL!


P.S. Looking at this through the preview, I realize that it is much longer than I I will proof read it later. So if you happen to be one who reads it right way...sorry :(

Friday, September 5, 2008


I left this on the table from the night before (09.01.08). It was my intention to photograph our last game of Scrabble. We lost power around 5:30 pm. on Monday, September 1, 2008, while I was cooking supper. So far it the storm had not been so bad for us though we were still watching weather channel and heard that it had hit land that morning. We were informed that the storm was not yet over and to expect spin off storms from the eye of the storm as it past through. Up to this point, we were just hanging out watching movies. We checked out extra movies Sunday afternoon (when we were getting some Disney classics to watch with Natalie) expecting to at least loose satellite signals (which often happens on extremely cloudy days even w/o rain storms), but we did not lose signals until we lost electricity.

We don't have the time to watch movies like we used we found several we had not seen that weren't 2 day rentals. We felt like big slobs all day Labor Day...sitting around eating, watching movies and just being a little lazy. Little did we know of the No Power days that we had ahead of us. No Power does create family bonding like paying scrabble. As you can see from this game board, we're really not that great at this. And as you could see in the first image, even though we aren't that good...we're always competitive (Did you notice the pink paper for keeping score?)

This is the battery-operated radio. This was our link to the outside world when we had no other source available.

I will add the link to the rest of this story later. I will give the story on Natalie's World. It is cute little story about her and this baby doll. I will name it in case I forget to and you need to search for titles on Natalie's World: "Did you say Sally?" (I random inserted it here because it was photographed in this group of images.)


Notice the Pringle potato chip Cari is holding. We laugh because all we wanted to do was eat even before we lost power. We were afraid we would all the food before anything happened, but we didn't. We did fine on food. It was the air conditioning that the hardest to live without....

especially because this was the only real loss that we suffered. Randy has this welding generator at the gin. He kept thinking nothing was really going to happen especially after it land and nothing major had happened yet. I kept telling him beware we are still in harm's least that's what I kept hearing on the radio and even on the Weather Channel. I guess he wasn't listening that close to all the other mumbo jumbo on the storm info. But, just in case, he did go get this from the gin. After the power went out, he hooked up up to the refrigerator. It quit soon after that. It was storming really bad about this time. This is when I think a lot of the tornadoes were going through (about the time we were playing scrabble). So that night we slept w/o A/C and w/o any other amenities that we are so accustomed to.

So first thing Randy took care of it all. He got gas for our generator and helped a friend get his convenience store up and running with generators so that people could get gas. So for the next few days, we had SOME power....just no A/C and no plasma tv (imagine life w/o that!).

(The reason this photograph look so unclear is because it was photographed by my bedroom window while it was raining.)

So what does a family to do after doing all you can with the situation that you are in?

So as the rain continued Tuesday, September 2, 2008, we piled up in Mom and Dad's room and watched movies. Since my room isn't set up for TV viewing and I had already claimed my bed and pillow, Cari claimed Natalie's since she wasn't here!

Another view of the generator that kept us going the last few days, if notice the window is opened above it. Most of our windows do not even have screens on them. We just go from air to heat all year long...which ever one we need and sometimes it is air in the winter (oh, Life in the South!) I photographed this yesterday while playing outside with Natalie for a little while. It was still doing it's job at this time. Cari and I early chose to start clean up efforts on the porch and steps because it was so hot inside. It was acutally like a fall day outside yesterday and I it has been today too because of the wind blowing. We even decided to go to the new Fred's in town to get a new broom and a few things just so that we could go into an air conditioned building. We even got cold in there. Their air was working very well.

The guys from the power company finally showed up last night (09.04.08) to get it up and back working. Randy and his guys had spent some time earlier during the day working on getting the lines off the ground (since they were already dead...I guess all of his gin training he has learned to do a lot electrical things like this ). So by the time I started cooking supper in the warm kitchen (it was so much cooler outside), we had given up on the coming until today. And wouldn't you guess, as I was about 15 minutes away from finishing it up and getting it ready for the table...they come to our resue! So the rest of supper was cooked in the dark...the stove is gas! Candles just don't do a great job of lighting the kitchen. And yes, we used candles. By this time we couldn't put our finger on a flashlight because we had a lights (just not A/C).

As bad as it all was w/o power, our worst night was the first one w/o NO POWER. The next few nights we had ceiling fans...not the same as air conditioning, but much better than no air moving at all. Some have had it much worst. So I won't complain. I do thank God for sparing us and so many this time around.