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.