Thursday, December 25, 2008

Greetings - Joy - Good Wishes

Today is Christmas! I am a bit late in getting my cards put up. For those who celebrate Christmas and Epiphany (January 6, about the magi), I have the first card, showing the magi from the east coming to see the new babe by following the star.

For those who don't celebrate Christmas, my wishes for the New Year include Light in the Darkness. This was taken on a foggy evening, looking towards the River Bridge at Guntersville. You cannot even see the bridge, but there you can see the headlights of the cars which have just come over it...

2008 has been a difficult year for me in some ways, and a wonderful year in so many other ways. I have many many friends. I have a wonderful daughter. And I am making plans for 2009.

Check back soon to see what specials I can cook up for January!

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008


My daughter is visiting for Christmas. She has turned the kitchen into a chocolates factory! Some bittersweet chocolate, a bunch of semi-sweet, some milk chocolate, and a little white chocolate. Plus centers of unusual flavors, such as lemon-pear, apricot-ginger, bellini, carmelized apple calvados, cherry, raspberry, blackberry, blood-orange, grand-marnier, amaretto-almond, peanut butter, and carmel: plus dipped pretzels, apricots, peanutbutter pretzels, cherries, carmelled pecans, and candied ginger. Mmmm, does the house ever smell great! Good thing we had one long counter made instead of breaking it up with the sink (the sink is in the corner).

RANT: Today I received the last order from my lab, but not in time to deliver. Apparently there are multiple trucks delivering for FedEx Ground here, because we received one package just fine; but the important one for my customer (wall and panel portraits) didn't come; then I checked and it said they attempted delivery (NOT - we were here!!!). So I phoned FedEx and a very nice lady helped me and got the dispatcher to get the driver back here TODAY, because they weren't going to try again till next week! Turns out, he admitted he didn't get out of the truck, assumed we were closed, didn't go to the door where a sign says to ring doorbell, yes he knows we have a waiver that he can leave packages without a signature but he didn't want to try that for Christmas. Well, having to come back probably cost him about 40 minutes of time for his shift. Aaarrrrrrgggghh! It was too late to deliver to my customer by then because she had left for MS, but at least I have it and it's not another five days who-knows-where!!!

Yesterday I received the order with the young soldier who is being stationed in Alaska in January. We weren't sure his photos could be done and back before Christmas, but they were! Mom is *very* happy!!!

Tonight we are going to find a Christmas Eve service. I grew up Lutheran and it seems very strange for me in my current church to be *done* several days before *the day* itself. But it is a wonderful church. However, Christmas Eve services and carols really focus me for Christmas.

I thoroughly enjoy being a photographer. Families are important to me, and portraits are treasure in future years. I am always happy when my customers are pleased even more than they had hoped!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

New President of local professional association

Well, I will be the President of the Tennessee Valley Professional Photographers Association for 2009. We currently meet in Huntsville, Alabama. Our membership is all over northern Alabama, and we have one member from Tennessee. Our purpose is to increase professionalism and help each other to keep getting better at not only photography but at doing business.

I have been a member of this TVPPA since about 1993. I have been a professional (including all the necessary business licenses, taxes, and insurance) since 1988. I served as secretary of the organization for several years in the late '90s. It is a privilege to meet with my peers and to be a part of continuing the education and help that the TVPPA has given to many over the years. TVPPA and its member photographers/mentors have been a big influence in my photographic business.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Judging Photos

Another photographer and I spent the day discussing photos. From 9am till 5pm. (I was too late to pick up the cat from kitty prison; I thought I'd be back during business hours...)
It is always interesting to compare ideas with another photographer one respects. We agreed on lots, but not everything, so we had to justify to each other, and in a few cases changed each other's minds. The photos judged were for the end-of-year awards of the Huntsville Photographic Society. They have eleven monthly competitions, then the best of the photos which placed during the year get a chance at the best of the year in December. I have judged the b/w a couple of times before; this time they had both of us do b/w, color print, and slides, all together. That was fun!
The banquet is this next Monday, and for giving them a program and judging they are providing me with a meal; I think it's Italian. But more importantly, I can see a few people I never otherwise get to see whom I enjoy a lot.


Thanksgiving was always Diehl's favorite holiday. This is the second year without him, and the second year I have driven to visit Marie in Dallas. We are able to be friends now. I enjoyed the Ikea store and getting shoes (not much is available for wide feet in Guntersville). We ate Thai, and *extremely good* Mexican, plus a meal at the Cheesecake Factory (lemon-raspberry, mmmm)! Besides of course, the actual Thanksgiving meal. I got to meet a few of her friends and it was tasty and fun. We shopped at the Central Market which has soooo much that I don't have here. Lots of stuff to go in her truffles for the holidays. She took chocolatier lessons when she was in Seattle and is very good. Marie made sure I had tasty small sandwiches and an apple for the trip back so I didn't have to stop and could drive straight through.