Personal Banking

texastwangdebi

Let’s take “personal banking” to a whole new level……let’s take it to 1954, when a routing number, account number and personal information wasn’t needed on your check, because your bank knew you by name and reputation.

In small towns across America, you could walk into almost any shop, pick up a “counter check” at the cash register/checkout from your particular bank, buy your merchandise and write out a check for the amount, and probably were never asked for ANY form of identification!

In 1954, a man’s word, they said, was his bond. One of the reasons my daddy was always telling my only brother that he had worked hard all of his life, building a good name for himself, and my brother better be careful and not ruin that good name! Fortunately my brother became a good man in his own right…….and even more fortunately, my sister and I married…

View original post 25 more words

A Still Life Obsession

Since I took up photography as a hobby 4 years ago, I have tried my hand at almost every type of photography, trying to find my *niche*. I have done landscapes, but I don’t like to travel too far from home.

So, I’ll never have fabulous shots of the Grand Canyon or Old Faithful.

Then there were barns and bridges….

16835440115_16609afea4_o

 

16213114824_800d7a04ec_o

 

11044994_731832223580753_7177690026370470429_o

 

20130815-_DSC0547

 

20130522-_DSC6017

 

20130522-_DSC6009

 

Next up, wildlife/birds…Once again, I like to stay close to home, and I am way too shaky to use a long heavy lens without a tripod.11043314_732670736830235_2863510723530091571_o

 

11083703_732670836830225_3771933263136387014_o

 

I have done a few portrait sessions with some success and one wedding, which was stressful! My brother and his only daughter.

 

1401169_3717276907488_370483167_o

859320_4200355864160_852697150630099756_o

 

11958321_810361362394505_1173655456527327072_o
Last summer I started doing small *tablescape* types of shots and found I was good at it! So, I converted my music studio into a photo studio; set up a table and backdrop especially for still life setups and I was off and running!

11027503_805376132893028_576731211684882421_o

12010714_821267187970589_1421430192549233206_o

12747946_10201597333812163_2809310741077152339_o

11237579_821262317971076_348153529635692620_o

12719337_886186204812020_4444096901787223264_o

 

I think I have found my niche now….still life objects don’t move, it never rains indoors, it’s always climate controlled so I don’t sweat so badly! I can move things around till my heart’s content to get just the right look for my shot.

10866099_10200318763608707_7284010434690490071_o

11237579_821262317971076_348153529635692620_o

11879098_802652519832056_4051088313993547462_o

I’m a happy photographer right now….but…you never know!

A Picture Perfect Christmas

Christmas ~

That time of year when we decorate everything that doesn’t move, trying to recreate all those beautiful images we see on Pinterest. You either nail it or fail it! I’ve been guilty in the past of over decorating and have the pictures to prove it…but the older I get, the more difficult it is to keep up!

We all want to live that perfect Christmas, but where I live, we don’t get beautiful snowy scenes like this one! Thank you Photoshop!12265852_10201336929102208_7425298091410155474_o

We also don’t see people ice skating on frozen ponds….12291708_849411115156196_1131659081857891675_o

But we do have beautiful decorations in the city though…this scene is from Sundance Square in Fort Worth –15815831659_d9319bc4c4_o

Ahhh, one of my favorite things to do…lean back in my comfy chair with a cup of hot chocolate and admire my tree.297276_2623236917172_415736083_n

Of course, every time a bell rings…1486088_509043362526308_428006049_o

This is “Leon”…he visits our house in December to make sure we are being good and reports back to Santa every night! We never know where he will be the next morning!205057_2623286838420_864669216_n

My adorable grandson was seemingly overwhelmed by Christmas year before last. We would never leave him “home alone” …883834_3793435611408_1835789829_o

Don’t forget the true meaning of Christmas, though….12265861_849134751850499_4839915693882912705_o

Remember to let your light shine, not everyone will have a warm, cozy holiday.12366160_10201370684866081_6404405836560199289_o (1)

No snow for us this year, the weather forecast is calling for 70 degrees on Christmas Day. We can always hold out hope for next year, though!12363256_10201381106046604_5728194156823991609_o

My Life as a Lug Nut

Debi Snider
Copyright 2003
This is a true story and took place in El Paso in 1987

“The Red Rose Lounge”……….hearing the name by itself suggests it might
be a nice place to relax at the end of a long day, with some nice piano bar music, some greenery here and there, polished brass railings along a shiny oak bar, a handsome Tom Cruise-type bartender mixing and serving exotic drinks to the yuppie crowd. But when you add the street name to the location of this lounge, the locals know it is on one of the worst streets in town and is more commonly known as a “dive”. I’m still not sure where the term “dive” originated, but I feel it may have something to do with a person taking a headlong dive into a world of alcoholic misery, for that is what I was about to do.

I was in rehearsals with a surefire up and coming rock band during the week (whatever happened to them?), when the drummer pulled me aside one day to talk. J.R. was playing on weekends with a three-piece band at the Red Rose Lounge, and would I like to bring my equipment out and sit in with them sometime……of course there would be no money involved, but it would be “fun”. Well, being the ham musician I am, I rarely ever turned down a chance to perform, so there I was! I soon became a regular fixture at the Rose, and before too long, I was on the payroll at a whopping $15 a night, every Friday and Saturday night from 9 till 2AM.

The stage, such as it was, was very small, and only about 8 inches above the dance floor, and barely enough room for the three guys, so I set up on the side near the fire exit (good thing there was never a fire!). The band’s unofficial name was “Mixed Nuts”, and since I was off to the side, I became affectionately known as the “Lug Nut”. My trademark song was ‘The Rose”, appropriately enough, and I sang it twice every night. Sometimes people noticed, but most times they didn’t. The clientele at the Red Rose Lounge, was a very serious drinking bunch no white wine spritzers or fancy drinks for these folks. Beer, the cheaper the better, the occasional whiskey and Coke and not even any pretzels on the bar in cute little baskets. No, if you happened to get hungry during the night, there was a vending machine in the back hallway, full of stale cheese and crackers, and candy bars.

One of the regular patrons, was a down on his luck fellow named (for the purpose of this story) Larry. Now, Larry had a very serious drinking problem, which probably explained why he was homeless. He would rather drink than do anything else in the world, including working to make money for a place to live. Rose, the bar owner, was one tough cookie most of the time, but had a soft spot for Larry, and let him sleep in the back office when it was really cold or wet outside, and Larry did a few odd jobs in order to get his beer for free. The rest of the time, Larry, I was told, slept in the desert under a shrub, and wandered the streets looking for handouts.

Larry began sitting at the table nearest my keyboard every night that I was there, and really paying attention to my music, to the point where he was heckling the band because I wasn’t singing enough songs. He would try to talk to me on breaks, but I was trying to keep my distance, not knowing exactly what his motives might be. Because he was usually so drunk and hard to talk with, I was polite, and tried to laugh things off, until one fateful Saturday night. Larry finally drank enough to get the nerve to tell me that not only had he fallen in love with me, but I was the “love of his life”, and he would do anything for a chance to prove his love to me. My pulse quickened, my heart was racing, but not for the declaration of his love, it was time to panic here I was slowly inching my way towards the fire exit door, while this poor guy is earnestly promising he will cut his long hair, give up his earring, get a job and find a place to live, if only I will give him a chance. But he didn’t want to do any of those things for himself, to make his life better, only for me. I tried to explain as gently as I could, that a person couldn’t, and shouldn’t have to change himself just to make another person love him, to make himself worthy of love. I assured him that he could put his life back together, then surely there would be someone in his future that would find him to be the perfect mate, but for now, it wasn’t me. I wasn’t the cause of his current problems, and I couldn’t be the solution for his future. I was not very convincing, and Larry didn’t take this very well, he said he cared only about me, not himself, not his family, and since I wasn’t going to give him a chance, he might as well have a few more drinks and he did. I was very anxious about this turn of events, as I had never had an “admirer” such as Larry, and didn’t realize until then just how dangerous it can be, to be in the “spotlight” so to speak, even in a low class place like the Red Rose Lounge.

One Monday morning not long after my encounter with Larry, I went to the club to pick up my equipment for my other band’s rehearsal, and had to wait a few minutes for them to open. The bar opened at 10 AM every day, and as I sat in my 20-year-old station wagon with 150,000 miles on the odometer, I saw several of the “regulars” walking up, they weren’t fortunate enough to even own a car, to wait by the door. These were the same people who I saw every Friday and Saturday night, and here they were, bright and early on Monday morning……waiting to get in. I wondered what kind of lives these men and women had lived in the past, and what road had led them to spend most of their waking hours in a dim, smoke-filled dive like the Red Rose Lounge. If I kept playing here and drinking like I was, could my future be staring me in the face? How in the world did I get involved in this place? At that moment I realized I had a choice to make.

As I loaded the last of my equipment into my car (by myself), one of the fellows hopped off his bar stool long enough to hold the door open for me while I carried out a single mic stand……he told me how much he enjoyed my music and hoped I’d play there a long time. I looked into his tired, worn face, smiled my best smile, said thank you, got into my car, drove away, and never returned to the Red Rose Lounge. I’m sure it’s still in business today. I wonder if Larry is still there……….

Sureshot, El Paso, 1987

My Life as a Lug Nut

Debi Snider
Copyright 2003
This is a true story and took place in El Paso in 1987

“The Red Rose Lounge”……….hearing the name by itself suggests it might
be a nice place to relax at the end of a long day, with some nice piano bar music, some greenery here and there, polished brass railings along a shiny oak bar, a handsome Tom Cruise-type bartender mixing and serving exotic drinks to the yuppie crowd. But when you add the street name to the location of this lounge, the locals know it is on one of the worst streets in town and is more commonly known as a “dive”. I’m still not sure where the term “dive” originated, but I feel it may have something to do with a person taking a headlong dive into a world of alcoholic misery, for that is what I was about to do.

I was in rehearsals with a surefire up and coming rock band during the week (whatever happened to them?), when the drummer pulled me aside one day to talk. J.R. was playing on weekends with a three-piece band at the Red Rose Lounge, and would I like to bring my equipment out and sit in with them sometime……of course there would be no money involved, but it would be “fun”. Well, being the ham musician I am, I rarely ever turned down a chance to perform, so there I was! I soon became a regular fixture at the Rose, and before too long, I was on the payroll at a whopping $15 a night, every Friday and Saturday night from 9 till 2AM.

The stage, such as it was, was very small, and only about 8 inches above the dance floor, and barely enough room for the three guys, so I set up on the side near the fire exit (good thing there was never a fire!). The band’s unofficial name was “Mixed Nuts”, and since I was off to the side, I became affectionately known as the “Lug Nut”. My trademark song was ‘The Rose”, appropriately enough, and I sang it twice every night. Sometimes people noticed, but most times they didn’t. The clientele at the Red Rose Lounge, was a very serious drinking bunch no white wine spritzers or fancy drinks for these folks. Beer, the cheaper the better, the occasional whiskey and Coke and not even any pretzels on the bar in cute little baskets. No, if you happened to get hungry during the night, there was a vending machine in the back hallway, full of stale cheese and crackers, and candy bars.

One of the regular patrons, was a down on his luck fellow named (for the purpose of this story) Larry. Now, Larry had a very serious drinking problem, which probably explained why he was homeless. He would rather drink than do anything else in the world, including working to make money for a place to live. Rose, the bar owner, was one tough cookie most of the time, but had a soft spot for Larry, and let him sleep in the back office when it was really cold or wet outside, and Larry did a few odd jobs in order to get his beer for free. The rest of the time, Larry, I was told, slept in the desert under a shrub, and wandered the streets looking for handouts.

Larry began sitting at the table nearest my keyboard every night that I was there, and really paying attention to my music, to the point where he was heckling the band because I wasn’t singing enough songs. He would try to talk to me on breaks, but I was trying to keep my distance, not knowing exactly what his motives might be. Because he was usually so drunk and hard to talk with, I was polite, and tried to laugh things off, until one fateful Saturday night. Larry finally drank enough to get the nerve to tell me that not only had he fallen in love with me, but I was the “love of his life”, and he would do anything for a chance to prove his love to me. My pulse quickened, my heart was racing, but not for the declaration of his love, it was time to panic here I was slowly inching my way towards the fire exit door, while this poor guy is earnestly promising he will cut his long hair, give up his earring, get a job and find a place to live, if only I will give him a chance. But he didn’t want to do any of those things for himself, to make his life better, only for me. I tried to explain as gently as I could, that a person couldn’t, and shouldn’t have to change himself just to make another person love him, to make himself worthy of love. I assured him that he could put his life back together, then surely there would be someone in his future that would find him to be the perfect mate, but for now, it wasn’t me. I wasn’t the cause of his current problems, and I couldn’t be the solution for his future. I was not very convincing, and Larry didn’t take this very well, he said he cared only about me, not himself, not his family, and since I wasn’t going to give him a chance, he might as well have a few more drinks and he did. I was very anxious about this turn of events, as I had never had an “admirer” such as Larry, and didn’t realize until then just how dangerous it can be, to be in the “spotlight” so to speak, even in a low class place like the Red Rose Lounge.

One Monday morning not long after my encounter with Larry, I went to the club to pick up my equipment for my other band’s rehearsal, and had to wait a few minutes for them to open. The bar opened at 10 AM every day, and as I sat in my 20-year-old station wagon with 150,000 miles on the odometer, I saw several of the “regulars” walking up, they weren’t fortunate enough to even own a car, to wait by the door. These were the same people who I saw every Friday and Saturday night, and here they were, bright and early on Monday morning……waiting to get in. I wondered what kind of lives these men and women had lived in the past, and what road had led them to spend most of their waking hours in a dim, smoke-filled dive like the Red Rose Lounge. If I kept playing here and drinking like I was, could my future be staring me in the face? How in the world did I get involved in this place? At that moment I realized I had a choice to make.

As I loaded the last of my equipment into my car (by myself), one of the fellows hopped off his bar stool long enough to hold the door open for me while I carried out a single mic stand……he told me how much he enjoyed my music and hoped I’d play there a long time. I looked into his tired, worn face, smiled my best smile, said thank you, got into my car, drove away, and never returned to the Red Rose Lounge. I’m sure it’s still in business today. I wonder if Larry is still there……..

Sureshot 1987

Sureshot, El Paso, 1987

Photo Obsession

Hello, my name is Debi and I am addicted to photography. I admit it, I’m hooked, obsessed, totally over the top with this *hobby*.

I bought my first DSLR almost 2 years ago, a Nikon D3100. Now I’m up to four, yes, four cameras. Nikon D90, D5000 and D7000. Four cameras, 5 lenses, 3 editing software programs, one new MacBook Pro, a serious case on wheels to hold everything……and assorted accessories!  Woohoo….. My husband has decided he’d like to join me in my hobby (yay?) so I’m going to teach him what (little) I know. Wish us both luck!

I feel like I have learned a great deal in two years. I graduated to shooting in the RAW format a year ago, and have found it increases editing options. I do love editing, it brings out the frustrated artist in me, since I’ve always wanted to paint, but had no talent for it. Editing is the next best thing. Just changing the white balance or a using a preset can change the whole tone of an image, from boring to dramatic; from ho-hum lackluster color, to elegant tones of black and white.

I shot my first (and only) wedding last November, for my oldest niece.  It was a learning experience, for sure! The bride was thrilled with the photos, which made me feel better; but I realized just how little I knew about what I was trying to do. She was on a small budget, though, and I offered to do it as my gift to her. There were some sweet moments:

This was in a very small room, with lots of background clutter on the walls, so I cropped in very close to capture the sweetness of the father of the bride, giving her a good luck kiss before the ceremony.

_DSC0497

The bride with step-mom before the ceremony……I was so happy with this shot in the mirror, which was necessary because the room was so small.

4x6 5x7 prints4x6 5x7-64

The bride, groom and family…. Continue reading “Photo Obsession”