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

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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.

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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.

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

A Merry Fractured Christmas

I have always loved to roller skate, from way back in the day when the skates clamped onto your shoes and you used a key to adjust the length. I skated up and down the sidewalks on Redbud Road where we lived, and on Heron Street, where my grandparents lived……both houses had inclined driveways, so…..I fell a lot! However, when you are 7, 8, 9 years old and weigh 50/60 pounds, falling really doesn’t hurt much!

Me, on skates, with my Granny Fletcher and my little brother Philip.

In my early teen years, I graduated to the indoor roller rink, with the nice smooth hardwood floor and great music to skate to…..and some less than upstanding hoodlums as my new-found friends. For Christmas in 1969, all I wanted was my very own “professional” skates…..and I got them! There was one large box under the tree and I insisted it had my skates inside, even though my parents kept saying, no….but….I could SMELL the leather through the wrapping! I was so excited……yay! I was going to look so cool now at the rink, with my very own skates, and I had already started collecting the required pom poms to make me look even cooler!

My new rink skates!

Fast forward to 1979, I was married, had 2 kids, Kelly, 7 and Brian, 2…….and we all loved to skate. Brian was just learning, but Kelly was quite a good little skater. Kelly and I were even taking some lessons together at the rink in Mesquite, Texas where we lived at the time.

Kelly skating...

One Sunday evening, December 16, to be exact, we were at the rink, skating, having a wonderful time……Kelly and I had been practicing some of the things we were learning, and I was working on a particular jump that was easy for her. This jump consisted of skating backward, taking your left foot, putting your toe-stop down behind you, twisting left and turning mid-air and landing on your right foot gliding forward. Easy, right?

Insert maniacal laughter here: Hahahahaha…….my left foot went down, my body twisted left, but my left foot stayed firmly planted on the floor. My left leg twisted, broke my tibia and fibula in a spiral angulated fracture.  Over the music and general noise of the rink, I heard my leg snap. I screamed a blood curdling scream, so loud that my husband heard me from across the building. Several people rushed to my rescue and tried to tell me, that my leg wasn’t broken, but it was swelling so badly, my laces had to be cut so my skate would come off. Oh yes, it was ever so broken!

I spent the next 5 days in the hospital following the surgery on Monday to set my leg. Luckily, I had already finished my Christmas shopping for the kids.  The day I went home from the hospital, on crutches that I could barely navigate, my parents drove down and picked up my kids to keep until Christmas. This was highly unusual, because my parents had never kept my kids, never ever!

Back at the skating rink with the kids....

What made my broken leg even more special, was the fact that my cousin Gwen, had broken her leg 5 weeks before me, same leg, same type of fracture, except she fell in her garage. We were quite a sight for the next few weeks together with matching casts and crutches. And then every year for the next several years, we had our picture made together and called it our “annual leg show”…..

Debi and Gwen 12/31/1980

After my leg healed (10 weeks on crutches followed by 2 weeks in a walking cast), I did go skating again, but just a couple of times, and then I hung up my skates for good. Some things are just not meant to be, and I was not meant to be the Dorothy Hamill of the roller rink.

Every December 16, I recall the events of  1979…..and I wonder….what the heck was I thinking?

Merry Fractured Christmas!

A Merry Fractured Christmas

I have always loved to roller skate, from way back in the day when the skates clamped onto your shoes and you used a key to adjust the length. I skated up and down the sidewalks on Redbud Road where we lived, and on Heron Street, where my grandparents lived……both houses had inclined driveways, so…..I fell a lot! However, when you are 7, 8, 9 years old and weigh 50/60 pounds, falling really doesn’t hurt much!

Me, on skates, with my Granny Fletcher and my little brother Philip.

In my early teen years, I graduated to the indoor roller rink, with the nice smooth hardwood floor and great music to skate to…..and some less than upstanding hoodlums as my new-found friends. For Christmas in 1969, all I wanted was my very own “professional” skates…..and I got them! There was one large box under the tree and I insisted it had my skates inside, even though my parents kept saying, no….but….I could SMELL the leather through the wrapping! I was so excited……yay! I was going to look so cool now at the rink, with my very own skates, and I had already started collecting the required pom poms to make me look even cooler!

My new rink skates!

Fast forward to 1979, I was married, had 2 kids, Kelly, 7 and Brian, 2…….and we all loved to skate. Brian was just learning, but Kelly was quite a good little skater. Kelly and I were even taking some lessons together at the rink in Mesquite, Texas where we lived at the time.

Kelly skating…

One Sunday evening, December 16, to be exact, we were at the rink, skating, having a wonderful time……Kelly and I had been practicing some of the things we were learning, and I was working on a particular jump that was easy for her. This jump consisted of skating backward, taking your left foot, putting your toe-stop down behind you, twisting left and turning mid-air and landing on your right foot gliding forward. Easy, right?

Insert maniacal laughter here: Hahahahaha…….my left foot went down, my body twisted left, but my left foot stayed firmly planted on the floor. My left leg twisted, broke my tibia and fibula in a spiral angulated fracture.  Over the music and general noise of the rink, I heard my leg snap. I screamed a blood curdling scream, so loud that my husband heard me from across the building. Several people rushed to my rescue and tried to tell me, that my leg wasn’t broken, but it was swelling so badly, my laces had to be cut so my skate would come off. Oh yes, it was ever so broken!

I spent the next 5 days in the hospital following the surgery on Monday to set my leg. Luckily, I had already finished my Christmas shopping for the kids.  The day I went home from the hospital, on crutches that I could barely navigate, my parents drove down and picked up my kids to keep until Christmas. This was highly unusual, because my parents had never kept my kids, never ever!

Back at the skating rink with the kids….

What made my broken leg even more special, was the fact that my cousin Gwen, had broken her leg 5 weeks before me, same leg, same type of fracture, except she fell in her garage. We were quite a sight for the next few weeks together with matching casts and crutches. And then every year for the next several years, we had our picture made together and called it our “annual leg show”…..

Debi and Gwen 12/31/1980

After my leg healed (10 weeks on crutches followed by 2 weeks in a walking cast), I did go skating again, but just a couple of times, and then I hung up my skates for good. Some things are just not meant to be, and I was not meant to be the Dorothy Hamill of the roller rink.

Every December 16, I recall the events of  1979…..and I wonder….what the heck was I thinking?

Merry Fractured Christmas!

The Christmas Letter

It was 1986, I was far from home and family, having moved to El Paso that summer with my “boyfriend” who didn’t always regard me as his “girlfriend”…..we worked together in various bands, duos and trios, making really mediocre country music, although I thought we were awesome.

During the week I was working at the Lowrey Organ store at Cielo Vista Mall, hopelessly trying to sell keyboards and pianos, but soon realized I was a terrible salesperson! The owner told me I was good at entertaining the prospective customers, but could never close the deal. Fortunately for me, he still needed someone there to help run the place, and I looked good standing at the front of the store.

I spent a lot of time people watching while I was working there, as we were right next door to the movie theater entrance, so the lines waiting for the movies were often long and the people were interesting. We had customers from all across the board walking in to look at the instruments, and I enjoyed chatting with them. They usually noticed my “accent” and asked where I was from. So, I told my adventurous story, while omitting a few minor details, because I didn’t want to seem too kooky.

There was one young man, a salesman for a local radio station, who came by once a week trying to sell advertising to the owner, who was not interested at all, so Charles would visit with me and listen to me play the piano. As Christmas was nearing, he liked to sing carols, and I was happy to oblige and we had a lot of fun, as long as the boss wasn’t there! Charles had listened to my story and knew I was not very happy with my situation, but I was too proud to admit defeat and go back home where my family was, so he tried to cheer me up and encourage me. He was a salesman, after all…..

One day he dropped by to tell me goodbye, because he was taking another job, and he brought me a Christmas letter, a beautiful handwritten letter in calligraphy that I have kept and cherished all these years, even though I never saw him again after that day. It has been 25 years now, and I wonder if Charles Clay of El Paso ever knew how touched I was at the sentiments he wrote…..we never exchanged phone numbers, never went on a date, just shared a little music together in the music store at the mall.

I try to remind myself, that even though I may not be brilliantly funny or wise beyond the normal, that somewhere along the way in my life, maybe I, too, have crossed paths with someone and left a memory-print on their life……

And, if I have not, then I hope to do so someday…..

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