Monday, June 14, 2010

What purpose could this creature possibly serve???

So, I consider myself a pretty tough cookie. I grew up in the country. Growing up I was a true-blue tom-boy. Still am. To this day, I'll catch the occassional small lizard or other assorted creepy crawlies with my bare hands and carefully re-locate them OUT of my house to avoid killin' em. Ive had to do some of the most disgusting, ooey-gooey things to my horses due to various illnesses or injuries over the years and never flinched ...or threw up. I've literally thrown rocks and sticks at water moccassins to scare them off as they swam close to my perfect spot on the river bank while I was fishing. (I was getting a bite at the time and I wasnt about to let a little old snake scare off that potentially "biggest fish of my life".) wasnt my biggest fish but I didnt know for sure at the time! I think spiders and snakes are facinating.
 So - riddle me this:
WHAT can make a true-blue country girl, cowgirl, tom-boy Texas gal suddenly lose her mind and begin running blindly into the night, swatting at her head as if it were on fire, screaming un-repeatable profanities like a banshee on crack? What can make this "tough" girl's skin crawl? Give her nightmares for weeks? This. This can. This absolutely vile creature that serves no purpose whatsoever on this earth. (much like fire ants, mosquitos and roaches - but none of which are as freakishly scary as this thing.)

The dreaded June Bug! Their spindly spiny sticky legs get caught in my hair. They crunch. They buzz. They need to die... I have to go now. I have to pick the june bug body parts out of what WAS my freshly washed hair.

Monday, May 17, 2010

"When I'm an Old Horsewoman"

Every once and awhile I run across something that strikes a cord in my soul. Such was the case when I happened onto the poem below.  As I was reading along it was as if it was written just for me. Only a horse person would get it. To my knowledge the author is unknown but one thing is for sure...she was a true Horsewoman! I was inspired to save it so I created a digital scrap page using the poem as the inspiration. So for all my fellow true, hard-core cowgirl/horsewomen friends...ENJOY this little ditty. And dont even pretend like you dont see yourself in future... ;-) Happy nickers and neighs! Rhonda 

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Givin' props to some GREAT new music - check out The Bird Dogs

So, last week I get an email from my old boss and good friend, Clay Powers. (from the good old days at Showco/Vari-Lite .)  He says he needs my mailing address. He's got somethin' he wants to share with me. My mind reels...what could Clay be sending me? What would be either so cool...or so suspect, that he would actually take the time to get an envelope out, stick a label on it, address it, post it and actually mail it? (you'd have to know Clay to know why this is big deal)  A couple of days later I get this package in the mail. Return address label says Charley's Guitar Shop Its the package from Clay.
Crap...Im almost scared to open it. ( again'd have to know Clay to understand.) But finally I do and inside is a CD.  No note. No clue. No nuthin' - typical Clay ;-) Just a CD with this really cool cover. Its called "OUR HOPE" by The Bird Dogs.  Wow...let me just say that if you love and appreciate true Country/Americana music, if you are an avid fan of the Randy Rogers Band, Neil Young, etc.- you will love this!  CDBaby describes it as "Texas music meets Jerry Garcia and Neil Young. A unique country sound with steel, fiddle , three part harmony and wailing guitar." Oh yeah...what was the connection between this album and Clay??? He's one of the musicians. He plays quite few instruments but for this little jewel - he is this master of the Pedal Steel.  Awesome job! (By all the guys)  All the songs were written and sung by George Dunham. This album is special. Its comfortable. Its real.  Its the core of what this type of music is all about. Its my new favorite. Please- check this little gem out. You'll be glad you did. Trust me. 
 So Clay...if you're reading this: First, thank you for thinking of me and sending me this cd. I truly love it. Second, can you send me a few more copies? :-) and Third...when you guys are big famous recording artists I expect backstage passes! Congrats to all of you guys, sincerely. This cd is the real deal. And just because I KNOW how much you love to be in the spot light...Love you man!


"Thank you and Good Night!"

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Mom-arazzi captures snow!

The beautiful snow we had inspired my mom to bundle up and venture out with her camera as well. Her place made for the perfect snow-covered scenic setting. Here are just a few of the wonderful pics she took. Enjoy -
Great job MOM! Love you! Rhonda


Beautiful old old old pine tree.

This is a magnificent old oak tree in our pasture. Its spectacular in the summer too.

Notice the really bright red berries!

Very cool, artsy night shot of Dan's shop.

Scenic shot of the horse pasture. Winter wonderland!

Another artsy night shot of the Century Plant in mom's front yard and the up-lit American flag.

So, it was too much work to BUILD a she just stuck this one out there and called'er good!

Sally testing the snow..."O.k., Im done...can we go in now???"

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Snow? What snow?

First it was a white Christmas. Then...we get hit with an all time record breaking snowfall for Texas...EVER.
As you all know I live in Grapevine, right near DFW airport and we recd. 12 and 1/2 inches! Unreal. I did manage to get out and take a few pics of the gorgeous white stuff before it all too soon began to melt and run away. As I mentioned before, I LOVE to play in Photoshop/PSE. So some of the pics will have before and afters. Snow pictures are especially fun to work with. You can use a cool blending modes like gausian blurrs, hard light overlays, special PSE Actions, etc.  Here are a few examples. Enjoy!

The pool area has a beautiful patio, lots of trees and some cool lamp posts.
I used several different photoshop actions to get this nice warm diffused glow.

We have quite a bit of wildlife around here. I was fortunate enough to have my camera with me when I heard a commotion in some trees nearby. I looked up just in time to see this beautiful Sharp Shinned Hawk swoop out of the tree with his dinner in his claws. Poor little bird...but such is the circle of life, eh?
I used a combination of actions on this photo too but the main one was a hard light overlay that I learned from the the Pioneer Woman's tutotorial on this process. 

Next, here is a before and after show-n-tell. The first picture is a from a pretty good distance and as it is, not a great shot. but....
add in a little photoshop magic and tah-dah!
much better. Added a little pse soft glow, some overlay/blending etc. and this photos turns into a really nice panoramic shot with a nice ethereal burn. Looks really great when blown to full size.

Next...another cool shot of the snow and lamp posts. First, the original photo as taken, no-retouch:

Its pretty, but - add a little creativity and BAM!

You're in Narnia! (as in "The Chronicles of...")

Following are just some more fun, pretty shots. Hope you enjoy them and that you enjoyed the short- lived as it was.  I chose not to shoot the post-melt scenes. I just couldn't take the pain. All those poor little snow-man carcasses scattered everywhere, their sad little stick arms laying limply, detached from their melting little round bodies, eyes, falling off, heads rolling...but I digress.
Here are some more pretty photos before the carnage. ;-)

Heres a good example of shallow-depth-of-field focus.

I like this next one because you can actually see the snow-flakes suspended in mid-air.

Great color variation on this one. No re-touching either.
Just snow...simple and pretty. Looks like a fairy-land!

Warm glow and taken with no flash. Just wide open app.

Here's that hawk again...flying off with his to-go Happy-Meal...though I doubt the little bird is very "happy"!

This next photo is a great example of "bokeh'

I like this one because the way I shot it, the snow flakes that are falling look like little
shooting streams of light.
Well, thanks for taking the time to look. Please feel free to leave a comment or visit my photo site at Barbed Heart Photography.

 Stay warm and dry out there!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Read much??? Go on a "Shelfari!" (...ugh..bad humor...)

I do love to read. Not on the computer, not on a Kindle or some other such gadget. I love the feel and smell of a good old fashioned, paper, hard-bound book. It brings me comfort. It is tangible. I just set up my very own Shelfari book shelf. If you dont know about  Shelfari, (scroll down a bit to see my shelf) I suggest you check it out. If you read as much as I do, you may, like I do...find it difficult to remember what you've read, what you've bought, what you liked, etc. With Shelfari you can keep up with the details, get reviews from others, share what you've read, liked, get the idea. So give it a look see. Its free, its easy and kinda cool.
Ive also finaly ventured out to the world of FACEBOOK. Ive found so many old friends from high school, my old job at Showco and Vari-Lite, all over the place.  What a concept...I wish I'd thought of it!


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Look...Ive been busy - Ok? Sorry!

I know! I know! Im the worlds worst blogger. But Im trying!  Here's a summary of the last couple of months.

-Went to the NFR with my buddy Dara. HAD TOO MUCH FUN! We're going back next year. It was starched Wranglers and black Stetsons as far as the eye could see! Yee Haw!

I gambled in Vegas...Vegas kicked my #@&! Dara gambled and she kicked Vegas pretty good!

The NFR is amazing. You have to go. Here are few shots but they dont do it justice. You have to be there!

- Christmas came and went. I love Christmas...there is no other time of the year quite like it. And this year...we had a White Christmas! When was the last time we Texans in this part of the state could say that!?
I had to get some shots of the "kids" out in the snow. So photogenic!

Jack - "Just chillin' man."

Gypsy - "I know Im pretty pretty girl! Now just take the picture already!!

Such would think she'd be more mellow at 14...NOT!

-Now, Im prepping for our company's big annual conference, the Hotsos Symposium.  WhaHoo!  8 years and still going strong! Check ya' later.
Rhonda B -