Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Why Do I Do What I Do?

I am awaiting Friday night like a kid awaits Christmas morning. The first Friday night football game of the season! When I think about the game, the excitement in the air, the sounds of the crowds cheering, it's almost as if all is right with the world.

How can that be? I grew up with a football crazy brother, but rarely paid any attention to it. Cowboys rule! Big Spring Steers rocked (even if the stats didn't always reflect it...). But still....I barely knew a touchdown from a.....a.....hmmmmm....field goal.

Then two years ago, I ran across a photo from Friday Night Lights...the movie. I've actually never seen the movie. I've always claimed I didn't HAVE to see it...I LIVED it. Grew up in west Texas in the 80s, Big Spring to be exact, and our team played Odessa Permian. Even then, I loved the atmosphere...the crisp air...the friends laughing and cheering. Yes...even sitting close to my date and holding hands. It was all magical.

When I saw that single photo from that movie, my mind started whirling. What a powerful shot. What memories it evoked. The sounds, the sights, the smells...they all came about in that one shot. I wanted to TRY to do what I capture the moments myself.

Within days, as luck would have it....I heard "The Boys Of Fall" by Kenny Chesney on the radio. I was on the access road heading north...then on the bridge...then driving up I-35, listening intently, turning it up louder and louder. Then my plan started evolving. I just wanted to step outside of my comfort zone a bit...just wanted to try my hand at shooting a game. It was....sorry for sounding so sappy....a "calling". So I made my contacts and arranged to shoot my first game. I WAS HOOKED!

Once I got past the embarrassment of feeling like I was "on display" on the sidelines, it was pure adrenaline rush. My GOAL is to preserve these moments for these guys....OUR guys. I don't worry about getting the perfect action shot....though I will shoot for those, and celebrate what I capture. Mostly, though, I want to capture the passion these boys have. The cheers, the tears, the leaps and hugs. All of it requires PASSION for the game...passion for the team...passion for their school.

And if there is one thing I know that these teenagers CAN'T know is that they are making memories they will cherish forever. Even the tears will carry a memory...and hopefully a story to be retold!

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Sunday, June 24, 2012


It's been a while....again....since I last blogged. Geez...that sounds like a confession or something..."Forgive me readers, for I have sinned....." question is....are there any readers even out there. Ha

Craziness has been the word of my world lately. May, of course, was filled with the end-of-school stuff. Seemed like a new awards ceremony every evening. Like a bad mom, I didn't even take the camera to some. Plumb wore out.

A few weeks ago was one of my favorite activities....THE KOSSE RODEO. I prefer the small town Texas rodeos. Not the huge productions. Problem is that small town usually equals low lighting situations, but I've learned to deal with it!

ANYWAY....this year I got brave and got up into a booth right above the chutes on Saturday. To me...that was like winning the super bowl! I think, perhaps, that the rodeo workers have about decided I am a stalker. I swear, I'm not! I just love to capture those moments. Those guys (and the majority ARE men) LOVE what they do. From the kids to the stall cleaners to the rodeo clowns. They enjoy the work, and it shows.

There is a photo somewhere in my world of my Grandpa riding a bucking
bronc waaaaaaaayyyyy back in the day. It fascinates me! That was probably what got me started in the pursuit of rodeo photography...that photo.

I may never get the perfectly clear shot of the bull bucking "just so"...but that's ok. I like to shoot for the FEEL of the event...the feel of the tradition...generations following generations....history!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Music and Memories

For the past week or so, I've been in a bit of a contemplative mood, partly brought on by music. I've been spending some time tweaking my music collection, making playlists to fit my every mood. When I think back over memories, there is usually a soundtrack playing in my mind.

I love hearing a song and instantly be delivered to a moment....a memory. My daughter humors me with this. I feel like Sophia from "Golden Girls".....I'll say, "picture it....Big Spring, Tx, 1987..."

Then there are songs whose words conjure up an image.... "Later on we'll sit around,
Bellies tight from supper, Telling all them stories That we just can't get enough of, And somewhere in an honest laugh, It'll finally hit me that I'm Home". The first time I heard this Tim McGraw song, I fell in love with it...especially the phrase "somewhere in an honest laugh......". In MY mind....I picture 518 Elm, my dad, uncles, aunts, cousins, sitting around telling and retelling stories. "Honest laugh"? What a perfect description...

Another of my favorites....."If Heaven" sung by Andy Griggs....Written by Gretchen Peters...

"If heaven was an hour, it would be twilight
When the fireflies start their dancin on the lawn
And suppers on the stove, and mammas laughin
And everybodys workin day is done

If heaven was a town it would be my town
On a summer day in 1985
And everything i wanted was out there waitin
And everyone i loved was still alive"

Perfect....when I hear these words I can "feel" the scene....

What songs bring back memories for you?

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Story....

Last year, I posted this story that told a bit about my daddy's wallet.

To recap it daddy died in January of last year. He died suddenly in his his job, as he was about to head home. While he sat there in his truck for the short amount of time before a co-worker discovered him...someone stole his wallet off of his body. read that correctly. Evil exists among us. But let's not dwell on that. That person does not deserve my energy.

From the beginning, I "knew" we would get the wallet back. Somehow....some way...! I pictured it showing up on Christmas Day...a "Christmas Miracle" is what I envisioned. And since he died in January, I figured we had 11 months for the wheels to get in motion for this miracle.

But then, last March 17th...St. Patrick's Day...our miracle came brother got a call that the wallet...and its contents....had been found in the middle of a work yard at a recycling plant. No explanation of how it got there....or where it had been for two months....

But it was there! see....I was right to believe in miracles...I just didn't put enough faith in the impact of my Irish roots!

Christmas has the traditional reading of "The Night Before Christmas" and the telling of the Christmas story.... For as long as I live I will likely tell my "St. Patrick's Day Miracle" story to any who will listen! And even to a few who just can't get away fast enough!

Wear green on Saturday!! I know I will!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Little Things...

Last Friday was Texas Independence Day...for those who did not know... Therefore, I had the day off from my "day job". Once I got my kids off to school, I pulled my
hair back in a ponytail and took search of SOMETHING to assure me that Spring was indeed right around the corner. So...the Carleen Bright Arboretum it was.

Funny thing about the can drive there, circle around their driveway, and never see the beauty of it all. If you aren't looking, that is. I used to do a quick drive-thru, see no wonderful blooms out in the open, and take off. But then one day I went there and just needed peace and quiet. So I got out, lugging the camera along with me, and found a world of beauty hiding in the shadows. What looks like wet grass from the driveway is actually an entire world of glistening diamonds and lakes and least from a bug's perspective. I am sure I must look quite funny...I will walk down a path, leaning this way and that....trying to find the right light. And when I do.....I go into super-shooter mode! I have currently misplaced my tri-pod so I have to rely on a steady hand to get the shot...therefore, I shoot....ummmmm...perhaps a million shots...of a tiny droplet!!

Occasionally, I am truly blessed and a "critter" (what I call any living, animated thing) will stop by to take a drink or to load up on pollen. This past Friday, I had no such luck. But soon enough.....there will be bees and lady bugs and road runners....OH MY!!!

Go enjoy some nature!

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Who Knows Ya, Baby?

In a Facebook post the other day, I told one of my friends to give me a blog topic...saying that she knows what goes on in my head more than most.... That got me to thinking....who, in our transient world, knows me the best?

Right off, I will eliminate family. Not because they don't know me, but they shouldn't count. So let's look at friends. I think because i have moved around a lot in my life, I always categorize my friends...there are childhood friends, work friends, school friends, family friends, church friends, photography friends, and my kids' friends' parents... I hope that doesn't sound offensive, the fact that I have categories. I also have what my husband and I refer to as "lifetime friends"...anyone from the other categories can, at anytime, also hold a spot in this category.

If you know me on a friendship level at all, you know certain things about me....I love photography. I am a rule-follower. At least when it comes to some things (I rarely speed and never call in sick when I am not for instance) BUT...I also like to break other rules at times. I do not worry about wearing the latest fashion...I wear the same boring style shoes for a year at a in and day out...(I also claim that funky shoes are my mid-life crisis, which actually breaks my own rule about boring shoes!!). If you tell me I can't, I will sure try to prove you wrong... I don't talk religion or politics, but have a very strong faith and my own opinions of government. I'm a tough mama who hands out very little sympathy to my kids.....but if you cross them ya better watch out...MAMA BEAR CAN GET MAD!! Also....if you haven't noticed, I type as I speak...some pauses, overuse of commas and periods.... (see what I mean) but I am also naturally talented in the area of grammar....I just choose to break those rules.

My two oldest friends (in terms of years known) are twins...a good thing about that is I never have to worry about that friendship "competition" thing....after all...they shared a womb...I just joined them as soon as I could. Ha! Somewhere in this world, we have recordings of us being kids, carrying on about boys and dramas of pre-teen life. These recordings were made in a tent one night during a sleepover. We also have our references that others just would not get...if one of them texts me that they are stressed with life....I just send back "coo-coo pigeon" and KNOW that I made them smile. Star-gazing, hot-dogs, marshmallows over the fence, the Fantasy Van, the clubhouse, coke through the nose, Dirti, Ditzi, Mr. Bubble....there's a story to each of those!! We have our differences at times and we all live too far apart, but they would be there in a minute if I needed them to be.

I'm not a "party gal" kind of girl, AT ALL, so a lot of my friends are made through work, kids' activities, etc.... These friends may not know all of my historical details, but they know my immediate concerns. These are the friends who know my day to day concerns about work, my photography, the days I have energy (they often pray for their own strength when I am hyper), and the days I can barely make it home at night because I am exhausted. They give me rides home when I get sick, they rally around me in daily struggles....sometimes they even make dinner suggestions. They lecture to me when I need it and let me pout when I don't like the lecture I just got. They roll their eyes...which is alright by me...and most of all...they let me be me.

There's a group of us "lifetime friends" that get together as often as possible....friends since childhood, their spouses and children, and even some of our parents....This group started with a group of guys in the 70s and 80s. There is such a feeling of belonging when we get together...we hang out at the campfire...tell old stories as well as new....enjoy watching the kids play together....we'll enjoy good food, good laughter and take at least....ohhhh....about 1,000 photos of the weekend. We've had to miss a few years due to some issues of life getting in the way...but I know we'll pick back up again soon.

So...back to the question....who knows me best? I don't have the answer.....but I do know I am blessed to have the friends in my life that I do....old ones, new ones, silly ones, serious ones.....all I ask for are honest ones!!!

Who knows YOU best?

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Learn something new everyday

Soooo....I've been trying to find a way to write my blog when it's convenient for ME... I started last week, while waiting outside at one of my son's activities. I wrote it in my Noteshelf app, waited till I got home to my WI FI, and then went into Safari, opened my Blogger page, copied and pasted. Worked ok...but had to forgo the photos because I wasn't sure they would work. So this week, I followed same procedure, but added photos. Previewed the post, saw the photos, and submitted it. Now I can't see the photos. Boo!!

Last night I was winding down for the day and found BlogPress. Downloaded the app, and tested it this good....

So...perhaps I'll blog more often with this convenience. For now...let me post a few things to celebrate tomorrow....Texas Independence Day...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

just testing this to see if it works

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I have a theory about leap-day...that once-every-four-years day that will make its appearance tomorrow. When I was young I had a hard time remembering which year was leap year. I also had a hard time remembering which year was a presidential election year....and for that matter, which year had the Olympics going on...back when the winter and summer games were in the same year...GUESS WHAT...THEY WERE ALL THE SAME YEAR!!!

My theory is that we had SO MUCH going on that they had to add an extra day. Of course, as I've grown older (and much much more weary) I am convinced we have the extra day so that we can be TORTURED by politicians....ugh!
Anyway....let's not dwell on that.

Guess what??? I have "SPRING FEVER". I am trying not to...knowing that there is likely bad, cold weather ahead of us, but have you FELT the vibes lately? I take my daughter in at 6:30 most mornings....and I grumble about it a lot....but by the time I get back to the house, I find myself amazed at the birds chirping and the fresh smell in the air....beautiful.

As a photographer, I am usually fighting stereotypes....we all do. But photographers are SUPPOSED to like wildflowers and spring scenes and longer days. I confess...each summer, as the remnants of the last flowers are withering in the hot sun, I take stock of my spring shots and decide that SURELY I have enough photos of bluebonnets and Indian blankets to last a lifetime. I swear that NEXT YEAR I will forgo the urge to run out to the Arboretum and snap away. But guess what....I always return. And I find myself taking deep breaths and nudging whoever I dragged along with me and saying, "Just SMELL that.....have you ever smelled anything so beautiful?"

Two years ago I went out after a rain and found droplets of water on the daisies, reflecting other daisies. You would have thought I scored a touchdown! I've got some shots of our football guys running off the field after a great win, and they are 2 feet off the ground, pumping their fists in the air....that was me after getting the shots of the daisies and water droplets.... Just goes to show that there is always room and time for one more look, one more shot.

Last year, with the drought in Central Texas, I kept waiting and waiting for the flowers, and basically they never showed up. Therefore, I am doubly anxious this year to spot the first bluebonnet peeping through the ground.....stay tuned....

In the meantime, enjoy some from years past. And remember....if you are going to take shots in the out the patches in parks and the ones that are WAY OFF of the road.... SAFETY FIRST!!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Ok. So I have been neglecting my blogging. And I hate that. So I challenged my friends to challenge me, and they I shall blog.

What to blog about? It's not as if I have no ideas for blog entries. I have those ALL the time....driving down the road, fixing dinner, in the grocery store....I'm just never near a computer. Yeah....that's my excuse.... Wait! Isn't that why I got my iPad? So I could do things when not near a computer? My next excuse....hmmmmm....because I may have nothing of interest to say..... Wait! That won't work....I often have nothing of interest to SAY yet I talk every chance I get....I could go on and on finding excuses, but perhaps I should start blogging instead.

Still trying to define this blog. (that is another excuse)... And my definition will be will be a DEENA BLOG. I am part photographer, part social worker, ALL wife and ALL mom, part cook, part crafter-wanna-be, ALL Christian, disgustingly (at times) optimistic and unapologetically honest (about myself and my crazy thoughts) Not true...I apologize a LOT....sorry about that!

So....I've blogged about blogging....not a bad re-start to the blogging thing. (are you shaking your head and rolling your eyes and my ability to ramble yet???)

I will soon be connecting up to some friends' blogs....and reconnecting with my sisters blog. Want to hear a secret? I secretly worry about reading other people's blogs, for fear of stealing their ideas.... It's not that I intend to steal ideas, but if their blog inspires me to contemplate things, and if I plan to blog about things I am contemplating.....well, you see where I am going....

I again challenge anyone reading this to challenge me to post again before the week is up....and I'll even try to include some photos next time....