I'm Dreaming of a Round Christmas.... Tree

Every Christmas I am plagued with the grand idea of replicating the Christmas trees of my early childhood. Every dang Christmas, I dig up old photos, turn house upside down for a very un-informative drawing, trying to figure out how my mother managed to create the coolest Christmas tree - ever.  I even asked her how to make it once.

Isn't it cool?  That's my dad handing out
 presents and me next to him.  Those other
kids are cousins, and the woman on the left
is my mom.
  This is what she told me years ago:  You just go to the hardware store and get some chicken wire and some pliers, then go to the tree seller and ask for the limbs they cut off the trees that they'll be throwing away.  After that, go home and form the chicken wire into the shape of a ball.  Then you attach the limbs to the ball-shaped chicken wire with some other florist wire, one by one, until *poof*, you got yourself a round Christmas tree!  Of course, it must be hung on the ceiling, strung with lights and decorated with glass balls and a long pretty ribbon that hangs gracefully off the bottom.  And when you're feeling really fancy, you go have it flocked!


Keeps the kiddos away from the glass ornaments!
That's me (one the left) and my sister.
  Every year, I get the ambitious notion that I will just whip up one of these doozies and hang it in all it's strange glory in our big front window for all our neighbors to admire.  And every year, I get busy and put it off until I don't have the time, this year being no exception.  Next year, though.  Maybe I'll blog about it, too!


Oh My Getty

Today, I am doing a little happy dance in my head.  Atleast a year ago, I submitted some photos to Getty Images.  Didn't hear a peep out of them.  I just figured that I wasn't "there" yet.  But, still, it is a little goal I've set for myself.  Some of my favorite Flickr photogs have that cute little "g" down by their licensing info. 

Okay, so today I got a request from Getty.  They liked these images:

Yaaaayyy!!!  Happy dance, happy dance!


For the Love of the Lake

White Rock Lake in Dallas has been a lifelong friend of mine.  My mom and dad brought me there as a child.  We'd pick up a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken and have a little picnic by the water.  It became the permanent home of my childhood pet duck, Herman P. Duck, when he got too big for the bathtub (much to my dismay, I might add).  In the early eighties, it went through a rough period, seemingly forgotten by everyone except for motorcycle gangs and druggies.  Then in the early nineties it had its renaissance.  People began taking an interest in it again and recognized it for the jewel it is.  When I worked in Dallas through the nineties, I'd ride my bike around it several times a week - which soothed the artist in me that I was trying to force into a "real job".  And it was a place for healing when my world fell apart over ten years ago.  There is a bench there that I would sit in for hours at a time to watch the sailboats race and the sun move across the sky.  What I wouldn't give now to sit in one place for that long! After my father died (only a month before my son was born), my brother and I planted a tree there in his honor.  He loved that lake too.  The tree overlooks the playground, giving shade to the kiddos on the hot days we have here.  Each time I visit White Rock Lake, I notice new improvements they've made to the lake.  Right now they are building a new spillway - complete with an observation deck!  It is such a beautiful and well loved place.  Thank you,  For the Love of the Lake, for taking such good care of my lifelong friend.  Thank you!

I visited the lake last week when I had some time to myself.  The whole time I was there I kept wondering why I hadn't come there to take photos yet!  I guess there's a time for everything, right?

I remember this day at White Rock Lake.  That's my dad's Impala.  He took this picture.  I'm 3 1/2.

I loved my soldier dress.  And I LOVED my dad's car.  We went fishing in it together and
I spilled a milkshake in it.  He didn't even get angry.  I just had to sit in the milkshake until we got to the lake!


Sweet Rosie

Last week I needed to take a trip to Dallas to deliver a couple of my prints, and I had some time to tool around my hometown, alone, with my camera.  The first place I stopped off was the McKinney Avenue Transit Authority garage.  Before I actually got into the garage, I ran into this sweet little lady.

This is Rosie. She's 100 years old!

The moment I stepped into this streetcar, I could feel a sense of her, like I
feel when meeting a person for the first time.

I don't know what this does, but it's pretty, isn't it?

All rides are free, but please make a donation so Rosie can stay as beatiful as she is now.
Later, when I finally made it into the garage, I found out that Rosie may love her passengers, but she is a cantakerous old woman.  The head mechanic told me that she has a reputation among the streetcar mechanics of MATA.  "She'll hurt you if you let her," he told me.  I'd be a little fiesty, too, if I were 100 years old!

Find out a little about Rosie's history, here.  And here's a little movie I found of the streetcars that were in operation around Fair Park in Dallas in the 1950's, before the took them all off the road and replaced them with busses.  Legend has it that the day after they took them off the road, a huge blizzard hit Dallas.  Not a single bus could make it out.  That would not have been a problem for these lovely streetcars.  I'm so glad we have them back.


I Love to Drive

Aztec Mill in Cimarron, NM

View from a Rest Stop in Texas

Bison in New Mexico

Cotton Harvest near Memphis, TX

New Mexico Barbed Wire Fence

Roadside Telephone Poles

For the Thanksgiving holiday, my family and I drove up to the house in Angel Fire, New Mexico.  I ended up driving the whole way back, which is about an 11 hour drive, but I LOVED it!  Mostly because I went through all of "The Photography Show" podcasts that I saved on my iPod.  If you haven't listened to this show, it is a MUST for anyone who is into photography.  I love it because it's not too techie and the hosts, Wade Griffith and Ted Forbes, are so generous and down to earth with their experiences as photographers.  There's no photo-snobbery going on here (except for Ted's disdain for William Wegman and wedding photography - which I totally get).  At the end of each show they share their "Picks".  Sometimes they pick books, sometimes documentaries about famous photographers, sometimes blogs.  It's SO educational and pretty darn entertaining, too.  Hey - it would HAVE to be for me to listen to almost every podcast back-to-back!  Go here to find "The Photography Show" podcast on iTunes.  Go here to see the show notes (links and picks) and to learn more about Wade and Ted (uh, Ted and Wade).  Ted also has a podcast called "The Art of Photography" that I plan to subscribe to as well; find that here.  Both have Flickr accounts(Wade's here, Ted's here) and there is also a Flickr account for "The Art of Photography" - here.

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.