Saturday, February 27, 2010

Back to School

As if my life wasn't busy enough already, I've gone and added yet another item.

But this one's good, baby.

I'm taking a Photography Class!

And it gets even better.

I'm taking a Photography Class with my crazy (in the best way possible) friend Choleesa!

It's just an introductory class, but covers both film and digital photography. I've actually taken this class once before, but this time I have a different instructor, so it will be a whole new experience. Also, the class syllabus is way different (studio portraits, anyone?).

And now, I have a confession.

I have an obsession with Black and White Film Photography.

When I took this class the first time, I shot 10 rolls of film. It's only a 16 week class. I have a binder with 15 sleeves of negatives.

And none of you have ever seen any of these images.

Sucks for you.

See, some of my film images are my favorite shots EVER. And they're all beautiful, moody, dramatic Black and White. And they've all been developed and printed, one by one, by my very own hands.

I hope to remedy this situation in the near future, but I can't promise anything. I can promise that I will be hosting more giveaways (not necessarily in the near future), this time for some of my film prints. And the great thing about those is they truly are one of a kind. No two film prints are the same, especially when they are developed and printed by hand.

Anyway, what I was really trying to say is I'm a college student again! And its oh-so fun! Plus, that student ID really helps out at the movies.

We've already had our first two classes, and developed our first prints. Next week we'll actually be shooting some film, then developing it and printing the images. I'll try to post projects as they are completed, but can't guarantee anything. In the mean time, I'm going to do a Happy Dance.

A Giddy Happy Oh-My-Gosh-I-Love-Film-Photography Dance!

P.S. As I write this, it is POURING down rain. Again. I'm pretty sure we haven't had this much rain since 2005. Everyone, please cross your fingers, cross your toes, hold your breathe, close your eyes, pray out loud, do a dance, do whatever it takes to ensure that the rain stops before tomorrow. We've got a big date planned with the Desert Rose and the rain would just ruin my hair. Maria's too.

Friday, February 26, 2010

On Bella


Well, it has been officially decided. Bella will be heading to greener (actually drier, heh heh heh) pastures this weekend.


Cowboy H and I have actually been discussing "re-homing" Bella for a while now. At first, the owner of our ranch was very interested in her as a cutting prospect. We hemmed and hawed about that. Then, a high school girl needed a horse for high school rodeo (cutting) and we tried to work that out. We considered leasing her, putting her on, making flyers and posting them at cutting/cow horse events.


But, we always balked when it came down to actually trying to sell or lease Bella. The problem was, we liked her too much. As Cowboy H kept saying, "She's just such a nice horse". So we decided that we wouldn't actively pursue selling her, but we keep our eyes and ears open for any opportunities that arose. We weren't opposed to selling her, we just weren't in a big rush to do it.


Our reasons for getting rid of Bella have nothing to do with Bella herself really, but mostly with us. Cowboy H doesn't ride as much as he wishes, sometimes he can only make it out there once a month. I already have my own horse, who I barely have enough time to work, let alone another horse. Basically, Bella deserves a better home than we are giving her. She is a great little work-horse, she really likes to work, and was just going to waste in our hands. I mean, when we first got her, she really needed time to decompress and we were the perfect people to let her do that, but now that she is ready to go again, we're not so perfect. Fortunately, we've been able to keep her out on pasture, so she's not cooped up in a stall and she has some buddies to hang out with.


On top of that, the news that we had another horse waiting for us was revealed. And when Cowboy H and I learned who (or rather, what) was being given to us, we started rethinking a new home for Bella. First of all, you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Maria was given to us (by the same person as the new horse) and I wouldn't trade her for the world. Secondly, we can't afford board for 3 horses. But we still wouldn't give Bella to just anyone in a desperate attempt to get rid of her. It had to be a good-fitting, good-loving home, otherwise she would stay with us.


Then, out of the blue (but maybe with a little help from the Desert Rose) the most wonderful couple sprung an interest in Bella. I'm talking good horse people. Real good horse people. A day later, they decided that, yes, most definitely, they wanted Bella (they're thinking about breeding her!). So, Cowboy H had to decide if he wanted to trade out his dependable, reliable, hard-working, trust-worthy, sweet little (tiny) mare for, well, his newly-gifted horse. And let me tell you he thunk on it. He thunk on it hard, for about 2 days, because like I said before "Bella is just such a nice horse" and he really likes her. And I suppose you can guess what his decision finally was.


As much as I don't have a bond with Bella, I will be sad to see her go. She is such a sweet little mare, gentle, giving (oh so giving), quiet. However, knowing where she's going, and who she'll be with makes me happy too. She deserves it.


As for the new guy, well, I'll just wait to introduce him until I get some proper pictures this Sunday. Because, let me tell you, he deserves a proper introduction.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Bad Hair Day

This weather is killing my hair.

Seriously, what's a girl gotta do?

Just look at this frizz.

I swear, I straightened it this morning.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A Homemade Wedding Homestead-Style: PHOTO BOOTH!

What you have been waiting so patiently for.

Cowboy H and I snuck into our reception without the big announcement or entrance and that was just the way we wanted it. I went straight for the appetizer table and Cowboy H went straight to the Desert Rose's table! After mingling around, listening to the band and soaking it all in, we visited our own photo booth. We weren't the first.

All photos unless otherwise noted were taken by my cousin Sarah, using my Canon DSLR.


I think some of you know them!







It was hilarious to see everyone wearing bandanas, hats and even the chaps! Of course, some of them weren't quite sure how to put them on...

Cowboy H and I showed them how it was done.


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Photo by Applemoon Photography

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Photo by Applemoon Photography

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Photo by Applemoon Photography

And that last one is definitely going on the wall someday.

You may notice that Cowboy H has a ribbon tied around his ring finger. If you haven't been following since the beginning, you don't know that Cowboy H broke his wedding band the week before the wedding, then I lost the loaner ring the jewelry store had given us the day before the wedding. So, except for the time during the ceremony when we borrowed a friend's ring, Cowboy H didn't have a wedding band to wear! The Desert Rose decided that just wouldn't do on his wedding day and tied a ribbon on his finger. Twenty years from now, when I look at those photos, I will remember that the ring is just a symbol, and you can get married without one! Thanks, DR!

Up Next: The Feast!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Kinda Weekend I Like

God smiled on us here in Southern California this weekend, and kept the predicted 1-2" of rain at bay. At least during the day. Okay, well not completely, I think we got 5 drops Sunday morning, but we handled it.

Both Saturday and Sunday were beautiful, crisp sunny days, with big puffy clouds drifting in and out of the sun's way.

Saturday, I trucked out to the ranch with the pupparoos and bathed Bella with her medicated shampoo while Maria burned a hole in my back with her angry stare. She was very very very upset that Bella was getting attention from me and not her. This horse kills me, I swear. She sees my truck pull up at the ranch, and stands pressed against the pasture gate fixated on me with radar until I catch her. Or more appropriately, open the gate so she can finally come out. There's really no "catching" involved with this horse.

Once Bella was scraped and wrapped up in a cooler, I rode Maria. Yes, I actually rode my horse. I'm paying for it today, but that's okay. I gotta get back in shape somehow.

After playing with the ponies, and wearing the dogs out, I trucked back home and got down and dirty cleaning the house.

Oh yeah, and sorted 8 piles of laundry. Somehow, don't ask me how, I ended up with 4 sets of sheets in the hamper. We only have 2 beds. I said, don't ask me.

On Sunday, Cowboy H was home (yay!) and after a yummy breakfast of homemade waffles, fresh strawberries (yes, they are in season here already, I know you're jealous) and just whipped cream, we headed out to the ranch again with the doggies.

Oh my, it was beautiful out there. So nice, that when the sun wasn't hidden behind the clouds you had to take your sweatshirt off.

Yep, those are our pooches in the bottom right-hand corner.

There wasn't much time to play around today; we had business to take care of. First up, Bella needed a mani-pedi. Now, I haven't directly mentioned it, but Bella just might be on her way to a new home. No, don't think anything bad, we love Bella. She is the most fabulous trail horse, has never even questioned Cowboy H on anything he's asked of her. She'll work cows, and you can rope off her, heck, you can leave her in pasture for 3 months, then drag her out and jump on her bareback. You can't really ask for much more than that. However, if you haven't noticed yet, she's a little on the small side.


And Cowboy H and I, well, we're a little on the giant side.


Plus, Cowboy H has been given another (more appropriately sized) horse from his previous boss, get this, as a wedding gift. Yes, we got a horse as a wedding gift. Anyway, that's not the point. The point is we can't afford board for 3 horses and the newly-gifted horse is a little better fit for Cowboy H. And the other point is Bella needed her feets prettied up for her potential new owners (and our big ride next weekend with The Desert Rose).

Yes, we keep our horses barefoot. One, because we're lazy; two, because we can.

The greatest dog treat ever.

While Cowboy H worked on Bella's feet, I tortured Maria by moving her around the in arena. This is the attitude I get:

That would be my halter, which I was swinging at her, in the corner.

However, as soon as I so much as drop the hand with the halter, I get this:

Mom, this is really stupid, I already know how to play these games. Why do you always make me do this?

Ahhh, she is so fun to play with. Mostly because she takes about 3 strides, and wants to fold in and come to me. When I push her out again, she gets mad, and takes off bucking, for about 1 second, then immediately folds in again. She loves me.


After currying her up, and tying her in the sun to marinate, I checked on Cowboy H and Bella. A blogger I follow (I don't remember who it was so if it was you, please say so!) recently said she would like to get up the nerve to ask her farrier is she can take photos of him working on her horses sometime. One bonus to having your husband as your farrier is you can take all the photos you want.


And, you can get up close and personal.


And, sometimes you get a kiss.


And, you can make him put his chinks back on so you can get really cool pictures.


"Nice job, Dad. Looks great. Now can you hurry up and nip so I can have the trimmings?"


I agree. Nice job, Cowboy H.


The trimmings proved very popular (as always) with the dogs.


Pretty soon the other ranch dogs gathered round.


Bella does not like dogs.


Anyway, once the pampering was over, we gave the horses a bucket of grain each and Cowboy H took a well deserved break. Hank joined him, of course.


With that, our trip to the ranch ended. We ran a few errands then headed home. Once back at the house, Cowboy H changed the oil in my truck and rotated my tires while I dug up the last 3 rose bushes I wanted to get rid of. We ended the day 5 loads of laundry down, sitting on the couch with a fire blazing, watching a movie and eating banana splits.

Just as we were falling asleep, we heard the rain start coming down.

That put the final touches on just the kinda weekend I like.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Macro Monday, Feb. 22, 2010



Happy Monday! (This Monday is happy, okay? Deal with it.) Took these images on Saturday morning, when the expected rainy day ended up being a sunny (albeit cloudy) day. This bush grows in my backyard; have no idea what it is. If you look closely enough at the first photo, you can a few dew drops still hanging in there.

You can check out the rest of the Macro Monday participants at the Sunday Stills blog.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

A Homemade Wedding Homestead-Style: Hamming It Up

Hello folks! Despite the forecasts calling for rain all day today, I woke up to bright blue skies, the sun shining and birds chirping! I also woke up with a clear head, thankyouverymuch. There's so much I could get done today! Ah, I love that feeling.

First off, I'm going to run out to the ranch with the dogs and mess around with the horses a bit. They both need baths badly! Then, I might actually clean house and do some laundry. Oh my!

Anyone else have big weekend plans?


In the last of the wedding saga, things were getting started at the barn during cocktail hour. But Cowboy H and I weren't there yet! We had whisked away to some special locations for our couple's portraits.

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We started at this mustard yellow barn, which is kind of a landmark in my small hometown. In elementary/jr. high, my school bus used to stop here to pick up kids! And, my great-grandfather actually built this barn! How cool is that?

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I've shown you this one before, but its one of my absolute favorites, so its worth sharing again. Eventually, this one's going on the wall!

From the yellow barn, we moved down the road a little ways into the orange groves. In this location, we were actually directly across the road from the reception!

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From here, we actually went to the reception location, but snuck around a bit taking pictures before joining the party. All the "props" you see in the following photos are permanent residents of the barn and its surrounding areas!

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By now, we had been spotted and some of our guests gathered round to watch the behind the scenes.

Photo by Katie

Photo by Katie

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Please note that Cowboy H is actually trying to drive the mini John Deere.

And with that, I headed straight for the appetizer table!

Photo by Lauren

Up Next: Photobooth or Bust!

All photography unless otherwise noted is credited to the rockin' Applemoon Photography!