Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Be afraid. Be VERY afraid...

You never know what's really lurking in your backyard until you delve into the world of macro photography.  Oh, my!

I'm sure I'm dating myself but I remember watching a Pixar movie in the 90's titled "Bugs".  There was a crochety old war torn grasshopper (I forget his name) but he looked just like this fellow that I photographed on my deck yesterday.  *shiver*

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Here's the story...of two silly ladies...and a GIVEAWAY!

BFF Becky & I had a wonderful trip to Williamsburg, VA! 

The trip was planned around a visit to the Brighton Oulet store at the Prime Outlets there.  They have a special "garage sale" every third Friday of the month with incredible deals of 75% off.  For anyone out there familiar with the Brighton brand, it's very rare to go to a Brighton store and see a sale much less 75% off!  We've been planning this trip in our heads for over a year and finally took the plunge and left our families to visit our fashion accessory mecca.  We were not disappointed in the least!

We arrived at Kingsmill Resort & Spa on Thursday and immediately set out to find the Prime Outlets and check out the store.  After 15 minutes on the road we could tell we'd done something wrong.  We couldn't find the outlets to save our lives.  None of our directions made sense.  We decided to turn around and make our way back towards Kingsmill.    Becky spotted a fast food restaurant we passed earlier and we decided to stop for lunch and regroup. 

Standing in line for our food Becky asked a group of young men if they knew how to get there.  They were happy to give her directions and there was also an older gentleman with them that started a conversation with her.  This man turned out to be Coach Mel Jones.  Not only did we get directions but we sat down with Coach to eat our meals.  As it turns out Coach is not just a nickname but he is an actual coach!  The young men with him were members of his high school track team.  He retired from teaching but still coaches.  Coach Mel was one of the most inspiring and motivating people I've ever met.  We learned that he had been a semi-professional baseball player in his day, ran track in college, had the opportunity to race against Bill Cosby, coached college football and high school football.    A few of the names of the young men he coached in high school were very recognizable, Lawence Taylor (L.T.), Shawn Springs, and Michael Vick.  L.T. didn't even begin to play football (he was a baseball player) until his junior year when Coach Mel noticed him in the hallway.  I know I'm just mentioning the recognizable names, but there are countless high school atheletes that Coach has helped to be able to go to college by obtaining scholarships. Just to show how small a world it is, both manicurists at the Kingsmill Spa that did our mani/pedis not only knew him, but were coached by him in high school.   

We could have sat and talked with Coach Mel all day but we were on a mission!   Realizing our mistake we got on track and found the outlet.  The ladies at the Brighton store could not have been nicer.  They were so accomodating and helpful, letting us know that they only let 50 people in the store at a time so it would be a very good idea to get there early as people begin lining up.  We arrived at the store Friday morning at 8:30 and there were already 6 people in line ahead of us, most of them brought chairs!  One of the ladies kindly offered us a blanket in her car for us to sit on, thank you Donna!  While in line we met a fellow Brighton lover named Kay.  She was impressed that we drove all the way from Pennsylvania to shop.  I can't say enough nice things about sweet Kay.  She actually offered for Becky & I to stay at her home if we ever decide to come down for another Brighton event!  We were both so touched by Kay's generosity, the sales ladies in the Brighton store for remembering and looking out for us during the crazy sale, and of course our improptu and inspirational lunch with Coach Mel, people we will never forget.

So how about I "Brighton" someone's day?

Inspired by their random kindness I'm giving away a beautiful Brighton Deauville watch that I purchased at the event!

It's a lovely watch with a red leather band and silver accents typical of the Brighton brand.

To enter, please leave a comment telling about a simple act of kindness someone has done for you or a person that has inspired you to do for others.  Only one entry per person please.  Contest ends on Friday, July 23 at 9PM Eastern time. Winner will be chosen randomly.  Good luck everyone! 
Sweet Shot Day

My new camera bag

Okay, so it's not actually marketed by Coach as a camera bag.  It's called the small messenger bag, BUT, I have to tell you it's perfect!  (And pretty too)  I purchased it on my girlfriend getaway this weekend.  More on our fabulous trip later.

Even though it's labeled "small" it is anything but.  It has tons of storage including several pockets including the two you see on the front.  The strap is adjustable and it opens to use as a cross body.  I can fit my camera with lense attached and everything else I carry on a daily basis!  Love it!  And the best part was 40% off!  A designer camera bag I can actually afford!  Who knew?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Buh bye!

So 'cited! *jumps up and down clapping hands*  Mommy is off on a girlfriend 2 night, 3 day resort spa get-a-way with BFF Becky!!!  (Yes that deserved three exclamation points.) 

I haven't been away from home on an overnight trip without my family since 2004.  Pretty sad really.  But all that changes tomorrow mornin'! 

You don't think I overpacked do you? 

Good, I didn't think so but I should probably disclose that I still have a garment bag and my toiletry bag still in the bedroom.  Well, maybe it is too much but I'm notorious for overpacking.  I'm never sure what I'm going to need and I got mega trunk space to spare!

And aaaawwwaaaay we go!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Moment

This photo was taken by my friend BFF Becky's 16 year old son.  They were driving through town and stopped at a red light.  I probably wouldn't have thought fast enough to capture this moment, which brings a tear to my eye each time I view it, but Brett did.  Such a moving moment that I thought it was worth sharing.

What's wrong with this picture?

Well, besides the fact that the quality is very poor.  haha.  Anyway, I was looking out my front window yesterday afternoon at the approaching storm and saw this site.  I actually had the rub my eyes it was that unbelieveable to me.  At first I thought it was chasing them, after all raccoons aren't out in the middle of the day unless they are rabid, right?  And then a car started coming down the street and the guy scooped him up to protect him. 

I barely got my thoughts together in time to grab my camera before they disappeared down the street.  Could have really used my telephoto!
A disturbing thought did cross my mind.  What happens when these kids get bored with or can't keep this critter any more?  He's obviously not afraid of humans.  Not knowing the real story behind this all I can do is speculate that this is probably not a good situation for the raccoon or the neighborhood.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Why is this dragonfly smiling at me?

Is this dragonfly smiling at me?  Probably not, but I kept telling myself that he was.  I rescued the little bugger out of the pool today along with a few Pickerel Frogs.

We have plenty of dragonflies that visit our garden and pond area but I have a devil of a time capturing them on camera. Because of their amazing eyes I can never get the jump on them. 

Since I'd just plucked him out of the pool, his wings needed to dry off a bit so he really had no choice in the matter, plus, it's the least he could do since I did him the ultimate favor, right?
I have to say that he really had the natural ability to "work it"!
 And right after I snapped this one, he was dry and on his merry way!
Sweet Shot Day