Catch Up – Wednesday February 23, 2011

So all the time I was putting off posting the NE journal because of busyness, I was taking a few pictures along the way. Since I had them all edited and ready to go, I though I’d go ahead and post them anyway. So sorry the are stale. Guess you can quit looking if you want.

Within 2 weeks of returning from our trip, there were 4 weekends in a row where I was gone. The first being our church campout. We had a very lovely time again and the weather was gorgeous!! Some years we have had pretty chilly nights, and the “rustic” cabins were barely tolerable. This year was still sleeping bag weather but it was surprising how quickly it warmed up in the mornings when the sun came up. The state park we use has group camp area. It is nice because there’s plenty of room for the kids to ride their bikes. The sleeping facilities are rustic, at best. The bathhouses need some serious work but we’ve been told the state has no extra $ to spend these days. I have a gazillion pics but I’m not going to post them this time.

The following weekend we went to VA for the ordination of my brother. We had a lovely, laid-back weekend with his family, plus seeing extended family as well! This time I don’t think I even took pics, except at the ordination with my SIL’s camera.

The following Wednesday I was delighted to have a friend of mine from S. Ont. come visit me. We met in NW Ont. at  a mission where we both worked. She is now married and has 2 kids and this is the first time since she’s married that she has been to GA. We went to a local swamp park where her son was delighted to see all the “crackodiles”.

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The best time to see gators is in the winter on a warm, sunny day. They come out to soak up the warmth. On this day they were all over the place. And no, you should not put your child on their backs to take pictures. According to the one ranger, they’ve had people ask if they can do that.

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There’s a little reptile show where you can hold a baby gator, and hold snakes, the non-poisonous ones. har har

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FYI: an adult gator bites with over 2,000 lbs of force, the equivalent of having a small sedan fall on you. However, their muscles to open their mouth have only a fraction of that strength.

Sometimes they open their mouth for dental work, and to show you just how afraid of them to be.

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Seriously, that mouth is loaded with salmonella. It’s what helps digest their food.

Most of the time they look more like this:

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They do have a bit of a smirk, don’t they? I will say this, they are all bite and no very little brain.

Here’s another FYI: An female alligator lays eggs and the temperature of the eggs in the nest determines the gender of the baby alligators. 86* and up, they are male. Below 86* and they are female. Amazing, eh?

Here’s Evan pondering the size of Oscar’s bite. Oscar was a docile gator who lived to be around 100 years old. Most gators don’t live past about 70. They have all 14 (?) feet of his skeleton on display.

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We headed down the islands for a few hours and enjoyed a picnic and a walk on the beach. This was the first time their munchkins had seen the ocean.

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I left early Friday morning for Ohio. I was so thankful that God had worked out the details so I didn’t have to drive up alone. There were others headed up for the same wedding as me, but their travel plans didn’t exactly correlate with mine. So I rode up with 1 party and back with another.

I was the photographer for Walter and Dorothy and since they didn’t want a lot of pictures, I shot it alone. They had a beautiful sunshiney day that started out chilly but ended quite warm.

W&D Collage


The following weekend I flew with Christy to Montana, where someone picked us up for another 3-hour drive to Alberta. Twice Christy has a been my second shooter so this time I was tickled to go along to help her. We had fun navigating snowy roads around Lethbridge.

Alberta 1

 I even got to introduce her to poutine. Shooting in a very cold climate was a different experience, as the other 2 we shot together, we were able to do all formals outside. This time most formals were shot in a motel courtyard. The bridal party very bravely went outside for some.

Alberta collage

By midnight we were reduced to giggles. Not that anything went wrong or was funny about anything of the wedding. Just relief-that-it’s-over and then little things from the day hitting our funny bones at just the wrong angle. Christy, I’ve been wanting to go Italy. Do you know of anyone who needs wedding photos done there? I’d love to shoot for you again!

We got a few winks of sleep before we got up to go back down to MT to fly out. It was cold all weekend (mostly around 0 or a few degrees colder) and just before we boarded the plane they warned us to use the “facilities” at the airport since the ones on the plane were frozen up.

This time I remembered my little P&S camera that was in my purse. Does that look cold or is it just me?

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Yup. That looks cold. Real cold.

Then suddenly it was Thanksgiving and my family all came here for that.

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We had a grilled meat smorgasbord, with a number of sides. We ate at the lake and it was quite warm.

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My, my! What a sky! Can you see the frisbee fly?

Move over, Dr. Suess.

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We had a meal cooked over the fire one other evening as my brother Phil wanted to try some dutch oven recipes. We had a delicious stew and cornbread. Dessert was blackberry cobbler, also baked in a cast-iron pot. I was so glad it was chilly, and that my niece ended up wearing my coat, because! She found my set of spare keys for my car. I had been putting off getting another one made because it’s the kind that has a chip and cost $70+ to replace it. I knew I had misplaced it around Christmas the previous year. Check your coat pockets, people! You never know what you’ll find. It might even be a $20 bill like I found another year. No, check your OWN pockets. Mine are off limits.  

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Oh and the end of November, guess what we did?






Nope again.



Still wrong.



We picked our lemons. All four of them. And they were beautiful!


Maybe next year we’ll get 8. And maybe we’ll get none. Our poor tree looks rather bedraggled from the many cold nights we’ve had this winter.

One Saturday evening in December my sister and I catered a company Christmas supper. Here is Charity’s home that looks like it comes out of Southern Living.

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I took silicone muffin cups and coated them with white and semi-sweet chocolate. After they had chilled, I peeled the flexible silicone cups away. And we filled them with fruit.

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That’s as far as I got with food pics. They went through the courses so fast we barely got the food out to them in time.  

And here is their little man who loves the toasty fireplace.

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Oh, and there was that one night that I was up for 2 hours since the lunar eclipse peaked at 2 AM and it was eclipsing very slowly. I got a bunch of church calendar printing done while I was up, which was a good thing.

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Moon on the right, Orion’s belt on the left:

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The next is a 12-minute exposure. I tried to do a longer one by my batteries went dead. Cold weather is a real energy killer. And I decided it was time to go back to bed.

eclipse 6 - 12 minute exp

Christmas was a quiet affair with only our parents and us 3 youngest siblings. Waffles prepared by my brother and sister as my parents and I lounged around, trying to shake off the flu that so greatly invaded this land.

Thankfully I felt better the next day because we headed out to spend 2 days with some friends at a cabin in NC. And from there we headed to Ohio to attend the wedding of a friend of ours on New Years Eve. I was hired to do the reception detail shots.

Larry & Emma Collage

I had met Emma in NW Ont. and I was delighted to see some other former misison staff at her wedding! Some that hadn’t seen in quite some time! 

We also had lots of fun with our dear single lady friends in the area. New Year’s Eve party, breakfast at Velma’s, supper at Red Lobster.

And so ended 2010. Happy New Year!!!!

About 2 months late.


12 thoughts on “Catch Up – Wednesday February 23, 2011

  1. so fun to see all your pictures! those cupcake liners made of chocolate are Awesome! gonna remember that idea! and, you’re right! her house DOES look straight outta a magazine! the eclipse shots are amazing! my mom is a big time into astronomy and would love those!

  2. I loved the pictures! Wow oh wow on the moon pictures! You did a great job!
    I use to do a few weddings I miss it… you did a great job!
    What do you edit from? I’ve been wanting to make some collages and I need to find a good editing place, online somewhere?!!

  3. This inspires me (well, almost) to do some catch up work on my xanga site.  Only I would have over a years worth to do.): 

    Fun post, and beautiful pictures as always!

  4. I enjoyed it all!  I can’t wait to show Zachary the crocodile pictures once he wakes up.  He is so taken up with them.  This morning he asked me the difference between a crocodile and an alligator, and I couldn’t remember. 
    You did a nice job on the pictures of Walter and Mary’s wedding.  I enjoyed seeing them.   I have been kind of hungry for poutine lately.  Hmmm, and I didn’t even think I’d like it.  I love the pictures of the snowy mountains. Italy sounds fabulous!!!  but I think you’ll have to become friends with Kenny Kim and start second shooting for him. πŸ˜€ Lately I can’t even book weddings in the states because of my prices+travel. :*(
    and the lemons!!!  That is so cool that you grew them!  It’s always been a dream of mine. I wish I’d have your gardening expertise.

  5. @erlinyoder – I think you SHOULD start again. πŸ™‚ And you can start with last week, or today! It doesn’t have to be all last year. πŸ™‚

    I enjoyed all these pictures! You sure have been around, girl. πŸ™‚

    Charity’s house looks amazing… I didn’t even recognize it at first – thought it was something out of a magazine!! She sure knows how to throw a party! And you sure know how to do some food! Those chocolate fruit cups look incredible. I forgot to eat lunch today, and my stomach is rumbling at the sight of those cups. πŸ™‚

  6. @sailing5 – Thanks! πŸ™‚ I use Corel Paint Shop Pro. You can download a 30-day trial from It does take some time to learn.

    @erlinyoder – I’d love to see 1 months worth or 12. πŸ™‚

    @twofus_1 – Doing mostly Menno weddings and living outside a Menno community makes a big difference.   About the gator/croc thing, let’s see how much I remember: Crocs do not live in the wild in the US. They are found in Africa and Australia. Crocs are much more aggressive. Gators have larger, triangular shaped heads. When their mouths are closed, crocs’ teeth are very visible. That’s all I can remember. Zach would be the perfect age to enjoy Okefenokee. We live real close to Okefenokee. This is the perfect time of the year to visit Okefenokee. Hmmm.  

  7. @justcallmeM – Just showed Zachary these pictures and read all the commentary about the gators.  He wanted to know, “but why shouldn’t you put your child on their back?”  and when I read your comment to him, he grinned about “Okefenokee,” and said, “Heeeeey, where did they find THAT word?”   He also thinks the lemon in your back yard is very cool and he wonders why we don’t live in the same part of GA as you do. πŸ™‚

  8. @twofus_1 – To that last one, I don’t know why either!?!! πŸ™‚ Okay, so I do, but it’s not that we don’t hope it will happen sometime! About the gators, tell him they have strong enough jaws to crush turtle shells.

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