Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ruby Tuesday

A Ruby Tuesday entry from the Youth Palomino World Championships in Tulsa, Oklahoma last week.  Cowboys and cowgirls come in all sizes.  This class of rider is called Lead Line.  Why you ask?

It's because there is an adult holding a lead line and guiding the horse around the arena.  These competitors are generally 3-5 years of age.  If you're going to be a world champion some day, you have to start early.  That's true of virtually any sport.  Needless to say, this event is one of the most crowd pleasing activities of the entire show.

 Where else can you get this many photo opportunities, see some beautiful kids and horses for free?

And for those momma's who don't want their babies to grow up to be cowboys, there are other outfits available.  Happy Ruby Tuesday all.   YeeeeeeeHaw!!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cowgirl Up!

My wife and I just returned from spending a few days in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  We went with some friends to the Youth World Palomino Championship horse show.  It was a great time.  Our friends invited us to join them for a couple of days at the show, and asked if I would take some photos of their granddaughter during the competitive events. The grand daughter (pictured above) of our friends is a World Champion in three events and a Reserve Champion in two more.  She rides in the 14-18 year old classes.  In two days I took over 800 photos and you're going to see several of them here over the next week or two.  If you're ever in Tulsa, check out the calendar for Expo Square.  There is probably a horse show in town and most of them are free.  Okay, on with the photos.

World Champion

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shabby Chic

The  past few weeks my wife has been diligently working on projects associated with a makeover of the bedroom belonging to the two older grand daughters.  I will spare you the "before" photos, since I didn't take any.  Let's just say that it was a typical child's bedroom, filled with stuffed animals, bright colors and a multitude of pictures and artwork on the walls.  The sixteen year old was obviously ready for a change and the twelve year old wants to feel more grown up.  They selected Nana as their interior designer.  The girls and Papa started with a "business lunch" at Chili's several weeks ago.  The decision was made to go sort of "Shabby Chic" and the colors were yellow and shades of blue.  Nana selected the materials and made the drapes and the slip cover for the chair (a family piece).  The desk and chest belonged to me when I was a teen.  They were maple Early American style pieces of furniture from the very early sixties.  We painted them, antiqued them and changed out the hardware.  Once all of the preliminary work was done, we scheduled the installation, at their house.
Sunday afternoon I painted the ceiling and we painted the walls.  Monday Nana painted the trim and after I got off work a second coat of wall paint was applied.  Tuesday the drapes were installed, the furniture moved in and most of the accessories were placed.  We finished a little before midnight.  There are still a few details left to do, but the girls have a new bedroom.  The sixteen year old is thrilled!  The twelve year old is at church camp and hasn't seen the finished project yet.  Okay, now for photos.

What used to look like a kids bedroom is now fit for two young ladies.

The desk and both chairs are courtesy of the Nana & Papa "Family Collection" of furniture.  The pieces have been re-purposed for this younger generation.

Nana selected the materials and made the slip cover above as well as the drapes below.  You will notice that the pattern on the drapes adds a little interest to the material and another layer of texture to the room.  Nana is very good at this sort of thing.
The Devil is in the details and Nana is a very detail oriented person.  She selected and place virtually all of the accessories in the room as well.   The project was great fun and it turned out great.  I think everyone is happy with the results. Now I think Nana just needs a little down time.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Monday, July 16, 2012

Ruby Tuesday

Dream Racing
My wife and I spent the week of the 4th in Las Vegas.  The casinos really hold no interest for us.  We stay at a smoke free resort just off of the main strip area and take a shuttle up to Las Vegas Blvd.  I do like three things about Vegas.  First, there is an endless variety of entertainment.  We find the Cirque Du Soleil shows truly spectacular.  If you have never seen one, you should not visit Vegas without getting tickets to a Cirque performance.  
Second, is the food.  Virtually every famous chef in the world has a restaurant in Las Vegas.  The prices are not cheap in these establishments, but the food is amazing, and, like Cirque Du Soleil, you should try one during a visit.
Finally, the larger than life architecture and incredible interior design that is evident throughout the strip.  The latest addition is Aria at City Center.  It seems like every time we visit, a new, bigger, more expensive venue has been built.  Fifteen or twenty years ago, MGM Grand, Luxor, and Mandalay Bay were the biggest and brightest stars on the strip.  Then came the Bellagio, and a whole new standard of opulence was set.  Now, there is The Wynn, Plazzo, Aria, Cesar's Palace, all bigger, brighter, and more opulent that it's predecessor.
For the personal thrill seeker with a load of cash on hand, there is the Dream Racing Experience.  For $500-$2000 you can drive this little ruby Ferrari up to 22 laps around the track.  Since I don't gamble, I didn't win a jackpot, so Dream Racing will just have to remain a dream.  Happy Ruby Tuesday all.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Skywatch Friday Thoughts & More

I don't know which I like best, sunrise or sunset.  Sunrise promises a new beginning.  A new day has dawned and there is the opportunity to complete what didn't get finished yesterday, or to start fresh on a new project.  Sunset brings a quiet calm to the end of the day, and if the work got done, there is a sense of peace and the anticipation of the next sunrise.  At the end of the day, all of us would like to look back and say, "Well done."  Have a blessed week-end.

Chris Tomlin will be in concert on Nov. 1. We will be there.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Early Riser

It's Lonely At The Top

I finally got close enough to one of our Red Shouldered Hawk neighbors to capture a decent image of this great looking creature.  It took me nearly two weeks to get this image, but it was definitely worth the effort.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ruby Tuesday

Scaled Flight

 A friend of mind builds and flies radio controlled model airplanes.  This one has a wing span over 6 feet.  Just looking at this model, suspended from the ceiling is enough to make one want to take up this hobby.  But, as my friend says, if you're afraid they're going to crash, then don't get into this hobby.  They will crash and you will be fixing them.  He has several other beautiful examples of flying models, and I will feature them very soon.  Happy Ruby Tuesday all.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Grand Canyon Visit

During our Las Vegas vacation, my wife and I took one day and went on a tour of the south rim of the Grand Canyon.  The day starts with the bus picking us up around 6:30 a.m.  We will not get back to the hotel until nearly 11:00 p.m.  Yes, it's a long day and only a two hour visit at the south rim, but the sight is amazing.  Photographs cannot begin to justice to this place.

Hoover Dam is a brief stop and right on the way out to the Canyon.  There are tours available for this engineering marvel.  We may do this tour on our next visit.

Any time you want a portrait, just look around for someone with a camera (everyone has a camera), and ask them to take your photo.  Then you take their portrait with their camera.  It's the only way to get both of us in the same photo.
Our tour stopped at Mather Point Campground on the south rim.  We opted to walk the two and one half miles to Bright Angel Lodge.  Fortunately it was mostly down hill.  The view and photo opportunities were breathtaking.
If you're fortunate you may get a glimpse of California Condor No. 33.  These birds have a wingspan approaching 10 feet.  He wasn't interested in flying, but with his view of the world, who could blame him.

So, if you've never been to the Grand Canyon, even for a brief visit, put it on your "Bucket List".  Make plans to see this spectacular place.

I could spend a week here photographing stuff.  I would love to be here at first light, instead of the middle of the day.  I can only imagine how beautiful it is.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Not Wordless Wednesday

Happy Birthday USA!

“God governs in the affairs of man. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this. I also believe that, without His concurring aid, we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel”  Benjamin Franklin – Constitutional Convention of 1787,  original manuscript of this speech


"Now more than ever before, the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature.... If the next centennial does not find us a great nation ... it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces."
James Garfield, the twentieth president of the United States, 1877

"We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us."
Abraham Lincoln's 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation

Celebrate Freedom. Celebrate Family. Celebrate the memory of those who gave their last full measure of life for those values that we cherish.  Celebrate the God of all creation and give thanks that His grace has place us in the greatest nation on earth.  May we NEVER lose sight of His blessings on our country and that God is indeed the source of everything that we hold dear.  Have a blessed Holiday.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Ruby Tuesday

This sign is at a gift shop in the Las Vegas airport.  While you are viewing this, my wife and I are spending a few vacation days in Las Vegas.  We plan to take a trip out to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, and possibly take in a Cirque du Soliel show while we are in town.  We're not gamblers, so the casinos hold little interest other than photo opportunities for me.  Stay tuned, there will be additional photos in upcoming posts.