Monday, December 21, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

Everyone has their favorite thing about the holidays be it the presents, the music, the parties, cookies etc. My favorite part of Christmas is decorating the Christmas tree. When I was growing up, every year I looked forward going with my mom and dad to cut down our tree. Dad planted a small plot of evergreens, so we literally picked our tree out of the back yard. Then we'd get to decorate it. Dad would do the lights, mom the garland, and I got to have the fun of putting on all sparkly little ornaments. See the deal is, that I have a secret affinity for glitter, and Christmas is the only socially acceptable time to relish in that much glitter, outside of say Mardi Gras or Las Vegas.

This year, not feeling like fooling with a larger, traditional Christmas tree. I decided just to put up my VW tree. Yes, I have a Volkswagen Christmas tree. It all started when I was in college and driving my little bug around, I started amassing a fair number of Volkswagen ornaments. A few years back I thought, "Why don't I do a bug tree?". So far I have about thirty different VW ornaments.

I was recently telling a friend about my bug tree, and she laughingly said, "I want to see that." So here it is.

I know, it's a little random.

Every year I try to collect a new VW ornament, and here's the thing.....I always find at least one.

Here is this year's addition.

I think you can see why I just had to get this one.

Images that fill you with the christmas spirit.

The thing I love most about my job is that every day I get to look at tons of images that are a part of our Special Collections, some of which just make me laugh.

I just love that kid on the rocking horse. Doesn't he just fill you with the Christmas Spirit?

Or how about this one?
mmm mmm Christmas ham.
There is something about this whole image I find a little creepy.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Gift of the year.

Bianka got her first Christmas gift of the year....a snuggie. I'm not quite sure how she feels about it.
For some reason it doesn't look like the pictures on the box. I'm not sure if it's too big or if I just didn't put int on right. Maybe I'm just Snuggie challenged. God that's just sad....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Waiting Game

You know when you have a good day? I mean a really good day. The sun is shining. The birds were singing. You just feel wonderful for no real reason. Well, today was one of those days for me. The birds weren't singing because it was too cold, but the sun was shining and it was the same time. I think that's pretty cool personally. I was feeling fantastic. I'm attributing it to getting back to my yoga routine. I had many laughs at work, even more at lunch with one of my best friends. Everything was going great. Then I came home.

First off a little black dog greeted me at the door. "What's wrong with that?" you ask. Well, the little black dog is supposed to be in a kennel during the day.

( starty my inner monologue)

Okay. Don't panic. Maybe you forgot to lock the cage when you left. Yeah sure, it's unlikely but it's a possibility. Go check.

Nope. the cage door is locked. Oh, but the cage top isn't latched. What?! THE TOP ISN'T LATCHED?! How can that be? You check that. Oh shit. That' means she jumped up, pushed the lid open, and climbed out. Crap.

Oh God, What did the vet's at OSU say?:

The most important aspect of the medical management of IVDD is exercise restriction. Please keep Bianka in a small kennel, run or cage for 4-6 weeks. ...You can have her sitting down with you while your are at home , as long as you make sure she does not have a chance to jump on/off the furniture....

Shit! . Strike one. I'm sure jumping out of the cage is worse that jumping off the furniture. Okay damage control. Where was she? Downstairs looks okay. I don't think she would've gone upstairs. Go to the second floor just to double check.

Shit! She has been here! AND she's gotten into the trash. What a mess! God...I can't believe this. This is NOT GOOD!

from OSU :

Do not allow her to go up/down stairs.

Strike two. Damn. I've been so careful. I've been carrying her in and out to use the bathroom. I've been trying to keep her quiet. I've even tried to use my yoga breathing techniques. Obviously they haven't worked. Have we just shot ourselves in the foot? Has she hurt herself again? She looks okay. She's running around the kitchen. Wait! NO! Stop that! Go to your cage and calm down! sigh... It's hard to tell. What is normal at this point. Call the vet to double check...just in case.

(end inner monologue)

I called OSU just to be sure of what I should be watching for in terms of signs of injury. Basically I'm looking for the same thing I did two weeks ago, but remember she didn't show symptoms right away last time. Yeah sure, she looks okay now, but who knows what kind of damage has been done. This exactly what I was hoping to avoid. Too late now.

If I weren't so afraid the I'll be making another emergency trip to the hospital, I find the whole thing a little humorous. I've never read or seen Marley and Me but I imagine this same type of scenario. Unfortunately this is no laughing matter. Luckily, I have an appointment for Bianka to see her regular vet tomorrow. I just have to make it through the next 24 hours. I'm really worried but there isn't anything I can do at this point, except monitor and wait. Uhhhh.! I hate the Waiting Game. In the mean time Bianka's securely locked in her cage and I'm looking for my wine opener.

I swear this little dog is going to death of me.

PS. The folks at OSU kinda giggled when they said "Just keep her quiet. If you can."

We'll see. sigh. ...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

photographers ad from 1907

Occasionally, we come across interesting images, ads, or articles as a part of my day job. This is one of my favorites. It's an advertisement for a portrait photographer in Hazel Green, Kentucky.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Bianka Update

Great News. Bianka is home!!!!

The surgery was a success!

I can't say enough nice things about the Ohio State Veterinary Hospital. Bianka received excellent care. I looked up her surgeon on-line, he had a BS from Yale, MBA from MIT and DMV from Cornell. After reading that, I knew she was in good hands.

The doctors called me right after the surgery to tell me Bianka came through it well, which reassured me that I had made the right decision. Then twice a day I received a phone call, from Bianka's care taker with updates on how she was doing. Monday evening they told me that my Little Dog could come home on Tuesday. YAY!!!!! It turns out that Jessica, the care taker, has worked for the vet where my parent's take their dog. She recognized my mom. (Okay everybody, now it's time to sing "It's a small world after all.") Oh yeah, my mom, being the awesome mom that she is, drove up to Columbus and then turned around and drove 3 hours South to bring Binx home. Thanks Mom.

Bianka even got a souvenir from OSU

...well aside from the 5 inch incision.

Now all that is left is rest, recuperation, and rehabilitation, but every day I can see she's getting a little stronger. Seeing her wag her tail when as I took her out of the car was one of the best things ever. Now she can stand on her back legs and even take a few wobbly steps. Tonight I had to giggle as I watched her try to scratch her ear. Poor thing, she's not quite there yet.

But even with all of this progress, she's got a long road to recovery ahead of her.

This is when I told her that she'll need to spend the next 4 -6 weeks in her cage... and we all know how much she likes that. Oh you don't? Well here, let me refresh your memory.

(Wish us luck.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Forgive me if I get a little sappy here. I'm exhausted from the last 24 hours. Today I was faced with a dilema that I had been hoping to avoid. While I spending time with my family, Little Bianka ruptured a disc in her back and within a matter of five hours or so, she went from acting like she was just a little sore to not moving her back legs at all.

I've been in this situation before. Growing up my family has always had dachshunds. I know that they are predisposed to back problems. My dad says "They're half a dog high and two dogs long", what do you expect? We've had two dogs go through this before. The first didn't receive treatment soon enough and had to be euthanized. With the second we decided to try surgery. We were given a 50% chance of full recovery. The surgery was expensive and emotionally draining, but it worked. Unfortunately, the dog re-injured himself a year later. We decided we couldn't go through the whole ordeal again. Oddly, the dog came out of it on his own, which is unheard of. Sure he walked a little funny, but he went on to be a part of our family for ten more, happy years.

So at 4am this morning, I am faced with this same question. Do I opt for surgery? The cost is now three to four times what was the last time we went through this fifteen years ago. But then, my other options are do nothing and leave dog to suffer in pain or have her euthanized. Neither of those I really consider "options." Besides that, I had just spent the last 4 hours taking her to an emergency vet, just to turn around and drive her to Columbus to Ohio State's Animal Hospital. Essentially my decision had really already been made.

There is no way I could say no to this face. Even when she's hurt, she's still cute.

So I agreed to have the surgery performed. The surgeon gave me the good news that Bianka show signs of "motor" and deep pain in her back legs which means she has not suffered paralysis, and there is a very good chance she will make a full recovery. Still I have to keep in mind that she has about a 15% chance of becoming a "cart dog." I've come to grips with that, and I'm okay if this is the outcome. Just as long as she's not in any pain.

So with a heavy heart I had to leave my little dog, which was just as hard if not harder than making the decision to do surgery at all, but I felt like I had made the right decision.

This is me about 12 hour ago when I had to leave her.

Bianka had her surgery later this morning. So far things look good, but it's still early. I think she'll have to spend the week at OSU. After that she'll still have weeks of recovery and therapy.

It may seem silly to go through all of this for a dog. I really hate it when people say, "pets are people too" or "our dogs are our children," but when it boils down to it, that's how I feel about this little one. The little house feels a little empty without the little dog in it. Already, I miss her sitting at my feet while I work at the computer or better yet her fussing at me when she thinks it's time that I should be going to bed. In that respect she's almost more like a nagging mother than a child.

Deep down I know that she's a dog and eventually the day will come when I'll have to say good bye to the little dog, but I'm just not ready to do that.

Meanwhile I'll keep you posted how she progresses.

Monday, November 16, 2009

day dreaming.

If I were to move back to Ohio, this would be my dream home. Okay maybe not my fantasy dream home, but my reality dream home. No offense to my little house. I love it. It suits me, and most importantly, I can afford it. :-) That in mind, it doesn't hurt to dream a little? Does it?

I've always said that if I were to move back I'd want to live in Yellow Springs. Did you notice the claw foot tub and one-car detached garage? But honestly YS house, you had me at Darkroom!

So alas I'm sorry little house, you just aren't right for me right now. I have a my own little house that I love.
My Little House
(or as my dad calls it, The House in the South)

Yep, this is the house for me right now. We've been through so much together.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat

Okay, let me preface this post with the fact that I'm not the type of person that regularly dresses up my dog in cute little outfits. That being said I recently came across these little costumes, and well... I just couldn't resist.

It all started with this one. I had to pick these little horns for my parent's dog. Trust me, there are numerous reasons why this is appropriate.

Doesn't he look thrilled?

Then, what to get for Miss Binx or rather Miss B.
Can't you hear her say "Seriously?..."

No, she needs something tougher. After all she's the Snake Slayer. (That's what they nicknamed her at the vet's office. They even put it on her chart.)

Holy Wiener Schnitzel Batman!
It's Bat-Puppy!

Still, that didn't seem to fit either.
Then I found the perfect costume.

After all, she is the Princess, or at least she likes to think so.

"Now where's my treat?"

Sunday, October 25, 2009


For several weeks now, I've been toying with the idea with starting a Facebook Fan page to for my photography. It would be a nice place anyone could go to view some of my work without having to be my "friend," because I'm just not one of those people that will friend just anybody.

I mean complete strangers don't need to know when I'm having a "Monday" or my undying love for Pumpkin Spice Lattes, or when my cooking goes and awry and I burn my dinner (which I just did by the way.) Probably my Facebook friends don't even want to know this but it's part of the package of being my friend.

I know your saying, "Why not just post more on your blog create another website?" Facebook is easy. Easy to upload to, organize, comment, share and tag. That, and practically everyone is on Facebook now. Heck, even my 85 year-old grandma is on Facebook.

Anyway, I hesitated in doing a Fan page because I worried that it might be viewed as conceited. I posted this question as my status a while back, and all my friends said to go for it. I told myself, "Why not? It's only Facebook."

So I am.

I know I'm not Adams, Liebowitz, Avedon, or Stieglitz. I'm also not [b]ecker, Jose, or Jasmine (West Coast wedding photogs, whose blogs I follow.)

As I state on my page: I'm just a girl that likes to play with a camera. Thank you for checking out my work. I appreciate your comments.

I'm truly humbled by the number of fans I've already acquired. I feel like Sally Field accepting the Academy award. "You like me. You really like me." Then I have to remind my self. It's only Facebook.

Oh, and if you are interested in friending me on Facebook, send me a message first, and be forewarned. I do LOVE Pumpkin Spice Lattes.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What is this?

So this afternoon I took a walk out to the garden and I saw these red things. From a distance they looked like red chili peppers, but as I got closer the looked like little tongues sticking out of the ground. The appear to be hollow, and I have know idea what the heck they are.

If you can enlighten me, please me a comment.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Four years and counting

I spent last weekend with my friends Brandon and Dawn, celebrating their son's first birthday. However, they have more than one reason to celebrate this week. Four years ago today they said "I do."

Congratulations Dawn and Brandon. I wish you many, many more happy years to come.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sneak Preview | Jillian's Maternity photos

It's been a CRAZY, busy week, but I wanted to share this sneak preview of Jillian's maternity photos shoot. You can check out a few more of my favorites over at the photography blog.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Add another to the blogroll

I follow somewhere around 130 different blogs. Yes, it is a bit excessive I agree, but I just can't help myself. Most are photography related. Others have to do with digital preservation and curation. Then there ones that are simply fun, like Bent Objects. A friend posted a link to this one Facebook and I was hooked. Below is a You Tube video promoting a book being released in a few weeks. I think I may have to add this to my library too.

Admittedly the initial image of the cat had me intrigued enough to press play.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Oh Binx...

I have spent the majority of this past weekend with my butt firmly planted in front of my home computer. I've been taking care of a long list of tasks that are way over do such as sorting photos, cleaning up files on the computer, learning how to build a website, catching up on blogging etc. etc.

Tonight resembled many of the last week. I was fighting html code. Bianka was is in the backyard. After a little while I heard a familiar whine at the door. As Bianka, whom I often call my little black dash, breezed past me like usual I noticed that she wasn't jingling. See, on her collar are her licence and rabies tag. They usually jingle when she walks, which is helpful if you are trying to locate a small, black dog in a dark yard at night.

Anyway, I didn't think much of it. I made my way back to my desk and continued my to work on my site and check Facebook. (You know the important things.) Just then Bianka ran into the room and tagged me with her front paws, as if to say, "Hello. I want your attention right now." As I pushed her down I noticed some dark spots on my area rug. Then I turned back to the dog who had decided to it was time to play "Chase me" and took off running through the house. I finally caught up to her in the kitchen.

Oh, Binx. What have you done now?

Well, this explains the spots on the rug.

And this is why you were so quiet.

Oh Binx.......

Why? Why do you do this to me?

It's bath time tonight for you Little Dog.

I know you hate it.

Clearly, this is some form of torture.

But, look how cute you are when you are all nice and clean.

Okay, you got me.
I'll admit you can be pretty cute like this too.

My first Client Website part 2

Yay! I did it.
As promised I've embedded the my first client website here.

I did this session Sunday morning. Thank you to my dear friend Ashleigh for orchestrating it. It was quite an undertaking to get five individual couples living in three different cities together for a photo shoot. The session comprised of Ashleigh's family as well as her husband, George's. You might recognize one couple, Patrick and Liz, as one of my brides and grooms from earlier this summer. They were seasoned pros at this photo thing, but honestly, they all were amazingly cooperative and everyone had a lot of fun. Thanks for being so awesome guys.

(You'll also notice that I snuck one image into my new header. I just had to do it.)
I put the disclaimer in that these images were SOTC (Straight Out of The Camera,) but I wanted to put together something quickly for them to view. See, Patrick is getting ready to go overseas with the army next week. A perfect time to try out my new Showit Sites. This way they can enjoy their photos. In the mean time I can go in and put on the polish.

My first client website

So I made my very first client website. It is very basic, but at the same time I think it turned out well. I'll probably embed it in the blog but for now you can view it by clicking the link below.

PS. Check out my photography blog. It has a flashy new header.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I think I need this.

Recently, I lowered my coffee standards to (God help me) instant. (shudder)

It wasn't by choice. I was house sitting for my parents and they don't have a coffee maker. Normally when I'm visiting I'll pick up a cup of java while I'm out and about or I'll bring along stove top espresso maker. This trip I forgot the stove top pot, and I felt silly driving all the way to town just for coffee. (Sure its only 5 miles or so, but the pseudo-environmentalist in me thought it was wrong.) So I made do with Folgers.

It wasn't pretty. My Facebook friends can attest to that one.

I came across this little guy on the internet today. It plugs into your car's a/c adaptor. This could be handy when the power goes out too. I've been know to make coffee on the gas grill before. Hey, don't judge me. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Last year when the tornado struck my house I had to run to Starbucks and get a to go cup before I could even think of dealing with the mess I had on my hands. One of these might just need to live in my car in case of emergency.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Feeling Blue

It's hard to believe that it's been 7 months since I came home from work to find a waterfall in my office. One would assume that the repairs would have been completed long before July. Well, since damage was spread across all three floors of my house, repairs had to be made in shifts. As it turns out my office was the last on the list.

It was May before the office moved to the top of the repair list. At that point almost everything not packed up the night of the flood, came out of the office. So as it stands now, my computer is on my dining table. Everything else got stowed in boxes in various room around the house. The last few months have been frustrating when I've needed to find particular item, say an invoice for a piece of equipment. First I let out a heavy sigh, and then begin an hour long search rummaging through boxes tucked in closets, unused corners in of the guest room, and in the basement. Let me tell you, tax season was terrible, but I muddled through.

In May the new drywall went in, and then I knew the end was near. Unfortunately, my schedule for the summer has been completely insane, however I have spent the last two weekends working on getting the room move-in ready. The drywall mud has been sanded. Cracks have been caulked. Walls have been primed. The ceiling gleams white with a fresh coat of paint.
Now comes the fun part. Color is going on the walls!

Color decisions are important. Color can affect your mood. Prior to the flood, the room was blue. Actually, it was blue when I bought the house five years ago. I just never bothered to change it.

So standing in front of the vast array of paint chips a Home Depot I found myself drawn to...

...yes, blue.

For me, blue is a happy color. This shade is light and airy. It's a cool like the light in the winter, but its also the color of warm summer flowers like some my favorites, chicory and plumbago. So blue it will be. Now I'm off to paint.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Plentiful Produce

It's that time of year again. The time when every visit to my parents' house ends with me bringing home surplus veggies from my dad's quarter acre garden. In the spring, it's Asparagus. Summer usually brings melons, sweet corn, and green beans. I'm not complaining. I love the farm fresh goodies. The only thing is, that you never quite know what you're going to get. My most recent trip resulted in new potatoes and quite possibly the prettiest head of cabbage I've ever seen. They looked so perfect I just had to take a picture.

Now, I have a small garden myself. Before I left town for my long weekend I picked all the fully grown cucumbers and zucchini I had to give to my dad. I thought it was a good trade. Besides there were a couple of little zucchs still left for me when I get back.

Then last night I went out to check on my little garden. This is what I found.

Actually, there were 8 in total. I gave one to the neighbor before I lugged these back to the house. Good thing too, I could barely manage the 7 in one trip. Each one was as long as my size 9 Chuck Taylor's or longer. Three of the zucchini combined weighed about 7 pounds. I'm currently making plans for zucchini bread and I see vegetarian lasagna in my future.

But wait, there's more! Did I mention the green beans? Those with Dad's potatoes and some ham.......YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

You gotta love Summer!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Creating your Yellow Springs Getaway Experience

October Getaway for Women

A Weekend of Art and Spa Options

On October 17th and 18th, women are invited to enjoy a “Getaway” adventure in the charmingly unique village of Yellow Springs. Come, enjoy a multi-dimensional experience that will delight, invigorate, nurture and soothe your spirit. Participants can choose programs in art-making, dance and drumming; tour artist’s studios; commune at a ‘literary tea;’ hike the nature preserve and relax with mini spa sessions. And, of course, stroll into the shops and dine on fine cuisine!

For further details and to register: ~ 937.767.1366

HYPERLINK "" \o "blocked::" \t "_blank" ~ 937.750.4117

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tribute to Goldie

by my cousin Robin. I think hers may be better than mine.

This week, our family lost its most prized treasure. My great grandmother, Goldie Grody Stambach died on July 4th, 2009. Almost all of us realized this day would eventually come. However, in a way, I think all of us find it hard to believe she is no longer with us. As my cousin Crystal said, Grandma Goldie was a constant in the family. She was a regular attendee of parties and family get-togethers. Her birthday was like a holiday to all of us and we all took pride in celebrating with her or letting others know we had a family member who was over 100 years old.
I decided to write this note about her because many of us are announcing to our own circles of friends about her passing and the first thing we tell everyone is that she was 109 years old. However, it’s important to note not only did she have a long life, but she had a full life. This is a woman who raised 10 kids. Part of that time was as a single parent after her first husband died. Not only did she anchor the household, but she also worked at the Fairborn Post Office, when it was located in the building that is now the public library. In fact, in 1970, she was asked to retire because of her age. Had her supervisors known she would have been around 39 years after that time, I wonder if they would have forced her to retire so early.
That family of 10 kids has grown into an impressive legacy. Twenty-nine Baby Boomers proudly called Goldie “Grandma.” I tried to find out how many great grandchildren she had, but I haven’t been able to nail down an accurate count. My guess is the number is greater than 50. Despite the large number of children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and even great-great-grandchildren, I don’t think any of us felt like a number or statistic in the family. She always made a point to wish me a happy birthday, whether it was by attending the party, or sending a card with a dollar in it. I always knew she was thinking of me. One of the last times Goldie got to go to an event other than a doctor’s appointment was when she attended our wedding in October 2005. One of my favorite pictures of the day is the one of me sitting beside her on the steps of the church smiling up at her in her wheelchair. Needless to say, it was an honor to have her there on that day. I knew her memory was starting to fail when someone told me they showed her the picture and she asked, “who is that old woman?” She wasn’t able to remember my name sometimes when I went to visit, but she knew me as “that girl who got married,” or “that girl who moved out west.”
I did a little research about changes that happened during her lifetime. William McKinley won the presidential election the year she was born. His running mate was Theodore Roosevelt. The Titanic sank 4 days after her 12th birthday. She was 20 when women got the right to vote. She lived through both World Wars, prohibition, the ratification of 12 constitutional amendments (including the enactment of the income tax) and saw 5 territories become U.S. States. I never asked her, but I’ll bet she had her own story about where she was the day Kennedy was shot. Speaking of presidents, she received a letter from President George H.W. Bush on her 90th birthday, but her greatest presidential encounter was when she received a kiss from the future President Bill Clinton at a campaign rally in Wilmington, Ohio in 1996. Yes, friends, she could say she had something in common with Monica Lewinsky.
Despite our recognition of these events as historic moments, they were just details in her day-to-day life. I always enjoyed asking her questions about what life was like when she was growing up. Her eyes would light up and her eyebrows would wiggle rapidly as she relived memories of living on the farm, tending to animals, riding the carriage to church. In 1997, a relative asked her, “Grandma, what do you think was the greatest moment of American history in your lifetime?” I don’t remember her exact words, but she had a simple, memorable response: “indoor plumbing.”
Goldie was a fitting name for her. Not only was she brilliant and precious, but she always looked polished and refined when she went out (and she had a noticeable passion for fine jewelry.) I started attending the Methodist Church in Fairborn around the time she could no longer attend regularly. As people discovered I was Goldie’s great-granddaughter, they eagerly told me stories about what an amazing woman she was. Most of them made a point to say how neat and ladylike she looked with her hat and gloves—two accessories a class-act like her would have never attended church without. Perhaps that’s where the women in my family get their affinity for jewelry and where I get my preferences to be all dolled up before I leave the house (as well as my contempt for cleaning the house.)
As every other member of the Grody family, I could go on forever about my memories of Grandma Goldie. I bet our family could write a book with a diverse collection of memories we have about her. I’ll always think of her as the lady who looked neat and dressy for church Sunday morning, but was up to her elbows in flour while baking pies later that afternoon. She was the little girl who fed chickens on the farm, and kept canaries as pets well into her 90s. She was the lady who caught attention everywhere she went, but handled her small town celebrity status with grace and poise. In her last days, she may have been a frail little woman in a nursing home, but I will remember her as the symbol of strength as she survived two husbands, all four of her younger siblings, all but two children-in-law, raised ten kids almost single-handedly, drove until e-checks on cars were enforced, and lived independently until the age of 102. We will all miss her, but I imagine now, she is free, catching up with all the loved ones who went on before her. Welcome home, Goldie!

Monday, July 6, 2009

End of an era.

Saturday as I was having coffee with some of my friends, I got a message from my mom simply saying, "Crystal. It's your mom. Give me a call when you get this message." I knew instantly that bad news was on its way. My suspicions were confirmed when my mother told me that my great grandmother has passed away.

Honestly, this news did not surprise me much. My great grandmother was 109. Yes, you read that right. 109! Goldie Grody Stambach, was born April 10th, 1900. Here is an article the newspaper did about her birthday this year.

I feel fortunate that I had the opportunity to know my great grandmother, let alone share 34 years of my life with her. I'll admit that growing up, I wasn't extremely close to her. I'd see her at various holidays and large family reunions. I know everyone in my family has their own stories about Grandma. Here are the few things I remember about her.

  1. First and foremost, my great grandmother was the one thing in my life that remained unchanged. She was always the same. Even in her late 90's she was just as sharp and lively as she had always been.
  2. She loved jewelery.
  3. I would sometimes play the card game Skipbo with her and when she focused on her hand intently, her eyebrows would wiggle up and down. I know that sounds silly, but I'll never forget that about her. It was almost an involuntary movement, and I loved it.
I also remember that every time she came to our house she always wanted to see the horses. She seemed to always enjoy saying "hi" and giving the horse a pet. It didn't' occur to me until I was in my late teens that perhaps this gave her a sense of nostalgia. When she was a girl there were few cars if any. Everyone had horses. That led me to think of how much things changed just within her lifetime. She went from horse and buggies to seeing a man walk on the moon. Seriously, how does one process all of that?

Then today I received the following message:

I was doing a search on my great-grandmother Goldie passing away when I came across your c.heis website posting your great-grandmothers 109th birthday in April.

Yes, thanks to Facebook I met a cousin that lives halfway across the country that I didn't even know I had. I even got goosebumps. My new relative and I have exchanged a few more friendly emails, and with every response the same thought keeps going through my head. I bet Grandma would never believe this.

In Memorial

Goldie Grody Stambach (1900 - 2009)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Okay, I know. From a technical standpoint this isn't the best image, but I keep coming back it.

Congratulations Missy and Johnny! Have a wonderful time on your honeymoon. I'll have more previews soon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

back[b]log | Missy + Johnny

(Did you notice the skinny crop? I told you. I'm really into that right now.)

Here is more from Missy and Johnny. I guess this also falls into the back[b]log category as we did this session way back in October. Fall is Missy's favorite time of year. When Missy asked if we could do the photos at the Arboretum because that is where Johnny actually proposed. I said "I think that's perfect."
I'm not going to lie I was a little nervous before doing this session. Missy and Johnny both are photographers. Admittedly, Missy doesn't do portraits, however Johnny has his own studio business, and even though we're all friends I was still a little intimidated. That is....until we got started.

As I'm sure you can tell Johnny is a bit of a nut, which made any sense of intimidation fly right out the window. These guys were so much fun to photography. I don't think I've ever laughed quite that hard during a session. And this is how they both are naturally...laid back, smiling and laughing. Like I said before, they are perfect for one another.

One thing you should know is that Johnny isn't just marrying Missy. Missy has a daughter named Sophia. It's a package deal. So, of course Sophie joined us for the session too.

One thing I've always said about Johnny is that he's such a nice guy. I think he has as much love for this little girl as he does her mom. It was so awesome to see how Johnny and Sophie interact on their own.

This session was full of smiles and laughter. So sweet and playful, exactly like Missy and Johnny. These guys were up for anything...including a silly, little dip at the end.

It was so much fun for me to be a part of.

As I said in my previous post, Missy and Johnny are getting married on Saturday. It is so wonderful to see two separate friends of mine both find love and happiness in each other. I am so happy for them both. I can't wait until the weekend.