April 9, 2012

If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves. — Thomas Edison

When I look at this photo and read this quote, I have to ask myself when was the last time I did something as brave as ride off on a great big horse with my feet dangling a good 18 inches above my stirrups and nothing but blue sky and open prairie in front of me. It has been a long time since I took a leap of faith that big — or have been willing to take a fall that far down if things came around to it. But that’s the beauty of being a kid: you don’t worry so much about your limitations because nobody has told you what they are yet. It’s a sad state of affairs that anyone, ever, tells you that you can’t do something. But it happens all the time. And we, as human beings, are very susceptible to the suggestion that “it” is not possible or we are not the “one” to do it.

Thankfully, Mr. Edison didn’t fall victim to this mentality. If he had, I would be in bed right now (since it’s 9:25 pm), sleeping in the dark (or probably trying to read by candlelight) and so would you!

So remember Mr. Edison, this quote and the little cowgirl on the great big horse the next time you’re faced with something you’re not sure you’re “capable” of … remember you have the power to astound yourself.

Read more about Thomas Edison here: http://www.thomasedison.com/biography.html


April 5, 2012


The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain. — Dolly Parton

Dolly has long been one of my favorite celebrities because of her unique personality and candor. This quote is typical of one of her “tell it like it is” expressions that rings so true. Today this sentiment has hit me on several levels.

First, it has rained most of the day. The house has been dark and cold and I’ve been feeling less than creative. More headachey than happy, more sleepy than energetic … but now, golden light is filling the window outside my office and the light behind the clouds is making them look enticing to my photographer’s eye. When I finish this post, I will head out the door to feed the horses and I promise to enjoy whatever Mother Nature has set up in the sky above.

Another current of thought that has run through my mind all day is the death of my father. He passed on this day 21 years ago. In some ways it feels like yesterday. In some ways it feels like it’s been a lifetime since I’ve seen him. And, oh God, how I miss him and my mother. After I feed the horses, I will take the short walk out across the pump pond dam to the small cemetery on our ranch and tell his headstone how much I miss the man it represents.

Finally, the past year has been very difficult for me in business and personally. I have had many changes — old relationships have fallen away or recreated themselves in new ways; old friendships have found new life; and new relationships have built themselves into my world — and I feel blessed for all the promise that is on the horizon. Today, I had a conference call to discuss many of the positive changes coming my way and now I feel like the sun is spinning my rainbow in the sky and soon bright multicolored light will guide the way to prosperity. All is well under the rainbow. 🙂

The photo above was taken in New Mexico in 2009.

April 3, 2012

All knowledge, the totality of all questions and all answers is contained in the dog. — Kafka

This image was taken last weekend (3/31) at the dog shelter in KCMO. I was there photographing the matches during the Mega Match-a-Thon. During the event 700 plus animals from three different participating KC area shelters found families and are (hopefully) sleeping comfortable in their new homes as I write this tonight.

The dog in the photo, named Beaumont, was not adopted. He is still at KC Pet Project.

Beaumont has three strikes against him in finding his family. First he’s a senior dog. His gray muzzle which to me embodies the quote I chose to go with this photo, works against him. So many people want a puppy or a young dog — and who can blame them (and there are so many that need homes). Second, he’s heartworm positive. That means a vet bill, vet visits and more intensive care than a dog without heartworms. Lastly, he’s a black dog. Black dogs routinely get overlooked in the dark environment of the kennel. This is the hard reality of Beaumont’s situation.

What Beaumont has in his favor, however, are a bunch of people who really care about dogs (and cats and all animals) in general and him specifically. He has already won over several volunteers and staff members at the shelter. He has worked his way into their hearts, and I know that this incredible network of animal lovers will do everything in their power to find him a place to live out his senior years — and the payoff to wherever he goes will be the enrichment he will give to those who spend those last few years enjoying his company (and learning all that knowledge that is contained within all that is his dogness).

If you’d like to adopt a dog, and live in the KC area (or heck, anywhere for that matter) visit: http://www.kcpetproject.org

February 27, 2012

Look at everything as though you were seeing it either for the first or last time. — Betty Smith

Seeing is a very important part of my job — and not just seeing with my eyes, but my heart and mind as well. This quote resonates with me because it reminds me how important it is to look at things closely — and with AWE — in order to truly “see” what you are looking at. So many times, beauty and inspiration are all around us, but we are so busy whizzing by on our way to somewhere else that we miss what is right in front of us. It is a state derived of our culture. The good news is, we can break the cycle — maybe not everyday, but at least every once in a while if we stop and “see”— make it a conscious effort and soon it will become your nature (again)!

This photo was taken in Morro Bay, California. My visit there was a side adventure on a business trip. Although I wouldn’t trade my precious prairie or my lovely woods for an ocean view, I do love to watch the tide.


February 24, 2012

A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song. — Chinese Proverb

A few days ago a writer friend of mine asked on Facebook for her writer friends to post affirmations on why they write as a career.

My response was because the voices in my head won’t leave me alone until I do (write that is).

Although this may mean I’ve spent my entire life on the verge of a psychotic break,* I think it just means I have something to say — just like a bird has a song. It’s nature — the way I’m built, the only way I can be me. The same goes for my photography — I don’t photograph because I have a camera and can — I MUST use my camera or my world is simply not right. I have a driving desire to share with the world the way I see things — whether they want to look or not. My words and images do not hold THE answer to anything but my personal happiness. Without stories and photographs, my soul could not sing and I would probably just simply cease to exist.

I think one of the saddest things that can happen in life is when people try to analyze the enjoyment out something that they are driven to do — that they truly love to do. I’ve seen other photographers and writers (and horsewomen, too) cut themselves down with negative self-talk and worry until they make themselves utterly miserable. Whether or not you are really good at something doesn’t mean you should or shouldn’t do it — if you like to write, WRITE; if you like to shoot photos; SHOOT! Don’t let the fact you don’t have THE answer stop you — SING anyway! Off key? Who cares!

Read my writer friend, Holly Michael’s, blog here: http://www.writingstraight.com.

*And just for your peace of mind, to quote Sheldon of The Big Bang Theory, “I’m not crazy, my mother had me tested.” Well mine did, too and I passed — for the most part.

February 23, 2012

Surely there is something in the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts; the sight of the deep-blue sky and the clustering stars above seems to impart a quiet to the mind. — Jonathan Edwards

… the unruffled calm of nature that overawes our little anxieties and doubts … oh, yes, how true, true, true. If you really want to feel this, spend the afternoon (and evening) at Chaco Canyon in New Mexico where this image was taken. The peace and beauty of the desert landscape all around you, the gentle night falling from the sky down — it will set you back to right in the blink of an eye. And the best part — there’s no phone signal!!

When I first went to New Mexico, I didn’t think I’d like it. I’m not a desert kind of person … I need lush green and lots of trees to feel safe. But I after just a few days, I fell in love — and now I look forward to traveling west every couple of years. This image was taken in 2009 — and that year’s trip was truly amazing. A friend, Brittney, and I went to Bandilier, Santa Fe, Chaco and then traveled up to Mesa Verde. It was a week of adventure and exploration and I have to say there is no better way to spend a week!

February 7, 2012

Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each. — Henry David Thoreau

I love this quote … although its direct sentiment has gotten a little muddled in our modern culture. Today, in February, in Missouri, I bought fresh strawberries — and tomorrow I can enjoy them for my breakfast with fresh squeezed orange juice. We live in a world where you can confound nature’s laws and manipulate just about everything — including your appearance and the appearance of the world around you. But, if you spend some time with it, you’ll realize Thoreau was really on to something with the notion of enjoying for the sheer sake of the beauty and bounty around you — especially the beauty that hasn’t been Photoshopped and the bounty not grown in a hot house.

The photo here is one close to my heart — it features one of my favorite little horses, Freckles and one of my favorite people, Ian and it was taken on my ranch. The image was shot (on film) about 10 or 11 years ago. Both Freckles and Ian have moved on to new seasons in their lives — Freckles is now a senior horse enjoying her golden years out to pasture and Ian is the very busy father of two little ones.

Oh, and the beauty here is as I saw it on that day — the image has not been altered from the original photograph, just scanned.