Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Mac is Back

My Mac has been in the hands of a trusted friend, being tweaked.  
Somehow, in all my UnMacNess, I had duplicated my contacts in my iPhone.  Not a big deal, unless your 5000+ contacts turn into 10,000+ by a simple duplication error.  One that I was unable to fix.
So, thanks, J.P., for healing My Mac - and thusly, me.
I can breathe easier.
I’ve become addicted to my Mac.  I feel empty when it’s gone.  I don’t even like to type on my Windows machine anymore, though I’m somewhat forced by work to do so.
But when I’m on my Mac?  I feel free - the creative juices flowing.
Is that in my head, or what?
Anyway....I’m baaaaaack!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Might As Well Face It

I went hunting today with customers.  And at some point today, I realized that in this whole owning hunting dogs business, or rather, this whole hunting dogs owning me business,  something has changed.
Serious stuff, this.
I have found that I like watching my dogs hunting birds more than I like hunting birds. 
Here’s where it all get serious, because one begets the other.  Hunting dogs, especially trained bird hunting dogs, must hunt birds.  It is in their blood.  And my dogs are nothing less than ecstatic when they’re hunting. 
And I’m ecstatic when I’m looking through my camera lens at my dogs, or for that matter, any hunting dog, happily doing its job.
I realized this today when driving home.  My customer asked me, “Janie, do you hunt?”  “Yes,” I answered, “but I enjoy it just as much when you hunt, and the dogs do their thing, and I’m behind the camera.  I’m thinking there may be an art to it, and sometimes, I capture the perfect shot.”
And then, I caught my breath. “I am hooked, addicted, there’s no turning back,” I said to myself, as I drove my customers into the sunset towards home.  As they talked, I reflected.
I love shooting sports.  I love hunting.  But nothing compares to how I feel when I’m traversing across that hard ground, through the mesquite, cacti and high grass, scanning the terrain while simultaneously watching the dog.  That dog’s tracking wide left, then turning on a dime, to traverse across my path, going wide right, nose in the wind, scenting at a wide-open run, quartering back across my path again.  And… it happens.  You can almost sense the change before you see it.  On a dime, the dog turns while going into a crouch and immediately freezes, front paw up, nose extended forward, the line of the body following the nose, tail straight up. In 2.3 seconds, at least from afar, the run posture becomes a still portrait.  As I quickly approach the dog, I marvel at how that speeding spotted, muscled canine bullet has morphed into a beautiful statue, patiently waiting on me to flush and shoot that bird. Glancing at that dog, I can just see a hint of an understated quiver, maybe not so patient after all. He’s just waiting on the flush…one shot, and that dog will literally explode into action.
The bird is flushed, shot, and spirals down.  And then, part two of this beautiful dance begins.  This is the one where the dog runs straight to where that bird has fallen, grabs it, turns, and heads back to me, in yet another flat out run.  Your eyes are not deceiving you - a dog can smile and swagger simultaneously, even when carrying a heavy pheasant.  Back to me comes the dog, placing that bird in my hand, wagging its entire body in “I did good, didn’t I?” mode, waiting on and receiving the praise he so deserves.
That, my friend, is ecstasy for a hunting dog, and for an owner.  To see a creature doing the very job for which it was created?   That is nothing less than amazing.   
And when I’m flushing a bird for one of my customers, he’s successful in his shooting, the dog has retrieved the bird to hand and I’ve captured the entire thing on camera?  Nirvana.  Absolute nirvana.
It’s true.  I’m hooked – on hunting, hunting dogs, and on the photography of such. 
 “Hunt ‘em up, Wonderdogs.  Hunt ‘em up!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stuart and His Joy...

I met Stuart many years ago, on a ministry trip.  Soon after, I was blessed to meet his wife, Joy.  And what a joy it was to do so!  She’s a beautiful lady, quiet, and very elegant, who loves the Lord,  her man and her family, and every person the Lord puts in her path.
Please take the time to read this - it's beautiful.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Taking Time to Grieve

Last night, I called to check on one of my young friends.  She had suffered a tremendous loss recently - her boyfriend had passed away unexpectedly, due to a medical complication.
And they were in love.  Their relationship was somewhat complicated by distance - he lived in Houston, she on the other side of the country...but they made it work.
A young person’s death is always a shock.  It seems so out of time, for a young person to be there one day, and gone the next.  I knew this young man professionally, and we had worked together in a professional industry organization. He was a young man of much excellence and promise, and had just accepted an overseas assignment in the oil industry.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that my friend was in town, and we quickly arranged to meet at the local Starbucks.  When I saw her, we just hugged.  She’s such a beautiful, sweet lady - my heart is breaking for her.
We talked for a bit, and she downloaded some of the ups and downs of her past days.  She is such a pillar of strength, and had helped the young man’s family in so many ways.  I was glad she had come back home from the services to be in the arms of her family.
As she enjoyed her hot chocolate and I, my chai tea, the funny stories started coming out.  This girlie has such a fun, quirky sense of humor, and it seems that our friend really appreciated that side of her.  
I laughed and laughed as one story tumbled into another, and we read text messages between the two that were the stuff comedy writers only dream of creating.  I’m so very glad that she has such tangible proof of their love.
If you think of it, please pray for my friend as she begins to heal.  She is so very precious to me, and to many others.  She is a precious, fine jewel. I know this loss will only temper her brilliance, and make her shine all the more. And I know the Lord holds her in His arms.
And I’m so very thankful.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Weekly Photo - "Bah Humbug"

Meet JP.  He's a precocious young man, full of life, smiles and energy.  When his mom contacted me for pictures,  I immediately said yes.  Little did I know that
I'd have so much fun chasing a munchkin with a camera.

Personality plus?  Yup.

Beautiful child?  No doubt.

I'm naming this shot "Bah, Humbug."

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ride That Wave!

Today, I flew to Houston to meet my new boss.  My third boss in three months - my fourth boss in a year.  I like him and hope that we will work well together.
When a big corporation is in the flux of a merger, it’s a constantly shifting machine. And you have to be able to ride the wave, while planning ahead for the next one. The merger is an awesome thing, and will help position my company to make great strides in our industry.
The good news?  I’ve been promoted to executive sales - one of 5 for the entire company.
The bad news?  I’ve been promoted to executive sales - one of 5 for the entire company.
Seriously, though, I’m excited about this new opportunity.  I’ve known about it for 3 months...the same three months I’ve experienced three new bosses!
How do you make a mark when you work for such a huge machine?  Our team will be working all that out, forging new paths, creating new synergies.  Working on deepening existing relationships, and opening doors to new relationships.
It’s what I do best, in my work world.
It’s what I do best - because it’s my design factor.
I’m excited about it.

Hello, It's Me

"Hello, it's me
I've thought about us for a long, long time
Maybe I think too much but something's wrong
There's something here that doesn't last too long
Maybe I shouldn't think of you as mine

Seeing you
Or seeing anything as much as I do you
I take for granted that you're always there
I take for granted that you just don't care 
Sometimes I can't help seeing all the way through

It's important to me
That you know you are free
'Cause I never want to make you change for me..."

Todd Rundgren, "Hello, It's Me..."

I love that song.  I've missed you all.  And so, I'm back, under a new title, a new blog.  I just felt the need for change and had created this site sometime back, but was afraid to jump in, I guess...

Circumstances made me stop posting on the other blog, but I missed it - the writing, the camraderie, you.  So, I've decided to begin again.  Afresh, anew.  And hopefully, my friendly readers will find me - and I'll find them.  As to the unfriendly?  I can't control that.

We're going through some change in our lives, the man and I.  The changes are positive, I'm thinking, and we're embracing this new season.   We believe His plans for us are good.  But you know, change is difficult.  You become used to the old ways, and even complacent.  So when the winds of change blow, you first smell them, then taste them, then try them on. You walk it out.

To do that, you trust.  You have to trust.

We have to trust.

I'm not even sure where we are in that cycle, but we're walking it out together.

So, c'mon.  Join us.  Walk with us, as our lives morph.  As I meet my 3rd boss in as many months.  As himself gives notice to his old company with no discernible plan in sight - just trusting the timing - and starts anew.

I'm sure of one thing, and one thing only.  The ride?  It won't be boring.

It's never boring around here.

I'm diving in!