Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Four Dollar Photo

While my parents were here visiting last week they parked their motor home in a local park. We took them for a tour around the park, then K and I climbed a tower where one could see for miles upon miles in every direction. We took a few photos and I found myself hugging this beautiful tree that had long limbs going out in every direction. It inspired me to do the illustration in (see my previous post of the little girl), one that tells it's own story.

The photo illustration was also inspired from the same thought- though with a twist. To see the above photo illustration and others in a sharper format, click here.

When we went to the park to drop my parents off on the last evening at their motor home, the person at the entrance to the park insisted we pay $4.00 (the fee for all day entry). You've got to be kidding me?! For just 10-15 minutes? My mother had just gotten out of the hospital after having complete knee replacement surgery, and the distance was too far to even walk from the main gate, so we paid the fee. They could have given us a 15-minute pass. As it was, it was almost 8pm, at which time (we found out on our way out) the booth closed and you could drive in and out without stopping or paying a fee. We all understood the park person had a job to do and rules to follow but he handled us in a very poor manner considering he knew it was almost 8pm and could have shared that tidbit of information. The money wasn't a big deal, but the principal of the matter was.

Needless to say, my parents left immediately, instead of staying the rest of the evening as planned (even though they had previously reserved and paid for that night). They wanted to get an early start heading home, so that just gave them an additional reason to leave, and up until then they had really enjoyed the park. People forget that great customer service keeps people returning and telling others how great a place is. Not going the extra mile once in a while can go a long way to destroying a business' reputation. The state park lost otherwise happy customers because they had the wrong person as their "director of first impressions."

Now you can see why I included the dollar bills in the photo illustration. :) Blogger seems to make these illustrations lossy or unclear.

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Trees and Parks

The tree did not want to unfold its grasp around the little girl, they had formed a special bond. She came and sat every day under its branches and enjoyed the shade it provided and listened to hear the little bluebird sing.
Click on the thumbnail below to see a larger version of the above illustration and mouse over the corresponding thumbnail.

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Friday, March 27, 2009


I was feeling inspired yesterday and created this fun illustration. My SIL has a collection of cobalt blue dishes and vases. My brother and SIL live in tropical weather and love to fish and also collect decor with a tropical feel to it. For a larger image visit here. The photos may take a moment to load, then just mouse over the top left thumbnail. Have an awesome Friday!

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Saturday, May 17, 2008


Did I say how much I LOVE this new camera? Especially the telephoto lens-it's amazing! Here I am hanging out at my favorite Starbucks. I still need a few filters and a macro but they'll come soon enough. I love black and whites just as much as color photos and can never decide which I like better, it all depends on my mood.

I changed up the order of the photos, Mr. Beaver below just looked too strange being at the top of this post.

My first real taste of summer came when I was home at my parents who live on the Great Lakes of Michigan. These photos were taken off their front deck. The ships that ride the lakes are magnificent when you see them up this close and I never tire of watching them go by. We've recorded them from all over the world. They make their way up through the various locks from the ocean. When they start running again it means the ice has all melted and it's the signal for spring and summer to begin...then boating and water skiing and just hanging out on the beach- my kind of living!

I ran a little over 4 miles around the East lake this morning. The weather is about 82 now and gorgeous-finally! On my trips around the lake I have been fortunate enough to see a lot wildlife and came upon a beaver twice in the past week. I know the damage they can do but still- you can appreciate these industrious characters when you see one. K and I stalked this one for a little over 1/2 hour so we could get a good photo. He was about 4 1/2 feet in total length, his tail about 2 1/2 of that.

Now I have a big job ahead of me and it's off to plant flowers. The iris' are just starting to open around the yard so I'll be posting photos of them later. Enjoy your Saturday!

More tomorrow...

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We're Back!

We're back from our trip to California where we were able to spend time with two of our four children: son Brandon and daughter Niki, and our dear friends the Rogers family.

We lived in California before being transferred to the midwest three years ago. Our son Brandon decided to stay in CA when we moved. We flew our daughter in as she lives in another state too attending college.

We headed for the coast right away and spent time in Monterey, Carmel and Pebble Beach. When we lived in CA, we often went there on the weekends so we were no strangers to the beautiful coastal areas but you can just never get enough of it.

It was a beautiful day in Carmel and the weather was so warm we played in the waves and enjoyed the sun.

In front of our favorite Monterey Deli. Their sandwiches are yummy! We are so proud of all of our children and want the very best for each of them as they venture into life taking new paths and following their own dreams.

Our dear friends the Rogers, their son Josh and daughter Rachel. Sherry is also an illustrator. We met through an illustration board several years ago. We were both members and found out that we lived just 15 minutes from each other. We met one day at Starbucks and became fast friends. It's all been a lot of fast talkin' ever since! :)

The four of us share so many mutual interests that we've enjoyed so many good times together and we are so blessed to have such wonderful friends. We all went to dinner and had such a lovely time celebrating being together again and Kevin's birthday. Pictured here are Kevin and Dale.

Thanks so much Rogers family for the great time and for your generous hospitality. You will always have a special place in our hearts!

For more photos click here.

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