Monday, December 31, 2007

Christmas Day climb

My husband started a tradition years ago that we would hike Rocky Hill every Christmas...which seemed much more reasonable when I was 40 than it does now at 50...but the tradition continues, this year at the insistence of our kids...imagine that.

More pictures to's New Years and I have movies to watch and popcorn to pop :)

Friday, December 28, 2007


Having some technical difficulties with the music on the blog, bear with me.....

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007


To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to be sure of keeping your heart intact--you must give your heart to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully around with hobbies and little luxuries. Avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safely in the casket of your selfishness. And in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken. It will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The only place outside of heaven where you can be perfectly safe from the dangers of love is in hell.

....C.S. Lewis

For the past year our family has been involved in a pretty intense struggle with one family member (who shall remain nameless) that has truly been a test of faith. I have seen a Christian response from family members who rather than wear their faith on their t-shirts, have lived it. I have seen patience beyond what I thought was possible. I have watched as my little sister LIVES her faith in a way that is inspiring. I have been humbled by the love that has poured out from my mother. I have won battles with my own selfish pride and then lost a few in my desire to do it my way. And in the end, we continue to wait for a resolution. We wait on God's timing...we wait for some kind of miracle...we wait for a happy ending....full in the knowledge that it may never come. But most importantly, we keep on loving, because that is what we are called to do.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I love these things... this email questionaire from a friend....

1.Tree – real or artificial? Artificial, tho I love the smell of a real tree I just hate that it dies (not a big fan of getting flowers for the same reason).

2. Egg nog or Hot chocolate? Coffee…I don’t drink anything with the word ‘nog’ in it’s name (or eat anything with the word ‘whiz’ in it).

3. When do you put Christmas tree up? Usually we wait till after the 1st because it's Brad's birthday and we don’t want to interfere with his day.

4. When do you take it down? Some years we put up all red decorations on it after Christmas and call it a Valentines tree (so that’d be around February).

5. Colored lights or white on house? Every color of the rainbow….last year we found purple…cool!

6. Do you have a Nativity set? We have a collection…is that sacrilegious?

7. Favorite gift as a child? Barbie Dream House….ok, so it was a Train set, what of it?

8. Worst Christmas gift? Don’t make me choose.

9. Best Christmas story? The year my oldest sister (she hates when I call her that) went downstairs (at 4am) and un-wrapped ALL the gifts (there were 7 of us kids) and then re-wrapped them. As I was coming down the stairs she proceeded to list my entire gift inventory.... when I went back upstairs crying to my parents about it, I got in trouble for waking them up…… (sometimes it DOES matter who started it).

10. Christmas nightmare? See above.

11. Favorite Christmas movie? White Christmas (except for the choreography number, we fast forward thru that!).

12. Ever recycled a gift? Of course, it’s called re-gifting, and it’s a lovely tradition.

13. Favorite food during the holidays? Pumpkin Pie.

14. Favorite Christmas song? Pretty much all of them, but fav would probably be…’Mary, did you know’.

15. Open gifts Christmas Eve or morning? When I was a kid we always got to open our gifts from Grandparents on Christmas Eve (usually pjs. which we then wore to bed) so I do the same with my kids. If Grandma is in town, the family comes over and we exchange family gifts after a big dinner. I love the food part and the getting together part the most. We also traditionally give the kids books on Christmas Eve because they kinda get overlooked amidst all the hoopla in the morning.

16. Like snow?...can you ice skate? Love snow, from the comfort of a warm house, lit fireplace and good movie on TV….it makes for a very nice backdrop. And if clinging to the wall as I stumble around a rink counts...why yes, I can ice skate.

17. When did you learn the truth about Santa? You know I always just assumed it was a ‘hoax’ we older kids fabricated for the younger ones entertainment. I really don’t remember ever believing in Santa…

18. Favorite Holiday dessert? Pumpkin Pie…didn’t we go over this?

19. Candy canes, yuk or yummy? I love candy canes…all year.

20. Best part about Christmas? You know, it really is about family and celebrating the birth of Christ. Linus does a great job of imparting to us the true meaning of Christmas...when I'm stressed about how little we can afford in the way of gifts this year, I need that little reminder.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

Oh Christmas Tree...

..Oh Christmas Tree...

...I love lights. I love Christmas decorations of all kinds, we (ok...I) decorate every possible surface during the holidays. My ony disappointment this year is that because of the high cost of electricity (and the fact that we usually put up enuf lights to be seen from space :) we will not be decorating our yard this holiday season...bummer. Oh well, we still have them all over the house....some things are just worth giving up food for!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


What do you do when something you have participated in, are involved in creating, has been turned into a sleazy mess…..

Just got finished watching the end of the year football video, a compilation of video highlights and still photographs (mostly mine) from this year’s football season. Good video, nice action shots (ahem) …but the ‘music’ which encompasses the entire video is stomach turning. Offensive, inappropriate, violent….the list goes on and on. I counted the s-word at least 3 times and the f-word once…and in my opinion the use of the n-word is no less disgusting simply because it is uttered by a black man (3 times!). What little censoring they attempted was in muting the sound at the point of the expletive….unfortunately the ‘editors’ were not very adept and most of the language comes thru...loud and clear.

I find it inexplicable that gangsta hip-hop was used to accompany a football video, especially in a rural town where half the kids are probably listening to Tim McGraw on their radios. And our star running back, one of the best in the valley, is a wonderful Christian young man…how sad that his parents will have this as a memento of his junior year….I guess they can always mute the sound. And that tired old, ‘this is what kids listen to’ just doesn’t cut it here. Who’s in charge? And who ultimately is shelling out $30 to purchase this tripe?

If a movie is well-made and intelligently scripted without the use of expletives, the audience doesn’t walk away thinking “great movie, needed more cursing”. Why aren’t we introducing kids to a higher level of thinking about music here? When my 17yr. old, football-playing son watched, ‘Remember the Titans’ a couple years ago, he asked for the music CD for Christmas and it has become one of his favorites. Would he have ever thought to listen to Creedence Clearwater if not for that movie? And classical music, used to inspire and move an audience, is not usually the kind of music kids seek out at the record store, but it can be used quite effectively to impart an emotional response. Background music should be unobtrusive, almost unnoticeable except in its impact on an audience.

So now what, what is my responsibility here? MY name is in the credits, those are my pictures accompanying this filth. At the very least, I will be removing myself from future projects with the organization that was hired to put this together (there are plans to do the same for basketball and baseball). I guess I will be chatting with the gal who owns the company, not looking forward to that. I don’t know her well, but we did have a fairly extensive conversation at one of the games about music and the type that would be used with the video, funny that everything she said that night is completely the opposite of what ended up in the final product. What happened? Tho I wasn’t being paid, the football boosters did give me a fairly substantial gift for taking the photos and donating to the video (as well as doing the program, coach’s gifts, team photos etc.). They’ve done a lot to promote my budding photography business and wanted me to get credit for my “beautiful photos”. I actually feel a bit guilty for taking a stand here, how ridiculous is that?

I want to continue taking sports photos and plan to offer my services free of charge to all teams that want me at their games….but I’ve learned an important lesson here, I will never allow use of my photographs and my name on anything I haven’t gotten to view first.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Probably should wait until Mother's day to print this, but I thought it was funny....

Why did God make mothers? These are answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?

1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house.
3. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?

1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?

1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?

1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of little girl was your mom?

1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your mom marry your dad?

1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world and my mom eats a lot
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?

1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dad's such a goof ball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than Dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?

1. Moms work at work and work at home and dads just go to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.
4. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?

1. Mothers don't do spare time,
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day

What would it take to make your mom perfect?

1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet, maybe blue.

If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?

1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Another senior

...and I am such a loser :( Not a great expression on his face (heck, not even a good expression) but it was the only salvageable shot on the bridge, most were out of focus (and over exposed)...UGH!
Maybe sports photography is where I belong (and should stay!!!).
My only consolation was that this was taken at the end of summer and my lens has since been to the shop and back...issue supposedly fixed. It does seem to be performing much better lately so I may just have to redo this session and chalk it up to experience (doing a lot of that lately!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My nephew Eli

Isn't he adorable :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I guess since my DH did his wonderful 'what I'm thankful for' I should at least pretend to have some appreciation for my life up to this point.....and yeah that is sarcasm :)

Family, can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em ...God goes so far as to say we HAVE to love them...eek! For the most part, easy as pie (have you ever made a pie?)...I love my kids with ease and abundance...except when I want to strangle them (which is suprisingly, not very often). They are truly good kids who I'm enjoying watching grow up into good people. I like being around them and will miss them terribly when they leave (unless of course they stay and then I will complain to my freinds about what leeches we have raised :).

My extended family, I love dearly (hey sis!) ...and even those I don't like (and there's only just the one) I do love and pray for (constantly). I am fortunate to have one parent, my Mom, still living (miss Dad terribly) and I'm finding myself more and more appreciative of her every single day. She is a loving, giving, goofy storytelling, heck of a great gal....we are SO glad you are still with us Mom, stay healthy!

I am also incredibly blessed to be married to a man who loves me without reservations (and I give him plenty). He is kind, generous, hard-working, funny, smart (he would SO clean up on Cash Cab!) and everyone (who matters) genuinely likes cool is that!?!

I serve a loving God, who (so far) has not abandoned me (and I have definitely given HIM cause to). He has on more than one occasion, literally given me reasons to live. And somehow, even when I don't feel like getting up in the morning, He pulls me outta bed and shoves me out the door to face another day. Even if it's just to make pancakes for the kids or get to the bank before another check bounces, the responsibilities of our lives are sometimes what we live for, and I am thankful to have them.

Happiness differs from Joy, it comes and goes....anyone who thinks that life is supposed to be happy every day is in for a huge letdown. Joy comes from the Lord and is not dependent on circumstances. I'm not one who has ever been able to 'be thankful in all things'. I find it almost impossible to thank God for the bad stuff...but I CAN be patient in the midst of bad stuff. I can, mostly, find something to be thankful for....husband, kids, family, photography...a really good movie on late at night (Doris Day and James Garner in 'Move over Darling')...something! And I will try to get back on track....I will try to find Joy.

I'm thankful that at the age of 50, I'm finally starting to figure things out....I'm starting to "know what I knew then". I'm sure there are plenty of hard years ahead (my daughter turns 14 next week... you do the math) but I know my family and my God will be here (OK, I truly only know that God will be here, but I'm not going to think about living without my family unless I have there).

God Bless You all!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Frustrating week!

Business cards on hold till I figure out why Smugmug is putting my football players in uniforms that make them look like BARNEY!!!

Friday, November 16, 2007

My First Sale!

This is kinda fun! I got an email last night informing me that someone (a players grandma) had placed an order on my smugmug site.....Yea!!!! Pretty weird having someone actually PAY for a photo I took.

In other breaking news...just ordered new business cards specific to sports (obviously) so I can hand them out to parents at the awards night dinner.

...things are gonna start happening to me now...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Got my Drivers license!

Is it so hard to tell someone whose picture you are taking that their sunglasses are hanging from the front of their (aka MY) shirt, so that in the cropped photo it looks like some giant scarab has attached itself to said victims chest???
...what more can they do to me...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007


Wilson takes his first Drivers training lesson….

There are few things in life more pleasant (said dripping with sarcasm) than a trip to the DMV, with the possible exception of shopping at Wal-Mart or attending a graduation ceremony.

Son #3 (Wilson – pay attention) turned 16 in July but having had the misfortune of following his 2 accident-prone brothers into the driving foray; he has had to wait a wee bit to get behind the wheel. The time had finally arrived (the nagging having reached intolerable levels :) and so we headed to town.

I figure as long as we are going to the DMV this is as good a time as any to turn in my license renewal form (birthday the next day so, ‘good a time as any’ is a euphemism for ‘last possible moment’). Had I known that I was going to have to get my picture taken I would’ve renewed online (did you know you can do that?). Haven’t washed my hair in 2 days, so taking a photo that will follow me for the next 10 years thrills me to no end. I SO hate getting my picture taken that I am not even cheered by the fact that this new photo will be replacing the one taken in what looks to be the 80’s... big ole bug-eye glasses (did we really ever think these were attractive?).

After the experience of taking my pic, I wait for Wilson to finish up the test. Should’ve brought a book, didn’t, so I end up watching the various life forms that have been sucked into the DMV vortex (including those of us dimwits who didn’t read the info mailed to us that would’ve allowed us to avoid this whole experience). After a few minutes I notice an older gentleman walking in my direction (and I use the term loosely here, shuffling would be a more descriptive term). My first impression is that he is blind as he is using a cane and his gaze seems off in some distant land. He is following what turns out to be his (approx.) 50yr. old daughter around the corner to the license renewal section of the DMV and after a few steps he is literally dragging the cane behind him. When he reaches a point about 6ft. from the DMV gal and her computer, his daughter says, “right here dad” and he turns (immediately) and is now standing in front of an empty section of counter...and continues standing there (and staring off into space).

Now, at this point I'm holding out the faint hope that it is his daughter (holding the paperwork) who is here to renew her license. So when she says to him, "no, down here dad" and grabs him by the arm in order to pull him sideways to where she is standing, I figure it’s gotta be so she can keep an eye on him. He doesn’t seem to know where he is, so obviously no one would allow him behind the wheel of a car; it would kinda be like giving a 5yr.old an Uzi. At this point, the DMV gal tells him to sign the register and takes his thumbprint. She then tells him to turn around and stand in front of the blue screen to have his photo taken (all of 3ft. behind him) which he responds by turning..… and walking right on past. I believe that if said daughter had not grabbed him from behind, he would’ve gone right on home (happy ending for us all). The whole time I’m watching this comedy routine (think Tim Conway in almost any old Carol Brunette skit) I’m looking around for someone to raise my eyebrows at…to telepathically ask, “Are you seeing what I’m seeing? ...Shouldn’t we stop this?”

Wils said that he must have passed the vision exam or they wouldn’t allow him to drive...ok...well, maybe there needs to be a more rigorous exam and that possibly getting lost in the DMV should be considered an automatic failure. What are these people thinking?!? Does he have a JOB to get to in the morning? (Pizza delivery guy? UPS driver?)

I have no point here, no wisdom, except to say that I dearly wish I knew when this gentleman was going to be behind the wheel so I could keep my kids off the road. We are making it harder and harder for teens to drive (rightfully so) but maybe we need to take a look at the other end of the spectrum.

Meanwhile, drive defensively and hopefully old guy will find better things to do with his studying for his pilot’s license exam.

Friday, November 2, 2007

caution....extreme whining to follow

Why is it that the very day I decide I can do this I get kicked in the teeth? I finally got up the nerve to accept a job (paid!) and went in with all the confidence in the world (for me that means not throwing up) and I pretty much stunk the place up. ARGHHHH...I just want to crawl in a hole somewhere and cry...
....and this morning I was driving thru town thinking I couldn't wait to get thru this trial and get to the other side so I could make sure NO other person had to go thru the frustration and agony (ok, slight exaggeration, but that’s how it feels) I actually thought I was having an aha moment, that I could help other photographers who were surely going to be going down this same road...but then I thought, why does any of us have to go thru it?
I can take good pictures...I know I why is it that when I need to...when it’s crunch time...I screw it up??? And the thing is...I don’t know WHY...I don’t know what I’m doing wrong (or even if) so I can’t fix it. I have asked everyone who will listen (believe me, my DH has gotten an earful) and I’m sure by now I’m on a couple blocked email lists. I read, I practice, I ask questions and the very things I think I have a handle on seem to change the minute I pick up the camera. Not to mention that focus...FOCUS for gosh sake...the thing that should be easy, the thing I never even thought about when I was shooting film...suddenly is my biggest issue.

I've even sent my entire set-up to Canon and they found a couple of minor problems and fixed them…or so they said. So, now it’s squarely in the user error’s MY fault. I just want to pull my hair out! .....if it helps, I am trying to find the Lords hand in all this...feeling a bit like I’m looking for Waldo.... but I do have hope! be continued (hopefully there will be a happy ending and I can impart wisdom upon the masses...for now I’m just pissed)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Go Bo Sox

Being that I am living in a household that lives for baseball, I would be remiss to not at least mention that the Garvers were THRILLED to watch Boston win the a sweep. Tho the negative consequence of such a stunning victory is that the baseball season is now over. For the next 4months we will have to be content with other...lesser...inferior sports (sorry Sam-there are 100 reasons baseball is better than football...not the least of which is no cheerleaders!)

Brad Mills came to visit the Exeter HS FCA (fellowship of Christian Atheletes) after the first Boston World Series win. Here he is with Morgan and our Brad, and below with Steve. Brad and Steve played baseball together at EUHS and COS.

My youngest son would be mortified to see this old he is with his best buddy Daniel as they root for the Sox in the series win in 2004 - no dressing up this year (he's 16....nuf said).
I emailed this to Brad after the win...can't buy that kind of loyalty!

Our Brad wanted to compare his Conference title ring (COS swimming) to Mr. Mills...slight difference in size, but hey.... Brad (Garver) gets to wear his :)

Brad is extremely generous with his time towards his Alma Mater...was instrumental in helping Steve raise money for the baseball program at a local golf tournament.

We take our devotion to the team very seriously...these are styrofoam pumpkins...that means permanent.

Also, wanted to mention that God (as well as Brad:) got a nice write-up in Curt Shillings blog ...38 pitches(see sidebar). Quite a few wonderful Christian men on this team...makes the win that much more special.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Proving my point

I happen to run across this ad in National geographic yesterday...OK, I was watching TV and my DH found it, I was gonna read the magazine...eventually. The point is, see that little camera around the neck of most of these guys (notice the arrow)...the extra camera they carry around, that's similar to what I am using to shoot sports right telephoto lens. It's a 70-200mm 2.8 lens and I love it!... great lens... expensive lens...only lens I'm gonna be using for sports for a LONG time (not withstanding the whole winning the lottery issue). Kind of intimidating to say the least. I guess I will just stick to High School sports and be happy with the equipment I've got.

Contentment has been easier to find in certain areas of my life than in others. Photography is one of the others...I'm always wanting more and better stuff, thinking that it will make me a better photographer. Fact is, just like in life, contentment is not a product of our surroundings, it has to come from within or it's pretty useless. If I can learn to 'be content in all things' and find peace in my situation happy with my house, my car, and even my family...then I can certainly find it in my photography.

Sometimes I just think that God will not want to be involved in the trivial, he's got a war to watch over, diseases to heal, prison inmates to know, important stuff. So I hold back, I don't give it to God because I don't think He'll want to be bothered. Or maybe I secretly think He'll take it away....I'm afraid of losing something that I am attached to. Wouldn't want to chance that!

Does anyone else ever wonder why it seems to be taking a lifetime to learn the simplist things? .....geeeez
Lord, teach me to trust you like I did when I was younger....teach me what I knew then.

Special thanks today to Ruth... who, in a comment on 365 blog, said she thought I should be selling my made my day Ruth!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sports Illustrated here I come...not!

I just opened a Professional account in Smugmug...alert the media!

As much as I want to someday start taking senior pics (for $$$) I seem to have fallen into sports photography...and I'm not sure how I feel about it. I honestly think I have a fairly good eye, but I'm just not sure I'm up to the task. One of my photog books makes the encouraging assessment that sports photography is the most expensive type of photography to get into...what were the odds?

Most sports guys carry around 2 with a shorter lens and one with my wish list 400mm lens (blue book value of around $6,500...yikes!) Not going to happen in the very near future...or as we say in the Garver house...not until we win the lottery. And frankly, if I win the lottery... the type of photography I'll be doing is travel photography.

Anywhoo...I just got finished pricing my pics and that was an experience in and of itself...who would pay to buy my photos...who am I kidding...what colossal ego...what a disaster this will be...what was I thinking... did read the part in my bio where I mentioned my pessimistic nature?

...more pessimism later...