Day 22: Collections

Human beings are funny creatures. What is the driving force that makes us want to collect things? Throughout my younger years, I collected stickers, unicorns, dragons, and posters of 80’s hair bands. In my adult years, I have collected fairies, but have moved on to things some would consider spooky, along with something else that is so popular, you may even have one or two of your own.

Let’s look at the popular first. Pop! vinyl figures by Funko have taken the nation by storm. There is seriously a figure for just about everything you can imagine. Monty Python and the Holy Grail? I have three from that set myself. Flash Gordon? Emperor Ming looks down upon me menacingly in all his tiny evil glory.   The Walking Dead? Oh yeah, I have them, including black and white Daryl Dixon.

I will be the first to admit that I have a problem when it comes to these little guys. There is just something about them that capture us and demand that we take them home with us. To date, one of the most brilliant things that I have seen done with them, is when a friend of mine went to England on vacation. He took Thor and Jon Snow with him and did several exceptional shots, from the plane to Stonehenge, his two companions created a spectacular photo experience like none I have ever seen.

Taking a look at the Spooky. Well, let me start by saying, I don’t think they are spooky and no, I am not creeped out with Living Dead Dolls watching over me while I sleep.  When my great nephew was 2 years old, and we babysat, he came into my bedroom in search of my cats and when he looked up and saw the dolls, his little mouth hung open and he looked from the dolls to me, back to the dolls and back to me and said, “Babies…..not funny!” Since that day, when he comes to visit, he has to go and check to see if the babies are still there.

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Day 22: Collections Meet Posey 

My first Living Dead Doll was a birthday gift from my husband, and I fell in love with her instantly. Posey has a subtle creepiness about her that is just top drawer and became the foundation of my doll collection. I immediately hit the website looking to see what other dolls existed and to this day, I am still in awe of what they create. When we found the Psycho set, I knew hands down this was a duo I had to own. As I love Mr. Hitchcock’s work, AND they were in black and white, Norman/Mother and Janet would be mine!

My husband’s collection is a little more sensible I guess you would say. When you mash a cop with Peter Pan Syndrome, you get a collection of law enforcement toys. Lego’s, toy cars, police rubber duckies, he has quite the collection of cop toys.

We collect for the pure enjoyment of it, not for any other particular reason. We want to surround ourselves with things that make us happy and are pleasing to us. So, whatever you collect, may it bring you that simple childlike joy every time you gaze upon your collection.

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Day 20: Oklahoma Skies

One of the things I love best about Oklahoma is our skies. We have some of the most breathtaking sunrises (when I’m actually up to see them), sunsets and clouds in the atmosphere. Our skies are one of my favorite subjects to shoot.

Day 20: Oklahoma Skies


While I always thought that there were days that the sky was rather lovely, I never fully appreciated them until I started looking at them from behind the lens, trying to capture the color and cloud formations, the sun at various positions during the day and evening, and there have been times it has been some of my biggest challenge to try to catch with the camera what my eye was seeing.

As I am by no means a morning person, I am apt to capture sunsets in more abundance that I am a sunrise. My most memorable sunrise was on a hiking trip my husband and I took to Greenleaf State Park. We got up well before dawn and made it out to the trails with the hopes of getting to the swinging bridge before sunrise. While we did indeed make it, the location we were at as the sun actually rose was not a good location to capture the rise. It did however allow me to get some lovely shots of the fog across the lake

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We often find ourselves wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life and tend to forget to look at the simplistic beauty around us. Health for our heart that is free of charge. Uplifting for our spirit and doesn’t take any extra time, other than to look up. The skies are filled with wonder. Take some time today and look up and see the beauty that is above you.

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Day 19: Your Badge, My Heart 

Day 19: Your Badge, My Heart

Around this time 10 years ago, you were in weapons block. Doing qualifying rounds in ice and snow. You were a couple of months from graduating the academy. It had been a very rough time emotionally for all of us as we only got to see you a couple of days each week while you chased the dream that would become your passion, that would become an ever changing way of life.

As I sit and think about where we have come from since then, there are so many thoughts, so many memories, so many emotions, so may frustrations, so many joys. This has been a road met with challenges, some from without, a lot from within, but now as I consider all that has happened, I realize you can not come through any situation without going through the fire.

I don’t have to tell you the challenges law enforcement as a whole is currently going through. You live it everyday. We see it everyday. We worry about it everyday. And while I have the moments of not wanting you to give of yourself anymore due to the lack of appreciation and the hatred that seems to run out of control, it is only half of a coin. That half wants me to tell you to cut loose and get out. Why put your life at risk every single day? Why risk yourself for the possibility of the unthinkable? Why deal with the aggravation of being caught between and angry world and a broken system. Why do we have to continue to pay as a family? We sacrifice, we lose out, we are often on the back burner.  ODMP is forever in front of our eyes, and all we can do is grieve with the rest of the thin blue line family. Good, honest cops pay with their lives and somehow they deserve it due to situations they were never involved with. I fear for you. I fear for us. I fear for our kids.

But then, there is the flip side of that coin. The side that screams honor, integrity, pride. The side that shows what you do is not in vain. The side that shows how you listen, hear and try to find resolution to our citizens situations. The side that when I see you in uniform, I know that our county is that much safer because you care and aim to protect and serve.

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Deputy Cross letting the kids check out his cruiser.

Do you know why you are my hero? It isn’t just because of the badge you wear. It isn’t because you helped protect those little girls by making sure the monster that hurt them will spend forever behind bars. It isn’t because you worked with a young lady and even though her life ended tragically, you don’t give up hope in spite of how it haunts you. It isn’t because you are standing for a little boy so viciously attacked by a dog and his parents seeing no legal resolution. It isn’t because you strive to offer the best training possible, or attend community events, or by going out of your way to talk with the kids of our communities or by double checking on our dispatchers to make sure everything is ok. It is because you are my heart, and in spite of all the times I haven’t come first, or a band concert or game or holiday was missed due to job, in your heart we are still first. It shows in your eyes, it is felt in your hug, it is confirmed in the words you speak to our boys. You are my hero because you stand for what is right and you don’t back down from it. You stand for what is lawful and you enforce it. You give me your love so freely and unconditionally. That even when you are so tired and sore and just want to crash, you give of yourself and let us know that we make everything OK for you.

We are 8 months away from 25 years of marriage. You became my hero at “I Do.”

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Day 17: Them Bones

Day 17: Them Bones – found at a cemetery while geocaching

My husband and I are considered a tad strange. We love Halloween and go all out, we own a hearse, we used to live in what was once a funeral home and aren’t creeped out by it, we love things that are a bit morbid, we collect bones when we are out hiking and geocaching.

I am fascinated by the different skulls and bones that we have discovered, the condition that most of them are in and how well preserved they are. The physical make up of the bones themselves and how they are knitted together. I have never had a desire to become a vet, or go into biology, but there is just something about bones that is bewitching.

A while back, we visited the Museum of Osteology in Oklahoma City and were giddy with joy as we meandered around looking at bones and fossils of all types. It was an incredible journey into the land of bones. My camera had a smorgasbord to feast upon, shooting bones of a variety of animals. I literally squealed with delight when we came upon the section with the bat skeletons. How delicate their wing bones are, and it is mind boggling that such thin pieces of bone can maintain flight.

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While the wing bones of bats seem tiny, they are nothing in comparison to that of the humming bird. They are such delicate creatures while hovering around flowers and feeders, but seeing what lies at the base of their being and how they can move so quickly is astonishing. These tiny birds with bones a wisp in thickness soar magically around us.

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Of all the shots captured at the bone museum, my favorite has to be the picture of the cephalopod. It wasn’t until I got home and got all of the pictures transferred from camera to computer that I was actually able to see how well the shot really came out. I was nothing short of thrilled and even looking at it now, makes me smile and think, “Wow, I really captured that shot!” It has become one of the memorable, favorite moments behind the camera.

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As delightful as the museum itself it,they also have a gift shop where you can buy bone related items, as well as actual bones themselves. Skulls, skeletons, bones of all shapes and sized.  many will look at bones as being morbid and death, for me they are the base of life. How would any living thing move without the strength of the bone? As we hike, as we cache, and as we continue to find them, we will collect these incredible skeletal treasures, the beauty of bones.

Day 15: The Diversity of Quiet Skies

I have never met Amy in person. I actually met her virtually through a mutual friend who happens to be an author. With both of us having a deep love for books, we found ourselves on the fast track to friendship. One day, I will have the pleasure of meeting her in person as I refuse to let a little thing like half a country ever stop that. 

Amy is a diverse, jack of all trades artist, meaning the woman can simply do it all. She draws and paints, she hand crafts jewlery, she has some of the most beautiful knitted work out there. Not mention she writes and is a coffee connoisseur and creator of delectable delicacies.

While Amy the artist, is nothing short of a master at whatever her hand touches, Amy my long distance friend is witty and intelligent, creative and downright hysterical. She is real and focused and does not let things that appear to be failures defeat her. She is strength capsulized in human flesh. All of this shines through in her designs and creations. 

Day 15: Hand Cradted Thin Blue Line Necklace


Quiet Sky Designs, no matter if you are looking at the website, Facebook, Pinterest or some other avenue of the interwebs, you will se the visual testament of the work itself.  And in person where you can see first hand the detail and quality of work, it is even more breathtaking. 

I count myself truly blessed to call Amy, as well as so many other crafty and talented people, my friends. They fill that part of me that cries for the beauty that is art, and they fill they fill my heart with their love and friendship. 

Day 12: The Heart of a Hero

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365 Day 12: The Heart of a Hero. Thank you to all who have served!

Today’s 365 is dedicated to my husband and every other veteran who has served this great nation.

It takes a special person to take on the mantle of solider, no matter what branch they have chosen. It takes someone who looks at others before self, who cherishes the blood soaked soil on which we stand, whose heart without a doubt bleeds red, white and blue.

When my husband and I met, he was a member of the Oklahoma National Guard. Soon before we married, we sat down together and made the choice for him to go active duty. It is a choice that I will never regret having made. It helped seed a heart of service to the community with him, and his path has stayed on that course. Corrections, EMS, Law Enforcement. Service is everything.

My grandfather served in WWII, my uncle and my father served as well. There is a military legacy within my family and my niece and son have taken up that mantle as well, serving respectively in the Air Force and the Oklahoma National Guard. It is not just my family that makes me nod my head in respect, but I have numerous friends who have served as well. In May, they come and stand together on Somer’s Field and pay their respect to their fallen brothers and sisters in the most heartfelt and impacting Memorial Day Services to take place, each and every year.

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Memorial Day Service at The Castle of Muskogee

I will never be able to put the gratitude I feel towards our veterans into words. So today, I simply say thank you. For all you have given of your heart, of your flesh, of your mind, you are the heroes we hold dear. Thank you, from all that I am.

Day 11: Eggceptional Beauty

365 Project Day 11: Eggceptional Beauty

Today’s inspired photo is actually from a shot I took back in May of this year during festival. A one of a kind, hand crafted goblet made from eggshell, ostrich I believe, that was done for my son.  It is just one example of the breathtaking artwork of today’s featured artist. 

I met Yolanda, owner of Royal Eggs several years ago at OKRF. To explore her booth was and is nothing short of enchanting. To be able to take one of earths most fragile substances and turn it into ethreal pieces of art, jewelry, timepieces, is almost uncanny. Yolanda does it so Exquisitely and masterfully leaving you nothing short of amazed. 

Zombie cat egg


Police car egg

    
My husband an I each have our own personally crafted eggs that we gifted to each other. Being a fan of the macabre, my husband gave me the ultimate anniversary gift in the form of a zombie cat egg. To date, it is probably my most favorite gift he’s given me. A few years later, I in turn commissioned a police car egg. The touch of the little pig police officer was genius and brought a huge smile to his face. 

Yes, that’s really eggshell


It is not just the stunning art and craftsmanship of Royal Eggs that makes the Italian Quarter top notch, but it is Yolanda herself. Always on hand to lift your spirits, share her wisdom, offer a witty joke or story and simply bring light into your life. She unequivocally is one of the most outstanding women I have ever known. She is as unique as her art and even more lovely. 

It saddens me that I only get to see her in person, and the stunning eggs that she creates only a few days out of the year. But when we meet back up at Castleton each spring, it’s like we were just together the day before. Royal Eggs sincerely is some of the most extraordinary artwork you will ever encounter.