When Barb and I were first married, she swore she had a brown thumb and plants that would normally flourish, would in her care, soon die. After many learning experiences, she is now a Master Gardener and people give her plants to bring them back to life. I had a boss that threw a fern away and I fished it out of the dumpster. She cut it off at the ground and nursed it back to life. We had it another 20 years until it finally died. Training and practice turned the corner for her.

It is like that with Barb's Photos. She took many when we shot film but I think she used the camera to get close to the kids at family events. I knew Barb had an eye for art as she did some oils and watercolors that are very pretty and well done. The development of her camera work blossomed with the advent of digital cameras and lots and lots of practice. She was good with her NIKON film camera but when the NIKON D70 arrived, she flourished. We wanted to get out of town in the winter months and when she saw an Elderhostel photo class in Phoenix, we were all over it. First of all, the chance to blow out of Kansas in the winter was great and we got to go to more great places to shoot than we could have imagined. When the second class came up in Louisiana, it was the move to greatness for Barb. You will begin to know you are in the business of good photos when your new telephoto lens costs more than your camera did.

For one thing, with digital, you can shoot hundreds of photos and then pick and choose from a data base to build a great photo library. Even on the coldest days she will venture out to shoot a few frames. Then she gets to come inside, grab a cup of tea and select what she wants to save. There are many that say that running photos through Photoshop@ is not fair. To me it is like the guys in the bad old days pushing their film in the darkroom. If you can do it and it makes your pictures better, go for it. The software we use also helps prepare the pictures for whatever media presentation she decides to use to send, print or drive her art through. Barb can send pictures that would blow up to poster size and freeze your DSL carrier forever. Or as she did with the Hawk pictures make them small and send four in one message over to me and it took no time at all.

As soon as one of you are eligible, I would encourage you to send for an Exploritas (Old Elderhostel) catalog and see what kind of trips they have that will take you into whatever interests you. From the time you drive up to the hotel where you stay until you leave the enrollment covers all costs. Imagine a five day stay in a nice hotel for two, all the meals and then entertainment for $1200. There is everything from a bike trip through wine country on the west coast to woodworking with natural wood products in Massachusetts. They have many that go overseas but we haven't taken any of them - YET.

For the first time since before Christmas we have the sun shinning and no snow on the ground. I am sitting here listening to the squirrels argue over a few seeds and some corn on the back porch. I have the sunshine streaming in the window and all's well in our world.
I for one, don't care who plays football today, all I care about is that the hawks have Missouri coming in on Monday night to Allen Field House. We are in the middle of the BIG XII season and now is the fun time.



  1. MUD, you're right. Barb is very talented, and definitely has "the eye."

    And, you're right about Photoshop. I did some professional work WAY back in the day. We always manipulated photos in the darkroom...either the film in developing, or the prints by dodging, or burning.

    Photoshop is WAY better! Now, if I can ever learn how to use it or not is a different story...

  2. Technically we use Photoshop Elements as it is not a complicated and does almost all we want. It is like learning a new language and so far the better releases aren't too hard to transition to. Good Luck. MUD