Tag Archives: Lucy

Black and White Photo Challenge

You’ve probably seen the black and white photo challenge on Facebook these past few weeks.  You get tagged, you post one black and white photo a day for seven days, they can’t be of people and you can’t describe the photo (“no words”) – and you tag someone else to challenge.

I got tagged a week ago and decided it would be a good time to go through some of my photographs.  To say I take a lot of photos would be an understatement!  I used to think my dad was nuts when he would use up an entire roll of film on a single flower.  Now I get it!  And with digital photography now…gosh…just keep snapping away until you get the image you are looking for!

The challenge made me remember what it was like to take photos with film.  I remember buying black and white film at times to experiment.  I always loved the effect and the detail of the photos when I would have them developed.  And speaking of getting photos “developed,” it was always interesting to see what the final result would turn out to be when you picked them up from Walmart or Walgreens.  For the most part, you just never knew!  My dad took so many photos from the time he moved to Bangkok, Thailand for his work and bought his Leica camera.  This was around the time he met my mom.  Going through his photos and slides is always such a treasure to me.  It’s like seeing the world through his eyes at that point in time.

These days photo editing lets us take color photos and turn them into black and white, or sepia or other artsy variations.  The photos I used in the black and white challenge all started out in color but I used my Camera+ app to convert them and get them just right.  I am still amazed at the detail that comes through with the conversion.

Here are the photos I used in the challenge, only this time I’m breaking the rules and telling a little more about them!

Day One – Taken at a winery in January 2010.  This was our 25th anniversary trip to Napa and the wineries were pretty empty as the holiday and new year’s rush was over.  We received tons of extra attention from the wineries since they weren’t getting a lot of traffic.  I loved the way the wine barrels were lined up at this particular winery and the lighting was just perfect in this cave where they were all stashed.

Day One – Black and White Photo Challenge

Day Two – My husband and I visited Ft. Worth, Texas earlier this year and visited the Stockyards.  We heard about the daily walk of The Herd and positioned ourselves directly in front of where the herd made their turn.  We couldn’t believe the horns of these magnificent creatures!  It felt like this one was looking right at me and saying “take the picture already!”

Day Two – Black and White Photo Challenge

Day Three – This is a portion of the Four Little Girls monument called “Four Spirits” on the corner and across the street from the 16th Street Baptist Church.  It was unveiled in September 2013 and received a lot of traffic.  Everyday leaving work, I would pass it and see all the people taking pictures and paying respects to the four little girls who were killed when the church was bombed in 1963.  One evening I left work early and spotted the monument virtually empty.  Fortunately, I had my camera with me and pulled right up and was able to take a number of photos including this one.

Day 3 – Black and White Photo Challenge

Day Four – In 2011, I was attending a conference in Washington, DC.  My colleagues and I were able to take some time to tour a little and it was unanimous that we wanted to go to Arlington Cemetery.  Seeing all the white tombstones stretching across all the hillsides was a sobering sight.  Everyone in our group was silent but emotion was visible on all of our faces.  Converting this photo to black and white, I believe, shows this emotion.

Day Four – Black and White Photo Challenge

Day Five – This was taken on a very cold day after a little snow in Alabama.  The birds were going nuts in our backyard and flying all over the trees most likely in search for food.  Our bird feeder was empty so I’m sure this was their way of telling us to get it filled again!  This little guy decided to pose for my camera despite all the flying and chirping going on!

Day Five – Black and White Photo Challenge

Day Six – For our 24th anniversary trip in 2010, Eddie and I went to Callaway Gardens for the weekend.  We toured the beautiful grounds one day and found this beautiful chapel – the Ida Cason Callaway Memorial Chapel.  What I love most about this photo is the reflection of the chapel in the water.  Such a beautiful place!

Day Six – Black and White Photo Challenge

Day Seven – My last photo is of my favorite subject…my puppy, Lucy!  Lucy loves the snow and this was photo was taken on our back deck where she was frolicking and trying to eat the snow.  I think the coldness of the snow makes her frisky!  This is one of my favorite photos of her too with the snow falling on her black ears and one caught in flight right in front of her left eye.

Day Seven – Black and White Photo Challenge

If you like photography, I would encourage you to take a few photos and convert them to black and white.  Then, compare the color and B&W photos side by side and notice the difference in detail and dimension.  This black and white photo challenge was just what I needed to take a critical look at my photography.

What Brings You Comfort?

Me and my shadow - Lucy

Me and my shadow – Lucy

Today is the day after a rather historic and extremely stressful Presidential election.  I began the day reading a number of social media posts but finally had to say…enough.  It was getting to me too much and I had to get ready for work and I was already running late after staying up so late to watch the election returns.

A friend texted me while I was reading and was really having a hard time.  How do you comfort someone via a text message.  That was a hard one.  I did what I could.  I hope it was enough…but words of encouragement…even heartfelt words aren’t enough sometimes.  I thought about that for a moment.  How do people comfort themselves in times of stress?  Is it food?  Wine?  Is it by talking to a trusted friend or family member?  Or is it taking a walk or going to an exercise class?

I thought back on so many times in the past where I was stressed or hurting what did I do?  All of the above – Yes!  Those are all things that I’ve used for comfort.  Especially the wine…in fact I’m having a glass of wine called “Custard Comfort Wine”  as I write this.  But the one thing that I go back to so many times when I need comfort?  Lucy…my pup.

Photo of Lucy the night I brought her home...

Photo of Lucy the night I brought her home…

A lot of research has been done into Pet Therapy and while it may sound like a made up, new age type of treatment, I am a true believer in the benefits of having a pet.  More and more I am seeing places that allow owners to bring their dogs and just this weekend met someone with a dog that had a collar stating it was an “ESA – Emotional Support Animal.”  That makes me smile because I know already know the benefits of having a pup.

For me, my pup Lucy has become my shadow.  She came to us in early 2008.  I went to get my haircut and my stylist said to me, “Teresa, you have to take one of my puppies!”  I hem-hawed a bit and she gave me a Polaroid picture of the puppy and I said I would think about it.  Meanwhile, I went by school to pick up my youngest and while the photo wasn’t in plain sight, Emily spotted it immediately and excitedly said, “are we getting a dog?!”  I said I didn’t know and we would need to talk to dad about it.  Well, Eddie wasn’t thrilled about the idea and even though I said I wasn’t sure either, apparently I was!  I went and got Lucy the next day.

Lucy experiences her first snow!

Lucy experiences her first snow!

She was “supposed to be” the family dog, but you know how that goes.  The kids were old enough to take her for walks and take general care of her but that didn’t happen.  Eddie was determined they would take care of her so he refused to help…and when the kids wouldn’t take care of Lucy, who did it fall to?  Me!  Mom…

This puppy though…she became my joy and comfort.  The year we got her was a rather trying year with my aunt going through treatment for ovarian cancer and my mother just finishing up treatment for breast cancer.  I was trying to be available to care for them both and it took a toll on all of us.  I would come home to Lucy and take her for a walk and she loved me for that.  She would sit on the cushion of the sofa behind my head so she could be close to me in the evening.  She slept between me and Eddie in our bed and would curl up right next to me every night, eventually moving to her own little bed at the foot of ours.

Odom family portrait

Odom family portrait

Lucy will be 9 years old this month.  We don’t know what her actual birthdate is so we always say she was a Thanksgiving pup.  These days she is attached to me at the hip.  She won’t go outside unless I take her and she knows when my garage door opens and is waiting for me at the kitchen door.  She barks at me when I sit too long at the kitchen table in the evening and she is ready to sit on the footrest of my recliner with me in it!  She is one of my favorite photography models too.  She has her own Instagram hashtag – #conversationswithlucy – and she is rather “famous” with many of my friends!  Some say she needs her own Instagram page but I’m happy to share mine with her for the time being.  I even have friends who tell me they have a voice they use for Lucy with my posts of her.  They always begin with her saying “Mama…” – and she goes on to make her statement.  That makes me laugh.  To me that means she is bringing comfort and joy to others as well.

Mama...I hope Santa knows which stocking is mine!  #conversationswithlucy

Mama…I hope Santa knows which stocking is mine! #conversationswithlucy

Sometimes I wonder if she knows how much I need her and how much her devotion means to me?  She brings me such comfort and I can’t imagine my life without her.  It makes me tear up just to think about this.  She’s my puppy love and she knows it…

So for today and other times when I need comfort and a little puppy therapy, I will reach for Lucy, scratch her behind her ears and take her for a walk before we settle in for the evening and cuddle together on my recliner.

Lucy…you are my comfort…

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Sandra and Aunt Luddy

Okay…so this isn’t my usual post…but I couldn’t resist…and it all started with this picture…

Which one is Sandra Bullock...and which one is my little sister?

Which one is Sandra Bullock…and which one is my little sister?

Take a look at this picture on the left.  Tell me…which one is Sandra Bullock and which one is my sister, Kanista?  Separated at birth maybe?  I think resemblance is uncanny!  Several years ago when my kids were little and the movie “While You Were Sleeping” was first out, my kids thought Sandra Bullock was their Aunt Kanista!  I didn’t say she wasn’t…in fact, I rather encouraged this with them!  At one point, my youngest, Emily, would get excited when she’d find the movie on TV and come running to us and say, “let’s watch the movie with Aunt Kanista!”

It’s not just the similarities in they way they look.  I also see a lot of Sandra’s mannerisms in my little sister, especially in her early years and in particular in the movie “Love Potion Number 9” which is where the photo in this post was lifted from.  The picture of my sister Kanista (on the right) is probably from the same time period and turned up recently when she was in town.

Our family LOVES Sandra Bullock.  We eagerly await every movie she stars in and began collecting them all many years ago.  Interesting fact…many of the characters she plays in her movies are named “Lucy.”  So when we got our puppy 8 years ago, you guessed it…we named her Lucy after all those Sandra Bullock characters!

Another interesting fact…I used to work with Sandra Bullocks’ aunt in Birmingham.  Luddy Bullock Spender was the sweetest woman and somewhat of a matchmaker in our office.  She just wanted everyone to be happy.  She made the BEST bourbon balls at Christmas and would bring a huge platter to the office for everyone to enjoy.  She did this even after she had retired and we loved her for it.  When I graduated from college, she hosted a luncheon for me at her house on our lunch hour.  This was the sweetest thing!  Of course, this was WAY before cell phones and when everyone took pictures of everything (including me!) so I don’t have a photo of it but I do have a wonderful memory of this sweet woman and what she did for me.  She told me she was just so proud that I had worked full-time and finished my college education at the same time and wanted to do something special to recognize this effort.  See what I mean…the sweetest!

At my lingerie shower in 1985...Luddy is on the far right.

At my lingerie shower in 1985…Luddy is on the far right.

Luddy also helped host my lingerie shower before Eddie and I got married.  She was such a gem and always in the middle of event planning.  Honestly, none of us knew she was Sandra’s aunt until way after she had retired from work.  Sandra hadn’t hit it BIG yet in films.  I remember when several of us found out about her relationship to Sandra – there was an article in the paper about a high school reunion in Birmingham – and one of the quotes was about “the movie star’s aunt” – that would be Luddy.  I remember reading and thinking – HOLY COW!  A friend at work – remembering her love of matchmaking said later “yeah, thanks for setting me up with your niece, Luddy!”  We had a good laugh about that one!

Miss Luddy passed away several years ago but those of us who worked with her for all those years have fond memories of her and the unintentional funny things she would do.  She used to lose her car in the parking deck frequently.  We would see her looking and would roll down the window and help her find it as we were driving from floor and floor.  Recently, a friend and I were talking about Luddy and he said some so perfect… “she is sharing her recipes in heaven now and searching some celestial parking deck for her car…”

Luddy at one of our office Christmas luncheons. Here she is with another co-worker, Bettye.

Luddy at one of our office Christmas luncheons. Here she is with another co-worker, Bettye.

So, all this to say that I feel like I have a bit of a connection with Sandra Bullock…from my look-a-like sister to her Aunt Luddy.  She is one of my favorite actresses and maybe one day I’ll get the opportunity to meet her and tell her how special her Aunt Luddy was to me.  Meanwhile…I have my sister Kanista who could very well be Sandra’s doppelgänger!