Thursday, June 30, 2011

they called her beagle bailey

she would run to him and give him 'the look' and then look at the fireplace clearly saying, "turn it on!"  my dad would always oblige and she'd curl up in her usual spot in front of it.  my mom would melt at her cuteness, get down on her knees and nuzzle into her warm body as moms do best.  bailey, no doubt, knew she was loved.

bailey was no ordinary dog (i think no adopted dog ever is).  she was a selective mute.  beagles are known for their loud, echoing bays.  it's this characteristic that adds to why they are a common hunter's dog.  but bailey wouldn't bay.  at least, not anymore.  my mom has always wondered why, wondered what happened to her, what her life used to be like.  i think these questions probably cross the mind of every dog owner that makes the decision to adopt.

when my mom first told me she wanted a dog, her own dog, i was so excited!  as a huge animal adoption advocate, i of course, immediately asked her to adopt.  probably as an effort to stop my begging, she said she'd look into it.  one day, while googling, my mom came across beagle paws.  it was a graphic image of a hunter's beagle on their wall of shame - it's raw bleeding paws, caged with only a wire floor - that did it.  my mom couldn't shake the feeling that she had to rescue one of these beagles.

bailey, a senior when she entered my parents' home, was slow to warm up to my mom + dad.  she sometimes, would stand and stare at them with a glazed look across her face.  once she got comfortable and realized this was her home, these were her people, man were they ever.  

for two and a half years bailey, you made us laugh.  you reminded us to have compassion.  you lent a big ol' listening ear.  you taught forgiveness.  you cuddled.  you snuggled.  you mooched.  and you made us laugh some more.

rest in peace.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

i must've been particularly "go get 'em"

yesterday because on top of my big decision to not be in my own way with my photography business, i also decided i wanted to make dinner.  i even told trav that one day i'm going to take a cooking class.  he looked at me like i was pure crazy.

i grilled free-range pork chops with an herb + sun-dried tomato sauce.  and i made salad with a basil vinaigrette.  aaand i made delish curry rice (okay, okay, it was the uncle ben's 2 minute microwaveable kind but whatever).  ;)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

no more fear. no more sabotage.

when i first held my canon rebel xti 2 years ago, i thought for a mere second that i was all legit and "yaaayo!"  but i soon realized that i had no idea what i was doing.  i was shooting in automatic because i didn't know what the other letters on my dial even stood for, i had no idea about how to use light, i even thought diagonal pictures were cool.

i quickly wanted to explore more.  so i started doing fun, practice shoots and even got a few paid ones, all the more realizing i still didn't know what i was doing.  but i knew i wanted to be a photographer.  i knew it then like i know it now.  so i got harder and harder on myself.

this is where the past few months come in.  i've been reading, lots and lots of reading.  many a late night hour is spent googling, skimming articles and forums, reading the 'for photographers' section of photographers' blogs that i love.  i made q-cards and i study them regularly.  i watch online tutorials and workshops.  i practice and i practice.  and i've been proud of myself for taking control of my own learning.. if you know me, you know i hate school like i hate carrots. 

today, while daydreaming, i thought that same thought, "i want to be a photographer."   then travis asked me something i've foolishly never asked myself, "who is your ideal client?" 

for a brief second, i was dumb founded as to how to answer.  that suddenly followed up with feeling ashamed at my not knowing.  then i immediately told myself what i've rehearsed to others many times, "when we move i'll focus on the business aspect, on developing my brand.  when i'm in a better financial situation, when everything is lined up cleanly and correctly, that's when ill try to really make it happen." 

but deep down i know there's no cookie-cutter, perfect time.  my someday-business is not going to just put itself into a little pink, wrapped up box on my front porch and ring my door bell and holler, "HELLOOOO ASHLEY!  open me!"  it's never going to be that easy.  i do know that.

..i am just so afraid of failing.  worse, i'm afraid of failing publicly.  so i'm waiting for some never-coming-moment to present itself to me as the time.  that right there is the truth and man, do i feel like such a complete tool saying it.

i've let fear of failing rule everything.  i have continued to sabotage my dream, my potential career, my life, myself.  as much as i'm putting into learning photography, i'm purposefully avoiding building my brand.  i make like a 1% effort to share my imagery, to blog, i spend 2 ounces of time towards post production, i dream up creative projects for myself and then don't commit.   all the while, with my many excuses ready to pull out of my back pocket.

i know my husband believes in me, my family believes in me and my friends believe in me.  i have an entire circle of people surrounding and supporting me.  that is so utterly amazing and i'm so thankful for you guys.  so today, i'm pointing out the giant elephant that's been following me around and i'm saying it in freaking writing to anyone that happens to be listening.. i'm going to fight my instincts, i'm going to kick my own ass and try.  no more fear.  no more sabotage!  

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

the grizz's retirement from the force.

the boys and i were, i dunno, 7 or 8 years old?  we were sitting in the living room after dinner, watching some TV show when dad came home from work.  like usual, he took off his steel-toed boots in the foyer and walked up the small set of stairs into the living room to say hello to us.  i looked up and his face was red.  and i mean BRIGHT red.  un-naturally red.  he wiped his teary eyes.

then he told us that he was pepper-sprayed in the face that day.

yeup.  pepper-sprayed in the freaking face.

my mom rushed into the room from the kitchen and i remember us all being in disbelief, exclaiming, "what happened!?!"  and that's when i found out that the rcmp did it.  as a part of teaching their guys what their weapons are really like in order to safely use them.  

i've never forgotten that moment.  it's when i began to really understand how brave and strong-willed my dad is.

i can't imagine it to be an 'easy' job, that of a police officer.  facing hostile and threatening 'clients' (hardyharhar), moments of pure danger, witnessing the epitome of horrific tragedies.  and there's the late nights, crazy shift work, hitting the pavement in rain + wind + snow, piles of paperwork, mediocre wages, office politics, the times of little respect and little support, having the alternate job title as 'pig.'

no, my dad certainly did not have an 'easy' job.. but he was dedicated.  for thirty.  six.  years.  36 years of giving of himself for the safety and the integrity of his community.  36 years of it - ultimately for providing for his family, for the love of his family.

this past weekend, we had an intimate family celebration for my dad.  we hit up the lakeside cafe at harrison hot springs for a lovely meal with a live band and then headed to my grandma's house to enjoy a few presents and an amazing cake by christine's creative cakes (did i mention my dad was a mountie in the musical ride back in the day?).

we are proud of you, dad.  and we love you very much.  now it's time to rock retirement..!

 we are a mature group of adults..
my grandpa winking at me after he stole my dessert, baha..
he's here all night, folks!