Category Archives: music

End of Summer Stuff

Standard

Whew! Long time since the last post. After our exceptional vacation we’ve been so busy. One of our things this summer was to make a decent senior picture for Kelly. This involved evaluating the weather, the time of day, the shade, angle of the sun, the location and Lord knows what else. We have this down to a semi-science by now. Lots of locations with several props in these.
Be warned. Excessive pictures follow.

After all the lake pictures we thought we needed some good ole Arkansas woods content.

DSC_0136

Great lighting this day.

DSC_0168

With some sturdy trees…

DSC_0134

And lots of underbrush…

DSC_0168

Cooper, of course, is our ever present helper, companion, best bud. We don’t do anything without that little guy. We loooovvve Cooper.

DSC_0150

DSC_0182

And… in the midst of summer bloom, I had to get some of that vibrancy on film.

kelly12

DSC_0184

This was just the bottom of the photo mountain. Take a gander at this sampling.

Lots of props… Have to have one with her gun… a real country girl.

DSC_0151

We can’t forget the girl with her guitar either. Have to say she looks like a natural and of course there are ton of these.

DSC_0166

DSC_0183

DSC_0191

With another close up. She hates my close ups, but I love ’em and I’m the one with the camera. Call me the camera boss.

DSC_0189

Not to be forgotten… a vehicle as a backdrop.

DSC_0214

More guitar shots. Love the late day light with her on this pasture.

DSC_0268

Great smile!

DSC_0288

Have to a ‘come hither’ shot to counter the ‘leaving’ shot.

DSC_0302

And another one of those cursed close ups. I didn’t touch these up, the light is funky, but I love that smile.

DSC_0308

The last backdrop is our old tractor. Finally found a decent use for the old guy. She really dresses him up!

DSC_0324

DSC_0358

DSC_0372

One last shot.

DSC_0351

After flicking through all these, do you have any idea of my pain? An hour and a half of juggling the light and a prop here and there started taking its toll on my pleasant demeanor. Somewhere in these hundreds of shots is a perfect senior picture – Kelly’s call. I love them all.

Thanks for sharing in another small tidbit of my little piece of heaven. You can see it around my girl. All shot on our farm.

Love,
Jeannene

More pictures

The Conclusion to the Best Mother’s Day Ever!

Standard

We left off at the end of Jake Owens set. Fifteen minutes of country hits from the DJ and the stage set finally transformed.

The lights go down, movement on the stage, the crowd hushes.
Then….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A roar rises….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

… and we are swept into the full effect of Jason Aldean and the Night Train experience!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pictures may speak a thousand words, but they lack the wonderful effervescence of being swept away into the rhythm of the music.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Just more JA pics.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This band has a heart of country, but their soul is in rock and roll. I love the steel guitar as part of the band.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He sang all the favorites… She’s Country, Tattoos on This Town, Crazy Town, Flyover States, 1994, and a slew of others.

He even did the duet with Kelly Clarkson. Off to far side of the stage, a full size video played her singing. It looked so real in the dark.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That was fun.

The stage colors fascinate me. Hence the many pictures of the whole stage.

This is definitely “Big Green Tractor”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The best part of it all is the time spent with my baby.

JA50

I hope you get a vicarious sense of the fun we had. It was a blast, even with no backstage passes or signed autographs. Just feeling that bass reverberate through every cell of our bodies and singing those lyrics at the top of our lungs was enough to satisfy any country girl’s heart.

Thanks for sharing this little slice of heaven.

Love,
Jeannene

Best Mother’s Day Ever!

Standard

This post might be in two segments… Just a warning.

My daughter and I went to see Jason Aldean in concert over the Mother’s day weekend. Country music, rocking like the classics. It was a blast. Need I say more?

My hubby insisted we stay in a hotel in town so we wouldn’t have to drive home after the show. The whole trip made for a weekend we will remember for a loooong time.

Our hotel sat in the center of town. Our city has a very tourist friendly downtown district and made our experience even better. We checked in fairly early to have time to get dressed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

After getting all dolled up for the concert, we took a stroll down the main drag to find a place to eat. We ended up at a favorite eatery where we sat outside to enjoy the awesome weather we had that day.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

While sitting there waiting for our food, the girls at the table next to us were talking about the concert.So much excitement coming from that table I couldn’t help but be my nosey self and eavesdrop. It was so much fun to watch them having fun. Then one of them asked my girl if we were going to the concert. They got a good look at her boots and made a likely assumption. Those are some great looking boots. Turns out the girls were out here for a bachelorette party. Making their day even better, they were given backstage passes by Jake Owen’s band members! I think Jake even stopped by himself to say hi. They were all hyped up and couldn’t wait to get to the show.

JA52

The girls were enjoying the sun and several beers, glasses of wine, whatever. Before long we were exchanging numbers and they were trying on the girl’s boots.

This is Leslie and Jackie. Leslie is sure my girl will be the perfect mate for her little brother (same age as my girl). This, as the mother, is way too early in life to be making that sort of decision.

JA51

This was such fun. My girl had a blast talking these young ladies, swapping numbers, taking pics. She didn’t even finish her meal she was so busy having fun.

The came the concert itself. We got to the arena early, plenty of time to find our seats. Only we sat our bums into the wrong seats and didn’t find out until the original owners of those seats wanted to sit there about 5 mins before the show! We felt a little stupid, having picked the wrong side of the aisle to sit. Turns out, our real seats were more awesome than our mistake seats.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As you see, we got there really early… empty seats and a vacant pit.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Our hearts ratcheted up when the lights went down and the place looked like this.

Opening the show was Thomas Rhett.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cute dude who can really rock it. He’ll be a headliner one of these days. He only performed for about fifteen minutes, though. Short, but still long enough to play a few tunes we’d heard on the radio. One of his titles is “Beer With Jesus”. A personal favorite, I might say. If Jesus drank wine, why not a good ole beer?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I need to add a disclaimer to these pictures. Cameras with detachable lenses were forbidden inside the arena so I was limited to phone and a point and shoot camera. It wasn’t easy getting that camera to get good shots, but here they are. They weren’t too awful.

Jake Owen was the next headliner. The crowd roared, the music blared and we were swept into it like a tidal wave sweeps sand from the shore. It was wonderful.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My girl describes Jake as a younger Matthew McConaughey with dark hair. The girls went wild for that smile and that hair. Jake wore a Razorback tee-shirt through the whole concert. In Arkansas, that alone will endear him to it citizens. Half way through his performance he had a fan do Woo Pig Sooey – the Pig Call (spelling undetermined). Jake is an Arkansan for life now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He really played to the crowd. He moved so fast on that catwalk, taking pictures was a real challenge. The girls in the pit had him taking pictures with him on their phones, shaking his hand. He’s signing something here. He was awesome to watch. The energy it takes to perform for an hour and a half like that is something else.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jake’s band was awesome. His songs are country, but the music has so much rock and roll in it. Some awesome musicians.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We sang along with every hit he sang. It was freaky how many songs I knew. We couldn’t hear each other by the end of this set. Totally deaf. I had to watch out what I said, because I couldn’t even really hear my own speech. Didn’t want to say anything embarrassing.

That is enough for this post. The main attraction to follow…… Jason Aldean!!

Thank you for sharing this slice of heaven today.

Love,
Jeannene

Finally!

Standard

It has been five days since my last post. My goal of four posts a week has sadly fallen behind. I like to think I have a great excuse.

This past Monday began an annual writers event called Nanowrimo. In the month of November we are challenged to write a complete novel of 50,000 words. It is an enormous effort if you’ve never done it before. Despite working four twelve hour shifts this week, I have managed to log in around 12047 words for the week and am amazed I can do it. My reasons for entering the challenge are to push my abilities to write. I know I can do it. I want to find how dedicated I am and can I really get a story on paper in less than six months time. If I am ever to sell a manuscript, I better show more productivity than one book every year and a half. (Editing cam be very consuming.)

Enough of this. I really want to do a little post about one of my kiddos.

This past week was the last football game of the season. Ironically we spend the first games in shorts and tank tops and worry about overheating in the afternoon sun. To say nothing of the blinding western sun as we watch the game. The last game is spent hoveled under an umbrella and wrapped in layers of clothing while sipping hot chocolate. And this last game was no different. Shivering in forty degree drizzle, I watched my majorette do her last performance of the season. But that only, after realizing I left the memory card for my camera inside the computer, which sat on the desk at HOME.

Our son came to my rescue, delivering the tiny necessity just, just in the nick of time – seconds before the half time show. Needless to say, the plays of the first half of the game were lost to me. All I could do was watch the clock tick away the minutes, praying the timeouts prolong the progress of the play.

Then we have this….

Mine is the pretty girl third from the left. She drops her baton, but recovers admirably. Love watching this over and over and hope you enjoy it too.

This is my piece of heaven this week.

Love,
Jeannene

Music Can Move You

Standard

So what is it when you’re supposed to do something and you keep putting it off and putting off?

Procrastination!! That’s right. I am supposed to post here at least four times a week and here I am barely getting in two weekly blog posts. Shame, shame, shame.

It’s not like there isn’t anything to write about around here. Between the chickens and the cats and the horses and the kids life is wonderful, fun-filled circus.

The other day I was in the grocery store and a very old song played over the Musak. It was a love song. Now, you need to understand, I write romance stories. I see the world through rose-colored glasses, at least many aspects of it are perceived that way. So when I heard this song, after so many years, my
reaction to it surprised me. It still brought up a deluge of passion. I realized at that moment how appropriate this song was for all those love stories in my head. If I could only instill that emotion into what I write!

This song is immensely romantic and I am always amazed that a man wrote these words, because they really speak of the heart of woman.

I always want to cry when I hear the words of this song. It reaches down into my soul, to that place I barely know is there because it scares me such tenderness could really exist, even inside me.

This song came into my life during my divorce fifteen years ago. After a fourteen year marriage I discovered I was not that one person in his life whom he cherished. He didn’t regard me with any of the feelings or actions depicted in this song and it broke my heart to be cast aside. All I had ever wanted, at that time of my life, was to loved like that. Come to think of it, I want to be loved like that even now, who wouldn’t?

The mystery song is by Bryan Adams and was featured in the Johnny Depp movie Don Juan Demarco, Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman.

When I listen to music, I don’t just hear the notes and think how wonderfully they fit together. I hear the words and what they say. The melody carries the words to a deeper place and brings their meaning to life. Too often words speak to my heart and this song tore at my shattered heart.

Here are the lyrics:

HAVE YOU EVER REALLY LOVED A WOMAN ? (Bryan Adams)
To really love a woman
To understand her
You gotta know her deep inside
Hear every thought
See every dream
And give her wings when she wants to fly

And when you find yourself
Lying helpless in her arms
You know you really love a woman

When you love a woman
You tell her that she’s really wanted
When you love a woman
You tell her that she’s the one
She needs somebody
To tell her that it’s gonna last forever
So tell me have you ever really
Really really ever loved a woman

To really love a woman
Let her hold you
Do you know how she needs to be touched ?
You gotta breath her
Really taste her
So you can feel her in your blood
Then when you can see your unborn children in her eyes
You know you really love a woman

When you love a woman
You tell her that she’s really wanted
When you love a woman
You tell her that she’s the one
She needs somebody
To tell her that you’ll always be together
So tell me have you ever really
Really really ever loved a woman

You got to give her some faith
Hold her tight
A little tenderness
You gotta treat her right
She’ll be there for you
Taking good care of you
You really gotta love your woman

And when you find yourself
Lying helpless in her arms
You know you really love a woman

When you love a woman
You tell her that she’s really wanted
When you love a woman
You tell her that she’s the one
She needs somebody
To tell her that it’s gonna last forever
So tell me have you ever really
Really really ever loved a woman
Just tell me have you ever really
Really really ever loved a woman
Just tell me have you ever really
Really really ever loved a woman

Don’t those words just get to you?

As an added treat, I imbedded the video.

Don’t those words stir you? Can a man love a woman like that?

Fortunately for me, that guy actually did show up in my life. He held me like that and looked at me in just that way. He is the reason I write the stories I write. I love the feelings that erupted within me when he came into my life. I didn’t know those things existed, but when you find the ONE, strange things happen.

So, as a writer of romance fiction, I strive to bring each hero to that place where he can really love a woman. While I write those stories, I relive those early days of my romance with my husband. It was glorious. All those new sensations and emotional thrills are relived as I strive to bring a new story to life. I am such a sap, I know, but that’s how I’m built.

So this post is for the love of my life. He is, as always, my knight in shining armor.

He will always be a big piece of my heaven.

Love,

Jeannene

My Muse…Music that is.

Standard

Today I listened to my favorite radio station as I took a short jaunt into town. The piece playing was fabulous. I can’t remember what it was now, but it caused me to recall the origins of my appreciation of this form of music. I listened to this form of sound studying in college as I studied. It always fostered wonderful concentration.

I love classical music. I listen to all genres, trust me. And I find inspiration in it all, but it is classical that moves my soul and stirs my spirit. It is the melodic tones of the french horn, the harmonies of the strings and the rich tones of the tympani that inspire my creativity.
The most inspiring instrument for me is the guitar. The joy elicited is from that small hollow tool is mesmerizing and uplifting.

My appreciation for classical music originated with my dad. When I was a child, I was eight before we owned a television. The evenings were spent reading and listening to music. Classical was the sort of music Dad loved to listen to, so naturally we all sat in front of the side board stereo and listened to symphonies and sonatas. He would explain the movements in terms of nature and life, giving the sounds a face and a story.

As a young girl, I idolized my dad and these evenings remain as stellar memories in my eyes. We lay on the floor listening to the ebb and flow of crescendos and staccos as he interpreted the story behind the music. You cannot begin to image the beautiful panoramas that unfolded within my imagination.

Naturally, today it is those incredible, indelible memories that play in my mind each time I hear a piece from my childhood. It is those waves of contentment I experience as the music washes over me.
Perhaps that is why I use it to inspire me as I write.

What inspires you to do the gift you have in this life?

I’d love to here from you.

This little piece of heaven is in honor of my dad. Thanks again Dad for all the stuff you threw at me.

Love,
Jeannene