Play ball!

Growing up, I thought the ball players who could hit baseballs out of the ballpark were the coolest people ever. I’m still fascinated today.

On Sunday, I came across this old, falling apart baseball while hiking near my house. The city ball park is near my house but I am more inclined to believe a dog brought this ball to its final resting place.

It helped remind me that baseball (and softball) season is finally approaching. Hopefully, I’ll be able to attend my first-ever St. Louis Cardinals game this year.

High winds, sunsets and destruction.

Sun pierces through morning fog.

It’s been gorgeous weather for the most part this week. The temperatures are in the 60s, the sun is shining and the first flowers are blooming. What’s not to love — well, excluding the mosquitoes now biting me?

Here’s 5 reasons this week was so interesting:

1. There’s storm chasers, then there’s us — damage chasers.

A rainbow appears after the storm.

A severe thunderstorm passed through Arkansas County on Wednesday causing power outages to more than 1,000 people. There was not a lot of damage but there were a few accidents including a tractor trailer blown off the road. My co-worker and I teamed up (she drove since I hate to and I took pictures) to get damage pictures.

We first headed to take pictures of the tractor trailer and fallen power lines on a nearby busy highway. However, we got stuck in traffic.
We eventually snapped a picture with our long lens and tried to take a short cut. However, we barely made it through one flooded section of the gravel road before we saw the above. We turned around.

 

This skunk apparently didn't like the flooded gravel road either. We saw him scurrying away as well.
We snapped a picture of this busy Entergy worker.
Finally, we had this amazing view to our right as we headed back to the office with the rainbow on our left. Not a bad way to end our storm damage trip.

2. Salvaging airplanes

A former Southwest commercial airplane is dismantled.

For work, I visited a local business on Tuesday to snap pictures of the last stage in their work. The company is a parts distribution company that dismantles commercial aircrafts at the end of their life cycle before repairing and reselling the parts. The stripped plane is then sold for recycling. On Tuesday, the recycling company was in town to tear the stripped plane into smaller pieces. Why is destruction so fascinating?

In this photo, Southwest pilots land a commercial plane in 2011. The plane was one of the three taken apart on Tuesday.
One plane nearly complete with two left to go.

3. Watching the sun set.

Ducks rest near Stuttgart as the sun sets in late January.
A red-tailed hawk flies high in the sky.

 4. Blooming flowers.

One of my favorite times in the year is when the flowers begin blooming.

5. Photographing new birds.

Belted Kingfisher
Common Grackle
OK, I've already crossed Snow Geese off my bird list but these coupling birds were too cute.

A better me

“All our dreams can come true,
if we have the courage to pursue them.”
– Walt Disney

On Sunday, my congregation was tasked with one simple assignment — to start the new year being a better person. It’s never to late to live up to our dreams and expectations — we just might get a later start then we meant too.

It really struck a nerve with me, especially since the visiting priest was able to phrase the message in a witty, down-to-earth sermon. It reminded me of who I always dreamed of being and had me thinking of how I had drifted from this ideal persona.

I would like to be thought of as kind, approachable and truthful. I want to be known for my morals and to be able to give whenever I can.  It’s easy to be a ditzy blonde, which is a generalization that can sometimes be said about me. So, this year I am going to work on being more knowledgeable, less gossipy and more helpful to others in need. Continue reading “A better me”

A foggy day

Snow geese hang out in a fog-covered field.

We’ve had plenty of fog-covered mornings lately. Fog can be nerve-wracking, but it has its pluses. I love the little surprises you see when the fog lets up just at the right moments so you can see what its hiding, such as geese in the field you are passing.

The snow geese winter in the area and, lately, you can definitely tell when the noisy birds are flying by.

 

A crazy weekend

Gillett parade.

It was a crazy weekend. I was hopping all over the county to photograph parades, fundraisers and an open house. On Sunday, Stuttgart residents also held their 80th annual Christmas Candlelight Musicale and there were 42 girls that competed for the coveted Miss SHS crown.
It might have been hectic, but it sure was fun for all involved (including me):

These Stuttgart boys lit up the night with decorative strands of Christmas lights wrapped around their shoulders during the 2011 Stuttgart Christmas Parade.
James Gosney performs "Away in a manager" and "Amazing Grace" on saxophone at the 80th annual Christmas Candlelight Musicale.

 

Miss SJHS Charlsi Konecny talks to her sister Kelsi, the 2001 Miss SJHS after being crowned Sunday.

 

Ending on a high note

A joint church choir sings during "The Messiah."

My favorite part of being a journalist is that it forces me to attend events that I normally wouldn’t attend otherwise. I usually end up enjoying myself immensely, and last night was no different. I attended “The Messiah” composed by George Fredric Handel at First United Methodist Church.

The Arts Center of the Grand Prairie’s Lennox Performing Arts Series, Grand Avenue United Methodist Church and First United Methodist Church presented the event that had Charles Law conducting 21 pieces with a joint church choir as well as soloists Melissa Thoma, DeWitt native Satia Spencer, DeWitt resident Jess Essex, and Mark Wyers. Musicians were Kiril Laskarov on violin I, Beth Massa on violin II, Joe Joyner on viola, Casey Buck on cello and Amy Law (not pictured) on organ.

The church, already perfect with its beauty and calming atmosphere, was a great setting for the event with its lighted candles and Christmas tree.