Auto Draft- The Art of Joy by; The Art of Life

An Advanced copy of the original: The Art of Joy! “Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh Life is never perfect, it comes with a few struggles and joys. Thought, sometimes it seems that life is throwing a […]

-The Art of Joy- — The Art of Life

North Star

Star so bright; star so white // Will you lead me home tonight?

I’ve been locked to these bitter walls/ These chains have bound, my ancestors for far too long

Oh star so bright; star so white // They say you’ll guide me home tonight

My back is red; flowing in passion // Husband of my heart; swing’in on the hang’in tree

Star so bright; oh star so white // Massa says you’re a curse at night

When the coco whistles, my babie’s, they’ll be free / No longer bound; under the sun

Star so birthright; star so white // The moon is shining in your light

My meal is running with worms // Oh from the day’s toil my shoulders do burn

The owl screeches, my babies are warm

Oh star, I am counting on you tonight

This poem is, obviously, about a slave mama during the 1800’s, waiting for the call of those in the woods who will guide her and her children to freedom, and the north. The slaves said, that if you look to the handle of the big dipper in the sky, you’ll find the North Star; and if you keep following it, it’ll guid you to freedom, the North.

Just like how the North Star guided slaves across states and captains through perilous seas, Jesus is waiting there to guid us through our lives. One day, the North Star may burn out, but Jesus is everlasting; with palms wide open for us to grasp and hold close as we walk; they’ll hold you so you can’t trip or fall.

I wanted to portray the Mother in my poem with my photography; however, I did not have the right makeup or editing tools to make Glorianna appear black; so I have tried a new approach, using an oil pant look after I have used all the makeup I could play with. The links will be below.

Her fingers were dark and stained after this, and the chains probably weighed five/ ten pounds; emagine thise dangling from single fingers!
I asked her to think of all the emotions and things that the Mother was going though in my poem, and put them onto her face. I really think Glory portrait it well.

Glory was very strong to not only bear with me as I took 50 pictures of her, but also to hold these truck tire chains up in the air!

As you can tell, I did not have the correct makeup to properly cover her arms and hands, and I had to use programmed makeup and contacts for the face. However, the emotion is still plain.

A birds nest, no longer used, was perched on a ladder.

The rope here, is supposed to portray the Massa’s whip.

Glory was holding the chains down by her waits here, but when zoomed in, it appears her wrists are tied.


Re-done in oil-paint
Here, I was able to use an app that almost could do the colors correctly, but i is very glitchy. Will link below. 🙂
Thank you so so much to The Art of Life for spending an hour editing this picture for me! It’s utterly amazing!
Thank you again Art Of Life for taking my idea and creating it!

The caption texts below the images are for you to know the stories behind the photography so that you can see how simple it is to use your own imagination!

My sister, The Art Of Life on WordPress: https://life15.art.blog/

For the face and contacts, I used the app, YouCam Makeup: https://www.perfectcorp.com/app/ymk

For the little bit of darkness added to the arms, neck and fingers, I used the Airbrush app: http://appairbrush.com/en/

For the oil paint and water looks, I used the app, Skin Tones, which can be found in the App Store.

For the darker skin, I used an app called Selfie Editor: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/selfie-editor-face-cam-filter/id1056521360?mt=8

For the night sky and star, the app used is: http://www.photofoxapp.com/

Fashion of the 2019 Iditarod

One of the things that I think the Iditarod ceremony is most popular for (besides the dogs) is its furry fashion! Each person, it seems, tries to have the most eye-popping “decoration”. This is one of the things that makes the Iditarod so fun for photographers to shoot at!

Enjoy a few of my captures of some of Alaskan’s most craziest people who truly express the wild and carefree atmosphere of the Last Frontier….

How about and entire fox for a hat! I’m sure this fellow was mighty warm.

Dog ears were available to anyone who wanted to support the dogs. ;P

Could this happen to be the remains of a raccoon that was wanting his garbage pile, or fish?


Cutest little girl ever with those ears!!

Hm, any guesses as to what this animal might be?

It was so hilarious how the mountain lion appeared to be watching the Iditarod from atop the hat!
The pink band of bells hanging for the horn was for viewers to ring to match the bells on the misher’s sleds and the dog’s harnesses and lines. The noise the bless create is actually for practical purposes; if a dogs or musher gets separated, they have a slighter higher chance of hearing the bells. The noise also alerts and or wards of animals such as moose and bears that they might approach. For this guy, though, this was purely comedy.
Perhaps ‘Mrs Iditarod‘?
A lot of the mushers had their mother’s sitting in the front of their sleds. However, once the actually race begins, the back sled and the fron rider, here, will not be. Only the head musher and his dogs for miles.

If you would like to know more about the Iditarod, you can ready my other blog on my Iditarod experience here: https://mylifeasaphotographer572088907.wordpress.com/2019/03/04/iditarod-2019/

And for the official page of the race and all details, here: https://iditarod.com/about/the-iditarod-trail/

Maps of the souther route (this year) and the Northern route:

Iditarod 2019

Saturday, March 2 was the 111th Iditarod held in Anchorage Alaska. Well, the opening ceremony that is; all the racers assemble in downtown Anchorage for the opening ceremony and then one-by-one mush to the airport where the dogs get put away until Sunday where the race officially starts in Willow AK.

This year was an “odd year” where the mushers will take the southern route, skipping Fairbanks.


On “normal years”, the mushers would use the northern route.

I had a lot of fun being there, and expeshually because I had a camera! I really enjoyed searching the crowds for emotions and styles (etc) and interactions between the mushers and their dogs; as well as how the dogs were feeling. I could explain everything to you in words, but I feel pictures may be able to tell you this story a bit better this time. 🙂

While taking a corner, quite a few of the mushers fell because they didn’t know how to ‘take the turn’. This team here, however, knows you have to slow the dogs down by using the brake and slide the left foot out to balance yourself and the sled.
The black sled and the rider in the front sled (sitting) are only for show here. During the real race, it will only be the mushers and his dogs.
Musher touching noses with one of his dogs and checking in them before being called for introduction and the ceremonial mush.
For each of the sixteen/ twelve dogs, (sets of six or eight) somone of the mushing family or friends would stand and (try) to keep the dogs calm and from trying to run before it is their time. The easiest way is to attach an external harness, show here, to get a good, big grip and plant your feet in solid.
Each team had their dog team “decorated” in a different way that expressed them. Bins here, could it be any cutier??
You’ve probably heard the way mushing dogs BARK while waiting to run! These two were yawning for stress and barking from anticipation. 😄
My favorite team; due to the utter softness and cuteness!!
Musher putting booties on one of his dogs to keep the paws protected from sharp objects (I.e gravel and ice) and to keep the pads somewhat warm, though these dogs are bred for frigid temperatures. (The mushers are not)
Each tram received much cheering and and clapping all the way to their airport. Thankfully there was enough snow this year that not much had to be added to the streets.
The CANADIAN military was stationed here to, well, mostly shovel. Lol
A perfect combination of dog, musher, mountain, light and snow.

I will be writing several more blog posts on different elements of my Iditarod experience. You can be sure there will be many, many more pictures for me and adorable dogs!

If you would like to know more information and get more in-depth about the routes (etc), I found this website most helpful-https://iditarod.com/about/the-iditarod-trail/

Hope you can join us in Alaska next year for the 112th Iditarod race! 🙂

You’re Killing Him

Oh curse these hands! / They didn’t heal you!

I had hoped we’de be happy; / But that dream’s too far gone

Lying in a pool of blood; / This gun in my hand. / I killed you with it

Can I take back what I see? / You broke my heart and now you’re gone…

I don’t know why I did it/ You shouldn’t have pushed! / But I was wrong to seek you out

I close the door – leaving the dark to engulf you in. / oh they find me. / Little demons ripping at my heart.

You stay where you are / Don’t come alive. Don’t seek me / I’ll only tear you…apart

I still love you, but I’ve seen what I have become / I’ll change; so not to hurt / But it’s too late for us / Pack up your blood, and travel where you’ll be loved.

I won’t miss…you

It’s a lie

I often find myself writing things like this; I haven’t yet figured out why these works are called! Sometimes I have a vague idea of what I’m writing; but more often the words just flow from me and I don’t really know what I am writing. Afterward, when the flood is gone, I’ll look back over what I wrote, edit it, and then a story behind the words comes to my mind. I think that most of them are from God, as I feel I could ever write these on my own whim!

THE STORY BEHID THE WORK: The ‘writter’ is a woman, standing in a cement room with barred one window that lets blue light seep a little bit through. There is a metal door behind the woman who stands in full black leather…a pistol in her hand. At her feet is someone – a man- laying in his face, dark chrism pooling in a circle around him.

The woman comes from this story I read in Prepeairing to be A Healp Meet by Debi Pearl (link at end of post) and there was a woman who had torn her husband up and down with her words and attitudes until he decided to leave her. Long story short, he ended up finding another to love, who would treat him better.

So in my writing, the killer is a woman, who, represents a wife who has ‘killed’ her man by the words she used.

“Oh curse these hands!” She was supposed to be his helper, to comfort and, we’ll, help him and build him up. But she never used this great gift for him.

“Little demons riling at my heart.” Was originally going to be the police seeking her out; but then I decided it to be memories of what she’s done and the guilt.

“You stay where you are / don’t come alive….” She does not want her man to come back to her; she knows that though she has changed, she wants him to go some where else and be loved. By someone else who will not make the same mistakes that she did and ruin him again.

“I still love you…” Though she loves him desperately, it is the same story as above. She promises to change, but just cannot take the risk of him coming back to her again.

“Pack up your blood….” He has another that will love him; and the woman encourages him to do so. Though she will be angry at him, she just does not want to hurt the man again; let another do what she never did.

I was leaning up against shelves of folded tank tops in Walmart, pushing the shopping cart slightly back and forth with my toe; trying not to look too crazy with TEN loafs of bread, FOUR jugs of milk, SIX dozen eggs, FOUR cases of water (the pipes are full of rust from previous earthquakes.) and a thousand other items that stacked well above the cart while I waited for my Mom to come…. with the second cart. (Struggles of a large family 🙈) An old, bending man came down the isle I was in; pushing his heavy wife in her wheelchair – and a full shopping cart in the other hand! He was rushing around grabbing all the things his wife demanded for him to grab or for her to look at. I was thinking about how sweet this man was, specially as he seemed to be in more pain than his wife in the shopping cart! but I was shocked, his wife was yelling at him and constantly berating him, telling him that he never did anything right and how (litteraly) stupid and irritating he was! She was acting like SHE was better than him and he was stupid. (Often the view of men these days) He husband was being so sweet and not uttering a sing word the interest time, but just going back to the same shelve five times or more until the woman dedcided exactly what color she wanted. I really wanted to just go up to her and say, “If you spent less time trying to fix your man, and just enjoy him for who he truly is; you’ll both be so happy!” Regretfully, I let fear overcome me and I wanted them both leave. I waited for another ten minutes before mom came, in guilt at having missed such an obvious moment form God; then asked him to forgive me and somehow let that woman know the truth!!

Serksuly, nothing more needs to be said; If you STOP trying to FIX you man, and just ENJOY him for who he IS; then you’ll both me SO much more happy! Please, notice how sweet your man TRULY is ladies! It’s always irking me the way society treats men these days; they really are truly trying! Let’s not murder them with our actions and words, and use these hands that were placed in their’s that white day. 🙂

And now some of my photography of Dad (sense I’m not married lol) to express this post….

While openair preaching, Dad takes a break to pray for words

At a whole town event, doing some Christian rap to reach those crazy kids out there!

Two day preaching trip in New Orleans. Boy was that car a sweaty place to sleep in!!

A weekend preaching trip in New York

Praying in Alaska before a teaching video

Love you Dad!

Preparing to be a Help Meet: http://nogreaterjoy.org/blogs/preparingtobeahelpmeet/book/

No Greater Joy: https://nogreaterjoy.org/

New Orleans Preaching Trip: https://youtu.be/HXlMY3cXJK0

Speak Life: https://youtu.be/ZeBv9r92VQ0

Thank you for taking the time to read ya’ll!

~My Life as a Photographer

The Power Of Life

Babies scream when being torn apart, we just cannot we can to hear them. We do not open our ears up to hear their desperate plea for a chance at life.

While the world is busy deciding where the value of life stands, and where it starts, I thought i’de put in my own “two cents”.

I am the oldest in a family of ten children, and very often I look at one of my siblings and wonder what it would have been like to never know them if my parents had decided to continue with birth control or decided they didn’t want one of them.

Three months before I was conceived, my mom got pregnant with her’s and Dad’s very first baby! It wasn’t supposed to happen, as mom was on The Pill and she was taking it, not knowing she was pregnant. Several weeks into the pregnancy, mom noticed bleeding (and all that lovely stuff) and realized she was losing a baby! It really broke her and Dad, seeing what an innocent little pill had done. Grandma called Dad, saying she had a dream from God that Mom was pregnant (not knowing that she was) but that the child had gone to heaven, and had a picture of a dear and somthing to do with the name Tabitha. Long story short, after several others had dreams and such, Mom and Dad ended up naming the baby girl (as they felt, from God, that the baby was) and named her Tabitha. Three months later, they were pregnant with me! Mom continued using birth control for several more years until she felt she wasn’t supposed to anymore after coming across a Above Rubies magazine and reading an arrival miss Nancy Campbell has written about allowing the Lord to deicide your family size. She and Dad finally came to trust the Lord with their family size, after all, he is the one who truly creates the child and has our whole lives in His palm…is it too much a trust Him to guide us in how many children to bless us with and give the patience and wisdom to bring them all up?

While this might not be a drastic abortion story, it still has power in its own as my parents found the value in every life and that every child deserves the chance to come into this life and impact it in their own way.

When New York passed a bill legalizing abortion up to the full nine months; I was purely horrified!! I know that people think that the child is just a blog of flesh until a certain amount of months (it’s still a life form!) and I could understand (to a degree) them wanting to abort then, but the FULL nine months when everyone knows the child is actually a human— unspeakable, literaly MURDER!

Zephaniah David at literally NINE MONTHS, the day after he was born. This is what you are tearing apart.

Here’s some stats to prove that the child IS a child the entire time in the womb and not a blob of flesh as so many believe…usually from ignorance.

Doctors use several different methods to listen to the fetal heartbeat. About 3 weeks, one day after fertilization, when the heart first begins to beat, the sound of the little heart is too soft to hear. Very soon thereafter, they can see the motion using ultrasound technology. Although you cannot hear the heartbeat form the very first day, it is still a life form!

During week 4 of pregnancy, the ball of cells is splitting into the embryo (your future child) and placenta. Baby’s neural tube, the building block of the spine, brain, and backbone, is already formed. … And on a 4 weeks pregnant ultrasound, all of that just looks like a tiny dot, called the gestational sac.

Lung development begins early in pregnancy, but is not complete until the third trimester. Between 24-36 weeks of pregnancy, the lungs begin developing alveoli – the tiny lung sacs that fill with oxygen. Until these sacs are fully developed, a baby cannot breathe on its own outside of the womb.

Fingernail and toenail development. Before your baby’s hair starts to actually sprout, something exciting happens: Your baby’s fingernail and toenail beds begin to form at week 11, with the nails themselves starting to grow at week 12.

Second trimester. By week 21 of pregnancy, baby’s body (but not the head) will be covered in a soft, furry layer of hair called lanugo, which is different from body hair and helps to protect the skin while it develops and keep baby warm, Ouzounian says. Around week 22, eyelashes and eyebrows start to form.

Read here for: Infant who survived abortion cried while he was left to die. https://www.liveaction.org/news/mother-holds-crying-baby-abortion/ (Pictures may be disturbing to some)

You may say, “Well, it’s my body! Don’t I get a choice?!” Do we ever take into consideration about the BABIE’S body?? It is thiers as well, and if they had a choice or could speak, for sure they would be begging you not to tear them apart and give them a chance to breath!! It is your body, but conicded their child’s as well; don’t be selfish and think only if yourselves. Adoption is always an option; there will always be someone who is wanting your child if you do not. Most women who decided to carry the baby fullterm with the though of adoption, actually end up wanting to keep their child— the mirical is that wonderful. Those who abort, and are not extremists, go through depression, sickness, guilt; check themselves into rehab— they know that they have murdered a child and it grieves them. I do not with for those feelings to fall apon anoyone.

Last year, our family went on a retreat for a week and as our cat is outdoor, we were able to leave enough food and water for her and not worry. However, when we came back, we discovered that Ashly was looking a little round! Ashly was only six months old, so hadn’t got her ‘fixed’ yet. Well, I suppose kittens at even that age can get pregnant! When she had the kittens, we were so smitten and that’s all we did for the months that we had them; before we had to sell them (too good homes!) before moving. No one would ever think to “get rid of” the kittens, not matter how unexpected this was and even though we did not know if we could afford all the vet bills and feeding. That thought of abortion, if there was such a thing, would have ever gone through anyone’s head. Now I know that a kitten is much much less than an actually baby, but I’m hoping you can see my point here.

See how utterly adorable these kittens are??

If  125,000 people were murdered every day, wouldn’t the whole world be in an uproar?! No matter if those poeple were to be toddlers, those with disabilities, elderly with just a few hours to live; we would be protesting! Yet,According to WHO, every year in the world there are an estimated 40-50 million abortions. This corresponds to approximately 125,000 abortions per day. And we do nothing about it. How can our world promote, and allow, such a great injustice?? Hitler murdered 6 million Jews is six years, yet we kill 40-50 million people in ONE YEAR!! Thought Hitler’s genocide was the most awful? Consider the genoiced that is still happening today!

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed. Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice” -Proverbs 31:8-9

Little Zepheniah was born four months ago (where did the time go?!) and I am so so thankful that God opened my parent’s eyes and they truly realized the value of human life. Ever human deserves a chance at life. It is their God-Give right that we have no right to take from them. They are humans. Let’s speak out for them; let’s fight for them!

You may not look at all these pictures of Zephaniah, but please, DO look at the lives around you and learn to values them, whether unborn or born.

For more stories of abortions that failed and other stories; go to these links below… Viewer discretion is advised.

My abortion failed and I had to give birth to a live, crying baby who died an hour later in my arms—https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/7353896/my-abortion-failed-and-i-had-to-give-birth-to-a-live-crying-baby-who-died-an-hour-later-in-my-arms/

Infant Who Survived an Abortion at 35 Weeks–Saved by Nurse Who Heard Baby Crying Inside Plastic Bag—https://savethestorks.com/2017/08/infant-survived-abortion-35-weeks-saved-nurse-heard-baby-crying-inside-plastic-bag/

She was alive and crying!’: Abortion nurse quits after baby born alive, left to die—https://www.lifesitenews.com/pulse/she-was-alive-and-crying-abortion-nurse-quits-after-baby-born-alive-left-to

Disabled baby born alive after abortion dies in mother’s arms—https://www.spuc.org.uk/news/news-stories/2018/september/aborted-baby-born-alive-dies-in-mothers-arms

The Silent Scream—https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Silent_Scream

https://www.google.com/search?q=the+silent+scream+movie&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari

Black and White

My world is black and white

Like an only fashioned reel, my world does spin

All else’s colors fade from view

The only ones remaining in my world is crimson

Where are you light? Why are you only white?

Shall I lay down and be dissolved?

Or does my hope set somewhere else?

Speak to me, grains in the film

Where should my heart lie tonight?

I’m sorry, black and white photography remind me of aloneness and fear…

…But that’s when I learned God has ALL the sunshine!


Though you are never alone…know why?
This was literally me standing in the bathtub, on my tipp-toes and getting my face frozen to the frosty window!

My sister was actually just talking and I had my camera and photographer’s eye on. 🙂
Adobe Photoshop made this photo look like a water colored painting in a canvas. 🙂
See my previous blog post, You Know Better Than I, to see this photo, and other from this shoot, in full color. I also did a blog on White Light Photography. So check it out!