Dogs of the 2019 Iditarod

It is a common belief amongst those who do not know the Iditarod well enough, that the mushing dogs are abused. I wish to prove you wrong through my writing and photography. 🙂

If you’ve heard that the dog’s paws get cut, bruises, torn apart (etc), you can lay your worries to rest! The mushers make sure that each of their dogs are wearing botties, that keep the pads warm and protected. Also, these dogs aren’t running over sharp terrain; mostly snow or else the musher’s sled wouldn’t be able to stand the ride either. 🙂 The dog’s paws are continually checked and massaged and sometimes even bathed to assure they are comfortable and well taken care of.


“The dogs are forced to run!” If you have watched, or been to, the Iditarod, you’ll know that these dogs are BARKING like crazy!! You can barely keep them FROM running! In fact, it is the people who hold the dogs who are forced to run!

Some media has said, “The dogs are starving for attention.” Well, this is just not true! The mushers get so attached to their dogs, that if one very gets hurt or dies, they are heart broken and say that “…it’s just not the same if you don’t cross the line with all the dogs.” The mushers know all their dog’s names, even if their is over fifty; and before the race, they take time to whisper to and let each dog. At the check-points, the dogs are massaged until they are sleepy! All of the mushers and dogs are extrealmy attached— that includes mouth-to-mouth licking! And we all know, an animal will do whatever they can to make you pet them more, right?

The mushers never push their dogs, letting them run at their own pace and resting if that is what is needed. A few years ago, on guy was coming in first; but his dogs were just not able to keep up the past, so he didn’t push them…settling in for third. Their dogs are MUCH more important than the race. A lot of the mushers just do the race for the beauty of Alaska and the thrill of the solitude and bonding with the dogs.

Most people are used to seeing 20 pounds over weight house dogs. Mushing dogs are just very fit, just as Olympic athletes are; and the dogs are purposely bred small so they can run faster. A lot of them are also bred with greyhound, which are actually very thin dogs.

Now that we have those out of the way, shall we just enjoy a few pictures of these gloriously happy dogs? 😀

This mushing team chose green bibs for their team ‘decor’ this year.

Adorable colors are breed!

Love it when I tip the camera on an angle; the picture has more action in it.

Panting from excitement and frustration at being held still; the very thought!

Dog breath in the cold

LET US RUN! LET US RUN! LET US RUN!

Adorable eyes for his musher. The lead dog (s) are often bond most closely with the musher, and he/she with them.

Little muscle girl
The look on his face… Yessss paparazzi!

I would highly recommend this documentary on the history of the Iditarod. I watched it this week, and the stories behind are very interesting! Be ready to have tissues and a table to slam your fist on;

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

Capturing Alaska’s Mountains in Pictures

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you.”

-Isaiah 54:10

Pictures can canpture a thousand words, as the saying goes. Words can transporting us to different times and worlds; bringing nations together, or tearing them apart. Words are powerful; but a picture can sometimes speak more than all the words in the world can.

Pictures capture an art; the art of the person in front of the lense, their feelings. It can capture the feel of mystic lakes and mountains. Tell a story through eyes. Pictures speak where words cannot.

Just like photos, mountains are a thing to be seen and marveled at. They “ask us to ponder our inner being.” As Jane Kirkpatrick said in her book “Everything she didn’t say.” Mountains also draw us to find their creator—God. Through mountains, people, sense the dawn of time, have found consoles in them. That is why I wish to share a glimpse of the mountains I breath under with you…

As the mountains reflect themselves in the puddles, so one can reflect and see oneself here; in the quite with God.
Nature, animals, and people all in one breathtaking scene.
Sometimes, to capture a photo, you must look at it from a different angle.
I really like how this captured a feeling~ that is every photographer’s wish; to capture the feelings of whatever is on the other side of the lense.
No face will sometimes tell a better story.
“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from…”
– C.S Lewis, Till We Have Faces
Sun, mountains and a dog—-some of the best happinesses in the whole world!
Ice from the glaciers breaks loose as more snow falls in the mountains. The ice flows through the rivers, freezing them into solid ice-packs
Often, non-purposeful posinging is the very best kind of posing.
As my hat says—Alaska.
Laying on the ice is always worth it-unless you break through of course!
Sisters make stories together 💜
His face tells the story; The object stands out.
“It was when I was happiest that I longed most…The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing…to find the place where all the beauty came from.” 
― C.S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces
In the darkest season of the year, a splash of sunshine!
The calming…the peace…the joy…the beauty…the light
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

― Albert Camus

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” -Isaiah 52:7

Momentary Joy

You make known to me the path of life;
    in your presence there is fullness of joy;
    at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
-Psalm 16:11





Winters in Alaska are long, dark and cold. So when February comes and the sun starts rising more and shining through the grey shades of sky, everyone rushes outside to soak up some of its warmth and happiness.

Depression can set in during winter; with all the greys of sky and surroundings. Nothing new, bring or green springs up or shines against the white. Yesterday, I happened to be outside just at four o’clock when the clouds parted a huge golden sun shone glouriously; whipping away the dark depressing shades. All the troubles of the world seemed to melt like the snow under the sun. Smiles reflected off our faces and the sun sent down beams of joy.

For a full half hour we basked in the happiness of the melting gold. Slowly grey clouds began forming and shaded over Alaska’s source of winter light. It became chilly outside; the wind, suddenly not so warm and becoming. The snow became dirty and old; all gone the sparkle. An artist had splashed greys across our sky.

Gone with the sun, our joy. Depression and sadness; life’s problems, trials and struggles threatened on the door of our hearts once more. We had been happy while the sun lasted, but when it was gone, so did our spirits dampen. I wished the sun would stay forever and with it, the joy.

Joy. It comes by in many ways; a kiss, a hug. A smile, light. Good news, or a gift. A child; new birth! All this things bring joy to our hearts and light up our eyes. But, all these are momentary. When the hug ends, our tears can still fall. Good news has the option of bad news right after. None of these joys last; none of them keep us eternity happy, forever.

We all want to be happy in life. We all strive to do the things that bring us joy. That make us happy and enjoy life. We all do things to escape from our problems; conceal them behind something. We all want to find the good in every situation; be constantly happy where life cannot find us. Does such happiness exist? Joy that we can truly grab onto and never let go? That will guide us in all of life’s circumstances and carry us through. Where can we find true joy like this?

I found mine in Jesus. His joy is the only thing that we can truly hold onto and never let go. His joy promises to guid us through rough seas; as the sun guides many a captain to the dawn. His joy is eternal, even through pain and affliction. If we can truly grasp his true joy; our faces will never be ashamed! As it it says in the Bible, “Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” -Psalm 34:5

Often in the midst of grey, we cannot see past our suffering, and all joy is void from us. Jesus promises that while, “Sorrow May come in the night, joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)

Like that sunset, all things that bring us moments of joy will, and do, fade away. Jesus’s Joy is the only one that can last for eternity and bring us even MORE joy than all the other things that life can bring us!

“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” (John 15:11)
TheLifeofArt//my sister
”The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” (Psalm 28:7)

“More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” (Romans 5:11)
“When anxiety was great within me, your consultation brought joy to me.”
(Psalm 94:19)
“You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as warriors rejoice when dividing the plunder.” (Isaiah 9:3)
“The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”
(Zephaniah 3:17)
“Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” (John 16:24)
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

Capturing the Mountains of Alaska

Something we know Alaska for besides its cold and snow, is its mountains.

Where ever you go, the mountains follow. They tower above, making you feel small in such a breath-taking world. Throught the seasons, the mountains change colors— In Winter, they are blue and sparkeling white, reflecting the ever changing colors of the Northers sky. In Spring, green begins to, well, spring! Through the months of Spring, green slowly starts creeping along the mountains as our rivers fill and flood with the me,ting snow and glaciers. In Summer, flowers sprout up, each in their own season. (as well as the insects!) In fall, you will go to bed one night, and awake the nesting morning to find the mountains suddenly yellow. Throught fall, the mountains change into fiery shades of yellows, oranges, and reds. I truly thing they are at their best in the fall months. The maintains reflect onto the lakes and somehow found their way into my lens as well!

This ever flowing, ever changing, river is right across the highway from us, so we go down often. During the winter, it is eather flowing with ice chunks as in this picture, or frozen in small places so that my siblings and I can skate on it. Our two chocolate labs, Mocha and Hazel (shown here) will still swim-even if the water is -20! Their fur gets full of icicles and thier whiskers freeze. 😀
You can see one of the famous glaciers of Alaska here.
One of my favorite things to snap is the people walking in front of me-often in front of mountains.
Sometimes, a picture without makeup or airbrush, is the best beauty.
Here, the mountains are reflecting a pink sunset.
The mountains in transition between fall and winter, bust still warm enough to wear shorts!
The mountains during the summer/fall transition.
Yes, she wore this outfit quite often! 😀
As everyone knows, photographing animals is very hard to do! The best I ever get, is our dogs licking 😀 Still, it’s sweet.
The grass was still green when the mountains were turning white.
My sisters and I actually did this pose in our room, decided it looked so good, that we wanted a better background. This was around Thanksgiving. (American)
My view everyday.
Ah, I miss the green of plants! Spring, fall and winter all in one here!
Mountains make good backgrounds for cute sibling photos! >3

I could post tons and tons of mountain photos, as a lot of my backdrops are the mountains. Alaska is surrounded by mountains, and, in my opinion, it’s best beauty.

Stunning New Snow Photos (and funny accidents!)

Props are super useful when shooting. They give another element to the photo and something else for the viewer to look at. The book here, Everything She Didn’ Say by Jane Kirkpatrick, was just sitting on my dresser and I grabbed it! You should also have a backpack handy to carry all you props in (don’t add to many into the photo or it’ll look crowded!) I pay my siblings (10 of us) a couple dollars to follow me around during my shoots to carry my props!
The lens beams are real here, but you can add them in the Enlight app from the AppStore.
Am I eating the snow or blowing it? Funny story- I use coconut oil to moisten my hair. Our water was down that day so didn’t get to wash the oil out from the night before. I had twisted the sides of my hair and put them up in a twisted bun for the photos, but then had decided it didn’t look right. When I undid my hair, the coconut had frozen in the -12 f Alaska weather and my hair remained wonderfully styled! Now I recommend this for long photo shoots—unless tour water is down!
My sister, Isabella ended walking up behind me and I just shot her photo—look how amazing it turned out!! This is what I call “spur of the moment” photography; the best in my oppinion!
I shot this one right before Joy (MyBrush&Me on WorldPress.com) was about to blow the snow. Her face gave the photo a dramatic look—and a bit fierce!
When taking a photo, try to look at what you are shooting from all different angles. This one was originally Glorianna posing on a large old rusted can. Her face, with the wind, caught my eye so I zoomed into her face. If you are afraid or don’t like getting close into your model’s face, you can use a large lease, but then you’ll have to switch it out with your normal shooting lense often. When shooting in the cold—the quickest things are the best! 😀

This photo shoot in December was super fun and got many more ideas for other shoots flowing! You can read about them in my other blog posts.

Editing apps:

PhotoRus

Back-yard Winter Photoshoot

What better way to start off the new year with a winter photo shoot? 

What to do to do for this easy back yard shoot:

-Models: myself and my sister

-Rummage through your wardrobe and try mixing & matching to find the look you are feeling for your photos

-I was able to do this shoot in 20 minutes, so we didn’t have to bundle up much. If it is too cold for you outside, you can wrap up, then remove your layers before taking the picture.

-Tramp through your backyard, or woods, and look around for the perfect spot for you first 1-8 photos. (I.e a tree with nice coloring, sparkling snow, sunlight shinning down-you chose!)

-Use your imagination for posing! What are you trying to express in your shoot? You can have the modeler move around and you can snap while they do so. This ends up with creative, new poses.

-In wintertime, What little sunlight you have will be quite dim, casting a grayish color to your photos. To brighten them, you can upload your photos to your iPhone or iPad using a camera connect app. (I have a Canon camera, so I used Canon Camera Connect. Canon Camera Connect by Canon Inc.) once the photo is uploaded to your device, go to your gallery and select “edit”.  Select the sun-Looking icon and select “light” from there you can brighten or dim the photo. You can also use the PhotoRus app and use clear eye” in makeup to go around your photo and higlight details on the photo.

Tip: send the phot to a friend (etc) and ask them if the photo is too light

-When you are done, come back inside to warm up and edit your photos- have fun adding filters, airbrushing the face (i.e), cropping and adding objects and backgrounds. Just remember to keep the picture looking real and not over-edited or fake! 

My favorite apps for editing:

-PhotRus

-YouCam makeup

-InstaBeauty

-InstaSize

-airbrush

-1987 filters

-picmonkey

-snapseed

-adobe photoshop

You can chose for all your modelers to match in outfit and even poses
Think of your souroundings at different angles!
If you read my other blog on PhotoRus, you can use the “cleareye” to add a frosted look to the model’s face to match the cold winter feel.
Trees, in my opinion, are the abstalute best props!
You can use PhotoBlur to change your backgrounds. Makes the photo more interesting sometimes. 🙂