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Daphne Fikes
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Daphne Fikes

Navigate by Clouds

Josh M.

Posted on May 12, 2019

I’ve watched this young man grow into the person he is today. I am so proud to have known him since the day he was born. Set to graduate this spring, he will continue with his schooling. He tells me he wants to be in the computer field. As you can see from the photos, Josh plays guitar. He’s only picked it up recently, teaching himself how to play. What a remarkable individual he is! Congratulations Josh!

Tyler T.

Posted on April 16, 2019

After graduation, Tyler plans to head to Grand Canyon University to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. He loves cars and working on them. As bright as this young man is, the sky is the limit for him. I wish him all the best.


Posted on April 17, 2017

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I.T. is this remarkably talented young man. This past year he was selected along with a small number of other high school area artists to display their work at the DMA. When not creating physical art, he and his band Trip40 produce EDM. You can hear their music here:  https://m.soundcloud.com/trip40. It’s sure to get you moving. There are other things I’d love to tell you about this young man and his art work, but suffice it to say, he’s out in the world creating art that will be difficult to hide. In the years to come, he will be an interesting person to follow. I look forward to seeing what he puts out in the world. And just to throw us off, he plans to study Environmental Science. Whatever he does, I’m sure he will make his mark in the world.








The Breakdown by B. A. Paris

Posted on April 7, 2017



B. A. Paris

The Breakdown by B. A. Paris revolves around a young high school teacher just going on summer break. She’s looking forward to having some down time, spending with her new husband in their new cottage. What she gets is altogether darker. It all begins when Cass spots a car presumed to be broken down one stormy night. The woman ends up murdered. Cass feels responsible for not doing more for the woman, but she had very logical reasons for not. The next morning Cass learns the woman was murdered and in fact, someone Cass knew. She begins to have her own personal breakdown. Her guilt, mysterious phone calls that begin, and memory loss of conversations she’d apparently had all pile on Cass, weighing her down, until she feels like she’s losing her mind, or worse, she’s developing the disease that claimed her mother’s life, early onset dementia. Paris did a good job setting up Cass’s problems. For me, it was her fear that she might have EOD. However, that’s where any sympathy ended.

Paris’s novel isn’t layered with multiple plots and there are only a handful of characters. This makes the plot pretty predictable. But I kept reading. There were times I thought about putting The Breakdown aside, though I never did. The premise was interesting enough for me to continue. What held my attention was not her writing style, not much of a fan in this regard. Would have like to have seen what the characters were feeling as opposed to being told. What held my attention was wanting to know if my suspicions (garnered after reading 46 pages) of the culprit were right. And they were, with one exception. That added twist, though I suspected it before the end, was a nice surprise.

As the story moved on, Cass’s actions, or rather inaction, frustrated me. Cass would often talk about what she should do and then lose her nerve. Throughout the story, she never acted on her decisions, always changed her mind at the last minute and returned to the same ole same ole. I would have loved to have read where Cass acted on her impulse once and that put her in worse danger and her struggle to get out of that mess, rather than shrink from it. Toward the end, I’d hoped that all her scheming would have backfired on her and the police would suspect her because I was tired of her weakness.

Paris left her clues out in the open, so not much work for the reader. While I like the ending, I was not a fan of the replay of text messages. A few well-written text would have sufficed. I found myself skimming the messages, already knowing what I’d find. By then, the tension had slipped away from the story.

I wanted to like this book better than I did. Paris has a talent for storytelling, and I look forward to her next novel. Might even pick up Behind Closed Doors.

Thank you to St. Martin press for providing me with a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.



Bees, Butterflies, and Wild Blackberries & Plums

Posted on March 12, 2017

Although winter never really set in, the trees still lost their leaves and they’ve remained, gray and crunchy, on the floor of the woods. Over the last week or so spring like has encouraged budding and blooming around our home. The white flowers of the wild blackberries and wild plums stand out against the trees, which have only begun to bud. Below, a female Black Swallowtail drinks from the Wild Mexican Plum.

Female Black Swallowtail on Wild Mexican Plum

Female Black Swallowtail on Wild Mexican Plum

Wild blackberries are growing all over our land. Unfortunately, most grow in the middle of poison ivy. This year I hope to move some from an area without poison ivy to my garden.

Wild Blackberry Bud

In the image below, the tiny insect only revealed itself to me through the lens. Very humbling to experience and understand that there is so much to see. How much else am I missing? For this reason, I’m loving my macro.

Wild Blackberry with cool looking insect

Wild Blackberries with cool looking insect

Wild Blackberries and one of my bees

Wild Blackberry Buds

Wild Blackberry vine and bee


Posted on May 16, 2016

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Summer is an amazing and very accomplished art student. We headed to Dallas for her shoot in and around Deep Ellum. I had a blast photographing her. Absolutely loved the various looks she has. It’s easy to see the beauty within this young lady. Summer is not without plans. After graduation, she plans to study Real Estate. Perhaps she can find E.T. a home!












Posted on April 23, 2016

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Meet Jordan. Senior 2016. We photographed her in her mother’s hometown. After graduation, she’d heading to college. As of yet, she hasn’t decided on a major. Having read her articles for the high school newspaper and hearing her play the piano, it is easy to see she is a talented individual. Whatever field she chooses, she will be successful. Have fun in college, Jordan!








Posted on August 4, 2015

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Our vacation ended, and now we are trying to catch up on rest. Hard to do when there are birthdays to celebrate and work to return to. Not to mention, preparing for homeschool.

Canada was beautiful but wet. It rained most every day we were there, though not all day. We walked the beaches, camped and hiked at Cape Breton – gorgeous – and toured several places: Lucy Maud Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, the sand dunes, and the museum at Basin head, Charlottetown, and the beach in front of the house where we stayed. Durning our trip, we spotted eagles, a black bear, and a moose and her calf. The scent of wild roses accompanied us on our hikes through the National Parks, as well as mosquitoes, which were bad only on one part of our hike (the longest).

Having read Anne of Green Gables as a young girl, I loved our visit to Green Gables. Below is Lucy Maud Montgomery’s childhood home.

Lucy Maud Montgomery Home, PEI, Canada

Midweek, we headed over to Nova Scotia for a little hiking and camping. The weather was cool and wet, but the Cape Breton was beautiful. Skyline Trail took us to the Atlantic where we watched the storm scatter across the sea.

Skyline Trail, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada

On our way back to PEI, we stopped for breakfast. Some of the best coffee I’ve had I got here. Their blueberry muffin paired nicely with my coffee.

Favorite coffee in Iverness, Nova Scotia, Canada

This is the house we stayed in on PEI. Right on the beach. Lovely spot.

Vacation house, JB

My son in the Atlantic.

Rocking it. PEI, Canada

The image below is from our last day in Canada.


Posted on April 26, 2015

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Kennedy is a confident young lady and fun to be around. She indulged me as walked around shooting images for her senior pictures. She’s heading to university to become a nurse. She wants to work with neonatal babies. That surely takes a great deal of emotional strength, which this young woman has.






Posted on April 26, 2015

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When I say Kasey is an awesome guy, I’m not exaggerating. He loves his family. Loves playing both football and baseball, which he plans to continue after graduation. He’s sweet and that disarming smile of his melts hearts. During our shoot, his younger sister joined in and I was able to capture the bond they have.