Red Wing Roots II: Day 2

It took two showers to wash away Day 1. Fragments of nostalgia broke away from my muddy footprints on the shower floor. Pieces of Mt. Solon dirt and blades of surely the greenest-grass-in-all-the-land sang sweet harmonies as they swirled to their watery death. I assured my lonely pores that their sweat buddies would return soon. Red Wing Roots Music Festival II, Day 2, started at noon with two bands I did not want to miss: Loves It and Smokey and the MirrorbsomeIMG_8553bsomeIMG_8554

Loves it.bsomeIMG_8564bsomeIMG_8569bsomeIMG_8570bwbsomeIMG_8594bsomeIMG_8600

Above: Red Wing shirts printed by The Mark-it.
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Lucas Roasting Company (above) keeping folks energized and Wholistic Wisdom (below) keeping folks relaxed.bsomeIMG_8558bsomeIMG_8782

Smokey and the MirrorbsomeIMG_8618 bsomeIMG_8625 bsomeIMG_8636

Above and below: So sweet to see their daughter watching the performance from backstage.bsomeIMG_8644 bsomeIMG_8642bw bsomeIMG_8622bw bsomeIMG_8631bsomeIMG_8739

Above: remnants of Pokey LaFarge’s performance.
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Above: One cute little Blue Mountain supporter. Below: One cute little Red Wing supporter.bsomeIMG_8606bsomeIMG_8674bw

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Below: Artery kicked off on Day 2. Hundreds of children and adults came to help work on this community painting.bsomeIMG_7494absomeIMG_8585bsomeIMG_8579bsomeIMG_8705bsomeIMG_9030

Eric Brace and Peter CooperbsomeIMG_8753bwbsomeIMG_8732bsomeIMG_8746bsomeIMG_8589bsomeIMG_8961bsomeIMG_8654bsomeIMG_8766bsomeIMG_8614bsomeIMG_8970bsomeIMG_8712bwbsomeIMG_8760bwbsomeIMG_9136bwbsomeIMG_8617bsomeIMG_8825

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Above: Grilled Cheese Mania. Below: Jack Browns Beer and Burger JointbsomeIMG_8832bsomeIMG_8896

The Stray BirdsbsomeIMG_8814bsomeIMG_8789bsomeIMG_8817bw

Brothers Comatose
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Miss Tess and the TalkbacksbsomeIMG_8933bsomeIMG_8924bsomeIMG_8932bsomeIMG_8661bwbsomeIMG_8938bsomeIMG_8906

The Judy ChopsbsomeIMG_9025bsomeIMG_9017bsomeIMG_9004bsomeIMG_8983bsomeIMG_9008bsomeIMG_9012bsomeIMG_8986bwbsomeIMG_9045bwbsomeIMG_9042bwbsomeIMG_8974bsomeIMG_9036bsomeIMG_8950bsomeIMG_8899

Sarah JaroszbsomeIMG_9117bsomeIMG_9068bsomeIMG_9073bwbsomeIMG_9061bsomeIMG_9122bsomeIMG_9095bsomeIMG_9100bwbsomeIMG_9115

One really awesome thing about photographing this festival, is that I get to work with other photographers who I know and love. I admire each of them in very different ways and I’m truly a fan of their work. I feel we have a great network and support system of creatives here in the Valley and I simply can’t imagine it being any other way. I’ll introduce my photog friends below. I encourage you to check out their work!

This is Keesha of Ruby Sky Photography. <–If you click on that link, I have a feeling you’ll enjoy her music selection. In fact, feel free to let it play as you continue to look through the rest of this post…you’ll find it quite relevant. Keesha can usually be found with three little assistants. In the photo below, the third assistant is playing hide-and-seek.bsomeIMG_9103

This. Ha. Well, this is Pat Jarrett. He likely rode in on his motorcycle that morning after shooting in Newport News. He’s a busy dude and if you’re a Stauntonian, you’ve probably seen him walking to and from his downtown studio.bsomeIMG_8977

These girls are my studio neighbors at Spitzer Art Center and are an inspiration to me. They own and operate The Pinwheel Collective. It’s great how well they not only work together but also how nicely their work compliments each others. They do cool stuff. And sometimes funny stuff, too.bsomeIMG_8158c

Oh hay. That’s me. You’re looking at my work now…but I do some  other stuff to. Like weddings and portraits and I photograph for a blog I do with my friend Katie about Harrisonburg. I also plan this really cool community portrait show with my friend Denise Allen every year called Art Lotto.bsomeIMG_9131

Trent Wagler and the Steel WheelsbsomeIMG_9147bwbsomeIMG_9148bsomeIMG_9155bsomeIMG_9174bwbsomeIMG_9164bwbsomeIMG_9221bwbsomeIMG_9389bwbsomeIMG_9216bsomeIMG_9182bsomeIMG_9226bsomeIMG_9158bsomeIMG_9266bsomeIMG_9235bsomeIMG_9314bwbsomeIMG_9331bw

Didya miss Day 1? Click here to get caught up!

Check out this writeup and MORE of my photos from Red Wing Roots 2014 Day 2 on ilovemyburg!

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This post is part of my year long series Celebrating Life.

Check out my photos from last year: Red Wing Roots Music Festival 2013! Day 1Day 2, & Day 3.

A lake named Anna

The sun was beaming as I packed the car with a cooler, the kids and a Ben and we headed over the mountain to enjoy a day at Lake Anna for a friend-reunion of sorts. As I was driving I realized that the last time I drove over that mountain to see Toff and Cara, I was using printed mapquest directions. And possibly listening to a cd burned from my napster downloads? Haaaaa. Ancient. It was also before they became parents of sweet little Trip and Meg. Time leaves us. Too too fast. We were welcomed at the Newcomb lake house to lots of open international arms but the hugs didn’t last long as the kids were ready to enjoy the water!

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fclIMG_3280b fclIMG_3284c fclIMG_3283bw fclIMG_3282bwfclIMG_3317fclIMG_3426 fclIMG_3292 fclIMG_3285fclIMG_3372fclIMG_3358fclIMG_3368 fclIMG_3369fclIMG_3362bwfclIMG_3386fclIMG_3400fclIMG_3321fclIMG_3296bwfclIMG_3316bw fclIMG_3309 fclIMG_3319 fclIMG_3325fclIMG_3327fclIMG_3333fclIMG_3371fclIMG_3408 fclIMG_3410 fclIMG_3394 fclIMG_3388fclIMG_3300fclIMG_3339fclIMG_3416fclIMG_3311 fclIMG_3301fclIMG_3382 fclIMG_3377fclIMG_3341fclIMG_3449fclIMG_3435 fclIMG_3443 fclIMG_3442fclIMG_3424 fclIMG_3425fclIMG_3402 fclIMG_3455bw fclIMG_3462Day 2.  A slow, easy morning filled with lots of coffee, crossword puzzles, dogs and amazing food. The shrimp and grits that Sam and Elizabeth concocted were so good that I didn’t even get a chance to photograph them. After brunch we all waddled down to the lake to float like buoys until our food digested. Australia is a lifetime away, it seems, and any time with these guys feels like a ticking clock is dangling over us. I miss their faces already.

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…note the vanilla slice: Toff and Cara’s number 1 seller at their bakery (activate saliva)…
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Blake took a moment to teach Trip an American greeting: The Fist Bump. Blake still giggles at Trip repeating “Pound it!” with his young Australian accent. fclIMG_3483 fclIMG_3501 fclIMG_3497fclIMG_3505bwfclIMG_3541 fclIMG_3508bwfclIMG_3542 fclIMG_3510fclIMG_3535 fclIMG_3534 fclIMG_3526 fclIMG_3521bw

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 3

The third and final day of Red Wing was upon us. We stopped caring about the mud under our toenails, the sweat beads on our forehead, and the mild stench that was totally-that-dude-beside-me and not me. Right? We were all friends now. Rained on, shined on, danced together – friends. I was a little sad finishing these photos. Nostalgic even. They reminded me of this pocket of happy that existed in my summer. A pocket I’ll dig into again next summer only to rediscover it all over…just like that wrinkled up five dollar bill that’s surely waiting for me in my winter coat.  ….winter….  Ah geez.

Robin & Linda WilliamsFCLIMG_1005 FCLIMG_1032FCLIMG_1016 FCLIMG_1011BWDanny Schmidt & Carrie ElkinFCLIMG_1042BW FCLIMG_1065 FCLIMG_1063CFCLIMG_1067BW FCLIMG_1075FCLIMG_1102C FCLIMG_1106BWFCLIMG_1082 FCLIMG_1083 FCLIMG_1109FCLIMG_1157 FCLIMG_1156Brian Patrick BandFCLIMG_1121 FCLIMG_1136BW FCLIMG_1130BWFCLIMG_1126BWFCLIMG_1143 FCLIMG_1145 FCLIMG_1146 FCLIMG_1148 FCLIMG_1150FCLIMG_1151 FCLIMG_1153FCLIMG_1154C

The Judy ChopsFCLIMG_1244 FCLIMG_1192FCLIMG_1203FCLIMG_1174FCLIMG_1182BW FCLIMG_1237FCLIMG_1272BW FCLIMG_1217bwFCLIMG_1280BW FCLIMG_1198 FCLIMG_1209BWFCLIMG_1257BWFCLIMG_1268C FCLIMG_1270FCLIMG_1289 FCLIMG_1284BWFCLIMG_1295C FCLIMG_1296 FCLIMG_1298 FCLIMG_1301BW

Pokey LaFarge and all his amazing faces that I just couldn’t take enough photos of.FCLIMG_1308FCLIMG_1407FCLIMG_1369FCLIMG_1337FCLIMG_1361BWFCLIMG_1342BWFCLIMG_1324 FCLIMG_1332FCLIMG_1383FCLIMG_1387FCLIMG_1375C FCLIMG_1376C FCLIMG_1344BWFCLIMG_1404BWFCLIMG_1345BW FCLIMG_1346FCLIMG_1410 FCLIMG_1415

The Steel Wheels & Friends Tribute SetFCLIMG_1435C FCLIMG_1424 FCLIMG_1419FCLIMG_1446FCLIMG_1464BWFCLIMG_1453FCLIMG_1465CFCLIMG_1481C FCLIMG_1493C FCLIMG_1497 FCLIMG_1512 FCLIMG_1533 FCLIMG_1519BWFCLIMG_1539 FCLIMG_1428See you next year, yeah?

Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 1

Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 2

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 2

After all the memories made on the first day EVER(!) of the Red Wing Roots Music Festival, I was stoked to know that two more days were still in store. The views of the Valley as I drove to the Chimneys made me extra thankful that this festival was brought to such a beautiful (and close!) location. The day was sunnier with a promise of a cooling evening shower. Sunscreen. Check. Camera. Check. Klean Kanteen. Check. Raincoat. Check. Water. Check. Day 2. Let’s do this.

After grabbing some coffee and fully waking up, we headed to The Southern Stage to listen to the lovely Ana Egge
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Over on the Local Roots Stage, Bryan Elijah Smith & The Wild Hearts drew a decent crowd.FCLIMG_0400BW FCLIMG_0423FCLIMG_0412BW FCLIMG_0387 FCLIMG_0417 FCLIMG_0397FCLIMG_0386BW FCLIMG_0376BW FCLIMG_0396BWSurrounded by happy campers.

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Pearl & The Beard
FCLIMG_0490FCLIMG_0470C FCLIMG_0474 FCLIMG_0465 FCLIMG_0483C FCLIMG_0472FCLIMG_0486 FCLIMG_0485 FCLIMG_0492FCLIMG_0506 FCLIMG_0493FCLIMG_0498FCLIMG_0563 FCLIMG_0503 FCLIMG_0512CFCLIMG_0517CFor a little perspective, we hiked up to the top of the Chimneys. So so beautiful.
FCLIMG_0528 FCLIMG_0546 FCLIMG_0545FCLIMG_0533CBack in time for a downpour and the sheer entertainment of The Wiyos.
If you haven’t seen these guys…add it to your list.
FCLIMG_0560FCLIMG_0581 FCLIMG_0579 FCLIMG_0572BWFCLIMG_0610BWFCLIMG_0594 FCLIMG_0599C FCLIMG_0648 FCLIMG_0640C FCLIMG_0638BWFCLIMG_0663BW FCLIMG_0669BW FCLIMG_0674COLLAGE FCLIMG_0674CFCLIMG_0680FCLIMG_0662 FCLIMG_0691My night ended just right with The Steel Wheels.
FCLIMG_0713FCLIMG_0783BWFCLIMG_0788BWFCLIMG_0759 FCLIMG_0708 FCLIMG_0744bwFCLIMG_0796 FCLIMG_0794FCLIMG_0897BW FCLIMG_0899BW FCLIMG_0801FCLIMG_0803 FCLIMG_0814 FCLIMG_0799BWFCLIMG_0824BWFCLIMG_0843 FCLIMG_0865bw FCLIMG_0820 FCLIMG_0840CFCLIMG_0886 FCLIMG_0923FCLIMG_0818 FCLIMG_0943FCLIMG_0866BW FCLIMG_0868 FCLIMG_0901 FCLIMG_0955BW FCLIMG_0936BWFCLIMG_0972 FCLIMG_0969 FCLIMG_0997FCLIMG_0987 FCLIMG_0988BW…and still one more day to go…I could get used to this….

See also: Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 1

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 1

I can’t say much about the caliber of awesome that was the inaugural Red Wing Roots Music Festival that hasn’t already been said. Well, not with words anyway. But I can tell you a thing or two with my photos. *whoop whoop*  I couldn’t get there fast enough on Day 1 of the three day shindig.  As lovely Megan set me up with a wrist band, I could hear Caleb Stine’s hollow voice echoing through the chimneys. Gaaaah! Heart.throb. I walked under gray skies to the Shenandoah Mountain Stage and once it was in sight, the mood was clear, so I shut my mouth and tiptoed to the front. As if they were all witnessing a sacred ceremony, eyes affixed to the stage, the audience sat in awe and respect and silence. It didn’t take long for me to follow suit.  The tone was set for the day.
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Next on my to-do was to get coffee. Then food. Then beer. Then more music. In that order. The layout of the festival was great and the venders were plentiful with a lot of local options! *bonus* AND they required the use of a Klean Kanteen which not only serves as a Red Wing souvenir but creates much less trash for the festival and the planet. *double bonus*
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Larry Keel & The Natural Bridge
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I’ve come to understand one very important thing about festival goers: they’re always ready to have a good time. Rain or shine. Lucky for them! The rain clouds moved in but the shows went on. People pulled out their rain gear…or fashioned rain gear out of found objects. Dancing and smiling and swaying…feet planted in the mud. Little slivers of heaven.
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Lost Bayou RamblersFCLIMG_9776 FCLIMG_9778BW FCLIMG_9779 FCLIMG_9781BWFCLIMG_9762 FCLIMG_9795 FCLIMG_9805FCLIMG_9975 FCLIMG_9806 FCLIMG_9803FCLIMG_9970

Justin JonesFCLIMG_9851 FCLIMG_9840BW FCLIMG_9818 FCLIMG_9816FCLIMG_9825 FCLIMG_9909FCLIMG_9927BW FCLIMG_9947FCLIMG_9944 FCLIMG_9953 FCLIMG_9957BWFCLIMG_9964FCLIMG_9978BW

Tim O’BrienFCLIMG_9980BW FCLIMG_9995

Gregory Alan Isakov
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Yarn…getting the kids all riled up!FCLIMG_0139 FCLIMG_0147FCLIMG_0105BW FCLIMG_0177 FCLIMG_0182 FCLIMG_0179FCLIMG_0127 FCLIMG_0159 FCLIMG_0160 FCLIMG_0150FCLIMG_0212FCLIMG_0202

The sun set. The rain poured. The Duhks took the stage.FCLIMG_0220 FCLIMG_0256 FCLIMG_0241FCLIMG_0228 FCLIMG_0261FCLIMG_0254 FCLIMG_0253BW FCLIMG_0249BWFCLIMG_0273

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FCLIMG_0334…one down, two to go…

 Check out: Red Wing Roots Music Festival: Day 2

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. If you use photos from this blog for Facebook, please give credit or link to blog post. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Brunch & Bubbles

“Man, I hate brunch” said no one ever.  Anything that prolongs the breakfast experience is ok with me. For this particular brunch, the occasion was to celebrate the end of the school year and the beginning of summer.  …I hear ya… “Girrrl, you cray, it’s August!” I am aware. It’s a common misconception that teachers have all summer to do absolutely nothing thereby quantifying their mediocre annual pay. Wrong. I spend a large part of my summer (which was 7 weeks this year) working to earn money to compensate for what my “day job” does not pay. And I am just now finding the free time to complete this post. Excuse me while I step down from my soapbox and get back to…brunch. The kids and I headed to meet my friend Martha and Jewel at Jewel’s new home. Her hand has surely touched every inch of her yard and perhaps even watered it with her sweat and tears. It’s gorgeous. All the flowers stood tall and the trees chatted about their spectacular views. Oh, Harrisonburg. You so pretty. Jewel made a variety of treats including a cheesy crumb cake(!), a sweet breakfast crumb cake, fresh fruits, a fruit smoothie and of course, coffee. Mm. After chatting about art and work and life the kids (and adults) had fun with Jewel’s bubble set!
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So cool!FCLIMG_7583 FCLIMG_7589 FCLIMG_7592CFCLIMG_7605BW FCLIMG_7599BW FCLIMG_7601 FCLIMG_7608Reaga had fun too.

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Dudes: Asheville, NC – Part II

My time in Asheville was short but day two was upon us and there was no time for wasting. Laura and I slept like heavenly angels in the massive king sized bed, awaking to the sounds of a disgruntled Billy on the porch…in a floaty. Before loading into the party van, I nabbed a group shot…which literally took 30 minutes to get everyone in the same room at the same time looking the same direction. It was early…those boys were mindless wandering drones. Yeesh! I left my camera behind for the day since we were going whitewater rafting on the French Broad River say whaaaat?! 13 people in a 15 passenger van at 8am after a long night of celebration…it was a quiet ride. The air reeked of booze and other ungodly smells. Not to mention, I was quite certain that I was heading towards my unavoidable death as I’ve said previously in my life (alone to myself): I have no desire to ever go white water rafting. Canoeing the Shenandoah is enough of an adventure for me…but here I was, sandwiched between 11 stinky men, heading straight for class 4 rapids. *cue the pre-hurl mouth water* We arrived at Blue Heron and most of my fears were put to rest by the experienced, calmness of everyone that worked there. “We’ve only had one death in our history of rafting.” mmmk. Gag. On the river, we used Laura’s Go-Pro camera and the Blue Heron photographer shared his images with us. After rafting we went into a feeding frenzy at a place right up the road from where we were staying: Nachos & Beer. Not only was this place close, but the title alluded to the fact that very little decision making would be involved in our visit. FCLIMG_6294 FCLIMG_6297cBWDCIM100MEDIA DCIM100MEDIADCIM100MEDIAFCLDSC_0995 FCLDSC_0999 FCLDSC_1017 FCLDSC_1055 FCLDSC_1064 FCLDSC_1069FCLDSC_0951 FCLDSC_0955DCIM100MEDIA DCIM100MEDIAFCLphoto-9

With full bellies, we returned to the house to clean up and laugh about the events that occurred that day on the river. I designed a tshirt using one of my favorite Lee-one-liners to commemorate the weekend. We all decided to wear them out on the town as we celebrated our friend Lee’s upcoming marriage. I can feel myself getting sentimental here so I’ll just leave you to the images now before I lose some of my well earned dude-points.
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Lee's heart is covered in patchouli and dreadlocks...

Lee’s heart is covered in patchouli and dreadlocks…

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Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Dudes: Asheville, NC

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I’m gonna make this simple because quite frankly, I’m tired of explaining it. *not really, I love it* My long time bestie, Lee, popped the question to his girlfriend. And she said yes! *and she’s a looker!* He asked me and Laura to be grooms(wo)men. And we said yes. Laura put together a weekend to gather and celebrate Lee’s bachelorhood where there were 13 people under one roof: 2 girls and 11 guys. It seemed like a perfect storm in the making but we were all quite responsible and had one heck of a good time! I only stayed two of the three days (day two photos coming soon) but it didn’t take long for me to pick up on some pretty important Laws of the Man:

#1: Paper plates are versatile. “Veggie Trays….” are questionable. FCLphoto-6

#2: 3 days is a long time. Buy in bulk.
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#3: Billy.    …that’s all. Just Billy.
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#4: Ray reads. Let him. He has the ability to kill.FCLIMG_6249BWFCLIMG_6246

#5: Don’t guess names. It creates new nicknames. Sorry RayJay.FCLIMG_6256

#6: Laura wears many hats.FCLIMG_6240collagE

#7: Appreciate a good cigar.
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#7.5: Or, like me, just learn how to hold it and pretend.FCLphoto-5 FCLIMG_6265

#8: Food is key.FCLIMG_6268

#9: Food Meat is key. FCLIMG_6280 FCLIMG_6262

#10: Dan is the grill master.  Be patient, it’s worth the wait.FCLIMG_6260 FCLIMG_6279

#11: If you talk while eating you are merely waisting time. Besides, no one is listening anyway.
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#12: The more ridiculous the tshirt, the better.
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#13: Weird things happen after 10 pm.FCLphoto-7 FCLIMG_6282 FCLIMG_6284FCLIMG_6272BW

#14: Man hugs are perfectly acceptable before bed.
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Thanks for a great weekend fellers! And Laura.

Copyright © 2013 · Photos by Brandy Somers. All Rights Reserved · friendlycitylens.com & brandysomersphotography.com. This material may not be copied, downloaded, altered, cropped, reproduced, or printed without express written consent. Thank you for respecting my creative property.

Meat Shmeat

A couple Saturdays ago, my friend Danielle invited me and the kids over for a vegan dinner. They were a little skeptical at first. I think it was the mere labeling of a meal as vegan. I mean, they eat fruit and veggies but if I called them vegan fruit and veggies…they may inspect twice before devouring. *kids* As Danielle and I chopped and stirred and chatted about life, the kids played Twister and hung out with her sweet dog Rascal. The aromas and laughter filled the air as they do in the presence of good friends and good food. When the meal was ready and it was time to eat, the kids scarfed down their mac ‘n cheese like it was nobody’s business.
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