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All Me to Reintroduce Myself My Blog

It’s occurred to me that it’s been so long since I’ve had film developed ($$$) and blogged about it that there may be people who know me now but don’t know that I’ve had this blog since 2009! So I wanted to come back and say hi.

In making this post, I have to say something more personal than usual:

My mom passed away in January of this year.

She was my biggest supporter. Mom was the hype man for her kids. I can go back and look at the comments she’s made about my blog posts, and those feel bittersweet now. It’s been hard to go forward, but I know she wouldn’t be pleased if I didn’t keeping doing things I (and she) enjoyed, like making photos and baking.

Looking through the posts I’ve shared in the past, I feel like Mom is everywhere here.

All that to say: I’m getting film developed. I have a new little digital camera that I’ve been playing around with. I am going to try to start blogging again. And it’s all for you, Mom.




{No Time Like the Present} Minolta Hi-Matic AF2, 2019

This post does fall into the “no time like the present” blog category, but it’s also sort of “hey, I got to try out ANOTHER Minolta Hi-matic AF2!”

I say that these cameras keep coming to me. I had my original Hi-matic AF2 from 2017 when I found so many cameras at thrift shops (I paid $2.50 for it.) Then, early in 2019, I happened upon another one for $1.00 at a local discount store that sells mostly used goods. It was pretty dirty, but I couldn’t leave it there. That one works, but I never got around to using it. Then, a few months later, I found the pièce de résistance: a Minolta Hi-Matic AF2 that came with the lens cover! It isn’t a big deal, but since this was the first time I’d found one with the cover, I had to have it! (Cost: $8.00)

I happened to go to a baseball game a couple of days after finding this camera, so that’s where this roll of film began. Also: I bought this camera because I wanted the lens cap, then nearly lost it forever at this baseball game. It fell off somewhere, and I really didn’t think that I’d be able to find it. It was next to a trash can 🙁

Taken at Redbirds Stadium in downtown Memphis, Tennessee


Minolta Hi-matic AF2 • Fuji Superia 400

Bonus photo of the lens cover that came with this camera. It covers the shutter button as well so it doesn’t get tripped by accident.


{No Time Like the Present} Pentax Spotmatic SPII, 2018

This will be the first in a series of photos that were taken so long ago that I really don’t know how to present them. I went an extended period of time without getting film developed, and as a result, have a lot of new photos to share that aren’t exactly recent. So, I figured there’s no time like the present to share them!

Today’s post is made up of photos taken in 2018 with my Pentax Spotmatic SPII (my $7.99 Salvation Army score from 2017.) I’m glad I got the film developed now. It reminded me of how much I like the Takumar lens that came with the camera.

These photos in particular just feel like every photo I took in 2017 for my daily photo project. Just photos documenting everyday little things.

Mini vegan chocolate cake with cream cheese icing

Some narcissus flowers (I think…)

My niece modeling the Legend of Zelda necklace I bought her

Mini vegan carrot cake with cream cheese icing

At Area 51 ice cream

It’s called fashion, sweetie

My niece modeling the Death Note necklace I got her

Vegan raspberry chocolate chip blondie bars

One of my favorite things: emptying the change out of my bluebird of happiness coin bank

Vegan apple bread

Nature-y stuff around my family’s property

Pineapple painted gold, from a women’s brunch I attended at church


Pentax Spotmatic SPII • SMC Takumar 55mm f/1.8 • Kodak Ultramax 400

Smoky Mountains 2019

I didn’t know how to start this blog because the contents of it seem so long ago now. Delays in getting film developed caused this post to be WAY over due. But here goes nothin’!

Our annual vacation to Gatlinburg, Tennessee in 2019 was in mid-November. I didn’t know there wouldn’t BE a 2020 vacation, so these photos and memories extra special to me now.

I don’t usually get photos on the way TO the mountains because we don’t stop a lot on the way, so my photos from the trip start at dinner when we’d just arrived in town…

Our first order of business is to eat at No Way Jose’s when we arrive that night – we highly recommend it if you’re in the area!

And on to the photos from the actual vacation!

We enjoyed getting to see a bit of snow without it impairing our travel to the area

The pancake restaurant next to the motel where we stay – we’ve never eaten there though!

From our walk to the Sky Bridge

My first time on a ski lift like this

Taken from the ski lift to the Sky Bridge

Views from the top

When we got to the Sky Bridge, we found out it was closed for the moment because they had to try to clear it of ice before anyone could walk on it.

Sitting around the fire while we waited for the Sky Bridge to be cleared of ice

They got the bridge cleared so we were able to go across it! 

Walking on a glass panel on the sky bridge

Elusive smiling picture of my niece and brother-in-law

Okay, I was having trouble out of the Ricoh FF-1 I was using for some of the photos, so I rewound the film and took it out. Apparently I guessed wrong about how many frames of film I’d shot in Gatlinburg when I later reloaded the film to finish shooting it, because I accidentally made double exposures over some of the shots. So there are some photos that are images of Gatlinburg stacked on top of images from Memphis and Mississippi which were taken in 2020.

My feet dangling off the sky lift on the way down the mountain+ the Pho Bihn sign in Memphis

I thought I would have pictures of the cute cafe where we ate lunch (Split Rail Eats) but the photos were overtaken by the accidental double exposures from Memphis! Aside from remembering the amazing fried pickles I had there, I will also always remember a comedic incident involving my mom trying to surprise me with an “early Christmas present,” and me being like “Mom, what are you doing?!” and her saying “Buying you an early Christmas present!!” and because I kept asking her what was going on, even the man who was helping her at the register said “Buying you an early Christmas present!” I get that this is only funny in a “you had to be there” sort of way, but what she’d done was ask about buying me the tiny baking pan I’d been served my fried pickles on because I had been enamored with it. So that’s what happened!

Faint images of the cafe where we ate that day + Midtown Donuts

You may notice, if you look back at previous years’ Smoky Mountain vacation photos, that we make it a point to hit up the cider bar at The Apple Barn. We usually hit that up a few times during our trip, actually!

Apple dumplings and fresh cider

Okay, I know my brother-in-law’s eyes are closed, but I was just happy to catch him smiling! 

My brother-in-law (a food service veteran) taught us how to properly fold a bag for a customer (in this case, US)

It’s your girl, in the Christmas shop at the Apple Barn

Another place we go to AT LEAST once while in Gatlinburg is the Old Mill Pottery House Cafe. Here are some shots from around there.

Waiting to have dinner at the Old Mill Pottery Cafe 

A beautiful morning in downtown Gatlinburg!

The coffee stand we pass a lot while walking around the main strip in downtown Gatlinburg

Pancake Pantry – we love it there! I’m so glad we splurge on a nice breakfast one morning of our trip (not that the breakfast at the motel is SO bad!)

Pancake Pantry is ALWAYS packed

In fact, we always seem to arrive just before a long line forms to get a table

Cozy decor at the Pancake Pantry

This time, the faint image is from home and the dominant one is from Gatlinburg. Taken at The Village Shops.

Surprisingly good tiny coffee shop in The Village

I always photograph the British red phone box at The Village 

Another place we frequently visit while on vacation is The Island in Pigeon Forge. I was really happy that Christmas decorations were up!

We also stop to watch the “show fountain” at The Island, which dance to music being played during the show 

Another accidental vacation/home photo taken of at The Island

Accurate representation of my brother-in-law. He looks at his crazy in-laws like this all the time!

I don’t know if we were supposed to take pictures in the metal pumpkin, but we did it anyway! (and then other people saw us and did the same for their photo ops!)

Food Court at the Mountain Mall in Gatlinburg

Lovely decorations in downtown Gatlinburg

No Way Jose’s AGAIN?! Yep! 

We visited Anakeesta too. We had been there previous years, but it was worth riding the Chondola up the mountain again this time too!

She was quite amused at herself for getting both a coffee and ice cream on this chilly morning at Anakeesta

I laughed when I got the film back. My niece is taking a picture, and my brother-in-law looks like a bodyguard in the back! (Actually, he’s licensed to do personal protection, hence his default bodyguard stance.)

Anakeesta’s “Willow Man,” which, according to their Facebook page is a “20′ tall personified tree” sculpture 

Very faint accidental double exposure 

I actually really love this accidental double exposure – my niece and her dad walking a section of the rope bridge at Anakeesta + a photo of my niece standing on a little side street in our town

Riding down the mountain from Anakeesta (my brother-in-law, niece, and sister in front of me)

After Anakeesta, we went to a monster movie themed restaurant for lunch, called Monster Mash

I wish I had done a better job photographing this, but there was a life sized Frankenstein hanging above the bar at Monster Mash

A few of us went on one last walk in downtown Gatlinburg on our last night there

And that was pretty much it!!! Except for a couple of shots taken on our way home!

Sweet ride that was being hauled on the interstate on our way home that day

I think this is the point when vacation was finally over: we stopped for dinner about an hour from home

Photos taken with the following film cameras: Minolta Stsi, Ricoh FF-1, Fuji Instax SQ6, Canon Rebel Ti, and Yashica T4

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