HAPPY TRAILS BLOG

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Portraits...





Now is a great time to be thinking about those special portraits you'll treasure for years to come.
Book a session now, and save 20% through January 2010.





I have two appointments open between now and the end of January.  Give me a call
and we'll book your perfect portrait!




Linda Sherrill  ~  Justus Photography  ~  575.644.4613


 justusphotography@gmail.com








Friday, December 25, 2009

Tradition...



We stumbled onto a holiday tradition this year that I'd like to share with
everyone.  We asked our family to share with us (in writing) what they had done
for others during the year.  We don't need gifts, and thought this would be a
great way to share each other's lives...

Our daughter and son in law brought four pages of good cheer (in writing) of what
they had done for others during the year.  We heard new stories and stories they had shared
in the past months,  just from life's experiences.  During the stories, we all stopped to talk and share
experiences, lessons learned, and were still talking when friends arrived..it was great!

What surprised me was this...I had no idea how these stories would impact me.
It gave us a chance to see and hear that our kids had a big heart and learned what we
have always tried to teach...change begins in your own community.

Needless to say, it was awesome and the best Christmas we've had in a long time!  I'm collecting the stories in a three ring binder, along with photos from the holiday season each year.
 I think it will prove to be a wonderful tradition.

Feel free to steal our tradition and pass it along in your family!

Blessings, Linda

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas to All...




"Let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice"  ~  Psalm 96:11

~~~

Merry Christmas from Justus Photography

My prayer for you all this Christmas Season is that your blessings
are more abundant than the lights on your Christmas Tree...


Blessings, Linda



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Find Your Niche...



I love to look at horses.  I love the way they stand, the way they stare, their intensity and their "lines".  Some people like to look at architecture, flowers or cars.. I look at horses.  Their muscle structure, their grace, the way they move; all of it.  Which brings me to my point today.  Find a niche.  If you're a photographer...find your niche.  Everyone has a gift.  Everyone fits somewhere.  My niche is photographing horses.  I'd do it even if I never got paid (this is not permission for all of you with invoices outstanding to not pay your bills) however!


Specialize in something.
Find what moves you.  Photograph it.

Until Next Time,   Linda




Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Snow in the Sacramento Mountains...



This is what we woke up to this morning...stunning.
These mountains never stay the same.  Always lighting up the sky somehow.




There is just nothing more beautiful than these mountains.
They just happen to be right across the street!  Every night we seem to get a light show.
Today it wasn't light...it was SNOW!  Had to use 4WD just to get out of the driveway.

For our midwest and east coast friends, I know this isn't much to look at snow-wise, but for us, it's
PLENTY!

What a show!   Until next time,   Linda

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving !!

As we slide into the holiday season, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving Day!

We hear it every year around this time, but it's true.  The best things in life aren't "things" at all.



True contentment comes from having faith, friends and family to share it
all with.  The older I get, the more I believe this.  Thanks to my family who supports
what I love to do, every day and cheers me on!


I'm thankful for my backyard playground...plenty of room to ride...
I may never be able to explore it all !



I'm thankful God knew what I needed even before I did.  After two and a
half years of searching, He found us a home across the street from these mountains...
(He just loves to bless us....)



 I'm thankful for my love of horses
Growing up, my parents sacrificed every day so we could have and love
our four legged furry friends.

It has truly shaped who I am today.

Happy Trails to you all this Holiday Season!

Blessings, Linda

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Desert Colors & Rio Grande Endurance Ride...


I have never seen the west mesa light up like it did yesterday morning.  We had another
great endurance ride on the west mesa near Anthony, NM.



When you live in the desert southwest, you kind of forget about the fall colors, but
yesterday, we had a visit from the fall colors of the midwest.




Ride manager, Randy Eiland, casually mentioned we might like to get photos
over by the dam and when we got there...WOW!  The sun was peeking around
the storm clouds making the red on the mesa look spectacular.




Watching everyone climb this hill was neat.  Our sport rocks!




Yep, I'm pretty much in love with the wild, wild, west!
Thanks Randy, for the chance to ride 55 miles AND take photos!
And many thanks to the volunteers and our terrific ride vets!

Until next time,  Linda

Monday, November 9, 2009

Arabian Horse Club of El Paso ~ Challenge Show 2009




Had a great time this past weekend at the Arabian Horse Club of El Paso All-Breed Challenge Show.  I think the most fun was seeing all the kids out there showing, and having such fun..it's been a long time since I've seen that many kids at a horse related event actually having FUN!



This was the stick horse class...entrants had to walk, trot and canter (in the correct lead of course!)




This young man was happens to be the son of one of our wonderful endurance ride vets.
I can see I'd better stay on top of my riding skills!  He'll be right on my heels very soon.




The caliber of the horses at this show was obviously high.  I was staring at so many
stunning horses for two days, it made it worth the trip just for the chance to see them...




The show committee built a great backdrop for Class Winners and Division Champion photos.

The Arabian Horse Club of El Paso puts a huge amount of effort into this show and, well, it shows!
Be sure and join us next year at the annual Challenge Show...you'll be glad you did!

Blessings, Linda

Friday, November 6, 2009

I WILL...



You do not marry someone you can live with...you marry someone you cannot live without...



~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~  ~
We knew it would be an emotional day.  Every little girl dreams about the knight in shining armor riding in on a white horse to make all her days wonderful and fulfilled; only the white horse just might be an ATV in this case!

The way they look at each other, the respect they have for one another, the giggles shared,
the "I want to spend all my days with you" gaze...yeah, they both have it...

We told him if he loved her as much as we do, everything would be just fine...



God bless you both, our daughter and son...may you have a lifetime of happiness together, mixed with just enough trials to cause you to appreciate the journey even more...


All our Love,

Mom and Dad

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Falling Colors...



This morning seemed like a perfect time to go search for some falling colors (kind of like falling back on our clocks which we did last night, falling in love, falling over, well you get the idea)  towards the
mountains on the Mescalero Reservation.  We always love that drive and today was spectacular.



To our friends reading this where you actually have four seasons, I know we don't compare
 to your fall colors but then, you're not riding horses in January and February, either!



St. Joseph's Church on the Mescalero Apache Reservation.  Always a beautiful
scene coming up the mountain.




This is overlooking Nogal Canyon off of Hwy 70.
This is one of my favorite spots ever!

Except this one might be my favorite too...





Sierra Blanca.
 Kind of takes your breath away when you round this
corner, no matter what season it is.  Earlier this week, there was much
more snow on the peak, but we have to wait until the weekend to travel, since
we're not retired yet...I emphasize, YET.




Shortly after the Sierra Blanca sighting, we rounded a corner and SAW THIS!

... SNOW...
Naturally, with this amount of accumulation, 
we turned around and went back home.
One can never be too careful!


Living the Dream!


Linda





Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Feeding Horses...


This morning we woke up to a storm warning, high winds and the chill of winter.  The termperature has already dropped over ten degrees since lunchtime.  Not that we ever really get winter in southern New Mexico, but we like to think we get cold...those of us who have lived in the midwest (Michigan) remember the icy winds and REAL cold and snow, but I'm trying to block that out of my memory!




A few months ago I photographed wild horses near Chama, NM at  the Monero Mustang Sanctuary.  The sanctuary depends on donations for hay purchases.  They really DO get cold near the Colorado/New Mexico border and very deep snow.  Sandi Claypool and her group are in need of monetary donations to keep these horses fat and sassy right into spring...

Please keep them and the horses in mind in the days to come.  You can view their website and beautiful horses here Monero Mustang Sanctuary ~ they are keeping a part of our culture alive by preserving these magnificent horses.

I also have a gallery of Monero horse photos at My website.  All proceeds from sales of prints and photo merchandise go directly to the sanctuary to purchase much needed winter supplies for these horses. 

Donating would be a great holiday gift to yourself...kind of makes you feel warm all over.

Blessings, Linda

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Eyes Have It...


I had the privilege of taking photos of a pretty magnificent guy, Flight Leader, recently and he just had a presence about him that kept my eyes glued. Naturally, he was showing off at the time and that made it all the more fun to watch! Even his name projects intensity and power.

But it was his eyes...they just danced...like he knew exactly who he was and why he was so special.
The truth is, he does know and that is exactly why he had such an air about him. Sassy, dancing, loving, compassionate eyes...and a little devious too!

Today I thought I'd share that "look". It's what little girls who love horses dream of.

It's not something you soon forget.

Blessings, Linda

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Met Him in Korea...


I met him the first evening I arrived at Kunsan Air Base, Korea. It was January, I was freezing, having just walked knee deep through the snow (in dress blue uniform and high heels, no less) to get to my new barracks room. It had just been a 15 hour flight from California to Korea so I wasn't necessarily in my best mood. He was sitting at the club with his boss...actually, our boss, since I was now assigned to the maintenance branch too. On top of everything else, I looked horrible.

Things didn't get much better for a couple months. I was in charge of the equipment status report for the maintenance branch we were assigned to. We had multiple arguments over equipment reports (he obviously didn't understand how complicated my job was.) I was just as capable of determining if a motor generator was broken or not, after all, I was a mechanic too...but since I was a woman, and it was 1981, I was put in the administrative section, in the offices. Yuk...

Then there was the day we had a "we've gone to war" exercise...I was trying to get into all four hundred pounds of my chemical gear. That included wearing a gas mask and that meant no coffee, which also put me back in "not my best mood." He said he had a solution, and that I could drink coffee through my gas mask tube! Eureka! Coffee salvation! What happened next must be imagined to get the full effect...here I am, gas mask over my head, holding a cup of coffee, sucking it up through a very small tube. Soon, it dawns on me that my mask is filling up and all you can see are my eyes, which are now changing from green to brown, due to the high level of coffee in the mask and I'm starting to drown...we got off to a great start!

I told him when we decided to get married that I would always have horses. He figured that meant we would go visit the horse every couple of weeks at the boarding stable.. eh....not so much.
We've been a team competing in endurance riding for over 20 years now. He's the pit crew, I'm the rider. He points me in the right direction to get down trail after about 20 miles when "rider retardation" sets in and I can't remember which way to go. He is known far and wide for his pit crew abilities and always makes sure everybody gets help if they need it. I love him for that too.

Today, I cherish every day with my best friend...my husband. We have so many wonderful memories of Korea and every place after that. We were blessed to raise a daughter together who is our life's joy. Most of all, we have made it through some very sad, tough times.
It's so comforting now to be able to see how it all worked out and know that God had His hand on our lives all along. We are truly blessed!

Happy Anniversary Jim! Can't believe it's been 28 years...here's to 28 more!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wil & Camille

Wil and Camille asked me to take their engagement photos.
I almost wasn't able to charge them for the session...there was no work at all involved.

We met for the session at the White Sands National Monument outside of Alamogordo.
Plants were in bloom, almost like they were waiting for the photos!

These guys were obviously happy and made my job so easy...

As you read this, remember to say a special prayer for our troops,
which includes these two...thank you both for your service.

I loved this wooden bench outside the monument buildings.

Many blessings to you both! Cannot wait for the wedding!

Until next time, Linda

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pink is My Favorite Color...

On Sunday, Amy, my Mom and I had the privilege to once again walk with my sister, Brenda (she's in the middle of the above photo) in the Komen Race for the Cure in Denver. Denver's event is one of the largest in the country and this year we had over 53,800 people walking and running! My lovely sister is a multiple-time (is that a word?) cancer survivor and we try to get to as many of the Denver walks as we can. Amy and Brenda made the classy pink fleece scarves you see around our necks...even the guys wore them!

This is a random photo taken as we were nearing Mile High Stadium during the walk. This many people keyed up towards a united cause is an awesome thing to witness. This year, together, we raised over $1,000,000 for cancer research and grants! I'm so proud of everyone!

This was one of our favorite "wigs" during the walk...all the pink accessories were so cute!

OK...I hid this photo in the middle on purpose! We had so much fun talking to these ladies! They were Mammographers from one of the local Denver hospitals. They were all dressed up as owls and the "boob" balloons were hysterical!

This is a view from the I-25 overpass as we were walking. Everyone was doing the "wave" from one end of the on ramp, over the overpass, and down onto the street below. It was terrific!

Can't you just feel all that energy!
Mothers walking with photos of their daughters lost to cancer. Men walking with pink signs on their backs supporting their best friends going through cancer...their wives. Children walking in memory of their mothers lost to this horrible disease.
Emotions ran the gamut from laughing and cheering along the route, to crying as you walked behind a father who just lost his daughter...

Bottom line, my sister has taught me how to LIVE. Every day, to the fullest.
I will forever be in her debt...

If we can help find a cure before next October's Race for the Cure in Denver, I can take
Brenda to the Broncos game instead...that's in my prayers, for sure!

Blessings, Linda

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Colorado

Amy and I are in Colorado for the Komen Race for the Cure!
Today is a down day (Komen walk is tomorrow) so we've been playing with the dogs,
and all of them love the frisbee~
I love the fall colors! They are just starting to turn for the season.

This is Tug, my sister Brenda's new rescue dog.
He's awesome and poses for each throw of the frisbee!


This is Snickers, Brenda's border collie. She is, of course, in charge of the frisbee!
Herding bred dogs are great, however, they expend energy at an unbelievable rate, rest for an hour or so and then go right back to running and chasing again.
In fact, our Australian Shepherd, Benson, who is here visiting with his "cousins" is
running so much I wasn't even able to get his picture today...