Dear Dad


 I never realized how big of a void there would be in my life without you in it.

You always tried to find the good in everyone and every situation.

You may be gone but you will never be forgotten because you will always be in my heart.

I placed flowers on your grave for fathers day but somehow that never seems like enough.

Father’s Day is like one of the toughest holidays for me to get through. It has been 2 years and 9 1/2 months since you passed away and I really do not know where the time has gone.

Happy Father’s Day I love you!


Property taxes and lawnmowers

On Thursday we went to the county tax office to protest our tax increase since it has increased so much the last 2 years.

We were not able to get it down that much due to the fact that homes in the area same age as ours sold for so much money. Why is everything based on what someone else did?

People are wanting land and it’s getting harder to come by because the subdivisions are taking it all up. They do not even mind the age of the homes because they want the land so badly.

Our daughter and her husband just bought a house on 4 acres so they can have their own mini farm. They want to raise their children in the country instead of being in a subdivision. They already had dogs but have now added 3 Nigerian Dwarf Dairy goats- and 11- chickens.

There are more goats coming in a few weeks one which will be mine but I will keep it with theirs since they are herd animals. When I have my own herd they can come here.

In Manvel, the land values increased more than any other city in the county. An acre in the right area such as ours is worth $56,000 per acre. It has increased $22,000.00 an acre in the last 2 years. This is all great and good until it’s time to pay those taxes.

We have to have a riding lawn mower because we mow 2 acres you do not do this kind of yard with a push mower. Our current cub cadet riding mower is working fine is just takes a long time to get it all mowed.

Thursday we bought a 54″ Cub Cadet zero turn lawn mower to make mowing 2 acres easier. This mower is very fast there were no lines in the yard or the pasture. The pasture now looks like a golf course lol it’s amazing. We love this new mower it cuts down our mowing time to 1/3 of what it was taking.

Controlling a zero turn is interesting, to say the least, you have two handles instead of a steering wheel. I caught on pretty quick and was making those donut type turns in no time.

The moral of this story is when you go to the tax office and you can not get your taxes lowered do not get depressed. Instead, go out and buy a new zero turn lawnmower to make yourself feel better. After all, it’s about saving you some time and someone’s going to get your money anyway.






The wind

Every since the beginning of March, we have had a big problem with the wind.

Normally you can count on March being windy but then it goes away.

It seems like every day for the last few months for sure it has been super windy and whipping everyone and everything around. It dries out the plants faster than normal.

It means I have to water every day. The overcast days make you think it is going to rain and then all you get is wind.

It is a good thing we have our own water well at this rate of using water.







Credit and debit card scammers

In our area of Alvin, Manvel, Pearland and Rosharon Texas there is a lot of credit and debit card scams going on.

If this happens to you all you have to do is think back when the last time you used your card was and you can trace it back to where it happened.

About a month ago we used our credit card at a popular local restaurant we handed it to the waiter to pay for our meals. NEVER hand your credit card to a waiter we learned this the hard way.

They can take a picture of your card on their phone and send it to the scammers who are paying them to do this. I am not saying all waitresses and waiters are involved but there are plenty who are. We had 400.00 charged on our card just a few days later. Now I reported the charges to the credit card company and told them they were not ours. In just a few days the charges were removed from my card and a new card was issued. This happened in Pearland, Texas.

The same week we swiped our debit card outside at the gas station. Never do this take it inside to pay and guess what your amount will be. Remember do not leave your credit card or debit card.

The scammers alter the outside gas pumps and the owners of the stations never go outside to check them. We had another 200.00 charged on our debit card. I cancelled the debit card, went to the bank filed a report and two days later we had our money back. This also happened in Pearland, Texas.

Our daughter and her husband have had their debits cards scammed 4 times in the last year. Their fraud has happened in Manvel and Pearland, Texas at the gas stations.

I have a friend who used her debit card this past week at a different restaurant than we did she handed it to the waiter. Her card was copied and used a few days later they charged $200.00  before she caught it. This also happened in Pearland, Texas.

I have recently found out there are scanners some of the scammers carry and all they have to do is walk by you and your purse or wallet and they are able to scan the entire thing. I also heard there are apps on their phones they can do this with. If anyone around you is acting weird when you are paying for a purchase beware because they are probably scamming and skimming your card.

Only carry one card at a time so this can not happen to you.

They can even steal gift cards.

  1. )The lessons we learned are do not hand your waiter or waitress your credit card or debit card.
  2. )Never swipe your card at the gas pump go in a pay.
  3. ) Pay with cash when you can to avoid all issues.

I hope by sharing our experiences with this we can help someone else avoid this.


Things get in the way | Manvel, Texas Photographer

Often times, when I see the perfect picture something is in my way. It could be power lines, fences a building etc. Those things in my pictures really bug me if they are Taking away from my picture.

On this particular day, I wanted to get a picture of this tree standing all alone in this flooded pasture. You can tell how deep the water was because in the bottom left-hand side of the picture those three dark circles are tops of the fence post.This water was part of the over flow from the Brazos River into this pasture.

This picture was taken in Rosharon, Texas.

I only spent a few minutes on the editing, but it made a big difference in the final picture.Without the power lines, there are no distractions from this lone tree and it’s reflection in the water.

I use Adobe Lightroom for my first edits and I finish up in Corel Paint Shop Pro or  Adobe Photoshop.

Don’t let something get in the way of the pictures you truly see just edit it out and then you will have the perfect picture.

Manvel, Texas PhotographerBrazosRiveroverflowSonyaLiraPhotography2

Red Brahman Cattle | Brazoria County Photographer

Fairly close to where we live is a red brahman cattle ranch and they have a large herd of cattle.

I have no idea how many there are because they were all headed back in towards the barns when I tried to get pictures. It was probably feeding time that is when you will notice a herd of cattle moving in an orderly fashion.

Cattle ranches in Texas are something you just expect to see. When you see a large herd of good-looking cattle you know they are well taken care of.

Sonya Lira Photography Manvel, Texas Sonya Lira Photography Manvel, Texas