Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Look Out Below...

We're back on Long Island and I'm trying to plow through the photos I took on the trip. I seem to have a chronic problem of taking tons of images and getting few to none posted. But this was so overwhelming, I have to share.

On our third day in the Adirondacks, we happened upon this beautiful waterfall. The Adirondacks are full of falls, many of them are miles off the road. But this one was easily accessible by a very short path, and seemed to be a spot well known but not overly crowded.

My kids love to go to waterfalls...and so do I. We love to scramble up the rocks and there's something so pleasurable about perching near the edge of a falls just in range of the cool spray. There were a few folks swimming in the pools at the base of the falls, and I'm sure we would have been too if the air temperature had been higher. Seventy degrees is a little chilly to venture into cold mountain water. At least, for some of us.

However, there were a few brave souls....and I DO mean brave!

As much as this terrifies me to consider, how I wish I had the nerve to do it. It looks like SO much fun!!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


It's our last morning at Lake Placid. It's chilly and the clouds are heavy and full of drama as they roll over the mountains. The shadows and light are constantly changing on the peaks. I could watch forever.

I love this area....the Adirondaks. It's another place I would not hesitate to return to. I'd even consider living here if I could. I've learned a couple of things over the last couple of years. I love altitude, and I connect more with lakes than the ocean.

Is it just me...or are vacations complicated? Overall, the five of us ave had a good time together. But, there have been points of such incredible frustration (on my part). The maintenance level of the members of this family is exhausting. I'm not going to go into a lot of detail, but there were so many times I'd look at one of them and think "just get over it!" "IT" was never worth the negative energy being put forth, and certainly not worth unloading said energy on everyone else. I love these four people but some of them (2 in particular) are really difficult to spend extended time with. They're just too needy, and pissy when their needs are not met. And somehow...if I try and address that fact, it all gets turned around and becomes about ME. I just don't get how that happens.

So, as beautiful as it is here....as happy as I feel in these surroundings, I'm ready to get back to LI where we can go our separate ways and have some space. It makes me sad that THAT is what I'm looking forward to. It's not supposed to be this way, is it? I'm haunted with wondering where I went wrong.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Space....well, I can dream...

Earlier in the week we spent a few hours kayaking on Lake Placid. I was surprised at the boathouses on the lake. One after another, we paddled past beautiful structures built to provide housing for watercraft, often with a room or two above.

But when I saw this one....all I could imagine was what a great space it would be for an escape. A studio perhaps. I love the windows all around, and the beautiful view in every direction. I know realistically, it's not weatherized and would be miserably cold during an upstate NY winter. But if it could be...I think I'd love a space like this. I'll keep dreaming.

That's Joel paddling by....

my space

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Weather....or not.

View from our room of Mirror Lake and the village of Lake Placid.

Weather is always such a big factor in a vacation....especially with my family. And, so far, the weather has been iffy at best.

I try and plan for all weather possibilities. I always want something to do. Ideally, we'd be out enjoying the area by hiking to high peaks or looking for waterfalls. But, no one really wants to get five miles out and then caught in a pouring rain. Yesterday, we got rained on a couple of times, but the rain was light and short lived so it wasn't bad at all.

Just in case, I always pack books, projects, misc. art supplies...things to engage us if we can't be out. I usually can keep myself, and one or two of the kids busy and happy. My "strict" girl scout upbringing = always prepared!

Aaron looked at the weather forecast last night and went into a bit of a funk. Today, it's supposed to be overcast and chilly...high 50's. He grumbles like there's something we can do about it. I'm actually glad to hear that the weather is supposed to be cool. Since I've passed age 50...I'm too warm all the time anyway. I'm much more willing to venture out appropriately layered for cool weather than walk into the blast furnace of real SUMMER weather. I find this weather, a relief.

No one else in the family is up yet....I've got to get them moving so we won't miss breakfast. Then, the discussion will begin....with all the overtones of disgust because it's not sunny and 80 degrees. What to do, what to do? I think I can jolly my children through it and "save the day". In regards to the husband, I'm not so sure.

I will now don my smiling face of optimism.....

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I'm a little embarrassed at how long it's been since I sat down to write in this blog. I'll be honest, I've been discouraged at how the community has just kind of died back. I miss my visitors, but I'm just as guilty of not getting around the neighborhood the way I used to. But, I want to keep trying.

My lack of posts is not due to a lack of things going on. On the contrary, it's been a bit of a whirlwind. I'll give the very short version, and then try and fill in some blanks with follow up posts.

Most of my attention and energy has revolved around Arielle. She and I went to Allentown for a visit in May. She had her prom here in NY in June, and that was followed by her high school graduation, including grandparents coming to visit. I cannot believe we have two of the three kids through high school! It just went WAY too fast.

Of course, upcoming graduation meant we spent a lot of time over the last few months squaring away the college decision. She decided on UMass in Amherst.

Right before the 4th of July, I took her up to Amherst for her freshman orientation. I had never been there before I fell completely in love with the area. I would move there in a heartbeat!

The orientation didn't involve me at all. I dropped her off, and had two days to "play" while she was attending sessions and tours and making her schedule. But, I got a bonus! I have an very, VERY old friend who lives in the area. I hadn't seen her in thirty two years! As a matter of fact, we'd only been in touch twice in all that time. So, we were reunited and it was WONDERFUL! That's an entire story by itself that I want to share. I just need to sit still long enough to tell it.

I'm teaching aquatic fitness regularly at a national chain exercise club. I'm not particularly impressed with the way the program is run, but I am loving being back to teaching. I have a teaching style that is distinctly unique from the other instructors. This is going to sound snotty....but it's true. I'm the only instructor they have who has been educated specifically to teach in the water. I'm sure the other instructors are very effective in their particular areas of fitness expertise. But, what one knows about spin, or aerobic dance doesn't exactly translate to the water. The exercise mechanics in water are in many ways opposite to working on land. We had a "master" class for instructors recently and I learned two of them don't even swim! This just strikes me as....off. The good news is that the participants love my class....and tell me so on a regular basis. I'm getting a solid following.

We're leaving tomorrow on a family vacation up to Lake Placid, NY. I am so, SO looking forward to the trip. We will be in a setting that (to me) is just about perfect....a mountain lake region. I will be able to walk out the door of our hotel and take a three mile walk around a lake. I expect I'll be out a dawn every morning...weather permitting...either walking or out in my kayak. I'm also hoping to do some waterfall photography. It's something I've done some research on, but haven't had the opportunity to practice. No waterfalls on Long Island.

We started our vacation week today with a trip into Manhattan and a Broadway show. We promised Adrienne....uh....at least 10 years ago that we'd go see Phantom of the Opera. Well, we finally get her there.

I'll have to say, I wasn't really all that excited seeing the show....but I loved it. Visually, it was just a feast. I was so fascinated with the staging and THE COSTUMES!! Being the textile junkie that I am, I was just dying to get up close to those costumes....all that color and texture. They look so detailed and intricate from the audience, I can only imagine what went into them. I was looking on the internet for some images of the masquerade ball scene (which was spectacular)...but can find nothing that begins to do it justice. I'll keep looking.

So, that's the scoop in a nutshell. I really will try and do a post or two while we are traveling. I've neglected my photo blog just about as much as this one. But, I'll promise to try and do better if anyone is still with me.

Oh....and one more thing...

Something very exciting is brewing. Something I've worked toward, but have not dared believe was possible, for a long time. I won't say it yet because....while it's clearly in the works, its not cast in stone. I'm afraid, I'll jinx it.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Floating Away

This weekend, we did something we've been talking about for at least two years. We bought a pair of kayaks. This was on the top of our "as soon as we move to Long Island" list, but it took us 21 months to get it done. While we bought two, we only came home with one as Aaron picked a color that was out of stock. So his will be delivered in a couple of weeks. That means that for now, any kayaking will be solo.

I've always spent a lot of time around water. I've logged countless hours in a canoe. But, my kayak experience is limited to a couple of occasions where we rented them for half a day or so. Where we live on Long Island, we are less than a mile from a harbor which opens up onto the sound in one direction, and an extensive wetlands in the other. So I don't have to travel far for a little kayak excursion.
We took the boat down to the harbor yesterday and each of us took a turn taking it out for about an hour and a half. The water safety instinct that has been ingrained in me said "out in a boat alone? Not a good idea..." But, I know that paddling alone is not uncommon, and true evaluation of the situation made it a no brainer. Lifejacket, close to shore, flat water...so I agreed.

I may have a new passion. Since moving here, I have become so accustomed to being alone that I had no issue paddling off by myself. Company is not a necessity. And once I was out on the water, it was so still and beautiful, and interesting that the time flew by. I could glide by the edge of the grasses and get much closer to the egrets feeding along the shore. I'm going to have to practice stealth kayaking....I still spook them. I saw a heron take flight and an oyster catcher on the shore and a big horseshoe crab swam by. I paddled around a little island inhabited only by birds. It's protected for terns and plovers and I saw both. It's going to take me a little time to get up the nerve to take a camera out with me. And now I know why I hung on to my older model when I upgraded...it can be designated my boat equipment. I'm looking forward to exploring the shoreline from the water, getting another perspective. If anything will help me embrace living here...maybe, this is it.

This is a map of the harbor with the general route of my first outing inked in. There's still a lot to explore right in the back yard.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Playing Favorites

What I enjoy most about spring is watching my perennials reemerge. I welcome the return of color to the world and I like to see them thrive and fill with blooms as they get well established. I think of them as "mine" and when they come up, I feel reconnected with the earth. The sad part is that very few stay around as long as I would like, but as we move through the season, I have a series of favorites I look forward to.

Right now, one of my favorites is blooming full force. I absolutely LOVE columbine. They can be found in such a variety of colors and I love how they dangle at the end of slender stems. In PA, I primarily had purple columbines but here, I've been putting in more pink/red. They are exquisite and each day I go out to enjoy them. Like many spring flowers, the blooming season is too brief. I will miss them when they're gone.

Friday, May 15, 2009

May 15, 2009

Well, the blog every day thing was good for the week that it lasted. I am stretched to the limit to have anything to blog about. I don't seem able to just pour my heart out like I once did. So, I look at each day, and consider the "highlights" to evaluate their blog-worthiness and think....whatever. I've been posting more frequently in my photoblog. I guess I've felt like, if I can't say it in a picture it's probably not worth saying.

Actually, there have been a few things going on. Most notably, I spent last weekend in Pennsylvania at my neighbor's house. I went to a fantastic solo Hornsby performance with the woman who now owns my house (Hi Kate!) While I was in Allentown, I caught up with a couple of other friends and my old shrink (we can be friends now). Janet and I went out to an Amish farm to buy garden plants...like we did each spring when I was living there. It was an annual sojourn for us. This farm specializes in a wide variety of pepper plants and all kinds of heirloom tomatoes. Aaron wants a tomato garden this year, so I chose a few different types for him. I've been seeing various articles about growing tomatoes upside down from a hanging basket. So I also selected three types of heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes and I'm giving that a try this year. I'd really like to have yummy little tomatoes right outside the back door.

I helped Janet put out the weed cloth in her garden so she could get her plants in the ground. It felt so right to be working along side of her doing something we both have always enjoyed. I was thinking of working in my own garden across the street. It was alway such a big job for one person. I was enjoying working with her so much I couldn't help but think, why didn't we combine our efforts when I was across the street and share the labor and the produce? We both looked out for each other's gardens if one of us traveled over the summer. When I shared the thought with her, we both could only shake our heads at the now lost opportunity.

The entire weekend was sort of like being in a dream...or maybe more like coming out of a dream. Everything was so familiar and most of it was completely natural to me. I was driving the same car on the same roads....everything looks basically the same. But then I'd drive up my street and I couldn't turn left into the driveway and pull into the garage. Instead, I pulled up in front of Janet's house like I needed to make a quick stop before I going home. Then, I never went home.

Everywhere I went, I felt like it was my routine. But I had a nagging little voice in the back of my head saying "don't let yourself believe you're home...you're not."

It might sound like torture, but it's not quite that bad. It is a mixed emotion experience. Some peace and some pain. I did feel more like myself than I ever do in NY. I'm still a fish out of water here.

I returned to NY on Sunday and my family reunited for a mother's day dinner. Arielle had gone to PA with me and Aaron took Joel and Adrienne out to Chicago to see his mom. They had a great time and she really LOVED having them there. This was the second time that he's done this...taken the kids to his mom on mother's day. I'm glad he does, she sees so little of them and it means a lot to her.

Monday, was again like being in a dream...or just waking up from one. I went about my life here and by now it's all fairly familiar, but this time, there was no comfort in that familiarity. I see my old life as if through a mist. I want this to be the dream...and to wake up and be home. But, this is the reality. The dream cannot exist.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What an Amazing Sound...

I guess I tend to get obsessive about things, especially when I'm running away from emotional pain. I find something that will put me SO in the moment that I don't think about what hurts.

Now, I am totally fixated on the birds returning to Long Island. Spring is very slow in coming this year. I'm not seeing much in terms of new growth and the weather has (for the most part) been dismal. But each day I'm seeing more (and a wider variety) of birds, if I just go looking. It puts me in the moment, so that's where I've been.

I've mentioned the osprey nest. I cannot stay away. I was out watching them yesterday and noticed that they were very reluctant to leave the nest unattended. There must be eggs up there, and I want to be there when chicks eventually peek over the side. I can't imagine how they fledge....it's a LONG way down. It's something I don't want to miss.

Yesterday, I was sitting and watching when I realized I was hearing a very unusual sound. It was like moving air with a soft whistle. The whistle was multi-pitched, like a chord and the chord would rise and fall slowly and very rhythmically. It's really almost impossible to describe, but it was a beautiful sound. As I became conscious of it, it made me think of the sound I'd heard when I'd heard a swan fly overhead.

I've never lived in a place where swans were indigenous. Until I lived on LI, swans were like decoration to me. You'd see one or two that had been purchased to adorn the retention pond at a high end condo complex. Certainly their wings were clipped and they weren't flying anywhere. Out here, we see swans regularly, usually a pair occupies a particular body of water. But this year, there are a multitude of swans everywhere. I'd noticed a huge flock of swans on the river that feeds into the sound right where I watch the ospreys. I counted, there were 30 of them. They're so territorial (and aggressive) that I was more than surprised at the number of them in one spot.

Back to the point. I heard the sound and I thought I recognized it as the sound of a swan overhead. I turned around, and there were SEVEN swans just about to fly right past me! They are HUGE...it's amazing to think of them getting off the ground. It has to take amazing power to keep them airborne. And the flapping of the wings was the source of that soft and beautiful whistling chord. There was no way to get them all in a single frame, but I managed to capture three.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Birds

I know that one reason I don't post as frequently is that I can sum up what's going on in a pretty short statement. I watch birds.

How much can I say about this. I've found a few spots where I find beautiful birds to watch (and photograph)....and I can sit there for hours (literally) and watch, and fire off hundreds of shots.

I was out today, but not for as long as I would have liked. It was the prettiest day we'd had in over a week, and I headed out to try and photograph an osprey nest I've been watching. What incredible light there was this morning however, there wasn't a lot of activity. One of the birds was away from the nest the majority of the time, and the other was up there just keeping watch. I missed a couple of incredible opportunities, I'd look away or get distracted by something else, and one of the ospreys would leave or return to the nest. But, I am patient...and I will wait.

I had a time constraint today, and I pushed it just as long as I could before I had to leave. Nothing had been going on for quite awhile, but I gave myself just ten more minutes. My stalling paid off.


I can't wait to go back there tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


Day three of the one week bloggathon.

I'm thinking maybe posting regularly will start to feel natural again. I sure appreciated what everyone had to say in the comments about our old community. Maybe we can pull ourselves back together.

Warning...this entry will definitely feature some wallowing in self pity...just so you know and want to click out now.

Passover begins tonight, and therein begins my emotional distress. For most of the last 20 years we have celebrated this holiday with our close friends, our Jewish family, in Allentown. We didn't make it there in the fall for the traditional Yom Kippur break fast, and a variety of circumstances precluded us from going tonight for the holiday celebration. I'm having a terrible time with it, and struggling with a world class case of homesickness today.

I'm making a little Seder for the four of us, we'll at least have that. But, with all my heart I want to be with that same crowd of friends as we retell the story.

I'm thinking that perhaps I'm hurting from this a little more than I might because it comes directly on the heels of my trip to Indiana. I was already struggling with homesickness and bittersweet nostalgia. I've come to realize that, I'm ok with being in NY on a day to day basis. I don't love it, there's still a lot of emptiness associated with it, but there are some characteristics of the area that do engage me. Where I get into trouble is when I start thinking about my life either in PA or in IN. The feelings of loneliness and of being uprooted overwhelm me. The scab is ripped off the wound and I completely fall apart. That's where I am today...and it really sucks.

Another thing dawned on me this morning that I KNOW plays a part. When I made the decision to convert to Judiasm, I gave up all the major holiday traditions that I was raised with. It wasn't easy, especially when those holidays are going on all around you for weeks. But, I was committed to that decision and I just swallowed the loss. Then, as out family grew and we made new traditions with friends, that void was filled. This time, through circumstances beyond my control, I have lost all my holiday traditions again. Now, it's easy to think "start building new ones!" But realistically, the traditions evolved through the raising of our children over the last 20 years. The children are now mostly grown and the friends of 20 years are celebrating in PA tonight without us. Traditions take time....lots of it. And, we're one year into this.

My rational mind knows everything that's wrong with what I'm saying here. I'm constantly scolding myself about being such a big baby. I repeatedly find myself stuck in the same place within different situations. I can't go back, but I don't know how to move forward. Part of the intertia comes from fear of facing more hurt. I really am afraid to attach to anything for fear of losing it. In the last three years I lost my sister, I lost the two places that I considered "home", and now my holiday traditions are slipping out of my grasp. I would LOVE to find a way to get ahold of myself....to come to my senses and move on. But for the life of me, I just cannot figure out how.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Break the Silence

Martha at Menagerie posted an entry about how infrequently she has been blogging recently. She has the week off work, and proposed a challenge inviting her readers to join her in a mini bloggathon and post every day for the week The point is to help some of us regain some consistency in posting.

I know that I have really lost my momentum. I've been reduced to posting about once a month. It's a combination of having a lot of things competing for my time, an apparent loss of readers, and the feeling that I have nothing of interest to share.

So, I accepted the challenge. I miss what I used to get from frequent posting. Things just have not been the same since we moved to blogger. I feel overwhelmed by the number of blogs I come across that are of interest. I can't begin to follow them all. I want to follow my old favorites but often miss their new posts. And I have to decide between spending my allotted blogging time reading or writing.

I definitely do not spend near as much time at the computer as I once did. Through blogs, I have been introduced to so many creative ideas that I feel compelled to DO rather than be satisfied with a vicarious experience. At any given time, I could be doing what NEEDS to be done around here (NAH!!), or be out taking pictures, or editing the hundreds of photos I have that need work, or sewing, or......well, you get it. But I feel a sense of loss in sharing with my online friends, and perhaps this little challenge will help me to recapture a bit of that.

I'm really going to try to post SOMETHING each day this week. It may not be much, but if it's more than nothing then I've succeeded. There is value in this. I know it from the quality of friendship that I have found. Thank you Martha for encouraging me to recapture it, before it entirely slips away.

Monday, April 06, 2009


Well, this is a situation that just a few years ago I never would have imagined. I'm in my hometown in Indiana...staying at the home of my oldest childhood friend, four doors down from the house where I grew up. It's just weird.

Arielle was accepted to Indiana University, and she and I made the trip out here so she could get a look at the campus. We flew into Indianapolis yesterday and drove to Bloomington. We visited with my cousin and his wife, then took my nephew and his girlfriend out to dinner. We spent the night in Bloomington and today was pretty well consumed by campus tour/orientation for accepted students.

I didn't go to IU, but several members of my family and many of my close friends did. I have enough of a history there that touring the campus brought back a lot of memories. The weather was awful, but I really loved every moment of walking through the campus.

I expected this trip to be essentially a formality. I thought Arielle was already to a point where she was feeling like she'd made a decision. But, she really liked IU. She says she's got some research to do and a big decision to make. It looks like it's going to be IU or U Mass.

I don't really know which I'd be happier about. I'd like her to be close, where it's easy for her to get back to us. There's also a piece of me that would like to have her out here in Indiana. I'd have a reason to come back here from time to time.

But, being here has not been without its emotional pitfalls. I had made plans to come down to Bedford and visit my friend, but as I was leaving Bloomington and heading this way I was so anxious I felt sick. The tears stung my eyes as I drove past my grandmother's house. I was overwhelmed with sadness when I went past my home. It's like an empty shell...the family that occupied it for the last 100 years has abandoned it. I felt a bit like a traitor.

I cried a bit when I first arrived at my friend's, but she was expecting that this would be a difficult visit and was prepared to mop me up if she needed to. It wasn't that bad, but the fact that I'm up here now in her guest room instead of down the street in my room is just too unnatural to put into words.

It makes me wonder if I want an excuse to come back here. Just like the PA situation....I can't visit the friends I love without having to wrestle with the pain over what I left behind.

It's a short visit....just one night. Tomorrow we head back to NY. But first, I'm visiting the cemetary. I need to be with Meg and Daddy, my baby sister, Schuyler and my grandparents for just a little while. I'm afraid it will be too long until I'm back here again. I know it's going to break my heart. But I just need to go.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Carmina Burana

Last night, Arielle's high school chorus and orchestra performed Carmina Burana together with the Ithaca College chorus. They did a very impressive job and the soloists from Ithaca were extremely good.

Throughout the performance, I couldn't help but thinking what a wonderful experience it must have been to be on that stage. In high school, I participated in both concert band and chorus. I went to a small midwestern high school that couldn't support a full orchestra, but I was very dedicated to my participation in band and especially enjoyed when we performed "serious" music. I would have loved to have had the opportunity to be in an orchestra, playing the piece we heard last night. It had to be a real thrill. I'm delighted that Arielle had that opportunity.

I'm sad to think how that part of my life has slipped beyond my grasp. I can't tell you how many years have passed since I picked up a flute, yet the soloist last night moved me so that I ached to play like that. I know that if I were to dig it out of the closet, I wouldn't get that beautiful tone and fluid expression out of the instrument. I think I might still be able to squeak out a B flat concert scale. Yeah...that's probably still with me.

I was not raised to pursue visual art. It's ironic that my energies are so intensely directed that way now. I WAS raised with a lot of musical encouragement. I don't have a lot of innate talent...but I loved to practice so I wasn't half bad at the instruments I pursued. But in my adult life, I haven't had (or made time for) making music. At least not much.

After my dad died, I bought a piano. I went back to taking lessons and was getting into practicing again. It was all starting to come back to me. I prefer playing the piano because the music I can make is so much more full than playing the flute alone. Then, when Meg was killed, I just stopped cold. I'd sit down and play a bit and it all just felt wrong. I can't explain it...I felt nothing and too much all at the same time. The piano seemed to call to me, but I couldn't approach it...I just couldn't.

It still feels that way. I see the instrument sitting in my living room and I'm drawn to it but I can't bring myself to put my hands on the keys. I don't know if I'm more afraid of the emotion it will evoke or the fact I KNOW how rusty my skills will be and the frustration and disappointment that will come from that. It's a roadblock I can't seem to break through but after last night, I think I should try. I know it's all part of a bigger issue I'm having with clinging to pain and not allowing myself to feel joy.

But, I've decided that I'm going to call a tuner and get it in shape. It's a step...a tiny one but a step none the less. Then we'll see where it goes from there. I'm not destined to have the experience of playing as part of an orchestra, but after last night I realize that I need to try let musical expression back into my life.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

A Whirlwind Trip

I'm back in NY after a quick but wonderful trip to Sedona, AZ. I am absolutely IN LOVE with Sedona and I'm ready to go back NOW!

We had three days in the area and we tried our best to make the most of them. We did as much hiking as we could and I have so many photos....well, I'm embarrassed to admit how many. I have some work cut out for me.

I returned to somewhere around 15 inches of snow and it was no easy feat. I was aware of what was going on weatherwise on the east coast and I was certain that my flights would be cancelled and I'd end up with a day to explore Phoenix. But, my flight from Phoenix to Philly took off on time....to the complete disbelief of everyone on the plane. My luck ran out in Philadelphia as my flight to Long Island was canceled...as was the only later flight. After standing in a line for an hour to rebook, I learned that they couldn't get me on a flight until Wednesday! I really didn't think that renting a car and driving was an intelligent option, so I continued my sojourn by train. Five hours...three train rides and a cab later...and I was back safe and sound. The same is not true for my luggage. I've got my fingers crossed on that one.

My car is still at the airport and the driveway has not been shoveled so I definately have my work for the day cut out for me. The snow is beautiful and I was not sorry to have it greet me. I'm finding the weather contrast, each breathtaking in its own way, uplifting and spiritually invigorating.

Thursday, February 26, 2009


My extended lack of blog posts is directly related to the distinct lack of anything of interest going on around here. I guess that's just winter on LI. I've had the opportunity to meet up with a couple of my favorite blog pals (You girls know who you are) which was wonderful, of course. Other than that, I've been out on a few photo shoots, working around the house, doing the mom thing...etc. So much for that.

But, today I am heading out on a short trip to Sedona, AZ. Aaron is out in Tucson now for work, and must be there again on Monday. So, I'm going out today and we'll spend 3 days among the red rocks. I'm racing around doing my last minute organizing and packing. I'm very excited to make this trip.

I was out in the southwest about a million years ago. My parents took the family on one of those cross country road trips as far as AZ. We visited someone from our hometown who was living out there at the time, who was a geologist. Now that I'm mature enough to be interested, I wish I had that kind of guide. But, back then I did appreciate the sheer beauty of it all and I'm very much looking forward to immersing myself in it....if even for a very brief time. I won't make it to the Grand Canyon this time, but I'm hoping that it will whet Aaron's interest in a return trip before long. One of my biggest regrets is that we never took the kids on a cross country jaunt. A roadtrip is my kind of travel!

I think I'm taking more photo gear than clothing. Priorities, right?

Well, at least this should guarantee a couple of days more than worth posting about.

See ya...

Saturday, February 14, 2009


The last couple of days, I've been carrying the grief of 51 families.

I was devastated to hear about the plane that went down near Buffalo Thursday night. Whenever there is a tragic accident, I find myself reliving my experience over again. I can't separate myself from those who are getting the news...their loved one is gone,without warning, through no fault of their own, in the blink of an eye.

This one affected me intensely because of the fire involved. Those families will have no remains, and will be forever haunted by what they imagine of the last moments of the lives of those who are lost. It's agonizing....and it never leaves you.

I was listening to the news last night and they were describing how the plane rolled and pitched and then just fell out of the sky. The fear those passengers must have felt, if only for a few moments, had to be more excruciating than anything we can imagine. My heart is broken for them, for what they experienced, and for all those they left behind who must somehow come to terms with the unthinkable.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Just Random

Tonight as I was making dinner, I was cutting up some beets. I love beets, but we just started having them regularly. I guess I assumed that no one else liked them. One day I thought I'd just give them a try and everyone (who eats like a normal person) likes them very much. All these years, beets could have been part of the menu.

Working with the beets made me think about my grandmother, Hartie. She was the kind of grandmother that loved being with children and was always teaching us things by engaging us in her activities. We adored her and soaked up her wisdom and guidance like little sponges. I recall one time that I was helping her in her kitchen. We were getting ready to put up pickled beets. She'd had them in boiling water and as she was straining them she gave me this little pearl...
"If you're ever in a vegatable peeling contest and you get to pick what you peel, pick beets." She then proceeded to show me how, after being boiled, you could squeeze the beet right out of the skin. I was sure she was right, in a peeling contest the person peeling beets would certainly come out the champion. This memory always makes me smile and I feel the love I still have for her well up inside me.

Then I was thinking, in 2009, how absurd a vegitable peeling contest sounds. I guess there could be an event like this somewhere in some small town at the county fair. But it almost sounds ridiculous to me. So much changed in her lifetime. She'd tell us stories about how she and her siblings would run out to the road to see the first car in town go by. She lived to see a man go to the moon. Of course, THAT was something that was pure fantasy when she was young.

I can't even begin to predict what I'll see in the remainder of my life. How much more technology can we absorb? I'd like our technological efforts to more away from entertainment and be more focused on curing diseases, feeding people and eliminating all types of suffering. And I hope we find some solutions to the damage we've done to the earth. I know I don't need an even bigger tv.


Arielle has all her college applications in. Most of the schools have notified her that they've received her application and are waiting on her transcripts. They're also sending her their marketing materials. Yesterday, she got a big color brochure from Indiana University. While I didn't go there, I spent a lot of time on that campus as a teenager. I was startled by my feelings as I looked at those familiar limestone buildings. They were very strong and all about home. I would love for her to go there and give me an excuse to make regular trips to southern Indiana. Of course, I'm going to keep my mouth shut because this decision is about her, not me. But it's all kind of ironic to me. I remember a time that I couldn't wait to leave Indiana. I never thought I would yearn for it like I am. I never felt homesick for Indiana while my mother was still there but now that it's no longer home, I'm longing to be there. Who knows how I'd feel when I got there and was faced with the fact that the stability it represents to me, is gone.


The Dead are going on tour this spring. There are going to be several performance in the north east. Aaron's brother is a HUGE fan and has been to countless shows. We talked about him coming out here and all of us going to two together.

Today the tickets for the entire tour went on presale at noon EST. Larry was trying to get tickets for two other shows he wanted to attend, so I was to get the tickets for the New York performances. I started trying to get on the site a little before noon. For the next two hours, I tried to get on the site. Larry and I were checking in with one another regularly but neither of us was having any luck. Larry was also communicating a few other friends of his that were looking for show tickets. No one got in.

Finally, I made it into a "holding area" where I was on a queue to order tickets. Finally, the ticket order comes up and I entered my request. Guess what! SOLD OUT! Larry didn't do any better, nor did any of his friends. No one got tickets. It makes me sick because we KNOW that a vast number of those tickets were gobbled up by brokers. I looked on a couple of sites and sure enough, there were seats being offered at up to ten times the actual cost. Isn't ticket scalping illegal? Why is this not considered scalping?


Here in the northeast, we're getting ready for a real blast of bitter cold, COLD weather. I wish it would come with a foot of snow. It seems that Long Island winter is tempered by the water that surrounds us. I love getting snowed in at least once a year.


Monday is my birthday.


Berkeley is doing much better. His hot spot is almost healed. He had to wear one of those clear cone collars for about 10 days. I had no idea what a pain in the ass those were...for both him and for us. He knew it was there, but he didn't get that his head now took up three times more space. He was knocking into everything and scraping it along the wall. And every time he did, it made a loud noise. I felt so sorry for him, it had to be incredibly loud inside the cone. He was constantly bumping into me...and he was a total hazard if he was around me on the stairs. We're all glad we're done with it...hopefully for good.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


I'm so overwhelmed with pictures right now, I don't know whether to just plow through editing them or just touch up a few and get them posted. I usually take the plow through approach, which almost always takes much longer than I expect and then, I don't get anything posted at all. So, before this is completely stale "news", I thought I'd get these up.

Last Sunday, Aaron and I went to an exhibit at the Nassau County Art Museum which featured Louis Comfort Tiffany lamps. We've all seen the faux ones, and I know I've only seen a real one before because Aaron's brother collects them. But what a spectacle to see so many in one place. The room was very dimly lit, and I don't think I fully appreciated the intensity of color in these works of art prior to seeing them illuminated. Most of the lamps we saw had a nature theme and I was very interested in how the florals were pieced together. I could see working it into a quilt applique. Is it ok to rip off Tiffany? I think if I refer to the pieces as my "inspiration" or "muse", I can get away with it.

Anyway, I took photos of all of them (it was allowed) and I wanted to show a small example. Can you imagine one in your living room?

this pattern below is one that I would LOVE to do in fabric...

I really loved this piece. Totally impractical...but I have the perfect place for it!