Saturday, April 26, 2008

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Well, last night we held our April bookgroup. The book was "Digging to America", by Anne Tyler. I hadn't read any of her books in a long time, so it was good to have to read one for bookgroup. In brief, the story is about two families who adopt Japanese babies and the families meet accidentally at the airport. They then become friends and have quite a few adventures together throughout the years.

Five years ago, Tina (our hostess) and her husband adopted a little girl from China and it was fun to hear how much her experiences were the same as the characters in the book. After a while, Christine and her dad returned home from an adventure and we got to visit with her before she went to bed. This is Christine and her Dad,

and here she's with her mom, Tina.

There were only 6 of us at the meeting, but no matter how few of us there are, it's always a good time. This group has been going strong for 29 years, and even though membership has fluctuated up and down and people have come and gone during those years, we've never given up on it. Most of us can honestly say that being part of this group has expanded our horizons in what we read. I know I've read many books I wouldn't have chosen on my own. It's been fun.

This first group shot includes me, and the next one includes Jessica. And yes, we actually do discuss the book--sometimes we get way off track, but someone always pulls us back to the topic on hand. But before and after the discussion, we eat and talk--it's great.

It was a beautiful evening--very much out of character for April in NY, but we all enjoyed it. For the first time we had the chance to sit in Tina's sun room during the discussion.

Our next book is The Luncheon of the Boating Party, by Susan Vreeland, a story about Renoir. We've read one of her other books, and she's a great writer, so this should be fun.

Aloha for now....

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Today I returned home from a Women's Retreat!! Whew. That's the end of the whirlwind I've been on since arriving back in NY. Of course it's likely that another one will begin in the near future, but for a while, at least, things will be calm and ordinary.

The retreat was great. We had an awesome speaker, the "class clowns" of my church kept things very lively and we laughed a lot, and the weather was about as perfect as it could be. A great combination.

This year is the end of our two year stint as the Organizing church for the retreat. What a relief--it's a ton of work and even though it's very gratifying, it's good to know that we don't have to do it again for a very long time.

At this time of the year, the buds are just barely showing their color, so this was the most creative shot of the lake I could figure out. I don't really have a lot of time for scenic shooting when I'm at the retreat, but every once in a while I get the urge to do something scenic. It's usually an absolute failure, but at least it shows the environment.

The next two images are of my church sisters. Okay, we can never do just a straight shot without horsing around a little, but I guess that's half the fun of going away together.

So if you'll notice, we are wearing leis and flowers in our hair--at least most of us are. In three months in Hawaii, I never wore a lei or flower. It took returning to NY to do that. Actually, the one lady who was responsible for organizing the ice-breaker game also came up with the idea of us wearing these items, as she said, in honor of me returning to their midst, and also to be identifiable to all the other ladies as the ones who could answer questions about room assignments, where the dining hall is, what time the session begins, etc., etc.

I was happy to wear the flower and lei when I found out that her first choice was bunny ears, but she couldn't find them in a large enough quantity. Whew, dodged that bullet, huh?

This is a group from other churches who were playing the ice-breaker. Everyone had to get in line in order of the letter of their first name, and they had to identify themselves without speaking, so they're trying to mime the letter of their name. The "not talking" part was the hardest as you can imagine with a group of 110 very peppy women.

This is a line-up of some of the ladies from my church. They kind of cringe when I show up with the camera, but they usually do what I ask.

All in all, it was a great time, but I'm glad it's over.

Mahalo for reading this post and Aloha for now.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Last week my sister-in-law called me and asked if I could help her present a slide show to her garden club. Seems she and two other ladies took an overnight bus trip to a a a, can't think of what it's called, but it's a huge indoor greenhouse type building that grows flowers and grass and shrubbery all year long. It was in PA, and they went there on March 1. Nothing outside of the building was blooming, but inside it was really beautiful.

Well, I can't grow anything more complicated than day-lilies, hosta and weeds, so the photos they took were great to look at. Not only that, but all of the ladies in the club have green thumbs so they even know the names of the flowers and plants.

So it got me to thinking about the Tulip Festival that happens every year on Mother's Day weekend in Albany. I've been down there the past two years--not on the weekend of the festival (seems like I'm always busy then), but during the week or two before the festival. The tulips are planted and everything looks spectacular, and it's great for taking photos cause there's hardly anyone there. On the weekend of the festival it's like the sky opens up and drops people all over the place, so getting good, unobstructed photos of the flowers is nearly impossible.

Now that I've run on about the Tulip Festival, I have to confess that none of the following photos were taken there. They're all from various other places where I've seen beautiful flowers and just shot them, not even knowing why, other than they were irresistable.

I'd even be tempted to take a trip like the one mentioned above--not that I want to buy flowers, not that I want to plant flowers, not that I want to weed flowers, but just that I'd love to take photos of them. I'll have to keep my eyes and ears open and hope I can connect with some kind of trip like that.

Enjoy the photos that follow:


Friday, April 11, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008


Well!! The blahs I'm talking about are the weather. Several days last week were very pleasant, but beginning today for the next several days it's rainy and grey and depressing. I'd love to be posting photos, but they would even depress you. Greyer than grey skies, mud and more mud, brown grass and bare trees. Well, that will all change very quickly--within a couple of weeks, spring will show her lovely head and the landscape will become gloriously beautiful. We can afford to be patient.

Last Saturday I photographed a wedding. Just two days after arriving back in NY. Between being on my feet all day, and a little bit of leftover jet lag, I was beat and very, very glad for the day to end. It was a lot of fun though, the people were awesome.

Since Saturday it's been non-stop again. Tomorrow I'm attending a wedding, Sunday I'll be out all day, next Tues/Wed I'm working and Thurs. morning I teach a photo class to a group of 4-H ers, then leave directly for a three day women's retreat. I will be very glad when it's all over, even though all of it will be enjoyable and I'm looking forward to it.
Aloha for now.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Friday, Ap. 4, 2008


This is my first full day back in NY. I arrived in Albany yesterday at about 2 pm. It was sunny and pretty mild. The "sunny" part was very pleasant. Today, however, was another story. It dawned greyer than grey and was raining. It stayed that way all day. Okay--the pleasures of living in the northeast.

The flight home was uneventful, although long. After landing in Seattle, we discovered that our connecting plane would be two hours late arriving. No problem. The airport was practically empty (it was 11 p.m. Seattle time, still only 8 p.m. Hawaiian time)--plenty of seats and stretch-out room, and quiet. So I found an outlet, put my feet up, turned on the computer and wiled away the time. We finally left the runway about three hours after the scheduled time.

Because of the delay, I missed my next connecting flight in DC, but got on the next plane.

It was actually good getting to the house. Coming home is just that--coming home to the familiar and comfortable. After about 1/2 hour, it seemed like my trip to Hawaii was just a dream. Had I really been there? Was I really standing on the beach watching the sunset just two days ago?

Time is a very strange thing. At least I have my pictures and memories to prove I was really there. And the hope of going back next winter.

I spent the day cleaning the house, specifically my studio/computer area. Very gratifying.