Monday, May 19, 2008

Well, Sunday was the day we had a birthday party for Scott and Caleb--of course Leah would have been included, but it would have been an expensive party to fly her home from Hawaii. Also, cousin Vicki's birthday was the week before, which I didn't know, so she got in on the cake picture. I originally planned the get-together to be at Jessica's house in order to use her yard, but the weather forcast was for rain and cool temps, so I decided to have it at home and just stay inside, which, for once, was a really good call because it was raining by the time everyone arrived. So, my "baby" turned 21 this year. Scott turned 39. Whew, it's been a loooong 39 years, and I can hardly believe it's been that long. I can still see cousin Vicki at about 3 1/2 years old, picking infant Scott up off the couch and carrying him around--giving both Aunt Barbara and I fits thinking she might drop him. But, obviously, they both survived...

Jeremy and Alyssa were even willing to pose. Aly will be starting kindergarten in the fall. She's quite the beauty and she obviously has her daddy wrapped around her finger.

Then again, here's Lauren: model, drama queen, talker, comedic relief, charmer...

brings back memories of what fun her mother was when she was my little girl.

Not sure what this get-up was, but she liked it and thought it made a great face guard.

It was fun having everyone here. We missed Leah, but she was here with us in spirit.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tulips and Tots

Driving around, past the park, down side streets, finally discovering a parking spot, not only on a pretty side street, but partially in the shade. Ureka! Park the car, grab the photo gear, lock up and wonder exactly how far I am from Washington Park. People swarming around, coming and going to the park, pushing babies in strollers, skating, riding bikes, carrying packages of treats purchased from vendors at the Tulip Festival.

I arrived in Albany at about 1:45 on Sunday, Mother's Day, thinking that things would have been slowing down and there wouldn't be too many people wandering around. The joke was on me. There were gobs of people. The Festival was open until 6 pm, and it was still going very strong at 2 pm. It was fun walking around looking at all the vendors. Fortunately I didn't have any interest in buying anything, so I wasn't tempted. I was basically there to see a friend of mine from the photo club who had a booth set up.

I finally found him and his wife, and happily sat down to talk with them for a while. Jim is a wildlife photographer and has made several trips to Alaska and an eagle wildlife refuge to photograph his subjects.

After resting for a while, I wandered back to where the flowers are and decided that since I made the trip down to Washington Park, I would at least try and get some pictures even though there were people all over. I tried a different approach--sticking the camera into the clumps of tulips and shooting up. It was tricky and not too many of them came out good, but it was interesting and I like some of the results.

Two days later at the soccer game and again people swarming around, some sitting in portable chairs, others wielding cameras, bottles of water, pushing strollers, chasing toddlers, talking with one another while watching their son/daughter/grandchild, run after the ball. One little guy just stood on the field sucking his thumb and watching his team mates run in the other direction. A couple of others decided they needed a break and they just sat down at the edge of the field to watch their teams. The sun was shining and casting that beautiful yellow glow that happens as it gets lower in the sky before sunset.

Lauren spent her time playing by running up and down the field, running off the field to her mom and me, asking for a hug, a drink, a rest. She's quite the performer--arms swinging, clasping over her head, behind her back, bending over in mock fatigue, engaging the coaches in some sort of conversation.

Jacob on the other hand, seemed a little more focused. He stayed right on the field the whole time of his game, except for assigned breaks.

Looking forward to another nice afternoon so I can watch them play again.


Saturday, May 03, 2008

Saturday, May 3, 2008


A week from tomorrow, May 11, is Mother's Day. New York's capital city, Albany, conducts a tulip festival every year on Mother's Day weekend. They plant thousands of tulips in Washington Park and other small areas in the city of Albany. During the festival there are vendors, performances, speeches, and the crowning of the Tulip Queen. It's quite a big deal. I've only managed to attend the festival once--as mentioned in a previous blog, I'm usually busy on the Sat. of the festival, and then I just don't bother going on Sunday.
But the year I went, I was very impressed at all they had going on there. It was a very pleasant way to spend the day.

Yesterday I planned on going to Washington Park to photograph the flowers. It was gray and dreary, but really the best light to have to photograph flowers. A little brightness would have been an added bonus, but sometimes you have to work with what you have and make the best of it.

I'm always surprised at the varieties of tulips at the park. In my limited knowledge of all things that bloom, I thought a tulip was a tulip, you know, the traditional tulip you seen in flower shops.

The city of Albany is very faithful about keeping the flowers looking good. They replace any that punk out before the festival, and then after the festival they sell the bulbs--I'm not sure to whom, but what a great idea to recoup some of the money they spend to plant the flowers in the first place.

After finishing at Washington Park, I thought I'd head over to the "Mall", as in outdoor area. Well, all the parking spots required quarters--I only had one on me, and it was 12 minutes per quarter. I didn't think that would be enough time to mosey around, so I wound up going to the Riverwalk area. No inspiration there, so after walking around for a while, I just got in the car and headed home.

Mahalo for looking and Aloha for now.