Friday, October 31, 2008

The Cat

I spent the day working on the slide show for my daughter's bon voyage gathering tomorrow afternoon at church. Between my computer not working right and my not being able to work the slide show program correctly, I was pretty frustrated by the end of the day. "Near tears" is more like it. I finally got some help with the program which calmed me down a little, but it was still pretty stressful finishing the slide show.

As I was sitting at the dining room table working on the show, I looked up and saw my cat sitting on the window sill of the open window--it was a beautiful day, the entirety of which I spent indoors. Looking at the cat I thought that her biggest challenge is getting our attention to open the cellar door so she can get to her food. What a life!!

There's probably a lesson or two (or more) here: don't get stressed, enjoy the day, look at the beauty around you, ask for attention when you need/want it, take naps, play when you want to...and on and on. She looked peaceful, and I longed to be feeling that peace.

Well, I finally did finish the slide show, but I won't bore you with the additional glitches that occurred. Suffice it to say that the "show will go on" tomorrow afternoon, and I do believe that after this weekend, I'll be able to "sit on the windowsill" (figuratively speaking) in the very near future, at least for a time.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bags, Bags and More Bags

It wasn't a Tupperware party, not a Pampered Chef party, nor a Mary Kay party...It was a Purse Party. For those of you who like purses and who enjoy matching your bag to your outfit, this is the party for you. A huge selection of styles, with a huge selection of outside fabrics and linings. Design Your Own Bag.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. Seems like I quoted that once before for a post I didn't have a good photo for. I see a trophy in my future!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


The advent of "a computer-in-every-home" made the word "icon" part of our everyday language. I love the word. It's so appropriate. So last night, when I was supposed to be sleeping (what's that and who does that anymore at my age?) I wound up thinking about what photo I would take today and what my post would be about. (Egad!!! isn't there something wrong when you spend half the night thinking about photography and blogs?)

Well, last evening, around 9:30 our power went off. Bummer--I anticipated a long, cold night, but amazingly around 10:00 the power came back on. So just to be on the safe side, I dug out an extra quilt in case the power went off during the night and I would need to add another layer. That got me thinking about quilts. They are definitely icons. Icons of what, you ask? Well, here's a few ideas:
snuggling on the couch to read or watch tv
the craft of sewing
quilting bees
hot chocolate
New England
fabric stores
the Amish
stay-at-home moms
wood stoves
hay rides
building forts with the dining room furniture

If you have any other suggestions, let me know. So, following are a couple of the quilts that I've made in my history of "being mom". I have a few more under construction and I probably should get going on them.

Although I desperately want to live in a warm-all-year climate, I would miss quilts. I might just have to take a couple with me and use them for decoration. With the snow on the ground right now and the wind blowing, I'm definitely enjoying my quilts now.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Flat Tire!!

I had some errands to do this morning before I went to work at the church. I stopped, for the first time since it opened, at Target. Love that store. Then I had to go to Price Chopper across the road, but when I backed the car out of the parking spot, I thought something felt/sounded strange. Being the typical naive woman that I am, I just toodled across the road, but by the time I pulled into the parking spot, I definitely knew there was something wrong--and it just had to be a flat tire. Nothing else would have felt/sounded like that. Sure enough!!! There it was--a whopping flat tire.

Oh well, flat tire or not, I had to get some things from the store, so I went in and got the things I needed. When I came out it was pouring rain and I wasn't too happy about having to change the tire in the rain. I thought I'd go across the road to the nearest gas station, then thought twice about it, convinced that if I did that I would irrepairably damage the tire or something. As I stewed over my options, eureka!! (love that word) I remembered that I have a road service, and that it's paid up. What a concept.

So I happily called them, they dispatched Dudka's and I sat and waited. No book to read, no mess in my purse to clean out, no journal to write in, no more shopping that needed to be done. Sigh. What to do while I waited? You know, "Idleness is the devil's workshop" and all that stuff. Suddenly, eureka!! I remembered my camera was in my purse. So I spent about 15 minutes trying to be creative.

So, the guy said he could take the tire, which had captured a screw in the tread and needed a plug, to the shop and I could pick it up later. Hooray! I went off to work, feeling good about the fact that I could get the tire put back on later and then head off to Albany, where I needed to do two fairly important errands. NOT!!!

By the time I was ready to leave for Albany, stopping first to get my tire replaced, it was SNOWING!!!! ARGH!!!!! I keep asking myself and other people, what the heck to we live in upstate NY for? Why do we subject ourselves to this C R A P P Y winter weather??? In case you're not clear about my feelings about winter yet, let me tell you. I HATE IT!!!

So when I called Dudka's, the owner said he wasn't sure if the tire had been repared yet, and all his guys were out on calls and I should call back in 1/2 hour. Okay--back to the computer to play solitaire for 1/2 hour, watching the snow come down in bigger, heavier flakes, and despairing that I wouldn't make it to Albany today. I was right. By the time I went to get the tire, the snow was already collecting on the roads. No traveling for me today.

So now I'm home, sitting in my cozy living room, gnashing my teeth over the inconveniences of winter in the northeast, but also counting my blessings. The tire got fixed, I made it to work, I got home safe and sound, my kids are all home safe (wherever home is for them), the house is nice and warm, the chili is bubbling on the stove, God is still in control and on His throne and I have hopes that I can get to Albany tomorrow afternoon and complete my projects there.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Frustrating Post

I just spent the most amazingly obscene length of time trying to get these photos made into a slide show like I've done in the past. It just wouldn't work, my head is hurting, my eyes are drooping, it's late and I have a really busy, long day to look forward to tomorrow, so here they are, even though they aren't in slide show format and even though they're out of order (I'm too tired to care), which would have been really cute!!

Jessica came over with the kids for some pumpkin sculpting. Mackenzie must be "too cool" to carve, so he just sat in the living room watching TV with Scott. Leah and I helped Jacob and Lauren. I think they had a good time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sense and Scents

We had another great Fall day today. It started out pretty chilly, but sunny, and then it warmed up to a very pleasant temp. We got out of church very late today due to another missionary presentation, and the drive home was sweet.

I didn't manage to get outside for any photos though. So this evening, after dark, I decided to shoot these candles. This has been on my mind for quite a while, so I'm glad I finally got around to it. These candles are in front of the fireplace screen in my living room. As you can see, I took two different shots, both with and without flash. I thought I would like the ambient light ones better, but I actually like the last shot a lot too. Again, as with most images, it's very subjective, and as the saying goes (with a slight twist) "one man's good image, is another man's junk".

I love candles. They're soothing to look at, the scented ones smell great, they give off a great glow that makes any room seem cozier, and they definitely come in handy when the electricity goes off, as it does pretty regularly where I live. So it only makes sense to burn them. I received about a gazillion jarred candles for my birthday, so I'm set for a long time. yeah!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Through the Windshield

It was another one of those days when I couldn't imagine what I was going to photograph. It was pretty dreary out and there were even some light sprinkles, so it wasn't a very photographically stimulating day. We left for church for the missions conference around 2:30. I don't usually get the opportunity (??) to sit in the back seat, so while I was sitting there waiting for the driver, I had another epiphany!! Get out the camera.

So I started looking through the view finder and discovered how interesting things look from the back seat through the viewfinder. It was just another opportunity to see things with a different perspective.

Andy Rooney wisdom: I've learned.... That it's those small daily happenings that make life so spectacular.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Missionary Weekend

This weekend we're having a missionary conference at church. Tonight, Al Tricaico from northern Uganda spoke. It was great. He and his wife already had 5 children when they went to the mission field. God bless them.

After listening to him and talking to him after, I definitely am reminded about how blessed we all are in this country. End of sermon.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

"Susie Homemaker Day"

Well, today was one of those days. I stayed home all day and did Susie Homemaker kinds of things. I cleaned (a little), I baked, I cooked, all while I was trying to learn how to use iTunes. So while albums were uploading to the computer, I was doing all this other stuff. Now this may not seem quite so spectacular to the rest of you, but usually I only manage two out of three of these activities in any given day.

If I cook, I might clean or bake, but not both. If I bake, I usually clean, but don't cook, and if I clean, usually nothing else gets done--so on those days I'm thinking, "egads, you want me to cook too, didn't I make dinner last week?", or "look at the mess I just cleaned up from all the cooking I did, you want me to start all over in order to bake too?", or some such sentiments like that.

But today!!!! I did it all. I don't know why and I'm pretty sure it won't happen again for a long time, but it was pretty gratifying just the same. I used to do this all the time, AND take care of little kids--zowie!

Just to prove that I really did bake, (can't prove the other things unless you want me to take a photo of the spag & meatballs I made--which by the way were very good and are now already put away in the fridge, or empty the dirt canister of the vacuum--okay, too much info, right?)here's a photo of the before and after apple pie I made.

Seriously, this "photo a day" sometimes causes me to dredge up the most ridiculous ideas for photos.

Speaking of cooking and the resulting dirty dishes, akagaga was kind enough to send me the words to the poem I mentioned last week. Here goes:

Thank God for dirty dishes
they have a tale to tell
while others may go hungry,
we're eating very well.

With home and health and happiness,
I shouldn't want to fuss,
for by the stack of dirty evidence,
God's been very good to us.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Second Time Today

This is a first...a second post in one day. Today is Wed., and as you all must know by now, based on my Wed post from last week, I attend my photo club meeting on Wed. evening. I got to Morette's a little early and didn't want to go into the restaurant and sit there alone. So, since I had my trusty camera with me, I spent some time taking photos.

First I attempted to capture movement in the trains that were going by, but that was hugely unsuccessful. Then I decided to try for some car lights. The next three images are the best of the lot. Such fun, and a great learning experience. It's not as easy as it looks... but the learning is fun and so worth it.

Ye Olde Church...

On my way home from Dolgeville this morning, I knew I would be passing the old Palatine Church, so I planned on stopping to get a few photos. It's a beautiful old building. I once photographed a wedding there, and it was a pleasure. The inside, as I recall, is one large room, airy and bright because of all the large windows. When I first moved to the country a long time ago, I had visions of attending a "country church", but it didn't work out that way. I love the church I attend, but it doesn't have quite the same "personality" of the little churches I've seen dotting the countryside in our area.

As I continued on my way home, I came upon this horse and buggy. I've been waiting a long time to be in a situation where I could get a photo--knowing that the Amish don't like being photographed. So I grabbed my camera, got as close as I could in the car, and took the photo through the windshield. It's not an award winner, but I think it's pretty iconic--most people would know exactly what it represented.

Sometimes I wish I were in that buggy, taking life nice and easy. It's kind of like Hawaiian time, "no worries, brudah".

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

And the Award Goes To.....

TRISH! Steve comes up with some really fun ideas for our photo group (MVP-Mohawk Valley Photographers). About a month ago we committed to the challenge of taking and posting a photo each day. Three of our members were faithful to that challenge for the past month. Steve suggested that we have a traveling trophy for the winner (who is to be chosen by pulling a name out of a hat) and a small prize to be given to that person by the hosting member. Trish was the winner this month.

We had a great meeting, getting to know our newest member, Jayme, and sharing the images we took for the assignment. For the first time in a long time, maybe since we started the group 6 years ago, has it REALLY been that long, everyone of us did the assignment completely. Must be a record--we should write that down in the archives!

Then we got to the good part, celebrating Steve and Bridget's birthdays by giving presents and eating goodies. Of course, there had to be some candles first.

It was a great evening with great friends. Love you guys!!!

Monday, October 20, 2008


This image was inspired by a photo that I took when I was in Camden, Maine this past Sept. The library is surrounded by beautiful "grounds"--landscaped and decorated in the most appealing and friendly way. There were benches outside one of the doors that looked like bookcases. See the second image below.

I love books. I've always been addicted to them, but lately I'm learning NOT to buy every single one that I lay my hands on. "Go to the library" resounds in my head every time I think about buying another volume. Not that I don't ever buy books, but at this point in my life, I'm trying to minimize my possessions, not increase them.

So, over the years, I've culled and gotten rid of, and thought about culling some more. The ones that I still have are ones that I think I'll read again, hmmmm, or will want to loan to other people, hmmmm. Neither of those usually happen, so soon I'll go on another cleaning spree and will condense even more.

I consider books to be another blessing in my life. They offer comfort, escape, knowledge, laughter, tears, and as I mentioned in a previous post, they created many bonding opportunities for me and my children. They continue to do so now, as I talk with friends about different books we've read and how we feel about each one. For the past 24 years I've belonged to a book group and have had the opportunity to read many books I normally wouldn't have chosen myself.

I guess I can't talk about books without mentioning the best one, the Bible. The Greatest Story Ever Told. Read it, you'll like it.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Day's Walk

I managed to get out for a short walk this afternoon. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and the fresh air was great. I took my camera just in case I would see something to photograph. The first thing I noticed was this lone cornstalk in a field that had been "mowed" down, if that's what they call it. This happens pretty regularly, and it always makes me chuckle--that the big harvest machines can manage to miss just one stalk...

Turning around I saw the rest of the corn field.

Then there's the farm at the end of the cornfield.

Well, there's no meaning behind the photos, it's just what I saw today. I guess I'm just too tired to dig deep for relevance. I basically just did the "assignment".

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Nathan and Jacque

Leah and I attended a wedding today. It was held in Ballston Spa and the reception was outdoors on a friend's property. Yes, the weather was just a little chilly, but there was a huge tent and they even had heat, so it wasn't too cold inside. It was a beautiful, sunny day and for some of the early afternoon, it wasn't even too uncomfortable outside.

There were a lot of nice little touches of decoration at the reception, and I found myself taking photo after photo of just about everything. I even got excited about taking photos with the disposable point-and-shoot camera that was on the table. (once I figured out how to use it, that is).

So the photos aren't too profound and I don't have anything philosophical to say about the wedding or anything else, except, based on the number of images I deleted because they were just plain bad, or out of focus, it's a darned good thing I'm not shooting weddings anymore.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

I spent practically the entire day today on the computer. I had to finalize the monthly newsletter for my photo club, and since this is only my second issue, it was pretty tricky. By the end of the day I was very sick of sitting at the computer, but also confounded as to what I was going to do about a photo to post.

I got pretty excited about doing the dishes because I'd have the chance to stand for a while (oh my gosh, is my life pathetic or what?). As the drainboard piled up with clean dishes, my imagination kicked in and I decided that I'd photograph clean dishes. Especially since I was actually excited to be washing them.

So, hand-holding the camera on a slow shutter speed, I played a little and had a blast. As I was taking the photos, I remembered a plaque that my mother had hanging in our kitchen while I was growing up. I don't remember the entire saying, but the first line said, "Thank God for dirty dishes...." Basically it was praising dirty dishes because that meant that we had enough food to create the dirty dishes. So, even though I've never owned a dishwasher, I don't complain much about washing the dishes by hand. Thank God for dirty dishes....

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Well, just when you think that everything is going along as usual and that the word "surprise" has been eliminated from your vocabulary and your existence, God hands you a package tied in a beautiful bow... and proves that He is the God of surprises and blessings.

As I was sitting in my photo club meeting last night, my cell phone rang--well, actually it buzzed. Now, everyone knows I go to this meeting every Wed. night and that I probably turn off my phone, and no one even tries to call me. (Not too long ago, I finally learned how to put my phone on vibrate, so I've been doing that lately.) So as I realized that I was getting a call, I got up out of my seat, not too subtly I might add since I was sitting up front in the second row, and left the room to answer the call. I didn't recognize the number, but I said, "hello????" anyway.

Well, it was a friend of mine from college, and even though he was a senior when I was a freshman, (that means I'm 4 years younger than he is) he's not old enough to be dead and neither am I--so no wise cracks from any of you. About 16 years ago we connected, and then lost touch again. So his call last night came out of the blue and was such a treat.

So on the way home, I started thinking about college and those great years and decided that I'd get out my yearbooks and see if I could find his photo. This is his senior photo and the next one is obviously him in one of the annual plays put on by the college.

Then I thought, "well, I could include my senior picture" (four years later, Rich), so here it is.

Even though I feel that my life is completely blessed, I still often wonder what it would be like if I had done things differently when I was younger. That can't happen, it's all a done deal, but I so regret not having been a little wiser. One of my favorite poems is by Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken. My experience was that I always took the road most traveled, and now I wish I had taken the one less traveled.

Speaking of Robert Frost, my absolute favorite poem by him is The Telephone. You'll have to read the entire thing, I don't want to make you wade through it when I've already written so much, but the end is:

I listened and I thought I caught the word--
What was it? Did you call me by my name?
Or did you say---
Someone said 'Come'---I heard it as I bowed."

"I may have thought as much, but not aloud."

"Well, so I came."

That just stops me dead. How wonderful to be that in-tune with another human being.

Anyway, I hope that even though I didn't actually take photos for today, that this can count as a legitimate post.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Nights at Morette's

We meet at Morette's for dinner before our weekly Wed. night photo meetings. The group changes week by week, but it's always interesting and lively. A good chance to catch up with each other's lives.
(I goofed and didn't manage to get this slide show in the same post as Leah's Home, so check out the next post too)

Leah's Home

At 10:15 on 10/15 Leah's plane arrived at Albany airport. It was really good to see her, and she looked glad to be home. It will be a whirlwind 3 weeks while she's home--I'm sure the time will fly by way too quickly, and then she'll be off to Kenya with the Peace Corps. But we'll enjoy her while she's here.