Monday, May 30, 2011

That is SO Tacky...

Several years ago, a friend and I organized a Women's Photo Retreat for the women in our photo club.  The theme was "Ticky-Tacky". 

Tonight I was cleaning off my desk (at least I was making a minimal effort, the desk needs a lot more work) and I came across a cd that someone made with the images from that weekend. 

I just had to share some of the images with you.  Now, dear reader, you have to understand that we didn't dress like this for the entire weekend, just for one afternoon.  It was fun while it lasted, and we laughed a lot, but it was a relief to get back into our normal clothes.  It didn't stop us from acting goofy for the rest of the weekend, but at least we were more comfortable doing it.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


At the Shaker Village yesterday, I saw my friend taking photos through this window.  I shamelessly  did the same when she was finished.  I always enjoy taking shots through windows with panes like this and this idyllic scene of grazing sheep and buildings in the background was too good to pass up.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Shaker Village

On Saturday, two friends and I took a road trip to Hancock Shaker Village in Massachusettes.  It's late and I'm way too tired to process any of the images the way I want to for the blog, so all you're getting tonight is these three.  This lamb was only 5 days old, so cute!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

In Reply...

I received a comment on my post from yesterday from "anonymous".  No name was left, so I really don't have a clue who this is.  But, in reply to the admonition to "count my blessings", here's the thing: 

I DO count my blessings...
every day...
constantly throughout each day. 
I know from Whom
my blessings come
and He receives the praise and glory for them.

Counting my blessings, however, does not negate the sin, wickedness,
injustice and foolishness that abounds in this world. 

Counting my blessings doesn't make Lady Gaga's
(and others like her and worse than her)
influence on young girls any more righteous.

Counting my blessings doesn't make government control over
our lives and over our parenting rights any more acceptable. 

Counting my blessings doesn't make it okay for the government
(federal or local) to bleed us dry financially because of their mismanagement of our funds.

So, dear reader, that's my rant for the day.  I do wonder, though...if you can read headlines like those (and others which are much, much worse) and not get upset, then maybe I'm not the only one with her head in the sand.  If you haven't read "1984", yourself a favor and read it asap.

One (and only one of a gazillion) blessing in my life today is
the beautiful flower basket my daughter gave me for Mother's Day.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Head in the Sand

A few years ago I decided that I didn't need to read the newspaper, or even watch the news on TV anymore.  It's practically all depressing or aggravating.  I basically have my head in the sand, but you know what?  I'm much happier.

However, tonight, as I was eating a quick dinner so I could head on down to Jacob's LL game, I thought I'd at least look at the headlines, since the newspaper was right there, only about 4 inches from my dinner plate.  Well, BIG MISTAKE!!!

Right there on the front page, under this headline was this article.  Even if you don't have a clue where Amsterdam, NY is, this is totally annoying and I can just feel the rebellious ire rising up in my innards.  Yikes!!, charging people for selling what they've already bought (probably in Amsterdam) and paid taxes on (probably in Amsterdam).  Yup, $15 for a 2-day garage sale and $20 for a 3-day sale. 

Way to go, Amsterdam!!!  Way to attract people to want to live there.

So, as though that wasn't enough to convince me to give up reading the paper, I proceded to thumb through to see what other bad news there was.  Sure enough, this Editorial almost sent me over the edge.
Legislation to prevent teens from tanning.  Legislation because, for some reason, the government doesn't think that parents should have that responsibility.  I'm telling you, people, "1984" is coming true day-by-day.  Big Brother in all his glory.  I'm getting a stomach ache just writing this.

And THEN, because I was temporarily out of my mind, I turned a few more pages and came across this article. 

 Oh.     My.     Goodness!!!!

Now if the government thinks they should be sticking their nose into the business of individual families, THIS is really what it should be banning.  Quite the role model, don'tcha think?

Well, then I got to the ball game.  Thank God for my daughter and her children.
(Think about this:  Lady Gaga was, once upon a time, some momma's sweet little girl)
Lauren was soooo bored.  She spent some time playing with her dad's cap.  She's an awesome model.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In the Right Direction

I have to drive past this gas station every time I go to work, and almost every time I go to town (depending, of course, on where I'm going in town).  So when the prices were going up at least once, sometimes twice a day, I would notice it.  And now...the prices are finally going in the right direction--down (not fast enough or far enough, but at least down).  This first image was taken on May 19 and the second image was taken today, so it's easy to see that the price is down 10 cents in just 5 days.  Yeah!!!

Let's see how far the prices go and how long they stay down. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spring Fling

The town of Amsterdam held its first Annual Spring Fling today.  Vendors, food, a band, car show, etc.  There was a surprisingly good turn-out.  One of the vendors was my friend, Carol (aka:  Doodles the Clown).  Carol does caricatures.  She's very good.

She did this one of me. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011


This morning on my way to work I saw this sign.  I decided that I'd try to remember to take a photo of it on my way home.  Significant because the price is down about 6 cents from a week ago.  Not nearly enough, but at least it's finally going in the right direction.

On the way to work this morning the temperature was about 51.  On the way home it was almost 80.  Yup, typical upstate NY spring.  One minute it's winter, the next it's summer.  Anyway, I decided to go through the McDonald's drive through to get myself one of those yummy StrawberryLemonade smoothies (if you haven't tried one yet, you should).  There was a long line going through the drive-through.  In front of me was a huge American-made pick-up and when I looked at the rear window I saw this great sticker.  Well, as usual the camera was in my purse on the floor in the back seat (you'd think I'd learn to keep it up front with me and out of the case), but because there were so many cars ahead of me and it was taking so long, I contorted myself enough to grab the purse and yank it into the front seat.  By the time I got the camera out, though, my view of the sticker was obscured by the lawnmower the truck was hauling. 

As we inched along, I decided to throw caution to the wind...while we were both stopped I hopped out of the car and ran over to ask if I could take a picture of the sticker.  He, of course, said yes.  I got my pic, jumped back in the car and moved ahead with hardly a delay to the others behind me. 

As I drove away with my drink and my image, I started to chuckle.  All I could think was that it was a good thing none of my kids were with me.  They would have been totally mortified and embarrassed and they would have hounded me half-way home.  You know, there are some things I miss about having young kids, but that's not one of them.  (yeah, I can put onions & celery in my tuna salad, and walnuts in my brownies now!!!). 

So, a few more happy endings on my way home:

1-I had to take a package to the Ship & Copy place and discovered they do passport photos--that meant I didn't have to make a special trip
2-Went to the fabric store with my surprise scratch-off discount coupon and discovered I could get 60% off one item
3-Remembered to take my glasses to the Vision place to get them tightened and came away with two new cases to replace the grungy ones I've been dealing with
4-Maybe this is the BEST one.  Right now, as I'm tying this, I discovered that I actually can get American Idol on my TV.  I never knew that before.  Now I can see the finale of what I started to watch in Hawaii.  Woot, woot.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dinner At The Diner

Yesterday my husband got a huge nail in his motorcycle tire so he had to leave his bike at the dealer's in Schenectady.  Today I had to drive him back there so he could get the bike and ride it home, in the rain, I might add.  The dealer sells Harleys & Triumphs, which is very, very weird because those brands are big-time competitors, but what do I know?  Anyway, while waiting in the parking lot for him to take care of the paperwork, I spied this license plate. 

Hubby is a Triumph guy.  So his plate would be, what...? maybe TRUMPHMN, TRIMPHGY, hmmm, beats me.  Not that he's even interested, I was just thinking about it myself since I'm a big fan of vanity license plates.  

Anyway, after he retrieved his bike, we went across the road to the Farmer Boy Diner for dinner. 

And as usual, out came the camera while we were waiting for our food, which was, by the way, very good.  They had the best fries I've tasted since my son closed his cafe, and that's saying something, cause his fries were the best I've ever had.

Monday, May 16, 2011

The Invitation

 A friend called this morning to invite me to take a ride with her while she did some errands.  I jumped at the chance to get out of the house on this dreary, rainy day, knowing that if I stayed home I'd spend the day sitting at the computer or the sewing machine. Not that being at the computer or sewing machine is a bad thing, just very sedentary and considering I'll be working tomorrow--sitting at the computer all day--I thought a little activity today might be a good thing.

After finishing the errands, we turned the car around and came face-to-face with this scene.  It was irresistible.  What senedipity that the house is painted the same color as the lilacs in the foreground.  Normally I would wonder about a house painted that color, but it suits that house perfectly. 

So, it was a good day:
1-spent time with a friend
2-got out of the house
3-had a great converstation about cameras
4-had lunch at a fun little tea house
5-bought some delicious wine called Redneck
(gotta love upstate NY--where else would you
 find a wine named Redneck?)
6-found a photo op

May 15:  53 degrees and rain.  Yikes!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Photoshop Practice

Cystic Fibrosis Walk

One of my daughter's friends has two children with Cystic Fibrosis.  The mom has been instrumental is organizing this walk for the past 8 years.  Her children and Jessica's children play together often and spend time at Jessica's house.  Because of that, Jessica is feeling pretty close to the situation and she spent some serious energy soliciting raffle & monetary donations for the cause.  She also volunteered me to be a photographer for the walk this morning.

So, bright and early (well early--it wasn't too bright but at least it didn't rain) I headed down to the local school where the Walk was taking place.  These events are so fun to photograph because I have carte blanche and I can be as creative or boring as I want to be.  I'm afraid this morning I was pretty boring, but I know the organizer will be happy with the pics because they tell the story.  Jessica was also taking photos, so there will be a lot to choose from.

One of these days I'll manage to get a family photo with Jacob smiling.  This was the kind of situation where if I had said one single thing about composition, Jessica would have been less than happy, so I'm just glad I got the shot as it is.

BTW--the total collected for Cystic Fibrosis this morning was a little over $30,000.  Pretty amazing!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Note to Self...

Late this afternoon, just about 1/2 hour before dusk, I forced myself to leave the house and find something to take photos of.  I hadn't been to the Auriesville Shrine since last year and even though I'm not usually too inspired there, I decided to chance it, mainly cause just down the road from there is a great soft ice-cream place and I decided that I would treat myself to dessert tonight.  Once I got to the Shrine and began walking around, I remembered that I should have written a note to myself:

Self--never, never go to the Shrine at dusk without a hefty supply of mosquito repellent.  Needless to, I didn't stay too long.

These two images are the same.  One is what the camera said was the correct exposure and the other is an HDR version of it.  Can you tell which is which?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Nothing New Today

No new photos taken today, but here are a few I took yesterday on the trip to Gloversville.  This little girl mannequin was so intriguing.  It was really difficult to get a good composition of her without also getting glare in the plate glass window, so my options were limited.  I just love the face.  So sweet, but with the cracks criss-crossing her features. 

This is the same image I posted yesterday.  The first is the exposure the camera said was correct, the second image is the one I put through the HDR process.

I considered taking a photo of the temperature gauge in my car reading 77 and talking about how awesome it was driving home with the windows down finally, with the sun shining and everything turning green.  But I'll skip that for now.  Really...who but those of us who are experiencing such great weather care about it any way?  If your weather is worse, it's just annoying and if you live here, you already know about it, so what's the point?

Spring is finally arriving.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gloversville Again

A friend of mine and I planned on attending a Hiking Club meeting tonight in Gloversville.  Obviously we had to combine the trip with a photo shoot, so we met early for dinner, at one of my favorite places to eat, of course...Pizza Hut.  Then we went to the main street in Gloversville to see what photo ops we could find.

The late afternoon light was beautiful. For some reason I wasn't as inspired as I usually am, but I still managed to get a few images that I'm excited about.  I got a couple of series for HDR, but it's late now and I won't work on them until another day.

The column below is one in a row of columns along the side of a bank. 

There is a costume store in the process of going out-of-business.  It was closed but my friend saw some naked manniquins inside the building and she spent some serious time trying to photograph them through the window.  I concentrated on this little-girl manniquin that was in the front window. 

The Hiking Club meeting went well, but I'm really wondering about something.  I don't even like to hike, what am I doing joining a hiking club?  Yikes!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And It Begins...

Yep, Little League season has begun.  Jacob is playing this year.  Lauren has other interests.  The sun may have been shining during the game yesterday, but it felt like it was on the verge of winter.  Oh well...