Sunday, December 30, 2012


as the old year turns to history and the new year looms, i decided it is time to make some changes.  starting first with my blog :)
i took my week between Christmas and New Year's and learned all kinds of stuff from an online class from kim klassen and xanthe berkely.  it was so interesting that i think i spent most of the week with my computer in my face.  well, not totally true - i also took time for picture rides whenever i felt like it.  no guilt, no deadline to get back to work - i wandered and pondered all week long.
i hate to see it end.

this collage has a few of the macro pics i took with my new lens that joey gave me for my bithday.  this is from big huge labs and was a blast to put together. i will get better at it as i learn but it sure was a good time :)
happy new year!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Friday, November 30, 2012

homework :)

quote by Friedrich Nietzsche
for beyond layers class, we had to take the image below, photographed by kim,
and enhance it with a quote and a texture (linda).
these are my favorite assignments, i LOVE them :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

mall parking lots :)

finding beauty is sometimes easier than other times.
but it really is everywhere.



Wednesday, November 28, 2012

tuesday was a lovely day :)

light snow fell all day long...

i worked by my window, so i could watch the birds.
the cats hung out, so did the squirrels...
gotta love a day like tuesday :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

yellow boy saga...

we, like the rest of the northeast, spent a chunk of last weekend cleaning up after hurricane sandy.  as we did that, we kept an eye out for the little yellow cat that we spotted more than a few times since Sandy blew through.
we fed him night and day, worried night and day, as well.
there was another bad storm heading our way this past wednesday and both joey and i wanted this little boy safe and sound for the storm.
so tuesday morning,
i took the serious step of setting the trap. 
i always hate doing this because.
first, it really scares the animal and this guy was already very skittish. 
and second, if it works, what am i going to do with this guy if he gets into the trap?
but the concern about his well-being,
and our ability to weather the worry, won out.
and the trap was set.
less than 15 minutes later, he was caught! 
i brought the squirming hissing ball of yellow fur upstairs to the 'rescue safety zone' - the office bathroom. i foolishly opened the trap to let him out before i removed the stuff fom the counters and shelves. next thing i knew, the yellow boy was jumping 8 ft in the air, like a maniac, trying to find a way out.  he was leaping up the wall, across the room, hanging from the molding and the lip of the mirror. it was a freaking circus. toothbrushes, handsoap, candles, clock - all were flying around the room with the flying wallenda brother in the bathroom. OMG
over the next few hours, i checked on him several times, and could see he was adjusting a little better to his new surroundings. i had put a carrier, litter box and soft pillow along with food in there to ease his adjustment, and tried to leave him alone.  he ate the food, piddled on the pillow, and finally hid in the carrier.
but the acrobatics had ended.
three days later -
he is still in the bathroom, safe and warm.
the snowstorm did its damage, but thankfully, not to the little yellow boy.
what we do with him now is still an unknown. 
but he lets me come in and sit with him.
i sing (very badly) songs to him which he seems to enjoy :) 
his favorite seems to be 'away in a manger'...i think the words speak to his personal story, and his years of laying his sweet head in the hay.  but i could be imagining that.
 we are going to have to figure out
what the longterm plan is for yella fella,
but for now the next step is to attempt to touch him.  
AND for us both, yella boy and me,  to live through the attempt.
wish us luck

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

beyond layers challenge

today, i took some time for me...
it may be just a few hours, but oh what a time its been :)
i rescued the yellow boy outside but that is a story for another time...
and i finally did some homework
the assignment was to all take the same picture, enhance it any way we wanted and add a quote that brings it all together...
here is the original:

and here is my version...

i love seeing what other people do with the same image, it fascinates me.
and it inspires me but i can't look until i do my version, otherwise i lose me in the mix.
i cloned out a seagull to simplify the image,
i added a layer of soft light,
and luminous texture (kim's),
and then added an action from pioneer woman.
it was fun and i am glad to participate again

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

yella fella..

back in the summer, i was taking pics of some birds in the neighborhood
and spotted this little yellow cat stalking the birdfeeder...

at first glance, i thought one of our cats got outside.
he looked just like spitty (below), same color, same shape of his face... 
i knew our cats were inside but this definitely looked like a relative of our gang.  we had spent a couple of years trying to catch and spay a neighborhood stray, named cyco, who had litter after litter.  we finally caught her in 2008, but that was after finding homes for 30+ kittens. seven ended up living with us and two were adopted by my neighbor.  this outside yellow boy seemed to look like a cyco-boy but we couldn't figure out, after 4 yrs, how we could have missed him all this time. but wherever he came from and whoever he was, he was very skinny and stalking birds.  i went into rescue mode - not only to save the cat but the birds too.

my neighbor who had adopted 2 of cyco's kittens - gracie and lucky - joined in the effort. lucky had wandered off two years earlier and we were hopeful, at first, that lucky had finally come home.     but after comparing pics of lucky (left) to this new guy, we determined they were not the same cat. 

soon, others were spotting the little yellow cat and we were all feeding him at the plant nursery behind the stretch of woods.  he now had a name - dutch :)
dutch was friendly and was easy to pet and cuddle. 
this made us all think that this little boy was not a cyco-boy because they are all very skittish.  we ultimately captured him, and lucky's mom adopted him. 
after a visit to the vet
to get him checked out,
dutch became duchess - he was a she :)
so duchess was a girl, she was healthy
and she had a home. 

HUGE relief... i did not want to spend another winter worrying about the yellow he-she, out in the weather. 

Sunday night, as we prepared for Hurricane Sandy to hit, both joey and i rested easier, knowing we had done our part to get all the stray cats in the neighborhood into good homes. not having to worry about them being outside in the 'storm of the century' was such a relief.
yesterday, at first light, i took a quick walk around our end of the condo unit to see if trees had fallen on our cars or anything. i was almost back to the house and there was nothing bad anywhere to be seen :)
and then...i saw it.
over stalking birds at the neighbor's birdfeeder was a skinny little yellow cat.
the yellow cat that i had spotted a few months ago, and who i thought we'd rescued was still out there???
yes he was.
the good news is that it was AFTER the hurricane and he was in one piece.
the bad news is that winter is closing in fast.
i put out a bowl of food and operation rescue began.
after a very long day at work and with hurricane clean-up,
i checked the bowl of food and it was all still there.
at 5am this morning, i checked again and the entire bowl was gone from the deck.
i figured the windy rainy night could have the reason,
so i just laid on the couch for a bit, watching the hurricane recap on television.
and then i saw him. 
he came up to sliding doors,
put his feet on the threshold like outside guy used to do and looked in. 
i froze - he was not my imagination.
he was real, he was looking at me and it was heart-wrenching.
so i went into action, got some wet food
and put it outside where the bowl of dry food had been. 
and it wasn't long - 10 minutes? - before somebody was eating it. 
the problem was, it was a possum.  eeek. 
we used to feed outside guy and a gang of possums and raccoons so we're used to wildlife on the deck. but it has been a while. the possum must've been lying in wait since feb 2011 when we caught outside guy. i suspect he ate the dry food too. 
so now we watch and worry over another outside guy. 
this one is birdfeeder boy :)
we are hoping it takes less than the 3 yrs it took to snag cyco mom, or the 18 months it took to grab outside guy.  based on the 4wk success story of duchess-the-he/she, maybe it can happen....

Sunday, October 21, 2012

where's the line

since 1979, i have written to myself to sort things out.
i had left my ex-husband and needed to figure out who i was, without his influence.
the theme of those years was clearly trying to find my own voice. 
i longed to be confident enough to live, as i called it, inside out. 
to let me be me, and to let go of approval seeking thinking.
did i ever get there? who knows.  but i don't care anymore so i think that's a good sign.  i am going to consider that as progress :)

the writings then seemed to turn to how to find a balance
between work and play, duty and adventure.  these were fun years. 
it wasn't an internal struggle for a voice, it was more of a constant quest for LIFE. 
the overwhelming need to appreciate the moment is evident in all the journals from my forties, into the fifties. i walked in the rain, rolled in the hay and played in the snow.  oh what a time it was.

and then, life moved on. my mother got sick and died.
all of the appreciation of the moment turned to fear of loss, longing for yesterday.
and bigger than all of that, how to go forward and
prepare for the end of my own life.  what would be my legacy? 
how would i live in my older years? would i be able to provide for myself? where would i want to be, who would i want to have been? 
these were feelings, not thoughts nor words. i didn't write in my journals.
i didn't read self help books. i didn't garden.
i worked. actually, i over-worked. 
and i took pictures. day and night.
i read blogs, i looked thru magazines, i watched hgtv.
i searched constantly.
for something, anything, everything.
for some reason, that gave me breathing room.  
as i think about it now, i think i was running.
running away, running towards...don't know.  
but subconsciously, i realized i needed to do, not think. 
however i'm not sure that i liked all the doing.
work pissed me off, at a level that it hadn't ever reached before. and that's because it felt like work was standing between me and LIFE.
 i wanted time to live my life. i wanted to own all of my minutes,
every freaking one of them. 
i knew at a deeper level that time was marching on.
giving away time - minutes, hours, days, weeks, years -
to work/lifetouch didn't sit well. they stole my minutes. so i stole minutes back.
i took pictures as i drove to work.
i took pictures at work.
i bought prop kits instead of setting goals,
i studied photography instead of sales results.  it worked for a while.
but now, today?  i am thinking no.
so now my writing, or my thoughts or my feelings, all end up at where's the line.
now i find i need to write about figuring out when is enough truly enough.
enough money in the bank to retire. enough years worked to retire.
enough trust in the future to say enough, and retire.
apparently, the key word is retire.
we bought our house at cape cod so we could live out our days there.
we thought it through - enfield had no draw for us except our jobs.
albany was home but it'd been 30 yrs since we lived there and
we weren't sure that it would be a joyful goal to go there. 
 it had a feeling of 'longing for yesterday' instead of living for today.
so cape cod was a great choice. it had a lifetime of history which gave it a feeling of 'home' along with a new twist - owning a house.  it did, however, add to list of to-dos. we DO more, instead of relax more. and this adds to the feeling of where is the line. where the hell are my minutes. i need more minutes.
i am an artist. i have been an artist since i was a kid.
i see things visually - from gardening, to photography, to hgtv.
i don't want to be a people manager. i don't want to be a sales manager.
i want to be - i AM - an artist.
so here i sit on a sunday morning, in late october.
ahead of me lies the crazy season at work when a 24 hr work day does not get the job done. and word is, this might be the busiest season ever.  yay.  just what i need.
but truth is, maybe this IS exactly what i need. 
a year that defines where that elusive line is.
where the commitment to work/lifetouch
clearly becomes more than i am willing to give.
the tug-of-war for my minutes and the confusion on where to draw the line is already taking a toll. i think that there's a break-through on the horizon.
and that makes me smile
so, come on santa claus, do your thing.
bring it on.
i think you might have a gift for me this Christmas.
and i just may be ready for it :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

a note to self...

dear self,
you are going down that old familiar late-october path
to peak season hell in the portrait studio. 
you have gritted your teeth into pieces, literally. 
your head feels like it is swollen from too much activity. 
your back is already crippling you and its only mid-october.
your driving foot is in spasms and your stomach is joining your driving foot
in the dance of the stressed-out district manager body parts.
you are closing in on 60,
and your parts should not be put through this kind of pressure. 
they won't make it thru to the other side
without telltale signs of what you're doing to yourself. 

but because you're older,
you know more than you used to.
and that is adding even more stress.
this is the 33rd peak season
you've gone thru and you do know
what it takes to make it better. 
THAT is what is stressing you out.
let it go. 
look for sweet smiles, look for good stuff and look away from the stuff
that amps up the impulse to
fix-fix-fix before it's too late. 
there is no fix that can hold up totally, there is no fix that will make it all okay for everybody. 
let them learn their lessons, let them apply lessons from other years, & let the f#@k go.  got it?

now, today, this week...what will make that difference? 
more wandering, less conference calls? 
more conference calls, less wandering? 
 i am thinking less wandering and less conference calls. 
its time for a work-life balance readjustment. 
and today is the day. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

sweet sisters of stone...

i am in love with statues that i find in cemeteries...
i see vulnerability and strength...sweetness and sadness...
every time i find one,
i wonder about who they represent,
and about the  family
who's loss is soothed by these beautiful statues...
To the sweet sisters of stone -
may you always stand strong,
and may you forever rest in peace...
each image has been enhanced with kim klassen's textures

Monday, October 8, 2012

sunrise, sunset...

sunset over the bay at Cape Cod...
Chapin Beach in Dennis
 october sunset...
saturday sunrise...
on Nantucket Sound, in South Yarmouth

"Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears..."

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

a gray day...

everywhere i looked,
there were different shades of gray...
i think i counted 50 shades :)


sidenote - oddly enough, on the day that the photo challenge was 'something gray,'
the world cooperated with a gray day. 
i decided to stop at a cemetery after shooting at Gray's Beach on the cape
and see if i could get gray headstones. 
i took a bunch of pics and spooked myself -
not the best idea since i am here alone at the cape -
but when i went home and uploaded the images,
i realized that this headstone was honoring a woman named Rebecca Gray. 
so on this day, 10/2/12, almost 150 yrs after she died,
on 'something gray' day,
i too honor Rebecca Gray  :)

and another odd thing - i JUST realized that the texture i used to enhance the gravestone shot was kim klassen's 'partings'   it all comes together sometimes, doesn't it :)