Monday, October 12, 2015

London Trip Snaps

Can't call it a vacation exactly.  A trip.  The kind where need guidebooks and your phone tells you that you've walked an average of six miles a day. The kind where the kids complain when you insist on taking the tube instead of a taxi (again).  Also the kind where you start to feel like a local. 

We have rented flats in several cities now instead of hotels:  San Francisco, London (both through airbnb), Rome ( and it suits our family perfectly.  Traveling as a family of five means at least two hotel rooms, which quickly adds up and also means lots of restaurant meals.  With two very picky eaters and one with a long list of food allergies, having a kitchen suits us much better. 

So London in August, which felt a bit like New York in late October.  Which is not so bad.

 The flat I lived in while studying abroad in college.  (above)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Note to self.

Go there.
Be afraid.
Go anyway.
Say it.
Feel it.
Don't move when you get there.
Open wide.
Experience it.
Get bored.
Open your mouth.
Invite people.
Open up.
It will be okay.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Discovering Film and Toy Cameras.

I won't even try to recap what has happened since I was last here. At this point, the blog is just a shell, and I'm going to leap right back in and pretend it was just a few days ago.

I wanted a place to put some images I got back from the camera store yesterday, and a place to journal my photo experiences.  I am so much happier with my second roll of film -- Fuji Superia 800 and this toy camera -- the Black Slim Devil, purchased after a bit of a seminar I caught on -- than I was after roll number one.

I am somewhat in love with these images, especially the first one.  I loved shooting without knowing what I had captured.  It does make you much more disciplined about pressing that shutter and thinking about the composition.  Forgot what that feels like. And second, I find getting to know this camera kind of a thrill. I am trying to figure out how to use all of the fixed settings to get the most from each image.  This camera has a very wide lens, like a 24mm, a closed aperature -- like an F16 and a pretty fast shutter.  So, a bright light, fast action toy it is.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Worth every one of the many pennies: sleepaway camp.

Wow, I am a delinquent blogger.  I'm surprised the blog is still here.


Picked up the boys from camp on Friday.  When we arrived, we couldn't find them in any of their usual spots.  And then -- spotted.  My heart skipped a little as I saw Alex (could that be Alex?) sailing across the lake and someone told me the windsurfer was Max.  Oh what joy.  They pulled into the beach, all smiles and hugs. They were so confident, sweet, tan, happy.  They waved and chatted with every boy of every age as we ambled back to their bunk. Trunks were already packed, beds were made (I think a camp counselor had some sway on those) and the boys seemed just a little older, more mature, content.  A month in the woods, in a complex of cabins, tether balls, frisbee golf markers, soccer fields, rocks, dirt roads and of course a big beautiful lake has broadened their horizons and calmed them in a way that day camp never did.  I am so happy to have them back home but oh, my heart sings that we could give them this wonderful experience.

We spent the day at camp with them on Friday, and left on Saturday morning.  Here's a glimpse of my growing campers and our day on Friday.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sometimes they can be so, well, beastly.

"I was the best mother when I provided appropriate guidance and then got out of the way."  From Anna Quindlen heard today on Terry Gross' Fresh Air.  Listening to her, I had to chuckle.  Sometimes there's no choice.  Get out of the way, or get doused with a cold hose.

The boys thought this first one was such a funny capture -- Max pushing his poor little brother to the ground.  I thought it was proof that he was just too rough with the little guy.  There were some tears (from the little one) but I don't think a thing changed.  Perhaps someday Jack can use it to get some justice.  If there is such a thing.

I have enjoyed Anna Quindlen's books, and I did find her interview inspiring in terms of her view of life from her late fifties.  However, her horrible Philadelphia accent was so distracting.  And I can say this because that's where I grew up. 

The guns are so vulgar to me.  But that's what they like.  I put these pictures up to show the rougher, darker side.  Funny though, it doesn't look so bad to me now.

From a visit to the great grandparents. In their little boxy house, on a street of little boxy houses, they look out and watch the old people go by.

Monday, April 16, 2012

making life more beautiful

I have been reading Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh lately, and listening to Peace is Every Breath on my ipod. I like the spiritual guidance I find there and there's plenty to ruminate on when on my daily walk (which really, truly, I want to turn into a daily run, but that's another post.)

Here's a passage that struck me today.

"Even when we are not painting or writing, we are still creating.  We are pregnant with beauty, joy and peace and we are making life more beautiful for many people."

Preparing a meal for another person can be part of making life more beautiful for someone else.  I know that's how I feel when someone prepares a meal for me, though not usually the thought running through my head when serving the kids.  I get so tired of preparing meal after meal, often to an ungrateful crowd.  I suppose I cannot change how they receive the food, but I can change how I feel about preparing it.  And so, today, I will try and remember this message.

Friday, March 30, 2012

A good storyteller. Little Luca. Westchester kids photographer.

Had some fun doing a quick studio shoot with the very emotive Luca.  He loves music and singing and is quite serious about both.  He also has a very vivid imagination and told me quite a few tall tales during his stay.  And my boys adore him.