Pumpkins in Georgia

Walter and I went to a pumpkin patch with Christopher, Asimina and Great Aunt Becky. Walter was more interested in picking up the pumpkins and *ahem* throwing them.  Which resulted in me repeatedly saying, “That’s not a ball, honey, it’s a pumpkin.” Walter responded with a grunt (picking up another pumpkin) and a thud (sound of the pumpkin falling to the ground).

More pumpkin throwing  picking.

I promise no pumpkins were harmed during our visit.

Chris and Asimina.

These two were too, too cute together.

Becky found the coolest acorn triplicate.

This one’s for you, Cas. hehe.

Yep, still cute.

And everything started out harmlessly, with a request for a picture of Becky with a pumpkin in a wheelbarrow.

Next thing I knew, she was birthing a pumpkin, and Walter was confused.

Walter wasn’t too keen on sitting still with a pumpkin, but we all made fools of ourselves trying to get him to look at the camera.

Beck, thanks for making me laugh. You’re the best.

Check out Walter’s hair in the breeze!

Family Pictures

I took some pics of my family while I was in Georgia for Christmas.

Here’s My Aunt Becky, Uncle Jim, Cassie and Christopher.

My Aunt Becky and Aunt Gail. (It’s A-hhh-nt, People, not ANT.)

Aunt Gail, Uncle Mark and Stephan

Cassie, Me! (taken by Jonathan), Stephan and Chris

And Jim, Jonathan and Chris being goofy for my test shots. Heh.

When Walters Attack 2.14.10

We were trying to take some pictures of Walter on Valentine’s Day.

He kept pouncing. Here he is mid-pounce.

And the bear he attacked. Awwwwe.

He wasn’t that interested in having his picture taken, so I read him a book instead. He loves this book from Grandma Jean and Grandpa Dar. (Thanks!)

He gets so serious about his books. Check out that scowl!

We did get an ok picture – holding my cellphone.

Love you, Walter!

Dinner & Dinosaurs 2.13.10

Walter and I went to the Dinosaur Museum with a friend!

Here we are, at this kid-friendly museum, and I’m enjoying the display case with a dino scene in it, and BAHM; bloody, gruesome dinosaur carcass. What the what?

(It looked more gory in person – I promise.)

 Scary fish head.

Happy dino head.

Digging for dinosaurs.

My little Bubba.

Ummm. GIANT shark mouth and Walter.

And a cuuuute baby mammoth.

Walter is 6 months!

Walter is 6 months old!

He crawls. He sits on his own. He growls. He pulls himself up to standing all by himself. CRAZINESS. Absolute craziness.

His head is also perfectly round. Hehe.

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Oh yeah. He does have a fat lip – he scored that one climbing in his crib.

Happy Father’s Day

This post is really photo-heavy…

 

We had another swimming day this morning.

This is my Uncle Jim, my cousin Christopher, his friend Tiffany (who I love!), and my cousin Cassie.

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Then we all got dressed up to go out to dinner.

Here’s Walter in the outfit Margo & Nick gave him. (Thanks!)

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Here’s Lily the Cat. Perched on a shelf six feet up.

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Jim, Walter & Christopher

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Great Aunt Becky, Walter & Me!

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So, here, we are, taking the cutest pictures of everyone, and when it comes to Cassie’s turn, Walter spits up all over himself. At least Cas looked cute!

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Chris, doing what he does best.

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Chris & Tiffany Melanis (the cutest Greek ever)

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Paige, Walter’s new best friend.

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Tiff & Cas

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Uncle Jimmy.       Annnnd you all thought he was the serious one.   Ha.

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The cutest baby ever!!! Happy Father’s Day, Jonathan!

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Scuba Baby

Walter was sleeping like he was about to dive into the pool!IMG_2403 c blog

Scuba Steve, move over. Make room for Scuba Walter.

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And here’s Izzy, who kept trying to get in the shot.IMG_2413 blog

Paige & Walter

My upholstery projects are on hold while I’m in Atlanta visiting family. Paige has become fast friends with Walter.

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Holding hands.

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Great Aunt Becky sprinkling fairy dust.

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Walter loves his UppaBaby stroller. I’m so glad I had it to get through the Atlanta airport!

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Nantucket

The rest of my Massachusetts trip was spent on Nantucket with my Small Family. If you don’t know this part of my family, well, you don’t really know who I am! There’s Meegs, Beth, MaryAnn, Mark, Po and Tink. And yes, Meeg, I’ve fallen in love with Po!

 Before I left for my trip, I told a friend I’d be staying on Nantucket and she said, “Don’t you mean in Nantucket?”

Nope. It’s an Island. (the smaller one here)

We stayed at the Seven Sea Street Inn. The place was absolutely charming. They have an innkeeper and a cat; Puddy. More on Puddy later.

Here’s some fun sign photos to keep you interested.

This was the sign above the whaling museum.

One day, before a beach trip, I bought a book about whaling. It was riveting, and I could not put it down. Seriously. But it did make me a little nervous on my boat ride back to Massachusetts…

Massachusetts

This is most possibly one of the more difficult entries for me to write on my blog. I feel it exposes part of who I am, where I’ve come from and the wonderful people and magical places where my identity began. It’s so easy to write trite little comments about the people I see and places I go, but to expose a part of my past from the other side of the country has not been so easy for me.

So why write? Why blog?

Welllll. My friends encourage me to. It’s cathartic. I feel guilty for neglecting my blog. If someone really wants to know where I came from: here you go. And besides, I’ve been talking about going back “home” ever since my Grandmother passed away last year. Some friends are so sick of hearing me pine over my loss, that they want to see what the fuss was all about.

Have you ever walked through an antique shop with someone you didn’t know very well? You’ll hear comments, “My grandmother had one of those!” or “Uncle Joe had an orange rotary phone just like that!”. It can be equally thrilling and nausea inducing. I guess for the past year, my husband has been constantly stuck in the revolving antique shop of my memory. Anything and everything reminded me of my Grandparents, my home. And heaven forbid – anything that I was able to bring back from their home was ever touched! I think he’s heard me say five million times, “ Don’t touch that, it’s irreplaceable! That was my Grandpa’s!” His favorite is, “Don’t scratch that record.” Funny thing is, it’s already so scratched, you probably can’t even hear the music.

My whole trip was based around going back to my Grandfather’s home to photograph it. It was his castle. I wanted photos to remember it before the weather and vandals and wildlife deteriorated the house beyond recognition. He built that house with his bare hands. During my trip, my Uncle commented that the only actual thing in the entire house that he didn’t build was the fireplace. I learned so many things from my Grandfather. How to chop wood. That trim in your home should always be painted white. To never mix vodka and oreos. How to properly bury a beloved dog or feral cat. How to paint a fence. (white paint, every summer) How to find your way home in the woods. (just don’t get lost in the first place!) How to burn bacon. How to keep an apple tree from bleeding. (again, white paint.) And a myriad of other random quips.

All those memories are wrapped up in that house. If I could just see it one more time, maybe I could let go. Say goodbye. Or at least, ‘see you later’. (I just know they’re in Heaven!) It wasn’t until I arrived, that I realized they really are gone. I guess I suspected that my Grandparents would just be hanging out at their house; in essence (or spirit) at least. I thought I would feel the same sort of longing that I’d had for the past year.

I didn’t.

It was the most unexpected part of the trip. Instead of feeling sorrow, all wrapped up inside myself and my own little world of loss, all I felt was love. My two Aunts and my Uncle completely wrapped their arms around me with encouragement, excitement and a good dose of the here-and-now. I had no idea how much my extended family supported me, or how much I wanted to be a part of their lives, and in turn, support them. My trip turned out to be more about my family and re-connecting than it was about saying goodbye to my Grandparents.

So here’s to the here-and-now, with just a little nostalgia and quite possible the longest blog post ever.

 

I spent the first few days with my Aunt Gail, and then my Uncle Sean. My Southern Aunt Becky (pronounced a-u-n-t not ANT!), spent weeks encouraging me before my trip. Thanks, Bawk. (Don’t worry – I’ll have many photos of you too after my Georgia trip!!!!) It was so good to see my family!

 Here’s Aunt Gail. It’s a-h-n-t, people. Not Ant. She may be short, but she’s not an insect.

We met up at the John Williams Park in Rhode Island. Here’s her husband, Mark and my cousin Stephen.

Stripe-y cat at Gail’s house. I’m generally not a cat person, but this one loveeed me.

Thanks Gail!

I left Gail’s home in north eastern Massachusetts and took Rt2 West towards the Berkshires. I pulled over right by this sign because I almost hit a large bear. You heard me right. A BEAR! He ran across the road in front of my rental car in only two gallops. (Do bears gallop?) He was big! I wish I had a picture, but it happened so quickly, and I was probably going about 45mph. A potentially fatal bear accident.  I had no cell service for almost two days and I was dying to tell someone in Utah. Bear sightings aren’t such big news in the Berkshires, so no-one quite shared my same excitement…

This is the church next to my Grandparent’s resting place. No, they are not Baptist, and yes, they are buried in Florida. (Florida, Massachusetts)

See: Florida, Mass.

Queen Anns Lace. This is my mom’s favorite flower. Or at least that’s what I remember her telling me when I picked them for her as a kid…  They grow wild on the side of the road everywhere, and they make me sneeze.

This is the Fire Department in Florida. No, I’m not kidding. Isn’t it cute?

A view of the valley from the Wigwam Store. (Right above my Grandfather’s house on the Mohawk Trail.)

This is the view of Grandpa’s from the driveway. I just stopped for a second before driving into town to meet my Uncle Sean. I was too chicken to walk up the drive by myself. (Think BEARS and small animals.)

This is below my Grandpa’s house on the trail, right before the Hairpin Turn. Here’s an old school pic of the Hairpin. (click on the green link)

I spent the next day and a half with my Uncle Sean. He took me to “the top of the world” – this place by a radio tower where the hang gliders used to jump off over my Grandfather’s property. I have fond memories of Grandpa shooting warning shots with his shotgun in the general direction of the hang gliders… He never shot anyone, but it was sure fun to watch and see if any of the giant gliders would come streaming down like our plastic-parachute clad paratrooper toys.   Moral of the story: don’t hang glide over private property!

Sean and I had great fun eating frozen berries and Friendly’s Watermelon Sherbet until 2 in the morning!

 

This is outside the train museum at Heritage Park.  The exibit there talks about the building of the Hoosac Tunnel, built in the late 1800’s.

Then, I spent some time with my Aunt Carrie and my cousins Seany, Zac, Sara and Brady. This is Zac’s cat. I’ll add photos of the cousins in a week of so, when Sean get’s his photos in the mail…

Sean went up to Grandpa’s house with me. No bears. Just lots of overgrowth.

This is a stream bed behind the house. It’s all sparkly from the mica, and totally reminds me of all the glitter in the movie Labrynth. (David Bowie and Sarah Connelly in the 80’s)

Grandpa always had one of these radios in his shirt pocket when he went to cut trees in the woods.

We had blue Christmas lights on our tree every year.

Some matchbox cars.

Our tub fish.

Right before I left, I was able to see my brother, Jamin and have a quick snack at the pub with Sean.

Sean, thanks for going to Grandpa’s with me, and for putting me up (or is it putting up with? he). It was so good to see you, Jamin!

 

End of the longest blog post ever.  More Massachusetts coming soon.

Annnd Hawaii.

Sam taught Jonathan how to surf.

This is my idea of surfing. No water.

Doesn’t Sam look so “zen”?

Robyn reeaally wanted to ride the trolley. So we did. What fun!

The next day, Jonathan and I went all around the island. The highlight of the day for me was the turtles.  We saw this one off of the rocks at “Pounder’s”.

A pineapple plant.

Random cow. For some reason, I never expected to see a cow in Hawaii.

More turtles on the North Shore.

More and More Hawaii

Ready for a giant post? I know Hawaii was (gasp) two months ago, but I’ve had some complaints (ahem) left on my voice mail about my blog slacking. I had no idea anyone cared! So here you go:

This day on Hawaii was spent exclusively with Robyn. She lives in Maui and her husband was also at the same business hoop-de-da as was mine. We had great fun driving around the island.

These crazy people were lined up waiting to jump off a rock.

It was actually kind of overcast that day, but this glorious umbrella cheered me up!

Ok. So, you all know I have a thing for the birds who live at my house. Well. These little guys were EVERYWHERE! I have no idea what kind of bird they are, but they were all over the place. Sooo cute!

The Mormon Temple. It kind of looks like a government building to me. (Waiting for lightning to strike me down – ha.)

We stopped at THE most incredible nut farm. The cinnamon flavored were good, but I was gaga over the “maui onion garlic” macadamia nuts. Don’t mock them until you try them! This little sign was located right under a macadamia nut tree where you could smash your own shell with a rock and eat one raw.

We stopped at an orchid farm. They were so beautiful! I had no idea there were so many varieties.

The orchid farm had a large family of ducks (or are they geese?) Right after this photo, they became aggressive, so I ran away.

I won’t say that we were lost, just severely disoriented. We passed this sign three times.

And lest it be forgotten, the old woman at McDonald’s must be quoted: “So verrrry expensive…”

I was told in a very stern, hushed, Asian accented-english that I could NOT under any circumstances have m&m’s on a small ice cream cone. Because m&m’s are (insert above quote). I ordered a McFlurry to end the scuffle. The m&m’s were soggy and stale. I spit them out. And Robyn and I laughed for days about how expensive anything and everything was…  I guess you had to be there.

 

On our drive back to Honolulu.

I love the lighthouse peaking out from behind this giant hill.

A little slice of heaven.

Belated Hawaii Pics

So, the first day we flew into Hawaii, after we were settled at the hotel, we grabbed a taxi to meet up with Jonathan’s business associates to discuss the training meeting for the next day….

Yeaaah. The taxi driver dropped us off on the wrong street.

Then we had to embarrassingly try to pronounce the Hawaiian-named street signs to figure out where we were so someone could pick us up. Hilarious.

I had my camera with me… so I entertained myself for a few minutes by taking photos.

More coming soon.

Lots of Birthdays!

Seriously, my friends throw the best birthday parties. I wish I was turning three. Ty had a pinata, water slide, trampoline, cupcakes and hot dogs, and a new bike top it all off! Here’s the birthday boy:

Another friend’s child, taking an imaginary picture of me….

Kate, thanks for a good time!

Annnnd this is the blow-up water slide. I wasn’t kidding. This was one fabulous party!

For more photos, go here.

Hawaii Birds

Who knew that Hawaii had crazy wild chickens everywhere on the North Shore???

I couldn’t be happier. Temperate climate, beaches, and even better, birds!!!!

I seriously want to make this one big and have it somewhere in my house. Little birds are cute, cute, cute!

And just so you all know that I am really in Hawaii, here’s some obligatory water photos.

Annnd one more crazy chicken.

My blog is confused.

My Small Parents looked at my personal blog (this is it, the one you’re reading right now) a few days ago, and had some serious questions. “Why do you have photos of firemen? Do you know them? Who’s Josh? He’s Cute. Who do all these children belong to???” That’s a direct quote.

So, I decided it was time to seperate my personal life from photography…

And whala.

 New Photo Blog.

Really, I’ll still end up with photos on this blog, but they should pertain more to my personal life… you know, birds in my backyard, random sewing projects, and remodel updates. (Yes, we are stilll remodeling) 

Hope that’s less confusing.

City of Fun Carnival

Yesterday, I went to the fair with my sister and husband. We had a total blast. There were definitely some crazies there….

I couldn’t resist this series… I know it’s small, but in the event that one of the people pictured here reads my blog…

Seriously, it doesn’t get better than Coke annnda blue snow cone.

Four tickets bought me a ride on the thrilling ferris wheel. I forgot how high those things go. Check out the kid looking bored behind us.

 

Meeg and Jonathan went on this crazzzzy ride that went spinning upside down. I almost lost my balance looking through the camera at them on the ride!

And how fab does Meeg look after being upside down????

Good times at the carnie!

Robin.

You would think I stand at my window all day long waiting for a bird to come by…  This is one of the smaller robins who live in our yard.

 

Wedding for Amanda 5.3.08

My friend Amanda called me a little while ago and asked me to 2nd shoot at this wedding for her. I had a total blast spending the day with her! These are some of my favorites:

This one is shot 100% in the reflecting pool. The grid is the bottom of the pool.

Imagine me rolling on the ground for this one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Greg

I had a great time taking Greg’s photos (from last week)! He seriously had me laughing so hard I was rolling on the floor. Good luck with your new adventure, Greg!

Mysterious Bird Visitor

We have a new bird couple at our feeder that I’ve never seen before. The male (I’m guessing he’s the male.) is an orange – red color, and they look like a pair to me. They are almost always together, and they have the prettiest song.

Anyone want to guess what they are? I sooo need to get a bird identification book.

Off-duty Princess Dress

So, I have a friend whose daughter is on a serious princess kick. I mean serious, like how I am seriously addicted to Coca-Cola. She would wear the same Cinderella dress every day if she could.

I decided she need an off-duty princess dress. (Made from scrap from the last shirt I made for myself.) We will see if she approves:

I’m still looking for the perfect button for the keyhole closure on the back neck.

 

F-stop is not a bad word.

My friend Amanda met me at a fun location and showed me a little bit about lighting and … (insert horror film scream here) … shooting in manual.

It was fun.

Thanks Amanda, you’re the best! I’m still wondering about closed shade…

Drew Gallery

Remodeling

You know that your remodel is taking too long when friendly bird neighbors move in on building materials and remodel a nest of their own! How cute is this mama bird?

Bird Words

Today I heard the strangest noise outside my window. A cross between a cat meowing, baby coo-ing and wierd stomach noises.
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I think it’s a dove.
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HeHe. Bird Butt.
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