Thursday, October 16, 2008

Long Lapse

I can't believe that it's been almost four months since my last post. I hope I haven't lost all my readers because of this lapse. I have to report that I haven't been idle during this time. I mentioned we would be building an addition on our house for Mom and this is nearly complete. With one of the wettest summers, and I use that term loosely, everything took weeks longer than it should. My photography, too, has suffered due to lack of good light, the expense of driving and the time to set off to search for adventure.
We've also started a side line to my business. Our 7 year old granddaughter, Stephanie, has been taking photographs since she was about 5. This past week, I taught her how to make some of her better and more interesting images into note cards. We spent this past weekend at the Sandwich Fair where she spent time talking with customers who showed an enthusiastic interest in her work Of the 60 note cards made up of nine designs, she returned home with only 36 and was very excited to find that people loved the image of her cat, Mrs B, and her ponies, Fancy and Lily. In the next post, I'll tell you about the foliage season and what's on tap for the next couple of months. The image I've posted is Steph's photo of Mrs. B.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Can't Be Long Winded

I couldn't sleep so I thought I'd poke around the Internet and one of the places I tend to gravitate towards is my blog. It's been way to long since I made an entry and my loyal readers have probably stopped checking on me. I hope this isn't the case because I haven't been slacking. It's just a case of being really busy. Let me tell you what's been happening since Mother's Day. The first few shows of this 2008 season started off on the slow side and I began to regret making the decision to travel farther and expose new people to my work. My faith was rewarded, however, at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Londonderry where we experienced not only a resurgence of interest in my work but a better class of campground at Hidden Valley in Derry, NH. In fact, we enjoyed our visit to this area so much, we've decided to attend the two day event the church sponsors in September. Our calendar is filling in quickly now with only a few weekends where we will be staying at home. This isn't a bad thing because my mom is getting ready to move in with us. She'll have her own studio apartment attached to the house by labor Day. That only gives us two very short months to build a 20 x 24 addition. Wish us luck! Meanwhile, the lupine season is in full swing with these beautiful three foot tall spikes waving majestically in the early summer breeze. The three weekends of the Lupine Festival in Sugar Hill, NH just concluded and overall, it was a well attended event. The weather handed us a mixed bag of hot and humid with high winds and torrents of rain thrown in just to keep us on our toes. Next weekend we're off to North Woodstock, NH for the Olde New England Days which includes a micro brewery tasting. Carl is looking forward to this one.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mother's Day

The suitcase is just about packed and we're headed to North Conway, NH for a working holiday of sorts. It's not really a vacation because Carl will head off to work each morning, I'll still have to cook supper and do dishes and laundry, but, we won't be in our house during this week. We own a timeshare at the Eastern Slopes Inn and we'll spend the next week there. I'll look for something interesting in that part of the country to photograph and we'll take our granddaughter with us for a couple of days which is always fun.

Monday, April 28, 2008

A Successful Weekend

It was a real pleasure to meet and visit with the many hundreds of visitors to the 42nd Annual Maple Sugar Festival in St. Albans. VT over the weekend. The three day event features sugar house tours, an antique bazaar, specialty foods to sample and an entire gymnasium full of eager artisans like myself. The weather was summed up in one word, perfect; a nice change from last year's cold, rainy and downright dismal conditions. For us, it was the third show of the season, but I have to tell you that all things considered, I'd have to consider this event a complete success, both in terms of enthusiastic on lookers as well as sales. We have a few weeks off to ready some new work to be exhibited and while we're at it, the studio could use a bit of tidying up. During the slower paced winter and spring, we sometimes just toss things on a shelf or into a corner instead of finding them a more permanent home. This small intermission before we get going like gangbusters is also being used to prepare the pop up camper for it's "coming out" event which will be on May 17th in Londonderry, NH and May 18th in Manchester, NH. These are both new venues for us and I'm looking forward to meeting new people and introducing them to my work. I hope you're able to stop by...

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Maple Syrup Is Flowing

We're off this weekend to the 42nd annual Maple Sugar Festival in St Albans, VT. It's a three day event and if you're in the area, please stop by.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Catch 22

Today, I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and melancholy. I glanced at the rather thick stack of show applications that have been arriving almost daily. These demand my attention both in the filling out and the paying of the requisite fees so that I can fill in my show schedule. The problem is the coffers are nearly depleted so the writing of the checks is nearly impossible. And I can't add more money to the checking account until I exhibit and sell some product. You see my dilemma?This is what is commonly referred to as a "Catch 22". For those of you not familiar with the reference, I'll explain. This was the title of a movie from the 60's or 70's where a guy wanted to get out of the service. He tried to convince people he was crazy so they would release him but in order to be released, he would have to ask to be let go based on his craziness and a crazy person wouldn't know enough to ask to be released. I can't pay for upcoming shows without money and I can't get money without participating in those very same shows. So, here I sit, trying to figure out what move to make next. I think the guy in the movie had the easier task. Now for those of you asking about the latest and greatest of Red Sox nation, I can only give you a sample of the 2007 glory taken in Florida.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Quiet Places In The Sun

As mentioned in the previous post, I did laundry today and then we hopped into the car and headed south towards Key West. Well, we stopped just shy of the keys in Homestead, Fl, former home of the Air Force until Hurricane Andrew wiped most of the area off the map, literally. Instead of rebuilding, the place was bulldozed and the track was put in. We got there fifteen minutes before the NASCAR store closed. It didn’t take long to pick out Dale Earnhardt Jr. souvenirs for my son, daughter and granddaughter. I even managed a Tony Stewart tee shirt for myself. Then we went up to the fourth level of the tower and took a long look at the 1 ½ mile oval, the pit garages, stalls and the start/finish line. I wish there had been one or two cars out there so I could have gotten some idea of the scale of the place. It certainly didn’t look wide enough for three cars to run side by side for even a couple of seconds. I took pictures of the finish line looking down towards turn one. When we were back on ground level, we walked out to the catch fence and found a gate open that lead to the starter’s flag stand. I looked over both shoulders and went for it. The next thing I knew, I had climbed up and was leaning over to get an unobstructed view of turn four and the front stretch. Then I figured I’d better not push my luck and climbed back down. It was exciting to be there when the place was empty. I can only imagine how much adrenaline pumps when the place is crawling and the motors are screaming. Oh, and today was the first day that I’ve taken any pictures.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Traffic 3- Carl 0

We drove north to Holman Stadium in Vero Beach once more. The nice breeze of Sunday was gone and the humidity much higher than it had been all week. I’m not one to enjoy that type of weather and there was an audible sigh of relief by everyone in the stands when the thick clouds rolled in. The high points: Derek Lowe, a former member of the Red Sox pitched three fine innings; Rafael Furcal, a former member of the Atlanta Braves played a smoking short stop and the Marlin’s Hanley Ramirez, a former Red Sox prospect that was traded away, played an equally active short stop. These players have all moved on but I still enjoy watching their careers. The Low points: crowded seats, over priced mediocre food and the Dodgers lost by one. Carl decided after his third traffic jam in three days that we would play “hooky” on Wednesday. I get caught up on some laundry and planned for tomorrow's trip to Homestead Motor Speedway for NASCAR souvenirs for the family.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Directions Are Over Rated

A quick trip into Miami found us at the American Airlines Arena within site of the cruise ship docks and also home of the Miami Heat Basketball team. Tonight, they faced off against the LA Clippers with Carl and I in upper deck seats overlooking the court. The view was exceptional and I can certainly appreciate two well matched opponents who faced off with a hotly contested last quarter. I’m not a huge basketball fan, as such, so it didn’t matter to me who won and in the end it was the Clippers by one over the Heat. The trip home should have been easy with my Map Quest directions in hand. The Miami Dade police force had other plans and met us at each turn with blocked roads. Eventually we found our way to Rte 95 which was undergoing construction. At one point, traffic was pushed from five lanes down to two and slowed to a crawl. Never a dull moment in the big city. A trip that should have taken 45 minutes was almost two hours.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Baseball Is In My Blood

Close up on a few guys tossing a ball around and, as your mind’s eye pulls away, the entire ball field comes into view. Now, you pull further back to see traffic backed up for miles in all directions on it’s way to that park. Okay, so it’s the closing scene from the movie "Field of Dreams" but, it’s also the very conditions we found ourselves in today. We were to find out later that we were part of the largest crowd ever, 9,260 fans, to be at Holman Field in Vero Beach for a Dodgers game. The Red Sox were beaten 0-4 in the very last Sunday game that will ever be played on that field because after 60 years, the LA Dodgers will be joining the Cactus Spring Training league next year based in Glendale, AZ. I’m sorry that my guys got beaten but it was great to see regulars, Manny, Big Pappi and JD Drew take the field with some of the new guys. Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched well. I had only one option to try for a couple of pictures but due to the close quarters I found myself in, it didn’t matter that our seats were only 60 feet from the field. The seats at Holman Stadium are crammed closer together than coach seats on most airlines.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Florida, Warm And Apreciated

My husband and I own time share weeks and we use them often to trade into areas that we want to visit. This is one of those trips. We’ve traded a week that we own in North Conway for a week here in Weston, Florida. Now, there are many different types of resorts but they all have one thing in common. There is one day at the beginning of the week that is called a down day. Whether you use it to become familiar with the resort, the area or just to chill and gear up for the rest of your stay, this is the day. You find grocery stores, line up activities and spend the rest of the day finding everything in your new home because these types of resorts all have the same amenities but they are always located in different places. This part of Florida is a planned community and streets are really just grids running north and south with connectors that flow east and west. So, no worries if you miss your turn, just take the next three lefts or rights and you’ll be back where you started.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ah, The Signs Are Changing

This morning, I woke to the brilliance of a newly risen sun and when I stepped out the door, I caught just the faintest whiff of springtime. I mentioned, a few posts earlier, a vague description of this very much desired time of year. As I stood there, I listened. At first there was nothing but silence and then I became aware of the soft sighs of a light and warm breeze. I heard the unmistakable decay of a nearby snow bank giving way to the insistence of a 40 degree day. There was the sound of birds singing as they foraged in the nearby branches. And, I caught the unmistakable aroma of fresh earth warming. It was absolutely wonderful just to stand there and soak it all in. Of course, the reason I was in the yard was to put my suitcase into the truck. Yes, the time has finally arrived. We're headed to Florida in the morning for Spring Training. Remember, this isn't a vacation. I'm working! It's my hope to get a couple of good images of key team members or maybe a manatee or two. I even have plans for a beautiful sunset taken by air boat in the Everglades. Wish me luck. And who knows, with some of that luck, the snow will be mostly gone when we return on the 17th.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Show Calendar Begins To Fill

And just as the subject of this post mentions, I have begun to fill in dates on my web site calendar as to where I'll be displaying my work this year. In fact, April is already fairly well filled in. If you'd like to check up on my whereabouts so you can view new images, just click on the link on the right side of this blog which will take you to the monthly calendar.

And another search engine has done it's job and found my blog. I'm still amazed that what I write here can be detected by others who may be looking for me to type in a specific word or phrase. I was contacted by The Boston Globe reporter, Mark Levenson, who was doing a piece on The RED SOX and how difficult it is to get tickets to the hottest club in town. I guess I should have been less shy about calling him because although I gave him plenty of material by e-mail, he didn't use any of it in his very interesting article. He did catch up with my very good friend, Bob Kidder, another fan who has even had his tomb stone etched with Red Sox sentiments. I'm a fan but he's way more than that. This reminds me to watch what I say about whatever I may be wanting to write about.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Spring Training = Spring Fever

We're not planning anything elaborate in the way of trips, photo excursions and vacations this year. We are, however, headed to every baseball fan's ideal of the perfect way to spend a week. We're headed to the warm weather of spring training to watch my favorite team, the Red Sox, get ready to defend their 2007 World Series victory. We leave on March 7th and while we're staying in Fort Lauderdale, most of our time will be spent driving across Alligator Alley to Fort Myers, the winter home of my boys of summer. We'll watch two or three games on their home field and also get to visit the Dodgers and the Twins in Vero Beach. My husband and I even have tickets to a basketball game between the Miami Heat and the LA Clippers. I'm currently working on something sportsy to fill in the only free day we have, Saturday the 8th. At the end of the week we'll climb about the Royal Carribean Majesty of the Seas for a short but restful cruise out to the Bahamas and back. Our respite from all of this year's bad weather will come to an end on the 17th when we return to reality.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Wintery Weather

By the time February roles around, the back of Winter is pretty nearly broken, as a rule. When I say this I mean the super harsh cold of sub zero January is past, the days are beginning to lengthen and you can usually find some signs that the change of seasons is approaching. Maybe it's a super warm day that gets the skunks moving about. You can smell them in the air. Maybe it's a slight color change in the bark of the poplar trees. During the dead of winter, the bark is ash gray but with the first flush of sap corsing through it's veins, the bark begins to take on a greenish tint. Maybe it's a small patch of dried grass that has finally fought it's way through the drifts to appear in the sunlight. That's not happening this year because we have been hit with one winter storm after another. In fact, over the past ten days, we've had no less than four major storms. These storms ran the full gambit of natures fury with wind, deep heavy wet snow and even rain and ice. Our snow depth is now more than we've had all winter and as I write this, it's snowing and there is a promise for more over the weekend. I guess I'll have to wait a bit longer for the back of winter to really give way.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Playing Catchup

My apologies to you all. I've been ill since the Friday afte Christmas. It wasn't anything earthshattering but it sure put a crimp in my style for the entire month of January. I'm back now and have a few things to tell you about. The first is that we had an average 2007 show season . With the current economy, I'd say that was pretty good. Most people have limited funds to spend on "extras" because of the rising fuel and heating costs. So to say that our 2007 season was average is a big thing. It could have been a lot worse and that would have forced me to take a serious look at choices that I would have had to make. Those choices would have included the need to tighten the belt by keeping my shows close to home, reducing inventory in the galleries and retail shops or even entertaining the possibility of halting my photographic career altogether until the economy has a chance to recover, giving people the ability to appreciate art once more.