30 August 2011

What a difference a week makes...

When we were growing up, we spent a great deal of summers and occasional winters in Schenectady, New York.  And you have to know I know people from here, because I can spell the name of the city without having to look it up!

One of the best places we always visit is Jumpin' Jacks drive-in (which is actually in Scotia, NY but go with me here).  They have the best fried clams ever.  They pretty much fry everything, except for the ice cream treats in the building next door.  It is located by the GE complex and many folks stop in for lunch during the season.

Before leaving town last week we stopped in for one more not-at-all-good-for-you-but-delicious meal.

Here's baby Ty reaching for some of my goodness while waiting on his parents to get some.

Some shots of the cute buildings where you get the food and ice cream - YUM. (Pay attention to the yellow sign, you'll see it again later).

One of the neatest parts of this summer hang out is the Water Ski Team practicing and performing on the river, right behind the shops.  On this night they didn't get into the water until dark, so my shots are not that good (I didn't bring the tripod on the trip).  The following photos show a couple skiers coming in after letting go of the boat and the boat under the river.  

Ok, see how much room there is between the river and the bridge?  You can barely see the ski boat in the back (middle) of the photo.  You can see the dock that the folks stand on when they are talking about the ski tricks going on in the water below.

Now, look at the same summer hang out after storm Irene came through this weekend.  This photo is taken from above, because clearly, there was no going down any closer.  

See those white things and the yellow sign?  Those are the TOPS of the buildings!!!  That is the river flowing all over the parking lot, buildings, and I imagine the park on the other side of the street.  I'm guessing their season is over for the year. 

(Video from the news after the water receded.)

I can't wait for them to re-group and we can go back for great food and memories next year!!

To all the east coast and NE folks still dealing with the after effects of the storm, we are with you in spirit as you dig in and clean up.

(If you are interested in other photos from Schenectady, visit Buck at daily Schenectady Photographs.)


29 August 2011

Saratoga Co barns


Today for Barn Charm, a couple different barns I snapped while going through southwest Saratoga Co, New York.

As you can see it was a beautiful day for a drive.  This was about dinner time, when the sun was just starting to come down, but before it was dusk.  The first one was relatively new and still all pretty.  The second one is more commercial/working and well maintained, but not quite so shiny.  Both were clearly a part of their working farm.


25 August 2011

Darker sky ahead

This was taken on our drive north on the NY thruway about 2 weeks ago.  It was somewhere approaching Syracuse, and the clouds are a good indication of the hours of rain we drove through on the last part of the day.  As the elevation increased, we actually drove into the clouds and the rain increased.  If you looked down into the valley, you could see how clear it was. Very interesting phenomenon.  Well, it would have been if I wasn't so focused on staying on the road through the driving rain at that point!

I thought the colors of the plants among the bare trees made an interesting contrast. 


24 August 2011

wee bit (of me) wednesday

Here's a fun new link up, Wee Bit Wednesday over at Leigh Ashley.  

{one} what's your guilty pleasure tv show?
TMZ or What not to wear (WNTW)

{two} ear piercings on men: yes or no?
Um, no.
{three} do you have dish or comcast?
Neither, Time Warner
{four} what's your favorite current fashion trend?
I love that pretty wearable dresses are back in the stores.
{five} if you could learn to do anything, money not being an issue, what would it be?
I would like to be multi-lingual, so I could travel and be respectful of other cultures.
{six} red or white wine?
I'm allergic, so neither.
{seven} what type of food is your favorite (ex. italian, mexican, etc.)
{eight} hp or mac?
MAC, every time, everyday, no question.
{nine} what color is your bedroom?
cream and steel blue
{ten} what's your favorite form of exercise?
kickboxing and walking through the woods with my camera

Hop over to see more entertaining answers or join in the fun!


22 August 2011

She was there too

Last week, after 98 years with us, my Grandmother was called home to be with Grandpa and Aunt Jane.  We all headed to upstate New York to celebrate one of the best Ladies I will even know.  She was a small woman with a strong force built from love and family.  We spent the week doing a lot of the sames things I had grown up doing, but now with another generation of children added.

We got together at my uncle's house (my cousins live next door), set out a lot of food, sat around the table and on the porch and watched the kids run around the yard.  Seriously, that's what we always did at Grandma's house.  Here is my youngest niece playing soccer with cousin Mark - note the dress did not seem to hinder her skills at all!

Here are the three youngest cousins chasing the remote control car around the yard.  It was a hoot to watch.  I'm sure Grandma was laughing.  For the record, the car ran out of steam long before the kids that day.

And since we have part of the barn in the picture anyway, here are a few more shots of my uncle's barn, which is beautiful inside (with electricity and continuous water) and the horses really like it too.

Linking with :  Soli Deo Gloria and Barn Charm.


21 August 2011

Photo assignment: Fiction

I generally take photos of real places and events I visit, people I meet, and beautiful objects I find along the way.  So I was challenged by my class assignment where we had to pose things for photos.  I'm not sure I grasped it as well as I should have, but here is my attempt at telling a story through posed photos. 

Beware, it does not have a happy ending...

This is a story of love and life and how sometimes we let life get in the way of what we have in love.


I was able to create the photos to match the idea in my head for the stages of the relationship, which was done using things around my house.  (The ring is actually something I inherited.)

I took each shot at the kitchen table, to add to the consistency of the tale.

I used a tripod and the same settings to be consistent with exposure, reflection and color.

I focused on the ring in each scenario, to make it the subject throughout the series of shots.

I actually shot the photos in the portrait layout, but when I cropped them for size (for the assignment requirements) I realized the landscape layout made them far more interesting!

This is still not my thing, but I hope the instructor gets what I was trying to do.


19 August 2011

Bridge reflection

This is a park near my home.  It was extremely busy this day, but amazingly, I was able to get a peaceful clear shot of this bridge and the reflection.  I love how blue the sky is to, so perfect.

More weekend reflections here:


17 August 2011

Book challenge - What should I read next?

This is challenge 7 in the Take a Chance Challenge 3.  In this one the What should I read next website picked the book for me.  The result: The Shop on Blossom Street.

Image from Amazon

Author: Debbie Macomber

Genre: fiction, romance

Published: 2004, 2005, 2010

Available: Hardback, paperback, eReaders

Length: 400 pages

This is the first in a series of books.  Some of the characters are carried throughout the series, others join along the way.  I realize this is not a new book, but I have not read any of this series and it seemed to make the most sense to begin at the beginning.  The shop is opened by Lydia, a single young woman who has survived two rounds of cancer, but has lost trust in love and relationships along the way.

The three other main characters in this book are introduced as they join Lydia's new shop and knitting classes.  Each woman has their own unique reason for wanting to learn to knit.  The four women are not likely to have become friends in another context, but over time and events find support and confort in each other and the knitting.

The three women include Alix, a early 20's woman on her own after growing up with alcoholic parents and a foster care life.  Jacqueline, a 50's married socialite with an only child who recently married someone she considers completely inappropriate.  Finally, Carol, who has been trying to have a child with her husband through any means possible, and sees the baby blanket starter class as a sign from God that her prayers will be answered.

My thoughts:  I was happily surprised by this book.  It is well written and the transition back and forth between the characters' stories worked for me.  I like that she provides enough detail to feel present in the story, but not too much to bog you down.  The characters are diverse enough to relate to a large group of people.  Also, the author gives them real life problems and issues, some big - some not so big, to deal with through the book.  Additionally, I appreciate that it is part of a series, which really works for me.  I look forward to reading the rest as the year progresses.


14 August 2011

Matthew 11:25-30

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

 (A quilt made for the Ohio State fair - artist unknown.)

I love the design of this quilt, it's curves and lines unique but repeating.  It reminds me that we are all connected in different ways and that our lives overlap each other.  Some days all of that color and energy needs to be set aside, while we appreciate what we are given and rest to enjoy it.


Linking with:

13 August 2011

iPhone Camera Critter

My sweet kitty hanging out on top of the futon in the sun room while I waste the Saturday away!

I used the PicFrame app here.  I used three separate photos and added them together.  Love it!


11 August 2011

Irish fest, close to home

As much as I wish I could visit Ireland more often, I'll have to do with an Irish festival close to home.  I took a good number of photos, some to use for a class project, some for cultural purposes, and some just for fun.  Here are a few of my favorites.

A weaver using an American made loom, but Irish wool.  
He was full of the Blarney and such a nice soul!

 He explained the complicated process of setting up the loom, counting the different strands and how to create your patterns.  He threw a few jokes in along the way and we were all charmed.


They had many booths of items, but the bag of footballs caught my attention.  The colors were beautiful in the sunlight and photographed rather nicely.  I love when that works out.

 There were many beautiful pieces of jewelry, religious items and musical instruments.  I tried to convince my friend that if she bought me a $925 hand made flute I would go back to playing regularly. I was not successful in that negotiation, but I did appreciate all the work put into the craftsmanship.

The final shot is of baby Carter, my friend's son.  He was so good for how long and hot the day was. What a cute kid.  He liked the lemonade.  What is it with kids and lemons?!


09 August 2011

Fun at the fair

My friend A and I headed to the Ohio State Fair last Sunday.  It was the last day of the fair and scorching hot, as the state fair must be in some comic law book.  I tried to avoid going on a weekend - crowds and all that - but we had a very good time with the folks this last day.

While we did see some lovely animals, especially these gorgeous dark colored show horses, I didn't take many photos of the animals, fair foods, rides, etc.  We just enjoyed seeing them all and eating the occasional fried items...although nothing on a stick this year!

However, I did take photos of some of the more unique items - like the cows and the space shuttle made of 1500 lbs of butter!  Here are the cows:

Not to be outdone, there were also chocolate pigs!

There were many craft and art competitions.  The cake decorating had a wide range of ideas, skill levels, and colors.  The winner was the rubber ducky in the tub - about 3' high.  The chocolate owl was stunning as well.

A few culinary schools had a fruit carving contest.  These folks have some serious skill.  There were 3 refrigerators full, here are some examples of ideas for your next party night!

The 2 more unique competitions involved creating things with scour type pads - in this case an elephant!


Also, there was a collection of antique goods.  They got itty-bitty ribbons. These were so adorable in person, I couldn't stand how cute they were!

I competed in the photography and scrapbook challenges this year.  I have NEVER entered a state fair competition prior to this, but a co-worker of mine and his family rock them every year.  He encouraged several of us to try our hand at some of the skills.  I was glad to do it and will probably enter some things again next year.  It just goes to show, you can win ribbons at the state fair and not have to raise cattle.  

Although, the winning cattle this year went for $85, 000, so it might be something to consider!

Hope you enjoyed the trip with us.


07 August 2011

They liked me...

Here are a few shots from the Creative Arts competition at the Ohio State Fair.  These are categories for non-professional artists. 
(The fair has a fine arts competition for the professional folks).

I won a first place in the landscape photo category!

And I won a second place in the human interested category, 
in this case the flag photo with the man and son!

Here are the original photos too:

More from the fair later in the week, when I get a few more minutes!