For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

For the Love of Jobs

I have to admit, I was sad on October 5th.

The death of Steve Jobs affected me.

I am a fan of all things Apple.

So are my kids. 

Adam carved this design in his pumpkin this year as a tribute to Steve Jobs.

Adam wasn't the only one that felt the need to make a tribute to Steve Jobs.
Take a look at a few other other creative tributes.........

“I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.”

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” –  as quoted in The Wall Street Journal (Summer 1993).

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” - Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address

Monday, October 24, 2011

Great Pit Bull Dane

What do you get when you cross a Great Dane with a Pit Bull?

You get a beautiful dog!

I had the pleasure of doing a photo shoot with a handsome guy named Boomer.
Boomer is the epitome of power, beauty, and grace in a dog.
And it was so much fun to try to capture him in action with my camera!

At times, he reminded me of a pit bull with his broad chest and head.

Then at other times he resembled a Great Dane.

I have to say the mix of the two breeds is amazing!

Watching him run was like watching a thoroughbred race horse...

And he loved to play ball! 

I have to say he was one of the most photogenic young men I have ever met!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Three Women I Have Never Met

This is a story about 3 women. 
Each of them is connected to me.

One is from Canada.
One is from the Netherlands.
One is from Wisconsin.

I have never met any of them.
If I did, I bet I would like them.

We all have one thing in common:
We all have the same kind of dog.

I have interacted in one way or another with all 3 of them this week.

The woman from Canada loves animals.
She has beautiful dogs, cats, and horses.
She is a talented photographer and artist.
She seems like a person who is always striving
     to learn and excel at whatever she does.
This week I helped her out with some photos in Photoshop.

The woman from the Netherlands loves animals.
Her dad passed away a year ago.
I think that is around the time  that she read a 
      blog I wrote about my dad's passing.
This week I reached out to her in her sorrow as 
    she told of memories of her last days spent 
    with her dad.

The woman from Wisconsin loves animals too.
She has a niece and nephew that mean the world to her.
She has been like a cheerleader to me for 
       my photography and my blog.
She has also had some major health problems recently.
I believe she had surgery at the end of last week.
After getting a few updates from the hospital on the 
     weekend, there has been no word from her in 3 days.
I am worried that things may not be going well for her.

How do I know these women?
I know them only through Facebook.
Most likely we will never meet face to face.
That's ok.

The mission of Facebook is to
     "help people connect and share".
Mission accomplished.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spontaneous Reproduction

Spontaneous reproduction is when out of no where, something is reproduced.

I'm not a scientist - there may be cases where this may happen.

If I had to make an educated guess, I would have to say it happens in fruit flies.

If you're one of the lucky ones, you've never had an infestation of fruit flies.

If you live in a house with children or teens,
I can almost guarantee you have dealt with
too many of these little pests at some point.

They just don't seem to understand that you
can't leave rotting food around the house!

Fruit flies are not easy to get rid of.
When you see one and try to kill it,
inevitably it blends into the surroundings
and is lost to sight.

I did a little research on fruit flies recently.

Did you know that a single female can store sperm and use it for MANY reproductions?

Did you know that a single female fruit fly can lay from 500 to 1000 eggs in her lifetime of about 30 days?  They lay eggs on the surface of moist, organic material, preferably but not limited to rotting fruits and vegetables.

The period from egg to adult fruit fly varies depending on the temperature.  It is about 8 days - shorter in warmer temps and longer in cooler temps.

 How do you get rid of these little creatures?

You will NEVER succeed by just killing them by hand.

You have to set a trap - which is easy to do because the word is they have a very small brain.

There are many home-made traps you can try. 
They are made by putting an attractive liquid in a cup (apple cider vinegar, wine, etc) and covering it with plastic wrap with holes poked into the top. The fruit flies can get in, but can't figure out how to get out.

I usually get these commercial fruit fly traps at our local Agway.  They work great!

More tips:

Empty your garbage often.
Run your garbage disposal often.
Pour a diluted bleach solution down your drains.


Get rid of your kids.

Whichever is easier.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Girls with Balls

My girls have both played a LOT of softball.
It seemed to come naturally to them.
They both excelled at the game.

Where did this talent come from?

This is a picture of Kerry's grandmother running to first base in 1948.

And here is Kerry running to first base today.

This is a picture of the Seabrook Farms softball team in 1948.  Grandma Alice is in the first row - 5th from the left.  Her sister Nancy was also on the team (2nd from the left in the back row).

And here is Kerry with her current team representing the University of Vermont.  Kerry is 3rd from the left in the front row.

So DIFFERENT but so much the SAME.
Girls with balls.  
I predict there will be many more in this family!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Food for Thought

food:  noun. 1. any nourishing substance that is eaten, drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life, provide energy, promote growth, etc

Our genes determine many of our traits.  Brown hair, blonde hair, short, tall, blue eyes, brown eyes, green eyes, skinny, full-figured, intellectual, creative, introvert, extrovert...

I have been thinking a lot about food lately. 
Specifically,  is there there a genetic component that determines the way we eat?

I am NOT referring to how much we eat.
I am NOT referring to whether or not we are picky eaters.
I am NOT referring to whether we are carnivores or vegetarians.
I am NOT referring to our individual tastes in food.

The trait I am referring to is a little harder to describe.


I have a kitchen full of food.  
Many types of food.

So how can it be that some members of my family can come into the same kitchen and declare


and others are perfectly satisfied and have no problem finding something to eat?

I firmly believe there is a gene that determines this trait.

My father, whose nickname was Orks, had the ability to go into the refrigerator and concoct what he believed to be a gastronomical delicacy.  Don't get me wrong - he enjoyed a good meal - but he truly loved going into the refrigerator and making a meal out of whatever was available.

I believe I inherited that same trait, and so did my daughter, Annie.

Whenever my husband goes away on a business trip and it is just the two of us left at home, nothing makes us happier than to find our own dinners.  

We like to eat, but we arent' picky about what we eat. 
It's not hard to satisfy our hunger, and be happy about it.

It's in the genes.

I call it the "Orks" gene.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Where You Lead I Will Follow

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin-real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
Alfred D’Souza 

I went on a hiking trail with my dogs the other day.

The trail was very inviting, with an
     easy groomed path through towering oaks.

Halle led the way, as always.

Sami, ever wary of new things, stayed by my side.

A few minutes into the walk, we encountered 
                an old building on the edge of the river.

As I was busy taking pictures, I saw Sami stiffen, ears cocked, tail down, staring straight ahead.

I focused where Sami was looking - into the darkness under the old building.  Someone was inside sleeping next to a smoldering fire for warmth.  

A trickle of fear ran down my spine, and I quietly retreated from the building and made my way down the path.  I was thankful that I was with my dogs.

The trail led us on a beautiful path next to the water.  It was so peaceful and serene under the canopy of trees.

The path was blocked in many spots by downed trees, thanks to hurricane Irene a few weeks back.  Halle would stop and wait for me to show her the way around the obstacle to get back on the path once again.

After climbing a pretty steep hill, the trail led us to a railroad trestle.   There was a pedestrian walkway on the side of the train tracks made out of open steel grates.  

The grates opened a drop of 40 feet or so below.
The dogs would NOT walk on it.
They wouldn't even put a paw on it, no matter how hard I tried to lure them.

I really didn't want to turn around and backtrack.

Then Sami took the lead for the first time on the hike and began walking across the railroad ties between the tracks.  There was a gap of about 8 inches between the ties, but that didn't seem to bother him.   I followed Sami, and Halle followed me.  Slowly, step by step, tie by tie, we made our way across the trestle to solid ground on the other side.

After that, nothing we encountered phased us at all.  We had all gained confidence and courage that we could make it through whatever obstacles stood in our way.

We finished the hike tired but exhilarated.
It was a great hike.

Isn't this true of life too?
Life is full of obstacles.
Sometimes we take the lead.
Other times we follow.
But we make it through together.
And when we make it past the obstacles we fear most, 
we realize an inner strength we never knew we had.