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.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

My Vision

I have a vision for my back yard.  You see, last year I began a photography business, specializing in high school Senior portraits.  I traveled to different locations in the area for portrait sessions.  So many of the seniors last year wanted their portraits done in a natural setting.  We would meet at a local park and do their photo shoot.  They would change their clothes behind screens.  Moms would lug around bags with clothing, shoes, hairbrush, etc.  There were no mirrors available to check how they looked.
And no bathroom.

So I have a vision.

I've been planning and working on this vision for months.  I am making an outdoor studio in my back yard.  For those that want to go on location for their photo shoot, I will gladly do that.  But for those that just want a natural setting with more flexibility - a bathroom, an air-conditioned place to change and get out of the heat, many more options to personalize their portraits, and the ability to preview the images if they wish - I believe this will be a fantastic location option.

But first, there is a lot of work left to do.  And I needed help.
Today, that help came.  A Bobcat and Vance.

During summers as a teenager Vance worked for a company that put in swimming pools,  and he had a lot of experience operating a Bobcat.  He seemed happy to get back in the seat once again!

Years of dumping leaves and brush, in addition to trees that were taken down and cut up after the snowstorm last October made the area behind the fence a mess.

I loaded up the bucket with the logs...

(Even though the logs were rotting and full of bugs, my garden gloves protected me!)

Then Vance carried them away!

After removing the logs and piles of brush, he leveled out the ground.

The dogs were watching through the fence.

Maddie should have stayed behind the fence, but she didn't!

We even discovered remnants of years long past - Adam's Thomas the Tank Engine bowl was in the dirt in the area of the "Indian Fort" where the kids once played.

By the end of the day, the yard looked so much bigger and cleaner!

I built this stone wall last week.  It will be a beautiful place for pictures!

I also built this natural stone wall out of boulders I dug up from the ground.

And these stone steps.  I can't wait to plant some woodland flowers here!

I so appreciate the power of the Bobcat.  We couldn't have done all this without it!
And I am so thankful for my wonderful husband too!

And Halle  (Sami is camera shy).

And Maddie.

I will continue to build my "studio" over the coming weeks.
I'm having so much fun designing it.

My vision.

Monday, April 22, 2013


Today is April 22.  Earth Day.
But the theme of this blog is what  happened 22 years ago on April 22.
My son, Adam, was born.

Since I've been blogging, I typically write a "birthday blog" for each of my kids every year. I've shown many pictures of Adam as a baby, as a toddler, and in the many years since. So I did not want to repeat this year what I have already done.

Searching for inspiration, I got into his Facebook page and started browsing his photos.  Not the photos from the past when Adam was living at home - many of which I took myself.  I looked through the ones of Adam since he's been in college.

I already knew what a kind, caring person Adam is.  I knew how much he loves animals. I knew how much he cares for the needy.  And I knew how much he loves the Lord.  But I was struck by the beautiful person I saw in these Facebook photos.

And since a picture truly is worth 1000 words, I will show you pictures of Adam that his mother didn't take. These pictures that were taken by the people he keeps company with.

(I will do my best to tell you a little about the photos, but since I wasn't there, I may be wrong.)

                          Collecting vegetables for the local food pantry.

                                                             Embracing Vermont!

Using his camera to capture beautiful things...

Calling forth his inner Sponge Bob.

Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans

Demonstrating his love of animals...

of all shapes and sizes!

Cooking for and feeding the needy in the Middlebury community.

More work in New Orleans...

(Adam with a nail gun is a scary sight!)

Having fun with his Christian fellowship group on campus...

Carving pretty shapes out of cheese?

And my favorite picture of Adam taken last fall...

He reminds me so much of my father - the kindness in his eyes, his big warm smile.
How he makes the world a better place.
And how much I love him!

Happy Birthday, Adam!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Sweet Caroline

As I was eating my lunch today,  I cried.

I had come inside to eat and turned on the television just in time to hear President Obama speak at the Interfaith Healing service in Boston.

Whether you are Democrat or Republican,  it was impossible not to be moved by President Obama's words.

But then again, he's had a lot of practice addressing communities that have undergone disasters.  Too much practice lately.

I was working peacefully in the yard that afternoon when my daughter came home and told me what had happened.  Then, due to social media, we quickly discovered that many of our friends and loved ones were at the marathon that day.   One particular tweet "Front row at the finish, waiting patiently for our American girls" really scared us.  Fortunately this girl had already left to come home when the bomb went off.  And more tweets let us know that the others were also safe.

These disasters are occurring too close to home.  NewYork, Newtown, Boston.

In the aftermath of the bombings, we hear so many stories of selfless people running into the bombing site to help the victims.   Once again, the goodness of humanity was shining through the smoke and devastation.

"Sweet Caroline" has been played at every Boston Red Sox game in Fenway Park and beloved by Boston fans for many years.

On Tuesday night it was played at Yankee Stadium, along with the Yankee and Red Sox logos seen together on the video board with the words "United We Stand".

Sweet Caroline.

Touching hands,
Reaching out,
Touching me,
Touching you."

How true!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rolling, Rolling, Rolling...

Pinterest is truly an amazing and inspiring site!  When my daughter, Kerry, showed me a craft idea she had found on Pinterest, I decided to make one of my own - only a bit larger!

So I've been rolling.  And rolling.  And rolling.  And glueing too.
I have rolled almost every page from every magazine and catalog in my house.
I roll while watching TV.  I roll on long car rides.
I even rolled in the dark during one of my daughter's band concerts.

I've gotten so fast (I timed myself)  that I can roll and glue two pages in one minute.

But the real fun comes when the rolling is done.

Then I get to CREATE.

The finished product is 4ft x 4ft.

Perfect for a cool photography backdrop!

Not so cool like this...

But as I open the aperture more and more,

and the background blurs more and more,

The cooler it gets!

I can't wait to try it out on a real live person instead of a bottle of glue!