Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

October 31, 2012

Remains of the Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:19 pm
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Happy what’s-left-of-Halloween to you!  It is just after 8pm on Halloween as I am typing this post.  It was a last minute decision to write this post, as was my decision to carve this jack-o-lantern.  With my girls no longer of trick-or-treating age, the threat of Hurricane Sandy and our Murder Mystery party this past weekend, regular ol’Halloween kind of took a back seat around here.  I just bought candy for potential  trick-or-treaters  yesterday and then I remembered we had no pumpkin to carve and enjoy the roasted seeds.  I carved this fellow at 5pm this evening.  We’ve had a total of 3 trick-or-treaters tonight.

Because of this lack of creatures of the night ringing the doorbell, I’ll be eating far too much of this over the coming days:
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Each time I walk through the kitchen, I am popping these in my mouth:

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Perhaps a little better than all the candy, right?

Hurricane Sandy turned out not to be a Frankenstorm at all in these parts, for which I am extremely grateful. Our power stayed on the whole duration of the storm and we just had a rainy, windy day off from school.  Trying my best to send positive thoughts to those left in need by Sandy.

How did you weather storm my reader friends?  How was your Halloween?

October 28, 2012

Here we go again…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:27 pm
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It is the weekend before Halloween and I am having a little deja vu.  Do you all remember what happened around here a year ago?  If you don’t, you can read about it here.  I’ve been pretty busy this week prepping for another party at my house.  And what has been making the news lately?  Yet another storm preparing to bear down on the northeast, Hurricane Sandy.

My very best wishes and thoughts for minimal damage and power outages are going out to all of us who find ourselves in Sandy’s path.  School has already been closed for tomorrow (Monday) around here, despite the fact that we aren’t supposed to feel Sandy’s impact until tomorrow afternoon.

The weather yesterday was just fine and our party was a success.  We took a little different tack than our traditional Halloween party and had a Murder Mystery Party.  Years ago we hosted one of these parties and had a lot of fun with it.  Our friends enthusiastically agreed to the idea, and we found a party kit that we could buy online and download.

Hubby and I cooked up a yummy dinner to serve our guests, and our guests did not disappoint with the way they took to their characters!  I emailed each of them their character’s name and description about two weeks before our party and here’s how they all showed up:

From left to right: Hubby as “Sam Chawpalot” the butcher, yours truly as “Shugga Ann Flower”, baker and, as it turned out, the murderess!, “Cougar Forrest” golf pro, “London Wilton” heiress, socialite and murder victim, “Rita Bookaday” local librarian, “Paul A. Tisshon” (kneeling) mayor, “Alby Stitchin” tailor,  “Alberta Newton” biology professor, “Kara Tinn” hairdresser, and “Dr. Doctor Dijon”, neurosurgeon.

We had a great time trying to solve the mystery ( none of us got it right!), laughing and sharing each others’ company.  There was even an impromptu singing of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen when one of the mini-games included in the mystery was the deciphering of lyrics.  The person who had these lyrics on their clue sheet barely got the words, “Is this the real life?” out of his mouth before the entire group of us started belting out the tune.

Our kids, along with a couple of boyfriends added to the mix, enjoyed a party of their own of the more traditional costume type:

Meghan, as a magician, is third from the left, and Sarah, as Pink Panther/Inspector Clouseau if on the far right.

Now is the time for “wait and see” – we shall wait and see just what Ms. Sandy has in store for us.  I have no idea when or if my power will go out, and whether I’ll have internet service over the next few days.  Stay safe everyone.

October 20, 2012

Accidental Birding

Don’t you love it when you end up with some photos you weren’t expecting to take that you really like?  That happened recently for me and I was able to add some new shots to my bird collection.

I mentioned in my  last post that I actually took two walks for Robin’s blog-along walk, but that I wasn’t overly happy with my photos from the first walk.  Near the end of that walk, I stopped and paused on a little bridge over a creek.

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I tried to just relax and take in the quiet sounds around me: the burbling of the brook, rustling of leaves in the wind, and bird song.  While I leaned on the fence of the bridge, something changed.  My eyes suddenly were able to see birds flitting everywhere right in front of me.  I’m not sure if they appeared there after I stilled my body or if the stilling of my body is what allowed me to see what was already there.

catbird and robin

Catbird and Robin.  (Too bad it wasn’t a “batbird”, huh? 😉  )  These two are birds that I see in my backyard constantly, but I liked having the two of them together in one shot.  The pink leaves and red berries made a nice backdrop too.

Gentle shaking of nearby pine branches caught the corner of my eye.  I refocused my eyes to try to find the cause of the motion and saw one of my favorite little birds, our Massachusetts state bird, the chickadee.
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Just beyond the chickadee, rustling the dry leaves, no doubt searching for tasty insects, I saw a bird that I’ve seen plenty of times, but of which I’d never managed a photo, a northern flicker.

northern flicker

Later that week while I was lazily staring into my backyard, I spotted a little bird that I couldn’t identify.  It wasn’t an overly distinctive bird, but I thought it was rather sweet looking.

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My photos of it aren’t spectacular, as I quickly ran to grab the camera before it flitted away, but I believe this is an Eastern Phoebe, a small species of flycatcher.  That seemed to be about right as I watched it perch in various places around my yard and then suddenly dart into flight – I’m guessing to snag a fly out of the air.  These next two photos are very blurry, but I thought they were still kind of neat.

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I see you tasty fly!”

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“Coming to get ya!”

I don’t think I’ve ever taken a picture of a bird in flight with its wings closed before.  It struck me kind of funny, like someone had picked the bird up and tossed it into the air.

Nice what you can find sometimes when you aren’t really looking!

October 14, 2012

Walking Along

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 5:15 pm
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Back in the summertime, Robin of Life in the Bogs announced plans for taking a really long walk.  I think at the time she was blogging about pilgrimages and her admiration for folks who do them.  Robin’s plans for her walk,  while maybe not completely a pilgrimage-length walk, but a good long walk, blossomed into the idea for a blog-along style walk in which bloggers were invited to make a jaunt of their own, photograph it, blog it and link it to Robin’s post.

I actually took two walks for this blog.  I took one on Columbus Day, but those photos proved to be disappointing.  The weather was extremely overcast, and while I know cloudy days can make for some beautiful photos, this day it just wasn’t working for me.  I wanted photos of a golden autumn afternoon, and even after adjusting settings on the camera to warm up the shots, they were mostly blah looking to me.  I also walked in an unfamiliar place, and although the paths were well-marked, I started feeling just a bit nervous about whether I’d chosen the correct direction at times.  Not all of my pictures from this day are bad and unusable – they just aren’t what I wanted for this post.  Perhaps they will find a place in a different post.

For this walk, I headed to The Rice Nature Preserve here in the town where I live.  I’d walked this trail one time before with the family and dogs in tow.  This time I went on my own so that I could take plenty of pictures without my hands be jostled by anxious pulling on leashes.

The day was full of sunshine, although high temperatures were only in the upper 50’s.  The vigorousness of parts of this walk soon had me plenty warmed up!  I’d forgotten some parts of the trek were rather steep – it is up the side of our little mountain afterall.

I was lucky to find one trail map left at the entrance to the path and excitedly began my trek.

Beginning of the path

Parts of the path were rocky
a little rocky along the way

and others were leafy
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but in all of it I found beauty.
wildflowers with blurry bee

bittersweet

mystery berries

Near the top of the trail (but not the very top) I emerged into a peach orchard with beautiful views of the town below.
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Wilbraham has always been known for its peaches. Since I was in high school, each summer brought us “The Peach Festival” presided over by the Peach Queen and her court. Unfortunately, not all of the acres once owned by the Rice family are still farmed. I don’t know if these particular orchards are still cared for and harvested. I found it so strange to see these peach pits hanging from some of the trees:
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The trails continued past the peach orchard to a bench placed in memorial of the couple who started Rice’s Fruit Farm in town.
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It reads: “Life has taught us that love does not consist of gazing at each other, but looking outwards together in the same direction.”
Nice sentiment. The view from the bench:

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That ended up being the highest elevation from which I took a photo. I did continue further along a connecting trail which promised to lead me to Sunrise Peak.
on the way to the summit

But when I got to a junction on this path, it wasn’t clear which way I should follow. I tried using my sense of direction with the placement of the sun and the trail map, but I chose wrong. I came to a dead end made unpassable from fallen trees and limbs, most likely from the devastating tornado that passed through this area in June of 2011. I turned back. At one point along the path, I ran into a couple of hikers and their pup who I’d chatted with briefly a couple times and they had learned the peak was in the opposite direction than the one I’d chosen. By that time, I was getting a little too tired to try again, so I decided to save it for another day. I’d been out for nearly two hours and had plenty of photos to share, so I didn’t feel unsatisfied with my choice.

Warm sunshine lead me back down the path.
sunshine through trees

Thanks, Robin, for hosting this blog-along. I’ll look forward to checking out everyone’s walks!

October 6, 2012

I am a woman of many masks

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 8:04 pm
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The theme for October over at NaBloPoMo is “Masks“.  I am intrigued by some of the questions posed as writing prompts for the first week of October: When you saw the word mask, was your first interpretation protection, covering up, persona, or performance? Are you good at hiding your feelings or is your face an open book? Do you enjoy acting?

Masks.  We’ve all worn them actually or metaphorically.

Halloween and pretending are what first came to mind when I thought of masks.  But then I started thinking more metaphorically.  Sort of like wearing many hats, only perhaps a little more personal.  How easily can we hide an emotion when we need to?  Can a mask allow you to live out something you’d never admit to wanting to do in your real life?

I, as all of us do, play many roles in my life: daughter, sister, wife, mother, teacher, friend – to name a few.

When I am with these people, I need no mask.  They are my heart and soul.

What about the blogger me, the photographer me, the me I hope to be?

Can all these me’s happily coexist without the need of a mask?

It seems I’ve asked more questions than I’ve answered here.  Am I good at hiding my feelings?  In general I’d say no.  There are times when I must, but I’ve been told my eyes give me away.

Do I enjoy acting?  I know I can put myself up on the stage.

I can act the way I need to in a given situation, despite what my heart may think.

What do you think, voodoo-man?  Do we need to wear our masks to get along in this world?

What about you, dear readers and friends?  Who is that masked man or woman?