Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 16, 2016

Chasing Waterfalls

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , ,

One of my early summer adventures this year involved a couple of my favorite things. A day spent with both my daughters, having fuzzy Teddy along for the ride and photography. I feel lucky that I got my girls to agree to go on this ride-along with me! The four of us piled into my car and headed west to the Chester-Blandford State Forest, about a 50 minute ride from here.

I had hopes of taking some really spectacular pictures of rushing water, but it probably should have occured to me that late June of a fairly dry spring wouldn’t be the time for wild water. However, we enjoyed an easy walk through the shade of trees and followed a path that eventually turned out at a small fall that I imagine could be quite pretty when flowing at full capacity. I took this picture with Meghan in the shot to give some idea of scale.
megfall

Sarah and Teddy waited near the bottom while Meghan climbed up to do a bit of exploring.
sarahted

My best shot of the bunch I took:
waterfall1

So not a glamorous rushing thundering waterfall shot, but a good day! Sunshine, a walk, my daughters, my dog, and my camera – time well spent.

Advertisements

March 12, 2016

Dancing Toward Spring

February has come and gone and we are nearly halfway through March. I had hopes for blogging more regularly in 2016 but somehow that just hasn’t happened. Life is good and keeping me busy! I’m going to scatter this blog post with photos as I let the words ramble from my brain to my fingers.

February is usually a month I don’t care for very much, but I honestly can’t complain about the one that just passed us by. We did have our only two snow days so far this school year (fingers crossed that we are out of the woods on those for the year – last day of school is scheduled for Friday June 17th at this point) but for the most part we have had a very mild winter this year. And well deserved after the winter we had last year. February was sprinkled with some good dog walks with friends, a couple fun get-togethers, and seeing my daughters during my February break.
Meghan turned 21 this February! Wow, I am the parent of a “legal” adult.

Gift
21st birthday gift from mom to daughter

Meghan had a ballroom competition in February that I attended. Got to see the new ballroom dress in motion and it looked fabulous! Meghan and her partners didn’t place at this competition. I thought she was robbed but I may be just a bit prejudiced.

IMG_9538

IMG_9550

IMG_9551

IMG_9553

IMG_9559

A surprise invitation to a great show also happened in February. My friend Sherry won tickets to a performance of Lord of the Dance.

Lord of the Dance

If you’re a fan of dance of any kind and you’ve never seen any incarnation of this show (it has had several versions throughout its 20 year history) you owe it to yourself to try to see a show. The power and talent of these dancers is simply amazing.

As we flowed from February into March, all of a sudden it was time for my daughters’ spring breaks from college. How nice for us that Wentworth’s and Clark’s breaks fell on the same week! On the Friday the girls finished classes, my sister and I got into my car and headed out for a bit of a road trip. First stop, Worcester MA, to collect Meghan and lots of her laundry! Second stop, MBTA train station Franklin MA to collect Sarah from her ride out of Boston. Third stop – Cape Cod to spend a weekend visiting my mother. It was chilly but a great visit celebrating Meghan’s birthday and my mother’s. We went out to lunch,

Daniel Webster birthday lunch

went shopping, and even had a bundled up visit to the beach.

Smugglers Beach

Cold beach visit

A harbinger of spring I always look forward to is the spring bulb show at Smith College. There was a fun twist on the show this year, which added elemments from Edward Gorey’s The Evil Garden. Sprinkled among the beautiful blooms
IMG_9690

IMG_9693

IMG_9712

were striped-socked legs poking from behind rocks, big hairy bugs, frogs spitting muddy water,
IMG_9718

and “peaches, apples, plums and pears, guarded by ferocious bears”
IMG_9716

It is the ending Saturday night of spring break as I write this post. My girls are each with their boyfriends this evening, and both will return to school for the final push of the school year tomorrow. Wonderful days are on their way – the official start of spring and more. Hopefully it won’t take me another month and a half to post again about that more!

December 30, 2015

Christmas Wrap

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:22 am
Tags: , , , , ,

I felt like sharing a little peek at our Christmas this year. With only 2 days of 2015 left to go, I’m feeling reflective as many of us are at this time of year.
Tree

After a breakfast of cinnamon rolls, bacon, and fruit, we did what we’ve done every Christmas morning for 20 years and sat by the tree and opened gifts. The girls are no longer up super early, eager to find out what Santa has left, but there were still some gifts to be excited about.

IMG_9500

Sarah’s “big” gift was tickets to see the band Imagine Dragons.

Tix

She and I will be headed down to Foxwoods tomorrow. A great gift for both of us – precious time together and a fun way to celebrate New Year’s Eve. I enjoy the music of Imagine Dragons as well so it should be a good time.

IMG_9503

We did not surprise Meghan with her “big” gift this year. As I’ve mentioned before, Meghan is a member of Clark University’s ballroom team, assistant captain in fact, and it is a huge joy for her. This is her third year competing, and for the first time, she will have a custom-made-for-her ballroom gown to wear. We are awaiting its arrival. This was something she needed to choose and many measurements had to be taken to place the order. Just to be silly, I took a picture of the dress from the website we ordered from and pasted her head on it. This is what it will look like but in emerald green:
dress

I can’t wait to see her in the real thing.

IMG_9504

Other fun things received – Sarah got a Chewbacca bathrobe and this cap relating to a character from the “Homestuck” web comic that my daughters read.

New Kindle
I got a new Kindle, as my old one has been acting rather wonky as of late.

My girls got together and gave me some grown-up coloring books and nice colored pencils. Have you noticed this seemingly growing trend of coloring books for adults? They have intricate designs that take some time and patience to color. My daughters had a couple of their own, and I’d remarked how I’ve always loved coloring and that I’d probably enjoy them too. Here’s my first picture I’m working on:

Hippie fish

Interestingly enough, my sister had a similar idea, and also gave me one of those books. She put together a well-appreciated “zen” themed gift that also included yoga clothes and a gift certificate for the yoga studio I attend.

My sister and the rest of my family Christmas guests arrived in the early afternoon. We had a delicious feast – wish I remembered to take a few pictures of all the wonderful food!

IMG_9505
Uncle “Sonny”

IMG_9507
Jim (my stepfather) and Sonny

IMG_9508
Joan (my mother-in-law), Mom, Jennifer (my sister) and Larry (her husband) Craig managed to avoid being within view of my camera’s lens!

Christmas celebrations continued and will still continue this week. We had a Christmas dinner with my father the day after Christmas at my sister’s house. She made a delicious white wine coq-au-vin. And this Friday, New Year’s Day, will be the famous annual Pig Out!

I hope the holidays are treating you well. If I don’t get my 2015 wrap up post done before midnight tomorrow (and I imagine I won’t since I’ll be seeing Imagine Dragons as we ring in the new year) a very happy new year to you all!

November 21, 2015

What I’ve been up to

For all the free time I’ve found on my hands since this school year began, I haven’t found myself in the blogosphere as much as I thought I would. I’ve been keeping myself busy in the days since I last updated (and I’ve been enjoying your blogs as well). Here’s a bit of how I’ve been passing the days.

In the middle of October, Sarah and I spent a great day together in Boston. Technically, it was “Family Weekend” at Wentworth but Sarah and I weren’t particularly interested in the events on campus, especially with a great city like Boston at your feet. My baby girl is becoming an expert at using Boston’s public transportation system, known locally as the “T” and she navigated us where we wanted to go. We visited Fanueil Hall and Quincy Market and the Prudential Center. Back on campus we did stop and “Build a Leopard” – kind of like “Build a Bear” only she made WIT’s mascot.
build a leopard

We enjoyed dinner together at the Cheesecake Factory – a first visit for both of us.
Cheesecake Factory

Halloween felt very different this year without either of my girls at home. My enthusiam for it has waned over the years, and now with no dance studio Halloween parties to attend or the kids trying to decide what they’ll be, it passed differently for me this year. I didn’t buy a pumpkin for jack-o-lanterns or candy to pass out for trick or treat (we’ve gotten fewer and fewer trick or treaters in this neighborhood in recent years anyway). I did dress up for school – the reactions of middle schoolers seeing their teachers dressed up is worth it. I picked through dance costumes and such and decided to go as a “Goth ballerina”:
Goth ballerina

That weekend of the 31st and Nov. 1st, my sister and I had a great weekend in Providence Rhode Island. We spent Saturday at a foodie museum on the Johnson and Wales campus, and then went shopping at Providence Place. Federal Hill in Providence is famous for being like Boston’s North End when it comes to restaurants, especially authentic Italian, so we treated ourselves to a great meal at a place called Pane E Vino
Bruschetta

Delish dinner

cannoli heaven

The next day we attended Meghan’s ballroom competition in Cranston and had a lot of fun!
ballroom1

ballroom4

As I think I’ve explained before, there aren’t enough guys to go around on the ballroom team, so Meghan sometimes dances lead as you see in the above photos. She also gets her chance to follow in some styles of dance:
ballroom2

ballroom3

We even got to take our dancer to lunch.
Lunch with Meg

It was a cool little place called the Elephant Room – a combination tea room and creperie.

November hasn’t been quite as exciting so far. I’ve spent a lot of time with my dreaded sycamore leaves, which I believe I have bitched about every year since I began this blog. Hmmm let me check. Ok looks like I started bitching in 2011, the second year of my blog, lol, and I was really crabby about them 2 years ago. This year I tried to be smart about them and take advantage of raking them up before any kind of precipitation bogged them down. Here’s a fraction of what I cleaned up.
getting after the leaves

A milestone passed recently as well. Do you remember this blog post from two years ago? In it I announced the beginning of what I am now calling my fitness journey. It’s a journey without final destination as far as I’m concerned. I’m continuing to see where it will take me. I’ve moved on from the things that I showed you in that post to weight lifting and yoga as my main forms of working out, and while I’m not following any sort of strict diet routine, I mostly “eat clean”. I’m happily and easily maintaining the weight I lost, I’m building new lean muscle and I’ve dropped from a size 8 to a size 2. I love shopping for new clothes! Here’s a pic of how I look today:
fitness journey
I’m not very good at posing for pictures, but this is good enough!

I am so much looking forward to next week! A nice short work week, my girls coming home Wednesday afternoon and Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Thursday. It’s all good!

October 3, 2015

Wow, Another Month Gone By

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 12:46 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

September! Poof! Where did it go?

For me it was a month of adjusting to a new pattern of life, the beginning of this new chapter. This house still feels quite lonely, but I guess I am starting to adjust to the new routine. Once I leave work, the hours are mine to do what I want or need to do on my own schedule. I never thought I’d say this, but I do find myself missing the running around from dance classes to track practice to getting the things my girls needed in between. The dogs are certainly lonely for their girls as well:

Teddy

Daphne

It is a more leisurely pace. I’m continuing my workout routines and eating well, without worry if anyone besides me will like what I’m cooking. I made this for myself the other night:

Delish dinner
(filet mignon, sauteed asparagus, stuffed portobello mushroom cap)

I’ve been reaching out to friends too, who when life’s pace was busier, I had less time to see. I was lucky enough on Labor Day weekend to have plans with two friends. One lovely morning, Sherry and I took our dogs for a walk up a small local mountain. Teddy made the walk with me while I left senior citizen Daphne at home. She wouldn’t have been comfortable for the entire hike and I certainly wasn’t going to carry a 65 pound dog when she decided she was done. Dog walk Peaked Mountain
Here we are at the peak, and it was rather beautiful. A large hawk circled in front of us and dozens of very large dragonflies hovered near by.

On Labor Day, Julie and I went out to lunch at a restaurant at a small local lake, and spent the afternoon in the sunshine talking and catching up.
Visit with a friend
It was a beautiful day spent with a friend I don’t see often enough.

The best parts of September came from getting to see Sarah. Jennifer and I had been planning a visit to the Cape to see our mother and celebrate Jennifer’s birthday. The day before we were going, last minute plans came together for Sarah to join us on the trip.
On the way to the Cape
(the sunshine backlighting the clouds on our journey)

She took the train from Boston to a station along our route to the Cape, where we picked her up and then surprised our mother with Sarah’s appearance. It was a great moment.

The weather was beautiful and we even had the chance for a visit to the beach in the warmth and sunshine.
Beach visit Orleans MA

Untitled

Untitled

beach group shot
(left to right: Jennifer, Mom, Sarah, me)

Two weeks after our trip to the Cape, Sarah decided she’d like to come home and go to the huge six-state fair, The Big E. We did what we do best at the Big E and ate all kinds of delicious bad-for-you food, shopped and saw the sites. You know I can’t resist an Oreo cow…
Oreo cows!!!!

And this year I couldn’t resist a Big E selfie with my girl:
Big E selfie

September was a beautiful month, full of sunshiney weather and emotional highs and lows. October is creeping in with cooler weather and the leftover flickers of rain to this area from Hurricane Joaquin. I’ll have bright spot today though – I’m headed out to see Meghan for some “girl time” with shopping and dinner. And I have a gathering of friends at my home to look forward to for Columbus Day weekend. It is the moments like I’ve just told you about, and having more to anticipate that are getting me through as I continue my adjustment.

I hope all is well in your world, and you have the positive energy of the people who bring you the most joy in your life surrrounding you.

August 27, 2015

Empty Nest

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 1:49 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Empty nest

This is what my house feels like today. Yesterday, I dropped my younger daughter, Sarah, off at her new school year home at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. Older daughter, Meghan, returned to her school on Sunday. I know I’m not “officially” an empty-nester, since my girls still technically live at home, but this is how it feels. Another piece of my heart is now beginning her adventure in the exciting capitol city of this state.

The dorm room

Fun, quirky, introverted, intelligent, caring, sweetheart Sarah in her dorm room.

With Wentworth leopard

A new chapter of my life begins. It’s a chapter I’ve never been ready for but knew was inevitable. How will I adjust and fill the pages of this chapter? My girls have been my focus for the last 20 years of my life, and while they will continue to be my first priority forever, my daily role as “mom” is now no longer. It is such a huge part of my identity – where do I go from here?

August 22, 2015

I Heart Challenge, Part 2

Up High

up high

This was a lucky shot I happened to grab on a morning walk, and one of those times I wished I had the telephoto lens attached. I’m pretty sure this is a great egret that was soaring above my head.

Someone Special

someone special

Sarah on her 18th birthday, with her uncle Larry (my sister’s husband)

Throwback

throwback

This is a throwback to 13 years ago this month; the girls were flower girls for my sister’s wedding.

In the Sun

in the sun
Shiny water sparkling in the sun…. ahhhhh…..

Circles

circles

Spirals are kind of circles, aren’t they?

Adventure

adventure

I walked by this scene several times on my morning walk. It isn’t my adventure, but I’ve always thought it would be a great adventure to actually camp out on the beach.

Cool

cool

It was too cold for me to go swimming this year, but this is where Sarah found her cool on several afternoons.

Window Pane

window pane

A nice scene of a beach cottage found on one of my walks.

Simplicity

simplicity

A simple but lovely place to sit.

Before/After

before/after collage

Lunch, followed by dessert, at Pickity Place.

August 21, 2015

I Heart Challenge, Part 1

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 2:16 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I never thought this would happen, but would you believe I’ve finished my own photo challenge? I kept a photo of the list on my phone, and kept it in mind in my travels this month. The grand majority of these photos are from my vacation in Maine, which is what allowed me to actually complete the list. The other photos come from other good things that happened in August, like Sarah’s 18th birthday and a visit to Pickity Place.

Rather than overwhelm you with 31 photos at once, I’ve decided to present 10 at a time, with a bonus 11 in the third post. I’m going to present them in the order of the original list, but please know, for the most part there is no correlation between the dates on the list and the date the photo was taken.

Happy

happy

Sarah’s 18th birthday was a family BBQ, with this happy little Minion cake that made everybody smile.

Sidewalk

To the beach

Not a traditional sidewalk, but my favorite kind of sidewalk, my walk from our cottage to the beach.

Treasure

treasure

A “treasure” of the natural type, sand dollars found on my walk.

Floral

floral

I could’ve chosen from lots of pictures to fill the bill for this one, but I chose this one from Pickity Place because it reminds me of a photo that I would eventually like to take. Someday I want to find a huge field of sunflowers to photograph, but thise huge grouping of black-eyed susans was gorgeous and summery too!

Messy

messy

There’s lots of messes around my house I could have shown you, especially with laundry being done in full force in anticipation of the girls heading off to college in the next few days (wahhhhh!!!! 😦 ) but I’ve picked a view of my little “home base” at the cottage. This is where I had my breakfast each morning, and where I collected my supplies for the beach each day like camera, magazines, books, sunscreen etc.

Two

two

You probably could have guessed what I’d use for that prompt, right? If not my two beautiful girls, it probably would have been my two four-legged oafs, who will be almost as sad as me when the girls leave. (Cedric the cat has 4 legs also, of course, but he’s not an oaf)

Relax

relax

I took this photo kind of by accident, but I ended up liking it. I was playing around with the timer seeing what shots I could get from where, thinking maybe I’d take a shot of myself relaxing on the beach. Instead this is a shot of my favorite place to relax.

Blurry

blurry

I was actually thinking about what Mike wrote here “Blurry could be an easy one… put the camera in manual mode and capture an image out of focus” and that being the easy way out on that one. We had one rainy day on our vacation and I was looking out from our porch when I realized the rain provided the perfect opportunity for a cool blurry shot.

Horizon

horizon

Being at the beach, it was always easy to find a horizon shot. I liked what the boats and the lighthouse added to this one.

Feet

feet

Super easy shot for me. I always take pictures like this one. It’s like a summer thing for me taking pictures of my feet happy and out of shoes and relaxing. I even wrote a whole post about it last summer!

So there’s my first ten shots. Its a rainy day so I may just sit here and write up the other two posts. Not sure how soon I should send the next ones out to you. Got busy days upcoming – annual Lobsterfest party with great friends tomorrow. Meghan back to campus on Sunday, Sarah goes Wednesday – after that, a real look at How Life Will Be. 😯

July 21, 2015

Six Photos, Six Days, Day 6

Peaks Island Sunset

The people of the tiny fishing village came out to stare in wonder one evening at the strange occurance. Old-fashioned folks well versed in superstition were very familiar with phrases like, “red sky in the morning, sailor take warning, red sky at night, sailor’s delight”. But what in the world was meant by “striped sun at set”? Should they take a bet?

Real story
After a month of what felt like non-stop activity, July rolled around and my days were suddenly much more free. Not to say I’ve been doing nothing, there’s still been enough to keep me busy, and that kept me from getting back to blogging sooner. A lovely respite arrived in the form of an invitation to visit my sister for a few days on her vacation on Peaks Island in Maine. I’ve been there before and shared it with you. It was a lovely two days of salt air breezes, walks around the island, relaxing on the quiet beach and taking photos like this gorgeous sunset.

And that nearly catches me up to where we are now. The annual camping trip happened about a week ago, and we have plans to head down to the Cape for a couple days soon. I’m afraid summer will pass by in a blur after that – Sarah’s 18th birthday and our vacation to Maine approach in August, and all too soon after that both my little birdies will fly off to college. Let me tell you, this mama bird is no where near ready for that.

June 6, 2015

Proms and Graduations and Parties Oh My!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 11:13 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

So, my friends, this happened:

Sarah's prom

And this happened…

Sarah's graduation
And I’ve had barely a moment to catch my breath!

I have many pictures and lots of thoughts to share with you but time is just flying by in a blur. I can barely believe my youngest, my baby, is done with high school. We’ve been crazy busy with a week of senior events, and dance recital is still upcoming next weekend, and let’s throw a friend’s upcoming wedding into the mix just to keep us a little busier.

I’ve got 8 more days of school left (boy it is tough being the only one in my house that has to get up for school these days!) and I’m hoping the days will slow down a bit when I’m done. I still have Sarah’s graduation party to get ready for, as well as her college orientation but those at least happen when I’m out of school for the summer.

I’m still doing my best to keep up with you all in the blogosphere with commennts and “likes” so that you know I’ve been to see you, but now you know why my posts have been sporadic at best.

Congratulations to members of the class of 2015 everywhere!

Next Page »