Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

October 14, 2013

Fall Break

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 4:50 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

For Columbus Day weekend, Clark University gives their students a short fall break – a four day weekend lasting Saturday through Tuesday. I arrived to pick Meghan up from school Friday night and many had already taken off. Meghan said it was strange how quiet it was in the residence hall. After a horribly crowded ride on the Massachusetts Turnpike in both directions, we arrived home around 9:30pm, but looked forward to some fun plans I had made in anticipation of having my whole family around for the weekend.

One of Meghan’s laments about living on campus (she has very few of these, thankfully) is her disappointment in the fresh fruit. This time of year in New England, this family’s favorite apples are available for the picking. We love macoun apples and we headed back to Quonquont Farm in Whatley, MA to get our fill.
My fav's - Macoun apples

We have a half bushel for here at the house, and Meghan picked her own peck to take back to school.
apple picking 1

Next we headed down the road to Mike’s Maze in Sunderland, MA. The folks over at Mike’s put a lot of thought into the design and theme of their maze. This was the first time I’ve ever been, but after seeing what they do, I’d like to go back. The famous artist Salvador Dali was the design this year.
dalirama
(I’ve borrowed this photo from their website because you can only see the whole design from an aerial view)

Within the maze, there were clues to find and puzzles to puzzle over, 19 in all. Upon entering the maze, this little kitty gave you a hint for how to go about solving some of the puzzles:
looking for clues

In the style of Dali, most of the puzzles had to do with illusions or looking at things in a different way. Our family was able to solve 17 out of the 19 questions correctly as we had fun finding our way through all the identical looking corn.
searching through the maze

In addition to the puzzles, throughout the maze you could stumble upon other illusion filled amusements such as the mirror room and an Ames Room
The girls had fun hamming it up inside while I sat in the viewing space and did my best to get pictures from the cut-out in the wall:
in the Ames Room 1

in the Ames Room 2

in the Ames Room 3

After we found our way out of the maze, Sarah took a shot at aiming a potato cannon. We earned a free shot by correctly discerning the right word out of one of the illusion puzzles in the maze. The puzzle itself was hard to find, nestled in the middle of Mr. Dali’s eye!
shooting the potato cannon

The target Sarah was aiming for:
the target
She came very close a couple times!

We had worked up an appetite by the time we completed the maze and its puzzles. We had a delicious late afternoon lunch or early dinner, depending how you look at it, at a place called Bub’s BBQ, also in Sunderland. I had spare ribs, Meghan and Craig had brisket and Sarah had pulled pork – it was all delicious. Bub’s is a place you might just drive by if you didn’t know about it, and what a great meal you’d miss. It isn’t fancy by any stretch of the imagination, but sometimes places that use a roll of paper towels for your napkins serve up great food!

A little family of pumpkins and their “mums” came home with us:
mums n pumpkins

Sunday brought a relaxing day. Meghan and I went shopping (successfully!) for some new jeans, then she tried out the hot tub for the first time. I think if she were living at home during the school year, I’d probably have fairly regular company while relaxing in it!

We spent some time together in the kitchen today. We cooked up an extra large batch of chocolate chip cookies, apple bread and apple sauce. Meghan will be taking about 3 dozen cookies, one loaf of the bread and a container of apple sauce back to her dorm with her.
apple bread n chocolate chip cookies

It was really nice to feel like my family was whole again, at least for this weekend. I do miss her when she’s gone, and now that she’s been here for 3 days, I’m sure I’ll feel her absence more sharply for the next few days. People keep asking Sarah if she misses her sister and she bluntly replies, “No!” However, Friday night after Meghan got home, my two girls stayed up talking in Meghan’s room until after midnight. No indeed.

December 17, 2011

S.P.D. – Seasonal Photographic Disorder!

Almost a year ago, Mr. Scott Thomas challenged those of us inclined to do so, to participate in a year long photo assignment.  The challenge was to photograph the same location throughout all four seasons of the year.  I had read about something like this in a book Scott had recommended to me, Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson, and thought it was a great idea.  When he announced the assignment last December, I thought to myself – I already have a jump start on this from some photos I took in the fall, in an easily accessible location, that I was pretty happy with.  At the time of the announcement, I also made the decision that I’d feature two locations throughout the year by including the view from my favorite lounging spot, my oft mentioned backyard deck.

Now you might be wondering why I’ve titled this post the way that I did.  One reason was that the assignment reminded me how unorganized I am about my photo archives.  I use Photoshop Elements to load my photos on to the computer which organizes them by date.  That’s the only organization I have – no tags.  So, just like for Scott’s favorite photos of the year assignment, I had to scroll through a year of photos to try to find the shots I took for this assignment.  Another reason you shall discover closer to the end of this post.

I’d like to begin with my winter photos.  Locals might recognize my first location as humble little Spec Pond:
IMG_2614

Winter took us by surprise this year and piled on more snow than we’ve seen in these parts for many years.  Teddy enjoyed it at least:
IMG_2814

Spring came around and thawed us out:

IMG_4516

The deck furniture was unwrapped, but only my Mother’s Day hanging plant was in bloom and the pool was still closed:
IMG_4483

Ah, summer!  My favorite season.  At the pond, extra life guard stands appear and the diving floats are in the water:
IMG_5890

Back at home, everything is lush and green, flowers adorn the deck and the pool is open:
IMG_5290

This is one of the photos I jump-started Scott’s assignment with, fall at Spec Pond:
IMG_2141

This is also where you’ll find out the other reason for the title of my post!  I never took a fall photo from my deck specifically for this assignment!  Yep, I’m admitting it, I messed up a bit.  In my head, fall was taken care of; however, at the time I decided to add the deck to my year of photos, it was already winter.  This past fall came along and I never took a deck photo thinking it was already done.  Scrolling through my archives, I chose two alternative almost-fall-from-my-deck photos.  There was this one that I did for my Picture Fall class last October:
IMG_1645

Not really the view I’ve given you the rest of the year. OR we have this monstrosity:
IMG_6852

The view from my deck on October 30, 2011 after the Freaky Freakin’ Snowstorm – technically this is a fall photo of the view from my deck!

What a year it has been.  I think I will be ready to bid 2011 adieu!