Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 23, 2015

I Heart Challenge, Part 3

Visit

A visit to Pickity Place

A great visit – Renae and Meghan and I visited Pickity Place for a lunch date in early August.

Fresh

fresh

The water at Pickity tastes extra fresh with the addition of lemon and herbs.

Shadow

shadow

Hi there – that’s me taking a picture for you!

Sign

sign

A sign with my surname on it near the beach that I love so much… it must be fate, right?

Splash

splash

Dream

Dream house

This house was being built last summer and it appears it is still for sale. My dream house at the beach! A girl can dream.

Outside

outside

This prompt was a bit on the vague side, but I thought this would be a nice view to have whenever one is outside.

Details

details

Patterns left in the sand by the retreating tide.

Sunrise

sunrise

I made it outside just in time for this one!

Silence

silence

Stars on the water seemed to evoke a sense of silence. One night that week Sarah and I sat outside together, mostly in silence, except for the occasional, “OOH! There’s one!” while we watched the Perseid Meteor Showers.

Warmth

warmth

I stood in this spot one morning near the end of our week, feeling the warmth on my face and trying my best to appreciate the moment and just be.

This completes my August photo challenge. Remember, you have until September 5th to let me know about your photo challenge posts through either a pingback or comment to my original post, which you can find by clicking here.

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October 26, 2014

Strolltober?

Filed under: Joy — Karma @ 9:53 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I’m sliding in at the last moment to participate in Robin’s Walktober. Life’s busy pace really hasn’t slowed down but I am not complaining! But that is my reason for only having a “mini-stroll” to share with you rather than a nice meandering walk like I would prefer. In the middle of a busy but wonderful day yesterday, I took a few moments to enjoy some warm autumn sunshine and have a little stroll. These are iPhone photos that I’m using once again. (I can hear the Canon Rebel grumbling in the corner).

In the middle of many errands and preparations for a wonderful dinner with great friends at my house last night, I decided to stroll by our local pond and enjoy a breather of fresh air and sunshine.
Color and reflection

It was about 65 degrees yesterday and I took a few moments to appreciate that as I ambled the tiny beach.
Autumn pond

There is a pretty path that goes a little further into the trees surrounding the pond, but I knew I didn’t have the time to spare to walk it on this particular day. This is the entrance to it.
The path not taken

Instead I enjoyed the leaves and the light floating on the water…
Sunshine on the water

…and breathing deeply and remembering that life is good.
Sparkling water

Thank you Robin for once again hosting Walktober.

October 13, 2014

Camera Neglect

I was thinking that once the long weekend of Columbus Day arrived, things would slow down a bit and I’d be spending more time with my camera and the blogosphere. I’m not sure just why I was thinking that way! I have definitely started adjusting to the way of life as a teacher for now, but the amount of time I spend correcting, planning and organizing really hasn’t changed since I started this gig. I’m not spending any time on school work on this long weekend (thank goodness) but of course I find myself attending to the other parts of life that need my attention. So what do I mean by all this? It has been ages since I’ve lifted my Canon Rebel to my face! The last pictures on that screen are from that wonderful warm day in September that I posted about a month ago. And here it is autumn in New England. So much beauty around me, and what do I have to show for it photographically? Nada. Hoping to have the opportunity to change that, but it is already Monday of the long weekend. I will see how the day progresses and get back to you, okay?

In the meantime, let me say that it has definitely not been all work and no play if I’ve given you that impression! This past Thursday night was the annual “powderpuff” flag football game at my daughter’s high school. Sarah played hard – both offense and defense – but sadly, the senior girls were defeated. Camera-neglecting mama that I am, I have no photos of my football playing daughter. I found this picture, by Thomas Henry Photography, of the field that night:
10472829_780003408725105_1092457685122217191_o

Meghan came home from school to see her sister play, which I thought was really nice. All the more disappointing that the seniors lost though. Sarah had no school the next day (teacher professional development day) so the girls had time to hang out together while I went to work.

Meghan came with us when it was time for Sarah to head to dance class so she got to visit with her former dance teacher. We visited a local farmstand and picked up some of our favorite apples (macouns) and other treats. (all photos managed for the rest of this blog post are phone photos)
Macouns

Meghan’s visit was sadly brief. She had to return to school Saturday night because she had a ballroom competition that she was leaving for early Sunday morning. I made the most of my time with her and took her shopping for various supplies, plus a little “tradition” of hers and mine – after a visit to our local Kohl’s store we head to the near by Dunkin for an iced coffee. We laugh about the fact that it doesn’t seem possible for us to skip the Dunkin part of the trip no matter what.

After our shopping trip, we stopped back home to get everything she needed to bring back to school an pick up Sarah. We had a delicious late lunch or early dinner, depending on how you look at it, together at a Greek restaurant called Zorba’s in Worcester near Meghan’s school.

Meghan returned to school, a little adventure for me continued. A gathering of my gang of friends (I’ve mentioned this group many times on the blog) was happening at the Mendon Drive In for a showing of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was surely a cold night for a drive in, but getting the chance to hang out with thse people is always worthwhile, no matter the circumstances. We ate junk food, watched the movie and enjoyed each other’s company. Some of my junk food:
Cheese fries

Yesterday was Meghan’s competition. She sent me some photos of her hair and makeup:
Pre-comp

Pre-comp2

The best picture she sent, however, was this one from after the competition:
Post comp
Use a bit of hair gel there?

Wherever you are and whatever you are doing this holiday weekend, I hope you are enjoying it. I leave you with this quote I found the other day, one with wonderful aspirations I think:
Quote

August 24, 2014

In a Blink

That’s how quickly my 66 days of summer went by. This final weekend really felt like the end of summer too.

On Saturday, day 65, we went to an annual beloved party with our wonderful gang of friends – Lobsterfest.
Lobster welcome

Lobster fun
Lobster toys

Lobster light
Lobster lights

Lobster dinner
and lobster dinner!

Plus lots of fun:
Volleyball

Pool time

Today, day 66, a day I’ve been dreading for a while now, was the day Meghan moved back to school.
Dorm stuff
All her stuff, ready to go, even though her mama is not ready for her to go.

Dorm building

The new spot
Meghan is in a dorm building this year with apartment style living. She has 5 roommates. They have 3 bedrooms, a kitchen, an eating area and a bathroom.

Three flights
Three flights of stairs to haul all that stuff up!

Back on campus
Her bedroom, with lots of organizing to do.

Even though it is an old building, I thought the windows kept it fairly bright and airy and not too closed in feeling. There’s a view out to the Worcester Hills in the distance from the dining area.
Looking out at the Worcester hills

I miss her already.

And thus ends the 66 days of summer. I hope you’ve enjoyed this look at my life, this favorite season of mine.

August 3, 2014

Another Party Day

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 7:57 pm
Tags: , ,

Day 45 of summer was another birthday party day – this time celebrating the summer birthdays of my dance teacher’s children.
The theme of the party seemed to be water! Sharks for her son, mermaids for her daughter. Water guns, water balloons, wading pools and the biggest inflatable waterslide I’ve ever seen filled her backyard.
Waterslide

July 25, 2014

Beautiful Evening

Filed under: 66 Days of Summer — Karma @ 9:04 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Thursday was day 35 of summer. It started out as a routine, ho-hum kind of day. I exercised, mowed the lawn, did some reading. Meghan went to work and I wasn’t expecting her home for dinner. Work ended earlier than she expected and she was home in the late afternoon. Around 6pm, I stepped inside from being out reading, starting to think about preparing dinner. I flipped through the mail on the counter, including the copy of the free local paper, the Wilbraham Times. As I flipped, I remembered it was Thursday night. On Thursday nights in the summer, there is a free series of concerts in Fountain Park. I quickly looked up who was playing on the internet, and it turned out to be a band called the Tom Ingram Band which covers all kinds of rock music from the ’60’s forward. The concerts start at 6:30 and it was now 6:15, but I asked the girls if they wanted to go and they said sure!

I abandoned cooking dinner and we ran to Subway and grabbed sandwiches to eat in the park.
image
I have no idea what Sarah is doing in this shot; it is rare that she ever lets me get a simple little candid!

It was a gorgeous night. Not buggy or humid, perfectly comfortable temperature. And the music was good!
Free concert

I ran into a good friend enjoying the show with her parents, so we moved our seat and sat with them for the night. The local photographer came by and took our picture. I hope I’ll get to see that shot either online or in a future edition of the Wilbraham Times.

So nice when a spontaneous idea works out so well!
Here’s a little sample of the music, cover of “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder:

April 6, 2014

A Wonderful Spring Weekend

Filed under: Walking the Dogs — Karma @ 5:28 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

Spring is finally sproinging around here, and it’s about time after the lousy, frigid, snowy winter we had!

Saturday brought a delicious visit to Pickity Place in Mason NH. I’ve blogged many times about this favorite lunch place of my sister, our best friend and me.
Lunch was good and tasty, but the dessert yesterday was OFF THE HOOK! Check this out:
Fabulous dessert (1)

Fabulous dessert (2)
That gorgeous thing is a vanilla flan with caramel sauce, raspberries and mandarin oranges.

Happy pansies and jonquils decorated the little cottage in the woods:
Pickity pansies

as well as the perennially sleepy Pickity Kitty:
Pickity kitty

Today brought sunshine and a high temperature around 60 degrees F! That in itself is a wonderful thing. The hike that we were rained out of last weekend was rescheduled for today. I have a friend with an interesting goal this year – to hike all 92 miles (the width of the state of Massachusetts not including the north shore and Cape Cod) of the MidState Trail. It runs from Douglas MA on the Rhode Island border to Ashburnham MA on the New Hampshire border. I said I’d like to join as often as possible, so we began our quest today! We did a little over 3 miles today, but that included looping back to the parking lot, so we still have around 90 miles to go. Next time we will strategize with parking cars and such so we can accomplish more of the route in one outing.

But for today, we enjoyed each others’ company and being out in the spring air. Our dogs enjoyed every puddle they tromped through and getting muddy!
Rhode Island-Mass border
Group portrait of Sherry, Greg and me (and Angel, Teddy and Daphne) at the Rhode Island-Massachusetts border.

Rhode Island line, Midstate Trail
The marker

78 Miles to the Ocean!
A crossing trail, running through Rhode Island. Only 78 miles to the ocean! Let’s go!

After lunch on our spring hike
One more group portrait, after our lunch break.

I’m looking forward to making my way up my home state throughout this spring, summer and fall – I hope we can find the time to complete the full trail.

Happy spring everyone! Is it finally feeling like spring where you are too?

P.S. WordPress has nicely informed me that today is my 4 year blogoversary! Still carrying on the “when I feel like it” way, 4 years later! ūüėČ

November 3, 2013

Zen Kitty

zenkitty
I’ve borrowed this photo, as well as this blog title, from a Facebook post of my sister’s. This kitty in a state of uber-peacefulness is a nice representative of a mostly awesome week around here.

It started last Saturday when my wonderful posse of long time friends arrived for a murder-mystery style Halloween party.
IMG_0567_edited-1
The theme of the mystery was “Murder at the Millenium” and each of us was supposed to be one outstanding character from each decade of the 20th century. There’s yours truly over there on the far right as “Scarlett Harlot” an actress from the 1930’s.

The directions that came with the party game suggested decorating with something made to look like a time machine. Meghan, a great fan of the BBC series “Dr. Who”, said we should make our time machine look like a T.A.R.D.I.S. (For the un-Whovian initiated, click here for more information) We decorated the front door like this:
IMG_0562
so that each of our guests had to pass through the time machine to arrive at the party.

Our fabulous party was followed by a fabulous Red Sox World Series win on Wednesday night.

Our jack-o-lantern was carved, and I happily enjoyed the roasted pumpkin seeds:
!cid__IMG-20131028-00268

Halloween blew in windy, wet and warm. Only a scant few trick-or-treaters came to my door. When it seemed the doorbell would no longer ring for the evening, I settled in to spend some time here:
IMG_0569

Saturday arrived again and provided another thoroughly enjoyable day. My sister, our best friend Renae and I made another pilgrimage to our favorite New Hampshire lunch spot, Pickity Place. Pickity was the place where the photo of Zen Kitty was taken.
How’s that for bringing a post full circle?

Okay, I did say it was a mostly awesome week back at the beginning of the post. That seems to suggest there might be something that wasn’t so awesome. Before heading out with my sister for the day yesterday, I dropped my car off at our Ford dealership to have a dashboard warning light checked. The result? A hefty repair bill:
!cid__IMG-20131103-00270

There’s always a sprinkle of bad in there to remind us how we need to appreciate the good!

July 29, 2013

State of My Year

WordPress’s Daily Prompt today says to “Write up a mid-year ‚ÄúState of My Year‚ÄĚ post.
Photographers, artists, poets: show us NOW.”

I’ve been receiving the Daily Prompt in my email for quite a long time now and often thought the idea presented sounded interesting to blog about, but I’ve rarely participated for no good reason other than being busy with other things or just being distracted by daily life. I was thinking I’d like to write a blog post today but wasn’t sure how to collect my thoughts. The prompt arrived in my email and seemed like an interesting “take stock” idea. The prompt calls it “mid-year” – it is the end of July, that’s really a bit past mid-year, isn’t it? It is also just a little past the mid-point of summer vacation from school too, so here’s where things are at for me.

Anticipation for Meghan’s move to campus has begun. We’ve been out shopping for dorm supplies.
dorm supplies
Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and Christmas Tree Shops have all provided us with some great deals and bargains to get her set up in the place she will live for 9 months starting on August 22nd. It is exciting and scary and happy and sad all at once. My stomach does flip-flops whenever I think about it.

My garden seems to be doing nicely. I’m pretty much keeping up with the weeding this year.
garden mid-summer
Those piles to the right of center are weeds I’ve pulled and hoed and raked, but I just haven’t removed from the garden yet. I’ve harvested some of nearly everything I’ve planted this year, including tomatoes.
garden harvest
I’m not used to having tomatoes until mid-August, so those early girls were a nice treat.

The butterfly bushes are in full bloom and the swallowtails and hummingbird moths have returned to drink their fill of nectar.
tiger swallowtail

hummingbird moth

Other plants surrounding my deck, I’m ashamed to admit, have not fared so well. During the intense heat wave most of the country endured a little over a week ago, I spent little time outside and forgot about my poor little potted plants needing water!
oops forgot to water them
Oops! I’ve never been so neglectful. I killed every one of my potted annuals, except for this mini-rose the girls gave me for Mother’s Day.
mini-rose
It was lucky enough to be planted in a “self-watering” container with a little reservoir in the bottom of the pot, so it survived. Maybe I should look for a few more of those containers, huh?

looks ok
Ah, the pool. It has been both a blessing and a thorn in my side this summer. I told you in this post about the liner tearing and needing replacing. Then, I explained here what happened when we did replace it. Since then, hoses have sprung leaks and needed replacing and parts have come loose, unbeknownst to me at the time, and drained a couple hundred gallons of water from the pool. Then last night, as I was cleaning up from dinner, I noticed the lights in the house were flickering. I looked around trying to figure out if there was a brown-out going on, when smoke billowing up from my backyard caught my eye! At that moment, a small burst of flame appeared in the area of the pool’s filter. I ran outside, unplugged the filter and turned on the hose. The flame was gone, but this was discovered:
yikes
I have no idea why but the power cord to the filter shorted out and fried. Goody, yet another pool part that needs replacing this year. I do feel lucky, however, that the flame didn’t go anywhere and cause any other damage.

Before the smoking adventure with my pool, we had just returned home from our annual camping trip. This is a tradition 20+ years in the making which you can read about here if you are interested. I didn’t take any pictures this year on our trip to Tolland State Forest in Otis, Ma, except for this pretty great one of our whole group of campers, couples and families who have been friends since we were teenagers/young adults:
da gang
We were all pretty happy we made it through the weekend without a drop of rain. That isn’t usually the case for our camping trips! In fact, this past weekend had to be one of the nicest we’ve ever experienced while camping: sunny skies, pleasant temperatures and no humidity.

I am looking forward to the rest of what summer holds. My younger daughter turns 16 this week! Party and learner’s permit coming soon. Our annual vacation to Maine is less than two weeks away.

That’s the “now” of my life at this little-more-than-mid-point of the year. How is your “now”?

December 30, 2012

Well that was unexpected!

At least it was unexpected by me.¬† For reasons unfathomed by hubby or myself, we set out to visit friends living about an hour away in a very “country” section of Connecticut yesterday afternoon – without checking the weather forecast!¬† On Friday I had noted that Saturday’s forecast was calling for an inch or two of snow.¬† Eh! I thought, what’s an inch of snow?

Our arrival in Woodstock CT was greeted with a very slippery driveway – a covering of snow over some previously frozen ice.¬† All the husbands from my group of friends, plus daughter’s boyfriend, worked at getting my little red Ford unstuck from the bottom of the driveway.¬† With several of these helpful souls pushing and my driving and trying to steer up the upward curving driveway, we arrived at the top with several fewer layers of rubber on my tires.

After that eventful start to our get-together, we settled inside for drinks, food, conversation and laughter with dear friends.¬† Outside, the snow continued to pile up.¬† We noticed snow plows passing by several times on the country dirt road.¬† My husband’s concern for our travel home deepened as the night went on.

By the end of the evening, when everyone was wishing to head out for home, the driveway had pretty much been blocked off with a snowbank from the passing plows.  Husbands again went to work clearing the way.  My hubby lamented several times about our lack of checking the weather foreccast.  If we had realized what we were in for, we most certainly would have chosen his 4-wheel drive Chevy Suburban to travel in.  Usually my car is our travel-vehicle of choice due to its better gas mileage and smaller number on the odometer.

What followed was a white-knuckled, foot-shaking, stiff-necked, 20 mph ride home.¬† Living in New England, of course I’ve driven in snow before, but I found something about last night’s ride scary.¬† The roads in Connecticut were snowy and slippery and not well lit.¬† I was the responsible driver for my family and daughter’s boyfriend. I was the protector, at the time, of three young lives in my backseat.¬† Several times I wanted to pull over and ask hubby to drive, but we were afraid of losing momentum and ending up stuck in the snow with those tires now missing a bit more tread than they had arrived on if we dared to stop the car.¬† So onward, slow and steady, we made the trek home.

In the morning, I had a look around.

what I woke up to this morning

This was definitely more than an inch or two!

Although it wasn’t fun for driving, the dogs certainly found it fun for playing!

Chase time
Teddy and his stick
Dog tug-of-war 2
Dogs consider stick
Golden retriever snow portrait
Collie snow portrait

All is well that ends well, right?

Announcement:¬† Today is the beginning of a new week and at midnight tomorrow into Tuesday we ring in a new year.¬† How about we go for that dinner photography blog-along I¬†mentioned a little while ago?¬† Take¬†pictures of your dinner for about a week any time between now and January 13th – that’s two weeks¬†from today, then post the pictures, along with a description, in a blog post.¬† Leave me a link in the comments in this post, and I will write a wrap up to send everyone around to maybe get some new ideas for dinner.¬† As I stated before, it matters not to me if your dinners are fancy or plain, homemade or pre-made, take-out or eat-in,¬†vegetarian or carnivorous.¬† Like to use recipes?¬† Post a link if you like!¬† Prefer to do “a little of this, and a little of that”?¬† That’s okay too!¬† Just show me your¬†food!¬† Due dates are loosey-goosey! ūüėČ

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