Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

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.

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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.

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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
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were striped-socked legs poking from behind rocks, big hairy bugs, frogs spitting muddy water,
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and “peaches, apples, plums and pears, guarded by ferocious bears”
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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!

March 15, 2014

Where Have I Been?

Hi there! It seems I’ve taken an unintentional blogging break! My last post was on the last day of February, and here we are, halfway through March.
So where the heck have I been? A few places and busy with a new exercise program too.
Two weeks ago, I started this:
T25
Focus T25 is a series of workout videos from pro trainer Shaun T. You may remember I started his “Rockin Body” workouts back in November. They were great for getting back into exercising again, but I was feeling ready for a new challenge. March 1st was day 100 of this new journey of mine and it was time to step things up a little. I’m feeling really good these days: my energy is high and my weight is lower than it has been in a very long time.

The beginning of March also brought an opportunity to have a breath of spring. My sister said to me, “How about going to the Spring Bulb Show at Smith College? I could really stand to stick my nose into some hyacinths!” I agreed. Here is a slideshow of some of the lovely spring bulbs and hothouse flowers we were able to enjoy:

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In the tropical room, where my lens kept fogging up due to the humidity, Jennifer and I made a special discovery. They have a chocolate tree at Smith College! No really! The source of chocolate, the cacao:
Chocolate!

Last weekend, my sister, my daughters and I traveled to Cape Cod to celebrate some birthdays. Meghan was home from school on her spring break so we took the opportunity to visit my mother. Meghan’s birthday was February 25th and my mother’s is today (Happy Birthday Mom!). We had a lovely time shopping, eating, talking, laughing and trying to visit the beach.
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The view from one of our lunch spots
I say “trying” to visit the beach because the wind was very very cold, but I managed to take a few pictures of the sparkling sea on a deceiving sunny day:
Cold but sunny beach

Smuggler's Beach, South Yarmouth

I hadn’t had a photo of my daughters taken together since Christmas time and I really wanted one for my new iPhone, so Meghan and Sarah obligingly posed in the cold wind for a few minutes for this shot:
Cold beach

So, is it starting to feel like spring at all where you are? It continues to be a roller coaster ride weather-wise around here. Temperatures start to feel mild then dip back down into ripping cold with nasty wind chills. Today we are enjoying temperatures in the mid-50’s, but tomorrow’s high is predicted to be 30 degrees. Snow still blankets most of the ground, with a few sections of muddy, brown grass just starting to emerge. Hurry up Spring! We miss you!

March 20, 2011

Close-Ups for Scott’s Assignment

Filed under: Photo assignments — Karma @ 3:42 pm
Tags: , ,

I don’t need a photo assignment to want to take close-up or macro shots, but when Scott’s assignment came along this month, you knew I’d want to be a part of it!  One of the first things I did last summer when I took my brand new Rebel out of the box was try to figure out how to get close, as this is a totally different way of thinking from using a point-and-shoot on macro mode.  I keep trying to get closer and more interesting shots all the time.  Prepare for a pretty photo-heavy post today!

Last weekend at the Spring Bulb Show, subjects for close-ups were many!  But so were the number of people visiting the greenhouse.  Before I visited, I asked advice from Tracy, Michaela and Danielle about the possibility of using extension tubes without tripod.  I knew there would be no room available for a tripod but I wanted to get as close to flowers as I could.  Their general consensus was that I might be able to get some focused shots with plenty of light and maybe 1 tube in place.

I started out just taking some zoomed shots with my 55-250mm:

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After Jennifer and I toured the whole greenhouse, I went back in with the 31mm tube attached and hoped for the best.  Here are a few of the shots I took with the tube:

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This is originally where this post was going to end, but then St. Patrick’s Day turned out to be such a lovely day around here, I was drawn outside with my camera to see if I could ferret out any other interesting close-up subjects.  I brought the tripod, extension tubes and the Raynox macro converter outside and tried different combinations.  One of the more interesting subjects I found was a watering globe for a potted plant my sister had given me a couple years ago.  Here it is with only the zoom lens:

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The globe here is about the size of my fist, to give you some idea of scale.  This is about how closely I could focus on it with just the zoom.  Next I tried with all three tubes attached:

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Ooh, look at that nice dirt I didn’t think to brush away!  Then I left the tubes in place and snapped the Raynox on the front of my lens:

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You can see the scratches and imperfections in the glass at this level.  Imagine how personal I could have gotten with a flower if I’d been able to do this at the Spring Bulb Show!  Watch out flowers-to-be in my yard – you will have no privacy this spring!

March 18, 2011

A Couple Spring Like Days

Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans, right? Yesterday and today in these parts, we were treated to above normal temperatures that definitely boded of spring.  Most of the snow in my yard is even melted!  I made plans to make the most of it.  My plans for after work today: 1)walk the dogs – check! 2) come up with a dinner plan involving the grill – check!  3)enjoy grilled dinner – check! 3) briefly refresh my memory for a presentation I have to make for my class tomorrow – check…. uh, no. Disaster!  Program I needed?  Completely eaten by my computer.  Which then completely unravelled my other plans for the evening: write a blog post, catch up with other folks’ blog posts, watch Tuesday night’s Glee on DVR with my daughters.  Spent all that time finding other programs for my presentation.  GRRRRRR!

I wanted to tell you about the lovely afternoon I spent yesterday drinking my first iced coffee of the year and experimenting with different close-up shots for Scott’s assignment this month.  I wanted to tell you about the adventurous walk Meghan, Daphne, Teddy and I took in the melting woods this afternoon.  I wanted to share some more pictures from the gorgeous spring bulb show I attended last weekend.  After scrabbling to get presentation material together for tomorrow, I felt the need to de-stress a little and smash some balls on Zuma Blitz on Facebook. 

Since I’ve calmed myself enough to write this blog post, I guess I could just show you some pictures now, couldn’t I?

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Energetic Teddy in virtually snow-free yard

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Remains of the snow penguins

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Meghan with Teddy and Daphne… yes, she was wearing shorts and a t-shirt today!

And now for some more pretty, flowery-type objects:
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I’ve got some other shots I’m holding back for Scott’s assignment.  I’m looking forward to catching up with everyone tomorrow…. after I make my *&#$ presentation!

E.T.A. (Saturday afternoon): I got my presentation done.  It didn’t go off without a hitch, but I ended up facilitating a lively discussion!  All’s well that ends well.

March 12, 2011

Where did Karma go?

So, where did I go today?

Was it the jungle?

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How about the desert?
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Or perhaps the tropics?

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I didn’t actually go to any of those places of course, but I did go to a place that can make you feel as though you’ve travelled to these diverse locations.  My sister and I went to Northampton, MA, home to Smith College and their amazing annual Spring Bulb Show.  In addition to strolling through two packed-solid greenhouse rooms of forced-bulb flowers, other rooms of the Lyman Conservatory are also available for viewing, representing many different climates and their flora.

I hope you’ll enjoy my slideshow of one of my favorite signs of spring in this area:

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I took 124 photos today, so expect a few more flower posts in the next few days!