Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

August 14, 2016

If We Were Having Coffee: Summer Catch Up Edition

Filed under: Uncategorized — Karma @ 10:03 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

As I sat here Sunday morning drinking my coffee and reading Robin’s coffee share, I thought to myself, as I have many times this summer, write a blog post! But where to begin? I’ve been quite the slacker blogger as of late, with no real reason why. I’ve been active and busy and enjoying myself, but no real reason why I couldn’t write a post. So “stealing” a little bit from Robin in the title of this post, but giving her all the credit I made a decision to write this morning. My phone is a great reminder of everything I’ve been up to this summer so I’m starting there, with a selection of photos from the phone to bring me up to speed a bit. I have more shots in my “big girl camera” from some of the places I’ve been this summer, but I’d like to edit them before I present them – so maybe I will get a couple more posts done before summer comes rushing to an end and I imagine I’ll have even less time to blog.

If we were having coffee (or tea or whatever is your preference), I might say to you, pour yourself a good sized cup and strap in! I’ll probably ramble on for quite a while! If we were sitting together on my deck (assuming the awful humidity of late has passed) the first thing you might notice is the state of my “garden”. I made a decision not to plant one this year and the spot it usually occupies next to the deck is rampant with weeds at the moment. It was a sad decision, but that area would require more TLC than I was willing to give it at this time to make it flourish. The soil is spent and diseased and seems to be a breeding ground for awful things like tomato horn worms. Instead I bought myself two tomato plants and put them in containers. It seemed like a good idea back in June…
Early tomatoes
… but as summer progressed, not so much. I’ve gotten a few small tomatoes, but many have rotted right on the vine. I miss my giant beefsteak tomatoes I used to grow.

If we were having coffee, I’d say it has been a busy summer but I like it that way. One of the first things I did was an overnight Pickity Place visit with Jennifer and Renae. That doesn’t quite sound right – what I mean is, we went to Pickity Place and then stayed overnight at Renae’s house for a “girls’ night in”. I have some beautiful photos from that Pickity visit on the other camera that I haven’t gotten to editing and posting yet, but I think they deserve another post. I do have this picture on my phone of the yummy blueberry sour cream coffee cake I made for our breakfast the next morning.
Blueberry sour cream coffee cake

If we were having coffee, I’d tell you I did something a little unexpected this year. I made a last minute decision to drive to Cape Cod for 4th of July weekend. Anyone from Around Here might say, “what are you nuts?” Traffic to the Cape on any summer weekend is notoriously bad, as you have to travel over one of two bridges to get there and it is an extremely popular vacation destination in these parts. But a long holiday weekend stretched out before me, my daughters had their own plans and my husband was working, and my mother (who lives there as I think you know) had vacation time. So off I went. The beach was crowded but pleasantly warm and breezey and we enjoyed some time together just the two of us.
4th of July on the Cape

Mom and me

If we were having coffee, you might be surprised to hear that I ticked off a photography bucket list item. I see all of Mike’s gorgeous waterfall photography and have been wanting to give it a shot. I finally did. The girls and I took Teddy for a ride to find a small waterfall just a little west of here.
Exploration walk
It has been pretty dry all summer so the fall wasn’t flowing hard, but we went before the drought really set in to this area. Again I have more photos waiting for editing, but here is one from my phone:
Waterfall

If we were having coffee, you’d learn that I had only one visit to Maine this year and it felt a little odd to me. For the past few years my sister has very kindly invited me to join her family for a few days of her vacation to Peaks Island. I did join Jennifer for a few wonderfully sunny days…
Peaks beach

Sparkly ocean

…and beautiful sunsets.
Peaks sunset 1

Peaks sunset 2

The reason it felt odd to me was that normally, I’d be headed back to Maine a few weeks later for my own family vacation on Hills Beach. Last year, however, the cottage we have been renting there for several years was sold to a new owner. The new owners wanted to use the place themselves rather than rent it out. Can’t say that I blame them for if it was mine, I’d surely do the same, but that meant we had to find a new place to go. Unfortunately, as is the way of many private, quiet beaches in New England, small, affordably priced cottages directly on the beach are few and far between. Could we stay somewhere else not right on the beach for a reasonable price? Sure. But this is the way I’ve vacationed most of my life since I was a child and I admit being spoiled by having this ammenity for my vacation. It is our one big yearly indulgence. So I hunted around on VRBO (vacation rental by owner if you are not familiar with this website) and found a place in Truro, MA. Truro is on the outer part of Cape Cod, very close to the tip that is Provincetown, or as I like to call it “the end of the earth”.
North Truro beach view to Ptown

If we were having coffee, you may have guessed by now that yes there are lots of pictures from this vacation, both on my phone and on the other camera. With how I’ve gone on and on, I’m sure you’ll be fine with the fact that I will share those in another post. I took myself on several adventures on that trip.

Now I’m sure that I’ve completely talked your ear off by now – hopefully I gave you some time to get a word or two in edgewise – I’ve got to tell you one more thing. Back at the beginning of our visit, I said the days are coming quickly where I’ll have less time to blog. If you’ve been visiting with me regularly for the last few years, you’re thinking, oh that’s right, school will be beginning again very soon. And you’d be right. But this year, for the first time in 11 years, I will not be returning to the middle school that has been my place of employment as a paraprofessional. I’m sure you remember the times I’ve mentioned that I am a certified teacher and the things that I’ve done to try to make myself more employable. In a couple weeks I will begin my new adventure as a 7th grade math and science teacher at a small private parochial school. There will be pro’s and cons to this position, but I’m looking at it as a new chapter in my professional life. I was at a crossroads where a decision needed to be made – stay in the job I’ve been doing for the last 11 years knowing that my chance for promotion to classroom teacher may never come or step outside my comfort zone to a new place with new challenges.

New adventure in the horizon

I made the choice to make the change. It is exciting, daunting and anxiety-raising all rolled into one, but a big part of my journey to me!

Although I take my inspiration from Robin, this post’s originating idea comes from Part Time Monster #WeekendCoffeeShare

April 15, 2012

Tomorrow, tomorrow….

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 10:56 am
Tags: , , ,

….I love ya, tomorrow….
P5152183

big toy

fix1

old looking boat

IMG_0873

Wood Island Light

Gee, what do you suppose is on my mind today?

Tomorrow is the big day.  We have a 6am flight for Miami tomorrow morning.  We should arrive in Miami around 9am.  I don’t know how long we will have to spend hanging out at the Miami airport before our transfer to the pier.  The Carnival website says embarkation can begin at noon.

Our itinerary for the week:

Monday: sail from Miami at 4pm

Tuesday: Arrive in Key West 7:30 am, depart 2pm

Wednesday: Arrive in Cozumel, Mexico 1pm, depart 10pm

Thursday: Fun day at Sea

Friday: arrive back in Miami, 8 am.

I hope 6GB is enough photo memory for me, LOL!  I have a 4GB and a 2GB card – what do you think?

By the way, our college visit yesterday was an excellent one.

IMG_7551

Meghan and I both loved Worcester Polytechnic Institute – WPI as it is commonly referred to.  It has a small-school feel within a medium-sized city in a nice suburban setting.  It is far enough from home to merit living on campus, but close enough to come home whenever she wants.  The programs offered and the philosophy of the school are right in line with what Meghan thinks she’d like to study and what we, as parents, would like to see her have.

This will be my last blog post until my return.  I hope you have a wonderful week,  and I look forward to sharing with you when I get home!

July 17, 2011

Chasing the Moon

IMG_5492

sunset at Smuggler’s Beach, South Yarmouth

This past Thursday evening I was driving to Cape Cod to visit my mother.  As I made the familiar trek over the Bourne Bridge, along the Cape Cod Canal and on to Rt. 6 or the Mid-Cape Highway at approximately 8pm, I was struck by an outrageously gorgeous full moon hanging very low in the sky.  The Mid-Cape travels east until you get to the “elbow” of Cape Cod, so I had an amazing view of the rising moon and bemoaned the fact that a busy highway on a famous vacation pennisula would probably be a dangerous place to pull over and take a picture.  The conditions would have been perfect (except for the fact that I left my tripod at home) – low in the sky, full, beautiful color, not too dark out.  No matter, I said to myself.  I’m here for two more nights, I will certainly get another chance.

Friday came and I spent the day getting LOTS of other fun pictures such as:
pink hydrangea

pink hydrangeas,

sand sculpture

amazing sand sculptures, and

interesting negative space

interesting negative space – do you see the “dog biscuits” my daughter spotted?

It was such a lovely afternoon at the beach, we decided to bring some pizza to the beach to eat for dinner and await moonrise.  Certainly I’d get a lovely shot right at the spot where Bass River runs into Nantucket Sound.

IMG_5484

The light of day was fading.  Around 7:45pm I couldn’t see the moon anywhere despite a mostly clear sky and wide-open landscape.  I didn’t think moonrise would change all that much in 24 hours, but to be on the safe side, I called hubby, who wasn’t able to accompany me on this trip.

“Hon, could you do me a favor?” I asked.

“What’s up?”

“Could you go on that website with the moonrise data for me and check the time of tonight’s moonrise?”

“Uh, okay… hang on… the navy’s site says 7:22pm for the Cape Cod area.”

Okay now I was really confused.  It was nearly 8:00, the wind was getting really chilly and my daughters were getting really impatient.  No moon anywhere.  At 8:10, we gave up and went back to Mom’s place.

Frustrated by the lack of moon, I looked up moonrise information myself on this site.   Apparently, the U.S. Naval moonrise information does not take daylight savings time into account!  The moonrise was actually 8:22 pm.  I missed what was probably a gorgeous moon.  According to the Cape tides site, the next night moonrise would be nearly 9pm.  **sigh**  The picture was not mine to have this time around.

May 18, 2010

Mesmerizing Mystic – Part 1, the critters

Filed under: Travel — Karma @ 4:54 pm
Tags: , , , ,

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to have a weekend away with two of my favorite people:

(Left to right: Renae, me, Jennifer; taken by Jennifer with her self-timer)

A couple of years ago, the three of us were lucky enough to have a little getaway with Rosanne from Shrew’s Daily Shutters, along with Dawn of Music Maven (two ladies whom I hope will be back to blogging some day!) to Newport, RI.  We had an awesome time.  After that, I started thinking, these little getaways should be a part of my life more often.  Jennifer and I have been friends with Renae since we were very young children, and we consider her our sister-from-another-mother yet, the three of us had never gone on a trip, just the three of us.  This past weekend, that changed.  For our getaway, we chose Mystic CT, home of the famous:
P5152192

Our weekend began on Friday afternoon with a visit to the quaint Olde Mistick Village.  We browsed the shops and made purchases for the kiddos back home.  However, the subjects that charmed me for photo-taking this day were:
P5142068

Duck…..
P5142071

Duck…..
P5142095

Goose!

That evening, we headed over to Mohegan Sun.  We had dinner there at a place called SolToro Tequila Grill.  I think that Jennifer will probably have a write-up about our food, so I won’t get into much here.  I will add a link to her post when it is available.

Saturday morning brought a visit to Mystic Aquarium.  The aquarium had many opportunities to be thinking about Scott’s latest challenge, but I regretfully did not get the chance to brush-up with my camera manual before our trip.  I did do some switching of scene setting in my attempts to capture some great animal and fish shots, but lighting conditions and fast-moving creatures challenged me!  I deleted tons of blurry fish pics, and most of my shots of the sea lion show were disappointing.  However, I did get some keepers with which I was happy:
P5152122

Sea lion
P5152138

Beluga Whale
P5152139

I liked the “expression” on the face of the penguin to the left
P5152143

Big ol’ bullfrog
P5152172

Clown fish

P5152176

Sea horse – they really aren’t that cute of a creature up close, are they?

P5152159

This is one of my less blurry pictures taken indoors, in low light with a fast moving subject.  I’d love to learn how to improve this sort of shot.  I believe I took it on one of my quick-shutter settings, in the attempt to capture the ray itself, but that’s obviously not all this shot needs.  Feel free to leave advice in the comments.

Here’s one more shot that I took, especially for Tracy:
P5152182

If you are not familiar with Tracy’s blog, you should go check it out.  Tracy takes many beautiful animal and plant photos, and when she can, she always posts the Latin or scientific name of the creature.  My sister pointed out while we were at the aquarium, that the humorous folks who work there thought to include the “Latin” name of the “Newexhibit fish” – exhibitus modernicus  (in case you can’t make it out in that photo).

I’ve still got lots more to write and show about our trip to Mystic – enough to share in another post!  Part 2 will be posted very soon!