Sunday, December 20, 2009


The biggest storm of 2009 roared down the East Coast last night and left almost 14 inches of powdery stuff.

A perfect opportunity to try out my new Nikon D40.

The birds were relying on the feeder for their breakfast.

Fluffing their feathers against the cold.

Suddenly it's looking a lot like Christmas.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chappy Chanukah!

Tonight is the first night of Chanukah.

There's a lot of confusion about what Chanukah is and is not.

Although they share the chilliest time of the year in this hemisphere, it is not the Jewish Christmas, although Jesus knew Chanukah.

It is a holiday that celebrates the victory of the fight for religious freedom against enormous odds, punctuated by a small miracle. It is this miracle, a tiny light that burned in the darkest of times and would not be extinguished that touches my heart and holds great meaning for me. Each night another light is added, and the fellowship of each additional flame creates a blaze of joy that illuminates the darkest time of the year.

I wish you Chag Orim Sameach, Happy Festival of Lights. Thank you for being my candles and sharing your light.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

reSIGNed to being late

I have been playing along with Michelle Ward's GPP Street Team Crusades for quite awhile, although lately work and responsibilities have been taking up most of my time. However, when I heard that Michelle's latest Crusade was "What's Your Sign?" I wanted to play along.

The sign I wanted to talk about wasn't a visual one but rather a song. It's called "Lecha Dodi" and it means "Come My Beloved" in Hebrew. We sing it at the beginning of Friday night services to welcome the Sabbath. While the words are always the same, there are many tunes. The last conversation I ever had with my Uncle Herbie was when he was in the hospital awaiting surgery. He had end-stage diabetes and the doctors were about to do something drastic that they hoped would save his life. I wanted to see him, but I had a heavy cold, so my Aunt Selma told me to call instead.

During our conversation, I mentioned how I was trying to remember a tune to "Lecha Dodi" I hadn't heard since my Youth Group days. My uncle, who loved telling jokes and stories and being the center of attention, immediately launched into not one, but dozens of variations on the melody until we found the one I was looking for. Even on the phone he was on stage and having a ball. It was a wonderful "visit." Sadly, he only lived a couple of days after his surgery.

Ever since then, whenever I hear "Lecha Dodi" I think of Uncle Herbie. At times when I've heard the song I think I see a man who looks like him, only to turn and see that I am wrong. Or am I?

But other than "Lecha Dodi" I would have said I don't have signs. Then something odd happened. Right after Michelle first mentioned this Crusade, I was taking photos of a beloved tree for Getting Arboreal, a collaboration with my friend Julie Prichard. There, on the same street, was a house I've never seen before. This house.

It had Michelle written all over it.

I was amazed. Why hadn't I seen it before? I'd been on that street a hundred times.

Monday, it occurred to me that I was about to be late -- AGAIN -- for a Crusade. It was lunchtime and I was out on my daily camera safari. I was shooting store windows and the last of the leaves and decided to poke my head into a store and was startled to see this.

Anyone who knows Michelle knows that deer are one of her signs. Now I know it's the holiday season and reindeer are ubiquitous, but walking into a store full of sparkly reindeer the moment you have the thought?

Perhaps someone was trying to tell me something. So here I am, late but present. All that's missing is someone singing "Lecha Dodi."

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wishing you a wonderful day among those you love.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A feast before the feast

Before I head off to clean the house, prepare the side dishes and take my boy to play with the band at the Thanksgiving game, I want to leave you a present. A Thanksgiving visual journal to thank all of you for your friendship, support and inspiration this year.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Leafing it for last

Man, is this embarrassing. I've fallen behind on the very idea Julie (of Land of Lost Luggage fame) and I had dreamed up. I've even had the photos ready. And yet Getting Arboreal: A Nature Collection has been sitting in my iPhoto folder, neglected. Forgive me, friends.

Three of my tree friends were revisited for part deux. The lovely Japanese maple next door.

Can I just say again how much I love Japanese maples?

And a return trip to the pin oak planted to commemorate the 1912 Connecticut Constitutional Convention. I confess I got this one a little on the early side. As we drove by today we couldn't help noticing that all of the leaves are gone. Alas.

And my backyard buddy, the pink dogwood I like to call Rover.

Sit Rover. Stay.

Good boy!

Sunday visual journal

I'm in an abstract and somewhat painterly mood. To wit:

No time to paint, no time to draw, no time to play in Photoshop, no time to work in my journal. There's not even time to write here the way I wish. But my little camera keeps my artistic spirit alive until I can get back to what I love. I'm determined to have art happen while I'm keeping up with my responsibilities. How do you do it?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Friday Visual Journal

A few of the results from this week's ramblings. Biggest surprise: roses in bloom in November - in Connecticut!