away for the weekend: 2017

Sunday, December 31, 2017

something pink

Long, long ago - (well, back when I was in high school)
In a faraway land - (that would be Kansas - it's kind of far from Boston)
I made myself a gingham notebook (I'm not sure why I made myself a notebook rather than going to the local dime store - but then, that's not really the point of the story)

Anyway, this gingham notebook served as my very special journal
- a chronicle of my teenage days - thoughts, hopes, dramas...
I found it stashed away in a trunk, having made it through several moves.
Without opening the journal, I remembered all that it contained,
and how much it had meant to me.
And as I began to transition away from "away for the weekend"
this journal served as the inspiration for my new blog - Gingham Notebook
(without the teenage angst and drama)
- focusing on the everyday - photos, stories - everyday rambles

This will be my final post on away for the weekend,
I hope you will join me at

I wish you a very happy and safe new year!

Thanks for dropping in!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

quiet time

I had a wonderful time with my family, this Christmas

- and now that the festivities have ended,
I'm so very thankful that I work for a university that closes 
for the week between Christmas and the new year.
- for this quiet time -

I am joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday

Thursday, December 21, 2017

ever elusive sunset

Here on the east coast - I often think of photographing the sunrise
- but rarely a sunset
Our view to the east is - well - prettier
- besides, I am normally busy at work when the sun sets

Just take the afternoon off - I thought
combine Christmas shopping with a sunset photoshoot - I thought
find an open area - I thought
two birds with one stone - I thought

Yeah, well, shopping was awesome
- sunset photoshoot - not so much 
- too many buildings in the city - who knew?

The golden glow from the late afternoon sun was pretty, though

and making time to wander aimlessly,
is something I am so very thankful for during this busy time of year.
Sunset... to be continued...

I am joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday

This is likely my last post before Christmas
I wish you all a very happy, safe holiday - however you celebrate!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

family holidays

As the weather turn cold
and the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is upon us

I am thankful for a warm home
and a family to share Christmas with.

I am joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday

Saturday, December 9, 2017

photo favorites

As I am planning my transition to a new blog,
I have been sorting through all my photos
I need some focus...

Fair warning - this is a long post (for me)
I thought about splitting it in two, but then thought
Nah, let's just go for the gusto

Some of my favorites photos - to be very frank - are terrible, in a technical sense.
But - they speak to me in one way or another

So - in no particular order -

Taken in Laura's hospital room with my iPhone - the lighting was horrendous!
This photo is a story in itself - and one I will never forget.
Auntie Maggie meets her newborn niece.

One of my early Vermont photos, and still one of my favorites -
This is Vermont - weathered sugar shack, rusty pickup truck and muted gray sky

Okay - yeah - I don't know. I don't even like the colors very well
- but, it's a path, and paths speak to me

A quiet afternoon - Greg with our infant granddaughter.
Enough said.

As it turns out - as much as I like snapping photos of barns,
I like old school houses even better.
Greg and I stumbled on this one room schoolhouse and returned to catch it in the early morning light. I goofed with the ISO, but tell myself that the added noise enhances the old-time feel.
I'm sticking with that...

Okay - so I don't even know these people
It was a relatively quiet day at the beach and I was watching the colorful kite
- then noticed the little girl - the joy in her arms, reaching for the kite

Taken with my iPhone - I love everything about this photo.
Attending my nephew's wedding, the sun setting beyond the trees cast a soft radiance.
Laura loves being a mother, and Ella is a happy baby - smiling at her dad, outside the frame.

Sooo - there you have it
 - these are my favorites and not necessarily my best -
The selection process wasn't easy - it would seem that I have a preference for soft lighting, quiet settings, and family scenes -
and - if you have been following me for any length of time,
you will probably remember me saying - more than once
well - time to learn...

If your photos have a theme, what would it be?

Thanks for dropping in!

Thursday, December 7, 2017


"Look around, breathe in, and be thankful" - unknown

For the last three months that we've had our puppy, Chessie,
I have had early morning walk duty - my choice.
Most mornings, it's still dark when we venture out

Weekend mornings - Chessie seems to enjoy "sleeping in" as much as I do,
and we postpone our walk until the sun begins to rise
- and a paintbrush has splashed it's colors against the sky.

I am thankful for these early morning walks with my pup,
and the awe I feel at the beauty surrounding me.

I am joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday

Photo-challenge #23 - quote

Sunday, December 3, 2017

scene and story - november

It was just one year ago - last Thanksgiving -
that Laura and Jeff announced an upcoming addition to our family.
A couple of months later, my niece and her husband made a similar announcement.

With much excitement and anticipation, we looked forward our holiday get-together
- two new babies for Thanksgiving dinner!

So - what do you get when you decide to photograph two babies propped in chair?
- two toppling tykes
- a gaggle of grownups with cameras
- a bunch of perfectly imperfect photos
- and a whole lot of laughs

I am still amazed - and dazed - at the whirlwind that was this past year
- and the wonderful way in which our family has morphed.

It's going to be a lot of fun watching these two cousins grow together
- and with any luck our next photo will include our third family addition,
- our labrador puppy -
yeah - adding an exuberant 50 pound pup to this shoot seemed a bit like a recipe for chaos
- and so - this was November in a nutshell.

I am joining Sarah and Leon for Scene and Story

Thanks for dropping in!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

thankful for giving thanks

I hope your preparations are going well,
and you are enjoying your thanksgiving holiday

I am thankful for this day of giving thanks
- a day to take a step back - reflect
-enjoy good food and family.
Have a wonderful thanksgiving,
however you choose to celebrate!

I am joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday

Photo-challenge #22 flowers

Thursday, November 16, 2017

thankful thursday - thanksgiving and family

Flowers in my window

in my usual Monday morning bleary-eyed state,
I chatted with my commuter train friends.
One mentioned getting ready for Thanksgiving - next week
Me: Nooooo - it's not next week!
Commuter friends smile - exchange glances - nod
Me (insistent): But it can't be! Don't we have two more weekends?
(there may have been a teensy bit of whining, there)
Commuter stranger in the next seat looks up from her laptop: No - it's next week
Me: sigh - I haven't even thought about food yet...

So, yes - Thanksgiving is next week
- and I am thankful for that
The shopping and meal preparation will get done
- and the table set
I am looking forward to dinner and a few extra days with my family.
(and our annual tractor parade - it's a Vermont thing)

I am joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday

Thanks for dropping in!

Photo challenge #20 - Bokeh

Sunday, November 12, 2017

photo challenge #19 - shoes

Ummmm - yeah - about that photo challenge...
I left off with week 18 - "week off"
which, as it turns out - I truly excel at.
- I've done that prompt repeatedly for - oh, I don't know, lots of weeks...

So - in the spirit of keep on keeping on...
my prompt for this week - shoes

- or rather, a giant pile of ski boots
- Okay, so I'm really not much of a "shoe" person...
Driving down the road, this mound of boots,
(which is much larger than this photo suggests)
is one of those things that make me go "hmmmmm"

A friend once told me about visiting the shop next to this pile o' boots,
hoping to have a buckle repaired on her favorite ski boots.
The clerk explained that the newer boots no longer used the same buckle
- about to turn her away when he ran out to this pile -
and voila - a replacement buckle was found.

So - yeah - that is all I know about this mountain of boots,
except that every time I drive by, I kinda, sorta, wanta throw my old ones on top.

next up - Bokeh

Thanks for dropping in - I wish you a wonderful day!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

acadia sunrise

The quiet beauty of an Acadia sunrise

Last summer I created my bucket list of National Parks.
Excited to get started, Greg and I headed to Acadia National Park with our new puppy
for a weekend of camping.
I am not much of a camper, and even less of a morning person,
but this Acadia sunrise is one I will remember for many years to come.
(and the cup of coffee, afterwards, at the dog friendly Coffee Hound Coffee Bar
in Bar Harbor was pretty great, too)

I am thankful for every day the sun rises,
the beauty of our National Parks,
and quiet moments like this.

I am joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Sunday, November 5, 2017

scene and story - october

man and his dog

Many years ago, riding in the car -
Greg, Maggie, and our old labrador, Lacey -
 - singing to the tunes on the radio (well, probably not Lacey)
"Now wait a minute Chester, you know, I'm a peaceful man"
Maggie: Chester! - we should name our next dog Chester
Greg: - Yes - the perfect name for a lab!
"Take a load off Fanny, take a load for free"...
(The Weight by The Band)
So, we waited several years, and finally have another dog -
always remembering about Chester

And now, October's scene and story is about Greg and our long awaited pup, Chessie -
hiking on a beautiful Vermont October day.
We're both smitten...

October - also - has been all about the fate of my blog
I know - it's been a long time since my last post...
I have lots of excuses -
too little time - lack of inspiration - poor internet connection...
yes - all of the above
- and -
none of the above

I am having an identity crisis of the blogging variety
- and yet, I am missing the creative outlet and interaction with my blog friends
In an email exchange, Sarah - Paisley Rain Boots,
gave me some fantastic advice:

"I guess my questions to you are what do you enjoy photographing?...
Looking back at the photographs you have taken in the last two years, 
pick out 3-5 favorites and really study them, why do you like them? 
Was it the subject, the light, the lines, the mood?"

This project is turning out to be both enlightening and fun -
(which I will share in a later post)
but also confirms for me that "away for the weekend" has run its course
so as I work towards my next project,
I plan to just keep on keeping on

Have you ever felt disconnected from your blog?
Thoughts? ideas?
I would love to hear from you!

I am joining Sarah and Leon for Scene and Story

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

scene and story - june

This wasn't exactly what I was going for
- but, then...

this was my June
- blurry, but pretty and colorful all the same
My month started out with crazy, busy work deadlines,
the birth of our first granddaughter
- yeah, she's pretty much the sweetest baby ever -
(I may be a teensy bit biased)
- and ended with a much needed week off -
and a celebration for Greg's career transition -
many changes ahead...

On this particular day, Greg and I hiked to Stratton Pond in Vermont
It was the perfect day to roam around the woods,
picnic by the pond, at catch a much needed breath.
With any luck, July will be a bit more focused
- and while June passed by in a blur, it was a pretty wonderful month

I'm joining Sarah and Leon for Scene and story

Have a wonderful, safe, 4th of July!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

bundle of joy

I'm thankful for this little bundle of joy
one week old, today
She has stolen my heart - and already, I can't imagine life without her

Our first grandchild - and according to Mommy, Daddy, and Auntie -
quite likely our only...
Yeah - that's okay
I couldn't be any more thankful!

I am joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday

Thanks for dropping in!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

strolling heifers

Heifers in tutus? You bet!

and stroll, they did

through downtown Brattleboro, Vermont

some preferred flower necklaces

No heifer to stroll through town with?

- just don a heifer costume - and dress your pig in a tutu, instead!
 - yeah, this is Vermont - it's all good!

the sun and moon made an appearance

as well as local bands

and all of Vermont
(well, just about all of Vermont)
Yep - watching heifers stroll makes for some surprising fun.
This may rank up there with our annual tractor parade
- I'm already planning for next year...

I'm always thankful for the surprises that make me smile!

I'm joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday

Thanks for dropping in!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Scene and Story - May

Wow - May... it went by in a blink
- yet was full of so much -
Mother's Day, a graduation trip to Arkansas, Laura's 30th birthday party,
and a cup of coffee with my blogging friend, Sarah, at Paisley Rain Boots!
This was our first time meeting face-to-face, but felt like getting together with an old friend.
- And since I dumbly took no photos (I know, right?),
I'll share my story of playing at being a photographer...

"But I don't photograph people"

Yeah - that was my reply when Laura asked me to take photos of Jeff and her.
A maternity photo shoot - so to speak.
Ummmm - I don't do people, and I stand by that.
 "Don't worry," Jeff remarked, "Laura doesn't want a photo shoot
- she just wants One. Perfect. Photo".
Haha - yeah well, I'm not sure about that,
but we did have a lot of laughs - in between all those awkward poses
- and we caught a few cute candids.
I really do have a new appreciation for photographers who do this work.
So - my advice to the parents-to-be
 When the baby actually arrives
- and they want that One. Perfect. Photo
Hire a real photographer!!
But this was kinda-sorta fun, anyway.

I am joining Sarah and Leon for Scene and Story

Thanks for dropping in!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

thankful thursday

So yeah, work is still crazy, and life has been crazy
- and I'm just a wee bit stressed out about, oh - just about everything
- but we all know how that goes sometimes
- and this blogging break of mine has gone on for far too long
- so it's time I give myself a swift kick in the pants (figuratively speaking, of course)
and get back to it!

anyway - 
last weekend we had the fortune of having family and friends join us at Away

where we enjoyed exploring a newly reopened (pedestrians only) covered bridge

with beautiful vistas

I was very excited to hear this bridge had reopened
- it's the little things...
and as always, I'm so thankful to have special people in my life to explore with

So - this coming weekend is the Strolling of the Heifers
- not sure I can miss that excitement!

How about you - are you looking forward to weekend plans?

I'm joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday

Thanks for dropping in!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

thankful thursday

Hey - it's a beautiful day, let's take the kayaks out!
Or - maybe not...

While the thermometer may read 80 degrees
- the pond reads FROZEN

 - as in solid...
 - winter hangs tough in Vermont...

Yeah - well...
We did manage to enjoy the day with a hike on one of our favorite trails
- and a beautiful vista
which on this Easter afternoon felt like worshiping in the church of nature
For this day, I am very thankful

- So, I'm pretty sure the pond will thaw - eventually
- and we will be ready

Are you as excited as I am to get this summer-thing underway?

I'm joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday

Thursday, April 13, 2017

photo challenge #17 - bicycle(s)

Before the grass turns green, or flowers bloom -
a sure sign of spring in my area -
 bicycles at the train station!

We are having our first stretch of spring-like weather, here in New England
And to think that when I first heard the weather forecast
- I grumbled - yep grumbled...
What am I going to wear? and where are my spring clothes, anyway?
Do I even have any spring clothes?
Yeah - I must - I'm pretty sure I wore clothes last spring...
Ummmmmm - yeah...
will someone please just kick me?!?!

Anyway - all joking aside
I am very thankful for this first sign of spring
- the beautiful weather
- sunshine
- bicycles
- and the hope for summer ahead

How is spring shaping up in your neck of the woods?
Are you feeling that little added spring in your step?
(hmmm - is that where the term "spring" comes from...?)

Thanks for dropping in!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

photo challenge #16 - path

"Don't confuse your path with your destination;
just because it's stormy now, doesn't mean you aren't headed for sunshine."
This prompt was definitely open for interpretation,
and I wasn't sure whether to approach it literally or symbolically,
- or maybe a blend of both.

I'm not actually going through a particularly stormy time,
but I feel that the quote is a good reminder - always - of life's ups and downs.
as well as a good fit for my photo
- which got me thinking -
wouldn't it be a good challenge to choose a quote or saying that has personal meaning
and then try to photograph it?
just a thought

Of the many quotes I read about "path", though,
unfortunately - the one that resonated the most with me is a Chinese proverb:
"I dreamed a thousand new paths. I woke and walked my old one."
Hmmm - not sure how I'd photograph that one...

It's the time of year in collegiate budgetland where my workday life is getting a bit hectic.
I've definitely walked this path before - but it gets a little easier each time.
My posts will likely be sporadic, but I will enjoy visiting yours!

And then - the words of J.R.R. Tolkien remind me that someday - new paths await:
"Still round the corner there may wait 
A new road or a secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I 
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the moon, East of the sun."

When you think of "path" what images come to your mind?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

photo challenge #15 - faceless self portrait

Plum Island - Massachusetts

After a couple of false starts,
I finally managed to get into a groove.
The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge covers a large portion of Plum Island.
Popular with bird watchers, I crossed paths with several photographers
carrying cameras sporting what looked like (to me) gazillion millimeter zoom lenses.
Yeah - don't mind me - I'm just here to shoot a selfie...

I was determined to do this challenge outdoors, though
- and was relieved to find a spot away from the other beach-goers
- a spot where I didn't feel completely self-conscious.
The real bonus - as someone who tends to frown at the camera -
shooting a faceless self-portrait is definitely the way to go!

Next up - Path

Have a great day!

Thanks for dropping in!

EF24-105mm F/4L IS USM
ISO 400
40 mm 1/2000 sec at f/6.3

Thursday, March 9, 2017

thankful thursday - scenes from the coast

A rare day off - no obligations,
and a much neglected camera
- beckoning me

My weather app said the rain had cleared
- the sky over Plum Island said otherwise

I probably don't need to tell you which was correct,
and which I ignored - necessitating a quick dash back to my car
(which on a sandy beach is neither quick, nor dash-like...)

Yeah well - a day off is a day off

and in the end,
it turned out to be a wonderful beach day.

I am thankful for this day with no plans
and the beauty that surrounds me.
I'm pretty sure I heard my camera whisper thank you, also.

Note to self - when in doubt, ignore weather app
and always pack a rain jacket...

I am joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday
and Tanya for Willy Nilly Friday Five

Thanks for dropping in!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

scene & story - february

February was...
Well, it was February

The month began as February should in New England
- cold and snowy
I took this photo at Rockport Harbor, early in the month
- a cold, blustery day - the kind of cold that stings - almost knocking the wind out of me.
The ocean was a bright deep blue, and the sky - painted with shades of pastel.
Gazing through my lens, I watched the couple on the breakwater,
envying their adventurous spirit.
It's too cold for me though - I'll scramble over those rocks another day.

Rockport is popular with tourists,
its beautiful harbor, quaint shops, and art galleries draw large crowds in the summer.
The colorful buoys tell another story
 - this is a working town with a working harbor.

It is the vast openness that is compelling me to take this photo, though.
The ocean never fails to draw me in,
reminding me - always - of my first sight of the Atlantic.
Nearly 16 years old, standing on the sand,
  utterly in awe - feeling so very, very small - insignificant.
I have never lost that sense of wonder
- and with this, I raise my camera,
attempting to capture this small moment in time.

I am joining Sarah and Leon for Scene and Story

Thanks for dropping in!

Monday, February 27, 2017

photo challenge #14 sun flare

High atop a mountain
- amidst multi-million dollar vacation homes
- and the most spectacular view,
sits this ramshackle abode

no doubt, developers would love to raze this little gem
but here it remains - steadfast - a little piece of the real Vermont
 - with its own stories to tell

Next up - Faceless Self-Portrait
Ummmm - yeah - I'm really not sure when I'll get around to that one...

Have a great day!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

essence of away - winter version

I've been enjoying Kim Manley Ort's book - Adventures in Seeing
This week, our call to adventure is "Essence"
in a series of photos, I hope to capture the essence of our weekends at Away
- winter version -
(I may need to re-do this exercise in the summer)

A couple of years ago, our oldest daughter, Maggie,
visited us during a particularly snowy week in December
(she is convinced that she was meant to be a Southerner
- let's just say that winter isn't her favorite season)

After being snowbound for a day,
and then venturing out, only to get our car stuck in a snowbank on the side of our driveway
- and cancelling dinner plans (opting for a pot of chili at home)
she remarked: It feels like summer here
Me: ummmmmm.......?
Maggie: No, not the weather - but you know how summer just feels different?
Me: (smile)
Maggie: It's like that here, relaxed... friendly, less stressed - like summer

the essence of weekends at Away
and while I'm not fond of living in two homes,
Away provides a place to unwind from our stressful weekday life
and for that, I am very thankful

I'm joining Michelle for Thankful Thursday
and Tanya for Willy Nilly Friday Five

Thanks for dropping in!