Saturday, December 31, 2011

The end of one year...

I had hoped to wrap up with at least a few photos to finish out the themes I hadn't completed. I even managed to snag one of Cupcakes, which was the theme I considered Most Likely To Be Missed. But the events of the last 48 hours pretty much depleted time, energy and attention. Now John is home safe and sound--and being a stubborn Irish nuttin'-wrong-with-me male who may make me hypertensive.

So I'd like to thank all of you who shared your vision and your with us. It was an honor to be able to set foot in your worlds. Thank you to those who were kind and interested enough to spend time with me at Paper Goods Pond and other places in my life.

I've completed three years of 356 photos. The first two years were more difficult than the last, because my "rules" meant literally a photo EVERY day. This least year, I went with the concept of 365 photos in all. I'm not sure if I exactly made it, but I know I came close. I had 16 themes left, but I did use free themes along the way. The wonderful thing about at 365 (on next year, 366!) challenge is that it makes one open one's eye to what is beautiful, interesting, arresting, disturbing, unique, iconic, comforting or visionary in one's life; or what might just exemplify a place, situation or condition. I've learned a lot from the 1,095 photos (give or take a few) that came from these three years.

I'm also very grateful to done this in a shared experience. I will deeply miss those of you who are not going on to a challenge here next year. And I feel honored to be part of the community with those who are.

I wish all of you a blessed new year that is full of promise, opportunity, vision, and (let's not forget) fun.

He's home!

John was released from the hospital today. He's feeling MUCH better, but still wears out easily. I don't think we'll be up for partying this evening, but just having him well and home is celebration enough. Thanks for all your kind thoughts.

Friday, December 30, 2011

No photo today. Last night took my husband to the ER & he was admitted to ICU for a GI bleed. It's probably related to radiation he had a few years ago for prostate cancer. He seems to be improving, but I'm more than a tad tired and strung out. I know that youse guys (as we say in NYC) care about the people in this community, so I would just like to ask for prayers & healing thoughts.

Thursday, December 29, 2011


There are five signs leading down into the bowels of this NYC parking garage.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Z is for Zinnia

I have mini-zinnias growing in the little AeroGarden in my lightless, airless, soulless cubicle at work.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Y is for Yarn

I wish I knew how to knit (and had the patience to sit still while something was produced from the needles...) This yarn, found in a bin at Michael's, would make a wonderful sweater.

Monday, December 26, 2011


My son, Christian, romping with Craig, the younger granddude. The boys love it when Uncle Chris is here!

Sunday, December 25, 2011


My daughter belongs to the Jackson Pollack school of cookie decorating.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


There are sharp serrated edges on this leaf--managed to get sharp focus, too.

X is for X-mas

In terms of the alphabet, is this good timing or what? (Totally karma.) When I was growing up, educated in Catholic schools, I was taught NEVER to use the term "X-mas" because it was secular and took the Christ out of Christmas. Not so. The "X" is the transliteration of the Greek letter "chi" which stood for "Christos." And so I wish you all of you who celebrate it a blessed and merry Christmas. (PS: it's also a whole lot better for the theme than "xanthan gum," and yes, I do have a photo for that. Contact me by email if, for some bizarre reason, you really want to see it.)

Friday, December 23, 2011

W is for Waterfall

In this case, Sherwood Falls, which cascades over the dam that creates Paper Goods Pond.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Something about me

I am a Celt. My family left Ireland over a hundred years ago, but I still feel deep roots back there in rocky places on the other shore of the Atlantic. Imagine what it was like there in the north on the edge of Europe, when the nights were so long they overtook day altogether, and there was only fire to as any sort of light at all! Tonight we celebrated Winter Solstice with a bonfire outside and a taste of the water of life. After this, there will be light Light of Christmas, and the days will grow longer and the sun strengthen. Slainte!


I'm in PT for my neck. There are all sorts of devices to help us regain fitness, including these balls with their bright primary colors. 365/2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

V is for Vase

The curved vase is from IKEA; it's home to a "lucky bamboo" plant--it must lucky because it seems to be thriving on our window sill.

U is for Utility Truck

I was pretty worried about U...and then, as if it were ordered, this utility truck showed up next our house. I asked the guys if they minded if I took a picture of their truck. They were a little worried due to all the bad press after the massive power outage, but I reassured them that I was a benign nut case who I harmless. It also helped that both were wearing Yankees caps & I told them (in all honesty) that I loved their hats. Us Yankees fans stick together.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

T is for Tree

A few lone apples still cling to the branches of the trees in the orchard.

Monday, December 19, 2011

S is for Song

Last night we went to Lessons and Carols at South Church in New Britain. I love the congregational hymns. Protestants are way more enthusiastic than us Catholics when it comes to singing. The program encouraged us to join in "heartily," and we did.

R is for River

This is the Mattabesset River that flows through town. A dam on this small river forms Paper Goods Pond. Having grown up in NYC, where the Hudson is a River, it was hard for me to think of this little stream as a river. But so it is termed. Here it is, just beginning to freeze over as winter sets in.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Q is for Quiz

This one in the Sunday NY Times. Way better than the pop quizzes in high school that began with, "Take a half sheet of paper..."

Saturday, December 17, 2011


This evening we celebrated Christmas with our older daughter and her family. Here the granddudes are delighted as they explore the surprises in their stockings.

Friday, December 16, 2011

P is for Pepper

I have a pepper plant in an AeroGarden that is now 18 months old. It's practically a mini-tree producing untold numbers of inch-long spicy hot peppers. If I don't pick them when they're fresh, they'll just dry on the branch (which makes them better for adding a little heat to a stir fry.) I like the way this one caught the light, making it glow a bit and exposing the seeds and the seam.

O is for Onion

...and, of course, for Ogres. As Shrek informed us, they both have layers.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


When we go to Elizabeth's Restaurant in Rocky Hill CT, I feel pampered. The food is exquisite--and nearly everything on the menu can be made gluten free. They even serve crusty wheat free Brazilian cheese rolls which are freshly made from manioc flour. Everyone envies me my rolls! It's pure heaven.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


The Madrigal Singers from our town's high school. Our older daughter was a member 10 years ago. We have young voices singing ancient songs in an astonishing union of voices.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

N is for Numbers

Numbers on the dial of a safe.

Monday, December 12, 2011


There are so many textures to be seen in the pair of ancient chairs as well as in the concrete sidewalk and the stone wall behind them.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


One of the Christmas concerts we attended today featured this shiny saxophone.

The Arts

I love Christmas music. Today we went from a concert at the local Methodist church to one at the Catholic one. This guitarist played held us rapt with his jazz toned interpretations. The photo was taken with the iPhone.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


These four chairs in the plaza at Blue Back Square were abandoned today. there were plenty of shoppers, but with a brisk breeze and temps in the 40s, no one was lingering outdoors. On the other hand, the cafe at Barnes and Noble was packed.

M is for Mango

These luscious beauties were to be found at Whole Foods Market.

Friday, December 9, 2011

L is for Leaf

A pretty sodden one at that, plastered up on the side window of my car. But I liked the patterns and textures, played up by Hipstamatic.

K is for Kite

I know I just did K is for Key. But this morning, I got out of my car in the barren parking lot at the concrete office building where I work, which is located by railroad tracks, a confluence of major highways and general industrial nothingness--but caught in one of the stunted trees was a kite. A kite! How did it get there? Who on earth was flying a kite in this blighted section of a blighted city? Someone with more optimism than luck. So I repeat my K post in honor of that stalwart person who dares to fly despite the odds.

Thursday, December 8, 2011


A handful of paper clips from my desk drawer. Taken with the Canon T3 with the LensBaby Muse.

K is for Key

Taken with Hipstamatic's funky Dali "lens."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

J is for Jam

Peach jam, home made with peaches from Rogers Orchards, located in the next town over. Jars of summer sun preserved to tide us through the winter.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I is for Information

Sometimes, there's just too much of it, and none of it good...

Monday, December 5, 2011


The hallway at my doctor's office: clean, crisp & efficient.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Look who was at Stew Leonard's today!


One of the resident cats dozes on the counter at the shop at Karabin Farms. I took the picture with the Canon T3 and the LensBaby Muse. It's tricky to learn to use this thing. I find I prefer a more subtle surrounding blur, so I'm working on that.

Karabin Farms is one of the few surviving local farms. It's located in the neighboring town of Southington. We usually go to Mass at a church in Southington, so we've taken to detouring there on the way home to pick up meat and veggies that were produced there on the farm.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


My sweet daughter Sierra. walking on the beach near her college in Fairfield, Connecticut.


Spook the gulls at the beach and they take off fast. It's tough to catch them in flight.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Sunrise at my mother's place in Mount Vision, NY.


Coiled hoses tangled together on concrete.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Still life

My LensBaby Muse came last night--and I had today off to play with it! There is definitely a learning curve, which makes me grateful for digital photography: it costs nothing to experiment. This is one of my first successful shots.