Thursday, December 29, 2005

Holiday Insanity

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Ever feel like the holidays are zooming by...a whirling, spinning insane time of the year? Me, too.
I think today's pic is representative of that insanity. Taken during the madness which surrounds children opening presents. I like how these Christmas tree lights look like little candy canes.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Merry Christmas!

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Rockefeller Center, NYC

Friday, December 23, 2005

Happy Holidays!

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Happy Holidays from my neck of the Woods to yours! Safe and stress-free travels, too!

These beautiful gingerbread house creations courtesy of the talented young student chefs at the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY.

The little houses were for sale in the Apple Pie Cafe. That large house was nearly three feet high!The snow in the large house scene was shaved white chocolate. The roofs were formed sheets of melted chocolate decoratively edged by fork tines...I've seen real roofs made with less care. *looks up at ceiling* I think those whimsical little penguins are marzipan, so yes, you can eat them, but they are simply too cute to eat. Another baking and pastry class near my office had made small gingerbread houses but they all took their creations home for the holidays. Hope they all made it home in one piece.

-Happiest Holidays, everyone! Here's wishing you joy in your heart, peace in your life and many happy gatherings this holiday season!

Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge for detail.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Happy Winter Solstice!

Baird Park sky

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Big Brother...An Excerpt from My Book

Here's an excerpt from the novel I wrote for 's National Novel Writing Month. "October Knights" is a working title from a work in progress. = ) Comments welcome!

* * * * *

There wasn’t much else to do in their new neighborhood. It was either play with him and get beat, and beat up, or play Barbie with her older sister. Her sister would often use the Barbies to practice hairstyling techniques on. Afraid she might run out of Barbie hair and turn her scissors to other targets, Emma chose her brother’s company, painful as it was.

She was a late bloomer in sports, getting picked last for playground teams and usually getting out first in whatever game it was. Heads shook disapprovingly in her vicinity when it was her turn to bat, kick or hit whatever ball was coming in her direction. She eventually became a fine athlete, better at sports than most boys in her high school, benefiting from the constant play with her older, very athletic brother.

She was his field dummy when he tried out for quarterback. “Go deep,” was a phrase she was not unfamiliar with. Nor was “run a post” or even “Hail Mary,” and she had said a few when the ball was incoming. Not unfamiliar were the bruises on her chest and arms when she’d attempt to catch the deep, lofting passes. “Catch with your hands, not your body, you dope!” her big, “loving” brother would shout over the swaying hay in the neighbor’s field, “Catch with your hands then cradle it in!” So then her fingers got bruised and battered, but not her body and eventually, she learned to catch.

And throw it back. “Is that as far as you can throw it?” a challenging voice barked from across the hayfield, “I’m not getting that…you get it and throw it further this time!” As if she was trying to throw it short. She’d sigh and retrieve the ball and throw it over and over, 10 yards, then 20 yards, eventually spirals every one.

So it was that she became his one-on-one partner when he tried out for basketball in the late fall. “C’mon, I’ll spot you 20 and we’ll play to 21, you can’t lose!” he baited her and he lied. She lost. Often. She got rejected. Often. He was five years older and over a foot taller than her. The final insult came when he played from his knees, lefty, and beat her. That was enough, she thought. Go find someone your own size.

She was left alone in the spring, mercifully, as he got cut from the varsity baseball team. There would be no bruises in spring.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Photo Friday: depth of field

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Three trees
Kiyiwana Farm. Hopewell Jct., NY

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Letters to Santa

It's just about that time again...time to write letters to Santa! I love this part of Christmas. These are shots from last year, but you get the idea. I keep these little gems in my folder of kiddie treasures, along with the art, graded papers and notes from my kids. The more grammatical errors, the better!

If you can't quite read it, my son, ever the fire safety whiz writes,"blow out the candles if you come."

My mom must've kept a few of our lists. We found them in her dresser after she passed years ago. My sister wanted a barbie and world peace. I wanted Lite Brite and health for everyone. My brother wanted any toy that was cool, especially sports equipment. We looked at the lists at last year's Christmas dinner. Was fun to have that piece of history in our hands. Some stuff is worth saving.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Looking Up

Woodbury Commons,
Central Valley, NY