Saturday, February 28, 2009


I confess: I secretly love telling people I teach at just sounds like such a prestigious job:) But then, I always explain to them that I work at RPI, I don't work for RPI. I work with inner city kids from 7th-10th grade, who, because of their social or economic situations, would mostly likely not be able to attend college. The program I teach for is a state run program that gives kids after school tutoring, enrichment in Math, Science, and English (that's my job), free trips to places like universities and museums, and chances to win scholarships throughout their high school careers. Today, I taught in a place called The VCC. Every building is named after someone, but I don't really know the origins of the names. The VCC is essentially a computer building and also holds offices. I'm pretty sure it was once a church because of the stain glass windowns and construction as you see below. Either way, it's a wonderful place to work in!

The shadows cast from a beautiful day appear on the steps of the VCC and the sidewalk as I leave:

Friday, February 27, 2009

Soft and Still

Dusk creeps quietly into the forest eaves, the dim sky sprinkled with the growing glow of stars and planets. There is a soft breeze playing across my face as I unclip my sword and shield, being as silent as the old trees that sway around me. I feel so much older standing here after the battle, looking down at my stained and sullied hands. I am scarred, weathered like the sand and the rocks must feel as the ocean waves throw themselves ceaslessly upon the shore. But in this peaceful moment, the respite of the day's fulfilment and the night's dawning upon the earth, I can let myself be soft and still. My weapons fall lightly upon the tall grassy forest floor and a sigh escapes my lips as if in answer to the wind. The battle is done; I am still in one piece. Let me close my eyes and dream again.

(Please enlarge for a better view of the filters I used, palette knife and watercolor).

Thursday, February 26, 2009

picture #161

Today is just not a day when I feel like taking pictures. Though it was a beautiful day, it was also Kim's funeral. I want to stay in the contest though, so here is a picture I took on my computer screen which accurately describes my state of mind:

(at least I've still got my sense of humor!)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Busy day

Sorry, but this will have to be my picture today. I have school, then a meeting, then a wake, then a dinner invitation, THEN an Ash Wednesday service. Very busy! But to make up, I'm also posting two from The Glen Store yesterday:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Though I am weary in body and heart, tonight's bible study was very renewing. We met tonight at The Glen Store, which incidently, my friend Tim has just taken over. Please visit! There's a wood stove, antiques, and lots of small town flavor. If you ever need bread, he is an amazing baker:) I took a few pictures before everyone arrived like this one of some old boxes in the back:

And this one which goes with one of my favorite verses:

Matthew 17:20 (Jesus speaking) I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.
And how does one get faith? Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
I needed to hear tonight, to renew my disheartened spirit. Finally, everyone came and I decided I would showcase all our bibles. It's funny how distinct they can be. Mom's is the one with all the papers and bookmarks and tissues hanging out of it. Gloria's is pink with the pink bookmark. Jonathan's is the large print Good News version, which helps him because he is legally blind. But Tom's is my favorite:) It's the one that's falling apart, which tells me he treasures it. That's the way I hope mine will be someday.

Whether you believe or not, the Bible is filled with wonderful truths that uplift us: Love one another, Do not be afraid, always have hope, and countless promises for our future. So that is what I'm holding onto as another day passes!

Monday, February 23, 2009

A roast beef sandwich and a friendship

This is going to be a little long so beware. When I was 16 years old, I tried out for the softball team. I had really loved baseball as a kid, but it got harder when I was the only girl and I got tired of the boys trying to hit me with pitches. As I grew older, sports teams got very clique-y and I, being quiet and shy, found it hard to try out when everyone else had already been playing together for years. But with some nudging from a wonderful coach, I plucked up the courage to try out and made the varsity team. Because I was the "new kid", it was hard to feel like a part of the team and I was sort of excluded from the regular team camaraderie. One day, my mom brought me a roast beef sandwich. It was a cold day and I was on the bench waiting for my chance to play. I sat down next to a girl who was 3 years younger and was our "team manager", but whom I had never talked to because like me, she seemed shy and quiet. Somehow a blanket found its way to us and we shared it. And then, I offered her half of my sandwich. That was all it took; we became friends quickly as we watched the game and talked and laughed together. Throughout high school and most of college, we stayed in touch, though each of us went our separate ways in life. She came to visit me at Cortland and on my breaks, I would hang out with her. Life went on but we always found our way back to each other somehow. Yesterday, my friend died while waiting for a heart transplant. She was 26 years old. I don't question why, I don't ask what if. I just wonder how it's possible that in life, something as simple as a roast beef sandwich and a blanket can grow into such a deep friendship and a deep love. Isn't God wonderful that he does that for us? Isn't He amazing that He brings the simplest things into our lives and gives us glimpses of their beauty?

I wish you all could have known Kim...she was funny and smart and even though she was always sick, she was strong. She loved basketball and kids and oatmeal cookie dough ice cream (which I don't think they make anymore, but wish they did). Mostly, she just loved being around the people she cared about. Mostly, I think that she just wanted people not to hurt inside. Kim, my dear friend, I'm glad you no longer have to worry about hurting. I'm glad that you no longer have to stay in hospitals and worry about infections and have all those surgeries. But I'm going to miss you so much! Be at peace, friend.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Giving hands

Friends of mine, Judy and Russ Kelly, are leaving on Saturday for a medical mission in the Dominican Republic. Judy is a nurse and has been on missions before in the United States and also in Hati. I took my camera to church today and after church, a bunch of us prayed over her. We did what is known as laying of hands. This is a biblical practice and basically it is when people place their hands on someone and pray for them. It is a very beautiful thing. I remember some of those same people laying hands on me before I went to Africa and it is a wonderful feeling having people place their hands on you and pray really hard for your safety and for your mission. Here are some pictures I got:
The decorative top of the pew with stain glass in the background.

Judy's hands, filled with the love she is bringing with her to the Dominican Republic:
The hands of three lady's, dear to my heart: Judy, Gloria and my mom:
And over all these virtues, put love, which binds them all together in perfect unity
~Colossians 3:14

Saturday, February 21, 2009

out of ideas

This is a book I just started to read and it is really good so far. I'm totally out of ideas for a photo today so this will have to be it:)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Secret Treasures

Today, I was hunting around for things to sell in an upcoming garage sale and I came across many secret treasures, the coolest of which is featured in my photos. I found an old story I wrote as a kid. The frayed, singed edges of the paper are not something I did intentionally. They are the result of a fire. We lost our home in a fire about nearly 11 years ago and many of the things we now treasure as a family are marred by these faded firey edges. There are some things that survived and these fragments from my childhood are one of them. I wrote as a child to escape, to find a new world where imagination and happiness were as plentiful as the stars. These restless sheets are, for me, a return to that world. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
(I used a noise filter for the grainy look and also sharpened them up a little. Enlarge to see!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hands part two

What can I say? This week, I've been entranced by hands...well particularly the hands of myself and my boyfriend. We both have a lot on our minds right now, but somehow our hands just seem to find each other. Ick, I know how goofy I must sound so I'll stop now and just let you look at the pics!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Last storm of the winter, I hope!

Homebound for most of the day due to 2 flat tires and a cold, I tried to think of what I would take a picture of today. Then, I looked outside and oh my gosh! SNOW! Okay, this is it, the last storm of the winter because I'm totally ready for spring.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


When people come into our lives, they leave behind something like a fingerprint. It is an imprint of themselves and it helps shape who we are and what we become. No matter how brief the time we get with them, they still leave their mark in different ways. I hope it makes you think...what mark am I leaving on the lives of others? What will my fingerprint be?

(I used a paint filter on these that is only visible if you enlarge. Since I finally figured out how to get my pictures to enlarge, you should now be able to click on them!)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Adventurers R me!

I have always been fascinated by the lure of a good adventure. I love books about buried treasure, clues, and archeology. A few years ago, I bought a book about ancient Egyptian beliefs and symbols and I still love to browse through and read the myths. I have a cartouche with my name in hieroglyphs as well as an Egyptian wedding ring. Today, I combined them with an old journal made of leather and parchment for an "Indiana Jones" like effect. I love the brown of the journal, the shadows cast by the ring and pendant and the texture of the old paper. The combination of all three makes me want to solve a mystery that will lead me to the greatest treasure of all time! Incidently, a few days ago, a man was looking at the Texas coast using google earth and he spotted a strange thing...what looks like a pirate ship buried beneath a piece of Texas coastline, where a Spanish ship carrying all sorts of gold and jewels was thought to have sunk in 1822. The owners of the land, however, won't give permission for a dig!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Return of the eye

Here is my mom's eye and Jonathan's too, just for the heck of it:) Always the clown, Jonathan could barely keep a straight face when I asked him to pose!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saturday in the park

Spent a short amount of time in Washington Park after visiting a friend in the hospital:

Friday, February 13, 2009

The amazing new trophy has arrived!

Well here it is! The wonderful new trophy! Isn't it the coolest thing you have ever seen? It stands about a foot tall and fits just perfectly in my hand. Guess I'll have to keep it forever:)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Couldn't find a key!

I thought I would post a key today since that is the assignment for the day, but I discovered that I have no cool looking or special keys! What I SHOULD have posted was the most amazing trophy ever to grace our club. Steve totally went all out in replacing the trophy for the photo group. I mean, this thing is like THE trophy of all time, better than a grammy:) See tomorrow's post for a picture of the trophy. Anyway, back to today, I took a picture of a necklace instead of a key.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lesson learned

I took Joel Mac's advice and bought some inexpensive macro rings online for the model of camera I am using. However, it is a good thing they are cheap because apparently, the camera won't recognize that I have the lens attached to the rings and therefore, I can't change my f stop at all. I had to spend quite a while online to figure this all out. Long story short, I won't be able to get those closeups I want unless I spring for better rings. Think I'll hold off until I save enough money for my chosen camera. Lesson learned, and ugly picture to prove it: the inside of my car headline with the rings...ugh!!!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Well, I'd spend some serious time gloating over my victorious win of the coveted photo grammy of the greater tri-county area (or is it dual-county) but I am too tired and actually there is one thing that happened tonight that TRUMPS the photo trophy. I know, the travesty! What could possibly top the winning of that shiny, priceless, somewhat magicial and destiny touched object of all of our affections? Well...if you must ask...I've been offered an opportunity to speak about my Africa experience in Virginia Beach over spring break. Everytime I talk about it, it is like the biggest gift to me. I know that sounds weird, but it is hard to explain.

Back to the trophy...AHHHHHHH...the pain of disappointment...the anxiety of the moments just before...the thrill of unbridled victory!!!!! Okay, enough of that! My post is lame, but not because of the subject. Steve surreptiously checks for faulty names from the drawing. Seriously though, I feel a little guilty winning. His dedication and creativity alone should earn him at the very least a mini photo grammy!

(Photo deleted...sorry Steve! Hope you aren't too mad at me!)

Monday, February 9, 2009


Most of the windows in the new house have now been replaced. They are very beautiful and they make the house very quiet:) But as I was leaving after checking on the heat tonight, I noticed the few windows that have not been replaced in the garage...
and they were just as beautiful as the new ones were!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Experimenting for my year long project.

Okay, I'm not letting the cat out of the bag yet, but I have decided on my year long project for the photo club. It is going to require a half picture of my face and a half picture of my mothers. She doesn't know it yet, but she is about to become a huge part of my project. So today I was experimenting with self portrait and editing. The resulting picture is just some practice for me. I'm not really all that happy with it, but I'll keep working in it. Any suggestions?

3:23PM: Trish's suggestion as a square cropping plus flipped horizontally:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A quiet day

I'm glad today was quiet because I'm really a bit run down! While I was waiting for my brother to pick me up so that we could go get a washing machine for the new house, I had a moment of exquisite sunshine on the porch and here is what I got from it:
Who would have thought that melting snow and ice could be such a comforting feeling? :)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The hodge-podge of my daily life!

Here is a rushed couple of pictures because I have a meeting tonight. My desk at school:)

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