Tuesday, August 31, 2010


It's another steamy sunny day and I am slowed down by it all. Sitting by the fan, pouring over papers and trying to get things in order I indulge in a guilty pleasure. A while ago I bought Season 1 & 2 of Mad Men and decided to plunge in. Pretty entertaining to see how they depict the world of advertising in the fifties. Everyone always seem to have a drink or a cigarette in their hand! I am looking forward to fall and the kids being engaged in school and my mind clear to forge ahead. Determination is a curious thing in that it requires a steadfast commitment to maintain confidence. I know there will be lots of dead ends and wrong turns- let's see if I can continue to bounce back.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Day at Play with Andrea


I went to Morristown this morning to spend the day photographing with Andrea Lekberg at her bakery. We are in the planning stages of a couple of project ideas that we have, so we spent the day laying groundwork by experimenting with my camera and her baked goods. She was very well prepared and her elements, cakes, pastries and savories worked out great. We took a break to go to Century 21 located steps away from her shop where she bought a new mascara. Being the resourceful gal that she is, she got her make-up done while we were there. Anytime I can shoot a portrait where my subject has been prepped for the camera- wow, so much easier. Anyways, we worked really well together and enjoyed collaborating. What a pleasant way to spend a day. Making beautiful images in lovely surroundings of delicacies. Now that's a treat!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Pool

I've been swimming a lot this summer. Back and forth in the lap lane- stretching and kicking and feeling a kind of zen-like trance come over me. In the water I feel timeless and it's easy to connect to all the years that I have sought the peace of being submerged. Often, in the middle of a lap my mind will wander effortlessly from concern, to thought, to daydreams so deep that I forget where I am. When I touch the wall it's the jolt of re-entry. Pushing off to commence another lap I feel liberated from all the anxieties that can weigh me down. What a marvel a solitary lap swim can be.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back from Camp

The temperature has dropped lately and the days are golden and agreeable. My middle child Sarah returned from camp on the west coast last night and she looked radiant and well. She wrapped her arms around me when she arrived and for a moment I felt very loved. Covering the top of her head with kisses (yes. I am still taller than her... for now) I felt the relief of all parents when you let your children leave on an adventure and they come back healthy and even better for the experiences that leaving home can provide. The summers are always a challenging time for me. When your means are modest to limited to virtually non-existent there is tremendous pressure to create the opportunities that make those months off from school more than a series of lazy days spent marking time. One of the harder aspects of parenthood is the profound inadequacy you feel when you face limited resources. We can't give them all the weeks at camp, the car, the theatre tickets and vacations they desire that so define life for the upper middle class of Westchester County. Will they be better people because of this? Do they wish they had a different set of parents with Wall Street jobs and the income to boot? It'd hard to say. Our town is full of have and have not's and what I am able to give them is truly given from the heart. This morning, entering Sarah's room and seeing her strong tanned legs as she sprawled sleeping happily in her bed made me think maybe we are doing okay after all- by virtue of the fact that we are doing the best we can.


I have been spending the bulk of my time lately re-examining my life, my images and my relationships. It's not really fun and not particularly rewarding. It's trying to figure out how recent and not so recent events led me to how I am feeling now- a little sad, bewildered, determined and confused. Quite a mindset for this contemporary woman. I know with the right attitude I am capable of doing so much and wonder what is the source of the pain and depths of sadness that can pierce me so thoroughly. It's certainly a part of the human condition- to look inward and outward at the same time. I am probably spending way too much alone preoccupied with my thoughts. Knowing a solution is one thing- and making it happen is another.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Parenthood 201

Nora took Jacob out to dinner. It's all reminiscent of family life in Cleveland Heights when I would go out and about with friends. It never occurred to me to wonder what my folks were doing, if anything, at home. It's a curious aspect of coming of age- you need your parents and when you arrive at that curve of growing up- you don't really need them anymore. Or so you think. My eldest child is quite mature. Especially in her own mind. I would love to feel close to her again and usually feel an odd distance around her- as though she is tolerating my presence. So, a lot of wistfulness these days. I definitely need to move beyond this and to the next chapter. When you wait like I did to become a mother, you are not exactly prepared for feeling unnecessary overnight. Welcome to Parenthood 201. Time to hunt for a study guide to this phase, if one exists.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The New Driver


So, another milestone has come to pass. I took Nora to take her road test for her driver's license and she passed on her first try- so my first born is now free to wander the roads behind the wheel of a car. It is amazing how obsolete you can feel as a parent when your kids spread their wings. At the pool, watching the toddlers run from the water to their mothers' laps made me a little wistful for how necessary I once felt and feel no longer. Everything they say is true- how it flies by and all that. It's the constant adjusting of self that parenthood requires. Once upon a time my children would perish were it not for my direct support of their existence. Now, as their advisor I am required on an as needed basis. The challenge then is to embark on the chapter that awaits me next. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Jones Beach


We managed a family outing yesterday and it was lovely. When the kids were small- family outings were challenging but somehow easier. Kids under 12 do what they are told to do. Now, with the advent of years, the trips get a lot more difficult to pull off. "Why do I have to go?", "I hate doing that!", ""Can I bring a friend?"- well all the conflict makes me want to pick up a book and.....stay home. Nora and Jacob came along willingly. When I asked Jacob to grab a movie for the car he suggested we all talk instead. What a beautiful remark to a mother's ears. We arrived at Jones Beach a little after 4 when the parking fee was no longer required. Found a great spot on the beach and plunked ourselves down. A little body surfing in the delicious water, frisbee, walks and relaxing on the sand. An uneventful frugalista trip to the ocean. After quick showers at home- smiles all around. Sometimes family life isn't stressful at all.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Ebay & Me

One of my lesser known activities is my life on Ebay where I have been mostly selling odd collectibles from my own stash or treasures I pick up along the way.  So, in some small way I am a retailer in the tradition of my two grandfathers. I am restless to generate extra income to keep the family's coffers stoked and alive. We are not in a desperate condition but practicality must prevail. I am in possession of talents, utility & ample good sense and I must employ them to their fullest benefit to keep us afloat.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Barbara Nessim

I went to the city the other day to photograph Barbara Nessim with her artworks that are installed in the Eventi Hotel located at 30th and Sixth Avenue. Her artwork looked stunning and she was prepared and it all went fine. It's a little wierd to work in a hotel where you have people walking through your shots and essentially being in public the whole time. Barbara was great in front of the camera. She agreed to pay for Rhona whom I brought in with me to do her hair and make-up. It's a real blessing for me to have a support person with me when I am trying to shoot. Later, leaving the hotel we encountered the wicked heat that has so defined this summer. Arriving home, I had to stop and sit in the breeze of the fan and gather my wits about me. It takes a certain cool to pull these things off.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Out of Town

James and I got to go away Friday night to visit our friends Joyce and Gerry at their place in the country. We debated on whether or not to make Jacob go- but decided to let him stay home when Nora announced she would be responsible for him. In light of the plans, we left Comet home and peeled away effortlessly north up route 9 and across the Bear Mountain bridge to 17. What an amazing way to travel across the river and not have to deal with Tarrytown or the Tappan Zee on a Friday night in August.
It was so relaxing to be away. No crises appeared to challenge our ease- and getting a break from the stress of the everyday was truly welcomed by us both. Always happy to help but not in charge I found myself roaming with my camera in Joyce's beautiful garden at twilight when the flowers are their very most fragile and evocative. I cherish the moments when I can concentrate on my craft. The images themselves take me to a place that is mine and everyone's at the same time.