Friday, September 28, 2012

Vintage for Here

Our kitchen has served us well over the years. Early on we added an under counter television in the prep area which made this corner a much less routine place to be while hashing through cooking and dishes. Often, when I wasn't in the room, one of the kids would climb up, grab a snack and settle in for some quality tv time. Now, no one is small enough to perch on the counter itself, but finding this image brought back memories of open jars of peanut butter and empty ice cream cartons with sticky spoons resting inside.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Lost and Found in Sleepy Hollow

We recently had a sad turn of events. On Wednesday, following a day of wicked stormy weather,  I discovered that the door to our pet rabbit Napoleon's outdoor hutch was open and our beloved bunny was nowhere to be found. We looked high and low. Gone. As he's been part of our family for many years, this was very upsetting. We've been worried sick wondering if we will ever see Napoleon again.    

This morning, Sarah and I went out in search of yard sales. Tarrytown held its annual village wide tag sale so lots of places to poke around. Almost home, we noticed our neighbor Kim was having a sale in her driveway. While chatting, Kim inquired "Is anyone missing a black and white rabbit?" Sarah and I were amazed to hear that Napoleon had been hanging out in her yard for the last few days and that Kim had been concerned enough to put out food and water. Sure enough, hiding in her bushes was Napoleon.

And now- he is safe at home. A happy and unexpected ending here in Sleepy Hollow.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Still Life and Me

I've been doing some very detailed still lives lately of a new line of skin care products and it can make you a little crazy trying to get every detail exactly right. A good project for a (could-be) perfectionist at heart.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Check your Files Please

I am looking for a lovely and natural image of children in Lapland at Christmas. The picture should feel relaxed, friendly and unposed as much as possible.

I receive regular emails from a few firms that send out queries for images they are seeking for books covers and other applications like packaging and advertising. This recent request jumped out at me. I wonder what the submissions for this one will look like.......

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Wisdom from Max

When your ship comes in, you might have to swim out to it.

For those with the desire and disposable income

As we speak, there is a sale on Gilt of Estate Fine Jewelry by David Yurman. The stuff is selling like hot cakes. No kidding. His craft as a designer is truly special, and just because there's no way I could afford one (and not likely any time soon), it doesn't mean I wouldn't be thrilled to own one of his pieces. His jewelry is simply beautiful to wear and to behold.

Monday, September 17, 2012


I live in a small town. I'm not a very large player in my small town. I've never run for elected office, I don't hang out with notorious individuals, I don't sleep with any one else's husband (or wife). I kind of go along doing my own thing. Take photos, write my blog, take care of my kids, keep the home fires burning, aspire to be happy with my spouse. But sometimes, I can tick people off.  How do I do this? Usually, I refuse to roll and go along. If I am p*ssed off- I might let other people know. How unseemly of me, you know, to stand up for myself. After all, isn't that what good girls do- capitulate, compromise, act nice? So, something happened that upset me- and I let the people involved know. And now, I might have stirred a pot. Kind of threatening comments were made to my husband (who avoids conflict like the plague) that I better shut up. So I will. But not before I call attention to how weird this whole thing is. As the victim of a series of unfortunate events which will now no longer ever be disclosed, I am now the bad guy. You have to love it. You couldn't make this stuff up. No, it's better just to go with the flow, trivialize how you feel you were treated, look at the big picture, and whatever you do, don't ever make someone else unhappy even as you have been wronged. Turns out, that's not allowed. Ever.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A tale of two restaurants

Yesterday, for my birthday, we wanted to have a nice family gathering. I am a planner by nature- so I planned a dinner for our collected group of twelve at a restaurant in Tarrytown called Mint Premium Foods. I went in a few days earlier, made a reservation, devised a menu so that there would no ordering. The food would come, we would eat, drink and be merry. All would be good in the world.
Fast forward to a day or two in advance, and a manager from Mint asked if we could move our reservation up an hour- from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. so that they could accommodate a party (neighbours of ours) who wanted to come at 6 p.m. but, they would be out by 7:30. They promised. No worries.
I called my neighbor yesterday to confirm the game plan. She assured me. "We will be out by 7:30. We know you are expecting the table. No worries."

I had a very nice day yesterday. My eldest was home for the weekend from school. I heard from distant family members. A lovely orchid was delivered. My good friend, Liza, dropped by unexpectedly with a great planter she had created and decorated à la meWhen I walked into Mint, there was my friend and her guests, but at 10 to 8, they were all still sitting at the table. But no worries, the table was cleared, their napkins crumpled. I can be an easy going gal when required. It's all going to work out. Just a minor delay. Then my friend hops up from the table. "We haven't had our entrees yet. But, no worries, we will be out of here. Go have a drink (you and your party of 12) and we'll be out of here as soon as possible."

Down the street, on what turned out to be a mild evening, we found an empty table outside for six at the Tarry Tavern. We cobbled a few tables together and made calls to people parking cars. "Plan B. Come here. We are having a drink outside while we wait." Being of the ear to the ground types, we learn at 8:30 that the party that had gathered at 6 in Mint still hadn't had their entrees.
We knew that this dinner at Mint was no longer going to happen but no one at Mint seemed to care. No one suggested they find someplace else for us to go. No one at Mint suggested "Can we do this all over again, at your convenience, at our expense?"  Luckily, while sorting out our options over our drinks outside, the Tarry Tavern said they would be happy to seat our party. They had no problems uncorking and pouring the wine my husband had bought and delivered to Mint earlier in the day. Tarry Tavern could not have been more gracious. Okay, it was just a dinner, but how often do you turn 60, fly your kid in from school, bring relatives in from out of town to gather for a festive meal?

And the folks at Mint, were, not unsurprisingly, "very sorry", even as they were completely inept in managing their business and meeting their commitments. Lesson learned. So, if I am very lucky, I will never experience this level of dysfunction again when trying to create a special gathering for family and friends. And hopefully, neither will any of you.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Happy Birthday (70's style)

My birthday is tomorrow. So, in the effort to acknowledge my milestones and others', I am particularly touched by this image from Betsey Johnson's 70th birthday party. I have a ways to go until I am 70, but I'd certainly like to experience her level of excitement, happiness and flexibility whenever a birthday comes along, especially as the years tick by. So, Happy Birthday, Betsey! You go girl!! An inspiration here in Sleepy Hollow, for sure.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Growing up is hard to do

In every life there are conflicts resolved and unresolved, seen and unseen. So, in this regard I am hardly unique. I am at odds more than I like, and while I do not seek conflict, historically I always felt I had to accommodate, gloss over, to stay liked (or hopefully loved). I have taken my share of crap delivered from all kinds of individuals and it never fails to land and wound. Somewhere along the line, something in me morphed. No, I didn't pick up a weapon or deliver deadly force, but I didn't want to be that person, that girl who always has to please, even as she feels prevailed upon. Some friends have left my life, and while they leave a gap, it's survivable. Within my family, there are the usual testy exchanges. Kids throw their weight around, we all are less than perfect. But, when I am on the outs with a family member, the pain of the conflict rises up and makes my chest feel tight. It's moving through the anguish, of trying to remind myself that I need to be true to myself more than I need to capitulate. I will survive the terse exchanges and lack of good will. Eventually, the thaw will come. It's more the history of feeling less than, of others being more so, and how this stress can undo me.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Inadequate Me

Lisa Belkin recently wrote a fascinating blogpost about the Obamas' parenting rules vis à vis their daughters, the two first children Saskia and Malia. I am in awe of Michelle's ability to dictate what her girls do or don't do- and frankly, as she is the wife of the commander in chief, I shouldn't be amazed at all. Afterall, if her husband has figured out how to get hired to run the county, it should be a no brainer that she can have such a tight grip on two girls aged 14 and 11. I think if as a kid, my dad's job included calling The White House your primary residence, I would get that what my parents say, goes. Still, here in Sleepy Hollow, I am routinely locking horms with my kids on matters large and small and while I can be pretty unwavering on the big stuff, ethics, conduct and morals- when it comes to screen time or an unwillingess to do sports after school, I can't always prevail.  So, once again, an opportunity to do better as I seek to accept myself as a parent, faults and all.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Show Time

I love libraries. They have always played an integral part of my life and since my childhood, weekly visits to our local library have constituted one of my favorite routines. My parents encouraged us by sharing their appreciation of all things written and those outings with them to their favorite branch where I grew up in suburban Cleveland, Ohio etched special memories of curling up in the children's section, the possibility of all those books whose titles beckoned to me and which made for many happy hours of discovering the bounty of the printed word.
We have a wonderful library in our community and it seemed a perfect place to install an exhibition of my images that I have created locally over the past few years. Titled "Our Towns", it is my love letter of sorts to where we reside, featuring the many lively people, their activities and their endeavors that make these villages along the Hudson River so special.
Later today, there will will be an opening from 3-5 p.m. and I look forward to seeing the faces of strangers and friends alike as they peruse the photographs, hopefully discover someone they know depicted and enjoy my efforts. So, if you are nearby, stop in at The Warner Library, say hello and take a look. I'll be happy to see you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Kind Words from a Good Friend

                     (My good friend Joyce, has been reading my blog since I began this effort in    
                 2010. I asked her if she would write what she enjoys about my blog and to     
                 pick a few favorite images. Below find her thoughts which I am honored to 
                share with you.)

                      "Curb Appeal in Sleepy Hollow" is a rich story of family life that I have
                      followed from its beginning in January of 2010. I love seeing Dorothy's fine,
                      professional photographs and the stories that accompany them. I am an avid 
                      follower because I know I'll be refreshed by the sense of well-being that 
                      accompanies each entry.

                   Through the seasons, comings and goings, ups and downs, and many excursions
                   Dorothy's internal gyroscope returns the world and her active household of 5 to
                   its rightful place in a few carefully crafted paragraphs.


                     The quality of this blog reminds me of why I read The New Yorker. It often 
                     reveals interesting topics and is always dependably executed. Talent to
                     achieve these ends is a given, but being dependable through almost 350
                     entries is truly rare.

                     There are many who consider creating a record of their lives, and there 
                     are a few who actually try. But very, very few who deliver a record as
                     potent as this one. Brava, Dorothy.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Back to School Countdown (is here)

We are in the midst of a spate of Wuthering Heights weather- where the sky is gray and foreboding and  the light outdoors fluctuates from dark to darker. The leaves swoosh in the wind and staying indoors seems infinitely attractive. Nature's latest turn renders us introspective, able to decipher lengthy paragraphs without needing to burst outside for fresh air. Now is the back to school countdown. In less than 48 hours my darlings Sarah and Jacob will be grumbling and socializing like mad. It's lovely to pause now, and appreciate our humble (and messy) home, our comforts, each other, and the fascination that future events hold. Wishing you similar happiness and excitement from our cloudy berth in Sleepy Hollow.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Lakes, bikes and automobiles

Had a little family road trip up near Lake George in the Adirondack Mountains for a few days. James, Sarah, Jacob and I made our way to a rental house. A nice chance to explore a region new to us. While the guys went biking, Sarah and I went thrifting at yard sales along the country roads.The area was lightly populated, lots of sunshine and the best part were the wonderful lakes. We fell in love with Schroon Lake and spent an afternoon on a motor boat where tubing, water skiing, swimming and sunning prevailed. It was great to be on the water, something I've missed. Heading home, we checked out Sarataoga Springs and visited their state park. Situated within the park is a gem of a car museum. James was intrigued by the vintage automobiles and displays.  Couldn't resist making some arty shots of a Pierce Arrow hood ornament and a few luxurious interiors from yesteryear. Looking at old cars makes my husband happy and I like that.