Monday, April 28, 2014

A Day Spent in Pursuit

I spent the day in a domestic whirl between the kitchen and the computer- laboring in front of the stove, looking through my camera, working my magic in Photoshop and wrangling with Indesign. I've got an ongoing fascination with kitchen towels and Spoonflower has a contest for a design that features one of "Mom's Recipes". The brownies idea came courtesy of Andrea of  The Artist Baker and my eldest obliged me by making my butterscotch morsels look even more appetizing after she applied her digital talents.

I remember once, heading out to photograph years back, and my parents wondered whether I was obsessed or possessed.

Does it really matter in the end?

Thursday, April 24, 2014

For Nora (E.)

I've tried to change. I really have. I no longer feel my heart speed up when I see a yard sale sign. I know I could be missing out, but then again, what with all junk stuff we own that occupies much of the available space we have, there's nothing I currently desire that comes with a price tag attached (cosmic meaning inferred). My daughter Sarah on the other hand can comb racks of used clothes for what feels like days at a time (I might be exaggerating) while I usually lose interest within the first ten minutes. Then I'll wander over to the books in hopes of finding some first edition of Harry Potter that's worth an astronomical sum and could possibly finance the next year of college tuitions (and if you think I am kidding look it up yourself). During our whirlwind weekend to St. Petersburg, Florida, Sarah and I made a visit to a popular local thrift store. I failed to find any English china, mid-century treasure or linen dish towels and so made my way to the books. Combing all the titles I chanced upon Nora Ephron's  I Feel Bad About My Neck. Suddenly, the whole excursion seemed completely worthwhile for I had found a title I've long wanted to read.

Now I am sad after devouring her book as she died way too young. We have been robbed of her comic genius. I'm not a fan of turtlenecks, and I've stopped coloring my hair but in some strange way I'm glad I named my eldest Nora. At the time it had nothing to do with this extremely  talented woman, but if my daughter's wit, sass and humor approach anything as immense as Nora Ephron's- that would be a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Ladies Lunch

Sometimes in the midst of my "suburban splendor" I forget how much I like the energy and vitality of the city. Yesterday, my friend Laura arranged a gathering that included Joyce, Michele and myself where we four swapped stories and recent highs and lows over a delicious lunch. Life with kids means meals are often acts of necessity and trying to stay connected as time hurtles us all forward. It made me appreciate the companionship of these smart and caring ladies, the pleasures of a smooth linen tablecloth, a comfy banquette and unhurried service. I need this stimulation to feed the parts of me that having nothing to do with managing house and family. So good for the soul! (and many thanks to Laura for treating us all to the occasion.)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

When it hurts to try

I feel completely unprepared for the status quo of family life circa 2014. Years earlier, our merry band of three offspring was a dream come true. Taking care of them brought a lot of joy- perhaps in retrospect, too much. Now, as our two remaining kids at home approach 18 and 16, parenthood has become a painful endeavor. They excel at distance until they need something and then they woo with professional skill. And I determined not to abandon my post, know that they are probably ridiculing me behind my back.

The odds are good that life will deteriorate further until they finally leave the nest. And then what? Frank Bruni wrote the loveliest essay in the Times today about the importance of his family ties and how much they all mean to each other. In truth I harbor secret dreams that my family could function in a loving way but lately that seems as likely as world peace. Instead I seek the solace of my many imperfections. Much easier than co-habitating with these fledgling adults once so easy to love.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A new set of wheels

In the world of leasing vehicles, when the end of the term arrives, you have three choices. Turn the car in and walk away, buy the car in your possession or move along to something new. Car companies being the brilliant marketers that they are, make it ridiculously simple to surrender the car and lease a brand new one. The upside (for me) of this new addition is that our kids are not allowed to drive it, creating one less opportunity for mayhem of any degree among our offspring. I can't see any downside in telling an able bodied and often self-centered human that there is something they can't have. (Anyways, it's good practice for another reality check for the zealous young adults among us- to accept that they can't have everything they want- because mom and dad said "No.") I'd like to think that all the work, sacrifice and tedium of parenthood has a few perks. After all, you watch your kids become more savvy, more good looking, more entitled, as you, mom and dad, become older and well, more older. So, this navy blue sexy creature with its off white leather interior that is the latest arrival to our driveway will mostly serve as mom's set of wheels.  And that new car smell is something I will definitely savor for as long as it lasts.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Return of the Hastings Flea!

For anyone living on the east coast, to say it's been a long winter is a huge understatement. At some point, during one of those interminable stormy days, I started organizing piles of "collectibles", "furnishings" and"interesting stuff" that I will be selling this Sunday at the Hastings Flea in you guessed right, Hastings NY. We've been through our share of cabin fever this year and while I enjoy my family (mostly), I'm looking forward to all the folks who will be turning out as well after hunkering down indoors for the last three + months. Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Orchids (Key West style)

My friend Lisa M. and I made the pilgrimage to the NY Botanic's Orchid Show today and it was an extravaganza in tropical shades of color. Sometimes it's hard to figure out how to craft images that are remotely unique and interesting despite the exotic subject matter so I won't bore you more than necessary with my efforts.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

My college bound mermaid meets some real ones

I thought the highlight of coming to Florida would be visiting Eckerd College where our middle child Sarah will enter as a freshman this fall. It certainly wasn't counting the billboards for attorneys (Wrongful Death? Call Today!) or should your house disappear in to the ground (#1 in Sinkhole Remedies!!). I knew Sarah was intent on seeing the mermaid performance at Weeki Wachi and we made the pilgrimage direct from the airport. This weekend has been everything I imagined including hot and sunny and I for one (and probably not my daughter) am looking forward to heading home.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Leaving town

Tomorrow my daughter Sarah and I head to Florida to visit the college she plans to attend this fall. It's been grey and chilly for weeks now and the prospect of sunshine, turquoise waters, and warm breezes fills me with excitement for the chance to get away. I haven't travelled nearly as much as I would like (taking five people anywhere is not a simple proposition) and I'm the weird kind of parent who didn't relish leaving her kids to head off solo. So an adventure- yes! Something new to see- yes! And the company of my almost all grown up child for three days should prove to be a bonding experience. I hope.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sick Day

My youngest is home today, too ill to go to school. (Nothing like a weekend out and about wearing a hoodie in the chilly wet weather- yes the mind of a teenaged boy.) Last night, he was too sick to fall asleep and I left him at midnight watching reruns of Modern Family and trying to sack out. It's day three of whatever ails him and it's time to go see the doctor. It's probably viral and he'll have to ride it out.
Watching him down for the count, craving the comfort of restless slumber, I'm glad my life allows me to take care of him myself. Privilege sometimes appears as the most mundane of things when you know where to find it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Family Happiness (photographically speaking)

Last summer I travelled to Long Island to photograph a lovely couple and their sons who were spending a month in New York visiting family. I was hired for this sitting when I reconnected with an old friend who wanted to gift her niece this portrait session with me. 

My son Jacob came along to help and the shoot went well but driving back, we hit terrible traffic on Northern Boulevard and it took forever to get home. Made me glad that we live in Sleepy Hollow and all the open space our laid-back village along the Hudson provides.