A Visit to the Aquarium with Teens

•27 August, 2014 • Leave a Comment


It was my daughter Clare’s 16th birthday and she requested that we take a trip to the Maritime Aquarium in Norwalk, CT. We haven’t been there in a very long time. Our last visit was when Clare was turning 12 and she and I had a girl’s day out to see the newly arrived Meerkat exhibit.

This is what she looked like back then — just 4 years ago but almost a lifetime.




We were sitting at our side by side desks in the hallway outside our bedrooms when she asked if we could go. Nick, the older brother, who has been “too old” to hang out with his mother and sister for quite a while now, was passing by us on his way up to his lair on the third floor. I casually asked if he wanted to join us, expecting him to say “No,” and pleasantly surprised when he answered, “Yes.” 

While I hoped we could get out early the next day, I wasn’t surprised when both of my offspring were still awake at 1:30 am and still in bed at 11 am the next morning. With some coaxing and prodding and waiting, by mid-afternoon we were finally in the car and on our way. 

I was pleased by how much each of my kids were looking forward to this visit to the Aquarium and even more than that, how pleasant they were being to each other. Could this be a turning point as my son approaches 20? I have my fingers crossed on that. When was the last time they were really sweet with each other? It was like a peek forward to how they could be as adult siblings and a glimpse back to how they were as children. It was a bittersweet moment for me, one that I’m not sure I can sufficently express in words.


The highlight of our trip was the Lorikeet exhibit. Sadly, the Lorikeets are leaving after this weekend. If I had known how much fun they were, I would have gone to visit sooner and more often. It was sweet to see Nick and how much he enjoyed his interactions with the playful, curious and amusing little birds.



Nick was a big attraction for the birds. They liked his hat and probably, the fact that he was so tall. They flocked to him and he was in his glory. At one point there were 5 of them on his head and shoulders. 


I focused on taking pictures while from time to time, a bird would land on my head, crawl around for a bit and then hop off again. Clare had her share of bird attention as well. They were very attracted to her pink hair! 


I could have spent the entire day taking pictures and playing with the birds; it was like being in bird heaven, although it was a heaven filled with lots of bird poop.

After we got our fill of the birds, we wandered around the Aquarium, seeing things we had seen before and some things that were new. Clare petted the sharks and the manta rays in the touch tank and even petted a jellyfish or two. We watched the tiny meerkats digging and sleeping and digging and sleeping. We saw the seals lounging on the rocks after a good meal. We expressed how we should make the trip to the Aquarium again soon. 

It was a good day and I am pretty sure, a good birthday for Clare. I’m thinking that there may not be too many more of these family trips in our future and I am hoping I can make time for them while we still can. Kind of bittersweet, isn’t it? 


A quick trip to the City

•15 April, 2014 • Leave a Comment


The plan was to take my daughter and her friend into New York City to spend the day. We were doing pretty well in the morning right up until the time when we got into the car and started driving  to pick up Clare’s friend and head to the train station. That’s when the red warning light came on and my car complained that my front passenger side tire was going flat. I had a moment where I thought I could just ignore it (just like Penny does with her check engine light) but my better judgement said to turn around. It was a good thing we did because the danged thing went flat as a pancake right after we pulled in the driveway. Lucky for me, I have a hubby who loves me and was willing to take care of it while I grabbed the other car and we headed back on our way. It wasn’t meant to be a quick trip — we were hoping for a long leisurely day. However,  it seems my daughter’s friend had homework she neglected to turn in. Fairly important homework that meant the difference between passing and failing a class or two. At least that’s what I gleaned from the frantic texts from her parents I got while sitting on the train. Also, from the rather loud conversation she was having with them when they finally reached her on the phone. Turns out that even with the shortened day, we had just enough time.


It was a beautiful gift of a day. The weather was warm even though the sky was overcast. It was a relief to have a day to enjoy after the miserable winter we endured. The girls didn’t have much on their list of things to do. Their number one item was a trip to the Nintendo Store near Rockefeller Center, a trip I have made more times than I would like to admit and wasn’t looking forward to at all.  The lovely thing about going with 2 teen girls was I didn’t have to go in with them. I dropped them off at the entrance to the store and wandered off on my own to Anthropologie to do a little uninterrupted browsing.

Was it that I lost track of time or did they not stay at the Ninetendo Store for as long as I had expected? Before I knew it, they were texting and asking me where I was so they could get on with their day.


The next item on their agenda was a trip to the MoMA. Clare and I hadn’t been there in a long time. There really wasn’t anything I was anxious to see but I thought we’d catch up anyway. I have to say, I was underwhelmed. That said, I didn’t venture up to the main exhibit, Gaugain Metamorpheses. It just didn’t call to me. I saw the Photography exhibit and was not impressed. I wandered through the Member’s Preview area and couldn’t find anything that resonated there either. I think the place I liked the best was one of the smallest exhibits: A Collection of Ideas. Here’s the description from the MoMA website: “The galleries feature clusters of acquisitions that tackle, for instance, the relationship between design and violence; new expressions of organic design in response to environmental and societal disruptions; and the increasing importance of interaction design, as seen in 8 video games new to the collection.” The first image on this post of the two girls, is from that exhibit.


I love the MoMA and I love looking at Art, even if I don’t like the Art. I’ll still go back for more. After the museum we did the obligatory visit to the Design Store and then made our way back to Grand Central Station to catch an early train home.


As we walked down Madison Ave, we came across a store selling Japanese Sweets. Everything was so beautiful, I couldn’t resist a minute or two spent browsing and taking a few pictures. In case you are ever in the area it’s here: Minamoto Kitchoan


By then, my miserable knee was acting up and it was all I could do to keep walking to Grand Central and get on the train to come home. Despite the less than stellar start to the day, we all had a lovely time. I am thinking that I may not need to be such a tag along after this and that is kind of a scary thought. My kids are pretty much old enough to get around the city on their own. OY.


I saved this picture to post last, not because I have much to say about it but because it was my favorite picture of the day. I hope you like it, too!

A year later.

•27 January, 2014 • Leave a Comment



It’s been a little over a year since my Mom passed from this world. The family gathered at my Dad’s house on the anniversary of her death and we remembered her, talked about her, shared memories and gave each other support. It was a bittersweet and difficult day for all of us.

As I drove down to my Dad’s house a year later, I was transported back in time to the day of her death.  I had gotten a phone call and I knew she was dying but hoped she’d hang on long enough for me to arrive and say one last “I love you” and “goodbye.” She didn’t. My Dad left the house for a break from his vigil, headed for the grocery store, I can only assume, at the urging of the very intuitive and caring Hospice aide. Cookie knows all about these things and probably felt that my Mom needed the space and time to make her transistion without having to worry about my Dad or me being there to distract her from leaving. She left while noone was around except for the Hospice workers and Bev, who had cared for her full time when she could no longer take care of herself. My Dad called me while I was still in the car to tell me she was gone.

We arrived at the house for the memorial and in my mind, it was the year before and I was walking into the house, knowing that my Mother had died and wondering how I could walk into her room, see her body but not have her there with me any longer. I sat with her. I kissed her. I cried and I apologized for not being able to take away any of her pain and for not being there more often. We kept her body with us for as long as we could but soon she was taken away to be prepared for her funeral which in the Jewish faith, needed to happen within just a few days. The hardest thing was watching them take her away.

Her memorial was difficult but it was comforting to be spending it with family and friends who loved and miss my Mother as much as I do.

My Dad, my Aunt and my cousins and I all shared stories and memories of my Mother and it was lovely to hear how each of them remembered her. I appreciated the things that everyone chose to share about how my Mother touched their lives. One of the stories that came up was the tradition my Mother started of making a baby quilt for each new member of the family. Each of the babies born received a lovely handmade quilt. All except for the youngest, Grace. My mother was working on a quilt for Grace but couldn’t get it finished before she lost her ability to do the things she loved the most. She could no longer knit or sew or quilt and so for years, Grace’s quilt sat unfinished in a bag in a closet. After my Mother passed, I had every intention of picking up the quilt and finishing it for Grace but I couldn’t bring myself to touch it. What if I ruined it? I had promised I would get it done for Grace’s First Communion and then again, for Christmas but I just couldn’t seem to be able to even take the quilt out of it’s bag. The memorial happened and still no quilt for Grace. I looked at her face as the quilt story was shared and I knew it was time.

My Mom had given me her sewing machines but neither of them worked. I had one repaired only to have it break again right after we got it back and tried to use it. My daughter was chomping at the bit for a sewing machine and so I took the newer, fancier one in for repair, hoping it wouldn’t cost too much to fix. The repair took much longer than I expected but finally, we got it back and I knew I had no excuses not to work on Grace’s quilt. I had never put a quilt binding on by myself. That was always Muriel’s job. I’d piece together my quilt top and then quilt it and turn it over to her for the batting and the binding. I found a lovely tutorial on You Tube and after watching it a few times, I took the quilt out of the bag, cut my fabric and was almost ready to sew.

My Mother had already started to put the binding on Grace’s quilt before she couldn’t work on it any longer. I debated about whether I should leave what she had started and add to that or remove what she had done and start the binding over. Muriel had chosen a black binding for Grace’s quilt and I was concerned that the new fabric I bought wouldn’t match what was already sewn on so I started to remove the piece she had done. That’s when I saw what was probably the saddest thing. At first, her stitches were evenly spaced along the binding edge. But then they got progressively more and more unruly. There were places where it seemed as if she was sewing over and over again, trying desperately to be able to regain this skill that was slipping away from her fingers. With each stitch I removed from the quilt, I was witnessing her unravelling. I wondered if I had done the right thing by erasing that part of her story; the messy, ugly part that told of her slipping into dementia and away from who she had been before.  Should I have left the evidence of that journey sewn into the quilt or was it my task to remove it, repair and finish so that the quilt reflected the woman she had been instead of  what she had become? I am not sure I’ll ever know if I did the right thing.

I finished the quilt; it was much easier and took less time to complete than I thought. I know that my mother would be proud of me for having finished it. Now, it’s time to package it up and send it to Grace who will finally have her “Mimi” quilt. I know why it took me so long to finish it for her. If I had tried any sooner the story my mother told in those uneven stitches would have been too much for me to bear. It wasn’t an easy task to complete, even a year later but with the passage of time, I am left less raw.

Anime Boston — a Mother Daughter Adventure

•10 June, 2013 • Leave a Comment


I have no recollection of the conversation with my friend when I expressed the desire to travel with her and our teenage daughters to Anime Boston but I believe her when she says I did just that. When she called to remind me just a couple of weeks prior to the event and my daughter caught wind of the invitation, I didn’t know what to say besides, “Sure. Sounds good to me.” And so the adventure began and with it came the realization that I had just committed myself to finding us a place to stay in Boston over Memorial Day weekend, which in itself could spell trouble but with the added attendance of a convention center full of crazed Cosplayers, no longer seemed like a fabulous idea. So, I did what I do best. I tried to pretend it wasn’t happening and then, didn’t do anything about it. Before I knew it, there were only a few days before we had to leave and I still had made no attempt to find the four of us a place to stay within walking distance of the Hynes Convention Center. That’s when I rustled up the courage to tell my husband that I had not only taken the responsibility of finding us a hotel room but that we were making the trip in the first place. I guess that up until that moment, it didn’t seem important enough to bring up in casual conversation.

Oh, and did I mention at all that I really didn’t want to go in the first place? Or that I volunteered my husband and his millions of Amex points to pay for the room? Hey, it made perfect sense to me at the time.

Finally, I had procrastinated long enough in fulfilling my obligation to find us a place to stay that our options were few and far between.The only room that filled our requirements was a suite at the Westin that would run us about a gazillion points (well, not quite a gazillion, but close.) There I was with a hotel room that cost a gazillion of my husband’s hard earned Amex points for an event that I really wasn’t all that excited about in the first place. And so, I did what any other red blooded Mom of a teenage girl would do in that position: Keep my mouth shut, pack my bags, and allow her to have a great time at this convention she was so looking forward to? Of course not. I am of Jewish descent, after all. I cried and whined and pouted and made my daughter feel guilty. Why? Because this trip wasn’t shaping up to be the one I wanted it to be. But don’t worry about me. I’ll just sit here in the dark. I made it pretty clear I was “biting the bullet” and taking her to the convention and she’d better damn well appreciate all my suffering. Aren’t I a great Mom? Damn.

Lucky for me, my friend is a much better mother than I am. She was enthusiastic about the trip, looking forward to the convention itself, and grateful for the room I had secured for us. Somehow, by the time we were getting ready to go, I realized that in order to have a decent experience and to avoid making everyone else miserable, I had better go with the flow. I gave myself over to Linda and her positive attitude, hoping for the best and deciding that if all else failed, I would ditch my friend and the girls, take my camera out and go off to explore Boston on my own. Seemed like a reasonable enough plan at the time.

We hit a decent amount of traffic on our trip to Boston but we weren’t surprised. After all, it was a Friday afternoon of a holiday weekend. The ride was made pleasant by the company and even though it took us longer to get there than expected, we arrived at our hotel in good spirits. I knew the hotel was going to be a nice one — dang, for a gazillion points, it had better be. But what I didn’t expect was the view of Boston and how it seemed to go on forever.


Step one towards making me relax and think, “This may not be such a bad experience, after all.”

Our room was ginormous with 2 queen size beds and a fold out couch. I relaxed even more when I realized that the girls could share the couch and Linda and I would each have our own beds. Step two towards making Mom a happy camper.

Step three was the discovery that we wouldn’t even have to walk outside the hotel in order to get to the Hynes Center. The Westin, where we stayed, was connected to the convention center by a series of upscale malls and enclosed pedestrian bridges. Our entire weekend could be spent inside and we would not have to venture out into the unusually cold and rainy Spring weather unless we so desired. Things were looking better and better.

Our original game plan was to check in to our hotel room, grab something to eat and head over to the Con to register and explore a bit before we called it a night. We made reservations at a lovely restaurant just outside the doors of the hotel (and yet still inside by way of the many enclosed and connected malls) and then ran back upstairs to our room before we headed over for registration. That’s when we realized that the registration had at that very minute closed for the day and we wouldn’t be making it in that night. Oh, well. An early bed time wouldn’t hurt any of us after our long day of driving.

New plan: wake up early in the morning, get some breakfast and head to the Con. Works for me.


This is my daughter, Clare, up early and ready for her first day of Anime Boston. Clare is 14 and obsessed with Tumblr, video games and web comics. Do you see that incredible smile? She was so happy and looking forward to this convention that the anticipation just radiated from her face. She had worked hard on her cosplay options and for Day One of the convention she was going as Jane Crocker, a character from the amazing popular web comic, Homestuck. Do not ask me any more about it — beyond a few characters’ names and some information about Trolls and God Tiers, I know nothing other than the fact that many characters are killed off, revived again and killed off once more. One of Clare’s joys in life is in finding and connecting with other “Homestucks.” At a certain point that was a rarity. I remember her surprise and delight as we were standing in the checkout line at our local grocery store and the young man who was bagging our groceries recognized the character symbol she was wearing on her shirt. It was the beginning of a secret handshake and membership in an ever growing community of young people who share the culture of Homestuck. Clare was going to meet her Homestuck family at the Convention.

My only prior convention experience was several years ago at the New York ComicCon. Another dear friend and I took a group of teens, some of our own and an extra or two, and allowed them to wander, somewhat unsupervised, through the crowds of people gathered at the Javitts Center for one day of the convention. It was crowded, noisy, overwhelming for me, and a bit nerve wracking because of limited cell service that made hooking up with and keeping track of the teens near impossible. The two oldest of the group, my son and my friend’s daughter, were to take responsibility for the younger ones, Clare and a friend. Then they could take off on their own without having us Moms tagging along behind. I never did get the story straight. The two oldest had taken their responsibility only grudgingly and the next thing we knew, they were separated and Clare was nowhere to be found. Lucky for us, we had predetermined an “in case of emergency” meeting place so when we couldn’t find or get in touch with either of the lost girls, we headed to our spot and waited and hoped like heck they’d show up, which they eventually did. Of course, there was the finger pointing and the blame: it wasn’t my fault, Mom. I turned around for a second and they were gone. Anyway, coupled with the crowds, the noise and my general lack of interest in the whole thing, ComicCon wasn’t high on my list of memorable life experiences. Another Con? Hmmm. But Clare is older now and more responsible. Well, somewhat.


After a quick breakfast at the Starbucks just outside the hotel lobby, we started seeing Cosplayers scattered about the mall. Clare would see a character she recognized, stop to compliment the cosplayer on their costume, and ask to take a picture. This happened over and over again throughout the con. “I love your cosplay. Can I take your picture?” I don’t think anyone declined a photo op. As I watched this interaction happen again and again, I was impressed with how open and nonjudgmental everyone was with each other. It didn’t matter what the person looked like or how old they were or what color their skin — it was all about the cosplay and how well they captured their character. And everyone seemed so genuine with their compliments. My daughter was blooming and opening up with each encounter.






Cosplay costumes ran the gamut from simple and home made to store bought and extremely fancy. And nothing made Clare happier than running into fellow Homestucks.


Here she is posing as Jane Crocker with her “Dad.”

As much as I hadn’t wanted to be, I was being sucked in and I was having a good time. Watching my daughter, who if you asked her, would tell you she is socially anxious, spontaneously approach people she didn’t know, compliment them, ask to take their pictures and then spend a minute or two creating a connection and chatting, was, well, impressive. I started noticing that other people were doing the same thing, too. No one seemed self conscious or self critical or judgmental. I have to admit it was kind of nice to be around. Part of me was feeling a bit like I had stepped in to an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Then I saw a tee shirt that said “You say ‘Nerd’ as if it is a bad thing” and it all started to make sense.

I wish I could tell you that I didn’t have any relapses in my attitude towards the convention the whole time I was there. I would love to tell you that I had let go of all my reservations and became totally chill for the entire weekend. But I would be lying. There was one point when I had planned on running out to get something I needed at the Apple Store across the street. This would have given me a few quieter moments out of the constant noise and sensual assault that the Convention could be and a moment away from my daughter, who if I turned my eyes away from for a second, would be distracted by something or someone and instantly lost in the crowd. The plan was for Linda, Ariel and Clare to head to the Vendor gallery and browse while I did my errand. But just before Clare entered the Vendor hall with Linda and I made my getaway, Clare got distracted. How could I blame her? Right in front of her eyes was a group of assorted Homestuck cosplayers playing “Spin the Spoon,” with a choice of a Truth or Dare option or a hug. The hug option seemed to be winning.


Again, there was my daughter, the self proclaimed socially anxious teen, putting herself out there and making connections without a care or a thought. I looked at the group and realized that she probably wasn’t the only one in that gathering who thought of themselves as “socially anxious” and who, in normal situations, would go into a panic attack at a glimpse of a group that size. But there they all were, having themselves a fine time. So, as much as I wanted to grizzle about Clare hijacking my chance to get away for a few minutes, I sat and watched and only drew the line when the group was asked to move to another location. We went to look for Linda and Ariel in the Vendor Hall — for some reason I was feeling the need to put our little group back together. Clare was focused on seeing everything in the Vendor Hall that she hadn’t seen yet and  I was wondering if it would be possible to find Linda and Ariel in the midst of the crowds. We wandered around and around and I scanned the room for our friends, feeling a bit like I was searching for a needle in a haystack. Clare was being Clare and enjoying the scenery and I was starting to grizzle again. That’s when I started to notice just how many family units there were, wandering around together and enjoying the convention. I mean “enjoying” the convention. Not feeling put upon because they had to follow their kids around an event they didn’t really want to be at in the first place, but having a good time together. So I thought I’d whip out my camera, take some pictures and maybe, through my picture taking, get a vicarious sense of that enjoyment and put a stop to all the grizzling.





It helped, really it did, but then I was worried that Linda and Ariel would be wondering where we were so after a little longer, Clare and I headed back to meet them at the hotel room for a rest and to go out for some dinner before spending the rest of the evening at the Con.

It was a full night of activities, including the Masquerade which consisted of some clever Cosplay skits, a costume contest and some anime music videos. The girls requested some time to wander around on their own and found another group of Homestucks to hang with before we called it a night and left to get some rest before our last day at the Con.



Day Two at Anime Boston required a different Cosplay for both girls. Here they are: Clare as Fiona from Adventure Time and Ariel is ????? The second day finds me much more relaxed than I was just the day before. The Con is a known commodity now and I breathe a sigh of relief and go with the flow. Linda and I have practiced giving the girls some space and allow them to go off without our direct supervision for periods of time and they have done just fine. We are unscheduled and unstructured for most of the day with one activity planned and the rest to unfold as it may.  We mostly wander around the Artists Gallery and the Vendor Hall and take random photo opportunities but this is apparently what the girls want to do and we are all fine with the way things are going.





There are more Cosplays and characters to see and Linda and I have the chance for an extended break when the girls sign up for a Plushie making workshop. When they are the very last participants to be allowed in, Linda and I leave and have a long, relaxing lunch in the food court. And then, before we know it, Anime Boston is over and it’s time to go home.

I not only survived to tell the tale but enjoyed myself and learned a bit about myself as well.

AnimeBoston was about a lot of things. It was about making connections, coming out of your shell, finding yourself, sharing with others, growing up and letting go. It was about finding common ground, about having fun, about acceptance. For Clare, it was about independence and a step closer to growing up. For me, at least a little bit, it was about letting go. If I had let things go the way they were headed in the beginning, when it was all about the money and the inconvenience and the weather, it would have been a miserable trip and while it would have been all about me, I would have dragged everyone else down with me. In the end, I hope it was about all of us. About friendship, camaraderie, individuality, and most importantly, fun. I hope that when Clare remembers this trip, it isn’t about what a self centered pill her mother was, but about how in the long run, her mother learned a little more about letting go and allowing her daughter in.

Another quick Yoga shoot

•18 October, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Just a quick post before I head out to (surprise!) my Yoga class. This is a picture I took the other day of my Yoga teacher, Cathy Whelehan. Cathy opened a Yoga Studio just a three minute drive from my house. How lucky am I? I had been practicing Yoga for a few years before I joined Cathy’s class and if you had asked me then, I would have said I was doing pretty well. Now I know better and after studying with Cathy for a year now, my practice is at an entirely different level and I am incredibly grateful.

Thanks, Cathy. You totally rock.

A Yoga Photography Workshop with Robert Sturman

•16 October, 2012 • 1 Comment

I first heard about Robert Sturman from this article published in the New York Times. I was immediately drawn to the movement and form of his images. I remember thinking, “This guy has an eye for composition.” I mean, really, how bad can an image be of a gorgeous person in a beautiful setting performing a well executed yoga posture? The thing about Robert’s work is that he takes that almost no lose formula and adds his incredible sense of composition and the results are some very striking images. I began mulling over in my mind all of the beautiful yoga teachers and practitioners I have come to know, love and respect and wondered if there would be a way for me to capture some of that beauty in my own photography.

Then one of my favorite Yoga teachers posted a link to a workshop Robert was giving at a local Yoga studio. How amazing is that?

The workshop was held at Elements Yoga and Wellness Center in Darien, CT.  There were 8 of us gathered there to learn and practice what we learned both as photographers and models. Robert began by telling us a bit of the evolution of his art, starting from manipulated Polaroid images to his transition to digital images upon the demise of the original Polaroid film. Then he had us practice taking shots of some poses inside the studio before we all headed off to Waveny Park in New Canaan for the real fun and meat of the workshop.

The technique that Robert uses is simplicity itself. He said that people would be surprised at how easy what he teaches turns out to be. In a way, he’s right. It is pretty easy — and mostly because of what I had said earlier — take a beautiful model in a well executed Yoga pose in a lovely setting and you have the makings of an image that will be sure to impress. And it could be just as simple as that. But what Robert modestly leaves out is that in order to take the kind of images he takes and seemingly so easily is that first, you have to be able to see.

That’s why Robert is so masterful at what he does. He is very practiced at seeing — the right angles, the shapes, the juxtaposition of shapes — all the elements that go together to take an image from just pleasing to beautiful.

I have to come clean here and admit that I went into the workshop a bit skeptical about what I was going to come out with in the end. I had been looking at Robert’s work as I was waiting for the day of the workshop to arrive and my inner critic, normally reserved for my own work, was coming out and whining big time. Blah, blah, blah. But as I listened to Robert speak about what he does, I realized that Robert is an artist, not a photographer, and while the camera is the tool that he uses to create his art, he isn’t a technician and I wasn’t going to be learning about F-stops and shutter speeds and depth of field. This was a workshop about seeing and feeling. As Robert spoke about his work he pointed out details in his images that made them more than just pretty snapshots. He talked a bit about the “Decisive Moment” and at that moment, I was hooked.

My husband (who is also a photographer) and I have had many conversations about art and composition and whether it is innate or if it can be learned. I think we decided that while it can be learned, it’s easier if it’s already there, but it either case it has to be practiced. I can’t tell you whether Robert’s ability to see the way he does came with the package or was a skill he picked up and learned along the way, but I can tell you that he is extremely practiced at it.

I am so very pleased that I had this opportunity to learn from Robert and to meet and spend time with the other participants who came to photograph and be photographed and to share the love of Yoga and photography, 2 practices that are near and dear to my heart.

You can be sure that if Robert offers another workshop anywhere close to my area, I am going to be there and do it again. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wants to take their art a little deeper and learn to see.

A Yoga Photo Shoot

•12 October, 2012 • Leave a Comment

I have these two loves — okay, really three and not always in the same order: photography, yoga and horseback riding. As I was reading the NY Times one day, I came upon this amazing spread: Turning Yoga into Art

It’s about an artist/photographer — Robert Sturman — have you heard of him yet? Well, he takes these beautiful — no, gorgeous images of people doing Yoga. Yoga. Photography. Have you noticed that those are two of my three loves? I have  an amazing yoga teacher who opened a studio on her beautiful property just a 3 minute drive from my house and since I’ve been taking her classes my practice has deepened in a way I never thought possible. So, I thought, why not offer to take some pictures of my teacher practicing Yoga, and, maybe, portray her as beautifully as Robert Sturman has portrayed his subjects. I made the offer and hoped that she would take me up on it. Well, one day, she called me out of the blue and told me that her Yoga teachers, Todd Norian and Ann Greene of Deep Peace Yoga, were coming to her studio so that she could take pictures of them for their website. I had expressed an interest in doing some Yoga photography. Was I interested in participating in this shoot?  Absolutely.

With the help of my husband and teenage son, we threw together some lights and stands and headed over to Cathy’s studio to meet Todd and Ann. I have to admit, I was feeling the nerves that come on with the responsibility of standing behind the camera hoping to create “great art.” Or even just “art.” Oy. I think that’s why I don’t go out there and sell myself more. Making people look good, even if they already look pretty fabulous, can be a lot of pressure.

But after the lights were set up and we started talking and taking pictures, we all started to warm up; Todd and Ann into the poses in which they are so masterful and full of grace, me behind my camera which has been the way I see my world for so long that it seems just another appendage. Everything seemed to take on the same flow: the Yoga and the images, all part of a bigger experience.

I think what I loved the most about being able to photograph Todd and Ann was how very humble they were in their own practices.  I think that’s what “practicing” Yoga is all about. Even if you have reached a level that people would call masterful, you are still just learning and striving to be better, more flexible, more loving, more forgiving and more receptive of what each pose has to offer.

Ultimately, I am happy with the shoot and how it came out, but that’s not to say I didn’t have my moment of tearing my hair out and criticizing each image first. It’s unfortunately, in my nature to hope for perfection and beat myself up until I find a happy medium. I am hoping that Todd and Ann like the images I gave them and use a few on their website but really, I am happy that I had the moment. In a way, the shoot itself was more than enough and the lovely outcome, gravy.


Mother’s Day Weekend Retreat

•16 May, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Been a long time since I’ve posted here on this blog but I’m hoping you may have noticed how busy I’ve been on Tumblr lately. If not, I’d love it if you would check it out. The link is also on the sidebar.

I spent the weekend with my daughter at an annual Mother’s Day retreat run by our Unitarian Church. I had so much fun at last year’s retreat that I volunteered to be on the committee for this year and while I didn’t do much more than come up with a flyer or two and man the registration table for an hour or two, I am hoping that I still contributed to the success of the event.

I’m sorry that more people didn’t choose to participate this year. It’s such a worthwhile way to spend a couple of days. Really, what could be better? Family, friends — both old and new, nature, and inspiration all rolled up into one lovely package. We lucked out with the weather. The weekend was warm and sunny and perfect in every way.  I gave a workshop in Photography and while there were only two participants (thanks so much to you both!) it went really well and I am hopeful that given the opportunity to do it next year, more people will show up and I won’t be quite as nervous.

There was so much to do while we were at Camp Jewell and still, there was time to do nothing but listen to the sounds of the birds, the wind rustling in the trees and to sit and feel the warmth of the sun. I arrived at Camp Jewell feeling pretty frazzled and anxious and left feeling as if my reset button had been pressed and I was ready to start from fresh. I read, I hiked up a mountain, I spent time with friends, I made new friends. I was relaxed, energized and inspired. All in one weekend not so far from home. The following images (and the ones above) are just a small selection, in no apparent order, of all the activities.

April in Paris

•30 April, 2012 • Leave a Comment

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I spent the last few days of April enjoying the sights, sounds, smells and tastes in Paris, France (just in case you thought I went to Texas.) It was my third visit to the city of lights and I love it more each time I’m there. I have so many images that I thought I’d just post a slide show. Let me know what you think! You can always check out my images posted on my Tumblr blog by clicking the link on my sidebar.

photo of the day (images from a lovely day)

•25 January, 2012 • 2 Comments

Yesterday was a lovely day, Truly. It started out with Yoga at Open Sky Yoga Barn, which is always a fabulous way to start any day. Then it continued with our first Tuesday of the New Milford Coop without Walls. Clare had a jewelry class while Nick had Biology. Then there was Math for Clare and Art History followed by French. Nick’s day was a little less structured. He will start Math tutoring next week but this week he had the chance to hang out with some friends (girlfriend included) and then spend time on his own at the library.

I wandered around on my own a bit, spent some time with Clare exploring the toy store and watching her enjoy what looked like a fabulous cupcake, and chatted with friends while the kids took their respective classes.

The weather was unseasonably warm and I pretended it was the end of March instead of January.

I’m so happy that our friend Lockey decided to share her love for New Milford with us.