Tuesday, May 30, 2006


I'm a little heavy-hearted today. I got a call that my friend's mother died... and I'm glad she's no longer suffering... but it's not easy. I will see him next week, when I go on vacation (WOO HOO!!!) and I just want to hug him. It's only been 8 weeks since she was diagnosed. How appropriate, though, that she die just before Memorial Day. She was an incredible woman and mother, and she served in the Navy.

I received another phone call today. It was from the supervisor at a job I held while home from college breaks- I worked making phone calls for the American Heart Association- and she told me one of the women I worked with during my time there died on Saturday. This woman was in her early 50's, diagnosed with cancer a month ago, and died of septic shock after her first chemo treatment.

Two fine women... and so I remember them today, in the spirit of Memorial Day.

And in the midst of death, there is life.... This is the 11 day old nephew of my sister-in-law. I met him on Saturday and just stared at him... his tiny little fingers and fingernails... a newborn always amazes me.

This lil peanut is my cousin's daughter... she's a nutcase and a sweetheart and a terror.... she was picking the fuzzy dandelions and telling herself stories...

And here's her cousin... a lil shy boy who kept running away when I tried to take his picture... sweet lil angel face, but man, can he SCREAM!!

Children immediately want to see their pictures after they are taken. This meant I had to take a series of "silly face" pictures.... about 10 of them total. The cherub in the middle is the most creative. The boys kept making the same, signature silly face over and over again.

It was the way I wanted to celebrate Memorial Day- surrounded by family, and life, yet remembering why we do this. My grandfather fought in the Pacific arena in WWII, doing photo recon. He saw almost all of his unit die in combat. He would get teary-eyed talking about them up until his death in 1996. I memorialize him, and all those who have sacrificed for our country and for their families.

In Memory of Deborah and Katherine, May 27th and 28th, 2006.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Wine and Herb Tour

It was a rather gloomy Saturday in May, but somehow, my friends and I were in high... spirits. The annual Cayuga Lake (one of the Finger Lakes in upstate NY- seriously, look at a map. Looks like a big ol' hand) Wine and Herb Tour had commenced! We made it our mission to visit each of the 16 wineries in one day and nearly made it...

This is Cayuga Lake, with one of the vineyards marching its way down to the shore. I believe this was Goose Watch winery.

Yes, I'm obsessed! Even when imbibing, I can't stop noticing the flowers! These were a centerpiece at the Montezuma Winery. I plan to play around with some effects on this one later on.
At each winery, we were given an herb and a sample of a dish made with that herb (though, sometimes it was just a plant, really. I mean, BROCCOLI is NOT an herb.) This is one of my friends. No, she's not winking. She's had enough wine that only her right eye is continuing to function.

This double daffodil was at my favorite winery, Swedish Hill. There is a picture of me and another of my friends in front of the Swedish Hill sign, but it won't be posted here. We were drunk. Sometimes bad things happen with photography when you're sampling the spirits.

These crabapple trees are apparently appreciating the rainy spring as much as the other flowers. I don't remember the name of this winery because it was toward the end of the trip. Nuff said.

I associate crabapple trees with my childhood. We had one in the backyard and we used to have all-out wars with the crabapples. Funny, my memory has to do with trying to kill my siblings, not appreciation for the beauty of the trees.

This was the Americana winery, and I thought they did a good job with their decor matching their name... I loved the contrast of the vibrant geraniums with the rustic barrel.

My 15 little plants made it home safely and are mostly planted in window boxes (I'm giving Mom the broccoli)! It was a fantastic time and if you have wineries near you, it's a great place to visit. If you like wine. I learned a lot about what I like and why I like it. I feel more confident in trying new wines instead of buying the same old thing now. And it was a damn good time.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mama's Tulips

I can't get over how beautiful the tulips have been around my area this year.... they are stunning... these are all at my mom's house. She has a beautifully landscaped flower garden/rock wall behind the house...

The little grape hyacinths are so adorable!!! And they smell SOOOO good...

This is one of my favorite pictures I've taken this spring so far..... It came out with the perspective and focus I wanted.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Back, Again

The fun never stops...

I spent the weekend in the hospital. Friday, I stopped at my apartment between appointments, and I'm glad I did. As I was leaving, my back started hurting pretty bad. I called my sister the doctor and she told me to get to the ER. One of my friends (my absolute hero for the rest of my life after this weekend) took me to the hospital and as I went through triage, etc., my back started to spasm.

If you have not experienced a back spasm, thank your lucky stars and knock on wood because it is the worst pain I have ever experienced. I'll take a blocked kidney any day over back spasms. I was the person in the ER that everyone else is saying, "Would you either knock that woman out or kill her???" A couple doses of morphine later and I was slightly more relaxed, but I've discovered morphine isn't as nice as you'd think it would be. It only lasts a little while. Then the pain comes back.

Of course, when a person's body is in distress, it shows it in several ways. I was drenched in sweat for a few hours, running a fever, and shaking like crazy. I was also exhausted after about an hour of back spasms. This threw my electrolytes all out of whack and caused me to stay in the hospital until this morning.

I have a bulging disc and my left hip is out of alignment. At least I know the problem. So it's off to Physical Therapy with me. At least they sent me home with Vicodin.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Flower Child

These are the flowers I remember from my childhood- trilliums. They carpet the shady floor of the woods behind my parents' house.

They're everywhere... thousands of them... we used to pick armfuls and bring them to my mother.

Sometimes we would dye the water and make them turn blue and red and yellow... they never lasted long after they were picked, but they were beautiful while they lasted.

This is one of the old stone walls that still serves as a property line.... all covered in moss and softened by time...
And, per Jamie Dawn's request....

Here's me:

Monday, May 08, 2006


Pronounced sigh-attic-uh.

It's my most current diagnosis. If it's not my immune system, it's my back. I swear, I AM trying to be healthy, but my body is rebelling against me. It's frustrating.

Not to mention PAINful. Not as painful as kidney stones (the only time I've given them a 10 when they ask you to rate your pain was the kidney stones), but pretty damn hurting. And only time makes it go away.

I'll be better soon.... right?