A Day in the Life…

I am so excited, I can hardly contain myself.

Today I attended a workshop at The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center.  When I retired in June, my co-teachers gifted me with a Groupon for the workshop.  I was, of course amazed and grateful, but today I was freaked out and intimidated. But, let the games begin.   With a push from my darling husband, and with him at the helm, we drove to Philly and parked in front of the Center – camera at the ready, iPhone in reserve.


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Josh was our instructor and he instructed and instructed and he PowerPointed and explained and then we went outside and shot some photos from the instruction and the PowerPointing and Josh helped and explained and instructed and we walked some more.

My head was spinning.  Josh was awesome, but my grey matter ain’t what it use to be. But I got the basics.  I learned a little about ISO, aperture, and f-stops.  I know where some buttons are and what they stand for or what they do ( I think) and it was GREAT! 

But I’ve got long way to go. But, hey! It’s a start. And I’m happy.

Thanks, Josh.

Thanks to my friends at Tatem School.

Thanks to my husband (for many reasons).




Foliage.  You’d think it would be easy.  Where’s a tree when you need one?

These are some of the photos I took the last few days.  I wanted new material, but I guess the good stuff isn’t going to ‘blossom’ for another week or two.  I hope you get some enjoyment out of these.

The first on is in front of my humble abode. I love the way just a concentrated part of the giant green tree is gold.

This is a long shot of the same tree.

Forgive the dried up old branches at the base of the tree.  The were picked up the next day :-).

The next two feature the side of the house.  This is starting to sound like a real estate ad.   (which, by the way, if you’re interested…)

  Close up of the tree in the above pic.

Facing the front of the house, this is the view through the pretty gold leaves.

And I found three trees the park nearby.  These poor things have no foliage :-(.

I just didn’t want to neglect them. 🙂
Don’t leave til you see these leaves at wheresmybackpack.  Thanks, Ailsa, for another fabulous challenge.


Every year I say I’m sorry summer’s over.  But truth be told, I love the changing of the seasons.  As I grow older, I prefer the warmth of the sun and the trips to the beach:  sitting, walking, people watching, spotting dolphins, reading in my beach chair, with warm breeze blowing, waves crashing … But truth be told, all seasons are a gift.

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“Spring is the time of year when it is summer in the sun and winter in the shade.”
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

It’s all good 🙂

Many thanks to IslandTraveler for the challenge.  Click on his logo.  It will take you to other interpretations of changing seasons.


It takes a village to raise a child – or a school to raise awareness.  These little people were sending a message.  Get it?


David Baldacci, author of Camel Club said it best:

“Why can’t people just sit and read books and be nice to each other?”  


For more about ‘people’ click on the flying dragon logo and visit Jake’s site.  He not only offers up a new challenge every week, Jake does some amazing animation.  Go take a look.

Here are just some of the people blogging about people…








OK.  Maybe I’m not being completely serious with a topic that sounds like it might just should be that way :-), but I couldn’t help myself.

Celebrating both International Peace Day and the last day of summer, Jeff and I headed to the beach knowing full well that we would have our pick of places to plop our chairs.   The beach is nearly void of visitors this time of year, and me, being the – ah – introvert that I am,  find it most relaxing when I can hear the waves brushing the shore, sans the hum of human beach goers.  Far be it from me to begrudge people their holidays, nor do I wish to take fun-in-the-sun time away from anyone.  I just like the space and serenity afforded me when the real estate is less occupied.

I am a solitary man, except I’m a woman. (huh?)

Apparently, I’m not alone in my need to be alone. There’s this good ol’ boy.

Those of you that know me, know Rocky, my long-haired German Shephard.  Well, this is not him.  But it could be his double.  Except Rocky would not be sitting as peacefully in the sand.  Or anywhere else for that matter.  But that’s another story.
Thanks to Cheri Lucas  for this week’s topic. There are a plethora of posts that have been submitted this week, as always.  Worth looking into. For more on Solitary, click on the WordPress logo below.


Ailsa, at wheresmybackpack, has presented us with a new challenge this week.  In celebration of peace, she has chosen to bring our attention to the UN’s International Day of Peace – Friday, September 21, 2012 – marking the 30th anniversary.  One of the ways to show support is by wearing white today – which I did – thank you, Ailsa.  For more information about Peace Day and to view other interpretations of white, please take a minute to visit Ailsa‘s site by clicking here.

Very white – but not just yet…


Not too long ago, this was the beginning of my every day life.  Wake up at 5:15 am, be at school by 7:15, greet my students at 8:15, school day, school day, school, day, see the kids off at 3:00 and prepare for the next day, rest of the week, holiday, whatever… til 5:30-6:00 pm. 

Jeff spotted this in a store front window last week.  I felt a mix of nostalgia, sadness, and relief. 

This is no longer every day life for me.

What is, is getting up a little later, sipping Island Mango tea with honey, while checking my email in bed before having a healthy breakfast (instead of wolfing down a granola bar), and then taking a leisurely walk, most times to the beach.

This is now a quick look at my every day life.  Retirement. Ahhhhh…

A walk along the water’s edge (until the water gets too cold 🙂 ).

Watching Jeff enjoy the sun, sea, and surf.  I love how he loves it.

Collecting shells.

People watching.  (And yes, this gentleman was playing bagpipes on the beach!)

Sitting down and reading, just for fun. (something that’s nearly impossible during the school year) 😦

And later in the evening,  sitting and watching the sun set from our deck, often greeted by our neighbors cat.

Knowing that every day life is much simpler and I am oh so lucky.

Thanks to Jon Sanwell, of Without an H  for this week’s challenge.  For more of Everyday Life, click on the WordPress logo.  Enjoy!


Ailsa, at wheresmybackpack, has offered us up another challenging Challenge.  The theme this week is RED so I will bombard you with a load of variations on the theme.  If you’re not seeing red after this, I don’t know what to tell ya…

First, and, of course, we start off with a kind of reddish flower that I spotted at a roadside market. I say ‘of course’ because the word ‘red’ evokes images of flowers to me, and I’ll bet many of you.   I didn’t get the name, sorry.  Hibiscus , I’m thinking.

Next, a view of our deck, our reddish adirondack chairs, and red, red wine. (I know the wine’s more purple than red but, give me a break!)

Continuing… Red lights blazing on the diner where we had dinner a few nights ago.

And can you stand it?!  Lowes and snowblowers.  A fellow blogger, at TheRetiringSort, posted some beautiful autumn “red” photos.  (check her out)  Now, I’m fine with autumn sneaking up on me, but SNOWBLOWERS?!?!?   In September?!?!?  Come on!!!!

And my post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of my favorite Phillies Phan. Love you, sweetie!!

Can you say, Harley Davidson???  Whoa!

I don’t know if my son is going to disown me, but this is him winning in Vegas.

OK, and with that, the “RED” stops here…

But don’t YOU stop here.  Continue on this journey into the world of “red’ by visiting wheresmybackpack.    Click on the red rose to get there. I couldn’t resist. :-).


Last night, meteorologists in the area were predicting tornado watches and warnings.  I don’t know what’s going on and I don’t know Who is ticked off, but this is totally out of the norm for these here parts.  I encouraged my mom to put a few pillows and a blanket, among other things, into her bathtub and to stay away from windows.  She’s 90.  She thinks she’s seen it all, but she took my advice and went about battening down the hatches. Smart woman.
Jeff and I headed next door to our friends’  place to play some cards and indulge in some homemade wine.  We figured we’d get through this together, with a little Doobie Brothers in the background.  Not too long after sitting down to our first deal, this is what we saw. 

I’ll grant you, it’s not a great shot, but it started pouring and it looked mighty scary, so I was in a big hurry to click and run.

As spooky as it was, that was about the extent of it.

Fast forward to this morning.  A beautiful morning for a nice long walk.  Saying a little prayer of thanks, I headed down to the beach, made a right before I hit the water and landed smack dab in the middle of the local WaWa ( similar to 7-ll’s and such around here). ” gotta have a WaWa”, is what it says on the cup.

So I took the time to stop, smell, and drink the coffee on this most glorious morning.

As the Doobie Brothers say, “It’s a way to make you smile”.  Enjoy every morning.  Listen to the music…

Take the time to stop and look at some other glorious morning posts at  Jake’s.  Click on the dragon.


Eureka! A reason to exhibit two of my favorite photos.

The first was taken in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia.  My husband asked what I wanted for my birthday last year, and without hesitation, I said I’d love a few days in Washington, D.C.  Him being the history buff he is, and me being a hound for road trips, off we went.  We spent one day in D.C., which is never enough, but, you know what they say, “Don’t look a gift horse…”

And one day in Alexandria.  The shops are eclectic, and the views from around the Potomac are electric.

This shot was taken after feverishly searching for and finding a parking space.   Not an easy feat, but there’s a reason for everything, because I clicked this off just minutes after getting out of the car.  I LOVE this shot.

And this one, my son took of himself on our deck.  I don’t know if it’s a mother’s love, or what, but this one blows me away.

Sometimes I guess I do things for my own visual pleasure.  But I hope you enjoyed them a little as well.

For more photos of Near and Far click on the WordPress logo.