I know I am probably dating myself here but when I was growing up nothing was quite the same as watching Saturday morning cartoons. We'd stumble down to the den and watch cartoons until 11 or so (if we had all our chores done). And we would do so knowing that the rest of the school free weekend was looming blissfully ahead of us, just waiting to be filled with all sorts of fun things. Now that I'm a grown-up, Saturday mornings are still sweet but it's just not quite the same. In honor of those days, I have decided to try to post some classic Saturday morning memory every week. The logical one to start with is Bill from Schoolhouse Rock but since I just put that one on this blog, I will choose another one from that classic series.
Confession time, for years, I would sing this song to myself if I needed to remember what a conjunction was.
It must be Friday (finally) if I'm feeling random. Is is just me or was this a long week?
This morning it started to snow a bit, actually you can't even call it snow it was so inconsequential. My daughter looked out the window at the flurries and disgustingly remarked, "What kind of a place is this? It doesn't snow in December but it snows in October and March?"
Softball and baseball practices really get into full swing next week so today is the official last day of the Jolley Family Dining Season. This is a wonderful sport where the whole family sits down to dinner most every night and shares their thoughts on the day, how much they love school and appreciate the dinner that is put in front of them and especially how wonderful Mom and Dad are for putting it there. Just kidding, what really happens is we sit down, some people complain heartily about the food (because they are never all happy) and they eat as fast as they can so they can be the first to ask to be excused. But I will still miss it because it was an opportunity to connect together as a family, even if sometimes the connection is full of static. But with 2 playing softball and 1 playing baseball, family dinners will take some thinking outside of the box for a while since we'll have practice every night. Because posts are always better with pictures, here's a glimpse of my softball and baseball players:
Because of a glitch, my daughter (the one with the tie-dyed shirt that I hate) did not get a number last season. Now the girls would sometimes chant a player's name and number, well when they got to her, they would chant, "She has no number". Every time that they did it, it really struck my funny bone for some reason. See even my sense of humor is random at times.
Well I would love to share more randomness but I need to finish getting ready for work now. Work, where randomly I have had outside recess duty every day this week. Keeping my fingers crossed that trend ends today. Happy Friday, everyone!
I know, not these pictures again. But I have a reason, I swear. A while ago, I wrote that I hate poetry but now I think that maybe there is a conspiracy afoot to get me to rethink this position. Someone recently lent me a photography book entitled, Visual Poetry. It is quite a captivating book and, even without the obviousness of the title, the text makes it quite clear that the author is quite a poetry fan. In fact, he uses it so frequently and effectively that it may be causing me to revisit my feelings about poetry.
Then last night we were watching one of the many NCIS episodes that are on these days (is it just me or are they on constantly?) and the coroner was quoting poetry to the body. One of the many reasons that I like NCIS is the intelligence of the plot and dialogue of which quoting poetry would be a prime example. I have to note that I have even more appreciation for the show lately since it has done what we have been unable to do: pry our 14 year old out of her room. When we put it on, she will drift out and sit down and watch with us. Trust me, this is quite an accomplishment since she usually spends all her time in her room reading.
But going back to the book, this is the perfect book for me right now since my photography, much like my reading tends to lean (like leaning tower of Pisa lean), towards the literal. But these pictures are some of my recent favorites and they were not a literal interpretation of the scene at all. Hmm, maybe it's time to not only experiment some more with my photography but also to give poetry another chance?
Talk about a slap in the face. Weather wise, yesterday was even worse than the day before because yesterday looked absolutely beautiful. The day was dominated by a gorgeous, cloudless, cerulean sky and bright sunlight. If you never went outside but just looked out instead, you might have thought it was a day like this:
When in reality, it was more like this:
Okay, okay, maybe I'm exaggerating just a bit. But not too much, I had recess duty and I had to put on my gloves and my hat. Of course, since I am an eternal optimist (or eternally stupid, take your pick), I had to once again make a trip to the attic, this time to liberate my hat. And my turtleneck sweater, I didn't have to go to the attic for that but I did have to dig it out of the back of my closet. Well my closet doesn't really a back, it's not that big but you know what I mean. Hmm, maybe I'll should bring a scarf with me today just to be on the safe side?
Yesterday was cold. The coldest it's been in a while. A long while, it seems. And last night was even colder and it didn't help that the wind was whipping. Now I'm sure that part of it was that it just seemed colder because we just came off a week in which I both went to the beach and sat outside by the fire until midnight in March, MARCH! I have lived here all my life so I fully expected that the days of that weather were fleeting. This is New England after all, a place where we sometimes seem to skip spring altogether (see Spring, New England 2011). So to have several glorious perfect 70 degree days in a row was just miraculous. Personally, I don't even need it to be 80 to be happy although I did take full advantage of the 80 degree day on Thursday by going to the beach. But I think that Friday was probably my favorite day of all. Gloriously sunny with temps in the 70s, it was just fabulous.
All this is a roundabout way of saying that today was a just big slap in the face. Last week was so worth it but.... It might have been kinder and gentler if we worked up to it and got to keep it instead of wistfully waving goodbye with hands that are once again encased in gloves. Gloves, I might add, that I had to retrieve from the attic after I optimistically stuck them up there. Even though, I knew it wasn't over, I still got sucked in. Hope does, after all, spring eternal, even when spring itself doesn't.
I can't believe that it's Monday already. This weekend went by so fast! Luckily it went by fast because we filled it up with fun things but still I can't helping wishing for another day (or 3, ha!). And unfortunately, this week is not looking at all as promising weather wise as last week either.
We started the weekend by going to my dad's house Friday night to celebrate his birthday. And we sat out by the fire until midnight which is just crazy to be able to do that in March. It was great, my brothers and sisters all came so it really turned out to be a great night.
But maybe just a little too late for some people??
On Saturday, my husband's brother and his wife had us over for dinner. So we not only got to see his family and catch up with them (bonus) but for the second night in a row, we did not have to cook dinner (added bonus). We also sat outside by the fire at his house too. Plus we got to see his kids, they are all so cute and growing up so fast. Especially his little one, he's a real little boy now.
On Sunday, we went to a showing of the work of a friend of mine, Stacey Norling of Stacey Norling Photography. Besides being great to see her and her husband, it was truly eye opening to see her work in person. As phenomenal as her work looks online, it looks even more incredible in person. It really served as a lesson in the power of the print. Some of her prints are still hanging up in Stars in Hingham so if you are in the neighborhood, go and take a peek, it will definitely be worth your time. And if you are in the market for a true professional to do your portraits, visit her website or Facebook page. And oh yeah, there was food there so we went 3 for 3 for meals for the weekend.
So I'm thinking that you are probably expecting a post about my beach day (actually I'm hoping you are because that's what I have on tap for you today). We had an absolutely fabulous beach day/date although it was so crowded that we had to move a couple of times. And legitimately crowded too, not just "oh it's March" crowded either:
We saw all the usual beach people, the toddler in the neon rash guard shirt :
The teenagers flinging themselves with abandon into the water:
The umbrella people, although I have to say this was the nicest umbrella that I've ever seen at the beach:
And we even saw, although I don't have a picture of her, a woman answer her house phone. Her house phone! On the beach! That's where I want to live when I grow up, a place that I can answer my house phone on the beach. Although by the time I can afford that, house phones will probably have gone the way of VCRs and 8-track tapes:
All in all, it was an absolutely perfect day. I know I said it yesterday but this would have been a perfect day in June, never mind March! So perfect, in fact, that I felt the need to take a picture of the sky. The sky that did not have a single cloud in it:
Boring I know but that's really the sky. In fact, I don't think that we saw a single cloud all day. When we packed up, I was raving so much about how unbelievable the day was, not too hot, not too cool that my husband said, "Yeah, a Goldilocks day, now you have your blog post for tomorrow." This just goes to show once again how well he knows me. That combined with taking the day off to go to the beach with me really earned him some bonus points. But please don't tell him that I said so, he'll hold it over my head.
I loved the day/date so much that I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't take a shower right when I got home because I didn't want to lose the smell. Actually I'm not embarrassed about that at all. This is New England after all and who knows when I'll get this chance again, so I tried to prolong it as long as possible. So much so that I sat outside on my deck with a glass of wine until 10:00 which was the perfect ending to a perfect day. I'm keeping all my fingers and all my toes crossed that we get a day like this again sooner rather than later.
Happy Friday, everyone!
Just a quick post because I am off to the beach today!! We are in the middle of a stretch of weather that is just unbelievable. It would be fabulous for May or June, for March it is downright miraculous. We may even break a record for today. Actually we most assuredly will since the record is 72 degrees and it's 7:30 and already 58 degrees. I find the weather record thing to be a little odd because it is just for that day. So the record for today is 72 and say tomorrow's record is 90 degrees but both days are 85 degrees. We could shatter the record today but not even come close tomorrow. Seems a little silly to me.
It's days like this that I love being a substitute teacher. When they call in the morning, I just say, "No thank you" and since I don't have a boss, I don't have to worry that he or anyone else is upset. Well, sometimes I have to worry about my husband being upset but not this time since he also took the day off and is going to the beach with me! And since it's a school day,we are going without any kids. So not only a beach day but a date!! Happy Thursday, if you live around here, I hope that you enjoy this beautiful day! Lots of exclamation points in this post, it would definitely gain the approval of Elaine from Seinfeld.
Forgive me, I'm going to go back to Monday's post and series of pictures again for a bit. It really was serendipitous and stochastic and an epiphany and all those other 50 cent words. By the way, a 50 cent word is defined by Merriam-Webster, as “an obscure word used to describe a simple idea thus making the user self-important.” I think that those words certainly qualify. Actually, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I have never heard of the word stochastic.
All kidding aside, this set of photos did open my eyes (damn, I should have used eye-opening as well!). In the past, I was much more likely to adjust things toward the underexposed side because I felt that it brought out the colors more but now I will be more likely to explore the opposite effect as well. So this little experiment quite literally changed my perspective 100%.
I'm think I'm still going to keep my camera on aperture priority because, for the most part, it's the best way to ensure I get the picture that I want. I happened to be reading David Jay's The System last night, a site that I bookmarked a couple of weeks ago but serendipity must have dictated that I read it now, go figure. In it, he states, "Take advantage of auto-focus, auto-exposure, auto everything so you can focus on what matters. Serving your clients, capturing beautiful moments, and making more friends." Exactly what we were talking about the other day, only he put it a lot more eloquently.
As of 1:14 this morning, it is now officially spring here in the Northern Hemisphere (doesn't that sound official? That's what they call it in the Old Farmer's Almanac). Like leap day, I feel that the first day of spring is lacking a proper celebration. We need to work on this because even if the weather doesn't cooperate, the start of spring is still something that deserves a big party. But yesterday, I made do and celebrated in my own fashion. The early weather forecast for Monday was pretty good (the day was, in fact, glorious), so on Sunday I told my kids that they could invite any (and all) of their friends over. There was one condition, however, everyone had to stay outside. They were more than happy to comply with this restriction so the result was that at one point I had 13 kids here (before you think that I am completely insane, you should know that 4 of them were mine. Umm, ok so maybe that doesn't really help my cause). Anyway the kids were all so good that when my kids asked if various kids could stay for dinner, I just invited them all. A couple, ok 1, went home so we had 12 kids over for dinner last night. And the thing is, I honestly can't think of a better way to celebrate the start of spring than with a houseful of my favorite kids. Here's hoping for many more crazy, chaotic, absolutely wonderful days! I thought about asking them to get together for a group photo but in the end, I just decided to sit back and soak it all in. Besides I think there's a slight chance that it may happen again this spring or summer.
It's funny, my friend and I were talking just yesterday about how sometimes it is hard to shoot manual all the time. Her New Year's Resolution was to shoot only manual. I'm not quite that ambitious, I'll settle for the majority of the time. We agreed that the reason that we thought it was difficult is that sometimes we quickly grab our cameras to capture something but forget to check exposure properly and just snap away. And end up with horrible, useless pictures. I know that I should take more care and be mindful when I shoot and it's definitely one of the things that I am trying to work on. But....like most such lofty goals, it is definitely a work in progress. Consequently, I try to leave my camera on aperture priority to ensure that I at least get the shot. Well last night I forgot to switch it off of manual, and boy, am I glad that I did. This morning I looked out and saw the sun burning through the fog and took a couple of pictures. The first ones that I took, I forgot to properly check for exposure so they were way overexposed. But I like it so much better overexposed, it so much closer to the picture that I was trying to take.
The picture above was taken at the same time and is overexposed as well. I changed it to black and white to further enhance the feeling of wistfulness.
I tell my kids all the time that not all mistakes are bad. In fact, mistakes can sometimes be the best thing that can happen. I think this is a pretty good case in point.
Isn't it nice when St. Patrick's Day falls on a Saturday? Then it becomes a whole weekend thing. Yesterday we went into Boston to celebrate the holiday and a friend's birthday. Really is there anything better than going out in the daylight hours? It just adds such a festive air to everything. That, and being lucky enough to have a friend that can bypass a line (and a cover) and get you into one of the hottest bars in Faneuil Hall.
We also were lucky enough to run into another birthday girl who was oh so nice. She had a birthday banner on and when we told her that it was also our friend's birthday and asked if we could take a picture of the two of them together, she not only agreed but insisted my friend put the banner on. Then the icing on the cake, she asked our birthday girl if she was 22 too. So cute! (I did take a picture but I didn't ask permission to post it so I'm not going to).
By the time that we left to go home, we couldn't decide if we were more shocked that the cover charge was now $30 or that it was still light out (Yikes, I don't know which of those statements shows my age more, we'll just move on).
Then today I went to the annual parade in Abington. It was a terrific day: great entertainment, great company and especially great weather. As we were making our way to the parade, we spotted this cool location. Since my daughter and her friend came with us, we insisted that they make themselves useful and pose for us:
I asked my daughter on the way home if she had fun and she said, "Yeah but it was kind of awkward, why did you make us pose?" and in the same breath, "Did you get any good pictures?" Oh, the joy of teenagers.
There were also lots of photo ops at the parade so that and the utter gorgeousness of the weather made it a complete success in my book. The man in the picture on the left doffed his hat in honor of the flag as it was carried by. I have to admit that I was a little slow on this one. I would have liked a wide angle shot with the flag and color guard in it as well. Oh well, we'll just pretend that this is the flag that he saluted.
St. Patrick also made an appearance in the parade. As well as various animals like lizards and dragons and goats. Because you know, nothing says St. Patrick's Day like a green goat.
Below are a couple more of my favorites from the day:
I hope that everyone had a great St. Patrick's Day weekend. About the only thing that wasn't perfect about this weekend is that it's now just about over:(
More randomness, I told you I'm pretty random by the end of the week. As I mentioned, the beginning of this week was absolutely beautiful. It's amazing what wonders this does for my mood. Tuesday was a perfect day, not only did my kids go out and play but I actually wanted to go out and take pictures of them. Both of these things make me so happy. And then we ate dinner outside, one of my most favorite things. See the nice weather makes me so delighted that I actually sound like a little kid!
I was talking to a kindergartener the other day about St. Patrick's Day parties and asked what types of green food you could bring to them. The answer? Green beer.
Speaking of green beer, there is actually a wikiHow on to make it. And it's 5 steps with pictures. Really? Exactly who needs step by step directions for this? Maybe it's for after you have had a couple of green beers but at that point you can't read the directions anyway. That must be where the pictures come in.
I mentioned that I read Stop Stealing Dreams and it's definitely has made me think. I mentioned to my husband that I think that we still do need rows and structure for the early grades. And he said, "But that will rob them of their creativity." He tends to be a wee bit cynical at times. But that's it really. I think that we have to find a way to do more channeling of creativity when kids are younger and more unleashing of creativity as they grow. Happy Friday, everyone!!
This is only the girls, we also had 3 boys with us
I don't know why but the end of the week always seem like a good time for random thoughts. Maybe this is the day that I am most random? Although my kids think I'm pretty random all the time. That and sketchy and awkward and epic and all those other flavor of the week words.
First things first, I have to eat a little bit of crow. On Sunday, I complained in a post about the time change and I have to say that I was a little off base this year. Although I still hate how dark it is in the morning, I have to admit that I've kind of appreciated the time change so far. Mostly because Monday and Tuesday were absolutely gorgeous here in the Northeast. Like top 10 perfect days so the time change allowed us to enjoy them later into the evening. Plus it really came in handy on Monday when my friend and I brought 11 of our kids and their friends and cousins to the Garden to watch our town's high school team play in the semifinals for the state basketball championship. The fact that it was still light out when we drove in made the trip so much more pleasant. The team didn't win but they played a heck of a game and carried themselves with a lot of class. They should be very proud of themselves for a terrific season.
The other day, my daughter and I were playing Bananagrams. Banangrams, what is it? It's a big building with patients in it but that's not important right now (raise your hand if you got the reference without clicking on the link). Anyway Banangrams is sort of like an extremely low tech version of Words with Friends or Scrabble where you use letter tiles to make words. Anyway my son was sitting at the table with us doing his homework when he said excitedly, "Hey, I want to play, I'll kill this game I have so many new words this year."
My daughter yelled at me for being a geek and telling her for like the 5th year in a row that today is the Ides of March and that you have to "Beware the Ides of March." But then she told me that yesterday was Pi day and that the year she graduates the date will be 3.1415. Umm, exactly who is the geek here?
I'll end this post with something that's, well, random. Someone asked me yesterday to write a letter of recommendation for them. I knew that I had just done one for someone else in the last year or so, so I went looking for the file to see if I could get some ideas for what to write. When I found the letter, guess what the date on it was? March 15, 2011.
My Oreo blog post last week made me think of other commercials that bring me right back to my childhood. I'm totally dating myself with this list so be careful if you comment, you may find yourself in the same boat.
And I have to include Schoolhouse Rock even though it wasn't technically a commercial.