Friday, July 31, 2009

two thousand

(this is my post #2000. I just noticed on the dashboard...)

I have 2000 photos already that I will need to download from my memory card on my camera. Or at least it seems like it. Can't do that until I get home, and I won't be home for a few days.

I feel like I have driven 2000 miles, but it's been more like 700 so far on our road trip. The kids and I first headed to Pittsburgh. This required driving ALLLLLLLLL the way across NY state. Which, while being HOME, and sunny for a change, and fairly straight roads and all, sort of began to suck because eventually it seemed like the drive would never end... as if perhaps we'd ended up in some sort of purgatory and we will just keep driving down a road that doesn't really end.

My plan was to stop in Erie for lunch, and never having made the drive before with three people in the car who have bladders the size of fancy shot glasses.... it seemed like a plan. We literally stopped at EVERY OTHER REST STOP. Oy.

So, Erie was where we had lunch, but at 3:30 when we were ready to gnaw on the menus.

We made it to Pitt by about 6 pm I think. The Boyfriend was absolutely wonderful to us and cooked 3 wonderful dinners while we were there. He drove us around and took us on walking tours and just generally was awesome. He even gave up his bed for a couple of nights so that we would be more comfortable. Keeper.

We managed to see the city skyline at night, and get to the zoo, and the Science museum, and a submarine outside, and as I mentioned my camera card is darn near full. We also got to see Suzy's new hospital, just the public areas we were permitted to be in, of course (since it's new employees can bring family in for tours)

Sometime next week you will start seeing all of those photos.

We are in Ohio now and an old friend of mine and his wife have taken us in for a couple of days and made us feel very much at home. We've been lounging and swimming in their pool and watching their tv which is the size of my son's mattress at home. Between that, the xbox, and the giant lovable dog here, my son doesn't want to leave. We watched Ghost Town, which was a fantastic movie, and I am not smart enough to get a link to work on my host's MacBook (it's probably stupid blogger...) but you should really netflix that movie, and make it your business to see it. HYSTERICAL. And sweet and just a great movie.

SO now it's off to Niagara Falls today. Yay. More driving. If you see someone on the highway with a giant stuffed Sully in the passenger seat, that would be me. Point me to the nearest rest stop.

PS: I also found out that after saying NOT to submit a photo of a flower, the walk leader at our site picked a flower picture in the Kelby contest. :::rolls eyes:::: I think APB's shots were better.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Giant Pez dispensers

As seen in Kards Unlimited...

Carly(via Blackberry)

Pasta fool

Shopping at williams sonoma on Walnut street

I'd like this, some carbonara pasta sauce, and a jar of carmelized shallots... Please?

Carly(via Blackberry)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday art

Just a few more shots from the day of the photo walk. Here is a sidewalk "thing" that I liked but it wasn't actually IN the park so I didn't work on the image at all with my photo editor. It could use some darkening, and I don't know what else.

I like photographing small details like this, that people usually ignore as they go about their business.

This kid was running and I thought he was adorable. I panned badly and the shot is not well composed.. but I love that neither of his feet are touching the ground. I wonder if good cropping would help this? ::::resists urge to play with this photo for 1/2 an hour while I should be packing... yes, I am writing this as a future post, on Saturday afternoon...::::::

This one almost was entered in the contest. In the end I liked the car photograph better...and we were only allowed to submit two.

Friday, July 24, 2009


it's aaaaaalive.... master...... to me, this looks like a zombie clawing out of the earth...
anyway... this is the shot I entered into the contest associated with the photowalk... sorry for the repeat to some of you who have seen 3 different versions of this while I tried to refine it...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


...picture I took at a restaurant tonight will give you an idea of how good my dinner was....mostly nice (veal picatta, great lemony/buttery sauce) but with a little bit of weird (aren't oven browned potatoes supposed to be cut smaller than just "in half" ?)

Carly(via Blackberry)


Side note... My current pet peeve is people saying "tuh-day" instead of too-daym

Tuhday I took my son and his friend kayaking. They weren't into it at first and I had to wave snacks in the air and race away to get them to follow me.

The weather wasn't perfect but there was no rain, and there were some wonderful sunny patches.

I also got to listen in while they talked about upcoming Giants training camp (which lead to a rehash of "Plaxico shot himself...")

Also Lady Gaga's lifestyle choices came up. I had to laugh because R said "she's bisexual.... And you know what else? She likes girls AND boys...".

I had the pleasure of wearing a life jacket shared by countless sweaty men... And the guys at the boathouse dropping my fleece in the lake.... And leaving it there until I explained that Yes, I Do Still Want That.

But there were a few times when the boys were far enough away... I just enjoyed the trip. I won't be able to move tomorrow. My shoulders already ache. ;-)

Carly(via Blackberry)

Monday, July 20, 2009


...from the farmer's market, homemade biscuits, and real homemade whipped cream.... Yum!

Carly(via Blackberry)

Take a Hike

I took a walk around a nearby state park that has two hiking trails marked... I was pretty proud of myself for successfully following the one I wanted to... and for making it up and down a steep embankment or two, to get shots I wanted, without falling into the river OR managing to get hurt... the trail looked pretty much like this...

And, well...
You know I have to do this, right??? I neeeeed to. My daughter likes the way these pictures come out. She's got some of my quirks. :-)

it's all her fault.... sorta...


My friend APB has always been a go-to guy for PC help (he talked me through installing new memory into my dust chamber, um, desktop), and photography is a common interest that we share. Along with cheesecake. Mmmm, cheesecake.

APB has been very kind to me, especially since I got job eliminated. When my last day was approaching he brought me Starbucks goodness and more or less convinced me to take a road trip with my free time this summer.

But now I am rambling... at any rate he passed me a link to the Kelby photowalk and I was all excited and replied with something mature like "DUDE, we have to do this!" Then I lost my password at the last minute and couldn't remember the time the walk started, so he gave me that info too. See? A good friend to have in your contacts list.

My friend John captured this moment at the photo walk of
me, laughing at APB because I cracked him up with a "that's what she said" joke... ruining his concentration and all.... I'm known for being something of a distraction I think...

and then this one of me letting him take the picture he was actually trying to compose... (we were shooting the very old robin's egg blue Dodge pickup)

my friends put up with so much nonsense from me! You rock, Andy.

(and wow, John, this light made my hair look fabulous! thank you! )

PS: John? could you do something about my arms?? (they do NOT look this big in the mirror...woah... I'm off to do some pushups on the wii now...)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday art... a walk in the park

Yesterday at the local Scott Kelby photo walk site I took pictures, but based on what our walk leader said, I was trying hard not to do the standard "tree in a park" or "pretty flower" pictures for purposes of the contest... these were a few I liked...

Henry Johnson ...(wiki link) ... who was kinda cute if I do say so. That's inapropriate, but not as much as what I accidentally said to APB when I saw the statue. ("Huh, I never saw this before, ... I never came in this end before" - since we were doing "that's what she said" jokes all day, he doubled over laughing. Sorry A. I actually didn't INTEND to act like a 13 year old in that moment.)

part of a statue... me, fixated on tiny details. How true this rings...

While I was taking the above picture, the two poets besieged my companions, wanting to read to us and have their photo taken. I began hiding. I should have stayed hiding. One poet had a poem about a Girl, who was a godess, and he looked my way at key points in the poem and I wanted to sprout wings and fly away. :::hangs head in shame::::

this for some reason is one of my favorite shots of the old Dodge we saw. I know. Not much to it, but it really appeals to that quirk part of my brain that likes robin's egg blue, and tiny details of things (and tonal curves. Look, this post has NO WIERD PICTURES WITH FREAKY TONAL CURVES. Are you proud of me, internet? thank you. I will post a couple tomorrow from my hike today.)

this is the door handle of the car. It probably DOES need a tonal curve adjustment to punch it up. If only I knew the RIGHT way... hahaha. Look, no electronic keypad to get in. Me likee. Right after I took this picture I told APB yet another TWSS punch line, and our other friend took pictures of us cracking up. They're awesome. But I don't have a model release on APB so I won't share them with you. There are rules, you know.

technically, I suppose this is a flower and so I can not enter it in the Kelby contests because flowers are boring, yada yada.
I have a few others, that I am actually thinking of submitting; since I can only submit two I will wait until I see what I have on the memory card on J's camera. He was crazy, um, nice enough to bring a spare memory card and let me shoot for a while in RAW format on his REAL camera with multipoint focus and a 70-300 lens.... damn I want a real camera!!!

More tomorrow, my friends.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Photo walk

Today I went on scott Kelby's Photo Walk

I went with a couple of friends and had a blast. It was interesting to see what they shot and the angles they used, vs. what I was seeing and wanted to shoot. Plus we made 1,000 "that's what she said" jokes. Awesome.

We saw (in no particular order)lots of scary stuff in the "lake", a classic old Dodge, a guy who had a crazy big dog AND a tiny yappy dog (midnight snack?) ...and a pair of discarded panties that I DARED my friends to photograph and submit as one of their two entries for the contest. Somehow I'm afraid I'll see a photo of those panties soon. Yecccchhhhh.

We also met some self proclaimed "real poets" who read us their work for a while. Interesting. Of course I missed the opportunity to snap them shaking my friend's hand. D'oh!
I also was afraiiiiiid to ask this guy in a flashy golf shirt carrying a guitar on his back if I could take his picture. Unclicked. Live and learn.

The group leader was cool and encouraged us to not shoot "just a flower picture" because that won't win the contests associated with Scott Kelby. His point was to be clever, creative, etc. Wouldn't you know, my best shot is a flower that apb insisted that I should shoot from underneath? The backlighting is awesome. Grrrrr.

I already have one favorite shot, will pick my other one asap.
My friend brought a spare memory card and let me use his camera for a while. It was kind of like going from a fairly nice four door sedan with automatic transmission, to a convertible sports car with stickshift... sweet. I have to wait to see how those pictures turned out. But I will post some of mine from my 'sedan' tomorrow.

Great day.... ;-)

Carly(via Blackberry)

Friday, July 17, 2009

I guess

...that I am really hungry. Never goto farmer's market and grocery store when hungry.

No fresh bread or wine at the farmer's market - boooo!

(Stupid rain!!! The guy I got the fresh mozzarella from said "that's what we get for living in Seattle..." Heh. )

Decisions, decisions. The steak or the pasta?

But if I cook all of this now there will be leftovers - yum!

Carly(via Blackberry)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It's SUMMER????

Originally uploaded by carlyq80
I lifted my head from a pile of papers today and it was gorgeous outside. So I dragged the kids away from the television and we went to the sub store, and then to a nearby park, to sit outside and eat lunch.

We walked around and I took some photos while they tossed a baseball back and forth. I wished aloud for a kayak several times. Amazingly, one did not materialize out of thin air.

Of course being the age they are, they got bored after a while. It was nothing but excitement after that. Groceries! Dinner, dishes, and laundry!

My life is nothing but adventure.

(more pictures on my flickr feed... )

Monday, July 13, 2009

Today's retail therapy

Long morning.... But my MIL's surgery seems to have gone well.

I get by with a little help from my friends...

So I got this for Mia Porcha after lunch...kind of a "yay I made it through this day".

Here's a song in rotation on my ipod these days....

(Kate Voegele/Silver Lining)
Most days I try
My best to put on a brave face
But inside
My bones are cold and my heart breaks
But all the while
Something's keeping me safe and alive

But so many people are looking to me
To be strong and to fight
But I'm just surviving
And I may be weak but i'm never defeated
And I'll keep believing
In clouds with that sweet silver lining

Carly(via Blackberry)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Things that make you go Hmmmm

I'm pretty sure that FOUR fish went into this pond yesterday. I only found THREE today.....

Carly(via Blackberry)

Apparently it IS

...too much to ask, for it to NOT RAIN for two days in a row here in upstate NY this summer.

But we planned that it would rain, and everyone fit in my house (thanks to last summer's addition) and we had this...

so who cares about rain? Suzy and I teamed up to decorate it Friday after dinner when we were both exhausted; I had baked the cake earlier in the day but hadn't frosted it. So I did the basketweave, which really made The Boyfriend confused until I showed him the way it's done. Suzy did the writing and the awesome diploma (rolled fondant) and we slapped on some gum paste daisies left over from the 50th anniversary party (saved for this cake, actually).

We looked at it and said "I'm fine with that. You fine with that? Let's go to sleep."

The party itself was awesome. One of the highlights was my mother showing up with four tiny goldfish for my mini fake-rock pond that I break out for family gatherings. Glug. I have THE most adorable picture of my almost-2 nephew looking at the pond and laughing at the fish.

The Boyfriend helped with fetching cold cut platters and making beans and just generally was my assistant caterer/dishwasher for the day. I need to bring him lots of beer next time that I go visit. His assistance allowed me to a) enjoy the party b) have time to TALK to my guests and c) drink lots of wine.

We ended the evening with a few favorite people on the porch wherein I had more wine. Speaking of the wine... I do not actually remember taking my contact lenses out. ::::blink:::: I'm pretty sure I did though. Hmmm.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I like that Boom, boom, pow

It's gorgeous today and I'm cooking for the partay... Just the cake left.

Peace out people...... cross everything you have two of that I get decent weather for a change tomorrow!!!! Is two days in a row too much to ask?

Carly(via Blackberry)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

What a day

Crazy busy, tons of groceries, and spilled THIS on myself on the way to my daughter's haircut appointment. So much for the post about how it was a little oasis in my day. Sigh...

Carly(via Blackberry)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Uh oh, we're having a party in 3 days

:::looks around:: Hmmm. this place is a mess.

Hey, did you guys know that today was 07/08/09 ? at 10:11 I made my kids stand in front of the microwave for a photograph. They know I'm crazy... it's easier just to give in to my wild demands. (You know you want to do it too... there's always P.M. people! )

I rewarded them with an introduction to the Village People. I started singing "In the Navy" for some reason I can't recall right now... then found the video for it, plus this one too....

Ymca - The most popular videos are here

So yes, we are goofing off. The party is Saturday. Somehow I'll pull it together, but I always do this for some reason.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Let them eat cake 09

Went with "cute lazy" this summer. Wilton pan, strawberry frosting on funfetti...gotta have sprinkles!!!

Carly(via Blackberry)

Farmer's market

.... yum... (sourdough bread... in case you're wondering...)
I would love to show you how beautiful the farmer's market was today, but I didn't bring my camera ::::thud:::
We went after church. I watched Stanley play Stars and Stripes (both hands AND feet working on the organ, it's amazing...) and then my mother in law received (in her words, "last rites") the Sacrament of the Sick, because she is due to have surgery a week from tomorrow and she's very nervous about it.
SO, no camera. But sunshine, boats, (the farmer's market is on the waterfront) and great clam chowder. Sometimes it's good to put the camera down and just enjoy the day, I guess.
I like to photograph food on my new counters.. I work with the light I have usually, which isn't "Pro" I suppose. Maybe after the graduation party I will have time for more "serious" photography. Heh.
Mmmmm. Fourth of July parties require cherries. (Our family party is a day late because we* had to work at a Steamboat Festival yesterday.)
I'm now going to eat a slice of this lovely bread, and some tomatoes with a sprinkling of salt, pepper, sugar, fresh basil, and grated parmigiana cheese. Talk amongst yourselves.
* to be honest, I snuck out to see The Hangover and didn't go out until later.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


I am SO over the crappy weather. Can't we even have a nice holiday????

Carly(via Blackberry)

Friday, July 03, 2009


No one is allowed to measure or go near these with a level.


Now to clean up the sheetrock dust and little bits of insulation...

Carly(via Blackberry)

Tim Taylor is my muse

I just hung this shelf by MYSELF. And it's level, biyatches....

Carly(via Blackberry)

Why do they have stuff like this at registers?

....they see me coming.

I don't usually buy much lipgloss because anything petroleum based makes me blister almost immediately.

But it's summer, hiking, boating, etc... And I fell for some good product placement last night.

Badger Balm is great. It's all natual stuff but has no SPF. I first discovered it in Bath & Body works years ago and I regularly shop their website..

Last night I was charmed by mini Yankee Candle lip balms. Whata sucker I am! But the ingredients look safe, and they were only $3 so I grabbed one, and I like it. Nice and soft, and a few flavors like Vanilla Cupcake to pick from. Plus, SPF of 15.

The Gap product is actually the same quantity (0.14 oz) but looks bigger and has higher SPF, so they got me for another dollar. But in looking at my receipt, the Yankee was on sale. Badger kills them at 0.75 oz for $5.50 plus s/h. But it has the ick factor of being a big tub of goo you have to put a finger or brush into, so it grosses my sister out. ;-)

I'm sure this is the most exciting post you've read in a long time, but THE SUN IS APPARENTLY GONE FOREVER. So I have nothing better to do. My pain is now yours.

Happy 4th of July everyone! Kiss a soldier!!

Carly(via Blackberry)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Too funny

Enhanced id's have a RFID chip. They come with a handy foil sleeve to convince you that Big Brother can't really track you. RiiIiiight.

Carly(via Blackberry)