Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I'm not sure where I'm going with the blog in 2011. Most of my photography stuff went right to my website, and I mostly directed people there from Facebook. I'm going to try to post more photos in 2011, but probably not a photo a day like I did in 2008 and 2009.

My other favorite hobby besides photography has always been reading. I decided to try to read 100 books in 2010. I've always been a big reader and perhaps have read 100 in a year before, but this year I decided to keep track. So here's what I was doing instead of posting photos:

Favorites reads of 2010:
Under the Dome by Stephen King
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (this was a re-read for book club)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
Little Bee by Chris Cleave
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (a re-read)
Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
Room by Emma Donoghue
Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Not quite favorites but also really good:
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Horns by Joe Hill
Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose
Columbine by Dave Cullen
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
So Much for That by Lionel Shriver
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

Should not have wasted my time, aka Yuck:
How To Be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward
Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer
Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Krauss
The Girl She Used to Be by David Cristofano
No Time to Wave Goodbye by Jacqueline Mitchard

The complete list:
January:
Under the Dome by Stephen King
This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
UR By Stephen King
Queen Bees and Wannabes by Rosalind Wiseman
Push by Sapphire
How to be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward

February:
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (book club)

March:
The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers
Horns by Joe Hill
Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? by Jancee Dunn
Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst
A Three Dog Life by Abigail Thomas
Conversations with the Fat Girl by Liza Palmer
Being Dead by Vivian Vande Velde
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick
You'll Never Nanny in This Town Again by Suzanne Hansen
Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch
The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen

April:
I Was Told There'd Be Cake by Sloane Crosley
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford (book club)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Official Book Club Selection by Kathy Griffin

May:
Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Krauss
While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty
The Unnamed by Jonathan Ferris
Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster
The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano
No Time to Wave Goodbye by Jacqueline Mitchard
Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield
Tiny Ladies in Shiny Pants by Jill Soloway
Are You There Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
Husband and Wife by Leah Stewart
Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

June:
Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster
The Zygote Chronicles by Suzanne Finnamore
Ask Again Later by Jill A. Davis
Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (book club)
Little Bee by Chris Cleave

July:
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg
Shanghai Girls by Lisa See
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Shit My Dad Says by Justin Halpern
Her by Laura Zigman
Thank You for All Things by Sandra Kring
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (a re-read)
Still Missing by Chevy Stevens
The Unlikely Disciple by Kevin Roose
Traveling Light by Katrina Kittle

August:
My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler
Columbine by Dave Cullen
The Strain by Guillermo del Toro
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel (book club)
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

September:
Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (book club)
Reproduction is the Flaw of Love by Lauren Grodstein
Still Life with Husband by Lauren Fox
An Innocent, A Broad by Ann Leary
20th Century Ghosts by Joe Hill
The Kids Are All Right by the Welch siblings
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Home Safe by Elizabeth Berg

October:
Why We Suck by Denis Leary
The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
The Irrestible Henry House by Lisa Grunwald
Blockade Billy by Stephen King
The Colorado Kid by Stephen King
The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
I'd Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
How Did You Get This Number by Sloane Crosley
The Stormchasers by Jenna Blum
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

November:
Day After Night by Anita Diamant
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Half-Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven by Susan Jane Gilman (book club)
Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman
The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman
The Last Time I Saw You by Elizabeth Berg
Blood and Smoke by Stephen King
My Name is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
So Much for That by Lionel Shriver
This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer
The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs

December:
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Here's The Story by Maureen McCormick
Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster
You Better Not Cry by Augusten Burroughs
The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
25 Days, 26 Ways to Make This Your Best Christmas Ever by Ace Collins
You'll Never Blue Ball in This Town Again by Heather McDonald
The Story of the Other Wise Man by Henry Van Dyke
Room by Emma Donoghue
Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King

Total: 111
Classics: 5
Nonfiction: 30
Trilogies: 2
Audiobooks: 9
Started but didn't finish: 2 (The Carrie Diaries, The Solitude of Prime Numbers)

My reading goal for 2011 is to read at least ten classics I haven't previously read.
My photography goal for 2011 is to try to post a photo at least weekly.
My personal goal for 2011 (besides the perennial goal of losing weight) is to learn something new/take some lessons. Maybe yoga, Zumba, sewing, or belly dance. I took a belly dance class this year and had a lot of fun (and a lot of laughs).

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

More puffins and other birds



Besides puffins, we also saw these razorbills on Machias Seal Island:
and these murres:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Puffins!

Some more photos from my puffin trip:




Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stud Puffins

A few more puffin photos:



A razorbill and a puffin:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Do you know the puffin, man?

I just got home from a 'bucket list' experience! A few summers ago a friend and I did a puffin watch out of Boothbay Harbor, ME. It was pretty fun, but we didn't see a lot of puffins, and what we did see were from pretty far away.

I knew there was a better way to see puffins. I had picked up a brochure somewhere that talked about up-close puffin watching here in Maine. Machias Seal Island in the Gulf of Maine is the largest puffin colony on the coast of Maine. You have to have a permit to land there, and there are two tour companies that have those permits.

After trying and failing for a couple of years (there's a pretty limited season in the summer when the birds are nesting on the island; they spend the rest of the year out at sea) my friend and I finally booked our trip with http://www.boldcoast.com/

It was a 5-hour drive for us to get to Cutler, where Bold Coast tours depart, and of course everything depends on weather conditions. And, even if the weather permits you to leave the harbor, the conditions have to be safe for getting on and off the island. We could not have been any luckier! At 7 a.m. on Monday we headed out to Machias Seal Island, 10 miles due south from Cutler harbor.

The island is disputed, with both the Unites States and Canada claiming ownership. The Canadian Coast Guard staffs a lighthouse on the island. It's pretty rare to find a manned lighthouse now, and we were met on the island by the lighthouse keeper, who made sure we disturbed the birds as little as possible.

You're not allowed to wander around the island (15 acres) on your own. You are led on wooden walkways in small groups to a bird blind, where they deposit you and tell you to stay put until someone comes to get you. And then you watch and photograph the birds to your heart's content. Thousands of puffins, within a few feet of you. Also razorbills and murres. It was amazing! It was a beautiful day. If you're familiar with the Maine Coast, you know that a day without fog is rare, so we were hoping for good visibility, and we got it. Two hours and several hundred photos later, the captain retrieved us and we were back on our way to the mainland.

So here are just a couple of pictures from Becky and Julie's excellent adventure:


Monday, July 19, 2010

Feast Your Eyes

Feast your eyes on those baby rolls. You could lose your car keys in them. My niece Willow, six months old.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Salem, MA

My daughter's school trip back in June included a trip to Salem.

This is the House of Seven Gables (as in Nathanial Hawthorne's House of Seven Gables):
This is what I learned about gables on the tour. To be a gable, the peak has to be the same height as the original roofline:
You can imagine how thrilling this information was to a bunch of 8th graders.

Nathaniel Hawthorne's birthplace, with the House of Seven Gables on the right:
Another Salem landmark:

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Phoebe update

So Phoebe is 10 months old now, and it's like she's always been a part of the family. We have come to the conclusion that she's so ugly she's cute, which makes me love her even more. She got a haircut last week, and the stupid clothes I buy her actually had a practical use for once, because she was shivering(from cold or from embarrassment I'm not sure).Blurry face here, but I wanted to show off her shirt, which cost $1.00, because buying dog clothes makes me WEIRD, so I try to only buy on the cheap:
Also blurry but I like her ear. Nope, she will never win a beauty contest (but hey, neither will I):
She was still shivering even in her shirt, so we wrapped her in a blanket. My husband will probably be pissed that I posted a photo of him with morning hair. That morning he shook his head and said, "I never thought I'd have a dog that needed to wear pajamas to bed."






I think she's appreciating her haircut this week, though, because it's really hot and humid. I'm sitting here with a fan six inches from me.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Adams Stone Library, Quincy, MA

Holy cow, it's a blog post.

My daughter graduated 8th grade earlier this month (parent brag alert: as co-valedictorian!), and that weekend her class took a trip to Boston and Salem to tour some historic sites. I decided to leave the 40D at home and see if I could still operate a point-and-shoot camera. The answer is: not so much. This one's not so bad, though. It's the Adams Stone Library (as in John Adams):

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dumbass chipmunk

This was the most exciting thing that happened at our house all Memorial Day weekend. We rescued a chipmunk that got stuck in our bird feeder.
We couldn't figure out how he got in there at first. It doesn't open unless you pull up on it, so he didn't get in through the top. He must have crawled in through one of the square little holes. Then I bet he ate so much he couldn't get back out. Just like Pooh with the honey at Rabbit's house!
Freedom!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Haircuts

I decided the dogs needed haircuts since I couldn't see Phoebe's eyes anymore. She was looking disheveled all the time. After their haircuts I thought I'd take them outside to try to get some cute pictures.

That didn't work out so well with The Phoebster.
Post haircut, she's still disheveled all the time. She's no supermodel, but we sure love that little puppy.
Baxter gave me his best "look how dignified I am" pose. It's a total act. There's nothing dignified about that dog, but he does pull off the look sometimes.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Orchid

I think I'm busting out of my photo slump, because I've pulled my head out of my...Kindle and am starting to take more photos. I thought I'd capture my orchid one more time before it dies.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Little Critter

I was shocked to see it snowing when I woke up yesterday morning. Then I was shocked to be shocked, since it's March in Maine after all. We had just had such beautiful spring weather, and my crocuses and tulips are coming up, and my little friends are easier to spot on our stone wall:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Top o' the mornin' to ya.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The other day when I was outside I looked over at my lilac bushes and said to myself, "Are those BUDS?"

Yup! Spring is springing early around here. As in, weeks earlier than usual.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Cool Beans

When I saw this bag of beans in the grocery store, my first thought was not "I'm going to make a delicious soup." It was more "Ooh, I want to take macro photos of these. I love the colors. They would go so well in my kitchen. Wow, those speckled beans look like cappuccino-flavored Jelly Bellys. I love Jelly Bellys. Especially pear. And margarita. I love margaritas too. Maybe we can go out for Mexican and margaritas tonight....."

Anyway, here's one of the photos.

And I actually am trying to make a delicious soup. It's on the stove right now. The beans are taking for-freakin-ever. The soup is tasty, yet still crunchy. We should be able to eat it by....Saturday. Now I remember why I use canned beans.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Celebration

I finished my taxes, and Baxter celebrated with me:
Not really, he just likes to roll around in the snow.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A birthday gift

I got this necklace with my kids' names and birthstones for my birthday this month. I love it. It came from here: www.thevintagepearl.com

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Biker Puppy

Phoebe's bad to the bone. Delaney found the biker jackets at Target for $1.76.
So we got them for both dogs, but the fitting went bad for Baxter. He had to be cut out of his. It's not easy being a fatty.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Front Yard Shot

Another front door shot. It's so nice to see something besides gray dreary skies. Straight out of camera.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunset

Last night's sunset, as seen from my front door. It was a good one. SOOC except for web sharpening.