Category: Blog

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The Colosseum
Rome, Italy
May 2015

Sarcophagus detail


Vatican Museums
Vatican City State
May 2015

Whatever you do


Seen while walking in San Francisco, CA
December 2014

Celebration of Life

On April 8th, we lost James. He’d had a stroke 2 years ago and had been struggling with his health ever since. He was in a lot of pain at the end and the difficult decision to put him into hospice had been made. It was the right decision as he passed the next day. He left this life surrounded by friends and music – exactly how he lived. I’m sad he is gone, but relieved he’s no longer in pain.
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The next phase…

Well, it happened. I finally took the ultimate step in the fight against the limp: hip replacement surgery. It took years for me to get here – to get to the point where the pain and inconvenience was enough to get me over the fear of the operation. The final straw? The day I couldn’t get out of the tub. I wasn’t sitting in the tub; I was standing in it. I couldn’t get my foot up high enough to get over the edge. After spending what felt like an eternity trying everything I could think of, I finally found the right combination of leaning and positioning to allow myself to de-tub. I called the surgeon’s office the next day.

I had the surgery a week and a day ago. Here’s a few things I’ve learned since then: Read More

Finding my photos around the web

It’s always fun to find one of my photos being used and correctly attributed. Here’s a big list of some I’ve come across lately:

Aaaaand…I’m bored now.

What is joy? And can I buy it?

Shortly after I made my post last night, I received this email from my aunt Sheilah:

I think overwhelming joy is not an everyday occurrence, but little joys can happen often, sometimes more than once in a day, sometimes even in the midst of sadness. Something that makes you smile is a little joy, perhaps a phone call, watching a squirrel working on a nut, a beautiful day with clear air, blue sky, pleasant temps and a light breeze, a spectacular sunset, learning something new, time with friends, finally
completing a dreaded job, knowing you have done something to help someone . . . Perhaps it just takes the minute to realize that this is a joy.

And she is right. My brain and thought processes are very black/white or all/nothing. In thinking that way, I was probably expecting/wanting/putting too much pressure on the idea of joy being this super wonderful blissful orgasmic experience. Is joy just a simple smile and taking the time to enjoy that smile and the feelings that accompany it? Is it as simple pausing and reflecting for a moment when something good happens? Or even just stopping for a moment and noticing what’s around you instead of plowing right through? If I hadn’t been open to exploring, would I have walked right past that mirror in yesterday’s post without giving it a moment’s notice? If I hadn’t had eyes open today, would have never seen this today?

Vulture and street light

I was driving to a garden center to look for a tree to plant in my back yard and, as I approached a stop sign, I looked up and saw this huge bird on a street light. (I think it was a vulture? I’m not sure.) The bird was just hanging out and looking around. I pulled over, rolled down my car window and took this shot with my cell phone. The bird hadn’t moved, so I got my point and shoot out (didn’t have my big camera with me), got out of the car, and snapped a few photos. All this time, people drove by looking at me like I was nuts. None of them stopped and even tried to see what I was looking at with such interest. Why not? I’d like to think that if I saw someone taking photographs of and staring at something on a random street corner, I’d slow down enough to try and figure out what held their interest. At any rate, I was glad I stopped to share a moment with this creature.

kefuoe commented on the previous post:

I used to wax philosophic about how I’d realized that what I craved more than the happiness of getting things was the contentedness of not wanting anything. That was really easy to do in my living situation at the time (as a Peace Corps volunteer in a hut in a village), but I found it so much harder when I returned to the states and everything I saw and heard was telling me what I needed to do (more often buy) to be a happy and fulfilled person.

As someone who constantly caves to the “buy buy buy” marketing, I agree. I our society, things and food are often linked to the promise of happiness. We all know that buying or eating that special something won’t truly bring us joy (at least, not of the lasting kind), but it’s amazing how quickly one can forget that when faced with yet another advert or “super bargain!” After, all, right after I published yesterdays post, I tweeted a link to a Breaking Bad box set. The purchase of which would momentarily make me think joy was on it’s way – boxed up and shipped directly to my door. Could it be that simple? Would the pain of looking at my credit card statement later undo that moment of happiness? Does one have to consider that later moment? Is there math in finding the balance to give one the greatest amount of joy?

Things that bring joy

It’s been forever since I’ve written about my fight with the limp. There’s some reasons for that. I’ve been losing the fight on an almost daily basis – my binge eating has escalated; my walking/exercising has dropped inversely; my weight has gone way up. One of the books on binge eating I read said that to help battle the urge to do oneself damage by overeating, one should do something that brings joy once a day. That made me stop and think – what brings me joy? That’s such a strong word and a strong emotion. I seem to prefer keeping my emotions on a more even keel; I’m fearful of the repercussions that feeling and expressing strong emotions often bring. Since that’s not natural, it’s probably why I’m often so cranky, impatient and quick tempered (at least it’s part of it). Negative emotions come more natural to me. This leaves me, of course. failing at yet another thing. And it still leaves me at the question: what brings me joy? Pure, unmitigated joy? I don’t know. Until I do, maybe I can start with things that at least make me smile…

My 2nd to last day in NYC, I roamed around in Brooklyn taking pictures. I ended up mainly going places I’d been to before and mainly taking pictures of the standard tourist items. I was frustrated with myself for sticking to such a tried and true path. On the way back to my friend’s apartment, I took a wrong turn. Instead of turning back to my usual road, I just went with it. I passed a garage with one of those “help you see the street as you are pulling out” kind of big mirrors outside it. I thought it looked interesting. But I was worried about time (I needed to get a late lunch/early dinner and then make it to the tennis in Queens on time), so I kept walking. After a few steps, however I stopped, and went back. Stared at the mirror and door and took a picture that made me smile when I reviewed it on the screen. It made me smile more when I got home and looked at it on my computer.

Garage reflected

I’m not sure I got “the” shot of it…but I got a shot and one that somewhat satisfies me. (That may not sound like much, but it is.)

A day in the world

A Day in the World

Thanks to my mom pointing out that I was mentioned in a comment on this post, I now own this wonderful book. It’s amazing to see how both different and similar life is around the world. The contrasts can be as startling as the similarities are comforting. Thanks for leading me to this book – I’m sure I’ll notice and be given new things to think about each time I pick it up. You can read more about the project on I bought my copy on


I set this site to use a comments plugin from WordPress and…I guess it’s not working properly. I had no idea there were pending comments nor did approving them for display work. So…um…Sorry to those who have commented recently!