Friday, December 31, 2010

365 Reflections

The 365 is done!

Honestly, I can't believe I completed this project. Along the way, I've learned a lot of things about photography and I've learned there is so much I still don't know. I have some fabulous friends and I've met even more friends who have all encouraged me along the way.

I've learned to broaden my horizons and I've learned that I love sun flares.

I've learned to use different lenses and I've learned to venture beyond the backyard that I love so much.

It has been fun, draining, exciting, and exhausting sharing this year in pictures but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Several people have asked if I will do another 365 and the answer is a VERY STRONG NO! Overall, I enjoyed the experience but as the year came to an end, I struggled with the day to day dread of taking and posting a picture. I am looking into a 52 week project and I have some other ideas floating around in my head. The bottom line is that I will continue to take pictures and post them.

Thanks to all of you for being along for the ride!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Took a moment to play around with some oil and water.

Can't believe the year is almost over!

Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The zoominess of life

Time is just flying by right now! Could someone please slow down the merry-go-round?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rainbow leaks

Finally, things are getting back to normal with all the company gone. It has been a great being off work and having time to spend with family and friends.

Tomorrow begins the annual purging of the closets!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Finding the magical in the mundane

This tiny box with Japanese etchings comes to life when placed in a window and viewed through a macro lens. This should have been my focus all year long. Instead, for the past couple of months, I've just been ready for this project to be through.

"I've come too far to quit now...."

Now, I'm not so sure anymore. I think I'm going to miss the rigor that I placed upon myself this past year.

Maybe in a few days, after this 365 is over, I'll feel compelled to be more creative.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

It's getting hot in here

Yesterday, we had the doors open and people eating on the porch. Today, it was freezing (I even saw a few flurries this morning) and we built a fire.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas is not a time, nor a season but a state of mind. ~ Calvin Coolidge

Merry Christmas! It was a day filled with family, friends, happiness, and laughter.

Every day should feel this good!

Friday, December 24, 2010

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light. ~ Plato

Merry Christmas Eve!

Cleaning, cooking, and spending time with friends and family. I love the holidays!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


I'm home and now I'm caught up on posting a picture of the day (there are only 8 more days of this torture).

We got in from NYC after 1 a.m. this morning and didn't get to sleep until after 2 a.m. After a day of running around getting ready for the crowd that will be at our house on Christmas day, I am a bit (ok.... a lot) pooped out!

This picture was taken earlier in the day when my husband and I visited the local junk yard. My husband is so creative and is currently inspired by some things he saw in the city (in over priced "trendy" shops).

I have no idea what he'll build next but I'm sure it'll be awesome!

Nature in an unnatural world (Day 5 of our NYC Family Trip)

Tuesday's picture (12.22.10)

One of the things I loved the most about renting an apartment was that for a brief period of time, we felt like real New Yorkers. We were housed right down the street from Gramercy Park - the only private (and locked) park in Manhattan. From the sidewalk you could see the paths in the park with squirrels scurrying to and fro.

I love how nature still thrives in this vibrant city!

On this day, we took it easy and just strolled around and shopped in the Gramercy Park and Union Square areas. A van was booked to take us to the airport where we were there were tons and tons of people flying out for the holidays.

It was a fast vacation with a lot packed in! I'm so glad we got to take the kids to see NYC at Christmas-time!

Museums, museums, museums (Day 4 of our NYC Family Trip)

Tuesday's picture (12.21.10)

Taken whilst walking from the Metropolitan Museum to the Guggenheim Museum.

After a morning of art, we then rode the subway down to SoHo and walked through several stores. From there, we meandered to the Lower East Side to meet Jeff's cousin at Katz's Deli (a most fabulous old Jewish deli).

We then went to the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. It was so hard to imagine how all those immigrants lived in those tiny apartments.

At the end of the day, we strolled through Chinatown and Little Italy.

Pizza was a great reward for all the artistic culture we absorbed that day.

Walking Around (Day 3 of our NYC Family Trip)

Monday's picture (12/20/10)

We started each day with a fresh bagel from the Gramercy Bagel Shop. There is nothing like warm bagels to start your day!

On Monday, we headed to the South Seaport part of the island to go see the Bodies exhibit. It was delightfully awesome! I just had to keep telling myself that the bodies were not real (but they are!) so that I wouldn't get too grossed out. This worked with the girls, as well.

After that exhibit, we walked around the financial district and spotted the NY Stock Exchange, Wall Street, the Trump Building, and more. We walked our way back up to the Greenwich Village area and found a fabulous store that sold cream puffs and the best chai coffee.

We took a walking tour of Greenwich Village and learned a lot about the area (mainly that NYU owns most of the buildings...). We then headed over to Sammy's Romanian Steak House and had a blast eating Jewish food in this old establishment. After we left, we took the subway up to 34th Street and walked through the ridiculously crowded Macy's.

After enough of fighting the crowds in Macy's (it was ridiculous, I tell you), we walked down to the Empire State Building to get a view of the city at night. What a view! And what a breeze!

We wrapped up the day by walking back to the apartment on 21st Street. It was the end of our most walking-est day!

The Christmas Spectacular (Day 2 of our NYC Family Trip)

Sunday's picture (12/19/10)

We started the day early and headed by subway (awesome!) to Radio City Music Hall to see The Christmas Spectacular. I love the way this fabulous building is decorated and it is especially amazing during Christmas! The Rockettes were impressive!

After the show, we went to the Top of the Rock to get a great view of the city - especially Central Park. Once we were back on the ground, we all headed over to the park and just strolled around a bit. There was a cool little bazaar going on and it was a fun to take in the banter.

Jeff's cousin, who lives on the west side of Central Park, fixed lunch for us. We spent the afternoon visiting and drinking much Prosecco. Afterwards, we traipsed through the Museum of Modern Art.

That evening, we met up with my fabulous niece for dinner at John's Italian Restaurant on 12th Street. It was just like stepping into the 1940s (though the restaurant has been open since 1908) and the food was amazing! We then strolled around for just a block or two and had dessert at an old Italian bakery (I wish I could remember the name - but it opened in 1904) that was fabulous!

We probably should have rolled home as we were all so full...

Ready or not... Here we come! (Day 1 of our NYC Family Trip)

Saturday's picture (12/18/10)

Despite a rainy start, our spirits were high as we waited for our flight at the Jacksonville airport. While there, we saw an old couple dragging along a pet carrier which contained a yapping dog. As luck would have it, the yapping dog flew with us all the way to NYC.

Fun times.

Once in NYC (yay!), we checked into our apartment in Gramercy Park. It was a cool little place with a room for the boys, for the girls, and for my husband and I. And one bathroom.

We totally made it work!

We then took the three kids with us for a stroll all the way to Times Square (where the lights are bright!) and met up with Dalton. He had come to NYC (from college) the day before and stayed with some friends. Times Square was a total zoo! There were times when my feet were not even on the ground and I was carried along by the crowd.

We quickly decided to venture back up towards our neighborhood and look for a place to eat. We found a funky little Japanese restaurant and sat in their heat for a great meal (I wish I could remember the name of that place.....) before heading to the hotel by Ground Zero to get Dalton's luggage.

We may not have done much sightseeing but we saw enough to take in the flavor of the city. I love NYC!

Friday, December 17, 2010

About as Christmas-y as the decorations are going to get at my house this year

The Japanese Maple is in the Christmas spirit! And so am I!

We are leaving (on a jet plane) for NYC tomorrow!

I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so excited!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Do you have a passion in your life (and no, I don't mean the romantic kind - though that is nice, too)? After being so inspired by the teachers and the students at the Ron Clark Academy, I feel lucky to know that my passion is working with students. Maybe one day, I'll get to go back into the classroom. Until then, I'll just have to be satisfied with driving my teachers a little crazy (or a lot crazy - it just depends on who you ask) with some of my ideas.

They are in for some changes in January!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I got to spend the day at the Ron Clark Academy today! At the end of the observations and workshops, we all got to slide down this slide.

It was such an awesome day! Getting to go the RCA and actually meeting Ron Clark were on my bucket list.

I can't wait to tell my teachers all about it!

In the city

Yesterday's picture from my iPhone.

After work, several teachers and I headed to Atlanta, GA for a training. I love the lights in the city!

Monday, December 13, 2010

"Sunshine is my quest." ~ Winston Churchill

Tonight, we got to recognize two of our students at the school board meeting for just being great students. We were suppose to pick one outstanding student but couldn't narrow it down beyond the two. The nominations were sent in for the powers that be to make a decision. They couldn't decide between the two either.

So, in the end, both my students who are fighting leukemia were recognized for being outstanding students tonight.

Those two often remind me to be thankful for every minute. I wish everyone could have their happy attitude.

It was a great Monday.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Resurrection Fern

Went for a little walk today after the rain stopped. One of the best things about living in the south are the awesome little Resurrection Ferns that grow on the big, stately oak trees. They look dead and dried up until it rains and then they just revive.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Lois Lane

They recently named the alley across the street from my house and the name just cracks me up!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

And Life Goes On

This Christmas Cactus has been a part of the family for about seven years. It was a gift from a teacher and it always brings back memories of a particular student. The day I got this cactus Angry Boy was hiding under my desk refusing to come out.

Angry Boy had been horrifically abused for the first six years of his life and he didn't know how to handle the rage that resulted from the loss of trust. He often hid under furniture refusing to talk or comply with any redirections.

On that particular day, I remember telling Angry Boy that he was safe with me. There was nothing he could do to make me not love him. Angry Boy growled and cowered deeper under my desk.

I went about doing some paper work telling Angry Boy that I would be ready to talk when he was ready.

After some time, I realized that Angry Boy was reaching up to the top of my desk and plucking off the blooms on my new Christmas Cactus. When he saw that I saw, he smiled - and not a nice smile. I know he thought he'd upset me.

I simply reached over and grabbed the plant placing it closer to him. The move baffled him. He picked off a couple more blooms while looking at me. I just smiled at him. He then crawled out from under the desk, picked up the plant and placed it back where it belonged. It was the beginning of building some trust with a little boy who didn't know how to trust. A few months later, he was adopted by a relative who lived in another state and he moved away.

That year the Christmas Cactus had only a few blooms as most were picked off. Each year since, it has grown and flourished.

I hope the same is true for Angry Boy.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


The joyous lift of the leaves on a gray winter day is enough to remind me to smile.

Man, oh man has it gotten cold! The cold weather combined with the lovely sinus infection I'm fighting (not to mention a several 12 hour work days) has seriously gotten in the way of my running. I may just need to wear my running shoes to work and run the halls.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year....

There is nothing better than the voices of children singing Christmas songs.

It makes going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark all worthwhile.

Monday, December 6, 2010


All it takes to make me happy is a paper umbrella stuck in a straw stuck in an apple. Oh, the ridiculousness that is my brain after working 12+ hours.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

It can all change in a minute

Tonight, right after supper, we realized a house down the street was on fire. We could see the flames leaping up into the tall pines. It was horrifying to watch the firemen try to get into the house - it was totally engulfed. And we all feared the owner was inside as he pretty much never leaves the house.

After a few minutes, they got him out and rushed the stretcher to the ambulance. For a moment, he had a weak pulse. By the time the ambulance pulled off, we could see them doing CPR.

I hope he'll be okay.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Maybe a little sleep is in order

I volunteered today as a docent on a tour of lofts in my downtown. This is the view from the roof of the apartment I was working in. There was a big hot tub on the roof, too. Isn't it fabulous?!

Afterwards, I ran a 5K dressed as an elf. As soon as the race was over, I rushed home, showered, and went to dinner with some friends.

Now that sore throat that I was trying to ignore is really hurting. And I'm running a fever.

I don't like getting sick.

Friday, December 3, 2010

On the third day of Hanukkah

We finally decided to light the candles.

It was a different miracle of sorts.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Just for the fun of it... really to foster a sense of cohesiveness, I had my faculty reply on the faculty wiki with the one word they felt was synonymous with the word teamwork. Then I took all the responses and put them in a wordle to create a fun design and had it printed on a t-shirt.

The t-shirts came in today and the results were fabulous!

It was so much fun giving a fun gift to the faculty for no real reason. Giving really is the best gift of all.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tall tales

At lunch, one of my students told me that he'd gone scuba diving and found five golden pirate coins. He went on to say that the coins were worth $1 million dollars each and that he'd bought a private jet. When I asked if he was sure, he said, "Okay, okay... really I only bought a car."

This kid just makes my day!