Thursday, December 31, 2009

December 30 Snowy Trees

December 30 Snowy Trees, originally uploaded by NedraI.

My husband pulled over twice today on our journey home so I could try to take some pictures. The scenery was beautiful for this whole trip. It was a spectacular winter wonderland. These pine trees lined many of the roads and were so pretty with the heavy snow on them. The pictures just don't do it justice!

December 29 Sled Dog Ride

December 29 Sled Dog Ride, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Our original plan was to do a bobsled ride today. But the kids decided they'd like to learn to ski and it was only $40 more for ski school and a pass to ski all day than it was to ride on a bobsled for less then 2 minutes. So at the end of the day my husband and I found something else to ride instead. The dog's feet and tails were looking a little cold but they were still ready to go. We were the last passengers of the day. It was a chilly but quiet and beautiful ride on the lake. It was a fun way to end our trip to Lake Placid.

December 28 First Wine Tasting

December 28 First Wine Tasting, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I debated about which picture to use today. Something showing the Olympics or something showing what we did as a family. I went for the family. Our son has been to wine tastings along the Finger Lakes with us before but this was his first time to actually try the wine. Two of the Finger Lake wineries have a tasting room in Lake Placid. He enjoyed the experience and at this one you even get to keep your glass so he has a memento. Our daughter entertained herself by texting her friends while waiting for us.

December 27 Blue Bird of Happiness

Today my husband and I are celebrating our 29th anniversary. At one of my bridal showers the guests were asked to bring an ornament. That was such a great idea. I still have several of those ornaments and they always bring back special memories. This one was from my Aunt Bettie. She was a very special lady and I miss her. It's nice to pull out this ornament and think of her and remind my kids of her generosity and kind heart with a story or two.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

December 26 Alumni Game

December 26 Alumni Game, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Tonight was my son's 4th alumni game. It was also the most popular. In the past the games have been held early in the morning and there's only a few die hard parents and fans in attendance. But tonight there was a big crowd and close to 40 players on the bench. It's basically the team that won the state championship the year my son was a freshman against everyone else. The championship team ended up being the winners tonight. With just a few exceptions most of the players were looking mighty tired by the end of the game. I'm sure there will be some sore muscles tomorrow!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December 25 Family

December 25 Family, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I debated on which picture to use for Christmas and decided to go with family. After opening presents and eating cinnamon rolls we headed out to the rink for a skate. We had a nice relaxing day together. Phone calls were made to various family members out of town. Later in the day A'nna joined us for dinner. Merry Christmas!

December 24 Christmas Eve Dinner

December 24 Christmas Eve Dinner, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Our daughter wanted Italian food for Christmas but my husband nixed that idea so we settled for a compromise. She could make it for Christmas Eve instead. My husband and I are not huge Italian food lovers but our daughter is, I'm sure she's been influenced by some of her friends and the huge Italian community in which we reside. It's hard to find a restaurant or go to a banquet that doesn't serve Italian food! Kira contacted her friends for some food ideas and came up with the menu of braciole, antipasto, bread and cannolis. She met me at the meat market when I went to buy ham loaf for tomorrow's meal. She didn't know how to pronounce the meat that she needed and the man behind the counter said he'd never heard of it. Then he asked to look at her phone, she was reading from a text message from her friend, and then he figured it out. She took her meat and headed to her friend's house for lessons on how to prepare it. She enjoyed the cooking and we all enjoyed a tasty meal. Our son worked until 8 and then headed to his girlfriend's house for the evening and missed the tasty treat.

December 23 Simple Gifts

December 23 Simple Gifts, originally uploaded by NedraI.

As a "special" teacher I don't receive too many gifts. But the ones I did receive this year were simple gifts from the heart and I love them.

December 22 The Baker

December 22 The Baker, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Our daughter loves to bake. She asked each of her friends what kind of cookie they liked best. Then she spent two days baking all the cookies. Tomorrow she will go to school loaded down with a variety bag of cookies for each of her friends and her two favorite teachers. When the kids were younger I always promoted homemade gifts. I'm glad that has stuck with her.

December 21 Trim the Tree

December 21 Trim the Tree, originally uploaded by NedraI.

This is the latest we've ever put up a Christmas tree and I'm keeping my fingers crossed it doesn't happen again. My daughter helped me and we didn't even use all the ornaments. We picked our favorites. I told my husband we need to start picking up interesting ornaments on our summer travels because some day in the not too distant future the kids will have their own trees and at that time I want to pass along their ornaments but that won't leave us with much!

December 20 Old Puck

December 20 Old Puck, originally uploaded by NedraI.

As we wandered around the back of the rink my husband pointed out this old puck. I got down and shot it the same way I did the baseball a few weeks ago. It looks like a dog has had some fun running around with it.

December 19 In Action

December 19 In Action, originally uploaded by NedraI.

There's been a few instances this year in which I forgot to take a picture for the challenge. Luckily on those days my husband had taken pictures so I used one of his pictures as a "guest" photographer for the day. Thanks Duane!

December 18 Opening Night

December 18 Opening Night, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Since I skated last Saturday we've had warm weather, rain and snow. Luckily it was just a little snow and then the consistent cold temps returned. So tonight my son got home from college and he and his sister were able to get out skate under the lights. I was shooting under the low light conditions but I like this one showing some action, the long shadows and the ghost on the sideline that seems to be cheering for them. The temps look good for the next week so I'm sure the rink will be getting lots of use.

I've decided that the ghost was my dad. He passed away 3 years ago on Christmas Eve. He rarely got to see our kids skate and I know he would have gotten a kick out of watching them play in the backyard. It gave me a sense of comfort to think he was there watching over them.

December 17 Barn

December 17 Barn, originally uploaded by NedraI.

This is another barn on my way to work. Today was our coldest morning so far this season but that didn't stop me from rolling down the window and taking a few shots. I may stop back another day and put on a different lens and get a closer shot of the old tractor.

December 16 Holiday Lights

December 16 Lightpost, originally uploaded by NedraI.

The gym I go to is in a small town and main street is decorated with these wreaths hanging from the lights. I love the quaint feel of these decorations.

December 15 New Mac Book

December 15 New Mac Book, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I am a participant in an EETT grant sponsored by our local BOCES. The grant is about using web2.0 tools to improve writing skills. A perk of this grant is that each participant received a Macbook. They were delivered this week.

December 14 New Lens

December 14 New Lens, originally uploaded by NedraI.

My husband started out taking pictures of our kid's games and has now expanded to volleyball, basketball, and an occasional cross country meet, bowling game, wrestling match or other sport for our daughter's high school. The yearbook committee asked for a CD of his pictures so they could include action shots this year.
My husband asked if we could get a new lens as a joint Christmas present this year. His big sports lens is great for hockey and lacrosse but doesn't work well for basketball and other sports where you want more than just the player. I said sure so we went to our local friendly dealer and picked it up as an early gift. He loves it! I think he also realized that he'll be using it the most so he ended up buying me several gifts as well including Adobe CS4. I have a lot of new learning to do!

December 13 Cardinal

December 13 Cardinal, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Birds used to be my top photographic subject but it's been a long time since I've been out in my backyard to take pictures of them. Today I was rewarded with a cardinal coming to visit. I often see them in the yard but they are always camera shy. Today this guy came by a couple of times for me. The time he came the closest I was so excited I forgot to zoom in and the pictures didn't turn out very well. Oh well, maybe next time....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 12 Opening Day

December 12 Opening Day, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Over Thanksgiving break my husband and kids worked on getting our ice rink set up. Our son has college friends that plan on making a trip to our house to skate during their winter break. Thanks to our recent cold spell the rink was in skating condition today. One corner still has to be avoided but the rest is in decent shape. We've got some work to do, the wind this past week has resulted in lots of leaves and needles embeded in the ice. They'll have to come out when we have a warmer day. But for today I enjoyed my skating in circles while listening to holiday tunes.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

December 11 Village

December 11 Village, originally uploaded by NedraI.

This was a late night shot. I decided to play with taking a shot of lights. I used a tripod and played around with a few settings and the self timer. This is the only "nice" building in my village. My husband and kids bought it for me two years ago. Rest of the buildings are from Jo-Ann Fabrics many many years ago. It's a fun scene to set up and I enjoy the lights at night.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Looking in the Workshop

Looking in the Workshop, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I drive by a train station every other day on my way to work. It's all decorated for Christmas and has a sign out front that says North Pole. Today I stopped to take some pictures since it wasn't quite dark yet and we had a little snow left. This was about my last shot. I tried to take a picture through the window. I knew it wasn't going to be very good and by this time my fingers were so cold that I decided to just head back to the car. When I got to photo class tonight and took a look at it I liked it as did the instructor. So I decided to go with something a little different for my picture of the day.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

December 9 Fundraiser

December 9 Fundraiser, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Today a local restaurant , Casa Too Mucha, was supporting my daughter's hockey team. If a customer wrote hockey on the back of the ticket the restaurant would donate a percentage of the bill to the team. My husband spent about 10 minutes writing hockey on our ticket. After I took this picture he added Comets to it as well. Since it was a snow day we went for lunch and we were the first to participate. I hope a few more people turned out. Thanks to Casa for their support.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

December 8 Adirondack Chair

December 8 Adirondack Chair, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I waited for the sky to brighten this morning so I could take some pictures of our first snow before heading off to work. Not a significant amount but enough to make everything look pretty and Christmasy. I like the way the snow came through the slats.

December 7 Piano Music

December 7 Piano Music, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I love Christmas music and I try to play the piano more frequently during this time of year. I have some music back from when I took lessons in the 70s! I also have some newer additions. The angels were made by my sister many years ago.

December 6 Bird

December 6 Bird, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I haven't been taking many bird pictures this year. Funny how they used to be my main photo topic. This guy was quite photogenic hopping from branch to branch so I could shoot different views. Anyone know what type of bird it is?

December 5 Buttermilk Falls

December 5 Buttermilk Falls, originally uploaded by NedraI.

My daughter had a 7 AM game this morning at her tournament. I went for an early morning walk but just as it was getting light enough to take pictures it was time for the game to begin. After the game, breakfast, and a nap my husband surprised me and took me to this park just a couple of miles from the hotel. After taking some pictures we decided to head up the trail. We were so glad we did. Around every corner there was something delightful to look at. I loved the sound of the rushing water as well. As we climbed the snow began. At times I felt like we were in a magical snow globe. The pictures really don't show the beauty of the day.

December 4 Hockey Store

December 4 Hockey Store, originally uploaded by NedraI.

While waiting for my daughter's hockey game I wandered through the rink's hockey shop. I found this amusing contraption. It hooks up to the hockey bag-a special bag I'm sure-and supposedly blows away the funk! I think just airing the equipment out after every use and an occasional washing works well too.

Monday, December 7, 2009

December 3 Poinsettia

December 3 Poinsettia, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Our PTA had a fund raiser selling poinsettias and wreaths. I bought a few items. They are raising money to buy Smartboards for the classrooms. It's hard not to support that cause!

December 2 Impulse Shopping

December 2 Impulse Shopping, originally uploaded by NedraI.

After my daughter's appointment in Syracuse we made a stop at Wegman's on our way home. We did more than a little impulse buying but it was fun. Here's a few of the things we picked up on our trip through the store. At least some of the items are for Christmas presents. I wish Utica had a Wegman's!

December 1 Old Roller Skates

December 1 Old Roller Skates, originally uploaded by NedraI.

My husband was cleaning the garage recently and he came in with my old roller skates. He informed me that they should not be in a box in the garage but on display in the house. We have a tiny crowded house but I found a spot for them on the floor by the old copper boiler. I remember them flopping off my feet while trying to skate. I'm surprised I didn't break an ankle. My kids had it so much easier with their roller blades!

November 30 Holiday Lights

November 30 Holiday Lights, originally uploaded by NedraI.

This was a late at night "Oh what I should I shoot for today's picture?" shot. I had Christmas music on and candles lit while I worked tonight.