Loving Cup

June 11, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous | 1 Comment
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Loving Cup, originally uploaded by MAKNJ.

My sister gave me this mug. I am a big tea drinker, and this matches a plate I gave her when she was starting her family. It says “You are Special Today.” I use it on special events, to mark occasions, and then, sometimes, I use its magic power to remind me that I am special on days when I am down.

This mug is not for everyday use. You need a REASON to use it.

That is, until my parents moved in with us. My mom used the mug indiscriminately, any day of the week, making it lose its specialness and power. I considered telling her the problem, but I knew she would not understand, and might laugh at me. And there is nothing as not-special as being laughed at by your own mother.

And then one day I came home and it was broken. There were several chips in it, as if it had fallen to the floor. And bounced. Noone owned up to it. I have not used the mug since.  I wanted to throw it away, until I looked at it from a certain angle and saw the shape made by the largest chip.

I guess you can find love anywhere if you look.


Photoshop Before and After

April 25, 2009 at 6:37 pm | Posted in East Coast, Miscellaneous, The Great Outdoors | Leave a comment
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I took this at the park on a warm winter day. You know the kind, where you can’t resist wearing your short sleeve shirt and saying “I can’t believe this is January!” 

I was trying for the visual interest of the perspective of the fence getting smaller, then the punch of him in his colorful shirt.  (We bought that shirt at the Adventure Aquarium in Camden, NJ.  I have one just like it.  What is it about tie dye?)
I like this picture, but I couldn’t leave well enough alone.  So I changed it and like the new one so much I posted it on my Flickr page.
I added a little vignetting and changed it to black and white.  But I let his shirt shine through:










Kevin wanted some pictures to hang on the wall in his new office, so he shopped at MAKNJ’s Photography Studio (my study in the spare bedroom) and picked out this one.  But I didn’t like the way it looked in the frame, so I went back to the color version, desaturated it a little, and then applied a tint so it’s sort of sepia toned.  




Then, I read this post on Shutter Sisters asking us to show some before and after pictures we had edited.  They call it “Before, After, and Beyond.”  if you’ve done anything fun with your photos, leave a link in the comments.

Returned from Hiatus

April 22, 2009 at 8:52 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous | 1 Comment

I just commented on a post at NOLA Notes, who has this function where it posts a link to your last blogpost (cool).  And I realized I had been silent since my birthday.  Silent, me?  Unlikely.  But true.  I somehow let three months pass by without noticing.  I will endeavor to be more regular in my posting.  After all, I do have a lot to say!

Coming soon:  Photos from the Doo Dah Parade in Ocean City, results from Oliver’s standardized tests, and life with our new dog.

School Daze

January 24, 2009 at 1:53 am | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

 Dear President Obama

In case you can’t read it, this is a letter my son wrote to the president. First of all, he is very proud: It is the first time he signed his name in cursive script. That is a very big kid thing to do.

The assignment was to help the president by telling him how to help kids.  Oliver wrote “by making school every day of the week.”  Yep, that’s our kid.  Loves school so much he doesn’t want to take off on weekends.  We at least that’s how he felt the other night…

All The Days of My Life

January 8, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment
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My friend who blogs as NOLA Notes recently wrote how we tend not to photograph the times when our kids are cranky, crying, hurt, etc.  This leads us to look back on our year as if it was ALL smiles and sunshine.  I commented that I had pictures of Oliver crying and grumpy that I would post.

It seems I remember taking pictures of many more tantrums than I actually did.  Here’s what I’ve got:

Click on the thumbnails below to see the full sized photo on Flickr.

Cry Baby

Loud Lunch

"I'm Not Tired"


Now that I’ve noticed that I really do not capture all of the moments, I am going to try harder to tell the whole story.  Not just the happy days or special events, but ALL the days of our lives.

Different Strokes For Different Folks

September 15, 2008 at 12:25 am | Posted in East Coast, Miscellaneous | 4 Comments
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It always amazes me how different people can be.  How many ways there are to be a family.  How many ways to take a trip, go on vacation, spend your spare time. 

This was especially apparent today when we took a trip to the beach.  I compared and contrasted how we did things today to the way they were when I was a kid.  In other words, how I do thing differently from my parents.  For example:

Then:  We would never get to the beach early enough to get a spot on Ocean Ave., so we would have to walk three or four blocks in the hot sun before hitting the beach.

Now:  We either get to the beach real early, or we don’t go until after 4, when the people who got the good parking spot are ready to leave.  Almost always park less then one block from beach, and temp is still below the hottest of the day.

Then:  All three kids and both parents were loaded down like pack mules for the multi-block walk:  Cooler, lunch bag, chairs, blanket, towels, change of clothes, castle building toys and water toys.

Now:  One towel apiece, enough cash for snacks, point-and-shoot camera.  We still bring the castle building toys and bucket; we’re not philistines.

Then:  Play in the sun all day, eat a sandy peanut butter sandwich and a warm Shasta cola.

Now:  Go inside for lunch, re-apply waterproof sunscreen.

Then:  Completely shower off, change into clean dry clothes for the ride home.  Apply Solarcaine when you get home and realize you have turned the color of a cooked lobster.

Now:  Rinse off your feet, play on the swings or sit at a cafe until you are dry enough to get in the car, vacuum up later.  No sunburn. 

The beach, which was a major event, taking planning and a whole day to recover when I was a kid, is a no fuss, “do it at the drop of a hat” thing for us now.  That’s better, to me – but I’ll bet the wet sandy butts in the car would be no good as far as my parents are concerned!

A Day At The Beach


July 16, 2008 at 12:01 am | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

We like to travel and we’ve been bringing our son along with us since he was three months old.  Visit us to see where we are going, where we’ve been, and how much Oliver has grown along the way.

Contributers include: me (the Mom), with my interests in photography and scrapbooking; Kevin (the Dad), who plays darts and is learning his second type of Karate; and Oliver, our son, who enjoys the typical favorite pursuits of a six year old, such as riding his bike, not eating his vegetables, learing karate, and battleing his Pokemon.

Oliver’s Travel Plans

March 24, 2007 at 8:49 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

by Oliver

I have a lot of fun trips coming up. I am going with daddy and mommy to Baltimore next month. I want to go to the aquarium and the children’s museum. The next month I am going to Connecticut where they have that cool dinosaur park. Awesome!

Vocabulary and Phrases

October 12, 2006 at 9:05 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous | Leave a comment

Hi, Margaret here.

Lately, I’ve been noticing Oliver using word and phrases that I can’t believe are coming from the mind of a four year old! Does anyone have similar stories about their kids to share?

His current favorites:

Small Intestines
Invisible Protective Shield

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