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.

How PJ Got Her Name

January 19, 2009 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Animals | 1 Comment


PJ Close Up , originally uploaded by MAKNJ.

This is our cat PJ, taken with my brand new Nikon D60. I could never get a decent photo of her with my point and shoot. Imagine what I can do when I learn to use the camera!


PJ was born in Jefferson, Louisiana in the fall of 1992.  We celebrate her birthday at Halloween, but I always forget it.  She is a grand damme of 16 years.  her eyes are hazy now, and she’s lost most of her teeth, but she never complains about that.  Well, at least, I think she doesn’t.  She only complains when we lock her out of the bedroom, or when her bowls are empty.  Kevin grooms her often, and she revels in it.  As a toddler, Oliver was gentle with her, so he is one of the few people she trusts (the others being me, sometimes, Kevin, and my dad, who feeds her when we go out of town).

  PJ With Oliver

When PJ was a kitten, I could not find a name that fit her.  She was a nameless one for quite some time.  Rather than just call her “Fluffy” or some other basic cat name, I wanted to give her a moniker that fit her personality.  So I waited for her to show it to me.  I was in law school at the time, living in an apartment overlooking La Freniere Park in Metairie.  it had one bedroom, one bathroom, and two closets.  What I am getting at is that it was small.  Apparently not too small for a petite kitten like this one to get lost in.  I was on my way out, and went to say goodbye to my new kitten, but she was nowhere to be found.  I looked in the bathroom, the closet, the other closet (even though I hadn’t opened the door on that one all day), the kitchen, the oven (the story behind THAT one later), the bathtub, under the bed, behind the books in the bookcase…to no avail.  I rattled a box of cat food – nothing.  I would have called her name but, well, she didn’t have one.


So I did what every normal cat lover would do in the situation:  I called my sister.  In New Jersey.  Because when you have lost a cat, talking to someone thousands of miles away who couldn’t possibly help you look for the cat, or have seen her at all, is who you need to talk to.  Well, my sister asked me “Did you look in the dresser drawers?”  Well, don’t be silly, of course of though of that.  The thing is, the drawers are not left open, so there was no way she could have crawled into a drawer and I closed it on her.  (I am OCD about things like keeping drawers closed, so I knew what I was talking about here.)  However, I had bothered my sister and wanted her to feel as if she was helping, since she did try, so I had to let here hear me open and close the dresser drawers.  I opened the top drawer…and there slept my tiny kitten, nestled in my PJs.

That’s how she got the name PJ, and see, it WAS a good idea to call my sister, because she did know what to do!

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.

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