Friday, May 30, 2008

A little boy -- jcarolek

While in Los Angeles last weekend, I spent some time at a co-worker's house, sharing a wonderful evening with her and her family. I arrived late in the afternoon, and was greeted at the door by my friend, her husband and her little boy. This was the first time I had been to their home and they made me feel immediately welcome.

The little boy, an only child, 7 years old and bursting with energy, was the obvious star of the night. He engaged us with his ready grin and his lively eyes framed with a headful of red curls. We visited. We shared a meal. And we were treated to a show, created and performed by this little star. He had us captivated.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

She Wears It Well -- jcarolek

OK, I admit it. I'm being lazy! I'm up here in one of Dad and Lynne's guest bedrooms, while everyone else is downstairs eating breakfast, going for morning walks etc....I am editing photos from yesterday's party before heading down to help get ready for today's party. Yesterday was a lot of fun, highlighted by none other than the birthday girl herself.

My mother is a "knitter" and she loves to knit for others. She was quite anxious to see how Alicia, her now 21 year old granddaughter would like the present she had made her. We all dutifully came in from the deck, where the grill was still offering the pleasant aromas of the marinated meat

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hand-Me-Downs -- jcarolek

It seems I have lived a life of hand-me-downs. Of course, I was the second child in a family of six children, with parents who had to make the best use of every resource they had, and once clothes were purchased or made for my sister, they could not be discarded when she outgrew them. So, thankful at least that I WAS a GIRL and these hand-me-downs were GIRL clothes, I accepted the clothes that fit my tall skinny sister well, and which would stretch uncomfortably around my chubbier frame, while ALWAYS requiring hemming....since I grew up 40 years before it became fashionable to walk on the hems of pants and such.

I remember thinking how unfair it was that Jeannie got all the "good stuff" and I got all the used stuff. Truthfully,

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Forever Goldilocks -- jcarolek

When I was a kid I heard the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. I remember considering that Goldilocks quite brave to venture into a place unknown to her and to, once inside, have the nerve to sample the porridge in the bowls on the table. Had it been THIS little blond, curly haired youngster, I would not have been so brave. I wasn't sure whether she was really brave or just "dumb."

But I suppose I was focusing on the wrong message when I was a little one. I related not to the finding of the perfect chair, the perfect bowl of porridge at the right temperature and the perfect bed to sleep off a satisfying meal. Instead

Four Guys and Me -- jcarolek

Today, though I did not know it when I awoke and started working in my office at 3 AM, I was to have an office full of action. Yes, that's right. My little 10 X 12 room that serves as my home office for my real work, my eBay shipping center, my upstairs eBay blogging headquarters, and my occasional nap-time place on the futon, was to be invaded by a team of four guys installing my new 2 1/2 ton AC/heat pump unit.

Now, to be honest, it all started off innocently enough at about 7:30 AM. Killian alerted us to the fact that no-good delivery types were approaching and had the audacity to actually drive their vehicle into HER territory. I rewarded

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mom's Hands -- jcarolek

On my mother's birthday last month, I took the opportunity to photograph her hands. I did this upon the suggestion of another blogger, who, as she watched her mother pass away from cancer, spent many hours studying the hands of the woman who had raised her. For the love that was between these two was demonstrated not so much in the words, "I love you" spoken, but in the actions of these hands.

My own mother was a little surprised when I snapped a photo of her hands, and asked why. I responded with my typical, "why not?" And she then went on to explain that at 73, her hands look better than did her own mother's who died

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Sleeping with the windows open -- jcarolek

When we closed on our newly built house six years ago, we were presented our "home owner's manual." This loose bound notebook of goodies held such things as the warranties for the appliances, the care and keeping of the house in general and the warranty on the house construction itself. As with anything new, we poured over the book, getting acquainted with our abode. All was going along swimmingly when hubby spied the notation that, "these houses were built in such a manner that they should be protected by controlling the interior climate." Basically, the advice offered was that opening the windows should be done ONLY when the outside atmosphere was ideal...low or no humidity being the key factor.

Well, anyone who lives in these parts of VA will know that there are relatively few days in a year when humidity is low AND the weather is conducive to WANTING to have

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Finding Harmony -- jcarolek

I know there is harmony in the world. I feel it; I hear it; and I try to capture it. When I sing with others I don't actually feel I am "making up" the harmony, but rather, finding it where is already exists.... waiting in quiet anticipation of a voice on which to be carried.

Tonight I had my very high-tech recording studio in full swing. Yes, that's right. I had recorded myself playing my guitar

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hugely Inappropriate -- jcarolek

So, I thoroughly enjoy playing the guitar in our choir. I especially enjoy playing when our other guitarist (the one who can actually PLAY) is there. Today was such a day. And, as usual, we had fun, not only playing the music, but bantering with each other.

Trey's mother is our choir director. As we prepared to practice one of the songs, she declared, "OK, we need to decide who is going to sing what."

Being the general smart alack I am, I piped up with,

Friday, May 2, 2008

Beehives -- jcarolek

A few years back I was amused to read about a competition to be held here in little old Gloucester. I knew that the local "paper", you know, that one that gets published every now and then, but on no apparent schedule, is called the Beehive, but never realized it had some historical tie to this area. The competition made it clear that we ARE the beehive, county??? still not clear on THAT one.

Nevertheless, someone made a LOT of money manufacturing big beehives and local businesses and residents purchased them, painted them and entered them into the competition. It was BIG news around here....everyone was BUZZING with opinions on the most creative, etc. etc. I mostly watched and laughed....could they be SERIOUS??? Well apparently

What are you Doing? -- jcarolek

I was squatting down, looking at the weeds that covered that hillside in Berkeley. My friends were also exploring the lookout over the town from this vantage point and snapping pictures as they visited. I, having yet to have adopt the "camera in my pocket for all occasions" posture, was in my own little world of investigations.

"What are you doing?" my friend asked as I was holding a purple weed very close to my good eye and peering

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Keeping it in Perspective -- jcarolek

Today I had to drive up to Baltimore to meet with my boss for a "transition" meeting. He is leaving and I will be, at least temporarily, taking over his management responsibilities, along with my own. I was not thrilled with the idea of the drive, or the need to spend the night in yet another hotel room, but that's part of the deal, so I roll with it. I have been fretting about this latest announcement since I heard it on Tuesday, and actually welcomed the face to face meeting with my boss and a couple of other guys from our team. But, still.....

So, I took a copy of the CD of music I had made for my mom for her birthday and popped it in the car's player, and harmonized with myself on the trip. That was kind of fun and different. Thankfully, if others in the cars around me whilst stopped for bridge construction, heard "us" singing, they were polite enough not to "laugh out loud!" I also took with me my trusty camera for my "shots along the way." This little pastime is quite rewarding. Since I don't actually look through the camera's viewfinder, or at the little LCD screen when snapping the shots, I have no idea what I have captured until I get home and download them to my computer.

What I noticed today was perspective. I saw things