Monday, August 22, 2011

Fancy Schmancy

Spent our last weekend at the beach for the summer. Everyone goes back to school next week.

This wasn't just plain terrible, this was fancy terrible. This was terrible with raisins in it.  ~Dorothy Parker
Back to routines. And bag lunches. And early nights.

Goodbye to lazy, sleepy mornings and tuna noodle salad for lunch and staying up late watching old movies.

So we enjoyed the weekend and the sun and the waves. We walked around an old fishing town, and went out to breakfast, and shopped a bit.

I love the column on the left in the first blog board above. It's very fancy.

Why don't we make fancy things like that anymore?

We need more fancy in the world. 
Melting ice cream?

Not fancy.

Hat on her head?

Very fancy.
Pretty golden highlights in K's hair?

Saying goodbye to summer.

She looks footloose and fancy-free, skipping along, gathering up flowers.


Many thanks to Miz Booshay for the inspiration to find some Queen Anne's lace. She took such a pretty photo of her Katie, it made me find this flower.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In Between

K and I started shooting her senior photos. I don't know how she's going to pick one for the yearbook. I think we need to make a yearbook of our own, with all the pictures I take of her.

It's a little bit out of control.

But she's such a willing model, and she helps me practice poses, and lighting, and composition. 

It's hard NOT to take photos of her.
Some of my favorite shots are the in between shots. 

When she doesn't know I'm shooting. Those are the real moments, the moments I want to hang on to.

There's a quote that I've seen many times and it says, "Character is what you do when no one is looking."

Of course it is.

That's who you really are.

Not that person that we become in front of other people.
That's what I see in the photos that are in between.

Who the person really is. Their personality. Their habits. Their quirks.
And details. I like to know details about people. 

So I shoot the details.

My memory-keepers. That's what they are.

Because I know how much I've forgotten from when my children were young. I wish I'd shot more details back then.
The sum total of all the parts.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Bean Counter

Trekked up north this weekend for a visit with Nan. 

Sissies and I, and all the girls, spent the weekend with her and Aunt N.

We shopped until we dropped. And came home with drapes for the ALL the windows in the house. We started putting hardware up at six p.m. and finished hanging the last pair of drapes at ten p.m. Oh me, oh my, I don't ever want to see another set of drapes for a long, long time.

But Nan was oh-so-happy. She cried when she hugged and kissed us and thanked us for helping her. She's the sweetest thing. You'd think we gave her the moon.

And while we were up there we stopped by Cote's Market.

Cote's Market.

Known for the best beans EVER.
When we were kids, my grampa would stop and get beans at Cote's every Saturday for the noon time meal. Beans, slices of deli ham, thick slabs of Italian bread slathered with butter, fresh tomatoes when they were available. This was our lunch every Saturday we were at Nan's house.

And I can't eat beans any other way. Other beans usually have molasses in them. Or some other kind of s.u.g.a.r.

Those kind of beans are horrid, I say. Horrid.

Cote's beans don't have any sugar and they are oh-so-delicious.

Last time I was up at Nan's, we couldn't get any. They were all sold out. That's what I get for trying to find beans at nine o'clock in the evening. This time I wasn't taking any chances. We were out the door at nine in the morning and in Cote's by ten after nine.
I could have spent the entire day in this market. It's an old mom and pop place, opened up in 1917, and still run by family members. The shop is on the first floor of a tenement type of building, with apartments above it, right in the heart of the city. Hardwood floors. Low ceilings. Butcher block farm tables in the kitchen.

I got to chatting with the owner, the grandson of the original owner. He was telling us about the succession of owners and how he got to run the place. He showed off the home made light, crispy, and oh-so-flaky pastry crust he was rolling out for the streudel and turnovers. Trays and trays of whoopie pies came out. He tells us over eleven hundred pounds of corned beef gets sold for St. Patrick's day in the spring.

And all the while, people lined up for the beans. Sixty huge pots of beans get made every Saturday. 

What size? asks the young college guy spooning beans into paper containers. 'A quart, no extra', answers the first guy in line. He takes his quart, neatly wrapped in plastic wrap, and walks away. 'Pint, no extra, sauce on the top," says the next guy. 

It was like living in a foreign land, listening to this language they were speaking. No extra? You don't want any salt pork mixed in with the beans. Sauce on the top? You want a little extra gravy poured over the beans before they get capped off. I was fascinated with this small world within Cote's Market.

We rang up our purchases and one of the sales clerks helped us carry a box out. As we were walking to the car, I asked what time the market opened on Saturdays. 

Eight o'clock, she says. But the beans are ready by six a.m.

So if I show up at the door at six a.m., will you sell me some beans? I joked with her.

She looked at me, gave a little smile, and said, "See that parking lot over there? Go through that lot and behind the building. We'll sell you beans at the red door at six a.m. But only on Saturdays."

Then she thanked us and walked back across the street. There were a lot of people to help in that market.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

How did it get so late so soon?

I think I already posted this photo but I love it so.

K is absolutely 100% playful. Some of the time. Does that make sense?

I love these moments. 

And since we're entering her senior year, I am more aware than ever that they are fleeting, at best. So she and I have decided to start a project, photo-chronicling (is that a word?) her senior year. At least one photo a day, every day of her senior year.

You'll be seeing some of them. Maybe all of them. I'm hoping some of them will make you smile.

I think I'll be crying.
How did it get so late so soon?   
~Dr. Seuss

Friday, August 5, 2011

Mamma Mia

Isn't she just beautiful?

Meet my MIL. She's the best MIL in the whole world. 

Ask Sissy. She keeps trying to steal her from me. But I'm holding onto her.

She is the finest Christian woman I know. 

She's grace, she's comfort, she's peace, she's love. She's honest. She's loyal. She's dependable. She's funny. She's the person you go to when you have a puzzle to noodle over. Or something's on your mind. She has wonderful insight, and a whole lot of common sense.

She is who I want to be when I grow up.
I love this family portrait of her parents and she and her brother. I don't think her mother lived long after this picture was taken.

Mom's mother died when Mom was about twenty-five. The same age I was when my mom died.

She knows what it's like to miss your mom. 

Even after all these years, she still misses her mom. 

When she talks about her, it's always in words like, "She made the best meringue EVER," and "She always made sure I looked nice," and "She made everyone feel at home, whenever they dropped by the farm."

I say similar things about her. "She makes the best molasses cookies EVER," and "She always has a kind word to say about everyone," and "She makes you feel like a million bucks."

I wonder if she knows how much like her mom she is? I'll have to tell her. I bet she'll like hearing that.
I love this expression. She's playful and she loves to laugh and she loves a good practical joke.

Her and J have a running prank they play on each other. Actually, two running pranks. A big rubber black spider and an articulated wooden snake.

Both look surprisingly real when you find them in a cereal box, or on top of a roll of toilet paper, or under your bed covers. 

I always know when Mom finds something J's hidden because she lets out a cross between a squeak and a scream. Usually in the morning, before she's really awake. J's pretty good at finding spots to hide these things and then Mom has to come up with something just as good, to return the favor.

They love it.
Today is her birthday. K made her a fluffy peanut butter frosted cake for dessert. 

Peanut butter is her favorite. I'm glad she shared with us. 

It was a close one.
Same photo, black and white. I think I like this one best.

She's still beautiful.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game Redux

I put the photo of the awful, dark, gloomy, stormy, and any other adjective I can think of to describe that sky, at the bottom of the blog board above.

Do you see how dark and gray that sky was? It was quite frightening, really. Storm clouds, winds strong enough to bend the pole at the top of the Prudential building, bolts of lightning flashing from the skies every few minutes - honestly, I wasn't sure we were going to make it out of the ballpark alive, never mind watch a baseball game.

Okay. There's a little drama in that last sentence. 

But it was very dark. And rainy. And windy. And full of lightning. 

I'm amazed they played ball that night. And won.

Go Sox!
We had some friends with us, T and T. 

Ha. I like the sound of that. 

T N T, dyn-o-mite. Where's that from? Anyone remember?

Er, off the track a wee bit there. 

Anyway, T (the wife) thought she was funny and kept doing the tomahawk chop since the Sox were playing the Cleveland Indians that night. Her husband told her to cease and desist. She was probably doing a rain dance.

He's a funny guy.
The rain finally went away after an hour and a half rain delay. 

It took a while to get going but what a game. 

My favorite pitcher - Josh Beckett - was pitching. Youk hit a home run. And Papelbon came out to close them down. 

So worth the wait.

I had more fun watching the crowd at times. We were surrounded by season ticket holders. You could tell because they were all talking to each other, high fiving, razzing people all night long. 

One of the woman stood up, tried to start a cheer of some sort and another guy took her down with, "Aw, sit down, Marie*, and shut up!" In the thickest Boston accent you can find.

They were teasing each other about the number of times some non-season ticket holders got up to get food, or use the rest room, or stretch their legs. Every time this couple got up, the guys sitting behind their fellow season ticket holders would lean forward and say something, or nudge them, or tell them to sit down, they were blocking the game. 

Just like the movie "Fever Pitch". I felt like I was living the movie. It was great.

*names have been changed to protect the innocent
Beside the win, the best part of the game?

Singing "Sweet Caroline" with the rest of Boston. 

Most fun I've had all summer.