home again, home again, jiggity jig…

sooooo glad to be home! i almost need a vacation after my vacation. here are a couple of pix from our trip to Phoenix. We went to Sedona the day after Thanksgiving. It was wonderful! We also went to my cousin Kayla’s bday party. This is my Aunt Connie holding Kayla’s younger brother DeShawn. They are all very cute kids. We also went on Sunday to brunch at the Biltmore Resort with my father. We saw lots of friends and family but I didn’t always have my camera or the light wasn’t suitable. But hey at least I got some photos up!

Debbie - Glad you are back. Hope everyone in Phoenix was doing well. It’s fun to see the pictures. I recently remembered the password to my blog so I’m back up. I’ve posted a few photos from Thanksgiving in Dighton.


thanksgiving fly away

Just to let everyone know, my blog will be on hiatus as of Tues Nov. 22. Jason and I are going to phoenix for turkey day. We will be back on Mon. Nov.28
Happy thanksgiving!! gobble. gobble.

paper mache update

so this week i photographed the devouring of the paper mache animals that i spoke of a few weeks ago. to refresh your memory, 3rd graders were making paper mache animals that looked like natural prey , ie. a snow hare, ibex (goat like thing) and a wild boar which were then filled with meat and fed to zoo animals at the roger williams zoo up near providence. so thursday was the day. it was incredible to see these animals at first be a little wary and then pounce and rip the critter to shreds. the best part by far was when the snow leopard in the process of scarfing down the inards of the papermache rabbit, got the damn thing stuck on its head as you see here. also they fed a moon bear named ‘gracie’. she was definitely freaked out by the ibex (goat) at first but eventually came around. man, they never had field trips like this when i was a kid. maybe we went to the science museum or the pioneer museum but that was about it.

big time oops!

so here is why (as my lovely newspaper friends can attest to)you never put anything into the system that can’t go in print. this posted on the danbury news-times website this week. (danbury is also in connecticut)the first picture is what ran with the cutline at the bottom. the second is the retraction/apology/ass-kissing that had to go on the following day. big time oops!!!

Ann - OH GEEZ! That is why you never type anything in there that isn’t what should go there. Jokes get in the paper. Someone at The Republic kept a cutline around that printed (not sure what paper) that said something like, This is where the f*cking cutline goes when the f*cking editor gives me the info. The F-bomb was in it a lot. Someone thought they were funny and I am sure were fired!

start’em early

in response to the posts about being a kid and using the old voting machines, thought you might enjoy this photo i took on election night.

John Bohnenkamp - Nice shot, as always.

I hope the parent is instructing his children “Vote Republican.”

Ann - Very cute!
I don’t remember the old voting machines.
But I do remember when I was pretty young my dad took me with him to vote. As we walked out hand in hand I looked up at him and asked (imgaine little kid voice), “Who did you vote for?” He wouldn’t tell me. As a journalist he keeps his views very private. He has never told me a presidential candidate he voted for. But in this situation I was like 5. Who am I gonna tell?????

John Bohnenkamp - My parents were the same way. Again, who would we tell?

The interesting thing about these voting machines is that no one makes parts of them anymore. When they break down, that’s it. That’s why they stopped using them here.

Too bad, really, because while it took them hours to count the vote, rarely were there problems.

Kate Gardiner - i don’t think in az. they used them in our lifetime. they always used the punchcards. and yes john i did vote for libs as far as i know. at first i went through and voted for all the women but then i realized that meant i was voting for some republicans so i changed them. jason voted based on geometric pattern and then republicans for anything that had to do with money.

Erica Kern - This brings back a lot of memories. I remember being in elementary school (early elementary school) and we had a mock election on the actual election day. All of us got to vote on a ballot and everything! I remember voting for Reagan because I heard my parents talking about Reagan. Talk about impressionable!

Kate Gardiner - wow that is the closest we will ever hear of erica putting her mark next to a republican name. :O)

Erica Kern - You got that right!!!

Ann - I voted again Reagan! But I do remember him winning on our mock election, too. 🙂

Ann - against Reagan that should say.

Kate Gardiner - actually the first mock election i remember was in high school with clinton and the old bush. i voted for clinton just because i knew it would burn my dad that his kid was voting for a democrat. see john, now you know where it all comes from!

election day

so i voted today even though i didn’t really know any of the candidates. i just got done hanging out though with one of the first selectman that is up for reelection. it did turn out that i voted for him earlier in the day, blindly, but looks like i made the right choice. had to stand around with him on the corner while he waved to people going in to vote. seemed nice enough. i did get a cute kid shot under the curtain though inside the polling station. actually voting here is way more exciting than it is in arizona. they have the old school lever ballot boxes here. you go in, pull the lever, the curtain closes behind you and then you have to move these cute little switches under the name of the person you want to vote for. very cool because i changed my mind about who i was going to vote for after i moved the switch. all i had to do is move it back and push down the other switch. in az, after you punch your hole you are done, no option to second guess or fix a mistake. to record your vote here you pull the big lever that you used when you first walked in to close the curtain, back the other way, recording your vote. although they were out of voting stickers which was a bummer. those are the best part!

John Bohnenkamp - I miss the old voting machines. You always felt like your vote was being recorded.

I’m assuming, then, that who you voted for were libs.

Erica Kern - I remember being a kid in NY, and going into the voting booth with my mom. I remember the curtain closing and the clanking of the lever as she pulled it.

John Bohnenkamp - The old voting machines were the best. Sadly, coloring in the ovals like you’re taking a test isn’t as fun as the curtain.

Ann - I think I voted in my PJs. I voted from home–and you don’t get a sticker. LOSERS! Anyway, all of Schwarzies propositions failed. Ha ha ha! And actually all 8 props failed. I voted yes on 2 of them and no on the rest.


so update on the robber. seems that the xmas company that he worked for did all the decorations in downtown mystic as well as downtown new london where our building is. my friend that owns the boutique in mystic that i worked at last year called today. she said that she had heard through the grapevine that the 3 of the stores of the maybe 12 or so that they decorated were robbed this week after they hung the decorations. which turned out to be true. so clearly this guy had a track record. the cops hadn’t yet made the connection so this guy is obviously a bigger fish than just a purse thief.


so a couple of weeks ago jason and i found a cell phone at a gas station. we called the person and it worked out that he had lost it on his way to the mountains for the weekend and now he was on his way home. jason and i were only 3 exits away from where he was. we met up with the guy (of course after looking at his photo gallery on his phone. nothing juicy) and gave it back.

well the karma came around today.

not only did i get my actual wallet and purse yesterday, but today the owner of the company that was hanging the lights came into the paper today to apologize and reimburse me for the money i lost. so my new cards are in the mail, i have my new license (in and out of the dmv in 10mins!) and i have the cash back that was in my wallet. so all is well.

Ann - That was very honorable of him. Have they found the jerk who took it all in the first place?

Erica Kern - Isn’t it funny how things work out sometimes. Just when you think the world is a dark and nasty place, something good happens.

Did the man also pay for your new license?

Kate Gardiner - i had the company gas card in my wallet which i didn’t cancel that night. the guy tried to use it and got caught on camera. so yeah he’s mega busted. i included the cost of a replacement license in the amount he owed me.


so today was a crap day. my purse was stolen out of the photo department at work. there was a maintence crew putting up xmas lights on the roof of the day today. it turns out one of them ganked my purse, took it into the men’s room and then stole my cash and credit cards and drivers license. the cop did a background check on the employees of the company that did the work and pulled up a 20 year old kid that had a larceny list a mile long on his record. i cancelled all my cards except the mobile gas card that belongs to the day. all of the people in h.r. had left for the day so i couldn’t cancel it. the cops said that maybe that was good. hopefully he will try to use it and then they can catch him on camera. anyway, i got my super cool orange wallet back, my brush, burts bees, my corduroy purse, but i just checked the dmv website and it will be $30 bucks to get my damn license replaced. this state rips you off at every opportunity. so grand total for this jerkie stealing my purse: $70. i actually had $40 in cash in my wallet. very rare for me to have anything more than 2 dollars. i am mostly pissed off at the way the day allows random maintence people stroll through the building. they make a big deal about checking your visitors in and have them escorted at all times but yet they let yahoos with criminal records a mile long walk aimlessly alone through one of the most expensive departments in the building. boggles the mind. anywho i’m hoping they will pay for my reimbursement but i’m not holding my breath.

Ann - That totally sucks. I am so sorry to hear that.
And 30 bucks to replace your license??? What a rip-off!!!

happy halloween!!

jason and i carved pumpkins tonight for the kiddies. we only had like 4 groups of trick or treaters which means more candy for me!!!

Ann - Nice scary pupmkins! We didn’t carve any pumpkins. We lack a porch of any sort. But I sat out in front of of apt. building to give out candy. I decided I would stay out there for an hour–for the little kids. In a half an hour I got 2 sets of kids. It started to get cold and dark–so I said forget it and went in. I never really heard a lot of kids on our street. (Last year they were swarming our Phx. street.) So my co-workers are treated to the candy.

Kate Gardiner - i have lots of leftovers too but no way i’m giving the good candy to the vultures at work! :O)

sorry so remiss

hey sorry i haven’t posted this week. been very busy with this whole wedding business thing. i signed up with a group called pictage that acts as a storefront online for my business. there is a lot to learn though on how to make the site work for me so i’ve been doing these online classes. i’m shooting another wedding this weekend for a coworker. it has potential to be a nightmare. the bride’s future mother-in-law is insisting on walking down the aisle carrying her infant granddaughter. the baby does not belong to the bride and groom but to the groom’s sister. the bride is concerned that it will look like the kid is hers and she is freaking out over it. but can’t seem to negotiate the situation with the mother in law. so i’ve been instructed not to photograph this woman because it will look like it is being condoned by the bride. or something like that. yippee.. the bride had also told me that she didn’t want me to take the picture even if the woman asked for me to. i stewed over that for a couple of days because i could really see the potential for a scene on someone’s part at the event. so finally i told her that if i’m asked to take the picture i will and just then delete it from the edit and if the mother in law asks about the picture just to say it didn’t come out. the bride seemed to be ok with that but we’ll see.

Ann - I have issues with that mother-in-law. It isn’t her day. And that is just weird to want to walk down with the baby. But I think your idea works–just take the pic of the weird situation and delete it. But I still don’t understand why the MIL thinks she can do this and is gonna do it. Ahhh, so glad I am no longer planning a wedding–so stressful.

Fall, fall, fall…

Hi, this ran in Sunday’s paper. There is a section called ‘gallery’ where each week a photographer has a photo that covers half the back page of the region section. we get to write kind of whatever we want to go with the photo.

Here is what I wrote:

So far this year’s fall colors have been mediocre at best. Fall always has been my favorite season though, not only for long hikes, scarves and hot apple cider, but for capturing that perfect shade of orange or yellow framed by that bluer-than-blue autumn sky. Earlier this week, I was driving down North Main Street in Stonington on my way to an assignment. There is that amazing twiggy tree forest on the east side of the road just after you have turned off Pequot Trail. It has always fascinated me how all the leaves are at the top with the sea of bare trunks below. My eye was drawn to this little sprig shining in a ray of sunlight, so much brighter than the rest of the forest and at eye-level. I had to stop. While the overall leaf-peeping this year may fall short of New England’s norm, simple sights like this still take my breath away.

Ann - I LOVE fall colors. There were some changing leaves in Napa this weekend. And even some of the grape vines were changing. Beautiful!

Kate Gardiner - thanks! they have really picked up this week now that we have had some rain.
off to go hiking!

birdie…the new addition to our family

today jason picked up his new civic hybrid. it is very cute (sorry, MANLY). it is fun and bizarre to drive. when you come to a stop at a traffic light, as long as you have your foot on the brake the gas engine turns off. so when you go to start up again it feels like driving a really big golf cart. totally silent. the first time i started it up, i thought that maybe i didn’t do it right because it made zero noise. the steering takes a bit getting used to. it is kind of stiff because it has electric power stearing instead of whatever normal cars have. also when you brake it stores up the friction caused by the brake pads on the wheels to make the electric engine go. crazy… but for 50 mpg i don’t care if it had mouse ears on it and played the ice cream truck song as it went down the street. ok, maybe the “do your ears hang low?” song would make me want to go postal but maybe i could live with it.

oh and i’ve named it birdie. not sure if it will stick with jason but i’m working on him.

Erica Kern - You made me laugh out loud. You would be cute driving down the street in a car with mouse ears and ice cream truck music, but I don’t think it is Jason’s look! Post a picture when you can…I’d love to see you.

Have fun driving. It sounds like a toy car!

Erica Kern - You made me laugh out loud. You would be cute driving down the street in a car with mouse ears and ice cream truck music, but I don’t think it is Jason’s look! Post a picture when you can…I’d love to see you.

Have fun driving. It sounds like a toy car!

Kate Gardiner - wanted to take a picture today of him with the new cutie but it was raining again and icky cold. soon.

here piggy, piggy…

so yesterday i photographed the oddest thing. there is a local private school who’s third grade class is working on this art/science project. they are making papermache animals, a pig, rabbit, marmott (like a gopher) then they are going to take the critters to the zoo where they will be stuffed with meat. they then put the animal dummies gorged with carne into a bear and leopard’s cages and watch them go nuts. the papermache is all nontoxic, brown paper bag strips with cream of wheat paste. they are going to paint them too with food coloring paint. i get to go with the class when they go to the zoo so i will keep you posted. the photos of them making the papermache are not terribly interesting but i will definitely post the ones from the zoo. the marmott is probably the funniest looking. it looks just like the the gopher in caddyshack. got to love today’s educational ventures.

Ann - That is just bizarre. Was anyone crying that those mean animals demolished and ate thier little creations?

Erica Kern - That is so strange?!? What is the point? Is if fun to make an paper mache animal and then watch a real animal chow down? I don’t get it.

Kate Gardiner - your guess is as good as mine. but it is just bizarre enough that i find it facisinating. i will keep you posted.

reader feedback

hello people who read my blog. so i need some feedback as to how to respond to your comments. i read them all and love it, but would you like to me to respond in the postings or just email you back? let me know.

jason is car shopping today. he’s thinking about getting the civic hybrid because of the 45 mpg mileage, but they have their own drawbacks like having to replace the battery at 80,000 that costs $3,000. and the $120 oil changes. (they take super expensive oil instead of the regular cheap stuff) but probably will end up with some sort of honda. he’s just excited because he won’t have to visit the gas station 2-3 times a week anymore.

JLC - davev and i both have had hondas for years and love ’em. very dependable, and great gas mileage, too. no need to reply (unless you want to 🙂 ) … i’ll just check back here!

Ann - i always check the comments for more comments.
jen, erica and i comment back to each other in the comments–it seems to work.
curt and i love our volvo. 🙂

Erica Kern - I love their volvo too!

(Yup, I check for comments in the comments).

Debbie - Make it easy on yourself. Just add your own comment if you feel the need to reply to comments.


Kate Gardiner - thanks for the feedback guys! by the way, erica, ann and jen, the post at the bottom is from my cousin debbie who lives in kansas. debbie, the girls are some of my friends from phoenix/u of a. we used to all get together and watch sex and the city. just so everyone knows who is who…

prepare the funeral march

well it is official. jason’s jeep is dead.

it has been having a series of problems for months now including needing new barings, oil pump and other major repairs. plus it still didn’t have very good oil pressure as in when he was at a stop it would fall to zero. not good. then on thursday he was getting ready to get on i-95 and the jeep went bang then the engine died. for once jason’s speedy driving was an asset since he had enough momentum to coast into a parking spot at the mystic marriott. it could have been far worse like if he’d actually gotten on 95 or in the middle of the road. instead he got to hang out in the lobby, out of the rain, until i could pick him up. friday he had it towed to his mechanic where the funeral notice came from today. i guess the crank shaft broke and shoved rods into someplace that sounds scary.

so he is now in the market for a new car. probably a civic so that he could actually get more than 13 miles to the gallon. he’s going to hang onto what is left of the jeep until he can scrape the money together to put a new engine it. it will be his fair weather, fun car. no point trading it in. he’d only get a couple hundred bucks for it in the shape it is in.

can’t really complain though especially when it could have turned out far worse.

Erica Kern - Please extend my sympathies. It is sad to lose so well loved. Tell him that he should definitely keep his jeep. Casey got rid of his old Trooper when he bought is new truck and regrets it. He thinks that it would have made a great truck for kayaking. I think it would have been a nightmare…4x4ing in the mountains to get to mystery rivers in a box of bolts! I guess that is the difference between men and women (well, one of the differences).

I miss his Trooper because it is the car he had when I fell in love with him. Whenever I see one on the road (an infrequent occurence these days), I think of him and smile.

(Oh, and for what it is worth, Casey’s mom recently bought a camry and loves it).

Erica Kern - That was to read: something so well loved…

when it rains, it…comes into your basement

so first lesson in new england living: when it rains 8 inches in 4 hours, 4 inches is guaranteed to end up in your basement.

jason and i spent a good chunk of last night moving all the contents of the basement that couldn’t get wet (like my downstairs neighbor’s treadmill plus other electronic items) to higher ground. we tried bailing just using buckets but were making no headway and decided at 4:45am to call the landlord and turn the mess over to him. he came over to make sure the freezer, boiler and oil tanks were going to be okay. the washers and dryers sit on a concrete slab about 6inches above the rest of the basement so they were ok.

then today i spent the entire day following fire departments and other people pumping out basements. i also was sent to cover a mudslide at which i officially won the dumbshit award of the week. i actually stood at the base of the mudslide and thought “that looks pretty stable” took two steps and was up to my knees in mud. i then proceeded to walk out of my shoes just like the principal in ferris bueller. socks and all. it was gross. the only saving grace was that no one saw me.

but the sun finally came out tonight for a gorgeous sunset which was a blessing since i was about to go mad from 8 straight days of nothing but drip, drip, drip.

Deb - somehow this story makes me miss you…come home soon…

knit pick

so today i took my first knitting lesson at the local knitting shop. it was very cool. of course my first project is an orange scarf. big shock i know.
i actually did really well while i was there. when i got home i made a couple of mistakes, so arrogantly i thought i could take it a part and start over. oh how wrong i was!

i got so wrapped up in trying to cast on again that not only did i miss my 3pm chiropractor appointment but chucked the damn thing across the room when i just couldn’t take it anymore. i think i shocked jason a bit when suddenly there were pointy brown sticks hurtling through the room too. so back i go tomorrow just so i can put my mind to rest. i tried to look in this knitting book how to do it but who can really follow directions from a two dimensional illustration. unless you are ann of course. :O)

i also thought optimistically that everyone i know was going to get scarves for xmas but i now see that maybe everyone will just get a lump of yarn to place strategically in places to keep warm.

Erica Kern - Or they will get long strands of yarn that they can strategically wrap around…and around…and around…and around their neck!

Maybe you need to find a local “Stitch and Bitch”…I know that Leah goes to one and likes it.

Good luck. You are more patient than I!!!

Ann - It took me awhile to get it. And yes there was swearing involved. But once I got the hang of it I was a pro. We are really gonna have our friends fashionable with scoas. 🙂 I am working on an orange one right now. Funny, I almost made you an orange one for your b-day.
Let me know if I can help you at all.

yeah!! a solution

so i’ve been needing a temporary solution to the problem of not having a website to refer prospective brides to while i figure out that whole concept.

so i’ve taken a lesson from ye ole blogger and created a “blog-folio”. i hear by coin that phrase by the way. so check out my new wedding portfolio whose link i have included to the right in my “links” box.

let me know what you think at this blog because i have it set up not to be able to make comments on the wedding site.


Erica Kern - Kate –

I love the wedding photos. You have an expert way of capturing people’s personalities. I don’t know these people (well, except Jen and Dave), but I feel like by looking at your photos I’ve been given a small glimpse into his/her life. The photos have such personality and character, and don’t look like the typical wedding photographers. You are extremely talented, and should definitely consider doing this professional (see previous blog). One additional comment – you might want to make your email address a link so that people can click on it and write you an email.

Erica Kern - Jen knows how to do the link thing because she does it all the time.

Shortly I’ll update my blog and let you know what I’ve been up to.

Until then, xoxo

Ann - the link thing is a little different than the e-mail link. (FYI: i taught jen. :)) but i asked curt about the e-mail link and he wrote up some little html thing. it is on our home computer. but i will e-mail tonite–hopefully.
and, i checked out your wedding photos. very nice!

JLC - (i just realized you had a blog today when i was reading erica’s blog!)

dave and i have toyed with the idea of starting up a side business, too… here are some of the links i found most helpful (i don’t know how to do the link thing in a “comment” just a “post”, and yes… the chihak poff family was integral in that one).

sales advice: http://www.allbusiness.com/business_advice/Center_All_Articles.asp?ID=26#Sub1839

do-it-yourself web design (for macs and pcs): http://www.spinsite.com/index/pg193

d-i-y web design (just for pcs): http://www.homestead.com/

web design tutorials: http://www.websitetips.com/

JLC - this lady is a good photog (http://www.bouckphoto.com/). i think your stuff is more beautiful and certainly more unique, but her web site is just incredible.

if you do go in the wedding photog direction, it might be worth it to hire a (probably one-time) freelance web designer (i’d offer my services, but i don’t have much experience with web design), because it could be such a gorgeous display of your work.

Erica Kern - A good friend of mine is a graphic designer and might be interested. He did the Andora Gallery site (www.andoragallery.com). He is getting married this weekend. Too bad you aren’t in town…you could trade services.