Thursday, December 30, 2010

Project 365 - Christmas Morning

Christmas Morning

It comes and goes so quickly.  There is so much preparation and anticipation.  And even for the Leshinskys . . . a very Jewish family . . . we find a way to celebrate a little bit of everything.  Beginning with my birthday in October, it is seems like it is non-stop celebration . . . a day off for Veterans Day, then Thanksgiving, then work holiday parties, friends holiday parties and then the girls are off from school and life gets crazy at home.

Then comes the quiet of Christmas morning.  With not much sleep, we sit and open presents and I snap away as my children mug for the camera.  When all is said and done, I am exhausted and fall into a deep sleep.  In fact this year, I slept for a good four and half hours on the couch in the living room with my music . . . mostly Beatles . . . playing from  my phone!

It was a really great sleep and after dinner, I ended up going back to sleep.  Guess I needed it!  But at least I had a fun morning.

More photos are on my Flickr account.  Just click here.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Project 365 - It Just Doesn't End

It Just Doesn't End

So the saga continues. After spending our entire summer with our house turned upside down with the leaks in each of our three bathrooms, ripping out everything from each bathroom and re-doing them, a leak in the air conditioning unit which ruined the Pergo floor which was completely replace in the living room and dining room. . . . we had a little more work done!

We had been able to save some of the Pergo wood from the living room from the center of the floor.  We stored that in the garage for a while.  A few days before Christmas we had Pat come back and rip out the carpet in the den (it was well over 10 years old and it was really, really gross).  Then he installed the Pergo wood.

Of course in the days leading up to when Pat showed up, the girls and Joel had to take EVERYTHING out of the den, except the furniture.   We found stuff in that room that we didn't know that we had!  Every single vinyl album from my youth is in that room (and I had a lot of music).  Not to mention the cassette tapes that Joel acquired when he worked at Record Bar in Terre Haute, Ind.  Then we found VHS tapes and other tapes of the girls when they were little (that will be my New Years vacation project to watch it all and label it all.

These photos are of the awful mess in my hallway and of Pat working to put the Pergo down in the den.  The final product is really beautiful.  I am sitting in the den now as the girls are up in their rooms watching movies and Joel is sound asleep in bed.  I find it very cozy in here now.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Project 365 - Just Your Every Day Sunday

Just Your Every Day Sunday

Today we spent as a family.  Starting the day with coffee and the newspaper, then shopping at Costco, Publix and BJs, picking up Adina at her girlfriend's and then eating dinner together in the dining room.  It was all very nice and I actually had some time to put our holiday cards together and edit my photos from this weekend.

Oh, I should explain the traffic photos . . . if you look up on the highway (I-595) you will see the bikers that do the "Toy Run" each year.  They close the highway for several hours and thousands of bikers ride from the beach all the way west to Markham Park and donate toys for needy children for the holidays.  We weren't stuck in the traffic, we only had a red light, but it looks like we were!

I am ready to fall asleep, so I am not going to say very much.  But my photos should tell you about our day.

Project 365 - Art Basel

Art Basel

Art Basel takes place one weekend a year in Miami Beach.  It is the premiere art event for artists, art dealers and art buyers.  As for me, I am the art enthusiast and I was so excited when my neighbor, Robert, invited me to join him and his friend, Beverly, to go down to Miami Beach to not only see the Julian Lennon photography exhibit at the Adrenne Arsht Performing Arts Center, but to also wander around the various places where artists were showing their artwork.

If anyone knows me at all, they know that not only am I a Beatle freak, but also love photography exhibits, especially black and white photography.  So to have all of that rolled into one exhibit was just the best!

After we went to the Arsht Center, we traveled over to Collins Avenue, found a parking spot IMMEDIATELY which is really rare and walked over to La Sandwicherie for a quick bite.  It was the same place where I ate with my Level III photography buddies two weeks ago, but that is another story.

Then we walked up Collins and went to the Carlton Hotel where each room on the first floor was transformed into an artist gallery for Art Basel.  There were some amazing artists, and there were some that were just okay.  But all of them were so interesting and willing to talk to us.  We must have spent more than an hour wandering around each gallery and talking and sipping wine.

Then it was on to another gallery in another hotel and then we went into the Delano Hotel which is now owned by Madonna and has been unbelievably revamped and redesigned.  There was a very young, hip crowd there and it was a hopping evening.

On the way back to the car we stopped at Espanola Way where we sat outside and had coffee and chai lattes and chatted about our evening, politics and the upcoming holidays before we headed back to Broward!

For more photos, visit my Flickr website.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Project 365 - Holiday Preparation

Holiday Preparation

In preparation for the holidays, the Leshinsky family always takes a photo that we use in our holiday card.  Joel had an idea and wanted to make sure that we took the photo before Rachel left for school so we went out to find this perfect location and I set up my tripod and put the camera on the timer feature and snapped away until we got the perfect shot!

This is NOT the shot.  But I liked it a lot.  The girls look happy, rested and comfortable with each other and in front of the camera.  I like the way the tree is the frame around them.

As we made our way back to the car we saw this branch that was incredibly long and crooked.  So I was trying to get the whole thing into the shot while they were yelling at me to hurry up and let's go!  But as always, I ignored them to take the photo at the right exposure and angle.

The other shot was of the family getting ready to get into the car, but of course they couldn't because I had the keys!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Project 365 - Photo of the Day - November 27, 2010 Part II

The Leshinsky Girls Get a Haircut

We all needed a haircut so after we spent the afternoon at the Kaplans watching the Michigan/Ohio football game.  Needless to say, Michigan lost and it was a very quiet ending to a very loud beginning.  But I know that my friend, Leon, was extremely happy!  As for me, I am not really into football so it doesn't matter to me who wins as long as someone I know is happy.  I am a baseball girl myself.

Well, I digress . . . as soon as the girls sat in the chairs, I HAD to take photos!  These are the results of the fruits of my labor.  Nothing earth-shattering, but I like them.

Project 365 - Photo of the Day - November 27, 2010

Photo of the Day - November 27, 2010

I am back to my normal routine!  I think about photography, see photos with my eyes and carry my camera everywhere that I go so that I can capture, well, capture whatever!

As the Thanksgiving Holiday continues, and I get more rest, I have the energy to roll out of bed, throw on my sneakers and one camera on each shoulder . . . one with my 28 - 55 mm lens and one with my 55 - 200 mm lens.

I was totally uninspired by the drab lighting.  However, I like a challenge.  So I stayed out there for more than an hour.  I wandered around the lake, looking for anything that I could shoot.  I found some ducks and these other birds that I don't know their real name, but I call them swamp chickens, and then I found one perfect moment where this bird was perched on the edge of the dock.  So, after be uninspired, I found what I was looking for!  The photo of the day.

For more visit my Flickr site.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Project 365 - Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Our annual tradition on Thanksgiving is for Joel to get up really early and start cooking, he makes me a cup of coffee and then reads the paper.  It is a quiet start to the day.

By 9 a.m. Rachel walks in, sleepily, carrying her laptop and blanket and climbs into bed with us  . . . usually in the middle!  Then in swaggers Adina with her laptop and blanket and at this point, Joel leaves.  We turn on NBC so that we can watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  Our favorite part is the first hour where we get to see snippets of the newest and hottest Broadway shows.  This year . . . American Idiot, Memphis and Elf!  Adina and I saw American Idiot this past July and LOVED it.

We are still sitting in the same position and it is more than two hours later, but we don't move until we see Santa Claus!  Aren't we good Jews??

Seriously, it is great fun and I wouldn't miss it for the world.  This last photo is my view of the morning!

Project 365 - South Beach Photo Shoot

South Beach Photo Shoot

I am taking the Level III Advanced Photography Course offered by Jeremiah Jenner.  We meet every Saturday at a different location.  We have gone to the Fort Lauderdale Antique Car Museum and worked on PhotoShop at his studio/gallery/apartment in the Sailboat Bend Artist Lofts.  This past Saturday night we went to South Beach in Miami Beach.

I drove to Sailboat Bend and picked up Jeremiah and and Doug (a fellow student) and we got to Lincoln Road at about 5:15 p.m.  With the failing light, we were offered MANY challenges to take good photos.  Two rules . . . no flash and no tripod.  So there is a lot of standing VERY still, elbows tucked in, and holding your breath but letting it out as you squeeze the shutter!  We also experimented with using walls and other surfaces to balance our cameras, not to mention our knees as we were sitting on the ground watching traffic fly by.

But South Beach offers an eclectic array of subjects to shoot, from diverse faces to neon in every color on the planet.  The colors of South Beach are unlike anywhere else . . . pastels, brilliant pinks and greens . . . remnants of Miami Vice days and art deco architecture.

To see more, simply go to my Flickr account to see them all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Project 365 - It's Potter Time

It's Potter Time

Oh to be 15 and carefree again.  My daughter and her friend, Amaris, went to extreme lengths to dress up like the characters that attend Hogwarts in the Harry Potter series.  I think they did a fabulous job!

Then my neighbor, Robert, took them to the midnight showing of the film on Thursday, November 18.  I would have taken her but I just got off the plane at 7 p.m. after flying for five hours from San Francisco.  There was absolutely no way that my eyes would have stayed open past 10 pm.

I am a Harry Potter geek too, but I am waiting for Rachel to come home and we are all going to go together the day after Thanksgiving!  I don't think I will be dressing up though!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Project 365 - Napa Valley Winery Tour

What a Day!

When in Wine Country what else do you do but take a tour of the wineries!  In my head it was going to be like a day in the movie "Sideways.' Nothing was further from that image!!

The day started out with a simple breakfast of yogurt and fruit while we read our emails and uploaded photos.  By 10 a.m. we left for the train station.  Sitting in the train station was an experience as we listened to Mike Grgich, a local winery owner and Napa pioneer.  The man is about 86 and his daughter is now running Grgich Hills Winery.  He was charming and spoke lovingly about making wine.  His daughter also spoke about the different wines and especially about the two that we were tasting today.  One was a Fume Blanc and the other was a Cabernet Sauvignon.  The white wine was "spice" a very interesting taste.  One I wouldn't normally choose, but I really did like it.  The other was very dark and rich and smooth on the tongue.

Then we got onto the train.  Oh, I forgot to mention that I am visiting my cousin Rebecca.  Our parents were siblings and since she grew up in Brooklyn, we spent a LOT of time together as kids but as adults, we only see each other occasionally, but thanks to Facebook, we talk quite a bit.  So Rebecca took a few days off to spend with me and she is treating me to two days of wineries!

So the train took off, headed north and we talked and drank, caught up and then we walked out on the platform of the back of the train and I shot lots of images of this pristine countryside.  The colors are so rich.  This time of year is after what they call the "crush" but there are still a few grapes still on the vines here and there.

Then we moved to the dining car where we shared our lunches . . . I had chicken with baby carrots and polenta and Rebecca had salmon with baby red potatoes and spinach with a curry avocado sauce.  Are you hungry yet?  We topped that off with Tiaramisu and Creme Brulee.

Needless to say, we were both so full that we really never ate dinner tonight, but after a trip to downtown Napa and a walk through the Oxbow Public Market, we both selected something extremely simple and continued to talk well into the evening.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Project 365 - Campaigning Photos (Still Catching Up)

Thought I might upload a bunch of campaign photos all at one time.  These photos were taken in the last few days prior to the Election.  The first photo was sent to me by Rachel.  We insisted on a photo of her at that ISU seal in a campaign t-shirt.  Ok, so we asked for it back in September and she finally got around to it.  But hey, she is busy!

The next was the amazing display of signs at the Tamarac Branch Library where both Adina and I worked Early Voting campaigning for Joel!  I just couldn't believe the dedication of the volunteers.  It was hot as the middle of the summer out there.  We all took care of each other, telling each other to sit down, get out of the sun, have a drink, etc.

The next photo was taken during a Jazz Concert near City Hall.  The crowd in my living room are all of our volunteers hearing our strategies for Election Day.  And Joel is hugging Margaret Bates at a Halloween event at a park.

Definitely a whirlwind of activity.  It was fun.  It was a lot of work.  We found out who are friends are and made new alliances.  But no wonder why neither one of us could get out of bed the day after the Election!!   Not to mention that I was standing on my feet from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and then had to go to our friend's home for a "victory" party, which was actually a victory party for Richard since he ran for Mayor unopposed.

Glad it is over, but glad Joel ran.  He got is name out there.  He will definitely have good come from all of this.

But I am definitely glad to have my time back.  I haven't moved from this spot since 8 a, this morning and it is now almost 2 p.m.  I haven't had the luxury of doing this in WAY too long.  Very glad to be back!

Project 365 - October 16 (Still Catching Up)

During the day we campaigned.  Then we had to shop for items at Restaurant Depot for a volunteer meeting.   We also needed to waste a bit of time because Adina was working at the Nova Titan Invitational Debate.  I loved this photo of this guy working the forklift.  He was taking his job so seriously but gave me a tiny smile as I walked by him snapping away.

We spent about an hour at the store.  There was one area that I refused to walk into, the freezer room.  You need to wear a parka in there, they have them hanging on hooks.  This sign was on the door and I just thought it was funny.

In between campaigning, I was still able to enter some of my work into two art shows!  I had three pieces at Sailboat Bend in Gallerie Jenner and two pieces at the Girls Club art studio in Downtown Fort Lauderdale.

This particular night three different venues worked together (something I have been pushing for a long time).  The Girls Club, Sailboat Bend and F.A.T. Village all had events the same night and they hired minibuses to transport the attendees to the gallery night from place to place so no one had to worry about parking.

The first photo shows my artwork on exhibit at the Girls Club with Post It notes all around it.  The purpose of the notes are to let the judges, artists and the general public make comments.  Each was color coded.  I ended up saving the comments.  Not sure what I will do with them, but something!

I ran into lots of artist friends. This is Onajide.  He runs an online Meetup Group where he helps to educate fellow artists about workshops, exhibition opportunities and just ways to get to know each other socially since working as an artist can be isolating.  Then we boarded the minibus and headed over to Sailboat Bend.  They had exhibitons on each floor of the building and in a lot of the artist live/work spaces. 
This photo was taken in one of the lobby gallery spaces.  The art was an audio piece mixed with the writing on the wall.  So it was an interactive installation piece, or performance art.  These two guys were really into it!

After about an hour, we decided that we were hungry.  So we headed back to downtown Fort Lauderdale and went to 2nd Street and ate at the Taco place!  I had my Avocado salad and fish tacos!!  YUMMY. 

I took this photo of the train going thorough downtown.  I love listening to the train going by.  It reminds me of when I was in Terre Haute, IN going to Indiana State University with Joel.  That was basically the crossroads of America!  there were ALWAYS trains going through and I loved to hear the train whistles.  Wasn't fun waiting for them to pass by, but still liked them.  Made me wonder where they were coming from and where they were going to.