Saturday, December 29, 2012

Photo of the Day - December 29, 2012

My first attempt at iPhonography

So for Christmas Santa brought me a three-in-one lens for my iPhone. What a lucky girl I was, but since I was still sick until yesterday, I had no energy to even get up off the couch to play with my new toy!!

Today, I spent several hours with my former boss. I went over to her house to photograph the retirement scrapbook that we put together for her. She is trying to downsize her life and get rid of all material things. So after a couple of hours of shooting and editing, we went out for a delicious Vietnamese lunch. This was ALL new to me and I loved it but couldn't eat the entire meal. It did make my nose run like crazy, which I guess is a good thing!

When I got home I didn't want to retreat to the couch so I took my new lens and went out exploring.

Wow, it was quite a challenge. Different than SLR photography. I felt like a klutz but I persevered and these are the results of my efforts. I also dabbled in iPhoto on my iPad. I guess I am now an iGirl!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Photo of the Day - November 17, 2012 Part II

Rachel and Noah Arrive for the Thanksgiving Holiday

After my busy morning of a ribbon cutting event in Pompano Beach, I made a quick stop at the Inverrary Life Care Center to visit my friend, Lynn, who surprised me because she wasn't there!! Her husband, Richard, picked her up to take her home for a visit.  So I left a long note so that she knew I was there and headed home.  About 20 minutes later we got a call from Rachel, her plane landed about 30 minutes!  So we jumped into the car, headed over to my dad's house, because he wanted to go with us to the airport, and along the way, we came across about six vultures having a feast on an opossum.  I know, I know, it is gross, but it is part of the circle of life and always intrigues me when I have my camera.  Sorry for the faint at heart.

Later, after we picked up Rachel and her boyfriend, Noah, we headed to Winn Dixie because Rachel wanted a home cooked meal!  We went to this particular Winn Dixie because it is like Whole Foods, or Fresh Market!  I cannot get over the design of the store.

Once again, I had fun with my camera as we made our way through the store.  I am sure that the shoppers thought I was crazy, but that is fine.  It is what I do.

Photo of the Day - November 18, 2012

Pompano Drum Circle

One that I can always count on in my work life is that I will NEVER be bored.

Since August 1, I have been the Interim Director of the Broward Cultural Division.  The pace of my day has changed to a whirlwind and I am no longer in control of my schedule.  However, I am not complaining.  Each day starts quietly since I choose to arrive early, before anyone else.  This gives me time to get settled . . . get my cup of chai tea, eat my Greek yogurt, catch up on email.  Then as the staff arrive, the noise level increases, the phones start ringing, the appointments begin and I am off!  At the end of the day, as I am driving home, I unwind by calling my daughter, who is now in her senior year of college.  If she is available, we chat for a bit, but sometimes she is in class or at a meeting and we can't connect.  But that is when my iPhone comes in handy since I have all of my favorite tunes out there and I just turn up the volume and reflect on my day.

This week we prepared for a ribbon cutting event that took place on Saturday morning for the new transfer transit center in Pompano Beach.  Because of the Broward Cultural Division's two percent public art ordinance, public art was part of this new transit center and the grand opening of the public artwork, Pompano Drum Circle, was the same day.

The artist, Bill Buchan, who is also a percussionist who has performed at Carnegie Hall and on Broadway, was on hand to demonstrate how the artwork can be "played" and I say that because the artwork is made up of five different types of drums made out of stainless steel.  

After the ribbon cutting ceremony and the speeches of all of the elected and appointed officials, we moved over to the Pompano Drum Circle.  These photos are from the artist's demonstration as well as some local artists who brought their own percussion instruments to play along!  My friend and colleague, Bill Nix, from the Palm Beach Cultural Council drove down to participate!

This was such a wonderful event.  Not only was the weather perfect, a clear, blue sky with temperatures in the low 70s, but there was a steady breeze so that the hot sun didn't feel so hot!!  There were about 50 people in attendance and I could see them swaying with the beat of the instruments, tapping their feet and there were smiles.  Many, many smiles.

That is what art is all about.  It connects us.  And that is what the public art was all about.  This is why I love what I do.  

So when I come home and I am tired from a long day of being Interim Director, all I need is one day like Saturday to remind me of why I do what I do!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Photo of the Day - November 11, 2012

Dad Learns How to Cook Salmon

So it has been about a month since I last did an entry on this blog.  Do I feel guilty?  Yes and no.  Once I completed my one year mark, I decided that I would only blog when I had something to blog about, not on a daily basis.  So here I am with something to say.

My dad mentioned to Joel that he wanted to learn how to cook salmon for himself so that he could eat at home now and then.  Normally he either goes out to eat with us or with Elaine.  But occasionally he wants to stay home and do nothing.  So hence, the cooking lesson!

Today I spent a couple of hours cleaning the house in preparation for Rachel's homecoming for the Thanksgiving holiday.  While I was cleaning, Joel and my dad went to BJs.  They bought a whole bunch of stuff that we didn't need, but also bought enough salmon for dinner and to teach my dad how to cook and have a little left over for lunch tomorrow.

These are the photos of Joel's teaching.  I was having fun and took way more photos that I am posting, but these are the best of the best.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Photo of the Day - October 11, 2012

I Feel Human Again

I haven't blogged since July!  Wow, now I remember why.  My life took a huge turn on July 31.  At work, my director retired and on August 1, I was named the Interim Director of Broward Cultural Division.

What a great honor is has been to serve in this capacity.  I absolutely adore my job, the people I work with, the cultural organizations and the artists.  These are the wonderful people who make up the fabric of the creative industries in Broward County.  These are the people who help to contribute to the $230 million economic impact to Broward's economy.

Along with the new title came new responsibilities but the previous responsibilities didn't disappear.  This is in no way a complaint.  Instead, it is simply an observation.  As I look back on the past two months I can see how much we have accomplished as a team.  I can see how we have all stepped up to make sure that the goals and mission of the Division continue to thrive and move forward.

However, I also know that my time has become extremely precious and I have to segment my day, my evenings and my weekends into partitions so that I can accomplish what needs to be done and not let myself get overwhelmed.

So with all that said, I have placed my artwork on hold.  I do take lots of images with my iPhone with Instagram which fills the void -- for now.  But I do miss what I love to do.  I miss the peace and quiet of taking a walk with one camera on each shoulder and wander, sometimes aimlessly, and snap at images that please me.  I miss sitting and staring at nature to wait for the right moment.

Well, today, when I came home, a little bit earlier than usual, I threw on ratty clothes, my sneakers and one camera on each shoulder.  Off I went to explore.  I never know what I will find or who I will meet and today didn't disappoint me!

I found these folks paddling in our lake behind the homes.  They were having a lovely time, giggling and pointing at things in the trees.  They really had no idea what I was about to find!  

As I rounded the lake to look up into the trees to see the birds I having lovingly dubbed, "the monkey birds" because they sound like monkeys to me, a man came out of his home and called to me.

He said that there was an alligator following me around the lake!  I turned to look and sure enough, there it was.  It was HUGE!!!  Very scary because I was very close to the edge of the lake.

But then I got to talking to him, his name is Treavor.  He recently retired from the Army and told me that he had served in Afghanistan and lost many solders there.  I thanked him for serving.  He shrugged it off and said that it is what he had to do for our Country.  What an interesting neighbor.  I enjoyed meeting him.

I wandered a little more before I headed home, but not before I snapped a few more images that made me feel human again!

Always, always follow your art.  As an artist, I understand that you HAVE to do your art.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Photo of the Day - June 30, 2012

A Jamaica Bay Weekend

My cousin has a home over in Fort Myers.  His company actually owns and manages mobile home properties.  But this place is incredible.  The homes do NOT look like mobile homes.  And the corporate home that we stayed in was luxurious and had three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a huge living room, a full kitchen, laundry room and a screened in back porch overlooking a waterway.

We had planned to go over there earlier this summer, but we had to reschedule and it happened to coincide with the same weekend of Joel's brother's memorial.  So my dad came along with us to get out of Broward for the weekend.

We drove over on Friday evening when Rachel got home from work.  We picnicked in the car on Publix subs and got there at about 9:30 p.m.

Early the next morning, everyone was still asleep so I made myself coffee and went outside on the back porch.  I saw something moving in the water, and sure enough it was an alligator!  I got as close as I dared and took a whole bunch of shots, but this one is my favorite.

Later in the day we drove the golf cart around the property and I took the photos of the wine bottle tree and the tiny pineapple growing in the pot.   We visited the pool, the shuffleboard courts and their clubhouse which has a huge stage in it which Adina was more than happy to perform for me from!  Back at the house I took photos of the rooms  because I know that no one would believe how big it is!!

I could go back there any time.  I find it extremely relaxing.  Joel and I went to the pool on Sunday morning before anyone woke up and I sat in the Jacuzzi and Joel sat in the pool.  After a quick trip to Trader Joes's in Naples and lunch at the First Watch restaurant (which was rated the best breakfast in South Florida), we were back on the road to Broward.  Short, bittersweet and relaxing.

Photo of the Day - June 28, 2012

Leshinsky Day

After 13 years, Joel FINALLY met all of his nephews and nieces!  All in one day!!  I digress.

About a month ago, Joel received a call from Craig about their brother, Gary.  After a very long and brave battle with cancer, Gary passed away at the age of 55.  Gary, who had lived in the Naples area for more than two decades, left a beautiful legacy.  He rescued, raised and bred large cats -- lions, tigers, panthers, leopards, snakes and other animals, not to mention a deer that he taught to eat meat (and lovingly named that deer, Meat).  When he was too ill to care for the animals, he donated them to another preserve, which is where the memorial for Gary was held.

So Craig and his wife, Stacey, and their six (yup six!!) kids drove down last week to finalize Gary's affairs. 

Last Thursday, they decided to take a drive over to our coast to spend some time with us.  We all went to the pool and then had a barbeque at the house.  It was a lovely evening and Rachel and Adina had fun getting to know their cousins.

I didn't take photos of all of the kids, but I got most in these photos.