Category Archives: Photos

“Oh, well. Guess the marriage is over!”

It’s been an odd week. This past Wednesday a big wind storm hit our fair city of Anchorage. Gusts built up to Hurricane speeds, and some people are even admitting to winds hitting 130 miles per hour. But, as the city has been joking since, it wasn’t really a hurricane. It was just Wednesday.

There was a lot of awesome damage around town. No, like really awesome. Totally cool. Visit the Anchorage Daily News site for some cool photos. I haven’t heard too much about lots of serious damage or injuries, though, which is a good thing. The biggest issue people have had since the storm is power. Lots of people are either still without or are just getting their power back at their houses.

Our damage here at our house was minimal as well, and luckily nothing happened that will take money out of our pockets. We lost a few shingles (which is fine because we’re signed up to replace the roof anyway) and we were smart enough to protect all our outdoor plants and such beforehand. There is only one, sad, difference to our house before and after storm.

This was how the front yard looked last winter, here’s what it looks like now…

Something’s missing…

Now, this tree wasn’t just any tree. It was a Blue Spruce. But beyond that, it was special.

When we first moved in, the tree wasn’t there. It was planted years later, by my parents.

Not being much for tradition, or even celebration, they decided on their 10th wedding anniversary to actually do something – they planted that tree.

My parents are celebrating their 27th wedding anniversary this September, and that tree has stood in front of our house for 17 years: enduring the cold, bracing against the wind, sparkling with Christmas lights until it grew too tall to cover, providing homes and resting places to birds. The yard looks empty without it.

Yet, when it first happened (at about 10:30 at night, just after beginning to head up to bed), Smidget joked [hence the post title] and we all laughed, but with a heavy heart and tired eyes.

It think this photo sums the whole storm up rather well…

Slowly but surely, we’re picking up the pieces. The city is coming back together again. Wood lots around town are filling up, and fence and roof repair companies are getting plenty of business. The wind, although still around, has died down. And, don’t worry, Smidget and Dad are still all lovey-dovey. It’s disgustingly wonderful.

A Quick Look at Washington D.C.

Just got back in from my small trip this early  morning, like midnight time frame. It was a pleasant little trip, but boy is my family tired. One of my cousins got married in Virginia on Saturday and someone needed to be able to bring my 93-year-old grandfather down from his house in Massachusetts. So we did! It was quite a travel/driving/flying filled week back east, including visiting Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C., and Virginia. Oy.

The wedding itself was a beautiful, outdoor, evening wedding at the bride’s father’s place on base at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Since we were right outside of D.C., Smidget, Dad, my brother, and I all popped in to see some sights the morning/afternoon of the wedding. Here’s a quick peek for you of what we saw:

After our little sight-seeing trip we went back to the hotel and got ready for the wedding. We drove back to Massachusetts the next morning, so this is all we got to see of D.C., but it was worth the whole journey just to be there for my cousin and his new wife!

Congrats Rob and Sarah!

 

The Doctor is in!

A few weekends ago I tagged along with Smidget to the graduation ceremony for the University up here that she teaches at, hoping to get a glimpse of her in her brand spankin new digs. After years of studying and writing paper after paper, Smidget has finally finished her PhD in Business Administration! So she’s Dr. Smidget, to you.

“Doctor.” “Doctor.” “Doctor.” “Doctor.” “Doctor.” “Doctor.”

Check out that awesome puffy hat! It really is all about the puffy hat.

The graduation took place at a local high school, after the usual ceremony facilities had an extremely damaging incident this winter. Warning to those new to high-snow areas: if the snow builds up to extremes on the roof, it will collapse. So, instead, the graduates got to walk at the beautiful new auditorium/theater at Bartlett High School.

Bartlett is on the north side of town, practically in a place called Eagle River (which is still technically part of the Municipality of Anchorage, I believe, but is also its own thing) and does not really have the best reputation among the high schools in town. But I personally feel a kinship with the school and it’s students for one simpleish reason: for the girl’s hockey teams in high school, there were not enough girls interested to support teams for each school and as such they had us paired up; my high school, South Anchorage, was paired with Bartlett! I got to play with a good friend, whom I had played on competitive teams with for years, just because she went to Bartlett. Good times.

Anyway, the school itself has had a bit of a facelift over the past few years and was a great place to take some pictures!

While I went to a nice, brand new high school, Bartlett is quite pretty and really seems to be cleaning up nice!

But the real excitement is about Smidget receiving her doctorate (well, technically she graduates in June, but the school has given her to OK to be called “Doctor”). Wait, Doctor who?

Congratulations Smidget! And thanks for letting me take pictures of you in your new garb, even though I know how much you hate getting your photo taken!

Starting off a bit Rusty…

In an attempt to improve some of my food photography, I recently constructed a ‘light box’ or ‘light tent’. It’s a fairly simple process. Step 1: Obtain large cardboard box. Step 2: Put bottom of box together as usual. Step 3: Turn box so bottom becomes the back side (does that make sense?) Step 4: Cut off the flaps on what was the top of the box. Step 5: Cut large square holes in the two sides and the present top of the box. Step 6: Cover square holes with either thin white fabric or paper. Step 7: Insert your favorite background into box so it rests against back and creates a ‘seemless’ look. Step 8: Take whatever light you prefer and shine from outside of box through the sides into box. Step 9: Place object inside box and take pictures!

From the few pictures I have taken using the box I find it is very helpful when it comes to getting good lighting on your subjects. Especially if, like me, you live in a place where it can be difficult to get good natural lighting.

Another great thing about making your own light box is if you have a cat, they like to play inside! Rusty climbed in early yesterday morning and I took advantage of his sniffing around.

 

 

Side-note, proper editing software was an IOU this holiday season as the place with great discounts was out of stock, so those photos here that I actually edited are done with whatever my computer provides!

Thanksgiving Travel Season

It’s that time of year again: the Thanksgiving travel season. You know, the time of year when at least one person from just about every family is heading away from their home and to someone else’s for the holiday. I flew down to Massachusetts last week with Smidget to spend Turkey Day with the fam, (see previous post: Freak Out!) but that was only just the beginning of our travels.

For the weekend I drove down to New York and visited my Alma Mater to see friends and how the campus has changed. One of my wonderful friends and her family were kind enough to house me as they have done numerous times before. Easter this year won’t be the same without the Gallucci’s. Sigh.

Anyway, I got in to NY fairly early on Saturday, giving my friend C and I plenty of time to hang out. So…what did we do? Went into New York City of course! We got to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, aka my home away from home that I miss terribly. We walked around through Central Park a bit and watched small toy sailboats being motored all over the Conservatory Pond near the Alice in Wonderland Statue. It was wonderful. I miss the city so much.

I got back to my Gigi’s (a shortened form of Grandpa in Polish. What can I say? I’m half Polish, he’s fully Polish, we took him to Poland a few years ago. That’s about it) house Sunday night, or yesterday. Today Smidget and I are heading East/slightly North to visit a great yarn store and to check out some graduate schools I am looking into in Vermont.

We are then thinking of going down to Rhode Island to visit Smidget’s Mom (aka my Grandma) on Friday after T-Day and we usually do a quick shopping trip up in Kittery, Maine. Land of the Outlet Malls. Early Christmas Shopping Central.

So lots of travel. To assist with these travels we have two trusty sidekicks. One is my GPS named Gavin. He’s my ‘copper’. I’ll give cupcakes to whomever is first to correctly answer what movie that is from. The other sidekick is my dashboard pirate named Hector.

Hector. That’s him. He’s a pretty lively guy.

So, as one can see, there is actually a lot of traveling form my family involved in the Thanksgiving break that is not just head cross country.

Here’s a sneak peek at Thanksgiving at Gigi’s House:

Front of Gig's House

Decorative Town Plate

 

Bookcases and Fireplace Mantle

Gigi's Military Photograph

And as an early Thanksgiving treat, just for you, here are some buddies who hang out in the front yard of a neighbor’s house:

 

Happy Halloween/November!

November has begun and this year I have decided to challenge myself for the month. That’s right (or, write, hehe) I am participating in NaNoWriMo!

For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s National Novel Writing Month. Basically the goal is to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. For more information about it, visit the site.

That being said, I will be pretty busy this month but that doesn’t mean the baking/crafting/photos/art/blogging whateverness will stop!

So, until we meet again, here are some pictures of the Halloween festivities in this neck of the woods. Among the photos are sugar cookies, house decorations, and some of a small party I went to (including a really awesome bread spider!). Enjoy!

Is it just me, or does this guy kind of look like a Simpson’s character with a mask on? Dad made him, so no one really knows what the design plan was…

Happy Halloween and let the novel writing begin!

Prossima fermata, Venezia!

This past Spring Break (2011) I joined the Manhattanville College Art History Department on their trip to Padova/Verona/Ravenna/Venice (including the islands of Torcello/Burano/Murano)! Here’s a glimpse of what we saw:

This one’s for all the Ancient Roman Architecture nerds out there ↓

As usual, if you would like any info on any of my photos leave a comment and I’ll get back to you. Also, here are some more maps I found in case you’re interested!