♥ My Funny Valentine ♥


Forgive me for reposting this photo–I need to take some time off again and thought it was perfect for Valentine’s Day which is next week. Doesn’t Yuri’s pink nose look a little like a sideways heart?

Hope your day is wonderful….


Posted in photography | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

A Cathedral and a Book Recommendation


The Peter and Paul Cathedral is a Russian Orthodox cathedral located inside the Peter and Paul Fortress in St. Petersburg, Russia. It is the oldest landmark in St. Petersburg, built between 1712 and 1733 on Zayachy Island along the Neva River. Both the cathedral and the fortress were originally built under Peter the Great and designed by Domenico Trezzini. The cathedral’s bell tower is the world’s tallest Orthodox bell tower. The gilded spire is 402 feet (122.5m).
Russian tsars from Peter I to Nikolai II are buried in the cathedral and in the nearby Grand Dukes Mausoleum.

The cathedral was closed in 1919 and turned into a museum in 1924. It’s still officially a museum, but religious services resumed in 2000. We didn’t get inside, but the spire is visible from many parts of the city.


Speaking of Russia, I just finished a great book set there: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. It’s about an aristocrat who’s been sentenced to house arrest in a grand old hotel in Moscow. You’d think the story would be dull, but it’s very entertaining. I can’t remember many characters more charming than Count Alexander Rostov.

Great weekend, everyone!


Posted in photography | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

A Connection


I met this interesting fellow when I lived and worked at a resort in the Bavarian Alps region of Germany. He was known only as “Schmechtig,” and was one of the cooks there. I was wary of him at first, because I was young and he always looked annoyed or just fed up. If anyone tried to talk to him he’d wave them off with an angry flick of the hand. I decided to steer clear.

But one day he saw me coming towards the kitchen, and with a decided twinkle in his eye, tipped his little soup bowl in a kind of salute and said, “Schmechtig suppe. Gut suppe.” I said, “Ja?” or something like that and continued on. This soon became a ritual every time I walked by the kitchen. I quickly learned that Schmechtig’s special “soup” was beer. That explained the twinkle in his eye.


(Sorry about the blurry photo, but it really captures his gesture.)

I knew almost nothing about Schmechtig, because he didn’t speak English and I only understood a little German. He was old enough to be my grandfather and I was either busy working or hanging out with the other kids who worked there. Our only interaction was the daily tipping of the soup bowl, but I found myself looking forward to it.

One day I noticed Schmechtig in the parking lot near where the younger employees lived. I had my camera and thought it would be fun to capture him outside the kitchen. When I pointed to my camera, Schmechtig grabbed one of the rental bikes like he was going to ride it and posed happily. It made me laugh, and that made him laugh. It was the first time I’d heard that sound come from him and it made my week.


My last memory of Schmechtig was on New Year’s Eve at the resort. All of us kids were dancing in the bar as usual and suddenly someone cried out, “Schmechtig!” We couldn’t believe it–he was out of the kitchen, and in the bar no less. More surprising, he walked up to me and said, “Tanzen?” I knew enough German to know that meant “dance.” I was so shocked I didn’t know what to say, so my boyfriend accepted for me and Schmechtig and I did a funny little “waltz” while everyone around us clapped. When the music stopped, everybody cheered and Schmechtig took a little bow before leaving.

No photos of the dance, but I haven’t forgotten the moment. We went back to the States soon after and I never saw Schmechtig again.

Have you ever had a connection with someone who didn’t speak your language?


Posted in photography | 12 Comments

Harbinger of Spring

Hello, everyone, and Happy New Year! It feels like I’ve been away for months instead of weeks. The break was really good for me–I was getting a tiny bit burned out, plus 2016 was kind of challenging.
I’d like to welcome all the new followers who joined over the holidays. Thanks so much for taking the time to view my posts!


I’m sloooowly getting back in the groove, so I’ll leave you with this shot of some purple tulips. Spring’s just around the corner for us and I’m looking forward to it. We’ve had tons of rain, but the drought may be ending, so that’s a very good thing.

Great weekend, everyone!


Posted in photography | 12 Comments

Those Eyes

I am still getting used to how intently Yuri looks at me. Is he trying to figure me out? Checking to see if I’m prey? If he were a dog, I’d be nervous, because that’s such a sign of aggression. Cats are so different!
I do love the color of his eyes, though.


Doesn’t his eye look like a giant grape?
Still using the iPhone with him and am rather amazed at the detail in this one.


I think Yuri looks kind of regal here. He has calmed down considerably in the past few months, but still likes to leap off his cat tree and fly right in front of me. I need to remember to leave him a wide berth. 🙂

The past few months have been kind of draining, so I’m going to take off the month of December. Happy Holidays to all of you and see you next year!


Posted in photography | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

A Little Bit of Calm

I don’t know about you, but I am weary of all the post-election strife and vitriol in this country. So I’m offering a little peace and quiet with this autumn image taken in the D.C. area.


Great weekend, everyone!


Posted in photography | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

Approaching Glacier Bay

I had been looking forward to Glacier Bay the whole trip and was not disappointed. The approach was quite beautiful too….






Great weekend, everyone!


Posted in photography | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Happy November


“The wind that makes music in November corn is in a hurry. The stalks hum, loose husks whisk skyward in half-playing swirls, and the wind hurries on. . . . A tree tries to argue, bare limbs waving, but there is no detaining the wind.” ~Aldo Leopold

Great weekend, everyone!


Posted in photography | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

Hubbard Glacier


Hubbard Glacier is located in eastern Alaska and part of Yukon, Canada. This was taken from a distance, but our ship took us closer. What’s really nice about cruise ships is that they turn the ship from side to side so everyone gets a good look. That doesn’t always happen, so we pretty much ran around the decks taking photos. 🙂


The glacier was named for Gardiner Hubbard, an American lawyer, financier, and philanthropist who was the first president of the National Geographic Society. He was also one of the founders of, and the first president of, the Bell Telephone Company (now AT&T).


Did you know that Alexander Graham Bell taught deaf children? Hubbard’s daughter Mabel was one of his students and later became Bell’s wife.


It takes about 400 years for ice to traverse the length of the glacier.

What was crazy to me was that one on side you had the glacier, and on the other side, this:


and this:


I was reminded of the Na’Pali Coast in Hawaii. Only it was a lot colder outside. We needed sweaters, jackets and jeans in the sunshine. In July.


The water was glassy like this the whole time we were there.
Hubbard Glacier is next to a body of water called Disenchantment Bay. Alessandro Malaspina called it “Puerto del Desengano” in 1792 when he realized it wasn’t the entrance to the Northwest Passage. Talk about misnomer.

Later that night we saw a lot of scenes like these:




Nothing but mountains, sea and sky. Occasionally another ship in the far distance. I loved every minute.

Great weekend, everyone!


Posted in photography | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Travel Scan: Parthenon


A little different angle for the Parthenon. It was awesome to see the Acropolis, but if you go to Athens, be sure to see the lighting show at night. Unbelievable.

Great weekend, everyone!


Posted in photography | Tagged , , | 9 Comments