Archive for May, 2015

My mom

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

This blog post goes out to all of the single mom’s out there–especially mine.

Last month I was driving somewhere in my car and I started to write this blog post in my head. My mom popped into my mind and since I’m an awful child who never does anything for Mother’s Day I started thinking that I was going to write an amazing blog post for my mom. The post I wrote in my head while driving was amazing. I admit I was crying by the end of it, and I was so excited because I had a whole month to craft my blog, scan old photos and just create something that really would show my mom just how amazing I think she is.

And well last Monday I still thought I had a whole 6 days to get the post together, and now it is just 2.5 hours until Mother’s Day, and I am just hoping I can say a few words, other than sorry mom.

My mom is super smart. I remember as a kid being really proud to watch her play trivial pursuit at family gatherings, or to listen to her debate friends and family about politics. Later in life I learned to use her smarts to my advantage as an editor on all of my papers. She just couldn’t help herself. Actually I wish I wasn’t as good as tricking her into cleaning up all of my papers, because maybe the blog writing would come easier to me.

Writing is what my mom has always done well. She was a reporter for most of my life, but she also dabbled in some romance writing, jingles, personal ads, and she even wrote a book about one of my teddy bears called, “Suitable, a bear for all ages”.

There are certain things and moments that stand out when I think of my mom.

There is the super smart thing that I already mentioned. And I want to mention a million other things, little stories that are the things that pop into my mind when I think of how hard it must have been for her to try to stay afloat financially, times when she pushed me and times when she surprised me.

But really–the best, best thing about my mom is that she has never once made me feel guilty for not doing anything special for Mother’s Day. I know that she will wake up tomorrow and even if I don’t post this post, she will still love me–and I’m pretty sure she won’t be disappointed.

She doesn’t sweat the small stuff. She doesn’t need a card to know I love her.

Thanks for that mom. I love you.

And, some photos of mom.

 

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So this photo is of me and not my mom, but I am still amazed that she made me Halloween costumes. My mother was never known for any domestic arts, but somehow she can make Halloween costumes and knit socks while working more than full time. I think meals and laundry might have suffered a little, but still…IMG_4988

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And, as I finish this poorly done blog post that never lived up to the one I had written in my mind I will climb into bed and continue reading the new novel my mom just finished. I am so proud of her.

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Kangaroos, Crocs and Koalas | Syracuse, NY photographer in Australia

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Remember how last year I was living in New Zealand? Well, on our way home from our sabbatical in New Zealand we made a tourist stop in Australia. Compared to New Zealand, Australia is a lot like America. There are big boring stretches of highway connecting crazy beautiful sites, box stores, hotel chains–so a lot like home with a few adorable differences–see kangaroos, wombats, etc.

We saw a lot of kangaroo road kill before seeing our first live kangaroo. Actually, we first saw a whole herd of kangaroo hop-running along side the highway. By the time we pulled off to take a photo we only found this guy checking us out. I get the impression kangaroos are to Australians what deer are to us–a pest, but none the less they were really fun to spot hopping along.

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We didn’t see any wild wombats, but they quickly became one of our favorites.

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If you think those bats look big in this photo you have no idea! I was taking the kids for a walk to a few museums and there was no way to avoid walking underneath them and they were huge!

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The Blue Mountains.

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This hike was called the Giant’s Stairway and it said there were over 800 steps. We tried to keep count for a bit, but the stairs were also very steep and fairly worn in places so I lost my concentration on counting.

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Luckily once we did a hike at the bottom we connected with a place called Scenic World (where you can pay to take a gondola or a train down to the bottom), or you can just take the train back to the top like we did. The train was built in the 1880’s to carry coal and now is the steepest railway of it’s kind. It tilts 52 degrees.

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This is the “more hiking” face from the kids.

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Still–you gotta work hard for the good views.

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After leaving the Blue Mountains we flew up the NE coast of Australia and got things started looking for crocs in the Daintree River.

Driving by sugarcane.

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The start of our croc tour.

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I spy…

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I spy.

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After croc spotting we were hoping to see the Cassowary bird, but despite numerous warnings the bird eluded us.

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Such a tempting beach. Why no swimmers?

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Oh, yeah–crocs.

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We took a ferry over to Magnetic Island. We picked this destination because it was supposed to be one of the best places to spot a koala in the wild.

This first thing we spotted was this very loud that liked to stand right outside our door.

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Off to spot koalas. I didn’t take a picture of the next sign, but it was a warning about how the viper snake was very popular along this trail as well. So, taking this hike meant looking down before you step so as not to disturb one of the most poisonous snakes, and then looking carefully up to try to spot a koala.

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Luckily we spotted one koala–and he/she was extra cute.

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selfies with a wallaby. These guys were all over the place.

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We did visit a small wild life sanctuary where the kids got to hold all sorts of Australian animals including a koala.

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selfie with a koala. Notice a theme?

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That snake is getting a little too cozy in his neck wrapping.

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Fun bird watching.

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Sydney has to be my current favorite city. Sorry NYC and Paris.

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See those tiny tourists up there walking over the bridge? We didn’t do that.

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Being tourists at the wax museum was actually more fun than I expected it would be.

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I don’t think Sydney always puts on this type of show, but we happened to be there during the Vivid Light festival.

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The famous Manly Beach. There was a shark off shore when we were there and they cleared all the surfers.

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Right after this photo was taken the bird pooped on Jason. đŸ˜‰

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The Sydney Opera House all aglow for the festival.

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One more of the opera house.

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I will end things with our trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. We spent 3 hours on a boat over high seas where you couldn’t walk and you needed a hefty amount of ginger to keep your stomach calm. Despite all the rock and rolling to get there, once we got there things were nice and calm with water warm enough that you didn’t need a wet suit, but we thought they looked cool.

 

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We tried a little underwater photography to moderate success.

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So far away from everything.

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