Picking blueberries while gnats fly up our noses

Parents: “Let’s go blueberry picking!”

Almost 13-year old: “Yeah, fine. Okay.”

Almost 5-year old: “Yeah! Blueberries!”

Parents: “We’re here! Where should we pick? Here again? Like last year? Okay!”

Outside the car, all reflecting on how it’s as hot as it was last year and noticing arms and legs feel like licorce that’s been sitting in the sun too long.

Almost 13-year old: “”Och! Man! A gnat just flew up my nose!”

Parents: “Just keep picking! It will be fine.”

Almost 5-year old: “Look! A blueberry!” (eats it)

Parents: “No, no. We are picking the blueberries and putting the in the bucket, not eating them. Okay. Yep. That’s right. In the bucket.”

Almost 13-year old: “There is a gnat in my eye! My eye!”

Parents: “I forgot the bug spray. Wave them away.”

Almost 5-year old: “I’m hot.”

Almost 13-year old: “Can gnats get to your brain from ears?! They are in my ears!”

Almost 5-year old: “Did you bring snacks? I’m hungry.”

Parent: “I told you to get a snack before you came. Besides, you’re eating the blueberries. How can you be hungry?”

Almost 13-year old: “I just ate a gnat! It flew in my mouth! Blech!!”

Almost 5-year old: “Do they  have a potty here?”

Parent: “We’re in the middle of nowhere. Pee in the woods.”

Almost 5-year old: (look of disgust.) “Uh…no.”

Almost 13-year old, eating blueberries and swatting gnats: “mmmm..blueberries.”

Parent: “Put the blueberries in the bucket, not your mouth.”

Almost 5-year old: “I’m going to the car now.”

Parent: “You can’t go to the car now. It’s locked.”

Almost 13-year old: “I need water.”
Parent: (looks at phone) “We’ve only been here four minutes! Are you kids serious right now?!”

Luckily we found a port-a-potty, moved to another spot, and the sun went behind the cloud for about 20 minutes, letting us finish picking with minimal whining. We came home with seven pounds of blueberries, which were gone in less than a week. Not sure what that says about us.


The end of school and 100 days of summer photo project


That’s what it is.

Insane that my blue-eyed little boy is now a fifth grader.

School finished last week with fun days and field trips.

J.G. is definitely my child because he missed the last two days of school with a stomach issue. He sure knows how to kick off his summer.

The year seemed to rush by. He ended it with his first pair of glasses, which was inevitable since both his parents wear glasses. He also ended it similar to how he began – on the high honors list.

He took a break from karate for the months of April and May but we’ve agreed on a trial run for the summer to get him back into a focused activity and away from video games and apathy. 

Even before summer officially arrived I started the 100 days of summer photo project. I hope to share those images weekly on the blog. I plan to do better with this project than I did with the 365, which fell apart sometime in March.

Now that school is out I’m sure I’ll put that familiar pressure on myself to keep the children entertained each day, mentally scolding myself on the days we sit in the house and watch cartoons instead of undertaking grand adventures. 

And like other summers there will be the inevitable envy from images of other’s summer trips and adventures, which is probably why a planned Facebook detox is coming just at the right time. 

And how about you? What are your summer plans? Lazy days? Or days full of activity? 



Four on Four | Ithaca NY Child Photographer

We have been enjoying the summer, taking things as the come and that has included playing in the puddles after a rain storm moved through recently.

Somehow my daughter ended up without clothes at one point, but, well, that’s what living life as a toddler is all about, right?

This post is part of a Four on Four blog circle through Clickin’ Moms. This is the time of the month when we choose four photos from either an event or simply taken in the previous month and then share them.

Enjoy other photographer’s work by following the circle. Next up is Chrissy Mazer

Exploring the ‘cricks’ of New York

I took the kids to a local park last week and we were disappointed when we got there to see the waterfall was only trickling, which is how it usually looks when we visit there. I’ve heard water actually pours from it at other times, but I’ve only seen that once in the 14 years I’ve lived in the area. Apparently I just have horrible timing.

Because there was hardly any water in the waterfall, this also meant there was almost no water in the creek, or as I call it, for some reason, “the crick.”

No matter how “creek”  is said, the children enjoyed playing in the little bit of water that was in the creek bed, looking for minnows, throwing rocks, throwing and digging in dirt and looking at fossils of creatures that had been left in the rocks. They loved simply getting dirty and playing the same way I did as a child – exploring nature without direction and more importantly, without technology.

Finding photo opportunities in unlikely places.

My dad had his knee replaced this week at a hospital about an hour from where we live. My mom can’t get around well and my brother is more than two hours from the hospital but I was able to travel there fairly easily, taking my 20 month old alone with me for the second trip. Since apparently our family doesn’t get out much, the first trip was like a family mini vacation, complete with sight seeing of the country side around the facility. I have to admit I was surprised how pretty the drive there was.

The hospital is located in a tiny Pennsylvania city called Montrose and is surrounded by farmland, cows, hills and trees. You have to drive though some 30 miles of wilderness then boom, there is the town and at the end of it a small hospital on the hill, almost in the middle of nowhere, though there are a few houses near it.

The second trip involved a lot of waiting for Dad to have physical therapy and deal with stomach issues from the pain killers so Little One and I explored the hospital, which isn’t really very active. It’s a beautiful, new building with long, empty hallways. I’m not sure why there are so few patients there, but it could be because the town itself is fairly small.

Of course I couldn’t resist photos of at least one of those hallways, especially when I saw blocks of light illuminating spaces of the hallway from skylights. I used the only camera I had with me that day – an iPhone. Sometimes I find photograph opportunities in very unlikely places. I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse but sometimes I see a photograph in my mind and know it has to be taken.

This post is part of Melissa Firman’s 99 days of blogging and the 100 Days of Summer Photo Challenge.

100 Days of summer | Athens PA Child Photographer

I’m always up for a challenge (um…yeah, not really) so in addition to the 99 Days of Blogging, I’m starting a 100 Days of Summer where I take a photo a day for the 100 days of summer. This should be fun!

I’m counting yesterday as my first day so I’ll showcase this photo I grabbed of the kids playing out back before dark clouds moved in. And yes, I kept the snot running from my daughter’s nose in there because I am keeping it real, ya’ll.