Thank You All and Some First Photos

Thank you all so much for your kind words over the weekend. It was hard to loose Dino. We spent the weekend talking about our short time with him.  I really feel that things happen as their meant to. Sometimes situations come and go in ways that we never expect and  the outcomes can be amazing. I hope that our experience of taking care of Dino builds resilience and character in my kids. Michael and I feel that it’s important for them to experience all parts of life, not just the pleasant, easy ones.

The fun part of our weekend included a birthday for me. I’m not telling which one it was but there’s now one ending in “0” coming quickly.  Going into this birthday I really needed a new camera. My little point and shoot was so frustrating to use,  I could see the shot but the camera wasn’t capable of taking it. The people who love me pooled their resources and I’m now the owner of a very nice Canon Rebel DSLR.  Needless to say I have a lot to learn about how to use it but I thought I’d share my first  flower photos. This camera is so much fun!!

I’ll start with the bathroom clock. Doesn’t everyone test out their new camera by taking a picture of their bathroom clock?
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Moving on, here’s a favorite print that my mom gave me a few years ago. This is hanging in our foyer. IMG_0146

And now– real flowers! Isn’t this sharp, clear and beautiful?IMG_0147

It’s not even set to macro, this is just the auto adjustment…IMG_0148 Puffy, white and perfect!IMG_0149 Good things are happening!

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I’m going to watch a chapter of the dvd that came with the camera every day.  Then I’ll practice the skills that each chapter teaches. Then I’ll use the auto adjust button to take pictures.  Just kidding, I’m really going to learn how to use it!  😉

Spring is going to be fun here at the Salem Garden~

Thanks again and enjoy everything today!

Michele

Awesome Camping, Right Here in Salem!

I love camping! This week I decided to pack the kids up and head down to Winter Island for a few days.  Winter Island is a city park that is an island (connected by a causeway) right on the ocean.  It has a few amenities like a very rustic bathhouse and a camp store but it’s really all about the beach, the water and a little bit of history.

We’ve been going to the beach there for twenty five years but had never family camped. I was amazed that I could be so “on vacation” this close to home.

Our campsite was wooded and spacious.

And  the  views are spectacular!

This is looking in toward Derby Wharf and the city.

The island was historically a fort and more recently a coast guard base.

Here’s a post about it’s history that was written by  Salem blogger Beth Melillo a few weeks ago:

http://connectshore.com/2012/07/03/winter-island-a-personal-and-public-history/

There’s always something interesting to ponder.

Was this building used to store munitions or was it used for holding prisoners?

We really need to research that and figure it out.

Here’s the old sea plane hanger…

and a view from the back with one of the Salem Community Gardens sites in the foreground.

There’s the old barracks. I’d love to see this building restored and used again.

My kids have grown up playing at the playground.We used to go down for an hour before lunch and nap time when they were little.

There are flowers blooming all over the island.

One of the former caretakers loved to plant things and his handiwork is everywhere!

Casey’s gardens make me feel right at home.

The kids spent lots and lots of time exploring the tide pools…

Here’s a close up of some star fish that they found.

My little guy spends hours out there.

We did have to watch out for the critters that came out at night.

There were ground hogs and wharf rats. One night a skunk wandered right through our site as I was tucking the kids in.

We knew it was time to head home very early yesterday morning when Michael caught a raccoon pulling a bag of marshmallows through this hole that he (the raccoon) had chewed in our tent!

A little duct tape to repair the hole is nothing compared to wonderful family time and views like this!

Whether you spend a few hours or a few days, Winter Island is a perfect place to relax and get away!

Sepia, and the Mystery Lady’s Photo

Changing photos to sepia is fun (and easy with I-Photo)

Here’s a photo I took at the Common last week:

Same photo, changed to Sepia.  Isn’t this timeless? It looks like it could have been taken a hundred years ago.

Here’s another one, the cars kind of give it away. I should crop them out.

This was our Christmas Picture a few years ago. My kids have grown up so much since then. I wish we could slow that down a little bit.

and this one really is old… Isn’t she beautiful? I have her hanging over my fireplace.  It’s a photo that we found in my Dad’s things. My sister and I think it could be our grandmother. Unfortunately we don’t have any known photos of her. If anyone  recognizes this lady please let me know! I call her Rose.

We’ve been wondering for a few years now…

Anyway, Happy Monday! I’m off to prepare for our big family road trip later this week.

Enjoy Everything!

Michele