Tuesday, May 26, 2015

TedStine 2015

I was at Ted and Christine's (TedStine's) beautiful wedding in Virgina this weekend and wanted to share some pictures from the intensely sunny day on here rather than Facebook to maintain some semblance of quality.  I will probably cross-post a bit.  I've known Christine since 2002 when I was a freshman at Penn State and she was studying abroad in Leeds, England.  We became friends via AIM (what is that?!? So old!) until she returned to the States and we bonded instantly at our fraternity.  She graduated two years later and remained one of my very best friends while I finished up at Penn State then followed the exodus from PA to the greater DC area.  Toga, NYC, Jason Mraz, Hilary Duff, tailgates, Enchanted Forests, so many conventions, New Years traditions, house buyings.  So glad to be there for this part of her life!

Very little modifications done to these photos, mostly because I'm feeling lazy and need to get off to bed. 

Damn you Ted, open your eyes!

A little fuzzy, but Laura was having so much fun I had to post anyway!

This face was a very specific reaction to something...wish I could remember what!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New Site

I have a new site up and running!  Posts may show up here from time-to-time, but I have some new (old) projects I'm working on that deserve a fresh start.

Check it out at: https://emilys57.wordpress.com/


Monday, January 5, 2015

PapPap: 100 Years

Happy Birthday PapPap.
John E. Dziubek: January 5, 2015 - January 5, 2015.

It's been 18 years, but I still miss you.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

5 Good Things

I had a really crappy week last week where every day I felt like I needed to hit the restart button and try again.  My work computer imploded for two days, I got rear-ended on my morning commute, a coworker I enjoyed working with and was just getting to know left our company, Todd was out of town, and more little things that kept adding up.  As a result I wanted to try to come up with the things in the week that were actually good, and try to remember those instead of the other crap.  I meant to do this Friday, but better now than never.

1. Coming home to two furry faces every day:
2. Study date with my friend Kim.
3. Making progress on the kitchen "remodel" (i.e. - painting the cabinets and adding leather knobs).
4. Seeing The Hello Strangers at the Creative Alliance Friday night.
5. Hearing a "We're Expecting" announcement in person from some good friends.
And a bonus:
6. A hilarious text conversation regarding rats in hotel rooms with a traveling friend.
C- "It was gone when I came back so I didn't get to interrogate it."

Sunday, August 17, 2014

A short reflection on last month's trip to Vermont.

The weather was picture-perfect: mid 70s, light breeze, clear blue skies, enough evening chill to warrant a sweater.  I'm not overly picky about weather; I can handle drizzle, grab mittens if it's cold (between exaggerated shivers), adapt and strip down in excessive heat, but this was your guide book New England summer day.  I actually don't even thing of Vermont being New England - it is a place of itself.  My picture of New England was firmly shaped in my first 5 years while visiting my grand parents in southern New Hampshire.  Vermont is fiercely independent, yet simultaneously intensely community loyal.  90% of the time I feel like a wanderer, but Vermont makes me feel unjudged and at home.

I overplan most things, but the moment I enjoyed the most was entirely unplanned, on the frisbee golf course in Johnson, VT, where a scant orange cat befriended us and followed and led us through the woods and fields, chasing frisbees, disappearing amongst the ferns, deep green setting off his pumpkin-ginger fur, crying at us to continue on the trail.  Purring, rubbing, mewing, loving.  Oh, I could have snatched him up in an instant and loved him for life.  

Be well, JJ Kitty, be well and help others on the course find their way.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Today would have been my grandmother's 90th birthday.  There was never any question in my mind that we would celebrate 90 and 30 a day apart, but that changed when she passed away in February.  To me, Dotty was indestructible.  She never seemed old or frail, even when she lost breath walking down the hall and her clothes began to hang on her frame.  I can count on one hand the number of times she complained about her health and they were probably all within the last year when it slowly began to interrupt more daily activities.  Mind sharp as a tack, she was firm in her opinions and would let you know what they were (ever hear the phrase "Diplomacy is the art of telling someone to go to hell and having them thank you for the trip"?  She could do that.).  She read voraciously, watched all the Penn State and Steelers football games, enjoyed George Carlin (which made Todd finally relax around her!).  She always greeted someone new with "It's good to know you."  Being at her cottage was a comfort, both impeccably furnished yet brimming with a life full of character and a story behind every piece.

My favorite times with her were the nights I spent before Christmas or the stops I'd make on my way to or from Pittsburgh, where it was just the two of us.  Thanksgivings for many years were at the country club with a smattering of different friends and my grandparents' favorite waitress.  Dotty knew everyone and they all respected her.  She always told me how well I had done getting - and keeping - a good job and later a good husband.  I wish I remembered more of those moments, but I never took them seriously, always wishing for more.

The hardest part about losing her is the tremendous regret I have for not calling and visiting more.  I believe she knew I thought about her often and I hope she didn't fault me too much for my periods of lax communication.  In truth, I took it for granted that she would always be around - death was not something that crossed my mind as a possibility for us.  She never seemed ill or frail to me, she never asked for pity or help and was unceasingly positive.

I think about her constantly now.  Much of the furniture I grew up with in south/central PA and New Hampshire is now in my house.  Her jewelry is on my dresser.  Her favorite moose mug is my daily coffee mug.  Her blue-glass lamp is on my desk.  Books on the shelf.  Chair and table in the living room.  Mutts on the wall.

Perhaps she would scoff at my tears these past months, wonder at my reluctance to tell anyone she died.  I wish I could turn 30 feeling proud of my accomplishments, but instead it will be a reflection on all I haven't done or could have done better.  Some things you are never too old to do - visit more states, go fishing, learn to knit more than a straight line - but you can't go back and tell your grandmother you loved her and call her more.  Tears won't change that, but they will keep coming.  

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Oh lordy.  It's been ages.  
I'm ready to be back.
Ready to write.
But I'm giving myself some slack.  Taking it easy.  I know I won't bounce back in immediately.  There is much afoot.  Work, school, running the house, petting the cat, school.  School.  

I came across some of my old journals the other day - the NightOwl ones, the best for ideas and sketches and lectures and thoughts.  I think I just ordered my 7th or 8th one.  I love collecting quotes in my journals; here are some I collected in 2010 and one I just added (probably for the 2nd or 3rd time as it's a favorite.

"What is that Heart of Gold, anyway?
The love of your life?
Pure intent?
An awareness of life span and the ability
to make the most
of all possibilities."

"If I find in myself
desires which nothing 
in this world can 
satisfy, the only logical
explanation is that I 
was made for a 
different world."
-C.S. Lewis

"If you are not leaning into the crowd, then you must be destined to do other things." - Caru

"Allow your plants to co-mingle." - native plant lecture

"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community.  It is wrong when it tends otherwise." - Aldo Leopold