Variations on a Theme: The one that (almost) got away.


CM NJ dog close up

I mentioned previously that I had been taking pictures of mailboxes while walking which is a million times easier than in a moving car. It is difficult as a passenger to interrupt the trip and either stop, or slow down, or go back- just for a mailbox.

For example, I was out driving with my sister in New Jersey when we passed a great mailbox. I hated to ask her to stop so I could take a picture of it, but luckily she was agreeable! She turned around and became part of the hunt. Even so, the picture didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.

CM NJ dog motion blur v1

Almost there!

CM NJ dog motion blur v2

Can you tell it is a dog?

CM NJ dog car view

Finally a clear photo.

Even though the last one generally turned out okay, I still didn’t feel like I captured it as well as it deserved, so I went back.

CM NJ dog v1CM Fotor NJ dog cropped angle viewCM NJ dog close up

Some things are worth going back for!


Favorite Things: Picture Postcards

Michigan Postcard_Fotor.jpg

I like to think of postcards as old fashioned texts. They are a fun way to use photos that otherwise get lost among the hundreds of digital photos on my computer.

The first time I sent a picture in the mail repurposed as a postcard, I wasn’t sure if that was something the postal service would be okay with. So I looked online and found  instructions and decided to go for it.


USPS Postcard Template

I bought 10 postcard stamps so that I always have some on hand when a picture might be a good fit.

CM postcard stamps

And they are cute too!

CM postcard template

Here are some examples of picture postcards I have sent:

CM postcard grouping

I thought I should include my “rules” for sending postcards, but I think I only have one- the postcard should not embarrass the receiver so I don’t send pictures of people (except superheroes.)


This one was sent to my entire family! Who doesn’t need a Captain America postcard?!!

Variations on a Theme: Mailboxes worth going back for…

CM landscape manatee PA

Driving beyond my neighborhood, I began to notice more delightful mailboxes. Mailboxes, like benches, are far more varied than I expected them to be. Why haven’t I noticed them before?!

CM portrait manatee PA

Can’t get enough of this amazing mailbox!

CM Penn State helmet fullCM Penn State helmet close

Photographing these mailboxes has proven to be challenging. Since I am driving, I make a mental note of where I saw it and have on occasion returned to photograph it.  It becomes dicey when the mailbox is on a winding country road with no shoulder.

CM tractorCM lawnmowerCM zoom NJ dog mailbox

I may need to get a GoPro camera!




I Have an Idea: Entrance Poster (Part 3)


Once again, it came time to switch out the poster in our front hallway.

I realize my next choice might be controversial, since people are intense about their sports allegiances, but here goes.

As I mentioned before, my husband and I are from the Detroit area. Being a Michigan fan hasn’t always been easy over the last decade, that is until Coach Harbaugh came on board. I didn’t follow football too closely until he was hired, but now I have gone all in! My next choice may seem extreme but it is a fun way to celebrate the football season.

Harbaugh Poster Kindle

Jim Harbaugh and Coach Schembechler circa 1986

I wasn’t sure I was ever going to take my Go Blue Poster down– but I did. It took a very special picture to replace Coach Harbaugh, and I don’t think I have ever seen a picture that made me laugh as consistently as my next choice does.

Jurassic Park Poster

It was taken at the Jurassic Park Ride at Universal Studio Theme Park in Orlando. I have blurred out the faces as best as I could to protect the innocent but I hope you can tell how much fun it was!

I Have an Idea: Entrance Poster (Part 2)


Once winter passed, I was on the hunt for a new picture to put up in our entryway.

My husband and I went to the Philadelphia Boat Show to as they say, “dream a little dream.” Along the way, we decided to instead dream big and went aboard a huge pontoon boat that we called the “Party Boat.”

We shared the picture we took and got a good laugh about it with our family. It was at this time that I decided I wanted to put the picture up in our entrance.

Party Boat Poster

Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a party boat upon entering their home?

I enjoyed the Party Boat Poster so much I wasn’t sure how to replace it. We’ve been looking at old family photos trying to unlock genealogical mysteries when I remembered a picture of my father-in-law running on a beach looking like joy personified.

Of course remembering it and finding it were two different tasks. My husband ended up asking his sister if she knew where it might be. Thankfully she did find it and sent us a copy! My husband adjusted the dimensions and ordered it as a poster. This is Pure Joy.

Beach Poster

Variations on a Theme: Wine and Crackers and Benches (Oh My!)


Where can you go for an anniversary trip that you didn’t give yourself enough time to plan for: the Finger Lakes!

We live a few hours away from the area, we have never been there, and I enjoyed Sonoma when I visited our son. Reasons enough! (Also, it was fall, and we were able to get a hotel on short notice.)

We had a great trip and are looking forward to going again soon.

Here are some benches we noticed between wine tastings!


Montour Falls


Montour Falls


Montour Falls


Elmira College


Hill Top Inn Restaurant


Glenora Wine Cellars



Ravines Wine Cellars




Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery


Buttermilk Falls


Buttermilk Falls