Favorite Things: A Picture a Day


EPL Bench_Fotor.jpg

This is a bench! 

Many years ago I read an article about Carly Simon that I have thought about over the years but have never been able to see it through. In it she shared an activity that she incorporated into her daily routine. Every day she was sure to snap a picture using her polaroid camera. The pictures she took that were chosen for the article were candid family photos. I haven’t been able to recover my original article, but I remember her describing the daily picture taken over time became a photo essay of her life and the people in her life. What a lovely idea.

I just haven’t been able to make it a daily habit until now. So far this year… all 12 days of it!

I haven’t decided what to do with the picture a day but for now I am enjoying taking it!


My picture taken today! 

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








Variations on a Theme: Bench by Bench

Wildlife Bench MIchigan

We explored Michigan last summer, my husband and I. I mentioned we grew up in the Detroit area, but despite spending our childhoods in Michigan, we have never really explored the western half of the state. Our opportunity to rectify that came in the guise of the Row by Row Experience 2015.

Since the theme for 2015 was water, what better place to participate than Michigan? (Okay, maybe Minnesota.) My husband started planning out our trip, and because he is an engineer, he designed our itinerary to maximize the number of shops we could conquer.

Let’s just say, I have more than nine rows.

Here are some of the benches I came across in the beautiful state of Michigan (yes, I know I am partial!)

White Bench Michigancalifornia-oregon trip nikon_2015 06 15_0797Michigan Fence BenchBlue Bench CompanyLog BenchPetoskey Stone BenchPetoskey Stone Bench AerialChainlink Bench MichiganBoardwalk Bench MichiganPark Bench MichiganRed Building Bench

Variations on a Theme: Ode to the Simple Bench


This picture says it all. Enjoy the view.

I am not sure I would have noticed this bench as part of the view if I hadn’t gotten into the habit of appreciating benches in my neighborhood.

A rush of affection for the person or more likely people who made that effort to provide a bench to the traveler came over me. Like the well laid trail I was walking on to get to this view – this bench felt like a kindness.

I’d like to share with you some other benches I noticed while visiting Northern California.


Tilden Park, CA


Tilden Park, CA


Tilden Park, CA


UC Berkeley Campus


UC Berkeley Campus


UC Berkeley Campus


Timber Cove Inn, Jenner CA


Sonoma, CA


Marin Headlands, CA


Marin Headlands, CA


Marin Headlands, CA

The benches were simple, roughly hewn and part of the beautiful view.

Variations on a Theme: Benches

I grew up in a suburb of Detroit. The homes in my neighborhood were all ranch houses, with a choice of either red or white brick.


I enjoyed being invited into friends’ homes and was always surprised to see how different each house was on the inside when they were essentially all the same on the outside. The interiors reflected each family– unique, personal, and different.

As I was walking in my own neighborhood, I noticed the homes here had more variation in style, but people still put their own touches on their houses that make them uniquely theirs.

One surprising way was front porch benches. I had never really paid much attention to them before, but one day I noticed them, and once I did I couldn’t stop. As I noticed benches, I was surprised to realize how many different types there were!

Here are a few I saw in my neighborhood.



Mini bench


Isn’t this adorable?!

Looking at my neighbors’ benches made me reflect on the people themselves and the community I live in. Having a bench on the front porch or on the front lawn is inviting, welcoming. The bench chosen tells you something about the people who live inside!

I think the people who live in the house with the little sleeping puppies must be a hoot! I just may introduce myself to them!