Posts Tagged With: Charles River

Day 1518: Left the house before I felt ready

Yesterday, I left the house before I felt ready but not before I was ready to put on this t-shirt:


Sometimes we leave the house before we feel ready.

Sometimes people leave our house before we feel ready.

Whether we feel ready or not, we need to  move on.

Do you feel ready for other photos that are left on my phone?
























Ready or not, here comes Ms. Lauryn Hill!


Before you’re ready to leave my blogging house today, here’s a well-deserved thank you.


Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Day 1415: Outrageous Fortune

Yesterday, I had the outrageous fortune to


  • meet my sister Ellen, who is one of the leading women in my life,


  • live another day without allergies,


  • encounter a t-shirt which reminded me of my late father, who had the brilliant idea of renaming a local business “The No Fakery Bakery,”


  • reminisce with my sister about how my father’s submitting that winning name in the local bakery’s contest many years ago resulted in our family winning free bagels and cream cheese for a week,
  • breathe free,


  • realize that people are still singing and acting in the name of love,


  • meet my wonderful friend Barbara, who is one of my favorite people in the world,


  • see familiar faces in a local no-fakery bakery that ships all over the world,


  • spend time breathing and taking pictures on a bench near the Charles River,








  • see a bumper sticker with my boyfriend, Michael, which reminded us of an experience we had the day after my open heart surgery in September (which I had the outrageous fortune to share with you in this post),


  • realize that no matter what else is happening to me right now, my scars from all my recent cardiac-related surgeries are healing and no longer need dressing with gauze and tape,


  • and have another piece of Michael’s outrageous chocolate cake.




During times of outrageous fortune, it helps to realize how outrageously fortunate I am.

Tonight, I have the outrageous fortune of seeing Benedict Cumberbatch in a production of Hamlet at a local movie theater with  my friend Kathy, where we’ll have the outrageous fortune of hearing him recite these outrageous lines:

To be or not to be, that is the question:

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,

Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,

And by opposing end them


As I’ve recently said to several people I have the outrageous fortune to know, during times of outrageous fortune I can reduce my outrage with Dickens and  with Shakespeare.

I just had the outrageous fortune of finding this music on YouTube in the name of love:


Will I have the outrageous fortune of seeing a comment from you, below?

I have the outrageous fortune of being able to thank all who helped me create this post and you — of course! — whom I am outrageously fortunate to know.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Day 1402: Yikes!

I knew that “Yikes!” would be today’s post title when I looked at my favorite watch yesterday.


Here are just some of my reasons for saying “Yikes!” right now:

  • I have to go in to Boston for more surgery today, exactly six weeks after my open heart surgery at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
  • The reason I need today’s surgery is that my Implantable Cardiac Device, which I received in May 2015, caused two deaths because of early battery depletion.
  • I had to stop eating and drinking last night at midnight, and I am  not reporting for surgery until 11:30 AM.
  • The weather is going to be unseasonably warm and beautiful today, but I will be otherwise occupied.
  • The United States presidential election, less than a week away.
  • The Chicago Cubs might win the World Series tonight.
  • If I feel up to it, I hope to sing at an Open Mic Friday night.
  • Because of its latest update, my iPhone no longer recognizes my thumbprint but has lots of new features which I haven’t had time to learn.

Speaking of my “improved” iPhone, here are all the other photos I took yesterday.  Do any of them make you go “Yikes!”?































Yikes!  The words “warming” and “naturally” in that last photo, above,  are reminding me of my first therapy session since my open heart surgery.  Yesterday, my therapist George and I came up with a soothing ritual to help me prepare for today’s surgery —  to place both my hands over my heart, to warm and naturally soothe my still painful chest cavity.

What is making you say “Yikes!” today, in your world?

Yikes!  If I actually am able to sing at an Open Mic night in two days, will I remember all these lyrics?

Yikes!  Joni Mitchell sounds great there.

Yikes!  Look at the time!  I have to get ready for my surgery.

Yikes!  I get so cranky when I can’t eat or drink when I want to!

Yikes!  I hope you leave a comment.

Yikes! I almost forgot to thank all those who helped me create this post and you — of course! — for visiting, here and now.

Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, self-care | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 64 Comments

Day 1224: Moody

While I do have my moods of joy, sadness, fear, anger, and shame, I don’t think I’m particularly moody.  However, I may be moody when I return to work tomorrow and the weather finally turns beautiful and sunny, which will probably improve other people’s moods.

Yesterday, during a moody and gray day, I was in the mood to see a movie.  So I drove to Waltham, Massachusetts, USA, which has this moody street:


As I walked through moodily quiet Waltham towards the movie theater, I took these moody photos:



When I saw that sign for the Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation,  I got into a reminiscing mood, remembering a few years ago when  my son Aaron and my boyfriend Michael were at that museum, enjoying all the interesting moods of a Steampunk festival.

If you’re in the mood for a definition of Steampunk, here’s a short one:

Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.

At that point, I looked up and saw the many moods of these people:


I exclaimed, in an excited mood, “Is today the day???”  And they said, “It is!”  Then I saw more and more people who were in the mood to have their pictures taken:





After I saw that sign that said, “Fear change?  Put it in the Tip Jar!” I was in the mood to tell those people, “Keep a dollar, even though I do NOT fear change.”

I hope you’re in the mood for more pictures from yesterday’s Steampunk Festival in Waltham.






I’m in the mood to tell you that I overheard that guy  ask if his moodily steampunk puppet could sit in that amazing black car (which sometimes gave off moody, billowing clouds of steam).

Still in the mood for more steampunk photos?






By then, I was in the mood to see the moody movie I came to Moody Street in Waltham to see.


Are you in the mood to guess which movie it was?

I took all of those moody photos before the movie actually began.




Seeing Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, and Antonio Sanchez play in person, over the years, have been some of the highlights of my long and moody life.

I’m now in the mood  to write that

If you’re in the mood to check out some Miles Davis tunes on Youtube, you can find that live  performance  of “All Blues” and many more .

How moody are you,  after reading this moody post?

Moody thanks to all who helped me create all the moods of this post and to you — of course! — no matter what your moods are, here and now.


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism, tribute | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Day 131: How I spent my spring vacation

Whenever I take a vacation from work, I consider the vacation officially over on Friday night.  Saturday and Sunday don’t really count, because it’s just a weekend, after which I will return to work.

Therefore, the Saturday of the weekend before I return to work seems like a good time for this photo essay.

How I Spent My Spring Vacation

by Ann

On Monday, which was such a beautiful day, I stopped at a very cool store,  Bessie Blue, to look for a sun hat.


Marcy, on the right, greeted me very warmly, and was fun and helpful throughout my visit there, even though I didn’t find a hat that fit my needs.  When I said I would need to look elsewhere, she said, cheerily, “It will be a fun quest!”  That’s when I knew I wanted to put her in my blog. Cathy (in the middle) and Ashley (the manager) were also really great. Ashley liked that I acknowledge helpful and kind people in this blog. She told me, “I have worked in retail for many years and I’ve always really appreciated it  when good service is recognized. ” Ashley also said that when she was growing up,  she noticed how her mother went out of her way to tell people she appreciated them.


Speaking of fun quests, this is where I started my walk (without a sun hat, but okay with that) on Monday.  This  photo was taken in Cambridge, looking out toward Boston. Look at those friggin’ trees, people!  Aren’t they gorgeous?  And get this — I had just found a parking spot, in front of MIT, where I could leave my car, all day.   (Yes, parking spaces like this still exist, at this writing.)


Ahhhh.  Look at that view of Boston, across the Charles River.


This is one of my favorite walks around Boston.  Isn’t it amazing?


After I crossed the Longfellow Bridge into Boston, I took this picture of the MBTA subway stop, near Mass General Hospital. While I was taking this picture, a man, who was sitting on the ground outside of a CVS, started talking to me.


This is Antonio.  He and I spoke for a while. He told me several sad stories about his life, including how he was abused and treated dreadfully as a child.    He told me he did not want to go to a shelter — although I kept telling him I thought he should. He said it frightened him to be in a place with lots of strangers, and he felt safer on the streets.  He also told me stories of how he cared about and had helped other people. I believed him for lots of reasons, including how he acted with me and with other people who walked by.  He got very upset when he talked  about the Boston Marathon bombings.

Antonio also told me how he wants to die; I told him I hoped he wouldn’t, because the world could use more kind people, like him. At one point, he laughed and expressed gratitude toward me. That’s when I took the picture of him, which I showed him. He said it was okay if I put him in my blog. I really hope Antonio decides he wants to live.


This is Amanda, who works at Isabelle’s CurlyCakes, on Charles Street.  She grew up in Houston. She’s been in Boston for seven years. She said, “You fall in love with this city.” She told me how CurlyCakes — which had the most incredible looking cupcakes —  was the idea of the daughter of Todd English (a very famous Boston chef and restauranteur).  She showed me some wonderful photos, taken by Isabelle (Todd English’s daughter).  She pointed out this one (on the top):


which showed Isabelle surrounded by the children of the contractors who helped build the store. I really liked that photo.


It was difficult to decide which cupcake to try, but I chose this one, which was called the “Triple Chocolate.” It had chocolate cake, chocolate pastry cream, chocolate butter cream, and cocoa crisps dipped in chocolate. I don’t mean to quibble, but, according to my calculations, the accurate title for that cupcake would be the “Quintuple Chocolate.”  All I can say about this cupcake is this (and I shared this with Amanda): I’ve been yearning for something very chocolate-y for the past few months, and apparently, this was it.  Thanks to Amanda, Todd English’s daughter, and anybody else even slightly responsible for that cupcake.


I walked by this Starbucks, on my way to the Public Gardens. I had my second date there with my bf, Michael, a couple of years ago.  He told me several funny stories that day; I remember thinking he was the coolest dude, ever.


Here is the Public Gardens. If you look carefully, you will see one of the famous Swan Boats. Again, what a beautiful day.


This was taken on Tuesday. I went to another one of my favorite places to walk, Mount Auburn Cemetery, with Mia, a new friend, who also owns a great hair salon  (MiAlisa, in Watertown).  Mia speculated how the family in this crowded plot, shown above, probably interacted when they were alive. She acted out how they were all fighting for room at the dinner table. I thought this was quite hilarious.


Another family plot in Mount Auburn Cemetery, with considerably more elbow room.


Tuesday night, at Friendly Fenway Park. The pre-game ceremonies included three family members who had been injured in the Boston marathon bombings, who were now healed enough to be introduced on the field. Also, the mother of Krystal Campbell, from Medford, who had been killed in the bombings, was there, and threw out the first pitch. People in the stands applauded for a long time. I was really hoping the Red Sox would win this game. They didn’t, but then I realized it didn’t matter.


Later in the week, on the fun quest for the hat, I went into Irresistibles and met this lovely woman, Rose. I told Rose that I had never gone into her store before, because I never wear the colors they show.  She suggested that I try these colors — that I might get used to them and really like them. I found a hat there, which fit my needs.


This is the hat, resting on the head of one of the tigers in my son’s room. My son puts all his hats on these tigers.  Thanks to my son, for letting me borrow his tiger for this photo.

Today, I had an adventure at a bank.  Imagine!


I was at a Citizens Bank, and realized that I was experiencing Bank-related Anxiety, relating to a deposit I was making. I told the helpful teller there, Ryan, that I always had doubts about whether deposits would get credited to my account, because of a mistake a bank made in the 80’s. (I’ve been realizing, lately, that a lot of my fears are based on things that happened many years ago, and that it makes sense to let go of those fears.) Ryan was patient and clear with me, giving me information about new procedures banks now use to make sure that deposits are almost always credited accurately.  The other two tellers were also friendly, interacting with me in a very welcoming way.

I asked whether I could take a picture of the tellers, and they told me to ask their manager, Mike. Mike said that would be great.


This is Murari, Armine, and Ryan. I loved how when I took the first photo of them, Armine said, “No! We should be standing closer together.”  She was right.

Later today, I went for a walk in my neighborhood. I saw a sign, hanging from a rope that blocked the front stairway to a home.  Curious, I went to see what it was.


Earlier today, I had read a sad article about how the western African Black Rhino had just been declared extinct. This sign helped me feel (a little bit) better.

So, on Monday, I’m going back to the hospital where I work.  Teresa  (who is  a loyal reader of this blog and a nurse who used to work at that hospital)  told me about this wonderful photography book:


I bought a copy, from Amazon, which I’m looking forward to presenting to the nurses when I return. Thanks, Teresa.

I’d like to end this essay with something I got the first day of this vacation, at a terrific store in Concord, which is — unfortunately — closing next week. (It’s closing because the owner is retiring, after many years of happy operation.)


I like ending with this, especially since my son just told me he thought this was the best mug, ever.

Thanks for reading, everybody.

Categories: personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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