In the (traveling) studio: Shawna, Eric, and baby Ian

2 01 2021

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

 





In the studio with Mia Elise

4 03 2018

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Mia Pigtail web

Mia Closeup

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In the studio with Mia Elise

4 03 2018

Mia is the granddaughter of my friends James and Irma in San Antonio. Their daughter Tess and son-in-law Chris left Mia with them for the weekend and we were able to do a quick photo session after dinner tonight. She was the best model. These are just a few of the almost-500 shots I did in less than an hour. She has such an expressive face!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Nikon D800 / Nikkor 85mm lens / LED lighting and ringlight

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Mia Blanket WEB

And here’s the look one gets near the end of a session…the Churchill stare:

Mia Churchill

 

 





The Pawlowski family

13 05 2014

I photographed the Pawlowski family for the cover of the May/June 2014 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, published bimonthly by the Hearing Loss Association of American (HLAA). From left, Alex, Katherine, Megan (mom), Nicholas, Sebastian (dad), and Elizabeth. Eight-year-old Katherine is HLAA’s first Walk4Hearing Ambassador.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

MayJune2014cover

 





Sole to Soul

17 10 2013

Hayleigh in pinkI met and photographed Hayleigh (left) and her lovely family in D.C. at HLAA Convention 2011. Hayleigh started her business, Hayleigh’s Cherished Charms, making hearing aid and cochlear implant ear “charms” and the whole family is involved in her venture. You can learn more about Hayleigh and her thriving business in my blog post here.

Please consider donating to their Sole to Soul fundraising campaign! Their goal is to raise $30,000 to buy 1200 pairs of shoes for children in Kenya whose school/dormitory recently burned down, forcing them to return to their homes in the slums of Kenya. They have raised $5,000 so far from babysitting, bake sales and other fundraising efforts. They plan to purchase the shoes in Kenya to support the local economy and will hand deliver them to the children in need.

And while you’re at it, send out a prayer and good thoughts of continued healing for Hayleigh, who is in the hospital in critical but stable condition.





Hearing Loss Magazine, May/June 2013 issue

21 05 2013

The Bozzone family graces the cover of the May/June 2013 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which is published bimonthly by the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). Jason and his wife, Melissa, have three children. Their youngest child, Madeline, has a hearing loss. In this issue of the magazine, Melissa writes about Madeline in “Our Party of Five: Madeline’s Story.” Julie Fisher, the Walk4Hearing Program Assistant, interviewed Jason for this issue as well. I photographed the Bozzone family at a Pennsylvania Walk4Hearing event last fall.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

HLM_MayJune_2013_Cover

Also in this issue:

National Sponsors Create Awareness for Walk4Hearing
2013 sponsor Noreen Gibbens explains why she supports the Walk4Hearing.

The Countdown is On
Nancy Macklin builds excitement for Convention 2013 in Portland, Oregon.

Closed Captioning Frustrations—How to Get Some Help
Carol Studenmund explains how consumers can help improve the quality of captioning on TV.

Can You Hear Me Now? Maximizing Your Hearing on the Phone
Audiologist Brad Ingrao offers technical tips and communications strategies for using the phone.

Seen & Heard
HLAA member Teri Wathen is this issue’s profile.

Advocacy, One Person at a Time
Lise Hamlin, HLAA’s Director of Public Policy, outlines how the organization advocates for public policy and federal regulations, as well as for the rights on more personal levels

Hooked on Bionics
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month and in honor of the event, world-renowned puzzle creator George Barany creates a doozie for our readers.

Hearing Loss: My Secondary Disability
Osteogensis Imperfecta is a rare genetic condition. Adding hearing loss to that could mean a lot of frustration and insurmountable challenges, but, not for author Rosemarie Kasper.

New in Print: Shouting Won’t Help: Why I—and 50 Million Other Americans—Can’t Hear You
Janet McKenna reviewed Katherine Bouton’s new book.





Simple times

3 12 2012

Ah, I remember so well the days when I would “shoot with what I had” and not crave the latest photography gadget, expensive lighting, different backgrounds, etc. In high school and into college, I occasionally babysat the two sons of my favorite teacher in high school. This is her youngest son, Matthew. I started babysitting him when he was a newborn; I think he’s about four or five years old in this photo. Matthew, and his older brother, Marshall, were always great subjects for my camera and they took direction great (although I’m fairly certain bribery was needed!). I got this shot of little Matthew hanging over the arm of the couch, leaning into the light of a side table lamp. This was probably shot with Tri-X 400 film. I seem to recall making prints on some kind of warm-toned Ilford paper in a friend’s darkroom (hence the slight sepia tint to the image). Pretty simple set-up: 35mm camera (probably a Pentax), b&w film, no tripod, available light. Simple. Those were the days.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

MatthewLorez





Claire & Ellie

8 11 2012

Visiting my friend Cam in lovely, sunny Sarasota; photographed her rambunctious nine-year-old twins, Claire and Ellie this afternoon (hard to believe they stood still long enough for photos!). More photos to come of the girls with their 12-year-old brother Nolan and Cam (and their adorable dog, Stella)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The (not so) Orphaned Images Project: Kindergarten graduation day

22 01 2012

From kindergarten through fourth grade I lived in San Antonio on 155 Farrell Drive in a little white ranch style house. My dad closed in our tiny carport to make a den (and did the same thing in the next house) so we would have more room. Our front porch was long and narrow, flanked by a low brick flower bed full of deep purple Wandering Jew plants.

Directly across the street lived “Aunt Opal.” I’m not sure why we called her “Aunt,” because she wasn’t a relative to any of us in the class or on Farrell Drive. She operated a kindergarten out of her home and had 11 kids enrolled when I attended. She, along with my father, were the first two people to encourage me to draw when they saw my creative potential. I remember one of my first drawing assignments was to draw a rose using colored pencils. Aunt Opal showed us how to draw the petals with a series of crescent moon shapes grouped together. I think I still have that drawing somewhere—temporarily misplaced in a safe place completely unknown to even me, of that I’m sure.

At left is my class graduation photo. I’m in the front row, second from the left, with my mouth hanging open. I certainly don’t look like the brightest of her students, but I’d truly like to believe I was. (Girls in front—as it should be!)

Aunt Opal wore June Cleaver-like, flowered dresses in polished cotton, accessorized with a single strand of pearls, big pearl button earrings, and dark cat-eye glasses. She had perfectly coiffed hair, sparkling blue eyes and looked a bit like the TV character Hazel. She always drank Tab after school was let out for the day. I know this because I shared one with her on more than one occasion while waiting for my mother to come home from work to walk me from school across the street to our house. Ah, my first diet cola—let’s blame Aunt Opal for our affinity for them now, shall we?

After driving by that house a few years ago, I blogged about 155 Farrell Drive in “Pressed between the pages of my mind,” here. You can read about how my younger sister and I staged pool parties in our back yard, sold lemonade to neighbor children and how I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was eight years old. That same plant-filled brick flower bed was where one Valentine’s Day, my classmate, Darren, dropped off a box of chocolate for me, rang the doorbell, then ran away. I’ve been scaring boys away ever since!

I was taken back to that time again recently when I came across the two photos below in a dresser drawer in my parent’s guest room. Now you get to see that Aunt Opal was just as I had described her—perfect coif, polished pearls, sensible pumps and all. Below that photo, I’m on our front porch in front of the flower box, proudly holding my first diploma.

Want to learn more about The Orphaned Images Project? Learn about the origin of the project here. Visit the site at  http://orphanedimages.wordpress.com/





The Orphaned Images Project: Bathing cuties

19 10 2011

Learn more about my ongoing series, The Orphaned Images Project, here and see more orphaned images here.





The Orphaned Images Project: School children

21 09 2011

Written on the back of this photo (I’m assuming the names go right to left in placement in the photo):

Loretta
Beverly
Clifford
Leighton
Harold
Junior





Christopher and Peter Artinian

25 07 2011

I had the pleasure of meeting and photographing Christopher Artinian and his son, Peter, at the Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) convention last month in Crystal City, Virginia. Chris is the CEO and president of Morton’s Restaurant Group, Inc., and was the keynote speaker during the convention opening session.

The Artinian family is the subject of Sound and Fury, the 2001 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature. Directed by Josh Aronson, the film tells the story of two brothers: Chris, who was born with hearing, and his older brother Peter, who was born deaf. Both brothers married and both had children who were born deaf. The difficult decision to provide cochlear implants for their children ripped the family apart. Chris and his wife Mari chose to have a cochlear implant for their son while Chris’s brother and his wife Nita, decided they weren’t quite ready for such a medical procedure for their three deaf children. The families finally came full circle and have put the period of “fury” behind them.

Chris and Mari live in Illinois with their five children. He attended Villanova University, and is a longtime supporter of the March of Dimes, Rotary Club and various charities related to children with cochlear implants.

In 2006, Aronson finished Sound and Fury: Six Years Later, a follow-up to Sound and Fury. Click here for an interesting read from pbs.org on director Josh Aronson’s motivation to create Sound and Fury.

Click here to read ‘Sound and Fury Update: A Family Comes Together Again, by Karen Putz, director of Illinois Families for Hands & Voices.

Above, top right: Peter shares his hearing loss experience with Convention attendees. Left: Chris and Pete making their rounds in the exhibit hall at Convention 2011. Below, top photo: Christopher Artinian and his son, Peter. Second photo: HLAA Executive Director Brenda Battat, Christopher Artinian, HLAA Board President Pete Fackler, and Peter Artinian

Photos © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





A writing prompt for The King of Texas

16 07 2011

Hey Dad—remember this photo of me, shot by you after you discovered I had gotten into Mom’s lipstick while she was working (and you were supposed to be babysitting)? I stumbled upon this shot this morning and thought it might make a great writing prompt for you, so I’m sending you down memory lane to write a (lengthy, as always) caption for this photo! (No, your photo won’t win any awards—just look at that green color shift!—but it sure speaks volumes about my strong will and need to be creative, doesn’t it?)

Response from The King of Texas:

This child—this sad-eyed waif—this refugee from a war-torn country is in pitiful condition. Such innocence, such reluctance to reveal who assaulted her and left her in this deplorable condition. She claims that she took a little nap and when she awoke she found lipstick everywhere—yeah, right!

One can see that she tried to cover up the evidence—note the hand-print on the left side of her shirt, and also note the lipstick-covered left hand. Her plaint was “It’s not my fault. Who did this to me?” She places the blame squarely on her father, complaining that as the official babysitter he should have taken precautions to prevent such a disaster.

She even blames the green color shift of the photo on me—oops, I mean on the official babysitter. All her readers need to be reassured that ultimately the wayward lipstick and the sad-eyed waif were separated—it required lots of scrubbing and lots of complaints, both from the scrubbed and the scrubber, but she emerged unscathed and good as new, ready and eager to seek more challenges, and all the while maintaining her innocence.


				




Isabel

6 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Isabel & Holly

5 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Isabel in technicolor!

4 03 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Happy birthday, Wap-Wap!

18 02 2011

To Kelley: here’s to a wonderful birthday today. Yes, I know the photo is a bit dated—I think I shot it about five or six years ago and the kids have grown by leaps since then. Happy birthday, little sister!





The Orphaned Images Project: Family portrait

31 01 2011

Several observations came to my mind when I saw this photo:

1) My first thought was of one of the Damien: Omen movies. Remember when Jennings, the photographer, begins noticing that in his photographs there are things that foretell the deaths of the nanny and the priest (such as a line crossing through their back or head)? The photographer’s death is also foretold in his photograph. The first thing I noticed in this photo was the “dagger” headed toward the head of the woman second from left. Ominous!

2) The woman in the center—talk about a wasp waist! And her head appears to be a apparition—not quite all there because of the film’s exposure.

3) Someone has sketched in an outline of the man’s sleeve with pencil. Now there’s retouching in its most primitive form. Hey, we photographers try to work with what we’ve got!





The Digital Story of Nativity (or Christmas 2.0)

20 12 2010

My dear Arizona-residing friend Jeff sent me this and just in case you haven’t seen it…..





Tom & Bernie

6 12 2010

A photo I shot of my good friend Tom with his father, Bernie, was recently used in a brochure for Cochlear Americas (brochure shown below). Bernie has a cochlear implant. I photographed Tom, his wife Holly, and their dog Bailey at their new home in Arlington when Bernie was visiting this past spring. Tom wrote about his father’s hearing loss for the July/August 2010 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, published by the Hearing Loss Association of America.

My favorite memory he shared was about when his dad won a Corvair during a prize drawing that People’s Drug launched in 1960 to celebrate the opening of their 100th store. In his article, My Dad, the Ford Man, Tom writes, “We have a picture of the whole family posing with Bozo the Clown (Willard Scott). Although my dad was thrilled to win the car, he is a lifelong Ford man. As you may recall, the Corvair inspired Ralph Nader to write the book, Unsafe at Any Speed. So much for that prize! Dad grumbled about the Corvair for four years before going back to a Ford.” (Thanks to Tom’s sister for providing the 1960 photo.)

You can read Tom’s article here: BernieHedstromArticle





Lisa Fuller Seward: A Missionary’s Life

12 11 2010

Lisa Fuller Seward is our cover profile for the November/December 2010 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). I met and photographed Lisa and her daughter Hilary for the magazine at HLAA’s convention in Milwaukee this past June.

Lisa, husband Tom, and their three children (Hilary, a college freshman studying graphic design; Benjamin, a high school freshman; and Caleb, who just started fifth grade) are missionaries in Mali, West Africa. They are currently in Chicago for the 2010-11 school year, with the intention of returning to their missions work with World-Venture in Mali next summer.

Lisa and Tom are currently helping with the youth program at their church, and Lisa is also a volunteer mentor in the “Mom to Mom” program. Their main responsibility this year on home assignment is to report to their donor base and build new support for the programs they are involved in overseas, including student sponsorships and women’s literacy. Regular updates and pictures are posted on their family blog at www.tomseward.com.

Lisa plans to concentrate on language learning upon her return to Africa, working on the trade language to better communicate with nationals, particularly the women, many of whom have received very little education. She enjoys exchanging cooking styles and learning to live a rustic life, while sharing in the joys and sorrows of weddings, funerals, business ventures, and illnesses. Since their return to Africa after Lisa’s illness and subsequent hearing loss and cochlear implantation, the Sewards have sensed an increased interest in their input by local friends who value their commitment to returning after such a difficult personal life event. The Sewards are eager to increase their impact in people’s lives as their sensitivity to people with disabilities has grown.

Download Lisa’s article are her hearing loss journey in pdf format by clicking the link here: LisaFullerSeward.

Very special thanks to:

HLAA member Dan Schwartz, who connected me to Lisa online through Facebook, suggesting that she might make a great profile subject for our magazine (he was right!);

Photographer Jim Adams for providing additional photos of Lisa and her family for the Mali collage;

and Leslie Lesner, audiologist and owner of Lesner Hearing Center, in Alexandria, Virginia, for affording me the opportunity to photograph various hearing aids at her practice to illustrate Mark Ross’ article in this issue.

Other articles in this issue of Hearing Loss Magazine include:

“We Move Forward When We’re Ready” by Richard Reed
A late-deafened musician tells how he adjusted to a cochlear implant.

The Sounds of Music—Strategies for Improving Music Appreciation with a Cochear Implant, by Donna Sorkin, vice president of consumer affairs at Cochlear Americas

Choosing and Using a Cell Phone with Your Hearing Aid or Cochlear Implant by Lise Hamlin, director of Public Policy at the Hearing Loss Association of America

Convention 2011—A Capital Experience by Nancy Macklin, director events and marketing at the Hearing Loss Association of America

The Hearing Healthcare Professional—The Key Factors in Determining Successful Use of a Hearing Aid by Mark Ross, audiologist and associate at the Rehabilitation Engineering Center (RERC) at Gallaudet University

Want to learn more about the Hearing Loss Association of America?
Check out their website at www.hearingloss.org.





Happy birthday, Dad!

19 09 2010

Happy birthday to the best father a girl could have! Not a single day goes by that I do not count my blessings for having the best parents on earth. I realize this photo of me and you is a teeny, tiny bit dated (at least a decade or so ago), but it was the first one I came across in my archives—don’t I look like such a happy child?

You share a birthday with former president Bill Clinton; SNL comedians Jimmy Fallon and Cheri Oteri; singers Trish Yearwood and Paul Williams; GMA Alum Joan Lunden; actor Jeremy Irons; news commentator Soledad O’Brien; model Twiggy; and close to (my) home—Katie Doughty (wife of Redskins football player Reed Doughty), whom I photographed at Green Spring Gardens here, and in my studio here and here. Happy birthday, Katie!

Best of all, today is “International Talk Like A Pirate Day.” Arrrrrrr…..

Get to know this amazing man through his blog, The King of Texas, where he waxes rhapsodic about his family, revisits his childhood (with amazing recall for details), comments on current events (political, celebrity, media and more), and aims to right grammatical wrongs (one visitor at a time) with his occasional lessons on the subject. Check out his archives for some of his essays. I introduced him to blogging just over a year ago and he has become a prolific poster. He has always loved to write and it shows in his lengthy and detailed essays. I just knew it would be a great creative outlet for him. I realize I’ve created a monster, but I am so proud of my grasshopper! Whether you agree or disagree on any particular posting, he welcomes feedback of any kind (but thrives on kudos in particular), so don’t hesitate to comment—he always responds.





Kali

19 09 2010

This is my friend Rob’s first grandchild, Kali, who is about 4-1/2 months old. Rob’s daughter Mary (Kali’s mother) graduated from college (Journalism major) just one week after Kali was born. Talk about supreme multi-tasking! She has a well-written blog about becoming a first-time mom. Check it out here. I photographed Mary, her parents, and baby Kali earlier this month. See those postings here and here. Below: Kali with her grandparents, Rob and Gayle

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Design Studio: Exhibitor Prospectus

10 09 2010

Here is the cover and a few spreads from a 20-page exhibitor prospectus I just finished for the Hearing Loss Association of America’s (HLAA) Convention 2011 marketing campaign. The convention will be held on June 16-19, just about 15 minutes from where I live—Crystal City, an area near Washington, D.C.

The keynote speaker for Convention 2011 will be Chris Artinian, president and CEO of Morton’s Restaurant Group, Inc., whose family is the subject of the 2001 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature, Sound and Fury. The film documents one family’s struggle over whether or not to provide two deaf children with cochlear implants—devices that can stimulate hearing. The film was directed by Josh Aronson, produced by Roger Weisberg, with Jackie Roth as coordinating producer.

From the PBS website: As the Artinians of Long Island, New York debate what is the right choice for two deaf cousins, Heather, 6, and Peter, 1-1/2, viewers are introduced to one of the most controversial issues affecting the deaf community today. Cochlear implants may provide easier access to the hearing world, but what do the devices mean for a person’s sense of identity with deaf culture? Can durable bridges be built between the deaf and hearing worlds?

I designed a logo for the convention as well as the logo for “Get in the Hearing Loop,” a joint project of the Hearing Loss Association of America and the American Academy of Audiology. The 2nd International Hearing Loop Conference will be held on June 18-20. Both events will be held at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City. Learn more about Convention 2011 on HLAA’s website at www.hearingloss.org. Learn more about the 2nd International Hearing Loop Conference here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Alicia Royer, pastellist

8 09 2010

I met Alicia Royer a few years ago when I photographer her with her family (husband Mike, and kids Annie and Joshua) for the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). Mike, who wears a cochlear implant, is a member of HLAA. We’ve been friends ever since. I invited the family to my studio sometime later for portraits and at the time, Alicia was seven months pregnant with their daughter, Ashley Jocelyn. You can see the results of that photo session in my blog posts: Meet the Royers, And baby girl five… and Annie & Joshua. Two months later, Mike asked me if I could photograph the birth of their daughter and I jumped at the chance (and the challenge!). You can see the photos from the birth in my blog posts: Welcome to the world, Ashley Jocelyn! and Introducing Ashley Jocelyn. Ashley celebrated her second birthday this past month.

Now that Alicia has a dedicated art space in their new home, this busy mother of three has been churning out drawings and improving her skills with every effort. A few months ago, she asked if she could use a photo I shot of my friend Camilla (Cam) as a reference for a drawing. Recently, she e-mailed me the results and I thought she did a great job and wanted to share it on my blog. While I have been drawing and painting since I was a child, I haven’t done much with the pastel medium, but I do know that it isn’t an easy medium to work in—yet Alicia excels in it with her color palette choices and her layering skills. And most often she chooses portraits as her subject—not an easy task, in my opinion.

Check out her pencil drawings on www.aliciajroyer.blogspot.com and pastel drawings on www.aliciajroyer22.blogspot.com.

And she’s getting creative in the kitchen, too, with her new blogs, It Begins in the Kitchen and Alicia’s Favorites.





Mary and Kali

8 09 2010

Last night I photographed my friend Rob’s daughter Mary and her four-month-old daughter, Kali. More photos to come!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.






When Your Child Has a Hearing Loss…

4 09 2010

Hearing loss in children is the focus of the September/October 2010 issue of Hearing Loss Magazine, which I design and produce bimonthly for the Hearing Loss Association of America. I shot this cover of Craig Yantiss and his son, Anthony, two years ago. HLM Editor Barbara Kelley interviewed Anthony’s mother, Lisa Yantiss, (in photo below, far left) for the cover feature, We Thought the Test Was Wrong! Anthony is now three years old and wears a cochlear implant and a hearing aid.

Also in this issue:
In their story, About Maya: A Daughter Born with Hearing Loss, Robyn and Mike Bittner share the story of their daughter Maya’s hearing loss and the family’s journey from denial to acceptance.

In Moving from Grief to Warrior Mode, Christina Marmor shares how she and husband Chuck dealt with their son Christian‘s hearing loss diagnosis at birth. Christian was implanted at 15 months and is now 3-1/2 years old and thriving.

All photos below © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. 1) Lisa Yantiss with son Anthony; 2) The Marmor family: Christina, Chuck, Christian and Liliana; 3) Christian

A seasoned veteran of hearing loss, Marcia Finisdore provides resources and support in her article, The Early “Big Bang”—A Guide for Parents from a Parent.

Nancy Macklin, HLAA’s Director of Events & Marketing, recaps the 2010 Convention in Milwaukee—complete with loads of photos!

Lise Hamlin, HLAA’s Director of Public Policy, discusses cell phones compatibility in her article, Cell Phones Age into Hearing Aid Capability.

Audiologist and long-time contributor, Mark Ross, shares the latest generation of hearing aids in his article, Hearing Aid Features: A Closer Look.

Author/contributors photos appearing in this issue © Cindy Dyer. From left: Brenda Battat, Executive Director of HLAA; Pete Fackler, HLAA Board President; Lise Hamlin, HLAA Director of Public Policy; Mark Ross, audiologist; and Ronnie Adler, HLAA’s National Walk4Hearing Manager.


And finally, our youngest author to date, AJ Traub (12), interviews Ronnie Adler, HLAA’s National Walk4Hearing Manager. AJ has been actively involved in the Walk4Hearing since 2007. With the help of his Walk4Hearing teams, he has raised over $5,000 for the program!

Curious about the Walk4Hearing? Want to get involved? Learn more about the program on HLAA’s website here, or watch the video below:





Wagner family portraits

14 07 2010

I photographed the Wagner family at Green Spring Gardens a couple of months ago. They were a pleasure to work with! (Extra special thanks to my friend Karen for the referral!)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Hudson

28 04 2010

I photographed Hudson and his mom and dad, Jeanette and Richard, this morning at Green Spring Gardens. The sun was out, the sky was blue, but it was really cold! We got some great shots despite the temperature. This shot was taken in the children’s garden. More to come…

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.







Parents, plants and partying

22 03 2010

Best parents in the world, shown at right. It’s true. It’s really, really true. Wouldn’t trade ’em for nuthin’. Check out the latest photos I’ve posted on our wedding blog here.

Speaking of blogs…check out my dad’s blog, The King of Texas. He waxes rhapsodic about his family, revisits his childhood (with amazing recall for details), comments on current events (political, celebrity, media and more), and aims to right grammatical wrongs (one visitor at a time) with his occasional lessons on the subject. Check out his archives for some of his essays. I introduced him to blogging almost a year ago and he has become a prolific poster. He has always loved to write and it shows in his lengthy and detailed essays. I just knew it would be a great creative outlet for him. I realize I’ve created a monster, but I am so proud of my grasshopper! Whether you agree or disagree on any particular posting, he welcomes feedback of any kind (but thrives on kudos in particular), so don’t hesitate to comment—he always responds.

Out in the garden…my hellebores, snowdrops and crocus plants are in bloom—after a long, cold, way-too-much-snow winter. I predict some flower photos appearing on the blog shortly. Michael and I cleaned up most of the front yard (gathering six bags of debris!) on Thursday and my friend Tom helped me with a good portion of the back yard garden on Friday. There are lots of empty gaps in the garden this year, so there will definitely be some restructuring of the various beds in an effort to refresh things. I bought a slew of bulbs at Home Depot last night for the front yard garden (liatris, crocosmia, tigridia and lilies). I’m waiting to plant when I’m sure there’s no danger of frost! I also want to try out some new perennial choices so I’ll have some new specimens to photograph this year.

Speaking of flower photography…check out my buddy Ed Vatza’s stunning photos here of the elusive Himalayan Blue Poppy, which he photographed at Longwood Gardens recently. Wish these beauties weren’t so temperamental—they would be in my garden in a heartbeat if they were easier to grow!

And on to the partying…Nanda, one of my Garden Club Weedettes, hosted a knitting party late this afternoon (with wonderful Indian munchies). Yours truly was introduced to knitting today. Boy, was that ever a challenge! I think I’ve gotten the hang of it (sorta/kinda), but it’s definitely seems harder than my basic crochet skills. I’ll post a few photos of my newfound knitting friends and my work-in-progress (I think it’s a scarf—hard to tell at this point!) shortly. Sigh…as if I needed another hobby.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.