Memories, Dreams and Reflections of 2011

I’ve seen lots of folk joining in on 2011’s Memories, Dreams and Reflections, so I thought that following the photo prompts seemed like a nice excuse to spend some lazy time on the first day of the new year.

1) Me! – A picture of yourself – you don’t have to show your face.

Me – doing what I do best – drinking coffee!

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2) I Love You – A picture of your husband, boyfriend, kids, pets…

 My boyfriend, Mark.

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3) Still Laughing
– A moment you’re still laughing about…tell us a story.

Going through security at San Francisco Airport after our Yosemite trip, I was waiting on my belongings, when this little plastic bowl appeared. Mark had emptied his pockets into the bowl, and had remembered that this little fella was in there too. So he went through a security check with everything else! This is “Cheeky” – the little monkey that I sent Mark when he was deployed to Iraq the year before last. He tends to come everywhere with us, so naturally he was part of the Yosemite trip too. Apparently one of the TSA crew had asked him about it, so he’d explained that he was his deployment buddy, and is now his travel companion!

It gave me a big smile anyway!

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4) Winter Wonderland
 – A picture that reflects winter.

I took this photo last January when we visited Old Sturbridge Village in MA. It’s a “living history museum”, depicting life in New England from 1790-1840. Despite the frigid New England winter, it was still hopping with visitors, as well as photo opportunities.

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5) Birthday
 – Share a birthday picture (your own or someone you love).

A photo collage that I put together from Mark’s birthday last year. He couldn’t decide whether he wanted chocolate and peanut butter cheesecake, or Oreo & white chocolate cheesecake. So I made it “half and half”. It was a big hit!

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6) Friends – A picture with friends (this could be your friends or your children with their friends).

Just a fun gathering with friends – Raf is Sicilian, and his mother (3rd from the right, sitting down) was visiting for a while. She apparently wanted to cook for all of his friends, so we had quite a large gathering for some fabulous Italian food!

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7) I Was Inspired – A picture of what inspires you (person or thing).

My volunteering inspires me. My most regular volunteering gig is for the USO at their lounge at Boston Logan Airport. It’s kind of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The more I do it, the more I enjoy it, and the more useful I feel. If you’ve ever considered volunteering, I can highly recommend the experience. Pick your cause and go for it – and if time constraints prevent you from donating a regular shift somewhere, check into any possibilities for helping “remotely” (maybe you could be in charge of an organization’s newsletter etc), or see if you can be added to a pool of volunteers who can be called upon every now and then. The opportunities are endless.

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8) Spring Fever – A picture that reflects spring.

I love this photo from April last year when we were tripping around the Adirondacks. I remember how still the air was – quite a change from the windy, cold winter in upstate NY! A beautiful spring day, with a great chance to catch some wonderful, colorful reflections in the still waters.

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9) Travel or Vacation – A picture taken on vacation or on a recent travel experience…even if it was only a few miles away.

Last January we went on vacation to New Zealand for almost 3 weeks. It was a “first” for both of us, and was somewhere we’d both been looking forward to visiting. On our first day there, we went to Christchurch’s International Antarctic Centre – what a fabulous experience. I’m a huge penguin fan, so I was particularly taken by their Little Blue Penguins – these little guys have all been rescued as a result of injuries that would’ve left them defenseless in the wild. The little fella on the right has been under veterinary care for bumblefoot – those boots are made for walking…..

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10) Summer Days
 – A picture that reflects summer.

Given that I live in Massachusetts, you’d be forgiven for doing a double-take initially when I tell you that this photo was taken in January last year. But this is another of my favorites from our New Zealand trip!  And since January is their summer, this helps to clear up the initial confusion…..We spent a couple of days in Blenheim, in the Marlborough region of the South Island – wine country! Specifically Sauvignon Blanc (my favorite) country. We arrived as a cyclone was hitting the coast, and we thought we were going to be wine-tasting in our rain gear. But the next morning we awoke to the most beautiful weather imaginable. Just in time for a day of wine tours!

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11) A Day In My Life – A picture of a typical day in your life.

I’m a pathologist, so I spend most of my days peering down a microscope at work!

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12) All Smiles – A picture that makes you smile, or one of smiling faces.

Science really can be art! I’m always on the hunt for something artistic in my science-filled days. And I often find unexpected smiles on the slides that I get to read…..

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13) Autumn Harvest – A picture that reflects autumn/fall.

Nothing says autumn better than a pumpkin!

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14) Family or Home
 – A picture of your family or a picture that represents family/home for you.

This is quite a typical scene at home for me – if I’m not cleaning up the carnage in the wake of Tiddles’ latest grand adventure, I’m trying to carve out some space at the computer as she insists on sitting “right there” with me while I work!

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15) Celebrate!
 – A picture that reflects a celebration.

A toast to Mark’s promotion last May.

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16) Let’s Do It Again – A picture of something you’d like to do again soon.

Yosemite National Park.  Spectacular. This is Yosemite Valley in the first beams of sunlight after the sun rose high enough to the east of it. Seen from the famous “Tunnel View” lookout.

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17) I Miss You – A picture of someone or something you really miss.

My kid sister! She visited just after Thanksgiving in 2010. Can’t believe it’s been so long since I last saw her!

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18) Beautiful – A picture of someone or something you find beautiful.

New England in general. I love this region very much. This is one of the churches in the town of Shrewsbury where I live. So picturesque.

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19) Dress Up – Someone who is all dressed up. Could be Halloween, or some other occasion to dress up fancy!

Enjoying the military ball when Mark returned home from Iraq.

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20) Macro – Share your favorite macro or close-up image.

One of my favorite close-ups came from a meet-up with my local photography club. We visited the Hanover Theatre in nearby Worcester, MA & had “All Access” passes to allow us to wander around after closing time. It’s a beautiful theatre inside – a fun few hours was had by all! I loved the bokeh I caught behind the microphone.

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21) Holidays – A picture from the Holiday of your choice.

A collage of images from our July 4th celebration in Carthage, upstate NY!

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22) My Favorite – Share your favorite picture or memory from 2011.

A summer visit to my favorite town of Newport, RI. This is probably my favorite photo that I took last year – Castle Hill lighthouse. If you haven’t visited Newport, RI yet, and you live within a reasonable distance – don’t wait any longer! Even in the winter, it’s a truly beautiful town.

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23) Don’t Ever Change – Something you love about yourself, someone, or something that you never want to change.

I hope I never lose my desire for wanderlust. I do like the fact that I constantly enjoy making the most of any opportunity I have to see somewhere new. Without this desire, I’d be missing out on scenes like the one below, taken in Cades Cove in the Tennessee Smokey Mountains. I randomly ended up staying overnight at Sevierville, TN on my way home from a conference in Nashville in early December. When I did a little online research after checking into the hotel, I discovered that I was only a 20 minute drive or so from Cades Cove, the most visited region of the Smokies. Naturally, I just had to fit it into my trip the next day!

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24) Just Because…So There! – Share any picture that you really want to share, but which doesn’t fit in any other category.

I think this might be my favorite present ever. Mark gave it to me when he returned from Iraq. He’s not the most romantic of folk, but he has the occasional “moment”!

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25) Hopes and Dreams – Share what you hope or dream for in 2012. Feel free to share an image of your choice.

Last year I started doing some scientific consulting in addition to my regular job. It was hard work keeping up with it all, but I’ve enjoyed it so far. I’m hoping to take a step further with it this coming year, and increase my productivity for the year by 50% over what I achieved last year. My ultimate goal is that one day I’ll be able to work from home as a freelancer. If I can get there slowly, one step at a time over the coming years, I’ll be happy!


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I hope 2012 allows for at least some of your hopes and dreams to be fulfilled!

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10 responses to “Memories, Dreams and Reflections of 2011

  1. Wow, this is amazing! You had a great year! 🙂 Hope 2012 is even better! 🙂

  2. Fantastic.
    Great pictures, great stories, and now we better know the face behind the wanderer.
    Thanks for letting us see in, and have a great wandersome, productive year!

  3. Nicky, this post brought a big drippy tear to my eye! What a fantastic year you’ve had, and you’ve captured the very essence of it here – not just with your beautiful photos, but with your beautiful words too. I think I might give this a go on my blog (though my photos are not a patch on yours!) x

    • Aw, jane, now you’ve got me tearing up too! How sweet of you. And you should definitely try it on your blog. Doesn’t really even need photos – you could adapt it to just include short commentaries for each segment, with photos as you please! But I too thought it was a nice set of prompts when I first saw it on someone else’s blog.

  4. Just catching up and ran across this post…LOVE the monkey! I sent Adam off on his deployment with a little monkey too, and I have a matching one that sits on my night stand. 🙂

    • Oh that’s so cute that you have matching monkeys! Mark will be heading to Afghanistan at the start of next year, and I told him a couple of nights ago that I’ll be expecting regular photos of himself and our little “Cheeky”! Hope Adam is doing ok out there, and that you’re at least enjoying the countdown to R&R! Glad to hear your updates about your new home too!

  5. These pictures are so beautiful. What a talent. I know I’m late to the party, but I so enjoyed seeing these.

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